A Stella Review: Resistance (Village Love #1) by Lillian Francis

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

resistanceHow long can you wait on a promise?

After his first night with Mal, Rick broke the habit of a lifetime and invited the sexy radiographer to spend the weekend in the sleepy English village he called home. Rick isn’t in denial but he’s afraid to reveal his sexuality in the close-knit community that has known him since he was a babe in arms.

The sex is amazing but equally Mal loves lazy days spent in the garden at Slopy Bottom, and every precious moment he spends with Rick. For Mal the village quickly becomes an oasis of peace, far from the noise and grime of life in London, a slice of tranquillity with Rick at the heart. But Mal has defied his family and his religion to be true to himself, and there is no way can he join Rick in his self-built closet, no matter how comfortable it is…

Rick is afraid revealing the true nature of his relationship with Mal will change the way his neighbours see him. He adores these people, this village, and he can’t face the thought of losing everything over who he chooses to sleep with. When the alternative is giving up a man who has slotted perfectly into his life—a man who he might just love—it’s no choice at all. But, knowing what has to be done isn’t always as easy as putting it into practice.

Resistance is the first book in a new series by Lillian Francis called Village Love. I recommend to read the short prequel Resonance, first, just to better enjoy the story of Mal and Rick and to see how they met in a MRI scan room.

I liked this book so much for many reasons. First of all I found in Lillian Francis, once a new to me author, an amazing talent and I soon put her among my favorite authors. I’m pretty sure I’m going to read more of her stories in my next future.

Rick and Mal and their relationship is exactly what I like to see in my books, it was sweet and sexy, but most of all was realistic, in the fear of being out of the closet, in the fear of lose someone cause you don’t want to close that closet you opened years ago. I saw the deep hope in a possible future made of uncertainties and at the same time full of the desire to be beside your love one even if you are miles away from him. I saw how much they tried, just like we do everyday in our real lives.

The bonus was the setting. I adore romance set in small villages like Slopy Bottom, the peace, the people, the nature and the sceneries Lillian was great at describing.

I can’t wait to know more about these boys and a couple more of guys I fell in love with while reading Resistance. I’m so happy to know (cause I’m stalking the author and I’m not sorry about it) there is so much coming soon.

I feel to recommend it especially if you’re looking for an angst-free, light and well written story.

The cover art by Garrett Leigh follows the style of the series covers, different and so welcomed.

Sales Link

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BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 150 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Finally Love Press
ASIN B01HBWHLZ6
Edition Language English

Village Love series

  • Resonance #0,5
  • Resistance #1

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Model Citizen (Haven Investigations #1) by Lissa Kasey and Mike Pohlable (Narrator)

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

model-citizen-audiobookOliver “Ollie” Petroskovic’s life as an international supermodel was heading in the right direction. He worked part-time for his brother at his detective agency—Petroskovic Haven Investigations—and had just bought his dream house. But all that changed when he found his brother dead, a victim of PTSD-induced suicide.

 

Almost a year later, Ollie is trying to keep his brother’s business afloat, but can’t get his PI license. Then his brother’s best friend, Kade Alme, shows up, fresh from the battlefield after a close brush with death. Kade is looking for a new life, in more ways than one, and with PI license in hand, he’s exactly what Ollie needs to keep PHI running.

 

When one of Ollie’s childhood friends gets in trouble, Ollie feels he has to help. Kade insists on investigating if only to keep Ollie safe. Neither realizes the danger they’re in as someone tries to tear them apart before they can find solid ground together.

 

This was an interesting story.  Ollie is determined to keep going after his brother’s death no matter what it takes, but he won’t let anyone think less of him for how he dresses and acts.  When Kade shows up Ollie expects to put him in the same box as everyone else, but Kade’s actions and word surprise him.

 

This story is told from Ollie’s point of view.  You can see how broken he feels no matter the face he shows the world.  You can also see Kade’s frustration and caring through Ollie’s eyes.  The thing in the story I had the hardest time with is how confident Ollie is in himself and appearance he has a low self esteem, but Kade is determined for Ollie to see he is worth anything.  I hope to read the next book in the series when it comes out.

 

Mike Pohlable did a nice job narrating this story.  The use of different voices for the characters helped me keep track of the story.  However, his voice has a very whiny quality to it and I found myself wincing and it was hard to get through.

 

Cover art by Garrett Leigh is nice and catches your eye.

 

Sales Links

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7hrs 53min
Published July 26, 2016 (ebook first published June 22, 2015)
Edition Language: English

An Ali Release Day Review: Raven’s Rest by Stephen Osborne

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

ravens-rest-by-stephen-osborneMichael Cook has left his abusive lover and settled in the small town of Banning, Illinois. Having nowhere else to go, he checks into the Raven’s Rest Inn and soon learns that the haunted reputation of the hotel is well deserved. Michael gets a job at a local café, where he meets Trey Ramsey. Though Michael has misgivings about starting up a new relationship, Trey seems to be the complete opposite of Michael’s controlling ex, so he decides to give Trey a chance.

Life at the Raven’s Rest becomes increasingly frightening when the ghost of Coleman Hollis appears in Michael’s room. Coleman seems to want something from Michael, and the mystery deepens when Michael discovers he’s the spitting image of Coleman’s lover from years ago. Together, Michael and Trey must discover why Coleman’s spirit is drawn to the Raven’s Rest—and to Michael.

I enjoyed this spooky tale that is both mystery and love story.  Two loves stories actually.  As stated in the blurb Michael ends up staying in a hotel that has a reputation for being haunted.  Almost immediately Michael begins seeing things and something that feels like a cold hand brushes his face.  The townspeople all talk about the place being haunted and they also mention the previous owner’s son and his best friend both disappearing within a short time of each other.  As the ghost keeps appearing Michael realizes it’s drawn to him because he looks like one of the missing boys.  When a woman who calls herself the “town witch” gets involved this escalate quickly.
I had never read this author before and this was a good start for me.  I really liked the ghost part of the story and the mystery from the past.  It was a bit creepy but not too scary (even for people easily scared).  I had figured out who the bad guy was early on but that didn’t distract from my enjoyment of the story.  My only reservation was that I felt Michael and Trey fell for each other too quickly.  It was almost immediately and it didn’t really make sense to me considering Michael was days out of an abusive relationship.  I could have skipped the entire part with the ex to be honest.  I would have rather just focused on the ghost story and the two guys getting to know each other.
Overall though, I thought this was a really enjoyable read.  The characters were well done and the plot was very entertaining.  The steamy scenes are mostly off page which is a nice change of pace from many other romance stories.  This is just creepy enough to make this a great read for the Halloween season.
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska.  I like the cover a lot and I feel like it is both well done and pertinent to the story.
Sales Links
        
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: September 23rd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634777018 (ISBN13: 9781634777018)
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

breakaway-audiobookDrafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He’s put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.

Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.

This was a re-read for me and I have to say I enjoyed it just as much the second time around.  The story follows socially awkward Lane as he starts his professional hockey career and experiences life away from home for the first time.  Lane and Jared meet on the ice and then have what they think is going to be a one night stand.  As it turns out they really like each other and the relationship ends up turning into something more.  The story is partially about them falling in love but it is also about Lane learning to accept who he is and find his way as an adult.  It’s also about Jared learning not only about falling in love with a person again, but also falling in love with the game again.
There are a lot of things I love about this book.  Firstly it’s written really well.  It has engaging characters with well done dialogue.  There are some funny scenes and some smexy ones.  All are done equally well.  I also enjoy that there is no real angst or drama.  It’s two adults who fall for each other, communicate in a mature manner and slowly build a relationship.  My biggest joy in this book is this author actually knows hockey and her love of the game jumps out of every scene where they’re on the ice or in the locker room.  Her writing is such that if you do not know or like hockey it will still all make sense and you won’t be over burdened with facts.  But if you are a hockey fan you will catch a bunch of inside jokes and you’ll really appreciate the passion that goes into the game scenes.  I really enjoyed the romance between these two but the part that brought tears to my eyes was certain events that happen to Jared as he plays.
The audiobook was narrated by Scott R. Smith and he did a good job with the story.  Each of the voices was unique and I never had a problem telling who was talking.  I really enjoyed the game scenes on audio.  It was like listening to the games on the radio when I was a kid and on my phone app now.  I’d find myself all caught up as if it was a real game going one.  I enjoyed the audio as much as I did reading it when it first came out.

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson.I love the cover.  I think it’s gorgeous and it is a perfect representation of the story.  One of my favorite covers of the year last year.

Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, 8 pages, 7 hrs 33 mins
Published August 9th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 27th 2015)
Original TitleBreakaway
ASINB01JVN8BIY
Edition LanguageEnglishSeriesScoring Chances #1 settingFlorida (United States)

Keep Me In Mind tour: Deanna Wadsworth ‘Too Good To Be True‘ (Author Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Too Good To Be True (Night Stand #5) by Deanna Wadsworth
Release Date: June 17, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Cover Artist: Fiona Jade

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Deanna Wadsworth author of TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, A Night Stand Story. Hi, Deanna, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

  • Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE is a book with overlapping characters from four other books I have written, and four books my author friend Wendy Burke have written. For several years we have been “stealing” side characters from each other’s 1NightStand books and writing stories for them. It’s loads of fun to take a character someone else has thought of and develop a story around them.

This is the proper reading order:

BEAR IT ALL by Deanna Wadsworth

THE ONE HE CHOSE by Wendy Burke

ACCIDENTALLY BEAUTIFUL by Deanna Wadsworth 

HASTE YE BACK by Wendy Burke

THE BEST EVER by Deanna Wadsworth

FOR ME by Wendy Burke

WISE MEN SAY by Wendy Burke

FINDING HIS FANTASY by Deanna Wadsworth

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE by Deanna Wadsworth

  • How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

Titles are tricky sometimes. Sometimes they come the moment I think of the book like TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE and other times I struggle and fight for a good title like I did with my previous 1NightStand story FINDING HIS FANTASY. But when I do come up with a title, that seems to be the last piece of the puzzle. A theme emerges, the book makes sense and everything comes together.

  • Have you ever given one of your characters the personality of someone you know?

Kinda sorta, but in my current WIP I am downright stealing the identity of a client whom I just adore. It’s going to be very fun!

  • What do you think makes a good story?

Anything and everything. Good writing is a must for me at this stage of my writing career. If I’m mentally editing poor grammar and passive writing, eliminating filter words as I go, it is very unlikely that I will finish the book. After that, great characters and/or a great plot are a must. I have never read a character I didn’t like, but I have run across far too many wishy washy characters who make absurd decisions or are in unrealistic situations. It doesn’t make me dislike the character; rather, it makes me annoyed that the author didn’t develop the character very well.

  • What does your family think of your writing?

My hubby isn’t much of a reader so even if I was writing spy novels instead of romance, he still wouldn’t read it. But he is very supportive of my career because he knows how important it is to me. The only time he dislikes it is when I spend all day writing and the kitchen is a pigsty. LOL he’s such a Mr. Fussy Pants about dishes in the sink!

Blurb

Disgraced former FBI agent Tim Burkhart desperately wants to reclaim his life and find happiness. Relocating his fledgling private security company to Miami—where his ex-wife moved their two daughters—hopefully is a start. When he’s hired to provide protection for an antiques dealer on his way to Scotland to sell a priceless ancient dirk, Tim believes the break he’s been waiting for has finally arrived. Maybe now he can make enough money to hire a lawyer and get shared parenting of his little girls.

Elliot James runs the antique shop he inherited after his grandfather’s death. Lonely and swimming in debt, he longs for a way to turn his life around but keeps making one mistake after another. Then he finds the ancient dirk tucked away among junk as he’s cleaning out his grandfather’s home. Placing it up for sale, he is thrilled when an out of country buyer purchases the priceless antique. The buyer wants the dirk immediately and sends Tim to ensure Elliot safely delivers it on time.

The moment Tim and Elliot meet, however, everything falls apart. Between break-ins, shoot-outs, stalkers, totaled cars, and the cops, it seems Tim and Elliot will never get to Scotland by the deadline. Despite all the obstacles, an unexpected attraction pulls them together, offering each man a glimmer of hope. But if they don’t deliver the dirk on time, they won’t get paid and neither of them will be able to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Will they complete this job and find a happily ever after, or is all of this really too good to be true?

This is Deanna’s 5th offering in this series. Characters from her previous stories have cameos, but book can be read as a standalone.

Pages or Words: 36,000 words
Categories: Light suspense, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

Staring down the sights of his Colt 1911 and into the panicked eyes of the young man, Tim said, “Keep your hands where I can see ’em. I want to know where Mr. James is and why you’re in his store.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Tim saw a flash of metal. Instinctively he dropped to the floor. The sharp crack of a bullet shot through the store, shattering something on his left.

The guy behind the counter made a run for the door.

Tim rolled behind the armoire, gritting his teeth when the door slammed shut and the first guy got away. Careful to stay out of sight, Tim assessed the shooter who’d come from the back room. He looked as young and inexperienced as the one who’d run. Tim recognized the weapon in his hand—a 9mm semi-automatic Beretta. Though Tim’s .45 could out-shoot the little pea-shooter at the range, he had no interest in finding out who was the better shot in real life.

“¿Adónde vas? ¡Esperame!” the shooter yelled to his retreating friend.

Wait for me. Tim knew enough Spanish. The guy planned to make a run for it, too. He clambered to his feet. Before he could tackle and subdue him, the kid aimed his Beretta in the general direction of the armoire and fired off a volley of shots.

“Shit!” Tim dove behind a stack of rugs to dodge the bullets.

The gun went silent.

Tim rolled fast onto his back, his 1911 aimed, only to watch the kid flying out the door behind his friend. The door bounced a few times until it closed, the bells clanging.

“Shit! Shit!”

The scraping sounds in the back room, louder than before, drew his attention once more.

As fast as he could, he crept around the counter, his heart pounding. Both hands on his gun, trigger finger resting on the frame and trigger guard, he took a quick peek into the room, ducking back before a possible third perp could make him.

In less than a heartbeat, his brain registered what he’d seen. He exhaled. Keeping his gun lowered but at-the-ready, he entered.

In the center of what looked like a storage room sat the man Tim had been hired to escort to Scotland. He’d been gagged and duct-taped to a chair.

Elliot James.

“Is anyone else here?” Tim murmured.

Mr. James shook his head wildly.

With a relieved sigh, he rushed over to the man and yanked the gag out. “You okay?”

“Yeah.” He gasped for air. “I’m fine.”

“Were there only two?” he clarified, eyes still peeled for danger.

“Yeah,” he managed, his face flushed and startling green eyes wide. Sandy-brown curls fell across the brow of a very frightened but very beautiful man. He took a few slow, ragged breaths, obviously trying to calm himself. “Just the two of them.”

Tim took a steadying breath of his own and slowly released the hammer on his Colt and flipped the safety up, never taking his gaze off Mr. James. “What happened?” He holstered the weapon then tore the duct tape from the man’s wrist.

“Aarrghh!” Mr. James jumped, the chair bouncing.

Tim winced when he noticed the arm hairs stuck to the tape in his hand. “Sorry ’bout that.” He paused over the other strip. “This one’s gonna hurt, too.”

Mr. James pursed his lips and nodded bravely. He let out a tiny hiss when Tim freed his second arm. That one didn’t take as much hair because a silver bracelet had protected most of the skin. Obviously, those punks had been amateurs in restraining.

“Sorry,” Tim said again.

Rubbing his wrists, he let out a breathy laugh. “It’s okay. Thank you for saving my life.”

“I believe that’s what I was paid for. I’m Tim Burkhart, your private security detail.”

Mr. James’s smile made his heart flutter. No, probably just the adrenaline. Tim didn’t get butterflies.

“Nice to finally meet you, Mr. Burkhart.”

“Call me Tim.” He stood and withdrew his phone. He gestured toward his bound legs. “You okay to get those? I gotta call the cops.”

“No!”

Tim almost dropped his phone when Mr. James shouted. He gaped at the man. “What do you mean no?”

Prying tape off of his khaki pants, the man paused. Those big green eyes grew even wider. “You can’t call the cops. My whole life depends on it!”

 

Buy the book:  Decadent Publishing | Amazon |ARe

 

 

 

Meet the author:

 

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and with Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

Where to find the author:

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestgoodreadsAmazonInstagram

You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller like Amazon


Tour Dates & Stops:

17-Jun: Elaine White

24-Jun: Bayou Book Junkie

1-Jul: Happily Ever Chapter, MM Good Book Reviews

8-Jul: V’s Reads

15-Jul: A.M. Leibowitz

22-Jul: Kimi-Chan, Man2ManTastic, Book Lovers 4Ever, The Novel Approach

29-Jul: My Fiction Nook, Boy Meets Boy Reviews

5-Aug: Dawn’s Reading Nook, EE Montgomery

12-Aug: Making It Happen

19-Aug: BFD Book Blog

26-Aug: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

2-Sep: Inked Rainbow Reads

9-Sep: Havan Fellows

16-Sep: Velvet Panic, Alpha Book Club

23-Sep: Outrageous Heroes, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

30-Sep: Molly Lolly, Unquietly Me

 

Giveaway

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In the Spotlight: Immortal Watch ( Godsbane Prince 2) by Olivia Helling (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Immortal Watch

Series: Godsbane Prince 2

Author: Olivia Helling

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: Sept 23, 2016

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 63,000 words

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Horror

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Synopsis

Bonded soul mates. Shocking secrets. Protecting the one he loves could destroy everything…

Ilyas defeated the Dark God and won the spoils of a lifetime: a new kingdom, a new soulmate, and a chance at revenge. Just when he has the chance to humiliate the brother who sold him out, Ilyas learns a closely-guarded secret. He has a son, and now he’ll do everything he can to protect him.

Jem’s life was pure loneliness before he met Ilyas. But with the Dark God thwarted, Jem is completely powerless. When Ilyas begins to devote his full attention to the baby, Jem becomes determined to win his soulmate back.

After allying with a powerful secret society, Jem conspires to deliver an uninhabited world where Ilyas’ young son can truly be safe. But Jem didn’t realize that his new alliance comes at a high price, one that may cost him the love of Ilyas forever.

Immortal Watch is a spellbinding LGBT dark fantasy novel. If you like rich world-building, captivating storytelling, and edge-of-your-seat action, then you’ll love this story of love and horror from Olivia Helling.

Excerpt

Ilyas cocked his head. “Is something wrong?”
I breathed deep to avoid stuttering. “What would be wrong?”
“Just that I miss that smile of yours.” Ilyas smiled in turn.
For a heartbeat, I expected him to clasp my cheek, to draw me close, to envelop me in an embrace, to kiss me breathless, like he had when I had awoken to find myself his tawam rohi . Ilyas closed the display box and returned it to the drawer under the berth.
I exhaled. Of course not. Ilyas had promised to teach me all about kissing, and more, but he’d spoken in the heat of the moment when I’d awoken. Perhaps the fantasy of teaching me excited him more than the reality. My stomach sank.
After all, I wasn’t a eunuch. When Ilyas had still been the prince heir of Nuriya, his harem full of buxom ladies and eager lads, the male form hadn’t seemed to displease him. So long as they were eunuchs, not proper men, as Nuriyite decorum dictated. Nuriyites heaped rules upon everything from eating to sex. Lumians didn’t care, especially when sex wouldn’t provide more mouths to feed.
Or perhaps the fault lay in me, as a person.
Ilyas sank onto the berth with a big sigh. His features seemed drawn and stressed. I perched on the bed next to him, reaching to pet his hair. He groaned, and I froze.
I wanted more. I wanted to learn how to kiss. I wanted to learn how to wrap my thighs around his waist. I wanted—
“It will be fine, Jem,” he said.
I never used to be so selfish. He shouldered the fate of Lumi, and I couldn’t help him. All I did was lie wide awake at night, planning to demand more from him, planning to distract him.
“We can play a game of Go,” he said. “And I will wipe the deck with you this time.”
“Like the last eleven times?” I teased him.
“This one is my game.”

Purchase

Amazon | Allromance eBooks/OmnitLit | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

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Meet the Author

Olivia Helling doesn’t believe in love at first sight… but maybe, just maybe, it blossoms along a few books. That is, after all, how she fell in love with her husband.

Olivia writes about the darkness and flaws from within, the struggle with self-confidence, self-perception and fear of failure, and fantasy and historical worlds that refuse to allow love between men. So be warned: happily ever after is not guaranteed.

The protagonist and love interest don’t always end up together by the end of one book. But when they finally come together, their love will be a thing of beauty.

Want to stay up-to-date on Olivia’s latest books? Sign up for her newsletter at: http://oliviahelling.com/snowmancer-emails

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