A Caryn Release Day Review: Past the Breakers by Lucie Archer

Standard

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I finished this book, I was wondering how I would classify it.  Was it a ghost story?  Paranormal? Contemporary with a bit of magical realism?

In the end, I think it was all of the above.

Casey North escaped his small home town of Land’s End as soon as he could.  He went to New York City, became a chef, and opened a successful restaurant in Los Angeles.  Cooking was his passion, and the restaurant was his life, so when it burned down, he had nothing.  When his girlfriend left him taking pretty much all of his possessions, he ran away to the only place he knew to go.  Back to Land’s End.

He rented a house on the beach – a beautiful place, with an amazing view, to the point that he was surprised to get it so cheaply.  What he didn’t know at the time was that the previous renter had died in a surfing accident only a month before.

Myles Taylor had a fantastic life – he was a professional surfer, getting paid to do what he loved, and had the ring all ready to propose to his boyfriend.  They went out surfing in the morning, Myles got caught in a riptide, and next thing he knew, he was on the beach, alone.  Until his beloved but long-dead uncle came up to explain to him that he wasn’t alive, but wasn’t in “the Beyond” yet either, and was stuck to this place until it was time to leave.  No explanations, no purpose, no timeframes.  Myles could only go so far from the house before he was thrown back to the beach again.  Only animals could see or hear him.  He had absolutely no clue what he was supposed to do, and wandered around the house and beach perpetually angry at his fate.  When someone moved into the house that he had started thinking of as his, he had a place to channel that anger.

Casey planned to hole up in his rented house, avoid everyone but his sister and her family who still lived there, and hope to recover enough to go on with his life.  He was severely depressed, but the medications and the therapist hadn’t made much of a difference so far.  When things started getting thrown around in his kitchen, he couldn’t decide if it was a ghost, or if he was hallucinating, but he was scared.  Because he had nowhere else to go, he decided to try to make peace with the ghost (as well as taking medications to stop hallucinations).  After his initial anger, Myles realized that Casey was the only human he had been able to actually make contact with, and so he actively looked for ways to communicate better with Casey.

So what began as mutual fear and anger gradually became cooperation, then trust and friendship, and ultimately desire.  But how can a human and a ghost find anything permanent?  Especially when that ghost knows sometime he will have to go Beyond?

Initially I was really caught up in the book, enjoyed how Myles and Casey danced around each other, and wondered how the would get together.  About halfway through, maybe a little before, I figured out what was really going on, and then I just wondered how the author was going to get from here to there.  The way she did it was what made me drop stars from the book.  It’s funny how I have no problem suspending my disbelief for the ghost part of things, but as Myles became more corporeal….  well, no.  And the mystery aspect of the story, which really was a very little part, was unnecessary, especially the final wrap up of that sub-plot.  It was, in a word, stupid, and made for a terrible ending to what had been a really enjoyable book up to that point.  And after such a good start, too!  Oh well….

Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is actually quite pretty, though it didn’t convey much about the story.

Buy Links:

      

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Published May 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitlePast the Breakers
ISBN 1635333997 (ISBN13: 9781635333992)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Two for Trust by Elle Brownlee

Standard

Rating: 3. 5 stars out of 5

A fairy-tale vacation—if he can get the ending right.

American nurse Finch Mason steps beyond the comfort of his orderly life and takes a dream trip to England, complete with a National Trust Pass so he can visit numerous historical sites. At the first one on his list, he’s warmly welcomed—and told he bought a pass good for two.

Finch doesn’t hesitate to offer the pass to Benedict, a handsome Brit also there on an outing. They spend a magical week touring the countryside, and while it’s too soon to get attached, Finch wishes their time together would never end.

Then Finch finds himself stuck abroad with no money, and he has no one to turn to but Benedict. Benedict is happy to help, but he also owes Finch some answers—such as who he really is and why he was at the estate where they first met.

Two for Trust by Elle Brownlee is a very old fashioned romance.  It reminds me very much of those old movies and books where the heat was in the touch of a hand and the shared looks because that’s pretty much all you’re going to get here.  This is romance sans the physical aspect except for the kiss and the implied “togetherness” to come.  Fade to black.

