A MelanieM Release Day Review: Waking the Behr (Foothills Pride #7) by Pat Henshaw

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Both Ben and Mitch think they know exactly what they want. Turns out, they don’t even know their own hearts.

Good old boy Ben has dated women his entire life, while gay nightclub owner Mitch has never considered unsophisticated country boys his type. But after they start hanging out, the small-town contractor and the urban entrepreneur are both stunned by the electricity sparking between them.

As they step outside their comfort zones to spend time together, Mitch finds he enjoys rural car rallies, and Ben is intrigued by the upscale bars Mitch owns in San Francisco. When they share their lives and grow closer, they start to question the way they’ve always defined themselves. Then they kiss and fling open the door to love. Now they must step up and travel the road that may lead to happily ever after—even if that path isn’t one they ever expected to walk.

Waking the Behr is another cute story in The Foothills Pride series by Pat Henshaw.  Mitch O’Shea and Ben Behr meet at the remains of Thompson’s old steakhouse, a building Mitch has just bought and wants Ben’s (of Behr Construction) help to transform into a new family friendly restaurant.  They make an instant connection that Henshaw brings alive in one great scene:

So I was surprised when I opened the door to the gutted restaurant and found a giant of a man twirling Julie Andrews’style. He was grinning like a loon as the light poured over him.

That should have been laughable since he was alone, but he was kickass savoring the moment. Instead of appearing loco, he struck me as a big overgrown Peter Pan. He looked so happy, I had an urge to join him, which gave me a moment of panic because I’m not an old boy who does much dancing or cavorting–in public or in private.

“Uh, hello? Mr. O?Shea?”

When he turned toward me, my jaw dropped. I’m sure I musta looked like the village idiot.

That’s Ben’s first look at Mitch and vice versa. Boom! Connection made.

From there, Pat Henshaw treats her readers to a friends to lovers story that I just adored.  Along the way, Ben figures out that yes, he’s attracted to men too which means that Ben is probably bisexual.  There was a whole momentarily “damn am I turning gay?” which made me wonder what century he was in, especially since he had gay brothers he’s fond of and talks to often as he works with them.  Luckily the rest of the story redeemed that totally awkward and awful aspect (but yes, it pulled down the ratings).  I mean really Ben is in a town that’s increasingly  LGBTQ friendly and he thinks it rubs off like Shea butter? Smh!

There is no instant love here.  The timeline gets moved forward scene by scene so it’s clear that the men have moved into a friendship, gone camping, and spent considerable time together before falling in love which I liked.

Both characters come across as intelligent, warm hearted and loving.  I enjoyed their dance towards romance and a HEA.  I also love that we get to see other characters from previous stories play minor roles here.  It’s nice to see them again.

At 88 pages, this is a quick read (as are all the stories).  I’ve given up hoping to see longer versions here.  But it’s such a nice series that even the short romances are a great way to spend some time.  I recommend them to those who love to read contemporary romances.

Cover Artist: AngstyG.  I really like the covers for this series and this one specifically.  Great job.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 88 pages
Expected publication: September 20th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781635339161
Edition Language English

A Lila Review: By Fairy Means or Foul: A Starfig Investigations Novel by Meghan Maslow

Standard
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The last thing half-dragon, half-fairy private investigator Twig Starfig wants to do is retrieve a stolen enchanted horn from a treacherous fae, but there’s no denying the dazzlingly gorgeous unicorn who asks Twig to do just that. Literally, no denying, because compelling the reluctant detective is all part of a unicorn’s seductive magic.

To add to his woes, Twig is saddled with the unicorn’s cheeky indentured servant, Quinn Broomsparkle. Dragons are supposed to want to eat humans, but Twig’s half-dragon side only wants to gobble up Quinn in a more . . . personal way. Making matters worse, it’s obvious the smokin’ hot but untrustworthy sidekick is hiding something. Something big. And not what’s in his trousers. In the PI business, that means trouble with a capital Q.

Throw in gads of zombies, a creepy ghost pirate ship, a malfunctioning magic carpet, and Twig’s overbearing fairy father’s demands to live up to the illustrious Starfig name. Naturally, an old but abiding enemy chooses this time to resurface, too. Those inconveniences Twig can handle. The realization he’s falling for a human who isn’t free to return his affections and whose life may hang on the success of his latest case?

