A MelanieM Release Day Review: Stranded with Desire by Vivien Dean and Rick R. Reed

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

perf4.250x7.000.inddWhen their plane crashed, their desire took flight.

CEO Maine Braxton and his invaluable assistant, Colby, don’t realize they share a deep secret: they’re in love—with each other. That secret may have never come to light but for a terrifying plane crash in the Cascade Mountains that changes everything.

In a struggle for survival, the two men brave bears, storms, and a life-threatening flood to make it out of the wilderness alive. The proximity to death makes them realize the importance of love over propriety. Confessions emerge. Passions ignite. They escape the wilds renewed and openly in love.

When they return to civilization, though, forces are already plotting to snuff out their short-lived romance and ruin everything both have worked so hard to achieve.

In Stranded with Desire by Vivien Dean and Rick R. Reed the familiar and often loved trope addressed with the plot is the boss/employee romance, starting off with the employee crushing hard on the oblivious boss.  The boss or CEO in this case is Maine Braxton, gorgeous, hardworking who is currently under siege at his company and job. But that mystery is a thread that runs through the book and its a lovely one that we don’t jump into immediately.  The second part of the romance?  That would be Maine’s man Friday, Colby.   Someone who has made himself invaluable to Maine, right down to helping the man and his fiancé plan their honeymoon and parts of their wedding.  Right.  His boss is getting married.  Something that breaks Colby’s heart even as he hides it from the man he has grown to love.

Then comes a plan crash.  And this part of the book is just terrific.  The authors handle both the crash and the fight for survival with remarkable feeling and an ability to connect the readers with the couple that you really feel their desperation and vulnerability out in the wild.  All of which is a good thing because as much as I liked Colby, Maine was a character I was having a hard time getting into.  And some of that still continued throughout the novel, although this section helped tremendously. Colby is everything I love in a main character.  Charming, self depreciating, easy to fall in love with Colby.  His boss?  That’s the question.

The odd thing is that I can’t exactly pinpoint why I couldn’t connect with their romance and Maine.  It wasn’t his closeted status or confusion over his sexuality.  Maybe I felt he lacked a certain amount of depth the  other characters in the stories had, including his fiancé Helen. Who contrary to most stories, was a lovely person, understanding and layered. I love it when authors write the other “women” in the mens lives as complete, believable people.  In many ways I liked her better than Maine.

There were some other issues here,  a rescue that was more than a tad unrealistic but given some of the other Dreamspun Desires story lines, I felt that sort of fell into the genre and was in keeping with the overall romance tale I was expecting. Stranded with Desire by Vivien Dean and Rick R. Reed is, in short, a lovely, sweet contemporary romance in the style of the stories everyone used to gobble up by the dozens.  We have our beloved trope turned M/M romance, a mystery thread, and a happy if for now ending.  Its a light hearted, quick read.  And that too is exactly what I remember from those stories as well.  If this is what you are looking for this summer, pick up Stranded with Desire by Vivien Dean and Rick R. Reed and get started reading today.

Cover artist Paul Richmond again does a wonderful job with both branding the Dreamspun Desires  series and the novel with parts of the storyline.  Love it.

 

Sales Links

              

 

Book Details:

ebook, 228 pages
Expected publication: August 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634772563 (ISBN13: 9781634772563)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL

An Alisa Release Day Review: Never Lose Your Flames by Frances Gideon

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

 

Never Lose Your FlamesCop-turned-bounty-hunter Gabe Dominguez is hired to capture firestarter Nat Wyatt. For a dragon-shifter like Gabe, apprehending Nat is easy, but transporting him involves more time, energy, and blood loss than he envisioned. An attack from a band of fairies, an out-of-control forest fire, and a showdown at an auction don’t faze Gabe, but Nat’s innocence might stop him entirely.

Since discovering his abilities, Nat’s lost a best friend, a boyfriend, and trust in his brother. Only his love of concerts and card games get him through life without a home. Rumors of the Judge, a giant dragon who once destroyed half of Canada avenging those he loved, provide Nat with hope of vindication. When Nat discovers his captor is the Judge, he thinks he’s finally caught a break. Through late-night conversations and a shared love of music, Nat tries to convince Gabe he’s not guilty.

Can Gabe continue his cutthroat lifestyle, or will he run away with his dragon hoard like he’s always longed to do? Can Nat escape his legacy, or will his be another spark snuffed out by people who don’t understand? The Oracle, the most powerful wizard in Canada, might be the only one who can provide answers.

 

This was my first book by Francis Gideon and I loved it.  Gabe thinks that capturing Nat will be easy, but soon learns there is a lot more to his story.  Nat has been running from his brother since he discovered his abilities.

