A MelanieM Review: Junkyard Heart (Porthkennack #7) by Garrett Leigh

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Tired of the London rat race and the heartbreak that comes with it, photographer Jas Manning returns to Porthkennack, the Cornish seaside town where he spent every childhood summer on his father’s farm. Resigned to year-round rain, wind, and homemade jam, he’s sorely unprepared for the impact that artsy carpenter Kim Penrose has on his heart.

Kim’s free-loving reputation precedes him, and he’s as generous with his inked-up body as he is with his time. The sex is hot, the easy friendship even better, and Jas’s time with him building his family’s new farmhouse canteen is everything Jas was missing in his empty city life.

But Kim’s carefree existence isn’t as simple as it appears. He’s worked hard to vanquish his demons and build his dreams, but the devil on his shoulder is ruthless, and when it comes to call, their happy bubble bursts like it was never there at all. The canteen opening looms, but Kim is gone in more ways than one, and it’s down to Jas to shore up Kim’s soul and convince him that he deserves his place in Jas’s heart.

Kim Penrose makes his first appearance in House of Cards (Porthkennack#4) where Kim and Lena, his gf, with their open relationship and “all that free love and stuff” worked in Brix Luxmoore’s tattoo shop.  A damaged soul, even in that story Kim made quite an impression.  So much so that you wanted to know more about him, his breakup with Lena, and see him get a love that would last.

In Junkyard Heart, a perfect title and expression for the tumult of emotions inside of this fragile, addicted man, we get Kim, his story, and Jas Manning, a photographer who will be the one to understand and love him if  he can first gently work through the obstacles and mini minefields that lays in the path to a relationship and love.

Understanding Kim in many ways is like traveling a labyrinth, Kim’s an addict who’s worked hard on his recovery.  Issues of trust, honesty, and the ability to understand Kim is essential in the path forward.  Plus it works both ways, Kim has to trust Jas too with his heart.  Garrett Leigh understands these men and the author’s ability to write them in such a way that they breathe, and are such viable human beings that can cut into your heart with their situations and pain is credit to her skills.  There’s no huge drama that unfolds here other than that of two men trying to work out  how to mesh their lives into each others because it’s exactly what feels right and true.

Which brings me to the one element that threw me  here.  That is  Lena, also known as “Red”, Kim’s former partner/gf who left him for a woman she’s now serious about.  She returns and there’s a brief M/M/F sex scene which on one level I got because of the characters bisexuality and her importance to Kim.  But it never flowed for me.  Instead for some reason it felt jarring and intrusive, the exact opposite of what the author intended.  Another mention later in the story had the exact same effect….like a bucket of cold water on the men, it froze the narrative if only for a moment and not in a good way.

Junkyard Heart is another strong story in the Porthkennack series.  I adore this entire collection and each addition makes this old Welsh village a more alive and complete place in my mind and heart.  I certainly recommend it,  plus the  one I mentioned House of Cards.  Start with that and get to know intimately this small village and it’s incredible group of characters.

C0ver art by G.D. Leigh is wonderful and perfect for the character.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 192 pages
Expected publication: December 4th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN13 9781626495487
Edition Language
English Series

An Alisa Release Day Review: Angel 1089 (Heaven Corp. #1) by C.C. Bridges

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

 

A deal with the devil….

 

Gabriel 1089 is an angel—an enhanced and cybernetically modified human designed to protect the city in the sky called Heaven. He follows Heaven’s orders and fights its enemies. But when an attack by demons leaves him trapped on the earth below, missing both a metal wing and his network-enabled halo, he’s cut off from his home for good and at the mercy of one man.

 

Jeff Werth is used to demons in need of his mechanical expertise showing up on the doorstep of the junkyard he runs in Old Trent. However, he doesn’t expect to be stuck with an injured angel. Jeff owes the demons for saving his daughter’s life, so he does what they demand—he nurses the angel back to health and keeps close track of him as a possible pawn in the high-stakes war between Heaven above and the demons below. But he doesn’t expect the effect Gabe has on his heart, or having to choose between his daughter and the man he’s come to love.

 

This was an interesting concept for a story, its set in the future (not really sure how far) but in some ways they are more advanced and in some less so.  Jeff has been living the last few years in dept for his daughter’s life and he isn’t willing to sacrifice anything else that may cause her harm.  Gabe has been thrown out of the only world he knew and trusts Jeff with everything he may need to learn or do in this new life.

 

Jeff is continually struggling with himself as he begins to actually learn about the man Gabe is underneath the angel reprogramming.  Gabe is thrust into a world so different from all that he knows but as his memories start to come back he isn’t sure he wants to go back to that world.

 

We get to see how both of these characters are thinking and feeling throughout this book.  Gabe is like a child in some ways right after he is injured and re-learning who he is and then deciding who he wants to be.  I could feel his confusion and heartbreak when he began to remember his life before he became an angel.  Jeff is stuck in the same circle ever since his daughter was injured he hasn’t figured out how to move on or at least move past what happened.  Gabe is there to push him to see he can forgive himself and have his own happiness.  This world is so different and intricate from now it is sometimes hard to figure out what it is like since you learn little bits and pieces as you go.

 

Cover art by L.C. Chase is nice and gives a good visual of Gabe.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: 2nd Edition, November 27, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-042-7

Edition Language: English

A Jeri Review: A Sniper’s Devotion (Cuffs, Collars and Love #5) by Christa Tomlinson

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Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Miguel has managed to get himself out of an abusive relationship and he is in need of help and who better to provide it then the very guy who protected him on the schoolyard and who Miguel always thinks of as his protector.

Hector and Miguel were close prior to Miguel’s relationship with his now ex-boyfriend. As Hector finds himself in close quarters with Miguel, a lot of those old feelings are coming up along with a whole lot of suppressed desires.

One crazy night opens a whole new can of worms. Is Hector ready to embrace his sexuality? Is Miguel ready for another relationship given how his last one ended? Is their relationship going to take off or is it doomed to fail before it even starts…

Okay, first of all, I just need to get this off my chest. That epilogue is on fire. Oh My God! It has been two days since I finished this book and the first thing that comes to mind when I sit to write this review is that epilogue. On Fire! I tell you. God it just gets me, how confident and secure Miguel is in their relationship like nothing can touch him. It is actually a pretty good indicator of how their relationship turned out and I must say it was one hell of a ride.

Friends-to-Lovers is one of my all-time favourite troops and this book just took it to another level. Miguel and Hector were such amazingly well-written characters and what I loved most about this book was that it let these two characters develop outside of their relationship as well, especially with regards to Miguel.

Miguel has just gotten out of a bad relationship and he needs to stand on his own two feet before he can commit to another relationship and I personally loved the fact that he stood up for himself every time. It was so good to see Miguel find his way back to being self-confident and independent.

I loved Hector and I have no idea why. I never paid much attention to him in the previous books and I had no special interest in Hector’s story as such, it would have been okay for me if the series ended with “An Officer’s Submission” though I will never say no to more Logan and Clay. So reading this book and liking Hector so much was a surprise. Hector is a bad-ass and I loved his character so much. I especially loved all his soul-baring conversations with Clay and Ryan and it was damn good to see the team.

Hector and Miguel always had chemistry, like off the top sizzling chemistry, so, I loved the fact that what they struggle with is not how to get in a relationship or be in it but how to get rid of their own hang-ups before they can commit to each other. Personally, I loved the book and how it plots out each characters’ journey and I especially loved where they end up.

The only reason this book is not a 5-star read is because I am docking half a star for getting me all hot and bothered and not delivering on it.

All in all an amazing book in a very amazing series.

Cover art by Melody Simmons of eBook Indie Covers. I really like the cover, it really fits the aesthetic of the series.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 268 pages
Published November 7th 2017
ASINB076GP7TDK
SeriesCuffs, Collars, and Love #4 settingHouston, Texas (United States)

Kris T. Bethke on Writing, Stories and her release ‘Hearts and Hazelnuts’ (guest blog)

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Hearts and Hazelnuts (States of Love) by Kris T. Bethke
Dreamspinner Press
Cover art by Brooke Albrecht

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to be hosting Kris T. Bethke here today on her Hearts and Hazelnuts tour.

Thanks so much for hosting me today, and I’m so glad to be here!

