An Ashlez Review: Murderous Twins by Edward Kendrick

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Rating – 4.5 out of 5

Blaine Ayers and Lloyd Thomas are identical twins — separated at birth, reunited by accident, and serial killers by choice. Two men, posing as one.

Steve Cooke is a private investigator married to Gary Drake-Cooke, an interior decorator.

The four men’s paths cross when Blaine and Lloyd move into a house across the street from Steve and Gary. What happens next has the potential to change their lives forever — for better or for worse.

Warning: This story contains scenes of graphic violence.

 
You know,  what, as short as this book is I think it was great – I think it had more potential if it were a bit longer and more in depth on the past of each of Blaine and Lloyd, I would have liked to see a bit more in that aspect.
 
It’s typical reasons serial killers exist – anyone who has seen criminal minds will understand.  I liked the neighbor detective and his want to find out what’s going on – I enjoyed reading about his husband.
 
If you want a hot and heavy romance this is definitely not the book for you – there’s none of that in this book and honestly I was OK with that – it fits more with the story than if it had a steamy romance.
 
Once you get to about halfway things really start to get interesting, and I really couldn’t put it down.  Not going to go into much detail due to the nature of the book – hello thriller – but I enjoyed it immensely it was exciting and kept me engaged.  I do think it reads like an episode of criminal minds which, of course, who would hate.Nature vs Nurture.
 
Cover Art:  Other than the cover being twins it really doesn’t lead to the story – not mad at it though, perhaps a bloody item would make it more dynamic!

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 112 pages
Published August 11th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07FP6G9DV
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Craft Brew (Trouble Brewing #2) by Layla Reyne

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I enjoyed this story much more than book one. First, because I knew the MCs, and second, because past characters came into this story slowly and their backstory was filled in. Building on the drama surrounding Nic’s father and the events of book one, this story added more, but it appears the resolution to that will not occur until book three.

The early section of the story surrounds Nic and his father’s debts and his budding relationship with Cam. On the heels of Cam asking Nic to move in, Nic takes a temporary 5-week assignment in San Diego, in other words he chooses to run from the commitment, making the moving in a moot point. On his return, someone sets fire to his apartment building—another disaster in a long line that seems to be following Nic wherever he goes. He worries that if he lets his relationship with Cam become common knowledge, whoever is causing the trouble for him might go after Cam.

With no choice after losing his apartment, though, he agrees to move in with Cam. Then just as they start to settle in, Cam’s past comes crashing down around him. His mother has had a heart attack and when he flies home to Boston to see her she asks that he solve the cold case of his sister’s disappearance twenty years before. A disappearance that Cam feels personally responsible for since he was supposed to pick her up the day she disappeared, but he blew her off, leaving her to head home alone.

What he finds when he starts to investigate is that his sister may have been the first of a long line of girls to disappear in that area, and he calls Nic to help. Cam also needs his love and support, but since he’s not out to his family, he has to hide those needs and simply introduce Nic as a friend and colleague. Of note, Nic was super mature in his support of Cam and didn’t throw a hissy fit or downgrade his love for Cam just because Cam couldn’t face coming out.

The action is fast-paced and interesting, involving both brainwork and footwork and involving Jamie from the previous series. Since I didn’t read that series, I appreciated the author’s handling of his insertion in this story and the background information we were given. It was much easier to assimilate and in fact I do believe I’m going to have to purchase Single Malt to see what all the fans are raving over.

I digress. Cam and Nic do solve the mystery, and Cam does come out to his family, unable and unwilling to hide his love for Nic from the world. That was a great scene as was the family support in putting Erin’s body and memory to rest. We had a lot of opportunity to get to know Cam’s family, and I’d sure be happy to see either Bobby or Keith or both show up in a future book.

This doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it’s quite evident that Nic’s story—involving his father’s finances and a gangster who doesn’t seem to take no for an answer—will continue into the next book. I’ll be in line for that one, for sure.

The cover for this book features a head shot of one character with another standing in the background. The artist used a yellow and purple color filter which throws the left side of the close-up in yellow, the right in purple. To be honest, I don’t like it at all. It makes the MC look angry and unappealing—not at all how I pictured him.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: October 8th 2018 by Carina Press
ISBN139781488097119
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Trouble Brewing #2

An Alisa Review: Square One (Under The Uniform #7) by JJ Harper

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Xander is angry and fed up with being signed off work for something that was out of his control. He loses himself in alcohol and one-night stands, anything to dull the pain in his head.

