A MelanieM Review: Alpha Delta by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

 

alpha-delta-by-rj-scottOfficer Finn Hallan has never run from a fight. With Niall’s life and love at stake, he’s not about to start now.

N.B. Originally published with All Romance, this edition features the same story with new cover art

Finn Hallan is a member of the elite Norwegian Emergency Response Unit, code name Delta. When the team is sent to respond to a hostage situation on an Oil Platform, he has to face demons he thought he had buried a long time ago.

Scottish engineer Niall Faulkner’s skills in oil platform decommissioning takes him to the Forseti platform at the worst possible time. When he’s captured by terrorists, his only thought is that he will never get to tell his lover how he really feels.

Can Finn keep Niall alive? Or will they both die at the hands of hijackers in the frigid waters of the Norwegian sea?

Word Count: 21,000

Alpha Delta by R.J. Scott is an enjoyable action/adventure yarn for all of its short pages.  In short order, Scott sets us  up with the couple, Finn Hallan and Niall Faulkner in meet and set off sparks situation and then waits for the explosives to go off. Literally. Finn, the tough op and Niall, the engineer who decommissions oil platforms is an unusual couple to begin with so I liked them immediately. I don’t know where Scott gets her idea for their professions (and then sticks them together) but I like it.  Both men are skilled and smart and that’s alluring to them and myself as a reader.

I also enjoyed the “green factor” here behind decommissioning the oil platforms, Nice to get some facts and background behind such an huge endeavor even in such a short story.  There are some narrative holes here.  Alpha Delta was a part of a series originally published by the now gone ARe and its other stories presumably carried some of the information needed about the “villain” of this story and the back history with Finn Hallan.  We get some of it, true but more is clearly needed. So while its listed as a stand alone, that’s not entirely true.    This edition does suffer from the same ARe faults that I found as other ARe stories.  A lack of thorough editing.  In one instance, one character name was continually used in a scene in a hospital bed when another was clearly meant.  One man’s name was used throughout the scene instead of bringing in Niall’s when needed.  A good editor or any editor would have caught that, an problem that pops up less here than in other ARe stories but still it rendered what should have been a tender scene into a confusing one.

That aside, there’s some wonderful suspense-filled and thriller moments here.  I wish the story had been enlarged and revised.  Its worth it.  As it is, I enjoyed it but it could have been a terrific RJ Scott book, and maybe even a series.  These two make quite the duo.

Cover art works for the story and character.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 63 pages
Published January 2nd 2017 by Love Lane Books Ltd (first published February 2nd 2015)
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Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Snowblind (Dreamspun Desires #29) by Eli Easton

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

snowblind-by-eli-eastonSnow, steam, and secrets.

The latest snowstorm carries something unexpected to the doorstep of Hutch’s secluded Alaskan cabin: a stranger named Jude, the most beautiful man Hutch has ever seen. Jude says he’s in the area for a ski trip and that he fled a domineering lover, thinking he could make it into town. But Hutch is a suspicious SOB and treats his unwanted guest warily. The problem is Jude isn’t just gorgeous, he’s funny and smart and flirtatious.

Two gay men snowed in for three days—things happen. Really good things. By the time the storm clears, Hutch finds himself a little too attached to Jude Devereaux, San Francisco-based male model. But is Jude what he claims to be? Or is he entangled in the secrets Hutch moved to Alaska to escape?

I have certain expectations of a Dreamspun Desires title. Romance, a plot from those serial romances of decades ago given a M/M twist and updated, plus a little light hearted “something or other”.  I usually get all that, sometimes I get less, often I get more in terms of great characters and plot.  Then there’s the times the author gives me a story I just sink right into.  Men who are troubled, wounded in some way, irresistible, and so magnetic I can’t pull myself away from their story.  Eli Easton gave me all that in Snowblind.

I didn’t expect the darkness I found. Huh.   Yes, there are parts of this story that are dark and sobering.  Didn’t expect that from a Dreamspun Desires title.  Nor can I tell you how they factor into the story because its so much of the wonderful  twists and turns you will find inside this marvelous novel.  That blurb?  Ha! So had me fooled.  It will you too.  The rich and inventive tale that lies behind that thin facade of a synopsis is suspenseful and character driven and oh so incredible. Usually, the blurb lately has been spelling out the entire story.  I don’t know when I’ve been so surprised by a story.

Easton’s writing is so smooth, so vivid that I felt my heart pound at certain moments, and my eyes tear up at others.  I love her characters and the way in which the story moved from one man’s point of view to the other’s, a necessary, sometimes heartbreaking perspective.

No, you aren’t getting any details.  Anything I say, and I do mean anything, just leads to spoilers and I won’t do it to this book.  Grab it up,  plow right into it.  Make popcorn before you start. Because once you start, that’s it.  There’s no stopping until that wonderful ending.  Do I recommend this story.  Hell, yes! Hutch and Jude will have me smiling for days, maybe weeks.  Maybe more.  I really love them.