However, the rest was charming,  maybe a little fusty in that old way I’d forgotten, that I enjoyed the book for what it was.  A slow buildup of a relationship between Finch and Benedict and when I mean slow I mean molasses on a cold winter morning slow.  They aren’t clueless about the way they feel about each other. No, but it’s tied up in all sorts of things money, and estates and well, British.  Honestly Finch reads more English then he does American. If I forgot about the fact that he’s supposed to be from the US, then it fit better.  Finch could be anyone away on his first big trip and it works.  His mistakes are those of a first timer and are very believable.  Brownlee has made him a nurse and his inclination to help, to jump in and rescue defines his character.  We get Finch, and so does Benedict, although not that he wants to at the start.

What makes this book so lovely and warm are the characters that Brownlee creates for it. Not just Benedict and Finch, but all the wonderful supporting cast, including the ones at the manor to Benedict’s family that ends up playing a major role in their relationship.

Eddie Izzard does a very funny bit in his routine about the difference between US and British films.  He talks about in the British one (Room with a View) , romances where the mc is shuffling matches to the American ones where we switch it up to Room with a View of Hell, Pond of Hell etc.  If you haven’t seen the bit, You Tube it or click on the link, it’s brilliant.  This story is the shuffling matches one, with just one or two nods to the American in it.

Anyhow, now I’m thinking about Eddie Izzard.

If you like sweet stories with zero heat and lovely characters, then this Dreamspun Desires addition from Elle Brownlee is just the thing for you.

Cover Artist: Bree Archer.  Design and art works for branding the series and this story.  Nicely done.

Sales Links

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Expected publication: May 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN B071KTP61X

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Carpenter and the Actor (Ellery Mountain #3) by RJ Scott

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I really enjoyed this third story in the series that started with The Fireman and The Cop, and moved to the Teacher and the Soldier—the stories of Finn and Mal, and Daniel and Luke—all of whom make an appearance in this one.

In this installment, Kieran finally gets his chance for a happy ever after when he meets Jason McInnery, an actor taking a break from the paparazzi and craziness of his Hollywood lifestyle by seeking solitude in the Ellery Mountain Cabins where Kieran is the all-around carpenter and handyman. Jason’s brother died a year ago, in an accident with the sportscar Jason gave him so he’s carrying survivor’s guilt and feeling the loss desperately as the anniversary nears. But the photographers haven’t left him alone with his grief and he’s nearing the end of his rope.

When he spots Kieran, he’s immediately attracted, but when he later spies him bent over, working on a project, he decides to propose a two-week fling with the cute young man while he’s in the area. As it turns out, the perky, talkative, smaller man is the more dominant of the two, and they embark on some very hot and heavy fun with rope, among other things. But it’s what develops between them outside the bedroom that makes both men think twice about the two-week time limit.

Nevertheless, neither is willing to propose a solution until just before Jason leaves, when they break down and agree they want more. Can they make it work? After all, Hollywood and the Tennessee mountains are pretty far apart. This is a sweet romance with engaging characters, as were the others in the series, and we get the bonus of return visits with old friends as they work together on Daniel’s plans for a home for returning vets who have no family. I liked both the story itself and the fast pace of the romance. They definitely deserved to be happy together.

If you like sweet MM romances that you can polish off in a day and feel good when you finish, by all means, consider this and the others in the series.

~~~~~~

The attractive cover by Meredith Russell is similar to others in these new editions in that the background is an eye-catching sky blue with the lower pane featuring a panorama of the mountains and the upper pane featuring upper body shots of both MCs—the blond Kieran and the brunet and bearded Jason.

Sales Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2plC1kk

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2r307xx

Book Details:

ebook
Published May 10th 2017 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published April 29th 2013)
RJ Scott Website
Series Ellery Mountain #3

Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Teacher and the Soldier (Ellery Mountain #2) by RJ Scott

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I really enjoyed this second story in the series that started with The Fireman and The Cop, the story of Finn and Mal, both of whom make an appearance in this one. Primarily featuring Finn’s friend, Daniel Skylar, whose mother owns half of the Ellery Mountain cabin property where most of the guys live, Daniel is stunned almost speechless when he comes face to face with Luke Fitzgerald, who has returned to town to settle his father’s estate. His father was the nasty drunk killed in the first book, and Luke, a victim of his father’s physical abuse through his teen years, has not been back since he ran away at age eighteen.

Now, he has to sign papers for the other half of the Ellery Mountain Cabins business so that he can put the property up for sale, get back out of town, and hopefully, never look back.

At first, his time is spent hiding in his hotel room. His panic disorder is running high and he’s extremely resentful toward townsfolk, principally Daniel’s mother, who failed to intervene when his dad was beating him during his high school years. But when he finally ventures out and manages to try to conduct a civil conversation with Daniel, he loses his temper and pops him in the jaw. Not one for physical violence, the former soldier recognizes signs of anxiety and refuses to engage. In fact, he takes the time to get to know Luke and helps him to calm.

Over the few weeks Luke is in town, although he still wants to leave when the paperwork is settled, he comes to know Daniel, Finn, Kieran, Max and others and finds himself hovering between staying and going. His relationship with Daniel has progressed from friend to friends-with-benefits and now it appears that it may be even more than that. When he gives up and decides to head out of town, will Daniel be able to stop him? Does he even want to?

This is a sweet romance with engaging characters and return visits with old friends. I liked both the story and the pace and both characters were really wonderful men who totally deserved to be happy together.

I’m looking forward to the next in the series when we finally get to see what happens with Kieran.

~~~~~~

The attractive cover by Meredith Russell is similar to others in these new editions in that the background is an eye-catching sky blue with the lower pane featuring a panorama of the mountains and the upper pane featuring upper body shots of both MCs.

Sales Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2q6M89I

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2pl6IX4

Book Details:

ebook, Second
Published May 10th 2017 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published April 22nd 2013)
URLhttp://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/the-school-teacher-and-soldier.html
SeriesEllery Mountain #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Fireman and the Cop by RJ Scott (Ellery Mountain #1) 2nd Edition

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

When Max Harrison arrives on scene at a raging fire at the police station in Ellery, though it’s only his second day on the job, he doesn’t hesitate to run into the burning building to rescue the cop who’s apparently trapped inside. He manages to get Finn Ryan out just before the building collapses and that’s likely only due to his size and strength as he was able to free Finn and then throw him over his shoulders to race ahead of the flames.

Though there’s an immediate attraction on both sides, Finn’s primary concern is in solving the arson crime, but then his brakes fail on his trusty pickup truck and the odds swing in favor of Finn being a target. Back in the hospital again, Finn refuses to believe he’s a target but he accepts Max’s help, and the two attempt to keep trying to build a relationship around their different schedules and busy lives.

But the man who wants Finn out of the way permanently is closer to Finn than he thinks and it looks like he might be successful the next time. Can Max get to Finn in time? Will Finn finally agree that Max might be in his life for more than a quick rescue and a quick night in bed? This story is fun and adventurous and lays the groundwork for future stories set in this small US town.

I recall reading the first edition of this story long ago. In fact, it may have been one of the first I ever read in the MM genre, and it led me to an appreciation of RJ Scott’s writing. Sometimes fluffy, always sweet, and often just the perfect touch to brighten a dreary day, this one is a delicious sample of how pleasant it can be to spend the afternoon with her heroes. Though it doesn’t have the depth of some of her longer novels, it certainly provides enough to fill my sweet tooth. And the best news is that it’s the first of a series so we’ll get to read the stories of Finn’s friends, Dylan and Kiernan, among others in the balance of the series. I’m looking forward to it. This one is definitely recommended.

The second edition features a new, bright blue cover by Meredith Russell. The lower pane is a panorama of the Ellery Mountain area and the upper pane features two very handsome rugged-looking men, one with dark hair, and one with light. It’s attractive and attention-getting and gives us a good idea of what the MCs look like.

Sales Links: 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2q4jat1

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2plna9D

Book Details:

ebook, second, 115 pages
Published May 10th 2017 by Love Lane Books (first published January 14th 2013)
ISBN139781785640667
URLhttps://www.rjscott.co.uk
SeriesEllery Mountain #1 settingEllery, Tennessee (United States)

Retro Review Tour and Giveaway: Ellery Mountain 1,2 & 3 by RJ Scott

Standard
Ellery Mountain Series
 

Fireman & The Cop (Book #1) :Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2q4jat1  Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2plna9D

The Teacher & The Soldier (Book #2) Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2q6M89I Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2pl6IX4

The Carpenter & The Actor (Book #3) Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2plC1kk

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2r307xx

 
The Doctor & The Bad Boy (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Paramedic & The Writer (Book #5) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Barman & The SEAL (Book #6) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Agent & The Model (Book #7) Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
The Fireman & The Cop



Rescuing a cop from a burning precinct is in Maxís job description; falling in love was never part of the deal.


