An Ali Release Day Review: Shifting Views (The Carlisles #4) by Meg Harding

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
shifting-viewsSuccessful fashion model Denver Carlisle is finally living on his own. He’s got a new apartment, a neighbor who has a problem shutting his blinds, and a local bakery with an owner who makes his knees weak. It’s raining men, and Denver hasn’t gotten any in a long time. Going out on a limb, he asks Ethan Monahan out and resorts to a little exhibitionism for his neighbor. Only to be turned down by both. That’s a first. 

Ethan Monahan runs his own bakery and has a new neighbor who walks around naked. The latter is a little too distracting. When his naked neighbor turns out to be none other than model Denver Carlisle—and the customer who asked him out—Ethan tries to make amends. In a purely friendly way. 

Friendship leads to more, and both men find themselves in over their heads with emotions and compromises. Denver has trust issues that could span the Sahara, and Ethan is a product of the foster system with a chip on his shoulder and a serious wariness of those with money. There’s only one way to reconcile their issues: work together.
 
I really liked this book.  A lot.  It ended up being my favorite book by this author.  It’s the fourth book in a series about the Carlisle brothers but it works fine as a stand alone.  If you’ve read the previous books then you’ll be happy to see the other three couples in this one a bit.  This story starts with Denver being a bit adrift after Dorian moves in with his boyfriend (from book three).  Denver is not used to being apart from his twin and while he’s happy for his brother, he’s a sad for himself.  He doesn’t want anymore meaningless flings, he wants the serious relationships that all of his brothers now have.  A variety of things happen that lead him to ask out the neighborhood bakery owner, Ethan.
Ethan has had a difficult upbringing and he doesn’t trust anyone with his feelings.  He puts 100% of his energy into his business.  When Denver asks him out Ethan figures he’s way out of his league and declines Denver’s offer of dating.  He does end up deciding they can be friends.  This part of the book made me smile more than once.  These two are horrifically awkward.  They’re like two teenagers.  I thought this was a unique and sweet path for the book to take.  So many romances are filled with alpha males who are full of confidence and have all the answers.  These two stutter through things they’re trying to say and worry about what they’re going to do next.  Their internal monologues were funny and charming, especially Denver’s.
Once they slip into dating things heat up dramatically.  While they may be awkward with talking they aren’t in the bedroom.  These two have great chemistry and they burn up the pages.  As the relationship goes on they have some challenges, both in regards to their pasts and in regards to Denver’s job.  They handle this but communicating and this was also a pleasant change from the angst and drama often seen in romances.
I thought this was unique and super good and it’s definitely a book I would recommend.
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh, Photography: Dan Burgess.  I love the cover.  I think it looks great and it fits them them of the story also.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: February 10th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleShifting Views
ISBN 1635333040 (ISBN13: 9781635333046)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Carlisles #4

An Ali Release Day Review: Jaeger (Order of the Black Knights #4) by Evelise Archer

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
jaeger-by-evelise-archerUS Marshal Jaeger Tripp is assigned to the Federal Witness Protection Program. The hurt and destruction he’s seen—along with protecting criminals who are only cooperating with the authorities to keep themselves out of jail—have left him with a bleak and jaded view of both life and people. His current assignment is Wren O’Riley, a computer wizard who witnessed a high-profile cartel hit.

To Jaeger, Wren is the same as any other job. He must protect him long enough to get him to testify at trial, and his personal feelings have no place in his work and must be set aside. But that’s easier said than done. On the run and fighting for their lives, Jaeger and Wren can’t help but grow closer. AndJaeger can’t help seeing beyond Wren’s nerdy exterior to a man who might be just what Jaeger needs to settle his soul and capture his heart—if they survive long enough to get that chance
This was my first time reading this author and I ended up really liking this.  This is the fourth book in the series and I have not read the first three.  I did not think it would matter as each book in the series is written by a different author.  It turns out I was right and this book worked fine as a standalone.  
As the plot states, Jaeger is a jaded US Marshal who ends up protecting Wren, who has witnessed a cartel hit.  The men couldn’t be more different but being in close quarters leads them to having feelings for each other.  They end up on the run and this part of the story is full of action and was entertaining.  I liked both of these MC’s and they were really great together.  I especially like the opposites attract trope in romances.
This was a shorter story but still managed to contain a lot of plot and it fleshed out a great relationship between the two men.  I enjoyed this a lot and will definitely look for other books by this author.  
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond:  I like the cover.  Each of the books in this series are similar and I like how uniform they are.  I always like when I can look at a book cover and know immediately what series it is from.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: February 10th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635333016 (ISBN13: 9781635333015)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOrder of the Black Knights #4