By Fairy Means or Foul was a nice surprise. I don’t read fantasy often, but the blurb for this story sounded interesting, and the author delivered. This isn’t your typical story. The mix of humor and dark moments make the story fun, and inviting.

Yes, the story is over the top but it goes with the characters, the settings, and the plot. Everything works together and the world-build enhances it. The author’s imagination brings to life a series of worlds within the main one that entice the reader to read one more page.

The main characters complemented each other and their differences help them in their journey. Quinn’s and Twig’s relationship is slow coming and their enemy-to-lovers arc is well written. Perhaps, a little less information would have made this story great.

The cover by Lou Harper fits the fantasy category and give us our first view of Twig and some of the worlds. .

Sale Links: Amazon

ebook, 280 pages
Published: September 29, 2017, by Meghan Maslow
ASIN: B074M4WNTV
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Would it be Okay to Love You? (Would It Be Okay to Love You? #1) by Amy Tasukada

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A robot fanboy. An erotic voice actor. When love comes calling, will they shed their armor?

Sato’s only long-term relationship is the one he shares with his Gundam collectibles. He dreams about the kind of unconditional love his parents enjoy. If only he could break out of his shell, he might find his special someone…

Outgoing playboy Aoi has sworn off relationships. He knows they only distract him from his budding voice acting career. He’s earned a few loyal fans, and if he keeps at it, he may even earn enough to never worry about being evicted again…

When Sato meets Aoi at the local anime store, there’s definitely a spark. But even as they tread carefully, their commitment issues and Aoi’s troubled past soon muck things up before they can start. In order for Sato and Aoi to have their happily-ever-after, they’ll both have to take a leap of faith… and hope to be caught.

Would It Be Okay to Love You? is the first book in a gay romance series set in Japan. If you like original characters, nerd culture, and simmering chemistry, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s charming multicultural love story.

Buy Would it Be Okay to Love You? to get your own love collectible today!

Would it be Okay to Love You? (Would It Be Okay to Love You? #1) by Amy Tasukada is a sweet gentle romance set in Japan.  Readers familiar with Yaoi or Boy’s Love manga will recognize that Amy Tasukada loves this form of fiction and in a way pays  homage to it with this lovely series and story.

I’m a fan of this author whose tales are often located in Japan, both historical and contemporary.  Her knowledge and love of the culture and people is as much a part of her stories as are the plots, they enhance them even as they are supplying an amazing foundation for her characters and world building.

Here Tasukada gives us Sato, shy nerd accountant at a anime studio and Aoi, a voice actor just becoming popular who meet at an anime store.  Between them, they have raised enough walls that it will take time for them to work their way to the relationship they want and need.  I loved that Sato goes with his family to the shrine and makes a wish for romance.  It’s sweet and so innocent in a way.  Plus a great contrast to Aoi, who is scrambling just to make ends meet and is much more street wise.

If you’ve read the author’s stories, then you know this is a slow-burn romance accompanied by terrific scenes that inform you about Tokyo and clubbing.  Here’s an example:

They strolled to the karaoke club. Sato rambled on about more aspects of his job. It wasn’t the most thrilling conversation, but the way Sato?s eyes glistened with light when he talked about numbers had its charm.

White walls with neon lights greeted them as they entered the karaoke club. Vinyl decals of classic anime characters reached from floor to ceiling. There was no doubt they were in Akihabara, the geek epicenter of Tokyo. If they ran through the offered songs, more than half would be anime songs from the past decade. Although, if Aoi really had to admit to himself, he was probably as nerdy about boys’ love as Sato was with Gundam robots. They both belonged in Akihabara.

The receptionist handed them microphones and escorted them to their room. A white sofa lined the decaled back wall, and a thick binder of songs sat on a table. The room was small, but two people didn’t need anything bigger.

What follows is a funny, charming scene where Sato and Aoi listen to CDs and sing karaoke.  I ending up just smiling and laughing along with them, totally won over.  I had also learned something new about going out in the Akihabara!

If you love romance, here is one to check out.  It’s a quick read, it has characters that you will easily connect with and a romance to root for.  I loved it.

Cover art is perfect for the characters and story.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, 152 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Macarons & Tea Publishing
ISBN139780997865363
Series Would It Be Okay to Love You? #1

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: I Heart Boston Terriers by Rick R. Reed

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

A sweet little snippet about love for a dog who needs a second chance and for a man who needs one as well.  In honor of the author’s Boston Terrier, Lily, who is well known to those of us who follow his social media, Mr. Reed has created a darling love story sure to whet the appetite of those who love MM romance and those who love their pups. 

Aaron accompanied his sister to the pet store to buy supplies for her cat and they both fell in love with a timid little Boston Terrier who was quaking in fear in her cage.  Aaron also caught the attention of the handsome guy who was volunteering with the Humane Society and between the two positive forces—man and beast—he was toast.  Even though he’s with his sister because his relationship broke up, and he’s virtually homeless and jobless, that cute guy did indeed catch his attention.

When he brings the dog home, her fear keeps her under his sister’s bed and out of Aaron’s arms.  Thankfully, whether appropriate or not, the good-looking volunteer calls him to see how Mavis the dog is doing, and one thing leads to another, and before you know it, the two men are out walking the dog and exploring their mutual attraction.  After a bit of trouble earlier in the day, Mavis already had two legs out the door—it seems she ate his sister’s Jimmy Choo shoes—an incredibly bad move, so a walk seems appropriate.  As the men walk, they talk, and again one thing leads to another, and they’re caught en flagrante when his sister returns home. 

This is a very short story, but full of sweetness and possibility—both for the dog and for Aaron’s future.  The only negative for me is the behavior change in Aaron’s sister.  One day she encourages him to get the dog and insists it won’t be an issue, even though they’ll be sharing a studio apartment, and the next she’s totally against the dog and wants her returned. Granted, the shoes were a huge issue for her, but the way she continued to insist the dog be sent back seemed over-the-top.   I guess it was needed for plot flow but not my cuppa, so it kept my rating closer to a three.  On the other hand, I do think the story is well-worth reading, and I recommend it to brighten an otherwise gloomy day, especially for all dog lovers. 

~~~~

The cover by Reese Dante features two handsome men whose pictures are superimposed over a foreground picture of a Boston terrier.  The word Heart in the title is also accompanied by a heart symbol so the cover does attract attention and it clearly represents the story.   

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 54 pages
Expected publication: September 20th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published January 12th 2012)
ISBN139781634774017
Edition Language English

Review Tour for Amy Tasukada’s Would It Be Okay To Love You: Year One (Book #2)

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 41,000 words
 
Series
 
Would It Be Okay To Love You (Book #1)
Would It Be Okay To Love You: Year One (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

A robot fanboy. An erotic voice actor. When love comes calling, will they shed their armor?


Sato’s only long-term relationship is the one he shares with his Gundam collectibles. He dreams about the kind of unconditional love his parents enjoy. If only he could break out of his shell, he might find his special someone…


Outgoing playboy Aoi has sworn off relationships. He knows they only distract him from his budding voice acting career. He’s earned a few loyal fans, and if he keeps at it, he may even earn enough to never worry about being evicted again…


When Sato meets Aoi at the local anime store, there’s definitely a spark. But even as they tread carefully, their commitment issues and Aoi’s troubled past soon muck things up before they can start. In order for Sato and Aoi to have their happily-ever-after, they’ll both have to take a leap of faith… and hope to be caught.


Would It Be Okay to Love You? is the first book in a gay romance series set in Japan. If you like original characters, nerd culture, and simmering chemistry, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s charming multicultural love story.


 

Author Bio


Amy Tasukada lives in North Texas with a calico cat called OíHara. As an only child her day dreams kept her entertained, and at age ten she started to put them to paper. Since then her love of writing hasnít cease. She can be found drinking hot tea and filming Japanese street fashion hauls on her Youtube channel.


Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Website

Giveaway @

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

In Our Fantasy Spotlight: Bad Boy’s Bard (Fae Out of Water #3) by E.J. Russell (tour and giveaway)

Standard

Bad Boy’s Bard (Fae Out of Water #3) by E.J. Russell
Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Lou Harper

Read an Excerpt/Buy it here at Riptide Publishing

 

About Bad Boy’s Bard

As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is . . . well . . . there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover, Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven.

Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family—and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: he fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion—far harder to bear than two hundred years of imprisonment.

Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/bad-boys-bard

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! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/fae-out-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 Bad Boy’s Bard tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!