A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Silk (A Material World #3) by K.C. Wells

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

My favorite of the series so far, in this story—which can easily be read as a standalone, by the way—a young male escort and his older client discover much more than a surface attraction when they first down and dirty between the blue silk sheets. 

Matt Dorning is twenty-seven and works as a waiter at his parents’ restaurant. He’s also an underwear model and an escort.  Does he have to do the escort work? Well, the extra income goes a long way toward his independence in living on his own in New York City, plus he loves sex so it’s win-win in his book.  The personable biracial man has plenty of friends, a hot body, and a keen intellect.  He’s on track to take over his father’s restaurant business—something he’s looking forward to in the future when his dad is ready to step down.  But for now, he’s livin’ life and enjoying every moment, and every repeat client, and every new opportunity.

Lucas Sawyer is forty-six, a highly successful entrepreneur, and unknown to most people, suffers from social anxiety.  It’s much easier for him to hire an escort than it would be to cruise a bar for a date, and he always keeps it simple by never hiring his escort for more than one night. No strings. No regrets.  His Park Avenue apartment is secure, convenient, and comfortable and the boys he hires seem so to enjoy their time with him between his silk sheets in his oversized king bed. And then he meets Matt and all bets are off.  Matt loves his job and he’s not afraid to ask for what he wants and to be a bit bossy in the bedroom—all things that Lucas hasn’t really experienced before.  Lucas is usually the dominant in the bedroom, telling the escorts what to do and when to do it, but Matt just goes for what he wants and that includes telling Lucas what to do and when to do it.  Matt has heard of Lucas from fellow escorts and knows he’s only going to have one night so he figures why not do what he wants? As it turns out, this approach really piques Lucas’s interest and he thinks of Matt long after he’s gone. 

As they see each other again, their dynamic begins to change and they share more than sex. Matt suddenly decides to help Lucas with his anxiety by inviting him to Matt’s brother’s wedding—something Lucas normally wouldn’t enjoy but does—and the bonus is the night they get to spend sleeping together before a nice round of wakeup sex the next day.  Over time, both men acknowledge that they aren’t really escort and client any longer, but Matt faces some huge personal challenges, and without any commitment from Lucas, he’s not sure what to do.  How will Lucas feel when Matt continues to have sex with his other clients?  Is there room for each man in each other’s lives?

This was a terrific story, very different from others I’ve read that featured escorts, and I enjoyed both the writing style and the cast of characters—all well-developed and interesting characters.  My favorite was Diane, Lucas’s grandmother.  I can’t tell you how happy I was to see that she was not portrayed as a faded lily—a little old lady who was on her last leg.  I bowl every week with women in their nineties and I aspire to be like them when I grow up.  Diane can go on that list—I loved her!

I also enjoyed the dynamic between Matt and Lucas and the development of each individual character and the couple as a whole.  They took their time and it wasn’t all about sex, though I must admit there were some smokin’ hot scenes! Whew! Get the personal fans out for this one. 

In all seriousness, however, I must say that I can very easily highly recommend this MM romance to all—and especially to those who enjoy age-gap.  Twenty years here with unforgettable characters.  Don’t miss out on this one. 

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The cover by Meredith Russell features two men reclining in a bed covered with dark blue silk sheets. The older man has silver hair and the shoulder tats described in the story and he’s staring at the camera, while the younger man is obviously biracial and sound asleep.  It’s hot and delicious and perfect for this story.  Very attention-getting!

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published September 29th 2017 by Island Tales Press (first published September 2017)
ASINB0762Y7Y1J
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Material World #3

A Stella Review: Trusting Him (Bromley Brothers #1) by Laura N. Andrews

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Event coordinator Trey Bromley is the youngest of three brothers and is out and proud. The last thing he’s looking for is a man who doesn’t know what he wants. After a chance meeting with David Rossi, a security guard who has recently discovered his bisexuality, Trey begins to question exactly what he wants and how much he’s prepared to bend his own rules.

Trusting Him was a pleasurable surprise, it’s the first book I read from the author and I’m so ready for more. It’s also the first book in the Bromley Brothers series and yes I’m dying for the coming stories about the other two brothers. I adore series like this one, where the main characters I will meet in the next books are important characters in the present story I’m reading. I started to love all of them here in Trusting Him and I already know they all will deserve the perfect person beside them.

