A MelanieM Release Day Review: THE TAKEDOWN (Superpowered Love #8) by Katey Hawthorne

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

Jody Aguirre’s family was kidnapped and tortured by witch hunters. After a few days of captivity, he’s all that’s left. Using his frosty awakened superpowers, Jody manages to escape and is rescued from the side of the road by Bren Faulkner’s stretch Town Car. Bren, a hot-thermal awakened with government connections, promises to help find the witch hunters who destroyed Jody’s life.

While navigating his trauma and pain, Jody comes to rely on Bren for more than just food, his house, and his superpowered connections. Brendan is all that reminds Jody what’s left to live for, and a strong advocate for justice vs. vengeance, like the proverbial knight in shining armor he is. As their affection for one another deepens and their attraction becomes impossible to deny, Bren wonders if acting on their feelings would be taking advantage. Jody, meanwhile, struggles to claw his way back to something like normality, knowing that Bren’s part of the solution, not the problem.

But none of it matters, if they don’t take down those witch hunters.

I  have loved Katey Hawthorne’s Superpowered Love series from the very first story Equilibrium (Superpowered Love #1) where the author introduced her superpowered humans called “the awakened”, each having a different elemental power (fire, water, electricity, etc.).  Unknown to the general human population, they are hunted by a faction called witch hunters and protected by an Awakened Force working with the FBI.  The Takedown is an emotionally intense story, dealing as it does with an horrific event in one young man’s life.    Happy, getting ready to graduate from college, Jody’s life goes to hell in one gruesome, nightmarish day.

While we aren’t there for the actual event where Jody’s father is killed, and he and his mother are kidnapped, we are for Jody’s harrowing escape.  Hawthorne jumps us into Jody’s plight and into his head, on the run, scared, doped up and in shock.  We stay that way for some time, along with Jody.  Even when picked up by Bren Faulkner, the trauma Jody has suffered has had consequences far past the physical ones he’s suffered. I’m talking the mental and emotional ones, PTSD, acute anxiety and more.  All this is treated here within the story as it should be for someone who has undergone such an atrocity. Plus it’s still going on as all the members responsible are still at large.  Thus the title, The Takedown.  For Jody is determined to bring down those who destroyed his family at all costs, even if it’s himself.  Something Bren is not ok with for reasons obvious and veiled.

We get Jody, we really do.  We can understand his need for revenge and the compulsion to narrow his life down to just the hunt.  Then there’s Bren Faulkner.

Bren Faulkner is a special character, one with many surprises for both the reader and Jody.  Bren has his own reasons for staying away from any romantic complications involving Jody no matter how hard it may be getting.  I loved the part where Bren turns out to be hot-thermal to Jody’s cold, a delicious touch. He’s also older than Jody, which gives Jody a strong support when he needs it the most.  Bren has as many layers and doubts about his role in Jody’s life as Jody does.  How that is worked out is something not to be resolved until the end, which I thought was smart indeed.  Too much else going on in between these two and around them for anything else to feel authentic and believable.

I loved the actual takedown part!  If I could “fist bump” the author and yell “hell yes” I would have.  It was suspenseful and Jody got his answers.  Perfect.

If you haven’t started the Superpowered Love series, I suppose you could read this story, but you would be lacking some necessary background information I find important to the novel.  Far better to start at the beginning and working your way through (don’t miss Riot Boy or Losing Better…love them)!  I recommend them all, including the free reads!

Cover Artist: PL Nunn does another splendid job with the cover.

Sales Links:  Loose Id and Amazon,

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 189 pages
Expected publication: June 6th 2017 by Loose Id LLC
ASINB071W9TVQW
SeriesSuperpowered Love #8

A MelanieM Review: Junk (Bristol Collection #1) by Josephine Myles

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Letting go is the first step to healing…or bringing it all crashing down.

When an avalanche of books cuts off access to his living room, university librarian Jasper Richardson can no longer ignore the truth. His ever-growing piles of books, magazines and newspapers can no longer be classified as a “collection”. It’s a hoard, and he needs professional help.

