A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Return of the Chauffeur’s Son by Tara Lain and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This was a highly enjoyable and entertaining audiobook. In fact, I enjoyed this Tara Lain story more than any of her other stories in the past few years. I don’t know whether she changed her writing style, or whether it was simply the added boost by the narration of talented voice actor Greg Tremblay, but I simply couldn’t turn the audiobook off. I listened as often as possible, even facing teasing from my family who were surprised that I’d rather listen to the audio than to them. Imagine that!

Seriously though, this story about young Luca McGrath, a graduate chef who returns to the Napa Valley to take a position with a prestigious restaurant—while at the same time reuniting with his father and the wealthy Armstrong family for whom he works as a chauffeur—was delightful. Luca is a sweetheart, as well as being intelligent, a gifted chef, a loving son, and he’s held an unrequited love for James Armstrong ever since they were children. Even now, it doesn’t matter to Luca that James is heterosexual—he’s still stunning, sexy, and flirty with Luca—leading Luca to believe he might not be 100% straight.

In the meantime, James’s older brother, Dylan, is equally stunning, but quieter, more introspective, more of the tycoon-type businessman, and better able to hide his feelings for Luca. He’s out to prove James is not really interested in Luca, and yet he wants to protect Luca’s feelings. There are also complications related to James’s upcoming marriage to a woman whose company is about to merge with the Armstrong family holdings and a messy breakup will mess up the merger plans.

And to make matters even more complex, Luca becomes unintentionally involved in intrigue involving a local food contest that is the highlight of the local cuisine industry. Unknown to him, he’s set up to take the fall for theft of a recipe from his boss’s competitor, and when that happens, he throws in the towel and escapes back to New York. He’s done with all the Armstrongs, and with the Napa Valley as a whole. Will Dylan let him stay in New York, or will the strong-willed, quiet man finally take a risk and tell Luca how he feels?

Honestly, this is a very enjoyable story. It’s fast-paced and full of both intrigue and handsome men. There’s also lots of romance and loving—for family and for potential life partners. And Greg Tremblay brings it all to life. Each character has his—or her—own unique voice, adding to the listener’s pleasure. I definitely recommend this to lovers of contemporary MM romance and most definitely recommend it in audio format. Kudos to Ms. Lain and Mr. Tremblay!


The cover by Reese Dante is bright and attractive, featuring a close-up of young, fresh-faced Luca and a darker figure in business suit in the background—most definitely representing Dylan.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio
Published September 28th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 2nd 2017)
Original TitleReturn of the Chauffeur’s Son
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Ali Release Day Review: Tender Mercies (Men of Lancaster County #2) by Eli Easton

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Eddie Graber’s dream of a sanctuary for rescued farm animals was about to come true when his partner backed out at the last minute. Now Eddie risks losing the twenty-five acre property in Lancaster County—and all the hopes he held for it—before the project even gets off the ground. He needs help, he needs money, but most importantly, he needs to rediscover the belief in a higher purpose that brought him here in the first place.

Samuel Miller worked hard to fit into his Amish community despite his club foot. But when his father learns Samuel is gay, he is whipped and shunned. With just a few hundred dollars to his name, Samuel responds to an ad for a farmhand and finds himself employed by a city guy who has strange ideas about animals, no clue how to run his small farm, and a gentle heart.

Samuel isn’t the only lost soul to serendipitously find his way to Meadow Lake Farm. There’s Fred and Ginger, two cows who’d been living in a garage, a gang of sheep, and a little black pig named Benedict who might be the key to life, love, money—and even a happily ever after for two castoffs.
This book was a jem.  A touching story about good people trying to make the world a better place.  The story starts with a bit of heartache as we see Samuel shunned from his community.  He ends up in a homeless shelter and that leads him to seeking a job with Eddie.  Samuel was a fantastic character in my opinion.  I loved everything about him.  I thought the author did a great job writing his character and she created one of those characters that makes the reader swoon.
Once Samuel and Eddie started working together the rescue begins to come together.  Being a big animal person myself I was  over joyed in all the scenes about the rescue.  Some of the animals themselves were written almost like side characters which I found delightful.  I thought the overall plot was really unique and I enjoyed it a lot.
The romance was a slow burn and they’re not physical until at least the 50% mark of the story.  I liked that about it and in fact would rather see an author take the time to build two character’s relationship rather than go down the instant love/sex type plot.  By the time these two finally kissed I was more than ready for it to happy and it was a beautiful moment in their love story.
 This title is set in the same region as book #1 but features a new couple. It can be read as a stand-alone.  If you’ve read the first book you will notice a cameo by the couple from the first book.  
Overall I found this to be a really well written story.  It had a unique plot and great characters and it’s one I would definitely recommend.
The cover artist for this book was Brooke Albrecht.  I liked this cover a lot and I think it’s very striking.  It also ties in very nicely to the first book in the series.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 216 pages
Expected publication: October 27th 2017 by Dreamspinner
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Men of Lancaster County #2
setting Pennsylvania (United States)

