A VVivacious Review: Mute Witness by Rick R. Reed

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
 
Mute Witness 2Book Synopsis: When a little boy ends up missing, his parents’ lives are turned upside down and inside out. But the relief that comes when the boy is found is marred by the appalling truth that comes to light.
 
As Shelley tries to be strong for her son while holding herself together, things spin out of control. While Sean’s worry of how his homosexuality might be used as a weapon to keep him away from his only child in light of the abuse he has suffered, is realised. And will Jason speak up against his abuser or has this one event struck him mute forever.
 
 The blurb of this book is very misleading. While I enjoyed the book so I didn’t really mind the misleading blurb but this book is actually about a child who is sexually abused and how this impacts his life and the lives of those around him. Sean being gay though deliberate on the part of the author is just another nuance to the story because this book is not about Sean being gay it is about Sean, a father whose son has been very brutally abused.
 
Now where this blurb is misleading is in the fact that I thought the events in this book would be narrated as per Sean or Austin’s POV or from their perspective. But this book has multiple POVs including those of Shelley (Jason’s mother), Paul (Shelley’s husband), Estelle (Shelley’s mother) along with Sean, Austin and Jason and all of them are equally important characters, if not more. Especially Shelley we spend quite a lot of time in her head.
 
This is also not a romance story and doesn’t focus on relationships outside of how this adverse event puts a strain on them. This story is about one horrifying precipitating event that leads to a chain of reactions that propels the characters in this story.
 
My one problem with the plot was the multiple POVs because as it so happens in multiple POVs the moment the narrative of a particular character becomes interesting we flip to another character who can’t add anything to the interesting titbit we just learned.
 
This book is a story of people under insurmountable anguish who must learn to live their lives all over again and how our actions at the time of adversity can have irreversible consequences. The characters in this book have a really gritty feel, like the reality of their situations makes itself known on the surface itself. As such the book focuses on a lot of people other than aforementioned six and we get to see their perceptions and motivations as well.
 
As such I see why multiple POVs work for this story as it helps to increase the scope of the story as well as to realistically portray the extent of damage one wrong thing can produce. Also I loved how we got two perceptions of people one of how they perceive themselves and one of how they were perceived by people who knew them and in some cases an additional third of how a casual bystander perceives them.
 
This story is riveting, once you start the book it is hard to stop in between as the story twists and turns with subtlety through the wide landscape of havoc that descends on the lives of two parents who love their son immensely.
 
A word of caution while reading this book is that you will need to keep an open mind and also the fact remains that this book is most definitely not a romance; it is more of a thriller with slight bits of mystery and suspense.
 
Cover Art by Aaron Anderson. I liked the cover a lot it aptly portrays the dumb horror of what the story holds in store for you.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 290 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by DSP Publications (first published 2009)
Original TitleMute Witness
ISBN139781634763455
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lila Review: Pretty Human by Kayleigh Skye

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

 Pretty HumanSeeking absolution for his past in a fiery death, a young space force pilot crashes his ship on a desert planet.

 When Ellis Ligoria, King of Xol, witnesses a space ship hurtling to the planet’s surface, he rushes to the scene of the crash and joins the search party for survivors. As night descends, a strange compulsion leads him to the site of an underground city. Here he rescues a badly injured Jem. During his recovery, it is discovered that Jem is part Xolan. Not only that, but he’s a genetically submissive variation called a Xolani. Ellis has no desire to care for a Xolani but cannot resist his desire for Jem. Taking him under his protection, he brings him home to his family.

 Desperately wanting this new life, Jem claims to be a solitary Vagabond, a loner without family or home. A man nobody wants or is looking for. Safe for the first time in his memory, Jem has hopes for a happy future. He is falling in love with Ellis and adores his new family. All he wants is to live a quiet life as Ellis’ consort, but as his secrets sink him deeper and deeper into a prison of lies, he knows that he cannot hide his true identity forever. Marrying Ellis is a dream come true, but he’ll never escape the brutal man he is running from.

 Soon called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice, Jem must fight to stop a powerful monster bent on revenge

 Pretty Human is a hard book to read. It’s agonizing from the very beginning. All the events are wrap-up in darkness and only little rays of light show through the story. It’s not until the end that the characters find some redemption. The story does have a HEA, but it cost them a lot to get there, and we don’t get too much time to enjoy their happiness.

