A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: The Keeper by Kiernan Kelly

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

After millennia of hiding in the shadows, the creatures of myth known collectively as the “Others” have stepped forward into the light of day and demanded the right to share the planet humans long ago claimed as their exclusive territory. But the humans have no intention of surrendering without a fight—one that will include genocide. The Others are given no choice but to be ready to defend themselves, and they convene a Council of War to plan their strategy.

But first they must address an ancient and terrifying prophecy: “Heed me well, all of you. Attack the humans without the Keeper and you will fail. Every one of you will become nothing but a memory, a myth, and the humans will truly inherit the earth.”

The Council charges Liam, son of the Sidhe chieftain, with the critical mission to find the elusive Keeper necessary to their survival, but his quest is complicated by the need to find a Keeper determined not to be found.

Marin is an Atlantean who values his privacy, but with the fate of the world at stake, he understands his days of living under the radar are over. Even worse, he must face his past to fight for his future. The last thing he expects is to fall in love along the way.

I loved the idea behind “The Keeper”. There are plenty of books with romances between humans and fantasy creatures, or between two fantasy creatures of the same species. But it’s rare to find books where members of two different fantasy races fall in love. There are a few stories with vampires and shifters falling in love, but I’ve never read a love story with a Sidhe and a Merman.

The romance was a little too insta-love for my tastes. Marin and Liam barely know each other before they fall head over heels in love. Of course Marin shared his deepest memories with Liam and was able to read Liam’s thoughts and memories. Still, the undying love was just a bit too fast for me. I really missed the slow getting-to-know-each-other part and I never quite felt the connection between the two.

I liked that there are so many different fantasy species in this book. I would’ve loved to know even more about them, but the worldbuilding fell a bit flat. We get a decent insight into the lives of the Sidhe and the Atlanteans, but never really find out more about the other species. A real shame.

The beginning was the best part of the book to me. I loved how Marin interacted with the two super cute dolphin girls. It was absolutely adorable and made me like Marin right away.

What really bothered me was the way the characters talked. They switched randomly between old-fashioned and stilted and modern and casual. It was quite jarring.

The whole plot felt a little shallow and rushed. There were so many schemes going on and so many characters were introduced but nothing got any real depth. Maybe there’ll be more explanations in a sequel. The ending certainly left the potential for a follow-up.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was good but not great. A little more depth and a few more pages wouldn’t have hurt, though. The idea behind it was interesting and uncommon. If there ever is a sequel, I am definitely interested in finding out what’s gonna happen next.

The cover by Paul Richmond is really pretty. I like it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 200 pages
Published October 2nd 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 1st 2014)
ISBN139781635335767
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Read My Mind (Under the Empire #1) by Kelly Haworth

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Reading someone’s mind won’t always tell you what they want.

Scott Kensington lives happily without magic; prayer is all he needs to worship the gods. Then he starts his studies at the University of Frannesburg, and not only is he suddenly surrounded by eccentrics—those gifted with magic—but his own latent ability begins to surface, with consequences that could tear his soul and family apart.

Nick Barns is grieving for his lost mother and desperate for distraction—usually in the form of limited-edition action figures. As a telekinetic, he’s no stranger to magic, so he offers to help Scott adjust to his new powers. They quickly learn how their magics interact, their shared passions soon growing beyond superheroes and immortals. But Nick’s not taking his studies seriously, and his father threatens to pull him from the university. Overwhelmed by his own crumbling family, Scott’s convinced he can’t handle a relationship, but he doesn’t want to let Nick go.

With grief, guilt, and magic complicating everything between Nick and Scott, it seems that not even the gods—or a new comic book—can save their relationship now. Sometimes, even reading someone’s mind won’t help you understand what they want.

Kelly Haworth has packed Read My Mind with many interesting elements and laid the foundation for a universe that’s waiting for some major drama to unfold.  She has created some great young characters, given them background that I believe people can connect with, along with developing talents that make their lives and story more exciting.  Plus a romance and a religion that seems to flow into popular culture via comic books and collectibles which I found intriguing.  But somehow  with all that it just didn’t take off.

