A MelanieM Release Day Review: Suddenly Yours (One Fine Day #2) by Jacob Z. Flores

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5 

suddenly-yours-by-jacob-z-floresWhat happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

Cody Hayes is having one epic morning-after. The hangover following a Vegas bachelor party is nothing new to him, and neither is the naked man in his bed.

His apparent marriage is a different story.

Carefully plotting every detail of his life carried Julian Canales to a Senate seat as an openly gay man. A drunken night of Truth or Dare isn’t like him… and neither is marrying a man he just met. He’d get an annulment, but the media has gotten wind of his hasty nuptials. If Julian’s political career is going to survive, he has to stay married to a man who’s his opposite in every way.

Now he must convince Cody that all they need to do is survive a conservative political rival, a heartbroken ex, their painful pasts… and an attraction neither man can fight.

If you are having a bad day and seriously need a lighted hearted, quick fun read to make the blues fly out the window?  Here’s a story for you.  Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores takes that workhorse of a plot, the wake up married in Las Vegas, and makes it adorable and warmhearted all over again. Cody Hayes is taking part of a drunken bachelor party celebration when a dare brings Cody over to Senator Julian Canales, enjoying a night off. What happens next is the sort of thing that movies and Las Vegas is famous or should that be infamous for.

But now post marriage equality, these stories can take on an entirely new spin and really, that’s also the joy here.  There’s no hiding in the closet, no tragedy (yes, I know that still occurs) but now its equally possible for a happy ending, for people to blink and move on.  Sometimes, I think we forget that.  We get the absolutely adorable Cody with his buoyant personality, from his dress to his expressions.  On the other side, we get the very serious politician, Julian Canales, whose determination to be a Senator and deliver the type of agenda that will help people most perhaps cost him a personal life and more a deep romantic one.  Flores brings them together for one night of hazy, explosive sex and then more when reality sets in and they (and us) really get to know each other.  Its the days that follow that seems believable, funny, and real.

Its a format that works when done right as its done here.  The author’s execution carries us along quickly in the story, we connect to the characters and we root for their romance.  Yes, its light and warmhearted.  You know where the plots going but its ok, you like the couple and the secondary characters and the ride is immensely enjoyable.  All that adds up to a satisfying romance.

This is book two in Flores’ One Fine Day series.  I’ve loved them both.  Can’t wait to see what book three brings.  I  recommend them all.

Cover art by Paul Richmond is just as adorable and cuddly as the story.  I adored it.

Sales Links

        

Book Details:

ebook, 244 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634776763 (ISBN13: 9781634776769)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series: One Fine Day 

A MelanieM/Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5+ stars out of 5

the-weight-of-it-all-by-nr-walkerAfter being dumped by his long-term boyfriend for being overweight, Henry Beckett decides to make some drastic changes. In a vain attempt at getting his boyfriend back, Henry does the most absurdly frightening thing he can think of.

He joins a gym.

Reed Henske is a personal trainer who isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to date again. He’s sick of guys who are only interested in the perfect body image, never seeing him for who he really is.

As Reed tortures Henry with things like diet and exercise, Henry enamours Reed with recipes and laughter. As the friendship lines start to blur, Henry is convinced there’s no way Thor-like Reed could ever be interested in a guy like him.

Reed just has to convince Henry that life isn’t about reaching your ideal bodyweight. It’s about finding your perfect counterweight.

The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker proved to be a bit of a wonderful issue here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Two of us had each read it and fallen in love.  What to do about the review? The only solution was a combined review. Here’s our thoughts on The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker:

Barb, the Zany Old Lady:

This was a truly enjoyable story on so many levels. First and foremost, Henry is probably the most likable guy I’ve met in a long time. Reed is equally personable, though more subtle in the way he grabbed my attention.

Very humorous, as this tale unfolds, it’s evident that it’s about more than simply guy meets guy. The story explores societal norms about bodyweight and the fact that one’s self-perception of body image goes a long way toward both emotional and physical health and long-term success. I respect this author’s treatment of the topic and appreciate the encouragement toward a way of life that includes both healthy eating and exercise as a way to reach balance. So many authors subconsciously, or purposely, encourage dieting and slimming down as a way to attract a man’s attention. That wasn’t the case here, and I applaud the author’s efforts in keeping the focus on the inner self rather than the outer shell. Wrap all this up in a story that contained two very endearing characters, and it’s one I would highly recommend.

