A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane

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Rating 5 stars out of 5

In my opinion, this is the best of the Mannies series and one of my favorite Amy Lane stories.  As the author states in her promo, her work is divided into three flavors: alt universe, angst, and sunshine-yellow happy.  Well, color this one bright sunshine because it was one of those stories that grabbed me from the first chapter and pulled me through to the end when the very clueless Quinlan Gregory realizes just how very loveable and needed he is.

Quinlan was kicked out by his wealthy parents when he announced he was gay.  He had a feeling it would happen, so he had all his worldly goods packed and all his finances in order. In fact, the moment he left the house he changed all his passwords so his family couldn’t access his accounts or his trust fund.  Good thing too, because years later he found out they’d tried to access them immediately.

Quinlan is Sammy’s college friend and fellow musician, so naturally, kind-hearted Sammy sees being a manny for his aunt’s brood is the perfect job for Quin, and the timing is perfect since Taylor is getting married and leaving the position. Though he knows nothing about being a manny, he really wants to be a part of the world of this close-knit family—a world so far from the cold, lonely life he left behind. When he spots Dusty, the oldest, and boldest, of the kids, acting out and assuming the role of family troublemaker—Quin realizes he can definitely make a positive contribution to the Robbins-Grayson’s lives.

Time passes, and as Quin and Dusty become friends, Dusty bides his time to reach his goal of making Quinlan see him as an adult, an equal, and a mature responsible lover. There aren’t more than six years between them, but Dusty knows he’ll need to be in his twenties before he can actively pursue the man of his dreams.  So by the time he’s twenty-one, he starts to make his move, and though it takes more than one attempt, he’s finally in a position to help the kind, caring man when Quin comes home from summer band tour with a bad virus and virtually falls into Dusty’s open arms.

What follows is a courtship that made my heart melt. Dusty is the perfect mate for Quin and he sets out to prove it as Quin receives news his father has died and his mother is again attempting to access Quin’s money.

The most outstanding feature of this story is the character development and family interactions. These are real people in a large, happy family composed of those both born into, and folded into, their collective arms. Dusty’s character was a surprise on the one hand, but knowing his parents, it shouldn’t have been. He’s very much like his father in temperament and he’s goal-driven like his mother with an attitude that proves good things come to those who wait.

I laughed and I cried with Quin and Dusty, and I wallowed in the pure enjoyment of seeing where Channing and Tino are in their relationship, as well as where Sammy and Cooper are in theirs. Quin’s reaction to Sammy’s good news was spot-on and showed just what a wonderful friend and caring character he is.  There’s so much to this story, it’s hard to pick a favorite segment, and conversely, it’s almost impossible to pick something I didn’t like—other than the evil, cold-hearted woman who birthed Quin, of course. And to be honest, to make the story work, she needed to be exactly the way she was.

I wouldn’t recommend this book as a standalone, purely because of the interactions with the other characters in the series, but I would highly recommend it to those who’ve read the others, especially books one and three.  And to those who haven’t read them—start from the beginning and enjoy this whole series. It’s so worth it.

The cover by Bree Archer, in typical Dreampun Desires style, features a handsome young man, likely Dusty, set against a dark purple background.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 230 pages
Expected publication: July 17th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleA Fool and His Manny
ISBN139781640805040
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Mannies #4

 

A MelanieM Review:The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf #2) by Charlie Adhara

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

Going home digs up bad memories, so it’s something Bureau of Special Investigations agent Cooper Dayton tries to avoid. When he’s guilted into a visit, Cooper brings along Oliver Park, his hot new werewolf partner, in the hopes the trip will help clarify their status as a couple…or not.

When Park’s keen shifter nose uncovers a body in the yard and Cooper’s father is the prime suspect, Cooper knows they’re on their own. Familial involvement means no sanctioned investigation. They’ll need to go rogue and solve the mystery quietly or risk seeing Cooper’s dad put behind bars.

The case may be cold, but Park and Cooper’s relationship heats up as they work. And yet if Cooper can’t figure out what’s going on between them outside of the bedroom, he’ll lose someone he… Well, he can’t quite put into words how he feels about Park. He knows one thing for sure: he’s not ready to say goodbye, though with the real killer inching ever closer…he may not have a choice.