 The main plot is described well in the blurb, and it stays on point throughout the story. The secondary events, however, are all over the place. The story is somehow linear, but we get events from Jem’s past weaved in the dialogues and as flashbacks that take complete chapters. They aren’t hard to follow, but they bring the reader out of the story. There are many twists and turns, mostly wrongdoings against Jem, taking place during the book.

 The first twenty-five percent of the story was confusing. I had to re-read some passages to get back on track because of the amount of information provided and the cruelty of some of the events. After this, the book had a better pacing.

 The author did an excellent job creating a world for her characters to live and other planets in the galaxy to interact with the book events. We get to see a difference between humans and the many other alien species, as well as their technological capabilities and everyday activities. There’s enough information, sometimes too much, about the surroundings to be able to feel like part of the story’s setting. We get to see what they do and enjoy their awe about it.

 The story has great characters with great qualities and real relationships. There’s only one character, who played an important part of the story, that only gets mentioned quickly and we don’t get to see the complete implications of his relation with Jem, but the reader can infer. Ellis family took a central part in their relationship and helped Jem find himself and the love he longed for. Their support is an important component without being invasive.

 The antagonist in the story is a true villain and even when a softer side of him is shown, it’s not enough to hope for him to have a happy outcome. As the blurb mentions, the man Jem is running from is brutal and the scenes are very graphic and accurate. The reader feels for Jem as if they were experiencing the pain with him. And the inaction displayed by one of Jem’s relatives is heartbreaking.

 Now, to Jem and Ellis. I loved Ellis, most of the time. I like how much of a dreamer he was and how much of a connection he got with Jem from the get-go. And I especially enjoyed how he learned to love Jem. I really like that Jem was thirty-three-years-old by the start of the story. His life story is the main reason for this book, and we get to see more than one side to him. There’s more to him than a Vagabond or a Xolani. Jem is a complicated being, whose growth we get to be part of. He’s indeed an interesting character, stronger than any other I had read about before.

 Don’t get me wrong, the story is well-written, and it’s worth reading. You just need to take the time to read it. It’s not a quick and easy to read all at ones. This story needs to be pay attention to, it has details that would be significant as the events develop. I think, it’d be a great story to get as an audiobook.

  The cover goes perfectly with the story– from the handsome human to the world build and the colors & elements described in the story.

 Sale Links: Pride | Amazon | ARe (not available)

 Book Details:

ebook, 255 pages
Published: Early download – January 26, 2016; General release – February 23, 2016, by Pride Publishing
ISBN: 9781786513762
Edition Language: English

Our Spotlight is on Lane Swift’s The Dormant Heart (author guest post and excerpt)

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Dormant Heart

Dormant Heart by Lane Hayes
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist Anna Sikorska

Release Date February 10, 2016

 

About Dormant Heart

Amateur photographer Josh Thornton is out but not so proud. He’s estranged from his family, his boyfriend dumped him, and his job at an estate agency is in jeopardy—especially after he crashes his boss’s car in the middle of nowhere on his way to Hartley Manor.

Callum Black works at the English country estate and lives there in an isolated cottage. Left mute by a childhood accident, he’s more comfortable in the company of animals than people. But when Josh—literally—crashes into his life with his camera and his friendship, Callum realizes his peaceful solitude has been more than a little lonely.

Josh’s affection for Callum deepens even as he’s consumed by doubts over Callum’s sexuality and whether Callum could ever love him. And Callum is haunted by the secret that stole his voice—a secret that keeps him tethered to Hartley Manor. When the past comes hurtling painfully back into the present, Josh and Callum have to overcome their fears and breathe life back into their dormant hearts in order to have a chance at their own picture-perfect future.

Purchase it at Dreamspinner Press.

 

About the Author

Lane Swift is a fiction writer, mainly of contemporary romance, sometimes featuring a mild dash of paranormal.

She lives by the sea in Hampshire, England, with her husband, two children and two guinea pigs, and can often be found at her beach hut, imbibing coffee and dreaming up happy-ever-afters for her heroes and heroines.

