An Alisa Audiobook Review: Infamous (Famous #2) by Jenny Holiday and Michael Fell (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

All that up-and-coming musician Jesse Jamison has ever wanted is to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. When a gossip website nearly catches him kissing someone who isn’t his famous girlfriend—and also isn’t a girl—he considers the near miss a wake-up call. There’s a lot riding on his image as the super-straight rocker, and if he wants to realize his dreams, he’ll need to toe the line. Luckily, he’s into women too. Problem solved.

After a decade pretending to be his ex’s roommate, pediatrician Hunter Wyatt is done hiding. He might not know how to date in the Grindr world, how to make friends in a strange city, or whether his new job in Toronto is a mistake. But he does know that no one is worth the closet. Not even the world’s sexiest rock star.

As Jesse’s charity work at Hunter’s hospital brings the two closer together, a bromance develops. Soon, Hunter is all Jesse can think about. But when it comes down to a choice between Hunter and his career, he’s not sure he’s brave enough to follow his heart.

I tried this book on a whim and it ended up being one of the best things I’ve read in a long time. Jesse is an up and coming rock star who gets caught by the tabloids kissing a guy. His agent tells him that if he plans to make it big he needs to push his bisexuality aside and only date women. Jesse decides success is totally worth the sacrifice.

What Jesse doesn’t count on is Hunter. The two had met a few years before and Hunter works with critically ill children and has asked Jesse to visit one of them. From there the two men become good friends. At some point Jesse realizes he loves Hunter but he’s not sure he can give up his career. Hunter loves Jesse too but he’s not willing to go back in the closet for anyone.

I absolutely loved these two and their relationship. It was such a well written friends to lovers story that I was able to put my dislike of that aside. The slow burn here was great. I loved that the author had them take the time to really build a solid friendship and relationship.  They’re not an official couple until the end of the book but you don’t really notice that because even their time as “just friends” is so loving and sweet.  There are a few really romantic scenes that made me all swooney.

This was narrated by Michael Fell and he did a fantastic job.  His narration really added to the story and made it more emotional in places.  I particularly enjoyed the way he did Jesse.  There were a couple scenes where Jesse’s pain comes across so well it made my eyes tear up.
This is a totally new author for me and I’m really glad I tried this. It was one of the better written stories in this genre and I can’t wait for more from this author. I’m also going to go back and read the first book in this series which is a m/f romance. The narrator is excellent and really added to the overall vibe of the story.  I highly recommend this story. It’s a gem.
Cover:  I think the cover is fantastic.  It’s a great representation of Jesse and matches exactly how he is described in the book.  I think it’s a very eye catching cover.
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook.
Listening Length: 8 hours and 35 minutes
Published April 9th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published November 27th 2017)
ASINB07BZ196KM
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesFamous #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Sinner & The Saint (Ellery Mountain #8) by RJ Scott

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Nick Merrick left England amidst of storm of media attention. Berated for breaking his engagement to the daughter of a prominent member of Parliament, and for being gay and participating in a sex tape scandal, he seeks out the anonymity of his friend Jason’s house in Ellery Mountain while he unwinds and takes time to assess where he’s going with his life. He doesn’t meet his sexy neighbor Ben until Ben reports a break-in at the house where Nick is staying. Not knowing Jason gave someone access to the property, Ben is shocked when the cops show up and he meets the gorgeous guy with the British accent who’s suddenly thrust into his life.

Ben is a doctor, on temporary assignment in Ellery Mountain, working with Daniel to bring a burn unit to the Veteran’s Center. The gruff loner is looked upon as a hero since he’s the man who saved Daniel’s life in the Army but he doesn’t feel heroic. On the inside he’s a mess and considers himself “less than” many others who served their country due to the decisions he had to make that ultimately negatively affected so many good men.

The story moves along anticipated lines with characters from the town, some of whom may be well-known to those who follow the series, interacting with the two MCs. We learn that the media has blown Nick’s problems out of the water and the reality is that he and his fiancé are best friends and the breakup was a way for her to find happiness with the man she really loved. We also learn there are no sex tapes and we get to watch the push-pull sexy interactions between Nick and Ben as they decide to have no-strings sex and nothing more. And we get to see that plan fail.

