A MelanieM Pre-Release Review: One in Vermilion by Kris T. Bethke

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Wyatt Janson needed a change of scenery in the worst way, so he packed up his dog and moved to a small tourist town. When he spots a man in a vermilion beanie, he’s intrigued. Why would someone would wear such a hat in the middle of summer? Their paths keep crossing, and Wyatt soon learns that Truitt Rackley owns a dog grooming and training service. It’s the perfect opportunity for Wyatt to meet Tru.

What begins as friendship quickly blossoms into more. But Tru’s happy demeanor hides a sad past. The hat he wears is only one part of it. Tru needs Wyatt’s support as he deals with the fallout, and Wyatt is glad to be able to provide it. Now that he’s found Tru, he knows he’ll do whatever he must to keep him. Can two broken men find the happily ever after they’ve been searching for?

One in Vermilion by Kris T. Bethke is a sweet,  pretty much angst free romance.  Two men meet and bond over their love of their dogs, get to know one another, fall in love and  have a HEA.  Neither is really all that broken, just slightly hurt with life’s normal blows but nothing truly out of the ordinary.  It’s a slow build romance with even the dogs cutely getting into the picture.

I wish I felt a little more spark between Wyatt and Tru, they start as friends but I never felt much heat coming off the page, just a lovely connection such as deep friends would have.

The title is cute and the manner in which the author pulls it into the story works.  It’s just a nice, sweet romance all around, a little bland but cute.

Cover art says it all.  Liked the cover, it’s got all the characters right there.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon link to come

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 94 pages
Published July 29th 2017 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB072MP69Z2

An Ali Audiobook Review: Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that’s running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.
Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.
While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart… even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.
Fae are my some of my favorite paranormal creatures and I rarely find them done in the m/m genre so I’m always happy when this author does paranormal books because she does Fae well.  This was an urban fantasy story that developed from a previously done short story.  This is set in an alternative San Francisco and I thought the setting and world building was just fantastic.  Everything was described in such rich detail that I felt like I was there.  I could imagine all of the narrow, crowded streets, the different kinds of people and fae, the dragons that guarded the buildings.  It’s the type of story telling you need to read slowly so you can savor all of the words.
I really liked Roku as our main point of view.  He’s a complicated man with a tragic past, one of which unfolds over the course of the book.  I was a big fan of his from the very beginning of the book.  His partner Trent was a nice addition to the story and I ended up liking him as well.  There a host of side characters and they all are well developed in their own way.  They were also vividly done.
I thought the mystery aspect was really good.  It was fast paced and filled with action and adventure.  This book would make an excellent movie.  It was one high octane moment after another.  My only complaint was the romance aspect was insta-love.  I found this hard to by into with Roku’s horrible previous losses.  If it had been up to me I would have liked to see this be an ongoing series with a much slower developing romance.  But….since it’s not up to me, I just rolled with it.  They were sweet together and they both deserved some happiness.
This audiobook was narrated by Greg Tremblay and I felt like he did a very good job on this.  His voice has a nice cadence which I enjoy.  I felt he did an equally good job on all of the many voices and I enjoyed his narration a lot.
This cover was done by Anne Cain and I think it is a lovely cover.  I was immediately drawn to the rich purple and gold/orange colors on it.  I also think it is a great representation of the plot.
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, 10 pages
Published July 21st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 9th 2017)
Original TitleDim Sum Asylum
ASINB0742FWZMV
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersRoku MacCormick, Trent Leonard settingChinatown, San Francisco, California (United States)

An Alisa Recent Release Review: Dude Mama by Michael P. Thomas

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

When button-down biracial lawmaker Cassidy Uematsu meets hardscrabble fry cook Buford “Jax” Jackson, it’s lust at first sight. They’re only too happy to jump into the sack, and when Jax loses his condom mid-getting-to-know-you, Cassidy urges him forward, damn the consequences. What’s the worst that can happen?

 

After a couple weeks of morning sickness and a few months gaining weight, Cassidy learns an unfathomable secret about the men in his family that he’s pretty sure he was happier not knowing. Jax is a fan of Cassidy’s rapidly rounding belly, and of the sexy “Dude Mama” roleplay it inspires.

 

But the night he feels a kick inside Cassidy’s growing belly, Jax hightails it, certain at least one of them has lost his damn mind. A pregnant dude? That’s impossible. As the ninth month since the condom mishap approaches, Cassidy sure hopes he’s right.

 

I enjoyed this story.  Cassidy loves having Jax around and once he learns the truth about his heritage hopes that he will be able to have him stick around.  Jax loves seeing his boyfriend grow and role playing but it’s just too much for him when he realizes it isn’t just role play.

 

Cassidy couldn’t explain how he was gaining weight and then having a voracious appetite but it helped to have his boyfriend around to cook whatever he wanted.  I couldn’t understand how Cassidy’s family never told him about the possibility of him getting pregnant let alone that his brother was the one to give birth to his nephews not his wife; that just didn’t quite sit well with me.  I loved when Jax comes back after having some time to accept the truth and how much he wanted to help Cassidy and be there for them.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is a great picture of the characters together.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 43 pages

Published: July 22, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634864114

Edition Language: English

Love YA Fantasy? Check Out This New Release and Special Excerpt! The Tiger’s Watch (Ashes of Gold #1) by Julia Ember

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The Tiger’s Watch (Ashes of Gold #1) by Julia Ember
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Meghan Moss

 

Sales Links:

Harmony InkAmazon | Barnes & Noble 

Blurb

Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

Exclusive Excerpt

The day I became an inhabitor, Mistress Lhamo had carried me into the forest outside the capitol and left me there. I was eight and small, so small that the robes the academy gave me swathed my body and made me look like a slug as I trailed fabric behind. She set me down on a tree stump and kissed my hair. Then she had wandered back through the trees to the city without a second glance. I guessed, then, I had been expendable to her. If I didn’t work out, then Jakar had plenty more poor children and orphans to choose from.

