A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Love Me Tomorrow by Ethan Day and Jason Frazier (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Award-winning audiobook narrator and voice actor Jason Frazier performs author Ethan Day’s romantic comedy, “Love Me Tomorrow”…

Event planner Levi Goode is positioned to inherit the newly vacated throne, becoming the in-demand party planner for Wilde City’s elite. Years of hard work and perseverance are finally paying off as Levi lands his next big fish, working with socialite Julia Freeman-Kingsley. Distracted by work and dealing with his head strong mother, an ex-Vegas-showgirl suffering from debilitating health issues, Levi has his hands full. Time for love or even the occasional one-night stand, is one aspect of life Levi hasn’t been able to master.

Sparks of interest fly during a chance meeting with a paramedic called to the aid of his mother, and thanks to Ruby’s meddling, Levi finds himself on a movie-date with the handsome Paramedic Jake. Personal and professional worlds collide when Levi realizes his new love interest is actually Jake Freeman, estranged brother to his brand new client. Discovering the man of his dreams already has a boyfriend, leaves Levi stunned realizing any hopes he had for something more with Jake were never going to be anything more than wishful thinking.

Struggling to downshift his expectations and remain friends with Jake while continuing to work closely with Julia quickly consumes all of his time and attention. Wondering if there will ever be a special someone to love him, is where Levi’s love story begins.

I love Ethan Day and am always happy to dive into one of his stories or in this case listen.  I missed Love Me Tomorrow when it first came out but the audiobook version is a real delight.  Not only do you get Ethan Day’s romantic comedy but you get the wonderful narration of Jason Frazier who never hits a wrong note here.

Once again, Ethan Day throws us into a story with a multitude of grand characters (love Miss Ruby),  two men with lives that couldn’t be more different and yet so similar in ways.  One 911 call and its a meeting of the hearts and a slow burn romance that off on its snail’s pace start.

Levi knows from the minute he stares frozen into those gorgeous blue eyes, he’s done for.  That EMT has touched something deep  inside him, made a connection.  That feeling continues throughout no matter what happens.  That bond is strong.  And the reader believes in it with the same strength of emotion that Levi does.

It take Jake a bit longer to get past his  denial.  Day never forgets to leave out the heartbreak and mess that is life.

For some readers, I will note that yes, there’s a contemporary romance “no” here.  To misquote Jimmy Carter, I cheated in my heart sort of thing going on.  Both men mention that they find it reprehensible yet feel drawn to each other.

Totally human and understandable.  It happens.  And the way Day lets the issue work its way out seems human, if a bit too tiring.  No that’s not the word but irksome perhaps.  Jake’s handling of the matter proved a little problematic for me in that he seemed to let others do the real heavy work for  him. I don’t know.  But it seems its his sister making the hard conversations and Jake doing the soft followup.  That’s what I  found troubling.  Anywhoo.

The surrounding cast members are outstanding.  From the sister and husband, to Levi’s employees and mother, each and everyone is a memorable character and important element in the story.  And voiced superbly byJason Frazier.

The narrator makes this book just fly by and I will eagerly seek out more stories narrated by him.

I loved the epilogue.  It’s typical Ethan Day.  Our guys get their HEA just as they should.  Its lovely.  I absolutely recommend Love Me Tomorrow by Ethan Day and Jason Frazier (Narrator).  If you  adore contemporary romance and love to listen to audiobooks, add this one to your must listen to list.

Audiobook Cover:  I like the cover but feel the models look too much alike.

Sales Links: Audible

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook
Published May 31st 2018 by Ethan Day (first published March 11th 2015)
ASINB07DDNR63G
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Free Dreamer Review: Amberlough (The Amberlough Dossier #1) by Lara Elena Donnelly

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A double-agent sacrifices all his ideals in order to save his smuggler lover before a government coup takes over their decadent city in Lara Elena Donnelly’s glam spy thriller debut, now a Nebula finalist for Best Novel!

