A VVivacious Review: A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove

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Rating: 3.75 Stars out of 5
 
Nate has been able to see ghosts since he was twelve but ever since then, the ghosts in his life have seen him labelled as a freak and become the high school outcast, till James Powell, the new guy in school sits beside him in lunch. But even if Nate can find a friend and maybe, more in James, the question is will James stick around once he finds out the truth?
 
James has issues, his brother recently died and he doesn’t believe that his death was just an accident. Being friends with Nate might just be the thing that lifts up his spirits but he isn’t ready to give up the ghost of his brother yet. What he doesn’t know is that Nate might have all the answers to his questions, if he is just ready to believe him
 
This book is a new adult romance and it combines the loneliness of being an outcast with the giddiness of falling in love for the first time. The fact that Nate can see ghosts doesn’t impact the present of this story very much it is used more as a tool for setting up the story. Basically don’t expect him to be mediating ghosts or solving their unfinished businesses so that they can move on, which was something that I was maybe expecting somewhere in the back of my mind but it doesn’t happen a fact that I later enjoyed because it let the romance be the focus. I feel like the allegory of seeing ghosts is just a metaphor for being accepted for who you are cracks and all or in this case seeing ghosts and all.
 
I liked the writing and the premise for this book about having a secret and how it impacts how you approach love especially if you think that your secret might lead to rejection. But even though this book had me interested and invested in the story, a lot of the side characters rubbed me the wrong way especially in the beginning, either because by the end I had gotten used to them or more likely because of the fact that the author had more of a handle on them later. Nate’s Nana was one such character. I just couldn’t get behind her. She seemed to drop in on Nate at all times and made the words “invasion of privacy” pop up in my head a bit too much. I just didn’t get the need for such a character because she was dead and her presence just seemed important to keep reminding us that Nate could see ghosts.
 
Also I couldn’t get behind the concept (I say concept because she is not actually a character in this book) of Nate’s mother, I just don’t get why she would reject Nate just because he saw ghosts. A person facing this situation unprepared might get frazzled, leading to a sense of incompetence which might make you feel inadequate enough that you push away your own child but how does a woman who grew up with a mother able to perceive ghosts, even if in a limited way, become unable to handle a similar situation in her son. In the first place I don’t get why she was frightened it was not like she could see them even if Nate were to tell her they were there and the whole point being that wouldn’t she be used to the fact that there were ghosts around by this point seeing as she had probably grown up knowing ghosts existed. I just don’t get how Nate’s mother is ever going to be anywhere close to being worthy of forgiveness. Also, I feel like this dislike towards Nate’s mother rubbed of a little on my perception of Sarah, Nate’s sister. I just didn’t get how she could be a happy-go-lucky person when her mother could possibly abandon her if she was even a little bit different from the mould and also then turn against family members who tried to help. And the worst part is that this was not only a fable for Sarah because she saw her brother every day at school, if that doesn’t make for a messed up childhood, I don’t know what qualifies.
 
Okay so that’s the end of my rant, now onto what I loved about this book. I loved Nate and James they were two wonderful characters apart and together. Nate had this quiet strength about him that he would fight and stay afloat no matter how much life threw him down. On the other hand what I loved about James is that he never took the easy way, he took the hard path because it was right and stayed his course. These two were just so amazing together, seeing them fall in love made me crave that sensation of falling in love for the first time.
 
I loved how their story is constructed – slow and sweet, it takes its time building up before giving us what we want. It was fun reading their story, seeing these two navigate the path to finding love and happiness. I really hope this is the beginning to Nate finally taking chances and making friends now that he knows that people are capable of accepting him.
 
I really liked this story because of its main characters and the way the plot unfolds because the story is just magical, it seems to flood you with the feelings of acceptance and love which make you smile and enjoy the ride.
 
Cover Art by Natasha Snow. The cover is beautiful.
Sales Links
Book Details:
ebook
Expected publication: March 20th 2017 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781945952753
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Review: An Arresting Ride (Survivors Find Love #2) by Lissa Kasey

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Graham Church began career as a police officer with a case so gruesome it sent many officers into early retirement. That day he helped save the lives of children and began a long crusade of protecting the residents of Friday Harbor from the worst of humanity. But brutal car accidents and the discovery of a dog fighting ring have taken their toll on Graham. Returning to an over-crowded apartment where his room is a closet, and working sixteen-hour shifts, have left him emotionally exhausted and in need of a quiet place to call home.

Jason Wullcot is a horse breeder and a mystery to the island he lives on, but is in need of a roommate for human contact. His therapist recommends Graham Church, who also happens to have a “white knight” syndrome. When Graham discovers his new roommate was one of the children he helped save twelve-years prior, Graham’s need to protect and save kicks into high gear. Only Jason has no interest in being saved. In fact, Graham realizes that Jason may not be the one in need of saving at all, but maybe, just maybe they can fill the broken pieces of each other.
I went into this book with a bit of trepidation.  I’m getting tired of the “damaged” MC who gets “fixed” by the love of a good man/woman.  I liked the first book in the series though and the blurb sounded good so I gave it a try.  I’m so glad I did.  It didn’t at all head down the road I thought it was going to.  In fact, in made me stop and think about my preconceived ideas about people.  I think I opened my mind some just as Graham’s character did.
The writing was really good and the story engaged me right from the beginning.  I liked both of the MC’s (although it took me a bit longer to warm up to Jason) and I thought the side characters really added to the plot.  If you’ve read book one you will see that Charlie and Bastian play an important role in this story.  That being said, this book works fine as a stand alone.  The romance was a lovely slow burn and I felt like it was really realistic.  The heat factor is there but not until later in the book.
I’ve read a few books by this author and have enjoyed them all but this has jumped to the top of my list.  It is definitely my favorite work by her.  This is a book I would certainly recommend.
Cover:  I like this cover a lot.  Artistically I think it is lovely and catches your eye.  It also reflects the plot and characters really well.
Sales Links
Book Details:
ebook, 234 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Self-Published
ASINB01NBY8PNW
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSurvivors Find Love #2

A Lila Audiobook Review: The Virgin Manny (The Mannies #1) by Amy Lane and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Growing up and falling in love…

Sometimes family is a blessing and a curse. When Tino Robbins is roped into helping his sister deliver premade dinners when he should be studying for finals, he’s pretty sure it’s the latter! But one delivery might change everything.

Channing Lowell’s charmed life changes when his sister dies and leaves him her seven-year-old son. He’s committed to doing what’s best for Sammy… but he’s going to need a lot of help. When Tino lands on his porch, Channing is determined to recruit him to Team Sammy.

Tino plans to make his education count—even if that means avoiding a relationship—but as he falls harder and harder for his boss, he starts to wonder: Does he have to leave his newly forged family behind in order live his promising tomorrow?

The Virgin Manny is a cute, trope filled love story. I really liked the way Tino and Channing met and how their relationship grew from there. This is a slow-burn story that can be considered May-December even when the age gap was only ten years.

As any other Dreamspun book, this story has very over-the-top events and reactions from the characters. It’s a feel-good tale even when the events that brought the MCs together were nothing to be happy about. Everyone is content with the new little family and there’s minimal to no angst.

There’s a bit of mystery added which gives the book a soap opera feel. I don’t think it was necessary, but it added to the story’s charm. The last part was too slow, but as a whole, the story works great.

John Solo, as always, did a nice job bringing all the characters to life. I enjoyed the different cadence between Tino and Channing and appreciated how well the female voices were integrated.

The cover by Bree Archer shows the main idea behind the story, but it’s a bit generic and stereotypical.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: John Solo
Length: 6 hours 14 minutes
Published: February 14, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B06WLJTZW4
Edition Language: English

Series: The Mannies
Book #1: The Virgin Manny

 

Release Day Blitz: From Top to Bottom by Kevin Klehr (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  From Top to Bottom

Author: Kevin Klehr

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: March 20

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male Menage

Length: 15100

Genre: Erotica, NineStar Press, LGBT, gay, erotica, cisgender, contemporary, explicit, bears, menage, open relationship, orgy

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Synopsis

Can a dedicated top really learn to bottom? Tony wants to find out but he’s scared another die-hard top will just plow through him, instead of taking it nice and slow on a newbie.

Enter Butch, a bear who’ll try anything, and Ford, a guy whose curiosity is tempting him to cheat on his boyfriend. Like Tony, both are dedicated tops wanting to try something new, and on this journey of physical self discovery, all will find that being open means more than taking it doggie-style.

Excerpt

From Top to Bottom
Author © 2017
All Rights Reserved

On my various profiles, I wrote:

Top curious about being a bottom, wants to meet likeminded tops.

I thought I was straightforward enough, yet so many timewasters were happy to give but not receive. One loser argued that I ought to get my head examined. He said that it didn’t matter if the other top wanted to bottom, just as long as I got what I wanted.

I stressed that this would be a shared experience. Two or more tops learning from each other, discussing the intricate pleasures we would discover as a group.

Then he said we’d end up writing folk songs about exploring our inner regions and singing around a campfire. I thought to myself, yeah, maybe that’s exactly the direction I wanted to take. Was I getting soft, or was I just growing up? Perhaps there already was a group for closet-bottoms I could join.

But the truth was I wanted like-minded tops simply because we’d go easier on each other. We wouldn’t just ram it up there like a vandal bashing down the door. We wouldn’t be power-bottoms. We would ease in gradually; the runway lit for a relaxed landing before the passengers would embark.

Only two other tops sounded like they were on my wavelength. A bear called Butch and a secretive guy named Ford. So I set the date. The second Tuesday in June was the only night Ford could make it, and I knew better than to ask why.

I dusted and vacuumed frantically, as if I was expecting Prince Charming to knock on my door, take me in his arms, and deflower me. I lit candles to set the mood, and rolled out an old sheet on the lounge room floor. I didn’t want to bonk in the bedroom. I wanted space for us to explore, like they did in three-way porn flicks.

My front door buzzer sounded. I let in my first visitor.

“You brought cake,” I said. I tried not to let the look of horror show on my face.

“For afterward,” Butch replied. “I baked it myself. Is there room in the fridge?”

Hadn’t this guy heard of the definition of “eternity”? The time between when you cum and they leave. Who ever heard of cake after sex?

“It’s red velvet,” he said. He crouched in front of my fridge, rearranging its contents. “Do you know the weird shit that goes in this cake? Vinegar. And cocoa and vanilla.”

“Do you always bake before sex?”

“For special occasions, yes.”

“I hardly know you.”

“But you’re about to know me a hell of a lot better.”

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NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Kevin lives with his long-term partner, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his work commitments changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, secretly passed the notebook to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his story. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.

His first novel spawned a secondary character named Guy, an insecure gay angel, but many readers argue that he is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. Guy’s popularity surprised the author.

So with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

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In the YA Spotlight: A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  A Boy Worth Knowing

Author: Jennifer Cosgrove

Publisher:  NineStar Press – SunFire Imprint

Release Date: March 20

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 62200

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, NineStar Press, LGBT, gay, bisexual, romance, young adult, contemporary, paranormal, coming of age, ghosts, family drama, high school, bullying

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Synopsis

Ghosts can’t seem to keep their opinions to themselves.

Seventeen-year-old Nate Shaw should know; he’s been talking to them since he was twelve. But they aren’t the only ones making his high school years a living hell. All Nate wants is to keep his secret and keep his head down until he can graduate. That is, until the new boy, James Powell, takes a seat next to him in homeroom. James not only notices him, he manages to work his way into Nate’s life. But James has issues of his own.

Between dead grandmothers and living aunts, Nate has to navigate the fact that he’s falling in love with his only friend, all while getting advice from the most unusual places.

Ghosts, bullies, first love: it’s a lot to deal with when you’re just trying to survive senior year.

Excerpt

A Boy Worth Knowing
Jennifer Cosgrove © 2017
All Rights Reserved

I loved autumn mornings.

