A Stella Review: Love Beneath the Lake by L Summers

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Evan Massie has always been drawn to the water. So when he discovers his ex-boyfriend’s cheating and manipulations, the first safe place that comes to mind is his family’s old cabin on the lake. It’s remote, completely off the grid, and offers Evan the one thing he needs most: solitude.

Except Evan may not be as alone as he thinks. There is something living in the lake, an ancient, mythical being that is connected to Evan in ways he never thought possible. The discovery might be just what Evan needs to help mend his broken heart—and to reignite the passion that he thought had been extinguished.

Tags: M/M, erotic romance, tentacles, human/mythical creature. Please be aware that this novella contains scenes from a past relationship featuring emotional abuse and manipulation.

I know I’m not in the majority but I love tentacles, just the idea of being able to be touched everywhere all at once, YES!  Evan is trying to find his bearings after finding out that his ex had been cheating and using him for years.  Mer has lived his life taking care of his lake, at times he has seen others but never felt a connection to someone until Evan stepped into his water.

The author’s writing was easy to read and allowed me to see the story from Evan’s point of view.  Evan really has to learn to stand up for himself and find happiness that isn’t connected to another person.  Mer gives him the courage to not give in to his ex but to hopefully be his own person.  I liked seeing these two interact thought I never fully got how Evan’s dreams were actually connected or if they were actual dreams.  There is also a point when Mer says that something isn’t good for Evan yet but no explanation of when it would be.  Mer had an innocence to him that only a creature that hasn’t interacted with humans could have.  In the end Evan sees a way for them to be together and for him to have his life in the city too, I just hope that he would continue to stand up for his feelings and not back down.

The cover art by L Summers is great and works perfectly for this story.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 121 pages

Published: October 15 2018

Edition Language: English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Texas Charm (Aberrant Magic #6) by Lyn Gala

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The sixth book in the series focuses on the policemen in El Paso from book three, Art and Zach–partners both on and off the job. We know that the local council had misallocated or openly stolen federal money instead of using it for a Djedi Center, so Salma comes to see what facilities and resources are available for local people with Talent.

Zach has found a spirit guide in one of the old ifrit–an Aztec hummingbird named Pochi. So, like Darren, he has no powers of his own, being neither a shaman nor a trained magic user, but now has some power at his disposal, which is not really a lot of help at this point. In fact, it is difficult not to compare Zach and Darren, so it’s also difficult not to compare Art and Kavon. I did laugh as Art visits Zach’s version of the spirit plane. It’s a good way to drive home that though these couples are similar in some regards, they are their own people, so it’s unfair to expect them to act the same. Their banter and the ways they like to irritate each other are part of their charm.

The point of this book is to fix the political problems locally and rally the magical community in order to oust the corrupt council members. Art has always made it very clear he doesn’t want to be involved, so it’s no surprise when Zach can’t convince him to challenge for a seat when hundreds of shamans and adepts meet on the spirit plane to discuss the situation as everyone picks a side. It is both difficult and easy to see Art’s side of things and while I might not agree, it’s an accomplishment of the author to make Art such a complicated character. At this point, I have to admit that Art was not my favorite character in this series. However, Art has many good reasons to have a few chips on his shoulder. This book helps establish why his personality may not be that inviting. In the middle, he made me laugh out-loud. By the end, I wanted to both hug him and punch him out at the same time. We finally get some differences between the way the Vatican, the Egyptians, and Native Peoples train people who have a spirit guide. I also enjoyed seeing the psychological aspect of a guide’s relationship with their shaman.

Art and Zach are called to the scene of a murder. Their victim is actually a famous rapist. I enjoyed the parts about them working the case, although the subject matter is disturbing. The emotions are also difficult to handle as his father is questioned by police and the author creates some empathy for everyone involved. There is a good job of juxtaposing the awful case they are working on and the private lives of the detectives. This is an established couple so we walk in on the middle of their story and get to share in their intimate moments and their journey to their HEA. Adding in family dynamics was a great way to add depth to this story.

This book really puts us forward in the overarching plot, whilst showing new allies for the fight ahead in a more nuanced depth. This also takes us structurally back to the first few books, while stylistically it has some things in common with book five. I liked having Art’s POV (third person limited) for most of the book, because he would come across unfavorably if we didn’t know his thoughts and motives. We need to like him, so this was a smart move. Now, in hindsight, I wish we had gotten to know one of the shaman in Toronto the same way in book three. I am so excited to have the links between this book and book five explained. This is a great addition to a series that has been uneven in many ways. Still, there is always something in each book that draws me back.

The cover art is by Natasha Snow and is in keeping with the rest of the series. I believe it shows Art and Zach in the meditation room of the police precinct going to the spirit plane.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 187 pages
Published August 20th 2018 by Lyn Gala (first published August 16th 2018)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesAberrant Magic #6

An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Untouched (Hearts Entwined #3) by Andrew Grey

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

An accident crushed Duncan’s Olympic dreams and landed him in a chair, but he knows it’s time to get his life back on track—and he has a plan in mind. Working with his friend Todd, an Olympic skeleton racer, on a promotional campaign will not only help Duncan regain some direction, but it’ll give Todd the financial boost he desperately needs. The sport Todd loves is draining his resources—so much so that he’s thinking of giving up racing just to make ends meet.

 

As the two men work together, their friendship blossoms into much more, and suddenly the future is looking brighter than it has in a long time. But just when love, happiness, and success seem within their grasp, the USOC steps in with plans to stop their campaign. That’ll mean an end not just to Duncan’s business, but to Todd’s dreams… and Duncan isn’t about to let that happen to the man who means everything to him.

 

This was another nice story in the series, at first I wasn’t sure if it would be connected to be previous characters but I’m glad we get back to the auto shop and get to see Trevor, James, Brent and Scott again.  Duncan has been in a cloud of self-pity ever since his accident, which is understandable when you lose something so big in your life.  Todd helps him to break out of that cloud but they end up helping each other too.

 

Duncan doesn’t know what to do about this sudden attraction to Todd but doesn’t want to hold him back or be a burden either.  Todd wants to show Duncan how special he really is and it doesn’t matter how broken he thinks he is.  I hated that all the outside problems that they had were from someone being petty even if they seemed to pretty easily resolve the issue.

 

I liked seeing both of the characters’ points of view which helped to understand and connect more with them.  Duncan requires a bit of patience to get through to him but once he found his happiness he wanted to hold onto it with both hands.  Todd stands by and refuses to let Duncan try and push him away since he knows it’s all doubts in Duncan’s head.  We hear a little bit about Dean still being around, so maybe he will come up in a future story but I would also love to see Clive find someone too.

 

Cover art by LC Chase is great and I love the visuals of the characters, I continue to love the style of the covers for this series.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: October 9, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-634-4

Edition Language: English

Series: Hearts Entwined #3

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Who’s to say reincarnation can’t happen? Not this author, who gives us a heartwarming, gut-churning tale of one couple’s love for all time.

In the first half we meet Joshua, a young college man who was raised in a strict Christian household and is struggling to admit he’s gay and act on his attraction to his neighbor, Neil.  Neil is a brilliant scientist specializing in nanite research.  His dedication to his work and his perfectionism make him difficult to be around as he says what he means and doesn’t soften the blow.  But he and Joshua, nevertheless, fall in love.  Unfortunately, a disaster occurs and Joshua loses him before they even have a chance to have sex, something Joshua later deeply regrets. 

Months after Neil’s death, a baby is born—a strange baby named Neil, who seems too serious by far. As he ages, it’s evident he’s a genius and his maturity level is off the boards.  When he admits to his mother that he knows he’s lived before and shows her videos of Joshua on their laptop, she’s shocked but has already come to believe there’s something different about her baby.  Joshua now heads a nanite research foundation, begun with funds he inherited when Neil passed. Since he’s in the spotlight so often it’s easy for young Neil to follow his activities and he’s gutted when Joshua marries a man named Lee. 

A year or two after Neil had passed, Joshua met Lee, a man with major burn damage who was the recipient of Neil’s skin donation when he died.  After Lee relocates to Joshua’s small town, the two become close and within a few years, Joshua falls in love and marries Lee. He still dreams of Neil but knows there’s room in his heart for his past love and his new one.

Without revealing what happens, I will say that the first half of the story was bittersweet. Joshua had one blow after another. Young Neil was frustrated with his young body and his old brain. He still held memories from the time before and his inability to reach out to Joshua was frustrating.  I was most definitely caught up in the angst and action and didn’t know who to feel sorriest for.  And I shared Neil’s frustration with the slow passage of time.

In the second half, Joshua and the young Neil finally meet.  Neil allows his nerves and his acerbic tongue to push Joshua away, while Joshua can’t seem to recover from being stunned speechless by how much this Neil looks like the love of his life.  It’s fun, it’s heartbreaking, it’s frustrating, and it’s amazing to watch these two men finally get past all the hurdles and come together.   

But then… If I had any one complaint, it’s that there was too much sex in the second half. Granted, they finally got to have sex, but not only are they constantly at it, much of it is on page, and after a while, I was done. So done. It’s a wonder either man could walk, never mind how they kept from being dehydrated.  It distracted me from the rest of the story and it took my rating down a notch. 

If you are looking for a romance that spans time, this one is ideal. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking with sweet, wonderful characters and a few that are somewhat prickly, but still endearing.  A wonderful way to spend a day or two of your leisure time, I definitely recommend this one.

The cover by Dar Albert features a photo of two men embracing and kissing, superimposed over a skyline that could easily be Atlanta, the major city featured in this story.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 215 pages
Published September 13th 2018 by Leta Blake Books
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Edition Language English

David C. Dawson on story location, writing, and his new release ‘For the Love of Luke’ (author guest blog, excerpt and giveaway)

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For the Love of Luke by David C. Dawson
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host David C. Dawson here today on tour for his latest story For the Love of Luke. Welcome, David.

Thank you so much to Scattered Thoughts and Words for letting me stop by!

For the Love of Luke is a story of love, and has been a work of love for me. Not just the wonderful heroes Rupert and Luke, but also the British locations they visit in the book.

One of them is Middle Claydon, a village in Buckinghamshire where Rupert’s parents live. The village actually exists and I live about fifteen miles away from this beautiful spot. It’s a very romantic area to go walking, and there are three other Claydon hamlets nearby; Botolph Claydon, East Claydon and Steeple Claydon.

As described in the book, Claydon House was the ancestral home of the Verney family since 1620.

In the nineteenth century, Florence Nightingale’s sister Parthenope married the then Lord Verney and lived here. And that’s why Florence Nightingale often stayed at Claydon House. She wrote her seminal book Notes on Nursing here. Historians say she preferred the company of women to men, but lived a chaste life. According to her own writings, there were three women she loved dearly in her life. In the nineteenth century, there was no understanding or belief that a woman could be a lesbian.

If you ever get to visit Buckinghamshire, go find this beautiful spot. The surrounding countryside is lush and green, and the pretty church of All Saints is in the grounds of Claydon House.

 

About For the Love of Luke

A handsome naked man. Unconscious on a bathroom floor.

He’s lost his memory, and someone’s out to kill him.

Who is the mysterious Luke?

British TV anchor and journalist Rupert Pendley-Evans doesn’t do long-term relationships. Nor does he do waifs and strays. But Luke is different. Luke is a talented American artist with a dark secret in his life.

When Rupert discovers Luke, he’s intrigued, and before he can stop himself, he’s in love. The aristocratic Rupert is an ambitious TV reporter with a nose for a story and a talent for uncovering the truth. As he falls deeper in love with Luke, he discovers the reason for Luke’s amnesia. And the explanation puts them both in mortal danger.

EXCERPT:

The leathers Rupert brought for Luke were a snug fit. They clung tight to almost every part of his body. Luke admired himself in the full-length mirror. He turned side on. They felt good. He had to admit it. They looked damn good. Tight, black leather jeans enhanced the bulk of his thighs and the narrowness of his waist. They sagged a bit in the ass, but Rupert explained that was necessary to allow Luke to sit comfortably on the motorbike. Luke turned up the collar of the black leather jacket and closed the zips on both sleeves. Kevlar protective panels in the back, sleeves, and shoulders of the jacket filled out the upper part of his torso, adding bulk to his hours of work in the gym. He crossed to the bed and sat to pull on the reinforced bike boots, fasten their zips and Velcro covers.

Luke smoothed his hands across the surface of the leather stretched tight across his thighs and grinned at a stirring in his groin. The sensation both surprised and pleased him. He stood, and the rigid shape of the boots forced him to lean forward, like a skier about to descend a black run. He attempted to stand straight, the upper part of his body compensating for the enforced bend in his knees. The jeans pulled tight against his crotch, and his cock rose to the stimulation of the leather hugging his body.

“Sexy man.” Rupert’s voice came from the doorway. Luke turned. Rupert wore a one-piece racing suit made of red leather. White leather panels stitched into it enhanced the shape of his torso and legs. He crossed the bedroom to stand behind Luke at the mirror and placed his hands on Luke’s thighs. “I’ve not worn those leathers for a long time.” He studied Luke’s reflection in the mirror with an admiring grin. “They fit you really well. How do they feel?”

Luke took Rupert’s hands in his and pulled them to wrap around his waist. “They’re making me horny,” replied Luke. “I was getting a hard-on just standing here, even before you came in.”

Rupert slipped his hand down and caressed the front of Luke’s leathers. “And now you’re rapidly outgrowing those jeans. By the second, it feels like.”

He placed both hands on Luke’s shoulders and pulled him gently forward. He bent his head and kissed the side of Luke’s neck, slowly and tenderly, his tongue warm and moist against Luke’s skin. “I want you right now, the way you look and feel,” breathed Rupert. “But we’ve got to get moving. It should take us only an hour and a half to get there. Come on.”

About the Author

DAVID C. DAWSON

David C. Dawson writes contemporary thrillers featuring gay heroes in love. His debut novel The Necessary Deaths is published by DSP Publications and was described as “a real page turner”. It won Bronze for Best Mystery & Suspense in the FAPA awards. Rainbow Reviews called it “an exciting read with complex characters”.

The Deadly Lies is the second book in the series and came out last December.

For the Love of Luke is David’s third book. His fourth comes out in 2019.

David lives near Oxford in the UK, with his ageing Triumph motorbike and two cats.

LINKS:

Website: www.davidcdawson.co.uk

Dreamspinner Press book: http://bit.ly/ForTheLoveOfLuke

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.c.dawson.5

Twitter: https://twitter.com/david_c_dawson

Giveaway

Answer this simple question and you’ll have the chance to win a digital copy of For the Love of Luke! Email your answer with your name to: david@davidcdawson.co.uk. Competition closes on midnight October 16, 2018.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Question: In For the Love of Luke, what’s the name of the English village where Rupert’s parents live?

New Release Blitz for Out in the End (Out in College #2) Zone by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Out in the End Zone

Series: Out in College #2

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: October 10

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 44000

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Bisexual, College romance, Football, Coming out

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Synopsis

Evan di Angelo is an upbeat, good-natured goofball who loves his friends and family… and football. A traumatic accident may have ended his hopes of playing professionally, but he’s made the most of his four years on the field at a small Southern California college. He’s learned the hard way to embrace change, take chances and try things outside of his comfort zone…like agreeing to play fake boyfriends for someone else’s senior project.

Mitch Peterson knows that being his authentic self is the path to true happiness. He’s grown from a shy, quiet kid from a broken home to an out and proud budding internet sensation bound for grad school. An awesome senior project is the key. It’s unlikely anyone will believe the hunky, straight athlete is Mitch’s new lover, but it’s worth a shot. However, as their tentative friendship blossoms into unexpected attraction, the lines between reality and fiction blur for both men. Evan is forced to face old demons and decide if he has the courage to take the next step and come out in the end zone.

Excerpt

Mitch scoffed. “Cooperate, please. This is your intro. Maybe you should put your arm around me and kiss my cheek.”

“Now?”

“Yes. This is a rehearsal, so…go for it.”

I moved to his side, slipped my arm around his waist, and kissed his cheek. His scruff threw me off stride. It wasn’t noticeable because his facial hair was blond, but I could feel it. He smelled and felt different from anyone I’d ever kissed before. Sure, I’d kissed male relatives. I was part Italian. No one in my family shied from physical contact. But a hug and kiss on each cheek from my Uncle Gianni was different from kissing an attractive man. I caressed his cheek impulsively and then leaned in to sniff him the way I’d wanted to since the party. “Mmm.”

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“You smell good. I’ve never kissed a guy I wasn’t related to who had a five o’clock shadow.”

Mitch gave me a funny look. “You kissed me yesterday at lunch.”

“Yeah, but you haven’t shaved since this morning, right? The texture is like sandpaper but in a good way. I like it,” I assured him.

He looked flustered for a second but recovered quickly. “Well, that’ll make the real kiss easier then.”

“Right. When do we kiss, and what’s the intensity level supposed to be? G, PG, PG-13? Or are we going straight to the nasty?” I teased.

“Ha. G is peck on the cheek, which we just covered. PG is peck on the lips. So somewhere in between that and PG-13 works.”

“Got it. Maybe we should practice first,” I said.

“Um…sure.” Mitch turned around and gestured toward the bar stools at the island. “We can sit there, and I’ll set up the tripod a foot or so from where you’re standing now.”

“We don’t have to be in exact position. I just need to get used to touching you. It would be the same with anyone. Guy or girl.”

Okay, fine. I wanted to do it again. I’d thought about him nonstop since the party last weekend. And that throwaway kiss yesterday at the restaurant had opened a Pandora’s box. I was consumed now. I didn’t want to practice kissing him. I had to or I’d go crazy.

“Maybe you’re right. Um…okay. You can kiss me,” he said in a low voice.

“Well, you have to participate,” I chided as I stepped into his space.

“I’m…yes. Do you want to go first? Like…” Mitch set his hand on my hip and inched closer still. “This?”

I lifted my right hand and hovered it above his ear for a moment before threading my fingers through his hair. He suddenly looked nervous, which somehow worked in my favor. I held his gaze, then moved forward and gently pressed my lips to his. And fuck, it felt amazing to be here again. I tilted my head slightly, loving the intoxicating contrast of his soft lips and scratchy chin. Mitch closed his eyes and hooked his arms around my neck so we stood toe to toe and chest to chest. All the ways this felt different no longer applied. I knew what to do here. I was practically a fucking expert.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won First Prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Any Given Lifetime by Leta Blake

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 70,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs
 
Blurb



Neil isn’t a ghost, but he feels like one. Reincarnated with all his memories from his prior life, he spent twenty years trapped in a child’s body, wanting nothing more than to grow up and reclaim the love of his life.


As an adult, Neil finds there’s more than lost time separating them. Joshua has built a beautiful life since Neil’s death, and how exactly is Neil supposed to introduce himself? As Joshua’s long-dead lover in a new body? Heartbroken and hopeless, Neil takes refuge in his work, developing microscopic robots called nanites that can produce medical miracles.


When Joshua meets a young scientist working on a medical project, his soul senses something his rational mind can’t believe. Has Neil truly come back to him after twenty years? And if the impossible is real, can they be together at long last?


Any Given Lifetime is a stand-alone, slow burn, second chance gay romance by Leta Blake featuring reincarnation and true love. This story includes some angst, some steam, an age gap, and, of course, a happy ending.

 
Author Bio
 

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

 

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