A Stella Release Day Review: Wight Mischief by JL Merrow

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

A ghost of a chance at love.

Personal trainer Will Golding has been looking forward to a getaway with his best friend, Baz, a journalist researching a book on ghosts. But on the first day of their camping trip on the Isle of Wight, Will takes a walk on a secluded beach and spies a beautiful young man skinny-dipping by moonlight. Ethereally pale, he’s too perfect to be real—or is he?

Lonely author Marcus Devereux is just as entranced by the tall athlete he encounters on the beach, but he’s spent the years since his parents’ violent death building a wall around his heart, and the thought of letting Will scale it is terrifying. Marcus’s albinism gives him his otherworldly appearance and leaves him reluctant to go out in daylight, his reclusiveness encouraged by his guardian—who warns him to stay away from Will and Baz.

The attraction between Will and Marcus can’t be denied—but neither can the danger of the secrets haunting Marcus’s past, as one “accident” after another strikes Will and Baz. If they don’t watch their step, they could end up added to the island’s ghostly population.

I have to say Wight Mischief could have easily been a huge disaster for me because a couple of things usually put me off. This time I actually loved the story a lot, although and maybe just because that little things. Or simply it’s that I so love the author, everything just sounded right.

What I don’t like at all in my readings is when the MC has sex with another character that isn’t the other MC, even if the main couple is not together yet, I don’t like it. Full sex or a blowjob or just a kiss, I don’t want it and usually this ruins the whole reading to me. Moreover I need my MCs to fall in love of course but to spend time together too, and in Wight Mischief it felt to me Marcus and Will didn’t actually know each other so well, and for Marcus to trust Will so much in a situation so tragic, was a huge leap in the dark. It could have seemed rushed and unbelievable, and rationally I can agree and understand these two adjectively, but at the end it wasn’t what I felt. Plus, was saves the book to me were the feelings. From the first time I met the characters, all of them, I could feel their hearts, and when Marcus and Will met, the emotions were clear and strong.  The author did an amazing work, she created a beautiful story, well written (no surprise here), with an engaging plot and a lovely romance.

Although this is a rerelease, I haven’t read the previous edition so I can’t tell you if and how much the story was edited. So if you like me haven’t read Wight Mischief the first time, give it now a chance. I feel to recommend it.

The cover art by Tiferet Design is well done and fitting. I like it.

SALE LINKS Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILSFirst Edition published by Samhain Publishing Ltd., November 2011.

2nd Edition, 216 pages

Published June 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 8th 2011)

ISBN13 9781640802056

Edition Language English

A Lucy Review: And the next Thing You Know . . . (Why You? #2) by  Chase Taylor Hackett

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Rated 4.5 stars out of 5

Jeffrey Bornic has this vision of his idea partner.  He will be gorgeous, successful, fit, intelligent, socially adept, etc etc etc.   He was dumped by his musician boyfriend, Roger, months ago and he’s still working on the new partner thing.  Maybe because

“Got up in a bad mood. 

Again. 

It had been a stretch of bad moods lately.  Seriously.  Since like October.

I suppose that means since Roger.  Old boyfriend.  Make of that what you will.”

The thing is, Jeffrey is kind of an arrogant jerk.  He’s a lawyer and he puts a lot of time into that. He has one really good friend, Rebecca, who works at the same law firm, and that’s sort of it.  He works all the time and he can be so rude. 

When his apartment is under construction, this elaborate remodel, he turns to Rebecca for a spot on his couch. Problem is, Rebecca’s firebrand little brother, Theo, has already staked a claim on that spot on the couch.  The first time the two meet is a comedy of errors and Jeffrey comes off looking like an idiot.  Theo is a songwriter and is short, red-haired, snarky and homeless right now.  He will not, however, be jobless.  “As long as you’re sleeping on my couch, you’ll have a job.  Or it’s back to the farm.  This is not the Rebecca McPherson Unemployed Songwriters Retreat.”  Where does Rebecca find him a job?  At their law firm of course!  Jeffrey is facing not only the man who makes him crazy but finds out that Roger’s best friend, Tommy, is now working for the firm as well.

