A MelanieM Review :Explore with Me (With Me Series #2) by Kris Jacen


Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Can two coming from such different backgrounds and points in their lives find a balance to explore together?

The Army is the only thing that First Sergeant Danny Glenn has known in his adult life. From the age of nineteen on, he’s worn a uniform every day. He’s seen so much in his twenty years but the last deployment did something to him. Danny’s begun to wonder if he can’t do more good helping people in the US instead of other countries but to do that he’d have to get out.

Doctor Liam MacNamara is finishing up the last of his residency in Emergency Medicine. Now’s the tough part, which offer to accept. He could stay in New Orleans where shifts are never dull or choose to uproot and experience somewhere different. College followed by medical school and then residency are the only things he’s known since he was eighteen. There’s got to be more out there, right?

Can a retired first sergeant and a brand-new doctor balance each other enough to explore their options together?

I so glad Kris Jacen went ahead and wrote another story in what became a series because it’s wonderful.  Explore with Me continues in the same universe and with the same characters and heptad as the marvelous Wait for Me. First Sergeant Danny Glenn is another member of the heptad that I fell in love with in the first story.

But the author removes him from that close-knit group and their support system by placing him in New Orleans.  I have to admit I missed them but they all will show up later.  By isolating him, cutting him away from his heptad, the focus is again primarily on him, his issues, and the problem at the moment, the one the places him at the hospital.    His doctor, Doctor Liam MacNamara, happens to be the baby brother of Mackay…yep  the same Master Sergeant Jeff “Mackey” MacNamara of Wait for Me.  Lian is also at a crossroads in his life, needing to figure out where to go next now that his internship is done.

Two men, one major attraction, close ties between them,  and both at crossroads in their lives. All you need for a wonderful, emotionally charged story and Jacen gives us that.  And she does so within the framework of the military she knows so well.

The members of the heptad (the group of soldiers that serves together and support each other) don’t have to be physically present to be a strong presence here.  No, they appear via  phone calls, texts, what have you.  And then of course, they do come when needed. They are family. All the nibbles and squeakers (the children as they are called), the dogs, the spouses (men and women)…everyone is here.  I love that about these stories.  Kris Jacen makes it clear that a soldier cannot be a soldier within their support system, their military heptad family which includes their actual ones.  That important message comes through strongly here for the readers and Danny.

The buildup to a relationship is slow and realistic.  I liked that too.  In fact I loved everything about this except maybe I wanted a little more at the end.  Maybe the author will give it to us in another story.  Plus there’s a certain soldier May that now needs his story told as well.  I hope they have a part to play in his.  This is a terrific series that I can see going on for some time.  It’s rich and full of love and wonderful people.  I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

I highly recommend this story and the previous one. It helps to have read Wait for Me to understand all the characters you meet here.   Take this soldier and the whole heptad into your heart today.

Cover art: Jared Rackler. I love the cover for this book.  Attractive and the colors are striking.

Sales Links:  MLR Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 127 pages
Published February 8th 2018 by MLR Press
Original TitleExplore with Me
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Review: Special Delivery by Deirdre O’Dare


Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Monte’s sporting goods store is teetering on the edge of collapse due to the economic problems. The small conservative eastern California town he chose for his dream project is not welcoming, even though he keeps his gay lifestyle quiet. Then big trouble and a gorgeous package delivery driver fall into his world at the same time. Are they somehow connected?

Jeff, a special agent for Homeland Security, is working undercover to help bust a contraband and drug operation. Tracks lead to the small town of Cameron Creek, California. Who is the crime ring’s contact at this end? As a delivery driver, Jeff is scoping things out. When he meets Monte, he is smitten at once, but evidence begins to link this new friend to the case. Jeff has every reason not to pursue a relationship, but can he stop himself?

I can’t say this was a good or bad story but I couldn’t connect with it either way.  Monte’s dream store hasn’t been doing nearly as well as he had hoped.  Jeff hopes befriending Monte will help his case but doesn’t expect anything to come of it.

