A MelanieM Review: Undercover Boyfriend (One Fine Day #1) by Jacob Z. Flores

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Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

Undercover BoyfriendTwo men, one lie, and a whole bunch of trouble.

Marty Valdez is in serious trouble. His sister’s wedding is around the corner, and everyone expects to meet Marty’s super-successful underwear model boyfriend—whom Marty invented. Now Marty has to produce a half-naked hottie or suffer the worst humiliation of his life.

FBI agent Luke Myers is in serious trouble. He’s been working undercover to take down a dangerous drug cartel, but his cover’s blown and he needs to disappear. Luckily, a geeky yet intriguing comic book artist gives him the perfect opportunity. Luke just has to pretend to be his boyfriend, and pretending is what he does best. But between Marty’s mother and his ex, Luke might’ve bitten off more than he can chew, and Marty’s knack for finding trouble might ruin more than just his sister’s wedding.

Undercover Boyfriend by Jacob Z. Flores is a perfect example why I love this series.  It takes the Harlequin type plot and romance, gives it a M/M couple and then elevates it again with characters I adored, a plot that, while you couldn’t expect to take it seriously all the time, was just real enough to believe in, and a ending to keep you smiling hours after you put the book/Kindle/Nook down.

Another huge plus?  The author is making it into a series. Win win.

Like the blurb, you have to start the review with the characters and Marty Valdez.  Oh Marty.  Marty has spent his life running away from things by creating fake people to help him out of situations, from playdates in childhood he wanted to avoid to his sister’s wedding now that he has to attend with a boyfriend he’s made up.  Fake friends have always worked before but now he has to produce.  In other  hands, Marty would come off perhaps unlikable, sad even but in Jacob Z. Flores’s characterization, you get Marty.  You understand him, and he’s so darn cute and funny and easy to love….well, you’re on his side immediately.  And you just know he’s the type to fall into the trouble walking around the corner.

That’s Luke Myers, the FBI agent deep undercover.  Luke is a character that Flores uses to play off Marty to perfection and I liked the way he comes alive within the Valdez household.  We get a 2 person pov  here, one being Luke’s and that works well for both furthering our connection to the characters and moving the storyline along quickly.

Yes, back to the plot.  The drug cartel.  That’s never forgotten, as it could have been here.  It slithers along, like a deadly little threat to their growing romance, poking up here and there to remind us of its presence.  Loved that effect and its smash bang blowup was thrilling. *fans*

So, this book has it all for me.  A great couple, wonderful romance, and a thriller to boot.  And we are getting a new series out of it too.  I can’t wait for the next book to be released.  Want a new romance?  Need a new couple to root for and fall in love with?  Pick up Undercover Boyfriend by Jacob Z. Flores.  I highly recommend it.  Then join me in waiting for the next story in the series.

Cover art by Paul Richmond is great.  I can see that being Luke Myers.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, Dreamspun Desires #12, 236 pages
Published June 15th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press, LLC
Original TitleUndercover Boyfriend
ISBN 1634771508 (ISBN13: 9781634771504)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOne Fine Day #1
CharactersMarty Valdez, Luke Myers settingSan Antonio, Texas (United States)

Other Editions (2)
Undercover Boyfriend (Dreamspun Desires Book 12)
Undercover Boyfriend (One Fine Day, #1)

Enjoy Science Fiction? Check out Save Jake Venice by Asher Oswald (Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Save Jake Venice 1000x400

Title: Save Jake Venice

Author: Asher Oswald

Publisher: Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date: 7/27/16

Heat Level : 2

Pairing: male/male

Length: 10,000 words

Genre:Gay Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel

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Save Jake Venice Cover

Synopsis

When I heard Jake Venice had taken his life, I felt like I died with him. Suffocated by the fluff and fakeness of the plastic faces at his funeral, all I wanted to do was join him…wherever he was now.

I woke up the next morning with one last chance. Somehow, I was put ten days back, and I had one shot to try and save Jake. I drove across the country to find him, but when I did…How do you convince someone to hold on who’s already let go? How do you bring light to someone committed to the darkness? I have ten days to try.

