A MelanieM Review: Wild Bells by Charlie Cochrane

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

wild-bellsWild Bells, two historical novellas.

The Shade on a Fine Day:
Curate William Church may set the hearts of the parish’s young ladies aflame, but he doesn’t want their affection or presents, no matter how much they want to give them to him. He has his sights set elsewhere, for a love he’s not allowed to indulge. One night, eight for dinner at the Canon’s table means the potential arrival of a ghost. But what message will the spirit bring and which of the young men around the table is it for?

The Angel in the Window:
Two officers, one ship, one common enemy.
Alexander Porterfield may be one of the rising stars of the British navy, but his relationship with his first lieutenant, Tom Anderson, makes him vulnerable. To blackmail, to anxieties about exposure—and to losing Tom, either in battle or to another ship. When danger comes more from the English than the French, where should a man turn?

Charlie Cochrane is one of our top m/m historical fiction authors.  Her stories center us and her characters in their era and cultures effortlessly, plunging us into the niceties of teas, obligation,and  respectability. A place of insular cultures and a society where loving a man and sodomy will get you and your lover hanged. In Wild Bells, Cochrane offers us up two stories.  Each beautifully written, a treasure of romance, and love found within the strictures of the laws and ways of that time period.

The Shade on a Fine Day sees the journey of one young curate to what it is he really wants and the courage to reach out and ask for it.  For the author, she always keeps in mind what is plausible and what is not within that time frame and sensibilities.  When her story plays out, as it does gently, sweetly and with love, you can see it happening and you believe in it.  I loved this story.

The Angel in the Window is a friends to lovers story that is anything but simple.  Layered and deep, the story of Alexander and Tom’s relationship is colored by the fear of discovery.  That even the hint of something less than reputable could lose them their reputations,their Commissions, their standings, even their lives.  Its the law of the land and its followed strictly.  How Alexander and Tom work through this is another Cochrane hallmark and its one that had made me a fan since I first discovered her through her Cambridge Fellows Mysteries.

This is a wonderful two story treasure.  Its perfect for the holidays but really any time of the year.   Pick up it and revel in the lovely writing and romances of Charlie Cochrane.

Cover art is simple yet effective.

Sales Links

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindleBook Details:

Kindle Edition, 131 pages
Published December 1st 2016
Original TitleThe Shade on a Fine Day and The Angel in the Window
ASINB01NA785ID
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Stella Release Day Review: Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette by Killian B. Brewer

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

lunch-with-the-do-nothings-at-the-tammy-dinetteWhen Marcus Sumter, a short order cook with dreams of being a chef, inherits a house in small town Marathon, Georgia, he leaves his big city life behind. Marcus intends to sell the house to finance his dreams, but a group of lovable busybodies called the Do Nothings, a new job at the local diner, the Tammy Dinette, and a handsome mechanic named Hank cause Marcus to rethink his plans. Will he return to the life he knew, or will he finally put down roots?

Marcus Sumter is used to move around a lot, he grew up in the diners (a lot of them) where his mother worked as a waitress, and there, while doing his homework or napping on a booth while waiting for his mum to finish his shift, he learned how to cook the cheesiest and greasiest food, the best comfort food ever. Now he is on the road trying to reach Marathon, when he has a car accident and wakes up in the emergency room of the town hospital, with no car or phone, his only hope and way of transportation is a crazy woman, Helen, who talks and talks and talks. Marcus is actually in Marathon cause his grandmother just died and left him everything she owned and a house, “so that maybe, just once in his life, that poor boy can have a real home”. The grandmother Marcus has never met. Maybe the only person who loved him more than anything else in the world. More than alcohol or men.

Marcus needs to stay in town just to sell the house and then he will be on the road again. Of course what he wants means nothing when he has the Do Nothing girls beside him to take decisions  in his place. And then he ends working as a cook at Tammy dinette. Just to save same money and pay gorgeous mechanic Hank the repairs of his car and go away, right? But it seems the Do Nothings have other plans for Marcus.