Love A Romance and HEA? Check out Flaunt by E. Davies (excerpt and giveaway)

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Flaunt by E. Davies

Release Date: January 31st 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have E. Davies here today to talk about his story Flaunt and share foods he can’t live without. Ed, we must talk fiddleheads some day! Welcome, Ed!

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Canadian Desert Island Eats to Share

Hello! I’m Ed Davies, and I’m thrilled to be here. I was asked to share the foods I couldn’t live without, and nothing against you all, but there are some of these foods I won’t share… Writing requires brain food, but don’t worry, absolutely none of my favorite foods are healthy or brainy.

To add an extra twist, I’m making a list of strictly favorite foods I associate with my home country, Canada. Some of these are widely available throughout North America and the world, some not so much!

Corn Puffs

Seriously. I can eat a bag of these in one sitting. They’re also impossible to find here in the UK, which has driven me mad over the last two years. You can only squeeze two bags into a checked bag, and one into a carry-on… not that I’d know that from personal experience. They seem plain–cornmeal, veggie oil, salt, water—but from the plainest ingredients comes pure magic.

Maple Syrup

Okay, an obvious choice for a Canadian list, I grant you. But hear me out! There’s no syrup like the darkest, richest syrup straight from a Quebec forest. None of that buttery maple syrup stuff, please. When you grow up in Canada, the history module you repeat every year is about the boil-off every winter, when maple sap was boiled down to syrup. They’d pour some onto the snow, where it freezes into a crunchy, hard candy. Proof of Canadian status: when I moved out of my most recent house, I uncovered two bottles of maple syrup, just in case I ran out of it.

Fiddleheads

These are a very Atlantic Canadian food. They’re a specific type of fern that has to be carefully cooked before eating, and they have a unique taste I really can’t describe… the earthiness of mushrooms, yet lightness of fresh greens, with an extra twist. And they can be made ultra-gourmet: four years ago, I had a bowl of fiddlehead cream soup that I still haven’t forgotten.

Sweet & Sour Chick’n

Huh? This isn’t very Canadian… except for the strong tradition of Chinese-Canadian restaurants. There are fascinating articles online on the history of Chinese food in Canada. Throughout the country, but especially in BC—jumping to the other coast now—there’s a long history of Chinese-Canadian families running buffets. Although sweet’n’sour chicken is probably familiar to everyone, I associate it with honey buns, rice paper candies, and a hundred other little tastes of Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Poutine

When I cut out cheese from my diet, oh man… this was the hardest thing to go. I’d been gradually cutting back for a long time, and I could live without most other forms of dairy, but poutine was a hard one to give up. But only the stuff made with cheese curds, not fake poutine with shredded mozzarella! That stuff’s a crime against poutine. The curds should also be fresh enough that they squeak.

Kraft Dinner

It’s probably half-plastic, and I don’t even care. I stopped eating it when I cut out cheese, but I found a very suitable vegan alternative and I still eat it… er… embarrassingly often. But sometimes, that little craving sneaks in for some genuine, Canadian KD. Reminds me of my university days…

Kinder Eggs

Again, a predictable choice, but who didn’t grow up with these? I feel for the Americans who have to smuggle these across the border. The chocolate itself isn’t even the tastiest, but waiting to finish the chocolate before you open the plastic egg makes it taste better. Sometimes you’d get a disappointing toy, which is defined as one that doesn’t do anything, and that you didn’t even have to assemble. Other times, it was a cool wind-up car or paper airplane, or something you wouldn’t expect to fit into an egg!