Introducing…

The Smuggler: By day, Aristide Makricosta is the emcee for Amberlough City’s top nightclub. By night, he moves drugs and refugees under the noses of crooked cops.

The Spy: Covert agent Cyril DePaul thinks he’s good at keeping secrets, but after a disastrous mission abroad, he makes a dangerous choice to protect himself…and hopefully Aristide too.

The Dancer: Streetwise Cordelia Lehane, burlesque performer at the Bumble Bee Cabaret and Aristide’s runner, could be the key to Cyril’s plans—if she can be trusted.

As the twinkling marquees lights yield to the rising flames of a fascist revolution, these three will struggle to survive using whatever means — and people — necessary. Including each other.

Review: First of all, I think we need to talk about expectations. When I read the blurb, looked at the publisher and what people shelved ”Amberlough” under, I’d expected 1920s America with magic and romance. What I got was an espionage thriller AU of 1930s Europe, before the Nazis came into power. And a little bit of romance. Had I known what kind of setting to expect, I wouldn’t have read this book. So I’m glad I got the wrong impression because “Amberlough” is utterly amazing and brilliant and one of the best books I’ve read in 2018 so far. It would have been such a shame to miss it.

I was actually quite surprised to see a review request from Tor pop up in my inbox. They’re on of my favourite publishers out there (Brandon Sanderson!!!!) and I had high, if false, expectations. I just didn’t know they had LGBT protagonists in their books too.

I absolutely loved the setting. The nightclub ambience was fascinating and the world building was brilliant. It was so easy to just get sucked into this glamorous world full of intrigues and backstabbing. There are so many little details that make the whole world feel alive and real, without lengthy info dumps. A brilliant example of how to do world building.

I won’t say too much on the plot itself, as it lives from the suspense and surprises. This is not a romance novel. It’s probably more gay literature than gay romance, even if the relationship between Cyril and Ari is essential to the plot. It’s heartbreakingly romantic. But really, this is a thriller that happens to have a gay couple in it. The plot might make you believe there’s going to be a MMF relationship but there isn’t. We have a homosexual relationship and a heterosexual one.

I usually don’t read thrillers because I’ve always felt the characters stay kind of shallow. It’s just not my genre. But here, the character development was excellent. We have three main characters: Aristide, the glamorous male stripper with a bit of an illegal side business; Cyril, the spy who can’t keep his hands off Ari, even though they’re very different; and then there’s Cordelia, also a stripper, who’s worked her way up the hard way. I loved all three of them and how they played together. Each had their own distinct voice and it’s always obvious who’s POV you’re currently reading.

Honestly, I don’t really have the words to do this book justice. I loved every single second of it and it drove me mad that I couldn’t immediately start book two. Because there’s one hell of a mean cliffhanger at the end. Yet another thing I usually can’t stand. But I guess Lara Elena Donnelly just has a way of making me love things I usually hate. The suspense nearly killed me. Definitely not recommended for people with a weak heart.

Long story short, read this book. You’ll love it. Just don’t expect a fairy-tale romance full of hearts and flowers. This is not a happy fluffy love story and I’m still unsure if we’ll ever get a happy ending. “Amberlough” is gay literature at its finest. Oh, and you might want to make sure you already have book two waiting for you.

Cover: Oh my gosh, that cover. It’s so gorgeous in it’s simplicity. I love, love, love it. Makes me sad I only have this book on my reader and not on my physical shelf.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book details: Kindle Edition, 398 pages

Published April 2018 by Tor Books (first published February 7th 2017)

ASIN: B01F20E73S

An Alisa Review: Jordan and the Secret Pack by Sam Magna

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Rating:  2 stars out of 5

Taking a short break from touring around the world Derek and his closest friend Lisa set out to snowy Mount Triffle. Their hasty departure proves to be fruitful when they find a cheerful welcome in a local club. They link up with a jazz band and the lead, Troy, invites them into their home. Derek soon finds out that there is deeply felt affection growing for the mysterious one named Jordan.

