A MelanieM Review: Sūnder (Darksoul #1) by Lexi Ander

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

If Sūnder Alārd had been born female he would have been cherished for being faeborn—born with magick—and his birth celebrated. Instead, his L’fÿn mother insisted on his death. Only his Panthrÿn father’s desperate escape through the forest saved him. With most Chándariāns uneasy in his presence due to rumors he is doomed to become a darksoul, and unlikely to find a mate because of it, Sunder has nevertheless carved out an honorable existence as a warrior and commander. Serving as bodyguard and chaperone for the Chándariān prince, Sūnder accompanies his charge to the annual mating festival on Earth, and when the prince is injured, he can’t help but be fascinated by the tongue-tied nurse who attends them at the hospital.

At sixteen years of age, Gabriel St. Baptista came home to discover his parents had taken off into space, leaving him behind to look after himself. Gabe never recovered from the unexpected desertion, and keeps everyone at arm’s length to avoid being abandoned again. However, after meeting Sūnder, Gabe finds himself unable to resist the bond between them and breaks all of his carefully crafted rules to spend time with the Chándariān, regardless of the fact that Sūnder will soon leave. Scared by what he feels for Sūnder, Gabe can only hope his heart won’t be too broken when Sūnder returns to Chándaria.

But deceit and treachery is all around them, and when Gabe saves Sūnder’s life, it sets off a chain of events that could either tear Gabe and Sūnder apart or give them both exactly what they want.

I’m totally captivated by the fantasy world and characters of Sūnder (Darksoul #1) by Lexi Ander.  Finishing at wee morning hours, I lay there lost in the relationship of Gabe and Sūnder, the amazing resolution of the saga that had unfolded through the night hours, all the beings that I had met and fallen madly in love with and knew I was not ready to leave any of them behind.

Ander has created such a deeply layered, diverse universe for the Darksoul series.  There are a multitude of beings, hybrids, mixtures of cultures,  planets, religions, levels of soldiers, magics and technologies interwoven with history, past wrongs and current politics (galactic and racial).  That’s a lot of elements to juggle but Lexi  Ander does a remarkable job of it while keeping the tension and suspense tight and the romance between our two main characters hot and everything you love to read.

Yes, you can have a remarkable foundation but without the characters, the heart of the story, you have nothing.  Here the author truly delivers.  Gabe is one that almost breaks your heart.  Abandoned by his parents inexplicably when he’s in his teens, he has but one friend in his life, Ronan, whose family took him in when his parents left.  Now grown, Ronan remains his best and perhaps only friend who helps him recover from things like his latest boyfriend breaking up with him and going off planet.   Gabe’s that endearing mixture of vulnerability, kindness, and intelligence that draws you in immediately.  Then he meets Sūnder, the faeborn with his own anguished past and pained present, one who smells sooo good, and I’m so connected to this pair that the thought never occurs to me to put down the story.

Told from Sūnder’s perspective as well as Gabe’s, you understand  what Sūnder has gone through his entire life, being on the outside, never being acknowledged for who he really is.  Like Gabe, he too carries his own family induced pain, lessened only by the love of his adoptive mother Princess Válora (adore her too).  Ander lets both Gabe and Sūnder become true partners to each other, working through and supporting each other.   It’s such a joy to read, especially with all the amazing storylines going on around them that adds to the suspense.

There’s so much more I’m not going into here. A Jade forest, Guardians, moving trees, battles…this story is a feast on every level!  I just love it so!  And there’s the promise of more.  I especially want Ronan and Akira’s story so I hope the author is listening.

If you love fantasy, run immediately get this book!  And prepare to fall in love just as I did.  It’s going right on our STRW Fantasy Rec List!

Cover art by Kirby Crow is perfect for the character and book.

