A Stella Release Day Review: Nomad’s Dream by August Li

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

Two men, each with a hidden destiny. Can they defeat a web of deceit and dark magic to ensure their fates intertwine? Bedouin Isra al-Grayjaab’s dreams lead him to Janan, an amnesiac beggar on the street of Qena—one who steals his heart and starts him on a seemingly hopeless quest. With only their wits, Isra’s knowledge of the desert’s secrets, and the aid of a mercurial djinn, they must recover Janan’s past. But neither can predict his true identity or the lengths others will go to see that his mind remains broken and his true power out of his reach. In a sweeping romantic adventure that takes them across the Eastern Desert to the modern streets of Cairo and on to the luxurious Red Sea Coast, Janan and Isra seek a truth that will either bring them into each other’s arms or tear them apart forever.

Each time I read a new story by August Li I am in awe by the author’s talent. I already said this but he is one of my favorite authors and his name has become a guarantee, I don’t even read blurbs anymore, I simply go in fan mode and just need the book in my hands. When I saw the cover of this new release, I was very curious about it. Nomad’s Dream is very different from my usual mm readings, starting with the setting and the main characters. Plus I found this novel a little different from what the author usually writes, it was more sweet and romantic, not too much, just that little bit more that perfectly balanced the magical and mysterious part.

The story is set in the desert for two third’s and I completely lost myself among the bedouins tribes, the camels and the dunes. I was deeply engaged with Janan mystery and the love for Isra. I found everything so real and true although the magical elements and the character of Flicker (I adored him and never doubted of his attachment to Isra).

I have to confess my heart went to Isra since the first pages, I saw his clear soul, his loyalty and devotion to his family and himself. I saw how troubled he was until he finally reached the man that was hunting his dreams. And then my heart ached for Janan, being so lost and poor and later seeing him flourishing beside Isra was very heartwarming.

The author developed a beautiful plot, there is some action, some mystery, and then there are many times where Isra and Janan are alone in the desert that were my preferred moments. He did a so great job I breathed the peace they were living. I fell in love with quite a few secondary characters too, some of them would deserve their own HEA, they were well defined and interesting, all of them so brave and generous.

I feel to recommend Nomad’s Dream, in my opinion the author delivered another amazing success. I felt a sense of loss when I finished the novel but it gave me some serenity I needed.

The cover art by Tiferet Design is well done, I like the colors and it perfectly fits the book.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Nomad’s Dream
ISBN 139781644050149
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Inside Out (Road to Blissville #6) by Aimee Nicole Walker

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Romeo Bradly and Julius Shepherd moved to Blissville for the same reason: a fresh start. Romeo was looking for a school district where he could make a real impact in the lives of students and faculty, and Julius was eager to teach one of his passions to the best and brightest at a school with a nationally ranked science program. But the sleepy little town offered them much more than they’d bargained for—quirky people, unlikely friendships, and an all-consuming attraction that turns them inside out.

When unexpected circumstances threaten to cancel the school play, Romeo’s theater background and Julius’s musical expertise make them the perfect pair to save the day. Working together so closely makes it harder for the men to ignore their growing feelings. After all, the heart knows what it wants and doesn’t care about age gaps, race, or professional conflict of interest. Romeo and Julius will learn that they have far more in common than they realize, and their differences will make them stronger if they give love a chance.

Their commitment to each other and the play will be tested when outside forces target them as a couple and exert pressure to cancel the production. Romeo and Julius vow to prove their love can conquer any challenge and will burn strong well beyond the curtain call.

Inside Out is a whimsical, May/December romance featuring a man learning to love again and a man falling in love for the first time. It is the sixth book in the Road to Blissville series and can be read as a standalone book or part of the series.

I had no idea when I picked up a book called Unscripted Love set in a small town called Blissville about a veterinarian and a writer looking for love how deeply I would come to love this series and a small fictional place that exists nowhere else but in Aimee Nicole Walker’s imagination and this series.  Should it actually exist, my bags would be packed, the boxes stacked, and the car running, ready for the move I’d make without hesitation.  You see, over the course of; as of Inside Out, six books, I know Blissville as intimately as any of these characters.  I want to have my hair done at the Curl Up and Dye, walk the quaint, beautiful tree lined streets with my dogs, meeting my neighbors, heading over to Books and Brew. There I’ll have my coffee, choose from any number of pastries, get a baked doggie treat from Mae or her brother and go outside to sit at a table.  Maybe I’ll read the local paper, get caught up on the gossip, learn how to get mustard out of my clothes, and find out how the Blissville Bulldogs are doing as well as all the other local school sports teams. If I don’t feel like cooking?  Always head to the Dinner for some of the best home cooked food in the area and see friends as well.   The charm and magic of Blissville runneth over, book after book, couple after couple.  Inside Out is one more wonderful novel in this series that captivates me.

If you are looking for angst, there’s a little but this is mostly a character and relationship based story, which I loved.  Told in alternating povs, each man is new to Blissville, having accepted new jobs in the Blissville school system recently.   Both are making adjustments in their lives, not only in location, but emotionally as well.  There are differences in age, type of support system, even race in our main characters, but the author shows that they also have so much in common from the very beginning that their very differences add flavor to a romance that not only works but is perfect for each other.

There is a wonderful story thread about a student play called Inside Out that has multiple meanings here.  The play itself becomes as real as the three students who wrote and fight to put it on, that I almost wished it too was as authentic as it came across.  I certainly wanted to listen to the score.

And by the end, I was so happy.  Not just with the wonderful romance and love of Rome and Julius, but with Howard, who’s friendship with Rome helped  to lift him out of his mourning and back into life.  And with meeting Priscilla, the Dragon who guarded the desk of the Superintendent and much more,  Rome’s sister and family, Julius’ mother and younger brother, on and on. When you enter a Blissville story, you enter a community of people you will soon take to heart, Inside Out is no exception.  The end result is that it left me happy, content, and wanting a swift return to a place I so wish was real.

You don’t need to read these stories in order but in doing so it’s like gathering a group of friends that you see again and again in each tale.  I think it’s just lovely and I highly recommend them all.

Cover Art: Jay Aheer.  I really like this cover with the clasped hands, touching and works.d

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Published January 14th 2019 by Chasing Rainbows Press LLC
ASINB07MTLPZZ4
Series Road to Blissville #6

Road to Blissville Series

Unscripted Love

Someone to Call My Own

Nobody’s Prince Charming

This Time Around

Smoke in the Mirror

Inside Out

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Any Old Diamonds (Lilywhite Boys #1) by K.J. Charles

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

KJ Charles is an incredibly talented author and when dealing with a UK historical, her work is top of the line.

Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes is the younger son of the Duke of Ilvar. He, his older brother who is set to inherit the title, and his sister have been estranged from the duke for ten years. Their other sister, who has since passed away, witnessed the duke murdering their mother so he could marry the caretaker’s widow—a miserable, miserly, poor excuse for a stepmother if ever there was one. Alec, his sister, and his brother’s family live in poverty while the duke and duchess flaunt their wealth. As the 20th anniversary of their marriage approaches, Alec determines he’s going to do something to bring the two down.

So he begins the first steps to his long game and hires the Lilywhite Boys, a notorious pair of jewel thieves. Jerry Crozier is suave, debonair, charming, a total rogue, and before Alec knows it, Jerry discovers his secret and dominates him into a series of submissions to Jerry’s desires. Alec’s plan is to get Jerry, and his partner who will be disguised as Jerry’s valet, into the house party the duke is planning as their anniversary celebration. There, Jerry will break into the duchess’s safe and steal away with her set of diamonds commissioned for the anniversary event. But along the way, Alec has to ingratiate himself to his father with a public apology and distance himself from his siblings who want nothing to do with the duke and to whom he can’t reveal his plan.

Needless to say, Alec falls in love with Jerry and Jerry, surprisingly (to himself) falls in love with Alec. The dynamic between the two is outstanding. I really wanted to hate Jerry for manipulating Alec and for holding himself aloof. As it turns out, his own heart was engaged and directed many of his actions.

I also love the author’s sense of humor, which is woven throughout the story in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. For example, Jerry is teaching Alec how to play billiards in a semi-public location when he tells Alec to put his “nose to the ball,” and the pair totally lose their composure, laughing hysterically—along with this reader.

Tender moments are equally as well done. “The question was never whether I loved you,” Alec whispered. “It was, How brave am I or maybe, How afraid am I? And it turns out I’m slightly braver than I am afraid when it comes to you…” Gah! I loved this romance.

There were also brief visits from, and mentions of, characters we met in the past, including those in the Sins of the Cities series, though this story takes place about twenty years after An Unsuitable Heir.

And the ending wasn’t at all what I was expecting. KJ Charles is a pro at plot twists and yet always manages to find a way for her gentlemen (and rogues) to find their way to their HEA. I very highly recommend this one as a fine example of her work.

The drawn caricature cover by Vic Grey features two gentlemen of the late 19th century at an opera house—one seated and one standing, both in formalwear. Not only is it symbolic of their first adventure together, the fact that it’s not a photo cover may be a play on Lord Alexander’s talent as an artist.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 30th 2019 by KJC Books
ISBN 139781912688074
Edition LanguagebEnglish
Series Lilywhite Boys #1

Release Blitz – The Other Book by Roe Horvat (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon USAmazon UK Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 42,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design:
 
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
 
Blurb
 

It was supposed to be just sex… Famous last words.

Tyler doesn’t overthink pleasure and avoids complications. He knows it might be stupid to get involved with his closeted boss, but the temptation is too great. At first, the cold and beautiful Joel Sandstrom seems to loathe Tyler’s guts.

Except one late night at the office, his reasons become clear…and his control breaks.

Every time they touch, Joel’s stony face comes alive, harsh lines smooth out, and for a minute, he looks serene. Happy, even. Just sex – dirty, intense, spectacular sex.

During their covert encounters, Tyler discovers the power he has over the lonesome man, and it’s a heady feeling. What if he could set Joel free and give him peace of mind? When Tyler realizes how much Joel needs him, he doesn’t regret breaking his own rules.


Excerpt
(warning: adult language, but no explicit scenes)

Thursday was a long day.

I messaged Christoffer to say I wouldn’t be able to make it this weekend because my boss was a slave-driving ass.

At least it’s a good-looking ass, Christoffer replied.

Tina knocked on my booth at half past eleven.

“Tyler? Joel says he wants you in the conference room at one for the meeting with Mercury.”

I scowled, my mood getting worse by the second. “He could have emailed me, messaged me, or come down here to tell me himself. You’re not his secretary.”

Tina rolled her eyes. “Calm down, Avenger. I bumped into Joel in the kitchen. He mentioned you might need to be there. I told him I’d let you know.”

It took a me a while, but in the end, I had to admit I had no comeback to something so…normal. Damn it. He didn’t even give me valid reasons to hate on him.

“I’ll be there,” I mumbled, turning back to my screen.

“He’s a good guy, Tyler. Cut him some slack,” Tina said.

“Me?” I pivoted on my chair to face her. Joel was the one being a jerk. And he was the boss! How was I supposed to cut him slack?

“You know what I mean,” Tina threw over her shoulder, walking away toward her desk.

“What?” I called after her, but she didn’t reply.

Two hours later, I parked my butt in the conference room, opposite Joel. He was looking at his laptop screen intently, not acknowledging me. He never talked to me unless he absolutely had to.

“Nice tie. Matches the ice in your chest,” I commented.

“They will be here in three minutes. Please behave,” Joel said evenly, still not lifting his gaze from the laptop.

“You don’t like it when I behave,” I told him, leaning back.

His eyes flashed to me for an instant, and his lip twitched. Otherwise, expression Number One: immaculate control and contained rage. “Tyler, can you act professionally for ninety minutes?” he hissed.

That was it. How come I was suddenly the unprofessional one?

“How’s your throat today, Joel? Sore?” I asked loudly just as the door creaked open.

Joel sucked in a breath and clenched his jaw. Red stain crept up his neck, but he stood gracefully and offered his hand to the forty-something woman who entered the room. A tall young man in a lovely dark-blue suit followed her. He had high cheekbones and porcelain skin, and he blushed fiercely when he saw me. Nice. I made sure to smile at him when we shook hands. His eyelids fluttered. Matt, who held the door for the Mercury people, gave us a tight greeting and closed it.

We sat, and my attention shifted from the young beauty back to my boss. Joel’s stare became glacial. I smirked. This was going to be fun.

It wasn’t fun. At all. Their requirements were unspecific, their expectations exaggerated, and the pretty boy was a pretentious jerk. I suffered through the hour and a half trying not to let them know they had only wasted my time.

Joel accompanied the Mercury people to the hall and shook hands with both. I tried to slip past them back to my soundproof sanctuary, intent on closing myself in there for the rest of the day. I hated client meetings with a passion—even when they involved pretty young things. But Joel called after me, ruining my escape.

“Tyler? Can you wait in the conference room? It will only take a minute.”

I let out my frustration by making the face of a backstabbed warrior, and slowly turned around.

Back in the conference room, I sat down on the same chair, which was still warm from my butt. Hopefully, Joel would only want to go through the details of the meeting and then I could go hide again.

He stepped inside and closed the door.

“I have a request,” he began slowly. He stayed by the door, as far from me as possible.

I leaned forward and supported my chin in my palm, waiting.

“I can’t let the situation get out of hand,” Joel continued, suspiciously vague. “I have some serious private matters going on right now. I hope you will understand and help me to…handle this gracefully. I can’t afford any added complications.”

Oh, it was that kind of a request!

“Joel, I told you, I won’t out you. I’m not a complete shit,” I said with disgust. What the hell did he think of me?

Joel flashed me a disturbed look. “No, I know that. I only need us to…stop being personal.”

“You mean you won’t suck my dick anymore, boss?”

He had the grace to wince, yet he didn’t reply.

 
Author Bio
 

Queer fiction author Roe Horvat was born in the post-communist wasteland of former Czechoslovakia. Equipped with a dark sense of sarcasm, Roe traveled Europe and finally settled in Sweden. He came out as transgender in 2017 and has been fabulous since. He loves Jane Austen, Douglas Adams, bad action movies, stand-up comedy, pale ale, and daiquiri, with equal passion. When not hiding in the studio doing graphics, he can be found trolling cafés in Gothenburg, writing, and people-watching.

More about the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roe.horvat.98
Twitter: @roehorvat
Website: roehorvat.com
Publisher: http://www.beatentrackpublishing.com/?n1=authors&id=107

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Cover Reveal for Touch Of A Yellow Sun (Colors of Love #2) by V.L. Locey (giveaway)

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Release Date: February 27 2019
 
Cover Design: Designs By Sloan
 
Length: 88,600 words approx.
 
Colors Of Love Series
 
Book #1 – Lost In Indigo – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Blurb
 

It’s been a rough couple of years for Marek Hafer, roaming hockey protagonist and pugilistic expert. Ending up in Berger Lake, Pennsylvania, on a financially unstable minor league team might just be the ending his wretched career deserves. On the other side of thirty, Marek knows his time on skates is dwindling. His goal now is to spend a few quiet years playing for the Berger Lake Badgers, knock a few helmets together as needed, and then call it quits before his salty personality gets him booted out of hockey permanently.


After a bloody encounter his first night on the ice, the Badgers coach suggests that Marek find a way to lower his violent tendencies before he’s sent packing yet again. That decree leads Marek to knock on the door of his next-door neighbor, Shey Pierson, the owner of Sun Touch Yoga Studio. Shey ticks every box Marek has with his soft blue eyes, flowing golden hair, and long limber legs. The only problem is that Shey is yin to Marek’s yang.


Can a man famed for throwing punches find serenity in the arms of a man known for his tranquil ways?

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.



V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.


When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

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