A MelanieM Review: Cinnamon Eyes by Nell Iris

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Cory’s had a rough year struggling with severe depression. He’s desperate to rebuild his shattered life and break away from his demanding family. When his therapist encourages him to do something for himself, he knows exactly what he needs. I want to see Asher again. The best friend Corey ever had who, at fifteen, held Cory’s heart in his hands without knowing it.

Asher’s had a troubled relationship with his father since he came out. Now that Pops is sick, he’s fighting for his right to help or even find out about his father’s health. Then there’s the complication of an ex-boyfriend unwilling to let go.

When Cory and Asher meet again after sixteen years, Cory’s feelings are as strong as ever. But does Asher feel the same?

Cinnamon Eyes by Nell Iris is a sweet, heartwarming romance that I totally enjoyed.  Nell Iris is an author I wasn’t really familiar with but I fell in love with her characters and the manner in which she pulled me into their lives and romance.

Both Cory and Asher are men damaged after parting after young kids, a separation neither has recovered from, even after all these years apart.  For Cory, it’s been the crushing pressure and emotional abuse of his cold family that crushed him and sent him into therapy. It’s also found Cory running back to the small town where he left his heart and childhood friend years ago.

Told from alternating points of view, we get an intimate window into what it feel’s like to have an anxiety attack and have depression be a large factor in your life.  The author does a believable, sympathetic handling of Cory’s issues and let’s us connect with him easily from the moment we meet him.  We want Cory to have his HEA and get the shivers when he meets up with Asher once more.

Sixteen years later and I still would have recognized him anywhere. The hair was as unruly as ever, and just as rock ‘n’ roll as his voice. The jawline so sharp he could probably cut glass with it. And the nose was still a little too big for his face.

I couldn’t see his green eyes from here, but I remembered them vividly. The pale color of a leaf newly broken out of its bud in spring, was such a stark contrast to his black eyelashes and olive complexion and had always hypnotized me with their beauty.

When he started singing, his voice pulled me out of my initial shock.

Two best friends
Like no one had ever seen before
Always together
happy and troublesome and wild
Sharing scraped knees
and high flying dreams
Carefree as the clouds in the sky
The boy with laughing cinnamon eyes
And I

The scene goes on and yes, the tears are rolling down my face and I’m so in love with these men and I don’t even know the whole story yet.

Of course life hasn’t been easy for Asher either.  His character is just as layered, just as hurt, injured by people close to him and events he had no control over.  Yet, he’s still in love with the one that left all those years ago.

But even with a reunion, nothing is easy.  Watching Asher and Cory come back together, like melody and lyrics that flow effortlessly along, is a story that I just sunk into.  I forgot about everything but their relationship, and hoping they could make it work.  The author’s writing is smooth, her storytelling is wildly romantic while still being real, and the ending is everything you will want it to be.

Cover art is perfect for the story and characters.  I just loved it.

Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 12th 2017 by JMS Books
ISBN139781634864404

A Caryn Review: Midlife Crisis by Audra North

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I’m so happy to have discovered her.  The book was everything I hoped it would be, and then some.

There is something so special about finding love when you’re older – whether you’ve lost a partner, or never had one, it always, to me anyway, feels like getting more than you thought you could expect.  I think when we’re young, there is a part of us that feels life owes us true love, but by the time we hit middle age, we realize life doesn’t really work that way, and finding it then is a true gift.  Which is why I love these older men!

Cam McGhee is 54 years old, and has left his home town of Bitter, Texas, for basically the first time in his life.  Bitter is an all-black farming town that’s existed for generations.  The community has learned to survive the Southern racism surrounding it by being self-sufficient, trusting and relying on each other, which has always meant behaving within a certain set of unspoken rules.  Following those rules kept them safe, and if it restricted the denizen’s freedom a little bit, well, it was worth it.  Cam grew up in this town of very conservative ideals, and though he knew he was gay from the time he was a young teenager, he also knew that he couldn’t ever admit it and still be accepted.  He started dating LaVerne in high school as a cover, but with small town expectations being what they were, he ended up marrying her, having two children, and staying with her faithfully until she died.  He left his successful feed and grain business in Bitter in his son’s hands, and moved to Austin, Texas, for 6 months, where he hoped to finally experience life as a gay man, at least temporarily, before he buried it all again and moved back to Bitter.