From MelanieM:

I think this is really the best book N.R. Walker has written.  The character of Henry especially was so surprising.  I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like him in any novel before.  Its not just his intelligence, or his self depreciating manner, but his slow acknowledgement of his life choices, good and bad, his adjustments towards a healthier life style.  Its just such an amazing exploration of one person’s journey from one state to the next and all the while, Henry remains Henry at the core.  Walker has created a character with such a basaltic center to his personality that as other things change, we know that the foundation that is  Henry will not. Reed is also someone who has been crafted along the same memorable lines, although perhaps in an altogether  different mold (or so we are lead to believe at the start).  Together Henry, Reed, Anika and her boyfriend Sean, and all that incredible dialog that had me laughing, giggling, and sometimes sniffling more than a little…well, this will be in my top 10 books of the year.

As with all N.R. Walker stories, the pace has a natural flow to it, never hurried, never slow, it just carries you along with the characters as Henry fights his inclinations to take the easy path, and then as the choices he makes gets more natural for him and then part of his schedule.  I can’t being to share the joys you will find inside this story, inside these characters.  Its a journey I never wanted to see end. and its an exploration you need to take for yourself.

Its one both Barb and I highly recommend.

Cover art is simple and perfect.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published September 12th 2016 by BlueHeart Press
Original TitleThe Weight of It All
ASINB01LYGV7HD
Edition LanguageEnglish

In the Spotlight: The Captain’s Promise by T.J. Land (excerpt)

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The Captain’s Promise (Adrift #4) by T.J. Land
N
ineStar Press

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Release Date: October 17, 2016

Purchase Links

NineStar Press |  Amazon  |  All Romance Ebooks 

COUPON CODE: Get 20% off preorder on NineStar Press website with coupon code “preorder”

* (Good until release day)

Book Blurb

Now that the crew of The Prayer have settled down on an uninhabited alien world, their captain intends for them to forge a new life for themselves. But Khurshed’s plans are interrupted when the ship receives a distress call from a nearby planet. While most of his lovers are excited by the prospect of making contact with their new neighbors, First Officer Antoine argues that responding might endanger the crew. As it turns out, his fears are well placed…

Excerpt

T.J. Land © 2016

All Rights Reserved

Dirty, panting, and sweating like a pig, Rick stood back and surveyed his greatest achievement. Ten rows of newly sown green beans, ten rows of spinach, and ten rows of zucchini; the first crops he’d planted outside the rigorously controlled and monitored confines of The Prayer’s oxygen garden in four years. The first Earth crops that had ever been planted on this planet. In this galaxy, even.

“Bitchin’,” he said to himself.

“Don’t curse in front of the baby vegetables,” said Thomas, slinking up behind him and draping his lanky arms over Rick’s shoulders. “You don’t want ’em growing up as warped and perverted as you, do you?”

“Fuck off, Meléndez,” Rick drawled, tilting his head up to accept a kiss.

“How come our first crops are fucking greens? I haven’t had a donut in close on five years. Why can’t you plant some…bread seeds?”

“Wheat, you ignorant loser. We don’t have any grain.”

When they’d first set out from Earth, they’d been equipped with everything they needed for the duration of the one-and-a-half-year journey to Pluto, including a cargo hold full of supplies for the dwarf planet’s fledgling colony. They’d had nutrient shakes, chewable protein bars, enough canned food to feed one hundred people for four years, the reliable bounty of Rick’s vegetable garden, and flour. When they were set adrift by the enemy, they’d comforted themselves with the knowledge that they’d die of boredom and cabin fever long before they starved. Even so, Rick recalled vividly the bleak looks on everyone’s faces three years ago when Echo had informed them that the last of the flour was finished.

“Besides, donuts? That shit’s bad for you. Echo’s fruity desserts aren’t doing it for you anymore?”

