An Ali Review: Soothsayer by Cari Z.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

soothsayer-by-cari-zCillian Kelly can look into people’s eyes and see their fates. He’s running from a past filled with mistakes, lying low and selling his services on the sly. When he learns that Sören Egilsson, a man who sacrificed himself so Cillian could escape imprisonment two years ago, is somehow still alive, Cillian has to find out how. What he gets is the body of the man he loves possessed by an ancient spirit who draws Cillian into a battle to the death for the right to control Sören’s fate, and the power that comes with it.

I’ve read most everything this author has written and I’m a big fan of hers.  That being said, I think this is my favorite book that she’s written.  I was immediately drawn into this story and once I started it, I could not put it down.  It’s a fairly short book but a lot happens.  The blurb perfectly explains the plot.  Cillian is living with his mother’s best friend and trying to keep a low profile.  He’s been kidnapped in the past by people who want him to do bad things for them with his power.  While he’s currently doing alright, Cillian lives with a horrible regret from his past that he can’t seem to let go.  When the chance to right the wrongs he’s done comes up, Cillian jumps at the chance to make amends despite the danger to himself.  This leads Cillian, Soren and an Icelandic land spirit that acts like a teenager, to head out across the United States on a crazy road trip.  A road trip that includes bar fights, mobsters, roller coasters, paint ball fights, hand held missiles, cowboys, more ancient spirits, waffles and blowing stuff up.  

The plot is fast paced and super entertaining.  This is the kind of story that would make a great movie.  In addition to the fun plot, there are also a lot of emotions.  The author was able to weave a complex emotional story between Cillian and Soren and it was a relationship I totally bought in to.  I was rooting for these two the entire way.  I loved Cillian as the main character but I think the author did a great job on all of the side characters too.  There a lot of them but they are all fleshed out well and they are all unique and add purpose to the overall plot.  The spirit was just as important as Soren and actually had more on page time.  He stole every scene he was in with his petulant demands.  He made me laugh out loud more than once.

 I think this book has something for everyone and will appeal to a lot of readers.  It’s unique, romantic, funny and filled with great characters.  This is one I would definitely recommend.

Cover by Natasha Snow:  I love the cover.  I think it’s eye catching and gorgeous and it fits the story perfectly.

Sale Links: NineStar | Amazon | Nook

ebook, 184 pages
Published: January 30, 2017, NineStar Press
ISBN: 9781945952524
Edition Language: English

An Ali Review: Stallions and Ice by Stephani Hecht


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

stallions-and-iceSometimes you have to climb a mountain to see the future.

While Brandon loves to go and watch his friend, Nichole, at The American Royal every year, there is no way that he is ever going to climb on a horse. His feet belong on the ground or the ice. As one the of the players of the local minor league team, the Wichita Thunder, all he dreams about is someday moving up to the major leagues. That is, until he meets Nichole’s brother, Brandon.

Brandon grew up in a family that has always been in the rodeo circuit. There was no question that he was ever going to be anything else…until he’s sidelined by seizures and can no longer ride. Then he meets Ethan and he begins to wonder, that maybe, just maybe, his life isn’t over.

Will decades of traditions tear the men apart? Or can they can overcome all their obstacles and be together?

I’m a giant hockey fan and I’ll read pretty much anything if it has a hockey player in it.  I picked this up because of that fact.  I had never read this author before so I didn’t really know what to expect.  This is a short story that was published before in an anthology.  I liked the overall plot and I liked the two main characters.  My biggest issue was that it was too short.  There was a lot going on here.  The reader is given a plot that has complicated backgrounds that incorporates dating pasts, familial relationships, careers, and health issues.  I was interested in these things but the short page count left me feeling like nothing was complete and I had a million questions still at the end of the book.  I would have preferred the author to either make this a longer, more detailed book, or have cut out a lot of the background detail.  There is only so much that can be done in a short story in my opinion.  

Overall this was an average read.  I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t love it either.  It was my first time reading this author and I did enjoy it enough to try her again.

Cover:  I love this cover.  I think it is beautifully done and it perfectly captures the spirit of the story.

Sales Links

Pride Publishing


Book Details:

Published January 17th 2017 by Pride Publishing (first published December 20th 2016)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Face Without a Heart by Rick R. Reed


Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

a-face-without-a-heartA modern-day and thought-provoking retelling of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that esteemed horror magazine Fangoria called “…a book that is brutally honest with its reader and doesn’t flinch in the areas where Wilde had to look away…. A rarity: a really well-done update that’s as good as its source material.”

