A MelanieM Review: Murder Takes the High Road by Josh Lanyon

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

From award-winning male/male author Josh Lanyon: a librarian finds himself in a plot right out of one of his favorite mystery novels

Librarian Carter Matheson is determined to enjoy himself on a Scottish bus tour for fans of mystery author Dame Vanessa Rayburn. Sure, his ex, Trevor, will also be on the trip with his new boyfriend, leaving Carter to share a room with a stranger, but he can’t pass up a chance to meet his favorite author.

Carter’s roommate turns out to be John Knight, a figure as mysterious as any character from Vanessa’s books. His strange affect and nighttime wanderings make Carter suspicious. When a fellow traveler’s death sparks rumors of foul play, Carter is left wondering if there’s anyone on the tour he can trust.

Drawn into the intrigue, Carter searches for answers, trying to fend off his growing attraction toward John. As unexplained tragedies continue, the whole tour must face the fact that there may be a murderer in their midst—but who?

Nothing better than diving into a Josh Lanyon murder mystery!  But I have to admit I have a fondness for librarians going back to my childhood and the endless hours I spent with them and their libraries, no matter what state I was living in at the time.  And of course, there’s that certain librarian  (The Mummy) who stood up and announced with utter confidence in her abilities to handle anything “I am a librarian!”.  As well she should.   As does Josh Lanyon’s intrepid librarian Carter Matheson deal with everything that comes at him, from the expected to the shocking, in this marvelous tale of murder and romance in Murder Takes the High Road.

Carter, you see, is on a trip of a sort I’ve always wanted to take for myself.  So it was easy to slide in next to him, along with the other author and series devotees visiting places important in books written by this author they adored.  However, there’s another huge element here.  Carter’s recent ex, the one he was supposed to be taking the trip with, is also on the tour with the new boyfriend.  The one he wanted Carter’s ticket for, the one that Carter refused to give up and is using now.  So many emotions in turmoil to go along with a long awaited tour that    Carter had been looking forward to.

Of course, Lanyon pours us into Carter’s soul and the  awkwardness and pain of the situation.  She let’s no small agony go passed by and soon we are deeply connected to Carter and the story (and everyone on the tour as well).  Before you can blink, there’s a murder..and mysteries, and a delightful handsome guy for Carter to share room, clues, and maybe just more with.

Yes, I ate this all up.

And at the end, when all the revelations were laid out, all the murderers exposed…I was totally satisfied.  Except that of course as with all of Josh Lanyon’s couples…I wanted more. Of them and more stories.  Can’t be helped.  It’s just the way of her stories.

So yes, I absolutely recommend Murder Takes the High Road by Josh Lanyon.  I loved it.  If you are a fan of murder mystery romances, I will you will too.  If you are a fan of this author, you’ve already read and know what I’m talking about.

Cover art is spectacular.  I just love it.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details: 

ebook
Expected publication: April 23rd 2018 by Carina Press
Original TitleMurder Takes the High Road
ISBN139781459293595
Edition LanguageEnglish

Blog Tour for Campus Life (CYOA #2) by TC Orton (excerpt and giveaway)

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 Campus Life Tour Banner

CAMPUS LIFE

CYOA BOOK 2

T.C. ORTON

RELEASE DATE: 03.22.18

Campus Life Cover 

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A choose your own adventure for adults!

Young, dumb, and full of… You get the picture.

Welcome to Mentis University, your name is Joseph Smith and you’ve been unremarkable all your life. No – really, you’ve been absolutely, unequivocally, insert-smart-word-here mundane since the day the doctor slapped your ass and you let out a sigh. HOWEVER, you did manage to achieve one thing this year – you transferred to a better college. Bravo! (Mentis University has been rated number 2 on Top 10 worst colleges to attend for the last seven years… Guess where you were before this)

Since no one else from your hometown of – insert rural American town here – managed to claw their way out of mediocrity, you decided there was no point in hiding anymore. And thus, at an energetic twenty-one years old, you’re now an openly gay man. Congratulations.

