An Ali Review: Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #2) by AE Wasp

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Sometimes the toughest thing to have faith in is yourself. 

The first time Paul Dyson met Robbie Rhodes, they ended up naked in Robbie’s bed. The last time they met, on the ice the morning after, Paul punched Robbie in the face and called him something he’d rather not repeat. 

Two years later, they’re teammates on the Seattle Thunder hockey team. 

Being gay is wrong, unnatural, and there is no room for them in his world. Paul’s heard that his whole life. So when it hits him that he is gay, he does the only thing he can: he shoves himself so deep in the closet he would need a map to find his way out again. 

When the chance to fulfill his lifelong dream comes along, Paul can’t say no, even if it forces him to share hotel rooms with the only man he can’t resist. It doesn’t take long for Paul to give into temptation and find himself falling in love with his brilliant, caring teammate. 

But as much as he cares for Paul, Robbie is finding it harder and harder to justify hiding who he is. It goes against everything he was taught was right. He feels like he has a duty to come out to the public. He’d be the first out gay pro-hockey player. 

If Paul wants to be with Robbie, he will have to turn his back on his family and everything he’s believed in. If Robbie wants to be will Paul, he’ll have to do the same. 

It’s going to take them a lot of faith to find their way together in this shiny new world. 
This was a good second installment to the Hot Off of the Ice series.  We met Robbie in the first book.  He was a teammate of Bryce’s and attended the big Thanksgiving dinner.  This book starts a few months down the road and Paul has just been traded to Robbie’s team. 
These two have a history and it didn’t end well.  Their new beginning doesn’t start well either.  After some fighting, the coach tells them they better work out their differences or else.  This begins a hesitant truce.  But since they are the newest team members they end up having to room together while they’re on the road.  One thing leads to another and soon they can’t keep their hands off of each other.  
This book was much more serious than the first book in the series.  This starts as an enemies to lovers and turns into a hurt/comfort trope.  There are two main issues going on.  One is whether either or both of them want to come out and how that will effect their hockey career.  The other is the religiously oppressive home that Paul was raised in.  Being someone who was raised in the same type of home, my heart went out to Paul.  I could understand the internal struggles that he was trying to work through.  I felt these were realistically done and I liked the entire overall plot line.  
The only thing I didn’t not care for was a side plot with Paul’s dad.  I felt it added some unnecessary drama and I found the entire thing unbelievable.  I also found his dad’s quick turn around on his views unrealistic.  I wish the author would have left that entire part out of the book to be honest.
 
We see a decent amount of Bryce and Dakota as well as Jake and Nikki.  Both of which I enjoyed seeing again.  While this book is the second in the series it can be read fine as a standalone.  
 
Overall I really enjoyed this and I’m excited to have found a new series and a new author who I like a lot.  I will definitely be looking forward to more books in this series.
 
Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix I like the cover a lot.  The colors stand out and are eye catching and the models match the descriptions of the MC’s.  I think the cover is a good representation of the story and it flows well with the previous book in the series.
Sales Links:
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by Kelpie Press
ASINB075BQ57YV
SeriesHot off the Ice #2

An Ali Review: City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by AE Wasp

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Follow the money or follow your heart?

All Bryce Lowery knows how to do is play hockey. He’s been playing professionally since he was fifteen. Twenty years later, he’s rich, famous, tired, and alone. And possibly gay according to his ex-wife.

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a motorcycle-riding white knight named Dakota, Bryce discovers he is most definitely gay. Now Bryce has a tough choice to make, follow the money to a new multimillion dollar contract, or follow his heart into the unknown?

All Dakota Ryan knows how to do is grow apples. Now at twenty-four, he faces losing both his home and his livelihood in one cruel twist of fate.

Then Bryce Lowery crashes into his life like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. He’s whispering promises to make all of Dakota’s wildest dreams come true. But Dakota knows better than to give his heart to someone who could leave, and if life has taught him anything, it’s that everyone leaves.