A beautiful young man bargains his soul away to remain young and handsome forever, while his holographic portrait mirrors his aging and decay and reflects every sin and each nightmarish step deeper into depravity… even cold-blooded murder. Prepare yourself for a compelling tour of the darkest sides of greed, lust, addiction, and violence.

Let me start off by saying that one, I think the synopsis didn’t quite get it right.  I don’t feel that A Face without a Heart is a retelling of that fabulous and horrific Oscar Wilde tale, The Picture of Dorian Gray, is rather a modern day ode to Wilde by Reed. The author takes Wilde’s story of a beautiful man who bargains away his soul rather than see himself as anything less than the perfect image he sees displayed before him and gives it a Rick R Reed, hmmm, not twist perhaps but something similar enough as though the demon who visited Dorian came back and said, ‘here’s another likely candidate.  Let’s choose him.’  And did.

If you’re not familiar with Oscar Wilde, or his story, The Picture of Dorian Gray, drop everything and go read everything you can by this man, including that one. First published in 1890 to great consternation and uproar, it holds up to this day, where its in release still.  If you’re not and are looking for a romance, stop!  There’s not one to be found here unless its one man’s love for his own reflection at the cost of his soul.  To keep that beauty intact, there’s nothing he won’t do, keep that in mind.

So no to the romance. Yes to the horror.

Yes to the slow disintegration of a man and the appearances of what a life ill-used in every possible manner can look like on a painting (Oscar Wilde) or in this case a holographic portrait which was a very neat upgrade I must say by Rick R. Reed.  From the moment Liam Howard, photographer and artist, sees the incandescent beauty of Gary Adrion, he wants him to pose for his holographic portrait.  Gary’s an innocent.  Until he see’s himself unveiled in all his perfection. The author chillingly carries us from moment to moment, in each character’s involvement with each other as they head towards this shattering unveiling that will shift all their lives forever and past to all its damning ramifications. There’s multiple pov here which works very well. We know what’s coming and still its effect is immediate and alive.  And we know Gary’s innocence has fled.

What follows is every bit as horrific and condemning of the ideas of eternal youth/beauty and lives lived empty of morality or worth to anyone but yourself as Oscar Wilde held forth in 1890.  Still true today?  You make up your own mind. I think Rick R. Reed has done a splendid job.  I highly recommend this story if you are a lover of horror and a well written tale.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson.  I understand what the artist was trying to do but I think it ended up looking more like a press run gone bad instead of a holographic image he was going  for.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | DSP Publications

Book Details:

ebook, 4th Edition, 200 pages
Expected publication: January 31st 2017 by DSP Publications (first published January 25th 2000)
Original Title A Face Without a Heart: A Modern-Day Version of Oscar Wilde’s the Picture of Dorian Gray
ISBN 163533263X (ISBN13: 9781635332636)
Edition Language English
Literary Awards Gaylactic Spectrum Award Nominee for Best Novel (2001)

First Edition paperback published by Design Image Group, 2000.

Second Edition paperback published by iUniverse/Back in Print, 2006.

First Edition eBook published by Bristlecone Press, 2009

A Lila Review: Soothsayer by Cari Z.


Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

soothsayer-by-cari-zCillian Kelly can look into people’s eyes and see their fates. He’s running from a past filled with mistakes, lying low and selling his services on the sly. When he learns that Sören Egilsson, a man who sacrificed himself so Cillian could escape imprisonment two years ago, is somehow still alive, Cillian has to find out how. What he gets is the body of the man he loves possessed by an ancient spirit who draws Cillian into a battle to the death for the right to control Sören’s fate, and the power that comes with it.

Soothsayer is not a traditional romance. It’s the embodiment of doing something in the name of love. With the added bonus of learning how the main characters reached that point in their relationship. Their love story is beautiful but unconventional.

The book is narrated by Cillian in the first person. We see what he sees and experienced all his emotions. Even so, Cillian doesn’t get lost in internal monologues or “I’m not good enough” rants. He knows his place in the world and accepts what faith had chosen for him. That doesn’t mean that he’d not do everything in his power to align things in his favor.

