A Stella Review: Wheels and Heels (Stories from the Hen and Hog #1) by Jaime Samms

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RATING 2,75 out of 5 stars

As a teenager, Ira Bedford fled a troubled home life and people who didn’t understand his penchant for feminine things. In the city, he fell in with Cedric, who found him work as an underage stripper. It took him years to escape Cedric’s influence and try to build a life of his own.

Now, he just wants to be left alone to create his art. But Cedric’s on-going harassment means Ira had to drop out of art school, is squatting in a friend’s apartment, and is still relying on his allure as a sexy, skirt-wearing exotic dancer to pay his bills.

Then he meets Jed. Part-time bartender and the apartment building’s superintendent, Jed is just the right mix of strong, kind, and protective to pull Ira out of hiding. He also welcomes Ira into his chosen family at the Hen and Hog Pub. But Ira yearns for more. Still, he doesn’t dare to hope that Jed will want him and his questionable past, his skirts and high heels, his hang-ups, and the profession he seems unable to escape. But Jed will do anything to prove him wrong.

I had high expectations about this new release by Jamie Samms, the blurb sounded interesting and the cover won me on. There were a lot of elements why I thought the story was going to be a success, starting from the heels or the exboyfriend stalking theme.

Unfortunately,  it fell a little short to me. I have to say everything I was expecting actually didn’t happen, you read the blurb and pretty much that was what happened and nothing more. I liked Jed a lot, a good guy, full of positive qualities, with a big heart, always understanding and patient. I don’t know, but it seemed to me as Ira took advantage of Jed’s kindness and since I got this feeling through all the book, I wasn’t able to like Ira at. I found him incoherent and too many times it was hard to me to enjoy his behaviour. I so wanted to slap some sense into his head.

I was sure Wheels and Heels was going to be a cute and sweet novel but it was actually pretty shallow and forgettable, some parts predictable, others boring.  It’s not even a bad book, even well written, maybe it just wasn’t for me. Being a first in a new series, I probably will give the second book a chance.

The cover art by Christine Coffee is lovely, I particularly like the colors and it’s well done cause I easily can see Ira

SALE LINKS:   Riptide Publishing | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 265 pages

Published March 12th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published March 10th 2018)

ISBN13 9781626497023

Edition Language English

Series Stories from the Hen and Hog #1

A Jeri Review: Whisper (Skins #2) by Garrett Leigh

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

 

This is book 2 of the Skins series, but they are so loosely connected it is very easily read as a stand alone.

So, while I didn’t love it, I also didn’t hate it. And what I didn’t like about it is going to sound super picky to a lot of people. But honestly, I feel like it needed a really good beta reader to point some things out.
That while the one main character, Harry, rents a room at this farm through AirBnB in order to write a book, he is rarely portrayed as working on the book. That he has a thriving professional career that he seemed to be able to just put on hold while writing his book. Even his Instagram could have been part of his story on the horse farm. But it is just basically forgotten.
The other main character, Joe, runs a horse rescue that was handed down to him by his grandfather. But he gets tangled up with the law more than once and they have no problem throwing him in jail for a night. But as soon as they need something from him- like to come get neglected horses- they just expect him to drop everything and do it. And he usually does.
Moving on….. Joe is a bit of a jerk. And Harry mostly puts up with it. I get it, it happens in real life. But Joe doesn’t ever seem to soften up. He stays prickly and a jerk. And Harry will do just about anything for him.
I did enjoy that it was a slow burn. I love seeing characters get to know each other while we get to know them before jumping right into bed together. It makes the pay off that much more satisfying I think. With that slow burn there was quite a bit about the horse rescue and all that it entails. I love details like that in a book. And the relationship between Joe and his sister cracked me up they way they bickered at each other.
It was a good story, with a nice arc and a satisfying finish. But details matter to me and that is what makes me rate it 3 1/2 stars.
Cover art by  Black Jazz Design is terrific, sexy and perfect for the story.
Sales Links: Universal Buy Link
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 258 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Fox Love Press
Original Title Whisper: A Skins Novel
ASINB07CNBXDY5
Edition Language English
Series Skins #2

A Free Dreamer Review: Juggernaut (Strain #0.5) by Amelia Gormley

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

It’s no secret that I have a thing for dark, creepy and apocalyptic books. Juggernaut promised all that and more. And I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed in the least. In fact, I absolutely loved this book. It was brilliant.

I liked Nico from the start. He’s not the kind of poor, helpless rentboy in desperate need of a saviour we usually see in this genre. He’s in the business out of his own free will and he knows how to defend himself when the need arises.

