A MelanieM Review: The Lion Tamer (The Sin Bin #6) by Dahlia Donovan

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

One dominant Marine.

One troubled rugby player.

The Sin Bin will never be the same.

Gray Baird’s to-do list for the year includes starting a restaurant, claiming his submissive, and keeping his nosy friends out of his business. He has his work seriously cut out for him.

Scottie Monk prides himself on bullying his way through problems—and sometimes even people. His life is spiralling out of his control, but he refuses to break. The last thing he expects is to find peace in the confines of submission.

One man will try to tame a lion.

One man will try to heal.

And both men will have to join forces to deal with a toxic family and invasive paparazzi.

Each new story in The Sin Bin series made me sure I’d found the favorite  story and couple out of all of them…and I had. Until the next one.  This pattern held true with The Lion Tamer.  Dahlia Donovan has taken a sad and sometimes unlikable character that’s been appearing in every  previous story and slowly turned him into someone I not only connected deeply with but rooted for his happiness with everything I had.  That would be Scottie Monk,  a ex rugby alcoholic with anger issues up the wazoo.  Nasty to friends, unreliable, he’s on a downward spiral that anyone familiar with his  family would recognize.  And up until the previous story, The Unexpected Santa (The Sin Bin, #5), I wasn’t sure where Dahlia Donovan was going to take or leave him.

Gray Baird, an ex Marine and transplant to the UK is both the key to Scottie’s change in path and a whole new wonderful character.  Gray wants a sea change in his life and makes it.  New career as a chef, new home, and slowly, ever so slowly, a whole new set of people that become his family, including the autistic twins that he befriended in The Unexpected Santa.  The person he also wants to include in this new life is Scottie, but Scottie has to want to change his life, go to rehab, make his own drastic changes ..not for Gray but for himself.

This book has a gritty, realistic side (as does the entire series).  Donovan doesn’t spare the ugliness that is Scottie at his worst.  We  see the effects alcoholism has not only on the person deep in his addiction but on all of those around him.  The strains on the few friendships he has left, the growing exclusions from functions because of his behavior, and always the anger.  When submission and dominance start to help Gray and Scottie, both as a initial doorway to their relationship and as a revelation for Scottie, for whom love has always been an unknown factor in life, we get it.

You can’t separate out sections of this story as all threads flow naturally together into one vivid indelible tapestry.  The bdsm elements which are unbelievably hot and sexy, the raw and painful road to recovery for Scottie to sobriety,  the endearing and moving continued incorporation of twins Alice and Alex into Gray’s home and life.  Finally, their love and relationship along with all their friends and loved ones.  I can’t believe how much I love this story.

It’s so great to see all the other couples popping up to support this couple in whatever fashion is needed.  All the books and characters are so tightly intertwined that I may just start the series over reading them one right after the other.

The Lion Tamer (The Sin Bin #6) by Dahlia Donovan is one remarkable, warmhearted contemporary romance.  It’s moving, and oh so memorable.  I absolutely recommend it and the entire Sin Bin series.

Cover art:  Claire Smith.  I love the cover but it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the series.

Sales Links:  Hot  Tree Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published February 20th 2018 by Hot Tree Publishing
ISBN139781925655520
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Sin Bin #6

The Sin Bin Series:

1. The Wanderer – BC & Graham

2. The Caretaker – Tens & Freddie

3. The Botanist (short story) – Aled & Wyatt

4. The Royal Marine – Hamish & Akash

5 The Unexpected Santa (short story) – Gray & Scottie

6. The Lion Tamer – Gray & Scottie

7. The Haka Ever After (short story) – Tens & Freddie

8. TBD – Zeb & Silus

A Stella Review :New Heights by Quinn Anderson

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

After attending a friend’s wedding in New York, James Thompson is eager to go home, even though no one will be waiting for him at the gate. He has no expectations for his trip back to Charleston other than long lines, security, and bad airplane food. But when an annoying—albeit hot—stranger cuts him in line, James is determined not to be a pushover for once.

For Mika “It’s Mee-kuh, not Micah” Bailey, today’s just another day of boring work travel. That is, until his flight gets delayed, and some irritating (but handsome) guy keeps hogging all the good power outlets. Which means war. In the middle of an airport. In New York. What could go wrong?

