A Paul B Review: Gyrfalcon (Taking Shield #1) by Anna Butler

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

gyrfalcon-by-anna-butlerMany centuries have passed since a part of Earth’s population has settled on the planet Albion.  It has only been just over a century since the war with the Maess started.  While the population of Albion deals with fighting the war, the Maess use drones to do their fighting.  In fact, no one has ever seen someone from Maess.  The creepiest thing about the drones is that as the war continues, the drones begin to look more and more humanoid. 

Against this background, Shield Captain Bennett tries to negotiate his life.  As part of the reconnaissance unit of the war effort, his mission is to get in behind enemy lines, find information about the enemy and if possible, destroy outposts to cripple the enemy’s operation.  Not bad for an academic whose family has had a long line of military service.  But the fact he is not in active duty in the military and the fact that Bennett is gay and in a relationship with a man almost twice his age has caused a rift with his father.   Add in that his partner for the last seven years is tired of Bennett going off on dangerous missions and not satisfied with his academic position makes life tense for Bennett.

Called in from his break after his last assignment, Bennett must once again go behind enemy lines.  When his own starship gets called to replace a damaged vessel, Bennett is transferred to the dreadnaught Gyrfalcon.  Not only is the dreadnaught probably the wrong type of ship for his mission, its commanding officer is none other than his father.  His hope is to keep things civil until the end of the mission.  Then there is flight Lieutenant Flynn who captures Bennett’s attention.  Flynn is not only cocky, but has the flight skills to back it up.  A love them and leave them type guy, Flynn sets out to make the Shield captain his next conquest.  That is if this mission doesn’t get them both killed first. 

The world Anna Butler has created is both simple and complex at the same time.  Set several centuries into the future, Albion is made of Earth refugees.  The governmental order has ten national governments and one planetary government.  There is a pantheon of gods that are worshipped but they are not discussed in detail.  What was meant as a simple expression of friendship was taken as an act of war by the drones of the Maess.  Then there is the life of Bennett.  His home life is screwed up in all different ways.  He would like nothing more than do research but knows he needs to contribute to the war effort, even though it’s not the type of help his father expects of him.  He has been with his partner Joss for seven years but he begins to have feelings for Flynn that he hasn’t had for Joss in a long time.  This is a great start to this series.

Cover art by Wilde City Press is outstanding, brands the series and is a eye-catching cover.

Sales Links

Wilde City Press

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Book Details

EBook, 317 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published:  February 18, 2015 by Wilde City Press

ISBN:  978-1-925180-84-8

Series:  Taking Shield

A Caryn Release Day Review: Andre in Flight by Laura Lascarso

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

andre-in-flight-by-laura-lascarsoOooh, what a twisty and devious book this was!  It’s not mentioned in the blurb, and only hinted at in the beginning of the story, but there was a subtle paranormal aspect to it which was not what I expected it to be.

Martin is an artist, a painter, who waits tables in a trendy Miami restaurant to pay the bills.  His friend/sometime lover/manager Melissa also works there with him, while she finds ways to promote and encourage his art, and makes sure that he is making money for both of them.  One night when he walks into the restaurant for his usual shift, he notices a beautiful new young man working as a dishwasher.  Martin is entranced, helplessly attracted, but also has that deja vu feeling that he knows this man.  In a matter of a week he has convinced Andre to move in with him, and his attraction starts to turn into obsession.  He paints frenziedly, always of Andre, and it is his best work yet.  But there are  ominous mutterings from Melissa – who has always been a bit mysterious and cagey with Martin – as well as frightening and intrusive new thoughts and feelings that get mixed up into Martin’s recurring nightmare of fire.

The foreshadowing was very nicely done, keeping the sinister impression going through most of the book, even during what should have been a very happy time for Martin and Andre as they enjoy the excitement of a new relationship.  It was like having the Jaws theme playing continuously in the background, but in a good way!  The uneasiness and disquiet come to a climax about two thirds of the way through the book, and Martin is left devastated and confused, and ultimately makes a deal with the devil (guess who that was?) to make sure he can be with Andre.

The plot was great.  The writing was very good, and I really enjoyed how the sex was not presented as a detailed “he did this, and he responded like that”, but rather as a poetic rendering of what Martin saw and felt, both physically and emotionally.  Truly, it was some of the most memorable writing in the book, even though the scenes were brief and infrequent.  I considered giving the book 4 stars, but in the end, although I was attracted to the writing, I never really did connect with either Martin or Andre, or their relationship.

