A MelanieM Review: Champagne Kisses by Lynda Aicher

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Champagne KissesThe Christmas Eve wedding Evan Cleary pulled together in four weeks is crashing down around him and taking his fledgling event planning business with it. With an empty altar and over a hundred guests arriving soon, he turns to the resistant, gorgeous brother of the runaway groom for help.

When Richard Patterson’s flamboyant brother storms out hours before he’s scheduled to marry his equally dramatic partner, Richard is left dealing with the fallout. The last thing he wants is more drama, yet he can’t deny his attraction to the effeminate event planner trying to salvage the wedding.

Evan thinks his crush on Richard is a lost cause, but one steaming kiss later, he learns different. What starts as a night of hot sex turns into a connection neither expected. But Evan knows their relationship is hopeless unless the ultra-conservative Richard can embrace every part of him—both in private and in public.

Short, sweet and sexy, this Christmas novella is the very definition of  opposites attract. Lynda Aicher starts off on one side of the spectrum with Evan Cleary. Flamboyant, some would say delicate to the point of being effeminate, Evan has worked hard on this Christmas Eve wedding which was to launch his event planning business…even though it had disaster written all over it, starting with the couple in question.

His opposite is Richard Patterson, masculine, solid, gorgeous, someone who has never been attracted before to someone of Evan’s “type”, until now, an attitude that doesn’t sit especially well with Evan.  It’s a night of emotional meltdowns, harsh attitudes, and revelations set amidst a wedding that  anyone would call the wedding of your dreams.  Aicher has described it in detail and I’m sure more than one reader sighed in response.

I liked the clash of personalities which included that of Richard’s  brother and Evan, which had a friendship here too.  There is a bit of hot domination play here and enough drama to satisfy those who need it in their relationship stories.  All in all a satisfying sexy romp.

My only issues?  Some very iffy word choices, a very big no if you are at all familiar with my reviews.  Two words that should never appear with regard to the male anatomy…canal and channel.   And they both appear here.  I just start waiting for the tugboats to appear.  Or river barges or things of that nature.  It almost got this story knocked down to a 3 star but no, the rest of it was charming. When they appear, close your eyes and move swiftly past.  Other than that, this story is a keeper.

Cover art by L.C. Chase is nice but doesn’t have enough details to make it stand out from any other cover.

Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 83 pages
Published December 14th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleChampagne Kisses
ISBN139781626493759
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Dinner at Fiorello’s by Rick R. Reed ~ Audiobook narrated by Joel Leslie

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5    ★★★★★

DinneratFiorellosAUDLGHenry Appleby is considered by many to be a spoiled little rich kid living in the lap of luxury with his wealthy parents, enjoying the good life. But Henry has a burning desire, deep in his soul, to become a chef. Not something his parents would approve of, he’s sure. However, for Henry, food expresses emotions and memories and he wants to be able to bring those emotions to others through his cooking. So when he spots an ad for an all-around helper at Fiorello’s, a small Italian restaurant, he decides to go for it—against his father’s wishes. His father had already arranged a summer job for Henry as an apprentice in his law firm, a prelude to Henry entering college in the fall and ultimately following in his father’s footsteps to become an attorney.

The first day on the job, Henry meets Vito Carelli, the tall, dark, brooding chef who never cracks a smile but who produces the most amazing food. Unknown to Henry, Vito lost his husband and young son to an auto accident a little over a year ago, and now life has lost its meaning, and he has all he can do to put one foot in front of the other to survive the hollowness in his heart.

Though Henry is attracted right from the first day, every attempt to befriend Vito, or even flirt with him, is met with a stony glare. Until one night Henry’s world is turned upside down when he discovers his mom is having an affair. Then one thing leads to another, and he’s outted to both parents, and Vito is the only person willing to listen and help the young man whose heart may be as broken as his own.