Eventually, they declare a truce, and as they get to know each other, their attraction overwhelms them both. Terrified of what he’s feeling, Mika suggests a no-strings hookup, but serial-monogamist James wants more. If they don’t fight for what’s right in front of them, their romance might be canceled before it ever takes off.

New Heights is the first book I read by this new to me author Quinn Anderson and I have to say it was a pleasurable surprise. I soon found myself caught up into the MCs lives and I quickly finished the story. A lovely novella based on the enemies to lovers trope, which I adore. I like to read characters banter and provoke each other reactions with silly annoyances and then try to be kind with little cares.

That’s exactly what happened in New Heights between James and Mika. Both stuck at the NY airport waiting for their delayed (too many times) plane and both on the way home, Charleston. While James is pretty much a good boy, available and respectful, maybe too much, even if too many times people takes advantage of his goodness, Mika is irreverent and provocative, with a smart mouth always wanting the last word. He seems so shallow, in life as in relationships, but James is able to get him tongue tied.

They are so different it should be impossible to find common points but after the pranks they created, something special seemed to be there too. The chemistry is so strong that it’s hard to resist to some time alone in the airport bathroom. They clicked so well together, they were adorable.

I quite enjoyed this new release, the writing was very good, with a double POV that made everything clear, I found interesting how almost the whole book (except the epilogue) takes place in just the few hours the MCs spent at the airport between outlet wars and bathroom sex.  I actually thought I would gotten an HFN ending, instead the author gave me a sweet epilogue with a certain HEA. I will surely read more about Quinn Anderson.

The cover art by LC Chase is super cute, I adored it since I saw it the first time, it’s the reason why I later decided to read the blurb and give the title a chance.

SALE LINKS    RIPTIDE  |   Amazon links to come

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 140 pages

Expected publication: March 12th 2018 by Riptide Publishing

ISBN13 9781626497450

Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Say Cheese by Michael P. Thomas

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Grover “Shep” Shepherd is the only thing Felix Medrano loves more than being the current darling of Hollywood. He throws a star-studded surprise engagement party to declare their love to the world, and it’s a smash, save for one detail: Shep is a no-show. Felix knows Shep missed his flight home from New Orleans, but that was hours ago. What’s the hold up?

Shep’s still at the airport is what, watching flight after flight wing westward without him. Each time he sends Felix a progress report via text message, Felix replies with a romantic photo from their past, and Shep spends much of his airport odyssey Remembering When. It’s easy to see how these two fell in love, but can Shep possibly make it home in time to celebrate with Felix and their friends?

This was a cute story.  Shep is trying to get home but after missing his flight he hasn’t been able to get himself onto another one.  Felix has a surprise but it doesn’t account for much if Shep isn’t there.

I loved seeing Shep’s memories of when he and Felix began their relationship and a small stumbling block but they are stronger now than ever.  You can see that even though Shep doesn’t know what Felix is up to he is disappointed to not be getting home.  Felix’s surprise in the end tied up the story nicely.  This was so short that there wasn’t much of a chance to really get to know the characters but I enjoyed it anyways.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is an adorable picture of Shep and Felix together.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 37 pages

Published: February 3, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634865494

Edition Language: English

Sean Michael on his Love of Words, Word Games and his latest release Daddy, Daddy, and Me (guest post)

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Daddy, Daddy, and Me by Sean Michael
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Buy links: Dreamspinner Press |  AmazonBarnes & Noble  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sean Michael on tour for his book Daddy, Daddy, and Me. Welcome back, Sean.

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words have kindly hosted me a number of times with my new releases – thank you very much! And every time I see the name it makes me smile. I like the idea of rogue words. I love words, period, but rogue ones, now those must be some great words.

So I have a few time wasters that are related to words and I thought I’d share a few of my favorites.

Words With Friends. Basically it’s Scrabble without stepping on anyone’s copyright. I play a number of people who I know, but I also play with random players the game selects for me. It’s pretty good at matching players with like abilities so you aren’t always trouncing or getting trounced. The only thing I don’t like about it is that when I go several weeks without playing because I am super busy, it drops all my games.

4 pics 1 word. I think I joined this one late in the game as I know it was big quite a while ago. I do love trying to figure out what the words are based on the pictures. There’s almost always one that seems out of left field compared with the others. When I’m really stuck, I try to pretend I never saw the one that doesn’t belong and concentrate on the other three. It’s always amusing to me when the one that I thought was so different from the others was not the one I thought it was!