I held a ragged stuffed owl against my chest as I shivered and prayed, repeating the words of the spell I’d been taught. Master Amo thought I might attract a doe or a hare. Something agile, he said, but shy and timid. Something to match me so I wouldn’t feel conflicted within myself. I just hoped nothing would eat me and that Mistress Lhamo would return soon.

Sunlight dwindled, and the forest got darker and colder. I paced around the stump. The terror of being eaten had ebbed, replaced by the more insidious fear that I wouldn’t be chosen at all, that the rest of my friends would go on to be inhabitors and I would become an outcast—a failure with nowhere to go and doomed to a life of begging on the street corners.

I threw the owl on the ground. It had been a present from Master Amo when he selected me two years before. If they were going to reject me now, then I didn’t want the stuffed bird anymore either.

The wind carried a pungent scent into my nostrils. It was sweet yet musky, tinged with something sour. I breathed more deeply and looked around for the source. At the edge of the forest clearing, a deer carcass lay stretched out and mutilated. Her throat had been torn out, and dark brown blood was splashed over her tan hide. Even in death, the doe had a calm, gentle look in her unblinking eyes. I had bitten my lip and struggled not to cry. There was my doe, just like Master Amo had said.

A growl made me turn. A large, lean cat with rose-gold and white fur lowered its belly to the earth. Its yellow eyes bored into me, and its tail flickered back and forth. I sucked in a breath. I’d seen a tiger up close before, rubbing its cheeks against Master Lin’s thigh before it turned and snarled at an apprentice who drew too close. But that tiger had been orange and black, normal. This creature looked like something out of a temple painting, as though her fur had been expertly flecked with tiny pieces of gold leaf by a monk’s skilled hand.

The animal’s haunches had tensed. Her legs had gathered to pounce. But instead of terror, I felt calm. She tackled me, pushing me down with an enormous paw. Her claws were sheathed, and the pad of her foot rested over my heart. My breath stopped as I understood late what it all meant. The tiger rolled me onto my back like a cub, licking my chin with her barbed tongue. My arms, still chubby with baby fat, curled around her neck.

When her weight settled over me, I felt the acceptance in the silky embrace of her fur. And for the first time since I left my real family, I felt something like love. But her message was clear: I would never control her. From that moment, when our souls connected and I became an inhabitor, I knew I was the vulnerable one and she would forever be protecting me.

About the Author

Originally from Chicago, Julia Ember now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. She spends her days working in the book trade and her nights writing teen fantasy novels. Her hobbies include riding horses, starting far too many craft projects, PokemonGo and looking after her city-based menagerie of pets with names from Harry Potter. Luna Lovegood and Sirius Black the cats currently run her life.

Julia is a polyamorous, bisexual writer. She regularly takes part in events for queer teens. A world traveler since childhood, she has now visited more than sixty countries. Her travels inspire the fantasy worlds she creates, though she populates them with magic and monsters.

Julia began her writing career at the age of nine, when her short story about two princesses and their horses won a contest in Touch magazine. In 2016, she published her first novel, Unicorn Tracks, which also focused on two girls and their equines, albeit those with horns. Her second novel, The Seafarer’s Kiss will be released by Interlude Press in May 2017. The book was heavily influenced by Julia’s postgraduate work in Medieval Literature at The University of St. Andrews. It is now responsible for her total obsession with beluga whales.

In August 2017, her third novel and the start of her first series, Tiger’s Watch, will come out with Harmony Ink Press. In writing Tiger’s Watch, Julia has taken her love of cats to a new level.

Media Links:

Website: http://www.julia-ember.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jules_chronicle

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/juliaemberya

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/juliaemberwrites

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13734129.Julia_Ember

In the Fantasy Spotlight: The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by EJ Russell (giveaway)

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The Druid Next Door (Fae Out of Water #2) by E.J. Russell
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Lou Harper

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here at Riptide Publishing

 

About The Druid Next Door

Professor Bryce MacLeod has devoted his entire life to environmentalism. But how effective can he be in saving the planet when he can’t even get his surly neighbor to separate his recycling?

Former Queen’s Enforcer Mal Kendrick doesn’t think his life could get any worse: he’s been exiled from Faerie with a cursed and useless right hand. When he’s not dodging random fae assassins in the Outer World, he’s going toe-to-toe with his tree-hugging neighbor. And when he discovers that the tree hugger is really a druid, he’s certain the gods have it in for him—after all, there’s always a catch with druids. Then he’s magically shackled to the man and expected to instruct him in Supernatural 101.

All right, now things couldn’t possibly get worse.

Until a mysterious stranger offers a drunken Mal the chance to gain back all he’s lost—for a price. After Mal accepts, he discovers the real catch: an ancient secret that will change his and Bryce’s life forever.

Ah, what the hells. Odds are they won’t survive the week anyway.

Available now from Riptide Publishing

About the Fae Out of Water Series

Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—

Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.

Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.

The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar.  But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.

#faeoutofwater

Check out Fae Out of Water

About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:

Website: ejrussell.com

Blog: ejrussell.com/bloggery/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author

Twitter: twitter.com/ej_russell

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ejrussell/

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Druid Next Door tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!