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

Book Details:

ebook, 2
Published September 4th 2017 by Lexi Ander
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDarksoul #1

Release Day Blitz for Living Out Loud by Nyrae Dawn & Christina Lee (excerpt)

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Living Out Loud RDB Banner

LIVING OUT LOUD

NYRAE DAWN & CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 09.08.17

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COVER DESIGN

X-Potion Designs

https://www.facebook.com/xpotions/

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY

Wander Aguiar Photography

https://www.facebook.com/WANDER.AGUIAR.PHOTOGRAPHY/

COVER MODEL: Brook

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Ben Emerson has lived by his minister father’s rules most of his life. Born into an ultra-conservative church community, he’s finally brave enough to break free and move to San Francisco. Distancing himself certainly helps create a new mindset, but living as an openly gay man takes some getting used to. When he reaches out to Xavier, a childhood friend who lives in the city, Ben isn’t sure how he’ll respond given their thorny history. Ben hopes the familiar connection will help him right some wrongs as well as provide the solace he’s been craving.

Xavier Ramos is who he is, and he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Whether it’s eyeliner, nail polish, tattoos or his love of hooking up, he uses his body as a form of self-expression but doesn’t let anyone get too close. When Ben reenters his life, Xavier helps him experience the city and feel comfortable in his own skin. Seeing the world through Ben’s eyes, he begins to wonder if he’s also not living as freely as he thought.

When Xavier challenges Ben’s beliefs about sex, it becomes explosive—for both of them. Xavier breaks apart Ben’s sheltered world and shows him what it’s like to live out loud. The more time they spend together, the more Xavier begins to long for Ben in a different way—one that both surprises and scares him. But real life doesn’t fade into the background, so when Ben’s past comes knocking, old habits are hard to break. Testing the foundation of their deepening connection will take a trust that will either bind them…or tear them apart.

**Riley Hart writing as Nyrae Dawn

**Ben is from PAINT THE STARS and Xavier is from A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS, but LIVING OUT LOUD can be read as a complete standalone.

 

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2uG9n08

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EXCERPT

“Get your ass down here.” He frowns and I pat the floor beside me. “I’m serious, B. Get your ass down here. You can take it off when I’m done if you don’t like it. How do you know if something’s your style if you’ve never done it?”

I blow on my fingernails trying to get them to dry. Ben doesn’t move right away, but then he slides down to the floor beside me.

My pulse kicks up a notch. I don’t know why I want this so much for him.

He puts his hand on the table and I paint the first nail.

“I feel stupid,” he tells me.

“Do you think I look stupid with it?”

“Hell no. You look hot but—”

“But nothing. Be quiet and let me work.”

He chuckles. “You’re bossy.”

“You ain’t seen nothing yet,” I reply before getting back to work on his nails. His fingers are long, thicker than mine. His hands are beat up from his work, rough and abused with little scratches on them. “I can’t wait till you can touch me. I love rough hands.”

“Oh shit,” he says with a thickness to his voice that tells me he’s getting turned on again.

I finish the first hand before saying, “Now, the other.” He sets that hand on the table, but I grab it, suck one of his fingers into my mouth, even though I hadn’t planned to touch him again tonight.

“Fuck, Xavier,” he says and his eyes roll back in a way that really gets me hard.

“Good?”

“Yes.”

“You’re trembling,” I tell him as his hand gently shakes.

“That’s because I’m really turned on right now.”

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

 Nyrae Dawn

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 Nyrae Dawn can almost always be found with a book in her hand or an open document on her laptop. She couldn’t live without books—reading or writing them. Oh, and chocolate. She’s slightly addicted.

She gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feels something, but is able to laugh too. She’s a proud romantic, who has a soft spot for flawed characters, who make mistakes, but also have big hearts.

Whether she’s writing young adult, new adult, or adult you can always count on a healthy dose of romance from her books. She likes to tackle tough subjects, and believes everyone needs to see themselves in the stories they read.

Nyrae is living her very own happily ever after in California with her gorgeous husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two incredibly awesome kids.

