A Stella Release Day Review: Camwolf by JL Merrow

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RATING 2,5 out of 5 stars

A race to save his lover—by becoming his own worst nightmare.

Dr. Nick Sewell has it all. Good friends, a career as a Cambridge academic… and recently, a tendency to turn into a wolf every full moon. When a new student arrives from Germany, Nick is horrified by his visceral attraction to the troubled youth—not to mention his violent jealousy when he sees Julian with another man. He’s floored to find out Julian is a werewolf too.

Unlike Nick, Julian has spent his life among other wolves, and in this subject, he’s the teacher and Nick the student. Nick struggles to adjust to this reversal of roles, especially since he’s an alpha and Julian a natural submissive. That dynamic just adds to the attraction smoldering between them, whether they’re in human form or wolf.

But Julian’s pack and the abuse he suffered aren’t far behind him. And the pack wants to reclaim him. For Nick to hold on to his lover, he’ll have to come to terms with the violent acts of his past—and embrace the monster within.

I’m a huge fan of JL Merrow, but for some reasons I didn’t come around at reading Camwolf when it was first released in 2011. This second edition was the perfect chance for me to have on my Kindle one more title from the author. I was enthusiastic about, plus I’m always curious about paranormal stories. Sadly I can tell you this novel was a letdown.

As always, Camwolf was very well written and it’s the reason why, although the story didn’t work for me, I gave it a higher rating that it actually deserved. I didn’t like it because I found the characters pretty shallow and useless. I wasn’t able to feel a connection between them and through all the story I thought some of their actions were stupid too.

And then the mystery part in my opinion was a mess, I think some details I don’t want to spoil in this review were unnecessary when finally Julian has gotten in Nick his soul mate. And later when everything was solved, that same huge details were totally ignored. I don’t know, it felt to me like cheating and made the story more unrealistic then a paranormal romance should be.  At the end I was a little disappointed, I didn’t care at all for the MCs and their HEA.

I think if it wasn’t for the good writing, I would have never thought this novel was written by one of my favorite authors, it lacked everything I love in her other works, amazing characters, engaging scenes, never-ending emotions.

The cover art by Tiferet Design is really well done, I like it a lot, especially its darkness, it works perfectly for the story

SALE LINKS  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, Second edition, 204 pages

Expected publication: July 13th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 2nd 2011)

ISBN 1609284569 (ISBN13: 9781609284565)

Edition Language English

An Ali Audiobook Review: Family Man By Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton/Colin Darcy (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Sometimes family chooses you.

How does a man get to be forty without knowing whether he’s gay? That’s a question Vince Fierro is almost afraid to answer. If he is gay, it’ll be a problem for his big, fat Italian family. Still, after three failed marriages, he can’t help but wonder if he’s been playing for the wrong team.

There’s only one way to settle it, once and for all—head for Chicago’s Boystown bars, far from anyone who knows him. Naturally, he runs smack into someone from the neighborhood.

Between working two jobs, going to school, taking care of his grandmother, and dealing with his mother’s ongoing substance abuse, Trey Giles has little time for fun, let alone dating someone who swears he’s straight. Yet after one night of dancing cheek-to-cheek to the sultry strains of Coltrane, Trey finds himself wanting to help Vinnie figure things out—no promises, and no sex.

It seems like a simple plan, until their “no-sex” night turns into the best date of their lives and forges a connection that complicates everything.

