A MelanieM Review: Loving a Warrior (Loving a Warrior #1) by Melanie Hansen

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

BUD/S: six months of the most intense training there is. It’s survival of the toughest, and Matt Knytych is determined to come out the other side a navy SEAL.

Distraction is life or death. And just the sight of former marine Shane Hovland is enough to shake Matt’s concentration.

Shane came to BUD/S training ready to prove himself—again. Semper Fi is forever, but he needs a new start. Not this dangerous heat with a man he barely knows.

Everything they’ve ever wanted is riding on a thin, punishing line. And they’ll have to fight for more than just each other if they want to make it through intact.

After all, the only easy day was yesterday.

Melanie Hansen’s ability to bring us inside this intense world of SEAL training and the brotherhood that forms between the men that make it through this grueling six months is remarkable.  As she has done before, the people she creates  come alive for us, laid out in all their frailties, brutalities, complexities, and, the inner drive and grit that keeps them from cracking under the enormous pressures and pains BUD/S puts them through to see them out as SEALs with their Tridents at the end of the story.

And in between, we are given a journey of determination, questioning, growth, and romance between two very different men. Matt Knytych and Shane Hovland.  One (my favorite) Matt is the most complex perhaps of the two, certainly the most focused on his goal of getting his Trident, being a SEAl like his uncle, his idol and mentor. Matt is that one creation that has such power as a character that it’s almost impossible to turn your attention away from him to any other character or element.  He’s blinding in his ability to draw your eye to him and his life, leaving all others to wander along the edges.  It’s funny really, because Matt’s not the “gorgeous” one here. He’s not the tall one, overly good looking one etc.  But for sheer determination, grit, and, power on the page, nothing is comparable to him.  Matt burns with a narrative incendiary intensity.  His is not the easy road you might think it will be.

Shane Hovland is the gorgeous one and, ironically, the lesser of the two men in strength of characterization but only because Matt shines so brightly and with such great strength. Shane is the former Marine taking BUD/S for the 2nd time, the reason for which I’ll leave to the story.  His back story is every bit as interesting as Matt’s but again but it comes across as lacking…something.  Unfair I know.  And totally realistic as is this entire story.

Hansen pulls us through the training, their lives, the questioning about the costs of pursuing a romance….everything and we believe in them in every way.

She also makes us feel for those that don’t make it. How is that possible?  It’s only fiction, yet I felt the anguish and their pain just as deep.  And the pride for those that receive their Tridents.

It ends as it should, a HFN.  And where it should.  A powerful story of love of country and of two men for each other.

Melanie Hansen has quickly become a Must Read Author for me and  Loving A Warrior is an excellent example why.  I highly recommend it and can’t wait for the next story in the series to arrive.

Cover art is perfect for the men and the story.  I only wish I knew who to credit it to.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Published November 26th 2018 by Carina Press
ASIN B07DCTPL94
Edition Language English
Series Loving a Warrior #1

An Alisa Review: Surreal Estate by Jesi Lea Ryan

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

 

Sasha Michaels is a psychic with an affinity for houses. And he’s homeless. Go figure. After months of sleeping rough, he stumbles upon an abandoned house, and the lonely place beckons him inside. He’s finally safe . . . until someone comes blundering in to his hideaway.

 

House-flipper Nick Cooper lost everything in the recession. Desperate to revive his business, he turns to a loan shark to fund his comeback project: flipping an abandoned house full of potential. But it turns out the house has an unexpected occupant.

 

Nick and Sasha make a deal: Sasha can stay in exchange for helping with the renovation. To both of their surprise, the closer they get to the loan shark’s due date, the stronger their feelings for each other grow. Problem is, Nick isn’t the only one with feelings for Sasha, and now the house doesn’t want to let Sasha go.

 

I really liked this story and once I got into it, I was hooked.  Sasha has been down on his luck for a while and lovely house that just needs some love calls to him.  Nick wants to make a comeback in the house flipper sector but finds much more with his new purchase.

 

Nick gives Sasha a chance at maybe finally getting out of the rut he is in while also offering him the support he lost when his grandfather passed away.  Sasha is the one person who unconditionally believes that Nick can accomplish what he is doing but doesn’t like the way he is making it happen.

 

I liked both of these characters.  Sasha just makes you want to wrap him up in a hug and make him feel better but he also has some stubbornness that does him good to.  Nick is so sure he can make it work, he just has to jump through some hoops to do it.  I love that they support each other and both help the other out in the ways that count the most.

 

Cover art by Lou Harper is great and I really like visuals it gives for the story

 

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 271 pages

Published: November 5, 2018 by Riptide Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62649-854-9

Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Holiday Spirit by Carole Cummings

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Rating 5 stars out of 5

It’s hard being the PA for the Holiday Spirit.

Julian is more dedicated than most, and knows the job inside and out. But that doesn’t mean he’ll still have a job when the new Holiday Spirit is elected. It also doesn’t mean he’s immune to the *cough* charms of the office, but that’s a whole other problem.

I’m a fan of this author and grabbed up her offer in Mischief Corner Book’s Holiday Collection ‘Escape from the Holidays’. What an absolute delight! Full of imagination, it opens into a scene of high suspense!   In a North Pole conclave most similar to one where a new pope is being elected,  all await the signal that indicates a new Holiday Spirit has been elected!  Seems the old one made a hash of it during his reign (who gets penguins angry at them) and only his P.A. managed to maintain order and keep things running.  That would be Julian who now anxiously awaits his new boss, and sees if he even has a job after the disaster of the last one.

In 32 pages, Cummings gives us detailed office politics, sparkling personalities, an hilarious and kinky married couple, the place of pheromones within the culture, world building, and the start of a wonderful romance.  Honestly, I didn’t want it to end.

If I only had one thing to say, it would be to plead that we have a sequel, maybe next year to The Holiday Spirit, so we can check in on the office, assistance PA, married couple and maybe even the Boss and his PA?  Pretty please with a candy cane on top?

Love your holiday stories?  Be sure to add The Holiday Spirit by Carole Cummings for your holiday reading pleasure!  I highly recommend it.

Cover art is magical and sort of perfect for the story involved.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Mischief Corner Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 32 pages
Expected publication: December 5th 2018 by Mischief Corner Books
Original Title The Holiday Spirit
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Loving a Warrior (Loving a Warrior #1) by Melanie Hansen

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

BUD/S: six months of the most intense training there is. It’s survival of the toughest, and Matt Knytych is determined to come out the other side a navy SEAL.

Distraction is life or death. And just the sight of former marine Shane Hovland is enough to shake Matt’s concentration.

Shane came to BUD/S training ready to prove himself—again. Semper Fi is forever, but he needs a new start. Not this dangerous heat with a man he barely knows.

Everything they’ve ever wanted is riding on a thin, punishing line. And they’ll have to fight for more than just each other if they want to make it through intact.

After all, the only easy day was yesterday.

What a wonderful story! The author created an interesting, realistic (I assume) look at SEAL training while giving us two men who were not perfect individuals but gelled beautifully together. I got to know them really well by the time I turned the last page. I definitely couldn’t put the book down during this compelling drama, and when real life interrupted my reading, I was not a happy girl. Honestly, though the attraction was there from the beginning, the men had a long road to sexual fulfillment. Definitely a slow burn/UST, one of my favorite themes.

Matt Knytych is fantastic character. He’s wanted to be a SEAL all his life and everything he’s ever done has been with the goal of being a SEAL like his Uncle Rick. So when he meets the gregarious, gorgeous, former marine, Shane Hovland, there’s no way he’s going to act on his attraction to the personable and sweet Shane. Nothing and no one will come between him and his goal.

Things change along the way during training when the two are thrown together as swim buddies and torn apart again when—well, each reader will see for themselves—happens. There was something special about Matt’s character that I can’t quite pinpoint, but he will be with me for a very long time. Maybe because he’s so close to ordinary—in an extraordinary kind of way—and maybe just because the author’s talent is no-holds-barred when it comes to delving into a character’s psyche so we readers can’t possibly fail to want more.

In his own way, Shane was also memorable, but I must admit there were a few times when I wanted to smack him. Again—a character worth reading, and one who improved vastly, in my opinion, over time, especially after his secrets were revealed.

The slow burn romance was perfect, the situations unexpected, the training grueling, the men unforgettable. What more could I ask for? Very highly recommended.

To enhance the overall experience, we’re given a gorgeous cover featuring two handsome, muscular men with a beach scene superimposed over the guys—a very nice representation of the theme.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Published November 26th 2018 by Carina Press
ASIN B07DCTPL94
Edition Language English
Series Loving a Warrior #1

A Chaos Moondrawn Advent Review: The Last Birthday Party by Mere Rain

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Their favorite holiday is going away. Will it take their friendship with it?

Since 1989, the birthday of the Emperor of Japan has been celebrated on December 23rd. But this is the last year; the Emperor is abdicating, and next year there will be no holiday.

This is the last time they will have this day as a national holiday on Akihito’s birthday, so has a sad, bittersweet quality as seen through Akihito’s point of view. The story does talk about Japanese culture, festivals, and places without explaining–and that’s fine as they would not explain things that are a part of them, not to each other or in their thoughts. Their parents were neighbors and they have been a part of each other’s lives since birth, but now go to different universities and are on that cusp of adulthood where they will continue moving in different directions as work and life happen. As they spend the day together, Akihito struggles with his feelings for Kenji. Kenji has been struggling to tell Akihito his feelings as well. This is short and sweet with hope for the future.

The cover art is by Brooke Albrecht and captures the story well.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 25 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644050422
Edition Language English

Release Blitz Tour for The Deafening Silence (The Yakuza Path #4) by Amy Tasukada

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Buy Link


Length: 29,000 words approx.


The Yakuza Path Series


Book #1 – Blood Stained Tea – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Better Than Suicide – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – One Thousand Cranes – Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb


An unproven alliance. A broken promise. A mafia boss must shed blood to secure peace…


Nao Murata is on the verge of brokering peace between his syndicate and the rival Mafufgumi mob. To seal the deal, he’ll need to pick up Russian prostitutes to appease his newest ally. When the exchange goes sour, both sides draw blades and Nao has no choice but to care for a blood-soaked enemy. If the man doesn’t make it through the night, Nao and his crew will pay with their lives.


Outnumbered and stranded in enemy territory, Nao is forced to fight his way out before the Mafufgumi Godfather takes the deal off the table. As his wounded enemy’s heartbeat slows, Nao must act fast or condemn his syndicate to a brutal turf war.


The Yakuza Path: The Deafening Silence is the fourth book in a series of Japanese mafia thrillers. If you like twisty action, authentic settings, and a touch of gay romance, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s pulse-pounding series.

Amy Tasukada lives in a catless home in North Texas. (She enjoys cats but can’t quite make that kind of commitment yet.) As an only child her day dreams kept her entertained, and at age ten she started to put them to paper. Since then her love of writing hasn’t cease. When she’s not chasing after stray cats, she can be found drinking hot tea and filming Japanese street fashion hauls on her Youtube channel.


https://www.amytasukada.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/amytasukada
http://www.facebook.com/amytasukadaofficial/
https://twitter.com/@amytasukada
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Cover Reveal for Illumined Shadows (Treble and the Lost Boys #3) by G.R. Lyons

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Release Date: December 28 2018
 
Length: 100,000 words approx.
 
Treble & The Lost Boys Series
 
Book #1 – Ice On Fire – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Heavens Aground – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

When Victor Lucius was sixteen years old, a few cruel words out of his mouth led to a brutal tragedy, one that Vic has been trying to make up for ever since. Now, working as a missing persons expert, Vic tracks down and rescues people from abandonment or abuse, trying to alleviate the guilt constantly weighing him down.


His latest case—a boy who was kidnapped at the age of two and then held captive for nineteen years—is by far the darkest of his career. If there’s any chance of Vic finally redeeming himself, helping this boy might be it.


But rescuing Colby from his basement prison is only the beginning, and brings a whole new struggle to Vic’s life:


Temptation…


(Note: This story takes place in a fictional world, the same as in the Shifting Isles Series. There are multiple gods, different names for the days of the week, etc. A glossary is included.)

 

Author Bio


While daylighting as office manager for the family auto repair business, G.R. Lyons can often be found working on one of multiple manuscripts or desperately trying to keep up with the TBR pile.


Anarcho-capitalist, quietly ‘out’ trans guy, former belly dancer, coffee guzzler, highly-sensitive introvert, CrossFit enthusiast, and lover of m/m romantic fiction.


Email: grlyons@grlyonsauthor.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/grlyonsauthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/grlyonsauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/grlyonsauthor
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/doumteksonata/
Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/author/grlyons

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Loving A Warrior by Melanie Hansen

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 77,300 words approx.
 
Publisher: Carina Press
 
Blurb
 

BUD/S: six months of the most intense training there is. It’s survival of the toughest, and Matt Knytych is determined to come out the other side a navy SEAL.


Distraction is life or death. And just the sight of former marine Shane Hovland is enough to shake Matt’s concentration.


Shane came to BUD/S training ready to prove himself—again. Semper Fi is forever, but he needs a new start. Not this dangerous heat with a man he barely knows.


Everything they’ve ever wanted is riding on a thin, punishing line. And they’ll have to fight for more than just each other if they want to make it through intact.


After all, the only easy day was yesterday.

 

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star review here.

Melanie Hansen doesn’t get nearly enough sleep. She loves all things coffee-related, including collecting mugs from every place she’s visited. After spending eighteen years as a military spouse, Melanie definitely considers herself a moving expert. She has lived and worked all over the country, and hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to the love stories she gets up in the wee hours to write. On her off-time, you can find Melanie watching baseball, reading or spending time with her husband and two teenage sons.

 

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