Over the years, she’s worked as a waitress, a lab technician, a science teacher and a telecommunications consultant. She’s also played women’s rugby, climbed one mountain and run one marathon, but has never managed to learn how to whistle.

 

 

You can contact the author via:

Cover Reveal for Chris T. Kat’s ‘Mending the Rift’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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MendingTheRift-Preview

Mending the Rift by Chris T. Kat
Release Date: March 14, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Blurb

In a future where man’s ability to reproduce is severely compromised, humanity has adapted to survive. Breeders—male and female—have become precious commodities, and they are strictly guarded and subject to limitations.

Luca Walker is a breeder. Though he knows what’s expected of him as the youngest son of the Northern Confederacy’s Vice President, he’s held out against the pressures of an arranged marriage because he longs to marry for love, not duty. But he’s been promised to Colonel Liam Smith and there’s little he can do about it, no matter that Luca is secretly in love with his bodyguard, Marcus Gray.

When Luca finds himself pregnant with Marcus’s baby, Smith is furious and vows to take what is his—by force, if necessary. Now Luca must fight for his life and the life of his unborn child… as well as the love of Marcus and the happily ever after he’s always dreamed of.

 

Pages or Words: 68,000 words
Categories: M/M Romance, Science Fiction, MPREG

Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter Two:

Marcus rappelled off and stepped onto the ground with a crunch of his boots. Pointing at the opening with the askew ladder, he asked, “Don’t tell me you seriously considered climbing down this way.”

Luca shrugged. “I’d have preferred spontaneous levitation, but it didn’t happen.”

He yelped when Marcus put an arm around his torso and lifted him to his feet, as if he weighed nothing. “Hey!”

Marcus silenced him with a glare, and Luca gritted his teeth while Marcus thumped dust off his clothes. “Your father is livid.”

Luca swallowed. He’d expected worried, maybe a bit mad, but livid? His father never got furious at him. Not for long, anyway. Being the baby of the family had its perks. “Why?”

Why? Seriously, Luca, you have to ask why?” Marcus patted Luca’s behind more firmly than was strictly necessary.

Luca shifted, trying to get away from Marcus’s arm. When that didn’t help, he slapped Marcus’s hands away and stepped aside. He couldn’t think when he was so close to Marcus—when the man touched him, he sent shivers up and down his spine. He ignored the glower Marcus directed at him. “Yes, seriously. He knows I don’t want to marry Smith. I don’t want anything to do with all that shit. I want to decide what I’m going to do with my life.”

Marcus shook his head. “Smith is a good man. My brother Kyle worked for him. He said he always treated his people well. If you want I could try to get Kyle on the phone so you can talk to him. That is, if I can get a hold on him. Trust me, you’ll be in good hands.”

“You don’t get it! I don’t want to be in good hands!”

“No?” Marcus raised an eyebrow.

Luca huffed, a small smile forming on his lips. “Well, yes, of course I want to be in good hands. But I want someone to love me, and not just for my ability to become pregnant. I want… you.”

Luca’s heart thundered in his rib cage. There, he’d said it. The ball was in Marcus’s court. Sure, it had only been one night, and Marcus’s reaction afterward hadn’t been promising, but maybe he’d just been scared? Maybe he feared to lose his job? Nonetheless, there was more going on between them, and they both knew it. That one night had just been the last logical step. Luca regretted nothing.

For a moment Marcus seemed startled, and there was a softness in his eyes that was solely reserved for Luca. The softness vanished too quickly for Luca’s liking.

Instead, Luca was greeted with Marcus’s usual, scrutinizing gaze. “You don’t want me, and you better never mention this again. It was a mistake. Now get it out of your head and be a good boy.”