Jordan has a quiet, sinister nature about him that peaks Derek’s interest. In a wave of unseen emotions, they follow each other without being aware, while exploring the formidable landscape of the mountain. When Jordan finally reveals himself to Derek, the dread of discovering a hidden monster is short-lived. Derek wants to help the tormented werewolf, and keeping him close genuinely seems to him to be worthwhile.

This story really did not hit the mark for me.  Derek is visiting with his friend and meets Jordan.  Jordan warns Derek off but doesn’t stay away and soon Derek is involved in Jordan’s problem.

I could not connect with the characters in this story and also did not like the sex scene, they were completely unrealistic for male-male pairings.  There were also many time jumps that I lost what was going on and the end of the story was left open and the “sinister” plot was quickly resolved without any real conflict.  At least it was short so I didn’t feel like I wasted a lot of time.

The cover art by Martine Jardin is okay though you only ever see Jordan as a wolf for a few seconds.

Sales Links: Extasy Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 50 pages

Published: May 27, 2018 by Extasy Books

Edition Language: English

A Stella Review: Catch Me (Kitchen Gods #2) by Beth Bolden

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Chef Wyatt Blake is finally ready to move on from his thankless job. He gets no wiggle room, zero praise, plenty of abuse, and on a good day, he might only spend twelve hours in the Terroir kitchens. A friend of his recommends a private chef position, but despite the boost in pay, Wyatt doesn’t want to babysit some spoiled, rich LA family.

Imagine his shock when the family isn’t a Kardashian clone, but Ryan Flores, the only professional baseball player to ever come out of the closet.

Ryan is also at a career crossroads. His team’s management wants to see his more responsible side, which means no more late night hookups and no more adrenaline-charged stunts. When his agent suggests he find a fake boyfriend to give him an air of domesticity, he’s only reluctantly interested.

Until Ryan goes to a local bar and spies the cute private chef he’s supposed to be interviewing the next day. Maybe a quieter life wouldn’t be so bad, as long as Wyatt is part of it?

Wyatt believes Ryan could be more than just a crappy boss, but he isn’t sure about leaving the kitchen for the life of a professional boyfriend. Especially when he wants the reality so much more than the fantasy.

Catch Me is a 85,000 contemporary m/m romance, and while second in the Kitchen Gods series, can be read as a standalone.

I have to say the Kitchen Gods series by Beth Bolden is a huge winner to me, maybe because I love food and cooking, moreover because the author has so far delivered two amazing titles. I liked Bite Me but I found Catch Me a little more tuned with me, especially because I adored the men together from the first chapters, I easily fell into the story and was sucked into the main characters lives.

As Ryan, I too fell for Wyatt, his big heart, his fears, his dedication and strenght caught my heart. I think his character was what made the novel a success, because let’s be honest, I didn’t find Ryan so interesting, at the end I liked him too because I saw how much he cared about his private chef.

Just a couple of things stopped me from giving the novel more than four stars. First of all, I’m still dubious about Eric, Ryan’s agent. I din’t like him at all, perhaps I wasn’t able to understand him, anyway him being with Ryan was unaceptable to me and I would preferred the author would have given me a little more, a closure moment between them or just a glimpse of goodness in him, I don’t know. One more thing is related to Ryan past which I knew nothing, apart from the amazing aunt Flor, there is nothing else and I was curious and maybe would have helped me more to see his character clearer.

That said, I can assure you I can’t wait for the next book in the series, I so hope it will be about Kian and the Bastard, I’m dying to know how and if they will get their HEA.

The cover art by Angsty G follows the style of the previous title’s cover, overall I like it.

