A MelanieM Review: Murder Between the Pages by Josh Lanyon


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

murder-between-the-pages-by-josh-lanyonFelix Day, author of the Constantine Sphinx mysteries, and Leonard Fuller, author of the Inspector Fez mysteries, are bitter rivals and the best of enemies. Both happen to present when a notorious author of roman à clef is shot by an invisible assailant during a signing at historic Marlborough Bookstore.

Even if they weren’t both suspects, it’s the perfect opportunity to match wits and sleuthing skills.

If only the murderer was equally amused.

Murder Between the Pages by Josh Lanyon combines so many of my  favorites elements.  You have two main characters who happen to write murder mysteries of the type that were popular in the 40’s (and now, they never go  out of style).  They both have incredible past histories, war experiences that have marked them severely enough that neither feels suited to a “typical” return to normal life after the war.  And of course, you have the murder (sometimes murders) mysteries to be investigated and solved by the end of the story.  Romance too, lets not forget.

All wrapped up in a story that involved snappy dialog, beautifully layered characters, and an historical tone and feel that has the post war era all over it.  I loved  it all, from the author hostilities at the book club over their very similiar detectives to the terms used by gay men to signal their sexuality to each other in the 40’s.  Just so well done.

Of course, Josh Lanyon is a favorite author of mine for exactly the same reasons I loved this story.  Its short but doesn’t feel that way.  Its concise and yet at times, I could slow my reading down and admire the language and descriptions of the men and locations.  There’s my regret of a lost character who came and went too soon.  He was so well written even for one so briefly known, full-flavored and believable.

And then there’s the mystery. It comes with just the right amount of angst and flair for the dramatic.

I adore stories like this, can’t get enough of them.  Luckily I have Josh Lanyon who seems to love writing them as much as I love reading them.  Now I can’t wait for the next one to flow off Lanyon’s pen or what have you.

Cover art is superb.  Love it too.

Sales Links


Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 144 pages
Published November 8th 2016 by JustJoshin Publishing, Inc.
Edition Language English

A Paul B Review: Heart Scarab (Taking Shield #2) by Anna Butler


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

heart-scarab-by-anna-butlerIt’s been a year and a year and a half since Bennet returned from T-18.  Eighteen months since he last saw Fleet Lieutenant Flynn.  Things with Joss are just as rocky as ever since his return from that mission.  So Bennet was half relieved when Rosie, his second in command picks up him for his next mission, the evacuation of illegal settlers on the planet Telnos.  The religious sect that settled there believes it is just a government plot to control them.  However, the Maess drones and ships do show up while Bennet and crew are trying to convince one settlement to leave.  Several are killed during the attack, including children, which Bennet sees as a senseless waste of life.  As the Shield team moves the survivors toward the cutter, Bennet is hit in the helmet with a laser blast.  Rosie gets the remaining survivors on board and leaves the planet, unable to retrieve Bennet.

Back on Albion and the Gyrfalcon word spreads of Bennet’s death.  This news hits the family hard, along with Bennet’s partner Joss.  Joss goes into a depression because of the way he has treated his relationship with Bennet over the past nine years.  He regrets the dozens of affairs that he had while Bennet was off on missions.  He makes an ancient sacrifice to the old gods to help guide Bennet’s soul into the afterlife.  Among the pieces he buries is a heart scarab, the symbol of a heart place keeper of a mummy, which Bennet particularly liked.  When the family attends the midnight watch (the equivalent of a memorial service), Rosie suggests to Caeden, Bennet’s father, that they send another mission to rescue whatever survivors were left to honor Bennet.

When his family does not know is that Bennet survived the attack.  He has been living with a group of miners that failed to get off the planet when the Maess attacked.  He and the chief miner Ifan round up what is left of the human population on the planet that they can find and bring them into the mines for safety.  When his comm link buzzes, he realizes that against all normal protocol, Shield has returned and that he will be rescued.  During the rescue however, he suffers a direct laser blast to his knee, once again putting his life in danger.  His family, Joss, Flynn and Rosie must now deal with the consequences of Bennet’s return. 