And brand new to me and currently my favorite is Wordscapes. This one gives you a little crossword puzzle kind of layout and a group of six letters at the bottom. You need to make words out of the six letters to fill the crossword. You get points for making words that don’t go on the board but that are real words. The hardest word is almost always the ‘bonus’ word, which doesn’t connect to the rest of the grid. It’s much easier to figure out that last word when you know where at least one of the letters go! When I get stuck on this one, I’ll put it down and usually coming back to it fresh a while later helps me ‘see’ that last word I was looking for.

If you see me frowning at my phone – I’m probably playing one of those three games.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

Blurb:

When Jeff agreed to be the sperm donor to his best friend Beth, he never expected a tragedy to leave his newborn and three-year-old motherless. Beth’s loss has totally thrown his life into chaos: his lover has left him, his house isn’t anywhere near childproof, and his boss feels the restaurant has been patient enough with Jeff’s time off.

Donny has always known he wanted to work with kids, and he just finished his degree in early childhood education. He didn’t count on the prejudice he’d face as not only a male nanny, but a gay one at that. Job-hunting has been frustrating to say the least, so when he knocks on Jeff’s door and is greeted by the sounds of things breaking and a pair of screaming children, he thinks maybe he can begin this particular interview with a trial by fire.

Becoming the nanny to Jeff’s children might be a dream come true for Danny and exactly what Jeff needs, but are either of them ready to really be a family?

About the Author

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

BLOG TOUR for FORSAKEN by J.R. Gray (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR:

Forsaken by J.R. Gray

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Titus has lived and breathed religion his entire life, tucked away from the rest of the world in a compound in northern Wyoming. He’s destined to be the next leader of the church, deemed so by the Prophet.

God spoke and with His word He created. But God made a mistake. Titus isn’t worthy. He was born sick and it’s solidified when he rescues the most beautiful man he’s ever seen.

Torn between fidelity to his faith or his soul, Titus must reconcile the two parts of himself before he’s discovered hiding among the chosen.

BUY IT NOW:

Author site: https://jrgraybooks.com/coming-soon/

TEASER EXCERPT:

“Is this okay?” Angel asked.

“Is what okay?” Titus had a hard time getting words out. He had a hard time making his brain function with Angel’s hands on him.

Angel laughed and scooted his body closer so their legs were pressed together. “Me touching you.”

“Yes,” his voice was unsteady.

“What about this?” Angel put his other hand on the side of Titus’ neck.

“Sure.” Titus swallowed past the lump in his throat, and was happy for the way he was sitting, because he was as hard as he’d ever been in his entire life. Harder maybe.

“What about this,” Angel whispered over his lips and then brought them together.

This wasn’t like back at his workshop. Angel parted his lips, and used his tongue. Titus was left trying to keep up. As soon as he got the hang of something Angel would change it. He’d done a little necking with girls, but this was completely different. He hadn’t been turned on while kissing those girls. It was more like something to do just to try it, but this was heat and his entire body reacted. There wasn’t a part of him that wasn’t flushed and on fire.

Angel’s fingers slid around to the back of his neck and tightened, keeping Titus close. He grabbed Angel’s bicep, needing something to hold on to so he didn’t spin out of control. Angel seemed to like it, groaning into his mouth. It spurred Titus on. He wrapped his other arm around Angel’s back, desperate to feel more of him.

There was a fire demon inside him demanding more and he wanted nothing but to listen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

When not staying up all night writing, J.R. Gray can be found at the gym where it’s half assumed he is a permanent resident to fulfill his self-inflicted masochism. A dominant and a pilot, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. He frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns and conversations, to jot down notes or plot bunnies. Commas are the bane of his existence even though it’s been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder. If Gray wasn’t writing…well, that’s not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave, insanity or both. The idea of haunting has always appealed to him. J.R. Gray is genderqueer and prefers he/him pronouns.

Connect with J.R. Gray: Website | Twitter – Personal | Twitter – Books | Facebook | Facebook Group | Tumblr | Mailing List | Amazon Author Page

GIVEAWAY:

Win 1 of 2 e-copies of FORSAKEN by J.R. Gray! Open Internationally.