I knew I was going to give this book 5 stars since from the first couple of chapters. Although Lunch with the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette is just the second novel published by Killian B. Brewer, I have to confess I’m deeply in love with  this author’s writing and characters. Each person he puts in a story is always a main character even if in the story they are just a secondary one. Each character is well depicted so the reader is able to know them as well as the MCs. There are a lot of secondary characters, all the Do Nothings ladies, Priss, Inez, Helen, then there’s Skeet, I adored him, he was flirty, joyous and I would so love to read his own story. I have to say I’m not a huge fan of Hank, I simply didn’t like him, he seemed to me a little judgmental sometimes, he wasn’t great at listening and he wasn’t available to Marcus needs or wishes, he just wanted things to be done in his way.

It was really a pleasure to read this novel. It was quick and easy. The dialogues were so great, hilarious, yes they were a lot and long but so well done, I, not once, got lost in them. I followed the characters’ voices and found myself in a world so different from mine nonetheless I so wished I could live in Marathon and have all the Do Nothings as my neighbours.

The stunning combination of characters and dialogues is in my opinion one of the unique traits of Killian’s writing. I found the same style in his first story, The Rules Of Ever After (https://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords.com/2015/10/17/a-stella-ya-review-the-rules-of-ever-after-by-killian-b-brewer/). And I can’t honestly have enough of it. I’m already eagerly awaiting a new story.

I highly want to recommend Killian B Brewer works.

The cover art by CB Messer is awesome, this artist couldn’t have represent this book with a better cover. Well done.

Sales Links

Interlude Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Ebook 232 pages

Publication Date: January 12th 2017 by Interlude Press

ISBN: 978-1-945053-28-3

Edition Language English

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Perfect Catch by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

perfect-catchCalvin Lynch and Troy Hoffman have been best mates since they were fourteen years old. They’re both hard-working tradesmen, both love weekends away fishing, both gay, but have never been single at the same time. Until now.

What is supposed to be a weekend away fishing with a group of mates, changes at the last minute when friends bail out in an attempt to give Cal and Troy some alone time.

With more than just hooks on the line, can these two see what’s been right in front of them the whole time?

The Perfect Catch is a short story about falling for your best friend hook, line, and sinker.

A 20K short story which was part of the It Was Always You anthology.

I missed out on this anthology somehow but I thrilled that I got to read NR Walker’s Perfect Catch as a standalone.  This is as close to perfect a ‘friends to lovers’ story can be in a short format.  The author gives us Calvin and Troy’s background as tight mates from their teens, their circle of friends, who by the way have long recognized how much these men have loved each other, and the deep, abiding bond that exists between Cal and Troy.   One weekend of camping and fishing, something the men have always done together, brings out all the hidden feelings, all the longing, all the revelations in a way that I can only call the NR Walker way.  Its superb, heartwarming, and delightful.

Told from Calvin’s pov, we get the sense of old friends working effortlessly as they prepare for their camping trip, the Ute packed, gear stowed as it has hundreds of times.  Yet this trip? New thoughts are churning in Cal’s head, and perhaps, Troy’s too.  Put there by their friends who deliberately backed out of coming with them and their own desires.

Slowly, bit by bit, over the trip, as they fish, eat, and watch each other, the sexual tension and knowledge that things are changing builds.  Its delicious, we want it to never end and we want it to stop immediately.  Because we have fallen in love with these men and we want them to be happy.

Oh, those sex scenes are hot when they finally happen.  Fans self.

Only the ending kept this from being 5 stars.  It was either too long or not long enough.  I still can’t decide.  Probably not long enough.  It is N.R. Walker after all.  I can never get enough of her stories or couples.

If you  missed out on the anthology, or this story,   grab it up immediately.  This is one you definitely won’t want to miss!  I’m on my way to rereading it once more.

Cover art is perfect for the story and couple

Sales Links

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 63 pages
Published January 10th 2017
Original TitlePerfect Catch
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review: Bullet (Blue Boy #1) by Garrett Leigh

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 Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
bullet-by-garrett-leighLevi Ramone entered the gay porn market for one reason, and one reason only–he needed the cash to pay his momma’s spiraling gambling debts.

Seven years later, he’s a veteran with a reputation as one of Blue Boy Studio’s most ruthless tops, and when his boss suggests it’s time for a change, he finds himself staring down the barrel of a gun. Figuratively speaking, at least.

Enter Sonny Valentine, a go-go dancer at Blue’s sister club, Silver’s. Levi has secretly admired Sonny from afar for years, but there’s one problem–he can’t stand Sonny and the feeling is entirely mutual. When Levi learns Sonny is to play the third part in a scene he considers his worst nightmare, he figures things can’t get any worse.

