A Caryn Review: Urgent Care (Hearts & Health #3) by D.J. Jamison

Standard

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is the third in the Hearts and Health series by this author, and once again characters from the previous two books appear in minor supporting roles, but it is basically a stand-alone.  I think this was my favorite of the series, and I enjoyed it, but still not a book I’d put on my re-read list.

Both of the MCs are in the medical profession in this book.  Xavier James is a nursing student, a little older and with a lot more life experience that most of his peers.  Dr. Trent Cavendish was Xavier’s high school boyfriend, but he went on to college, medical school, and ultimately a career as a successful but workaholic surgeon.  When Trent’s best friend and fellow surgeon cracked under the pressure, it served as a wake up call to Trent, who took a good look at his life and where it was going and saw that it really held little meaning.  So he decided to go back to the beginning, back to his hometown of Ashe, Kansas, and gave up surgery to work in an indigent care clinic.  He and Xavier had been in love, but that blew up dramatically when Trent left town to go to school and Xavier stayed home to care for his family.  Though the men hadn’t spoken in 12 years, Trent still hoped that Xavier might be available to give him a second chance.

I really enjoy second chance stories, when you have the chance to reconnect with “the one that got away”.  And I think this one was well done – both men certainly had changed quite a bit, and matured, and with that actually were able to recognize why it ended so badly all those years ago.  The path back together required not only that they face those old truths (through wiser eyes), but also that they re-evaluate where they wanted to be, and how they wanted to get there.  The character development was much stronger in this book than the others in the series, and I ended up liking these men quite a bit better as well.  I also found Trent to be a much more sympathetic doctor than Paul in Bedside Manner.  As in the other books in the series, the medical details were pretty authentic – I had to laugh about the process of granting emergency privileges to Trent in the rural hospital.  I guess it could happen, but I couldn’t help thinking that any non-medical readers were probably wondering what all the fuss was about.

Overall, a decent read.  I haven’t read the rest of the author’s books set in Ashe, but I am sure fans of that series would enjoy this one as well.

Cover art works for branding the series and is more eye-catching.

Sales Links 

Buy on Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 200 pages
Published May 4th 2017
ASINB0713YFW4T
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Hearts & Health:

A Caryn Review: Heart Trouble (Hearts & Health #1) by D.J. Jamison

Standard

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

This is the first in the Hearts and Health series, which is a spin-off of the Ashe Sentinel series and also set in the rural Kansas town of Ashe.  I reviewed the second book in the series, Bedside Manner, a few months ago, and though each book can be read as a stand-alone, I did find that reading them all in order made each of them more enjoyable.  The characters from all the books appear in the others, though mostly as cameos.

This book introduces the reader to the staff in the ER of the local hospital.  Ben Griggs is a dedicated nurse who has found that his life has gradually become centered around his job only.  He doesn’t date much, and hasn’t gone out at all since the biker he was dating last – an admitted adrenaline junkie – abruptly dumped him, and Ben realized that he had been deluding himself all along in thinking things were more serious than they were.  Ben’s history was more of the same, and he had come to think of himself as a kind of boring guy who would probably never be able to hang on to a man worth having.

When Gage Evans first showed up in the ER, he was covered in road rash from a motorcycle accident.  He was immediately attracted to “Nurse Hotness” as he dubbed Ben, and made a clumsy pass at him, which Ben shut down hard.  Since Ashe is a small town, they did end up running into each other several times again, and eventually Gage talked Ben into a series of dates.

It was interesting how both of these men are somewhat insecure about relationships, but that insecurity affected them quite differently:  Ben was avoidant, Gage just pursued harder.  In the end, though, the angst just wasn’t that believable to me, and I got more than a little tired of Ben talking himself out of trusting Gage.  It felt like there wasn’t that much plot to the story, and I didn’t connect much with either character.

Overall, this was a quick, cute, and moderately enjoyable read, but not one that I’d go back to for a re-read.

Cover works for the subject matter if not especially distinguishing.

Buy on Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 166 pages
Published by DJ Jamison (first published October 4th 2016)
Original TitleHeart Trouble
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHearts & Health #1

A Melanie Release Day Review: Hearts in Ireland (World of Love) by J.C. Long

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

When the future is shrouded and it’s hard to find direction, maybe it’s time to let the heart lead the way….

Ronan Walker stands at a crossroads, unsure how to pursue his education… unsure if he even wants to. Now that his mother is gone, all he has left are the wonderful stories of her youth in Ireland, and he’s drawn to the land of his ancestors. There, he seeks out his mother’s family and meets Fergal Walsh, who works at Ronan’s aunt’s bookstore. A love of literature facilitates a fast friendship between the two men, and even though Ronan cannot deny the potential—and his desire—for more, he cannot see a future for the two of them when he leaves Ireland. Fergal must persuade Ronan to give school in Dublin a chance—and convince Ronan that his heart has already found its home.