Facebook

 https://www.facebook.com/nyraedawnwrites/?fref=ts

Website

http://www.rileyhartwrites.com/p/home.html?zx=48696725e5833865

Blog

http://www.rileyhartwrites.com/index.html

Twitter: @NyraeDawn

 Christina Lee

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 Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’ve been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn’t until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I’m addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristinaLee

Twitter:

 http://twitter.com/Christina_Lee04

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal for His Dark Reflection (Heart and Haven #3) by Heloise West (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: His Dark Reflection
Author: Heloise West
Series: Heart and Haven #3
Release Date: September 12th 2017
Genre: Gay Romance, mystery

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Disgraced FBI agent Nick Truman has failed to save his sister, held hostage by a drug cartel until he could give them Alex Crow, who eluded him. His epic downfall lands him in witness protection, where he plays by the rules and keeps to himself. But the murder of his neighbor brings danger to his door. He unexpectedly finds himself the champion of innocents and helplessly attracted to the homicide detective in charge of the case.

This can’t end well.

Homicide Detective Hank Axelrod is good at digging out secrets, maybe because he hides a big one of his own. He also suspects his husband has one foot out of the door of their marriage and the specter of single life looms unpleasantly on the horizon.

A murder resembling another brings Nick into his world, a man who claims to be a mystery writer looking for a real life resource. Hank’s instincts say he’s more than that, and he’s rarely wrong.

Torn between the errant soon-to-be-ex husband and the distracting, sexy stranger, Hank needs to focus all his attention on his murder case before he becomes the next victim.

Pre-Order: Loose ID

Find Heart and Haven series on Goodreads

EXCERPT

It was different when he’d wanted information from Nick. Hank wanted to confide in Nick, like with the partner he used to have before he got stuck with Burgess. Like Nick knew what he was talking about—could be trusted.

“Are you a cop?”

Nick touched his fingers to his mouth. He must have needed a cigarette, if the telltale scent of tobacco was any indication. “I answered that one already. Nope.”

That nope was annoying. “Fed? PI? Security?” Hank threw out a few more. “Reporter? Work for the criminal court?”

“I drive limos,” Nick said with a languid shrug. Glancing over his shoulder at the impatient date, he held up two fingers.

“Oh, a fan, are you? Watch CSI, NCIS—a lookie-loo?”

By the tightening of his mouth into a sneer, that pissed Nick off. “I’m no cop wannabe. I don’t watch the idiot box.”

Well, shit. The pain in Nick St. Cloud’s brown eyes was real. Deep. Hank gave him a minute to recover, watching him rub his wrists, then naked arms. It gave Hank a thrill, as if he could feel the man’s heated skin on his own.

“Don’t be a bastard, Detective.”

“Well? I can run a background check on you in a heartbeat.”

Nick tried to hide it, but a flare of panic made his pupils dilate. “And if I say I’m not that extremely guilty guy who hangs around helping the know-nothing cops, you’ll believe me?”

“You’re something. What is it, I wonder?”

Don’t tease the cat, Hank.

“Okay.” A bead of sweat dripped past a pale white scar at his hairline, the only imperfection Hank could see. “I’m a writer, not a journalist. I mean, I’m a mystery writer.”

“Published?”

“Nope, not yet. So maybe you can be a resource, you know? I can do a ride-along with you or something.” Nick looked away, back toward Probably and gave him a nod. Probably picked up his sweater from the back of the chair and stood.

“Sure,” Hank agreed.

“Wait, what—really?”

Hank held still a moment, beer glass halfway to his mouth, unsure what he was seeing in Nick’s intelligent eyes. Hope? Excitement? Fear? “We can talk about procedure—I’ve got some good stories. But I don’t know about the ride-along at this point. My partner’s a prick.”

“But we can meet…and talk.” Nick stood and dug into his pocket for his wallet.

“I’ve got this.” Hank waved it away. “You want the book to be accurate, right? It’s good PR too.”

Nick’s smile curled Hank’s toes.

“On me next time. We can meet here or wherever.” Nick hovered, as if Hank had held out something sweet to him, and he was afraid to take it.

Probably cleared his throat loudly.

“Have a good night, Nick,” Hank said. “We’ll talk. You have my number.”

What did you just do?

Giveaway: Win 3 x His Dark Reflection ebooks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

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Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of thirteen years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Links: Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads

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