SALE LINKS  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 302 pages

Published June 9th 2018 by Beth Bolden Books

ASIN  B07DN1CJQ8

Edition Language English

Series Kitchen Gods #2

Nic Starr on Writing, Characters and her new release LIes and Deception (character and author interview)

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Lies & Deception by Nic Starr

Dreamspinner Press

Release Date 26th June 2018

Cover Artist Anna Sikorska

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Nic Starr here today talking about Lie and Deception, her latest novel. Welcome, Nic.

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Nic Starr

Hi. Thanks for inviting me to your blog to answer some questions. It’s always fun to see what people are interested in knowing about my writing. It’s Friday morning here in Australia, and I’m enjoying a cup of coffee while typing my answers. Here’s my view – a misty wintery morning in the countryside.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Everything I know is based on my education and life experience. I have opinions, and a strong set of personal values. It would be impossible for this not to make an appearance in my characters. I see some of me in my characters emotions, how they react to certain situations, and their likes and dislikes.  I think that’s why so many of my characters like to cook, enjoy a drink and don’t often have a gym membership. LOL.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Up until now I’ve written contemporary romance. It’s a genre I feel comfortable with and can write without too much research. I don’t think I’d enjoy the level of research required to write in a genre such as historical for example. For me, research comes down to things like fact finding on places and cultures (such as when I write stories set in the US), or researching occupations (such as undercover police work in my latest release). I’ve also researched interesting topics such as laws targetting outlaw bikie gangs and how to kill someone with an insulin overdose. I hope no one is tracking my google history!

I’m only now getting into world building. I’ve started a paranormal series featuring shifters. So far it’s been interesting to create the world my characters exist in, to define the pack structure and culture. My series is about a certain affliction that impacts the shifter world, so it’s been fun to consider all aspects of how this affliction would present itself and be dealt with in my world.

One area of research I do enjoy is finding out more about the craft of writing. I read books, take courses and listen to podcasts. We never stop learning.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Did I ever! The first romances I remember reading were the Mills & Boon paperbacks my Nana had stuffed in boxes at her house. I’d stay with her every school holiday and spend countless hours reading. My mum worried I’d get bored going to the country but that was never the case. I’m not even sure why Nana had all those books because she wasn’t a reader at all. I think she bought them home from the hospital auxillary, probably because I was coming to stay.

My Mum was and is a huge reader, so I think I developed my love of books from her. I used to read everything she read and from a very early age. I think I was eleven when I read Flowers in the Attic (my young self totally drawn in to the world of Virginia Andrews). Some of the early books I remember reading were the books of Catherine Gaskin, Mary Stewart, Jackie Collins, Jilly Cooper, and the list goes on…

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

I choose my covers based on the overall design and how it makes me feel. Does it capture the mood of the story? Are the cover models representative of my characters? Does it appeal to me at an emotional level? Will it look good in paperback? Will it stand out as a thumbnail?

Some of my covers have been premades that I’ve seen and fallen in love with. For example, I saw the cover of Rustic Melody and knew I had to have it – there was something about the guy on the front and the colours that just called to me. So the cover came before I even had an idea for the story. I’ve got a folder on my desktop with another half-dozen covers waiting their turn. LOL

Other covers are designed by cover artists based on my specifications. I provide information on the tone of the story, the characters and key elements of the plot. From there a cover artist usually supplies a number of sample covers for me to choose from. Once I’ve narrowed down the general look and feel, other modifications are made such as colour tones, positioning of the elements on the cover, and tweaking the font for the title and author name.

In the case of my most recent cover for Lies & Deception, the super talented cover designer Anna Sikorska, used the inspiration pics I’d been working with for my main characters, Mitch and Finn, so I couldn’t be happier. She performed her magic to adjust the tattoos on both men and I had my perfect cover men. I also loved the colour palette.

  

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

My house in the country makes the perfect writing retreat. It’s peaceful and will less interruptions than I get at home in Sydney where I have two teenage girls coming and going. The photo I shared above show just how quiet it is around here. Bliss.

Thanks for the questions. I hope you enjoy Mitch and Finn’s story.