Professional clutter clearer and counselor Lewis Miller thinks he’s seen it all, but even he has to admit he’s shocked. Not so much by the state of Jasper’s house, but by the level of attraction he still feels for the sexy bookworm he remembers from school.

What a shame that Lewis’s ethical code forbids relationships with clients. As Jasper makes slow but steady progress, though, the magnetic pull between them is so strong even Lewis is having trouble convincing himself it’s a temporary emotional attachment arising from the therapeutic process.

Jasper longs to prove to Lewis that this is the real deal. But first he’ll have to lay bare the root of his hoarding problem…and reveal the dark secret hidden behind his walls of books.

Product Warnings
Contains a level-headed counselor with a secret addiction, a bespectacled geek with a sweet tooth, a killer “to-be-read” pile, embarrassing parents, a van called Alice, and deliciously British slang.

In some ways I thought I ought to give Junk (Bristol Collection #1) by Josephine Myles two different ratings.  One for its superb treatment of mental illness of hoarding and another for the romance.  Junk is not a light hearted romance.  At its center is a man who’s been deeply wounded by life and his mother.  Its manifested itself (although it is can be genetic in origin too ) in a hoarding situation that has taken away what little remained of his life and now his home.  Jasper is reduced to a cold house and a few rooms.  From the moment we meet Jasper in his despair, stacking his newspapers and journals in hallways and rooms, we want to cry for him.  Its an awful situation, one he realizes he needs help for if he can only dial the  number he’s programmed into his phone.

The way in which Myles writes Jasper and his illness allows us to see someone with this illness and view them with compassion instead of the disgust or pity you might feel from a newscast.  It brings us inside Jasper’s head and emotions, allowing us to feel his hopelessness, loneliness and pain over his life and inability to let go of his books and papers.  Plus there’s something more lurking in the background waiting to be revealed. How it’s slowly pulled out of Jasper is heartbreaking.  It makes for hard reading because it’s authentic emotions pouring forth from Jasper and those around him, especially Lewis and his sister, Carroll, who are trained to work with hoarders.    We see it from Jasper’s side and from Lewis and Carroll’s when their frustration builds up as Jasper and others refuse or are unable to move forward.  Lewis has more insight as he too is a hoarder of clothing, now his is under control.  I wish the author had given us more of Lewis here but the story is so full as it is, I’m not sure there was room – no pun intended.

I give Junk a 5 star rating when dealing with the element of hoarding and Jasper.  It delves deep into the issues that spark hoarding and the successful recovery for people such as Jasper.  I was cheering for Jasper here with tears in my eyes.   This whole part of the storyline is so gripping and huge that emotionally I’m not sure it leaves that much for the romance here.

I thought the romance and back history to Jasper and Lewis was so touching and sweet but their courtship/relationship is shadowed by the bigger issue of Jasper’s hoarding.  Lewis uses it as an excuse not to get involved (and I found myself agreeing with him up to a point) because getting Jasper better should be the priority here.  After a bit my frustration was with Lewis.  I liked the romance, it was sweet and rewarding.  In a way it could have used its own story.  But because I was so focused on Jasper’s illness and his recovery, I had less emotion left over for his romance.  It’s just the way it worked out.

I enjoyed all the secondary characters, from Carroll the sister, to Mas (a hookup who became Jasper’s friend), truly a wealth of friends here.

All in all, this is a terrific story.  I took Jasper to heart, rooting for him, loving him and when we and Lewis walked through his house, all newly done and clear, I bawled like a baby.  Trust me, this is one book you won’t want to miss out on.  I highly recommend Junk (Bristol Collection #1) by Josephine Myles.

Cover art by Lou Harper is so perfect for this story and characters. Loved it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition, 351 pages
Published May 25th 2017 (first published August 27th 2013)
Original TitleJunk
ASINB071Z4KPR8
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Bristol Collection #1
CharactersJasper Richardson, Lewis Miller

An Ali Audiobook Review: A Kind of Honesty (A Kind of Stories #3) by Lane Hayes and Seth Clayton (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Music is drummer Tim Chalmers’s great escape and the one thing that’s never let him down. But his band Spiral’s meteoric rise to fame has made it difficult for him to maintain a low profile. Unwanted press pesters him after a public breakup with a volatile ex-girlfriend who loves the limelight as much as he loathes it. Tim’s main goal is to avoid confrontation. However, when a handsome stranger in a dive bar turns out to be someone he might know, everything changes.

Carter Hamilton-Temple might be a successful financial consultant with more brains, sophistication, and charm than most, but he always falls for the wrong guys: closet cases or men with issues. He can’t fight his attraction to tattooed rock star Tim, but can he trust his own judgment? When the thrill of danger combined with a fierce physical connection proves too strong for either man to resist, a quiet liaison away from the public eye and curious friends seems like a safe bet. But some secrets are hard to keep. When rumors threaten to rock his world, Tim realizes it’s time to confront his fear with his own kind of honesty.
This was another entertaining installment to this series.  These two were very different from each other but a really great match.  Their chemistry jumped off the page at the reader.  They meet in Los Angeles while they’re both there on business.  They have a hot one night stand and never expect to see each other again.  Imagine their surprise when they see each other again in New York (where they live) and find out they have mutual friends.
Although they are attracted to each other, Tim is hesitant to get more emotionally involved.  He’s just out of a really bad relationship and he has only been seen in public with women.  He’s not sure what the media will do if he’s seen with a guy.  Also, he was burned very badly in the past by his one and only relationship with a man.  He’s scared to take another chance.
The love story is a slow build up.  They initially start seeing each other just for sex, but scene by scene, they build a friendship that turns in to a love story.  The author does a very good job showing the reader how they fall for each other.
There’s some drama towards the end with Tim’s ex and his overall refusal to admit he’s in a relationship with a man.  Carter was great in this book.  He was so patient with Tim but when he needed to put his foot down he did.  I think these two were my favorite couple in this series so far.
This book was narrated by Seth Clayton and  there is just something about the way he talks that bothers me.  His cadence seems odd to me. I only listened to about 30% of this then I switched to the ebook.  I have a friend though that just loves him so there is a good chance this is my issue alone. If you’re interested in listening to this I recommend you try a sample first to see if you like his voice.
This book is the third in the series and can be read as a standalone.  There are appearance from both couples from books 1 & 2 but there is nothing that would keep you from enjoying this even if you haven’t read those books.
This cover was done by Aaron Anderson.  I liked it a lot.  It matches the other covers in the series really well and it’s eye catching.  It’s also a good representation of the MC.
Audiobook Details:
10 hrs 10 mins
Audible Audio, 11 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published October 7th 2016)
Original TitleA Kind of Honesty
ASINB06ZYK6PJT
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Kind of Stories #3

Charlie Cochrane on Titles, Inspiration and her Porthkennack series title ‘Broke Deep’ (author guest blog and giveaway)

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Broke Deep (Porthkennack #3) by Charlie Cochrane
Riptide Publishing

Cover by: G.D. Leigh

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Charlie Cochrane here today talking about titles, inspiration and her latest story Broke Deep. Welcome, Charlie!

🌊

Where did the title “Broke Deep” come from?

by Charlie Cochrane

I’m not very good at coming up with good titles for books. I usually end up picking the brains of friends or colleagues or editors or anybody I can get my paws on. When we brainstorm a good, catchy title it feels like my team winning a game by fifteen points and on the rare occasion I come up with a name for the book all on my own it’s like I won the lottery!

So I am truly Smuggerella about “Broke Deep” which is my idea and mine alone and which works for this story on two levels. My protagonist Morgan is feeling broken, in terms of relationships and his own health but there’s also the story of a shipwreck which plays a pivotal part in the plot – a ship literally broken on the rocks – and it’s from a reference to a famous real shipwreck the title comes. I’ve always enjoyed the music of Gordon Lightfoot, and in 1976 I bought the atmospheric single “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, which I played and replayed until I almost wore the grooves out. I had no idea at the time it was a story about an actual wreck.