 

Gabe isn’t sure what to think of Nat, no matter what evidence his boss feeds him.  They both share their pasts with each other which goes a long way towards earning each other’s trust.  Working together to save others and solve the mystery of why Gabe’s boss wants Nat brings them even closer together.

 

In this story I could feel how confused Gabe was.  Nothing he was being given about Nat was adding up to the man he was with.  I loved Nat and felt horrible that even when things were going well for him he was resigned to the fact that he would be going back to his brother no matter what while Gabe had resigned himself to a life alone without happiness.  Gabe’s friendships with the others in the story really goes a long way towards humanizing him a bit because he tries to keep himself so closed off.  I loved these characters and the different premise of this story.

 

Cover art by AngstyG is great and eye-catching.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 310 pages

Published: August 1, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634775410

Edition Language: English

Release Day for ‘Counting Daisies’ by Nicola Haken (Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Title: Counting Daisies
Author: Nicola Haken
Genre: MM Romance
Release Date: August 1, 2016

Dylan Roberts and Cameron O’Neil were good kids. Growing up together, they shared everything. By the age of fourteen they were more than best friends – they were in love. They dreamt of their future, of success, marriage…happiness. They were going to grow old by each other’s side.
But… “Kids are stupid.”
When tragic circumstances forced them apart, Dylan discovered that life wasn’t the fairytale he dreamed of; it was dark, difficult, saturated with pain and shame. Life wasn’t meant to be enjoyed, merely survived, but even that became a challenge.
Damaged, worthless, and disgusting, he saw no point to his pitiful existence…
Until he came face to face with the boy he used to love.
Successful, honourable, and happy, Cameron had achieved the future they planned. He was good, positive, popular…everything Dylan would never be. What would happen if Dylan let him back into his world? Would he destroy Cameron too? Would his poison push him away like everyone else?
“Everybody leaves.”
“They leave or they die.”
But what if…what if Cameron didn’t?

“This is a deep and powerful book with the main theme which is refreshing less about the path of a relationship and way more about the real life gritty obstacles that come on the way of their HEA.” – Reader Review

 


 

“This book was phenomenal. I cried so many tears. Story was heart breaking and heartwarming all at the same time.” – SiKReviews

 

 

 

“This was a beautifully crafted story of friendship, love, bonds, addictive behaviour and heartache. It was hugely emotional in parts, and Nicola doesn’t hold back.” – 2 Girls & Their Kindles


He clung to my shirt, his knuckles turning white. “Make it s-stop.” 
“I…I don’t know how.”
Fuck this. Fuck heroin. Why the hell would someone do this to themselves? I’d never seen this level of pain before that hadn’t resulted in death, and even that was only on TV. 
Dylan sobbed into my chest and I held him while he did. My arms were all I had to offer. He remained so cold despite my palms rubbing up and down his back, and he was dirty, too – dried up vomit sticking to his skin and hair. I’d never felt so helpless in all my life.
Needing to do something, anything, I climbed to my feet, lifting his body with me. “Come on,” I encouraged, struggling to take his weight on my own. “Try and walk for me.”
He whimpered and mumbled but made little effort to move. So, sliding one arm behind his thighs, I scooped him up like a baby, carrying him towards the bath. He clung to my neck, his grip weak, while I turned on the water. I turned the temperature down to barely warm, worried the heat might burn his shivering skin, before lowering him into the bathtub, under the fine spray of the shower. 
His muscles twitched and his eyes closed as he hugged his knees to his scrawny chest. Taking a sponge and some shower-gel, I scrubbed softly up and down his trembling body, gently manoeuvring his arms and legs when needed so I could clean every inch of him.
“I’m tired, Cam,” he barely whispered, dropping his head to the side.
My heart ached, like it was trapped inside a vice that was trying to crush its ability to beat, as I lathered some shampoo into his fair hair. “You can sleep soon. Nearly done.” 
I tried not to cry as I massaged his scalp. I wanted to be strong, but I’d never felt more vulnerable. Removing the showerhead from the hook on the wall, I hovered it over his head, rinsing away the tea-tree scented suds, before doing the same to the rest of his skin. After shutting the water off, I grabbed a large towel from the heated rail next to the toilet and rubbed it over his skin in the bathtub before lifting him out and doing the same to his back.
“I-I can’t d-do it anymore,” Dylan cried as I wound my arm around his waist, urging him to take a step.
“You are doing it. It’s almost over.” I had no idea if my words were the truth, but I had to hope they were for both of our sakes. Honestly, I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore either.
Nicola lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children (six if you include the dog and cat!) She is the author the author of the m/m romance Souls of the Knight series, and is currently working on a standalone with new boys, James and Theo, due for release early 2016. When she is not busy playing with her imaginary book friends (or talking about them with real life friends!) she can usually be found carrying out her ordinary mum/housewife/all round slave duties. Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they’re sleeping…

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Love Contemporary Romance? Check out ‘Far from Home (Belladonna Ink #1)’ by Lorelie Brown (a Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway)

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Far from Home (Belladonna Ink #1) by Lorelie Brown
R
iptide Publishing
Cover Art by L.C. Chase
Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lorelie Brown here today to share a little about herself and her latest release, Far from Home. Welcome, Lorelie.  