The October air was just cold enough to set my lungs on fire, my breath visible in clouds of condensation, forcing all of the crap clogging up my head into the recycle bin. Bonus, I could pretend I was a dragon. Nothing could touch me; my morning run made everything go away, lost in miles at a time. Down an isolated country road.

Everything changed when I was twelve, and not for the better. That was when I started running. Five years of road I’d put behind me. My mom worried about me the first time I took off alone. Well, when she used to worry about me. I wished she was more worried about the reason I was running instead of the fact I was doing it down an empty road.

I turned the corner about a mile after leaving home, and that was when I saw him. Samuel was always lurking among the sunken headstones. Most people had no clue there used to be a cemetery out there. Looking closely, some of the stones that made up the foundation of the chapel could still be seen. No one else ever paid that much attention to it. Samuel glared at me as I got closer. He was a surly one.

My life was like the horror movies I loved. I talked to the dead. Well, technically dead. They were really spirits, or whatever. Whatever was left behind when people died. And they talked to me, for some reason. There was nothing like sitting in math class and having a ghost whisper in my ear while trying to take notes.

It happened all the damn time. I didn’t know how to handle it at first. And no one wanted to hang out with the crazy kid in the back of the room, muttering away to himself. I got used to it. Really. And the lack of a social life helped me get all of my homework done on time; all of the teachers loved me. That was good. Talking to ghosts wasn’t all bad.

I waved at Samuel as I ran by the cemetery. He shook a fist at me in return. Samuel wasn’t evil or anything, just grumpy. Couldn’t blame him, though. I looked him up one time and found out he’d died in the late eighteen hundreds. The cause of death on record was a heart attack. But Samuel told me his brother-in-law had poisoned him because he wouldn’t sell him his prize mule. I had no clue what was so special about that mule, but his brother-in-law evidently thought it was worth killing him over. I’d have been pretty surly myself.

Past the forgotten cemetery, a few miles to the McGregor farm, and then I’d swing around for home. Yes, I said McGregor farm. Small-town life— I couldn’t have made this stuff up if I’d tried.

There was another house just past the farm where I had to watch out for their beast of a dog. Dogs weren’t huge fans of mine. My Nana had a theory they could sense a bit of whatever it was that let us chat with those who’d “passed on.” I had no idea how that was even possible, but cats loved me, so yay.

Speaking of which, Aunt Susan’s overly fluffy cat waited by our mailbox. Arthur did that every time I went out for a run. He would sit there and then fall in behind to follow up the driveway until we got to the house. Then, it was a shady spot on the porch in the summer or, if it was cold like that day, into the house in front of the fireplace. I loved predictability.

The house used to be my grandmother’s. It was a standard farmhouse, old and creaky just like dozens more all around us, and it could have stood a little paint. But we called it home, and we liked it. It became Aunt Susan’s home. It had been left to her after Nana died, since my mom already owned one. It was a little out of the way and a long drive to the hospital where my aunt worked. But it was paid for, and that meant a lot.

I had to be quiet going in because Aunt Susan was not a morning person, and the floor squeaked just inside the back door. I was very much a morning person, and I followed the same routine each school or work day. Flipping on the coffee maker, I headed to my room to get ready for school. I got the shower running, since it took a while to heat up in an old farmhouse, and took a sniff to make sure a shower was actually necessary. Oh, yeah. I was gross.

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Meet the Author

Jennifer has always been a voracious reader and a well-established geek from an early age. She loves comics, movies, and anything that tells a compelling story.

When not writing, she likes knitting, dissecting/arguing about movies with her husband, and enjoying the general chaos that comes with having kids.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

Tour Schedule

3/20 – My Fiction Nook

3/20 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

3/20 – Just Love

3/21 – Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

3/21 – Diverse Reader

3/21 – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

3/22 – V’s Reads

3/22 – Molly Lolly

3/22 – MM Good Book Reviews

3/23 – Liz’s Reading Life

3/23 – Stories That Make You Smile

3/23 – Dog-Eared Daydreams

3/24 – Bayou Book Junkie

3/24 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews

3/24 – Love Bytes Reviews

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