A MelanieM Review: Drifting Sands (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #1) by C.J. Baty

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

As he approaches his fortieth birthday, Justin Warfield feels alone, drifting like the sand that blows along the beach near his family’s hotel. He has done exactly as his father wanted. Married the right girl and carried on the family tradition of running the Warfield Hotel. On paper things seem perfect, but happiness hasn’t been a part of his life for a very long time.

Marcus Drummond once spent a summer with his best friend Peter at the Warfield Hotel and fell hard for Peter’s much older brother. Five years later he’s back, and this time hopes that Justin will see him as more than his kid brother’s friend.

Sparks fly when the two meet again, but there are a few things standing in their way. The closet that Justin has himself buried in and someone on a killing spree, dumping bodies on the Warfield beach . . . victims that indicate Justin may be involved in some way.

Drifting Sands (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #1) by C.J. Baty was another difficult story to review.  I liked many elements but found others hard to navigate and others still baffling in their inability to like or believe in.

First of all, I adore mysteries.  I have shelves waited down with them and have mainstreamed them starting with Nancy Drew from childhood.  Honestly, I can’t get enough, from cozies to outright thrillers.  And I like the tales that come from C.J. Baty so I thought this would be a series to grab up and get involved with from the start.

The idea of this family establishment (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries)with all it’s traditions set in the coastal tide water town is lovely.  That’s a great hook!  And Baty lays out its history and drama perfectly.

We also jump into the story in high fashion…with a murder.  Loved that.  The murders and mysteries that start swirling around Justin, his brother Peter who is about to inherit his share of the Hotel and the house (I adored Peter), and Robert, and yes, even Matthew.  Those were the best part of this story.  Some nifty clues were left strewn around that if wasn’t too hard to figure out who exactly was behind the evil goings on and you were still curious enough to want to see everything unfold to want to continue reading.

No, I think my issues here are with Justin and Matthew.  Justin who seems like a bit of a doormat, someone lacking the courage  to get out of the closet where his father put him all those years ago when he forced him to get married.  All around him, including Peter his younger brother, are one’s I am able to connect with more than Justin.  It simply takes far too long for Justin to find any ounce of gumption here before he starts to fight back against, well, everyone.

Another thing is the relationship between Justin and Matthew.  Justin doesn’t remember him.  So while the bodies are falling all around him, Justin is firmly in the closet, the wife is threatening him, the stress and guests must be attended to, Justin is just going to what?  Have a fling with  someone he can’t remember? While a killer is loose closeby?  And fall instantly in love?  Even though Matthew is a friend of his brother’s it just never struck me as terribly convincing.  Again.  I think it was the character of Justin.  I think he just came off as incredibly dense.

Yes, there is a lot of everyone’s here, including a bigoted Sheriff.

I found the wife’s character interesting, especially towards the end and wonder if more information will be forthcoming in the next installment.

This story ends with a cliffhanger and the plot does not wrap up as you would hope.  In fact it leaves the main characters in a dire situation.  If you aren’t fans of this format, this is going to make you really unhappy.

Didn’t bother  me for some reason.

I just have to figure out if I care enough about him to pick up the next story.  The jury is still out.

Cover art is generic and doesn’t really speak to the story.

Sales Links:  Bottom Drawer Publication | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 211 pages
Published July 12th 2017 (first published June 7th 2015)
Original Title Drifting Sands
ASINB073WY9LVQ
Edition Language English
SeriesThe Warfield Hotel Mysteries #

A MelanieM Review: Flash Me (Heathens Ink #7) by K.M. Neuhold

Standard

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

 

Liam
I was kicked out at sixteen for being transgender, but it turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me. At twenty-one, I have a fantastic new family made up of my brother and a handful of wonderful friends, I own my own photography business, and I’m happier than I imagined possible. There’s just one thing missing… Okay, maybe two…

Wyatt
When I took the position volunteering as a therapist at Rainbow House, I knew I’d found my place in the world, helping teens who were rejected by their families. What I didn’t expect was the friendship I formed with Liam or how it would grow over the years into a crush I just can’t shake. I’m happy to see him finally opening himself up to dating with someone he trusts like Owen. But when he comes to me and asks if I can help his boyfriend, I feel like there’s more to the request than just a few therapy sessions. The more I get to know about Owen, the more I like him, too.

Owen
I’m not sure why I believe so much in fate when she’s dealt me nothing but crappy hands— A stint in prison and enough childhood horrors to fuel all my adult nightmares. But I still hold on to the idea that everything happens for a reason. What I can’t figure out is why fate would plop me naked into Liam’s bed under the pretext of helping him with a photo series for a gallery showing. Or why my stomach goes funny every time he smiles at me. Liam is too sweet to be exposed to my demons but I don’t know how to protect him…Maybe that’s why fate gave us Wyatt.