I loved this story. It’s a bittersweet romance, with the focus more on the characters than on the sexual attraction, and that makes it so much more than the usual. It starts out slowly, backfilling the history of each character, giving them life and dimension. But by about halfway through, I found myself longing to hear more, to experience their dynamic, and to wallow in the heartbreak that is Vito’s grief, and I realized that I didn’t want to pause it for any reason. (To heck with real life responsibilities!) Joel Leslie’s outstanding narration gives life to the characters. Vito’s sexy, deep, Italian-accented voice and Henry’s light, youthful vibe fit the characters perfectly and make it believable when the characters themselves, while ultimately attracted, acknowledge their age difference and the necessity of going slow as they see where their relationship may lead. Throughout the story, he narrates not only the words, but the emotion—sometimes raw and poignant though it may be.

The supporting cast of characters—from Henry’s parents and housekeeper to Rosalie, the owner of Fiorello’s and Carmella, the lusty hostess with an eye for the men—each has his or her own voice given character by the author and infused with life by Joel Leslie.

It’s not often that I’m so affected by a story that the characters stay with me long after I finish, but that’s the case here. I finished this book a few days ago, and I still feel Vito’s pain at his loss. The agony of his grief was so realistically written and so realistically performed by the narrator that I, too, feel as if I’ve lost someone important to my life.