There is something eerily fascinating about the loss of a ship; we all know tales of the Titanic or the Mary Rose. I’ve seen the latter on exhibit in Portsmouth and she’s like a time capsule. Who walked those decks? What were they thinking as they set out? Whether a ship is made of oak (one of the “wooden walls” of old England, maybe) or metal, as the Edmund Fitzgerald was, it’s still at the mercy of wave and weather and the loss of vessel and crew is tragic.

In Lightfoot’s song there is a line that the ship “may have broke deep and took water”, which interested me. Break is an old word for a ship being wrecked; it also means to part the surface of something, so a ship moving through waves will break the surface of the sea. If it breaks deep, that must mean the bow dipping so far into the water that the waves pour over it. Such a powerful image of a mighty vessel being overcome by the power of nature. One day I was listening to the song and I realised that image was redolent of Morgan being overcome by the circumstances of his life. Unlike the ship, though, he finds hope and safety.

 

Broke Deep is the story that refused to sit down and take no for an answer, a tale that waited patiently in my works-in-progress folder for a setting and a context to do it justice. When the Porthkennack universe opportunity came along, Broke Deep bounced into my mind like the most insistent plot bunny, saying, “That’s my home! Write me there!”

 

Reader, I did.

 

About Broke Deep

 

Morgan Capell’s life is falling apart by small degrees—his father’s dead, his boyfriend dumped him, and his mother’s in the grip of dementia. His state of mind isn’t helped by his all-too-real recurring nightmare of the wreck of the Troilus, a two-hundred-year-old ship he’s been dreaming about since his teenage years.

 

The story of the Troilus is interwoven with the Capell family history. When amateur historian Dominic Watson inveigles himself into seeing the ship’s timbers which make up part of Morgan’s home, they form a tentative but prickly friendship that keeps threatening to spark into something more romantic.

 

Unexpectedly, Dominic discovers that one of the Troilus’s midshipman was rescued but subsequently might have been murdered, and persuades Morgan to help him establish the truth. But the more they dig, the more vivid Morgan’s nightmares become, until he’s convinced he’s showing the first signs of dementia. It takes as much patience as Dominic possesses—and a fortuitous discovery in a loft—to bring light out of the darkness.

 

Now available from Riptide Publishing

 

About Porthkennack

 

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

 

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

 

Check out Porthkennack! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack

 

 

About Charlie Cochrane

 

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

 

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Connect with Charlie:

 

Giveaway

 

To celebrate the release of Broke Deep, one lucky winner will receive a goodie bag containing postcards, a notebook, a tea towel, candy and more, all from Charlie Cochrane! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 10, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Katey Hawthorne’s Release Day Blog for THE TAKEDOWN (Superpowered Love #8) (vid excerpt and giveaway package)

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The Takedown (Superpowered Love #8) by Katey Hawthorne
Publisher: Loose Id
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Cover by P.L. Nunn

Buy Links:    Loose id LLC |    KateyHawthorne.com  
Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Katey Hawthorne here today with a new book from her Superpowered Love series. Katey has a great giveaway package for the readers to enter to win and a wonderful vid excerpt to watch.  Welcome, Katey!

🔥

The Takedown Excerpt

(https://youtu.be/qOh-tx4hfgg)

About The Takedown

Jody Aguirre’s family was kidnapped and tortured by witch hunters, and after a few days of captivity, he’s all that’s left. Using his frosty awakened superpowers, Jody manages to escape—and is rescued from the side of the road by Bren Faulkner’s stretch Town Car. Bren, a hot-thermal awakened with government connections, promises to help find the witch hunters who destroyed Jody’s life.

While navigating his trauma and pain, Jody comes to rely on Bren for more than just food, his house, and his superpowered connections. Brendan is all that reminds Jody what’s left to live for, and a strong advocate for justice vs. vengeance, like the proverbial knight in shining armor he is. As their affection for one another deepens and their attraction becomes impossible to deny, Bren wonders if acting on their feelings would be taking advantage. Jody, meanwhile, struggles to claw his way back to something like normality, knowing that Bren’s part of the solution, not the problem.

But none of it matters if they don’t take down those witch hunters.

About The Superpowered Love Series

The “Superpowered Love” books feature stories of the awakened, people with either thermal or electrical superpowers. While they share a world, there is little to no character crossover, and they can be read in any order. For more info: http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/superpowered-love.html

Giveaway:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3105535d7/?

Giveaway embed code:
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About the Author

Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio with her family, two cats, and one very large puppy. In her spare time she enjoys travel, comic books, B-movies, loud music, video games, Epiphones, and Bushmills. Her favorite causes include animal rescue and bisexual representation in media. She is an unashamed fangirl and collects nerdy tattoos like she’s trying to prove it.

Social Media:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/hawthornetaylor
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/katey.hawthorne.33
Tumblr – http://hawthornetaylor.tumblr.com/
Blog – http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/

Release Blitz for Something Like The Real Thing (Sing Out #4) by Hanna Dare (excerpt and free book)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Length: 60,000 words


Cover Design: Natasha Snow


Sing Out Series

Life In A Nowhere Town (Book #1) (See Below)
California Schemin’ (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Man Who Told The World (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

He always has a plan…

Jesse Preston is exactly where he always wanted to be: in LA, recording an album. So why does he feel like he’s about to lose everything? One thing he’s sure of is that he needs to keep his bisexuality hidden… but he never planned on falling for someone. Not just anyone—a TV star who’s one half of a famous, and straight, celebrity couple.

One kiss can change everything…

Grayson Adler is used to pretending. He’s an actor after all. So when he’s asked to keep his break-up with his troubled co-star a secret he has no problem playing along. He also has no problem showing Jesse around LA. Grayson likes spending time with him, likes making him laugh, likes him more than he’d ever expected. But they’re just friends, right?

In a town where everybody’s got secrets, how can they be sure of what’s real?

This novel can be read as a standalone. It’s complete at 60,000 words, with no cliffhanger and no cheating. It does feature ping-pong, hats, dance breaks, and explicit scenes between adult men.

Excerpt

Grayson came to stand close and Jesse had to take a sudden intake of air as the force of Grayson’s gaze locked on. His eyes—brown, or this close, revealed to be hazel and shot through with green-gold streaks—were on Jesse’s and nothing could make him look away.

“I shouldn’t have left things like that. I shouldn’t have left.”

“It’s okay,” Jesse started to say, but Grayson kept going.

“No. You need to know something. I don’t have a girlfriend. I mean, I did, but Annabel and I broke up months ago. I’m supposed to keep it quiet so she doesn’t have to deal with the press, and so the studio can keep promoting us as a couple on and off the show. Annabel’s fragile right now so I don’t mind it being a secret… except I don’t like lying to you. I really don’t like it. And I think I’ve been doing it a lot because you weren’t wrong before. I was hitting on you, I just didn’t realize it. This is stupid because twenty-four is too old to be having a sudden sexual awakening—except thinking back, maybe I’ve always been looking at guys along with girls? I just thought it was a professional interest in studying their bodies. And I did play the love interest of a boy on a family cable drama when I was sixteen. I really liked our kissing scenes, but I was going through a Method phase at the time, so I thought it was about inhabiting the character. My role was only a three-episode arc though, and I had a girlfriend, so I never really got to explore what it might mean—”

Jesse realized that Grayson showed no signs of slowing down or even taking a breath, so he did the most obvious thing and kissed him

.

 
Author Bio

 

A writer-for-hire for more than ten years, Hanna Dare now writes what she loves to read: well-written, character-driven stories of men exploring their identities and discovering their own unique kind of happily ever afters… usually through sexytimes.

 

 
You can download Life In A Nowhere Town (Sing Out #1) for FREE until Saturday June 10 HERE!
 
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