I just love The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf #2) by Charlie Adhara.  It’s a first for me by this author.  I picked it up because I was intrigued by the cover and the description.  At the time I had no idea it was part of a series.  I had to find that out once I went scrabbling for more information at Goodreads for information about the author and found that there was a story that preceded this one.  Too late, I was already heavily involved with Cooper Dayton, Oliver Park, and Cooper’s visit home.

I’ll tell you immediately Adhara’s characterizations are amazing.  Layered, complex, and highly interesting people/beings emerge immediately from the story.  I didn’t have to read the first novel to get into the stress filled  relationship and shaky dynamics that is the partnership, personal and professional, between Cooper and Oliver.  It’s like being close to quiet lightning. it crackles and you don’t want to look away from the energy.

They are struggling to figure out how to emerge from what was clearly a disastrous event.  Cooper’s ex partner and his unwitting involvement  in his corrupt affairs.  Yes, this will send me running back to that first story but I didn’t feel I needed it to read this book.  I got enough information to feel satisfied that I had sufficient groundwork here to go on.

A call from Cooper’s family and  an invitation from Cooper for Oliver to accompany him seems like a good idea until a body is found under the gazebo in his family’s backyard.

How Adhara builds this case, all the emotions, the labyrinthine path filled with clues, old personal history, memories both good and bad is incredible.  The author builds it around Cooper’s family, his memories of his childhood, and his tenuous connections to his father in present time.  All the while as he and Oliver try to figure out where they stand with each other.  And keep Oliver’s identity as a werewolf from the family.  I did say that, didn’t I?

I’m so in love with this author and story.  I  need the next book in the series to arrive.  I guess the first story will have to do until then.

Love shifters?  Murder mysteries?  And romances?  Why not combine all three?  Pick up one beautifully written story with outstanding characters and a romance you will go crazy over in The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf #2) by Charlie Adhara. I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

Cover art is simply and relevant from a scene in the story.  Love it.

Sales Links | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 249 pages
Expected publication: September 24th 2018 by Carina Press
ISBN139781488089367
SeriesBig Bad Wolf #2

An Alisa Review: The Dragon’s Thief by Riza Curtis

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Chester. Magpie shifter, renowned thief.

Chester knows better than to get involved when a dragon requests his services. Anyone who steals from a dragon’s hoard is not to be screwed with. There’s something alluring about Michal though, and Chester’s always loved playing with fire…

Michal. Dragon shifter, first-born son.

Michal knows exactly who’s taken the centrepiece of his hoard—his estranged brother. The one person he can’t touch thanks to family politics. It seems simple enough to hire the little magpie shifter to retrieve what is his. But, Chester is nothing like Michal expected, and in the end he might need to decide whether the last piece of his mother is worth more than the man who could own his heart.

This was a nice story.  Michal wants the piece of his hoard back but it becomes less and less important as he starts to get to know Chester.  Chester wants to get Michal his piece back but ends up giving Michal so much more.

Chester has never really had any close connections to people and the two he is closest to he hardly ever sees and they have a parental connection.  Getting mixed up with Michal throws him for a loop but I loved watching him see that there is a chance for him to be happy.  I really like seeing Michal find something more important that his hoard, which is a common problem with dragons.  The story wasn’t very deep but I thought it was really enjoyable.

The cover art by Riza Curtis is great, I love it.

Sales Link:Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, 65 pages

Published: July 6, 2018 by Riza Curtis

Edition Language: English

A Lucy Audiobook Review: Hearts and Flour By Tara Lain/ Ry Forest (narrator), Stephen Kurpis (narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

In a word, I thought this story was adorable. Micah is a raw vegan food evangelist who owns a vegan cafe, making up for a childhood of poisoning (alcohol) that finally killed his mother. He is rabid about all things healthy and wants his customers to take it as seriously as he does. He gets upset when they “mostly” follow healthy guidelines.  To top it all off,  he goes home early and finds the cheating, pathetic loser he calls his boyfriend having sex in their bed with someone else. Very classy guy, who is then shocked that Micah is kicking him out.  Dharmaram is such a user it is ridiculous.  But poor Micah.  “And here he sat.  Alone.  Dharmaram didn’t want him.  His customers didn’t want him.”