Z. Allora on Writing, Future Stories and her latest release The Librarian’s Rake (excerpt and giveaways)

The Librarian’s Rake by Z. Allora
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Allora Z. here today on her tour for The Librarian’s Rake.  Welcome, Allora.



Greetings! Thank you, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for the opportunity to share information about my new book The Librarian’s Rake with your readers.                  

To celebrate the release of The Librarian’s Rake I’ll be giving away 3 e-books of Secured and Free, (Book #2 of Entwined Dreams) and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner Press. Details below.

 ~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Allora Z ~

  • What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

Um… yeah. Every single time. It started in With Wings my very first novel. I wrote a shared Fleshlight scene… and well from then on, every book I can point to something rather wild the characters engage in.

I think sexual exploration is part of character development and sheds light on the relationship the couple, triad or foursome has. Though we should keep in mind, one character’s wildness is another’s vanilla dream. In The Librarian’s Rake, my librarian is super uptight about sex and can’t imagine trying new things… so for him to have sex in the library is beyond his most wicked fantasies. Here’s a bit of his yumminess.

Excerpt from The Librarian’s Rake:

Phillip slid back a few inches, then thrust forward. “You’re so fucking hot. Getting fucked among your books. So dirty.”

“Oh, God!” It was. Filthy. And he loved being bent over in between two bookshelves while Phillip… took him.

“We’re in the romance section.” Phillip started reading titles as he edged his way in and out. “The Duke’s Ruse. Untamed Heart. The Librarian’s Rake. Hey, I bet that’s not about garden tools. Mmmm, I’ll be your rake.”

  • Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

I’ve never written drunk but while jetlagged. LOL My lack of sleep and the disorientation of travel puts me in an altered state. So, if I write when jetlagged it feels like someone else wrote the words. Though I learned writing sex scenes while jetlagged puts me in the mood for a bit of exercise (nudge, nudge, wink, wink >>> FYI: sex is good to fight jetlag) but those scenes usually need to be rewritten because they are usually super choppy.

  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write (& publish) to promote equality and acceptance. I believe with every page we turn in LBGTQIA romance our understanding of gender, orientation, love, and humanity increase. I try to explore the edges and variations within any label that makes its way into my story. I want to emphasize the unique beauty in all of us and remind everyone there’s not just one way of expressing/experiencing something. I want to give information and understanding through my characters and plots which can translate into acceptance beyond the pages of a romance.

And I will admit there are times I also write to escape the terror and misery our world forces on us. We’ve enough sadness which is why my email is Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com. In my writing, there will always be a happily ever after and usually quite a few happy endings getting there.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I’m hoping to share more of my overseas experiences. More sexy zombies, some hot rockers, possibly a couple contemporary novellas, and definitely some more BDSM.

The Librarian’s Rake Blurb

Opposites might attract, but is acting on that attraction wise?

Librarian Tristan Cooper can’t steer clear of sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy Phillip—the man is hot—but Phillip is bound to and quiet, bookish Tristan boring, like all Tristan’s boyfriends. Tristan yearns to explore his wild side, the part of himself he’s only allowed into his fantasies, and maybe rakish Phillip is just what he needs to feel free.

Sexperienced hairdresser Phillip is more of a believer in happy endings than happily ever after. Experience has taught him not to hope for more— until he meets sweet, vulnerable Tristan, who seems genuinely interested in his heart. But Phillip can’t trust enough to see himself as a man Tristan might want for more than a night.