Buy the book

Dreamspinner eBookDreamspinner Paperback

Meet the Author

Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Love Bytes, My Fiction Nook, Bayou Book Junkie, Full Moon Dreaming, A.M. Leibowitz, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Man2ManTastic, BFD Book Blog, V’s Reads, The Blogger Girls, Molly Lolly, 3 Chicks After Dark, Louise Lyons, Mikky’s World of Books, MM Good Book Reviews, Alpha Book Club, Bonkers About Books, Bending the Bookshelf, Nephy Hart, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Velvet Panic, The Hat Party

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: A book from Chris’s backlist or an audiobook copy of ‘Despite the Odds’.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

 

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Cover reveal for Voss Porter’s ‘The Wrong Kind of Woman’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Release Date: February 18, 2016

 Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dark Hollows Press
Cover Artist: Eden Connors

Blurb

All of her life, Dana Anderson has done what was expected of her. She put herself through school, she worked hard for her career, and she held her brother together even after the loss of both parents. As summer comes, and her inhibitions lower, however, she finds herself face-to-face with danger, mystery and an illogical chance at true love. Will rough and ready biker, Bri Gunner, be the woman of her dreams? Or will the heat of their passing flame burn out?

 

Pages or Words: 86,412 words
Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Lesbian Romance, Romance

Excerpt

“You have one bathroom for five hundred people and no soap, but you have hand sanitizer on the sink? This place makes no sense. None.”

Throwing open the door—an exaggerated explanation for nudging it back open with her aforementioned shoe—she reached down into her purse, fumbling for her cell phone and ran smack into a chest.

A decidedly muscular, hard-bodied chest.

That was a good twelve inches higher than her own chest, which was momentarily surprising.

Only, the giant, hard-bodied chest was a brick wall of the female variety. Blessedly, wholeheartedly, carnally female.

With a very serious piece of hardware in her belt, and not at all the enticing, strap-on variety.

“What the hell?” Fury flared before common sense prevailed, and she shoved out with her hands.

Looking up, the breath stolen from her lungs, she stared head-on at the tallest, most eerily beautiful woman she had ever before seen in her life. Gargantuan, really, if gargantuan is an adjective applied to women not bound by the covers of paranormal romance novels, with a seductively menacing frame that was well over the six-foot standard (well over the six and a half foot standard), this woman was enormous. Her hair, super short and blonde, was so light it was nearly white, and she had high cheekbones that betrayed a sense of genetic refinement so common in Europeans. Her eyes were the palest green, and there were freckles—only a dusting—over a slightly upturned nose, with skin a lovely shade of medium beige, just bright enough that it was vaguely human and just pale enough to make her a contender for the Cullen clan. Her lips…. Well, her lips were drawn into a sort of tight sneer, dripping with derision that leant itself to the rest of her person; every gangling, corded inch was cloaked in a snug black tee and straight-legged denim trousers that rode low on her narrow hips. The reinforced metal toe of her boot tapped impatiently on the tile floor—holy shit, why is there travertine in the back of a biker bar?—and when she opened her mouth speak, Dana could not help but wonder if her voice would match the rest of her—hard, implacable and more intoxicating than the very finest of wines.

Shit, I really need to get laid. I’m fantasizing about a security guard. Her fantasies were beginning to cloud the rigid faces of reality, namely that there was a large, silver pistol in the waistband of the aforementioned denim trousers and Lady MacGyver was probably hankering to use it.

“You should not be back here,” Sexy King Kong growled, slamming the metal tray she held in her hands down onto a sink in the background. Her voice was five octaves lower than it should have been, and filled with husk and combed intensity.

Buy the book: Amazon

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Meet the Author:

Voss Porter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from Francis Marion University and has been writing for pleasure from the age of six. She is a married mother of two human children and four canine progeny, a proud lesbian in an LGBTQ community that is yet undiscovered, and a passionate supporter of area humane initiatives. Her debut novel, The Right Kind of Woman, was published by Dark Hollows Press in December of 2015.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, Bayou Book Junkie, The Hat Party, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Happily Ever Chapter, Charley Descoteaux, My Fiction Nook, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, A.M. Leibowitz, MM Good Book Reviews, Divine Magazine, Inked Rainbow Reads, Havan Fellows, Cate Ashwood, Foxylutely Book Reviews. The Jena Wade, Unquietly Me, Kirsty Loves Books, Bonkers About Books, Ogitchida Book Blog, Tasty Wordgasms, Velvet Panic

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘The Wrong Kind of Woman’ by Voss Porter.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. LInk and prize provided by the author and  Pride Promotions.

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