But when preparations for the scene from hell collide with tragic events in his personal life, he finds his fast growing, red hot attraction to Sonny the one thing left between him and a bullet.
This was a re-read for me. This was one of the first books in m/m romance genre that I read. I enjoyed this a lot but not quite as much the second time around.  The story is mostly about Levi and the struggles he is going through.  I thought he was a very interesting character and one I’d like to spend more time with.  The writing is super engaging and the story telling sucked me right in (even though I knew what was going to happen). While I don’t really know first hand, this felt like is was a pretty realistic portrayal of the porn industry.
My only issue with this story is how short it is.  We get this great story about Levi’s life and there is an incredible amount of chemistry and attraction between Levi and Sonny.  Finally they get together and the story ends.  Literally.  There’s no epilogue to let us see them once they are together. Having read the next two books in the series I know that we will see more of them in future books but it’s still barely a happy for now.
Despite my above complaint, I still really enjoyed this and I have enjoyed the other books in the series also.  I am glad to see another book will be coming and I think now is the perfect time for readers to start this series if they haven’t already.
Cover by Garrett Leigh:  I love this new cover.  I think it is just gorgeous and it captures the dark, broody character that Levi is.
Sales Link
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Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 105 pages
Published December 22nd 2016 (first published November 1st 2013)
Original TitleBullet
ASINB01NCP4JM1
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBlue Boy #1

In the Spotlight: Bonnie Dee on The Mighty Have Fallen (guest blog, exclusive excerpt)

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The Mighty Have Fallen by Bonnie Dee
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Here are the links for The Mighty Have Fallen. Bonnie Dee doesn’t have one for Itunes yet.

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Bonnie Dee here today as she shares a little about herself and her upcoming release, The Mighty Have Fallen.  Welcome, Bonnie.

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I’m glad to be here at Scattered Thoughts blog to share a little about myself and my upcoming release. I’m Bonnie Dee. Some readers of this blog might know me as half of the writing team of Devon and Dee. Alone and with my co-author, I’ve written a number of gay historical romance novels. The pattern of those stories, although set in different locations and time periods, were becoming too familiar so I decided to take a break and write a contemporary. The mode of speech is quite different. I had to correct myself when I’d slip into the cadence and formality of an earlier time. Writing in modern parlance was a really nice change of pace.

Although I have written a couple of contemporaries in the past, The Mighty Have Fallen is my first one in quite a while. It was particularly rewarding because Dreamspinner Press included my story in the launch of their new Perchance to Dream line, which is written from a UK perspective. My UK editor helped me with expressions, customs and general Britifying of the manuscript, particularly Jack’s heavy East End accent.

Of course the sorts of difficulties historically faced by gay men were much more immediate and dire than the problems posed in modern romances. The possibility of jail time and social disgrace add a heightened element of danger to historicals. Still, I gave my protagonist Trevor plenty to overcome as he loses his sight, fame, money and lover all at once and has to discover his will to go on.

The perfect counterpart to this devastated and justifiably moody man is Jack Burrows, a hard-working East Ender with an easy-going temperament. When the two men become flat mates, Jack prods Trevor out of his gloom and back into life by suggesting his days on the stage don’t have to be over. As Trevor prepares to perform a one-night-only act at a local drag club, the men grow closer, moving from lust to love.

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More about The Mighty Have Fallen

Theatre headliner Trevor Rowland is at the peak of his career when disaster strikes. In one fell swoop, he loses his eyesight, his fame, and his boyfriend, who absconds with most of his money. Trevor must take on a flatmate, hardworking East Ender Jack Burrows, to afford the rent. Anger and bitterness have taken up residence in his heart—but Jack shines light into the shadowy corners with his relentlessly sunny disposition.

Jack introduces Trevor to a local drag club and convinces him he can enjoy the stage again. Trevor’s defences slowly come down as Jack becomes much more than a barely tolerated roommate.

But will Trevor’s fragile trust be destroyed when it appears he’s been manipulated yet again by a man he’s come to care for? Will he reclaim his life or crawl back into a shell of defeat? Trevor must learn to trust not only a man, but himself, once more.

 

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from The Mighty Have Fallen.

While his body responded to Jack’s masterful kisses and touches, part of Trevor’s brain kept replaying his words: I’ve wanted to do this for a while now. That meant during the little over a month they’d roomed together, Jack had watched Trevor. He’d thought about him, maybe fantasized touching or kissing him, without ever letting on.