Cover Artist: Bree Archer.  The cover works for the branding of the series and the character.  I like it.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 196 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635331463 (ISBN13: 9781635331462)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDreamspun Desires #29 settingAlaska (United States)

An Alisa Release Day Review: The Real Thing by BG Thomas

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

the-real-thingBryan Mills has fantasized about cowboys all his life. Real cowboys, that is. He even dresses in what his roommate calls “cowboy drag” when he visits his favorite bar, in the hope of attracting the attentions of a genuine cowboy. But all he usually finds are posers and guys his own age.

 

Then one night, to his surprise, Curtis Hansen buys him a beer, and Bryan has no doubt this is the real thing. Curtis is a rugged, gorgeous man who is every bit a cowboy. He even owns his own ranch. What follows is about the most amazing night of Bryan’s young life.

 

But can they move beyond a night of incredible sex when Bryan admits to Curtis that the only horse he’s ever ridden was a birthday party pony? And that he’s nothing but a poser himself? Maybe, just maybe, Curtis can find the real cowboy inside Bryan, and they can ride off into the sunset together!

 

This was a cute story.  Bryan made some mistakes when he first knew he was gay and since then hasn’t been able to really have a relationship or be with the kind of man he wants, a real cowboy.  He can’t believe when Curtis approaches him at the bar and spends the night with him.

 

Seeing everything through Bryan’s eyes we are able to see how truly innocent he is to the world of dating.  Curtis has been hurt in the past and seems willing to open his heart to open his heart to Bryan.  Both of the characters are adorable and are wonderful together.

 

Cover art by LC Chase is a great picture of the real thing.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 52 pages

Published: 2nd edition, March 1, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781635333305

Edition Language: English

A Stella Release Day Review: My Paradise is You (World of Love) by Lucie Archer

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RATING 3,5 out of 5 stars

my-paradise-is-you-by-lucie-archerWhen two very different men are stranded on a deserted island, will opposites attract, or will they end up killing each other—if the elements don’t get them first?

Marc Reed is an expert scuba diver and leads underwater tours of the infamous shipwrecks scattered around Bermuda. When a robbery forces him and his boss’s son—a man he despises on principle—to take shelter on an uncharted island, he might have to reassess his opinion of the spoiled snob.

Ian Blythe-Darcy II lives a life most would envy. He’s a trust-fund kid being groomed to take over his father’s empire of hotels and resorts. But it’s not a life that matches what’s in his heart. He’s in the closet and engaged to a socialite he doesn’t love, but he’s about to get a crash course in being true to himself—and maybe learn money can’t buy happiness after all.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

My Paradise is You is the first book I read by Lucie Archer, I’m always curious about new to me authors and the cover of this new release is really eye catching; that’s why I was very enthusiastic to read it, plus I enjoyed the stories in the World of Love series I read so far.

I quite liked My Paradise Is You, it was quick and light, the reading flew easily and although Ian is in the closet and engaged with Francesca, there wasn’t really drama or complicate situation, apart from the MCs being stranded on an island together for a week.

I adored how they bickered from the first time they met, the way they teased each other was cute and funny, and gave the novellas a little sparkle needed in a plot like this, pretty simple and granted. It made me more curious to see how it was going to be developed and how Ian and Mark would overcome they differences in backgrounds and lifestyles.

I particularly liked how the author chose for the main characters to wait and be back from the island before they have sex. As I said, Ian is engaged and I (and Mark) would have considered a betrayal versus his girlfriend is they acted on the attraction they strongly feel for the other on the island, instead, as the author did, of explain how things really are to Francesca. I appreciated this choice a lot and in my opinion made the relationship more real and believable.

My Paradise Is You is a lovely reading, it was pleasurable light and I’m curious to see what else Lucie Archer wrote. I definitely recommend it.

The cover art by Bree Archer is a winner, it’s perfect and I love all that blue. And yes, the model is pretty hot.

Sale Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 97 pages

Publication Date: March 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635333423 (ISBN13: 9781635333428)

Edition Language English

Karen Stivali on Characters, Emotional Ties and Moment of Fate (Moments In Time #5) by Karen Stivali ( GUEST POST )

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Moment of Fate (Moments In Time #5) by Karen Stivali
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Available for Purchase at

           

and Apple

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Karen Stivali here today to talk about her latest release in her Moments in Time series, Moment of Fate. Welcome, Karen.

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STRW: Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Karen Stivali: It’s funny you should ask this question for this blog tour, because MOMENT OF FATE is the first book I’ve ever had this problem with, and I had it in spades.

I write fast. Always have. I finish most books in 2 months or less. Before I start any project I need to see the whole story in my mind and once I do, that’s it, it pours right out.

Except with this book.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t seen the whole story play out in my mind. I had. I knew the characters inside and out and knew exactly what happened—how they met, how and why they bonded, the path that took them from friends to lovers, the secrets that tore them apart, and how they found their way back to one another. It wasn’t a question of not knowing the plot or struggling with any other aspect of the writing. The problem was that I over-related to one of the characters.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not Bryan. Not in any way, shape or form. He’s a young, sexy, charismatic front man in a band and an out and proud gay man. I’m none of those things. Can’t sing a note. Never seek the spotlight. Don’t consider myself particularly charming. And yet, Bryan shares one characteristic with me that threw me for such a loop this was a book that I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to finish writing, even though I really, really wanted to.