Dakota has a choice, sit back and wait for Bryce to decide his fate, or for the first time in his life, chose what he wants his future to be.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book.  This was a new author for me and I only picked this book up because it was about hockey (I’m a giant hockey fan) and I found it on Kindle Unlimited.  Once I started the story I couldn’t put it down.  I was immediately drawn into the world of these two wonderful characters.  I liked both of them from the very beginning and I couldn’t wait to see how things worked out.
Bryce is questioning his sexuality when he meets Dakota and has in fact been married to a woman in the past.  I thought the author did a very good job with this plot theme and she stayed away from drama and stereotypes.  I felt like the way things played out for Bryce were realistic and thoughtfully done.  These two were really sweet together and their chemistry jumped off of the page.  There are enough plot points to keep the story moving at a good pace and to keep it interesting but it was low angst.  
 
One of my favorite aspects of the story was how Bryce’s mother and ex-wife were portrayed.  So often in the m/m genre the women, especially exs and moms, are often portrayed in very negative manners.  The author didn’t go there which I can’t say enough positive things about.  The ex was a nice, kind woman who only wanted the best for Bryce.  His mother, and all his family actually, were open to him coming out and they welcomed Dakota in to the family with open arms.  It was all really well done in my opinion.
 
When  I had the chance to review book for this blog, in preparation for book two, I did a re-read of this story.  It ended up standing the test of time.  I ended up loving it just as much the second time through.  This is going to go on my “best of” list for this year and I highly encourage people to check this book out.
 

Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix:  I like the cover a lot.  The colors stand out and are eye catching and the models match the descriptions of the MC’s.  I think the cover is a good representation of the story.

Sales Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published June 29th 2017
ASIN B07339WG93
Edition Language English

It’s Hot Off The Ice! Blog Tour for City Boy and Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1 & 2) by A.E. Wasp (excerpt and giveaway)

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HOT OFF THE ICE

Meet the men of the Seattle Thunder.

They’re hot on and off the ice.

HOT OFF THE ICE

 NEW RELEASE

Book Title: Country Boy: Hot Off the Ice #2

Author:  A. E. Wasp

Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix

Release Date: September 21

Genre/s:  Contemporary Romance, gay romance, steamy, sports, hockey

Length: Words:   80K

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#2  Robbie & Paul

Blurb

Sometimes the toughest thing to have faith in is yourself.

The first time Paul Dyson met Robbie Rhodes, they ended up naked in Robbie’s bed. The last time they met, on the ice the morning after, Paul punched Robbie in the face and called him something he’d rather not repeat.

Two years later, they’re teammates on the Seattle Thunder hockey team.

Being gay is wrong, unnatural, and there is no room for them in his world. Paul’s heard that his whole life. So when it hits him that he is gay, he does the only thing he can: he shoves himself so deep in the closet he would need a map to find his way out again.

When the chance to fulfill his lifelong dream comes along, Paul can’t say no, even if it forces him to share hotel rooms with the only man he can’t resist. It doesn’t take long for Paul to give into temptation and find himself falling in love with his brilliant, caring teammate.

But as much as he cares for Paul, Robbie is finding it harder and harder to justify hiding who he is. It goes against everything he was taught was right. He feels like he has a duty to come out to the public. He’d be the first out gay pro-hockey player.

If Paul wants to be with Robbie, he will have to turn his back on his family and everything he’s believed in. If Robbie wants to be will Paul, he’ll have to do the same.

It’s going to take them a lot of faith to find their way together in this shiny new world.

Country Boy is a love story about figuring out who you are, who you want to be, and how to get there. It contains sweet hockey plays, a 1976 Corvette Stingray, fancy underwear, and the journey of a lifetime.

Excerpt from Country Boy

He took a slap shot at the empty net, raising his arms to an imaginary crowd and giving an almost silent cheer. Skating slowly to retrieve the puck, he said. “If we wanna make the show, we’ve got to be the best. We got to push harder and want it more.” He tossed the puck on the ice in front of Robbie. “Do you want it more?”

“More than who?” Robbie stared into his eyes, hands resting on the top of his stick.

“More than anyone else does. More than you want anything else. Do you want it that much?”

Their eyes met, glittering in the harsh shadows of the bare lamp light. Finally, Robbie nodded. “Yeah. I do.”

Paul tilted his head. “Then let’s get to work.”

They skated hard for some indeterminate length of time Paul knew he would never forget. The world had narrowed down to a frozen space of biting cold air, moon shadows, and the sounds of metal blades carving through the ice.

As they sped down the ice, Robbie right on Paul’s tail, an owl broke out of the trees, swooping low over Paul’s head with a swish of feathers and an eerie hooting. “Dang,” Paul said, throwing up his arms and ducking.

