A BJ Review: Covet Thy Neighbor (Tucker Springs #4) by L.A. Witt and Narrated by Charlie David

Standard

 

Rating:    3.75 out of 5 stars

CovetThyNeighbor_AudiobookTattoo artist Seth Wheeler thinks he’s struck gold when Darren Romero rents the apartment across the hall. The new guy is gorgeous, witty, and single, plus he’s just the right blend of bold and flirtatious. Perfect.

Except then Darren reveals that he moved to Tucker Springs to take a job as the youth pastor at the New Light Church. Seth is not only an atheist, but was thrown out by his ultra-religious family when he came out. He tends to avoid believers, not out of judgment but out of self-preservation.

But Darren doesn’t give up easily, and he steadily chips away at Seth’s defenses. Darren is everything Seth wants in a man . . . except for that one massive detail he just can’t overlook. Is Darren’s religion the real problem, or is it just a convenient smokescreen to keep him from facing deeper fears? It’s either see the light, or risk pushing Darren away forever.

First off I have to say that after listening to other books in the series read by a different narrator, it was a bit jarring to get used to having this one read by someone else. While I enjoyed Charlie David’s voice tones, I missed Iggy. The two main character’s voices actually sounded pretty much the same to me. I really prefer when there are noticeably different voices since in an audio, there are no things like line breaks and stuff to give us a clue when the speaker changes. Sometimes I even got a bit lost as to which character was speaking.

As for the story itself, the physical relationship between these guys was nearly instant, which took me by surprise considering that one is a minister. Given what I knew about Seth’s past and the fact that Darren was up front about his career before they hit the sack, that surprised me. I found it strange that both of them would have so little control and not just once, but repeatedly especially when they kept regretting it the mornings after and feeling so strained around each other. I wished there had been more relationship development up front but it came across to me as based mostly on sex for a long while. So the middle part rather lost me for a while.

During the whole middle of the story, I had trouble liking Seth. It seemed like he was being so judgmental and unaccepting, which was supposed the exact thing he was disliking Darren for. But Darren was not that. I liked Darren from the start, and as it wore on though, I quite embraced his take on religion. How he strives to live a life based on the New Testament, leaving behind the Old Testament makes sense. There are so very many laws and rules in the Old Testament which modern day Christians break on a daily basis, so where to draw the line on what to dismiss and what to continue to hold as doctrine is very much ambiguous.

Personally, I wished this had been a dual POV. Darren’s character was my favorite of the two and would have loved to be in his head and see more depth to him. The things Seth said to him and then finding out his past and thus knowing how they must have hurt, damn. That kicked the story up an extra half star for me right there. And if not for what Seth had done at the LGBT youth center, I probably would have really hated him at that point.

Enjoyed revisiting with Michael and Jason, and meeting Seth’s cat Stanley. Wish that the ending had been a bit more. While I liked it well enough, it just seemed to wrap up a bit too easily.

This cover by L.C. Chase is my fav from the series so far as both halves really represented the characters and their life well.

Sales Links:  Riptide PublishingAudible | Amazon | iTunes


Book Details:

Published April 5th 2016 by Riptide Publishing

An Alisa Review: Reckless by Caitlin Ricci

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

RecklessWhen his best friend, Lee, offered him his sub as part of a bet, Colton Prier never expected more than a clean condo from the boy. But Tate Nicholson is well-trained, eager, and he likes rope play as much as Colton enjoys tying him up. It should have ended after one night, but they begin meeting in secret, and Colton can’t stop thinking about Tate. It’s a betrayal of his friendship with Lee to fall in love with Tate, but Colton can’t help wanting the sub for himself.

 

He’s not alone in his feelings, either. Tate thought he was happy with Lee. Not completely fulfilled, but happy enough. But as he spends more time with Colton, he realizes Lee isn’t capable of giving him what he wants anyway. Lee demands his full submission, but Tate doesn’t want to be a lifestyle sub. Colton expects his obedience at times but gives him his freedom more often than not, which is more in line with what Tate wants.

 

When Tate really needs his Dom and Lee isn’t around to help him, he reaches the tipping point and needs to choose who he wants to give his submission to, and to accept the consequences of his choice when he does.

 

Caitlin Ricci did a great job with this story.  Colton wins Tate as part of a bet with his best friend.  They both enjoy their time together and end up meeting up by accident and then on purpose in secret.  When Tate decides that his loyalty should be to his dom Colton decides to walk away gracefully until he is called when Tate needs help and Lee isn’t around.

 

Throughout the story I could feel how confused Colton was when he first realized that Tate would be his perfect sub, but wasn’t one he could ever have.  When Colton had to break away from Tate to avoid being hurt anymore my heart was breaking with his.  Tate has an eye opening experience when Lee doesn’t come when he needs help and Colton is the one who comes he knows he has to make a decision.

 

You could see the internal conflict that Tate was having when he was with Colton, even through Colton’s eyes.  They both connected so well when they were together.  At the end of the story they are both looking towards their future together.