At first, I was a bit concerned about whether I’d like Zach. I’m an atheist and I tend to dislike very religious characters in my books. I just find it very hard to relate to somebody whose main purpose in life seems to be in their faith. But Zach was a pleasant surprise. While his faith is very important to him, it’s not his defining character trait. He never judges people based on their faith or lack thereof. He never tries to play missionary. He just quietly tries to help in whichever way he can. If somebody finds solace in praying together, he’s happy to do so. If somebody doesn’t want to pray, then that’s fine too. I really liked his approach to religion.

Many m/m books that deal with religion in one way or another tend to portray it negatively: Bigots, zealots and generally unpleasant people. “Juggernaut” had both the negative example (Zach’s father is a real jerk) and positively (Zach’s approach is very tolerant). It was very interesting to see the conflict between Zach and his father and their different ideas of what being a good Christian means. It made for an interesting subplot.

The main plot focuses on survival. At times, it gets pretty violent and a bit gory. The tone is very dark. This is not a happy story, at all. The story is incredibly addicting and it was next to impossible to put the book down. There’s lots of action, but the romance is rather slow to unfold. Personally, I liked that. And it fit the circumstances. Zach led a very sheltered life so far and there’s just so much else going on in the lives of our MCs, there just isn’t all that much time for them to develop really romantic feelings for each other.

Nico is a Latino and he’s very conscious of what that means. So racism and inequality added another interesting layer to the plot.

The ending is rather open, but again, that just fit the whole story. I really want to know what happens next. In Nico’s and Zach’s lives and in the entire world.

Long story short, “Juggernaut” is utterly brilliant. If you like dark, apocalyptic stories with a bit of romance thrown in, then this book is a must.

I really like the cover. It’s delightfully dark and violent and fits the mood of the book perfectly.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2 edition, 320 pages
Published April 20th 2018 (first published August 8th 2015)
Original TitleJuggernaut, A Strain Novel
ASINB07CJQBVFF
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesStrain 0.5
CharactersNico Fernández, Zach Houtman

An Alisa Review: Exploration (Kinky In The City #1) by Quinn Ward

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

The reluctant manager of his family’s restaurant, Frankie attempts to live up to the legacy of his father and grandfather. Running a business that isn’t his passion and trying to do it without asking for help leaves him turning to less-than-legal means when he wants to surrender control.

Newly divorced, Calvin no longer lives in the closet, leaving him searching for what he most desires- control. So when he finds Frankie on his knees in the back room of a local bar, Calvin sees the sub he’s only ever fantasized about having.

Can Calvin find the confidence to explore his dominant side while showing his younger roommate that submission isn’t only about whips and pain?

This was a nice story.  Frankie and Calvin have been roommates for a few months but when Calvin finds him in the back room of his friend’s bar it pushes them to change their circumstances a bit. Frankie has felt trapped in the family business and doesn’t make the best decision when he is feeling so stressed.  Calvin has spent a lot of time contemplating the type of relationship he wants and Frankie hands it to him on a silver platter.

Calvin’s number one priority is his son, Ryan, but he longs for someone to love and to love him in return.  Frankie adds stress to his life by hiding from his family and not opening up but with Calvin’s help he sees how that’s not what he needs to do.

Seeing this story from both of these characters’ points of view made it easy to understand them both and connect with them.  Frankie loved Calvin taking charge but has trouble accepting that Calvin would want him all the time.  Calvin’s love and caring for his son and Frankie was wonderful to watch.  This is a great start to a new series and hope to read more in the future.

The cover art by Cover Me, Darling is perfect for this story and I love the visual of Frankie.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages

Published: April 24, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Kinky in the City #1

Review Tour and Giveaway for Exploration (Kinky In The City #1) by Quinn Ward

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Length: 65,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Marisa @ Cover Me Darling
 
Blurb
 

The reluctant manager of his family’s restaurant, Frankie attempts to live up to the legacy of his father and grandfather. Running a business that isn’t his passion and trying to do it without asking for help leaves him turning to less-than-legal means when he wants to surrender control.



Newly divorced, Calvin no longer lives in the closet, leaving him searching for what he most desires- control. So when he finds Frankie on his knees in the back room of a local bar, Calvin sees the sub he’s only ever fantasized about having.


Can Calvin find the confidence to explore his dominant side while showing his younger roommate that submission isn’t only about whips and pain?