Ronan Walker’s mother left her beloved Ireland to marry his father and move to America, leaving part of herself behind.  Ronan was raised on stories of her family, songs of Ireland and her mother’s love for the land she left for a greater love.  Now his mother is gone, and in his grief, Ronan is stuck. Mired in depression and his inability to move forward until a talk with his father and the sudden realization that he needs to go to Ireland…take the trip his mother waited too late to make.

The character of Ronan is easy to understand when you think about someone who has lost his mother, someone he was so close to, who almost grounded him his whole life.  He has lost his mooring and now needs to find himself and in a way, his mother leads the way home for Ronan once more.  She leads him to Ireland and family.

J.C. Long’s description of Abhainn Dún—River Fort, the village where Aunt Gwendolyn and cousin Hannah live is wonderful.  I could see so easily the houses with the ancient Agas and the stores with the lanes leading up to them.  I felt as though I’d been there and that includes the pub.  In fact every part of this element of the story was vivid and real.  It made Ronan’s journey to a new life and a new love grounded and believable.  I got it when Ronan felt that he was finally at home in Abhainn Dún, amid family he knew of but now were a part of his heart.  Even the character of Fergal Walsh, who’s less substantial in feel than the others, still has a ring of authenticity about him.  This is a HFN, a promise of a start for Ronan and Fergal, which is as it should be, nothing more.

I could definitely see a sequel for Hearts in Ireland, Ronan has just begun his new start here in Ireland.  But if that doesn’t happen, I’m happen to have read this story.  It’s a lovely read, heartwarming and sweet.  Definitely one I recommend.

Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs | Tibbs Design.  Lovely with Dublin on the  cover along with the River Liffey and a terrific representation of the character.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, 119 pages
Expected publication: May 10th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Hearts in Ireland
ISBN 1635334500 (ISBN13: 9781635334500)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series World of Love

A Kai Release Day Review: Runaway Rock Star (States of Love) by C.J. Anthony

Standard

Rating: 3,75 stars out of 5

Just hours before Brandon Harris is supposed to head home to Cincinnati for a Labor Day family picnic, his boss at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame forces him into giving a private tour to bratty British pop-rock star Lucas Black. Before he knows it, he finds himself swept up on a whirlwind road trip through Ohio with Lucas.

Lucas was a celebrity since he was a teen, and his life was always controlled by his father and manager. He wanted a break. He needed it. So, when he met Brandon and found out the guy was heading to Cincinnati, he decided to hold of this opportunity to run away—even for a few precious days.

When Lucas asked Brandon to give him a lift to Cincinnati, Brandon didn’t suspect the guy was running away without anyone to know. So, of course, he was a little mad when he found out. He could lose his job for it, oh crap. But after Lucas explained how was his life and how he needed just a few days of freedom, Brandon agreed to take the pop-rock star with him. The fact Lucas was hot, it was just a bonus. So bad the guy was straight, right? Well, at least it was what the media had said.

I really enjoyed reading it. Ok, It was a little frustrating as well, but I’ll explain it in a second. Let’s talk about the good things first.

This book is part of States of Love series. In this series, each author selects one state and surround their story around that area. Ohio is where Runaway Rock Star’s story took place and I really liked to know more about this state: some of its sights and culture.
I also loved the writing. It was easy and fluid.
 
The characters were great, really great. How can you not love Lucas Black and his energy? He was like a kid in a candy shop since that was the first time he had a little freedom in years. And Brandon was a sweetheart for following Lucas and giving him something good and simple in his life for a few days. Loved them both. I connected with them. And I cheered for them to be together. I also felt empathy for Lucas and his story and was crossing my fingers for him to break free from his father.
 
There wasn’t insta-love or insta-lust and it just earn the book extra points with me. I liked how their friendship was developed and how the characters evolved. Their chats were so nice to read. I especially loved it when they had good conversations, discovering what each other liked and the things they had in common. 
 
The frustrating thing about this book was the length. It was too short and the story felt rushed in some parts, where it could be more elaborated. 
 
 
Also, the end was a little abrupt. I was like “What? Already finished? NOO! I want more!”. 
This book really needs a sequel.
 
Besides these negative points, It was a good story, light, sweet and low angst. I really liked to read it.
 
The cover art by Anna Sikorska is pretty and suits the book.
Sales Links
 

 
 
 
Book Details:
 
ebook, 87 pages
Publication: May 10th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Séries: States of love
 
Main Characters
 
Lucas Black, Bradon Harris

Cover Reveal for By the Book By Maria Vickers (excerpt)

Standard
Title: By the Book

 

Genre: M/M Romance

 

Author: Maria Vickers
Cover Designer: T.E. Black Designs
Photographer: CJC Photography
Models: Tank Joey and Connor Jay
Release Date: June 14, 2017

Joshua Dayton met the man of his dreams as a sophomore in high school—his mentor and biology teacher, Mr. Cayden. Fearing his love would be considered forbidden and rejected, he ran away to college, determined to move on and forget. Three years later, he is summoned home and comes face to face with the man he tried to leave in the past. The same man he never stopped loving.

Samuel Cayden was looking for a fresh start and an escape. What he was not expecting was to develop feelings for his student, Joshua. Yet when the boy returns home a man, Samuel can no longer pretend the pull between them doesn’t exist.