Excerpt

No call from Jake. No call from the mechanics. As I take out my wallet to check on what cash I have left, the piece of paper falls out. It’s crinkled now. I unfold it.

One shot.

I look up and close my eyes, then stare at the words again. The future I remember seems like the dream now.

Did Jake really kill himself? Did I just dream it, and drove all the way out here only to be reminded of his rejection? But it was so real. I can’t abandon him in his darkness.

I fold the piece of paper back up and put it in my wallet.

 

Early evening and I’m back at the coffee shop, ordering my mocha and a ham sandwich. The barista grins, “The usual, huh?”

I already have a usual.

He’s mixing my drink as I catch his attention, “Do you know a Jake Venice?”

He looks at me sideways, “Is that, like, some kind of drink?”

“No, it’s a guy. He comes in here sometimes, I think. Glasses, goatee.”

The barista laughs, “That’s 90% of the dudes that come in here, man. Sorry.”

“He said he plays piano at some club around here on weeknights…any idea of where that might be?”

The barista swirls whipped cream onto my mocha and hands it to me, “That could be a lot of places. Check out the board by the door—customers put up posters and stuff there.” He hands me my sandwich, “Have a nice day.”

I devour my usual and then take a look at the large corkboard by the door. Posters and advertisements, one on top of the other, desperately vie for attention.

Despite all the screaming ads, an image catches my eye: Jake in a tux by a piano. He’s trying to look relaxed as a lounge singer, but his natural stiffness shines through even here.

Danny McGee’s Piano Bar in downtown…” I mumble to myself, fingers quivering as I punch the address into my phone. Perfect. It’s only a few minutes from the motel, just over the Potomac.

A cold wind picks up outside the bar, blowing my black jacket about and herding people inside for refuge. The fevered weather of the last few days is leaving.

Across the front, in bright cartoon letters, glows Danny McGee’s. Amplified piano reverberates from the walls, and my heart begins to pound. Another gale blows down the street, and the sky vomits rain. I flee for the doorway.

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Torquere Press

Save Jake Venice SquareMeet the Author

Asher Oswald hails from the cool, coniferous shores of Lake Superior. Raised on the boreal beauty of the North and long winter nights, Asher writes to penetrate the heart of the human experience, to lay bare its beauty as well as its anguish. To escape his own thoughts and inspire them, he enjoys hiking the North Woods, playing piano, and traveling the world to add to his growing collection of experiences.

 

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Asher-Oswald-1520340201628654/
Twitter: twitter.com/asheroswald
Blog: asheroswald.wordpress.com
Tumblr:
asheroswald.tumblr.com

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Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win an eBook copy of Save Jake Venice.

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A Jeri Release Day Review: The Boy Next Door by Kate McMurray

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

The Boy Next Door 2Lowell hasn’t been back to his home town in 20 years. But after his abusive father dies, he feels the need to be there to care for his mother. So he goes from being an out and proud single gay man in Manhattan to the “only” gay man in a fairly conservative town. And then he finds out that he bought the house next door to his former childhood friend and crush.

Jase is in his childhood home raising his daughter after a pretty bitter divorce. A divorce brought on by the fact that he couldn’t deny the fact that he was gay any longer. But his ex-wife doesn’t want their daughter exposed to any of the men that could be in Jase’s life. So he sticks to one offs when he does to gay bars in the city. But then Lowell moved in next door.

I was a bit disbelieving that Lowell didn’t recognize that the house he bought was next door to his former childhood friend’s house. But, ok.  Although awkward at first, they quickly fell back into the friendship they had as kids. When Jase could no longer deny his attraction, things heated up. Quickly. But he was staying firmly in the closet.

One of the things I really liked about this book is the everyday adult issues that came up.  Kids, ex wives, hating your job, sick parents, etc. So often books just kind of gloss over real life things. I want to yell “what about your job?” “do you grocery shop?” Silly. But true. The author dealt with these things without them being silly filler.

