A VVivacious Review: Toxic (Treacherous Chemistry #2) by Avylinn Winter

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Rating: 2 Stars out of 5
 
Adam has been best friends with Gabriel since they were children but all of that changes when Adam tells Gabriel about his true feelings for him. In a second the loving friendship he shared with Gabriel is shattered and he finds himself thrown out of the room they shared.
 
Adam finds himself unable to let go of his first love and he tries to reconcile with Gabriel for the sake of their friendship but things turn out different than what Adam expected for better or for worse
 
As Adam and Gabriel try to build a new relationship, Adam discovers a whole new side to Gabriel, the side that leaves him battered and bruised. Unable to see a way out of his relationship with Gabriel, Adam pushes everyone away but one person fights harder than the rest. Will Cameron be able to rescue Adam from this toxic relationship or will Adam burn all bridges in his despair?
 
I didn’t like this at all. I was expecting good things from this book especially given the introduction to Adam we got in Volatile and also given how much I loved Volatile. I was ready to be crushed and thrown about by a flurry of emotions given the subject matter instead I got a book that had me totally indifferent towards it.
 
The first chapter gave me goose bumps.  It is pretty well written and gives a nice introduction to the premise of this book but from the moment the second chapter began the interest I had accrued after reading the first chapter was quickly lost. Overall this book didn’t leave an impression on me for various reasons.
 
Firstly we know Adam gets beaten around by Gabriel but the author fails to explicitly mention it. A lot of the times the scenes of the actual violence are written as if you are meant to see the scene through an indecipherable haze which in one way was good because this book would probably have been hard to read if it was a bit too explicit but on the other hand I found myself cut off from Adam because I couldn’t fully understand what he was going through.
 
Secondly, Gabriel is just not a strong enough character to be able to carry this story forward. I feel like this is where the book truly fails because no matter the writing if you trying to write a two dimensional, the-world-is-black-and-white kind of a character you are going to fail. And yes just because he is good sometimes and viciously violent at others doesn’t make him a well-fleshed out character or even a three dimensional character. Gabriel really reminds me of a cartoon goon. I mean I wanted to know what was going on his mind, how did he think, did he have a thing for power or was he lost himself. It feels like the author deliberately skips out on giving any background to Gabriel lest he appear even a little bit human. I mean what did his parents think of Adam given they had been friends for so long, did he have siblings and was he in denial about his sexuality, anything. If I had to tell you the truth the first book does a better characterization of Gabriel then the entirety of this book.
 
Thirdly, Cameron is a creep. I don’t know how anyone can find Cameron’s actions towards Adam endearing. I found myself uncomfortable at a lot of times when it came to Cameron. In fact at some times during the book Gabriel seemed like a better option if it was an either or contest. I only liked Cameron a little bit towards the end but the ending is quite well written, it managed to alleviate a little bit of the frustration that this book caused but not enough to redeem his character or this book. Cameron tops the list of reasons why this book didn’t work for me.
 
Fourthly, Chris. Chris is someone I loved in Volatile but he was just so irritating when it came to Adam in this book. The relationship that Adam and Chris shared which is one of the many highlights of Volatile and the reason I was so excited about reading this book is pretty much destroyed in this book. I felt like there was so much judgement in their relationship now given how it started out with both of them giving the other unconditional support.
 
Fifthly, Gabriel and Adam make no sense. I didn’t understand how Adam could continue in this relationship. He didn’t love Gabriel. He knew their relationship was all wrong. He actually likes another guy. He lies to Gabriel about spending time with said guy. I mean their relationship was all wrong from the beginning. Even if you take out the DV, I didn’t get what was in their relationship that made Adam stay and that is the reason this book utterly fails it was unable to rationalise as victims are prone to do, the relationship the victim shares with the assailant. Adam seems to be fully aware Gabriel is in the wrong and he doesn’t love Gabriel and he isn’t dependent on Gabriel in any way and most importantly he knows he needs help which begs the question why does he stay in this relationship. There is a bit of rationalisation that Adam tries to do on Gabriel’s behalf but that is much later in the story and most importantly it is fuelled by the desire to save a friend not a lover. Also the worst part is that the author had much to pull from, given Adam and Gabriel’s long history of being friends and Gabriel being Adam’s saviour but there is no effort to incorporate this part of their lives in the book but it would have made sense to use this as Adam’s tether but it isn’t. As far as this book is concerned nothing tethers Adam to Gabriel making their relationship a farce and given the wooden quality of Gabriel it is very hard to draw emotions for this story.
 
