A Stella Review: Three Hearts by Grace R. Duncan

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RATING 2,5 out of 5 stars

Liam Scott is sick. That’s not supposed to be possible. As a wolf shifter, he’s supposed to be able to heal. The omega gene he was born with means he’s capable of carrying shifter young and Liam is worried that whatever is wrong will mean his one-day hope of having pups will be dashed. But despite the fears keeping him away from the doctor until now, he knows he needs to go.

It turns out the sickness is temporary, but the treatment causes a whole other problem.

Mason’s alpha gene means he’s one of very few wolves who can impregnate an omega male. For two years, he’d been watching Liam, but things kept getting in the way. When Liam shows up in heat, Mason recognizes the opportunity he needs and doesn’t hesitate make to Liam his mate and the father of his pups.

But Liam has old wounds and fears to work through which the pregnancy is only making worse, and Mason isn’t sure how to get past them to show he’s serious about making a life together as loving mates. It’s not until a female wolf decides Mason should be hers that Liam makes his biggest worry known—and Mason can finally put the fears to rest.

I was very enthusiastic to read this new release by Grace R Duncan, I’m a fan of male pregnancy stories and I jumped at the chance at having this book on my hands.

While I love the theme and the general idea of Three Hearts, I have to say I had a couple of problems with it: first of all, too many sex scenes that almost put me off at the start and although I forced myself to go on, it changed nothing. It was a succession of hot, steamy sex, I could enjoyed it some but it was a little too much and too repetitive. And this is the adjective I had on my mind through all the story. Repetitive, and boring too. The chapters told me always the same thing. I followed Mason and Liam through the pregnancy, the causes, the cravings, the delivery, and some scenes were really cute, others made me smile, and I loved all the secondary characters, well defined and all of them positive persons. Being a huge fan of mm stories with children in them, I would have preferred more pages on the MCs and their huge family, where at the end I got very few words about what happened after. I appreciated how the author explained in detail how the male preg functioned, the parts often ignored or just drafted in books I previously read, here were well described and gave almost reality to the male preg.

Three Hearts to me fell a little short, too simplistic, full of sex and attraction and with no romance at all. In my opinion it could have worked better if it had been shorter, more than 200 pages was definitely too much considering the author chose to focus all the story on the pregnancy. It dragged and left me dubious and unsatisfied.

The cover art by Jess Small is nice but not very eye catching.

Sales Links

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 214 pages

Published March 3rd 2017

ASIN B01MYFCBSE

Edition Language English

An Ali Review: We Three Kings by AF Henley

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Chicago 1982 is a goldmine for the construction industry, and Eric and his two business partners are thriving. Once nothing more than orphans in a Catholic boys’ home, they’ve overcome poverty and abuse to obtain success. Now living the lives they once only dreamed of, they’re sure of one thing: they will never look back.

Then the past returns, by way of a cheap polyester suit and a smile Eric has never forgotten—and all the dark memories come crashing back. Lucky for him, Jimmy has no idea who Eric is, or who Eric used to be…
This is a beautifully written story about forgiveness and redemption.  Eric and his two best friends, Mark and Devin, have overcome the abuse they suffered at the hands of the church run orphanage they grew up in.  They are now successful businessmen and they try to live their lives in a way that is positive and helpful to others.  Eric’s past behaviors though still haunt him and the walls he’s built come crashing down when he interviews Jimmy for a job at their company.  Eric sees hiring Jimmy as a way to fix past wrongs. Unfortunately the longer Eric is not honest with Jimmy, the harder time he has with the truths about himself.
This story is told from Eric’s point of view and I found him to be a fantastic narrator.  He begins each chapter with memories from his past.  I was worried about this part of the story going in because I saw that movie Sleepers and I remember it being pretty hard to watch.  Fortunately the author doesn’t make these scenes graphic.  Despite that you still get the feel for the terror these boys went through in every creak in the hallway or dark shadow that passes their door.  I was on pins and needles for everyone of those flashbacks.
Despite his lack of honestly with Jimmy, Eric finds himself attracted to the man and begins a romantic relationship.  Eric is slowly unraveling and while he knows his decisions are bad, he can’t seem to stop himself.  Throughout he does a bunch of soul searching and he’s stuck on his anger at himself for both the past and the present.
While part of the story is about Jimmy and Eric falling for each other, Jimmy is almost a side character.  He has a strong role and a place of importance but really this story is Eric’s.  I thought the connection between the two men was touching.  Eric’s two friends have smaller roles but they play a major part in the end of the story.  By far though, my favorite side character was Meryl, a homeless man that Eric talks to every day.  This was so well done.  So creative and thought provoking. I don’t want to say more about this because I don’t want to spoil anything but I loved these interactions. He and Eric are characters that will stick in my head for a long time to come.
In the end, yes, this is a romance, but it’s also a story about letting go of your past, of your fear, you anger and/or self-loathing and starting afresh.
There are a few authors I wish got more attention and this is one of them.  I’ve loved everything I’ve read of hers and I would have everyone I know read this if I could (and after this go read her Wolf series).
Cover by Aisha Akeju:  I liked the cover.  It was nicely done but did not stand out in any special way to me.
Sales Links
Book Details:
ebook
Published March 1st 2017 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781620049600
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Review: Hunter by Dakota Storm

