An Alisa Review: Stepbrother’s Secret (Men of Meadowfall #6) by Anna Wineheart

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

What’s worse than losing the love of your life? Answer: Finding out that he’s now (1) a single dad and a widower, (2) your business rival, and (3) still very much your stepbrother.

Lonely and estranged from his family, Olivier wishes for love. His music shop is sinking—no thanks to Total Sounds, the new music chain in town. But that’s not all: The alpha stepbrother he’d grown up loving? Eric’s moving back to Meadowfall with his baby girl, and Ollie’s life is officially a mess.

Eric has two goals: One, to raise his late wife’s daughter. Two, to ensure that Total Sounds beats out all its competition, especially that one shop, Olivier’s Strings. Except the owner of Olivier’s Strings is an omega from his past—someone Eric had been truly, madly, deeply in love with. The very omega who had broken Eric’s heart right outside their family home, and, unbeknownst to Eric, is still in love with him.

To escape the grief of his wife’s passing, Eric confronts Olivier about their past… except Ollie’s in heat.

One simmering encounter turns into another, and that new honey scent of Ollie’s… It means Olivier is pregnant. Eric has his suspicions. Ollie insists that the baby isn’t Eric’s. Could it be…?

It took my so much longer to start reading this book than I wanted because, well, life but once I started I just couldn’t put it down and probably stayed up way later than I should have.  I have loved this series so far and this book was no exception especially since I read the teaser a while ago.

Oh man, my heart broke for Ollie and how he was willing to give up his happiness to make sure Eric was happy.  Though Eric easily would only see what he wanted to see at times, I think he had to really grow up throughout this story.

And, ugh, Eric’s mom and Ollie’s stepmom, Wendy, was just horrible, Ollie dealt with it and just stayed away but once Eric brought it out in the open they at least had the support of their brothers, though their Dad just pushed it under the table and seems to decide that ignoring it like he has for years will make it go away.  He kinda comes around in the end but other than Wendy being absent there is no real conclusion on that front.  But it looks like we will probably be seeing their brother Cole again in another book, so excited to see the series continuing.

I loving the new cover art style the author is using, it doesn’t make the stories look as fluffy as before.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 458 pages

Publication: January 20, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Men of Meadowfall #6

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Familiar Demon (Familiar Love #2) by Amy Lane

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I would love to have rated this story higher, but it was so complex, so detailed, and included flashbacks that encompassed hundreds of years and was interwoven with the first story, I got lost and found and lost again. It may have been me, but it wasn’t as fast-paced, interesting, and engrossing as book one and definitely did not hold my attention.

Hundreds of years ago, Mullins was lured into Hell in an effort to protect his sister from witch hunters who would have seen the little girl’s visions of “the nice red man” as nothing more than witchcraft. In Hell, he made friends with Leonard Youngblood, who we met in the previous book. Leonard was pulled from Hell by the woman he loves, when at that time, she also distributed her magic among three young boys who then became cat familiars. The first story was of Harry, one of the boys who fell in love with the angel, Suriel. They managed to eventually get Suriel mortal. Now, in a similar effort, they are trying to get their friend and protector, Mullins, from his eternal life in Hell. To do that, they embark on a quest to find items on a list that will form a strong spell able to break him out. The journey is fraught with danger, not only from encounters along the way, but also danger from Mullins’s boss in Hell. Because Mullins hasn’t been following the rules for demons in Hell and it’s starting to be noticed. 

Many times, over the course of the last eight years of reading Amy Lane’s work, I’ve paused to wonder how anyone’s mind can possibly create such diverse stories. The world of the Goddess, the Johnnies, Talker, the Fish series, and more cement my love for her work. The fact her stories are so well-written and make me feel a part of the action, and I have no worries about stumbling over inconsistencies or misspelled words is a complete bonus. This particular story is a prime example of her creative imagination, but I faltered in following it. Possibly that’s due to some of my own life complexities right now, so I hate to leave a poor review. I can only say that Mullins was a very sympathetic character and Edward the perfect mate for him. The brothers, especially Bel and Francis were supportive, at times funny, and at other times extremely sympathetic. I suspect the story for Bel and Francis will be quite different, extremely interesting, and not too far in the distant future. I’m looking forward to that one, for sure.

The cover for this story, by Reese Dante, is bright, colorful and the perfect image of Mullins in human form.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: February 12th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07KQ65WXG
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesFamiliar Love #2

Andrew Grey on Inspiration, Character Names and his new release Rebound (guest blog)

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Rebound by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: Feb 13 2019
Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

DreamSpinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Andrew Grey back again with his new release Rebound.  Welcome,Andrew!

🏀

Rebound is a story that started quite differently for me that most of my others.  See with this book I started with the character names.  I’m not going to give them away, but that was where I began.  From there I had decided that I wanted to return to the universe of the Playmaker.  That world of sport gave me a great deal of happiness and I wanted to return there. 
You know, there are times when we all want a safe place.  I’m one of them.  In my writing for a long time, when I needed peace, I went to the world of the Love Means… stories.  After those books I worked on the Love Comes stories. Currently, I really don’t have a series that provides me with that same feeling.  But I will say that working on Rebound gave me some of that writing peace… at least for a while. 
I really hope you enjoy this story.  I had a great time writing it.  I hope you enjoy reading it. 

 

Blurb/Synopsis:

Professional basketball player Bri Early needs a physical therapist after an injury, and he’s heard that Obie is the best. Bri takes an immediate liking to the out-and-proud man with the magic touch, and even though Bri isn’t openly gay himself, he’d never let anything stand in the way of something he wants.

Obie can’t deny that the sexy athlete presses all his buttons, but he’s a professional and has no intention of getting involved with a client. While they’re working together, it’s hands off, no matter how great the temptation.

But being a pro athlete isn’t easy. Bri has enemies, and one of them is making his life hell. When his house is set ablaze, Bri can no longer pretend the threatening messages he’s receiving are jokes. He needs a safe place to stay, and Obie can’t turn his back. But the two of them in the same house is a recipe for combustion that could burn them both….

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance/ Sports Romance

Excerpt 

Just as Obie suspected, they got there only to stand in a line a block long. Worse, it hadn’t moved more than ten feet in the last half hour. At this rate, they would get in next Thursday. In desperation and because he was tired of standing there, he messaged Monty and got a quick response.

“I’m inside. I’ll send Hunter out to get you.”

“The guys are with me,” Obie said.

“I’ll warn him.” The message was followed with a happy face. And sure enough, five minutes later, Hunter, accompanied by one of the bouncers, found them and they were escorted around the rest of the line and into the club, which pulsated with energy.

“Oh my God,” David said, holding on to Obie’s arm as though he might faint. “Would you look at him.” He pointed, and Obie let his gaze follow. “Do you think he’d let me climb him like a tree?”

“No!” Obie said firmly. “Just don’t you dare.” Then he turned at the sound of a familiar voice. There was his newest client, propped up on crutches.

“Hunter,” he heard Bri say as they approached. “This isn’t my thing. I’m happy to support the AIDS Research Council, but it’s getting late. I think I’m just going to head home.”

Obie was definitely surprised to see Bri here, but then, the evening was for a good cause. He liked that Bri cared enough to help out.

He was just about to go over and say something, but his friend beat him to it.

“Hi, I’m David.” He held out his hand to Bri. “You’re Bri Early, aren’t you? I’m sure I’ve seen you on television. You do those luscious commercials for Chanel. I went out and bought some, just because of you.” He leaned closer. “Want to check it out and see?” He pressed his upturned hand forward so Bri could supposedly smell his wrist.

“Knock it off,” Obie said. “Be nice. He doesn’t want to smell you.” He definitely needed to run a little interference.

“Yeah, none of us do,” Chippy added, much to David’s visible consternation. Chippy tugged David in the direction of the bar as Monty joined Hunter, wrapping an arm around him.

“Dang, half of gay Philly is here tonight.” Monty looked up at Hunter, his partner. “I think I need to mark you, just so all the trolling queens will keep their damn distance,” he said, louder than was necessary. The circle of guys inching their way closer seemed to back away a little, but not for long. It seemed they had their sights on Bri as well.

