A MelanieM Review: Acts of Passion: A Jack Cade/Michael di Santo Novel of Suspense by Sedonia Guillone

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Acts of PassionWhen a man is found in his apartment, appearing to have committed hara kiri with a samurai sword, Boston Homicide Detective Jack Cade suspects more is going on than what it appears. The department’s criminal profiler has left and a new guy is taking his place. At first, Cade is skeptical of Dr. Michael Di Santo. Di Santo seems so absent-minded and too neurotic to be effective. But he is brilliant and hot and Cade finds himself falling hard and fast, both in lust and in love. The attraction is mutual, although Michael’s past demons haunt him, keeping him from getting too close. Together, they begin to unravel Michael’s emotional knots even as they close in on a killer, another brilliant, wily person whose sights are now set on Michael.

Acts of Passion by Sedonia Guillone is a novel that picks up the story of a secondary character from a previous series, Genjin/Holmes Mysteries. As Sedonia Guillone has said, she thought Michael Di Santo deserved his own HEA and gave it to him here in Acts of Passion, a layered story full of romance as well as mystery and suspense.

One element of every story and series Sedonia Guillone writes is the wounded warrior or modern samurai, and the author plays on that theme here with several devilish twists, always with a nuanced overlay of Japanese culture and samurai weaponry involved.   Do I love that about her writing?  Absolutely.  Her knowledge is impeccable, and she is able to impart that passion and love to the reader without it being a dry dump of facts.  Instead she folds it into her characters and their history beautifully, revealing itself as it should throughout the storyline.

You don’t have to have read the other series, this story works perfectly as a standalone.  Guillone supplies the back-history for Michael’s previous relationship with Toshi (the ex partner back in Japan) and for Jack Cade, the man who will capture his interest personally and at work.  I loved the interchanges between the characters, it works on every level to pull them together professionally and as men becoming interested romantically.  You will get it too because Jack Cade is such an intriguing character with his own  demons pulling at him as well.  The two men have many obstacles, not the least of which is a serial killer, to overcome, before they can more on with each other.

I thought the mystery was good (although I had guessed correctly at who the killer was) but the suspense?  Excellent.  This was seat of the pants, white knuckle grip, will they get there in time stuff.  And I love every bit of it.

I only wish the ending was stretched out a bit longer for my tastes, that would have made this perfect.

Is Sedonia Guillone a new author for you?  Grab this up and start reading?  Have a love of the Japanese culture and the samurai warrior in modern times?  Love a good thriller with a romance thrown in?  This has it all.  Then go search out her other stories.  I’ve included a link to her website below as well.  Happy reading!  I highly recommend this author and story to one and all.

Cover art by: Louca Matheo.  The cover is sexy and works well for the storyline.

Sales Links:  Amazon|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play|AllRomance Ebooks

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 186 pages
Published January 15th 2016 by Ai Press (first published June 11th 2010)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Find out more about Sedonia Guillone at her website here: http://www.sedoniaguillone.com

A Lila Review: Love and the Exorcism by Melanie Hansen

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

Love and the ExorcismTom Hannity is not boring, despite what his ex-boyfriend says. He loves his circle of family and friends and finds peace in the beauty of flower arranging. Still stinging from his recent breakup, Tom attends an Anti-Valentine’s Day “Ex-orcism,” hoping for some fun and forgetfulness.

Mario Tellez is tired of party boys, and he’s had his eye on Tom for a while. When they run into each other at the Ex-orcism, sparks fly, until an accidentally overheard conversation drives Tom to do something he normally doesn’t do.

What should have been a hot and fun night turns into Tom and Mario seeing each other at their absolute worst, although surprisingly, it brings out the best in them, too. Navigating around the toxic people in their lives isn’t easy, and after a small series of bumps in the road, they finally come around full circle… to Valentine’s Day and laying old demons to rest.

We meet Tom and his sister as soon as the story starts. It gives us the opportunity to learn about Tom’s past relationship, his job, and his family history. As well as his social life and some of his insecurities.

 The exorcism part sounds childish, but we get to understand why it came about as it happens. Tom and Mario met during an odd confrontation during the party, but in the end, it worked for them. They are the kind of couple that would have a story to tell their grandkids when they ask how they met.

 We get to see the worst of them just minutes after they talked for the first time, but their flirty demeanor creates a connection between them. Their one night stand is sensual until life happens, starting the chain of events that would eventually bring them together.

 Their relationship develops off-page, and we move to a point in which they’re finding their footing as a couple. Like every short story, it moves quickly over time, until they start having some problems in their relationship. But as with any good romance, we get a delightful reconciliation and a fulfilling happily ever after.