Thomas made his meh face. “He’s been using that weird melon-shaped thing we found a lot lately. I can’t get used to the aftertaste. It always feels like someone coated the back of my tongue in cement.”

“Don’t let Echo hear you say that. He’ll be whatever his equivalent of upset is. And he might poison your dinner.”

Their new vegetable garden had been planted in the lee of the rocky hill next to which The Prayer currently squatted, her landing gear obscured by the long grass. Being situated in the planet’s temperate zone, they wouldn’t have to worry about the periodic decades-long draughts that assailed the southern regions. Because Antoine’s current fascination was the local marine life, they were within walking distance of the beach. There was another ancient abandoned town a few miles east, though Rick wasn’t all that eager to go exploring again just yet. Not after what had almost happened to Zachery and the captain.

Khurshed, Rick reminded himself. That’s what he asked you to call him.

Thomas was resting his chin on Rick’s head, a habit he’d picked up since Rick had started shaving his scalp. The explosion that had taken his eye had also burned off a good chunk of his hair, and Zachery had said it was as good a time as any to try a new haircut. Rick had agreed. Then, stupidly, he’d given Zachery free reign to experiment on him. The result was so arrestingly hideous that he’d had no choice but to go bald. Thankfully, it turned out that all three of his boyfriends thought his new look was sexy as hell. Rick wasn’t so sure, but he couldn’t deny that having his bare scalp stroked and fondled made it feel as though someone had pumped kerosene into his dick.

“Comfortable up there, asshole?” he inquired of Thomas.

“Sorry,” he said, not sounding the least bit sorry. “It’s the price you pay for being my shortest boyfriend.”

“Okay, I’m gonna bite your nipples off for that,” said Rick, peeling off his gloves and turning around so he could get at them.

When Rick had first met Thomas, he hadn’t thought much of him. He’d come off as a bland everyday nice guy, maybe a bit of a worrywart, with unassuming good looks. Nothing special. As they’d gotten to know one another better over the course of the four years they’d been lost in space, they’d become amicable acquaintances, though not quite friends. Rick had liked him while never being one hundred percent comfortable in his presence, his feelings towards the ship’s security officer muddled by what he now recognized as a huge, unacknowledged crush. Then the captain had come along and dragged them all into bed with him, and after that, everything had worked out.

Rick wasn’t the type to rate his boyfriends; he felt as drunkenly, giddily in love with the captain and Zachery as he was with Thomas. That said, they were all vastly different people, and they each had their own place in Rick’s life. Thomas was the one Rick went to when all he wanted was someone to make him smile. When he’d emerged from the medical pod, Thomas had been the first to be allowed to see his empty eye socket, and in the weeks that followed, Rick had turned to him whenever he started thinking dark thoughts. No matter what else was going on, Thomas always made him feel good.

“Oh yeah,” Thomas said, his breath hitching as Rick settled a hand over his dick.

Rick smirked. One of the reasons Thomas always made him feel good was that making Thomas feel good was so, so damn easy.

“You’re such a whore,” he told him, rubbing the spot behind his left ear like he was a cat. As Thomas sagged against him, mumbling incoherently, Rick kissed him hard, grinding their dicks together while he moved his hand from Thomas’s ear to massage the back of his neck. As soon as Rick had learned where Thomas’s soft spots were, he’d realized that he could do pretty much anything with him.

“You like that?” he asked. Not because he had any doubt that Thomas did. It was just nice to see Thomas try and fail to make his tongue work, because sweet gentleman Thomas never ignored a question.

“Y-yeah,” he husked. “’S nice.”

Rick smirked. I have so got your number, pretty boy.

“How about we go inside?” Rick said. “Wouldn’t want to traumatize the baby beans, would we?”

Pairing: MM, MMM

Orientation: Asexual, Bi, Gay

Identity: Cis, Trans

Length: Novelette

Words: 18300

Pages: 42

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Author Bio

T.J. Land is a South African writer of erotic romance and sometimes other things. Her main inspirations right now are her plants, Emily Carroll’s art, and her seething hatred for the final season of Downton Abbey. She hopes you’re hanging in there.

Check out NineStar Press’ events calendar for information on additional blog stops for The Captain’s Promise and other upcoming releases!