“I know. Thanks, Hunter, for coming to our rescue,” Obie said. “I thought we’d be in that line forever.”

“Speaking of rescues, do you think you could give me a little help?” Bri glanced around, his deep brown eyes a little dazed as the vultures seemed to close in.

“No problem.” Obie walked to his left side, taking Bri’s arm. “Let’s see if we can find a table.” Obie gave the onlookers his best “He’s with me, bitches” look and guided his new client over to a table with a Reserved sign on it. Hunter slid right in with Monty, and Obie made sure Bri got settled before he took a place next to him.

“What can I get you?” a buff server asked, a black T-shirt, at least two sizes too small, straining over his chest and biceps.

“Club soda with lime,” Bri ordered.

“I’ll have the same. I need to make sure I can get my friends home in one piece.” Obie thanked the server as he was leaving.

“They seem a little feral,” Bri said, and Obie chuckled. Damn, he couldn’t help it.

“They’re good guys, believe it or not. Even if they’re a little over the top sometimes.” He turned to see David and Chippy on their way over, each with their hands full.

 

About the Author


Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

Looking for Your Next Contemporary Romance? Check Out Kicking Up My Heels…in Heels (Kev #3) by Liam Livings (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Kicking Up My Heels…in Heels

Series: Kev, Book Three

Author: Liam Livings

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 11, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 67300

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, gay, Cross-dressing, drag queens, AIDS, new adult

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

It’s the year 2000 and Kev’s twenty. He’s a proper grown up now. Maybe. He knows what he’s doing. And what he’s doing isn’t what he wants to be doing. He’s working in TK Maxx and instead he wants to be singing and dancing and bantering and laughing on stage. He. Loves. It. And they pay him too!

Kev’s continued search for his Prince Charming leads him to look in all the wrong places for all the wrong men and, inevitably, gets him in something of a pickle: physically, emotionally, and medically too.

But his mum and friend Tony are there to help pick up the pieces when it all falls apart as it so often does with Kev.

Optimism, a plan, and being really good at performing on stage, drive Kev forward. After all, he’s been performing off stage all his life.

Contains gay pride marches, multiple incidents of alcohol-induced idiocy, friends and family who stick with you no matter what you do, a lot of showtunes and camp humour, and a complete absence of smartphones and social media. He’s Kev, fly him.

Excerpt

Kicking Up My Heels…in Heels
Liam Livings © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
November 1999

Kieran and Jo were back from uni in London for half term, autumn term, or some term or another, and I met them in Salisbury for a drink and a good gossip. I met them in full Ginger Spice outfit. During the day. Yes. Part of the I am Kev hear me roar approach Tony and I had come up with, I was trying this new fearless, notice the fear and do it anyway thing, on for size. It seemed to suit me actually. It was also two big fingers up at my ex-boyfriend Aaron and his vile comments to me about dressing up, and the whole Arthur or Martha thing. Well, I wanted to dress as both Arthur and Martha, depending on how the mood took me, so Aaron and anyone else who didn’t like that could stick it.

Ever since Daddy Do Nothing, as Mum and I referred to him, had come back into my life, then disappeared again, just as quickly, it has spurred me on to dress more. It was a sort of two fingers up to Daddy Do Nothing too. An “I don’t need your approval, I know what I’m about, and I am fabulous, so you can disappear to your village and back to your new girlfriend and stepdaughter, and I’ll be fabulous over here”. All of that. His rejection to my cross-dressing had inadvertently brought out the flag waving slightly military—as in strong, organised, standing up for my rights not as in part of the actual army—drag queen in me.

Some people in my life had been more accepting of it than others. Jo, in particular, was always a bit sniffy about what I wore, and when I wore it, but he wasn’t really one of my friends, he just came as a set of two with Kieran. Of course, I wouldn’t ever tell Kieran that, I’d never want to upset him, so I simply bit my tongue and ignored Jo’s comments, or how he sometimes excluded me from things with his subtle and slimy excuses. It wasn’t worth making a fuss, not for Kieran’s sake. But today, when I was meeting both Kieran and Jo, I knew what I had to do. I knew I had to dress to both impress and make an impression. If I could stand on stage and sing to a packed pub, I sure as hell could walk into a pub dressed like a real woman and order a few drinks.