Lowell and Jase were really hot AND sweet together and seeing Lowell with Jase’s daughter was heart melting. Some of the things that keep my rating at 3 stars:  Lowell basically is like a puppy waiting for Jase. They fight, break up, Lowell takes him right back. I also think it is pretty unrealistic that Jase was in the closet with even his closest friends. And while this could have been a HEA, we really just get a happily for now…

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson has created a new cover that is perfect for the storyline.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 200 pages
Expected publication: July 22nd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published January 25th 2011)
Original TitleThe Boy Next Door
ISBN 1634773829 (ISBN13: 9781634773829)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Paul B Review: Third Mate (River Wolf Pack #3) by Rebecca James

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Third MateThe third book in the River Wolf series is crafted into a well written episode of what could be a popular soap opera.  Ms. James has expanded the role of minor characters from her previous books while still weaving in the major characters from them as well.  If you are looking for romance, jealousy, triangle romances, office politics and strong family ties, this book has it for you.

The main focus of the book is the romance and friendships between Leo, an alpha wolf shifter trying to get ahead in pack hierarchy, Sam, a rogue omega wolf who lost his pack due to hunters, and Foster, a coyote shifter who has gotten separated from his pack.  Leo really does not want to be bothered with taking on an omega as a mate.  However, his hormones seem to be telling him otherwise when he is around Sam, the rogue omega he has been assigned to assimilate into the pack.  Sam meanwhile enjoys his friendship with Foster while secretly wanting Leo.  But Sam thinks Leo is into Foster.  Foster is under the assumption that Leo lusts after Sam and is trying to do everything to get Sam to realize it.  If he cannot have the hunky alpha wolf, he wants his best friend to have a shot at him. 

Meanwhile Stone is causing all sorts of trouble in the pack, as usual.  He is trying to mate as many pack members as possible and has his eyes set on Sam.  Jax is beginning to realize that he will never want to convert to a werewolf and fears his time with the pack second David is coming to an end.  Elsewhere, pack members are grumbling that First Alpha River and his half werewolf First Omega Josiah had twin girls six months ago, the first girls to be born to werewolves at least in recent memory.  River ignoring the complaints have only made the matter worse.  While the main antagonist in the werewolf-human congress is gone, relations between the two species are still tenuous at best.  Can River keep his new family and his pack from forces both inside and outside the pack?

I love the characters in this series.  Josiah being half were and new to the pack leads to his continued insecurity.  His focus as lead omega, his mate and his young girls are the only things that ground him.  But they also feed his insecurity because of the looks he gets.  Sam and Foster are trying to make new starts for themselves but some inside the pack do not like strangers, whether were or human.  Foster still longs to find his true mate.  This affects his relationship to not only Sam and Leo but also to the pack as a whole.  The decisions made at the end of the book serve as a conclusion and a new beginning for the men (and girls) of River Wolf pack.  I highly recommend this book and the previous books as well. 

The cover by Written Ink Designs serves the book well.  It has three shirtless men on the top half while a pack of wolves dominates the bottom half.  The only quibble I have with the cover is that one of the main characters in the book is a coyote shifter.  I know wolves and coyotes probably would not peacefully coexist in the real world, but there might have been a way to represent Foster’s other half.

Sales LinksJMS Books | ARe | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords |Bookstrand | Kobo | iTunes

Book Details:

ebook, 176 pages
Published July 16th 2016 by JMS Books
ISBN139781634861205
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series:  River Wolf Pack

First Omega (River Wolf Pack #1)

The River Wolf Pack is Back with Third Mate by Rebecca James (Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Third Mate Banner

Title: Third Mate

Author: Rebecca James

Series Title and Number: River Wolf Pack Series, 3

Publisher: JMS_Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Release Date: July 16th

Heat Level: 5

Pairing: Male/Male and Male/Male/Male

Length: 176 pages

Genre/Tags: poly, contemporary, paranormal (wolf-shifters), M/M and M/M/M romance, paranormal romance

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Synopsis

After the birth of River and Josiah’s twin girls, pack tensions increase. The presence of rogue wolves, females, and humans have many pack members uncomfortable. In exchange for Leo’s help, Stone offers Leo the position of second alpha should Stone succeed in usurping River. Leo’s conflicted between his desire to rise in the pack, his dislike for Stone, and his increasing feelings for both Sam and Foster. Sam and Foster are best friends, but as a coyote shifter, Foster yearns for his true mate and doesn’t believe he will find him if he stays with the werewolves. Jax knows he must make a difficult decision before he’s turned out of the compound. When David finds out Brooks is considering mating Stone, he determines to stop it. The Angel Hills pack offer a deal in exchange for omegas for their pack.

