A MelanieM Pre-Release Review: There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

theres-this-guy-by-rhys-fordHow do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?

Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.

It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued Art Deco building on the WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the artistic, sweet man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.

When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.

What can you say about a book that opens up on the darkest moment of a man’s life, that point where he see’s no hope, no light and then carries you and him on a journey that see’s him safe, in love and with a future that burns as bright as the sun?  You say that you love it and cherish the man and couple you have been reading about.  That’s what you say.

Jake Moore is that man.  His life is one long night of pain, bloody beatings and unmeasurable sorrow.  And it hasn’t ended by any means.  The person most responsible is still barely alive, punishing Jake even from his dying bed.  The hell that this vicious man has made Jake’s life is brought vividly alive through Jake’s confused thoughts and memories of his past, his mother, conversations…his anguish bleeds off the page and into your heart.  He’s a welder by trade, also an artist which is where he pounds out his anger and confusion that he feels over his life and sexuality, welding pieces from the bits left over in the shop and things that he finds to bring home.

Then Dallas Yates and his best friend (and all around wonder) Celeste come into Jake’s life via the renovation of a Art Deco building across the street.  Between the two of them, Dallas who makes Jake yearn for everything he’s been told was evil and Celeste, flamboyant, feminine and proud of who she is (and how far she’s come), makes Jake think  past other boundaries he’s always been provided with.  It’s never downplayed how broken Jake is or that he needs professional help to recover, an important element I really loved here.  The relationship build is slow as Celeste questions Dallas on his ability to and his reasons for being attracted to Jake (there is a past element here for Dallas).  Layers upon layers here, like the detritus that has to be removed from the Art Deco building before she can shine, have to be peeled back before Dallas and Jake  can be a couple and have a future.

I almost gave this 4.75 stars over things as small as not seeing the opening of Bombshell, and other such things that really are extraneous.  Would I have loved them here?  Absolutely.  But were they necessary to the plot?  I don’t think so (although I do think they are in some cut pages somewhere on Rhys Ford’s computer).  I got the men, I got their love and their journey and that was deeply moving and so memorable.  I loved them so, and all..well, most of the secondary characters too.  From Celeste to the Yates family.

Want a story full of hope?  Want a story full of recovery, love and a journey towards a brighter future for a man who thought a future was something he didn’t deserve?  There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford is the story for you.  But let Rhys Ford put it better.  From Rhys Ford’s Foreword on There’s This Guy:

This book is for anyone who has stared into the abyss and wondered if they can or should go on.

You should.

Take that next step forward and go on.

And should you need help finding the strength for that step, reach out. There are people and places who will help you.

Keep walking until you find the sun on your face and until you can see the stars again.

You are worth that step. Worth that journey.

The world is a better place with you in it.

OK, I’m about to start crying all over again.  Probably will pick up the story and start reading it again as well.  Get the idea? Yes, I highly recommend it.  You’ll have to wait until March but trust me, the wait will be worth it.  How I love this author!

Cover art is ok, but honestly I don’t know what I wanted for such a complex story and character.  Color me confused.

Sales Links to be provided

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish

In the Spotlight: Victoria Sue with a New Release – The Alpha King (Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway)

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The Alpha King by Victoria Sue
P
ublished January 26, 2017

Available for Purchase at

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Victoria Sue and her new release, The Alpha King.  The author has brought along an exclusive excerpt and a giveaway for everyone to enter.  Enjoy!

Blurb

The Kingdom of Askara has been torn apart by conflict for centuries, where humans exist as subservient beings to their werewolf masters. Legend says it will only be able to heal itself when an Alpha King and a pure omega are mated and crowned together, but a pure omega hasn’t been born in over a thousand years.

Luca is an Alpha-heir eagerly awaiting the choosing ceremony on his twenty-fifth birthday and the gifts granted by whichever omega he mates. His small pack is destitute due to the decisions of its ruling council, but being only an Alpha-heir, he has no authority to challenge them. Not until now—this moment he has waited a long time for.

Kit grew up as a street-rat, an unlicensed human who would never be more than a slave for whichever master owns him. Then one day he came across a young Alpha-heir, attacked and dying of poison, and found out their fates were suddenly entwined.