Maybe because I kept expecting some major drama to happen because of all the heavy hints thrown about The Empire and the drafting of certain gifted young people.  But that never came to fruition.  There  was drama going on with Nick and his father but that seemed to settle out as well towards the end as Nick sorted out his grief over his mother’s death.  Ditto Scott and the complications with his family issues.  We never really know what happens there.  Everything sort of settles out and  goes away  and the boys end up boyfriends and  on to their sophomore year in college.

And we end up with tons of exposition concerning the religion (and collectibles via Nick), almost nothing about the Empire and world history (which we could have used more of), too much imo of pulling Nick back into the religious side.  Unless this is going to play a huge part of things in the future, which it never really did here, this could have been elevated to be more powerful and cut down.  Either way, it’s sort of a  left down narrative wise.  However, it made his boyfriend happy, so there’s that.

There was your typical teenage first time relationship dynamics, family stress and paranormal talents thrown on top which was handled nicely if with too much verbiage and density.  Here less would have been more.  I would image that book two picks up during the sophomore year in college and hopefully more drama and information about The Empire is forthcoming.  I’m interested enough to check out the second installment.

Cover by: Natasha Snow works for the story and is lovely.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 294 pages
Published October 2nd 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626496255
SeriesUnder the Empire #1

An Alisa Pre-Release Review: Finding Home by Garrett Leigh

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

How do you find a home when your heart is in ashes?

 

With their mum dead and their father on remand for her murder, Leo Hendry and his little sister, Lila, have nothing in the world but each other. Broken and burned, they’re thrust into the foster care system. Leo shields Lila from the fake families and forced affection, until the Poulton household is the only place left to go.

 

Charlie de Sousa is used to other kids passing through the Poulton home, but there’s never been anyone like his new foster brother. Leo’s physical injuries are plain to see, but it’s the pain in his eyes that draws Charlie in the most.

 

Day by day, they grow closer, but the darkness inside Leo consumes him. He rejects his foster parents, and when Charlie gets into trouble, Leo’s attempt to protect him turns violent. When Leo loses control, no one can reach him—except Charlie. He desperately needs a family—a home—and only Charlie can show him the way.

 

This was a story that called to me despite it not being my usual genre.  Charlie is definitely a good kid and he wants to make things better for his new foster brother.  Leo is a good kid hidden underneath the surface, he has had to have a strong skin and push others away so long but Charlie quietly gets through his barriers and he doesn’t know what to do about it,

 

Leo has had to live his life in fear of being hurt or protecting his little sister from their father.  This has caused him to grow up in ways a kid never should have to.  Charlie found his home with the Poultons and hopes that Leo and Lila may be able to also.

 

This story was wonderfully written and I was able to see the characters feelings and emotions well.  It’s heartbreaking to see Leo wanting to reach out to someone but not knowing how to and then feeling that he needs to push others away.  I loved Charlie’s nurturing nature and how he uses it to calm Leo’s demons.  I loved that Leo was able to confront his past in a way that finally gave him some closure and the strength to start building a new life.  I love the HFN ending that gave us a great view of their progress in their relationship with each other and the family.

 

Cover art by G.D. Leigh is absolutely perfect for this story.

 

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: October 9, 2017 by Riptide Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62649-601-9

Edition Language: English

A Lila Review: Prophecy (The King and Alpha #1) by A.E. Via

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

 

An Enemies to Lovers
Shifter, Vampire True Mates story.

Justice Volkov is the youngest Alpha Zenith to ever lead the wolf shifters. Following in his father’s large paw prints was a responsibility he met head on. Now at age thirty-three, he is alpha of the alphas. As a direct descendant of the original Siberian pack, his wolf is bigger and stronger than Justice, himself is sometimes able to control.

His wolf howled long and hard but Justice kept it inside. It felt like a bass drum beating against his rib cage. The harsh breaths, angry snarls and the determined pacing inside him was overtaking him.