From the start, we are part of Cillian’s alter universe. He can be any tattooed guy walking around us. The world as we know it is the main setting, but the psychic current giving life to the characters exists in an underground civilization. They’re in touch with a different reality, and their abilities are a representation of that evolution. There are several terms to follow and different legends to learn about. And a good amount of suspension of disbelief is necessary, even for a paranormal story.

Character introductions take the beginning of the story and can be a bit too long but necessary. As well as seeing Cillian in action. But all those events and circumstances have a role later in the story. It takes a while for the main characters [Cillian & the Spirit] to interact, and even longer for the main couple [Cillian & Sören].

The author did good balancing the amount of travel time and the events around it. Most stops are entertaining and the Spirit adds the necessary comedic relief. A lot of the twists and turns are kept hidden away from everyone, including the reader.  The way the story resolution is achieved isn’t easily assumed. At least not completely, making the reader want to read faster.

Overall, this is a nice story to read if you are looking for a different interpretation of paranormals and alternative universes. Soothsayer is different from other books and creates a niche of its own. The book has a solid HFN with the possibility for more stories, but there aren’t necessary. What we get is enough to satisfy the reader.

Natasha Snow did a good job representing Cillian and his trip around the country.

Sale Links: NineStar | Amazon | Nook

ebook, 184 pages
Published: January 30, 2017, NineStar Press
ISBN: 9781945952524
Edition Language: English

In the Spotlight: Soothsayer by Cari Z (excerpt and giveaway)


Title:  Soothsayer

Author: Cari Z

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: January 30

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 68200

Genre: Romance, Action, urban fantasy, magic, magic user, psychic/soothsayer, myth/folklore, mafia, reunited, road trip, spirits, posession

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Cillian Kelly can look into people’s eyes and see their fates. He’s running from a past filled with mistakes, lying low and selling his services on the sly. When he learns that Sören Egilsson, a man who sacrificed himself so Cillian could escape imprisonment two years ago, is somehow still alive, Cillian has to find out how. What he gets is the body of the man he loves possessed by an ancient spirit who draws Cillian into a battle to the death for the right to control Sören’s fate, and the power that comes with it.


Cari Z © 2017
All Rights Reserved

My phone buzzed, interrupting my musing. I frowned as I pulled it out of my jacket pocket. Only a dozen people had this number, and I wasn’t expecting to talk to any of them any time soon. I unlocked it and looked at my new message.

Move ten paces to the right.

My feet were moving even before my brain caught up, obedience was so instinctual. Two seconds later, I was out of the mouth of the alley, and three seconds after that, a beat-up silver sedan coming down the road was clipped by a delivery van and veered straight into the corner of the building. It wasn’t moving fast, thankfully, but the crash was plenty loud, especially since I was just a few feet away from the point of impact.

A memory flashed through my mind, one of my personal rare and painful gems. I was in the backseat of an old Lincoln, and I was very small. My feet wouldn’t have touched the floor even if I hadn’t had my knees squished to my chest, and my face was pressed to the knobby joints so hard they were leaving red blotches on my cheeks. The man driving was on a phone—an old-school cell phone, clunky in his hand, distracting. He wasn’t paying attention, but I knew the moment before the car was hit and covered my head with my hands, so when I went flying into the door, it didn’t hurt as much. Metal crunched, and bright spots flashed across the darkness behind my eyelids as the car spun and spun…

I shook my head and took a deep breath, focusing on the present. The van hadn’t stopped, but I didn’t bother trying to catch its license plate number―there were plenty of people exclaiming and getting on their phones. I headed over to the driver’s side and opened the door, but didn’t reach in to touch the woman who had been driving. She was moving under her own power, picking her head up off the remains of her airbag and whimpering softly. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…”

“It’s all right,” I said gently. I might not be a martyr, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t feel compassion for another person, especially one who’d just been thrown into a wall. “You’re okay. Just a little accident. There’s an ambulance coming to help you.” I could already hear it in the distance. We were only a few blocks from a major hospital. “Can you look at me for a moment?” She blearily turned, and as soon as our eyes met, I sighed and backed out of the way. One of the employees at the auto-painting store took my place, and a second later—bam. The fucking Ace of Cups moment. Who found true love as a result of a car accident? This wasn’t exactly the heartwarming scene I’d envisioned getting me through the day earlier.

“Are you all right?” the newcomer asked frantically. “What’s your name? I’m Felix. I’m gonna stay with you until the ambulance gets here, okay? Oh Jesus, are you all right?”