 Love and the Exorcism is a lovely Valentine’s short story. Perfect for a quick fix of romance between longer books. It’s sweet, easy, and it has a simple, but believable story line.

 The main characters are cute and quirky together. They are happy and realistic. Most importantly, they have insecurities any young gay men could possess. Their background stories were not happy ones, but they learned to overcome them and became productive men. There’s no trauma dragging them down and making them miserable.

 This book is all about their love story and how Mario and Tom get to know each other and move forward after their first problem as a couple.

 My only complaint would be about what caused the problem on Mario’s side. I think the characterization of those involved was stereotypical and felt out of place in such a sweet story. It takes the reader completely out of the “feels zone.” Other than that, I believe the author delivered a nice romance.

A beautiful cover by Bree Archer. It goes well with the Valentine’s Day story and Tom’s job and character.

 Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

 ebook, 47 pages
Published: February 11, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634770439
Edition Language: English

Into the Fantasy World of Romance with Bailey Bradford’s ‘Dragon Dreams & Fairy Wings’ book blast and giveaway

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  • Dragon Dreams & Fairy Wings (Fire & Flutter #1) by Bailey Bradford
    Release Date: February 18 at Rainbow Ninja Press, February 25 elsewhere

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Rainbow Ninja Press
Cover Artist: Beany Sparks

Blurb

What happens when a fairy loses his wings– and his memory?

Griff was born a Love fairy, but he never quite fit in. He didn’t want to be part of a harem, at least…he didn’t think he wanted that. What with his wings gone and his memory damaged, he can’t be certain of what he felt in the past. All he does know is, he wants his wings back. Without them, he’s grounded.

Blaze is a dragon shifter who tends to stick his foot in his mouth…and some other parts in other places…when he really shouldn’t. His brother is the king, and his sister-in-law Bonny is scary. Blaze’s last screw-up got him grounded, unable to shift into his dragon form. His punishment seems harsh to him, but there’s no escaping it.

Then the Love fairies come to the castle to work on forming an alliance. Blaze has about had it with guarding the horny beings, and he’s disappointed that they don’t stay small and cute. He almost commits a major faux-pas when he swats at something buzzing him, and it turns out to be a fairy on a dragonfly.

And from that snarky meeting, something wonderful, and dangerous, will come.

 

Pages or Words: 58,600 words
Categories: Erotica, Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Romance, Shifters (Dragon)

Excerpt

Blaze was disappointed as all Hades. The fairies weren’t little all the time. They were tiny when they came in, but quickly morphed to regular sized beings, if not taller than most of the dragons when the dragons were in the two-legged form.

And holy dragon balls, Blaze did not know why anyone would want a harem! Okay, well, there was the sex, and lots of it, probably, but so far there’d been more bickering and outright fighting than anything sexy! He’d had to break up six altercations, and the fairies had only been in their accommodations for an hour!

This was going to be a long, suck-ass assignment.

The fairies sure were beautiful, though. Granted, he hadn’t seen each and every one of them. He’d seen the king, and some of the harem members. Every one of them was gorgeous, delicate-featured, lithe, and limber—that last one might not be true, but he was going to go with it, because… hot! Bendy fairies… Blaze adjusted his cock before it could pop up and embarrass him. He wondered if maybe, because they were Love fairies, they had special powers of attraction and such. He’d been fighting down boners ever since he’d been brought out to meet the Love fairy king, Artaxis.

Not that Artaxis even gave him a cursory glimpse. Blaze didn’t blame him. Artaxis was beautiful, like all the fairies Blaze had seen so far, and Blaze was… Well, there was nothing delicate about a dragon’s features, that was for sure. And lithe might apply to some of the other dragons in differing warrens, but not in any Blaze knew of.

With Blaze’s shocking orange hair and bronze skin… and freckles, another thing that was a burden to bear. How many times when he’d been a child had he been teased about having shit splatters on his face? Was it any wonder at all that he hated his human form? At least his scales made the freckles unnoticeable for the most part when he was a dragon. And Blaze was forever scarred from being told his freckles were caused by watching other creatures using the dragon dumping grounds. That was also the cause for styes in the eyes, according to old dragons’ tales.

Blaze had never in his life had a sty, and he’d maybe, sorta accidentally, seen an orc once in the dumping grounds. If anything was going to give someone a sty, that should have done it.

Blaze smacked himself on the forehead. Why did his mind spin around to such stupid thoughts?

