A MelanieM Release Day Review: Lover, Lover ( Dreamcatchers story) by Liv Olteano

Standard

Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

A Dreamcatchers Tale

Twin souls reunited.

Drew’s always been a fighter: first in martial arts competitions, and now as a dreamcatcher—keeping the people of Seattle safe from spaga attacks that would drain their life force in their sleep. All he has to do to become a full member of Team 32 is complete his first mission.

But the first person he must defend is his ex, Angelo… the only man Drew ever loved, even if he was the one to leave. Drew never got over Angelo, and it seems Angelo might feel the same, despite the heartbreak he suffered at Drew’s hands.

As the chase after a powerful and resourceful caster hits close to home, old feelings resurface. But if Angelo learns of the dreamcatchers, he’ll be a target for the spaga. And how can he trust Drew now that Drew’s keeping bigger secrets than ever?

I’m a fan of Liv Olteano and her Leader Murder series, so I was really looking forward to Lover, Lover, another story in Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun Beyond series.  One of the things I notice it mentions is that its a  Dreamcatchers tale but I can find no mention of previous stories so I can only  assume this is the first of a series.

That might explain several things I noticed about this story.  I have always loved Olteano’s worldbuilding.  She has a wonderful imagination and pulls from so many different mythologies to construct a fascinating and compelling universe to dive into.  In Lover, Lover, she has  started to do the same with her  Teams of Dreamcatcher fighters and their  “boss”.  In this case, the foundation is loosely native american, and the author layers upon that her monsters, her fighters (and all the ramifications that comes with acceptance into the Unit,) and  above all the amazing  arachnid Goddess/Boss/Head of their Region.  All this comes complete with training into the Guild, chants, elaborate settings (think gorgeous weblike interiors)….clearly Olteano has given much thought to their construction.

But I still was left wanting more. It’s still all very vague about the spaga, and the other creatures they are chasing and killing.  Plus there were holes left about the men’s ages etc.  Yes, I needed more information.

So all that attention to world building indicates that Lover, Lover is building up to a series where the other men in the team and story would find their HEA as well, hopefully.

But for me, that left the characterizations of and the romance between Angelo and Drew lacking.  I just don’t think the author had enough pages to do both here.  Neither Angelo or Drew felt very substantial and because of that, I just was never very invested in their  romance.  For me, Lady Arachnid (no not her name) was far more interesting and layered a personality then both of them. From her vivid descriptions to her lively airs, she stood out among them all.

Then there was the ending.  That resolution of the storyline was so rushed that it made your head spin.  No , consider this a case where the world building came to the rescue here because as sweet as the characters were, they just didn’t feel fleshed out, nor was there past history to glomb onto to make you feel you knew them.

Still I’ll look for another story to see if this Dreamcatcher world deepens and what  further adventures await the troop.  If you like sweet paranormal romance with really no angst you might want to check this one out.

Cover art: Aaron Anderson.  I like the cover but it could use more details.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 195 pages
Expected publication: February 20th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
ISBN139781640801660
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Release Day Review: Teaching Ben by Shae Connor

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Learning to love means a study in patience.

 

Fresh out of the military, Ben Cooper is ready for a new start. He’s away from his domineering father, making his own choices… and out of the closet. On his first day of college, he meets David Powell, who’s just the kind of gorgeous man Ben’s dreamed of. Too bad he’s the teaching assistant—which makes him off-limits in Ben’s eyes.

 

David is Ben’s age, but his life has taken a different path. He’s close with his family, who helped him deal with personal struggles after he came out. And while he’s staying away from any hint of scandal, Ben’s a kind of temptation he hasn’t faced in years. If only they’d met on more equal footing.

 

As the semester progresses and their lives become more entwined, keeping their relationship platonic becomes more difficult. They just have to hold out until the end of the semester….

 

I enjoyed the nice slow burn of this story.  Ben and David are attracted to each other from the start but know that they need to keep their building emotions to themselves until after the semester is over.

 

David made some mistakes in the past and he is continuing to accept that he doesn’t need to be punished for those forever.  Ben is finally away from his father and the military, getting to live his life on his own terms.  They both become an integral part of each other’s lives as their friendship grows.

 

I loved watching David and Ben grow a strong friendship as the semester goes on.  Without even realizing it David gives Ben just what he needs, a family.  David and his sister quickly envelope Ben into their fold and bring him home.  I loved seeing the emotions of these characters and connected with them easily.  I just think this was wonderfully sweet with little bits of conflict thrown in to not make it too sweet.

 

The cover art by Bree Archer is nice and gives  great visual of Ben.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: February 20, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-412-8

Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Desires

BA Tortuga on HEA, Romances, and her latest collection Road Trip Vol 2 (author interview and tour)

Standard

Road Trip Vol 2 By BA Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: Feb. 16, 2018

Purchase Links:  Dreamspinner Press ebook and Paperback

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host BA Tortuga on tour for her latest collection, Road Trip 2.  Welcome, BA.

 

Hey y’all, it’s BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of the characters that are cracked.

*grins*

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I am a 100% complete total HEA girl. I believe in forever. I trust in it. And dammit, I want it in my romance.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Lord yes. I love historicals, western romance, shifters, contemporaries, menages – you name it, I’ve read it. I started with the bodice rippers of the 70s and never stopped.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Weirdly enough, Stephen King. He tells stories the way I want to tell them. Also, my wife, who is my muse. She touches everything I do.

What’s next for you as an author?

Right now I’m writing on an action/adventure called Spaghetti Western. It’s a m/m romp with a bunch of goofy characters and a huge sense of humor.

Much love, y’all.

BA

Blurb

Road Trip Collection

The course of love is a rough ride, but for ecoterrorist MJ, ridge runner Sonny, physicist Paddy, psychic Neil, genetically enhanced English professor Duncan, and the assassin known as Cowboy, the road to romance is a heart-stopping trip—one full of kidnappings, explosions, secret programs, and supersoldiers. They’re an awful ragged bunch to be considered heroes.

 

Under Pressure

Sonny and MJ’s retirement may be in jeopardy, but at least they’re together on a new boat—with no annoying hostages. Then Cowboy, MJ’s old friend, gets in touch, bringing with him a host of complications, including Professor Duncan, who has ties to the Program. A call for help from Paddy sets them all on a collision course with a deadly specter from the past. As MJ makes his plans, Sonny is shaken by the possibility of losing everything.

 

Walking on the Sun

Sonny is determined to raise hell to hunt for MJ—problem is, will MJ know anyone, or himself, once they catch up to him? Neil and Paddy are healing but reluctantly join the effort, as Cowboy and Duncan help Sonny prepare for a showdown. Sonny might be ragged, but he’s MJ’s hero, and he is not about to give up on the most important thing in his life, even if it kills him. Will everyone survive the last epic battle, or will they go out in a blaze of glory?

 

First Edition of Under Pressure published by TOP SHELF: An imprint of Torquere Press Publishers, March 2009.

First Edition of Walking on the Sun published by TOP SHELF: An imprint of Torquere Press Publishers, September 2010.

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

Release Blitz : Love on a Battlefield by Posy Roberts (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Love on a Battlefield
Posy Roberts
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance

Not every compass points north.

Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute, until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.

Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.

Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

My father started taking me to Civil War reenactments long before I understood the politics of the war and its moral implications. I was introduced to the tradition before I knew what any war was truly about.

It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I was allowed to carry a weapon and shoot it myself. The physicality of battle was exciting. Hand-to-hand combat when munitions were spent was better than football any day.

But there were strict rules my dad implemented that I didn’t enjoy. “If we’re going to do this,” Dad always said, “we’ll be as authentic as possible. We’ll do it right, unlike those people who think this is Summer Stock.”

I wasn’t allowed to socialize with the Yankees at all, so I hung out with the Confederate kids or sat around campfires listening to the adults shoot the shit. If school was in session, I’d bury myself in homework and often ended up helping some of the younger kids with their lessons. The guys my own age . . . Well, we had little in common. Some were intense, a few down-right scary with their racism so proudly displayed.

What I’d learned after hanging out with them for years was that they hated everyone who wasn’t like them.

I wasn’t like them, but I wasn’t about to let them know for fear they’d turn their hate on me.

For the last two years, I’d watched a Union kid who only came to a few of these events, not like most of the reenactors, who made this a way of life. When he showed up, he was the center of attention. Maybe because he was novel, but when he was there, he always drew my eye. It was obvious the other kids looked up to him, fawned all over him, really. I never got close enough to talk to him, to find out what made him so fascinating.

But I saw it from afar. He was strong yet graceful, with a mess of hair in a color I’d never seen outside of jewelry or pipe fittings. His smile was easily earned, and he seemed so . . . carefree. So unlike the overly serious and angry kids who surrounded me.

I’d watch the Union kids in their shorts and T-shirts laughing and having fun. I wanted to be a deserter. I wanted to go see what life was like on their side. It sure as hell looked like a lot more fun than what ended up feeling like a weekend prison sentence in a hot, scratchy suit.

I couldn’t stop myself from turning to him, staring at him. I’d watch him leap into the air to catch a wayward Frisbee or wrestle boys to the ground, then help them up, all with a bright smile on his face.

Last summer, he’d worn a wreath of daisies in his hair, walking around as if it was the most normal thing in the world. My ‘friends’ laughed at him and speculated about his sexuality. I joined the adults then, unwilling to spend any more time with the assholes. It brought me closer to the redhead too, so I made myself blend in with my surroundings and looked to my heart’s content.

I didn’t know his name. I never got the chance to find out, but if he was here this time, I was determined to discover it.

As we arrived Friday afternoon, I scanned the area for his hair but didn’t see him. After setting up camp, I followed my father out of our tent and joined the other men as they scoured maps and walked the battlefield to get a lay of the land. I turned down an invitation to hang out with the Rebel kids and instead listened to an expert on this particular battle drone on and on. Sitting there, sweating in my wool uniform under the scorching heat for hours, I had to get out from under the sun.

“I’m going to go fill up my canteen,” I whispered to my father.

“Stay hydrated.”

I gave him a quick nod, made my way past the tent filled with women and young girls quilting or spinning yarn, and found the metal water pump. I pushed down on the handle, trying to draw up the water, with little luck.

That’s when I saw him. He was in full Union dress, the buttons of his coat making the gold and red highlights in his hair appear metallic. He was unlike anyone else I’d ever seen.

He walked toward me with a wide smile. Sure of himself, but not cocky. More . . . careless. Utterly free.

“Want some help?” he asked. “I heard it’s hard to get this one started.”

I met his blue eyes, brilliant and wild like the sea. I was stunned into silence. He was even hotter up close, and suddenly I was unable to form words. I nodded my assent instead.

He wrapped his fingers around the metal handle and pushed down. It made a grating squeak that echoed, but the lever moved. He helped me push it down several times, hands sliding closer and closer with each pump until our fingers intertwined.

He laughed as water poured from the spout, and he bent down to taste the stream. The smell of iron surrounded us as I filled my canteen.

I watched him wet his hair, making it darker, which made his skin look extra pale. He was gorgeous, and the way the sun hit him right then, he looked like something out of a dream.

Stop being cheesy, I chided. So he’s hot. Don’t turn him into a fricking poem.

I replaced the cork, slung my bottle over my shoulder by the leather thong, smiled at him, and rejoined my father.

As we lined up on the battlefield the next day, I saw that shock of auburn hair straight across from me. Before I could make eye contact, the battle had begun, horses moving, gunfire blasting, and a few men already collapsing to the ground, probably playing out some real-life soldier’s tragic end.

I took out several Union soldiers with my fake munitions before I tripped over a rock. As I regained my footing and stood up, he was right in front of me.

I don’t recall if we gave each other a visual cue or if he said something, but we both decided to take a hit, bodies falling to the ground. We landed face-to-face, limbs sprawled out in opposite directions. My father was near, so I slammed my eyes shut, authenticating my death until I heard his voice move away with the continuing battle building.

When I dared open my eyes again, the Yankee soldier was staring at me, smiling and licking his lips. His jaw was strong, defined, dusted with stubble from who-knew-how-many-days growth, and it drew my attention to his chin and full lips. We lay there studying each other for several minutes, shamelessly staring, before he scooted closer.

 

Author Bio:

Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.
She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.
Her stories have been USA Today’s Happily Ever After Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.

Website / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Amazon / Instagram / Pinterest / Newsletter / BookBub

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

XBTBanner1

Christine d’Abo on Ringside Romance’s Finale, Losing It (Ringside Romance #4)  (Riptide Publishing’s Tour and Giveaway)

Standard

Losing It (Ringside Romance #4) by Christine d’Abo
Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It here

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Christine d’Abo here today on tour for Losing It, the last in her Ringside Romances. Welcome, Christine.

✒︎

Hello, my name is Christine d’Abo and I’m so happy to be here today.

All things, no matter how good and loved, must eventually come to an end. When I originally planned to write my Ringside Romance series, it was only going to be three books. But then my lovely Justin came into being and there was no way I could leave this world without giving him his happy ending. So here we are, at the final stop on the journey, with both excitement and a few tears.

Justin’s character was my way of showing myself that every character can be his or her own hero. That we don’t have to be slaves to our circumstances, that given the right motivation and support from those who love us, we can move past our own negativity and become someone more.

Justin thought the person to help him was Grady.

That was because he hadn’t met Finn yet.

By helping Finn find his voice, Justin realizes that there’s more to life, more to himself, than he’d ever realized. I hope you’ll join me for LOSING IT, the final tale in the world of the Ringside Gym, where even the most unlikely of heroes can find his happily ever after.

About Losing It

Finn Miller doesn’t do social. He works his IT job from home as often as he can to avoid people. If it weren’t for his weekly training sessions at Ringside Gym, he might never leave his apartment. And he only does that because of Leo, the gym member he’s in love with. When Finn gets talked into attending a speed dating fund-raiser at the gym, his greatest wish is to have the courage to try to say something—anything—to Leo.

Justin McCormick has spent most of his adult life being used, whether playing a corporate heavy, or acting as guard dog for his ward. So when he leaves Vancouver for a fresh start in Toronto, he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.

The moment Justin sees Finn at a speed dating event, he knows there’s no way he’ll make it without a little help, so he offers to coach Finn on the art of conversation. What he doesn’t count on is his unexpected attraction to this shy boxer, or his fear that if Finn gets his way, Justin might lose out on his best chance at love.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

About Ringside Romance

Deep in the heart of Toronto lies Ringside Gym. Once a safe haven for troubled teens, Ringside has gone derelict, a forgotten memory of past days. Until a group of friends set out to do what they can to bring life back to the ring and create a new home for LGBT youths.

But when their lives threaten to pull down their dreams, each man must turn to others to help make it a reality. Winners take all—but there are no losers in love.

Check out the Ringside Romance universe!

About Christine d’Abo

A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.

You can visit Christine at her website www.christinedabo.com, and chat with her on Facebook and Twitter. Want to keep up with Christine’s new releases? Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free book!

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Losing It, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 24, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!