Will the student become the teacher, showing Samuel how to open his heart? Will Samuel be able to prove to Joshua that things are not always what they appear? Or will the spark fizzle before it has a chance to ignite?

It’s time they got a lesson in love and temptation.

 

 

Amazon US
Amazon CA
Amazon UK
Amazon AU

One more deep breath when I reached the porch, and I opened the door to step inside, and stopped with only one foot in, frozen in my tracks. Across the living room, in the kitchen, leaning against the island, stood the one man I had been trying to get away from.

We stared at each other, both too shocked to move. I pulled my other foot inside and dropped the bag in my hand. It landed with a loud thud. Yes, Imperial was probably one of the smallest towns around. Yes, Sam lived in the same small town and taught at the local high school, but that did not mean I expected to see him in my house, standing in my mother’s kitchen. If I managed to run into him, I would’ve sworn it’d be around town or at a restaurant, not here.

Neither of us broke eye contact. I hadn’t seen him in three years, but right now, it felt as if that time had not separated us. All I could think about was the letter I wrote him, the one I shoved in his hands after graduation had come to a close. I left for Florida the next day. Had he read it? I wanted to know, and yet, at the same time, I wanted to pretend I was never that bold.

Much like the house, he hadn’t changed. His white t-shirt pulled tight across his chest, and I could see his tattoos disappearing underneath his sleeves. The tattoos covered one arm completely, while the other one only had a half-sleeve. I also knew that he had ink that covered his back and one leg. There was something sexy about a man covered in color. Actually, it was only this man. Others with tattoos did nothing for me. It was only Sam.

In my dreams, I could picture it all so clearly. The colorful swirls of pictures flowed over his skin from his upper back to his ankles, his skin alive with vivid color. I’d dreamed of kissing every inch of paint.

Samuel Cayden appeared as if my magic in my life as a sophomore. This was the man I had been thinking about yesterday, the reason I pushed Jacob away. And now he stood less than fifty feet from me.

“I’m…I’m glad you came,” he said, his voice gruff and tight.

I pondered his words for a moment. Had he expected me to abandon my only family, my mother? “My mother needs me, where else would I be?” I swallowed hard and then dismissed him, “Thank you for helping out, you can go now.” I had to get away from him so I could breathe again. Being around him, seeing him again after I left without a backward glance, messed with my equilibrium. My emotions intensified and crashed down upon me with a vengeance. Leave, please leave. I silently prayed. I didn’t know why he was here. I couldn’t occupy the same space as him right now.

“I uh…” he started to say. His lips turned downward and his eyes appeared haunted and sad.

“Samuel,” a soft, muffled, feminine voice called out from somewhere to my left. I knew that voice: my mother. It sounded weaker than I remembered. And it had called for my old teacher.

“I’ll be right there,” he answered loudly, never taking his eyes off me.

Samuel? I’d like to know when my mother started calling my old teacher by his first name. Up until the point I’d left, it’d always been Mr. Cayden, but then again, I hadn’t been aware that they’d kept in touch.

A soft knock startled us and we finally broke eye contact. Sam cleared his throat. “Why don’t I get that? Your mom will want to see you,” he suggested. His voice still sounded tight and unsure. His forehead was wrinkled slightly from his small frown, and his eyes darted from me to the direction of my mother’s bedroom door.

“You know what my mom wants?” I asked snidely.

“I—” Another knock at the door interrupted him. “Go and check on your mom,” he directed as he came toward the door, his hand raking through his thick hair.

Moving away from the door to give him space, our chests accidentally brushed, and the spark of electricity I tried to forget, ignited, stopping me in my tracks. Three years apart and I still craved him like no other. My breath caught and my skin felt alive as my heart thumped harder and louder. I wanted to reach out and grab him and at the same time, shove him out the door so that I didn’t have to see him, didn’t have to be around him.

His Adam’s apple bobbed and my eyes zeroed in on that part of his body. I wondered what it would be like to lick it, to suck on it until we were both writhing with desire.

 

 

Maria Vickers currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her pug, Spencer Tracy. She has always had a passion for writing and after she became disabled, she decided to use writing as her escape. By the Book is her first MM romance, but she has three other published contemporary romance books.

❤✨ From the Author ✨ ❤

Life is about what you make of it. You have to live it to the fullest no matter the circumstances.

I have always loved books. Not only creating the stories, but reading them as well. Books transport me, and when I was younger, I would run into walls because I refused to put my books down even for a second. Take note, walking with books is not advised. LOL.

With my books, I just want to share my stories with the world. I want others to be transported or to feel the emotions my characters feel. That is my goal with my writing. If I can do that for one person, I succeeded.

Getting sick changed me and my life, but it also opened doors that I thought were closed. Today, even though I cannot do much, I still have my mind and I can write.

Facebook: 
IG: 
@authormariavickers
 
Twitter: 
@mvauthor
Amazon: 
Goodreads: 
Bookbub: 
Newsletter: