A Paul B Review: Cosmo (Demon Elite 3) by April Kelley

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

CosmoCosmo Ruckman is the youngest member of the Demon Elite squad.  He takes on a sense of pride that he is using his skills in breaking and entering for the good guys now.   But his criminal past has been keeping him from the one thing he desires, Agency intelligence chief Derek Kyle.  Since the Demon Elite squad has broken away from the Agency, he no longer has to withstand the looks of contempt from Derek that a criminal is actually working for the government.  Much to his chagrin, Cosmo receives his next assignment—breaking into Derek’s house and office to prove or disprove that he is working with their ex-boss, Victoria Mize, in her sex trafficking ring.

Derek Kyle knows his boss is crooked, but he just can’t prove it.  To complicate matters, members of his team are missing in action.  He wonders how Justin goes about making leading the Demon Elite squad so easy.  Derek feels that it is the sense of family that the squad enjoys.  One night, he is alerted that his office computer is being accessed.  He goes to check out the situation and finds the cute break in artiest from Demon Elite Cosmo is the culprit.  Faced with a decision of what to do with the man, he decides to join Cosmo in breaking into his boss’s house whether Cosmo likes it or not. 

With the information they find, the two groups decide to rescue the brother of one of Derek’s team.  He is being held by Mize to blackmail Raven into working for her.  Disappointed that Raven didn’t come to him, Derek decides that while he is good at investigations, he sucks at leadership.  While waiting for backup to raid the warehouse where they suspect Raven’s brother is being held, they hear a scream, prompting them to move in before they are ready.  Entering the building, they quickly realize that they are outgunned.  They will have to survive until reinforcements arrive.  But will they live that long?

This is the third book in the Demon Elite series.  I find myself engulfed in this series.  While I can follow most of the action, there are pieces that I am missing as this is a spin-off from another series by the author.  However, I feel I l know most of the characters anyway.  The miscommunication between Cosmo and Derek leads Cosmo to think Derek couldn’t possibly be interested.  Derek meanwhile would never have gone after Cosmo while they were working at the Agency even without his shady past.  Only when Germ gives Derek the information about Cosmo’s life does he realize that he might be misjudging the man.  As some have said, is it wrong to steal if you need to do so to survive?  Put into context, Derek sees the hell that Cosmo’s life was before joining the team.  Germ, as usual, provides no brain to mouth filter and provides comic relief.  I hope he finds his love soon.  I also liked how the author changed things up in that Cosmo is matched up with another member of law enforcement and not a victim that he is rescuing, like the plot of the previous two books. 

The cover by Latrisha Waters has our young Cosmo in a model like pose with a jacket and scarf.  The Demon Elite symbol is positioned in the upper right hand corner again. 

Sales Links

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Book Details

ebook, 116 pages
Published May 1st 2016 by eXtasy Books
ISBN139781487407001
Edition LanguageEnglish
Demon Elite #3

Series:  Demon Elite

A MelanieM Review: Blind Date by Kay Doherty

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Rating: 3.75 rounded up to 4 stars out of 5

Blind DateDekker Callan is content with his life though he knows something is missing. Wanting the kind of love his friends share with their partners, Dekker is talked into taking part in a modeling and dating show as part of a fundraiser. He immediately falls in love with the anonymous, sexy voice on the other side of the wall, but fate has a surprise in store–his mystery man isn’t single.

Slade Gannon wasn’t supposed to take part in the dating show. That spot was for his roommate, Phil, who becomes ill and asks Slade to take his place. Slade has just recently gone through a breakup with his cheating boyfriend, George. Shocked and pleased when he wins the interest of handsome Dekker Callan, before he can go on the obligatory blind date, his ex asks for a second chance. Believing Dekker can’t possibly be as good on the inside as he looks on the outside, Slade agrees.

Dekker and Slade hit it off immediately, drawn to each other despite Slade being involved with someone else. They finally get their opportunity to be together when Slade finds out his boyfriend is still cheating, but just as they seem to discover the happiness they’ve been waiting for, George throws them one last hurdle—and this one may prove to be insurmountable.

Blind Date by Kay Doherty was an enjoyable fun contemporary romance, that starts off with a blind date that goes incredibly right and then incredibly wrong.  What fun!