This book quite literally ruined the Bahamas for me because that is the worst part of this book. The ending kind of salvages the disaster this book was turning out to be but not by much.
 
Cover Art by Posh Gosh. I liked the cover.

Buy Links: Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:
ebook, 1st Edition, 233 pages
Expected publication: May 2nd 2017 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786515438
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://www.pride-publishing.com/book/toxic
SeriesTreacherous Chemistry #2

An Ali Audiobook Review: The Winter Dark by J.S. Cook and K.C. Kelly (Narrator)

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Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
The horrific murder of a local woman rocks Morristown, Mississipi. With her death, veteran police chief Eli Gallagher feels he’s failed his small town, despite trying his best to serve and protect everyone in his jurisdiction. Sometimes that’s harder than it looks, given that rich and poor don’t always get along, and life on the other side of the tracks can turn deadly.

By his side is conscientious young Deputy Stan Leach. Together they work to discover the killer. But as they uncover evidence, their personal lives begin to unravel. Eli’s long-distance boyfriend telephones saying he’s getting married to a woman. Stan learns that the man he helped shelter wants to move on. When the clues unveil a history of abuse, the two men pull together to bring the murdered woman justice and maybe find the answers to theother questions in their lives.
This is a novella by a new to me author.  The  story was just ok for me.  The majority of the story is about the two main characters in relationships with other people.  We see those relationships and eventually why those don’t work out.  They end up working a horrible murder case together and take comfort in each other.  All of a sudden they are a couple and it is the end of the book.  We get an epilogue which shows their happily ever after but I felt cheated.  I felt like the book was about the other relationships and we didn’t get to see any of this relationship develop.  The ending was very abrupt in my opinion and honestly I wasn’t too happy with the way it all played out.  
The book was narrated by K.C Kelly and I felt like he did a nice job.  He had a nice voice and I was always able to tell which character was talking.  
Although the narration was solid and I liked that aspect, I didn’t really enjoy the story as a whole.
Cover:  I like the cover and felt it was well done.  It’s an attractive cover that catches your eye.  It’s also a nice representation of the story.
Sales Links Kindle and Audible  :  Amazon
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio
Published February 17th 2017 (first published September 10th 2014)
ASINB06WD4YF9F
Edition LanguageEnglishsettingMississippi (United States)

A VVivacious Review: Volatile (Treacherous Chemistry #1) by Avylinn Winter

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Rating – 4.5 Stars out of 5
 
Ever since his mother’s death, Chris has forgotten every reason to live when the sound of a violin breaks through his every barrier. Chris finds himself enchanted with Dante, the black haired violinist, but little does he know that the few words he exchanges with this enigmatic musician are going to give him a reason to live.
 
Chris finds himself on tour with Dante. He finds himself drawn to the enigma that is Dante but when every moment they share is inexplicable it’s hard to know what they really share. Are these moments the basis of something more or are they just something that can be forgotten in the blink of an eye?
 
This story is excellently written because if you get rid of the writing style this is a story we have heard a million times but what makes it a story worth reading is the fact that the way this story is written, makes even the simplest story, that you have read a million times in one form or the other, a piece of art.
 
It really boggles my mind how much I like this book because if you come down to the crux of this story, the turning point is a misconception. And personally I hate books were misconceptions are long drawn out and don’t have a quick resolution for one reason only, it has been done a million times before and I am sure it will done a million times after as well, but what makes it such an effective ploy is that one book that takes this plot ploy and manages to still find another unexplored corner of it.
 
I mean this book turned my pet peeves into something marvellous there are misconceptions and miscommunication or no communication, things I hate but this story just infuses the words with so much richness that I felt like I could understand just exactly how Dante and Chris’ relationship worked out.
 
Dante and Chris wowed me it felt like the pages featuring them just dripped with so much feeling. You know sometimes books fail to express non-verbal communication as well as verbal communication so most of the times when two characters don’t talk in a book everything they share becomes a bit ridiculous because something in the back of your head is like they don’t even know each other that well. But the author has this amazing command on the language because I got every cue that passed between Dante and Chris and most of them were non-verbal. In a startling moment this book opened my eyes to this fallacy of books by doing the exact opposite. I feel in anyone else’s hand this book would crash because I truly believe this book only works as it is written and I feel like one word out of place could make it fall apart.
 
It is amazing, the love story is inexplicable in the truest sense but once you read the book you will believe me when I say it truly works.
 
Also I loved how well the author portrayed Adam and Chris’ relationship, because it really got me excited about the fact that we get Adam’s book next.
 