Well, it’d curbed his arousal. He hoped the fairies weren’t going to hang around long. He didn’t need the struggle with his dick, and he sure didn’t need the blow to his ego—so far, none of the fairies had acknowledged him or even looked at him unless he was breaking up a fight involving them. Even then, he didn’t think he registered as more than a big, lumbering weirdo.

He watched a dozen fairies walk toward the baths. They were so pale and pretty, and that long hair was amazing. Then he realized something wonderful. They were naked!

It was wonderful because there were so many gorgeous naked fairies. Yet it was horrible, too, because he was never going to have blood anywhere else but in his cock again unless he got some sort of control over his libido. When the fairies’ hair swung just right, he saw glimpses of nicely rounded buttocks.

Blaze groaned and closed his eyes. He couldn’t look. He’d end up taking his shaft out right there and jacking himself to completion, and he didn’t have to think about it to know that wouldn’t go over well with Fyre or Bonny.

He had to leave the hall next to the harem rooms, where he’d been standing, waiting for the next fight to break out. Blaze couldn’t wait for more naked fairies to come out. He’d lose it and yeah, end up being grounded for a century.

It was easy to slip away, outside, into the heat of the sunlight. Blaze bit his lip until it hurt bad enough to kill his arousal. He was really going to have to get it together—if he could just figure out what it was.

A strange sound reached his ears. It was a fluttering, buzzing sound. He turned his head and frowned when he saw a gold-gilded dragonfly buzzing toward the entrance of the secondary palace where the fairies were staying.

Contrary to popular belief, dragons didn’t look at dragonflies as cute little relatives. They looked at them as bugs.

Blaze raised a hand to swat it away when it was within reach.

Buy the book:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BK0GKWU

http://www.rainbowninjapress.com/Dragon-Dreams-Fairy-Wings

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28951311-dragon-dreams-and-fairy-wings

Early release 18th Feb

General release 25th Feb

Meet the author:

These things always give me fits. Basically, I am an author of erotic romance. Besides being an author, I am a mother, a grandmother, a wife, and a combination of many other things that make my life joyous day in and day out. Unless someone swipes my coffee. Then it gets pretty ugly quickly.

Where to find the author:

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Tour Dates & Stops: February 18, 2016

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, V’s Reads, Bonkers About Books, Bayou Book Junkie, The Hat Party, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Full Moon Dreaming, Decadent Delights, Unquietly Me, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Velvet Panic, BFD Book Blog, Happily Ever Chapter, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Open Skye Book Reviews, Molly Lolly, Nephy Hart, Dawn’s Reading Nook, MM Good Book Reviews, The Jena Wade, Inked Rainbow Reads, Kirsty Loves Books

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: PDF copy of ‘Dragon Dreams & Fairy Wings’ by Bailey Bradford.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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Melanie Hansen on How to Throw a Anti-Valentine’s Day Party & Love and the Exorcism (author guest post)

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Love and the Exorcism

Love and the Exorcism by Melanie Hansen
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist Bree Archer

Goodreads Link

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Melanie Hansen here today to share her thoughts, delicious as they are, about Valentine’s Day, how to throw a anti-Valentine’s Day party, and some thoughts on her story, Love and the Exorcism.  Welcome, Melanie.

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If you’re like me, Valentine’s Day might not be one of your favorite holidays.  Maybe you’ve been with your significant other for a long time and nobody cares, or you’re single and nobody cares, or—like my character Suzanne in my new short story Love and the Exorcism—you’ve just gone through a painful breakup and you don’t want to care.  No matter how we each feel about Valentine’s Day, it’s over, and we’ve all survived it another year…

Discount chocolate for the win!

If for some reason you find yourself on the outs with Valentine’s Day again next year, consider throwing an Anti-Valentine’s Day party like Suzanne did in my story.  It was cathartic for her, and bonus, it brought my heroes, Tom and Mario, together!

Here is Suzanne’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Ex-orcism in all its glory, drink recipes and all.

If you’re a Valentine’s Day hater too, enjoy!

Suzanne’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Party

First, send out some invites that will really get the point across:

When the big day finally arrives, decorate accordingly…

…and greet your guests with some theme music!

“Love Stinks”

“Love Hurts”

“I Will Survive”

“What’s Love Got to Do With It”

“Heartbreak Hotel”

Have some treats out for everyone to nibble on…

…and put out some plain sugar cookies and frosting for everyone to decorate with their own anti-sentiment!

(Don’t forget the severed head cake pops!)

While all this is going on, have a variety of the all-important alcoholic beverages available.  Suzanne’s favorites, plus recipes, are below!