“Oh, crap,” Robbie yelped right before he crashed into Paul. Down they went in a tangle of arms and legs.

Robbie landed on top of Paul, knocking the air out of his lungs. Paul’s first thought was that the parka did a great job of insulating him from the cold. The second was that having Robbie laying on top of him felt really good.

Robbie started to push away, and, Paul moved without thought, wrapping his arms around Robbie.

Robbie stopped, raising onto his elbows to stare Paul in the eyes. His eyes were such a warm brown. Paul’s breathing grew heavy, and he felt Robbie’s chest pressing against his with each exhalation.

He licked his dry lips, and Robbie’s eyes dropped to his mouth, then back to his eyes. “Can I kiss you?” Robbie asked quietly.

Paul’s muscles tightened, and his breath caught.

Mistaking his silence for a no, Robbie blushed and tried to pull away. Paul grabbed Robbie’s coat awkwardly, fingers clumsy beneath the thick gloves, and pulled him back down.

Robbie’s lips were cold, but his breath was warm as he kissed Paul gently. He lifted his head to check Paul’s reaction.

Oh, Paul thought. Oh. He raised his head off the ice to reach Robbie’s mouth.

Robbie kissed him again, harder this time, pushing him back down to the ice.

Paul whimpered at the feel of Robbie’s lips on his. When Robbie’s tongue flicked against the seam of his mouth, he opened willingly, letting the heat in. Robbie’s thick gloves thumped to the ground as he pulled them off without breaking the kiss.

Robbie shifted on top of him as he explored Paul’s mouth, aligning their bodies in a way that made Paul’s eyes roll back in his head even as the ice numbed his ass through his jeans.

Skates scratching against the ice, Paul bent his knees, clamping his thighs against Robbie’s sides.

Robbie took what he wanted from Paul, tilting his head to the side with a hand, and encouraging Paul to open up with sharp nips to his lips.

He pushed Paul’s head back with pressure on his chin, his mouth moving down the column of Paul’s neck as best as he could through the protective barrier of outerwear.

Paul panted through his open mouth as Robbie set his teeth on Paul’s skin and sucked, tongue flicking against the pulse in Paul’s neck. “Oh, fuck,” he moaned, hips rising of their own accord as his body fought for some friction.

For most of a decade, he’d imagined what it would feel like to be held down by a man, to feel someone strong and hard pressing against him, matching their strength to his. His imagination had not come close to reality.

Robbie pushed up onto his arms, forcing his body down onto Paul’s rapidly growing erection. The place where his mouth had been was suddenly freezing in the cold air. Paul’s head to toe shudder threatened to throw Robbie off. “Oh, God, oh, God,” Paul groaned. “Don’t stop.”

Robbie leaned down for a long hard kiss that stole the air from Paul’s lungs. He smiled as he looked at Paul. “If we don’t go inside, we’re going to freeze to death, stick to the ice, and Mrs. Pierson is going to find our bodies in the morning.” He jumped up and held a hand out to Robbie.

Paul couldn’t process what was happening as he let himself be pulled up. Was that it? Was it over? Would the kissing stop when they got inside? Please don’t let it stop. He needed it so badly. Needed to shut off his brain, just for tonight. Please.

Robbie skated off the rink and headed towards the door. Paul followed him.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review of Country Boy here.

 

 

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Buy Links  

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads Link

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City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by A.E. Wasp

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#1  Bryce & Dakota

Title: City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1)

Author: A.E. Wasp

Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix

Publication Date: June 29, 2017

Genre/s:  Contemporary Romance, gay romance, steamy, sports, hockey

Print Length: 280 pages

Blurb

Follow the money or follow your heart? Either way, you lose.

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a white knight named Dakota, pro-hockey player Bryce Lowery discovers he is most definitely gay.

Being with Dakota opens up a whole new world. Bryce can’t imagine life without him. But he refuses to be Bryce’s dirty little secret. If he wants to keep Dakota, he’s either going to have to come out publicly or retire and walk away from millions of dollars.

Bryce Lowery feels like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. But is Dakota willing to leave the only life he’s ever known only to be thrust into the spotlight as the boyfriend of the first out gay hockey player? Would their relationship even survive it? He’ll lose Bryce if doesn’t because Bryce will leave eventually. No one would turn down millions of dollars for a nobody with nothing.