I highly recommend this story, in audiobook if you can do it, but e-book if you can’t. It’s a beautiful love story, not just showing the early stages of what may become love for Henry and Vito, but the love Vito holds for his son and his husband—a love that transcends their death. Don’t miss a chance to pick this one up.

~~~~~~~~~~

Cover Art by Reese Dante features a head shot of gorgeous Vito in the foreground with a profile of youthful Henry in the background. It’s beautifully done and perfect for the story.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press |   iTunes | Audible | Amazon

Audiobook Details:

NarratorJoel Leslie
Length7 hours and 11 minutes

Love Shifters? Don’t Miss Out on ‘Paws on Me (Law and Supernatural Order #2)’ by Silvia Violet (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)

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Paws on Me (Law and Supernatural Order #2) by Silvia Violet
Release Date: March 30, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Silvia Violet Books
Cover Artist: A.J. Corza

Blurb

Lieutenant Seth Morrison loves being a cop, but with budget cuts and crime both on the rise, he’s stopped making time for anything but his job.

On the outside, Brandon Lord appears to be an easy-going, flirtatious club owner. On the inside, he’s a man trying to overcome a difficult past.

When a murder investigation brings the two men together, passion roars to life. They’re both willing to break the rules to be together. Because as mismatched as they might seem, each man is exactly what the other needs.

 

Pages or Words: 22,000
Can be read as a standalone

Categories: Humor, Paranormal, Romance, Shifters (Bear), Urban Fantasy

Excerpt

This story takes place a few months after Sex on the Hoof.

Part 2: Crimes in the Lab (Law and Supernatural Order 1.5)

By Silvia Violet

“Drew. I’m working. We’ll have to take care of this later.”

He shakes his head. “I need you.”

Oh shit. I back up. Then I realize he’s got me trapped. Maybe if I piss him off he’ll leave.

“You can’t just come in here like this. You disappeared for a day without contacting anyone. I was worried as shit. You’re going to catch it from Morrison too.”

He doesn’t react. He’s beyond words. I’m going to have to get physical. But as I ready myself to punch him. He grabs my arm and twists it behind my back. His other hand cups the back of my head, slamming me into him as his lips crush mine in a brutal kiss.

I struggle for about a second, and then he does this thing with his tongue where he flicks it across the roof of my mouth. It makes me crazy, and he knows it. He shoves me back against the wall, pushing a cart to the side to make room. Glassware rattles and breaks. Fuck! Now we’re really in trouble.

Drew grinds his hips against mine. Our cocks press against each other. He’s already got me so hard I’m ready to beg. I use my free hand to pull his shirt from his pants, desperate to feel bare skin.

He lets go of  my hand and starts undoing the fastenings of my jeans. He’s going to fuck me right here in the lab. Anyone might walk in. A shiver of anticipation runs through me.

He might get us fired. I try to remember why that would be bad. Then he licks my neck, breathing deeply of my scent and groaning. I give up all protest.

I’m so easy. One touch from him and he owns me.

He pulls out my cock and pumps it as he licks my pulse point. What is he waiting for. I want his fangs in me right fucking now.

“Might take too much.” He says as if he heard my thoughts.

“Bite me.” I slide my hands down to his ass, pulling him even tighter against me.

 

Buy the book:

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Meet the author:

Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

4-Apr: Havan Fellows, The Novel Approach

5-Apr: Bayou Book Junkie, Parker Williams

6-Apr: Love Bytes, Molly Lolly

7-Apr: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews

8-Apr: Rainbow Gold Reviews, BFD Book Blog

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Cover Reveal for Blackfrost ( Wytch Kings, Book 2) by Jaye McKenna (Cover reveal and excerpt)

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Blackfrost (Wytch Kings, Book 2) by Jaye McKenna

Cover Artist: Chinchbug

Release Day: May 3, 2016

Blurb

Son of a simple blacksmith, Apprentice Wytch Kian has always known that once his apprenticeship is over, he’ll be sent far from home to serve the Wytch Council. Before his training is even complete, Wytch Master Taretha orders him to Blackfrost, an isolated country estate, where he is to serve as personal healer to Prince Ambris of Miraen.

Nothing in Kian’s experience has prepared him for what he finds at Blackfrost, and every day brings new questions. Like why is Prince Ambris being kept prisoner at Blackfrost? Where does Wytch Master Taretha take him every fortnight? And why does the prince return from these excursions suffering from horrific injuries that Kian is expected to heal?

Kian quickly learns that seeking answers to these questions could cost him his life. Worse, he soon finds himself struggling with his growing feelings for Ambris, putting him at odds with both Wytch Master Taretha and the sadistic guard captain, Malik. Can Kian unravel the mystery in time to save Ambris? Or will the prince finally succumb to madness and destroy Blackfrost and everyone in it?

Sequel to Burn the Sky..

Excerpt

“Ambris! Ambris, wake up, it’s just a dream.”

Ambris latched on to that voice and clung to it, following it out of the nightmare. He found himself in his own bed, shaking and sweaty, the sheets tangled about him.

Kian stood beside the bed, dressed only in a pair of half-laced breeches. His hair was tousled and hung loose below his shoulders, and his dark eyes looked huge and sleepy in the light of the lamp he carried.