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Rating:  2.5 stars out of 5

 

Sexy-as-sin bounty hunter Hunter Jones lives, eats, and breathes his next case. He’s always been content to live his life on the road with no attachments and no one to answer to. Love is for other people. But when he stops in a small town for a little R&R and meets up with a fellow bounty hunter to review a case, he runs into the man of his wet dreams. Hunter isn’t ready for love, but Van turns his head and heart upside down.

 

Donovan “Van” Madsen has it all: a lucrative business, a close-knit family, and a best friend. But something is missing. Van always dreamed of finding the “one,” but never thought it would happen … until Hunter.

 

The mutual attraction is instant and intense between the two men. Neither can say goodbye.

 

When trouble brews and Van is kidnapped, Hunter realizes life is too short to not take what he wants. In this action-packed romance, both men’s lives are on the line and their love might not be enough to save them.

 

Eh, this was an okay story.  Van has been hoping he would find the one and when he connects with Hunter he thinks he may have.  Hunter has always been a loner but knows there is something different about Van than anyone he has been with before.

 

We see both of the characters’ thoughts and actions.  The characters’ actions and thoughts really reminded me of shifter mate stories, which is all well and good, but didn’t really fit for me.  I understand instant attraction but their reactions to each other seemed completely extreme and I just couldn’t understand what was going through their heads and it just didn’t really work for me.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is great and catches your eye.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 113 pages

Published: February 11, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634863193

Edition Language: English

A VVivacious Review: You Had Me at Hero by Michael P. Thomas

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
 
Mark Potts fell from a balcony while drunk that resulted in him being paralysed from the waist down, but he never gave up. Now twelve years later he works as a 911 operator, and is raising two wonderful kids with the love of his life, Starr Bradford who is a police officer.
 
When a string of words that should have never left Mark’s mouth creates a misunderstanding between Mark and Starr, it leaves Mark off kilter and wishing for a do-over. But when a 911 call results in Starr’s day taking a turn for the worse, will these two get that chance at repairing this rift in their relationship?
 
I liked the story quite a bit even though I’m uncertain how the author pulled it off. There are a million things in this story which could have separately taken entire books to resolve but the author manages to prioritise on what issues to get in the limelight to make this story into a success.
 
This is a gay couple who come from two different ethnicities with one of them being physically-challenged, who have an age gap of seventeen years and are raising two young children to be responsible adults and both of them work highly stressful jobs. I mean the challenges these two faced in their relationship alone could have provided fodder for a series of books and at the beginning of the book I really wondered if the author had maybe picked up one too many differences to go with our main couple but by the end of the book I think it worked. It sure made for an interesting read.
 
This is an established couple romance and that trope is a particular favourite of mine and this one didn’t disappoint. Also this trope was perfect for this story because it gave us the understanding that a lot of the issues Mark and Starr faced had probably been resolved in their six plus years of being together.
 