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Release Blitz for RJ Scott’s Winter Cowboy (Whisper Ridge #1) (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 70,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Blurb
 

Micah Lennox left Whisper Ridge after promising the man he loved that he would never return. But the only way he knows to keep his pregnant sister and nephew safe is to go home. Spending winter in Wyoming opens too many old wounds, but he’s on the run from justice which can’t be far behind, and this is his last chance at redemption.


After a hostage situation leaves Doctor Daniel Sheridan struggling with PTSD, he returns to Whisper Ridge. Joining his dad in family practice is a balm to soothe his exhausted soul, and somehow, he finds a peace he can live with. That is until he meets Micah in a frozen graveyard, and the years of anger and feelings of betrayal boiling inside him, erupt.


Two broken men fight and scratch for their lives and that of their families, and somehow, in the middle of it all, they find each other.


Is it possible that love can be rekindled and become a forever to believe in?

 

Excerpt
 

Chapter 1

2009, Daniel

A figure stood beside Isaac’s grave and I knew immediately who it was.

There was no marker yet for the boy who had died two weeks ago and who would forever be nineteen. Flowers marked his resting place, but snow had long since covered them and softened the raised earth so it wasn’t as obvious against the gravestones around the figure. A car accident had taken Isaac, killed him on impact, and his family grieved for a future that would never be realized.

I’d just left my brother, Chris, in the hospital, broken beyond repair in the same accident. At least we had the possibility of a future with him, even though the road to recovery would be hard. He was still in a medically induced coma, not yet awake to know he’d lost his leg, or that fire had marked his face. But he would wake up. They told us he’d live.

No one had asked me where I was going when I’d left Chris’ room, each of us lost in various stages of shock and grief, and we all dealt with what had happened in our own way. I’d needed to connect with Isaac. Needed the peace to balance the loss and guilt that ate away inside me.

Isaac dead on impact, Chris’ future destroyed, and in front of me, hunched over Isaac’s last resting place, was the man responsible for it all.

The man who left my bed in the dead of night to become a murderer.

Micah.

He was huddled into his coat, the January ice bitter by the buried, hands forced into his pockets, and his hood pulled around his face. Micah must have heard me, because he glanced my way, startled, grief written on his face. And then his expression changed.

He stepped toward me, his expression full of something like hope.

“Daniel?” he said. “Is Chris okay? No one will let me see him.”

He stopped walking when I didn’t reach out for him and looked at me uncertainly.

“His leg is gone, down from his knee,” I explained dispassionately, and then touched my face, “and his burns are bad, the left side of his face from his temple to his chin.”

“Shit. Shit.” Micah bent at the waist, as if he couldn’t breathe, and he was crying.

“How is it you don’t have a mark on you?” I asked, still eerily calm, and utterly focused.

He took his hand from his pocket, and pulled up his sleeve, exposing bandages. “I was burned,” he began. He dropped his hand when I didn’t comment, forced it back into his pocket, wincing as he did so.

I imagined the burn hurt a little, maybe even a lot, but he was there, as whole and real as when he’d left my bed on that terrible day.

In my mind I saw Chris in the hospital, the covers raised over the cage which protected his surgical site, then dipping lower where his ankle should have been. I saw a clear image of Isaac the day before he died, knocking for Chris and grinning at me as if he had the greatest secret to tell his best friend.

And here was Micah, telling me he had slight burns on his arm? The same man who’d told me in one breath that he loved me and then had stolen my car, driving it into a bridge and killing one boy, leaving another maimed and in a coma.

My fist flew, clenched aggression targeting Micah’s face, his cheekbone, and I heard a satisfying crunch. He staggered back a step, but he didn’t go down, and he didn’t take his hands from his pockets. I was too fast. I hit him again, blood flecking his face, dissipating into the icy air. He moved again, the force of my blows shoving him back.

Still, his hands remained in his pockets, and he was unnervingly quiet, taking my hits as if they were nothing at all. Another punch connected with his lip and split the skin, and this time he grunted in pain. He staggered backward toward the next grave and bent back over the stone marker with the force of that final blow. I stepped closer. I hit him again, connecting with his jaw, but the hit wasn’t hard. There was nothing to it; he didn’t move away.

“You took my car,” I yelled, right in his face.

“You said I could borrow it,” he pleaded.

I raised my hand to hit him again, but he winced, and closed his eyes, and I wanted him to look at me. “Open your damn eyes!”

He did, and he wouldn’t avert his gaze, naked grief in his expression.

“Daniel, please listen.”

“You’ve destroyed Chris’ life.”

“I know.”

“You need to leave Whisper Ridge, and never come back. I don’t want to see your face, I don’t want Chris to ever see you again. You understand?”

“I understand,” his tone low and broken.

“You will never come back here.” I shook him. He was smaller than me, thinner, lighter, and I shook him so hard his head snapped back. “Promise me!”

“I pr—promise,” he said through tears.

I was disgusted by him, hated him, wanted to kill him right there on Isaac’s grave.

“I hope they lock you up and throw away the fucking key!” I was still shouting, and he didn’t move, just stared at me with those pale eyes, red and wet from crying. He wouldn’t stop crying. “Don’t fucking stare at me!”

I shoved him one last time, and then before I could work out what the hell I was still doing there shouting at him, I pivoted and turned my back on him, and on Isaac’s grave, and the entire carnage.

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


Giveaway

A Caryn Review: The Artist’s Touch (Art Medium #1) by E.J. Russell

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Do you like ghost stories?  Do you like creepy ghost stories?  I have to say I didn’t think I did, but this book (and maybe the others to follow in the series) changed my mind.  The review, though, was kind of hard to write without giving significant spoilers, and although as you read you can guess what’s going to happen on the next page, I couldn’t predict the outcome from the beginning.  You can read this book in one evening, so just sit back and enjoy….

Luke Morganstern is an art fraud investigator who had been at the top of his field until one big mistake, and he’s been struggling ever since.  He can’t afford to turn down a job anyway, but when a mysterious client contacts him about a possible forgery, he can’t resist when he finds out the artist being imitated.

Jeremiah Arcoletti.  He was a rising star of the American realism movement, until he disappeared without a trace, taking with him his last 13 paintings.  Paintings that he meticulously described in letters to friends, but were never seen.  Paintings that Luke has been able to picture in his mind after studying Arcoletti for so long.  Paintings that were inexplicably starting to turn up in a remote gallery in Oregon.

Stefan Cobbe is an artist with a very promising start to his career, until a tragedy destroyed his paintings and left him with literally only the clothes on his back.  Worse, he found he was completely unable to produce any art at all.  Homeless and destitute, he was taken in by a man who provided him with room, board, art supplies, and a studio.  And Stefan produced finished canvases, miraculously complete in hours – hours that Stefan had no memory of.

Luke and Stefan have a complicated history together, with guilt and blame on both sides that led to their separation years ago.  Stefan is now the most likely suspect for the forgery, and Luke has to decide what exactly he is going to do about that, especially when Stefan claims innocence.

The pace of the story was constant and the tension just kept building and building, with a few surprise twists, and I couldn’t put the book down until I finished (fortunately it’s not too long!).  Well written, great plot, outstanding characterization with significant growth of both MCs and excellent secondary characters, and throughout a perpetual sense of foreboding.  There are definitely some dark places in this book, and seeing Luke and Stefan struggle to escape those places – some of which were in their own minds – was exciting, and a little scary.

Highly recommended, and I’m looking forward to the next in the series!

Cover art by L.C. Chase is fine, though I’m not quite sure which character the model is supposed to represent…

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

book, 2nd edition, 130 pages
Published February 12th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 23rd 2013)
Original Title Northern Light by E.J. Russell
ISBN13 9781626497580
Edition Language English

A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: Exodus ( Heaven Corp #2) by CC Bridges

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Henry “Hank” Abraham’s privileged status in the floating city of Heaven lets him flout Morality Laws that control the lives of others. But when he wakes up in the arms of another stranger, only bodyguard Ian Caldwell’s quick thinking saves his life.

Though Ian’s from the low levels and the labor class, he’s used to dealing with the pampered society of Heaven. He’s assigned to protect Hank while angels, cybernetically modified humans who defend Heaven, investigate the assassination attempt. Doing his job means Ian must ignore his growing interest in Hank. Acting on their mutual attraction would certainly get Ian reprogrammed, something neither of them can afford.