Luca needs to take over his pack and save his people. He cannot afford to be distracted. But when he meets Kit, he develops abilities indicating he is not just a pack Alpha, but the King his world has needed for a thousand years.

Is Kit really the cause of Luca’s newfound power, the true mate he needs? How is it possible when the young man isn’t even a werewolf, and as merely a human, a mating is not only forbidden, but for Kit, a sentence of death?

Exclusive excerpt

Kit was warm and before he marveled at the unusual occurrence, he snuggled further into heat…and arms that tightened automatically when he moved. He instantly knew. Luca. My mate. The Alpha King destined to heal a fractured Askara, and me, Kit, a guttersnipe bastard orphan destined to help him.

Human children were illegal in Askara without a license, and that would only be given to valued guards or those who had a trade. The Alphas remained terrified that because humans bred so easily, humans would become unmanageable in number and therefore a threat to the smaller wolf population, she-wolves only went into heat once every three years, and even then, pups were no guarantee to any except a breeder.

Kit’s mother had always told him he should never have been born. Pleasure-slaves were barred from procreating because their very profession meant that there was no guarantee the father’s identity would be known, and, what was even worse, the father might be a wolf. Any attempt to breed hybrids was a sentence of death for the mother and child.

Pleasure slaves were so careful not to become pregnant. Herbs were mixed and potions were regularly drunk, and then if those methods ever failed, the birth would be induced quickly so the baby would never survive. Kit never knew how his mother had managed to hide her pregnancy. If any of the gammas had seen her, she would have been forced into labor, and if the child survived then its throat would have been slit.

His earliest memories were of being told to be quiet. Silent. Never to cry. Never to complain of being cold or being hungry, and never ever to make a noise when he was locked away in the cupboard. He could even beg silently, fix his mother with pleading eyes as she locked him away night after night so when the men came no one would ever know she kept an illegal child.

Kit shivered and Luca’s arms tightened again. Light was just creeping into the room and he knew he had slept a long time, been helped when his own hands shook too much to hold a cup of water, been carried to the bathroom when he needed to empty his bladder; been soothed when the night terrors had woken him. Kit never slept deeply. He didn’t dare. He would stay awake as much as he could until exhaustion claimed him and he was too tired to stop the dreams and the memories.

Memories of the last night with his mother crept into him. He’d been sick. He’d begged that day as usual, and gleefully found some kitchen scraps. He was used to eating food that others threw away, but something he had eaten that day had made him sick, a belly ache that tore at his insides until he had to stuff a rag in his mouth to quiet the whimpers. He must have slept until in his fevered imagination he could feel unseen arms pulling at him, making it seem he was no longer alone in the small cupboard when he woke. Heat drenched him, and chills stripped him of his control. Of his silence. He cried. He thought his whispered entreaties wouldn’t be heard but suddenly the cupboard door was ripped open and the half-naked gamma that was bedding his mother bellowed in anger and summoned the guards. He had been yanked from the cupboard just as the gamma’s knife had flashed into his hand.

Then his dreams always turned red. Deep crimson rivers seemed to drown his mother’s cries as they covered her body. She had stepped in front of him as the gamma had gone to slit his throat and the knife had slashed her chest. Covered in his mother’s blood, he had run far, far away, and in the confusion, no one had stopped him. He had many hungry days after that. Unscrupulous wolves who were willing to overlook an unlicensed human child meant they simply hid that human away when any visitors arrived. Unlicensed humans, grateful for anything they could get, simply had to endure. Kit whimpered and blinked to force the images away. He felt the arms move around him as he took a shuddering breath to calm down. The hot puff of air brushed his cheek as Luca moved even closer.

“What is it?” Luca’s deep voice seeped into Kit’s skin and soothed his frantically pounding heart. Luca moved his palm across Kit’s chest and rested it there. It was so warm. “It beats as if it wants to escape, but I can’t have that,” Luca said quietly. “It belongs to me.”

Kit let the gentle finger tilt his chin until he was looking into Luca’s deep gray eyes. Kit took a deep breath. “Bad dreams, Sire,” he whispered unwilling to give them voice.

Kit closed his eyes as Luca bent and kissed his forehead. “I’m here. I won’t let you have any more bad dreams.”

“Because you said so?” Kit teased.

Luca shuffled onto his back and drew Kit down so he was resting on Luca’s chest. The heavy thump of Luca’s heart was the best thing he had ever heard. Solid, real. “Well apparently, I’m the King so I hereby decree no more nightmares.”

Kit smiled at the amusement in Luca’s tone. He took another deep breath and snaked a hand across Luca’s chest. He heard the approving rumble.

“I decided you were a dream, you know.”

“A nightmare?” Kit offered.

Luca brushed a tender kiss on Kit’s head as if to dismiss the suggestion. “I have heard the legends, obviously, but I didn’t know an omega could be human.”

“You have questions,” Kit said quietly.

“Did you know? All those years ago? And if so, why didn’t you stay with me? I could have protected you.”

Kit closed his eyes briefly. The pain and frustration was as raw in Luca’s voice as his back had been yesterday. “I dreamed other things. I knew you were going to be Alpha King, but not until I touched you, and I also knew that it wasn’t the time for us to be together. If you had shown signs of your gifts because of me, it would have put your life at risk, and you needed to be safe until you were twenty-five. There are many who do not want to return to the days of the Alpha Kings.”

“But you suffered.”

Kit swallowed. The horror in Luca’s voice was real. Suddenly, he realized every day had been worth it. Every nightmare, every day he had slaved too cold and too hungry. Every night he had longed for Luca’s voice, his touch, but he had remained without it. It simply wasn’t worth the risk it would bring to Luca.

“I would have been careful,” Luca promised.

Kit raised his head and gazed into the gray eyes that were fixed on him. “You would have been unable to let any injustice slide—the same as yesterday—and I had to get you to this point. Yes, I needed you, but Askara needs you more, my King.”

Luca, please,” Luca said as he clasped Kit’s hand, pressing the words into his palm.

“In private, then,” Kit conceded carefully.

He knew appearances were important and he was already battling what many wolves would see as wrong. He had loved Luca for so long, so terrified that what he imagined his strong, fearless, but gentle wolf would be like might not match up to the reality. He had always been convinced of Luca’s integrity. He had dreamed of what Askara could become, what their lives would be like. He was just never sure of what his life would be like. Would he be kept close? Would he be treasured, protected? Or would Luca bow to the traditions of his people, no matter how Kit may wish for more?

Luca laid back down and tucked Kit close. Kit took a sharp breath.

Luca peered at him. “Are you still hurting?”

Kit loved the concern that layered his words, but he shook his head shyly. He was terrified to truly believe that things would be this simple. Kit smiled softly. Simple? It would be anything but. A human omega was going to be bad enough for Luca’s people to accept. He simply couldn’t think about how much worse it could actually get.

About the Author

Victoria Sue

Wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby two years ago and he says he has regretted it every day since. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best, and especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail. Loves her wolves!

Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida – unfortunately, she spends more time chained at her computer than on a beach.

Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on facebook.

www.victoriasue.com

@vickysuewrites

https://www.facebook.com/victoriasueauthor/– sign up for my newsletter and download a free story The Wrong Alpha

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Giveaway

To one lucky reader, your  choice of an ebook from Victoria Sue’s backlist.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Please leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen along with a comment for Victoria Sue.  Contest ends midnight February 4th.

Cover Reveal for Down By Contact (Wilmington Breakers #1) by Sloan Johnson

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DownByContact

Down By Contact (Wilmington Breakers #1)

by Sloan Johnson

BLURB:

There’ve been two great loves in Zach Kendricks’ life. He lost one because of his commitment to the other. 

After Griffin walked away because he refused to live his life in the closet, Zach put everything he had into achieving his football dreams. When he was drafted, he began to understand that Griffin had done the best thing for both of them by leaving. But that doesn’t mean he’s ever forgiven his first love. 

Now in his second season with the Wilmington Breakers, Zach’s committed to keeping his head down so he can prove his rookie stats weren’t a fluke. He knows his resolve will be tested when he’s selected to participate in Outside the Pocket, a reality show which follows players through training camp. He’s almost convinced himself it won’t be a distraction when Griffin walks into the room. Distraction becomes an understatement when he’s informed he will be spending nearly every waking minute for the next six weeks with the only man he’s allowed to hurt him. 

Will Zach’s love of the game be enough to keep him from being downed by contact again?

Workplace with blank digital tablet, paper, pen and cup of coffee on work table. Above view shot.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jelery