We get glimpses into the lives of Mark and Starr and how life is like for them and how they deal with it. Also I loved to see the issues that bothered them as parents and how they worked them out. Personally I really loved Mark and Starr as a couple and even the little rift at the end that creates the misunderstanding or difference of opinions seemed in character and I liked how they dealt with it given the circumstances.
 
All in all this book makes for a nice read which leaves you with a smile on your face, even if it does leave you wondering how these two managed to work around so many cons in their relationship.
 
Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. I liked the cover.
Sales Links
Book Details:
ebook, 85 pages
Published February 18th 2017 by JMS Books
ISBN139781634863117
Edition LanguageEnglish

INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR: Ghosts & Ashes (Broken Moon #2) by F.T. Lukens (author interview, special excerpt and giveaway)

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Ghosts & Ashes (Broken Moon #2) by F.T. Lukens
I
nterlude Press
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Available for Sale at

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✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have F.T. Lukens here today to talk about her  latest novel, Ghost & Ashes.  Welcome, F.T., thank you for stopping by on your tour today. Hi FT, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

  • Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?

I’m such a sucker for a pretty cover. It’s not the sole reason I buy a book, but I do love a nice cover. I’m very lucky to have the beautiful covers I’ve had for my Broken Moon Series.

It also helps if the book is in my genre of choice. A good blurb that’s interesting can get me too.

Probably needless to say but I do end up purchasing a lot of books.

  • What does ‘romance’ mean to you?

This is a tricky question. I think romance can mean the whole sweep- someone-off-their-feet thing. But I tend to think of it as person meeting another person where they are and going from there. I think that’s romantic. But I love slow-burn romances and pining and those kinds of tropes.

  • What are your current projects?

I’m happily working on several different projects right now. This current book, Ghosts & Ashes, is the second of a trilogy. I’m busy plotting out the third and final installment. I also just finished another YA book about myths and cryptids. I’m also hoping to write a steampunk fantasy novel this year as well. It’s a lot to squeeze in.

  • What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

It’s the motivation. I’m a driven person. I recently had to take a strengths finding test for my day job and my top was called “Achiever.” Which basically means I’m here to get things done. But sometimes, after working a full day, and tending to three kids, and putting everyone to bed and I’m sitting at the keyboard and I’m drained… Those nights are difficult. But I surround myself with people who will push me. I have friends who will send me emails asking me if I’ve made my goals. And I have a goal tracking spreadsheet that keeps me on track.

  • Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.

I don’t know if this is ‘surprising’ but it’s funny/sweet. My penname is of course, not my real name. But it is a combination of an inside joke plus the name of the person who nicknamed me FT. The name ‘Lukens’ is the last name of a friend of mine who passed away. She loved nicknaming people and she loved to joke around. The FT part is the joke that I share with her and a few others and the Lukens in her last name. When I was coming up with the penname, I thought of her, and I knew she would’ve loved it. I’m sure where she is that she’s smiling and probably laughing at me. 😉

GHOSTS & ASHES ~ Summary

Three months have passed since the events of The Star Host, and Ren is living aboard the Star Stream under the watchful eyes of the Phoenix Corps. Plagued by vivid nightmares that ravage the ship in his sleep, he struggles to prove he isn’t a threat and fears he has traded one captor for another. His relationship with Asher, whose efforts to balance his personal loyalty to Ren with his professional duties to the Corps are failing, fractures.

Adrift without an anchor, Ren must return to his home planet of Erden if he has any chance of reversing his dangerous descent into madness. There, he hopes search for his missing brother and salvage his relationship with Asher. What he nds is knowledge that puts everyone’s allegiance to the test.

GHOSTS & ASHES ~ EXCERPT

“There you are!” Asher said, striding toward him, wrapping him in an embrace. “Stars, you’re freezing.” Asher rubbed Ren’s arms; his palms swept over the chilled skin. “Where have you been? You left and never came back. Jakob and I have been looking all over for you.”

Ren pitched forward, planted his face in Asher’s chest, and shook. The terror at being taken again mixed with the crushing truths from his parents overwhelmed him.

“Hey, hey, you’re okay.” Asher pulled Ren close. “What happened? Was it a dream? Sleepwalking?”

Ren stilled. Pressed close to Asher’s body, it would be easy to give into the urge to tell him everything, to spill the truth about what his parents had said about the Corps and the star hosts and the history his life was mired in. But his mother’s words lingered in the back of his mind, and Ren remembered how Asher had sided with VanMeerten so many times since the debacle on the drift. Asher was Phoenix Corps, through and through. His allegiance was split, torn between Ren and his duty as a soldier. And how much did he know? Was Asher aware that the first mission of the Corps was to hunt down the scattered remnants of the star hosts? Or did he only know what he had been told, like the rest of them?

* * *

Ren poured his power outward. The force field created a partial wall between the captives and the Corps. The comms shrieked. The pulse guns spat electricity, came alive in the hands of those who wielded them, and sparked and sputtered, shocking the Corpsmen with forks and tangles of electricity. They fell, writhing on the ground, even Zag. Ren vibrated with their screams, tasted the burn of skin and hair, but it wasn’t enough.

They had destroyed his home. They had made it so Ren could never return to what he was before. They had scared Ezzy, who was only a girl with a crush, who wanted to prove herself capable in a warzone when she should’ve been learning at school, playing in the woods, swimming in the lake, or blushing around boys. They had threatened them, frightened them, and they would burn, as Ren did, blaze in misery and despair, and thrash in pain until their veins blackened and peeled like wires, until their bones glowed like circuits.

The power flowed from him in a torrent, and he pushed it, and pushed it. He ensured those responsible were filled until they burst, until their souls were scorched out of them, until their humanity had crumbled to dust as his had.

* * *

Ren sighed. Asher wanted to talk, and Ren’s insides ached with a fierce loneliness he hadn’t experienced since the first night in the cell of the Baron’s citadel. He didn’t want Asher’s words or his pity. And he didn’t want to relive the details of the nightmare, which had sent him twisting in his sheets and crawling across the floor. The sense memories clung to him, like cobwebs whose phantom threads, fluttery and strange and stubborn, brushed against his skin. The strands were infinite; they touched the deep places of Ren’s consciousness and burrowed down to his marrow to pull out the things that terrified him most.

He didn’t want to share the nightmare, but Asher’s flat countenance and sure gaze couldn’t hide his worry. It flashed in his eyes and ran in shaky tremors down the length of his crossed arms, as if he hugged himself to keep in his concerns and not as a defense to reflect whatever Ren had to throw at him.

Ren bent his knees, propped his arm up, and allowed his fingertips to dangle. Sweat flattened his hair against his temples. He regarded Asher coolly as Asher sat on the edge of Ren’s bunk.

“Do you remember when we went dancing?”

Asher blinked at the non-sequitur. “On Mykonos?”

Rowan had taken them dancing in a place with loud music and rotating lights. The beat had vibrated through Ren’s boots. “I had never been dancing like that before.”

Asher raised an eyebrow. “You weren’t bad. Well, not as bad as Jakob.”

“I liked the slow dance.” Asher had grabbed Ren in his arms and pulled him to the dance floor. They’d laughed and moved and all Ren’s worries had dissolved in happiness and the rhythm of the music. “I liked being with you. With the crew. I miss that.”

“We’re here now, Ren.”

He shook his head. “No. You’re not. It’s different now.”

“It doesn’t have to be.”

Ren looked away.

“Ren, you’re not okay,” he said flatly.

“No. I’m not, but I didn’t feel like broadcasting it.”

“It’s a little late for that,” Asher said softly. Ren’s stomach twisted. Asher had all but confirmed his latest nightmare had played on the vid screens. The crew had seen what Ren couldn’t remember, didn’t want to remember. “You’re getting worse. And they know it.”

Ren twisted his lips. “I’m aware the crew already knows. Pen can’t lie for anything.”

“Not them. The Corps.”

Ren rested his head on his knees. “You told her. You threw me to the wolves.”

“I had to.”

“Why? Do you want me to leave? Be locked away?”

“Stars, Ren. You know I don’t want that.”

“I don’t know what you want, to be honest. I don’t understand why you hold allegiance to them at all.”

“Because I have to. I promised five years.”

“You and your promises,” Ren said bitterly. That was loyalty Ren couldn’t understand, not after what the Corps had done to Asher, not after having left him for a year to rot in a cell on what they called a backwater planet. But Ren was beginning to realize there were things he would never understand and maybe wasn’t meant to.

“And I promised I’d keep you safe. Any way I could. This is the only way. Don’t you understand that?”

Ren felt the slight touch of Asher’s fingertips across the back of his hand. His star sparked and sought out the mechanism in Asher’s shoulder instinctually.

Asher shivered.

“There’s a fine line between safety and captivity.”

* * *

Connect with F.T. at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.

About the Author

F.T. Lukens is an author of Young Adult ction who got her start by placing second out of ten thousand entries in a fan community writing contest. A sci- enthusiast, F.T. loves Star Trek and Fire y and is a longtime member of her college’s science- fiction club. She holds degrees in Psychology and English Literature and has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and writing. F.T. lives in North Carolina with her husband, three kids, and three cats.

Her 1st novel in the Broken Moon series, The Star Host, was published by Duet Books in 2016.

Connect with F.T. at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.

Giveaway

Book Tour Rafflecopter Giveaway:
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Ghosts & Ashes // Five winners receive the multi-format eBook.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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Release Blitz for Bedside Manner by DJ Jamison (giveaway)

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Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2lYMN9K

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2mjp99O

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/bedsidemanner



Length: 56,000 words


Blurb


Dr. Paul Johnston can’t get a set of dark, somber eyes out of his head, and the timing couldn’t be worse.


The last thing he needs is to fall for a patient. Not now, when he’s been put on paid leave pending review of a formal complaint. One that most likely accuses him of sexual harrassment or impropriety of some kind. It’s possible he let his newfound freedom as a divorced, out-of-the-closet gay man go to his head, but he’s certain — mostly — he didn’t do anything wrong. Now, he’s struggling to handle the reality that his job is in danger and the only guy he wants should be off-limits.


Zane Kavanaugh is floundering, and there’s only one man who soothes the storm inside him.


Reeling from an assault that landed him in the hospital and the painful estrangement from his family since coming out, Zane is trying to get his feet under him and find his independence. He moves in with a roommate and searches for a job, all while recovering from a fractured arm and cracked ribs. None of that hurts as much as the emotional damage he’s suffered. When he connects with Dr. Paul Johnston outside of the ER, he’s drawn to the man’s calm, collected manner. It doesn’t hurt that Paul’s lack of experience with men is sexy as hell, and so are his over-the-top responses when Zane gets his lips on him.


There’s no right time to fall in love.


Paul is afraid to start a relationship, and Zane can only handle so much more rejection. Will these two find their perfect moment, or will they realize you can’t choose when and how you fall in love? If Paul can’t take a risk, he may have to choose: the career he loves or the first man to capture his heart.


Bedside Manner is Book 1 of the Hearts & Health series. This is a spin-off series from the book Heart Trouble and includes characters from that novel, but it can be read as a standalone.

 
Author Bio
 

DJ Jamison worked in newsrooms for more than 10 years, which helped tremendously when she began her series centered on The Ashe Sentinel, a fictional small-town newspaper in Kansas. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two sons and three glow-in-the-dark fish.


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COVER REVEAL: Separation by Louise Lyons

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Separation by Louise Lyons

Release date: March 31, 2017

Cover design: Simon Searle

Blurb

Matthew Langford is told on his twenty-first birthday that he has a twin. After the initial shock, he quickly realizes this is why he always felt part of him was missing. His search takes him 200 miles to Devon, UK, where he meets fraternal twin, Tremaine Wheal.

The pair discover many things in common, and quickly become as close as if they’d never been separated. But when they share a moment in a nightclub, each realizes there is more between them than having shared a womb. Panic sets in and they part. Once again their separation brings loneliness and pain.

Eventually, unable to stay away from each other, they tentatively move forward together as lovers. But secrets don’t stay secret for long, and discovery and questions threaten their happiness.

This is a taboo story featuring twins.

Length: 45,000 words

Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

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Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com