Typical of RJ Scott’s writing in other books in this series, the MCs find their way to a resolution of their problems and a happy ending. Along the way, some of their problems dissipated rather quickly, some were only superficially addressed, and some played out a resolution.

Though I read books one through three, I haven’t read any since that time. However, it was easy to follow this story. In fact, other than recognizing character names from previous books, it was quite simple to read this and I’m sure anyone can read it as a standalone.

A light, sweet romance mixed with a bit of sex, but thankfully not an overload of it, this book is an easy one-day read.

~~~

The cover by Meredith Russell depicts the MCs of this story in the upper panel: two handsome young men, the one in the front is bearded and dressed casually and the one behind him is dressed in business attire with a stethoscope around his neck. The lower panel is a panorama of the Ellery Mountain area that ties this to the balance of the series.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published 2018 by Love Lane Books Limited
Original TitleThe Sinner and the Saint
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEllery Mountain #8

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Valor On The Move (Valor #1) by Keira Andrews

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This love story between a President’s son who grew up in the White House and the Secret Service agent who was assigned to protect him in the last year of his father’s presidency was interesting, action-packed, and enjoyable, especially given the fact that May-December romance is one of my kinks.

I must admit, however, that even though that’s true, in this case the age gap also made me squirm a bit due to the younger man’s age. Shane is twice as old as Rafael Castillo, his protectee, who is nineteen as the story opens. And while I can see Rafa having a crush on Shane, it was more difficult to accept Shane’s crush on Rafa.

They spent a lot of time apart, though Rafa watched Shane from a distance and speculated on what it would be like to kiss him, or be held by him, or more. But the two didn’t spend more than a week or so in one-on-one conversations. Those took place while Rafa’s parents were away and he cooked for Shane in his upstairs kitchenette so they had some private time to talk for a while each night. Even so, their time together was brief.

There were plenty of opportunities for superficial interactions between the two and<spoiler> when Shane rescued Rafa from the kidnapping</spoiler> it was obvious they were definitely attracted to one another, but I never felt they were on equal footing. In hindsight, I realize I got emotionally involved with Rafa, but never with Shane, and that might be partly why I didn’t get them as a couple.

I also thought that the circumstances surrounding Shane’s and Rafa’s reunion in California after Rafa’s family was out of the White House were unrealistic. Without giving away spoilers, I’ll just say that Shane’s work circumstances and his travel plans seemed unlikely for someone so well established in his career. However, this is fiction and fiction is not fact, and those circumstances were necessary to give the men their HEA and move to the next story in the series. 

Rafa was a sweetheart, and the story was interesting, at times exciting, and ultimately satisfying.

In fact, one of my favorite scenes took place near the end of the story as Shane and Rafa were having fun surfing in California. It was evident they knew each other well, liked each other, and had something special in common. In short, it showed them on equal footing and was the moment when I thought of them as a couple, rather than as two individuals. On that happy note, I can say I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

~~~~

The cover by Dar Albert depicts a man in a suit wearing sunglasses and holding his left hand to his ear while a younger man looks on in the background. The lower panel also depicts a photo of the White House. This cover cleverly tells the story of Shane, the Secret Service agent who protects Rafa, code name “Valor,” the President’s son.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 250 pages
Published September 9th 2015 by KA Books (first published September 7th 2015)
ISBN139780994092441
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesValor #1 settingWashington, D.C. (United States)

Jeff Adams Guest Vblogging on Writing and his new release Schooled (Codename: Winger) (YouTube Vlog and giveaway)

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Schooled (Codename: Winger) by Jeff Adams
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Jeff Adams here today talking about his new release Schooled. Welcome, Jeff!
I’m thrilled to be back at Scattered Thoughts & Rouge Words to celebrate the release of “Schooled.” I’ve got a video post below where I talk about how the importance of Theo’s family and friends are in “Schooled” and the broader “Codename: Winger” series. Plus I do a reading as well. There’s also a Rafflecopter below that’s got the chance for you to win a copy of the book!
Book Blurb:
Secret agent and teenage computer genius Theo Reese lives in two separate worlds—and they’re about to collide.
Theo’s high school computer science club is gearing up for a competition, and Theo agrees to lend his knowledge of cybersecurity to help them win. The covert agency he works for also needs his talents. An encrypted key that allows access to the nation’s electrical grid has been stolen. Theo’s skills are crucial in its recovery before disaster strikes.
When the file shows up at the competition as one of those to be decoded, Theo must find a way to be both an average high school student and Winger, his secret identity. The file must be secured—all while protecting his teammates from those who will use any means necessary to get the file for themselves.
Buy Links:
About the Author
Jeff Adams has written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published. Since then he’s written several shorts and novels.
Jeff lives in northern California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance.
Jeff is the co-host of Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast, a weekly show devoted to gay romance fiction as well as pop culture. New episodes come out every Monday at biggayfictionpodcast.com.
Learn more about Jeff at http://jeffadamswrites.com/

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Review Tour and Giveaway – The Sinner &The Saint (Ellery Mountain #8) by RJ Scott (excerpt)

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Universal Buy Link
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 40,000 words approx.
 
Ellery Mountain Series
 
 
Blurb



Army medic Ben Rockwell is in Ellery to work with the Veterans Center creating a new specialist unit for post trauma care. Desperate to make amends for battlefield decisions he regrets, he is focused on the unit and nothing else. Until some stranger moves in next door and throws him a curveball. He’s no hero, even though everyone says he is, and the lies burn inside him.


Leaving drama and chaos in his wake, Nicholas Merrick fled London and is hiding out in his friend Jason’s house, until everything back home dies a death. The choices he made in his life were to keep his best friend safe, but as a result everyone sees him as the bad guy.


When these two meet, the attraction is instant. Can they ever be their true selves, and find love as a result?

 
 
 
Excerpt



Chapter 1


Loud banging, with added yelling, pulled Nick out of a nightmare. After a restless, irritable, crunchy-messy night of tossing and turning, he had finally fallen asleep some time before dawn, and now at fuck o’clock in the morning there was knocking at the front door. And some asshole shouting words that he couldn’t make out. Was this part of his dream? He couldn’t tell.


For the longest time he lay flat on his back, unwilling to move. The sheets were wrapped around him like a mummy, the quilt on the floor, and he was still in that half world between nightmare and reality. Even closing his eyes didn’t help dispel the vivid images of him walking up to the Oscar podium completely naked and with the Queen pointing and laughing at him.


Naked as the day he was born, hanging loose and free, and no one saying a thing. Apart from the laughing that was. Like it was okay that one of the Oscar nominees was walking up the steps free of any and all clothing.


Not to mention no one commented on the Queen throwing popcorn at him.


Yep, it had been that kind of nightmare, and it wasn’t the first time he’d had it. And where the Oscar fear came from he didn’t know. There would never be a chance of an Oscar for. Not for the guy whose acting career had happened by accident and formed only because of a personal rebellion against his straight laced family. His resume included two sequels to the highly profitable, but formulaic, shit-bad, Angels of Bedlam franchise, with his entire fee going charity because he didn’t need the money.


Nick hadn’t been in the first UK funded Bedlam film. Said film had been praised for its ingenious twist on a dark horror romance. No, he was the handy British villain in the next two, the studio cashing in on any money that was left out there in a saturated market by ticking all the boxes. Explosions, tick. Strong, but mostly naked, female lead, tick. Sexy down on his luck, in te wrong place at the wrong time, male lead, tick.


And him, the ubiquitous bad guy with the English accent.


The follow up were certainly not Oscar material, and once Nick pulled his fragmented sleep-addled thoughts into line, he focused on the statistical likelihood of even being nominated for an Oscar in the first place, let alone accepting it naked.


“Fuck me,” he muttered to the empty room and rolled onto his front. The banging had stopped and no one actually knew he was here, so, he wasn’t going to answer the door in a place that wasn’t even his.


Jason McInnery and his husband, Kieran, lived in this stunning home, in the small town of Ellery, Tennessee. Glass floor to ceiling, wide open rooms, a pool in the garden, and the most comprehensive jungle gym he’d ever seen for Jason and Kieran’s son, Jonas. Even the damn guest room was beautiful, a huge wood carving took up nearly one wall, and the view from the window out to the mountain was stunning. At least that was the adjective he was supposed to use for what he could see. Objectively, he could see it was spectacular, but was too lost in confusion since he got here to think about it too much. A quick glance at the clock showed him it was five am, like midnight or something back in London, and still dark in the shadow of the mountain, so he rolled over and pulled the covers up to his neck.


Even in the middle of the chaotic remnants of his nightmare he welcomed the heat that cocooned him and willed the knocking to stop. Which it did. The mess of dreams forgotten, he drifted on as many good thoughts as he could muster and was very nearly asleep when the banging started up again. He groaned and hid his face under the pillow, willing the person creating the noise to go away. Then it ceased again, and he closed his eyes, but didn’t remove the pillow. Dawn was too close now and the room would fill with light because he hadn’t even taken the time to pull the drapes.


Unfortunately, his bladder had other ideas about what he needed to do, and cursing, he grabbed the sheets and untwisted himself. Feet planted on the floor he scrubbed a hand over his face, the untamed beard was just another reminder of everything that was horribly wrong about his life right now. Normally he would have just the right amount of stubble, but the last instalment of Angels of Bedlam, cunningly entitled, Bedlam Adrift, called for him to be a castaway, hence the beard, which he’d left to tangle.


No point in worrying about it anyway. He’d left London to get away from paparazzi, and their incessant need for more, and he was in unofficial hiding. Therefore, no one would see his beard, or his bloodshot eyes.


He caught sight of himself in the mirror.


“Jesus, you look fucked.”


Bedhead. Bags under his eyes. Beard. It was a whole cacophony of B-shit. Yawning widely, he padded across the bedroom to the half bath, emptying his bladder and washing his hands. He’d gone to bed as nature intended. Well, warm nature anyway, completely naked, which probably led to nightmare. Packing back home had been done in less than five minutes, his priority was money, passport, his phone, his laptop and associated chargers. It seemed like his messed-up head hadn’t thought any kind of pajamas were needed, or indeed underwear.


The next choice was shower or bed, and the exhaustion of the past few days, the media attention, making sure Heather was okay, fleeing the UK, ending up here in the middle of rural Tennessee, it was all too much and he sighed.


“Bed it is,” he muttered to his reflection. As soon as he woke up he was going online to order everything he’d forgot to pack. Jason had said to help himself to anything he needed but helping himself to his friend’s clothes didn’t feel right.


He yawned again, and stepped out into the cooler bedroom, eyes only half open.


“Hands where I can see them,” someone shouted, and Nick, startled, his heart pounding, fell backwards into the bathroom, catching himself on the jamb as best he could. He blinked to focus on the man in front of him.


The cop.


The gun.


The cop holding a gun on him. Immediately he raised his hands, and then lowered them to cover his junk, and then raised them again when the cop didn’t move.

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 is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.


She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.


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


She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:


Email RJ (rj@rjscott.co.uk)
Goodreads Page
RJ’s Blog
RJ on Twitter
Facebook
Library Thing Page
Tumblr (some NSFW (not safe for work) photos)
Pinterest

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Review Tour – A Love To Remember by Sarah Hadley Brook (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 27,000 words approx.


Publisher: JMS Books

 
Blurb
 

Graham Hayes decided long ago he’d never be in a relationship. It was better to stay single than to fall in love only to be left alone, which he was certain would happen to him. He’d seen Alzheimer’s ravage his family members all his life, leaving their loved ones to deal with the fallout. Some of them stayed, but some didn’t. Graham isn’t going to risk it.


When he hires nurse Sam Morgan to take care of his dad during the day, his pledge to stay single is put to the test. He soon finds it difficult to maintain a professional distance.


Graham’s guarded his heart for so long, but his resolve is crumbling. Will he be able to conquer his fear to give himself a chance at love? Can he trust Sam to stick around for better or worse?

April 28 – Lost In Love, MM Midnight Cafe, Xtreme Delusions, BooksLaidBareBoys, Gay Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Gay Media Reviews
April 30 – The Novel Approach, Mikku-chan, Archaeolibrarian, Hearts On Fire, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty
May 1 – Gay Book Reviews
May 2 – Book Lovers 4Ever, BFD Book Blog
May 3 – Diverse Reader
May 4 – Slave To The Written Word, Making It Happen, Slashessed
May 7 – MM Good Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
May 8 – Love Bytes
May 9 – A Book Lovers Dream, Valerie Ullmer, Drops Of Ink, Sarandipity, Mirrigold, Padme’s Library, Jim’s Reading Room, Bayou Book Junkie, Bookaholic & Kindle, Virginia Lee

 
Excerpt
 

The doorbell rang just as Graham took a seat at the table, preparing to try and get some work done. It had been days since he’d even opened his laptop. He groaned. Looked like it wasn’t meant to be for the moment. His dad had finished his granola cereal and was sitting on the sofa, reading a book. It was still early enough in the morning where he seemed to have most of his faculties.


Assuming it was the home health care aide the agency was sending over, he didn’t bother to check the peephole or the window next to the entrance and swung the door open.


Graham’s jaw dropped and he stood in place, his feet frozen to the ground. Was he hallucinating? What the hell was going on? He stepped out and pulled the door partially closed behind him so he could speak to the man on his doorstep. The man currently grinning down at him.


“What are you doing here?” Graham hissed. “How did you find me?” He glanced up at the man he’d met at the club and wondered if he should call the cops. Wasn’t this considered stalking? It didn’t matter that his body reacted in all kinds of weird ways. He could be dangerous. And compared to Graham, the guy was huge.


The man stepped back and held up his hands, palms out. “Hey, I had no idea you lived here.”


Graham’s eyes narrowed.


“No, seriously,” he insisted. “The agency sent me here.”


“Agency?” Shit. “You’re the … home health care aide?”


S.G. nodded and offered his hand. “I’m Sam Morgan. Nurse for hire.”


Graham stared up at him — probably a little too long at the man’s massive chest — and finally shook his hand, shaken by the jolt of electricity coursing through his arm. “Okay. Um, come inside?” His voice was trembling. Get a grip!


S.G. — Sam — followed him inside, ducking his head as he walked through the doorway.


His dad didn’t look up, so Graham led the man to the kitchen table, gesturing for him to take a seat. He wasn’t even sure what to say. Or ask. He felt awkward. And silly for thinking the guy was stalking him. Graham had only been a quick fuck at the club for Sam. A means to an end. Nothing more.


He sat across from Sam and stared. The man was even sexier in the daylight. Dirty blond hair cut close to the scalp, a little longer on top. In the light he could see his eyes were the color of caramel. Hazel, maybe? He fought the urge to reach across the table and stroke the stubble still covering his jawline. And shit, the man was broad. Huge. He’d thought of him as a warrior that night and he found himself thinking that was still an apt description.


“You’re a nurse?” he blurted out.


Sam frowned. “Hey, don’t stereotype me,” he said quietly. “I love being a nurse.”


Graham’s face heated. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean … I guess I’m just kind of shocked at seeing you here,” he admitted.


Sam’s frown turned into a grin. “Yeah, not exactly what I was expecting this morning, either.” He tilted his head toward Graham’s dad on the sofa. “I assume I’m here for him?”


Graham cleared his throat, tried to clear his head. “Yeah. That’s my dad. Thurston. Thurston Hayes.”


“So you must be Graham Hayes?” Sam’s voice was quiet, his gaze on Graham.


“Yes. I’m sorry. I should have introduced myself.” Shit. He was blundering this. He’d never felt so off-kilter when it came to a man. “Do you want something to drink?”


Sam shook his head. “No thanks. Right now, can you fill me in on your dad? Let me know what’s going on. I have some basic information, but it always helps to get specifics from family.”


“Sure.” Graham glanced at his dad and saw he was still engrossed in his book. He wondered if he’d even turned a page. Was he struggling with reading, too? Graham turned back to Sam, who was watching him, patiently waiting for him to continue. “I’m not sure what you want to know?”


Sam leaned back and offered him a small smile. “My job is to make your life easier and help the patient feel better. Why don’t you just tell me a little about your dad?


Author Bio


Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.


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