When he begins to realize even his most loyal customers may be following some of his advice but certainly not all of it (as evidenced by the giant cupcakes he keeps catching them eating), its demoralizing for him. He decides to attend his friend Yancy’s anti-Valentine’s Day party (orgy) to get laid and forget the cheater. Here, he meets Queen, who is so pretty in a fire engine red dress that Micah first thinks he is a woman, and hot sex ensues. Queen is very reticent about meeting up again but Micah can’t forget him. When he calls Queen, they go out again and sparks again fly.

It is when Micah realizes who Queen really is, i.e. Quentin the evil cupcake baker, that the problem starts.  Despite the obvious attraction, “So masculine and ladylike at the same time.  So brazenly sexy and so innocent. You turn me on like a Ferrari ignition”, Micah can’t get past the “poison” that Quentin is selling to his customers.  As a vegetarian, even I was thinking “Micah, calm down!” but poor baby, he had a rough week.

There is more drama with Dharmaram, who really just is a piece of work.  There is Queen’s lovely Southern grandmother, Mary Beth, who is gentile and the typical Southern lady.  Or is she? The love she has for Quentin and he for her is so wonderful.

There is quite a bit of sex for the length of the book and the rest really is fluffy and cute. I did want to get to read Micah having an orgy of cupcakes (SUGAR cupcakes) but that will have to wait. I am positive he will succumb to Charismatic Cupcakes sooner or later. Recommended for a light, quirky read.

Interestingly enough, there are two narrators, Ry Forest and Stephen Kurpis, but I would have sworn it was all the same person.  I was a little worried at first because the voice seemed melodramatic but as the book progressed the voices fit.  Quentin is given that South Carolina drawl, sexy as hell.

Cover art by Amanda Kelsey shows Micah holding a fluffy pink cupcake and I felt that was a great fit to the book.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible |

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook
Published June 19th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published January 30th 2013)
Original TitleHearts and Flour
Edition LanguageEnglishsettingCalifornia (United States)
Laguna Beach, California (United States)

Release Blitz – Thief Of Hearts by Ruby Moone (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 72,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

It’s 1806 and aristocratic, bastard born jewel thief, David Lambert has few rules in his life. Never bed the staff, never bed a man more than once, and never kiss. In the space of one weekend, all his rules are shattered by a stunning, violet eyed footman with a secret.


Jeremy Naylor thought he had found the man of his dreams. Thought he had found the one person that might, just might, understand him. But in one shocking moment his dreams are destroyed, and he is forced to run for his life.


When Jeremy is flung into Newgate for a crime David committed, it’s a race against time to get him free and David is forced to face up to his past, his family, and accept that he might have a future if he has the courage to fight for it.

 
Excerpt
 

David hammered on the door of Charnley’s Grosvenor Street mansion and, finding the door unlocked, let himself in. He strode through the hallway, boot heels ringing on the marble floor, and was met by a flurry of agitated staff.


“Get me Charnley. Now.”


The butler emerged and addressed him in condescending tones, but David brushed him aside. “Where is he? Study?” he stalked across the hallway and headed for the study door with the staff flapping behind him. He threw open the door, but there was no-one inside.


“Charnley!” he bellowed. “Get out here now.”


The flurry of footmen was swiftly replaced by burly, determined looking grooms, so David pulled out a brace of pistols from the back of his breeches and aimed them.


“Hold it right there,” he said, and the men stopped. “I have no quarrel with you, but I will see Charnley. Anyone who tries to stop me will be shot. Those of you who know me know I will do it.” He raised the pistols and waited. No-one moved.


“So, where is he?”


“What in God’s name is going on?” Charnley appeared, leaning over the gallery balcony, then running lightly down the stairs wearing only his shirt sleeves and waistcoat. “Lambert, why are you causing ructions in my home? For God’s sake, man, put the pistols down.”


“First, call off your lap dogs.”


With a flick of a hand, the staff were dismissed, but David held onto the pistols. “Shall we?” he asked, nodding towards the study. He slammed the door shut behind them with his boot.


“Get him out. Whatever you want from me is yours, just get him out.”


Charnley frowned. “What the hell are you talking about?”


David stalked across the room, gun in hand and put the muzzle against Charnley’s chest. “You have until the count of three to tell me you will get him out. If you do not, I will shoot you and get him out myself.”


Charnley staggered back and held up both hands. “What … who are you talking about? Get who out of where?”


“One.”


“Lambert, I do not know what…”


“Two.”


“God… man will you … Oh Christ. Not Naylor?” A look of genuine shock on Charnley’s face surprised David.


“Three. Yes.” He pushed against Charnley’s chest.


“Yes, yes… of course I will help. Just put the fucking gun down.”


David lowered the pistol slowly, and Charnley backed away, one hand going to his throat. Sweat stood out on his brow.


“Get your coat, get down to Newgate, and undo whatever lies you told to put him in there. Now.”


Charnley lifted both hands. He was a little taller than David, and heavier having a few years on him, but he was treating him with a healthy respect. “Now, listen to me.”


“I’m listening. Get your coat.”


“David, I will do everything in my power to get Naylor out, but we have a serious problem here.”


“Which is?”


“He is not there because of anything that I did. I did not order his arrest.”

My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal. I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading. I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head…he probably has a point!


Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RubyMoone/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter – @RubyMooneWriter
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rubymoone/

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Book Blast for Drive Shaft by Geoffrey Knight (excerpt and giveaway)

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DRIVE SHAFT

GEOFFREY KNIGHT

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 06.11.18

 

AMAZON US:  https://amzn.to/2Jmj9H6

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2JlvjQH

BLURB

Jensen Rivers wasn’t looking for trouble. As the new kid on the block at Clyde’s Body Shop, all Jensen wanted was a job, a place where he could put his head down and ass up.

But Dean ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson plans on getting more than just Jensen’s hands dirty. Reckless and arrogant, drenched in sweat and dripping with a masculinity that cannot be tamed, Hutch is determined to claim victory over his new work colleague – both physically and sexually.

Will Jensen risk everything to find the love trapped behind Hutch’s fearless façade? Will Hutch bury the secret tragedy of his past before he throws away his last chance at a future? Will the dangers that confront them both be enough to tear them apart… or bring them together forever?

** This novel combines two sequential novellas previously published separately, titled Drive Shaft and Drive Shaft: Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

 

EXCERPT

Jensen’s chest was smooth and brown, his back broad and wet with perspiration by the time he’d removed the Maverick’s radiator and replaced it with the new one. His blond hair had turned to mud-honey with sweat while he took down the leaning tower of tires and built a new, sturdier tower out back. Every now and then Hutch would roll out from under the car he was working on and pretend to look for a different tool, just to steal a glance at Jensen as he lugged the tires with his bare hands, sometimes three or four at a time, his biceps shining, veins straining.

When Jensen didn’t return after the last trip out back, Hutch got suspicious.

Outside, Jensen’s wide glistening shoulders drank up the hot sun. His right shoulder caught a bright flash of sunlight as he flung the last tire on top of the solid stack he’d made. He wiped the sweat from his brow with his forearm and left a murky streak, then something else in the yard caught his eye.

Over by the side of the auto shop, sitting on a second driveway behind an old pick-up truck, was a car.

Correction, it was a car concealed beneath a snug-fitting tailor-made car cover.

Jensen’s curiosity got the better of him and he wandered over. He squatted by one of the front tires, only able to see the bottom half of its gleaming black surface and sparkling alloys. Jensen smiled approvingly without even knowing it and murmured to himself, “Michelin Pilot Sport 2. Nice.”

The Michelin instantly gave him a pretty damn good idea what was under the cover and he couldn’t wait to see the rest.

He unfastened the clips on the front driver’s side and began to unveil the beauty beneath, getting the briefest glimpse of royal blue before—

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Jensen let go of the cover. It parachuted back down over the hood of the car as he spun about to see Hutch glaring at him, coveralls still hitched low, leaving plenty of room for his scuffed hands to grip his hips, fingers hooked on his deep-etched obliques. And that tuft of pubic hair was still visible, just, where his coveralls hung loose and open.

Jensen felt light-headed, maybe it was the heat, but right now he wanted to reach inside those coveralls and lift out whatever was hiding underneath just about as much as he wanted to lift that car cover.

“I was…I couldn’t help myself…I was just kinda curious about what’s…under there.” He didn’t realise he was still looking at Hutch’s crotch.

Hutch followed his gaze down and couldn’t help but smirk. “Are you talking about my car or my cock?”

