A Lucy Review Summer Swap: Evan and Ty by J.D. Ryan

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

A simple misunderstanding is at the basis of how Evan and Ty meet. Evan has been out of town for a while and hasn’t answered his best friend, Lucas’, calls.   So when he lets himself into Lucas’ apartment and realizes Lucas is in the shower, he is juvenile (as we all are sometimes with our besties).  “Flinging the door wide, he shouted “Facebook post!” and snapped a quick picture.”  Whoops.  The problem is the naked guy in the shower isn’t Lucas, but a total stranger. Turns out Ty Mitchell, the stranger, has made a two week house swap with Lucas, who just broke up with his boyfriend.  Since Evan hasn’t listened to Lucas’ voice messages, he didn’t realize. 

As an apology for scaring the heck out of Ty, Evan offers to take him to dinner and show him the town. They have such a good time Evan offers himself as tour guide for the next two weeks.  There are some mentions of the San Francisco places Evan shows Ty and they talk a bit about city vs country and Ty suggests a two week “relationship”.  Evan isn’t sure he can do short term but Ty is convincing.

The back and forth was hit or miss for me. It was irritating how Evan would think “What if he fell for Ty Mitchell – fell hard?” and Ty always responded with “Let’s keep it casual, friendly.”  This even after Evan admits he doesn’t do casual.  It seemed like Ty wasn’t listening and that Evan was going against his instincts.  I didn’t feel any connection between these two at all.  Evan, after just a few days knowing Ty, is imagining the two of them renting an apartment.  Way too quick.

There were a couple editing issues, most notably a name swap, but nothing major that would drag me out of the story.  It is fairly short, 83 pages on my iPad.

I have to say, as Evan is leading Ty around San Francisco and they are sleeping together, I did wonder – Evan never called Lucas?  His best friend just had a break up bad enough to leave the state and Evan doesn’t even check in with him? There is a Lucas twist that I rolled my eyes at, sorry to say.

They call it a “relationship” after just a day or so and Ty warns Evan about falling in love with him.  In less than two weeks Evan is planning how they can make it work long distance.  Normally, I would say great, but despite their touring the city, again, I didn’t get any sense of connection between them.  It’s insta-love that didn’t quite convince me. 

The cover is pretty spot on, with the two MC forehead to forehead, and the San Francisco cable cars and scenery in the background.  That fit the story very well.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 44 pages
Published May 5th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
Original TitleSummer Swap: Evan and Ty
ASINB07C1RGNK7
Edition LanguageEnglish

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Syncopation (Twisted Wishes #1) by Anna Zabo

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This rock star BDSM MM drama deserves more than 5 stars. If it were possible, I’d definitely boost the rating higher.

Ray Van Zeller is a songwriter and singer who has dreamed of taking his high school garage band into the big time since high school and has finally achieved a step in the right direction, as they’re going on tour to open for a big-name band. But Kevin, his friend and drummer, has been drinking heavily, and in a fit of temper, Ray hurls a bottle at the wall behind Kevin. Unfortunately, the action is caught on camera, making it appear that Ray is drunk and throwing the bottle at his bandmate. His band manager, Carl, focuses on that as he berates Ray and convinces Ray that taking the fall and pretending to do rehab will benefit the band’s publicity and popularity.

Since Kevin is now out, after hurried auditions, the band hires Zavier Demos—the man Ray salivated over in high school. Two years his senior, Zavier was gone before Ray had his band established. After Zavier completed Julliard and contracted as a timpanist in a renowned orchestra, his personal issues with the conductor caused him to resign, so he’s ready to assume a position with Ray’s band, Twisted Wishes. Unknown to Ray, Zavier has wanted a place with the band and he’s wanted Ray as well—he’s been watching both from a distance for quite some time. But Zavier doesn’t want Ray for a one-night stand or for a long-term romantic relationship. He wants Ray as his submissive.

Zavier is a Dom and is aromantic so has never had a relationship with anyone and that’s the way he wants it. No complications. No strings. No love. Sex, yes. Romance, no. Ray doesn’t know it yet but he needs the strength this friend can offer and the level of control Zav can deliver. Carl seems to have it in for Ray and shoots the young man in the ego after every performance. Ray’s on a high after a concert? No doubt Carl will be there to bring him down. But once Zav enters the picture, Ray picks up tools to control his scattered thinking and he begins to speak up for himself and more firmly take on the leadership role he’s been handed but hasn’t been able to handle as well as he wants.

Ray isn’t the only one who benefits though. Zavier can’t believe he’s found a beautiful and talented submissive who accepts his friendship and understands that there won’t be hearts and flowers with an aromantic partner. Ray seeks to please Zavier as much as Zavier seeks to please and take care of Ray. It’s a give and take match unlike any other I’ve read, but it’s oh so perfect for these men.

Anna Zabo is an author I discovered this past year and I’m so very impressed with their work. The action and plot are believable, the sex kinky and hot, the BDSM is carefully laid out and easily understood, and the characters are well-rounded, endearing, and memorable. Each character, including the secondary band members, becomes personal to the reader, and this reader most definitely wants more of them—all of them. This isn’t just a story—it’s a work of art. Very highly recommended.

~~~
The bright and colorful cover features a tattooed man standing in front of a microphone as he tears off his leather vest. In the lower pane, fans are waving their arms and the background shows the floodlights that would brighten a stage. Very sharp and attractive and perfect for the story, even though the description of the MC would make him thinner and lankier than the cover model depicts. The only downside, but still attention-getting.

Sales LInks:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789GZX16/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/syncopation-anna-zabo/1127659237

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/syncopation/id1326105335

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anna_Zabo_Syncopation?id=t0RDDwAAQBAJ

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/syncopation-8

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Syncopation/Anna-Zabo/Q264976640?id=7194974976389

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 295 pages
Published April 9th 2018 by Carina Press
Original TitleSyncopation
ASINB0789GZX16
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesTwisted Wishes #1

An Ali Audiobook Review: An Ali Audiobook Review: Dirty Deeds (Dirty Deeds, #1) by SE Jakes and Adam North (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Two seasoned operatives finally meet their match: each other.

Cillian works for the mysterious Special Branch 20: an organization that runs black ops commissioned by the British government. His specialty is deep undercover assignments with virtually no support. He’s been alone for so long that he no longer knows anything else.

Mal’s also used to being alone. Wanted in several states and even more countries, he’s not allowed in the vicinity of any of his former Navy SEAL teammates. And his current assignment is to track Cillian in order to discover the spook’s endgame. Except he’s no longer sure which one of them is getting played.

Cillian isn’t about to let the mission that’s consumed him for the past several years crumble because an outsider is poking around where he doesn’t belong. But Mal forces his way through Cillian’s defenses—and into his heart—exposing a devastating betrayal that could destroy them both.

I have enjoyed SE Jakes series that are connected to this one, Hell or High Water and EE, Ltd and I liked this just as much.  But it’s a cliff hanger and no real date in sight of the next book….

Cillian and Mal have both been seen in other books but this is the first focused on them.  These two both have deep pasts that are only partially delved into in this book and I hope we learn more about them.  They are connected far more than they ever though until the end of this book and we can see the connection.  Both of these men have been damaged and I couldn’t help but feel for them and there is no disguising that their jobs aren’t the easiest either.

Dorian Bane did a wonderful job narrating this story as always.  I loved the voices he used for the characters and how easily it helped to understand them.  I could feel their emotions and connect with them easily.

I really like the cover art by LC Chase and I like how it’s just similar enough to the other connected books but different at the same time.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 2 hrs 30 min
Published: April 12, 2018 by Riptide
Edition Language: English

Series: Dirty Deeds #1

Spotlight on: Lock Nut (Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) by JL Merrow (giveaway)

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Lock Nut (The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #5) by J.L. Merrow
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Christine Coffee

Sales LInks: Riptide Publishing

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Lock Nut, the fifth of my MM mysteries in the Plumber’s Mate Mystery Series.  In Lock Nut, a simple hunt for a missing husband turns into a chase after a murderer when a body turns up in a local canal—and slightly psychic plumber Tom Paretski ends up with his face on TV as the prime suspect! Meanwhile, wedding bells are ringing all over the place…

 

About Lock Nut

 

Still waters run deadly.

 

Tom Paretski, plumber with a talent for finding hidden things, and his private investigator fiancé Phil Morrison have been hired to locate a runaway husband, Jonathan Parrot. The job seems simple enough—until their quarry turns up dead in a canal, and a photofit of Tom’s face is splashed all over the news, making him chief suspect.

 

The widow, petite ex–porn star Lilah Lovett, is convinced her husband was killed by his gay lover, but Tom and Phil aren’t so sure. Worried they may have precipitated Jonathan’s death, they’re determined to find the real killer. But with a web of incestuous ties linking the suspects, it’s hard to know who to trust. Especially when a second victim dies a gruesome death.

 

Meanwhile, with their wedding looming and them sharing a house now, Tom’s worried it may all be too much, too fast. The last thing he needs are the mixed messages Phil seems to be sending out. They’ll need to get back on the same track if they want to make it to their honeymoon together—and alive.

About The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries

 

A plumber with a hidden talent and an ex–school bully who’s trying to atone for his past. This unlikely crime-solving duo could be the worst thing that’s ever happened to the murderers of rural Hertfordshire, England.

 

All his life, cheeky plumber Tom Paretski’s had a sixth sense for finding hidden things. Mostly it’s brought him nothing but grief, but ever since tall, blond, and broody Phil Morrison stomped back into his life, Tom’s been using his psychic talents to track down killers. He’s shocked to find himself falling for the man he used to hate.

 

Phil’s an ex-cop turned private investigator who can’t forgive himself for the pain he caused Tom in their shared schooldays—especially his part in an accident which left Tom with a lasting limp. Finally able to face up to his feelings for Tom, Phil’s determined to make amends. Just as long as the murderers who won’t stop crossing their path don’t rob him of the chance to do so for good.

 

The path of their investigations may not run any smoother than their love life, but with the help (and hindrance) of a motley crew of friends and family—including the world’s campest campanologist and his ex–porn star lover—with any luck Tom and Phil will continue to get their man.

 

Publisher’s note: Each book in this series stands alone as a murder mystery, but the series as a whole follows Tom and Phil’s romantic journey from enemies to lovers, and beyond. It’s recommended, but not essential, to read the books in order.

About JL Merrow

 

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again.

She writes (mostly) contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Two of her novels have won Rainbow Awards for Romantic Comedy (Slam!, 2013 and Spun!, 2017) and several of her books have been EPIC Awards finalists, including Muscling Through, Relief Valve (the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) and To Love a Traitor.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

 

Connect with JL:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Lock Nut, JL is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 19, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

RELEASE BLITZ for A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)

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A Tiny Piece of Something Greater

Publisher: Interlude Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): May 17, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): 258 Pages

Subgenre: LGBT, Interracial/Multicultural, New Adult

Editor’s Note: Some readers may find some of the scenes in this book difficult to read. We have compiled a list of content warnings, which you can access at interludepress.com/content-warnings

All buy links or pre-order links:

Interlude Press: store.interludepress.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2FbYh4V

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/791892

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-tiny-piece-of-something-greater/id1348808986?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-tiny-piece-of-something-greater

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781945053603

Book blurb:

Reid Watsford has a lot of secrets and a past he can’t quite escape. While staying at his grandmother’s condo in Key Largo, he signs up for introductory dive classes, where he meets Joaquim Oliveira, a Brazilian dive instructor with wanderlust. Driven by an instant, magnetic pull, what could have been just a hookup quickly deepens. As their relationship evolves, they must learn to navigate the challenges of Reid’s mental illness—on their own and with each other.

Jude Sierra talks A Tiny Piece of Something Greater: I want readers to walk away with a deeper appreciation and understanding of what it is like to thrive with mental illness—or strive toward it—and what it is like for two people to be and fall in love in these situations. I’d love for readers to come away knowing that love doesn’t cure mental illness, nor should it. Reid and Joaquim love each other as they are.

 Exclusive Excerpt :

“Reid!” Joaquim stands a few steps down, not wanting to have to go all the way to the beach only to climb back up.

“Coming!”

By the time Reid’s all the way up, he’s slightly out of breath but smiling. “I am ready for my surprise. You didn’t install a sex swing in my grandma’s condo, did you? I’d have a hard time explaining that away.”

“No, you pervert.” Joaquim takes Reid’s hand. The sun is setting, leaving a lovely glow at their backs and a slightly dimmed living room. It lends the perfect ambiance. He covers Reid’s eyes.

“Really?”

Joaquim glances behind himself as he walks backward while leading Reid in.

“Okay, we’re going to die like this,” he mutters. “Close your eyes.” He comes around Reid, covers his eyes with his palms, and then leads him forward. “Sit,” he whispers once they’re in the middle of the living room.

“On a chair?” Reid waves a hand around blindly.

“No, on the floor.”

Joaquim kneels and helps Reid onto the floor. Once they’re down, he presses himself against Reid’s back and whispers into his ear, “Now.”

“J…” Reid says. All around them are small white candles in glass jars. Joaquim bought out the store with his measly savings. More than a hundred candles are on the table to their right, on the shelves by the TV, and surrounding the carefully laid, soft plaid blanket beneath them. Their light butters the hush of sunset through the glass doors at their backs. Strewn everywhere are rose petals and shells. Joaquim painstakingly removed the petals from the flowers, trying not to bruise or tear them; his fingers bear pinpricks from their thorns. At Shell World, he endured Delia’s teasing after exacting a promise not to say anything to Reid about what he was planning. The stillness of Reid’s body, though, speaks of the worth of the time spent.

“I’ve never…” Joaquim starts.

“No one has ever—” Reid breaks off, his voice is thick and unsteady. He turns his face to tuck it into Joaquim’s neck. “How did you know?”

“That you’re a hopeless romantic even though you try to hide it?”

“Yes.”

“Because you’re terrible at hiding it,” Joaquim says. He holds Reid’s hand in tender counterpoint to the light amusement in his voice.

“Fuck. I guess my cover is blown.” His eyes, bright with tears, don’t shy from Joaquim’s.

“I hope,” Joaquim says, and touches Reid’s cheek, “that you know you don’t need a cover with me.”

Reid smiles, but looks away. Too much? Joaquim isn’t pressuring. He’s offering. He’s laying something bare.

“I do.” Reid kisses him.

 

About Jude Sierra:

Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for From Top to Bottom Reviews. Her novels include HushWhat it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary LGBT romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews.

Connect with Jude: Site | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest

Giveaway Prize of A TINY PIECE OF SOMETHING GREATER by Jude Sierra (5 eBooks + $25 IP Web Store credit Grand Prize):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Direct Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fbb786de105/