City Boy is a first time gay, fish out of water, May/December love story with a happy ending. It features snarky siblings, a dirty-talking farmer, lots of food, and big choices. (No poultry was harmed in the making of this book.)

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review of City Boy here.

Buy links – Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads

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Meet the Author

Author Bio: A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world than can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Author Page

Twitter

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Rafflecopter Giveaway

WIN ONE OF THREE e-copies from A.E. Wasp’s Backlist

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Blog Tour Schedule

HOT OFF THE ICE SCHEDULE

SEPTEMBER 26

Millsy Loves Books 

Tangents and Tissues  

Zipper Rippers 

SEPTEMBER 27

Megan’s Media Melange  

Lily G Blunt

SEPTEMBER 28

Stories That Make You Smile

Love Bytes Reviews 

Louise Lyons 

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews 

MM Good Book Reviews 

SEPTEMBER 29

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

SEPTEMBER 30

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 

Bayou Book Junkie 

Beautiful Book Corner  

Books Laid Bare Boys  

My Fiction Nook 

A Polished Reader 

Alpha Book Club 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

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One Call Away by Felice Stevens Audiobook Tour (excerpt)

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 One Call Away Audio Banner

ONE CALL AWAY

FELICE STEVENS

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: April 28, 2017

AUDIO RELEASE: August 31, 2017

NARRATOR: Seth Clayton

Audible:  http://adbl.co/2hmQ8Tk

 

One Call Away Cover 

BLURB

When a brutal attack from a jealous competitor leaves Noah Strauss, darling of the modeling world, physically scarred and emotionally damaged, he quits the runway to become a psychologist. Using his contacts from his time in the spotlight, he creates One Call Away, a radio show dedicated to gay men looking for love, advice or someone to talk to. But with secrets of his own and a mother who refuses to understand the career path he’s chosen, the one person Noah can’t seem to help is himself.

On a drunken dare from the senior partner’s grandson, Oren Leavitt calls Noah’s radio show, pretending to be gay. Only Oren isn’t certain if he’s pretending. He’s left his strict Orthodox Jewish upbringing behind, but the guilt remains. Guilt that his actions have prevented his sister from finding a husband and guilt that he’s failed his parents. Talking to “Dr. Noah” helps, and as he finds himself calling the man again and again, he knows he must be honest. But Oren is unsure if he’s lying to Noah or himself.

For Noah, trust is paramount; he’s been deceived in his personal and professional life and while he desperately wants to help Oren, he also finds himself falling for the sweet and tortured man. Oren is trapped: he risks losing his job and more importantly the love and security of his family but knows he can’t hide if if wants to be with Noah. When unresolved heartaches from the past rise up to control the present, Noah and Oren discover that love often comes from the most unexpected places, and sometimes a call for help not only saves a life, it can be a new and beautiful beginning.

US: http://amzn.to/2pfRgYU
UK: http://amzn.to/2piGd3e
CA: http://amzn.to/2pfTg36
AU: http://amzn.to/2qbVi3z
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2oHhSQG
iBooks: http://apple.co/2pSUkKp

One Call Away Teaser 1

One Call Away Teaser 3

EXCERPT

“I told you already, I’m their charity case, their token Jew.” When he took the job, Oren thought he could brush it off, but lately the sense of ostracism was proving harder to handle than he’d imagined. Isolated by his religion and his sexuality, the only time lately Oren found himself able to be free was when talking to Noah.

“Every year they make a show of how diverse they are with their one black first-year hire, and their Asian and Latino associates. We’re paraded around to the legal community as DeWitt and Wynters’ ‘new generation’ of lawyers who are breaking the mold of the white, Christian elite, upper echelon when in reality they give us the grunt work or the impossible-to-win cases. The special outings are at golf courses, which have no members like us, and we don’t know how to play, so we sit around doing nothing, while the others have a great time bonding. Either that or they schedule firm parties on Jewish holidays when they know I can’t attend. They put on a good show, but we know we don’t belong, and we’re too afraid to complain or say anything because jobs are so hard to come by, and the firm’s name still opens so many doors.”

Stunned at his bitter outburst, Oren smiled faintly at Noah. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to let it out on you.”

“I’m glad you did.” A twinkle lit Noah’s eyes. “Sounds like something you’ve been holding back for a while now.” He sobered up. “I’m sorry you have to go through that. Isn’t there another place you can work where you’ll feel safe?”

“Safe?”

“I’m sure if they are as bigoted as they sound against people of color and other religions, they are also intolerant of gays.”

Not in a million years would Oren ever speak of his sexuality to Harlan or Toby. Even the fact that Harlan had spoken to Noah freaked him out a bit.

“It isn’t something I plan to discuss with them. It’s none of their business.” Agitated, Oren turned away from Noah and fumbled in the drawer for a corkscrew. With quick, angry turns, he opened the wine.

“It was only a thought. I’m not saying you should.” Noah’s soothing voice steadied the rapid thump of Oren’s heart. “What was his name again, the guy I spoke to on the phone?”

“Harlan.” The sound of that name sent a sinking feeling into the pit of Oren’s stomach. “He’s not only in charge of my group; he’s the great-grandson of one of the firm’s founders and can do whatever he wants. And he does.”

“See, that’s what I thought. His voice…it sounded cunning. Like he was trying to figure something out and use it against you. I got worried and thought of how upset you might be. I’m so sorry you have to put up with someone like him. You deserve so much better.” Noah’s eyes searched his, and Oren couldn’t break away from the pull of their blue depths.

An unfamiliar ache of longing built up inside him, painful yet sweet. A need to touch and be touched with meaning. He found himself drawn to Noah, much more so than to any person he’d ever met. Was it wrong of him to want Noah? He considered him his doctor, his therapist. Most importantly, Noah was his friend. In these past few weeks something between them changed, and Oren found himself thinking of Noah as a man and not merely a risk. And staring into Noah’s eyes, Oren knew that wanting Noah might be worth the risk he was finally willing to take.

Felice Logo

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.

But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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Sale Alert! Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens!

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★★★★99 SALE ALERT★★★★

Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens is only 99¢ for a Limited Time!!
Read Today for ONLY 99¢!!
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2x1NedS

On 9/11, firefighter Nick Fletcher’s world changed forever. He’s unable to rid himself of survivor’s guilt, made worse by the secret he hides from his family and co-workers. Nick’s life is centered around helping burn victims, until he is reunited with the man he’d once loved but pushed away. Now he has a second chance at a love he thought lost forever.

For fashion designer Julian Cornell, appearances mean everything. His love affairs are strictly casual, and the only thing he cares about is making his clothing line a success. A chance encounter with the man he loved long ago has Julian thinking for the first time in years there may be more to life than being seen at the best parties and what designer labels to wear.

When Julian’s world takes an unexpected turn, it’s Nick who helps him regain perspective on what matters most in life. Julian, in turn, helps Nick accept who he is and understand he isn’t responsible for tragedies he couldn’t prevent. Lost love found can be even sweeter the second time around and after all the years apart, both men learn to look beyond the surface to find the men they are inside.

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Joker (Executioners #2) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating:   5 Stars out of 5

Joker, what a misnomer, but Jackson Webb’s friends were idiots. He’d joined Executioners almost three years earlier after the lead singer King caught him playing his guitar behind his garage. It broke up the monotony of his life, but once he got bored he’d move on to another distraction. He wasn’t nice. He sure as hell wasn’t friendly. He was what he was, his friends handled his attitude and standoffish nature just fine. At thirty-eight he was pretty sure he was too stuck in his way to change shit now.

Demetri “Dem” Urban was settling into a new life in the middle of nowhere. Okay, he was hiding from everywhere in a kitchen as far removed from his five-star kitchen back in New York. Gideon invited him to stay with him and his wife for awhile just until he could get everything back on track. He didn’t see it happening, but he had to admit the scenery wasn’t bad even if the man had the personality of a rabid, man-eating bear. Dem did like a challenge and that fit Joker Webb perfectly.

My first sighting of Joker was in Ghost (Executioners, #1), a deeply moving story that served as my first introduction to D.M. Dabney and that author’s interlocking series (Twirled World Ink, Brawlers and Executioners and hopefully more).  Of course, I started with the most recent in the series which has turned out a fascinating, fortuitous move and I’m now moving backwards to the beginning series.  And Joker aka Jackson Webb has appeared everywhere, a dark, violent presence, sometimes just a fleeting reference, sometimes more as a participant in a rescue or beatdown, but Joker has been an enigmatic thread running through three series who now when ready in Dabney’s mind, explodes into the cacophony that is his heartrending, beautiful and oh so memorable story.