I originally read this book when it first came out in 2103 and I was new to reading this genre.  I really enjoyed it at that time.  When I had the chance to review this on audio I was both excited and nervous.  I wondered if this book would stand the test of time (and honestly many of my reads from then have not).  I’m happy to report that I enjoyed it just as much.  Honestly probably more because the narrator was excellent and really added to the story.
The story is told in alternating points of view.  We hear from both Vince and Trey which was a bit weird at first because one is told first person pov and the other third.  It took me a minute to get my head around that but once I got used to the change I was able to easily follow along.
Vince is almost 40 and kind of lost.  He has a good job that he enjoys and a big, loving family but he’s just not happy and he’s failed every relationship he’s tried.  A series of events lead him to Trey who is a younger guy he knows from the neighborhood.  Sparks immediately fly and Vince is able to take baby steps towards dating a guy.  His journey is a tough one and there were times I wanted to shake Vince, but mostly my heart ached for him.  He’s so caught up in his fear and his overwhelming family and cultural expectations.  At his core though he is a really good guy.  He is kind and thoughtful and once he decides he’s committed to trying this thing with Trey he’s all in.
Trey I also loved as a MC.  He’s in his mid twenties but he’s way more mature.  Unfortunately his alcoholic mother has ensured he grew up way before his time.  I really loved the plot line that Trey wants to wait to have sex.  It wasn’t for religious reasons, just he wanted it to be special.  I don’t think I’ve read that before in the m/m genre and I thought it was a lovely change.
I thought the authors did an excellent job showcasing what it’s like to live with an addict.  Trey’s feelings were so honest and real and I thought they made a wise choice in not trying to pretty any of it up.
One of the highlights of this book for me was the narration.  It was narrated by Colin Darcy who I had not listened to before.  He did an excellent job.  He really nailed all of the characters and his performance made the book even more emotional to me than when I read it.  I had not listened to this narrator previously but will definitely seek out his work in the future.
This new cover was done by Kanaxa and I love it.  It looks enough like the old cover to not be a jarring difference but at the same time it’s totally unique.  The cover models match my perceptions of the MC’s perfectly and fit the feel of the plot really well.
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 12th 2013)
Original TitleFamily Man
ASINB07DFT349S
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersVincent Fierro, Trey Giles settingIllinois (United States)

An Alisa Review: Discovery (Kinky in the City #3) by Quinn Ward

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Sex is a lot like pizza. It’s good, but you won’t die without it…

Matteo’s always known he was different. Seeing his older brothers falling in love shines a spotlight on his own lack of desire. Modeling age play gear was a way to prove he could make his own decisions, nothing more.

Levi didn’t realize what a challenge it’d be directing the photo shoot for a new website. When he sees Matteo struggling, he instinctively falls into the role he’d given up years earlier: Daddy.

When Matteo discovers a side of himself he never expected, will Levi be able to show him that not all love begins with sexual attraction?

I think this is my favorite story in the series so far.  I have come to really enjoy age play romances because I love the additional depth and love the stories bring.  Matteo kind of got thrown into the deep end when he does a favor for a friend but is lucky to have Levi willing to catch him.

Matteo has always thought he was different and has finally accepted that fact when he meets Levi and he shows him that there is nothing wrong with him.  Levi has longed for a Daddy/Little connection for a long time but never got the courage to try again but Matteo’s innocence draws him in.

I loved these two so much, Matteo just needs the love and acceptance while Levi longs for someone to take care of.  Seeing Matteo find that along with something else he desperately needed was wonderful and it took him awhile but he was able to be happy with himself too.  Levi is so understanding and when he sees what Matteo needs he takes charge to help him find it.  I am loving this series and can’t wait to read the last book in the series.

The cover art by Cover Me, Darling is wonderful and I am loving how the series is similar but also different at the same time.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 179 pages

Published: June 26, 2018

Edition Language: Englis3

Series: Kinky in the City #2

Andrew Grey On the Person Behind his Love for Reading, Books, and his new novel Fire and Granite (Carlisle Deputies #2) by  Andrew Grey (guest blog and excerpt)

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Fire and Granite (Carlisle Deputies #2) by  Andrew Grey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover art: Kanaxa

Release Date: July 10 2018

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press |   Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words thanks  Andrew Grey for taking the time to stop by to talk about Fire and Granite, his latest release.  Thank you, Andrew and we’re sry to hear about the loss of your mother.
There has been a very definite theme to my blog tour posts for this title.  In case you don’t know, I lost my mother a few days ago.  She was the reason I love to read and why I eventually started writing.  The others in my family never read much, but mom was a romance reader and I know I get my love of story and romance from her.  Dad used to make up his own stories when we were kids, so I get my ability to play with characters and situations in my head from him.  I sometimes like to think that it took both of them for me to be the writer I am.  Smile
I know the kind of stories my mom liked and I’m sure Fire and Granite would be one of them.  My mom used to read a lot of my work, skipping the sex parts.  Winking smile  She was very proud of me and that is a constant source of comfort right now.  I don’t want this to be a maudlin post, but a happy one.  My mom was full of love and fun, so that’s how I’m going to remember her.  She also loves stories with children, hot men, romance, passion, energy and vivacity.  I like to think Fire and Granite is one she would love.  For the last six months, my mom hasn’t been able to read and now I like to think she can.  So I hope she adds this one to her TBR pile.

Blurb/Synopsis:

The heat is growing from the inside, but danger is building on the outside.

Judge Andrew Phillips runs a tight ship in his courtroom. He’s tough, and when he hands down a sentence, he expects to be obeyed. So when a fugitive named Harper escapes and threatens his life, Andrew isn’t keen on 24-7 protection… especially not from Deputy Clay Brown. They have a past, one that could cause problems in their careers.

But with Clay assigned to Andrew and the two of them together every minute, there’s nowhere to hide from their attraction—or from the fact that there’s much more than chemistry blooming between them. As the threat intensifies, Clay knows he’ll do anything it takes to protect the people who are taking their places in his heart: Andrew and his young niece and nephew.

Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance/Law EnforcementEdition/
Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Excerpt 

Thank God the day was over. Andrew had managed to keep things moving and had gotten through his entire agenda. He took off his robe and hung it up, then sat at his desk to get some work accomplished and prepare for the following morning. What he needed was a few hours alone, but he was more likely to get just a few minutes. Still, he used them to his full advantage.

“Judge Phillips,” Clay said after Andrew had gotten in a half hour of uninterrupted work. “When do you intend to leave for the day?”

Andrew checked the clock and figured now was as good a time as any. He stood and began packing his bag for the evening. “Give me ten minutes.”

“Then I’ll bring the car around so I can take you home.” Clay picked up the suitcase that Andrew had placed by the door that morning and left the office.

Andrew finished up, and by the time he was ready, Clay had returned. They went down the back stairs and out through the front door. A sheriff’s vehicle was parked just off to the side. Clay watched all around as he escorted Andrew to the car and got him inside before hurrying to the driver’s side. They took off and turned onto Hanover Street.

“Where are we going?” It definitely wasn’t his home.

“I need to stop at my house to check on Petey. He’s been cooped up inside all day, and I need to let him out and feed him. It won’t take long.”

“Do we really have to do this?” Andrew grumped as Clay turned onto Chapel and pulled into his garage.

“Yes… we do. Please stay here,” Clay directed. He got out, closed the overhead garage door, and locked it before checking the yard. Then he motioned for Andrew to join him, and they walked up to the house. Clay opened the back door, and a short blond dog raced by, hurrying to the nearest tree to do his business. “That’s Petey.”

The dog ambled back, and Clay knelt down to pet him and receive doggie kisses. Petey accepted the attention and then hurried over to Andrew, looking upward with huge brown eyes, his tail wagging constantly.

Andrew knelt and petted the dog slowly. “He’s really adorable.”

“Petey is special.” Clay went inside, and Andrew followed. Petey raced to his empty bowl, and Clay fed him and changed his water. “He spends a lot of the day here alone. I try to come home at lunch to let him out, but I didn’t get a chance today. Corgis are pack animals, and I think he suffers when he’s alone so much.” He set the bowl down, and Petey crunched his food.

“But he’s alone all day,” Andrew said, kneeling down when Petey finished, holding out his hand. Petey came right over for more scratches. “You’re a pretty boy, aren’t you?” He scratched between Petey’s ears, and the dog sat down, soaking in the attention. “Why don’t you bring him to the house? It’s a shame to leave him here all alone so much of the time.”

Clay seemed taken aback. “Are you serious?” It was clear Clay really cared for his dog.

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

Annabelle Jay on the Inspiration Behind her new release Jesse 2.0 (guest blog and excerpt)

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Jesse 2.0 by Annabelle Jay

Harmony Ink Press

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon (not available)

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Annabelle Jay here today talking about her new release Jesse 2.0. Welcome, Annabelle.

 

♦︎

The Inspiration for Jesse 2.0

by Annabelle Jay

On a long car drive on the way back from a wedding, my husband, his friend, and I got into a debate about cloning. If, for example, a painting is reproduced exactly, down to every piece of dust and light damage, is it the same painting? What about when we sleep? If our consciousness stops, and then it starts again, are we still the same person? Is there any difference between that and a teleportation device that disassembles you and puts you back together? Is it different than death?

As I said, it was a very long drive.

Since I’m a fiction writer with an overactive imagination, I decided to explore my own thoughts about cloning in a novel. What if people who are dead could come back to life using the same technology as teleportation, only with the slight change that their bodies have been restarted? Are they the same person?

In the scene from Jesse 2.0 below, you can see most of this conversation play out between Jesse, the cloned character, and Maddy, Jesse’s boyfriend. Maddy has moved on and is dating a girl named Georgia, which complicates things even further.

Is Jesse still Jesse?

Or is he, as the title states, Jesse 2.0?

***

Excerpt

“He didn’t want any mistakes,” he continued. “Took so many pills that even pumping his stomach wouldn’t have worked. He was gone by the time I got there, anyway…. It was like he was a lamp, and someone had just switched him off.”

There were so many things I wanted to say: I’m sorry. I should never have done that to you. I love you.

“The ‘old Jesse’ is me,” I said instead. “We’re the same person.”

“You’re Jesse 2.0,” he corrected.

“No. I’m not.” I tried to think of how to explain this in a way he would understand. “All that happened was that my conscious mind turned off, they made a perfect copy of me, and then my mind turned back on. Think about it this way: If I was a famous painting, and they made a perfect copy of me down to the movement of every brush stroke, wouldn’t I be the same painting as the original?”

“You’d look identical, but the way you were made would be different. As an artist, I’m surprised you’re even making this argument.”

“Of course it would be made differently. But my question is, would it matter? Would the backstory to the painting negate the fact that the paintings are the same painting at that exact moment in time? That they have the same dust engrained in their paint, the same combination of colors, the same fading from light exposure?”

“No—”

“And sure, from that moment of creation on, those two paintings would have different experiences. One might get more light, the other more water… and suddenly they’ve started on two different paths. But the ‘old Jesse,’ as you call him, isn’t alive.”

“So you’re the only painting. The only path the ‘real Jesse’ has gone down. That’s why transporters are made to recreate you on the other side, not actually transport your matter to another place. They’re creating a perfect copy of you at that exact moment in time and destroying the original.”

“Right.”

“That’s insane. I mean, I understand it, logically… but emotionally, I don’t want to believe that an original Monet is the same as a cloned copy.”

I’d had all these same thoughts when I’d woken up at home. I’d panicked, I’d screamed, I’d tried to die all over again. But then they’d realized how to get through to me: They’d shown me two pictures of the same painting and asked me to select the original. Naturally, I couldn’t.

“Think of it another way.” I put my hand out in the dark and found his eyes, then covered them with my hand. “Pretend you’re asleep. Technically, your conscious mind shuts off, right?”

“Right….”

“So really, there’s no difference between falling asleep, being transported, and being brought back to life as a copy. Your mind goes off, time goes by, and then your mind goes on again.”

“I’m not sure that I buy—”

“I know, but think about it. If, while you were sleeping, we made an exact copy of you, that copy would wake up thinking that it’s the original you, right? All it would remember is falling asleep and waking up?”

“Yes….”

“So really, right now, you’re Maddy 1.0. Tomorrow, when you wake up, you’ll be Maddy 1.1. And the next day, Maddy 1.2. At any point during your sleep, HORUS could make a repro of you, destroy the original, and you wouldn’t know the difference. Now that repro is Maddy 1.2, soon to wake up as 1.3.”

He couldn’t seem to think of anything to say to that. I wondered if he wanted to touch me as much as I wanted to touch him, or if his mind was on the college girl back home.

“It’s not the same,” he said finally. “The history matters. The truth matters.”

“Only if you know it.”

Blurb

What would the world be like if anyone who died could come back?

That’s a question that bookworm Maddy Stone never thought he would need to answer. But when he saves a drowning man at the psychiatric facility where he volunteers, he discovers the man is his ex-boyfriend, Jesse, who committed suicide several months before. Jesse tells him that not only was he revived using “reproduction technology,” a type of cloning that relies on the same principals as teleportation, but that the doctor who brought him back was Maddy’s father. There was only one stipulation: Jesse could never talk to Maddy again.

Now, with the help of Georgia, Maddy’s new girlfriend, Maddy and Jesse must escape before their parents track them down. But when Maddy finds out that maybe Jesse—or Jesse 2.0, as Maddy calls him—isn’t the only repro, he must decide whether to continue with his new life or return to the Maddy he was before he knew the truth.

About the Author

If there’s one thing author Annabelle Jay believes with all her heart, it’s that there is no such thing as too many dragons in a book. As fantasy writer with few other hobbies—does being bribed to run with her partner or dancing awkwardly in the kitchen count?—she spends every day following her imagination wherever it leads her.

A hippie born in the wrong decade, Annabelle has a peace sign tattoo and a penchant for hugging trees. Occasionally she takes breaks from her novels to play with her pets: Jon Snow, the albino rabbit who is constantly trying to escape; Stevie, the crested gecko that climbs glass with the hairs on its toes; and Luigi, the green tree python that lives at the foot of her bed despite her best efforts to talk her partner out of the idea.

During her day job as a professor of English, Annabelle is often assumed to be a fellow student playing a prank on the class—that is, until she hands out the syllabus. When people stop mistaking her for a recent high school graduate, she will probably be very sad.

 

Links:

Author’s Website: www.annabellejay.com

Twitter: @AnnabelleAuthor

Instagram: @AnnabelleAuthor

Publisher’s book page: https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/jesse-20-by-annabelle-jay-549-b

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14191901.Annabelle_Jay

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Annabelle-Jay-376249719245415

Release Blitz for The Omega’s Second Chance (Bundle of Joy # 2) by Kenna Grace

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Omega’s Second Chance (Bundle of Joy series, Book 2)

Author: Kenna Grace

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix

Genre/s: Mpreg MM gay romance

Length:  52, 000 words

Buy Links

Amazon US Author Page 

Blurb

Two best friends reunite and discover they could be something more in this mpreg, gay-for-you, second chance romance.

Cody

I left home a decade ago to get away from my crush on my straight best friend. Traveling the world helped me get over him, and now that I’m back to take care of my uncle, I should be immune. Except I’m not. I want him as much as I did before, but this time is different. This time, he seems as interested in me as I am in him, but how can that be when he’s straight? Soon enough, his baby is inside me, but that drives us apart instead of bringing us together.

Derek

Cody was my best friend, and I always ignored any feelings that were more than friendly. It was easy then, since I was about to marry my childhood sweetheart. In the years since, I’ve learned there’s nothing sweet about Heidi, weathered a divorce, and the loss of my NFL career. I’m home again and ready for something more. Cody is just what I want, but when he gets pregnant, I know it can’t be mine because I’m infertile. Aren’t I?

About the Author 

Kenna Grace is a small woman with a huge personality. By evening, she can be found writing, reading, and getting lost in her wild imagination.

In her other life, she’s a behavioral analyst and devoted partner, but writing about men falling in love and their happily-ever-after is so much more exciting!

Social Media Links

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

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