Justice takes his role of leadership and his legacy very seriously. He has little time for romance, not to mention a true mate. His packs are his priority. With a human government trying to regulate them, an uprising of rogue shifters, and a violent team of scientists trying to experiment on them, Justice has his hands way too full.

Chadwick ‘Wick’ Bentley is not enthusiastic when the captain of his escort tells him he has to leave his comfortable London home and go back to the States. As the Vampire King, he has no choice but to get his species back in line before they cause anymore chaos. At over one-hundred years old, Wick is no one to trifle with, but his smooth, charismatic manner makes him quite unique, despite the negative reputation vampires have. Wick has had nothing but time up to this point. He doesn’t feel the need to make issues pressing. Nothing is urgent in his life. Until he meets Justice. His beloved.

“Natural enemies can’t be mates.” Or so Justice thought. He knows his skepticism and rejection is hurting his mate, so while he fights their connection, Wick gets help from a source very close to Justice to help him win his beloved’s heart. Wick is a force all on his own, but when he’s blessed with a special gift from the Mother herself, not even Justice’s powerful wolf can prevent the prophesy from being fulfilled.

 

Prophesy is a different type of fated mates and paranormal tropes. The relationship between vampires and werewolves is also different. As well, as how human perceive them. Some traditional elements like vampires staying away from the sun, and werewolves sense of smell are present, but the author did a good job mixing them with her own point of view.

 

I like the way Justice and Wick met for the first time. I wish their trepidation had been a little longer, but it worked. Their relationship is a very slow burn, but the enemies-to-lovers part moves pretty fast. They do take the time to know each other, and in the end, it helps them to bring their worlds together.

 

This book is character driven. The plot line is minimal, mostly, an introduction to all the characters and fractions. It’s not as action pack and her previous books, but there’s enough to keep you reading. Some parts were a bit slow and the world-built took a big part of the story. I enjoyed the details, but I wanted a bit more of a plot.

 

There’s still a lot more to come in this series. I’m hoping to learn more about this world and the new couples. The potential is there and the story is interesting enough to let the reader wanting more.

 

The author’s writing style still evident on the take-action alpha male characters. Overall, it’s a nice start to a series.

 

The cover by Jay Aheer have Justice and Wick. It also gives the reader a small window into their origins.

 

Sale Links: Amazon | Smashwords | Nook

 

Book Details:

 

ebook, 294 pages
Published: September 23, 2017, by Via Star Wings Books
ISBN: 9781370354856
Edition Language: English

 

Series: The King & Alpha
Book #1: Prophesy

Review Tour and Giveaway for Prophecy (The King and Alpha #1) by A.E. Via

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PROPHESY

by A.E. Via
The King & Alpha, #1
Publication Date: September 23, 2017
Genres: Adult, M/M, Romance, Paranormal

BUY NOW

SYNOPSIS:

An Enemies to Lovers
Shifter, Vampire True Mates story.

Justice Volkov is the youngest Alpha Zenith to ever lead the wolf shifters. Following in his father’s large paw prints was a responsibility he met head on. Now at age thirty-three, he is alpha of the alphas. As a direct descendant of the original Siberian pack, his wolf is bigger and stronger than Justice, himself is sometimes able to control. 

“His wolf howled long and hard but Justice kept it inside. It felt like a bass drum beating against his rib cage. The harsh breaths, angry snarls and the determined pacing inside him was overtaking him. All the while… his mate kept calling.”

Justice takes his role of leadership and his legacy very seriously. He has little time for romance, not to mention a true mate. His packs are his priority. With a human government trying to regulate them, an uprising of rogue shifters, and a violent team of scientists trying to experiment on them, Justice has his hands way too full. 

Chadwick ‘Wick’ Bentley is not enthusiastic when the captain of his escort tells him he has to leave his comfortable London home and go back to the States. As the Vampire King, he has no choice but to get his species back in line before they cause anymore chaos. At over two-hundred years old, Wick is no one to trifle with, but his smooth, charismatic manner makes him quite unique, despite the negative reputation vampires have. Wick has had nothing but time up to this point. He doesn’t feel the need to make issues pressing. Nothing is urgent in his life. Until he meets Justice. His beloved.