Forewarning.  If you’ve read Ghost, which is where I fell in love with Joker, you knew peeling back the edges of Joker’s armor would be like staring into the abyss.  His past is stomach churning and even though the abuse and descriptions of what happened to him is handled “off stage” , there is no space for your mind and heart to run from his scars…physical, mental, emotional that are revealed here.  They feel intense, all too real, and full of suffering of the unimaginable kind.  For some of you, these are triggers and you should be aware of the impact they will have.  Even if they aren’t triggers, prepared to have the abuse that Jackson suffered stay with you  long after the story is over, which is as it should be I suppose.

Jackson is the town vigilante/Paladin and his friends’ worry now that Harper has found love, happiness and safety with Ghost. Jackson aka Joker is still on his mission to protect and deliver his own forms of justice to those thugs/bullies in town who have been under the protection of the old corrupt (and now dead) Sheriff.  Given that mission it’s no surprise that he’s often found in one of the jail cells,  with his friends called to bail him out.  Outside of jail, his little dog Killer is his constant companion and yes, unacknowledged therapy dog.  He’s violent, untouchable, moody, and broken.  Yet everything about him shouts need.  I wanted his story from the minute I met him in Ghost.  And love him completely.

Then comes Dem, a man from a loving home who sets his eyes on Joker, knows that he and that broken man are somehow ‘meant’ for each other like his mom and dad. Dem is unique. Some see him as broken too. Dem is also a character you come across in Ghost, but here Dem becomes a complete person.  I loved his parents, the background Dabney supplies for him and his reasons for being in this small town. He’s pretty easy to fall in love with himself.   In the book, it all makes perfect sense as do the characters.  Dabney’s characterizations and writing is so good, so perfect for the themes the author chose and the paths the story needs to take, that all I could do is be pulled in, totally absorbed by the drama and evolving relationships.

Dem’s pursuit of Joker shakes the man to his emotional and mental foundation.  It’s everything he fears and has no reason to understand.  Love. J.M. Dabney creates two of the most perfect, broken, believable characters and then takes us on their journey towards a love only they can find with each other, and a  small dog named Killer.  At times, your heart will break over the blackness and evil suffered, sometimes your breath will catch with hope as they get close at times a relationship only to see it crash under the weight of the past and reality, and finally  your heart gets to soar with laughter and love at what the author has wrought out of darkness and pain.

How I love Joker (Executioners #2) by J.M. Dabney and the entire series.  I highly recommend it and Ghost.  Start with Ghost and then read Joker.  And look for all my reviews of the Twirled World Ink, and Brawlers series by J.M. Dabney to come.  I’ll be covering them all and the evolution of a universe.

Cover Design: Winterheart Design.  I think the cover captures Joker perfectly.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Published August 29th 2017
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL https://www.jmdabneyauthor.com/executioners
setting Georgia (United States)

Series Executioners:

An Ali Release Day Review: Rim Shot by Skylar M Cates

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Can college roommates go from friends to lovers?

Kyle: I’m confident that with hard work, my position as point guard can carry me from rural Indiana to the NBA. I also know I’m attracted to guys, but admitting it might disappoint my father, who is all I have in this world. I have big dreams, so I’ll stay in the closet. As long as my life remains scandal-free, I have a shot.

Micah: My large family can’t spare the money to help with my education, but that won’t stop me from studying medicine. I needed to get out of the house I was sharing with my ex before I went insane. Luckily, I heard about a guy looking for a roommate. Living with a straight jock won’t be easy, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take.
This was a sweet story about two college students who become roommates and then lovers.  Kyle is a basketball player who is in the closet.  He’s afraid that his sports career will suffer if he comes out.  Micah is a pre-med student works two jobs to put himself through school.  As the two young men begin to fall for each other they have to make some serious life decisions.
 I liked both of the MC’s and I thought the author did a good job of developing them.  I also enjoyed the fact that they fell for each other slowly and the romance unfolded in a manner that felt believable.  The ending was a strong HFN and I felt like that was a good ending for two young men in college with some many ways life could possibly go in the future.
My only complaint was that the overall pacing of the story felt a bit slow to me.  Not a lot really happens until close to the end of the book.
Overall I found this to be an enjoyable book and it is one that I would recommend.
This cover was done by Kanaxa.  I think it is an average cover.  There is nothing that really makes it stand out to me and it is one I will probably forget as new books come across my ereader. 