With the help of a pair of matchmaking grandfathers, Tristan and Phillip might and the courage to step beyond their comfort zones and discover what has been missing from their lives….

Buy Link:


To enter the giveaway tell us what you want to read or write next. Winners will be contacted Nov 8th.

Hugs, Z. Allora


Z. Allora believes in happily ever after for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.

To contact Z. Allora:

E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com

FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora

Review Tour and Giveaway for VL Locey’s Improper Fraction


Cover Design: Reverie Design

Length: 68,690 words


O’Malley Ramsey, math aficionado, grew up next door to Garrison Rook, All-American athlete. While O’Malley dreamed of numbers and kissing Garrison, Garrison’s tastes ran to home runs and hot chicks. During a family celebration the night before both young men were heading off for college, O’Malley joyously discovers that Garrison isn’t quite as straight as the star athlete had been pretending to be. Vows to return to each other quickly followed a few clumsy kisses in the old treehouse in the Rook’s backyard.

O’Malley came home to Garrison. Garrison never returned to O’Malley.

Four years later, the two ex-friends meet up at a summer camp where O’Malley is serving as a counselor. Garrison is desperate to make things right with his childhood friend, but can O’Malley, still nursing the pain and mistrust of Garrison’s betrayal, ever forgive or love Garrison again?


Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Word’s Review here.  We highly recommend it!


October 18 – BooksLaidBareBoys, Diverse Reader, Au Boudoir Ecarlate
October 20 – Xtreme Delusions, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings
October 23 – Gay Media Reviews, Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books
October 25 – My Fiction Nook, Nautical Star Books, Lelyana’s Book Blog
October 27 – Bayou Book Junkie, Making It Happen, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, OMG Reads, MM Good Book Reviews, Wicked Reads

Author Bio

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey steers.
When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.Website


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BOOK BLAST – Blackbird Fly Home (Doyle Global Securities #1) by Kendel Duncan (excerpt)


Title: Blackbird Fly Home

(Doyle Global Securities #1)

Author: Kendel Duncan

Genre: M/M Romance

Release Date: September 19 2017

Cover Design: Dare Press Editing

Photographer: Dan Skinner


Sometimes life will surprise you

Sometimes it will disappoint you

Sometimes it will kick you in the balls

Sometimes it will make you so happy you feel like you can fly

And sometimes, just sometimes, it will do all of those things.

The kick in the balls, both literally and figuratively, happened to Noah Pierce a long time ago. Ten years to be exact, when, to cap off a brutal and horrendous four-year relationship with the man who claimed to love him, that man buried a butcher knife in his side. It was the final wound in a seemingly endless cycle of bruises, cuts, breaks, sprains and other things that sent him to the hospital. He thought he was going to die. But when he opened his eyes in that ER room and saw a stranger with kind yet determined eyes looking back at him and with his boyfriend nowhere in sight, Noah knew that life was going to change for him. And it did.

For ten years he was stronger, he was better, he was……hollow.

He didn’t realize that last part until he saw one man. One pair of haunting blue eyes beside the very man who had ruined Noah all those years ago. One pair of frightened eyes. One pair of hollow, hopeless eyes that Noah couldn’t have walked away from if he tried…..because someone else hadn’t walked away from him all those years ago.

Noah didn’t realize it at the time, but by saving Jesse Miller from the clutches of his ex, he was going to learn to fly….


Buy Links – Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK



Excerpt: “Fuck,” Noah whispered as he tucked back farther into the shadows and rubbed his hand over his face, as if he could scrub those memories away with a swipe of his hand. Like that was ever going to happen.

He should walk away. He should just fucking walk away. Walk out of this club and leave Jacob Knight behind, like he’d done ten years ago.

But he couldn’t.

Because Morgan hadn’t.

And because he knew this kid, with those blue eyes that were so striking you could see them even in the dim lights of the club, would haunt him for the rest of his life.

He pulled out his phone and dialed.

“Hey there. How are you doing? I heard the Op you did was a little intense,” Morgan said when he answered the call.

Fucking Caleb.