“I’m…I think so?” the woman said, her voice gaining a little bit of strength. “I’m Paula.”

“Paula, hey.” He smiled at her, and she smiled back. I rolled my eyes. “Nice to meet you.”

For fuck’s sake. Well, at least the settlement from the trucking company would give them a nice nest egg to get their new place together. I turned away and walked to the end of the block before getting out my phone again and making a call.

She picked up on the second ring. “Hi, baby.”

“What, you can see me getting smeared across a wall, but you don’t bother to let me know about having a gun pulled on me?”

“Cillian.” My mother sounded half apologetic, half resigned. “You know it doesn’t work like that.”

Yes, fine, I did know that, but I didn’t feel like being reasonable right now. “So you didn’t see that this morning, then?”

“Did you need me to see it?”

I wasn’t about to go down the self-sufficiency road with her. It meant a surefire argument, and I was still buzzing with adrenalin from being so close to the car crash.

“No,” I said flatly. “I guess not.”


NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She writes award-winning LGBTQ fiction featuring aliens, supervillains, soothsayers, and even normal people sometimes.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | eMail | Blog

Tour Schedule

1/30     Hearts On Fire Reviews

1/30     On Top Down Under

1/31     Love Bytes –

1/31     Out Of My Head

1/31     Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

2/1       Slashsessed

2/1       Stories That Make You Smile

2/1       Book Lovers 4Ever

2/2       Happily Ever Chapter

2/2       Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

2/3       The Novel Approach

2/3       We Three Queens


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Blog Tour: Adrift by Isabelle Adler (excerpt and giveaway)


Title:  Adrift

Series: Staying Afloat, Book 1

Author: Isabelle Adler

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: January 30

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 66000

Genre: Romance, Science Fiction, NineStar Press, sci-fi, futuristic, aliens, military, smugglers, pirates, demisexual, pilots, action/adventure, space battle, age-gap, slow-burn

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Some jobs are just too good to be true.

Captain Matt Spears learns this the hard way after a mysterious employer hires his ship to hunt down an ancient alien artifact but insists on providing his own pilot. Ryce Faine is handsome and smart, but Matt has rarely met anyone more obnoxious. With tensions running high, it isn’t until they are attacked by the hostile Alraki that Matt grudgingly begins to respect Ryce’s superior skills, respect that transforms into a tentative attraction.

Little did he know that their biggest challenge would be reaching their destination, an abandoned alien base located on a distant moon amid a dense asteroid field. But when Matt learns that Ryce isn’t completely who he says he is and the artifact is more than he bargained for, he is faced with a difficult choice. One that might change the balance of forces in the known galaxy.

Matt doesn’t take well to moral dilemmas; he prefers the easy way out. But that might not be possible anymore, when his past comes back to haunt him at the worst possible moment. When faced with a notorious pirate carrying a personal grudge, the fragile connection Matt has formed with Ryce might be the only thing that he can count on to save them both.


Isabelle Adler © 2017
All Rights Reserved


“No way,” Matt said. “No way in hell.”

The low hum of music and the loud voices threatened to swallow his response. The Blue Giant was like any other canteen on any other small-time maintenance space station, offering cheap drinks and free talk, catering to drifters, smugglers, freelance pilots, and the dregs of every known society. The strong smell of synthetic spirits enveloped the crowded room in an almost tangible cloud. It really wasn’t the best location for conducting business, even over interstellar communications channels, but one could stand being cooped up in a spaceship for only so long.

Matt ignored the noise best he could as he squinted at the commlink screen. This wasn’t a regular type of job, but then again, freelancers didn’t exactly have regular jobs. As it was, this one promised to be very well paying. His potential client had introduced himself as Mr. Ari, though Matt suspected it wasn’t his real name. They usually weren’t. At the moment, he was more concerned with Mr. Ari’s terms and conditions than with his identity, fake or otherwise.

“This is nonnegotiable,” Ari said firmly. There was no image on-screen, just his computer-altered voice in the earpiece. “I require that my own pilot navigate your ship to destination. He’s the only one who will know the exact route and the details of the mission. I’m merely hiring your ship to transport my man and provide him with assistance.”