“The car!” Jensen snapped his gaze straight back up to Hutch, then suddenly realized he couldn’t look the grinning, gorgeous mechanic in the eye and spun about to once again gaze distractedly at the covered car next to him. He blurted nervously, “If I ain’t wrong it’s a fourth generation Dodge Viper coupe. 6-speed transmission. Triple first-gear synchronizers and doubles for the higher gears. Zero to a hundred miles in 7.8 seconds. Clocked at speeds faster than the Corvette Z06 and the Porsche 911 Turbo with a record of 202 miles per hour.”

Hutch raised one eyebrow, somewhat impressed by the kid’s knowledge, then corrected him. “7.6. She does zero to a hundred in 7.6 seconds. I’ve timed it myself.”

“Can I see it?”

“No.”

Hutch crouched down, took the corner of the car cover in his hands and began fastening the clips. The coveralls sat even lower from behind, sliding down to reveal the top of his round hard ass cheeks and the slit of his crack. Jensen watched a trickle of sweat run down Hutch’s spine and glisten in his ass crack.

“Please can I see?” he pressed.

Hutch stood and stepped close to face the blond Texan.

Jensen could feel the heat coming off Hutch’s warm skin, smell the sweat from his chest and armpits. It was sweet. Intoxicating. Jensen felt light-headed again and shuffled his feet a little wider to steady himself. He took a deep breath.

Suddenly Hutch jabbed his finger into the dead center of Jensen’s chest and held it there, buried in the valley that ran down between the Texan’s pectoral muscles. “You want me to show you what I got? Then bring it. Tonight, you and me shut up shop, then it’s you and your little Vespa versus me and the Viper.”

“It ain’t a Vespa.”

“Whatever.” Hutch slid his finger slowly down Jensen’s pecs, zigzagging from one to the other.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geoffrey Knight is the author of more than 30 gay fiction novels, novellas and short stories, ranging in genre from gay adventure, gay romance, gay suspense and gay comedies. He is the recipient of two Rainbow Awards including Best Mystery Winner and Best Overall Gay Fiction Runner-up. His work has been featured in several anthologies including Best Gay Erotica 2013, and he appeared as Guest of Honor at the inaugural Rainbow Con in Florida, 2014.

Geoffrey has worked in advertising, politics and journalism, but nothing is as fun as telling stories. He lives with his partner, their baby daughter, two dogs and two cats in a rambling old house in North Queensland, Australia, where the paint is fraying and life is good.

Amazon Author Page

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Riza Curtis’s The Dragon’s Thief

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Available on Kindle Unlimited
 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Riza Curtis
 
Length: 20,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Chester. Magpie shifter, renowned thief.


Chester knows better than to get involved when a dragon requests his services. Anyone who steals from a dragon’s hoard is not to be screwed with. There’s something alluring about Michal though, and Chester’s always loved playing with fire…


Michal. Dragon shifter, first-born son.


Michal knows exactly who’s taken the centrepiece of his hoard—his estranged brother. The one person he can’t touch thanks to family politics. It seems simple enough to hire the little magpie shifter to retrieve what is his. But, Chester is nothing like Michal expected, and in the end he might need to decide whether the last piece of his mother is worth more than the man who could own his heart.



July 7The Blogger Girls, OMG Reads, July 9Jessie G Books, We Three Queens, July 11Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books, Wicked Reads, July 13My Fiction Nook, MM Good Book Reviews, July 16Bonkers About Books, Making It Happen, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, July 18Valerie Ullmer, Drops Of Ink, A Book Lover’s Dream Blog

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here. We absolutely recommend it!

Author Bio


Riza began writing stories at a young age to the a̶n̶n̶o̶y̶a̶n̶c̶e̶ delight of anyone she could b̶u̶l̶l̶y̶ persuade to read them. Now somewhat older, if not wiser, things haven’t really changed.


Riza lives in England where they enjoy adding extra letters to words, tea, and discussing the weather (it’s always raining). She has a FdSci in Manufacturing Engineering and is currently working towards her BEng. When she’s not writing, studying or doing her day job, Riza is obsessed with target archery and enjoys shooting barebow.


www.rizacurtis.com
Twitter: @rizacurtis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/riza.curtis.author
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/rizacurtis

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