Noah squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath. Yeah that Op had been intense. He hadn’t been expecting that. It was supposed to be easy: pose as an escort, get fucked by the mark – Cole Gillette and place the listening device. Easy in, get laid, easy out. No problem, right? But then he’d felt Cole’s turmoil, his pain, his….the way he was so haunted by the man that he’d stared at on his TV screen while he’d fucked Noah, the man whose name Cole had called when he came in the condom in Noah’s ass: Kelly. Yeah, it’d been intense.

He chose to ignore Morgan’s comments, even though he knew the man would want to revisit them later. Time was of the essence here.

“I need your help,” he said, getting straight to the point.

He heard Morgan suck in a breath, “Anything Noah, tell me what you need.”

“I’m at Brubakers right now.”

“Brubakers, the club? Yeah, I know it. Are you drunk? Did something happen?”

“He’s here, Morgan.”

Dead silence answered him for at least half a minute. Noah had no doubt that Morgan would know exactly who Noah was talking about without saying the man’s name.

After a mumbled curse, “Has he seen you?”


“Get out, Noah. Leave by the back door if you have to but get the fuck out.”

“I can’t.”

“What? Why not?”

“He’s got someone with him, Morgan and he looks, fuck, he looks just like me,” he said, the last word coming out like a choked sob.

“You mean like a twin?”

“No, I mean like a shell, like a robot, like a dead man walking. He can’t be more than twenty-five, Morg. I can’t leave him here with him. I have to help him.”

There was a quietly growled curse from Morgan and then, “Okay, I’m on my way. But do not do anything until I get there is that understood?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“If he sees you, do not confront him. Just run. Am I clear?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Do not engage in any way, do you hear me?”

“Yes, Morgan, I’ve got it,” Noah said with an eyeroll. Like he’d ever disobey any order or request from Morgan. He and Morgan both knew that. The idea of it almost made him snort out a laugh.

“I’ll call you when I’m in my car. I should be there in about fifteen.”

“Okay, and Morgan?”



The call ended and Noah continued to watch the young man for a few minutes.

When someone tapped him on the shoulder, he gasped and jumped in his seat.

“Relax, I’m a friend of Morgan’s. I’m Jake Brubaker, this is my place. He just called me. When he asks for my help, I don’t question, I just say yes. What do you need?” he said as he gave Noah’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze.

Noah opened his mouth to say nothing but then he noticed that some of the servers were walking around with Brubakers ball caps on.

“Do you have any more of those hats?”

“Absolutely,” he said as he turned towards the bar, “Hey Amy, can you hand me a hat, please?”

The young woman ducked down behind the bar and then stuck her arm out to Jake, who grabbed the hat and handed it over to Noah.

“Anything else?”

“I don’t know yet. I might need a place to hide out for a bit.”

“My office is yours. It’s got an electronic lock on it,” he said then he told Noah the code to open it. He looked back at Noah with a raised eyebrow as he waited.

“Can you up the alcohol content on the drinks you send to that table?” Noah said as he lifted his chin towards Jacob’s table.

Jake looked over his shoulder, “Done.”

“He’s a lawyer. This could get….messy.”

Jake snorted a laugh, “Please, I was a prosecutor for ten years. I used to eat assholes like him for breakfast. Don’t worry about me or my place.”

Noah nodded to him as he pulled the hat down low over his head, “Thanks.”

“If you need anything else, just holler. I’m always around.”

Noah nodded to him again and then watched as Jake leaned over the bar to say something to the bartender and then she added more booze to the tray of drinks on the bar in front of her. One of the servers picked it up and brought it over to Jacob’s table. As they were handed out, he saw the young man next to Jacob lean in and whisper something into his ear. He watched as Jacob started to stand with him but then the other men at the table laughed and said something to Jacob that made him frown and Noah knew that they were giving him shit about not letting his boyfriend go to the bathroom by himself. He knew it because Jacob had done the same thing to him.

After listening to the other men teasing him, Jacob turned to his young man and placed his hand on his cheek. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to the young man’s ear and Noah knew that he was giving him explicit instructions to not make eye contact with anyone, not speak to anyone, to go in and piss, wash his hands and return to the table without haste. Hell, even though it had been a decade, he could almost hear Jacob’s deep voice in his own ear whispering those same commands to him and a sick feeling shivered through his body like a snake.