Despite that, I really enjoyed the book, and this author, who is new to me.  I will be looking for more from her!

Cover Artist: AngstyG. Cover art is beautiful, and a fit to the brooding quality of the writing.

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Book Details:

ebook, 116 pages
Expected publication: November 16th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 163477793X (ISBN13: 9781634777933)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: When the Dust Settles (Timing #3) by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

when-the-dust-settles-by-mary-calmesGlenn Holloway’s predictable life ended the day he confessed his homosexuality to his family. As if that wasn’t enough, he then poured salt in the wound by walking away from the ranch he’d grown up on, to open the restaurant he’d always dreamed of. Without support from his father and brother, and too proud to accept assistance from anyone else, he had to start from scratch. Over time things worked out: Glenn successfully built a strong business, created a new home, and forged a life he could be proud of.

Despite his success, his estrangement from the Holloways is still a sore spot he can’t quite heal, and a called-in favor becomes Glenn’s worst nightmare. Caught in a promise, Glenn returns to his roots to deal with Rand Holloway and comes face-to-face with Mac Gentry, a man far too appealing for Glenn’s own good. It could all lead to disaster—disaster for his tenuous reconnection with his family and for the desire he didn’t know he held in his heart.

Glenn Holloway went from snarly jerk in Timing to redeemed, confused, and frankly adorable character in After the Sunset.  It was there that you started to want to get a HEA or even HFN for Glenn.  Mary Calmes let us see into his upbringing and life with dear old dad on the ranch which was not really a happy time.  So with understanding came the ability to connect with the man who was starting to undergo so many sea-changes in his life.  I’m sure Calmes was hearing from all her fans, as they clamored for his story.

Now here it is.

I have to say that while Glenn and Mac will never be Stef and Rand, the golden couple of the Timing series, they certainly are a wonderful addition.  The story picks up a couple of years later in the timeline.  Glenn has his restaurant up and running, the Bronc Burger having done it on his own. His staff a mix of LGBTQIA kids and adults who have become family, more so than his own who he only sees when Stef intervenes.   And Stef is getting ready to do so again.

By getting Glenn to go along on a Red Diamond cattle drive, along with Rand and his brother, and people who have paid for the privilege.  Its a huge undertaking and the last thing Glenn wants to do but he owes Stef a favor and Stef is collecting.

Its an interesting dynamics. Glenn wants nothing to do with ranching and cowboys (really his family per se) and now he’s going to be surrounded by them. Yep, its going to be intense.  We’ve not gotten a hint as to who is to be Glenn’s romantic interest up ’til now.  Usually you can tell in the books prior who someone is going to be in a relationship with but here?  Nothing.  So I was surprised to see that it was going to be Mac Gentry, someone we really don’t know much about.  Mac’s been a bit of a shadow character.  We “hear” all how “dangerous” Mac is, etc.  But nothing of substance.  That makes this somewhat one-sided going into the relationship.  I wish we’d had more of a hint, or knew more about Mac before this story.   Ah well.

Told from Glenn’s pov, Calmes still manages to show the reader where Glenn is making assumptions about the situations he’s in and the people around him.  Glenn’s on edge and in retreat to the Glenn we first met.  And he knows it.  Enter Mac.  Maclain Gentry.  Its up to Glenn and Mac to introduce Mac to the readers and that becomes an interesting proposition.  We have to accept that its a feelings first and quick jump to love, that it really is all about timing for both men. I think the author makes her case here.  You did get a feeling of weariness from each, a need to have something more in their lives.  I got it and connected with both men.

I won’t spoil the story.  I think the path towards love for both Glenn and Mac was natural, and it worked.  Being Mary Calmes, nothing is ever easy.  There’s some real thrills here I wasn’t expecting.  And some heartwarming moments when you get to see where Stef and Rand are with their family now that a couple of years have passed.  You get caught up with the goings on at the Red Diamond, a place I can never get enough of.

I’m sort of hoping that Mary Calmes isn’t through with the Red Diamond either.  She’s busy turning it into its own little bustling city.  Surely there’s many more stories to come.  While we are waiting, make sure you add When the Dust Settles to your TBR pile and all the stories in the Timing series.  They are classic Mary Calmes and that’s not to be missed.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  I love that cover.  You can feel that cowboy’s eyes just follow you.  Outstanding.

