A Stella Review: PATCHWORK PARADISE by Indra Vaughn

Standard

RATING  5  out of 5 stars

Patchwork ParadiseOliver and Samuel’s relationship is fairy-tale perfect. They share a gorgeous house in Antwerp, go out with their friends every weekend, and count down the days to their dream wedding. But their happy ending is shattered one late night, and just like that, Ollie is left bereft and alone.

The months that follow are long and dark, but slowly Ollie emerges from his grief. He even braves the waters of online dating, though deep down he doesn’t believe he can find that connection again. He doesn’t think to look for love right in front of him: his bisexual friend Thomas, the gentle giant with a kind heart and sad eyes who’s wanted him all along.

When Thomas suddenly discovers he has a son who needs him, he’s ill prepared. Ollie opens up his house—Sam’s house—and lets them in. Ollie doesn’t know what scares him more: the responsibility of caring for a baby, or the way Thomas is steadily winning his heart. It will take all the courage he has to discover whether or not fairy tales can happen for real.

Indra Vaughn continues to amaze me. After the Christmas story, The Winter Spirit , I was curious about this new one. I’ll be honest and say I chose to read Patchwork Paradise because from the blurb it reminded me of one of my all time favorite M/M books, Second Chance by TA Webb. In fact they have some elements in common, so it was really no surprise I love this one so much too. From the blurb I understood it had all the things I need to have in a story.

This book is an emotional story, so heartbroken because the author let me meet and briefly fall in love with Sam, and then she took him away from Ollie and me.

I began following Ollie in the great  hurt that losing the person that shared his life for the last ten years gave him. He needed to relearn the daily habits alone and start living again,  dealing with the attachment to the house he shared with his Sam and the fear of losing it by  the persons he considered his family and are now acting like strangers.

He broke my heart but knowing there was going to be so much more to come, made me fully enjoy even the very bad times. At the end Patchwork Paradise is a second chance at love story and Ollie will heal with the support of amazing friends and an unexpected new love.

The words flew easily, it was a pleasure to read. I loved that the story  was focused not just on the MCs, it made easy to know the secondary ones pretty well too, even the not so likable ones. Moreover to me the timing was perfect, I think the author did great at balance everything at the right time, it’s a story with no pauses, it kept me hooked from the start, still there was no rushing, the events were all very considerate of Ollie’s life and his grieving.

I really couldn’t find a reason to give Patchwork Paradise less than five stars. I liked all the characters, especially Ollie. I laughed and cried a lot with him. His was a beautiful journey among love, friendships, loss, hurt and love again.

Indra Vaughn wrote another success. Sweet, emotional, developed in time and characters, well written and simply complete in every detail. It’s one of that stories I don’t need to wonder what is going to happen at the end. It truly satisfied me and I’m sure my MCs are living their HEA beautifully.

The COVER ART by Lou Harper won me over in the lower half with the toys and the crib but there is something in the models, I don’t know, maybe the sweaters or their faces. With a story like this, the cover should have been so much better.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon (other are coming)

Book Details:

ebook, 275 pages
Expected publication: March 28th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitlePatchwork Paradise
ISBN 1626493804 (ISBN13: 9781626493803)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lila Review: Fantasy for a Gentleman (A Planet Called Wish #2) by Caitlin Ricci

Standard

Rate: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Fantasy for a GentlemanCorbin Leroux has been a high-priced companion for the last twenty year. We first meet him in To the Highest Bidder when he introduces his younger brother to Monroe, his boss. We get to know more about them in the opening scene as Corbin gets ready to receive a regular customer. Everything seems routine until Emmanuel is the one to show for the appointment instead.

 After a confrontation, a subsequent visit, and a bargain, Corbin convinces Emmanuel to call off the hit and to become his protector. The relationship is convenient for them, but they knew it was simply a financial transaction, even when an initial lust runs through them. Corbin knew Emmanuel could change his mind at any minute and kill him

We get several events in which Corbin needs Emmanuel’s protection and with every visit they get, they learned more about each other. With time, they developed deeper feelings for each other but continued to struggle with their professions and the distance it puts between them. Emmanuel, especially, is confused by his feeling for Corbin and tries to break their budding relationship.

 They have several ups and downs, but by the time the story ends, Corbin and Emmanuel had learned to deal with the other’s profession and are doing their best to share their love without leaving behind who they are.

 Fantasy for a Gentleman is a lovely story with an unusual resolution to the normal rentboy/hitman troupe. I typically prefer stories with dual POVs, but Corbin’s narration let the reader, not only in his thoughts but also on Emmanuel’s.

 I like that both characters were over forty and had a real reason for doing their jobs. For them, there was no shame on what they did for a living. They saw it as a service for a greater purpose.  And most of the story develops around this and their understanding of each other.

 The banter and the deep conversations between the MCs are brilliant. We get to see a different side of them when they are together, but alone. Those moments are what makes their relationship unique. They have to work hard to stay together, and they accepted the challenge even when it was hurting them.

 The world build continues in this installment, but we don’t get any more information about the different races and their differences other than their skins. We get to see Monroe as he waits for Thierry since this book happens between the ending of book#1 and the epilogue. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go beyond that, so we don’t get to see more of the original couple. I hope there’s a third book because I want to know more about a character introduced in this story.

 Another great cover designed by the author, Caitlin Ricci. It captures Emmanuel’s silver features with a purple background that represents Corbin’s skin tone.

 Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: February 19, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634768702
Edition Language: English

 Series: A Planet Called Wish
Book #1: To the Highest Bidder
Book #2: Fantasy for a Gentleman

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay #12) by Jaime Samms

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

How the Cookie CrumblesFrederic Jackson pulls up roots and moves to Bluewater Bay after losing first place on a reality TV cooking show.  Frederic is a baker, taught by his gran, but with a natural talent for creating perfect pastries.  He was on track to win the show, but the show’s producer, Blaire Caruthers, the man who Frederic fell head-over-heels for, fixed the win in favor of the hot little twink who stole Blaire from Frederic before the two could even get started.  The potential for scandal was squashed with money from Blaire’s father, who owns the production company. Frederic used part of the money to buy the bakery, with its barely working equipment, and part to settle medical bills for his alcoholic father.

A few months later, Blaire shows up in Bluewater Bay ostensibly to work on marketing and promotion of merchandise for the Wolf’s Landing TV show.  But in reality, he wants to win Frederic back, and he deeply regrets his stupidity with Jerry, the twink who won the competition.  What he doesn’t know is that winning the show would have gotten Frederic all the equipment he needed to operate the bakery.  He really didn’t want the cash because he knew his father would tap him for part of it and that proved to be true.  Now Blaire has the nerve to make overtures to him again? No way!

But fate has something else in store for the men and as they realize how much they’ve each changed, and new people and circumstances combine to keep throwing them together. There might be a way for them to find happiness after all.

I really enjoyed this story.  I like the way the author built on the existing Bluewater Bay series concept but took it much further to develop a completely separate story which works fine as a standalone.

The characters were three-dimensional and flawed but just perfect together.  Frederic’s workaholism, in combination with the emotional tug of war with his father, brought him to a personal health crisis that was both unique and believable.  Blaire’s need to separate from his own father, both emotionally and as an employee, was very evident but proved to be a difficult struggle.  His growth and maturity and his desire to find the freedom in creativity that he had craved for years finally overcame his fear of failure and of disappointing his father. The strength he found to make that break and the compassion and love he bestowed on Frederic were just the perfect mix to make this old heart swoon for Blaire and rejoice when he and Frederic finally found their way back to each other.

I very definitely recommend this story to all lovers of MM romance, especially to those who love an enemies to lovers, a hurt-comfort, or a lovers reunited theme.

~~~~~

Cover Art by L.C. Chase depicts a handsome man in a suit staring back at a young man sitting alone on a pier. This is the perfect representation of Blaire and Frederic.

Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 345 pages
Published February 13th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleHow the Cookie Crumbles
ISBN 162649388X (ISBN13: 9781626493889)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://riptidepublishing.com/titles/how-the-cookie-crumbles

Series: Bluewater BayBWBlogo_Web

Books in this Universe include with links to our reviews:

Starstruck (Bluewater Bay #1) by L.A. Witt
There’s Something About Ari (Bluewater Bay #2) by L.B. Gregg
Hell on Wheels (Bluewater Bay #3) by Z.A. Maxfield
Lone Wolf (Bluewater Bay #4) by Aleksandr Voinov
The Burnt Toast B&B (Bluewater Bay #5) by Heidi Belleau & Rachel Haimowitz
Lights, Camera, Cupid (A Bluewater Bay Valentine’s Day Anthology; Bluewater Bay #6)
Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay, #7) by Anne Tenino
The Deep of the Sound (Bluewater Bay, #8) by Amy Lane
When to Hold Them (Bluewater Bay, #9) by G.B. Gordon
Rain Shadow (Bluewater Bay, #10) by L.A. Witt
Stuck Landing (Bluewater Bay, #11) by Lauren Gallagher
How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay, #12) by Jaime Samms
Selfie (Bluewater Bay, #13) by Amy Lane

 

Its Back to Bluewater Bay with How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay #12) by Jaime Samms Riptide Tour and Contest

Standard

How the Cookie Crumbles

How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay #12) by Jaime Samms
Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist L.C. Chase

Release Date February 13, 2016
Goodreads Link

Buy it/Read an Excerpt here

About How the Cookie Crumbles

After losing a rigged cooking show competition—and a potential lover—to another baker, Frederic Jackson packs up his considerable baggage and moves to Bluewater Bay. He uses the network’s hush money to buy a new bakery where he hopes the small town’s revitalized economy will let him start anew.

Blaire Caruthers never wanted to work for his father at Caruthers Industries. He should have known that fixing the company’s show results was a mistake, and that choosing another man over kind, generous Frederic was an even bigger one. But the damage is done. To escape the fallout, he’s gone to Bluewater Bay to oversee the company’s interest in Wolf’s Landing merchandise.

Stuck in a small, nowhere town doing a job he hates, Blaire wants nothing more than to prove to Frederic he’s changed. However, Frederic struggles to trust the man who betrayed him once already. As Blaire loses ground with his father, and Frederic starts falling back into self-destructive habits, they both have to find the balance and control that’s been missing from their lives.

This title is  part of Riptide Publishing’s Bluewater Bay series, a listing of which can be found hereBWBlogo_Web

About Jaime Samms

Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Often asked, “Why men? What’s so fascinating about writing stories about men falling in love?”, she’s never come up with a clear answer.  Just that these are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they would also be the stories she wrote.

These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Freya’s Bower, Jupiter Gardens, and Total E-Bound, Dreamspinner Press, MLR Press, and Riptide Publishing.

Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, she’s probably spending crocheting, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!), or watching movies. She has a day job, as well, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child-care responsibilities.

She graduated some time ago from college with a fine arts diploma, and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all. . .

Connect with Jamie:

Giveaway

Leave a comment for a chance to win $20 in Riptide credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 20, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

BWB_SeriesCover

Can Love Heal? Find Out with ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ by Jo Tannah‏ (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

The Way You Look Tonight Banner
Title: The Way You Look Tonight
Author: Jo Tannah
Genre:  Gay Romance, Contemporary, May-December Romance
Series: Standards Series, Book Two
Length: Novella
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Jo Tannah here today to share her inspiration and thoughts behind her latest story, The Way You Look Tonight.  Welcome, Jo.

First of all, thank you so much, Melanie, for having me here today and for joining my first ever blog tour. You sent me specific questions about The Way You Look Tonight. I will try to answer them as best I could so do forgive me if I ramble on a bit.

The Inspiration

The Way You Look Tonight was inspired by the lyrics of a Standard song of the same title. In fact, both books in the series and the ones in the near future, will hold the titles to these songs.