This was his chance, this was going to be his only chance. It was now or fucking never.

He didn’t turn his head, just let his eyes track the young man as he made his way through the crowd and to the darkened hall that led to the restrooms. Then Noah’s eyes swung back to find that Jacob was doing the same thing, his eyes glued to that dark hall like a hawk.

Fucking hell. He couldn’t slip down there now or Jacob would see him for sure. How the fuck was he going to do this? He was beginning to worry that he’d have to come up with another plan.


Luther stepped in front of Jacob and blocked his view.

“I brought backup. Go,” Morgan said as he stepped up to Noah’s table and turned to watch his husband engaging Jacob and the other men at the table in conversation.

Noah knew that Luther would keep those men occupied for a while because even though Luther Santiago was no longer in his old line of work as a mob boss, he was still a highly respected, and feared, man who could command the attention of any room that he stepped into. And he currently held the rapt attention of those six men in that booth.

Noah slid out of his corner and ducked around the wall into the dark hallway and down into the men’s restroom.

He still wasn’t sure what he was going to say when he pushed the door open and saw the young man at the urinal but he knew he had to choose the right words or the young man would be lost. Forever.

He silently closed the door behind him and took a deep breath, “I used to be you,” he said quietly.

The man’s head whipped around and the terror in his eyes broke Noah’s heart. “What?” he whispered.

“I used to be you and he nearly killed me.”

The man’s eyes went wide and Noah could see not only the fear in them but also a thousand questions. But he knew the man wouldn’t ask him a single one of them, though, because that was how Jacob had trained him. Noah knew this because Jacob had trained him the same way.

“I, I’m not supposed to talk to anyone,” he mumbled as he quickly zipped up and moved over to the sink.

“What’s your name?” Noah said as he stepped closer to the man who was mumbling to himself as he washed his hands. As Noah got closer he realized that the man was counting how many times he rubbed the soap over his hands, like Jacob had burned it into his brain that if he didn’t wash long enough he wasn’t clean. Fucking bastard.

“J-J-J-Jesse,” the kid mumbled as he resumed his counting.

Noah stepped up to Jesse’s back and reached over to close his hands over Jesse’s, causing Jesse to hiss in a breath, “Broken ribs, three broken wrists, five concussions, two broken arms, two broken ankles, and a punctured lung from when he stabbed me with a butcher knife.”

“He, he doesn’t really hit me,” he whispered.

That surprised Noah for a brief second but then he realized…. “No, but he does other things that make you feel hopeless, helpless, humiliated.”

“I, I, I m-m-make him angry. I’m bad.”

“No, Jesse. I never did anything wrong and neither did you. You don’t have to live like this. I can help you. Let me help you, please.”

Jesse’s tear-filled eyes looked at Noah in the mirror, “How?”

“Come with me, right now. I’ll take you someplace safe where he’ll never find you, I promise.”

Tears spilled over onto Jesse’s cheeks as he looked down and ran his fingers over his forearm, “Yes he will, he’ll always find me.”

As Noah’s eyes darted down to Jesse’s arm, realization hit him like a freight train, “Fucking hell, Jesse, did he put a tracking device in your arm?”

Jesse silently nodded his head.



Blackbird Teaser7

About the Author

Kendel Duncan is the pen name for author Dara Nelson. Both her Healing Hearts series (Dara Nelson) and The Black Ops Heroes series (Kendel Duncan) garner such praise as: “Ah-mazing!”, “It’s a keeper!” and “One of the best books I’ve read”

A long-time reader of the romance genre, Dara (Kendel) writes tear-jerking, sigh-inducing romance and heart-pounding, exciting erotic fiction and lives with her husband on a small farm near Tacoma, WA. You can reach her on Facebook at either of her author pages listed below

Some of her favorite authors include Riley Hart, Ella Frank, Devon McCormack, Aimee Nicole Walker, Sloane Kennedy, Dan Skinner and too many more to name.

Social Media Links

Facebook Author pages Kendel Duncan and Dara Nelson Books

Amazon Author pages – Dara Nelson and Kendel Duncan

Blog Site – Love Unchained Book Reviews




October 26

Bookaholic & Kindle REVIEW

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author REVIEW

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Tangents and Tissues

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

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October 27

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October 28

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