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 210 pages
Expected publication: September 29th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleRim Shot
ISBN139781635338881
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Review: First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Layton wants success, Adler wants family, how can love make both these things possible?

Layton Foxx works hard for what he has. The condo, the career, the chance to make his mark, is all down to the sacrifices he has made. With tragedy in his past, he doesn’t want or need love. Then he meets Adler Lockhart, the extroverted, sexy winger for the Harrisburg Railers and abruptly he can’t avoid love even if he wanted to.

Adler Lockhart has had everything handed to him his whole life. Cars, villas, cash, college tuition at the finest Ivy League schools. The only things he doesn’t have are parents who care or the love of a good man. Then Layton walks into his privileged life and shows him what real love can be like.

First of all, this book has oodles of elements that just set off the book sparklers for me.  Starts with the authors because I love R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey, then moving swiftly to the facts that you also have hockey players (be still my heart), a opposites attract trope and a good dollop of hurt/comfort?  Count me in!

When you mix that all together in the story First Season, it all comes together in a romance that hooked me in from the very start, made me love its characters from the main couple to the secondary cast and kept me invested as well as connected in everyone’s story.  First Season is the second in the Harrisburg Railers series and while you don’t necessarily have to have read the first one , it does help to give you background information here on the couple Layton Foxx is coming to help.  They make appearances is as does the next person getting his story.

But your heart and focus is on Layton and Adler and their slow, awkward, often painful dance towards love and a relationship.  I absolutely loved  Ads.  At one point he’s described as a Irish Setter, ginger, bouncy, lots of energy, maybe a small attention span….you can so see it … totally adorable in the huge body of a hockey player.  He also has almost no filters in his brain…so what he’s thinking is out his mouth without a checkpoint with obvious ramifications.  All because of a upbringing with parents that had little to do with him and left him with no social skills.  Talk about someone hungry for love and a home.

Then he meets damaged Layton Foxx who comes from an opposite background, but one where he can’t stand to go back to.  PTSD and a pain-filled past has him trapped in another way and landed him in a job filled full of his worst nightmares…jocks.  Watching Layton having to navigate his way around while trying to do the best for his clients AND deal with the confusing attentions of Adler? The dynamics are interesting, heartbreaking, funny, and often a bit convoluted even to the people involved themselves.

Locey and Scott also address the professional side of hockey and coming out, the costs to the team, the individual players etc.  I thought this was handled beautifully.

First Season came very close to a 5 star rating but I felt that parts of Layton’s story and his clear lack of recovery needed to be further addressed.  I wasn’t sure if Layton was still in therapy (I could have missed it to be honest), but the extent of his trauma I thought needed more attention here.  Not in details but in their relationship and his family towards the end after Adler and Layton decided they were it for one another. A phone call and a comment about one portion of their sexual life didn’t quite get to the depth of the trauma they are dealing with.

Others may feel the authors dealt with it to their satisfaction.

Either way, I feel it’s a wonderful story. One I absolutely recommend.    It has memorable characters, a team of hockey players to love and a series to look forward to each new release!  Bring them on!

Cover art by Meredith Russell.  The artist does both characters justice in a terrific cover.  Love it.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | KOBO | Smashwords | B&N | iTunes

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 229 pages
Published September 27th 2017 by Love Lane Books Ltd
ASINB073HGLT5X
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Harrisburg Railers 

MA Church on Research, Characters and her latest story ‘Dragon’s Hoard’ (Dreamspinner Dreamspun Beyond Tour)

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Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church
Dreamspinner Press
Dreamspun Beyond

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Expected publication: October 1st 2017
Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have M.A. Church here today on her Dragon’s Hoard tour.  Welcome, M.A., please tell us a little something about your latest release.

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Hey everyone! I’m M. A. Church, and I’m here to talk about my latest release, Dragon’s Hoard from the Dreamspun Beyond line at Dreamspinner Press. When I first heard Dreamspinner was opening a new house line featuring paranormal themes, I was beyond excited, lol. I’ve wanted to write a dragon story for a long time, and this seemed like a sign!

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

Every character has some personality trait of mine. It may be the one-liners, or the snarky attitude, but there’s always some part of me there.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write? Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I always research my books, but I end up doing more for certain ones. Most of my stories tend to take place in present-day, so there’s that contemporary edge to the stories that needs to make sense to the reader. When I’m doing paranormal, I research folklore/myths, plus how an animal responds in its natural setting. Even if I’m writing sci-fi, I’m researching things. But I do also love making up worlds and cultures.

  •  Do you have a favorite among your own stories? And why?

That would be The Harvest series. It was started right after my mom died, and I credit it with helping me get through one of the hardest times in my life.

Blurb

To be loved by a dragon is to be treasured.

A hundred years ago, werewolf Alpha Montgomery took a risk driven by desperation—he borrowed money from the ancient dragon Warwick Ehecatl, putting up the pack lands as collateral. Now the debt is due, and dragons don’t forget—or forgive. Warwick demands Montgomery’s son, Avery, and three businesses as compensation. As an Omega, Avery knows he is basically useless to his pack, so he might as well agree. He soon has second thoughts, though. Warwick is fearsome, and he’s free to do as he likes with Avery.

Warwick knows his race’s reputation, and he even admits some of it is deserved. But he’d rather cut off his tail than let his innocent mate’s light go out. It won’t be easy, but buried deep, there’s something between them worth safeguarding.

House Line Dreamspun Beyond | #5

Genres: Urban Fantasy / Werewolves/Shapeshifters

Excerpt

Warwick grabbed the reins on the runaway dragon inside of him, desperately trying to control the thrashing creature. Ye gods! His dragon wanted the Omega, badly, which was shocking. His kind usually paired up long enough to procreate, and if the female became pregnant, she went off on her own to have the egg. She raised the offspring, and once the fledgling reached adolescence, they were on their own.

Sometimes dragons had sex with each other for fun, but relationships never lasted long. Their kind tended to get on one another’s nerves, which led to fights. It was why they didn’t often mate with dragons or other paranormals, but there were a few who managed to make it work.

Warwick preferred short-term connections where it was understood there were no commitments. He’d never been interested in mating. But now suddenly his dragon was interested in that Omega… and wanted to claim him as his own.

Warwick was stunned. But the hazel-eyed Omega standing outside almost accomplished what rarely happened with dragons. The wolf hadn’t even been trying—and that was the frightening thing.

He jerked his gaze away from the young wolf. The last thing he needed was to betray his sudden interest. Never would he give an opponent that kind of knowledge, even if his dragon was all but wagging its tail in excitement. With a mental thrust, he tried to settle the vexing creature. He certainly didn’t need this right now, and especially not here.

About the Author

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full-time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or watching HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.

She is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Contact M.A.:

Review Tour and Giveaway for Joker (Executioners #2) by JM Dabney

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 38,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Winterheart Design
 
Executioners Series
 
Ghost (Book #1) – Amazon US | Amazon UK 
 
Blurb


Joker, what a misnomer, but Jackson Webb’s friends were idiots. He’d joined Executioners almost three years earlier after the lead singer King caught him playing his guitar behind his garage. It broke up the monotony of his life, but once he got bored, he’d move on to another distraction. He wasn’t nice. He sure as hell wasn’t friendly. He was what he was, his friends handled his attitude and standoffish nature just fine. At thirty-eight he was pretty sure he was too stuck in his ways to change shit now.

Demetri “Dem” Urban was settling into a new life in the middle of nowhere. Okay, he was hiding from everyone in a kitchen as far removed from his five-star kitchen back in New York as he could get. Gideon invited him to stay with him and his wife for a while just until he could get everything back on track. He didn’t see it happening, but he had to admit the scenery wasn’t bad even if the man had the personality of a rabid, man-eating bear. Dem did like a challenge and that fit Joker Webb perfectly.

Author’s Note: This story contains scenes of a violent nature, mentions of rape and torture (All off page from characters pasts) and severe abuse. If you, as a reader, find this objectionable or triggering in any way, you can skip this story without losing the transition to the next book

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star Review here.

October 4 – Dog-Eared Daydreams
 

Author Bio

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

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