Dekker Callan’s best friend talks him into a charity modeling show and sort of Dating Game fundraiser.  I thought this was a nice element and its handled with a light and sexy touch by the author.  You don’t get to see the men just as Dekker doesn’t.  Just here their questions and listen to Dekker’s mention descriptions of their voices and how they make him feel.  Delicious.

Then comes his choice and date, Slade.  Its going well until both the reader and Dekker find out that Slade went back to his cheating ex, something that makes us all extremely unhappy.  Then the waffling begins.  Will Slade go back permanently or won’t he?  Will Dekker will out or won’t he?  Dekker is such a terrific character that its a bit of a no brainer here.  He’s charming,outgoing, owns his own Adult Toy Business.  Yes, he’s a catch.  Plus he’s gorgeous.  Slade however is someone I wished had a little more…gumption or backbone or something.  I’m not sure what exactly. But the dithering here lasted a little too  long in several passages for me to be completely on Slade’s side.  This is without spoilers.

However, love is not without bumps and larger hurdles, and this author gave this couple their fill.  They survived them, and their romance and ending came together just as it should.  I got to see Dekker happy and his Slade and that’s all that counted in the end.

Did I enjoy this story? Absolutely.  I went to check to see if there were other stories about the secondary characters here because they were so entertaining and worth their own tales.  Did I find any? No, but I hope that means that this first time author is intending to bring more stories out, starting with this circle of friends I thoroughly adored.  I can’t wait to see what Kay Doherty writes next.

Cover art is vibrant and eye-catching although a little too generic for me for the storyline.

Sales Links

NineStar Press

 

 

 

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Book Details:

ebook, 113 pages
Expected publication: August 29th 2016 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781911153757
Edition LanguageEnglish

 

An Alisa Release Day Review: Running Hot by Yolande Kleinn

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

Running HotKurt Trench loves running a successful auto repair shop with his twin sister Lena. Lately loyal customer Shane Dolan has been coming around more often, and Kurt assumes it’s because of his sister. While Kurt wouldn’t dream of coming between them, he can’t help being drawn to Shane himself…. Or thinking about him in ways he definitely shouldn’t.

One night everything changes. Kurt doesn’t reciprocate Shane’s kiss—he’s got no intention of stealing his sister’s man—but when he tells Lena what happened, she can’t believe how thick her brother is. She’s not the reason Shane’s been coming around the garage, and Kurt and Shane have more in common than a love of classic muscle cars. Now it’s on Kurt to make the next move, assuming he hasn’t blown his chance for good.

 

This was a nice short story.  Kurt is completely clueless in Shane’s attraction to him and tries as hard as he can to keep him at an arm’s length to keep from getting hurt.  Kurt desires a partner, but isn’t willing to possibly hurt his sister for that to happen.

 

Through Kurt’s eyes it is easy to see how he could have been confused in Shane’s intentions when nothing is ever said.  Lena and Shane just assume that Kurt will know what is going on but Kurt is a bit bullheaded and refuses to see what he doesn’t think is there.  Kurt’s stubbornness hurts himself more than anyone else, but he owns up to his mistakes once he realizes the truth which helped him a bit in my eyes.

 

Cover art by LC Chase is nice and works well for this story.

 

Sales Links

         

 

Book Details:

ebook, 50 pages

Published: August 10, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634775250

Edition Language: English

An Ali Release Day Review: Poison Tongue (Afflicted Souls #1) by Nash Summers

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Poison TongueLevi Bell can see a person’s soul just by looking into their eyes. In Monroe Poirier’s eyes, he sees the devil himself.

When Monroe moves back to the small Southern town of Malcome, Levi is repelled by the darkness of the stranger’s soul. But Levi is cursed to love things dark and wicked, and he’s seduced each time he looks into Monroe’s eyes—and drawn to the swamp behind the old Poirier house.

As strange occurrences begin to happen when shadows and visions visit him in the night, Levi sees a flicker of something good in Monroe’s soul. But the need to submerge himself in the swamp’s murky waters grows stronger as Levi’s desire for Monroe becomes unbearable.

In his struggles to help Monroe save his soul, Levi will have to decide if it’s worth losing his own.

There’s not much I love more than a good gothic romance and this book made me very happy. The author did a great job of setting the atmosphere in this story. There are all the things a good Southern gothic should have.  A creepy, decaying house, an even more creepy swamp, terrible nightmares. a curse, a supernatural presence and a love interest that may be evil himself.
Despite Levi’s struggles with the ever increasing dreams of his own demise he still can’t stay away from Monroe.  Monroe is hated by the entire town and he is bullied and picked on.  Levi doesn’t know much about what happened when Monroe lived there before but he knows that Monroe’s soul is covered in black and that no matter what common sense tells him, he can’t stay away.  He doesn’t know if he’ll be Monroe’s salvation or if Monroe will lead him to his doom.  Most of the time he finds he doesn’t care.
The storytelling and pacing were excellent and I was on the edge of my seat for the entire book.  It wasn’t scary per se but it kept me completely focused.  I loved how well the world building was done.  I felt like I was right there with Levi.  Both Levi and Monroe were unique characters and I liked them both.  I felt Levi’s sense of fear around Monroe at the beginning but soon became intrigued with him myself.  The are three prominent side characters and they held interesting roles. There was a mystery surrounding one of them that I never figured out until it was explained.  The romance aspect is a slow burn with a lovely ending.
This was one of the more unique stories I’ve read this year and I imagine it will end up in my top 10.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  This is a definite recommend from me.

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow:  When I first saw this I thought the cover was a bit too dark.  Then I read the book and I realized it is the perfect cover for this story.

Sales Links

Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: August 10th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163477597X (ISBN13: 9781634775977)
Edition LanguageEnglishSeriesAfflicted Souls #1

In the Spotlight: To Fight His Heart by Alex Nortan (Excerpt and Giveaway)

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To Fight His Heart by Alec Nortan
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: Aug. 8, 2016

Purchase Links:

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Book Blurb

The only way for Matt to be with Jordan is to put his life back on tracks. And if it requires physical injuries, Matt is ready to pay that price. One price he isn’t ready to pay, though, is other people’s mistakes. And as his past catches up with him, a lot of such people are ganging up on him, including cops.

Category: Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Sex Content: Non-explicit

Pairing: MM
Orientation: Gay
Identity: Cis
Length: Novelette

Words: 22000
Pages: 73

Excerpt

Stupid phone. Jordan told me to call him two weeks ago. Two weeks and I haven’t mustered the courage to call. How can I tell him I want him back in my life, but I have to rebuild my life first? How can I ask him to put his life on hold until then, when I don’t know if it will take days, months, or years?

I put down the phone and go to get my bike. Even if I change everything else in my life, I still need to get some exercise.

Thirty minutes later, I reach my destination. It’s a closed-down factory not far from the docks. The fence has a hole in it, right where my contact told me. I go through it and hide my bike behind a bush. The door is unlocked, as I’d expected. I enter and hear voices. And funny noises. I walk down the hall to the right, as instructed, and emerge in a wide warehouse space. Machines are rusting everywhere. Small ones are scattered around seemingly haphazardly, some no bigger than a small table and others the size of a car. The biggest ones, the size of small houses, are neatly aligned, occupying a whole side of the place. Some of the casings are missing, probably eaten by rust, revealing wheels and chains crisscrossing inside the beasts. A web of gangways had been built around and above them, probably to help maintain them. These are now rusting away, with some parts missing.

Standing on top of the nearest machine, a boy, who looks barely sixteen, sits gazing down at me.

He whistles and the place becomes quiet. From behind the machines, a dozen people appear. There are four girls, and two of the guys look to be older than me, though not by much. Most of them are wearing cargo pants and hoodies; a few have on shorts and T-shirts. The only thing missing is guns. With them, they would look like a gang.

A girl walks over to me. She’s short, with brown hair tied in a ponytail. She’s wearing a dirty white skintight top and a cap. “Matt?”

I nod. “Gaby, I suppose?”

We shake hands. She turns to the group. “This is Matt, the guy I told you about.”

A boy comes forward and scrutinizes me.

He turns to Gaby. “Are you sure he won’t cause us any problems?”

I can’t help smiling at the rebuke.

Gaby keeps a straight face. “He’s the one who busted those dirty cops three years ago. Trust me, he won’t be a problem.”

This wipes the smile off my face. I’d rather leave that feat in the past. However, it gets me a few awed stares from the others around us.

“Too bad he didn’t get rid of the clean ones, too,” the kid grumbles, walking back a few steps.

“Did you take me in because of that?” I ask Gaby.

She shakes her head. “No. Don’t worry about it. But the cops don’t appreciate what we do. They can sometimes cause us trouble. I told you about it. If you don’t like it, you can go away.”

I stifle a snort. “Trust me, I’ve done worse!”

Author Bio

Alec Nortan is a French social services worker. Though he learned English at school, he chooses this language to write in. His works are gay-related fictions, varying from young adult, science fiction or fantasy adventure, to romance.

Email: alecnortan@gmail.com

Facebook: Alec Nortan

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Cover Reveal for Surfacing by A.L. Bates

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Synopsis – Surfacing, The Ariel Series, Book Two

A few weeks following the events that concluded DEEP, Book One: The Ariel Series, Captain Joel Riley is struggling to adjust to his new relationship with his medic, Sean, and when a face from Sean’s past sets out to destroy Joel and his ship, Joel faces an impossible decision: Sean or Ariel.

Sensing Joel’s dilemma, Sean makes the decision to leave. He does so knowing he must confront his past and the abuse he suffered. Subjected to the same trauma again, this time at the hands of his brother, he uses the strength Joel taught him to take his future into his own hands.

For Joel, life without Sean proves unbearable and he comes to the realization that he needs more than just his ship. He sets out to bring Sean back… whatever the cost.

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Pre-order Links

Don’t miss the discounted pre-release prices on all retailer sites!

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Book Trailer

Excerpt

THE ALARM WAS ringing. Joel slammed it off before it could do any damage. Normally a captain’s work was never done and he would have a list of things he needed to check before he made it to the mess for breakfast. But the mining season was coming to a close. Quality minerals filled his cargo hold, and he wasn’t even going to need to haggle for a good price this time. The ship was running, the crew were optimistic, and the man asleep beside him had done things last night Joel wouldn’t have thought were possible.

Sean had been a regular feature in Joel’s quarters since the young doctor had gotten shot. Joel ran his fingers over Sean’s bare, milk-white torso, allowing the tips to skate around the fresh scarring on his stomach. The memories surrounding the injury were troubling, but from those dark days came something Joel had never expected. Him and Sean. It was still new; barely two weeks if he didn’t count the long period of sexual tension before they got together.

Never in all his years sailing Ariel did he think he would end up sharing his bed with one of his crew, and certainly not a male crew member. But the past weeks had been some of the most enjoyable he’d ever had. Sean was different from the other folks on the ship and back home. His gentle, compassionate nature was a contrast to Joel’s brash, hard-line approach, but both men cared passionately about the same things: the ship and the crew.

“Hey,” Sean said, glancing down at Joel’s wandering fingers.

“Morning.” Joel ran his thumb over Sean’s lips. The guy was so handsome it made Joel’s knees go weak. “Did I wake you?”

Sean shook his head, a sleepy smile on his face. “No. Or at least not in any way I object to.”

“You sleep deep in my room.”

“Your bed is a lot comfier than mine,” Sean said. He rolled over and draped an arm across Joel’s chest.

“And there I was thinking I had worn you out.”

“Oh, yeah, that too. What are you doing awake so early? You should be as tired as me.”

Joel smirked. “Stamina,” he said, planting a wet kiss on Sean’s face. “And I like to watch you sleep.”

“That’s not creepy.” Sean laughed and snuggled closer, awakening all kinds of sensations in Joel’s body.

Start reading the series with book one!

Synopsis – Deep

Deep AL BatesFleeing from a troubled past that left him feeling tarnished and used, Sean finds work as a medic aboard the deep sea mining ship Ariel, on a distant planet.

Under the leader ship of the infuriating, yet charismatic, Captain Joel Riley, Sean settles into his simple, but dangerous, new life. It’s a life he soon comes to love; albeit one in which he conceals his sexuality and avoids intimacy.

But Sean’s new world is turned on its head when an old face threatens to expose him for the man he used to be.

With Joel’s help, will Sean learn to come to terms with his past and become a man he can be proud of?

Buy Links

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/deep-by-al-bates/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
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Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Deep-L-Bates-ebook/dp/B01AOB6VW0/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-deep-1969763-177.html

About the author

A.L. BATES has a keen interest in Sci-fi and adventure novels and enjoys writing stories with strong characters in imaginative backgrounds. Although an avid writer, Deep is the first published novella by A.L. Bates.

A.L. Bates can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralbates