A MelanieM Review: Made in Portugal (Made In #1) by Ana Newfolk

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

At 10 years old Joel was uprooted from his home and everything he knew in Portugal to start a new life in the States. At 26 he finds himself returning for the first time in thirteen years. So what if looking into the eyes of his childhood best friend again still makes his heart race out of his chest?

Living in sunny, laid-back Portugal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For David, dreams of being a pastry chef come second to working in his family’s café where his renowned custard tarts draw in the crowds. Seeing Joel brings old feelings back. Feelings he’s not sure he’s brave enough to acknowledge to anyone other than himself.

With the inspiration of an old travel journal, the two friends embark on a real journey through memories in a country where looking back into the past runs as deep as the blood that courses through their veins.

Falling in love was never meant to be a stop along the way, but maybe inevitable when you have the adventurous spirit and courage to pursue what you want, make love under the stars and even figure out how to jumpstart an old Citroen 2CV in the middle of the Alentejo countryside.

I really enjoyed Made in Portugal (Made In #1) by Ana Newfolk.   The author managed to bring the country of Portugal alive for me as a reader on so many levels while never losing sight of her oh so connectable romance between two best friends given a second chance at everything they ever hoped for.  The first in a series apparently, Made In Portugal takes us into the the dynamics and intertwined relationships of two families that has stretched over the decades.  It started in a village in Portugal where Joel was born to a Portuguese mother and an American  father, a place where he left broken hearted at age 10 because his parents had to move to the US, and is now finally returning at age 26 to lay their ashes to rest.

It is also the story of David, that best of friends he left behind, the one he shared his first kiss with,  The one whose mother was best friends with his mother and whose family has always been tied up  with his.  All of these families, all of these people await Joel and the reader when his plane lands.  And it actually begins at the rental car station.

The author starts to create an immediate sense of the familiar and homecoming for Joel and the reader when things go wrong with his rental car.  I  won’t spoil it but Newfolk’s ability to have secondary believable characters have meaningful interactions that leave you with warm happy thoughts of what will lie ahead?  Oh yes!  Then you know you are in good hands indeed.

This story is also about family, coming home, coming out, rediscovering love, taking journeys, and finding out exactly where your home lies….yes, all that.  And the author does a spectacular job.  The writing is smooth, the dialog realistic with Portuguese linguistic touches that makes you feel as though you are in the country, and the relationship dynamics work as well.  Its poignant, conflicted, and all family.

I felt I knew these men at the end.  And their mothers.  And truly all the rest of their family.  It takes everyone and a ancient Citroen called Ladybug to finally let Joel and David see their way to their HEA and their home.  But that journey they take?  It’s one you shouldn’t miss.  It made me want to take a flight to a place I haven’t been in years to soak up the sun, the love and laughter, the warmth and family that’s exuded from the pages of this story.  I know I can just find it  if only I can rent a Citroen named Ladybug.

Yes, I do highly recommend this story.  Grab it up now.

Cover art by Jay Aheer:  I like this cover, except only one of the models matches the  characters. Joel is blond  unlike David. But the colors and composition is lovely and bright.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Made In Portugal is a 74000 word gay romance novel with a happy ever after ending.
It is the first in a series but can be read as a standalone.

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 231 pages
Published June 1st 2018
Original TitleMade in Portugal
ASINB07DH27RR1
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesMade In #1

A Lucy Review: Whatever Comes First by MK Lee

Standard

Rating: 3 stars  out of 5

Matthew isn’t looking for a relationship. Ask him, and he’ll say it’s because between work and studying there’s just no time. Ask his best friend, Sarah, and the story is a little different, and involves a failed relationship that left him raw.

Enter Joel, a childhood friend of Sarah’s recently back in the area. He’s not looking for love, either, but he’s not adverse to the idea of a little fun. Uncomplicated and on the same page: what could possibly go wrong?

Matthew and Joel have been introduced by their friend, Sarah. Matthew hasn’t been with a man yet but he’s realized that he is bisexual, so he’s ready to come out and be with a guy.  As Joel is gay, Sarah figures he is the perfect one to teach Matthew the ropes.  They hook up and Joel is on board to teach Matthew about gay sex. Which he does. Repeatedly. It’s a novella and there are many sex scenes in this. This is really less of a romance and more of sex. Lots of sex. While I am a fan of sex in my books, this really was all about it and after a while I found myself skimming. 

What saved it for me was that the two of them are by turns snarky and funny when they are talking to each other.  We do have some trouble with Matthew ending up falling for Joel even though this was supposed to be a string-free thing but keeping it to himself for fear of losing him.  There is some angst about putting yourself out there again.

The two of them are good together in bed but also funny and good together out of it. Knowing it started with a hookup, I should have expected all the sex but I was looking for a little more connection as well.  It’s a novella so perhaps the length was detrimental to the romance being fleshed out more.  The focus here is on the erotica.

Cover Art by Aisha Akeju:  Light and airy.  It works.

Sales Link:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published May 16th 2018 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781684312856
Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Staggered Cove Station (Coast Guard Rescue #1) by Elle Brownlee and Colin Darcy (Narrator)

Standard

Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Rescues are wild in the Alaskan terrain. So is romance.

Sun-kissed California guardsman Dan Farnsworth might be at home in the water, but he’s out of his element at remote, rugged, and freezing Staggered Cove Station. Acclimating proves hard enough, but he’s also digging into how the station’s previous rescue swimmer was lost at sea. Was it an operation gone bad or something more sinister? Add to that the instant tension between him and his partner—no-nonsense Alaska-born Karl Radin—and Dan has his hands full.

As his investigation heats up, so does the attraction between Dan and Karl, even if they don’t completely trust each other. But as suspicious events escalate to sabotage, Dan starts to fear that he and Karl won’t get the chance to become more than reluctant coworkers.

This was an alright story for me, more focused on the mystery than the romance between the two men.  Dan is trying to find out what really happened to his brother while not trying to bring any attention to what he is doing.  Karl can be a bit grumpy but wants to keep those under his watch safe and there seems to be something about Dan that’s not adding up.

I felt bad for Dan as he realized the full depth of his brother’s actions and to find out that the only family you had you never really knew.  Karl is very no nonsense and when Dan realizes he can trust him is willing to help him find answers.  I didn’t really see the relationship between these two building except for some off handed thoughts about attractiveness or how safe they felt with the other.  It takes extreme circumstances for them to do anything together or acknowledge it.  These two didn’t know each other long but were quick to jump together and go from there and I just couldn’t feel the connection.

Colin Darcy did a nice job narrating this story.  For the most part I was able to easily keep track of the story with the voices he used for each character though the voices didn’t connect with how I really saw the characters.

Cover art by Bree Archer is nice and gives a visual of the background for this story.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 6hrs 11mins
Published April 20, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: A Coast Guard Rescue Novel, Dreamspun Desires

A Stella Review: My Anti-Boyfriend (My Anti-Series #2) by D.J. Jamison

Standard

RATING 3 out of 5 stars

Brad has everyone fooled. He’s the casual, sexy friend. The fun-time guy who sleeps around. Except not really. There’s one man who holds his heart: his best friend — with benefits — Riley. Too bad Riley has no interest in a relationship, and as far as Brad can tell, never will. But once Brad acknowledges his freelings for Riley, he can’t continue to ignore them. He pulls back, trying to find a way to shut down his hurting heart so he can remain Riley’s friend.

Riley has everything he needs: a decent job, plenty of hookups, and his wingman Brad, who also makes for great fun in the sack. He’s happily oblivious, until Brad starts avoiding him. Riley is baffled when Brad starts skipping regular nights at the gay club, fails to return calls and otherwise ignores him. He can’t imagine what he’s done wrong, and when he finally corners Brad and learns the truth, he’s scared to death one more person is going to abandon him. He misses Brad like crazy — both the friend and the lover — but he’s never even considered a relationship.

Now Brad and Riley have a choice to make: friends or lovers. Riley’s days of having his cake and eating it too are over. Then again, maybe Brad is tasty enough to keep a man satisfied.

I wasn’t expecting for these two young men to have their HEA together and the author surprised me with this choice but it was clear from the beginning they were made for each other. The chemistry between them was explosive and the feelings Brad had for his friends known to everybody except Riley. It took some time to Riley to see what was in front of his eyes and in his heart too but eventually he realized he didn’t love Brad as a friend, he was in love with him.

I have to say I liked this second installment in the My Anti Series by DJ Jamison,it was well written, engaging, quick to read. But I didn’t enjoy as I did with the first book. In my opinion there were too many sex scenes for a short story like this one. Sure, Riley and Brad were hot together but with so few pages, it would have been better to fill them with more informations and backgrounds about the main characters, rather than just put them in bed. That’s why their romance felt to me a little rushed and I think it should have been more developed.

Overall, I liked it and can’t wait for the third novella and Chris to find his soul mate.

The cover art by Lucas Soltow is simple and unique, I like it

Sales Link:  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 58 pages

Published June 30th 2017 by DJ Jamison

ASIN B073B5W8S2

Edition Language English

Review Tour and Giveaway – Made In Portugal by Ana Newfolk

Standard

 

 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 68,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Jay Aheer
 
Blurb
 

At 10 years old Joel was uprooted from his home and everything he knew in Portugal to start a new life in the States. At 26 he finds himself returning for the first time in thirteen years. So what if looking into the eyes of his childhood best friend again still makes his heart race out of his chest?

Living in sunny, laid-back Portugal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For David, dreams of being a pastry chef come second to working in his family’s café where his renowned custard tarts draw in the crowds. Seeing Joel brings old feelings back. Feelings he’s not sure he’s brave enough to acknowledge to anyone other than himself.

With the inspiration of an old travel journal, the two friends embark on a real journey through memories in a country where looking back into the past runs as deep as the blood that courses through their veins.

Falling in love was never meant to be a stop along the way, but maybe inevitable when you have the adventurous spirit and courage to pursue what you want, make love under the stars, and even figure out how to jumpstart an old Citroen 2CV in the middle of the Alentejo countryside.




Ana Newfolk was born in Portugal where she grew up surrounded by sunshine and countryside. She has always had a deep love of reading, and ever since she can remember her favorite presents and treats have always been books. She would often be found in her not-so-secret spot reading her favorite adventure books (when she was younger) and romance novels (when she discovered boys). At 20 years old she moved to the UK where she has lived since.

In 2015 Ana stumbled across her first MM romance novel by chance, and she was hooked. She loves reading about men falling in love, hard, fast and ever so sweetly. This new found love for LGBTQ+ romance has opened a new world for Ana, and in 2017 she decided to finally listen to the voices in her head and write them down.

In addition to the time she spends reading and writing Ana has a full-time job that involves meeting lots of people with interesting stories to tell. She also loves baking as much as she loves watching people eat what she creates, much to the delight of family, friends and work colleagues alike.

You can follow Ana on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or through her blog for up to date news of her book releases.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Release Blitz Twenty-One Arrow Salute by Kasia Bacon (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Twenty-One Arrow Salute (Order Series #Book 2.5)

Author: Kasia Bacon

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Ying Draws

Genre/s: NA Fantasy

Length: 23 000 words/ 100 pages

Release Date: June 11, 2018

Other stories in the series: The Mutt #1, The Highlander #2

Goodreads

Blurb

An archer’s heart is a hard target to hit… 

Verhan Tŭrryés of Black Mountain is a handful.

Freshly enlisted in the Highland Regiment, he does all he can to steer clear of responsibility and commitment. Just not his cup of mead, that. Loose of tongue and even looser of morals, he rarely misses an opportunity to get into trouble—and into the other archers’ knickers, too.

In a unit composed almost entirely of Dark Elves, Hernan Seinnés, with his green eyes and auburn hair, is an outsider. When Verhan, up the creek again, is blackmailed into helping Hernan, he never expects to fall for him. But during the long hours spent training Hernan for the Honour Guard, feelings strike the Highlander right in the heart—and with the force of an arrow.