The two of them end up having to share the couch for a while and they spend all their time insulting each other, something starts to change.  At least for Jeffrey it does.  Theo has a maybe-boyfriend named Madison who treats him pretty negligently but he’s got harassing Jeffrey to brighten his days.  I admit, there were a couple times, such as blindsiding Jeffrey at the party with Roger, showing up where Jeffrey was having dinner with parents or the aftermath of Hamilton, where I thought, Theo is too much.  He’s out to hurt people.  Maybe it was because Jeffrey seems to be really in love for the first time (Roger W. Prescott Memorial Project notwithstanding) that he appears the more vulnerable one here.  He’s the one doing the sweet things (the shoelaces, omg) and trying hard.  Of course, his past actions of being a douche come back to bite both of them and that was painful.

Thank heaven for Tommy, who befriends Theo at work and is the voice of reason when Theo needs it.   We really, really need Tommy’s book. 

The story is told in alternating first person point of view and we also get Tommy’s thoughts.  I loved being able to connect with everyone like that.  Getting to see Jeffrey grow as a person, become stronger, was a glorious thing.  There were times I wanted to hug him, such as when he shows Theo his under-construction apartment, and times I wanted to hug Theo and times I wanted to shake them both.  They both do some growing up here and it was wonderful.

I have to admit I read this before the first in this series and I am so glad I did.  The Jeffrey Bornic of this book is snarky, obnoxious and arrogant but he isn’t vile as I thought he was in the first book, Where Do I Start?  Had I read the series in order I wouldn’t have bothered with Jeffrey’s book and I’d have missed out.  The Jeffrey of this book was serious.

Completely recommend this book, especially for those who love characters who redeem themselves and those who love the snark. 

The cover art was sort of middle of the road for me.  Headless torso in a long sleeved t-shirt was, I assume, Theo, with Jeffrey’s hands clasped around his middle.  While I liked the idea of the closeness, I was disappointed we didn’t get the red hair that Theo is so known for.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Lyrical Press
Original TitleAnd the Next Thing You Know . . .
ASINB071VHV289
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesWhy You? #2

A Lucy Review: First Sight (Sight #1) by Jordan Taylor

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Archer and Noah have been friends, of a sort, since high school.  Noah wants to be friends with him, despite the fact that Archer is hostile.  “Confidence, like art, was a family trait.”  Noah doesn’t give up and in fact pushes Archer towards friendship and then towards more.  Noah is diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that eats the eyes.  A severe case, incurable, leading to permanent and complete blindness.  It is not until two years later, at eighteen, that Noah loses his sight completely.  Archer is there for him, angry that Noah considered suicide.  Archer is there for him, describing what he sees, allowing Noah to touch and map his face (though he hates to be touched) and making sure Noah can be independent.

The book is told in first person by Noah and begins with Archer proposing and Noah giving a vehement NO and running away.  Right then I thought, either something is wrong with Archer or I’m not going to like Noah.  It was the latter.  Noah is blind, yes.  He has lost his ability to do the comic book graphic design he had wanted to, yes.  But he also is the one to breach Archer’s defenses, when he didn’t want a relationship, and then when he did he burns him with a NO. 

He often acts as if Archer doesn’t know his own mind and that hurts Archer.  There are quite a few times here that Noah hurts Archer and really, I wanted to shake him.  “Then don’t marry me, but come home anyway. This is not one-sided.  You dragged me into this relationship. Now here I am. I need you no less now than when I was fifteen and sick with grief and you were the only person in the world who asked if I wanted to hang out.  I want to hang out with you, Noah.  Forever. Come home.”  And Noah says. No. 

They do end up getting married but there are issues. The biggest is that Noah is absolutely convinced that Archer doesn’t understand what it is like to be married to a blind man, “…shackled to an albatross.”  They end up going on a honeymoon to Amsterdam, another thing that Noah decided he knew best.  Archer thought they should start with a small trip but Noah pushed this.  And it turns out to be a disaster. Archer is not, in any way, a social person and this trip is so difficult.