“It’s my ship and I’m the only one flying her,” Matt said indignantly. “No way I’ll just let some stranger take over. Now, a passenger, that’s another matter. I’ve nothing against passengers, so long as they’re nice and quiet.” And good-looking, but he wasn’t about to say that to the client’s face, or to the lack thereof, as the case was. But another pilot? This was ridiculous. If the only thing this guy needed was a ship, there were much simpler alternatives than hiring Matt’s services.

“As I’ve said before, Captain, this job requires subtlety and a very specific set of skills,” Ari said. Even with the distortion, he somehow managed to make “Captain” sound like an insult. “Which, with all due respect, I doubt you possess. This is a salvage mission, and the location must remain a secret until you get there. To put it simply, you sit back, let my man do the job, get back safely, and collect the cash—as long as you keep your mouth firmly shut about any of this. I’ve been told that your ship is fast and well equipped, and that you are discreet. I’d hate to think that I’ve been misinformed.”

Matt took a long sip of his beer to stall for time. The beer had a distinct sour artificial aftertaste, but at least it was cold. “What kind of salvage?”

“An abandoned alien site. I’m afraid I can’t divulge further information at this point, other than it would require a jump to another sector.”

“Huh,” Matt grunted. The guy was definitely too well-spoken to be a scavenger; on the other hand, off-world archaeological salvage (if that was indeed Ari’s intent) was usually done for strictly academic purposes and required government permits. Any other form of salvage, whether human or alien, was considered theft and was absolutely illegal. That and some other guy had to fly his ship? There was no way in hell he’d agree to that. This Mr. Ari could either fuck off or pay him way more than he was offering. “Well, you make it sound very tempting and all, but still. A pilot has his pride, you know. No one takes my seat, twenty thousand Fed-creds or no.”

“Name your price,” Ari said tersely.

“One hundred thousand,” Matt said, testing the waters.

“Done,” Ari said with a finality that left Matt a little dizzy. He was sure Ari would balk at the asking price. He wondered belatedly whether he could have gotten away with being even bolder. “My pilot will meet you at Dock G5 in two hours. You’ll get twenty percent of your fee now, and the rest when the job is done.”

“Agreed,” Matt said. How did this guy know exactly where his ship was? Shit, he could hardly back down on the offer now. “I’ll send you the account number.”

“Now, Mr. Spears, I must stress again how delicate this assignment is.”

“Of course,” Matt said. Really, this was tedious. Every client thought they were the only one in the galaxy who had dirty secrets. He wouldn’t have been in this line of work for as long as he had if he couldn’t keep his mouth shut and his eyes averted.

“You might encounter…competition,” Ari said. “While this is unlikely to happen, there is a chance that other parties might try to intercept you.”

“What do you mean, ‘intercept’?” Matt asked suspiciously. “Just to make it clear—I’m a runner, not a mercenary. If it’s something dangerous—”

“The reason I’m not willing to be more specific is precisely because I don’t want any information to leak out and pose a threat to your mission,” Ari said, sounding a bit too vague for Matt’s comfort. “However, you should be on alert, and report any incidents to my agent.”

Now he wanted him to report to the guy? Matt was utterly and completely done with reporting to anybody for the rest of his life. He was more than capable of handling any situation, and he wasn’t about to play the chain-of-command game with his client’s representative. However, he kept it prudently to himself. You didn’t sass somebody who was willing to shell out all those credits.

“Got it,” he said dryly. “I’ll be on alert. Anything else?”

“You may discuss further details with my man, and he’ll be handling all future communications. Good luck, Captain.”

“My pleasure,” Matt said. He disconnected the call and sagged back into his chair, pushing away the beer. He had a very, very bad feeling.


NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Meet the Author

A voracious reader from the age of five, Isabelle Adler has always dreamed of one day putting her own stories into writing. She loves traveling, art, and science, and finds inspiration in all of these. Her favorite genres include sci-fi, fantasy, and historical adventure. She also firmly believes in the unlimited powers of imagination and caffeine.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

Tour Schedule

1/30 Love Bytes

1/30 Stories That Make You Smile

1/31 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

2/1 Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

2/1 Prism Book Alliance

2/2 Happily Ever Chapter

2/2 Reviews by Tammy and Kim

2/3 We Three Queens


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Release Blitz: Rick R Reed’s A Face without a Heart (excerpt and giveaway)

Cover: Aaron Anderson
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 56,887 words

A modern-day and thought-provoking retelling of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that esteemed horror magazine Fangoria called “…a book that is brutally honest with its reader and doesn’t flinch in the areas where Wilde had to look away…. A rarity: a really well-done update that’s as good as its source material.”

A beautiful young man bargains his soul away to remain young and handsome forever, while his holographic portrait mirrors his aging and decay and reflects every sin and each nightmarish step deeper into depravity… even cold-blooded murder. Prepare yourself for a compelling tour of the darkest sides of greed, lust, addiction, and violence.


He was beautiful. Beauty is so seldom ascribed to men, too often incorrectly attributed to men with feminine features—wavy blond hair, fine cheekbones, teeth cut from porcelain. But I’ve always thought of beauty as a quality that went deeper than the corporeal… something dark, dense, inexplicable, capable of stirring longings primal, longings one would be powerless to resist.

He was beautiful. I sat on a Red Line “L” train, headed downtown, bags of heavy camera equipment heaped at my side, one arm resting protectively over them. I watched the young man, unable to train my thoughts on anything other than this man who had blotted out the reality of the day, magical and transforming. Beauty, especially so rare a beauty, can do that. The young man was an eclipse, his presence coming between myself and the reality of the day hurtling by outside train windows.

He had come in behind three foreign people, a bright counterpoint to their drab clothes, colorless, already wilting in the August humidity. They chattered to one another in a language unrecognizable, Polish maybe, and I was annoyed at their yammering, unable to block it out sufficiently enough to concentrate on the book I was reading, a biography of William Blake.

I almost didn’t notice him. It wasn’t like me to pay much attention to what went on around me, especially when I was preparing for a shoot. Usually I used the time on the train to set up the photographs I would take, the way I would manipulate light and shadow and how it fell on my models, to arrange the props, set up and test the lighting.

But something caused me to look up when the doors opened—perhaps I was struck by the dissonance created by the unknown language—and I saw him. Close-cropped brown hair, a bit of stubble framing full lips, a bruise fading to dull below his right eye. The bruise did not detract from the man’s beauty but served to enhance it, making of the rough features something more vulnerable. The bruise was the embodiment of a yearning for the touch of a finger, the whisper of a kiss. He wore an old, faded T-shirt with a Bulls logo, black denim cut off just above his knees, and a pair of work boots, the seam on the left beginning to separate. In spite of the workman’s garb, there was something intellectual about the man, an intensity in his aquamarine eyes that portended deeper thought.

At that moment, I made a decision. I don’t know what caprice seized me. I have always led an orderly life, completely without surprise. But when the train pulled to a stop and the young man stood, I acted on an impulse that was as sudden as it was uncontrollable.

Author Bio

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.

He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.”

Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

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An Ali Review: Falling into Darkness by LM Brown

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
falling-into-darknessTheir love could save the soul of a fallen angel or damn an archangel to an eternity in hell.

The realm of angels was created as a paradise where angels could watch over the earth as mankind took his first steps. For the archangel Michael, it is the only home he has ever known and he could never envisage another life. Michael’s life changes the day his path crosses that of the favored son of the morning. From the moment he saw him, Michael wanted Lucifer for his own. When the two angels come together the passion surprises them both.

Their love is forged in heaven, but is doomed the moment Lucifer falls from grace to become the leader of an army of demons.

Separated by war, the former lovers know the time will come when they must face each other in battle. 

Their confrontation will set in motion events that neither could have foreseen. For Lucifer it is the chance to persuade Michael to stand at his side, as his partner as leader of the demons. For Michael, it is a mission to save his lover’s soul, while risking his own.

Torn between his love for Lucifer and his duties as an angel, Michael walks a fine line, where one wrong step could result in his own fall from Heaven, and an eternity in hell.
The story starts when Michael and Lucifer are both angel and covers centuries of their time together both before and after Lucifer falls.  The book was long and a lot of different things happen.  I liked the idea of the overall plot but I never felt any connection between these two.  I was supposed to be believing this huge, dramatic love and yet I never felt any emotions and honestly I didn’t see what Michael saw in Lucifer.  He as aloof and stilted before he fell and then he was selfish and a real jerk afterwards.  And, yes, I know he’s Lucifer so being a jerk is part of the package but there was nothing there could make me think Michael would be tempted to fall for him.  A lot of events happen but it’s all telling and no showing.  This had the set up to be packed with emotions and a great hurt/comfort trope but I felt nothing between them.  Not even sexual chemistry. 
 I didn’t care for the author’s writing style at all and it was difficult for me to even finish the story.  I have seen a lot of other positive reviews for this book so maybe it was just that this book wasn’t for me.  
Cover:  I like the cover a lot.  I think it looks great and represents the story well.
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Book Details:
Published December 13th 2016 by Pride Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish

A VVivacious Release Day Review: Making Love by Aidan Wayne

Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5
makinglove_500x750Carla is a cupid working in the Puppy Love division but what she wants more than anything is to shoot a True Love match but her understanding of the chemistry that goes into making a love match is poor to say the least.
Leeta Absinthe is a succubus who finds herself in an odd position, as a part of a largely aromantic species, Leeta is a succubus looking for a love match. But since succubi and incubi are such a notoriously infamous species, it’s unlikely that she will ever find a cupid to help make her match.
But Carla and Leeta are the perfect match, Carla wants to shoot a True Love match and that is exactly what Leeta wants, true love but as these two start to work together, they might just discover something they never unexpected.
I loved this story, it was very interesting. I read it in a single setting. I loved the premise of the story, it was intriguingly unique.
Carla is a bubbly cupid, who can’t help being optimistic and I loved how much she wanted to shoot a true love match. I adored her personality on the whole. She was the cutest.
Leeta is a succubus and I truly didn’t know much about succubi going into this book but I have now been thoroughly educated. What I loved Leeta was her straight-forwardness. She knew what she wanted and she made the right steps to getting it. It was refreshing to see a character who knew herself so well.
Carla and Leeta made an awesome match and I truly think that the author got the formula to making love exactly right with these two.
I loved the world this book is set up in. It was extremely interesting but I do feel that this book needed a little more world-building and I do have a lot of questions about this world. Also the specifics of love were very confusing but I loved how the author did his best to make us understand and at the same time appreciate the complexity of love.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. I felt it was perfectly written, had amazing characters and a well-executed plot-line.
Cover Art by L. C. Chase. I loved the cover. The background has such a cupid-y feel and the stances on the cover for both Carla and Leeta, really gets their personalities across. This cover was such a great one.
Sales Links
Book Details:
ebook, 92 pages
Expected publication: January 30th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleMaking Love
ISBN 1626495351 (ISBN13: 9781626495357)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates 4) by Jay Northcote


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

watching-and-wantingIn the continuation of the Housemates series, Jay Northcote introduces Shawn, an apparently straight guy—as evidenced by his girlfriend—and sometimes smartass—as evidenced by his comments on his roommates’ snogging sessions in the lounge.

Those roomies are Jez and Mac and Ewan and Dev from previous stories, all of whom I enjoyed seeing again. Not long after Shawn breaks up with his girlfriend, he accidentally walks in on Jude as Jude is wanking off in front of his laptop in his own room. Just before he awkwardly gets back out the door, he sees the name of the site Jude has up on the screen, and against his better judgment, signs onto the site on his own laptop. Shocked to see that Jude is live on the site, wanking off in front of the masses, Shawn nevertheless stays around not only long enough to watch Jude get off, but to get himself off as well.

Doubts and questions abound as he starts to realize that watching that show and appreciating the sexiness of the men around him is not as strange as he thought it would be. When he takes up Jude’s offer to sit in on a session with him, Jude is shocked and pleased, but it’s what happens to Shawn that makes the big difference.

This is the start of a friends-with-benefits relationship that later evolves into real caring between the men, and the author made sure we had a good, basic story before launching into feelings territory. By the time the men were ready to move forward, I was engaged by both characters, rooting for them to make their way out of the rut they fell into, and hoping Shawn would be brave enough to move forward with Jude and come out of his straight-boy persona.

The story is an all-around “feel good” tale with an OFY theme—one of my favorites. Set in the world of the other housemates, this book can certainly be read as a standalone, though it would be a shame to miss out on enjoying the others. This series has become one of my favorites, and I’m looking forward to story of Ben, the quiet new roommate. Please, Jay, give us Ben’s story. He seems like a sweetheart, and I definitely want to see him find his forever love.

The cover is a simple black-and-white photo of a bare-chested man, similar to others in the series, and just right for this story. 

Sales Links


Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 129 pages
Published January 20th 2017 by Jaybird Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHousemates #4 settingPlymouth, England (United Kingdom)
England (United Kingdom)