When Hank follows Ian to a popular BDSM club in Downside and his ID chip is lost during a nearly fatal mugging, he finds himself locked out of Heaven. As Ian fights to get them home, rumors of impending war begin to circulate—along with more troubling news that Ian is wanted for Hank’s murder. While struggling to keep the man he has come to love safe, Ian must find out who’s behind the plot and if it’s a catalyst for war or just a convenient excuse.

“Exodus” is part two of the “Heaven Corp” series. I read part one “Angel 1089” over three years ago and have to admit I don’t remember much. But I never had any trouble getting into this book, so “Exodus” works perfectly fine as a stand-alone.

This book was a great mix of two things I love in books: SciFi and BDSM. The world building was really well done and it was to understand the world this was set in. It was kind of creepy , to be honest. I loved all the little details C.C. Bridges worked into her world building. It made the whole universe seem that much more realistic.

I usually don’t read Fantasy that deals with angels because I don’t like reading religious books. But “Heaven Corp.” is a brilliant exception to that rule. There is a god and there are angels, but neither of them has anything to do with religion. God is a God AI and the angels aren’t some mythical beings but people with metal wings that allow them to fly. An ingenious idea and very unique.

The BDSM part was wonderful as well. The dynamic between Hank and Ian was absolutely smoldering with sexual tension. But it was also obvious that they really, really cared for each other and that it wasn’t just about the sex. Ian is such a wonderfully caring and loving Dom. I loved that the relationship wasn’t rushed. It’s a very slow build till they get together but that fit the two of them perfectly. That way, we get to see how their feelings for each other evolve and become deeper.

I loved both of our MCs. At first glance, Hank is your stereotypical bratty and spoiled sub. But when you get to know him better, you get to see beneath that facade. And underneath lies a very likable, intelligent young man, who definitely has his own demons to fight. Since the story gets told from both POVs, we get to know both of them intimately. I took a liking to Ian right from the start.

The plot had me hooked right from the very first page. I finished this book within two days. If not for real life interfering, I probably would have finished this in one sitting. There are so many twists and turns, I was practically breathless from following it all. The balance between romance and Mystery/SciFi plot was perfect in my opinion. Neither takes away from the other.

You don’t need to be a hard-core SciFi fan to enjoy “Exodus”, nor do you need to be a hard-core BDSM or M/M romance fan. There’s a bit of everything and never too much of anything. A perfect mix, if you ask me.

It’s a real shame there are only two books in the series and book one deals with different protagonists. But the ending does leave with me some hope that we’ll see more of this world, if not our protagonists. And it’s high time I read more by this obviously brilliant author.

Read it, you won’t regret it, trust me.

Cover: The cover by L.C. Chase is nice to look at, though I am growing a bit tired of all those naked upper bodies on M/M books of any genre… I do like the background though.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 200 pages
Expected publication: February 28th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 2nd 2014)
ISBN139781640801264
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Heaven Corp.

Angel 1089 (Heaven Corp., #1)

Exodus (Heaven Corp #2

A MelanieM Review: Apocalypse Alley (Blue Unicorn #2) by Don Allmon

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Home from a six-month assignment to war-torn East Asia, genetically engineered supersoldier Noah “Comet” Wu just wants to kick back, share a beer, and talk shit with his best friend, JT. But JT’s home has been shot up like a war zoars out of 5ne, and his friend has gone missing.

Comet’s only lead is a smart-mouthed criminal he finds amid the mess. His name’s Buzz Howdy. He’s a con man and a hacker and deserves to be in jail. Or in handcuffs, at least. The only thing the two have in common is JT. Unless you count the steamy glances they’re sneaking at one another. They have those in common too. But that just makes Comet all the more wary.

Despite their mutual distrust, they’ll have to work together to rescue JT before a cyborg assassin gets to him first. Racing down a miserable stretch of road called Apocalypse Alley, they must dodge radioactive spiders, a lonely cannibal, and a killer Buick. They also try to dodge each other. That last bit doesn’t work out so well.

When I last put down  The Glamour Thieves (Blue Unicorn #1), the first story in this amazing series, JT, Austin, and his elf lover were headed to his  home that he shares with the teenage orc he’s mentoring having stirred up more trouble and uncovered even more disturbing information after freeing the virtual intelligence known as the Blue Unicorn.  Trust me, you need to read that story.  One, it’s a dynamite adventure tale and two, without it, you will be lost diving into this one.

