A MelanieM Review:Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

One scorching summer in each other’s arms could never be enough.


Stanislav “Stan” Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way.


He’d given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan’s heart as before. This time it’s not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there’s a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby.


Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he’s now finding it harder and harder to turn away.


Erik Gunnarsson’s dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he’d land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he’d callously broken?


Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan’s life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him.

Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?

I’ve been waiting for Stan’s story ever since being introduced to the goalie in the Harrisburg Railers series.  With his staunch Russian soul and broken English, Stan quickly won my heart and those of a multitude of readers.  We wanted his story and his HEA.  Now we have it in  Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey. Should have known it would be a heartbreaker.

Turns out Stan has a secret love that went badly and ex shows up as a player brought up from their farm team to join the line. All the heartache and betrayal made fresh daily.  I love that Scott and Locey finally give us a window into this complicated man who misses his family, his mother and sister back in Russia, that he’s been creating a home for in Harrisburg.  Given his pov, we see his relative isolation (courtesy of his language barrier), his love for his team, and the crushing pain Erik’s handling of their affair has dealt him.  It is a visceral hurt for us all, due in part to the authors vivid and emotional descriptions that bring us deeply into Stan’s life.

Erik’s perspective also become’s a necessary part of their story.  We need to see what drove his decision, his interaction with his son, everything in order to connect with the man that hurt Stan.  Twining the two shared men’s stories strengthens our hopes and resolve to see them together.  You can see how clearly Erik needs not only Stan but the rest of the team for support, emotional and otherwise.

I loved watching the team meld together.  Locey is such an excellent sports writer.  Her scenes of the team together visually on ice, lining up as a team, mentally or figuratively, work to bring this novel alive.  So too the characters as breathing hockey players.  I

One element I very much appreciated was the development of the mother’s character.  There is no lop-sided villainess here but an individual not prepared to be a mother.  This is a thoughtful portrayal, realistic and believable.  I enjoy the hockey scenes as much as the romance….almost….lol.

There is a wonderful epilogue and a setup for the next story.  Honestly, this is one of my favorite series, full of complex men, with each relationship far different from the next.  I couldn’t recommend it more.  That includes Poke Check.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell .  Not my favorite cover.  Neither is my idea of the characters.  I mean have you seen Alex Ovechkin, the great 8, or any other of the Russian players?No match, not even close to the all American looking guy on the cover.

Buy Links:  AmazonUniversal Buy Links

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 178 pages
Published February 11th 2018 by Love Lane Books Ltd
ASINB079RJCGJK
SeriesHarrisburg Railers #4

Book #1 – Changing Lines

Book #2 – First Season

Book #3 – Deep Edge

An Alisa Review: Manic Pixie Dream Boy (Underdogs #1) by KA Merikan

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

—. You can’t hide the cracks under the spotlight .—

Dusk. Leader of The Underdogs. Destined for greatness. Lives in the now.
Abe. AKA Lolly. Iridescent. Unicorn.

All Dusk wants out of life is for his band to become world famous. He also wants to have a lot of fun along the way. And to get his rocks off. When he wants something, he goes for it, consequences be damned.

So when he sees a gorgeous pink-haired guy who is the human equivalent of tattooed cotton candy, he can’t help but have a taste. But it’s when Lolly ends up on their tour bus that Dusk knows their meeting was destiny.

Abe is the kind of guy who goes with the flow. He was hitchhiking anyway, so why not spend the week with a hot piece of rocker beefcake, getting smothered by his sexy long hair? And why not play the part of the supportive cutie while he’s at it? It’s not like he’d be sticking around for long anyway.

All plans hit a wall when photos of Abe and Dusk emerge online, suddenly pushing the band into the spotlight. To take advantage of the sudden popularity, the band offers Abe money for staying.

Which means money for being in a fake relationship with Dusk.

Which isn’t even fake.

Or is it?

Dusk and Abe connect immediately end up going full steam ahead, without really talking about it.  Their relationship works well for the band and they are enjoying their time together so what’s wrong? Maybe some actually talking would help.

Abe is totally a ball of energy and he seems to put that energy into everything he does.  He even helps with promotion for the band behind the scenes without telling anyone.

I loved these two characters, Dusk is enthralled with Lolly and just knows it means more while Abe is expressive but reserved with his own emotions.  The non-fake fake relationship causes more confusion than help, it gives Dusk and Lolly the chance to get to know each other but also puts a slight boundary between them that they are scared to cross.  I could feel Dusk’s pain when he was scared for Lolly and then when Lolly pushes him away.  Abe tried to keep a part of himself away from Dusk and ends up deeply hurt when Dusk tries to help their situation.  These two are wonderful for each other and I really enjoyed their story.  I can’t wait to read more in this series.