  • Describe yourself, your favorite character and your book, each in 5 words or less.

(Five words or less is such a challenge! It reminds me of my honors English teacher in high school, who used to make us describe Shakespeare plays in 25 words or less. Except harder.)

Lorelie Brown, myself: Author, mother, loved, runner, knitter.

My favorite character right now is Rachel from Far From Home: Demi-sexual, anorexic, anxious, broken, lonely.

(Wow. Um. I promise that this is a fun, slightly snarky read despite that description of Rachel. I mean, all that is true, but…No, really, it’s a charming book. For reals.)

My book, Far From Home from Riptide Publishing, which has gotten starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist: Lesbian, romance, marriage of convenience.

(I win! I did it!)

(I’m sure no one will notice these extra words. Words don’t count if they’re parenthetical asides, right?)

About Far From Home

My name is Rachel. I’m straight . . . I think. I also have a mountain of student loans and a smart mouth. I wasn’t serious when I told Pari Sadashiv I’d marry her. It was only party banter! Except Pari needs a green card, and she’s willing to give me a breather from drowning in debt.

My off-the-cuff idea might not be so terrible. We get along as friends. She’s really romantically cautious, which I find heartbreaking. She deserves someone to laugh with. She’s kind. And calm. And gorgeous. A couple of years with her actually sounds pretty good. If some of Pari’s kindness and calm rubs off on me, that’d be a bonus, because I’m a mess—anorexia is not a pretty word—and my little ways of keeping control of myself, of the world, aren’t working anymore.

And if I slip up, Pari will see my cracks. Then I’ll crack. Which means I gotta get out, quick, before I fall in love with my wife.

This title is part of the Belladonna Ink universe.

About Lorelie Brown

After a seminomadic childhood throughout California, Lorelie Brown spent high school in Orange County before joining the US Army. After traveling the world from South Korea to Italy, she now lives north of Chicago. She writes her Pacific Blue series of hot surfers in order to channel some warmth.

Lorelie has three active sons, two yappy dogs, and a cat who cusses her out on a regular basis for not petting him enough.

In her immense free time (hah!) Lorelie cowrites award-winning contemporary erotic romance under the name Katie Porter. You can find out more about the Vegas Top Guns and Command Force Alpha series at www.KatiePorterBooks.com or at @MsKatiePorter. You can also contact Lorelie on Twitter @LorelieBrown.

Connect with Lorelie:

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Far From Home, Lorelie is giving away a ring! That’s right, a size 7 ring, similar to the one Pari buys for Rachel in the book. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 6, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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Cover Reveal for Lord of a Thousand Steps (Love in Laguna #4) by Tara Lain (Cover Reveal and Excerpt)

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Lord of a Thousand Steps
(Love in Laguna #4)
by Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.
Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.
When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.
Release Date: 
August 31st 2016
Pre-order at 
Also in paperback
Excerpt

Max slapped his shoulder. “Everything okay, Carney?”

“Uh, yes. Thanks.” He steadied his glass to keep from spilling, looked up as Braden Lord stepped next to him, and proceeded to slosh champagne all over Lord’s elegant, European leather shoes. “Oh God, I’m so sorry.”

Max slapped him again. Maybe a couple too many drinky poos there. “My fault. Totally my fault. Braden has more shoes, right, Bray?”

“Yes, not a problem.” Braden smiled at Ian. Up close, that face looked a little less pretty but even more interesting, with crinkles around his eyes like from laughter—and pain. “Need more champagne?”

“Oh, I guess I better not. It seems like I can’t handle it.”

“Something else, then?” Lord looked in his eyes.

Whoa, what an offer. Get your mind out of your boxer briefs, idiot. “No thanks. I guess I should go soon.”

Max leaned toward him. “How’s your boyfriend’s father?”

“Uh, I don’t know.” Did he sound as pathetic as he felt? “I mean, the cell service isn’t great.”

“Oh, I heard it had gotten so much better the last couple years.”

“I guess not.”

Lord put a hand on his shoulder. “No, I’ve had cell problems in Mexico. It can be spotty. Probably worse if you’re in a hospital.”

As the heat from Braden’s hand seeped through his cheap sports coat, Ian half wanted to cry and half to kiss Braden Lord. Right, Rico was in a hospital. He couldn’t use the phone. Shit, why hadn’t he thought of that? “Thank you.”

“For what?” Lord smiled softly. He knows what.

“Reminding me that I should leave him a message he can read when he goes home. Thanks again. I better go. I have school tomorrow.” He shook the hands of the two clients he’d been chatting with. “I hope to see you again. You’re in great hands with Lord and Kendrick.” He turned. “Max, I’ll see you Monday.” He turned back to Braden but looked at his feet. “Sorry again. I hope I didn’t stain your shoes.”

“Nothing to worry about.”

Look up, dummy. He plastered on a smile and met Braden’s deep sea-blue eyes. “Thanks again for inviting me. Honored.” You can drown in the sea.

“Glad you could come.” Lord’s face looked friendly, sympathetic, and—what? Disappointed?

Shit. Give me one chance to impress, and I’ll spill something every time. Holy fuckhole, how does a guy get that gorgeous? “Night.”

Max said, “Don’t you need a ride?”

“Nah, thanks. The office is close and my car’s there.” He waved and practically ran to the door of Antonio’s. Outside, the nightly drop in temperature slapped his face. Had he been flirting with the boss? Hell, the boss’s boss? Nah. Just shitting on his shoes.

Love in Laguna Series

 

 

Available for purchase at
              

 

Paperback from Dreamspinner 
Available for purchase at 
 
              
Paperback from Dreamspinner
Available for purchase at
                 

 

You can order the paperback here.
 




 

 

 
About the Author

 

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

 

You can find Tara at Lain
               
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Cover Reveal for His Premier by Jessie G (Excerpt)

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Book Title: His Premier

Author: Jessie G

Series: Sizzling Miami

Release Date: September 20, 2016

 

synopsis

Born into wealth and privilege, Colin Sinclair was raised on the knowledge that money could buy anything and everyone had a price. Trouble was no trouble at all, not when the money was there to sweep it under the rug. But those lessons, learned at the knee of his father, were going to be challenged in a way that would change Colin forever.

In middle class suburbia, Arnaud Dechene learned the value of hard work, focus, and dedication to a dream. He was well on his way to achieving it, the role of Premier, when he catches Colin’s eye. Rich snobs didn’t usually do it for him, but there was something about Colin that made him impossible to resist.

Despite being opposites in every way, falling into a relationship was surprisingly—and deceptively—easy, but Arnaud never lost sight of his dream and Colin had trouble accepting that he was second place to anything. When a stupid argument leads to a reckless act, the repercussions leave Arnaud fighting for his life and Colin paying with his own.

With a little meddling from an aging schemer and intentions that are more well-meaning than realistic, their paths will cross again. However, Colin and Arnaud aren’t the same men who loved with abandon. They are older and wiser, with a history that might be too big to overcome.

Fans of the series know revenge is a double-edged sword, forgiveness doesn’t always come easy, and forgetting is damn near impossible. But love…well, that may just conquer all.

Except

“You’re looking a little green over there.” Arnaud shifted in his seat and looked at him seriously. “I kind of thought, hoped, that maybe we were ready. I think I’m ready. Are you?”

Ready? Colin spared a glance at the erection straining against the zipper of his slacks and then looked at Arnaud. “I want you, if that’s what you’re asking. Is that what you mean?”

“That’s exactly what I mean.” Arnaud followed his gaze and licked his lips like he was anticipating getting a taste. That natural sensuality never failed to hit him right in the balls.

Were they actually going to do this? Another glance at his seductive passenger and Colin knew they were, but he didn’t just want to find a room and fuck. He wanted the romance and if that made him a sap, well he’d be a sap for Arnaud.

“I had a whole, uh, romantic night planned. Not that, I wouldn’t presume, but we can definitely, uh, add that.” In some circles, he was considered sophisticated, calm, and stoic. In Arnaud’s orbit, he was a stumbling, bumbling buffoon, and his soon-to-be lover smiled at him adoringly.

With a flutter of his eyelashes, Arnaud placed a hand over his heart and gave a dramatic sigh. “Why, Colin Sinclair, are you courting me?”

On anyone else, that practiced act would have annoyed him. Why he ate it up when Arnaud did it was just another question in the long list of things he found endearing about this one specific man. “I was definitely trying. How am I doing?”

All traces of teasing eased, replaced with that adoring look Colin was becoming addicted to. With another sigh, this one definitely heartfelt and real, Arnaud leaned in and kissed him gently on the cheek. How was that hot? Christ, this man just did it for him on all levels.

“I think I’m falling in love with you, Colin. That’s how you’re doing.”

Right then, Colin knew he would do anything, jump through any hoops, and rearrange his whole life to be the man Arnaud Dechene, soon to be famous dancer, loved. “I think I’m falling in love with you too.”

© 2016 Jessie G Books, Inc. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jessie G and Jessie G Books, Inc.

 

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Sizzling Miami Series (5 Book Series)

Sizzling Miami Series

 

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Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: To be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and counting, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters and series filled with families, biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.

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