I love Apocalypse Alley but the truth is you won’t get a solid foundation of the world or overall series ARC without reading The Glamour Thieves first.  This story and series builds upon each other like building blocks and you can’t enter midway point.  It’s like being dropped on a warped yellow brick road and not knowing you’re headed to Oz.  Not that you’re all that sure of your destination here.  So many twists  and turns await you!

And it all happens at break-neck speed.  What an adrenaline rush.  I had to read it twice to gather together all the story threads and hints I missed the first time.  Props btw to Allmon for creating a character with the name of Urushiol.  As a park naturalist/Ranger, I’m highly familiar with this chemical compound as is anyone who’s come in contact with poison ivy.  I laughed myself silly when I saw that name.  Perfect in every way.  Anyhow, from the moment the story opens we start picking up speed as Comet returns expecting to find JT waiting to pick him up at the airport and  goes looking for him when he doesn’t show.  Each scene as Comet interacts with both Buzz Howdy (we’ve met him before) and others foe and friend gives the readers more information about the man.

Buzz is a known entity but we get into his head and yes heart here.  He falls for  Comet, quick yes, but you can see how and why it happens.

But mostly it’s a race.  A race to keep ahead of some of the worse villains out there, a race to find JT and crew, a race to stay alive…all in heart pounding, white knuckle…go all out scenes.  It’s wildly imaginative, horrifying, and incredibly suspenseful.  Did I say I loved it?  And just when you think it’s safe…a surprising twist shows up at the end that makes you want to go back and read books one and two again to see if there was anyway you could have seen this coming.  And now I need The Burning Magus (Blue Unicorn #3 to come out in the worst possible way.

So, yes, I  absolutely recommend this series.  It’s one wild  ride.  It has great characters, it’s gritty, suspenseful, full of twists and turns and more plots threads then you can shake a VR stick with.  It’s even got love such as it is.  But you need to start with The Glamour Thieves and then to Apocalypse Alley.  I’ll be waiting for you at The Burning Magus!

Cover by: Simoné. I love these covers.  Perfect in everyway from the tone and characters.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 201 pages
Expected publication: February 26th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleApocalypse Alley
ISBN 162649665X (ISBN13: 9781626496651)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBlue Unicorn #2

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

Standard

Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Moonmates exist, but getting together is going to be a beast….

When Adrian Rothschild skipped his “werewolf puberty,” he assumed he was, somehow, human. But he was wrong, and he’s about to go through his Turn with a country between him and his Pack—scared, alone, and eight years late.

Dr. Tate Lewis’s werewolf supremacist father made his Turn miserable, and now Tate works for Camp H.O.W.L. to ease the transition for young werewolves. He isn’t expecting to offer guidance to a grown man—or find his moonmate in Adrian. Tate doesn’t even believe in the legendary bond; after all, his polygamist father claimed five. But it’s clear Adrian needs him, and if Tate can let his guard down, he might discover he needs Adrian too.

A moonmate is a wolf’s missing piece, and Tate is missing a lot of pieces. But is Adrian up to the challenge?

This was a nice story.  Both of these characters had a lot of their own issues to get through for their relationship to work.  Adrian doesn’t connect the dots until it’s almost too late that he is going to go through his Turn.  Tate has made his life helping the young werewolves successfully complete their change and even if he’s hiding from himself.

Adrian has been living as a disappointment to his family ever since he didn’t go through his Turn like all those his age and I could feel his sadness and how detached he feels from his family because of this.  Tate has been running from the memory of his childhood for so long and helping others but you could see that even as he succeeds in helping most of the teens he doesn’t have a deep connection or friendship with many people.

I could see that they were both looking for somewhere to belong or someone to belong to but were afraid to voice that.  I still have to wonder at the end of story what about Adrian’s genetics caused him to go through the Turn late and it didn’t seem that anyone knew or seemed inclined to really find out.  I loved that they were both able to find somewhere to belong and be together with the support of Adrian’s family and their friends.

Dorian Bane did a great job narrating this story.  I was able to connect with the characters and feel their emotions in his reading as he used different voices for the characters.  His voice changes so much you really get to see the differences and personality of the characters.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is very nice and works well for this story.

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 6 hrs 55 min
Published: January 12, 2018 (ebook first published November 1, 2017) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Beyond