Of course, there’s not much point in being openly gay if there are no gays to be in your opening. So, after spending a few days getting accustomed to your new life, you flopped onto your single bed, closed your eyes, and prayed to the lord… (And you’re still waiting for the day Cher tweets you back)

“Please,” you begged. “Guide me to a man who will treat me right… or pound me like a piece of veal.”

Luckily for you, someone was listening…

Dear Reader

You will assume the role of Joe Smith (first-person, present tense) and guide him through his final year of college. Don’t worry, you won’t be expected to do anything as absurd as learn mathematics, but you will, on occasion, be provided with choices that will impact the outcome of the story.

 

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Campus Life Teaser 1

Campus Life Teaser 3

Campus Life Teaser 2 

 

EXCERPT

Before I know it, I’m weaving my way through a swarm of cosplayers, getting handed leaflets for pop-up stores and being bombarded with free samples of anime-inspired cakes. Having so many people crammed into a single room makes the air humid, palpable. The scent of sizzling hotdogs infuses with the buttery popcorn and crepe stands. The body odor oozing from the heavily costumed teens causes me to recoil whenever we cut through a large group, and my shoes stick to the floor every other step like we’re treading through the filthiest of nightclubs.

Man, this place is packed wall-to-wall with sweaty basement dwellers (much like the person writing this book) and hot nerds alike. There’s queues at every booth and tables with D-list voice actors outlining the various manga and comic book stalls. There’s even a makeshift arcade setup with cabinets ranging from 80’s classics to modern VR titles.

So much to do, so much to see, and yet the one thing that draws in my gaze is the beaming grin on Kai’s face. He looks elated to be here, and I think a part of that has to do with me being here with him…At least, I hope so.

“How many of these have you been to?”I ask, loudly, trying to speak over the cheers and laughter that fill the room.

“This is my fifth!”he calls back, pulling me along by my wrist as he leads me to the comic stalls. “What do you think?”

“I think it’s…lively,” I reply, getting a whiff of unwashed armpit as I squeeze myself between two burly men.

Gag. People should only be allowed to smell like that mid-orgy.

We continue trudging our way through the crowd when suddenly, we’re swallowed by the shadows of the bookstacks and the thousands of comics they hold. Kai releases me mid-aisle and dashes toward a specific pile of pricy-looking omnibuses, and I linger behind him, appreciating his bulbous buns and thinking of all the things I’d like to do to him.

“Have you read Crisis on infinite earths?”he asks, flicking through the pages of said book.

“Erm…”

“What about The killing joke? Or Secret wars? Or Infinite crisis? Did you read the Alias comics before Jessica Jones went to Netflix? Oh –oh, have you read the original Civil War? They changed so much, but I get it. I don’t think they’d ever be able to do a proper adaptation even if they had all the rights to their characters back.”

AUTHOR BIO

Born January 6th 1993, T. C. resides in the United Kingdom, living with his partner Peter Jones and their dog, Drake.

T. C. has had a passion for supernatural stories from a young age, often scribbling down his latest ideas instead of focusing on whatever task was at hand during the long school days. At the age of twelve, he penned his first romance story featuring himself and the boy he had feelings for set in a fantastical land full of werewolves and wizards. Ever since that day, T. C. has made it his mission to entwine his leading gay protagonists with epic paranormal adventures.

 

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Release Day Blitz for Austin (Man Up series) by Felice Stevens (excerpt)

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 Austin RDB Banner

AUSTIN

MAN UP SERIES

FELICE STEVENS

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 04.05.18

Austin-400x600 (1) 

COVER DESIGN: REESE DANTE

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I can make it by myself. The only rules I follow are my own. Love? I learned that lesson the hard and painful way—it wasn’t right for me. Sure, sometimes it gets lonely, and I wish I had a man to hold. Who’d love me. Want me. Treat me with respect. Yeah, I dance in a club, but that doesn’t mean I’m easy. Or a fool. So you, sitting in the back, watching me? I know what you want. You want me. In your bed. Under you. But I say no. It doesn’t matter how many presents you give me.

I’m not falling for you. I know who you are. But you don’t know me. You don’t know Austin.