How much of yourself goes into a character? A little bit of me always ends up in characters, and some much more than others. Sometimes I find my peculiar speech pattern creeping in, and then leave it as a character quirk. Sometimes characters have my likes and dislikes, or feelings about a particular subject. I find it really hard to completely separate myself from my characters, though I often make a concerted effort to make my character like/do/react differently than I would.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures? There’s never been a book where I didn’t have to research something. In my newest release, which is out tomorrow, I researched extensively about hazelnut farming. I found it way more fascinating than I ever imagined, and spent a good week reading and watching everything I could get my hands on, even though not all of it made it into the book. So I really enjoy research and learning, and use it in everything. Even when I create a new world or culture, it’s always rooted in something I started out researching, then changed and evolved for my own purposes.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why? I like them both, but I find HFN more real. In fact, I think most books end with HFN. You never can know what the future will bring. So having the MCs solidly in love, and moving into the future, satisfies me deeply.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult? Yes! I was reading Harlequin romances years before it was appropriate, but I’ve always been a romantic at heart and romance makes up the bulk of my reading. When I do veer to other genres, it’s usually sci fi or paranormal, and even then, I like a romantic subplot

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going? I love the ebook format, though I will admit I resisted for years. There’s nothing like holding a book in your hand. But once I got on the ebook wagon, I was thrilled. It allows me to having thousands of titles at my fingertips without storage space issues. And they are a bit more affordable. I think it will only continue to grow. Though there are definite issues with piracy and undercutting prices, I think on the whole it’s a health market that will improve as time continues.

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part) I don’t always get to pick, but I usually get at least some input. With the ones that I get to hands on for, I mostly concern myself with the feeling of the cover. Does it convey the story within? Of course I want the models (if there are any) to look appropriate for my characters. But I focus more on the aesthetic. The cover for Hearts and Hazelnuts, for example, took a little back and forth with the artist, Brooke Albrecht. But in the end, she brought my vision to life. The rich, vibrant colors really sold it for me.

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened? I have! To be honest, if I shelve something, I rarely go back to it. But I have a release in January, Ghost of a Chance, where this exact thing happened. Several years ago, I started writing it, but put it away because it just wasn’t working. A year ago, I pulled it out, dusted it off, reworked some things, and the story flowed from there. It’s even better than the original idea, and I love it.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write? All of these things, really. I write to escape, and to give my own opinions and thoughts and feelings voice. And to project hope. That, especially, I think. That in all the bad and scary going on, there is still love and the happy is still within reach. A lot of my characters are bisexual, too, which is a soapbox I get on. Bi-erasure, and the myths surrounding bi folk, really get under my skin. It hits close to home. So I like to show my bi characters finding love…and use them to educate and dispel some of those myths and fallacies.

What’s next for you as an author? I’ve got a lot coming up, as I’ve had a very productive writing year. A Timely Gift is out in December, which starts on solstice and ends on Christmas. And then in January, the first of my paranormal series releases. Ghost of a Chace is the the first in the Requiem Inc series with the Dreamspun Beyond line, with two more slated for release later next year.

Blurb:

Mechanic Jordan Hart is down on his luck, so he gladly accepts a temporary job servicing tractors at a hazelnut farm in Newberg, Oregon. He doesn’t expect to be attracted to his boss, Beckett Shaw. Still working on embracing his bisexuality, he’s reluctant to start anything, but Beckett’s gentle coaxing convinces Jordan to take a risk.

Beckett has vowed not to get involved with anyone until he can restore the Shaw Farms name as a leader in hazelnuts. But there’s no denying his interest in the shy mechanic who shows up at his door. Just as they begin to find a balance, outside forces threaten to tear them apart. Job opportunities force Jordan out of the Portland area he loves so much. But when danger comes too close to Beckett, Jordan must decide if he can follow his heart to the Willamette Valley… and straight back to Beckett.

About the Author

Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long.  An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head.  She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project.  Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time.  A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures.  She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head.  She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.

Find her on her site https://kristbethke.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-T-Bethke/100014524539852 or on Twitter https://twitter.com/kristbethke

Release Blitz for Not Just For Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 48,000 words approx
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

Ben has Christmas, cats, and mistletoe on his side…. Jason doesn’t stand a chance


For Ben Slater, moving back to Bristol means being closer to his family, living with his best mate, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there’s also Jason, his best mate’s eldest brother. Ben’s had a crush on Jason for as long as he can remember, but the eleven-year age gap has always seemed insurmountable.


