An Ali Audio Review: Starstruck by L.A. Witt and Narrated by Nick J. Russo

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5      ★★★★★

Starstruck_AudiobookHollywood is full of dirty secrets, but Carter refuses to be Levi’s.

Retired action star Levi Pritchard has made a quiet life for himself in the sleepy logging town of Bluewater Bay, Washington. But then Hollywood comes to film the wildly popular television series Wolf’s Landing, and Bluewater Bay isn’t so sleepy anymore. His retirement doesn’t stick, either, because he’s offered a part on the show—exactly the kind of complex role he’d always wanted, one that would prove him more than a glorified stuntman. The only catch? He has to stay in the closet—no matter how attractive he finds his co-star.

Carter Samuels is the critically-acclaimed male lead on Wolf’s Landing. And now, the man who inspired him to take up acting—and made him realize he’s gay—is joining the cast, and sparks fly between them instantly. But Carter is out and proud and determined to stay true to himself.

Remaining just friends is the only thing to do, as both the studio and Levi’s disapproving, dysfunctional family keep reminding them. Except their friendship deepens by the day, tempting them with what they can’t have but both desperately need.

I loved this story.  Levi has spent so much of his life denying who he is to the world he doesn’t know how to change it.  When he meets Carter it gets harder and harder to deny what he desires.  Carter’s teenage fantasy was to be with Levi, when he gets to meet him in person it just solidifies his feelings.  As they become friends, determined to keep their desires separate, they can’t help but fall in love.

This story is told from both Levi and Carter’s points of view, which really helps understand the characters and what they are going through.  Levi is constantly fighting with what he wants and what he should do to make his family happy.  Carter loves his friendship with Levi, but won’t deny himself for anyone.

Nick Russo did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I could feel the characters emotions in how he spoke and their different voices helped me keep up with what was going on easier.

Cover art by L.C. Chase is perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  Riptide | Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7 hrs 1 min
Published: April 26, 2016 (ebook first published November 3, 2014)
Edition Language: English

Series: Bluewater Bay 

A Jeri Review: The Sweet Spot (Homeruns #4) By Sloan Johnson

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

4 ½ Home runs!

The Sweet Spot coverI love baseball. Therefore I love books with baseball and baseball players. I really enjoyed the first three in this series, but I think this one might be my favorite. The previous books all revolved around MLB players at different places in their careers. In this installment, we get to see the side we don’t often see- a guy trying to make it up from the minors to the majors. Think Bull Durham. But gay. And without the cocky attitude of Nuke Laloosh.

Not only is Nick playing in the minors and fighting for a spot in the big show, he is also fighting to distance himself from his father- himself a former MLB player and current general manager for the team he plays in the minors for. He doesn’t want any preferential treatment. He is also harboring a secret- he doesn’t want anyone to know he is gay. Which is just so silly. Not only is his team very open and accepting of gay players- several have come before him and still play. But he doesn’t want that label. So while he is having a hot and heavy fling with Cody, he abruptly ends it to focus more on his career.

Fast forward a few years. Nick is still playing in the minors, but Cody is taken on as a social media intern. He doesn’t expect to run into Nick the first day, but he does.

What I loved about this book. Nick is in the proverbial closet, but he doesn’t end things with Cody because of that- even though that is what Cody thinks. He ends it because he doesn’t want distractions. He wants to make it to the majors.

Ms. Johnson also shines a light on what minor league players go through. It is hardly the glamorous life of a big leaguer. They have to play as a team while battling for the few MLB roster spots. They often travel by bus. They make very little money. They are constantly traded away and rarely get to be with their families. And the politics of baseball could almost put Washington to shame.

I also loved how Cody really came into his own. We met him in a previous book when a couple of players took him in. At the beginning of the book he was a high school senior struggling with life. When we meet him again he is finishing up college and has his eyes firmly on what he wants to do with his life. And although he still loves Nick, he does not immediately jump into his arms.

This book was a roller coaster ride. It was great storytelling from Nick’s point of view. I don’t want to spoil things in the book- because you really need to read it- but the range of highs and lows that he experiences rings so true. Through it all though is Cody.

We get some glimpses and scenes of players from past books, which I always love. You don’t have to read their books to know them in this book. But don’t miss those books, because they are really good.

Great book without the typical cliché angst, it was sweet and although there were struggles, the pay off is totally worth it.

Cover art is terrific, spot on with the sport.

Sales links:  AmazoniBooks | Nook | Kobo

Book details:

ebook
Published May 9th 2016
SeriesHomeruns #4

Homeruns Series:

Amelia C. Gormley On Research, Characters and ‘Risk Aware’, her latest Novel (giveaway)

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Risk Aware by Amelia C. Gormley
R
iptide Publishing
Cover Artist L.C. Chase
Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Amelia C. Gormley here today to share her thoughts and inspiration behind her latest novel, Risk Aware.  Welcome, Amelia.

✍✍✍✍✍

Hi, and welcome to the RISK AWARE blog tour!

RISK AWARE is probably the longest single writing project I’ve ever undertaken. I started working on the concept in the spring of 2013, not long after I finished writing SAUGATUCK SUMMER. Geoff and Robin first appeared as minor characters—already in an established relationship—in SAUGATUCK SUMMER and I wanted to pursue their backstory.

Disabled people aren’t generally featured in BDSM fiction, and the sorts of BDSM usually portrayed is largely focused on activities that could be injurious—if not actually fatal—to something with Geoff’s condition. The story concept gave me an opportunity to examine several things we don’t often see in erotic romance. But it also meant I had to step far outside my own personal sphere of knowledge and experience on multiple levels. Which meant research was required.

Lots and lots of research.

The upshot is that the book took me over two years to write. If you’ve followed my posts on other blog tours in the past, you’ll know that’s highly unusual for me. I wrote SAUGATUCK SUMMER—a longer book—in about fifteen days. A lot of this is because I kept setting the manuscript aside to work on other projects and then taking a while to get back into things. But most of it is that getting it right required so much effort. So it’s particularly gratifying to finally get to share it with everyone who has been waiting for Geoff and Robin’s story, and also with people who may just be coming into the Saugatuck universe.

So thank you for being here!

About Risk Aware

Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill?

Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.

Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust—on both their parts—is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.

About Amelia C. Gormley

Amelia C. Gormley published her first short story in the school newspaper in the 4th grade, and since then has suffered the persistent delusion that enabling other people to hear the voices in her head might be a worthwhile endeavor. She’s even convinced her hapless spouse that it could be a lucrative one as well, especially when coupled with her real-life interest in angst, kink, social justice issues, and pretty men.

When her husband and son aren’t interacting with the back of her head as she stares at the computer, they rely on her to feed them, maintain their domicile, and keep some semblance of order in their lives (all very, very bad ideas—they really should know better by now.) She can also be found playing video games and ranting on Tumblr, seeing as how she’s one of those horrid social justice warriors out to destroy free speech, gaming, geek culture, and everything else that’s fun everywhere.

Connect with Amelia:

RiskAware_TourBanner

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Risk Aware, Amelia is giving away an ebook copy of the Strain series. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 14, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.