Sales Links

        

Book Details:

ebook, 107 pages
Expected publication: November 16th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634778329
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series: Timing – add to your Goodreads shelf here:

Remmy Duchene on Writing and ‘Trust and Control’ (Dreamspinner Press Author Guest Blog)

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Trust and Control by Remmy Duchene
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reamspinner Press
Cover art by Aaron Anderson

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Remmy Duchene here today to talk about their latest novel, Trust and Control, and writing relationships. Welcome, Remmy!

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Hello everyone!

My name is Remmy Duchene and I write predominantly interracial/multicultural gay romance and erotica. I am here today to show off my new book Trust and Control but I thought I’d chat about something we all look for in a relationship—trust.

Most of us have issues with this. Whether it’s from a long history of being jerked around, or one specific instant in our lives where we were hurt so bad, putting our trust in another human being seems impossible. Sure, I know what I’m talking about because I have some of the same hang-ups. From cheating to abuse, I’ve been there.

In Trust and Control, Christophe has to learn to put his faith in a man, a man he barely knows, a man who he’s never seen his face. A few tender moments on a dance floor, faces hidden behind a mask, anything in that moment is possible because there doesn’t seem to be any form of trust involved. When you break it all down, this is an important part of the flirtation, of the chase. He has to first of all, put himself out there and hope this mysterious man with the dark eyes can look at him as more than just some slut out for a good time.

Another thing about trust is this, everyone wants it but we are very unwilling to give it. I used to say, I will trust you until you give me a reason not to. But after the life I have had, the life before I turned thirteen alone was hell with people who I was supposed to trust betraying me, that saying quickly morphed into I will trust no one until they give me a reason to. It’s not a good way to live but it is hard to put your heart out there then have it stomped on repeatedly.

This is one of the lessons Christophe Lafavre will have to learn in Trust and Control. Here’s hoping this story, though naughty, can give you a little peek into what life can be when you give a little. I know I certainly learned a lot from these characters.

Hugs,

Remmy Duchene

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About Trust and Control

Wealthy real estate mogul Christophe Lafavre has everything—except any love life to speak of. Though he has a brilliant head for business, when it comes to relationships, he’s often left fumbling in the dark.

To put a stop to the whispers about his pitiful social life, Christophe takes a suggestion from a friend and goes to a club on masquerade night. There, he meets an elusive hottie who calls himself Raj, and though Christophe cannot see Raj’s face, there’s definitely a connection. Over the phone and online, Christophe and Raj get to know each other. Their conversation is easy and arousing. It’s hard for Christophe to believe the strength of the feelings he’s developing toward a man who is still essentially a stranger, but he can’t get Raj out of his head. They eventually give in to their physical longing—but still Raj refuses to show his face or divulge his identity.

When it comes, the revelation will rock Christophe’s world and redefine more than one relationship in his life.

ebook, 2nd Edition
Expected publication: November 14th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

In the Spotlight: Master Cleary’s Boys (Irish Runaways #2) by Brina Brady (giveaway)

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Master Cleary’s Boys (Irish Runaways #2)  Brina Brady

Author: Brina Brady
 
Cover Design: Book Cover By Design
Length: 253 pages
 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Runaway Gypsy Boy (Irish Runaways #1) 
 
Blurb

Desperate to escape the clutches of an increasingly sadistic and abusive Dom, Kevin and Jack seize their opportunity to escape and runaway to Galway. They shave their heads and do their best to avoid being detected while searching for a new Dom who is prepared to take them on as package deal. Their running leads them to Cleary’s  Pub—a bar full of leather-clad Doms and subs, owned and run by Master Cleary…

Master Cameron Cleary was in need of a new sub—it had been far too long since he’d had a boy in his life. Each night as he ran his pub filled with leather-clad Doms, accompanied by their Subs, he became more aware of how solitary his life had become. That is, until two young cousins turned up one night looking for work, a place to stay, and more intriguingly a Dom who would take them both. Something about their recently shaved heads and skittish demeanor stirred his interest and protective nature. But did he want two subs, and was he prepared to deal with whatever trouble these boys were hiding?

Author Bio


I am from Huntington Beach, Ca. I taught various subjects at a Continuation High School in Los Angeles, California for 27 years. I obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history, Secondary Social Science Credential and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Reading and Secondary Education from California State University, Long Beach. I also enrolled in some creative writing classes at UCLA. 


Connect with Brina Brady here:

You can contact me at brinabrady@gmail.com.

 
 

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