A Stella Review: Spencer Cohen (The Spencer Cohen Series #1) by N.R. Walker

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RATING  4,5 out of 5 stars

Spencer Cohen Book 1Spencer Cohen is the guy who gets answers to relationship questions. Playing the role of the new lover, his job is to make his client’s ex realise one of two things: he doesn’t want to break up or he really does. Either way, his client gets answers.

The ex would either apologize and beg, or turn and walk. But in the end, Spencer’s client won. If he wanted his ex back and got him, it was great. If the guy walked away, then as hard it was for the client, he knew it was over. Regardless of the outcome, Spencer’s work was done.

Andrew Landon’s ex left him without so much as an explanation. But his sister can’t stand to see him miserable, so, much to Andrew’s dismay, they hire Spencer to be Andrew’s new boyfriend to get the ex back.

For Spencer, it is never personal. Merely a business transaction. No emotions, no strings, no complications.

Yeah right.

Even a blind man could see how this would end.

Spencer Cohen is the first book in a new series  by N.R. Walker and it was an amazing start. It was quite some time since I’ve read this author and I’ve honestly missed her style. This book gave me a so needed rush of fresh air.

I soon connected with the characters. This is a specific trait of N.R. Walker’s style. She always does this element great. She has a unique style, very recognizable, the words flow so easily it’s a joy to read it. I soon found myself into the story. There wasn’t time (as often happens to me) to adjust to a new book. I was there with Spencer and Andrew from the start.

The characters were all enjoyable. Especially Andrew. His not knowing well himself and his abilities, not understanding the care and kindness Spencer treated him with, was cute to watch but hurtful too. A special guy like him should have been more aware of himself. The attraction between them was clear since the first meeting and it develops exponentially through the story. Plus they are funny together, smart and sweet in their dates.

Two things left me a little dubious during the reading and they are the reason why I didn’t gave Spencer Cohen the full five stars: one is the use of the single point of view (Spencer’s one) and I’m  not sure it was the right choice because I am still curious about what was going on Andrew’s mind. The second was the fact that two days after their first meeting Spencer realized he had feelings for Andrew, maybe it was really too soon but  at the end it worked pretty well.

I  highly recommend this new book by N.R. Walker, it’s easy, beautiful and well written, I want more. Yes, it’s a light book but there is a lot going on in Spencer life that I want to know more in the next book.

The cover art by Sara York is simply fantastic! I love this style and I would love to see more of  covers of this kind.

Sales Link:  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 137 pages
Published February 18th 2016 by BlueHeart
ASIN B01BOB6L56
Edition Language English

The Spencer Cohen Series #1

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Two Pet Dicks by John Inman

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Two Pet DicksIf you don’t like slapstick, beware! The MCs in this story put Lucy and Ethel, Abbott & Costello, and Laurel & Hardy to shame.

Maitland Carter and Lenny Fritz have been best friends since they were kids. Then they discovered sex together in their teens and never looked back. They were each other’s “firsts,” and after a period of exclusivity, they moved on to other conquests, occasionally coming back to each other’s bed once again. But now, things are beginning to look serious. They’ve started having sex pretty much exclusively, and both are having feelings neither wants to discuss. The icing on the cake is that these two underachievers are now in business together, running their own pet detective agency: Two Pet Dicks.

As the story opens, they’ve just rented a “real” office space and are hanging their shingle. They can’t afford a full sign, so they settle for Two Dicks, and that, dear readers, sets the pace for this romp as we journey through the ups and downs of life as a pet dick—finding dogs, cats, gerbils, and reptiles. There’s also a monkey added into the mix when Lenny’s brother takes off and leaves his (illegal) pet monkey behind in Lenny’s care. On a fun note, the missing gerbil was reported by none other than Arthur the drag queen from Serenading Stanley. It was great to have a quick revisit and see that Arthur is just as campy now as he ever was.

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of slapstick, but I did enjoy the humor in this story. At times, the situations the guys found themselves in were so bizarre, they were funny—even those moments that should have been scary. But the story worked. And underlying the crazy, madcap experience of being pet detectives was the cementing of a foundation of love between the two men that started many years before but culminates during this story as they finally work up the courage to express how they feel.

I enjoy this author’s versatility. I’ve been scared witless by spooks; swooned over romance in the Belladonna Arms; and now, chuckled through a very entertaining adventure with two loveable dicks.

All in all, it’s a great book if you’re in the mood for some campy humor, or if you enjoy your romances with sweet MCs, a few off-the-wall family pets, or even some scary reptiles. This one has them all.

~~~~~

Cover art by Paul Richmond is a colorful illustration of both MCs staring at each other, mouths hanging open in shock or fear, while a cobra sits on the title of the book. Very clever, colorful, and fitting for this story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published March 16th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634767910
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Paul B Review: Love Comes To Light (Senses #6) by Andrew Grey

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

love comes to lightArik Bosler receives a call from Ken Brighton offering him a two week fellowship to study art with him in Northern Michigan. Normally Arik would be ecstatic about this opportunity. However, he was injured six months ago, severely burning his hand, making it impossible to paint. Arik agrees but decides that he would go say hello to the renowned artist and thank him for the opportunity then take off. What good is studying with one of the modern greats if you cannot actually apply the lessons learned?

On his way, Arik stops at a gas station close to his destination. A huge intimidating man comes to fill up his gas tank. Being five foot nothing, Arik has always been scared of men who had some considerable height. However, this man also intrigues Arik despite his fear.

Reg Thompson is this man. He is a biker who belongs to the local motorcycle club. While he looks intimidating, he really is a giant teddy bear. He doesn’t mean to scare the cute man and tries to draw him out. He even puts his mechanic into place after the mechanic teases Arik about his height, or lack thereof.

After the two meet at a dinner arranged by Ken, the two men begin to talk and find out they have a lot in common. Both are artists who have had to deal with basically absentee parents. Arik grew up with drug addicted parents. Reg’s mother became distant after the death of Reg’s sister and the onset of mental illness. While Reg has dealt with the trouble of his parents, Arik has allowed the problems of his parents to fester.

As the two grow closer, Arik meets the rest of the members of Reg’s motorcycle club. While only there for ten minutes, Arik is convinced that Reg is no better than his parents and begins to distance himself from Reg. To make matters worse, Arik’s mother shows up wanting to talk with him. Arik must deal with his past if he wants a future that is happy instead of bitter.

This is the sixth book in Andrew Grey’s Senses series. These books can be read individually but having read the past books brings context to parts of the storyline. I absolutely love this series. Usually one of the major characters, if not several of the supporting characters has a handicap of one kind or another. However, this handicap does not define the character. It is a part of the character like being gay or blond. The most powerful character throughout the series, Patrick the opera singer who lost his voice, speaks the most powerfully. He, along with Ken his partner, help show Arik that he might not be able to paint like he used to, he still could develop other methods of expressing his creativity.

The other characters that helps Arik is Bobby Jo, a young girl in the county children’s home who is facing another surgery to fix her malformed hand and Jerry, a young boy from a previous story who is stricken with a muscular disease that has curled his hands. I look forward, as always, to the next book in this series.

The cover art is perfect for the book. L.C. Chase has our young blond Arik standing a few feet away from Reg, who is wearing jeans and a leather jacket without a shirt. Reg looks like he is coming out of the bay to the garage of his service/gas station. They are what I thought they might look like.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details
EBook, 206 pages
Published: March 18, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63477-128-3
Edition Language: English
Series: Senses

Love Comes Silently (Senses #1)
Love Comes in Darkness (Senses #2)
Love Comes Home (Senses #3)
Love Comes Around (Senses #4)
Love Comes Unheard (Senses #5)
Love Comes To Light (Senses #6)

Katey Hawthorne On Clockwork Magic on the Blood and Clockwork Tour (Guest Post, excerpt and Giveaway)

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Blood and Clockwork

Blood and Clockwork by Katey Hawthorne
L
ess Than Three Press
Published March 16th 2016

Art Work  by Natasha Snow

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Katey Hawthorne, author of Blood and Clockwork, here to talk about the novel and the inspiration behind it.  Welcome, Katey!

Clockwork Magic

Hi, and thanks for letting me drop by at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue words. You know I love you all! Today I’m going to talk about my newest release, Blood and Clockwork, which is part of Less Than Three Press’s Solitary Travelers collection—all containing asexual protagonists! They cover the ace spectrum pretty well, from what I understand, and the hero of my book, Alistair Click, is asexual panromantic. He’s also a huge nerd and itinerant horologist.

I’ve had a huge thing for clockwork my whole life. I’m not sure what it is about the cogs and wheels clicking away, but they’re mesmerizing. I think back to a time when clockwork was far more pervasive than it is now and how wonders like the Silver Swan used to draw huge crowds—and wonder if it does even now. I don’t think it’d seem any less magical to people today… well, depending on their level of cynicism.

Anyhow, this is just a long way of saying that this is why I love to write about clockwork, and even clockwork as or intertwined with magic. There’s a small problem with that in Alistair Click’s world, sadly…

A faint glimmering came from a round object within, like a glass ball, but with some sort of gas or liquid trapped inside, roiling. It tied my stomach in knots. “It may be magic,” I said gravely.

“Magic, of course there’s magic.” [Marco’s] deadpan was impressive. “Okay, so. Clockwork-activated magic?”

“No wonder the Prince went mad.” I handed off the lantern and jumped down from the stool. “This makes it even riskier to meddle with. Magic is outlawed for a reason. That reason is madness. It follows inevitably.”

So there’s that to deal with, on top of a tower full of clockwork puzzles. Fun times, amiright?

BLURB:

Blood and Clockwork: Alistair Click set out to lay to rest the superstitious fears about the Mad Prince’s clockwork tower. If thatBlood and Clockwork meant he might bring the ghost city of Avalonia back to economic life, connecting the western kingdoms once again, so much the better. So what if no adventurer who’d entered the tower in the last century of desolation had ever re-emerged? They didn’t have his skill and wit. He could do better.

The tower turns out to be far more than Alistair expected, however. Not only are there clockwork puzzles to open every door, but one of them drops a boy from a strange world into his lap—figuratively speaking, if only just. Marco Murphy was just gaming in his New Jersey apartment, and now he’s stuck in what feels like a never ending LARP nightmare.

The deeper they delve into the Mad Prince’s tower, the darker the secrets they uncover. They’re not entirely sure they’ll ever be able to get out again, either. It’ll take all Marco’s charm and Alistair’s cleverness, plus the strange bond growing between them, to get them out together… and alive.

LINKS:Author’s site: http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/one-shots.html

Sales Links

Less Than Three Press  |  Amazon   |   All Romance eBooks

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio. In her spare time she enjoys comic books, B-movies, loud music, Epiphones, and Bushmills. Find her at http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/

GIVEAWAY:

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Its a Last Visit To Pleasanton with Andrew Grey, On His Latest Release ‘Love Comes to Light (Senses #6) (guest blog, and excerpt)

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love comes to light

Love Comes To Light (Senses #6) by Andrew Grey
D
reamspinner Press

Cover Artist L.C. Chase
Release Date:  March 18, 2016

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback

Love Comes to Light – Pleasanton

This story represents the last time we will visit Pleasanton, Michigan, a town I made up in my imagination.  However, the area is a place I remember fondly.  When I was about eight or so, my family took a trip around Lake Superior and we spent some time in that area of Michigan.  My memories of that time are sketchy, but I do remember getting on a boat with my dad and seeing the colored layers of rocks that make up Pictured Rocks in Lake Superior.  Later when Dominic and I took a trip the Upper Peninsula years ago, we once again travelled through that area.

It was beautiful with pine forests and sparkling water.  Dominic and I had a wonderful time driving along the lakeshore and we ended up stopping by the lake at a roadside picnic area for lunch.  It was that lunch and our drive that I recalled when I decided to create Pleasanton.   There are small towns in that area of the state and some of them have characteristics that went into Pleasanton, in the end my town is an amalgamation of what I saw and what sprang from my imagination.

Blurb

A Senses Series Story

Artist Arik Bosler is terrified he might have lost his creative gift in the accident that left his hand badly burned. When he’s offered the chance to work with renowned artist Ken Brighton, Arik fears his injury will be too much to overcome.

He travels to Pleasanton to meet Ken, where he runs into the intimidating Reg Thompson. Reg, a biker who customizes motorcycles, is a big man with a heart of gold who was rejected by most of his family. Arik is initially afraid of Reg because of his size. However it’s Reg’s heart that warms Arik’s interest and gets him to look past the exterior to let down his guard.

But Arik soon realizes that certain members of Reg’s motorcycle club are into things he can’t have any part of. Reg can’t understand why Arik disappears until he learns Arik’s injury was the result of his father’s drug activity. Though neither Reg nor Arik wants anything to do with drugs, the new leadership of Reg’s club might have other ideas.

Excerpt

At the edge of Pleasanton, his nerves began to get the better of him. He pulled into a gas station and up to the pumps, then turned off the engine. He needed gas and a chance to think. He should have stayed home and not put himself through all this.

A tap on the doorframe pulled him out of his thoughts. Arik turned and squeaked at the huge man half leaning into his window. “You want some gas or what?” the man asked gruffly. Arik was belted in or he’d have scooted into the passenger seat to get away.

“Yeah,” he answered shakily. Arik watched as the huge, bald-headed man, dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt with a leather jacket hanging open over the top, stared back at him with eyes that said he wanted to tear Arik apart. At least that was what Arik saw in them. He shivered and tried not to look scared. “Th… thank you?” God, he hoped this guy worked at the station.

The guy didn’t move—he just watched Arik for a few seconds as Arik chilled and willed his legs not to shake while hoping the guy wasn’t about to reach in and grab him.

The huge man pulled back, and Arik breathed a sigh of relief.

“You need to open your gas cover,” the man said, and Arik pulled the gas-cap lever, fingers shaking. He reached over and raised the passenger window. He also raised his partway and felt a little safer. Arik adjusted his rearview mirror, watching the man and wishing like hell he could get out of here. He reminded himself that the two of them had never met before, and the guy pumping his gas had no reason to hate him. That still didn’t stop Arik’s insides from churning. When he heard the sound of the gas nozzle being removed, he pulled out his wallet, checked the pump for the amount, and got out some bills.

“That will be $27.53,” the man said gruffly.

Arik handed him thirty dollars. “Thank you,” he said hastily, and then he raised the window and started the engine. The man might have said something, but Arik pulled away and turned back onto the main road, following the directions his GPS system gave him.

It took a good ten minutes for his breathing to return to normal. He hated that the gas station guy had intimidated him, but he hadn’t been able to help his reaction.

 Andrew Grey

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

  • Amazon Author Page
  • Barnes and Noble Page
  • Dreamspinner Press
  • Facebook
  • Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey
  • Goodreads
  • Twitter  @andrewgreybooks
  • Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

The ones listed below is for this Series Only

Senses Series

  • Love Comes Silently Book 1
  • Love Comes in Darkness Book 2
  • Love Comes Home Book 3
  • Love Comes Around Book 4
  • Love Comes Unheard Book 5
  • Love Comes to Light Book 6