Adios Motherfucker

Ingredients:

½ oz. Vodka
½ oz. Rum
½ oz. Tequila
½ oz.  Gin
½ oz. Blue Curacao liqueur
2 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
2 oz. Lemon/Lime Soda
1 Maraschino cherry
1 Lemon slice

Preparation:

  • Pour all ingredients except soda in chilled glass filled with ice cubes. Top with soda and stir gently. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and lemon slice.

Cupid’s Broken Arrow

Ingredients:

3 oz. Mango Vodka (We used Three-O Mango Vodka)
½ oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Cranberry juice
Splash of Lime juice
1 Cherry

Preparation:

  • Add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.
  • As an ice breaker for shy guests, or just to have some fun, consider offering these party games and crafts while everyone is still somewhat sober:

Broken Heart Bingo – Before your guests arrive, create grids with boxes. Write a statement in each box. Some suggestions of statements you can use:

  • “I have never received a dozen roses.”
  • “I still own an old engagement ring.”
  • “I’m still friends with my ex.”
  • “I have had 2 different dates on the same Valentine’s Day.”
  • “I’m still sleeping with my ex.”
  • “I have never had a date on Valentine’s Day.”
  • “I love Valentine’s Day.”
  • “I think Valentine’s Day is a stupid holiday.”

Put the same phrases in a different order on each grid. As guests arrive, put each person’s name in a bag. Then tell everyone to wander around the party and find people to sign each square that holds true for the person signing. After everyone has quite a few signatures, start drawing names out of the bag. The first person to have 5 names in a row is the winner!

Bitter Arts & Crafts – Make sure that everyone coming to the party brings pictures of an ex. (If not everyone has pictures, I’m sure that some people have more than one picture, and will be willing to share). Invest in some permanent markers and create “art” on your ex with the markers. Give them titles like, “My Ex Without Me,” or “Without Makeup.” Another fun activity is to write out your ex’s full name, and create an acronym. For example:

  • Clown-like
  • Rude
  • Ignorant
  • Lazy

Everyone can share their artwork with the rest of the guests! A prize should be awarded for the best work of art.

I think it’s pretty obvious by now that I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, but I am a huge fan of happily ever afters, and I’m so glad that Valentine’s Day brought Tom and Mario to theirs.

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Blurb

Tom Hannity is not boring, despite what his ex-boyfriend says.  He loves his circle of family and friends and finds peace in the beauty of flower arranging.  Still stinging from his recent breakup, Tom attends an Anti-Valentine’s Day “Ex-orcism,” hoping for some fun and forgetfulness.

 Mario Tellez is tired of party boys, and he’s had his eye on Tom for a while.  When they run into each other at the Ex-orcism, sparks fly, until an accidentally overheard conversation drives Tom to do something he normally doesn’t do.

What should have been a hot and fun night turns into Tom and Mario seeing each other at their absolute worst, although surprisingly, it brings out the best in them, too.  Navigating around the toxic people in their lives isn’t easy, and after a small series of bumps in the road, they finally come around full circle… to Valentine’s Day and laying old demons to rest.

Buy Link:  Dreamspinner Press eBook

About the Author

Mel

Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work.   She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met.  After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man.  After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student.  She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Love Science Fiction and Romance? Check out Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen (giveaway)

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SCARDUST
by Suzanne van Rooyen
Publication Date: February 8, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Gay, LGBT, Science Fiction, Romance

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PURCHASE: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | PRINT | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

SYNOPSIS: Dead Rock, Texas, 2037

Raleigh Williams made a promise to his brother before he died, that he’d scatter his ashes on Mars. Desperate to leave a life of bad memories behind and start over in the Martian colony, Raleigh fully intends to keep that promise. But his plans are thwarted when a meteor near-misses him in the desert, and Raleigh finds in its crater not debris or even a spacecraft, but a man covered in swirling scars and with no memory of who he is. At least he looks like a man—a man Raleigh can’t seem to keep his eyes off of—but whenever they touch it ignites a memory swap between them.

Raleigh agrees to help Meteor Man piece together his life through their cosmic connection. But the memory share goes both ways, and Raleigh becomes inexplicably entangled with a guy who is everything he needs—everything good that Raleigh is not—but might not even be human. As their minds and worlds collide, reality unravels and Raleigh must face a painful truth, one that could shatter his dreams of finding love, reaching Mars, and fulfilling his brother’s last wish.

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ABOUT SUZANNE VAN ROOYEN

Suzanne van Rooyen

Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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