Happy reading,

Nic

Lies & Deception

By

Nic Starr

Blurb

Detective Mitch O’Neill is the ideal man to infiltrate the Soldiers of Fury Motorcycle Club. His ex-boyfriend, Peter, is pledged with the club, which provides Mitch with the perfect cover. Despite the relationship ending badly, he’s come to terms with Peter’s drug addiction and his inability to help. All Mitch wants now is to bring down the Soldiers and the club president, Rocky Cummings, once and for all.

Finn Cummings hates everything the motorcycle club stands for, but he’s unable to escape his brother’s clutches. When Mitch is assigned as Finn’s driver, they spend countless hours together, and the saying proves true—opposites do attract. Finn agonizes over his feelings for Mitch—the last thing he wants is to involve himself further with criminals, not when he wants to leave that world. Mitch tries to come to terms with falling for a member of the outlaw club he’s determined to destroy.

If they can survive the fallout from Rocky’s violence and the investigation, they might discover it’s not a case of opposites attract after all.

Length ~67,000 words

Genre Contemporary m/m romance

Mystery/thriller

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press  |Universal Link   Amazon US |Amazon UK:   | Amazon CAAmazon AU: |Amazon DE: |Apple Books: |

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/lies-deception

Barnes & Noble: | Google Books

Paperback

Dreamspinner Press: 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40230754-lies-deception

About the Author

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told.

Nic loves to spend time with her family—an understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a cherished Cairn terrier. Nic is a foodie and wine lover who lives in the city but is a country girl at heart. When not writing or reading, she is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

Author Social Media Links

Website & Blog: http://www.nicstarr.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nic-Starr/e/B00MAWRRQG/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicki.nicstar

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NicStarrAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nicstarr_author

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nic_starr_author/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nicstarr_author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8139967.Nic_Starr

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/nic-starr

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Day Of Wrath (Taking Shield #5) by Anna Butler

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Length: 106,470 words
 
Taking Shield Series



Gyrfalcon (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Heart Scarab (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Makepeace (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Chains of Their Sins (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb


In less than a week, Bennet will finally return to the Shield Regiment, leaving behind the Gyrfalcon, his father, his friends… and Flynn. Promotion to Shield Major and being given command of a battle group despite the political fallout from Makepeace the year before is everything he thought he wanted. Everything he’s worked towards for the last three years. Except for leaving Flynn. He really doesn’t want to leave Flynn.


There’s time for one last flight together. A routine mission. Nothing too taxing, just savouring every moment with the best wingman, the best friend, he’s ever had. That’s the plan.


Bennet should know better than to trust to routine because what waits for them out there will change their lives forever.

Anna Butler was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She recently moved out of the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London to the rather slower environs of a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside, where she lives with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo.


Website and Blog
Facebook
The Butler’s Pantry (Facebook Group)
Pinterest
Twitter
Sign up for Anna’s quarterly newsletter

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for Believe (Skins #3) by Garrett Leigh

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 55,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Black Jazz Design
 
Skins Series
 
Dream (Book #1) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Whisper (Book #2) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb

Flight paramedic Rhys Foster is hooked on adrenaline. By day it’s blood and guts, by night it’s the thrill of the club. With a different face in his bed most nights, he doesn’t have time to be lonely…right?


Entertainer Jevon Campbell is a play therapist like no other—dancer, magician, acrobat, he brings it all to his global mission to help children in need laugh again. He’s on a rare home visit when he encounters enigmatic Rhys in a London bar.


Their connection is instant, but Rhys fast realises Jevon’s easy confidence doesn’t stretch as far as the bedroom. He has no idea how mesmerising he is—how beautiful—and Rhys resolves to show him.


They grow closer, but time isn’t on their side. Rhys seems unable to articulate how he feels, and with Jevon’s imminent departure from the UK hanging over them, their separate commitments could tear them apart forever.


As the days slip by, Rhys must learn to believe he’s worth the happiness Jevon is offering.

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 sitemoonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.


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

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