The book goes back and forth between their story and the comic book story that Noah is writing about a gay, blind superhero.  This wasn’t the best for me. I would have preferred more focus on their relationship than the comic, though as a novel that comic finished would probably be a good one. Here it was distracting.

You can see Noah and Archer’s friendship but the continuous arguing and Noah always believing he knows better, never really listening to Archer even when it concerned Archer’s own feelings, got on my nerves after a while.  Noah ends up in a dangerous situation, all alone, and that part seemed extremely real.  I can’t even imagine how terrifying it would be, blind, alone, no phone, no idea where you are.  Archer had possibly the same fear, since he didn’t know what was happening. It shows the rift between them widening:

It wasn’t a stunt, Archer.  You think I meant to come back alone?”

“I think you meant to put me in my place and prove you didn’t need me.”

I liked the interaction between the two when they weren’t arguing, they tease and talk.  Archer describes the world for Noah and right there you can see the care he has.  It takes most of the book before Noah starts to get a clue and start to listen to Archer.  So, I liked this but didn’t love it.

Cover art by Natasha Snow, showing scenes from Amsterdam, the tulips and the city, as well as Noah in dark glasses and blurred circles.  I felt this was a good representation of the story.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 168 pages
Published May 21st 2018 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781948608671
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSight #1

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Recruit by Addison Albright

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Phillip Brewer has terminal cancer. Considering his youth, that death sentence is shocking and depressing so he spends his good days walking around and enjoying the sights Mother Nature provides, knowing his time for joy is limited. When he meets Albert Manlii, a good-looking older man, he’s immediately attracted at first, and then he’s intrigued by the bizarre proposal Albert makes. Albert is offering him eternal life if Phillip chooses to join his organization. That organization is made up of vampires and its sole purpose seems to be to keep them functioning as a society without coming to the attention of humans.

Intriguing? Yes. But he must agree immediately and then the conversion will be done as soon as he agrees. So saying yes and diving in with both feet, he’s suddenly a part of this vast organization and he’s most definitely in the midst of a romance that he’s unprepared for. It seems Albert is his soulmate and that couldn’t make Phillip happier.

The story had so much potential but the action and execution was choppy. It’s as if the author wanted to cover everything and made an outline of key points. Then she filled in those points but not enough and somewhere along the way there’s a disconnect. Scenes don’t feel complete. New situations aren’t fully explored. The romance is fast, definitely insta-love, though that’s somewhat normal for a soulmate situation. But even the scenes of the two together are sketchy at best. Every scene seems rushed. It would likely have been so much better if it was much more fully developed.

But on the whole, I liked this story and I definitely liked the concept. Unfortunately, the execution keeps me from going any higher than 3 stars.

~~

The cover by Written Ink Designs features a close-up of a young man in a hoodie with blood at the corner of his mouth. This represents Phillip’s initial vampire bite and fits the story perfectly.

Sales Links:  Amazon |    Books2Read Universal Buy-Link | Publisher/JMS Books, LLC

Book Details:

ebook, 69 pages
Expected publication: June 16th 2018 by JMS Books, LLC
ISBN139781634866668
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://authoraddisonalbright.com/my-publications/stand-alone-stories/the-recruit/
CharactersAlbert Manlii, Phillip Brewer, Neil Franklin

Blog Tour for The Curse by Kethric Wilcox (excerpt and giveaway)

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The Curse: Origin of the Vampires

by

Kethric Wilcox has a new MM paranormal vampire book out:

Cain Slays Abel!

In this day and age, that’s not an earth-shattering headline. We want headlines that scream of life-altering events.

Terrorists Nuke Peace Conference!

Wow! What a gripping headline. This is something to change the world. Oh, wait! The world did transform. This ran as the lead story a few hours before the beginning of The Upheaval. The current world birthed in nuclear fire and electromagnetic disruption. Gone are the nations I grew up with. My life altered again.

Cain Slays Abel!

The truth behind such a classic story is far more complicated than anyone could imagine.