Jonah is enjoying the freedom away from his small-town life, living life to the full in a big city. A few weeks away from starting his job as a firefighter, he embraces the nightlife and the men found in the clubs. One man, in particular, catches his eye, and not even exchanging names, they spend a night lost in each other, and then another. Still not bothering to find out any more about each other, they go their separate ways.

Until they find themselves face-to-face at work.

Unable to stay away from each other, they embark on something that soon morphs into so much more. Deeper, more intense, looking a lot like love.

But will it be enough when Jonah hears some life-changing news and he turns to Xander for support?

I liked this story once Xander and Jonah really got together, I liked that it started the morning after their firs one night stand so we know how everything was from the beginning.  The beginning of the book is littered with inconsistencies about the characters from they never to repeats to they want what they have to be inclusive from the beginning and one even getting jealous form when they weren’t exclusive.  I just don’t like when characters do the flip flop and after pushing things away jump right in like they never hesitated before.

Jonah and Xander quickly find their groove together, though I don’t actually know how much time passes throughout the whole book.  I loved that Xander’s family quickly accepts and loves Jonah which he needs in his life.  We never really get to know Jonah’s family just see his mom’s nagging through phone calls but it’s known they are not very supportive and it seems to me they are selfish.

I loved how Jonah helped Xander to accept himself after the accident and that it’s okay for someone to support you and see you vulnerable.  I was glad to see Xander support Jonah through his ordeal also and hurt for Jonah at the lies and deception from his childhood friend.  They really build a family together, I just wish there would have been some real closure with Jonah’s issues other than Kit suddenly becoming an important part of their lives.

The cover art by JC Clarke is nice but doesn’t have any real connection to the story.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 247 pages

Published: September 20, 2018 by Aubergine Publishing

Edition Language: English

Series: Under the Uniform #7

A Lucy Review: A Pride Anthem by Rob Browatzke

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This is a modern retelling of a Christmas Carol, with Pride being the celebration in question rather than Christmas.  The narrator does speak to the reader in first person as in Christmas Carol and it starts with the same type sentence.  “Jake was dead.”  The Jake in question was co-owner of a gay bar, Good Judy’s, with his ex-love, Ben. “They met while working there, had started dating while working there.”  When the boss retired, they took the leap and bought it. They were so happy for so long, then Jake left Ben and two years later, Jake died.  The joy of Pride has left Ben and he keeps Good Judy going and it’s successful.  But there is no happiness in it for him and he is very “meh” about the whole idea of Pride.  There is nothing of Jake left in their office (and how horrible did that have to be, sharing an office with the man you still love who doesn’t want you back) except for the ashes on the shelf.  He tries to deny it but he thinks of Jake all the time.

As in Christmas Carol, he wakes one night to his ex-partner’s ghost standing at the foot of his bed. “Ben didn’t believe in ghosts, or God, or much of anything anymore really.”  But he believes what he is seeing is the ghost of Jake, who warns him he will be visited by three more ghosts this night and showing the chains he carries through eternity because of how unhappy he made Ben.

“My happiness wasn’t much of a concern when you left me…” Ben said.”  Jake died in a car accident while drunk.  “That wasn’t about you, you know, or the club, or the break-up, or anything.  I was just…lonely.”  But because we are never told why Jake threw Ben away, it didn’t make sense to me.  Later, in a visit with the other Marsha, ghost of Pride past, Ben brings up that “All Jake had wanted to do was to leave Ben.”   She tries to show him that Jake loved him or why would he “…have come here, back to this plane, wearing all those chains, because he wanted to leave you?” I was left confused because he HAD left Ben, two years before he died. 

The ghosts follow the idea of Pride Past, Pride Present and Pride Future.  The other Marsha shows Ben memories of meeting Jake and falling in love with him, working Good Judy’s and realizing that Jake “…was my everything.”  More than he wanted to admit to this ghost, who had such a tragic past.  I wanted to cry for Marsha and what she had been through.  Ben decides his mother was right, that being gay makes for a lonely life. 

The ghost of Pride Present, Marc, is a god-like vision who shows Ben (obviously) what is happening with all the people of Good Judy’s and the community as related to Pride.  Ben doesn’t celebrate,

The third ghost, Avenir, is a gender/racial/ethnic fluid sort of thing, which I liked the most of all of them. More than Ben’s future, the possible future presented by Avenir was terrifying.  “Make America Straight Again.”  It is what we might become in real life and it’s frightening.