 

Cover art by Caitlin Ricci is nice picture and connects with the story.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: June 3, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634770330
Edition Language: English

 

A Lila Review: Chevalier (Romanus #2) by Mary Calmes

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

ChevalierFireman Mason James thought finding out he is a Romanus—a rare class of gargoyle—would be the surprise of a lifetime, but he’s proven wrong when he discovers he is the son of a comte and goji nobility. But his newly discovered family doesn’t think his gargoyle lover, Luc, is good enough for a goji of Mason’s stature—how could a warrior ever be? But despite the Moreaus’ uncertainty and elitism, they are Mason’s only chance to unravel the mystery behind his mother’s death, find a solution for the class divide that might separate him from Luc, and discover what it truly means to be a Romanus.

 

Chevalier is an interesting addition to this series. It answers most of the questions left lingering at the end of Romanus. It can be read as a stand-alone if you like stories with established couples. There’s enough information and world-build involved to get right into the story. Perhaps, they should have been combined into one book instead of two separate stories.

Luc still my favorite character. He’s always there for Mason. Their connection deepened during this story, and I loved the easy banter between them and Luc’s playfulness. He also provides physical comfort to Mason with his presence and soft caresses. And there’s a new development about Luc’s position in the chasse.

Mason still has to deal with the repercussions from learning he’s a Romanus and where did he come from. We get to find out more about the meaning and the powers behind his new designation. Plus, he learns the reasons behind his family past; which takes them to France.

In this story with see more of romance, a relationship, between the MCs. Yes, they still have time for some smexy bits during the changes in their lives, but it’s more part of who they are as a couple, instead of an instinct.

There are a lot more characters in this book, but they’re easier to remember. Not all of them are relevant to the story, at the moment, but are worth mentioning even if in passing. I’d like to learn more about Gabriel’s story and Finn’s & Raoul’s.

As always, the author delivers a fantasy story with a world to be explored and characters interesting enough to want to read more about them. On the flip side, the info dump can be overwhelming and the world too much at times for such a simple story.

Another beautiful cover by Reese Dante showing one of the settings in the story. The font, the only thing bringing the two books in the series together.

I think the paperback edition combines the two covers perfectly.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details: 

ebook, 118 pages
Published: May 27, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634772457
Edition Language: English

Series: Romanus
Book #1: Romanus
Book #2: Chevalier

Love Contemporary Romance? Check Out ‘Becoming Rory’ by Ashavan Doyon (excerpt/giveaway)

Standard

Title:  Becoming Rory

Author: Ashavan Doyon

Series Title and Number: College Rose Romances 4

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  6/8/16

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: M/M

Length: 75K

Genre/Tags:  New Adult, Contemporary, M/M Romance

becomingrory1400

Synopsis

Rory Graeble returns to college determined to reinvent himself. Too many years have been wasted with masks, but becoming a student leader is a step Rory isn’t sure he’s ready for. A new identity takes more than just a new nickname, and Rory knows he has to take the chances that his old self would never risk. When that chance is a party that ends with an anonymous hot skater’s tongue down his throat and a phone number in his pocket, Rory knows what he has to do.

Danny Smits never expected to see stuffy lit geek Rory Graeble trying to be out, trying to be proud, trying to be… Rory. It’s damned sexy, and too much for the entrepreneurial skater to resist. When Rory calls him back the day after the party, Danny knows Rory has changed. But will Danny’s haunted past deter Rory? Or will Rory embrace the chance to experience everything the closet had stolen away? Danny believes in keeping things real, in a brutal honesty he knows means Rory will run screaming.

But this time Rory isn’t running.

Excerpt

It was quiet. Rory knew that wasn’t normal. He gazed out the windows. The angle of the building meant that one side was faced toward the campus, a miniature city full of towering buildings scattered in clumps, the other faced the mountains and woods. Two contrary images. It appealed to his poetic soul. That was a part of Lawrence he had no intention of letting go. It spoke to his core, that love of words.

Rory opened a window against the heat. Wentworth was an older building, and Rory half expected in winter that he’d have to keep the window open just to breathe. For now though, with no air-conditioning and a fan that did nothing except when pointed at bare skin, an open window was a welcome reprieve from the late August heat. There wasn’t enough of what he wanted Rory to be, not yet, for him to be comfortable with naked skin—at least not his naked skin.

His dorm room was taking shape. The books were on the bookshelf, two deep. An index card on the end of each shelf cataloged the books on the back row. They were books he wouldn’t want often, but when he wanted them, they’d be easy enough to find. Each shelf had a theme. On each shelf his favorites were in alpha order in front, and those he’d brought only out of fear his dad wouldn’t… Rory closed his eyes and took a long breath. There were reasons for his rebirth as Rory, and not all of them were here at school.

The boxes for the books were broken down and in the back of the closet. His clothes were hung up or carefully folded and in drawers. They spoke of Lawrence, not Rory, but they were what he had. It would be easy to fall back into wearing these. He’d have to for a little while. Clothes cost money, and for the first time in his life, Rory was not confident a call home would yield any more, not even for clothes. Especially not for clothes. What’s wrong with the clothes you’ve got? It’s what his dad would say. Probably his mom too.