“Natural enemies can’t be mates.” Or so Justice thought. He knows his skepticism and rejection is hurting his mate, so while he fights their connection, Wick gets help from a source very close to Justice to help him win his beloved’s heart. Wick is a force all on his own, but when he’s blessed with a special gift from the Mother herself, not even Justice’s powerful wolf can prevent the prophesy from being fulfilled. 

This story DOES NOT contain/mention MPREG. 
No multiple pairings. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has an HEA. 

Warning: This book is MM paranormal: If you DO NOT like hot, alpha men shifting into large wolves, or vampires feeding from their mates, this may not be your read.

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ABOUT A.E. VIA

A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for four years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of LGBTQ Romance for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.

A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Stories that often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring with different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for MM romance and has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

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BOOK BLAST for Sweet Thing by Isobel Starling (NSFW Excerpt)

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BOOK BLAST: OCTOBER 2 – 4

Book Title:  Sweet Thing

Author: Isobel Starling

Publisher:  Self Published

Book Release Date: September 8

Cover Artist: Isobel Starling

Length: Words: 83k words/No. of Pages: 237 pages

Genre:  Contemporary M/M Romance

Blurb

French male model Simeon Duchamp has a lot of explaining to do.
Two years after a breakdown Simeon is off drugs and booze and wants to stay that way.
On his road to reclaiming his life and modeling career, Sim first needs to apologize to the man he hurt the most -his ex-best friend and object of his unrequited affection Pieter Bayer. Pieter now has a long-term partner, artist Emily Raven, with whom he shares a baby son. Sim is amazed when Pieter accepts his apology, and invites him into his family.

Closeness to Pieter sees Simeon’s longing for his friend is rekindled. But then, when Simeon meets an attractive older man, Bastian Roth at an Art Exhibition, he realizes that there is a soul more broken than his, and Simeon feels compelled to help. Simeon’s connection with the troubled Bastian Roth turns his world upside down. He has to decide whether to allow himself to fall for the man who wants him or pine for the man he can never have.

***THIS BOOK CAN BE READ AS A STANDALONE***

Please note: This story contains graphic descriptions of gay sex.

Buy Links 

Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads Link

 Excerpt (NSFW)

After three months as a patient at the Phoenix Clinic, the mask Simeon had worn of hedonistic, outrageous model dissolved with the drugs and alcohol that were purged from his system.  His camp, party boy façade hid a quieter, more introspective, sensitive young man—a man who felt everything too keenly, loved too deeply and could not cope with the pain of loss and rejection.

Sober for the first time since his late teens, Simeon was as fragile as a fledgling, bewildered by the colors, scents, and sounds of the big wide world.  He was unsure who the man that returned his stare in the bathroom mirror was.  Who was Simeon Duchamp without his mask, without the crutches of alcohol and drugs to give him the confidence to get through each day?

A gentle knock on the bedroom door startled Simeon from his introspection.  He looked away from the window toward the door to see his favorite young male nurse, Karl poke his head in.

“Your last session with Dr. Schroeder is in twenty minutes”, he informed. “One for the road?”  Karl’s brows waggled provocatively.  Simeon’s lips slid to a salacious smile.

“Lock the door.” he directed, swiftly moving to the bed.  Karl stepped into the room and as instructed he locked the door.  Simeon began by removing his t-shirt and then unbuttoning and sliding out of his jeans.  Karl kicked his soft soled white Croc clogs off, and the thin nurse’s uniform of white trousers and tunic shirt were discarded in seconds.  Simeon stood, his eyes appraising the slender, boyish form of the twenty-eight-year-old nurse.  Karl had offered a pleasing aside from the trauma of therapy.  He was Simeon’s type—blonde, blue-eyed, eager to please, and deliciously well-hung.  Karl approached and pulled Simeon into a deep, messy kiss.