I liked Trey and David a lot, the first so outgoing and full of joy, the second so cold and reserved but it’s just a guise and then when they are near each other, sparks flied. The relationship they began  was hot and sweet, with a little misunderstanding. At the end they were well done and explained, I knew a lot about Trey and David, their pasts, their dreams and needs. And although I had just one POV (Trey’s), it was enough to me and that’s cause the author delivered an awesome novel, good writing, enough development in the plot but nothing too much.

Everything was well balanced, the main love story beautifully blends with the friends and families relationships and that’s the reason why I enjoyd and  feel to recommend Trusting Him.

The cover art by Claire Smith is lovely, I like it.

SALE LINKS  Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 178 pages

Published October 28th 2017 by Hot Tree Publishing

ASIN B074VVKFZ3

Series  Bromley Brothers #1

Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Angels and Man-Beasts by T.L. West

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

Zachary is an ordinary young gay man. He works for his father, has a crush on his straight roommate, and likes to procrastinate.

 

While visiting his aunt’s old cabin, he finds a wounded man, and the door to safety is forever closed. At first, Zachary doesn’t know what to make of the handsome stranger dressed as a knight, but he feels a connection with him.

 

Zachary’s life is turned upside down as his eyes are opened to the supernatural world. Not only must he survive dangerous man-beasts, but he is also forced to make sense of what it means to fall for an angel, and involve himself in a war between the Gods.

 

This was an interesting story, however I felt like a lot of explanations were missing from the background of the story.  Barachiel is trying to stop one of his own from starting a new war and killing innocents.  By chance Zachary helps to care for him when he is injured but he quickly leaves to complete his mission.

 

While I liked the fast paced story I just couldn’t get over the things that didn’t add up.  The man-beasts knew what Zachary was but the angels didn’t and apparently Zachary’s roommate who obviously knows about these things knows what it means too.  The ending of the story makes me hope that there will be more in the future and hopefully that will give the information that was missing.

 

Cover art by Natasha Snow is eye catching and works well for this story.

 

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 69 pages

Published: October 16, 2017 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-947904-03-3

Edition Language: English

Mark Wildyr on his historical novel Cut Hand (Cut Hand #1) (author guest blog and special excerpt)

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Cut Hand (Cut Hand #1) by Mark Wildyr

DSP Publications
Cover art by Maria Fanning
Release Date: October 31, 2017

Available for Purchase at DSP Publications | Amazon

 iBooks  and Kobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Mark Wildyr here today on his tour for Cut Hand.  Welcome, Mark.

✒︎

 

May I take a moment to thank Stella and Melanie at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for agreeing to host this guest post for my upcoming novel CUT HAND. The book blurb captures the theme and intent of my historical novel as well as anything else:

Far from the world he knows, he’ll find a home.

Among strangers, he’ll find acceptance.

And in the arms of an unexpected man, he’ll find love.

Young Billy Strobaw comes West to escape the stigma of his Tory family. In the Dakota Territories, he encounters the Yanube warrior Cut Hand. Billy’s attraction to the other man is as surprising as the Yanube perspective on same-sex love. Unlike Europeans, the Siouan tribe celebrates such unions. Billy and Cut Hand can live as partners and build a life together, which Billy agrees to do.

As Billy struggles to acclimate to a very different culture, quickly discovering the Yanube have as much to teach him as he has to impart to them, a larger struggle is brewing. The white man is barreling through the Great Plains, trampling underfoot anyone who stands in his way. As a leader of his people, Cut Hand must decide whether it will be peace or war.

In a historical romance taking place against the epic backdrop of the early American West, where a single spark can ignite a powder keg of greed, lust for power, and misunderstanding, one man must find his place in history and his role in the preservation of all he has come to value.

I have chosen a passage from well into the story (Chapter 22, in fact) to illustrate the lengths my protagonist, William Joseph Strobaw, a very honest man, feels he has to go in order to protect his adopted people from the ravages of the white man.

*****

YAWKTOWN HAD grown to the point where the city fathers saw fit to change the name to Yanube City. My friends from the old days were now men of substance, and I was about to use their influence to the full extent of my ability. Since it was late when I arrived, I took a room at the Rainbow Hotel, as the establishment was now called, and bathed in one of their new baths. Each floor had a fully equipped bath with a zinc-lined tub.

Early the next morning, I called on the land office and made certain the title to Teacher’s Mead and the one hundred sixty acres around it was correctly entered. The government surveyed some years back, permitting me to exercise my right of purchase under the 1841 Pre-Assumption Act. Now I made a bid for contiguous land. If no one contested my offer, I would own four thousand acres of land lying astride the Yanube River. I bid the minimum provided for by the compromise, virtually destroying my account at the bank. It seemed politic to pacify Banker Crozier, whose influence I would need, by agreeing he could draft most of the cost from my account with the bank at Fort Ramson. Beyond this, I had to surrender a portion of my gold and silver coins to satisfy the bid.