The cover art by Natasha Snow is wonderful and I loved the picture of Dusk.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 143 pages

Published: September 10, 2017 by K.A. Merikan

Edition Language: English

Series: The Underdogs #1

Annabelle Jay Daddy Issues in Luminosity: Book Five in the Sun Dragon Series (guest post and excerpt)

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Luminosity (The Sun Dragon #5) by Annabelle Jay
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Stef Masciandaro

Buy Links: Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Annabelle Jay here today on her tour for Luminosity, the last in The Sun Dragon series.  Welcome, Annabelle.

✒︎

Daddy Issues in Luminosity: Book Five in the Sun Dragon Series

by Annabelle Jay

A lot of young adults have complicated relationships with their parents, especially when one of them has been gone for years. For Luke, a transgender teenager obsessed with astronomy and theories about magical worlds, her complicated relationship gets a whole lot more complicated when she finds out that her absent father is actually an incubus.

Luke’s father attacks at the worst time: during a study session with a girl that Luke has a crush on. Little does Luke know that Egret is half Igreefee, a group of magical people with environmental powers, and that her people have dealt with Incubi like Luke’s father before. After a narrow escape, Egret explains why Luke’s dad is so bent on finding her: Luke is the universe’s last Artist, a person with the ability to draw things into existence. 

As if things couldn’t get any worse, it turns out that incubi want their offspring in order to eat them and gain power. The blood of one’s offspring is the strongest of all, which puts Luke in grave danger. In the scene below, Egret must get her to the infamous Merlin’s house and under his protection without Luke’s father capturing her. However, as Luke is soon to discover, sometimes parental motivations are more complicated than they seem.

***

With a carved wooden stick in one hand and Egret’s bird feathers in the other, I sailed away from the Igreefee camp as suddenly as I’d entered it. Even though I’d only spent a few hours there, the forest dwelling had already begun to feel like home—especially because the Igreefee weren’t afraid to tell me the truth, something my own mother seemed incapable of.

“So… Grace…,” I said to start a conversation after what felt like an hour of silence had passed. “She seems nice.”

You’re a terrible liar. She’s an annoying know-it-all, but you have to admit, she’s hot.

I couldn’t argue with that.

How about you? Egret asked. Did you have a special someone or two back at your old school?

“Never.”

I didn’t mention Lacey; I wasn’t even sure she counted. Lacey had loved me, and she’d told me as much, but the Luke that Lacey loved was not the one I wanted to be. Sure, there had been a few awkward moments between us when dancing at junior prom had led to something more or a spin the bottle game that had gotten out of control, but to me, those didn’t count. I’d felt like an actor in a play, a Romeo kissing his Juliet, but after the curtain closed, I wanted to take off the costume and be myself again.

That’s a shame. Those pretty blue eyes and that long blond hair deserve some appreciation. Wait, you are into girls, aren’t you?

“Quite interested.”

Before she could question me further, a pair of red eyes appeared in the clouds on our right—and then another, and another.

“Incubi are everywhere!” I yelled, as though Egret couldn’t see them with her own eyes. “What should we do?”

Use the staff, she instructed. Just press the engraved circle in the middle and aim.

I found the circle and pressed. A beam of green light flashed like a camera, and then the incubus closest to us flew backward several feet.

Good. We’re only about ten minutes from Merlin’s house, so just keep pressing that button whenever they get close. The sorcerer will have his own protection spell in place.

I did as she commanded. Most of the incubi realized what was going on and retreated, but one incubus in particular kept coming back. Like a wild dog, he bared his white teeth and flew at us, and the staff was the only thing able to hold him back each time. The incubus tried to lunge around the circle of light, and even to swim through its force.

“You don’t think…?”

Your father? Could be, by the way your blood is making him crazy, or perhaps an uncle? I guess I can see the family resemblance. Now hold on!

Egret plunged downward toward a small city on another floating piece of rock and then, by swooping left, adjusted her course to a small pinprick of light on the outskirts.

Almost there.

She strained to move faster and faster, while the incubi threw their bodies down at us like hail by tucking their legs into their torsos. The most persistent incubus somehow got through the light and onto Egret’s wing, and no amount of shaking could release his grip.

Get him off! she yelled, or he’ll stop us from entering Merlin’s house.

I poked the incubus with the staff, then hit him with it. Stubbornly, he clung to a fistful of feathers and pulled, sending us into a barrel roll that turned my stomach. Finally, using the other side of the staff, I aimed directly for his red eyes.

Bingo.

 Blurb

As the epic saga of the Sun Dragon series draws to a close, transgender teenager Luke must face her destiny to decide the fate of her world. Not only is Luke a girl born into the wrong body, she is the universe’s last Artist: a person with the ability to draw things into existence. When she comes face-to-face with an incubus who might be her father, she learns it falls to her—along with allies from the wizard’s Council and the dragon clan leaders—to prevent the incubi from destroying the world. If that isn’t enough, she needs to find a way out of a relationship with her girlfriend that she never intended, go after the Igreefee royal she really wants to be with, and decide if the time is right to transition physically into the girl she’s always been inside.

The journey that began with Allanah’s first Sun Dragon is coming to its thrilling conclusion. The dragons, wizards, sorceresses, and birds you’ve come to know and love will reunite for their biggest battle yet—one that will decide their destiny at last.

About the Author

If there’s one thing author Annabelle Jay believes with all her heart, it’s that there is no such thing as too many dragons in a book. As fantasy writer with few other hobbies—does being bribed to run with her partner or dancing awkwardly in the kitchen count?—she spends every day following her imagination wherever it leads her.

A hippie born in the wrong decade, Annabelle has a peace sign tattoo and a penchant for hugging trees. Occasionally she takes breaks from her novels to play with her pets: Jon Snow, the albino rabbit who is constantly trying to escape; Stevie, the crested gecko that climbs glass with the hairs on its toes; and Luigi, the green tree python that lives at the foot of her bed despite her best efforts to talk her partner out of the idea.

During her day job as a professor of English, Annabelle is often assumed to be a fellow student playing a prank on the class—that is, until she hands out the syllabus. When people stop mistaking her for a recent high school graduate, she will probably be very sad.

Author’s Website: www.annabellejay.com

Twitter: @AnnabelleAuthor

Instagram: @AnnabelleAuthor

Publisher’s book page: https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/luminosity-by-annabelle-jay-529-b

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14191901.Annabelle_Jay

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Annabelle-Jay-376249719245415

RELEASE BLITZ for Break Down (Dublin Rugby #4) by Rebecca Norinne (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Break Down
Series: Dublin Rugby #4
Author: Rebecca Norrine
Genre: M/M Sports Romance
Release Date: February 21, 2018

He knows his place on the pitch, but in life, it’s a whole other game.All his life, Liam Donnelly looked and wondered. Could he? Would he? And then, finally, he did. But when he sampled a taste of that forbidden fruit, his whole world came crashing down, his position with Dublin Rugby right along with it. When the chance to ply his trade in Edinburgh comes along, Liam jumps at the offer, knowing it could be his best opportunity to start fresh and get back to the man he once was. But one look at Chef Lachlan MacLeod — his knowing, whisky-colored eyes, the abrasive scruff dotting his jaw, and the colorful ink lining his forearms —and Liam’s wondering all over again. Can he? Will he? His heart says no, but his body says yes.He’s conquered his own demons; can he help another man do the same?Out and proud Chef Lachlan MacLeod has no problem with who he is, except he has a history of hooking up with bi-curious straight men. He’s vowed never to go down that path again, but when Liam Donnelly shows up in his restaurant, his eyes filled with heat and secret longing, Lachlan can’t help himself. He knows the closeted rugby player is a terrible idea, but the man calls to him in a way no one ever has before. What started as a safe way for Liam to explore his sexuality quickly morphs into something much deeper, and now Lachlan wants more. But can his heart reconcile what his head already knows-that loving the gorgeous, broken athlete might actually mean letting him go?

 

I absolutely adored Liam and Lachlan’s journey. It was sweet, smexy, frustrating and real and I savored each step forward and back that these men took in order to find their HEA. – Books-n-Wine

What do you get when you take a hot rugby star who is sexually confused and add in a sexy, chef who knows what he wants? An excellent read! – Que Sara Sera Book Blog

From start to finished i devoured this read and couldn’t put it down till i had. I was drawn in and captivated with Liam and Lachlan’s story. – Millsy Loves Books

Break Down was everything and more; all of Rebecca Norinne’s words are so beautifully and tastefully written you will not be disappointed with this book. – Scandalous Book Blog

Wow this book! I am having a hard time putting into words how I feel. I absolutely loved this book. This is one of the best M/M romances I have read in a while. – Laid Back Book Bitches

Holy amazing story Batman! This is the first story by this author that I have read. I’m a automatic one clicker for her now. WOW. – The Heathers Blog

This M/M read is beautifully written. The characters being both sexy & rough, yet emotional & vulnerable. – Dani’s Book Review Blog


 


 

Sign up for Rebecca’s newsletter for a chance to win the FULL SERIES >

 

 

No amount of logic or reason could prevent me from stepping between Liam’s thighs and fisting his blond hair between my fingers. No amount of caution or doubt would keep me from tugging his head back. And when he gasped—his mouth parting in surprise—no amount of uncertainty would keep me from crushing my lips to his, from my teeth nipping at the sensual curve of his full, bottom lip. Nothing, and no one, would keep me from devouring the mouth I’d dreamed about for weeks, from licking my way inside, from tangling my tongue with his until he weaved his fingers through my hair and moaned, the sound moving from his chest, through his mouth, and into mine.

 

 

USA TODAY bestselling Rebecca Norinne writes steamy contemporary romance featuring smart and sexy heroines and the men who adore them. When not writing, Rebecca is watching rugby, drinking craft beer, or traveling the globe in search of inspiration for her next story. Find out more at http://www.rebeccanorinne.com

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Review Tour for Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by RJ Scott & VL Locey (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 50,000 words approx
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Harrisburg Railers Series
 
Book #1 – Changing Lines
Book #2 – First Season
Book #3 – Deep Edge
 
Blurb
 

One scorching summer in each other’s arms could never be enough.


Stanislav “Stan” Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way.


He’d given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan’s heart as before. This time it’s not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there’s a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby.


Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he’s now finding it harder and harder to turn away.


Erik Gunnarsson’s dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he’d land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he’d callously broken?


Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan’s life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him.


Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?




Feb 14 – Gay Media Reviews, Reading In Sarah’s Corner, Xtreme Delusions, Urban Smoothie Read, My Fiction Nook, The Smut-Brarians
Feb 16 – Hearts On Fire Reviews, The Geekery Book Review, Booklove
Feb 21 – We Three Queens, Sarandipity, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Making It Happen, Books After Fifty, MM Good Book Reviews, Jessie G Books
Feb 23 – My Book Filled Life
Feb 26 – Book Lovers 4Ever, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Wicked Reads
Feb 28 – Valerie Ullmer, Jim’s Reading Room, Padme’s Library
March 2 – Mirrigold, Bayou Book Junkie

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We highly recommend it.

Excerpt
 

 

Stan


There are many people I would have rather seen standing on the ice of my practice arena than Erik. For example my beloved sister, Galina, my sainted mother, Arina, my cat, Lucy, or my new gay American heartthrob, Zachary Quinto.


Zachary would be wearing only a smile even though it’s cold on the ice.


But no, none of them were standing in front of me wearing a Railers sweater and curls. Those damn golden curls. They’d always tempted me beyond sense. As had his mouth. And the way he would tilt his head when he was trying to understand me out of bed. In bed? There was no language barrier. Our bodies had always been tuned to each other like radio waves to a satellite dish.


Even now, I felt the low hum of his presence in my veins. I had feared this moment would come. From the first time I’d heard his name mentioned as being a new member of the Rush, our AHL feeder team, I’d known he would eventually stand in front of me, tipping his head, with his curls, his eyes and his mouth.


Connor was looking at me as if he expected something from me. Ah yes, words. He wanted me to say something. How did “go fuck a donkey” translate into English?


“We are known to each other.”


I skated to my net, mask perched on my head, and tried to focus. The humming in my blood was unsettling. Closing my eyes, I let the blue ice under my skates talk to me. Opening myself up to the sounds of hockey, the stress of seeing Erik again lessened. I whispered to the pipes as I tapped them. Asked them in Russian if they were going to be my friends during this practice.


“Uh, hey, I know this is a strict breach of protocol and all…but is there a problem between you and Gunner?”


I glanced to the left. Tennant stood there, geared up, his stick casually resting across his shoulders. So Erik now had his American hockey nickname. Why didn’t I have a new American hockey nickname? Pah. I was being petty. It tasted bad on my tongue.


“Gunner is okay person from time back in space.” Was that right? English was hard to speak. It made no sense. How could there be three ways to spell one word? Russian was simple. Strong. Pure. A language of passion and spirit. American was whiney and tied my brain into knots. No, that was not true. American was a wonderful language. It was me who was whiney and unhappy. “Time back. In the back of time. Is bad time to talk. Go away.”

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.

 

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, 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, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.


When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

 

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