Food famously brings people together—shared memories of it, and unique traditions. In Flaunt, my newest release, Kyle is used to late night pizza with his boss, for example, and Nic finds himself thrilled to get home to cooked meals when he starts sharing his house with Kyle. It’s one of those small, yet hugely important details that can tell you so much about a person. I’d love to hear more about your favorite foods and food memories!

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BLURB

“He’s waiting for me to ask, and I’m afraid.”

“I’m just one more gay guy here.”

Moving to the suburbs of L.A. was supposed to give Nic Montero a fresh start. After escaping his family, coming out as a gay trans man, and excelling in computer programming out of desperation to get financially stable or die, everything should be easy. But joining gay culture now, post-transition, feels impossible… until he runs into the force of nature that is Kyle. Everything Nic isn’t, Kyle embodies. Green hair, garters and cut-off shorts, sports jerseys, and all, brash Kyle is the most gorgeous man he’s ever laid eyes on, and he pulls Nic headlong into the center of his world. If only Nic felt like enough for a man like Kyle.

“One-night stands are my only option.”

Loud, loving, and too much for most men to handle, Kyle Everett catches eyes and occasionally scorn… even at his job at the local HIV charity, Plus. His days and nights are spent at work, his precious spare moments spent with his son, Kevin, when it’s his turn to co-parent, or his best friend, drag queen River. He only has money or time for cheap flings, but the lanky otter who walks into his life makes Kyle want to hold him for longer than a night. He knows what it’s like for Nic to be without a family, but he isn’t brave enough to let this man into his life… until his charity is targeted by bigots, and Nic’s there for him.

“I’ll stay with you if you’re brave enough to be you.”

Nic spent his twenties avoiding family and even his own femininity, but his yearning is impossible to ignore. Kyle’s used to flying solo, but Nic offers him safety and fills gaps in his life he never realized existed and now can’t stand. Living in close proximity, they can’t run from their attraction, but they’re each used to being rejected, with the emotional scars to prove it. Can two men who feel like they’re not enough and too much find something just right?

Flaunt is a steamy, stand-alone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no cliffhanger.

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Goodreads

EXCERPT

“Welcome to our headquarters! Er, not that we have other locations. Not full-time, anyway. Don’t worry about being late. I’m not even ready. I’m so sorry.” This had to be Kyle— the voice on the intercom matched this peppy yet sibilant, rapid-fire speech.

“I— that’s fine,” Nic assured Kyle with a quiet laugh. He was relieved not to be in trouble for showing up late, nor for showing up in formalwear when everyone else was probably going casual. “GPS pointed me the wrong way.”

“Oh, they do that! Right this way, please.” Kyle scanned his card against a reader near the staircase door. When he twirled to hold the staircase door open, his skirt flared out a little.

Kyle was wearing a skirt, over men’s skinny jeans and boots, and a blouse, and chest hair peeked out from the top of the blouse, his biceps unmistakeable. And his suspenders reached under the skirt, presumably to his jeans waistband. It made Nic wonder if he was wearing garters, which was a wholly inappropriate thought for their first meeting.

He awkwardly stepped through the doorway and Kyle brushed past him to trot upstairs at top speed, already talking again.

GIVEAWAY: Win a $25 Amazon giftcard and 2 x Flaunt ebooks

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About the Author

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E. Davies was proficient in real estate ad shorthand (the old-fashioned newspaper kind) by the age of nine. Growing up moving constantly taught him what people have in common, the ways relationships are formed, and the dangers of “miscellaneous” boxes.
As a teen, he tore through a stack of found romance novels, wishing someone had written similar for M/M, though he could never find anything at Chapters or the library. Just after graduating university in 2013, semi-out and clutching his English B.A. for dear life, he stumbled on an Amazon M/M short story. It was a whole new… phrase he dares not repeat for fear of lawyers. It shone and shimmered splendidly, though.
After failing forty times to avoid crafting happily-ever-after endings for steamy short stories, he plunged into romance novels and hasn’t looked back. As a young gay author whose formative gay fictional role models were characters punished for their sexuality, Ed prefers his stories lightly dramatic, full of optimism and hope.
Now out and proud, he writes full-time, goes on long nature walks, tries to fill his passport, drinks piña coladas on the beach, flees from cute guys, coos over fuzzy animals (especially bees), and is liable to tilt his head and click his tongue if you don’t use your turn signal.

To find out when E. Davies has a new release, you can subscribe to his newsletter.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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Dev Bentham On Hot Men, Dull Jobs and her new Story ‘Buyout – A Love Story’ (guest blog by Dev Bentham)

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Buyout – A Love Story by Dev Bentham
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reamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Catt Ford

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

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 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Dev Bentham here today to talk about writing and Buyout – A Love Story.

Welcome, Dev!

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Hot men, boring jobs by Dev Bentham

I often first meet a character through his employment. That isn’t all that surprising for someone who has had a lot of jobs in her life. Except that you’d think a writer who conceptualized characters through their work would fill her books with men in really interesting occupations. I do have a few protagonists with cool jobs (like my Antarctic diver in August Ice). But mostly my books are about regular guys who are teachers, cooks, farmers, veterinarians, yoga teachers—you get the idea. No dentists or plumbers yet, but who knows what the future will bring.

I like the challenge of inviting readers to fall in love with men who aren’t characteristically dreamy romantic heros. For example, in Buyout—A Love Story, my narrator is a burned-out finance guy in his mid-30s and the man of his dreams is the proprietor of a struggling hotel. Neither of them are Mr. Darcy types. Which I think is what I love about them.

Because, while we spend a lot of our time working, our jobs don’t have much to do with our innate attractiveness, worthiness or ability to love. I’ve known some distinctly un-hot firemen and cowboys or have been bowled over by a janitor or the guy behind the counter at a fast food restaurant. Traditional romance stories don’t prepare us for finding that perfect someone where we least expect them—right in the middle of our everyday lives. I like to think that anyone can be a romantic hero, no matter what he (or she) does to pay the rent.

My quirkiest job was counting ants for the Forest Service. Forty hours a week bent over a microscope, sorting dead ants by species and counting—1, 2, 3 …a million. I don’t think that job said anything about my attractiveness (or at least I hope it didn’t), but the ants—they kind of grow on you after a while.

So how about you—got any great work stories??

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Blurb:

Everyone deserves a second chance. Or do they? Sean and Martim fell in love at Harvard. Things broke apart when Martim fell into a downward spiral of addiction after his father died. Sean kicked him out but has regretted it ever since. He’s never gotten over losing Martim. But then, not many aspects of his life have lived up to his collegiate dreams.

When he’s sent to evaluate Martim’s family hotel for foreclosure, Sean is once again in the position to put Martim out on the street. In the time since they parted, Martim has pulled himself together, although both health and financial problems linger as a result of his years as an addict. Can the two men bridge the gap of distance and time to rekindle their relationship, or will they fall apart again under the burdens of guilt and disease? 

Set in Lisbon, Portugal, this is the story of lovers reunited after more than a decade apart, and their second chance at romance.

Here’s a taste:

He wore jeans and a black turtleneck, and with one finger held a sleek leather jacket slung over his shoulder. Looking at him was enough to make a man break out in a cold sweat.

He leaned against the doorway. “Stop working, Sean. The sun is out. Let me show you the sights. Then you’ll know why people want to come here.”

My first thought was that I was looking at it. But of course, even Martim in his most promiscuous days couldn’t have satisfied all the tourists.

I shook my head. “I’ve been to Lisbon before. Remember?”

“I remember.” He let it hang. After a moment he rubbed his hands together. “Okay. I have a new plan. I’ll take you someplace we did not go to back then.”

I couldn’t help but smile a little at his enthusiasm. It was so much like the old Martim, the one I knew before he fell apart.

He raised one eyebrow. “Come on, Sean. I promise I won’t bite.”

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About the Author

Dev Bentham has lived in way too many places and had far too many jobs. She’s finally settled in frozen northern Wisconsin where she teaches online and draws on her former lives to write love stories about mature men searching for true love. Her restless feet take her globetrotting whenever she gets the chance, but most of the time she’s tucked up in her office in the woods dreaming about romance and adventure.

She’s the author of many gay romances, including a DABWAHA finalist, a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention and a Rainbow Awards Finalist.

Website: http://www.devbentham.com

Twitter @DevBentham

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dev.bentham

E-mail: DevBentham@yahoo.com

Sign up for Dev’s Monthly News Flash, every month a little news and some flash fiction

Release Day Blitz: Leaning Into Love (Leaning into Stories #1) by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Leaning Into Love

Series: Leaning Into Stories, #1

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: February 10th

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: Approximately 24K words

Genre: Romance, Erotica, Friends to lovers, surfer, white collar, San Francisco, bisexual

Available for Purchase ata6e28-amazon

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Eric Schuster is a successful guy. He’s part owner of a highly successful tech firm, he has a supportive family and a great group of close friends. But something is missing. Or maybe he’s reacting to his business partner and ex’s wedding news. He knows his former lover is making a big mistake but he also knows it’s time to move on. And hopefully avoid falling for another friend.

Zane Richards is an avid sailor and surfer with a laid-back approach to life. He firmly believes there’s a time and place for everything if you’re willing to take a chance. Like letting his best friend know he’s interested in being much more than friends. Eric has always been half in love with Zane but going from friends to lovers isn’t an easy sell for someone protecting his heart. Eric will have to decide if he’s willing to risk it all by leaning into love.

INCLUDES BONUS CONTENT

Excerpt

Zane refilled my glass and returned it to me with a naughty smirk. “You get kinda corny when you’re tipsy, Schuster. It’s cute.”

“Cute?”

“Yeah. You get goofy. Your ears turn red and it makes the freckles on your nose stand out. Then you do that thing with your hair where you swipe your hand through it so many times that it looks like you just rolled out of bed.”

“Uh…okay. That’s embarrassing.” I searched for a reflective surface as I attempted to pat my unruly brown hair into some semblance of order. “I was going for debonair and I got bar mitzvah kid chic,” I grumbled.

Zane leaned forward and gave me an intense look I didn’t understand.

“You don’t have to be anyone but yourself with me, Eric. I like you just the way you are.” He sat back again and cocked his head. “So let’s talk about this stupid engagement party. What’s the dress code?”

“Um… it’s probably dressy casual,” I replied with a furrowed brow. I wanted to back up a sentence or two and analyze his words and dissect the meaning of “I like you just the way you are”.

“The usual oxymoron,” he snarked. “You are going with me, right?”

“Sure. If you want.”

“I want. It’ll save us both the trouble of finding some poor unsuspecting sucker to drag to a fancy shindig.”

“True. Speaking of suckers, don’t you have a date tonight?”

Zane glanced at his watch and then stretched his legs out on the bench so his shoe nudged my thigh. “I’ve got time. Talk to me. What else have you been up to lately? I noticed there’s a new exhibit at the Modern Museum. Have you gone? I think it’s a midcentury retrospective with Motherwell and de Kooning. I know you like the scribbly art and…”

His conversation was easy. The gentrified version of his former surfer dude accent had a lilting quality I could have listened to for hours. I felt myself truly begin to relax and let go of the invisible hold I’d had on my emotions, like a swimmer grasping onto a ledge who finally realizes he can reach the bottom of the pool. Being with someone who knew quirky details about me and accepted them without judgment or reservation was a gift.

I treasured all of my friends, but Zane was special. Our friendship was rooted in geography and history and now time. He wasn’t making a romantic advance when he asked me to attend Nick’s engagement party with him. That was latent wishful thinking on my part. Zane was simply being who he always was. My oldest and best friend.

Available at Amazon for only 99 cents

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

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