Imagining Jack silently watching and desiring him felt good, but it was also rather disconcerting. He could no longer read the visual cues that would have told him of Jack’s attraction. Heated looks and body language weren’t signalled through a voice.

The taxi ride ended and Jack pulled away, leaving Trevor’s lips bruised and his brain whirling. Jack paid and tipped the driver, who thanked him in a foreign accent Trevor couldn’t identify, and they got out of the car. He wondered if the driver had been disgusted by their canoodling, but he supposed the man had witnessed lovers who’d gone much further.

Slammin’ in the back seat. A phrase from some song he couldn’t recall played in Trevor’s head.

Jack grabbed his hand, dragged him into the flat, and shut the door behind them. What had started on the pavement and carried on feverishly in the back of the taxi came to a frantic, fumbling head there.

“Should we—?”

Jack cut off his words with a kiss and clasped the back of Trevor’s neck, holding him steady while he devoured his mouth. Trevor dropped his cane with a clatter on the hall floor. After backing him against the door, Jack pinned him there, chest to chest, groin to groin, erection rubbing against erection, only a little denim and cotton between them. When their clothes came off, there would be warm, satin flesh to stroke and slide against. No use pretending they’d stop at a little kissing and then go to their separate rooms.

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About the Author

You can learn more about me, Bonnie Dee, and my back list of many romance books at http://bonniedee.com. Find me on FB at Bonnie Dee Author or Bonnie Dee. My Twitter handle is @Bonnie_Dee. I’m not the most active social media person but I turn up occasionally. Most importantly, please take a moment to sign up for my newsletter to learn of upcoming releases. Newsletter signup form

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Drama Cruise (Nicky and Noah Mystery #3) by Joe Cosentino

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

drama-cruiseTheater professors and couple, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are going overboard as usual, but this time on an Alaskan cruise, where dead college theater professors are popping up everywhere from the swimming pool to the captain’s table. Further complicating matters are Nicky’s and Noah’s parents as surprise cruise passengers, and Nicky’s assignment to direct a murder mystery dinner theater show onboard ship. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the curtain down on vacationers before it is lights out for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, ribald, edge-of-your-seat entertaining third novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and ship ahoy!

Of the three Nicky and Noah Mystery romances Joe Cosentino has written in this series so far, Drama Cruise has turned out to be my favorite.  Each one is a wonderful mixture of sex, comedy, romance and murder but when Cosentino took it to an Alaska cruise and the high seas, well, it tossed it up into theatrically delicious magic.

A cruise ship is a self contained city/village depending upon the size of the ship and the circle of people you know abroad.  For Nicky and Noah, it starts off with themselves and another couple from the college as they direct murder mystery dinner theatre show on board the ship.  Ah, such innocent beginnings.  Because like any terrific slapstick/comedy, things start to spiral out of control immediately with the unexpected entrance of people Nicky and Noah are familiar with.  I won’t spoil the wonderful element of  surprise here but its hilarious and continues to be one of the best and funniest aspects of this story.  You’ll shake your head in commiseration, laughter, and love.  And the bodies have already started to pile up!

Ah yes, the murders.  There are plenty of them.  Someone is offing the theater professors and there are plenty to go!  You never know who’s going to be next on the murderer’s hit list which is entertaining nor are you particularly attached to the ones you’ve met, so you’re not spectacularly sorry to see them go.  Plus there’s so much else going on as well…things are swirling around in Nicky and Noah’s love life as usual, other couples on the periphery are having their own issues that need resolution, and then there own those other people I love so much and refuse to mention.  This story is chock full of story threads and Joe Cosentino weaves them all together with a flair that’s hilarious and yet never fails to remember that this couple loves each other deeply.

Then there’s that outstanding ending.  That’s the best of all.

Sigh.

I loved this story.  I love this couple.  What on earth is going to happen to them next?  I can’t wait to find out.

Cover art is reminiscent of a movie poster.  I think it works great.

Sales Links

65a2f-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Lethe Press

myBook.to/DramaCruise

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/drama-cruise-joe-Cosentino/1125194754?ean=9781590216231#productInfoTabs

 

 

Book Details:

ebook, 190 pages
Published November 30th 2016 by Lethe Press
ISBN139781370108633
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesNicky and Noah Mystery #3