Cam met Dave Montoya at a coffee shop.  Cam had no idea how to approach a man, and his shyness was almost crippling, but Dave made things easy for him.  Dave is a successful, independent man from Connecticut who found his home in Austin, and who has lived his entire life as an out gay man.  Dave had his own reasons for not wanting to jump into casual hookups, and so moving slowly with Cam was natural and easy.  Almost without realizing it was happening, and certainly not intending for it to happen, they fell in love.  Which would have been wonderful, but Cam’s stay in Austin had an expiration date.

The story is told with alternating scenes from Cam’s present in Austin, and flashbacks to his life in Bitter.  I know flashbacks get a bad rap, but in this case, they were the perfect vehicle to show the stark differences between who Cam was, and who he wanted to be, and why he struggled so hard to reconcile these parts of himself.  As Cam and Dave meet and start dating, the story flashed back to Cam and LaVerne’s meeting, and Cam’s conscious decision to use LaVerne as a beard.  When Cam kissed Dave for the first time, he inevitably compared his physical response – as amazing as he’d always hoped kissing a man would be – to his sexual life with LaVerne.  As he started falling in love with Dave, Cam thought of the love he had for LaVerne – platonic, but strong despite the continual guilt he felt for not loving her the way a man should love his wife.  Cam was faithful, generous, and had a strong sense of responsibility and duty – attributes which kept him in Bitter for over 50 years, and when he saw the opportunity to have a different type of life with Dave, he still struggled with the choice:  could he stay in Austin with the man he loved, and life the life he’d always wanted, when doing so meant abandoning his friends and family in Bitter?

Another aspect of the book that I really appreciated was that racism was not front and center.  While it certainly made Bitter into the community it was (and what an interesting choice of name for the town!), once Cam came to Austin, he was just another man, not primarily a man of color.  There was a lot more homophobia mentioned than racism, but again, Dave’s friends and family showed Cam that homophobia wasn’t ubiquitous, and a full life as an out gay man was indeed possible.

Very highly recommended!

Cover art by LC Chase is perfect for the book

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 205 pages
Published August 28th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626496453

An Alisa Review : Beast of a Time (Hellhound Bound #1) by Misha Paige

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

 

Everyone’s heard stories or songs about being a beast of burden. Well, it’s quite a burden to be a beast, too.

 

Kane isn’t like most people: he’s not human, for one thing. What he is, is exceptional.

 

An event from his past led him to stay on Earth, a planet of people that were often scared and hostile to his kind. Even so, Kane ignored all the hateful things said to him and focused instead on the job he chose to do.

 

That job is everything to him, and it’s his reason for living. When one man shows up—Al, a new hire who keeps smiling at Kane when he should be looking at him with fear and distaste—Kane is faced with a challenge he never expected. He didn’t think anyone would ever truly want him, and to discover that a very sexy, handsome man does indeed want him, shakes Kane to his core.

 

Despite Kane’s best attempt’s at keeping distance between them, he finds himself partnered with Al. Kane knows he needs to push Al away, and he tries. Sort of.

 

Al isn’t scared off like Kane’s former partners, and if he and Kane can survive the fight that’s coming for them, then maybe they’ll have a chance to discover what it means to love.

 

This was a great story and I loved it.  Kane has been helping humans for years and no matter how much he proves himself they continue to be mean or not give him any respect.  All Al want to do is be a good partner to Kane and pay him back for when he was a child.

 

Even though this story is told through Kane’s eye it is easy to see Al’s determination to be a good partner and to his indifference to Kane’s moods.  When Kane accepts Al he knows it goes far deeper than even he thinks Al could know but it seems that Al has the same commitment to him even if he isn’t a hound.  I enjoyed the mystery in this story and how Kane put himself on the line to protect those around him even when they are being jerks and trying to keep him from doing his job.  I am really looking forward to reading more in this series.

 

The cover art by Beany Sparks is great and eye catching.

 

Sales Links: Amazon | B&N  

 

Book Details:

ebook, 82 pages

Published: August 10, 2017 by Rainbow Ninja Press

Edition Language: English

Series: Hellhound Bound #1

Shira Anthony on Paranormal Romances and her new release ‘Finder’s Keeper (Heart’s Gate #1)’ (giveaway and tour)

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Finder’s Keeper (Heart’s Gate #1) by Shira Anthony
Dreamspinner Press
a Dreamspun Beyond Title
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Buy Links: Dreamspinner PressAmazon  | Kobo Barnes & Noble

♥︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Shira Anthony here again.  Shira is here talking about her latest release,Finder’s Keeper (Heart’s Gate #1).  Welcome, Shira!