Unversed in relationships, Verhan finally plucks up enough courage to tell Hernan how he feels, only to drive the Asirhwӱnian away instead. If Verhan can swallow his pride, he might get one last chance to show Hernan what he means to him—and maybe this time he can hit the mark. 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Excerpt

Taking a step too wide, Hernan faltered at the very end, finishing the last form atthe wrong angle. The error turned his stance rigid, his poise evaporating before my eyes.

“Not bad. For an Asirhwӱnian,” I grinned and winked. “Let’s repeat it a few more times without stopping. I want to try something. Close your eyes and picture the forms in your mind. I’ll be behind you, guiding your steps, alright?”

Hernan nodded.

Slowly, I approached him from the rear and placed my hands on his hips.

That first time I touched him, my heart downright assailed my rib cage, beating out a rhythm violent enough to cause me internal damage. To my dismay, I felt more riled up by that innocent contact than the last time I had my trousers around my ankles and a bulky sergeant pressed against the wall. Silently swearing, I tried shutting down those thoughts and refocusing.

And so we moved in a half circle, gliding through the air, in tune with one another.

The sweet spiciness of his scent reminded me of darhê. Hyperawareof the warmth emanating from his body, I lost all sense of time. It might’ve been a few minutes or an hour before we came to a stop.

As if bewitched, both of us remained still. It was Hernan who eventually turned his head to the side. He looked up at me over his shoulder.

The air seemed to shimmer around him, the edges of my vision distorted. I took in his smooth, flushed skin embellished with a few freckles. His slightly parted lips, plump and rosy. His wide, pale eyes, as green as a forest fern. All the colours that defined him filled me with a sense of wonder.

About the Author 

A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.

Sign up for Kasia’s mailing list to receive freebies and updates and learn about new releases.

Social Media Links

Website

Facebook 

Twitter

Goodreads

Pinterest

Instagram

Amazon

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebook copies from Kasia Bacon’s backlist, including the new release.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5b6f4fef8/

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Release Blitz and Giveaway for West Coast (Up In The Air #2) by George Loveland

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 55,220 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Ethereal Ealain
 
Up In The Air Series
 
Book #1 – Johannesburg – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Max Cooper has never known love and uses drink to numb the feelings of rejection he’s faced with. It doesn’t help him in his career as an air steward when after a very drunken night his best friend swaps their flights over so Max can keep his job.


When Max flies out to Los Angeles, his patience is tested when he offers to help fellow air steward and rising drag queen, Dai Zee, with her costume changes at the best drag club in LA, Flamingos. While he watches Dai Zee perform, he catches the eye of a guy in the corner, but fails to find him when the performance ends. An ill-timed text message sends Max back to the bottle, and into the bed of a man he doesn’t know, and doesn’t want to be with.


The next night at Flamingos he finds the man he was searching for, but it’s not as easy as he’d hoped. Antonio Baldini isn’t interested in a drunken Max and rejects his advances until another drag queen, Miss Crystal, plays a hand in getting the two of them together. As Max and Antonio step past the initial confusion, they tread carefully with each other, neither one wanting to get hurt.


Even when Max is back in London, the late-night video calls don’t stop, but it’s when they are reunited in Las Vegas that things turn serious.


Max can’t shake his past, and someone is out for him and his job – trying to stop him from flying altogether. He’s worried about what it will mean for his new relationship if he can’t fly; and whether he can stay away from the drink long enough to be with a man who seems to care for him.

 

Author Bio 


George was about eighteen when he told his friend that he was going to be a writer. It took him another eighteen years before he finally did anything about it and wrote his first short story. A typical Englishman, he drinks buckets of tea with milk—but no sugar, because he is sweet enough. His Nan told him so.
George lives just outside of London, but close enough to enjoy Soho and the West End, where you will find him in a bar with a pint, in a club dancing into the early hours of the morning, or enjoying a musical in the theater; but more than likely he will be in a coffee shop reading a book or writing a new story. Currently single, but taking applications for future husband position, George enjoys crafting romantic stories in which he hopes that one day, life will imitate art.Facebook
Website
Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions