A MelanieM Review: Jackson & Nick (Storming Love: Wild Fire #6) by Laura Baumbach


Rating:4 stars out of 5

Jackson and Nick coverFireman Jackson Kain and ER physician Dr. Nick Kirby would both like nothing better than to leave behind their high-pressure NY City lives for a just a few days in the peaceful wilds of Northern Ca. Two ordinary men exploring their growing relationship in glorious, undisturbed beauty of nature. Before this trip is over, both men will need all their specialized abilities and training to survive their romantic interlude turned WILD FIRE.

Recuperating from an work-related injury, NY City fireman Jackson Kain convinces new boyfriend Dr. Nicolas Kirby to spend a few days at a secluded California cabin in the woods far away from the hustle and bustle of their stressful worlds.

Nick is a cautious man with protective walls around him that persistent, persuasive Jackson is determined to breakdown, scale or tunnel under. These few days are Jackson’s best chance to convince Nick he is sincere and reliable in all things, including matters of the heart. Unfortunately, both men are going to get more opportunities to prove themselves than either bargained for.

What was supposed to be a relaxing break from the world to get to know one another better turns into a struggle for survival, that pits both men against nature and time.

Another story in the Storming Love series by MLR, this one is highlighted by the fact that its author is Laura Baumbach, an author I love.  Secondly, this is the first new story from that author in a long while so I was so happy to get this story and start reading.  I quickly fell into the author’s style of writing and the two main character’s relationship, which is still in the first stages of working things out and seeing if they mesh with each other.  They are at that first crucial big step, the first vacation away with each other.  This time a trip with a cabin in the woods…de-stressing time for one who is a doctor and a last minute relaxing vacation for another who’s been out on work related injury leave.

Baumbach lets us fall easily into their lives, showing us the rush, pressure, and fears of the 24/7 lifestyle that consumes Dr. Nicolas Kirby and the determination of Fireman Jackson Kain to have Nick put that behind him and enjoy the time together.  And they do, for a while.

We get sweet and sexy scenes and then the scramble is one to survive and outrun the forest fire.  Its a white knuckle trip all the way, mixed in with relationship dynamics and personal  revelations.  I had invested enough of myself in this couple that I was with them emotionally as they fought through the fire and their own fears.

My only issue is that the story was too short. I was connected to these men, their situation was dire, their relationship still new and there was so much to explore here and  plus, hey, its was  Laura Baumbach!  I wanted much, much more.

Still I love the Storming Love series.  They are exciting, wonderful romances and really you just can’t go wrong here.

Why not start your exploration of the Storming Love series here with Jackson & Nick (Storming Love: Wild Fire #6) by Laura Baumbach.  It’s a fast, sexy, story and then go find the others.

Cover art by Kris Jacen is a great representation of the story, setting and with a hint of the characters.

Sales Links:  MLR Press |  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published October 8th 2015 by MLR Press, LLC
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesStorming Love: Wild Fire #6


A Stella Review: The Last Favor by Meg Harding


Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

The Last FavorThree years ago Andrew Wilson and Flynn Barnett were in a relationship, until Flynn made a mistake that nearly cost Andrew his life. Andrew walked away from the FBI, his home, and his partner, and started over back in Montreal, running a restaurant.

Fast forward to the present and Andrew is knee-deep in preparations for his sister’s wedding. When an ex-colleague calls to ask for one last favor, the last person he expects to walk through his door is Flynn, in need of a place to stay. Only thing is, Andrew can’t say no.

Two weeks of wedding hijinks bring back all the old feelings that have simmered below the surface. Caught in a cycle of fighting and making up, the two men try to figure out if there’s anything they can salvage. And even if there is, Andrew can’t be sure this time will be any different.

The Last Favor was my first book by Meg Harding and overall it was  good reading. Being a fan of   second chance at love stories, I couldn’t miss this novella, plus I’m always looking for new to me authors.

The blurb tells you pretty much everything you need to know so I’m not going to linger on the plot more.

First of all what I liked: the secondary characters were the winners for me, I like big families like the one of Andrew’s, and in the chaos the preparations for his sister’s wedding, they were crazy, frenetic and a little protective and meddlers, just how I like families to be.

I liked how the author laid out the starting part, showing me how Andrew and Flynn met, how they were close in their relationship, and how this ended and why. It gave me all the facts soon, allowing me to make up my own mind on the characters. At the same time I saw their mistakes and their stupidity. Let’s be honest, Andrew is forty but a little childish, he should have approached the situation that led them to the end of their relationship (but not of their love) in a different way and not leave Flynn with nothing said.

What I didn’t like: first of all the verbal form, I often had issues with the use of the present, in this case especially it put a stop to my reading, a slowness that left me not so convinced of the whole story. At times I was a little bored too. Moreover IMO this novella needed to be more engaging, I wanted more of them together and alone. I wanted more explanations between them because at the end they overcame three years apart without even a deep chat. It basically misses a good tempo.

Still, I found The Last Favor a good story and I’ll surely read more of this author works. Something in the style caught my attention.

The cover art by Bree Archer is well done and so bright it showed me hope.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 124 pages
Published April 6th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634772490 (ISBN13: 9781634772495)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Stella Review: THE KITCHEN BOY by August Li


RATING   4 out of 5 stars

The Kitchen BoyKitchen servant Yoli is one of only three men who know a carefully guarded secret about High Commander Koehen, the brilliant general who united their lands against a common invader. The enemy wants that secret, and they are willing to use either kindness or cruelty to obtain it.

Yoli must decide if his loyalties lie with the commander, who has shown him more affection than anyone in Yoli’s life, or with his own best interests. High Commander Koehen’s attention is capricious at best—he summons Yoli only when it is convenient for him, and Yoli knows there’s little hope of a future together. Is a glimmer of a hope for love worth sacrificing a chance for prosperity beyond his wildest dreams?


I read The Union of Sun and Moon by August Li last year and I was pleasurably surprised by the style of the author. As soon as I saw The Kitchen Boy I wanted to read it. This is a second edition but I missed it earlier. And now that I read it I’m surely going to  devour whatever else they wrote in the past. I like their style so much, it’s hard to explain but I get a sense of peace and sweetness.

The Kitchen Boy is the story of Yoli, who after having been sold by his own father when he was only six years old, works now as a servant in the kitchen of the High Commander Koehen, the man who was able to fight for the union of a great kingdom. The same man suffers of very hurtful migraines that only Yoli seems able to relieve, although their meeting is not just the medical kind. Until the enemies will capture Yoli and torture him to discover the weakness of Koehen.

This was a great story, I was caught from the start and couldn’t put it down till the end. It greatly engaged me with the amazing characters and world building. We get to know quite enough of the world the story is set in, I honestly wasn’t expecting so much in  not so many pages.

The author made me like the characters a lot, even the supposed bad one Brunarious. Of course Yoli was my favorite, a pleasure to see. So strong and brave and generous in his simpleness. He went through so many abuses and hurt in his life. I get to feel his deep emotions, the fear to hope for more, the sense of inadequacy, his loyalty to a man who showed him a glimmer of a future he never hoped to dream for himself. I enjoyed not just his hot time with Koehen, our hero, but his learning scenes with the wizard Vlaad (which maybe needed to be explored a little because there was more to know about the magician and his relationship with the MCs and maybe I was hoping in some menage moments).

I liked this story a lot, well written and developed, great characters, good tempo. All of these made The Kitchen Boy one of my favorite books in the mm fantasy genre.

The COVER ART by Anne Cain is well done and fitting, I can easily see Yoli in it, learning to read. Still I have a note to make, I would have been happier to see a cover made by the author, I like August style, in the writing and in the design I saw around.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon


ebook, 2nd Edition, 126 pages
Published April 6th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 2nd 2013)
ISBN 1634771273 (ISBN13: 9781634771276)
Edition LanguageEnglish

In the Spotlight: Miranda Macleod ‘A Road Through Mountains’ (excerpt and giveaway)



A Road Through Mountains by Miranda MacLeod
Release Date: March 29, 2016

Publisher: Apple Blossom Press


A Road Through Mountains

When Cecily Parker volunteers backstage at the Oakwood Theater, the only thing she wants is a few hours of relief from the doldrums of her upper class suburban existence. The last thing she expects is to be reunited with the only person she ever truly loved, a woman she left behind almost twenty years ago.

Rorie Mulloy has built a career as an award winning production designer in Hollywood, but her personal life is anything but a success. When she agrees to design the sets for a community theater production of A Streetcar Named Desire in Connecticut, she has no idea that the woman who broke her heart and ruined her for love will be assigned to her crew.

As the sparks are rekindled between them, these star-crossed lovers just might have a second chance at love. But only if they can overcome the ghosts of their past, and survive the sometimes comic cast of characters determined to keep them from their happily ever after.


Pages or Words: 65,000 words

Categories: Fiction, Lesbian Romance, Romance


Excerpt from A Road Through Mountains

Cecily’s heart thumped and her own fingertips began to tingle with a sudden jolt of adrenaline that coursed through her at the shock of recognition.

Surely it couldn’t be…

The woman stopped talking, as if aware that guests had joined them in the room. She began to turn, revealing a creamy bronze face, and just a hint of freckles sprinkled across prominent cheek bones like a fine dusting of cinnamon. Her eyes shone with the brilliant blue of an Alaskan glacier in the afternoon sun.

In truth, the room was drenched in shadows and not a single detail of the woman’s appearance was the slightest bit visible. It didn’t have to be. Cecily saw it all vividly in her mind just the same. She knew without a doubt, once she managed to will her heart to stop racing and forced her eyes to look up, that the face looking back at her would most certainly belong to Rorie Mulloy.

Cecily silently cursed her luck. What were the odds? The very first time since college that she’d dared to venture backstage at a theater, and she found herself face to face with the reason she’d left in the first place.


Buy the book: Amazon



Meet the author:

Miranda lives in New England and writes heartfelt lesbian romances featuring witty and charmingly flawed women that you’ll want to marry. Or just grab a coffee with, if that’s more your thing. She is an avid reader and a good cook, and loves to travel. Before becoming a writer, she spent way too many years in graduate school and has worked as a temp in just about every office building in downtown Boston at one time or another.


Where to find the author:



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Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, The Hat Party, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,

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My Fiction Nook, BFD Book Blog, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Unquietly Me, Oh My Shelves,

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Rednecks and Romance, Nephy Hart, MM Good Book Reviews, Molly Lolly,

Inked Rainbow Reads, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Velvet Panic



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