✒︎

Shira Anthony’s Finder’s Keeper

Thank you Melanie and company, for hosting this stop on the Finder’s Keeper blog tour! Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for a chance to win a unisex red agate fox pendant I’ll be giving away at the end of the tour.

Finder’s Keeper is my first novel in the brand new Dreamspun Beyond line of contemporary paranormal stories that are romance-forward in the tradition of the old category romances from Harlequin and Mills & Boon. Finder’s Keeper is the sweet story of a half-human, half-fox spirit named Kit who guards a gate between the human and spirit worlds and Zane Mayer, an engineer who inherits the old gothic brownstone where the Gate is hidden.

Zane is a twin. His sister, Ren, owns a store in North Carolina dedicated to spirituality and the occult. She reads Tarot and constantly worries that something is going to happen to Zane. Zane, on the other hand, is infinitely practical. I guess that makes sense, since he’s an engineer. He doesn’t believe in Tarot, although he humors his sister when she makes dire predictions about what’s in store for him. But things change, and Zane begins to wonder if he’s imagining things or if maybe Ren isn’t so out there.

When Zane arrives in Cleveland to start his new job and move into the brownstone his second cousin left to him, strange things begin to happen. The strangest of all is the house itself. It’s perfect. Even though the photos he saw of the place show it falling apart, when he moves in, he finds all the appliances are brand new, everything’s been perfectly renovated, and the place is spotless. Even more surprising? The place comes with an adorable ginger caretaker, who introduces himself over an amazing breakfast that makes Zane’s mouth water. Kit seems to know all about Zane, which may seem weird, but Kit is so sweet and genuine, Zane soon finds himself falling in lust, at least.

Bit by bit, Zane comes to understand that there’s an entirely different world—the spirit world—that exists alongside our own human one. Zane comes to know the spirit world through Kit’s eyes. What he learns holds the key to his future and to Kit’s. Will Kit and Zane bridge the gap between them and find common ground? You’ll find out if you read Finder’s Keeper!

To enter for a chance to win the beautiful fox pendant? 1) at each stop on the Finder’s Keeper blog tour answer a question in the comments, and 2) claim your entry on the Rafflecopter here: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf0ba94917/

So I mentioned that Kit is an amazing cook. With that in mind, here’s the question you need to answer before you claim your Rafflecopter entry: What is your favorite breakfast? I love cheese blintzes with cherry topping. Put your answer in the comments, then go to Rafflecopter and enter yourself! Good luck! -Shira

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Blurb

 The truth might ruin his dreams—or make them come true.

When Zane moves into an old gothic brownstone, he discovers the house comes equipped with a caretaker—Kit, who lives in the basement. Zane is immediately drawn to the charming and attractive Kit. But Kit is much more than he seems. He is a two-hundred-year-old half-human, half–red-fox spirit who guards a Gate between the mortal and spirit worlds—a fact Zane should recognize, but doesn’t.

Orphaned at a young age, Zane never learned he comes from a long line of mystical Keepers. Kit needs Zane’s help to protect the Gate, but how can he tell Zane of his legacy when that will crush Zane’s dreams of traveling the world? If he takes up the mantle, Zane will be bound to the Gate, unable to leave it. But when Zane realizes Kit’s true nature, and his own, he’ll have to make a choice—fight to protect Kit and the Gate, or deny his destiny and any chance of a future with Kit.

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About Shira

 Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, i Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle. You can hear Shira singing “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca by clicking here: Shira’s Singing

Shira loves a great happily-ever-after and never writes a story without one. She’s happy to write what her muse tells her, whether it’s fantasy, sci fi, paranormal, or contemporary romance. She particularly loves writing series, because she thinks of her characters as old friends and she wants to visit them even after their stories are told.

In real life, Shira sang professionally for 14 years, and she currently works as a public sector attorney advocating for children. She’s happy to have made writing her second full-time job, even if it means she rarely has time to watch TV or go to the movies. Shira writes about the things she knows and loves, whether it’s music and musicians, the ocean, or the places she’s lived or traveled to. She spent her middle school years living in France, and tries to visit as often as she can.

Shira and her husband spend as many weekends as they can aboard their 35′ catamaran sailboat, Land’s Zen, at the Carolina Coast. Not only has sailing inspired her to write about pirates and mermen, her sailboat is her favorite place to write. And although the only mermen she’s found to date are in her own imagination, she keeps a sharp lookout for them when she’s on the water.

Giveaway

 

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Book Blitz for Knight of Sherwood (Outlaw’s Legacy #2) by N.B. Dixon (excerpt and giveaway)

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KnightOfSherwood_BlitzBanner

Title: Knight of Sherwood

Series: Outlaw’s Legacy, Book 2

Author: N.B. Dixon

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: September 14, 2017

Romance Genre(s): Historical, LGBT

Words: 145,000

View on Goodreads

About the Book

Blurb

KnightOfSherwood

Robin returns to England after four years fighting in the holy land. On arriving at Locksley, he discovers that Guy of Gisborne, his most hated enemy, has been made Sheriff of Nottingham. Forced to flee into Sherwood, Robin sets himself up as champion of the poor.

But Robin has a secret. His feelings for his friend Will Scathelock have deepened, but to acknowledge the truth would mean facing up to his past. Meanwhile Lady Marian Fitzwalter, heiress to the vast Huntingdon estate is determined to claim Robin for her own.

Excerpt

The assassin made his way through the British army camp as if he belonged there. The once-pristine white cloth of his Crusaders surcoat was a dirty greyish brown, courtesy of the desert. The red cross emblazoned on the chest identified him as one of them—a Christian doing God’s sacred work in ridding the Holy Land of the infidel. It was all so easy. They were complacent, these English.

He had over fifty successful kills to his credit. He relished the hunt, the closing in on his unsuspecting prey. The harder the challenge, the more he liked it. Man or woman, young or old, Christian or Saracen, it made no difference to him.

His employer had promised him a considerable sum for the despatching of his enemy, a nobleman by the name of Robin of Locksley. With such a fee, he might be able to retire. He had begun wondering if it was time to settle down. Of course, the thrill of the chase would call to him again. However, he could be more selective about the commissions he undertook.

Though night had fallen, the camp was still bustling. A few sentries challenged him, but he produced his token: a piece of parchment bearing the royal seal. He was a humble messenger on an errand. They were fools. It wouldn’t occur to them that he could be other than what he seemed.

At length, he came to a large tent, the flaps of which had been pulled back in an effort to let in the sultry night air, revealing several soldiers engaged in an energetic game of dice. The assassin paused in the tent entrance, his head bent, the picture of a humble servant; it took several minutes before anyone noticed him.

“Who are you after?” a bearded soldier demanded during a brief lull in the game.

The assassin bowed. “I have an urgent message for Robin of Locksley. I was told to deliver it into his own hands.” Reaching inside his tunic, he withdrew several rolls of parchment. Sorting through them, he produced one bearing the Locksley seal and held it up for examination, but the soldier barely glanced at it. Few in King Richard’s army could read, and this soldier’s mind was more on the game than the conversation.

“His tent’s over that way.” The soldier gestured. “Wolf’s head insignia. Can’t miss it.”

The assassin nodded his thanks and hurried away in the direction the soldier had indicated.

In the distance, a jackal cried, the melancholy sound a testimony to the sorrow that had seeped into the ravaged land. This region was torn apart by war. There had been tremendous losses on both sides. At least Locksley’s death would be merciful; the assassin did not believe in prolonging the suffering of his victims. Why give them time to get off a cry and perhaps summon help? He struck as swift and silent as a snake. Often his victims never even knew what happened.

The assassin spotted the tent he was looking for. It was set apart from the others, with no elaborate decoration, no guards seated outside. He’d been told Robin of Locksley was a nobleman. If so, he either wished to hide the fact or he had fallen on hard times. The assassin found himself wondering again why he had been sent to kill him. He pushed the thought away. It was not his concern. Another few hours, and he would be on a ship, bound for France, and away from this scorpion-infested land. The first thing he would do on his arrival would be to take a bath and wash every ounce of sand from his body. It got into his clothes and hair and coated his skin so that it itched constantly. If there was one thing the assassin hated, it was not being clean.

Drawing a dagger from his belt, he slit the tent flap. Once the opening was wide enough, he slipped inside.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

About N.B. Dixon

Author Bio

N.B. Dixon is an author of historical fiction. Her love for the Robin Hood legend began in a neglected corner of the school library and has continued ever since. She is a self-confessed bookworm and also a musician.

She began work on the Outlaw’s Legacy Series in 2013, and was accepted by Beaten Track Publishing in 2016. Outlaw’s Legacy is a historical series based around the Robin Hood legend. The author describes it as Exciting Historical Adventure with GLBT romance.

Connect with N.B.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Knight of Sherwood, the second novel in the Outlaw’s Legacy series, N.B. Dixon is giving away an e-copy to 3 lucky winners. For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The contest closes at midnight EST on September 29, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide.

Good luck!

Enter here.

Tour Stops

Loves Great Reads | Boys on the Brink | Up ‘Til Dawn | CelticLady’s Reviews | Abibliophobia Anonymous | Love to Read Romance Books | Behind Closed Doors | Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words | A.M. Leibowitz | The Bookworm Lodge | Bloggers from Down Under | Books, Dreams, Life | I Heart Reading | Always Love Me Some Books | Stories that Make You Smile | Making It Happen | All Things Bookaholic | MM Good Book Reviews | Happily Ever Chapter | My Fiction Nook

Tour Hosted by LoveBound Promotions

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RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: In His Majesty’s Service by Elizabeth Silver and Jenny Urban

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In His Majesty’s Service by Elizabeth Silver and Jenny Urban
Riptide Publishing
Cover art by Lou Harper

Read an Excerpt and Buy it here

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Elizabeth Silver and Jenny Urban here today on their tour for In His Majesty’s Service.

♥︎

Hi and welcome to our blog tour for In His Majesty’s Service! We’re Elizabeth Silver and Jenny Urban and we’re so excited to share the next few days with you. Join us as we talk about our writing process, our book, and how we’ve managed not to kill each other after a decade and a half of friendship. And don’t forget to enter for one of two prizes: a swag pack including a t-shirt, a bag, and a $5 Riptide gift card among other goodies; and an all new Kindle Fire 7!

About In His Majesty’s Service

Everyone in the Drion Collective knows that finding your match—the one person in existence with the same soul mark as yours—is the best thing that could ever happen. But the last thing Lord Anders Hawthorne is thinking about when he boards a ship to Drion for the king’s funeral is finding his soul mate.

Captain Zachary O’Connell has the perfect life—his ship, the stars, and no emotional entanglements. When heat sparks between him and Lord Hawthorne, Zach gleefully dives into a no-strings arrangement. He doesn’t expect it to last beyond arrival at Drion, any more than he expects trouble along the way.

Trouble quickly finds them, however, and it soon becomes clear that Lord Hawthorne is not only not who he says he is, but also that he’s the target of a deadly plot. With danger all around them, Zach and Anders must work together to save the Collective. Meanwhile, Zach must come to grips with losing everything he always thought he wanted, to have the one thing he never dreamed he needed.

Now available from Riptide Publishing

About the Authors

About Elizabeth Silver

Elizabeth Silver is a writer, a tarot reader, a Level Two Cat Lady, and an internet junkie. Her day job is terribly dull, her hobbies oddly specific and quirky, and her husband the most patient person a writer could ask for.

A New Jersey native, Liz is a proud nerd and an awkward human being. She likes to think it makes her endearing. When not writing, Liz can be found collecting tarot cards, chasing Pokemon, fighting her way out of YouTube spirals, and/or performing online searches that will probably land her on a government list somewhere someday.

Connect with Liz:

website: www.idkmybff.com

Facebook: Elizabeth Silver

Twitter: @LizSilverWrites

 

About Jenny Urban

Jenny Urban lives not too far from Las Vegas—but not too close—with two cats named after fictional wizards. She has been writing with coauthor Elizabeth Silver for nearly fifteen years, with their first book published in 2010.

When not writing or at the evil day job, she loves to sing, play the piano, read, and watch monster-hunting brothers on TV.

Connect with Jenny:

Website: www.idkmybff.com

Facebook: Jenny Urban

Twitter: @JenUrbanWrites

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of In His Majesty’s Service, one lucky winner will receive a Kindle Fire 7, and a second lucky winner will win a swag pack including a bag, a t-shirt, a $5 Riptide gift card and a collection of paper goodies!

  

Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 16, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!