So, what was the issue? Bryan’s main challenge in the book is that although he’s one of those people who has always gone after what he’s wanted and gotten it, although he’s a ridiculously hard worker who’s driven to succeed, although he’s stubborn and self-reliant, he’s had a challenge that he didn’t know how to deal with. A challenge he didn’t want to accept and, worse, didn’t want anyone to know about. He has a chronic illness: Lyme disease. While not a fatal illness, like any chronic ailment it presents challenges. Challenges that are ever-changing and, due to the chronic nature, will never completely go away.

From the host of mysterious symptoms that come and go, to the aches and pains, to the unpredictable flare-ups, to the anxiety and panic attacks, he’s had to learn to cope with an array of problems that conflict with his Type A personality and his unwillingness to let anything stand in his way.

How do I know how much of a challenge all of that is? Because I’m a very driven, stubborn, self-reliant person who has had to deal with Chronic Lyme disease for many years.

So, yeah. I over-related a little. Okay, a lot. Every time Bryan had an anxiety attack, I found myself having one. Which meant every time I went back to reread or edit one of those scenes I had another one. I pride myself on never missing deadlines but with this book I blew the deadline by over six months because it got to the point where I couldn’t even open the file. I set it aside, came back to it, had to put it aside again.

The good thing? Part of Bryan’s character arc is that he has to learn that although he doesn’t need to let his illness define him, he does need to learn to work around it. And part of that includes allowing some other people to know what he’s going through. Why he can’t always do everything he used to or the way he wants to. What his limitations are and how much he doesn’t want those limitations to have an impact on his decisions or his goals or how he lives his life. For the majority of the book he’s told no one in his life what he’s struggling with. Just like almost no one in my life knows that I have Lyme. I don’t want to be defined by it either, and I won’t be. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t need to relearn right along with Bryan that sometimes you have to let other people know what’s going on with you, and that sometimes you need to give yourself a break.

That’s not an easy lesson for me. And it wasn’t an easy lesson for him. But it was one he needed to learn and that I needed a reminder of, in a big way.

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Blurb

A Moments In Time Novel

Bryan Dane’s been living the dream—photography student by day, up-and-coming rocker by night. His summer goals are to earn his last few credits, graduate from NYU, spend as much time in the recording studio as possible, and survive the next few months without sex so he can complete his yearlong goal of self-imposed celibacy. Everything is on track until he meets Oliver Newcastle.

For years Oliver planned a marriage of convenience with his high school BFF, but now that she’s fallen in love for real with someone else, it’s no longer convenient. So Oliver came out to his family, quit his job, and left small-town New England for NYC, an intensive summer study program, and a chance to find his own happiness.

From the moment they meet, the sexual tension between Bryan and Oliver sizzles. But Bryan wants no part of a relationship, and Oliver wants to sow his wild oats—he just isn’t sure how. Oliver seeks Bryan’s help navigating the NYC gay scene, which throws them together in increasingly more sexual situations until they can no longer deny they’re hot for each other. Bryan is desperate to keep things simple, but fate may have other plans.

This is a standalone novel set in the Moments In Time world. You do not need to have read any of the previous titles to enjoy this book.

Release Date: February 24, 2017

Words 80,385

Pages 244

ISBN-13 978-1-63476-546-6

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About the Author

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 Karen Stivali

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

Full length bio:

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

Karen’s lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.

When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenStivaliAuthor/

Website: http://karenstivali.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karenstivali/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KarenStivali/

E-mail: karenstivali@gmail.com/

Other books in the Moments In Time series:

  • MOMENT OF IMPACT (Book 1)
  • MOMENT OF TRUTH (Book 2)
  • MOMENT OF CLARITY (Book 3)
  • MOMENTS IN TIME (a compilation of Books 1-3)
  • MOMENT OF DOUBT (Book 3.5)
  • MOMENT OF SILENCE (Book 4)
  • MOMENT OF FATE (Book 5)

Cover Reveal for Between the Secrets by S. Ferguson

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Between the Secrets by S. Ferguson

Cover Reveal Date: March 1st, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Designer: Jay Aheer

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Between the Secrets, an all-new MM romance by S. Ferguson is coming March 16th!

Sometimes the past won’t let you escape no matter how much your future wants you to.

Jake James lives in the shadows of his shame. The guilt for what he’s done, for what was done to him, has left him hollow and haunted.

Greg Bissen just wants Jake to let him in, having accepted who he is a long time ago, he is desperate to break through Jake’s defenses.

When danger and an agonizing loss threatens to tear them apart, will Jake let the burdens of his past crush him?

Or can love really conquer all, even if it’s hiding in between the secrets?

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/ScHUCe

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About the Author:

Ferguson is a military wife and mother of three. She loves to find beauty in the flawed and broken.

Connect with the Author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sfergusonwrites/

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

Twitter: @SarahFergWrites

Email: sfergusonwrites@gmail.com

www.sfergusonwrites.com

Stay up to date with S. Ferguson by signing up for her newsletter today:

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