I know this book isn’t perfect but I would be hard-pressed to find a mistake.
 
Cover Art by Posh Gosh. The cover doesn’t do justice to the story but I think little could.
Book Details:
ebook, 1st Edition, 213 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786514547
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesTreacherous Chemistry #1
Other Editions (1)
Volatile (Treacherous Chemistry, #1)

Review Tour and Giveaway: Toxic (Treacherous Chemistry #2) by Avylinn Winter (author’s note and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Publisher: Pride Publishing


Length: 79,690 words


Treacherous Chemistry Series


Volatile (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb

When true love is a lie and pleasure turns to pain.

Adam Webb spent most of his teenage years in love with his best friend, Gabriel Connor, only to be thrown out of their shared apartment when he finally found the courage to reveal his feelings.

Seven months later, Adam’s effort to save their lost friendship finds him more than he ever asked for. After all, being thrown out has to be better than thrown into a wall. However, Adam isn’t ready to give up. Trapped and isolated in a dangerous relationship, he falls deeper and deeper into Gabriel’s world.

Despite Adam’s attempts to push them away, his friends are determined to help, but the man who fights hardest is Cameron McCain, Adam’s photography teacher—a man who treasures what Gabriel does not.

They say love should conquer all. But when passion breeds fear and love turns toxic, will Adam make the right choice?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of domestic violence and dubious consent.

 


Toxic is the second novel in the Treacherous Chemistry series, following characters introduced in Volatile. However, it can be read as a stand-alone. It’s a story about love, but also about the dangers of loving what you shouldn’t.

I wrote this story as an attempt to understand why we sometimes fail to recognize what’s bad for us, but most of all I wrote it for Adam, and all the Adams out there across the world. I wanted to give him strength, resilience and hope in a situation far too many has to navigate.

Toxic is by no means a light read, and it would be unfair of me to label it as such. I’ve been known to play with readers’ emotions, and Toxic is no exception. And, although it is a story about love, some will likely say this novel contains elements of general fiction. However, as long as you know what you’re up against, Toxic will hopefully give you something to remember and something to ponder.

You will get to meet Dante and Chris again, but also make a new acquaintance in Cameron. If nothing else, these three will undoubtedly make you smile when you most need it. I promise.

Toxic has been posted on Wattpad as a draft, which is the reason you see ratings before the release date. It collected over a million reads on the site before I took it down for publication, which gave me some confidence that Adam’s story was worth telling despite the toll it took on me.

I hope you’ll let sweet Adam tell you his story because it’s an important one.

Author Bio

Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight. When she can’t choose herself, she’s holed up in an office working with climate research that has little to do with the worlds and characters she creates in her vivid dreams.

Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her. And, what began as a hobby soon took more and more time in her life until she realized that she had left her old life behind and entered a new one where her emotions turned into a super power—ready to launch at her poor readers.

She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.

http://www.avylinnwinter.com/ 

https://www.facebook.com/avylinnwinter/
https://twitter.com/AvylinnW
https://www.wattpad.com/user/Avylinn

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Release Blitz & Giveaway for Positive Reinforcement by Tamryn Eradani (excerpt)

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Title:  Positive Reinforcement

Series: Daniel & Ryan, Book 4

Author: Tamryn Eradani

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: May 1, 2017

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 14300

Genre: Contemporary, BDSM, Businessmen, Friends to Lovers, gay

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Synopsis

It’s Hell Week at work, which means Daniel hasn’t seen Ryan in what feels like too long. A quiet weekend in is exactly what they need, and Daniel strives to make sure he’s exactly what Ryan needs.

Excerpt

Positive Reinforcement
Tamryn Eradani © 2017
All Rights Reserved

The first time Daniel passes by the conference room, he has a reason—he needs to ask Richards about a client call he made last week, because one of the names on Daniel’s list today is one he’s pretty sure Richards has already contacted. If the name’s an accidental repeat, then he wants to make sure the client isn’t getting double-called.

He knows they have phones and even an interoffice instant messaging system, but he likes the opportunity to stretch his legs when he can. He has a bit of a lull in his day, so it’s no problem to go see Richards in person.

Besides, it gives him the chance to check on Ryan’s meeting.

He and Ryan spent the whole weekend together, at Daniel’s place, and Ryan had warned him they might not see much of each other this week. Marketing is having focus groups all week to figure out the new strategy. At some point, sales will get called in to give their opinion, but for the first few days at least it’s just marketing, and it’s going to take all of Ryan’s time and attention.

Daniel can handle that.