This second book in Anna Butler’s Taking Shield series deals with the emotional and psychological effects of relationships and war.  Bennet is still trying to process his reunion with his father.  Joss, having used different men to deal with the loneliness of Bennet’s absence, finds that they were all pointless.  When he learns of Bennet’s affair with Flynn, the question becomes if it is worse to have several different affairs that mean nothing or one affair that means something.  Flynn is all confused as to why Caeden is so interested in helping him with Bennet.  After all is said and done, it seems no one escapes this drama without some heartache.

The cover art by Wilde City Press has Bennet superimposed inside a Shield badge against a star filled sky.  I think it is very appropriate for the book.

Sales Links

Wilde City Press



Book Details

EBook, 396 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published:  July 22, 2015 by Wilde City Press

ISBN:  978-1-925313-25-3

Series:  Taking Shield

Gyrfalcon (Taking Shield #1)

Heart Scarab (Taking Shield #2)

An Ali Audiobook Review: Counterpoint (Song of the Fallen #1) by Rachel Haimowitz and Narrated by Craig Beck

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

counterpoint_audiobook2400It is the twilight of mankind. Depleted by generations of war with a dark race, the human kingdoms and their ancient alliance stand on the brink of extinction. The outlands are soaked with the blood of the fallen. The midlands are rotting with decadence and despair.

Elfkind, estranged by past crimes, watches and waits for nature to run its course.

And then the two collide.

Ayden’s life has long been guided by two emotions: love for his sister, and hatred of all things human. When he’s captured in battle, he must for his sister’s sake swallow his pride and endure slavery in the service of a human prince, Freyrik Farr.

Freyrik’s always known elves to be beautiful and dangerous, but never has one affected him as deeply as Ayden. Can his life of service to his people leave room for this attraction? Dancing on a dagger’s edge between duty and high treason, Freyrik discovers that some choices can change a life, and some an entire world.

Between prejudice, politics, pride, and survival, Ayden and Freyrik must carve a new path, no matter how daunting. For nothing less than the fate of both their peoples rests on the power of their perseverance and their love.

I really enjoyed this story.  I had never read this author before so I had no idea what I was going in to so I was pleasantly surprised and I have a new series and a new author to follow.  There is elaborate world building and the writing was very engaging.  I loved both of the main characters and the complicated situation they find themselves in unfolded seamlessly.  While Ayden enters into the relationship as a slave there is no forced sexual situations (which I was a little nervous about going in to this).  The relationship progresses over time and as trust builds Ayden begins to care for Freyrik.  I love when an enemies to lovers trope takes the time to show how the relationship unfolds and I think the author did a great job with that here.  I could totally belief that they were falling for each other.  It was a slow build and those always pay off so well in the end for me.
There is a warning about violence and there is some, but I didn’t think it was too bad and there wasn’t much of it.  The story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger but fortunately the second book is already out so I can move directly on to that.
This story was narrated by Craig Beck.  I don’t think I’ve ever listened to him before but now I’m totally a fan.  I thought he did an excellent job on all of the voices and the story as a whole.  I would definitely recommend this audiobook.
Overall this was a really good story for me.  I would recommend it for fans of the fantasy genre and people who enjoy the enemies to lovers trope.
Cover by Simone’:  I like the cover.  It is an older cover but I still think it fits well with the fantasy concept of the story.
Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Published  by Riptide Publishing (first published July 31st 2010)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/counterpoint-song-fallen-1
SeriesSong of the Fallen #1

Its Release Time for Snow & Secrets (Stanford Creek #3) by RJ Scott writing as Rozenn Scott (giveaway)


Snow & Secrets (Stanford Creek #3) 

 RJ Scott writing as Rozenn Scott

Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: OmniLit/AllRomance
Length: 50,000 words
Stanford Creek Series
Notes & Roses
Love & Hope

First comes trust, then love… then the fight to stay alive. 

Pop star Tyler Hart is desperate for peace after a humiliating public scandal. It seems like Stanford Creek may well be the place to lay low. After all, it worked for his friends and former bandmates, Cody and Danny. He borrows a cabin and settles in for a quiet Christmas…well, not quite.

Garrett Campbell is on the run. Wounded in the line of duty, he escapes to the only place he feels safe, Stanford Creek and his brother’s cabin. Only he doesn’t realize he’ll have a roommate, and a sexy one at that.

Amid snow falls and winter winds, passion burns bright. When danger threatens to follow Garrett, he has to decide whether to run again before his secrets could kill him and the man of his dreams.

Be sure to check out Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.


Author Bio:


RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.



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