Ben is so sure that Pride and maybe gay bars altogether are no longer needed that he doesn’t believe there is a reason for keeping on.  Some parts of this came across as a lesson to us, the reader, as opposed to adding to the story, while this is being explained. Some parts came across as a reminder that we are nowhere near where we need to be.  “Some found solace in the bottle, some in the needle.  Some never found solace at all but succumbed to self-harm. Some were beaten to death by strangers.  One was left to hang on a fence and changed a nation.  Some were gunned down in their sanctuary but we still feel their spirit’s pulse.”   But Micah and his parents give me hope. 

The ending is, as the title suggests, Pride Anthems.  So many of the songs I love are on this list and there were some new to me.  Anthems for Pride.

Cover art: Alex Bischoff.  Eye-catching.

Sales Links:

Amazon US  

Paperback

Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 55 pages
Published May 10th 2018
ASINB07CZTRNF

New Release Tour for His Instant Family by Rheland Richmond (excerpt and giveaway)

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 His Instant Family Tour Banner

His Instant Family

Rheland Richmond

M/M Romance

Release Date: 10.04.18

 His Instant Family

Cover Design: Jay Aheer

mybook.to/HisInstantFamily

 

Blurb

Shy and awkward Teo Wright, a brilliant young author, has met the man of his dreams in much older Michael, a widower, and father of three. The man has fired up his fantasies and refuses to let go. Discovering they are both single sets them on the road to forever.

“I want to wake up to this every morning.”

Dr. Michael Ashworth has been focused on his work for too many years and although now he is one of the best doctors in his field, it has been to the detriment of his family. But when Teo comes into his life, Michael knows the young man is his future. Teo has made him feel alive and whole again. However, Michael’s in-laws are not thrilled to find the ‘straight’ son-in-law they have known and loved for many years, is in fact bisexual.

Dating a man is not the only issue threatening the life he and Teo are building together. Michael’s teenage son is also not a fan of his father having a boyfriend that is so much younger.

A rebellious teenager and bigoted relatives are hurdles Michael and Teo must overcome before they can find their forever, but nothing good ever comes easy… especially when there are kids to consider.

His Instant Family Teaser 1

His Instant Family Teaser 2

Excerpt

Michael wasn’t sure what just happened, but thankfully years of galas and fundraisers had given him a world-class poker face. Unless he was losing his mind… he was apparently attracted to the husband of one of his patients. He knew that was exactly what it was. He knew that feeling. That spark of attraction and that sense of potential. He had only ever really felt that once before, with Sierra. His late wife.

That flash, and those tingles of fierce attraction that made goose bumps pop out all over your skin. But that wasn’t… couldn’t be possible? He wasn’t gay. Not that he had any problem with being gay, far from it, but he just had never been attracted to a man before. Sure, in college, he’d noticed some guys were attractive, but he’d been married to his wife, Sierra, for eleven years before she passed away. Damn it, here came the crushing guilt. He couldn’t even think of her without the guilt and regret overshadowing everything.

He hadn’t thought about anyone in that way since he’d met her. He did not want to think of anybody in that way, either. He’d not had that feeling since forever ago. And, truthfully, he was shaken to the core. He’d been seeing Mrs. Preston since she transferred into his practice. But, this was the first time he was meeting Mr. Preston. Michael put on his most blank look to conceal what he was feeling. He couldn’t very well tell the expectant parents they were having a daughter while imagining what the father looked like under his clothes.

Matteo was a beautiful man, and those were the only words to describe him. With the slightly too long dark locks, and the stormy gray eyes that made him even more striking to look at. With his coloring, they just stood out in contrast. He was shorter than Michael. All-around leaner too, with a body he would describe as fit without being overly muscled. Maybe he just needed to get laid. It had been almost a year, maybe longer, since he had ended his liaison with Addison. She was a lovely woman. Stunning in fact, but she’d started making comments like, “Where is this going?” and, “Why haven’t I met your children?” Immediately he had known that it was time to end things.

He just knew that she could never compete with Sierra. It was unfair, and he shouldn’t even be comparing them. He knew this, but he couldn’t stop. Once she’d mentioned meeting his kids, he’d known their time together was up. He ended things so fast he may have left blazing skid marks while leaving her apartment, like the DeLorean in Back to the Future. It was unfortunate, honestly, because she would have made a lovely wife, just not for him.

Focus, Michael. Finish this appointment and leave this room as quickly as possible without being impolite or unprofessional.

Rheland Richmond Logo

Since she was a little girl, Rheland Richmond entertained herself with any book she could get her hands on. She has written as long as she can remember, and now she finally gets to share some of those stories with other people.