The brothers’ tale is a life-altering event, at least for me. Twice a report of murder transformed my life in an unpredictable way. I am Richard St. Martin, Master of Darkness. Before my story can be told, you need to learn the story of the first dark monster, Cain. My stepchildren call him Father Cain because he was the first. To find the actuality behind the myth, I recruited two talented mortals – Dr. Jeremiah Banks, Archaeologist, and Professor Juan Di Vargas, Theologian and Religious Scholar. Together they found the secret origin of the vampires:

The Curse!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books2Read | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

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Excerpt

The Curse banner

JEREMIAH SURVEYED his clothing choices for the conference and grimaced. He hated suits, but Dr. Sinclair, the dean of his department, and Mrs. Pike, the dean’s secretary and sort of a second mother, both insisted he dress in professional academic attire.

“You’re representing the University of Arizona and the Republic of Texas, Dr. Banks. Think of the university’s reputation. Don’t appear like you are fresh off the boat following months in the field,” Jeremiah recalled Dr. Sinclair saying as he handed him his clearance to travel. During a visit to her house, Mrs. Pike said similar things before she called her late husband’s tailor and made an appointment to fit Jeremiah for new suits. Suits made Jeremiah uncomfortable, he preferred sturdy field clothing, but Dr. Sinclair held firm, no wild field archaeologist attire. Resigned to his fate, Jeremiah gave into almost all the dean’s requirements, but refused when the request came to cutting his long copper locks. Jeremiah brushed through his hair, twisted, and slid the length into a sapphire-encrusted leather tube to hold everything in check.

The Emir, who oversaw his dig on behalf of the caliph’s government, gave him the hair binder as a gift. The man developed a fascination with Jeremiah’s copper hair and its silky texture. With his hair under control, Jeremiah dressed to impress in a navy-blue suit with a subtle white pinstripe. Sapphire cufflinks and tie tack finished the ensemble. The cufflinks came as a second present from the emir after a night of admiring Jeremiah’s body in all its naked glory. The combination of Jeremiah’s pale skin and fiery chest hair and pubic region, plus the impressive prick and balls in their natural state, fascinated the noble. The emir never touched him or asked for contact; the man wanted to check if the red hair remained the same color all the way down.

All three pieces of jewelry helped to highlight his bright blue eyes. Jeremiah checked himself in the mirror before picking up his notes and slides for his lecture and heading down to breakfast. During the evening, the staff worked their magic, transforming the ballroom from reception hall into a dining room. A waiter led Jeremiah to his assigned table and seat right next to Prof. O’Grady. The rest of the table filled with other scholars from universities in the Republic of Texas. He found Dr. Lanister’s vacant seat next to his and opposite Prof. O’Grady. “Prof. O’Grady, I want to apologize for the rude comments last night at the reception.”

“No, Dr. Banks, if anyone got out of line last night, I did, and should be doing the apologizing. Thank you for correcting my attitude towards Dr. Lanister. I spoke way out of line. I wanted to apologize to him in person, but the hotel informed me Dr. Lanister checked out late last night claiming illness and returned home.”

“I’m sorry he departed. He stopped by my room last night reeking of alcohol, so I encouraged him to retire for the evening. I’m sorry to learn he caught something,” came Jeremiah’s reply as a waiter stopped and filled his coffee cup. “I wonder, are you familiar with Prof. Juan Di Vargas from the University of Madrid?”

“Only by reputation, Dr. Banks. I understand he’s presenting today on how the story of the Flood developed in several early cultures,” O’Grady remarked, signaling the waiter to take her plate. “Don’t you present today as well, Dr. Banks?”

“Yes, about an hour after Prof. Di Vargas. I hope to catch a moment of his time between lectures. His latest paper mentioned the possibility of the biblical city of Enoch being in the Tigris-Euphrates Delta. I think Enoch might be part of the culture, which produced the tablets I found. I wish to compare research with him.”

“Good luck in your endeavor. Di Vargas doesn’t often deal with those who pursue the more physical aspects of their researches, at least according to his reputation. I can arrange for you to speak with a scholar of the period more open to using archaeology. Let me introduce you to Prof. Chevalier from the University of Paris.”

She missed Jeremiah’s grimace of distaste, which he hid behind a sip of coffee. Chevalier’s research clashed with every line of the investigation he pursued while Di Vargas’s headed in a similar direction from a different angle. Jeremiah wiped his hands with his napkin, picked up his notes and slides, and rose from the table.

“Thank you for the offer, Dr. O’Grady. Perhaps another time. Please excuse me. I need to make sure the media team receives enough time to arrange the presentation before lecturing. I’m confident we’ll cross paths at dinner.”

“I think they plan to mix things up tonight, but there will be other meetings during the conference. Such a pleasure to meet you again, Jeremiah, or I should say Dr. Banks. You stood out, one of my more promising students, and I’m proud of how well you blossomed under Adamson’s direction.” O’Grady offered Jeremiah her hand. “I’m eager for your lecture this afternoon.”

Jeremiah shook her hand and left to track down the media team. He still needed to set up his slides before attending the lectures he wanted to listen to this morning.


Author Bio

Kethric Wilcox

Kethric Wilcox began writing and publishing as a personal challenge to be creative in a new medium. He was attracted to the LGBT Romance genre after reading several paranormal romances where it seemed like the shape-shifters never faced dangers outside the relationship issues thrown at them by their authors. Thus was born the shifter hunting House of Beauty on the premise of a twisted fairy tale. What if Beauty and the Beast didn’t end with happily ever after? Wilcox’s Legend of the Silver Hunter trilogy looks at this question and then asks what happens if a member of this family falls in love with a descendant of the Beast, can they find happily ever after or are they doomed to repeat the tale. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Wilcox now lives and works in Little Rock, Arkansas in a house that he and his partner renovated. By day Wilcox is a graphic artist and exhibit designer, and at night an author of paranormal romances.

Wilcox currently has two new trilogies in progress: Origin of the Vampires (The Curse, Lord Hunter, and Lord Slayer) set in a dystopian future of the Silver Hunter world; and Legacy of the Silver Hunter (The Goldilocks Pledge, Ruby Wine, and Black Snow) which continues the story told in the Legend trilogy from the view points of other couples in Kieran and Cory’s lives.

Author Website: http://www.kethricwilcox.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/Kethric

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/WorldoftheSilverHunter/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/KethricW

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9818683.Kethric_Wilcox

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/kethric-wilcox/

Author Amazon: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/kethric-wilcox/

Cover Reveal for Overtime (Cayuga Cougars #4) by V.L. Locey (giveaway)

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Add to Goodreads
 
 
Length: 68,000 words approx.
 
Cayuga Cougars Series
 
Book #1 – Snap Shot: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Open Net: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Coach’s Challenge: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Sander March is one season away from the pros, or so everyone tells him.

If only Sander had as much faith in his ability as the Cougar coaching staff does. Outwardly, he’s cocksure, borderline bitter, and slightly sarcastic. All that strut and sass hides a wounded soul though. Working to hide a brutal past filled with humiliation, abuse, and a family member who still haunts him, Sander has never found the kind of comfort and understanding he so desperately needs. Until he meets Mateo Castillo, a minor league baseball player for the nearby Elmira Egrets. Mateo and Sander click instantly, and a budding friendship develops between the two athletes.

Mateo then introduces Sander to his boyfriend, Noah Coombs, an aspiring manga comic creator. The three men find themselves bonding strongly, and that slowly gives way to sexual attraction. Eventually, Mateo and Noah invite Sander into their relationship. The path to happiness isn’t going to be easy for Sander as he faces criticism from his friends, teammates, and the press for his choices. The brash young star can handle all that, it’s when his abuser shows up in Cayuga that Sander fears not only for his own safety, but for the lives of the two men he has grown to love. Will Sander’s past tear him away from Mateo and Noah, or will he be able to leave the darkness behind?

Warning – This story has disturbing subject matter.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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