Jason Armitage works as a vet at his uncle’s practice. He owns a cute cottage on the outskirts of the city, and a loving dog. The one thing missing is someone to share it all with. His brother’s best friend seems a bad choice, but Jason can’t help taking a second look. Ben’s changed a lot since Jason last saw him; both in appearance and attitude. Gone is the shy young boy, replaced with a confident, twenty-four-year-old man.


In the run up to Christmas, the festive period gives Ben the ideal opportunity to show Jason what he has to offer. But concerns for his brother’s feelings hold Jason back. If they have any chance of making this work, Ben must convince Jason that he’s old enough to know what he wants, and Jason needs to believe that a relationship with his brother’s best friend won’t ruin their friendship.

Excerpt


Ben tried not to look, but inevitably his gaze was drawn to Jason still sat on the sofa. He stood as Pete stepped back, and Ben got a proper look at him. Ben wasn’t the only one who’d changed a little over the past couple of years. The last time he’d seen Jason, his hair had been short, like an army cut, and he’d had a beard. He’d looked hot then, but now…. Ben had to forcibly shut his mouth so he didn’t gape.

Jason’s thick dark hair, still shaved at the sides, was now a good couple of inches longer on top. And he was clean shaven. Ben kind of missed the beard, but without it Jason looked much younger, and his strong jawline was a thing of beauty. He looked thinner, too. Ben frowned because Jason ate like a horse and had always been bulkier than his brothers. That thought somehow made its way out of Ben’s mouth.

“Have you lost weight?”

Jason laughed softly, one hand immediately going to his stomach. He patted his belly and sighed. “God don’t you start. Mum’s already been on at me about not eating properly.” He pulled Ben in for a quick hug. “It’s good to see you, even if you do put the rest of us to shame.”

Oh God, that voice. As smooth and deep as Ben remembered.

 
Author Bio
 

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it – fighting enemies and adversity – but they always find love in the end.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website: www.annabellejacobs.com
Email: ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction

Giveaway

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In the Spotlight: The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish (Riptide Publishing 2017 Charity Bundle Tour and Giveaway)

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The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
Riptide Publishing

 Read an Excerpt/Buy it here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Riptide Publishing’s 2017 Holiday Charity Collection Tour.

About The Remaking of Corbin Wale

Last month, Alex Barrow’s whole life imploded—partner, home, job, all gone in forty-eight hours. But sometimes when everything falls apart, better things appear almost like magic. Now, he’s back in his Michigan hometown, finally opening the bakery he’s always dreamed of. But the pleasure of opening day is nothing compared to the lonely and beautiful man who bewitches Alex before he even orders.

Corbin Wale is a weirdo. At least, that’s what he’s heard his whole life. He knows he’s often in a fantasy world, but the things he feels are very real. And so is the reason why he can never, ever be with Alex Barrow. Even if Alex is everything he’s always fantasized about. Even if maybe, just maybe, Corbin is Alex’s fantasy too.

When Corbin begins working at the bakery, he and Alex can’t deny their connection any longer. As the holiday season works its magic, Alex yearns for the man who seems out of reach. But to be with Alex, Corbin will have to challenge every truth he’s ever known. If his holiday risk pays off, two men from different worlds will get the love they’ve always longed for.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

About the 2017 Holiday Charity Collection

20% of all proceeds from this title will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.

Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity. Twenty percent of the proceeds from this year’s collection will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.

The Russian LGBT network was founded in April 2006. It is an interregional, non-governmental human rights organization that promotes equal rights and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. They unite and develop regional initiatives, advocacy groups (at both national and international levels), and provide social and legal services.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: https://lgbtnet.org/en.

This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories:

Cecilia Tan, Watch Point

Roan Parrish, The Remaking of Corbin Wale

Katie Porter, Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Buy all three in the collection and save!

 

About Roan Parrish

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.

Connect with Roan:

Website

Newsletter

FB group

Twitter

Instagram

Bookbub

Amazon

Goodreads

Giveaway

  • To celebrate the release of The Remaking of Corbin Wale, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 2, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!