This is the seventh book in the Heathens Ink series. Each book in the series CAN be read as a stand alone, but characters do re-occur so it’s more fun to read them all!

I am a big fan of K.M. Neuhold Heathens Ink series so I was delighted to see another story in that series  released.  In Flash Me the author centers the novel around Liam, Owen, and Wyatt, people we’ve met before.  It’s Liam, especially, that the light shines so brightly on.  A young trans boy seeking a brother he never knew and shelter at first, here Liam is all grown up.  Liam is soon to be 21, he’s had top surgery, has a successful photography business and is pondering all his next steps. That includes romance.

K.M. Neuhold’s insight into Liam’s life at this stage, the decisions he is trying to make regarding future surgery, his insecurities about dating and his sex life not only bring Liam vividly to life but make him so vulnerable and real that you just want to love him and keep cheering him on.  He also knows who and what he wants.  Both of them.  It’s just a matter of how he’s going to make them see they all fit together.

Yes, Liam wants a polyamory relationship.  It’s one he knows that’s for him and he also knows that Owen and Wyatt are the perfect fit for him and each other.  If they can see it and work through the barriers keeping them all apart.

Flash Me is told from each  man’s perspective so you see how each of them perceives the other two and his place in retrospect.  And how that begins to change.

Both Owen and Wyatt have major issues in their past they must deal with before any relationship will work.  For Owen, its his abusive father and jail.  For Wyatt, it’s also family issues and a father, which I won’t discuss further here.  It will take all three coming together and therapy to deal with these major trauma and issues before they can come fully together as a triad.

I found the writing strong, the characters remarkable, and the romance sexy and heartwarming. Flash Me (Heathens Ink #7) by K.M. Neuhold is  another grand installment in a series I  just think is getting better and better.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Cover art is wonderful, that is those characters to a T.

Sales Links:

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2PrlaFj

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2LPnm7g

AMAZON CA: https://amzn.to/2PY2HkL

 

Book Details:

ebook, 303 pages
Published September 3rd 2018
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHeathens Ink #7

A Caryn Review : Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez

Standard

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I am having so much fun reading fantasy books that incorporate ancient mythology!  Diego, the sequel to Finn, is all about Celtic mythology, mixing Irish deities with the Welsh, along with a bit of reincarnation and earthly as well as fae magic.  The end result is pure enchantment!

The first book introduced Diego, a human who is much more than he realizes, and Finn, a pooka who rose from a long hibernation to find a modern human world that was slowly poisoning him.  Through a series of adventures that reveal they are much stronger together than apart, Finn and Diego forged a relationship that was more than just a rekindling of the love they shared in previous lifetimes.  I didn’t expect a sequel because the story arc was complete, but I was really happy to see this book pick up just where the first left off.

Despite all they’ve been through, Diego is still a bit of a puritan, and has a hard time believing that Finn would ever give up his life of sexual freedom and adventure to settle down.  So when he came home to find Finn in a compromising position – even though there was a perfectly innocent reason – he allowed his anger to overtake his reason, leading to an explosion of magic that ripped a hole in the world, and he woke up on the other side of the veil, in the Otherworld, kingdom of the Sidhe.  Finn was also unwittingly transported to the Otherworld, but in the land of the Fomorians, enemies of the Sidhe.  I remember as I was reading through the adventure where Finn and Diego got caught between the Danu/Balor feud that this was enough for a novella all on its own, especially when our heroes managed to bring the two kingdoms together.  Next came a mysterious illness, for which again, Diego and Finn managed to find the cause, and provide the cure.  Once again, the story could have ended here!  But our intrepid author managed to push it yet further, and the culmination of the story involves clandestine government agencies capturing and experimenting upon the fae who were with Diego and Finn at their house in Montana.  I loved how the story went from fairy tale to X-Files!

It was clear in the first book that Diego, AKA Taliesin, was powerful, and probably the most magical human that ever existed.  His power was never really manifested though, and he was first and foremost a humble and gentle man.  In this book, he finally came to believe in and even embrace that side of himself, which made him more sure of his worthiness to be with Finn, but unfortunately made Finn feel that he did not deserve Diego.  A great deal of the book was the push and pull between the two of them wondering if they were indeed right for each other, and facing new jealousies related to old relationships.  Diego was revealed not to be as kind and forgiving as he thought he was, while Finn found humility.  They both made mistakes, but as in every good fairy tale, true love wins in the end.  I have to admit that the ending was cheesy in a lot of ways (and I had to laugh when the US lost out to Canada as the host for Faerie’s chosen earthly location!) but that is part of the author’s charm.

Very enjoyable, with some surprising twists, and a whole lot of learning to love your neighbor despite differences

Cover art by Emmy @ studioenp has a very nice representation of the hole in the veil, with the ubiquitous headless torso.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 328 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by Pride Publishing (first published September 16th 2010)
Original TitleDiego
ASINB07FCT4SVR
Edition Language English
Series Endangered Fae #2
Characters Danu, Finn Shannon, Diego Sandoval, Lugh, Balor…more settingMontana (United States)
Otherworld

Blog Tour Flash Me (A Heathens Ink Story) by KM Neuhold (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Flash Me Tour Banner

FLASH ME

A Heathens Ink Novel

K.M. NEUHOLD

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 09.03.18

Flash Me Final

Blurb

Liam

I was kicked out at sixteen for being transgender, but it turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me. At twenty-one, I have a fantastic new family made up of my brother and a handful of wonderful friends, I own my own photography business, and I’m happier than I imagined possible. There’s just one thing missing… Okay, maybe two…

Wyatt

When I took the position volunteering as a therapist at Rainbow House, I knew I’d found my place in the world: helping teens who had been rejected by their families. What I didn’t expect was the friendship I formed with Liam or how it would grow over the years into a crush I just couldn’t shake. I’m happy to see him finally opening himself up to dating with someone he trusts like Owen. But when he comes to me and asks if I can help his boyfriend, I feel like there’s more to the request than just a few therapy sessions. The more I get to know Owen, the more I like him, too.

Owen

I’m not sure why I believe so much in fate when she’s dealt me nothing but crappy hands—a stint in prison and enough childhood horrors to fuel all my adult nightmares. But I still hold on to the idea that everything happens for a reason. What I can’t figure out is why fate would plop me naked into Liam’s bed under the pretext of helping him with a photo series for a gallery showing. Or why my stomach goes funny every time he smiles at me. Liam is too sweet to be exposed to my demons, but I don’t know how to protect him…Maybe that’s why fate gave us Wyatt.

***This is the seventh book in the Heathens Ink series. Each book in the series CAN be read as a stand-alone, but characters do re-occur so it’s more fun to read them all!

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2PrlaFj

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2LPnm7g

AMAZON CA: https://amzn.to/2PY2HkL

FB_IMG_1536957892094

Excerpt

Holy fuck.

My eyes greedily memorize the way Owen’s soaked shirt clings to his muscles. The colorful skin of his arms glisten under the fluorescent lights of the coffee shop, and the scent of his sweat tickles my nose. I can’t say I’ve ever found anything particularly sexy about a sweaty man. Sex sweat is fine, but not something that revved my engine. Consider me a convert, because it’s taking all my willpower to keep myself from flattening my body against Owen’s and drenching myself in his sweat, licking it off his neck, and rubbing against his slick body until sweat isn’t the only thing he’s drenched in.

Fuck, I’m such a bad person. His date with Liam was last night and here I am imagining humping him like an unneutered dog.

“Out for an early run?” I guess, looking down at his running shoes.

“Yeah,” he answers without any further elaboration.

I’ve known all the guys from Heathens Ink for years now but Owen is the only one I’ve hardly talked to, and I’m not sure why. Maybe because he’s always come off as more standoffish than the other guys? That doesn’t usually stop me with people, but I don’t have any other explanation. It feels like an oversight I should rectify. If Liam’s going to be dating him, I should get to know him better.

My stomach clenches, hot with jealousy knowing I was too late. Not that I was even too late, that I never had a shot with Liam to begin with. How can it hurt this much to know I can’t have him, when I only just realized I wanted him?

“How was your date with Liam?” I ask conversationally as the line inches slowly forward. Owen looks surprised by my question. “Liam and I are close,” I explain.

“Oh, yeah, I guess I should’ve realized. I’ve seen you two together a lot. It was great, Liam is…” Owen trails off, seeming to try to think of an adjective to describe Liam. I could help him out with that— Smart, funny, adorably shy at times, flirty and playful others, sexy, perfect.

“Yeah, he is,” I agree with his unfinished sentence, knowing he must be thinking the same things I am based on the smile tilting the corners of his lips.

KM Neuhold Logo 2

I’m an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.

SOCIAL MEDIA

FACEBOOK

NEUHOLD’S NERDS (FAN GROUP)

TWITTER

WEBSITE

NEWSLETTER

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Vibrant Promotions Logo