A Jeri Review: Paint the Stars (Free Fall #3) by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

paint-the-stars-by-nyrae-dawn-and-christina-leeI’ve had a soft spot for Ezra since book 1 of this series and I was so happy he got his own book. He was featured pretty heavily in book 2 which just whetted my appetite for more of him.

Ezra is an introverted artist who doesn’t let a lot of people see who he really is. He’d much prefer to binge on Netflix than go to a club with his friends. While Conner (book 2) came the closest to really getting to know Ezra as his roommate, Ezra still kept him at arm’s length. Until Daevonte starts to wiggle his way into Ezra’s life.

Daevonte is a yoga instructor at a studio where Ezra has been commissioned to paint another mural. A lover of life and sex, he wants to hook up with the quiet painter. But Ezra doesn’t do the hook up thing. So after some false starts, they become unlikely friends.

As you can imagine the friends part of the book evolves. It is a nice slow burn which really fits with Ezra’s character. He is demisexual- meaning he has to really connect with someone as a person before he feels any attraction to him. So as the book progresses, as does the connection between Ezra and Daevonte.

I really love that books are starting to have main characters on different  colors of the rainbow. Of course gay (this is the genre we are reading) and bisexual (which opens a lot of past story lines), but now we are seeing a lot more asexual, demisexual, and pansexual. I love seeing these people represented and their stories told in such a manner that makes you truly understand what it is they are about.

Because Ezra is demisexual, this book actually inadvertently gives us my favorite trope- friends to lovers.  Daevonte is so confident in who he is and has a unique way of starting to bring Ezra out of his shell- without trying to change who he is. He has utter respect for Ezra and it shows.

We, of course, get glimpses of the guys from past books. In fact, I really love that they have a once a week dinner together.  AND that one of the secondary characters develops a het relationship. Real life.

Book one, Touch the Sky, is my favorite of the three but this is definitely a very close second.

The cover illustration is gorgeous and seeing all three covers together is perfectly cohesive.

Sales Link

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: February 20th 2017 by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn
ASINB06WRQ4LVH
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesFree Fall #3

Two Publishers Announcements

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Announcement clip art

Two Publishers Announcements

 

📚First from Painted Hearts Publishing formerly known as Dark Hollows Press:

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Dark Hollows Press is thrilled to announce an exciting new change! As of 02.14.2017 we are now Painted Hearts Publishing! Who we are remains the same, but we believe our new name to be a better reflection of our diversity. From sweet to erotic, from paranormal to contemporary, from male/female to LGBT, we remain committed to bringing you the best in romance publishing today.

Visit us on the web at www.paintedheartspublishing.com

📚Secondly and sadly, from Samhain  Publishing, a final announcement:

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Greetings, Samhain Readers.

It’s with a heavy heart that we announce Samhain Publishing will be closing at the end of February. Due to the declining sales we’ve been experiencing with this changing market we’ve come to the sad conclusion it’s time to call it a day.

 

The last of our new titles launch February 21st; I hope you will check them out and support them as you have so many other Samhain titles through the years.”

 

Our site will go dark at the end of the day, February 28th. Please take a few moments and visit, buy what you might have been planning on getting someday in the future, but download and back up your bookshelf because you won’t have access to it after February 28th.

 

Thank you for all your support through the eleven years we’ve been open. It’s been a pleasure to bring to market new voices in publishing and new works from familiar authors. From start to finish, we’ve always kept what the reader wants in mind and hope you enjoyed what we had to offer.

https://www.samhainpublishing.com

 

This is the second time we’ve had a closing announcement from Samhain  Publishing but it looks to be their final one.  Last time, they pulled back and tried to stay open but as you can see, it didn’t work.  Again, we bid them farewell.  Those of you who still have books there or books you wish to buy, please make note of their deadline to backup your Samhain bookshelf.

 

 

 

A MelanieM Review: Danced Close (Portland Heat #6) by Annabeth Albert

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

 

danced-closePortland, Oregon, is one of the hottest cities in America. Just ask all the hard-working men sweating it up behind the counters of the restaurants, boutiques, and cafés all over town …

Newly clean and sober, Todd’s taken a shine to his job at Portland’s most talked about bakery. It’s not just the delicious desserts they sell, but the tasty treats who keep walking through the door. That certainly includes Kendall Rose, a wedding planner with eyes the color of brown sugar and skin to match. Todd doesn’t try to hide his attraction to Kendall’s elegant confidence and unique style, even as he worries about exposing the secrets of his past.

