A MelanieM Review: Lovers Leap by JL Merrow

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

LoversLeap_600x900If they looked, would they ever leap?

Good-looking, confident, and doted on by his widowed mum, Michael is used to thinking only of himself. Getting shoved off an Isle of Wight pier by an exasperated ex ought to come as a wake-up call—but then he meets Rufus and he’s right back to letting the little head take charge. Rufus is cute, keen, and gets under Michael’s skin in a disturbing way.

Would-be chef Rufus can’t believe his luck when a dripping wet dream of a man walks out of the sea on his birthday, especially when Michael ends up staying at the family B&B. Life is perfect—at least until Michael has to go home to the mainland.

Rufus can’t leave the island for reasons he’s entirely neglected to mention. And though Michael identifies as bi, breaking his mum’s heart by coming out and having an actual relationship with a guy has never been his plan. With both men determined to keep their secrets, a leap of faith could land them in deep water.

I just  love JL Merrow and her ability to deliver characters that, whether you adore them, look at them with a little dislike and (yes, contempt for some), always feel downright real and human.   In Lovers Leap, Merrow delivers just such a story full of characters that are almost guaranteed to put readers down on one side or the other.  I fall firmly down on the side that sees this as a story full of characters that I understood, believed in and even when I was less then fond of their actions, I accepted them once I got the back history and foundation upon which they were based.  That’s wonderful storytelling.

The character in conflict, for the reader, himself and Rufus?  Michael, the man who came from the sea…the reason for which is one that is startling and is probably the basis for many readers dislike.  His actions that follow don’t help.  But there is something, as Merrow has written him, that draws you in, a certain vulnerability that pays off the more the story unfolds.  There are some very serious issues for Michael to deal with, his sexuality, his faith and family, and some are deeply shattering as the story unfolds.  Especially when it comes to his mother.  All his prior arrogance and obnoxiousness in words and deeds?  Well, there are reasons and a basis for all of them and Merrow lays it out for us like a very sad banquet.

Rufus is not without deep issues himself.  They too start at home with a father and stepmother whose fragile relationship with each other and perhaps Rufus is keeping them all tied in a knot that might be choking them in the B & B in which they all work and live.

Lovers Leap is all about twin needs that speak to each other without Rufus and Michael realizing how much at first, and then slowing pulling towards each other, with humor, with heartbreak, with passion…in true English form on the Isle of Wight.  I even adored the best friend, and her surprise coupling.  Definitely could have used more of them.

If you like your main characters with flaws that you can handle, you know a little gruff, nothing too bad, certainly not obnoxious or bi, perhaps this isn’t your story.  But if you love layered characters, people who need to work on themselves, and relationships that need just that bit of luck as well as love?  Don’t let Lovers Leap pass you by.  I highly recommend it and can’t wait to see what the Isle of Wight inspires JL Merrow to write next.

Cover art by Lou Harper is well done and indicative of the characters and story. Loved it.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 202 pages
Published February 27th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleLovers Leap
ISBN 1626493820 (ISBN13: 9781626493827)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Love is in the Air with Naughty Lovers by the Naughty Literati

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There is something for everyone, including BBW, BDSM, Contemporary, Fantasy,
Lesbian Romance, M/F/M, M/M, New Adult, Paranormal, Regency, Sci-Fi, Shape-shifter, Speculative Fiction, Steampunk & Stepbrother Romance from bestselling authors. We don’t expect you to read all of them unless you are interested in the genre.
 
Featuring:
The Ride of Her Life ~ Tina Donahue
Maddy’s so desperate for fun, she’s signed up for speed dating. Ew. Before she can ditch the event, Ben, her sexy driver, arrives. After one sinfully hot kiss, they’re breaking all the rules, and then some, on a sensuous spring night.
 
Love In The Air ~ Suz deMello
Jill’s been curious about BDSM since reading Fifty Shades, and firefighter Zack is more than willing to scratch that itch for her.
 
Renaissance ~ Alexa Silver
Kira meets Sage, one of the guys from her favorite band, at a “rock workshop”. Can she trust this handsome rockstar or is he after more than her talent?
 
Bastard’s Bonus ~ Terry Rissen
There is no love lost between the Glass Spinners’ Guild and the Tavern Keepers’ Guild. For Ian and Zane, it means they can never be together, or risk losing everything.
 
Cinderella Scandal ~ Nicole Austin
It was a onetime indulgence—a random encounter between strangers. A good girl’s dirty little secret with her bad boy stepbrother. Anything else is forbidden. Or is it?
 
Swing Follies: Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles 3 ~ Regina Kammer
Blimey. Delia’s besotted. With Edward. But when an old flame from Edward’s revolutionary past swings by and steams up the laboratory, has Delia missed her chance at love?
 
Sappho’s Sisters ~ Berengaria Brown
Lady Eustacia Lumley, the only child of the Earl of Wentworth, must marry well and ensure the succession. Only problem is she’s falling in love with another woman.
 
Blast From The Past ~ Katherine Kingston
Lynn’s past relationship with Ryan wasn’t healthy, but when she meets him again after a long separation the old flames reignite. Can they have a more mature relationship now?
 
The WyndRaider’s Conquest ~ Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Prime Reaper Xandon Cree must pick the next test pilot to fly a super-secret war craft. Picking a female for the job is not what he had in mind.
 

 

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Also available from the Naughty LIterati:
 
Naughty Chances: Take a Chance on Love
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Naughty Reunion: Return to Romance
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Naughty Escapes: Eleven Naughty Vacation Getaways
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Naughty List: Thirteen Naughty Holiday Stories
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Naughty Hearts: Twelve Naughty Romance Stories
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Naughty Flings: Twelve Naughty Little Romps
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Find THE NAUGHTY LITERATI:
Triberr (anyone can join our Naughty Tribe) http://amzn.to/1LBpFHA
 
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A MelanieM Review: Wolf, Becoming by Rory Ni Coileain ( A Release Day Redux)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Wolf BecomingVolyk learns very young that he has to hide what he is—oboroten’, shape-shifter—after his father is killed and skinned by a hunter, and the pack that takes in his pregnant mother is hostile to his kind. When Volyk is ordered to fight the pack’s beta to prove his fitness, but instead obeys his hormones and tries to mount him, he’s declared an abomination and forced to flee.

Ilya, too, hides a secret. Being young and gay in modern Russia is dangerous, and he knows it. But the truth eventually gets out, and his brothers lure him into the forest to kill him. They’re stopped by Volyk, who hides the mortally wounded Ilya in his den. The only way to heal the human is to turn him into an oboroten’.

Unfortunately, Ilya’s gentle nature is ill-suited to the life of a wolf. But when Volyk’s old pack returns, seeking to take away Volyk’s magickal den, Ilya will have to embrace—truly become—the wolf Volyk made him to save both his mate’s life and his own.

Very few authors do primal, elemental characters like Rory Ni Coileain which is very good for this story full of such characters.  They feel steeped in Mother Russia and the ancient earth they trod on and the blood they easily spill.   It may take place in Modern Russia but the actions and dark emotions feel anything but.

Those hatreds and fears are timeless and the author makes us experience it through her story and the lives of characters of Volyk and Ilya.

I found Wolf, Becoming to be part old Grimm fairytale and part shifter romance,  with some horror story thrown in for good measure and it all kept me enthralled.

Volyk’s past is one we are tumbled into at the beginning of the story and its heartbreaking.  Nor does it get any better for him as a young kit.  For him life is one of loss, endurance, and pain.  Then a chance meeting with Ilya changes everything for both of them.  I love the language that Rory Ni Coileain employs in her narrative, somehow it seems old and modern at the same time, anchored in the past with Volyk and yet modern with Ilya, the freshness of the current times must coming from  him.

There are some things I would have loved to have seen enlarged on here, Marik is a formidable and evil character, one that this author does so well.  I’m torn between wanting to have more and less of him.  And definitely wanted more of Ilya and Volyk’s relationship.

As it is I can absolutely recommend Wolf, Becoming to all lovers of shifter romance and romance in general.  It kept me enthralled from the first page until the end and the storytelling was everything I expect was this wonderful author.

Cover art by Maria Fanning is beautiful and perfect for the characters.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: February 24th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634771405
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Stella Review: Drawing Love by Tully Vincent

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Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Drawing LoveYears ago a childhood trauma ripped away Taylor Elliot’s confidence and made leaving his own home a struggle. Now a senior in high school, he finally has his life back on track. As head of the decorating committee for the Cupid Dance, he’s determined to showcase his creativity by dazzling his fellow students with glitz and glamour they won’t soon forget. But when his committee’s resident techie bails at the last minute, Taylor’s chance to shine is slipping through his fingers, and he’s on the verge of a panic attack.

Can the unexpected appearance of a real-life cupid help Taylor create something special after all?

Drawing Love is a short young adult story about Taylor, a high school student who suffers of agoraphobia and lives in a small town. He is planning the Cupid Dance, the yearly Valentine dance but something is going wrong.

What a surprise! I have to say I’m always in awe of authors who can write story so short and do it right. Just like this one. In so few pages (just 19!) I was able to know the main characters pretty well, especially Taylor. The author gave me all the important things about his life, his thoughts, his wishes, his fears. Plus she gifted him a tenacious best friend, Drina, a powerful mum and a sweet kindergarten friend, someone who is now back to join Taylor in their adult life.

It’s a quick story, short of course but well done, with unbelievable well defined characters and an unexpected ending. Can I tell you the truth? I wanted more and this is the only reason I didn’t give this review five stars. Still Drawing Love is a lovely read. I highly recommend to everyone who wants to spend half hour with a sweet and well thought read.

The cover art is simple, clean and fitting, I like it.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details;

Kindle Edition, 19 pages
Published February 17th 2016
ASINB01BW8K4P4
Edition LanguageEnglish

Two Lovers Take a Leap of Faith with J.L. Merrow’s Lovers Leap (author’s blog and contest)

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LoversLeap_600x900

Lovers Leap by J.L. Merrow
Published by Riptide Publishing
Cover Art by Lou Harper

Goodreads Link

Purchase/Read an Excerpt

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have JL Merrow here today to talk about Lovers Leap, her latest novel.  Welcome, JL.

*********

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Lovers Leap, my fast-paced romantic comedy with a leap year theme set on my beloved, native Isle of Wight. Lovers Leap features two very different young men—each of whom will need to take a leap of faith if their love is to survive!

About Lovers Leap

If they looked, would they ever leap?

Good-looking, confident, and doted on by his widowed mum, Michael is used to thinking only of himself. Getting shoved off an Isle of Wight pier by an exasperated ex ought to come as a wake-up call—but then he meets Rufus and he’s right back to letting the little head take charge. Rufus is cute, keen, and gets under Michael’s skin in a disturbing way.

Would-be chef Rufus can’t believe his luck when a dripping wet dream of a man walks out of the sea on his birthday, especially when Michael ends up staying at the family B&B. Life is perfect—at least until Michael has to go home to the mainland.

Rufus can’t leave the island for reasons he’s entirely neglected to mention. And though Michael identifies as bi, breaking his mum’s heart by coming out and having an actual relationship with a guy has never been his plan. With both men determined to keep their secrets, a leap of faith could land them in deep water.

Lovers Leap is also available in audio from Amazon and Audible!

About J.L. Merrow

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again.  Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards finalists.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Connect with JL:

LoversLeap_TourBanner

Giveaway

Leave a comment for a chance to win $29 in Riptide credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 5, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!