Austin Teaser 1

Austin Teaser 2

Austin Teaser 3

EXCERPT

I lifted my chin. “I’m sorry, but customers aren’t allowed in here. You have to leave.”

Ignoring my statement, he closed the door behind him and stood, his face impassive, expression hard and fierce as if hacked out of granite.

“Did he hurt you?”

The softness of his voice surprised me. It didn’t reconcile with his large, imposing presence. Forgetting my previous statement, I gazed up at him from my seat, and not wishing to be at a disadvantage, stood.

“You saw what happened?”

“I did.” A twinkle lit his startling blue eyes. “You handled it perfectly.”

“Fucking asshole. He’s lucky I didn’t kick him harder.”

“The kitten has claws, I see.”

A smile curved his stern mouth, and he looked younger and impossibly attractive. A rush of desire hit me, but I couldn’t fall prey to it or him.

“I’m not a kitten, and if you think I need a protector, you can forget it. I can take care of myself.” I’d had to all my life.

“I don’t want to be your protector.” Fire replaced the smile in his eyes. “Did you like what I sent you?” He licked his lips. “Are you wearing it?”

I should have been scared. Being alone with him here could be dangerous, even though my instinct told me he’d never hurt me. But whether to listen to my body or my heart, I hadn’t yet decided. Wordlessly, I took several steps until I stood only a few feet in front of him. I peeled back the top of my shorts, exposing the frothy lace. The sparkling crystals caught the light. He reached out with a finger, then halted in midair.

“May I?”

My dick shifted in my thin shorts, and though it was impossible not to notice my rising desire, he waited for my response.

“No.”

Felice Logo

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed. 

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Heart Unheard (Hearts Entwined #2) by Andrew Grey and Greg Tremblay ((Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Scott has had a crush on his boss for years, but the older man doesn’t seem to return his flirting so he bites his tongue and enjoys their time together at work.  Brent, in the meantime, feels the same way about Scott, but he’s the boss so he’d never act on his crush because it wouldn’t be appropriate. Plus, the age gap bothers him, so he keeps his attraction to himself.  Until Scott is severely injured in an accident and Brent can no longer keep quiet.  Realizing he almost lost the young man before they had a chance to explore possibilities, he makes sure Scott is aware of his interest.

But it may be too late because Scott has lost his hearing due to the head injury he suffered in the crash, and he doesn’t see himself the same way as he used to.  He doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone, least of all Brent.

In this audiobook edition, Greg Tremblay brought the characters to life.  Both men had distinctive voices and I liked the way Greg managed Scott’s voice—just the right volume and intonation to indicate someone who can’t hear himself speaking.  He also gave a variety of voices to the secondary characters, including Scott’s (sometimes overbearing) mother. Thankfully, he didn’t give her a wicked-witch voice as many other narrators may have done. 

Most of the story revolves around trying to determine who hit Scott, since the car hasn’t shown up at any of the auto repair shops. Of course, since Scott and Brent both work at a mechanic’s shop they can easily question their peers about the car, but it isn’t until an accidental sighting by someone picking up a part at another garage that the situation comes to a head. 

There’s also back story on Scott’s ex-friends from his church group, all of whom have turned their back on him when one of them lied about Scott making a pass at him.  And there’s quite a bit of interaction between Scott and James, the blind character from Heart Unseen, who helps Scott adjust to life with his new disability.

And, of course, this is Andrew Grey, who is such a sweetheart that it always shows through in his work, so readers know going into this that it will have life lessons, foolish choices by some characters, and finally, a HEA for two very deserving young men. I definitely recommend this one in audio format.  It’s a great way to spend a day, a commute, or a relaxing weekend.    

~~~~

Cover art by LC Chase depicts a young auto mechanic working on the underside of a car while another man looks on.  While it does represent the characters from the story, it’s done in a sepia tone so is not very attention-getting and wouldn’t draw me to this book.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Book Details:

Audible Audio
Published March 8th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published November 17th 2017)
ASINB07B8TCLRY
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHearts Entwined #2

Inked in Vegas (A Heathens Ink Novella) by K.M. Neuhold Release Blitz and Excerpt

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INKED IN VEGAS

HEATHENS INK NOVELLA

K.M. NEUHOLD

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 04.06.18

 

Inked in Vegas  

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“We’re going to be married in a week. You’re going to be my husband, and we’re going to live happily ever after.” ~Madden

It feels like I’ve been waiting to marry Thane my entire life. And with our big day only a week away, our friends insist on a bachelor party in Vegas.

An outrageous scavenger hunt, an unexpected trip to the altar, and a wild night with an ex-boyfriend. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…right?

Join the Heathens crew as they hit Sin City to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of Madden and Thane; you know these men never do anything half-assed.

***This is a multi-POV novella with lots of sexy times (including one MF and one MMF scene). Unlike the rest of the Heathens Ink series, this one CANNOT be read as a standalone.

 

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IiV teaser 1

EXCERPT

“I’m looking at them right now, and they say, ‘Jane and Madden Forever’.”

“And that’s incorrect?” The woman on the other end of the phone asks in an infuriatingly calm voice.

“Yes, that is incorrect,” I snap. “I don’t know who the hell Jane is; I’m sure she’s a lovely woman, but I’m marrying a man named Th-ane. Say it with me sweetie…T.H.A.N.E.” I admit I might be bordering on hysterical, but it’s eight freaking days before my wedding, and the programs say Jane and Madden. Who the fuck is Jane?

“Okay sir, I understand. I’ll get the corrected programs shipped straight to you.”

“Thank you, but our wedding is in eight days. That’s one week from tomorrow. They’ll be here in time, won’t they?”

Before I can hear her reassurances, my phone is snagged out of my hand.

“Thank you very much; we appreciate it. You have a lovely day,” Thane says in a smooth voice before hanging up my phone and putting it in his own pocket. “You need to relax, sweetheart. I hate to say it, but you’ve turned into a bit of a groomzilla.”

“You don’t understand,” I say, trying not to slip into a full-on pout.

I just want to make our wedding perfect, so I can show Thane how much I love him and how deeply I appreciate his patience with me when I was struggling so hard to cope. I acted like a complete dick early on in our relationship, and maybe if I can give him the most perfect wedding in the history of human civilization it will make up for it. He deserves a perfect wedding and so much more.

“What I understand is there’s no reason for this much stress. All I care about is getting to call you mine for the rest of our lives. I already told you, I’d be more than happy to tie the knot in Vegas this weekend during our bachelor party.”

I gasp in indignation, even though this isn’t news to me.

“After all this planning, you’d better believe we are having a damn wedding next weekend, come hell or high water.”

“Whatever makes you happy,” Thane says before pulling me in for a slow, sweet kiss.

Most days I can’t believe this incredible man wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I’ve faced down my fair share of demons in my life, and even more so in the last year and a half, and now that I’m safely on the other side of those nightmares, my life doesn’t feel real, in the best possible way.

You make me happy,” I tell him between kisses.

“I bet I can make you even happier,” Thane teases, fingers finding their way to my button fly.

As if on cue, there’s a loud knock on the front door, and we both groan in frustration.

KM Neuhold Logo

I’m an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.

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A Jeri Release Day Review: Roses in the Devil’s Garden (Fallen Rose #1) by Charlie Cochet

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

As a big Charlie Cochet fan, I was eager to read the first of a new series coming from her. And this is both very different, and in some ways quite a bit the same as her THIRDS series.

This is a VERY short primer to what I assume is a series coming out. Set during Prohibition, the story follows Harlan and Nathan- best friends, lovers and detectives in the Prohibition unit. There is pretty much no such thing as an “out” gay man, but within clubs and speakeasies, it is often overlooked.
Honestly, there isn’t a ton here to review. I will say it is a good set up and I definitely want more. Ms Cochet writes seamlessly with 20’s era lingo and style. There were a few things that I questioned, but I am hoping more comes to light with the next book(s).

The cover art by Aaron Anderson is another winner by this artist and works for the story and characters.

Sale Links: DreamspinnerAmazon | Nook

ebook, 67 pages
Published: April 6, 2018, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781640802346
Edition Language: English

Series: Fallen Rose

Book #1: Roses in the Devil’s Garden