At six foot, Simeon was taller than Karl’s five-foot-six, but what Karl lacked in height, he certainly made up for with his cock.  Simeon longed to devour all ten inches one last time before he left the clinic.  He ran his fingers through short-cropped blonde hair, his hard-on brushing urgently against Karl’s.  He then dragged the naked nurse to lie prone on the hospital bed.  Karl chuckled throatily.  Simeon clambered onto the bed, and long, willowy legs straddled his conquest so they were in the sixty-nine position, the head of his own erection directed at Karl’s willing mouth.

Sim took the man’s thickened, stout, uncut cock in hand and stroked, retracting the sheath of gossamer foreskin over the engorged head, and marveling at why Mother Nature had seen fit to bestow such a monster cock on such a slight man.  He smiled to himself and then directed the plump glans between his parted wet lips.  As much as Simeon would have loved to make a meal out of it, there was no time to play.  Simeon hummed with satisfaction, taking Karl down into his throat, the cock filling him to near gagging point.  Sim drew off, relaxed his muscles, and went back for more, working the cock between his lips like a porn star.  His self-esteem may have hit rock bottom, but with a dick in his mouth, there was at least one thing Simeon was sure he was still good at!

Karl offered preparatory licks and kisses to Simeon’s shaft before opening his warm, pliant mouth and swallowing him down.  The two young men writhed and rocked on the hospital bed, hands caressing desperately.

Simeon was enjoying the suction Karl’s mouth offered; his eyes rolled back in his head with the pleasure of being sucked and sucking in syncopation.  Simeon paused and used some of the saliva dribbling from his mouth to moisten his fingers.  Slowly, Sim eased a wet finger into Karl’s asshole and hooked up seeking his prostate.  The young man beneath him bucked and moaned, thrusting up into Simeon’s mouth, while nearly gagging on Sim’s cock.

When he had regained his faculties, Karl mirrored Sim’s action, giving Simeon the same intimate attention with his probing fingers.

They both pressed into each other’s holes, and their hips matched an undulating rhythm.  Fingers massaged deep inside, drawing mutual fevered moans of pleasure.  Simeon almost forgot he was still officially a patient in a Rehab Clinic until minutes later, when he and Karl spilled in warm bitter pulses down each other’s throats.

After a moment to catch their breaths, and final sensual kisses of thanks, both men dressed hurriedly.

“I cannot not be absent for too long.  I told the head nurse I was going for a bathroom break.” Karl admitted.  He made to leave the room, pausing only to blow a kiss to the effette young man with long dark hair sitting on the disheveled bed, licking the last of Karl’s spill from his lips.

Ten minutes later Karl returned.  “Dr. Schroeder is ready for you now Mr. Duchamp, and your car has arrived.”  He announced formally.

“Thank you, Karl; I’ll be out in a minute,” Simeon replied his soft camp French timbre sounding a little breathless as he rushed around packing the last of his belongings.  Karl nodded.

“And thank you for all of your… assistance during my stay Karl”, Sim added with a mischievous flash of his eyes and a grin.

“I wish you all the best with your continued recovery, Mr. Duchamp.”  Karl quirked a knowing smile and blew a kiss before closing the door.

©Isobel Starling 2017

 

About the Author

Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.

Isobel is currently working on her fifteenth book.  The Shatterproof Bond series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller and is being translated into French with Juno Publications, German with Deadsoft Verlag, and Italian with Quixote Edizioni.  The series is also available as audiobooks, narrated by Gary Furlong.

“Sweet Thing” will be translated into French by Rienes-Beaux Publishing, and Italian by Quixote Edizioni.

 

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website 

Facebook

Twitter  

Goodreads  

Amazon Author Page

 

BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

October 2

The Way She ReadsTangents and Tissues

Millsy Loves BooksThe Blogger Girls

MJ’s Book Blog and ReviewsWe Three Queens,  Lily G Blunt

October 3

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents,  

MM Book Escape

Love Unchained Book Reviews, 

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author,  

Beautiful Book Corner, 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  

October 4

Zipper Rippers, A Book Lover’s Dream Book Blog

Megan’s Media Melange

Dirty Books Obsession,  Books Laid Bare Boys

October 23

Drops of Ink  

 

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