Max Harrison moved from the city to take up a role as assistant to the mayor, while also a volunteer firefighter. When he meets Finn Ryan in Ellery, he falls in lust that burns as hot as the fires an arsonist is setting in town.


Finn Ryan is a cop, and somehow heís attracted trouble. Going back into a fire to rescue the town drunk is just the start. Now he has to rely on the man heís falling for to make sure it doesnít end with him dying.

 
The Teacher & The Soldier



Soldier, Daniel Skylar, falls hard and heavy for school teacher Luke Fitzgerald. How can he make him stay in Ellery?


Luke Fitzgerald left Ellery Mountain for college and vowed never to come back. When his abusive father is murdered, he has no choice but to return. Luke only goes home to sell off his share of the Ellery Mountain Cabins, but everything changes when he meets the son of the other owner. Daniel Skylar lives every day to the limit and sees a future in Luke.


It doesnít matter what Daniel says, or how much he needs Luke. Luke isnít staying once everything is sold off. Surely Daniel can understand that what they have between them is just a two-week fling; there is no way it could be love.


Can Daniel persuade Luke that they are in love, and they can build a future together?

 
The Carpenter & The Actor
 

Jason is running from tragedy, hiding in Ellery, but itís only when he meets Kieran that he finds love.


Jason McInnery, hounded by the paparazzi after his brotherís death, runs to the one place where he hopes people wonít sell him out. The place where he was born. Hiding in the tourist cabins at Ellery Mountain Resort out of season, he thinks he finally has room to breathe.


Kieran Dexter is a man who knows what he wants; gorgeous actor Jason tied up and begging. When the hottest sex heís ever had turns to feelings of love, heís faced with convincing Jason to give them a try and stay in Ellery.

 

May 10 – Reading In Sarah’s Corner, Bonkers About Books, MM Good Book Reviews
May 12 – Dog-Eared Daydreams, Foxylutely
May 13 – Padme’s Library
May 15 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
May 17 – The Geekery Book Review, Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books, Keysmash
May 19 – The Romantic Fanatatic, Making It Happen, Jim’s Reading Room, Bayou Book Junkie, Xtreme Delusions

 

Author Bio


RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.


The last time she had a weekís break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldnít defeat.


mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
www.rjscott.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts
www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
twitter.com/Rjscott_author
www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Release Blitz and Giveaway: Maelstrom by Kass Barrow

Standard

Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Length: 69,000 words


Publisher: JMS Books 


Blurb


When Kylor Knightley, a multi-millionaire nightclub owner, is out talent-spotting at an open mic event in Londonís Limehouse district, the last thing the stiff-lipped Brit expects is to fall head-over-heels for a devastatingly handsome singer ten years his junior.


Born in New York, twenty-two-year-old Eden McFadden now calls London home and has ambitions of making it big in the capitalís music scene. In the meantime, the feisty free spirit is secretly rocking it as a stripper at a gay club in Soho. But when fate brings him and Kylor together in Limehouse, it starts a chain of events that tears both of their worlds apart.


Itís going to take some serious attitude adjustment for the smart-mouthed stripper and the arrogant British gent to find common ground, but the attraction is too strong to ignore. Sometimes you have to trust in fate and see where it takes you.


Excerpt

Eden was so pumped about meeting the guy with the sparkling turquoise eyes that he couldn’t wait to tell someone. He wasn’t usually one to gossip, but he’d pulled up a chair alongside Blade, who was busy removing his guyliner. Eden was talking to Blade’s reflection in the mirror, relating the moment he’d looked down and seen the gorgeous guy staring back up at him.

Just then someone shouted, “Which of you is green?” and there was the stranger; standing in the doorway next to a security guard.

Eden sat gawking at his visitor and all the strength drained out of his body as if someone had pulled his plug. Blade nudged him. “Don’t just sit there. That’s your guy, isn’t it? God, he really is gorge!”