April 24 – Mainely Stories, Two Chicks Obsessed
April 26 – Katie’s Book Corner
April 28 – Blazing Zane Book Blog
May 2 – Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Making It Happen, Love Unchained, The Librarian’s Corner
May 4 – Joyfully Jay
May 7 – BooksLaidBareBoys
May 9 – Au Boudoir Ecarlate
May 14 – Mirrigold, MM Midnight Cafe
May 16 – Nerdy Dirty & Flirty, Wicked Reads, My Fiction Nook
May 18 – Pants Off Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, OMG Reads
May 21 – Two Book Pushers
May 23 – Drops of Ink
May 25 – Bayou Book Junkie, Book Review By Virginia Lee

Quinn writes LGBTQ romance with a kick. Their stories center around the relationship building between the characters, but also shows how compatible they are in the bedroom (or wherever else the urge strikes).

Goodreads Page
Facebook Reader Group
Email Quinn at: quinn(at)quinnwardwrites(dot)com
Website

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New Release Blitz for Level Up by Annabeth Albert (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  LEVEL UP
Series: loosely related to the #gaymers series, but stands alone
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Annabeth Albert
Release Date: May 17, 2018
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 40,000 words
Genre: Romance, contemporary m/m romance, gay romance, geeks, nerds, friends-to-lovers, gamers, gaymers

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Synopsis

 

 

Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.

However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.

A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.

Approximately 40,000 words. Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.

Approximately 40,000 words. Previously
released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers
universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a
guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no
on-screen violence or flashbacks.

 

Excerpt

 

 

LEVEL UP EXCERPT—This is their first kiss, because I absolutely love writing first kiss scenes!

***

Bailey was the type who moved a lot as he gamed, biceps flexing, knees wiggling, shoulders jostling. Landon always liked people who got so into gaming, but it was more than a little distracting. His body was quickly coming to associate that orange scent of Bailey’s with good things, and other parts of him apparently liked Bailey’s nearness, which was a novelty because instead of intimidated, as he would have expected, he was more than a little turned on.

“Oh man, that was a rush.” Bailey laughed as both of their health meters dipped to zero. “I’m almost wishing I’d gone into game art, not photography. Amazing how these graphics have held up over the years.”

“Totally. And speaking of art, let me find the Space Villager stuff.” Landon reluctantly stepped away from the game. He headed to the nearby kitchen, where he was pretty the papers were buried with a stack of mail. Paper control was not his strong suit. “You’ll go nuts at the latest screen shots and promo teasers.”

“Cool.” Rather than follow Landon, Bailey went to sit on the couch.

“You want a drink while I’m in here?” Landon called to him after he found the papers under a pile of pizza ads. “I’ve got four flavors of Snapple, soda, and water.”

“Surprise me with a Snapple flavor.” Bailey looked right at home on Landon’s couch, lounging back.

He really did not look at all like any photographer Landon had ever met, and curiosity had him asking, “So why photography? You said you could have done game design?”

“Yeah, I had plenty of friends at the art institute go that direction. But I’ve been in love with photography ever since I worked on our middle school yearbook. I figured out quickly that taking pictures of events and sports was far more fun than trying to do the sports myself, so I did yearbook all through high school, got a photography scholarship to the art institute in Portland.”

“So you don’t play a sport?” Landon had a hard time believing that. With Bailey’s height and breadth, he totally looked like he lived for weekend games of some type.

“Nope. Hopelessly uncoordinated.” Bailey shot him an endearing smile when Landon handed him the bottle of tea.

“Me too.” Landon clinked bottles with him, then held up the papers. “Found the codes. But can I show you some stuff on the TV screen while you have your drink?”

“Absolutely.” Bailey took a long swig of tea, and Landon had to look away before he got mesmerized by Bailey’s full mouth, how it looked when his tongue chased a stray drop of moisture, how pink it was in contrast to his paler skin and brown beard.

Landon queued up the pre-release trailer Josiah had sent him a link to. Bombastic music filled his small living room as on the screen, and a spaceship pulled in for a landing on a planet filled with ruins of a once-powerful civilization. The narrator had an iconic voice and detailed all the special features of the expansion pack. Landon had already watched this a half-dozen times, and it still gave him happy chills.

“Wow. I can’t wait.” Bailey looked suitably awed. “This is even cooler than when War Elf added the mystic raids.”

“I know, right? Now look at the in-game screen shots.” He brought up another video, body relaxing more and more despite Bailey’s nearness. It was just so awesome to have someone new to share this with. He’d been hyped about this all week, but Pike was distracted by his boyfriend Zack’s deployment, Savannah didn’t game much, and the rest of his regular crew seemed to have other things occupying their attention.

Somehow, as he shared more video clips, he drifted closer to Bailey, so that their knees were almost rubbing. It wasn’t a giant couch, so there wasn’t a ton of room to move back, but even so, Landon wasn’t looking for an escape. He was aware of Bailey, very much so, but not nearly as freaked out as he’d been a few hours ago. Instead, his senses seemed to soak up Bailey’s scent and nearness, and it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth video that he realized that he was aroused.

Clink. Somehow Landon’s left hand, holding his drink, and Bailey’s right hand tangled.

“Oops.” He tried to extricate himself without spilling both beverages. Bending to put his on the floor, he hadn’t realized that Bailey had also leaned down until their heads collided.

“Ow,” they said simultaneously.

“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” Bailey reached out, feeling around on Landon’s head. “Did you see stars? Break the skin?”

“I’m fine.” Landon didn’t pull away. Bailey’s hand felt damn nice. Gentle. Soothing more than just the bump on his head. Their eyes met, and he really needed to move back, break this spell, but he didn’t, instead leaning into to the touch. Bailey’s eyes darkened, and he stroked down Landon’s jaw. God, that felt so good, like an extra blanket on a chilly night, warmth he hadn’t realized he was missing. How long had it been since he’d been touched like this? Hugged, sure. He’d hugged Savannah goodnight, and hugged and wrestled around with his best friend Pike at the last LAN party, but neither of those things was touch like this. Caring. Sweet. Arousing.

Bailey leaned in again, way slower this time, all the time in the world for Landon to stop him. But he didn’t. Bailey’s beard tickled an instant before their lips met, a soft slide of mouths. Not aggressive at all, not the on-a-tight-schedule rush of a hookup, Bailey kissed like they had a sleepy Sunday afternoon to kill, like each reaction of Landon’s mattered, like he was trying to memorize something important and was going to take his time learning the lesson.

Landon was the first one to take things further, mouth opening on a sigh, welcoming Bailey’s agile tongue. He tasted sweet, like tea, and minty like the gum he’d popped after the pizza, familiar yet new at the same time. How had he managed to forget how awesome kissing could be? A laugh bubbled up in his chest, but quickly transformed to a groan of pleasure as Bailey nipped at his lower lip.

Not content to let Bailey be the one exploring, Landon sent his own tongue on a quest, tracing Bailey’s full lower lip, delving inside to rub tongues, retreating playfully to earn another nip. Fuck. This was nice. The video switched over to something random, and he barely registered it. He couldn’t say how long they kissed, just that he didn’t want it to ever end.

Meet the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series. To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: http://www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter |
Goodreads
| Instagram | Annabeth’s Newsletter | Annabeth’s Angels

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Review Tour : Whisper (Skins #2) by Garrett Leigh (giveaway)

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Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
 
Length: 260 pages
 
Skins Series
 
Dream (Book #1) – Universal Buy Link
 
Blurb
 

Standalone second book in the Skins series.


Lonely physiotherapist Harry Foster has the world at his feet. A full client list, a six figure Instagram following, and a publishing deal for a book he doesnít have time to write until his agent offers him a breakóa retreat to the wild south west coast.


Cornish horseman Joe Carter is lonely too. Rescuing horses and managing Whisper Farm takes up most of his days, and by night he plays chicken with the farmís perilous bank accounts.


At his sisterís unwelcome suggestion, he rents his only bedroom to a bloke from the city, and when Harry arrives, heís everything Joe isnítócalm, patient, and gorgeous enough to be exactly the kind of distraction Joe doesnít need.


Harry doesnít have time for distractions eitheróeven shirtless farmers riding bareback past his bedroom windowóbut his moody host proves impossible to ignore.


On paper, they have nothing in common, but Joe is beautifulÖglorious, and when an accident puts his life in Harryís healing hands, the whisper of true love is inevitable. If the trouble that put the farm on its knees in the first place doesnít get in the way.



May 2 – Gay Book Reviews, Sanaa’s Book Blog
May 3 – Rainbow Gold Reviews, Jessie G, The Geekery Book Review
May 7 – Katie’s Book Corner, Wicked Faerie’s Tales, Mikku-chan
May 9 – Mainely Stories, Gay Media Reviews, Cupcakes & Bookshelves
May 11 – Open Mind For A Different View
May 14 – Jim’s Reading Room
May 16 – Love Unchained, Kimmer’s Erotic Book Banter, Joyfully Jay
May 18 – Mirrigold, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Book Lovers 4Ever
May 21 – Drops Of Ink, Two Chicks Obsessed
May 23 – My Fiction Nook, Sarandipity
May 25 – Wicked Reads, Urban Smoothie Read
May 28 – Min and Her Books, Making It Happen, Diverse Reader
May 30 – Reading In Sarah’s Corner, Au Boudior Ecarlate, Bayou Book Junkie, Unquietly Me 

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.


Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.


When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.


Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.


Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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