With three beanbag chairs, the chair for his desk and the bed, that meant seating for five, at least. Anything over ten was considered a party. Not that he had any real hope of filling even the five spaces he had. Rory chuckled at himself. He could hope, but it wouldn’t happen. Still, he might get Stacy and Barry to join him. He walked up against the window, pinned between the steady whir of the fan and the tiny breeze from the window. It was comfortable. Well, not yet. Not really. But it would get more so over the course of the semester. He had to believe that.

On the desk next to his laptop, too hard to ignore from where he stood at the window, was his student leadership packet. The college had found some money somewhere. The portfolio wasn’t the cheap paper folder he’d expected. The mock-leather portfolio marked with the school seal—embossed on the cover, not just ink—had come with a lapel pin and a school pen. Okay, so the pads of paper inside were cheap, but that the school had done that for all the student leaders who arrived early? The communications major in him couldn’t help but analyze it for the message, and it wasn’t hard for him to guess. Take this seriously; they want us to take it seriously.

Rory wondered if they knew that the fledgling leaders were coming back in an hour as the sun finished its descent with the makings of a party. He wondered if Barry knew. Bronzed. Fit. Popular. Of course Barry knew. Rory glanced at the door he’d left open. He tried to pretend it was for something as mundane as airflow, but in his heart where the dull ache of the afternoon’s discussion still sat like a leaden brick, he knew better.

“This is where you do something stupid, Lawrence,” he whispered to himself. He knew what he wanted to do. Want is a strong term. Maybe it’s just the only way you know how to deal with it. And your name is Rory, dipshit. Lawrence is dead.

He looked again at the pile of leadership materials. How had Aidan talked him into this again? Oh, right. There was no one else. Aidan and Michael, they were gone. John Simmons was gone. All they had was a scattered and broken community.

Rory looked out at the slowly illuminating lights in the buildings across campus. It wasn’t like it would be when classes started. Right now it was just dots of light here and there. Athletes. Student government. Student organization leaders. It was getting dark. The party would start soon. As a leader, he’d been invited, quietly, with everyone else. Would the athletes be there to make him feel inadequate? Rory let out a breath, slow. Lawrence would never have gone. Maybe that meant Rory needed to.

He sat down at the desk and quickly flipped through the packet. Even on a cursory glance it was clear that the real requirement was to be present for the workshops throughout the week. The administration had scrupulously left the evenings to the students. It was a kindness, he noted, they had not extended to the residence life staff. He’d seen Becky and Barry earlier, making door tags for each of the residents. It would take them hours to do, and he’d wondered at the time why they’d started so early. But if Barry knew about the party… Rory sighed. Why did it matter if Barry was there? He wasn’t interested.

He’s comfortable. I’ll know someone. It’ll be bearable.

Rory closed the portfolio and pushed it away. His thoughts turned to how he could almost see skin under that too thin shirt of Barry’s. Also pretty uncomfortable.

He stood up and walked over to his closet. They were nice clothes, but they all fit into a particular mode. He pushed the hangers aside one by one. White shirt. Blue shirt. Pastel shirt. All of them button fronts. Then cardigans. One after another. Trousers and corduroys. Tweed jackets. Two business suits his parents had bought him for interviews. At least one of them was sleeker and more modern.

“They’re all Lawrence. All of them,” he muttered. He rested his forehead in one hand, massaging his scalp with his fingers to try to stall the oncoming headache. His eyes opened wide. “Maybe…”

He went back to the desk, trying to stay calm, and pulled out his laptop. Two quick searches and he’d found it: what good-looking fashion models could do with a cardigan. It wasn’t Lawrence at all. That was good. But could Rory pull it off? He was no top model.

He looked back at his closet. “Better than locking myself into being Lawrence again all year.” He combed his fingers back through his hair and closed his eyes again. “I can do this. I can choose to be Rory.”

Purchase

Torquere Press

Becoming Rory Square

Meet the Author

Ashavan Doyon spends his days working with students as part of the student affairs staff at a liberal arts college. During lunch, evenings, and when he can escape the grasp of his husband on weekends, he writes, pounding out words day after day in hopes that his ancient typewriter-trained fingers won’t break the glass on his tablet computer. Ashavan is an avid science fiction and fantasy fan and prefers to write while listening to music that fits the mood of his current story. He has no children, having opted instead for the companionship of two beautiful and thoroughly spoiled pugs. A Texan by birth, he currently lives in New England, and frequently complains of the weather.

Ashavan went to school at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, getting his degree in Russian and East European Studies, with a focus in language and literature. He has two incomplete manuscripts from college that he goes back compulsively to fiddle with every so often, but is still not happy with either of them. He still loves fantasy and science fiction and reads constantly in the moments between writing stories.

Ashavan loves to hear from readers and can be reached at ashavandoyon@gmail.com.

Social Media Links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Website

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win an eBook copy of Becoming Rory

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2