“Sorry,” Ambris muttered, unable to take his eyes off of Kian’s bare chest and arms. Those arms were as big around as Ambris’s thighs, and Kian’s chest was broad and sprinkled with dark hair. Ambris couldn’t stop himself from letting his eyes trace the trail of hair down to the unlaced top of the breeches.

“Are you all right?” Kian asked.

Ambris lifted his gaze in time to see the healer run a hand through his hair. “I’m fine,” he murmured, and struggled to sit up. Pain lanced through his upper back, and a curse fell from his lips before he could stop it.

“What is it?” Kian asked quickly. “What’s wrong?”

“My back… I must have wrenched it while I was thrashing about.”

Kian set the lamp on the nightstand. “Turn over and lie on your belly.”

Ambris started to turn, but stopped suddenly, wincing as another hot shard of pain pierced his back.

“Carefully,” Kian amended.

Moving slowly, he managed to complete the maneuver with only minimal discomfort. “Are you going to heal me?”

“I doubt that will be necessary. It’s probably just a cramp. I’ll rub your back for you, though. It will help loosen the muscle and ease the cramp. We’ll see if I can get you relaxed enough that you fall back to sleep.”

The mattress dipped on either side of him as Kian straddled his hips. Ambris liked the feel of the warm weight of him and wished the covers weren’t between them.

“Tell me where it hurts.” Warm hands began probing his back, pressing gently here and there.

“Ah!” Ambris gasped as Kian’s thumb found a tight knot in his upper back. “That’s it, right there.”

“Sorry. Put your head down and try to relax.”

Ambris tried to do as he was told, but the moment Kian’s hands slid beneath his nightshirt and made contact with his bare skin, there was no chance of relaxing. Every nerve in his body came alive, and he squirmed as his shaft hardened uncomfortably beneath him.

Kian pushed Ambris’s nightshirt out of his way and ran those big, warm hands over his back. Ambris shivered in delight at his touch. How would it feel to have those hands wandering elsewhere? Down his sides… across his chest… stroking his buttocks, perhaps even…

He groaned as Kian pressed hard, kneading the tight muscles to help them relax.

“What did you dream?” Kian asked quietly. “Do you remember?”

“No,” Ambris lied. “I just remember being frightened.” Kian would learn about what a miserable failure he was soon enough, and then, Ambris imagined, he would stay as far away as he could, like everyone else did. In the two weeks since he’d arrived, Kian’s presence had brightened the long, lonely days, and Ambris wanted to put off his inevitable withdrawal for as long as possible.

He’d thought Kian would have heard all about him from the staff by now, but Kian was as kind and friendly as he had been those first few days. Ambris did occasionally catch him staring, a puzzled expression drawing his dark brows together, but after that first day, Kian hadn’t asked any more difficult questions, and for that, Ambris was thankful.

It wouldn’t last, of course, but until Kian learned the truth, Ambris could pretend they were friends. It had been a very long time since he’d had anyone he could call a friend.

Kian’s hands moved lower, massaging his lower back, and Ambris couldn’t help but squirm. More aroused than he’d ever been, he kept his burning face buried in the pillow so Kian wouldn’t see. He doubted Kian had any interest in men, and even if he did, a man like Kian could have anyone he wanted; he would never look twice at a pale, scrawny thing like Ambris. He closed his eyes and flexed his hips the tiniest bit, pressing his throbbing shaft into the mattress.

His thoughts flew back ten years, to those first fumbling kisses and touches he’d shared with Wes Atherton. It had been during the Harvest Ball at the Fall Council the year before his Wytch power had destroyed his life. They’d slipped away from the crowds and into a dark hallway, and Wes had knelt before him, undone his breeches, and licked and kissed him until Ambris was nearly screaming with pleasure…

His need was so great, it was like a hollow, burning ache that swallowed everything else. He wanted Kian’s hands on him, wanted Kian’s mouth on him, too. Wanted Kian to touch him and kiss him and…

Ambris came with a whimper that he quickly choked off. His cheeks felt like they were on fire, and he buried his face deeper into the pillow, mortified. What must Kian think of him?

But Kian didn’t seem to have noticed. The gentle rhythm of the massage never faltered as Ambris burned with shame. He squeezed his eyes shut and struggled to control his ragged breathing in an attempt to feign sleep.

Eventually, Kian’s rhythm slowed and he lifted his hands from Ambris’s skin. Ambris almost whimpered in protest before he remembered his shame. He bit back the sound before it could escape and lay still as Kian carefully eased himself off the bed.

The healer pulled Ambris’s nightshirt back down and the covers back up, then quietly tended the fire. Ambris held his breath, waiting for him to leave, but Kian remained in the room for a long while before finally slipping out the door and locking it behind him. Ambris lay awake for the rest of the night, wondering if Kian had sensed his arousal.

And what he must think of him if he had.

About the Author

Jaye McKenna icon

Jaye McKenna was born a Brit and was dragged, kicking and screaming, across the Pond at an age when such vehement protest was doomed to be misinterpreted as a “paddy”. She grew up near a sumac forest in Minnesota and spent most of her teen years torturing her parents with her electric guitar and her dark poetry. She was punk before it was cool and a grown-up long before she was ready. Jaye writes fantasy and science fiction stories about hot guys who have the hots for each other. She enjoys making them work darn hard for their happy endings, which might explain why she never gets invited to their parties.

You can contact Jaye McKenna at     Goodreads| Twitter| Website