The first, What A Difference A Day Makes, tells of how one man’s life changed in twenty four hours after meeting the love of his life. The story came to me while I was driving one day and was listening to Gloria Estefan’s CD titled (you got it) The Standards. The song is the third track on that album and I just loved the way she sang it. Something clicked inside me and the men came to life. I was in the middle of the highway and was distracted throughout the three hour drive. What a drive that was. You can find it in Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/What-Difference-Day-Makes-Standards-ebook/dp/B00U6DZKS8

The Jump Start

In this second instalment, The Way You Look Tonight,  Jamie looks at his lover, Miles, and sees the real man behind the coat, the frowns, the stern countenance. Their story came to me during a time when I wanted to relax and put on a Fred Astaire/ Ginger Rogers movie. There is a scene where Fred begins singing and Ginger’s face is covered in face cream and I laughed at how silly the scene played out. Then Miles’ face came to mind, and then a karaoke microphone.

I began thinking about how this song gets sung regularly wherever there is a Karaoke around. It doesn’t matter how bad one sings it, or who does, it gets sung, period. It is a Standard after all and where I come from, karaoke is practically a national pastime.

Jamie’s character is based on several people, his situation based on a real one:  a scandal that broke out here in the country more than a decade ago. It ruined many lives, including some friends and family. It was and continues to be a depressing affair, one that is unfortunately still unresolved. Truth is, even the tragedy that strikes Jamie, how he gets the news, his reaction, they’re all based on real life events.

Laughing at Fred and Ginger made me think of two men who looked past the facades and their story began. In fact, if one were to pay close attention, scattered everywhere in books one and two, the reader would be able to spot reworded lyrics of the Standard song which set the pace to the stories. It would be fun to hear from readers when they do find those hidden words and lyrics.

The Whys

This is difficult to answer. Why do I write? Writing is like reading and I have been a bookworm since as far back as a seven year old. I wrote a blog post for Divine Magazine which is also a part of this tour. There, I wrote as much as I could reveal the whys of writing and how it is such a big part of my life. If you’re curious, hop on there as I pasting the post here would take up most of this blog page and more.

Synopsis

As a member of a wealthy and influential family, Jaime “Jamie” Abello had his life mapped out. Being shipped off to LA with an insurance scam linked to his name was not part of his plan.

It had seemed so simple: pass the Philippines Medical Board Exam;practice in the family-owned and -controlled hospital; join the Board by age forty; and find a partner with whom he could settle down and be himself.

Instead, his father supplies him with a surfeit of money and dangerous secrets and sends him to a strange country.

The Pediatric Residency Program Jamie applies for brings him face to face with untouchable Program Director, Miles Kwon, whom Jamie soon finds to be a man of integrity and vision.

When tragedy strikes, Jamie finds himself falling deeper into depression. Unexpectedly, it’s Miles who helps him work through his pain.

Will Jamie ever experience a life with a loving partner, or will his father’s secrets cause him to lose everything he’s gained?
The Way You Look Tonight Cover

Buy Links

Don’t miss the Valentine’s Day Sale (February 11-22) 50% off on WIP’s website and 40% off on ARe!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/the-way-you-look-tonight-by-jo-tannah/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BDTO4U8/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BDTO4U8/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01BDTO4U8/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B01BDTO4U8/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thewayyoulooktonight-1974943-149.html

Video Trailer

Giveaway

Prizes: $4.99 WIP Gift Card and ebook copy of What A Difference A Day Makes by Jo Tannah.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

The Way You Look Tonight 3Drender

About the author

JO TANNAH is a wife, mother, and blogger by day, writer by night. It can be difficult to say the least but it is a challenge that keeps her on her toes.

She grew up listening to folktales her father and nannies spun to either entertain the children or send home a message. These narratives stayed with Jo until she finally decided to write them down in a journal way back when she kept one. Years later, going through junk led to finding a long forgotten box and nestled within it was the journal. Reading over the stories of romance, science fiction, and horror that she had taken time to put to paper all those years before brought to light the realization that they were tales she’d never come across in her readings.

The tales Jo write are fictional but all of them are based on what she grew up with and still dreams about. That they have an M/M twist is simply for her pleasure. And she hopes, yours as well.

Jo Tannah can be found at:

Website: http://www.jotannah.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jotannahauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jotannah