The most crucial part of my scheme rested with the next call. Abraham Kranzmeier, the Jewish tailor, now had four young seamstresses and two sons working for him. Despite his age, he arrived at the shop each day to inspect every stitch that went into garments made in his name. I had given him custom over the years, and we held one another in esteem. He flicked a bushy gray eyebrow when I asked to speak in private but wordlessly led me back to a room furnished like a comfortable parlor in a home. He offered a cup of expensive imperial tea with lemon and settled back to stroke his long beard and listen.

“Abraham, I come to you because if anyone in this town understands the yoke of oppression, it is you. I intend to do something not exactly proper, not for my own personal gain, but for the protection of people who will need it in the years to come.”

I paused for him to volunteer some comment. “I heard what happened to your Indian family. You come on behalf of the survivors.”

“I have a beautiful piece of ground at Teacher’s Mead. When my time comes, I want to make certain it goes to my intended heirs.”

The old man took out a crooked, elaborately carved pipe, and for one minute I thought he was going to offer it in ceremonial observation. “So you see the same future I do,” he said, settling the pipe comfortably in the corner of his mouth.

“Indians are going to become the Jews of America,” I answered. “They will be denied ownership of their own land, citizenship in their own country, and forfeit their very lives if no protection is offered. I seek to provide this protection to a few of them.”

“You want to leave them your property.”

“And my testament will not be honored unless I fix things a little. So I come to a respected member of a community with a long history of surviving hostile systems.”

“In other words, you come to an old Jew. An old Jew whose nephew, although he bears a gentile name, is the clerk for this territory. Tell me what you need.”

I wanted a record of a marriage between me and Butterfly, a woman of the Yanube band, in the spring of 1834, some two years before the actual event, and a marriage license to go with it. I wanted a record of birth and a birth certificate for William Cuthan Strobaw as issue from this marriage for any day in December 1835, plus a baptismal certificate in the Methodist Church, one of the more active in the area. The old man listened and then named a sum, explaining it was not payment to him but the cost of having the items created. I handed over some of my hoarded gold coins and asked him to expedite the process. I wanted as much time between this and my own demise as possible. Time often perfected titles.

*****

“The Indian will become the Jews of America.” Prophetic words from a wise, farseeing man. His story and that of his love, Cut Hand, make up this novel.

Since I am uncomfortable talking about me, I’ll let the Bio at the end of the novel provide the obligatory words about the author:

Mark Wildyr is an Okie by birth and New Mexican by choice who turned a childhood interest in Native American cultures into a career. His seven published novels and approximately sixty short stories detail how attitudes toward homosexuals—who once held places of honor among some of the tribes—began to change upon the coming of the white man, with his suspicion and fear of those who are “different,” ultimately becoming pariahs even among their own people as the Europeans became dominant.

Wildyr continues to be fascinated by how different people interact together to discover who they are when measured against others. He gives back to his community by teaching a free writing class at an Albuquerque community center.

The following are my contact links:

Once again, thanks Melanie and Stella. I really appreciate this opportunity. And thanks to you readers for being… readers.

Need a New Romance? Check out Reservations by Kindle Alexander (giveaway)

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Title: Reservations
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: October 30, 2017
Wildly successful entrepreneur, Thane Walker is stubbornly set in his ways. Adamantly resistant to the shackles of commitment, he’s seen enough unhappy endings to learn the best way to play is by keeping his men on the payroll. 

Levi Silva’s dream of graduating from one of the country’s top medical schools is in his grasp, until news from home changes everything. Now, he’s raising his two teenage brothers and trying to keep everyone’s head above water, emotionally and financially. 

When Levi’s new job puts him in Thane’s path, their chemistry explodes, but their fear of being involved in relationships keeps them apart. Unfortunately, despite the intense desire drawing them together, neither man can move forward until they get past their own…Reservations.



Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next!

I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it’s true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women’s hair!
Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life – I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations – regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal… I don’t want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I’m going to tell you about Kindle.

I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I’ll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died – weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn’t have to be alone.

That time in my life was terrible. It’s everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.

Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness – it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.

Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn’t a time she wasn’t there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It’s its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn’t be here today without her.

Find out more by visiting http://www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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In the Spotlight: Life on Pause by Erin McLellan (tour and giveaway)

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Life on Pause by Erin McLellan
Riptide Publishing
Cover artist: L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy it here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Erin McLellan today on her Life on Pause tour.  Welcome, Erin.

✒︎

Welcome to the Life on Pause blog tour! Follow along as I stop off at several blogs this week to learn more about this small town m/m romance, which follows a nerdy museum worker and a high school choir teacher as they watch way too much sci-fi on Netflix, wear ridiculous historical costumes, and fall in love.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a $20 Riptide Publishing gift card!

About Life on Pause

Niles Longfellow is a nerd, and not the trendy type of nerd, either. He wears a historically accurate homesteader costume to work every day, has a total of one friend, and doesn’t know how to talk to guys. So when he gets a flat tire and the hottest hipster ever stops to help him, all Niles can think is that he’s wearing his stupid cowboy getup. Normally, Niles feels invisible to other men, but he’d take that invisibility any day over Rusty Adams seeing him in suede and fringe.

Rusty moved to Bison Hills to help his sister raise her daughter, and nothing is more important to him than that. He’s also fresh off a breakup, and isn’t prepared for anything complicated. But then he meets Niles. Rusty sees Niles as more than a clumsy, insecure guy in a costume. He sees a man who is funny, quirky, and unexpected.

Nothing about their connection is simple, though, especially the lies and insecurities between them. Niles doesn’t know if he can trust Rusty with his heart, and when Rusty’s sister decides to move away, Rusty doesn’t know if he can stay behind.

Available now from Riptide Publishing

About Erin McLellan

Erin McLellan writes contemporary romance, often set in the South or Midwest—particularly Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas—with characters that are complex, good-hearted, and sometimes a little quirky. Erin likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after.

Erin has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of Oklahoma. She has always enjoyed writing, but becoming a librarian and meeting enthusiastic romance readers helped her find her own writing passion. Now Erin cheerfully writes romance with characters across the LGBTQIA spectrum. A former public librarian, she still enjoys being surrounded by books and readers, but Erin hopes to find her stories on the shelves as well.

Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska with her husband, and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows.

Connect with Erin:

Website

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Life on Pause, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 4, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Late in the Day (The Vault #2) by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Second from The Vault

Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne. The Vault. Juggling all these names would bother some, but for Darius, it’s business as usual. When he closes a chapter in his life, he leaves a name—and the people associated with it—behind. He’s managed to keep a few colleagues, even fewer friends, and no companionship through his forty-plus years… but that’s now changing.

The newest chapter of his life is bringing serious change: a stable home, a recovered identity, an unlikely family, and now a chance encounter with the one man Darius ever loved: Efrem Lahm. The reasons they parted are still valid, and there’s no way they can trust each other. But Efrem has already decided he won’t let Darius go… and Darius will have to decide if he wants to take a chance with his heart this late in the day.

I loved the first story in The Vault series, A Day Makes, so I couldn’t wait to see what the sequel would bring.  Late in the Day brings into focus a character we’ve met before in other stories,  not just A Day Makes. Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne, these are all names that Darius Hawthorne has gone by at one stage of his life or another.  In a series of flashbacks throughout the story, much like the first novel, we see the progression of events that lead up to the man Darius is when the story opens.

It’s an effective format and one that pulled me in immediately.

Mary Calmes engages her reader on many levels from the opening scene.  We’re let into a moment fraught with danger, we understand the personalities of the men involved, and the author sets out an explosive start for her tale that pulls us in emotionally and intellectually.  And then starts to explore why this event has so much impact to Darius and his future.

This author also does lovers reunited like nobody’s business.  That would include Efrem Lahm, the one man that Darius fell deeply in love with and never got over.  The  effect on the reader of these two men meeting again is so strong, so vivid it’s almost gut wrenching. I love it when an author can pull that sort of emotional response from me, making me aware of how powerful a ground shift it would be for a character to see this man again. Mary Calmes does it here…over and over.  And not just from Darius.

Along with the romance, there’s suspense, action, and, yes, humor albeit on the darkish side.  Yes, I think this book and series really has it all going for it with fascinating characters, a complicated series foundation, and outstanding cast of characters.  What this book is not is a standalone novel.  Late in the Day exists within a specific universe, that has its own framework of morality, carefully interlocking family of characters, and even other stories that can be joined to this by weaponry.  Don’t miss out on the note at the end for other stories by Mary Calmes that will connect with this one.

At the end of the novel, I was so happy that I was ready to go back to the beginning of the series and read through the two books all over again.  I can’t wait to see where the author is taking this series next.  Until then, I highly recommend you read Late in the Day if you’ve read A Day Makes, and both books if you are new to the series.  If you are a Mary Calmes fan, you are already ahead of me.

Cover art by Reese Dante is perfect for the character and makes a stunning cover.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: October 30th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635339802
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series The Vault :

A Day Makes (The Vault, #1)
Late in the Day (The Vault, #2) 

A Free Dreamer Review: A Question of Counsel (The Republic #1) by Archer Kay Leah

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Life hasn’t been easy for Aeley since she arrested her brother, and her role as a political leader leaves her feeling isolated and lonely. Days before her brother’s trial, she meets Lira, a quiet and modest scribe who makes Aeley want more than just a professional relationship. When she attends the trial and leaves with a marriage contract, Aeley doesn’t know what to do. She must choose one of two brothers, marrying into a family she doesn’t know.

Then she discovers that Lira is part of the same family-a sister to Aeley’s suitors and the family’s disgrace. And not at all opposed to an intimate relationship. Except random acts of violence against her people test Aeley’s ability as a leader, and a web of lies and deceit threaten not only her chance at happiness, but her life…

A Question of Counsel is one of my very first F/F books. I’ve never really liked books with female leads, no matter the genre, so I never thought to read a story with a lesbian couple. But my reading tastes have evolved over the years and the blurb sounded so tempting, I just had to give it a shot. And I’m glad I did.

I quite liked Aeley from the beginning. She’s a tough woman and definitely no damsel in distress, but she’s not perfect either. She drinks too much and can be a little grumpy at times. And she’s apparently not very good at flirting and courting women. She made me laugh a lot.

I loved the flirtations and courtship between Aeley and Lira. Loved the sexual tension as well. And the one explicit sex scene we get was absolutely scorching hot.

While I liked both protagonists and the romance between them, the rest of the plot fell a bit short. The beginning starts right in the middle of things and I felt like I missed a prequel or something. I’d hoped there would be more explanations as the plot moves on, but I always felt a little lost. So much happened before the beginning of the book, it just left me with a big fat question mark.

Another issue I had with this book was the world building, or rather the lack thereof. Throughout the book, I was left wondering just what genre this book was trying to be. A sort of historical AU? Fantasy? Or something completely different? It had a historical feel to it, but there’s four Goddesses and homosexual relationships are perfectly normal. It just had me completely puzzled.

So while I enjoyed the romance part of the book, the rest was just confusing. Still, I did quite enjoy the book for the most part and there’s definitely potential for an interesting sequel.

While the cover by Natasha Snow looks pretty cool, it might give the wrong impression. There is no BDSM in this book.  As long as you don’t take the blindfold too literally, it does fit the book, though.

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book details: ebook, 184 pages

Published May 27th 2015 by Less Than Three Pres

A MelanieM Review: Lavender Fields by Natalina Reis

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Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

 

Sky Heavensent, an angel of death, is charged with the collection of souls of the recently departed. Known to his peers and immediate supervisor, the archangel Gabriel, as the liability, Sky puts his heart and soul into everything he does.

When he meets Caleb Pierce, Sky is immediately smitten. The problem is Caleb is the soul he came to earth to harvest, and saving him means breaking one of the most sacred angelic directives.

Already in too deep, Sky pushes aside the consequences and follows his heart. Danger and mayhem follow, but he will do everything in his power to protect his lavender-eyed man.

Lavender Fields by Natalina Reis is one of those stories readers are going to be effusive in their praise after reading it or like me, sit back, reflecting on the jarring issues that left the story a bit well, earthbound.

It does  have some promising characters that pulled me initially into the story.   Sky Heavensent is a angel of death, but every bit of a uncoordinated, klutzy mess.  He means well but somehow he ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and causes Heaven and his superiors no end of trouble.  He wanted to be a Guardian Angel but his actions forced him into the position of Angel of Death, a nice touch.

When he goes to collect his next soul, of course,  Sky does the opposite of his chosen duty and all sorts of unfortunate things start to happen.

There is a great promise here.  Reis has something endearing characters with Sky, Caleb and his sister.  She almost makes the instant love thing work  here with the angels can fall in love with a glance explanation.  The follow up storyline with the charm of the human characters and their interaction with Sky was thoroughly enjoyable.  Even that bit with Gabriel, Sky’s frustrated and irritated superior.

However, there is another entire side plot that for me took away from the sweetness and lovely details the author had been laying out.  In this section, it’s as though Natalina Reis wasn’t sure how to handle parts of her story. We have a villain that’s weak for all the intended repercussions.  Certainly Heaven is more on top of things than this? Huge holes abound here. Plus instead of a resolution or explanations that would give the reader some form of satisfaction at the end about what happens to certain characters, we are given a “they were dealt with”.  Not once but two or three times.  That’s well, insert your adjective.  How do you not tell us  what happened to the villains here?  What were their punishments?  Nope, nada.  Only the charm of the characters saved this story from falling farther under a 3 star rating because there more even more narrative holes with that ending as well.

If you are a true lover of angels and romance, then I expect you will need to add this one to your collection.  The same goes if you are a fan of Natalina Reis.  Lavender Fields is a sweet romance if you can overlook some issues with the story and the writing and unfortunately for me, towards the end I just couldn’t.

Cover art is your typical angel sort of thing, doesn’t really stand out in the angel field.

Sales Links:   Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages
Published July 15th 2017 by Hot Tree Publishing
ISBN139781925448986

An Ali Review: The Family Eternal (Deputy Joe #5) by James Buchanan

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
When the body of a young woman is found in a burning rental cabin, Deputy Joe Peterson and newly minted Fire Inspector Kabe Varghese must learn to work together to find out who she is and why she died.

Folks will tell you that family is second only to God in Utah. But what brings strength to some can sow sorrow with others.

On a bleak winter morning, a young woman’s corpse smolders in the remains of a burned rental cabin. Clues to her identity are rarer than frozen choke-cherries in the Utah backcountry. Deputy Joe Peterson, assisted by Kabe Varghese in his first case as a fire inspector trainee, doggedly hunts for who she is and why she died. As they sink deeper into the investigation, Joe struggles with how his life is now personally and professionally intertwined with Kabe’s.

Outed, excommunicated and disciplined because of the man he found love with; the last year of Joe’s life has careened like an avalanche toward an abyss. Is doom inevitable? Or is the best chance to live surrendering to the fall?
This is a series I wish more people read.  Joe is one of the most complex and well written characters in this genre in my opinion.  This installment was another really good one.  We start it by seeing the two men working a case together.  It was great to see Kabe now in a career and doing really well for himself.  The course of this series has shown Kabe grow and come into himself and I was proud of Kabe (like he’s a real person). 
There are two aspects to the book.  There is the murder case which was super interesting.  We learned a lot about the difference between the mainstream Mormon church and the polygamist offshoots.  On a personal note, I did a lot of traveling in Utah last year and I went through the area that this series is set in.  It’s a beautiful area with really interesting people.  It made the setting of this book so much more real to me.  I could picture it all perfectly.  I felt this aspect of the book was well developed and it kept me interested from beginning till end.
The other aspect of the story is the growth of Joe and Kabe’s relationship.  I marvel at how far they’ve come over the years.  There are two aspects that I’d like to note.  One being the bdsm part.  There aren’t a lot of sex scenes but the ones that are there are intense.  I love that the author clearly shows that Kabe is a sub by choice and only in the bedroom.  In the earlier books he wasn’t submissive out of the bedroom per se but his overall life situation made for a power imbalance.  Over time and life changes the men are  now equal in power in their day to day.  I love how the author has shown the reader the development of this dynamic from book to book.
The other aspect I find interesting is Joe’s faith and how he has come to be able to have both it and his relationship with Kabe.  I’m personally not a big fan of organized religion and I don’t often read books with religious characters because in inevitably goes wrong for me.  This series is a major exception.  Joe lives by his faith and he’s a believer.  He lives it by example.  As readers we’ve watched Joe struggle with being gay in a religion that tells him it’s a sin.  He’s struggled hard over the years but it’s just lovely to watch him now.  He’s solid in not only his faith but his love for Kabe.  He sees their relationship as a the beautiful gift it is. It’s also been touching to watch Kabe, who is also against organized religion, learn to respect it’s importance to Joe.  Some of my favorite romantic scenes in the entire series happen in this book.
This book could be read as a standalone but I don’t recommend it.  The mystery works fine and you could follow the romance parts too without reading the previous books.  You would miss out on a lot of the emotion though.  If you’re already a fan of this series I think you’ll really like this one.  If you’re not, I recommend going back and starting with book one.
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Sales Links:   MLR Books | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 262 pages
Published August 18th 2017 by MLRPress (first published August 15th 2017)
Original Title The Family Eternal
ISBN13MLR1020170783
Edition Language English
Series Deputy Joe #5