They both knew going in that their arrangement could only last if it didn’t get in the way of work, and if that means a week of not seeing each other except at work then, well, Daniel can do that.

It doesn’t mean he’s not going to check up on Ryan, though.

The conference room has a line of windows between the rest of the office and the room as well as a line of windows that overlook the street below and give a glimpse into the office building next door. None of the blinds are closed, which means Daniel can see in, and, as evidenced by Palmer squinting at his notebook, the sun can stream through freely.

Ryan’s at the head of the table, and Daniel catches a spot of red on his chair which means Ryan’s at least got the nice chair. It’s the little things that matter when you’ve got hours of sitting written into your schedule.

There’s a slight frown on Ryan’s face, as if he’s disagreeing with whatever Richards is saying, but he doesn’t look too miserable.

Not like he does the third time Daniel passes by the conference room. Daniel volunteered to get Tracy a coffee refill, which of course led to a five-minute interrogation of what he’s done wrong (nothing), if he thinks it’s her birthday (obviously not, it’s not for another three weeks, and he’s getting her something better than an office coffee), or if he thinks Tracy looks tired today (no, she looks radiant as ever).

Despite the interrogation, Tracy still eyes him with suspicion, like he can’t do anything nice without an ulterior motive. He would be offended by that but, since he’s getting her coffee as an excuse to walk by the conference room again, he can’t exactly fault her for thinking the way she does.

Ryan’s slumped in his chair now, which can’t be good for his back, and it’s definitely a sign that the meeting isn’t going anywhere good. There are frown lines in his forehead that weren’t there earlier, and there’s crumpled-up aluminum foil scattered across the table, evidence of a working lunch.

There’s only about an inch of coffee left in the pot so Daniel dumps it out and starts a new pot brewing. He knows there’s no way to make office coffee good, but at least he can bring it to Tracy hot.

It does mean his break’s going to be longer than he intended, so he putters around the breakroom as the coffee brews, seeing what’s in the cabinets. Extra boxes of coffee filters, rows of clean mugs, extra boxes of sugar and creamer.

None of that is interesting. On the far side of the room, though, he finds the office supplies closet and that is much more interesting. He’s running low on Post-its and his pen is beginning to look more gray than black, so he picks up two squares of yellow sticky notes and a handful of pens to bring back to his office with him.

He’s pouring Tracy’s coffee when there’s a sudden influx of people—it must be break time for the marketing team too.

Ryan’s the first one in, making a beeline for the coffee. It’s like he’s got blinders on; he doesn’t notice Daniel or anything else around him. He just goes straight for the coffee and then makes the most pathetic face Daniel has ever seen when he’s confronted with two empty coffee pots.

“Here,” Daniel says, handing over the pot he just brewed. “It’s fresh. And hot.”

Ryan startles at the sound of Daniel’s voice, and he looks like he wants to hug him or maybe even kiss him.

“You,” Ryan says, voice deep and serious, “are a lifesaver.”

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Tamryn studied English and Creative Writing in school but has been writing since she could first hold a pencil. Recently, she’s turned her focus towards writing erotica. She enjoys writing stories where sex comes first, then feelings, because doing things out of order can be fun.

Tamryn has spent the past few months writing the Daniel and Ryan series with a lovely view of mountains out her window, and she’s now searching for a new mountain range to serve as her backdrop as she begins her next project.

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Release Blitz & Review Tour – Wake (Tidal #1) by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn (giveaway)

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Buy Links: Pride Publishing (Early Download) | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Publisher: Pride Publishing


Length: 96,517 words


Blurb

Book one in the Tidal series

Carter Hamilton and Riley Porter-Wright room together as Harvard undergraduates. An immediate friendship forms, but as the years pass it deepens into something neither man understands. As attraction simmers under the surface, lines begin to blur. When they move back to Manhattan, they gradually slip into the lives their families have envisioned for them.

Both men marry, but in time, Riley realizes he’s ended up in a passionless relationship like his parents’ while his career takes center stage. Although he loves his wife, Carter misses the emotional and physical connection he shared with Riley.

The weight of Riley’s feelings and his growing discontentment with his life eventually push him to tell Carter the truth about how he feels. Shocked and unable to face his own feelings, Carter rejects Riley.

As each man comes to terms with the lies they’ve told themselves, each other and the people around them, they find their lives changing in ways they never imagined. They soon discover that the truths they’ve been longing to tell shake the foundations of their friendship.

 
Author Bios

K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

 

 

Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga.  She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Email: brighamvaughn@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brigham.vaughn
Facebook Author Page:

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