Excerpt

Stone’s sharp, deep voice cut into Leo’s thoughts, and he turned his attention to the front where the contentious alpha had already begun arguing his points.

“…no place for females. Do they even have any werewolf in them?”

“Of course they do; they’re mine. They are developing as quickly as any werewolf child.” River said more calmly than Leo would have under the scrutiny of so many condemning eyes.

“But have they shifted?” someone asked.

“Not yet. You know as well as I do that they could be a year old before they shift.”

If they shift,” Stone muttered. “And most do by seven months.”

“If they don’t shift,” someone else said, “they aren’t werewolves. They’ll have to leave.”

“They don’t belong here.” Stone stood, feet apart and hands on hips. Justin, Stone’s pregnant omega, cowered in submission at the sound of Stone’s displeased voice. His three beta mates sat with eyes downcast, although Leo saw Canaan glance up more than once. There was something shrewd and calculating about Canaan, and although Leo felt sorry for him after his son was killed, it didn’t make it any easier to like him.

“As my children, they certainly do belong here, as yours do, and the progeny of everyone else present,” River said, tone brooking no argument.

Stone made a frustrated sound and looked around, eyes landing on Griffin, an alpha of Stone’s age.

Griffin stood. “Your own father drove your mate’s father from the pack for having relations with a human female.”

“My father did not drive him out. Derrick was punished—told he couldn’t leave the compound. But he ran away.”

“This is true,” Old Ben called out.

“The fact remains that Thorn did not approve of the boy’s actions,” Griffin argued. “He didn’t invite Derrick to bring his female lover into the pack because females don’t belong with werewolves.”

“I don’t know what you’re getting at,” River said with a sigh. “I am not attempting to bring a female among us. My daughters were born to me, and are therefore a part of this pack.”

Before Griffin could speak again, Stone interrupted. “Which wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t mated with the half-human, which you did without consulting the pack.”

“Josiah is a werewolf,” River said. “And I do not need to consult my pack before mating.”

Half-werewolf,” Stone corrected. “Unlike someone who willingly takes the bite and transforms, your mate will always be part human. Which is why he spawned twin abominations—”

In two steps, River crossed the room and had Stone’s neck between his hands, thumbs cutting off the alpha’s air flow. Leo glanced at the humans. Several flinched, and others looked horrified.

“Don’t you ever,” River breathed heavily into Stone’s purpling face, “ever speak of my mate or children in that manner again. Am I clear?”

Stone’s eyes bulged and his mouth gaped as he tried to dislodge River’s grip. Leo stood, along with the other alphas in the room. As pack alpha, River had the right to kill Stone for such an insult, and Leo found himself almost hoping River would. He got the feeling Stone’s mates felt similarly.

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Meet the Author

logoRebecca James has written all her life, mostly to entertain herself and friends. An English major, she currently writes as a second job but would love to do it full-time. Her first book came out in October of 2015. Since then, she’s written both contemporary and paranormal and hopes to put out a sci-fi book soon.

She’s fortunate to have a husband who supports her in her writing career, three wonderful children, and a rat-terrier.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

 

Tour Schedule

7/16 Alpha Book Club

7/16 Molly Lolly

7/17 Bayou Book Junkie

7/18 MM Good Book Reviews

7/18 Purple Rose Teahouse

7/19 Inked Rainbow Reads

7/19 Divine Magazine

7/20 The Novel Approach

7/21 Prism Book Alliance

7/22 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

7/23 3 Chicks After Dark

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Rafflecopter Prize: FIVE winners will be selected to win an eBook copy of their choice of any book in the River Wolf Pack series and ONE lucky person will win all three!

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