For Kendall, the attention is just part of the anything-goes Portland he’s grown to love. But he’s still looking for that special someone who will embrace all of him—including his gender fluidity. So he takes a chance and asks Todd to be his partner in a dance class leading to a fundraiser. When the music starts and he takes Todd in his arms, Kendall is shocked at how good it feels. Turns out taking the lead for once isn’t a mistake. In fact, it might be time to take the next step and follow his heart …

Ever read a book that made you want to do a little singing and a swaying?  For me that’s Danced Close by Annabeth Albert, the sixth book in her warmhearted, and lovely series Portland Heat.  I’m a fan, both of this author and series (let’s get that out of the way) so I look forward to seeing what Albert will bring to enliven up an already quirky, surprising series.  We start off back at the Bakery owned by Vic (couple Vic and Robin) from Baked Fresh (Portland Heat, #2).  Vic’s employee is Todd, who had rough times in his past where he turned to drugs.  Now clean, he’s learning about baking and staying sober.  Its a constrained life until the stylish and outgoing genderfluid Kendall Rose enters the bakery and his life.

Now one of the things I have always loved about Annabeth Albert’s writing and characters is that she loves to defy peoples expectations.  You might look at that blurb above and carry some expectation about each character with you into the story.  Fine, great.  Than enjoy Albert turning those expectations right on their proverbial heads as she reveals lovely unexpected layers and backgrounds to Todd and Kendall.  Its a dance not only on the ballroom floor but of relationship dynamics that sometimes make you sigh, sometimes smile, and don’t be surprised if even you can imagine the dancing and here yourself singing in your head.

With all  that, there’s still a goodly amount of heartache, discarding of old wounds and healing to be done before these two can move forward together.  Still sighing here.

I throughly enjoyed the journey to happiness for both Kendall and Todd.  I loved their give and take with each  other.  And of course, Portland always keeping it strange.  What on earth is Annabeth Albert going to do next?

Cover art absolutely works.

Sales Links

 

Add to Goodreads Buy on Amazon     itunes-button

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: March 14th 2017 by Lyrical Shine
ASINB01HA426NM
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPortland Heat #6

A MelanieM Review: Necessary Medicine by M.K. York

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

necessary-medicineWith intelligence and humor, debut male/male author M.K. York delivers an emotionally charged slow-burn romance set in a prestigious Bay Area teaching hospital

In the high-intensity world of hospital residency programs, there’s no room for romance. So it’s a good thing for first-year surgical resident Neil Carmona that his crush on the gorgeous cardiologist Eli Newcombe is sheer fantasy. Not only is the sexy doctor Neil’s superior, he’s also recently divorced.

As Neil’s skill as a surgeon grows, so does his friendship with Eli, and his silent, hopeless longing for more. It isn’t until Neil’s final year that Eli at last admits his own deepest desires. But Neil’s joy is short-lived: Eli has no intention of pursuing a relationship. Their positions in the hospital would make it unethical, even if he was emotionally ready for someone new.

Wounded and furious, Neil is determined to forget about Eli once and for all. But when a near-tragedy strikes, a new question arises: Is a life without love—without Neil—a greater risk than laying his heart on the line?

Well, I just  adored Necessary Medicine by M.K. York, probably because it hit so close to home as a close family relative lived with us during his residency here. During that time period I got an up close look at his hours, his total exhaustion and the dedication it took to get him through those years (and all those rotations).  York knows that world intimately and brought it back to me so vividly I almost got on the phone to relive it  with my cousin again. Almost!

First-year surgical resident Neil Carmona felt so believable in every way.  From his fumbling through the different rotations, to his trying to find some semblance of ties to other people to ground him, I understood this man completely and loved him.  And when transplant surgeon extraordinaire appeared during one of his lectures, I could see the crush coming his way.  Neil’s world is an insular one and York does a fine job of describing its pressures and incredible around the clock adrenaline rush of procedures, stress, and Expectations that bombard residents so that we can see why he wants to reach out to someone he’s attracted to so badly even though it might be the worst idea ever.

Eli Newcombe is more of an enigma, at least at first.  Its when we meet up with him a second time that we get to know the man behind the reputation and realize that perhaps that, beyond the chemistry these two have, there just might be a future.

This is a slow burn sort of relationship that’s has its foundation in the reality of a teaching hospital.  York gives us not only Neil and Eli but Neil’s mentor (and Eli’s friend), other residents and Neil’s small circle of friends and the insular world of surgery and the transplant field.  I think this book is a marvel, and I found so many things about it fascinating. Yes, I did remember my cousin’s similar stories from his internship and they pretty much measured up to the ones here.  I wonder who  York has been talking to.

However, if you’re not a fan of things like tv medicine show dramas with ensemble casts and romances, this book might not be your thing.  But it was absolutely mine.  As I said I adored it.  I so hope M.K. York write more like this as the author has found a fan in me.

Cover art works but I’m not a fan of reds like this in cover art.  I find it offputting.

Pre Order – Sales Links

Carina Press

Other links to come

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 251 pages
Expected publication: April 24th 2017 by Carina Press
Original TitleNecessary Medicine
ASINB01MYM441N
Edition LanguageEnglish