Monte seemed very trusting and was accepting of his fate in regards to his store and even second guesses everything between him and Jeff.  Jeff is undercover when he meets Monte but doesn’t seem able to stop himself from getting to know the man.  I’m not sure if it’s Jeff’s instant distrust and dislike when he sees something that may incriminate Monte or what but these guys seemed to involved for the very little time they spent together.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is cute and was the first thing that caught my eye.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 47 pages

Published: September 12, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634864923

Edition Language: English

A Lila Review :Winter Cowboy by RJ Scott


Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

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?

Winter Cowboy is an interesting second chance story with too much happening off-page when the main characters were younger. It has a lot of drama, angst, and dark events–which also happened off-page.

The start is a bit confusing and it takes a moment to get into what’s happening. During this time, we get Micah’s version of the present events, mixed with the past. We learned a lot of what had happened to get him and his sister to this point. Also, their background and relationship with the family members that raised them.

I did enjoy Daniel’s characterization and how easy it was to feel what was happening to him; his fears, PTSD, and his confusion. How the two main events in his life turned into one leaving him with the need to escape and find solitude.

The combination of Micah and Daniel is explosive and passionate. They both have their flaws and at the same time, they bring hope to each other. This book is more about relationships, family, and forgiveness than love but all together makes an enjoyable read.

The cover by Meredith Russell is generic enough to fit the story but it doesn’t present anything about it. Just pretty to call the reader’s attention.

Sale Links: Love LaneAmazon | NOOK

ebook, 242 pages
Published: February 25, 2018, by Love Lane Books Ltd.
ISBN: 9781785641114
Edition Language: English

Series: Whisper Ridge, Wyoming
Book #1: Winter Cowboy

An Alisa Review: Captive Hearts (Deviant Hearts #1) by A E Ryecart


Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

“Too young, too blond, too skinny. Billy Grace was everything my head told me I didn’t want. Too bad my heart had other ideas.”

When Dashiell Slater uses his fists to stop a vicious assault, the last thing he expects is to be offered a job as reward for being a Good Samaritan. Out of work and short of cash, all he has to do is chauffeur Billy around. It’s easy money so saying yes should be a no-brainer. And if the offer’s not quite legal, so what? Dashiell’s smart and savvy, and knows how the world works. But there are strings attached, and Dashiell doesn’t want to get entangled. He’s ready to say no and walk away – until he sees the fear, despair and fathomless sadness in Billy’s jade-green eyes.

“He was everything I wanted, but couldn’t have. What was the use in dreaming when I was already bought and paid for, the property of another man?”

Billy’s life is a daily round of fear and abuse. One wrong word or one wrong look can mean a beating, or worse. Dashiell’s everything Billy’s heart craves – a man who’ll love and protect him, who’ll keep him safe and catch him when he falls. But Billy can’t have what he yearns for, because to give in to his heart means breaking a promise he’s vowed to keep at all costs.

A soul-searing kiss, a whispered promise, and the chance of a future together is there for the taking. But life is never that simple and danger surrounds them at every turn. Imprisoned by devotion, duty and obligation, Billy’s heart is captive, but can falling for Dashiell finally set it free?

It took me a little bit but once this story got going I didn’t want to put it down.  Billy has pretty much been living in hell the last two years.  Dashiell gives him the opportunity to hope for more while Dashiell’s heart breaks every time he has to bring him back home.

I felt for Billy and the predicament he ended up in, wanting to keep the care for his grandma going while he is essentially being beaten and raped for that.  While Billy has become a little jaded he still seemed quite innocent on how the world works.

I loved Dashiell’s determination to get Billy out of the situation he was in and for them to make a life together.  These two had chemistry from the beginning and did pretty well with keeping it toned down but the more time they seemed to spend together the more trouble they had doing that.  I loved to see that they were able to build a life outside of all that happened and continue on, I just wish we would have known if Dashiell were able to keep in touch with his existing friends as at least Andy seemed important to him.  I look forward to reading more in this series.

I like the cover art love the picture of Dashiell.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 210 pages

Published: February 23, 2018 by AE Ryecart

Edition Language: English

Series: Deviant Hearts #1

Ari of Ari McKay with Teaser and a giveaway on their new release ‘Heart of Glass (Lawyers in Love #3)’ by Ari McKay


Heart of Glass (Lawyers in Love #3) by Ari McKay
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art by Bree Archer

ORDER LINKS:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon


 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ari of Ari McKay here today to talk about their latest story Heart of Glass. Welcome, Ari!

Hello, everyone! I’m the Ari half of Ari McKay, and I am honored to be joining the lovely people at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words today to let you know a little bit about our recent release, Heart of Glass from Dreamspinner Press!

Heart of Glass is book three of our novella series Lawyers in Love. The first story, Santa’s Naughty Helper, was a Christmas tale, while Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows was set around Valentine’s Day. Our latest story returns to the Christmas Season, encompassing both the excitement of a New York “big city” holiday, and the delights of a more homespun celebration in the New Jersey suburbs. But while Christmas is the season for the story, the beginning features a misunderstanding that no one is likely to share around a holiday fire!

Asher Caldwell doesn’t do hearth and home, family or commitment. It’s a result of his upbringing by a father who just can’t seem to understand the word “faithful”. Asher is afraid of being like is father, so his love life consists of nothing more than one night stands with paid escorts. It might seem a bit ironic that a lawyer would result to an activity which is against the law, but Asher views it as serving his purpose. He gets the physical release he needs, the escorts receive compensation, and no one gets hurt.

No one knows about Asher’s practical arrangement, especially not Zach Richardson. Like Asher, Zach is the product of his upbringing. He comes from a large, warm family, and what he wants most is to find someone to love in the way his parents love one another. Unfortunately, Zach isn’t a very outgoing person, and between working for the District Attorney and his own innate reserve, Zach doesn’t meet many men. But when he works on the prosecution of a high profile case, he sees Asher Caldwell in action, and he’s completely blown away. Fascinated with both Asher and Asher’s ability to defend a seemingly indefensible case, Zach applies to Asher’s firm. Unfortunately, working in the same office doesn’t win him Asher’s notice, and Zach finally takes his friends’ advice to get out and try to find someone.

His best friends give him a makeover, and even Zach is stunned at the difference it makes in his appearance. For the first time in his life, he actually feels desirable. When his clubbing date with his pals is interrupted by an urgent assignment delivering paperwork to Asher’s apartment, Zach is a little curious if Asher will notice the difference.

Asher seems to notice – and to approve wholeheartedly, since he proceeds to seduce Zach. Unable to resist, Zach gives in, wondering if this could be the start of the kind of relationship with Asher he’d been hoping for. Their chemistry is off the charts, and Zach is beyond ecstatic, until the truth of the situation is finally revealed. Asher was expecting an escort, and he thought Zach was nothing more than his paid companion for the evening. To say Zach is devastated is quite an understatement.

When Asher learns the truth, he’s horrified that he’s gone to bed with one of his employees — and yet his encounter with Zach left him, for the first time, hungry for more. Now Asher faces the greatest challenge of his life – to convince Zach to take a chance on him, and prove to them both that he can be faithful to one man for the rest of his life.

I’m not going to give anything else away, but I hope I’ve whetted your appetite the way Zach did Asher’s, and that you’ll give Heart of Glass a chance to make you fall in love with our boys the way we did. And even if it isn’t Christmas, maybe a little of the magic can still rub off with the gift of a happily ever after!

Love always! Ari and McKay



Fear of being like his unfaithful father has put high walls around senior litigator Asher Caldwell’s heart. Can former district attorney Zach Richardson knock them down to reveal the passionate man beneath the commitment-phobic workaholic, or will Zach’s own jealousy destroy what they’re trying to build?


A new life and a new love—that’s what Zach’s hoping for when he leaves the DA’s office and lets his friends give him a makeover. But the jury’s still out on whether the experiment was a success. His new look gets the attention of his boss and secret crush, Asher Caldwell, and leads to a seduction. Unfortunately, to Zach’s horror he learns that Asher assumed he was a paid escort. Asher is equally mortified to discover he had sex with an employee. Even so, the encounter meant a lot to both men, and they want to give dating a shot. Their romance born out of mistaken identity might work if Zack can trust Asher to be satisfied with the love of only one man… and if Asher can trust himself.

About the Authors


Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.


Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.


McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.



Website: http://arimckay.wordpress.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ari.mckay.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriMcKay1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6153630.Ari_McKay


The authors are giving away with our post of the first two Lawyers in Love stories, Santa’s Naughty Helper and Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows.   Leave a comment, maybe about the series or even a suggestion for a new holiday for them along with your email address where you can be reached.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

In The Spotlight: New Heights by Quinn Anderson (tour and giveaway)


New Heights by Quinn Anderson
Riptide Publishing

Cover art: L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Quinn Anderson here today to talk about her latest novel New Heights. Welcome, Quinn.

Thanks for joining me on my book tour! I’m Quinn Anderson, author of the Murmur Inc. Series and On Solid Ground. I’m here to share some inside information about New Heights, coming out March 12th, including fun facts and more. Leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card!


About New Heights


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.


Now available from Riptide Publishing!


About Quinn Anderson


Quinn Anderson is an alumna of the University of Dublin in Ireland and has a master’s degree in psychology. She wrote her dissertation on sexuality in popular literature and continues to explore evolving themes in erotica in her professional life.


A nerd extraordinaire, she was raised on an unhealthy diet of video games, anime, pop culture, and comics from infancy. Her girlfriend swears her sense of humor is just one big Joss Whedon reference. She stays true to her nerd roots in writing and in life, and frequently draws inspiration from her many fandoms, which include Yuri on Ice, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Buffy, and more. Growing up, while most of her friends were fighting evil by moonlight, Anderson was kamehameha-ing her way through all the shounen anime she could get her hands on. You will often find her interacting with fellow fans online and offline via conventions and Tumblr, and she is happy to talk about anything from nerd life to writing tips. She has attended conventions on three separate continents and now considers herself a career geek. She advises anyone who attends pop culture events in the UK to watch out for Weeping Angels, as they are everywhere. If you’re at an event, and you see a 6’2” redhead wandering around with a vague look on her face, that’s probably her.


Her favorite authors include J.K. Rowling, Gail Carson Levine, Libba Bray, and Tamora Pierce. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling, cooking, spending too much time on the internet, playing fetch with her cat, screwing the rules, watching Markiplier play games she’s too scared to play herself, and catching ’em all.


Connect with Quinn:



To celebrate the release of New Heights, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 17, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


Tour: Curved Horizon by Taylor Brooke (excerpt and giveaway)



Title: Curved Horizon

Series: The Camellia Clock Cycle, Book Two

Publisher: Interlude Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): March 8, 2018


Romance: LGBT, Contemporary, Science Fiction

Content Warnings: Interlude Press posts content warnings for new books on its web site at interludepress.com/content-warnings

Order now:

Interlude Press: https://store.interludepress.com/collections/curved-horizon-by-taylor-brooke

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2EoGBWw

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/curved-horizon/id1324716366?mt=11

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/curved-horizon-taylor-brooke/1127627874?ean=2940154649688

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/767407

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/at/en/ebook/curved-horizon

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Curved-Horizon-Taylor-Brooke/9781945053542/?a_aid=InterludePress

Book blurb:

Curved Horizon picks up a few weeks after the conclusion of Fortitude Smashed with Daisy Yuen and Chelsea Cavanaugh, whose Camellia Clocks are drawing close to timing out. Navigating the ins-and-outs of love is hard enough as strangers destined to be soul mates and proves even more complicated when Daisy shares dark, ugly secrets that linger in her and Aiden’s pasts.

Meanwhile, Shannon and Aiden continue to explore their own, new relationship. Fall brings them an unforgettable one-year anniversary, but when Shannon suffers a life-threatening accident on the job, Chelsea, Daisy, and Aiden must find a way to let go of the past to make room for their future.

Dive deeper into the world of the Camellia Clock—a world of soulmates, secrets, and the healing power of love.

Exclusive Excerpt :

Three hundred sixty-five days.

It’d been one year: one autumn, one winter, one spring, and one summer. It’d crept in on him in his sleep, stirring Shannon into bolting from his dreams. He sprang up, gripped his knees, and inhaled a shaky breath. It’d been one entire year.

How they both allowed it to slip by without paying any attention was marginally embarrassing, but Shannon wasn’t thinking about that. He dismissed the thoughts spinning in the back of his mind and focused on everything that was right in front of him.

“What’s wrong?” Aiden said, suddenly alert. He reached for Shannon’s wrist and curled his fingers around it. “Bad dream?”

Shannon coughed over a laugh and pawed at his eyes, shaking his head leisurely from side to side. “What’s the date?”

“What?” Aiden spat. He groaned and curled into Shannon’s side, nudging his forehead against the edge of Shannon’s shoulder. “It’s two in the morning; go to sleep.”

“It’s October second. We missed our own anniversary.”Shannon looked at Aiden and found Aiden looking back. “Put your eyebrows down, I’m serious,” Shannon added.
Aiden’s brows dropped, and he lifted onto his elbows, measuring

Shannon with calculating, sharp eyes. On most occasions his inability to sleep made Aiden into one of two things. One, he was a corpse. There was no waking him when he had finally fallen asleep, and if he was awakened, he was only half-alive. Two, he was this, awake as if he’d never been asleep, awake as a shark or a hungry nightmare, awake as an addict. Shannon saw his cheek cave in, sucked between Aiden’s back teeth.

“Yeah,” Shannon said. His accent made everything sound sweeter. “What’re you thinking about?”

“I never considered tonight our anniversary,” Aiden said. Shannon tilted his head and waited. Aiden obviously wasn’t finished talking, but he paused, giving

Shannon a moment to absorb his statement. It wasn’t until it’d been said twice that Shannon realized how odd it was. Anniversary. It had always been a stupid, juvenile thing to him. Anniversaries were for movies and flowers and dinner at a restaurant with candles on the tables. The only anniversaries he’d ever celebrated were with Chelsea. They went to the fanciest Italian place in Milford, which wasn’t very fancy at all, and after dessert pretended they knew what they were doing in the bed of Shannon’s truck for a whole twenty minutes.

This, he realized, was a first of firsts. “Get your keys,” Aiden said. Shannon wasn’t sure what the silence between I never considered tonight our anniversary and get your keys meant, but he imagined it meant something. He didn’t bother trying to figure out what Aiden was getting at or arguing with him, so he asked, “Where are we going?”

“Wherever you want,” Aiden said.

They dressed quickly and clumsily, bouncing off each other as they tugged on their shoes. Aiden pulled on a black beanie and Shannon ran his hands through his hair, attempting to tame it. Shannon was awake, but the world turned slowly enough to be dreamlike. He handed Aiden the keys, slumped into the passenger seat, and ignored his seatbelt. The twilight sensation of being awake and asleep at the same time was something Shannon rarely experienced, but as he watched Aiden from his side of the Jeep Cherokee, he found himself wondering if this was the kind of universe Aiden wandered in: being awake but not fully and asleep but not fully, stepping halfway out of a dream.

Aiden glanced over. “Where to?”

“You choose.”

“Turn on music,” Aiden said, and Shannon did.

Laguna Beach passed by in intervals of palm trees, dark buildings, darker streets, and the darkest ocean. Shannon noticed how alive everything was at night with the wind snapping at the windshield and fog clinging to the shoreline. He’d almost forgot what the dark was like when he was a part of it rather than an outsider trying to look in.

About the author:

After fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures as a special effects makeup artist, Taylor Brooke turned her imagination back to her true love—books. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she’s traveling, hiking or reading. She writes Queer books for teens and adults. She is the author of Fortitude Smashed (Interlude Press ’17) and is represented by Saba Sulaiman at Talcott Notch Literary Services. 

Connect with Taylor Brooke: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Author Website


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