She loves a good happily ever after. Because she believes love and light should touch everything. She is an obsessive reader and would never have considered writing if it wasn’t for all the authors that inspired her and the thousands of books she has devoured along the way.

When she’s not reading she’s caught up in all her guilty pleasure TV Shows. Or catching up with her sibs wherever they are in the world, which usually involves long distance calling. She’s an introvert that will take a night in before anything else.

Made in Nigeria and Raised in the UK she’s an interesting mix of both cultures and appreciates both equally.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RhelandRichmond/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRhelandRichmond/

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

FB GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RichmondsRiders/

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In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: TOO HOT! by Avery Giles

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Too Hot! by Avery Giles

Riptide Publishing
Cover By: Natasha Snow

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Avery Giles today on tour with their new release Too Hot! Welcome, Avery.

♦︎

Nice to meet you, everyone. I’m Avery Giles, and I’m here to promote my smoldering debut novel, Too Hot! Follow my blog tour to for a glimpse into my writing process AND a chance to win a $10 Riptide gift card.

 

About Too Hot

Sparks aren’t just flying . . . they’re catching.

Eli Johnson is not a hero. He’s just a guy who’s doing his best. His mother was a hero, though, and when she died, he dropped out of college to become a firefighter—a vocation she would have been proud of. He might not be able to save everyone, but he can do what she taught him: put more good out than bad.

Charlie Kinnear is definitely not a hero. When he ran into a burning building to save a trapped child, he was acting on instinct. He’s not expecting a medal, or for a handsome firefighter with a stunning smile to give him his oxygen mask. Charlie’s light-headed, and not from smoke inhalation.

Right as their romance begins, a serial arsonist terrorizes the city. As if that weren’t bad enough, Charlie appears at the scene of every fire. Eli hates to think it, but if someone wanted to get a firefighter’s attention—say, a certain sexy someone who coincidentally wandered into Eli’s life—what better way than by starting fires? Sparks are flying all right, and things may get too hot for Eli and Charlie to handle.

https://riptidepublishing.com/products/too-hot

 

About Avery Giles

Avery Giles is a brown-eyed, fair-haired, moss-covered swamp witch who subsists on energy drinks and the hearts of her enemies. Her day-to-day routine involves waking up, writing three sentences, staring at those three sentences until her brain tells her why they’re wrong, watching eighteen hours of Netflix, and luring bandits away from the safety of the well-lit path. If asked about her favorite books, she’ll mention the Percy Jackson series, Good Omens, and the blackened scroll on which she detailed an encounter with a crooked librarian that led to two marriages and a beheading. She enjoys eating Italian, French, and German lovers after mating with them.

Connect with Avery:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of TOO HOT! one lucky person will win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

Book Blast – A Pride Anthem by Rob Browatzke (excerpt)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: A Pride Anthem

Author:  Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Alex Bischoff

Genre/s: Literary queer fiction

Length:  20 000 words    

It is a standalone book.

Heat Rating: No sexual content.

Add on Goodreads 

Blurb

Three spirits. One night. One last chance.

Jake is dead. Ben knows that. But when Ben wakes up to see Jake standing over him, he is forced to face his feelings not only about Jake’s death, but about the direction of his life. In a big gay Christmas Carol style night, Ben is visited by more spirits, and Pride will never be the same.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  

Paperback

Amazon UK

Excerpt

“So what if I do?” Ben screamed, even as Ben-on-the-couch cried. “So what if I want to leave? No one will care.”

The clock struck nine and the office faded away, to be replaced by… the office again. Ben sat up on the couch. Had he been sleeping? Dreaming? Regardless, it was true. He had known for a long time that none of it – bar or community or Jake – none of it really mattered.

“And that’s where I come in,” said the smooth-bodied blond muscle hunk in glittery gold booty shorts that suddenly appeared at the foot of the couch. “I’m the Ghost of Pride Present, but that’s a bit of a mouthful.” Ben couldn’t help but glance down, at what was also a mouthful. A very impressive mouthful. The ghost saw, and smirked. “You can call me Marc.”

“I’m done,” Ben said. “This whole nocturnal spiritual journey is over.”
“It’s just beginning,” Marc said.

“It ends now. If I don’t go, you can’t make me.”

“Oh, that’s her rule, not mine.” Marc reached down with a meaty hand and yanked Ben off the couch. “Besides, there’s not a gay man alive or dead who doesn’t want to come with me. Happy Pride!” Marc said, and he kissed Ben on the cheek.

About the Author  

Rob Browatzke is a writer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, proud teller of stories and thrower of parties.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter:  @robbrowatzke

Instagram: robbrowatzke 

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