A MelanieM Review: Hellbeasts by Katya Harris

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

hellbeastsWhen restlessness drives Shadow out of his MC’s clubhouse and into the night, the last thing he expected was to find a half-dead werewolf. Shadow has never been known for his altruism, but he takes the wounded man back to his motorcycle club, the Hellbeasts.

Rand doesn’t know who attacked him, but suspects at least one person from his own pack is involved. But even that might not be as bad as waking up in the midst of a group of misfit weres who don’t seem to like him. Especially Shadow, the man charged with taking care of Rand, as compelling to Rand as he is frightening.

But before he and Shadow can work out what exactly they are and want to be to each other, Rand’s attackers show up to finish the job.

Another in the Hellbeasts series from Less Than Three Press from numerous authors that revolves around a werebeast motorcycle club, I thought this one had promise but in the end didn’t completely deliver.  I loved the character of Shadow, and the others from the Hellbeasts MC.  They are the best drawn of all of the characters here in the story. Rand is perhaps the one with the least amount of support to his personality.  We are “told” about his history in different sections of the story but never actually get it from his point of view.  He just feels too much of a submissive to have ever fit the description of the wolf he’s supposed to have been.  He’s sweet, wounded, and yes sort of vague.  The complete opposite of Shadow.  Ironic.

Maybe the short length is part of the issue here.  Had this story been longer, it and the characters could have been developed to their full potential.  As it is, I liked it but the big showdown and the ending both felt rushed and left me feeling a bit disappointed.  Not what I would have wanted for such a strong character as Shadow.

Cover art is terrific.  Its eye catching and makes you want to read the story.

Sales Links

Less Than Three Press

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Book Details:

ebook, 61 pages
Published November 9th 2016 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781620048931
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Review: Switched by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

switched-by-nr-walkerIsrael Ingham’s life has never been easy. He grew up in a house devoid of love and warmth. Nothing he ever did was good enough. The fact Israel is gay just added to the long list of his father’s disappointments.

Then a letter from Eastport Children’s Hospital changes everything.

A discovery is made, one of gross human error. Twenty-six years ago two baby boys were switched at birth and sent home with the wrong families.

Sam, Israel’s best friend, has been his only source of love and support. With Sam beside him every step of the way, Israel decides to meet his birth mother and her son, the man who lived the life Israel should have.

Israel and Sam become closer than ever, amidst the tumultuous emotions of meeting his birth family, and Sam finds himself questioning his feelings toward his best friend. As Israel embraces new possibilities, he needs to dissect his painful relationship with his parents in order to salvage what’s left.

Because sometimes it takes proof you’re not actually family to become one.

Switched is such a deeply moving story, different in some respects from what I expect from this author and yet so similar in the feelings it will pull from the reader that you know you are reading a  N.R. Walker story.  It hits so close to the heart that it brings up comparisons to my favorites, especially my beloved Red Dirt series.

In Switched we have a superb friends to lovers tale, with Israel Ingram also known as I.I. or Captain and his best friend, Sam.  Israel, wealthy, raised by his nannies, gardeners and other staff than by his cold emotionally removed parents has relied on the support and friendship of Sam and his family to supply him with the love and care he so needed and lacked growing up.   Sam, not wealthy in money, but in every other way, has been there, watching the cold disapproval and disinterest eat away at Israel, hoping to staunch those wounds made by Israel’s parents with his own love and support.

Immediately we get this turmoil, all this emotional cost and years of abuse that has gone on, through Walker’s descriptive, vivid  scenes and believable dialog.  It brings us intimately into these peoples lives and keeps us there.  Our connections to these characters become tight and our hearts are tied to their futures and happiness.

Then comes the shattering moment when Israel and his family find out that he was switched at birth.  And Israel falls apart. As does his world.

To move through this situation that fractures a man, and watch him put himself back together again, with the love and support of Sam, Sam’s family and much more?  Its a true joy.  It takes such a moment for  Israel and Sam to move past friendship into the love that’s been theirs all along.  And in the hands of N.R. Walker, you’ll sob, and laugh, and sob some more as Israel struggles to figure out who he is and where he now stands in this new realigned world.

I have to mention all the layers of supporting characters because there are so many.  All believable, all so important to this story.  From the father who has behaved so cold as to be abusive, the mother equally coldly detached?  They too have layers and, while they must answer for those years, not all is black and white.  Walker recognizes Israel’s right to be angry over his upbringing and has him seeing a therapist.  Again and again in the story, the right choices are made in the narrative, no holes are left, people move forward with their lives while dealing with the past as best they can.  Such a remarkable book.

I just loved Switched by N.R. Walker.  I recommend it highly as I do its author, N.R. Walker.

Cover art accurately reflects by idea of Israel, I just love it.

Sales Link

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 269 pages
Published December 25th 2016
Original TitleSwitched
ASINB01N7M3PBW
Edition LanguageEnglish

Tara Lain with 10 Fun Fact on Volley Balls (Balls to the Wall #1) and an Excerpt! (guest post)

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Volley Balls (Balls to the Wall #1) by Tara Lain
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Available for Purchase at

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And at iBooks

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tara Lain here today talking about her latest release Volley Balls! Welcome, Tara!

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10 Fun Facts About Volley Balls by Tara Lain

Hi everyone! I’m Tara Lain, I write the Beautiful Boys of Romance, and I’m here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words celebrating the re-release of my very popular novella, Volley Balls. The book is revised and expanded and I thought I’d share 10 Fun Facts about my new book –

  1. The new version of Volley Balls is almost twice as long as the original
  2. Volley Balls is a MMM ménage. All the other books in the series are MM.
  3. I never felt that the love between all three men was fully explored in the original story. That’s why I expanded it.
  4. 3. The story was once going to be called David and Goliath, but I changed my mind shortly into the book and named it after two of the heroes who are volleyball players. Volley Balls was born.
  5. The original book was supposed to be part of a multi-author anthology, taking place on the beach. The book was so popular, however, it spawned an entire series
  6. Volley Balls was the first story I set in Laguna Beach, CA. Since then, I’ve written 13 or 14 more books in this same setting.
  7. Volley Balls was the third book I ever wrote and as it generated more books in the series, I became known as the “Balls girl”. I have other better known books now, but these were my first bestsellers.
  8. Naming the Balls books has always been a fun game for my readers. You would barely believe some of the names they’ve come up with – and I love them so much, I wish I could write a story for each one.
  9. Part of Volley Balls takes place at the famous Pageant of the Masters, a real live event in Laguna every summer during which live actors portray works of art. Some of them play nude artworks just as my hero in Volley Balls is the statue of David.
  10. Two of my heroes in Volley Balls are Australian – actually one’s an American raised in Australia – and Australia is a country I’ve visited and love. So far, these are my only Aussie romantic heroes.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about Volley Balls. Below is a nibble from the book.

— graphic-teaser-5-volley-balls-by-tara-lain

Excerpt: Volley Balls by Tara Lain – Revised and Expanded

A double dose of alpha male might be better than one.

 

Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lover’s lives miserable.

For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation—and his attraction—from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male–or two?

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Gareth shifted uneasily in the darkened amphitheater. Another scene change. The effects were lovely and sometimes awe-inspiring, but he’d gotten the idea in the first half hour. He was ready to go.

He glanced to his left at Edge, who seemed fascinated with the show. Intriguing, since Edge had the attention span of a gnat. The other guys were more restless, jabbing each other when the bare-breasted art pieces appeared, but they managed to stay on the near side of rude.

He settled back for the duration. Maybe a little catnap. The lights came up as he started to close his eyes. He heard an indrawn breath and looked up. Holy, bloody, everlasting hell.

In the center of the vast stage, on a rotating platform in a single perfect spotlight, was David, the masterwork of Michelangelo. Gareth had seen it in Florence several times, and every sense he had told him he was looking at the actual statue, although his mind knew this was a human being. Glowing, luminous, absolutely still… sweet bloody Christ, how could someone do it? How could they have found a person so perfect?

He noticed a deep stillness in the audience and also among his mates. Edge was absolutely motionless. Unusual for him. But the statue, the guy, was just that beautiful.

Gareth cocked his head. The model’s legs were not as big and muscular as the Michelangelo. This “statue” was a bit leaner and even more graceful. The pedestal kept turning. He squinted. Bloody hell, he’d seen that perfect ass before. He peered into the pool of light as the David rotated. He’d seen those amazing cheekbones.

It was the guy from the beach and the shop. Gareth rifled through his program for the name. David Underwood. The one who owned the gallery. The fag. Gareth shifted onto his hip, leaning away from Edge. Wouldn’t do to let his pouf-hating friend see his massive erection.

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About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 35. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

Website:              http://www.taralain.com

Blog: http://www.taralain.com/blog

Goodreads:        http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4541791.Tara_Lain

Twitter:               http://twitter.com/taralain

FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/taralain