Eden slowly got to his feet, praying his knees wouldn’t give way, and shoved a shaky hand in the air. “That package is for me.”

The weak attempt at humour was his way of handling the embarrassment he felt because he knew that if the token had been black or pink the security guard wouldn’t have needed to ask whose it was. Everyone knew Stemmy’s tokens were black and Oberon’s were pink. But this was only the second time Eden had handed out a token. The last time he’d invited a guy backstage, his guest had been under the mistaken impression the token entitled him to instant sexual gratification, but Eden hadn’t been that into the guy.

The guard nodded at Eden’s visitor and left.

Still in just his pink briefs, Eden scurried back to his own station and rummaged around in his duffel bag for a clean top. The first thing to come to hand was his old Keep Calm and Carry On Funking T-shirt. He quickly pulled it on and rolled it down his sweat-dampened chest and abs. Then he stood by his dressing table, ready to greet his guest, with one hand resting on the table for support. Eden knew he shouldn’t be getting this worked up over someone he’d only just clapped eyes on. He had no idea what the guy was like. I haven’t even spoken to him yet. Maybe he’s just a good-looking asshole in a suit.

As the guy approached, Eden’s eyes widened in awe. It felt like he was watching the scene through a slow motion filter. He was entranced by the rhythmic sway of the guy’s narrow hips and everything else in the room faded to a blur. The guy’s suit jacket was unbuttoned and his left hand rested inside the trouser pocket, while his right arm hung loose by his side. It was like a breath of self-assured elegance had wafted into the room.

And then there was his hair. It was glorious. A flame-coloured shock of tumbling waves, its hue changed as the light danced over it, like an abstract of wildfire and scorched earth. It jarred with the image of the sophisticated city gent in the cool blue suit. It was hypnotising, the way the picture was so wrong and yet so right.


Eden could tell straight away this guy was no bit player on life’s stage. He had a starring role. You could tell from his arrogant swagger that the only rules he ever played by were his own. He was like a dream come true to Eden. A guy with “Fuck Me” written all over him and a seriously hot “Fuck You” attitude to compliment the looks.

Eden swallowed hard. Where have you been all my life?

 

Author Bio


Kass Barrow lives 100 miles north of London in a small town in the farming county of Lincolnshire. Despite always having lived in the same area she has seen a fair bit of the world, from the eerie innards of the Kingís Chamber in the Great Pyramid, to the majestic vistas that come with snowboarding in the Rockies.


However, none of these life experiences prepared her for the emotional roller-coaster ride of penning a novel. Now she has become so accustomed to having four handsome gents in her life ñ her husband, her dog and her two main characters ñ that she canít imagine life any other way.

 

 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Review Tour and Giveaway :My Highland Cowboy by Alexa Milne

Standard

Buy Links: Pride (Early Download) | Amazon US | Amazon UK (General Release Date: 6th June 2017)


Publisher: Pride Publishing


Length: 69,000 words


Blurb


Duncan McLeish owns a ranch. Unlike most ranches, this one is in the Scottish Highlands. Having inherited a failing farm from his grandfather, he turns it into a successful business. He has friends and he loves his home, but heís lonely, and not even infrequent trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh slake that thirst to find someone. Then Drew Sinclair walks into his life.



Drew Sinclair is tantalizingly close to getting his clothing brand noticed in the industry. He and his business partner, Joy, create individual dresses, while, on the side, Drew produces a line of menís lingerie. He visits Scotland to design a bridal gown for his sister, Jenna, who is marrying Duncanís best friend at Christmas.


Duncan and Drew have nothing except their Highland upbringing in common, but they say opposites attract, and the attraction is immediate. Is this simply a summer fling, or can two men who live such opposite lives miles away from each other find a way to love?

May 9 – The Novel Approach
May 15 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Making It Happen, Books Laid Bare Boys, Sarandipity, Keysmash
May 23 – Bayou Book Junkie
May 30 – V’s Reads, BookLove, Padme’s Library, The Geekery Book Review, My Fiction Nook, MM Good Book Reviews
June 6 – Love Bytes
June 8 – Dog-Eared Daydreams, Oh My Shelves, The Way She Reads, Engaging Secrets, Book Lovers 4Ever
June 10 – Diverse Reader

 
Author Bio



Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions. Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing. She is currently owned by a mad cat and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions