A MelanieM Review: The Winter Prince by R Cooper

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5            ★★★★★

The Winter PrinceHis heart stolen by a powerful pari’s magic, a young prince’s veins slowly fill with ice. That is what the stories say. Three years have passed since, and all efforts to save Kisin have failed. He won’t survive another winter. To save the prince’s life, Razin, the court wizard and Kisin’s childhood friend, plans to seek out the pari. But unbeknownst to Razin, Kisin’s heart was never stolen; he gave it freely to escape the pain of impossible love—his love for Razin.

Razin won’t accept Kisin’s fate, for reasons obvious to anyone who knows anything of love. Kisin agrees to the desperate quest, out of duty and a need to protect Razin. But it isn’t long before Razin realizes saving his prince will require more than simply retrieving his heart. Razin will have to convince him to want it.

Sometimes when I’m reading a story by R Cooper I feel as though I’m drawn back into the past along with it, the words convey a tale that makes me feel so much a part of their lives and adventures.

The Winter Prince is another wonderful fairytale, with a cold, blue prince without a heart as its focus. Kisin is turning to ice and everyone assumes they know the cause but they are so wrong.  And one man closest to the prince, Razin who loves the Prince beyond all hope will do everything he can to save him.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Razin is a powerful mage in his own right but title. That’s part of the story as well.

R Cooper’s stories don’t unfold with haste but with a meaningful leisure.  The author builds the tales slowly,  upon scenes and history, upon the characters disclosures and moments of revelations that the reader, if they are patient, are rewarded with such gems of joy and magic along the  way.  I love it when I get the “aha, I see where you’ve been leading  us” moment, or the laughter that comes when an angle totally unexpected pops up.  But the clues are there if I hadn’t been paying attention to all the gorgeous work going on, the descriptions, the world building, the mythology…simply beautiful.

But its always the characters that bring me back.  R Cooper makes me understand the isolation at the heart of Kisin’s sexual innocence and  the deep pain that causes the grief the drives him to the desperation and worst decision of his life.  We will see the story from other points of view than his, from Razin’s as well.  I love the character of Razin.  His life is so different than that of the remote, lonely prince.  Razin was free in every way the Prince was not, in every way but one. I loved that you could see his pain and loss at his predicament too.  There are simply so many other wonderful characters that will flow in and around these two, two women in  particular, that will add their love and support in an astonishing way.

In the end, the magic of the story and the power of love kept me enthralled to the end.  Happy ever after?  Well, as much and as imperfectly perfectly so while staying true to the world they lived in.  I could see it and still be happy for them all.  Yes, I loved it.

Love R Cooper?  Are you a fan of fairytales and fantasy?  Here is another for your must read file.  I highly recommend it.

Cover art by Brooke Albreacht doesn’t have enough of that fantasy element to satisfy me here.  She could have done so much with the blue prince element and that was really lost.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 147 pages
Published February 24th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634769785
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Stella Review: Strong Side (Eastshore Tigers #1) by Alison Hendricks

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RATING  3,5 out of 5 stars

Strong SideTheir chemistry on the field is undeniable. But can they ever be more than friends?

Jason Hawkins is about to throw the biggest Hail Mary pass of his career.

If he can’t turn NFL recruiters’ heads this year, he’ll lose his shot at the one thing he’s ever been good at. But every quarterback needs a man he can count on down-field. For Jason, that man just might be the Tigers’ new receiver, Derek Griffin.

Four years ago, Derek nearly lost everything after being outed by his teammates.

Now he finally has a chance to get it all back as a walk-on for Eastshore College… if he can resist his immediate attraction to the gorgeous and very straight star quarterback.

An instant connection during practice leads to an easy friendship that only grows stronger off the field. Derek is convinced friendship is all it’ll ever be, but a very confusing moment of impulse leaves both of them fumbling for answers about their relationship.

As curiosity gives way to passion and passion gives way to something deeper, Jason and Derek will have to tackle their own personal demons to bring home the win and earn their happy ending.

I’m always curious about new authors, so when I saw this debut book by Alison Hendricks I soon picked it, even though I’m not a huge fan of sport themed stories but I couldn’t resist. Plus the cover wasn’t bad at all.

Strong Side was a joy to read, light, quick and lovely, there wasn’t any drama or angst.  Everything flew by easily, the coming out, the relationship between Derek and Jason, I really appreciated all of these. Sometimes  a book like this one is exactly what I want to read.

Everything about the story was believable and realistic, especially in their friendship  that first developed, and in  the love that came later. It is truly a story I had no trouble liking characters I cared for. I was waiting for the so called shoe to drop and when I understood no drama was going to happen, I fully enjoyed the rest of the story.

I usually am a little wary about the new adult genre but in this case the author did great cause both Jason and Derek are sure of themselves and what they want, ready for the future to come, even when it’s a hard one, they never fall down.

I must add, there were some mistakes, editing issues I noted even with my poor English, but I pretty much ignored them, it’s a debut book and at the end it was well done in my opinion.

Strong Side really satisfied me. I have to say I relaxed and enjoyed it a lot. I can’t wait for the second book in this new series!

The cover art is well done and eyecatching to me.

Sale Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 264 pages
Published January 20th 2016 by Amazon Digital Services
Original TitleStrong Side
ASINB01AWVK8QC
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEastshore Tigers #1

A Lila Review: Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere #2) by Roan Parrish

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5               ★★★★★

Out of NowhereThe only thing in Colin Mulligan’s life that makes sense is taking cars apart and putting them back together. In the auto shop where he works with his father and brothers, he tries to get through the day without having a panic attack or flying into a rage. Drinking helps. So do running and lifting weights until he can hardly stand. But none of it can change the fact that he’s gay, a secret he has kept from everyone.

Rafael Guerrera has found ways to live with the past he’s ashamed of. He’s dedicated his life to social justice work and to helping youth who, like him, had very little growing up. He has no time for love. Hell, he barely has time for himself. Somehow, everything about miserable, self-destructive Colin cries out to him. But down that path lie the troubles Rafe has worked so hard to leave behind. And as their relationship intensifies, Rafe and Colin are forced to dredge up secrets that both men would prefer stay buried.

 Colin Mulligan’s story runs concurrently with book one in the series. As we know, he’s an ace when cars are involved, but everything else in his life is a puzzle. When the story starts, we get immediately immersed into Colin’s rage and self-hate. We get to experience, first hand, how he deals with it and the extremes he gets into in order to find some peace. In that first scene, we get exactly who Colin is and what he things about himself.

After spending some time with his best friend, Colin finds himself in a local club looking for a hook-up. He first crossed paths with Rafe at the club, but goes with a different man instead. Even so, Rafe is there when Colin needed him even if he didn’t appreciate the help. The following day, Rafe founds a way to see Colin again and from that moment on, the road to their future starts.

From this point on, the reader gets to experience the ups and downs of Colin’s and Rafe’s relationship, the daily troubles, and how they deal with everything changing around them. They get to interact with a multitude of characters that would shape their path and change how they see their life worth.

This is a complicated story with complex characters, but in the end, we get a resolution that fits their growth. The MCs have a lovely relationship with a strong HFN and a positive outlook for their future. Yes, it’s filled with angst, hurt, pain, and many other dark aspects, but the MCs’ journey compensate for all their suffering.

 Out of Nowhere has everything I like about a book. Dark and damaged characters, trials and tribulations, amazing chemistry and sex scenes, and the opportunity to see how hard the MCs work for their happiness. Plus, mentorship and charity programs. What else is to ask for? Older characters! Colin is thirty-six.

 Disclaimer thought, I may, or may not have cried a little reading this book.

 Well? Okay, going back to the beginning. I’m glad I survived book #1, In the Middle of Somewhere, which I rated 3.5 stars after considering a DNF. In that book, we met Colin through his younger brother’s eyes. And we get a little peek at Rafe. Neither is to say that Colin’s and Daniel’s relationship was not an easy one, but we learned from both books, that Colin was Daniel’s hero when they were younger.

 The majority of Colin’s darkness comes from hating his brother, not for being gay, as Daniel see it, but of envy at Daniel’s courage. Colin’s self-hate absorbs all his time and thoughts, and it only gets worse when he acts on his desires. He pushes his physical boundaries with demanding exercise sessions, lack of sleep, and alcohol to numb his feelings.

 His hopelessness makes him vulnerable to others, and he hates himself even more because of it.  He welcomes pain as a relief from life, no matter where it comes from. Until Rafe, literally, saves him. From their first encounter, we get to see Rafe’s need to help and Colin’s uneasiness. They recognized each other’s potential and want to do better for the other. Slowly, they started a relationship that tested them many times and only the tentative strings of their relationship kept them from falling apart.

I loved how Colin integrated himself into Rafe’s life and social work, even when his constant panic attacks threaten him at every turn. We see the internal and physical changes in Colin as the story progresses and have a chance to understand the man he had become over the years. The events told by Daniel during the first book, make a difference when told by Colin and we get to experience how this affected them and their family.

 With love and understanding, Rafe gives Colin the strength he needs to come back to life. He’s forceful when he needs to, but he is the reason Colin take the first steps to recovery. He has his own problems, and we get to see them almost destroy him, but having Colin on his side and depending on him allowed Rafe to let go and be rescued in return.

 Between all this pain, hurt, and angst, there’s a group of great supporting characters that would steal your heart if you let them. They are the perfect antidote to all the moodiness in this story. And for those who loved book #1, there’s a lot more Daniel and Rex to fill your greedy hearts.

Great cover by AngstyG. It shows an important moment in the story. Plus, the darkness represents Colin’s inner troubles and Rafe’s past perfectly.

 Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

 Book Details:

 ebook, 274 pages
Published: February 29, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634769037
Edition Language: English

 Series:  Middle of Somewhere
Book #1: In the Middle of Somewhere
Book #2: Out of Nowhere

J. Johanis Brings Sex, Dragons, and Darkness with Slash OP Series: Toy Soldier #2 (Character Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Slash Op by J Johanis 800x1250

Slash Op (Toy Soldier #2) by J. Johanis
Release Date: February 29, 2016
Publisher:  Self-Published

Goodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to  welcome a different perspective on J Johanis’ new novel, a video conference with author J. Johanis and character character, dragon insurgent leader, Zeki Shaytan.    Welcome to our blog, JJ and Zeki, this is a first for us…

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Video Conference Character Interview with dragon insurgent leader, Zeki Shaytan

JJ: Thank you so much for meeting with me Mr. Shaytan. Though I was hoping we could meet face to face, I understand your concerns with security. I want to start off asking you about your rank and responsibilities in the dragon insurgency.

Zeki: I’d be glad to tell you, but first I need to make one thing clear. There’s no insurgency in the dragon territory! When the imperialists Earth Forces colonized our home planet, they slaughtered millions of dragons. Then they brought some of us here to Earth and put us in reservations. Since our population has grown, we’ve moved out in the surrounding areas. It’s called the dragon district because we’re the only ones living there. So, the fact that we govern ourselves and defend against Earth Forces aggression does not make us insurgents.

JJ: Okay, well can you tell me more about the conflict?

Zeki: Earth Forces continues to harass us. They come into our district and conduct assassinations and kidnappings, so when we fight, it’s to defend ourselves. It is our right and duty to kill any Earth Forces soldier that dares enter our territory.

JJ: This is my first time hearing the dragon perspective, so there is something that I find difficult to understand. If every dragon in the district can shift into a full sized dragon, don’t you have an advantage over humans? Why would you even need guns or explosives? Plus, how would it even be possible for Earth Forces to kidnap a dragon?

Zeki: There’s a variety of reasons. First of all, Earth Forces have developed armor penetrating bullets. So in our dragon form, we’re a larger target. As for capturing dragons, the imperialists have a long history of drugging and raping dragon captives, which they do because their sperm keeps our kind from shifting. Additionally, the Earth Union is responsible for developing the Persuasion drug in order to use it against the dragon population. Since Persuasion makes someone crave sex so bad that they can’t go without it, dragon’s injected with the drug become easy targets.

JJ: If that’s true, it’s unfortunate. Well, I wish I had all the answers, but I hope that you all can find a way to live together peacefully.

Zeki: That’s not going to happen. We will exterminate the human race just like they exterminated us. They took our planet, so we are going to take theirs!

JJ: Right, well, thank you so much for the interview.

Purchase it at All Romance | Barnes & Noble

Blurb

The White House has ordered the execution of a highly sensitive covert operation in dragon-occupied territory. Though a Slash Op has a zero percent survival rate, the commanding general is forced to enlist his most prized officer for the task.

Major Gideon is embarking on his first mission in the dragon district. Yet Gideon has hardly recovered from all that Drago made him endure. For the past three months, Gideon has been plagued with dreams of dragons terrorizing him, but his dreams have gradually turned into sexual fantasies. Despite coming to terms with his longing to have Drago in bed, Gideon cannot suppress his desire to beat Drago’s face in. When Gideon is called for a mission in the most dangerous district on Earth, what freaks him out the most is the prospect of seeing Drago again.

Content Advisory: Graphic violence, dragon sex, & non-con.

Excerpt

Gideon squeezed his dick through his jeans and groaned. How the hell was he going to handle seeing Drago the next day? Gideon had been dying just thinking about him.

When he opened his eyes, he spotted a familiar face moving through the crowd. Sergeant Talon, in skintight jeans, a black tank top, and sporting a military haircut was walking straight for him. He was hotter than Gideon had ever seen him before. Gideon rose to his feet as he approached.

“Hey, Major,” Talon said, taking Gideon’s hand and pulling him into a hug. Talon smacked Gideon’s ass and stepped back to check him out. “You’re so fucking hot!”

Gideon’s face warmed. Talon was out of line, but it was what he’d grown to expect from him.

“Uh, okay…” Gideon said, stepping to the side in an attempt to put more distance between them, but Talon put his hand on the wall, preventing his retreat. Gideon furrowed his brow, wondering what kind of game he was playing. During their captivity, Talon had always taken liberties. When Stella said the first man to make Gideon come would get to fuck him, Talon had gone down on him like he’d meant it.

“You know, I heard you were returning to Fort Hood, and I was hoping I’d find you here,” Talon said, pushing Gideon’s back to the wall. Gideon opened his mouth to protest, but before he could say a word, Talon slid a hand down the front of Gideon’s jeans and grasped his erection.

“What the…?” Gideon’s protest was cut short when Talon’s hot lips pressed into his own. Gideon groaned into Talon’s mouth, but inside he was screaming. This was wrong! Talon was his soldier—he couldn’t let him do this. He tried to pull back, but Talon held him in place, jerking him harder and faster while deepening his kiss. Gideon felt his climax coming, and before he could collect his thoughts, his body flushed with heat and he came in Talon’s hand.

Gideon broke their embrace, struggling for breath while his body quaked. What the fuck was he doing? Everything had happened so quickly, yet he had no desire to push Talon away. He needed this. Talon’s rough hands on him, forcing him to his will.

Title: Slash OP
Series: Toy Soldier #2Slash Op 3D both large
Author: J. Johanis
Length: 95 pages
Genre:  M/M Dark Erotica, M/M Sci-fi

About the Author

J. Johanis writes m/m dark erotica and enjoys creating worlds that are myth-based or futuristic.

Author Links

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | FACEBOOK PAGE | TWITTER | PINTEREST
GOODREADS | BLOG | NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP

Slash Op TOUR BANNER

Giveaway

One winner will receive a $30.00 Amazon gift card and five more winners will receive an ebook copy of Drago Star, book one in the series. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.Drago Star - Book #1

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Slash OP Blog Tour

29 February – The Novel Approach, Attention is Arbitrary, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

1 March – Jena Wade, TTC Books & More

2 March – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Scott Coatsworth

3 March – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

4 March – Love Bytes

7 March – Book Lovers 4 Ever

8 March – Divine Magazine, Hearts On Fire Reviews

9 March – Diverse Reader

10 March – MM Book Escape, Emotion in Motion

11 March – The Dark Arts