I finished my realistic makeup, adjusted my red wig with a bleached stripe, just like Ginger Spice’s hair. I checked there was enough padding for my bra to make an impression under the little Union Flag dress I’d run up for myself exactly like Geri Halliwell had, by sewing a tea towel onto the front of a little black strappy dress. I pursed my lips, reapplied red lipstick, added a touch more blue eye shadow in both a homage to the blonde one from Abba, and Geri, obviously, and I was ready to go. I clumped my way downstairs in the black platform boots I’d bought with my staff discount from TK Maxx.

I swept past Mum in the kitchen.

She was drying some crockery at the sink with a spotless tea towel. She put the mug down. “Don’t take this the wrong way, love. You look fabulous. Honestly, it’s the ginger one from that girl group, isn’t it? Where do you think you’re going like that, love?”

“I told you. I’m seeing Kieran and Jo, in town.”

“Singing afterwards?”

“Nope. Just them, then I’ll be home. It won’t be a late one. Promise.”

She looked me up and down, trying to take in what she saw before her. She pursed her mouth. “So, what’s with the outfit, love? Seems like a lot of effort for a drink with some friends. I worry about you, what people say. Some others are like that Aaron you went out with.” She paused, clasping her hands together in front of herself. “Sadly.”

I’d already explained to her my I am Kev hear me roar, and she knew how upset Dad’s disappearance had made me, so I simply said, “I am not letting people like Dad or Aaron, make me ashamed of who I am. I am who I am and I’m doing it more and more.” I put my hands on my hips and thrust my fake bosoms towards her. “All right?”

She nodded slowly. “Just you take care, love. I don’t want anyone hurting you. Watch where you park. Walk where it’s lit. Don’t cut along by the river. That’s dark this time of year, and you never know the sort of people who hang around the industrial entrance out the back of Argos. Watch yourself.”

“Promise.”

She tapped her cheek.

I kissed her cheek then jumped into my car, checking my reflection one last time in my mirror, brushing aside a minor doubt about whether I was doing the right thing, and drove to the nearest car park to the sports pub where I’d asked them to meet me.

There was no need for me to worry, I was well used to doing female impersonations by now in public. Kieran and Jo were full of uni talk, as expected, but they seemed to be enjoying it, so I was pleased for them. Jo gave me a few looks and made some comments, as I knew he would, but I easily brushed them aside. And a man mistook me for a real woman, so that made my day. I’d passed, as they say in cross-dressing circles. My first passing.

I only felt slightly scared once as I tottered loudly on my heels back to the car, using the long route through town. I came across a big group of teenagers on the corner by the bank on the way to the market square. I debated crossing the road and then decided they’d know I was scared, so instead, flicked my hair over my shoulder, stuck my fake bosoms up, and clip-clopped through the middle of them with a few words about being sorry and could I squeeze through. A few of them looked up and looked back at me again—I saw them in the reflection of shop windows as I continued tottering to the car—but no more. I held my head high. If anyone had started anything, I was in a busy bit of town, which even that late was full of people, and after a few loud screams, I was sure they’d have run away, most bullies being cowards in disguise really.

So, battle fought and won, now for the next one.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Liam Livings lives where east London ends and becomes Essex. He shares his house with his boyfriend and cat. He enjoys baking, cooking, classic cars and socialising with friends. He has a sweet tooth for food and entertainment: loving to escape from real life with a romantic book; enjoying a good cry at a sad, funny and camp film; and listening to musical cheesy pop from the eighties to now. He tirelessly watches an awful lot of Gilmore Girls in the name of writing ‘research’.

Published since 2013 by a variety of British and American presses, his gay romance and gay fiction focuses on friendships, British humour, romance with plenty of sparkle. He’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. With a masters in creative writing from Kingston University, he teaches writing workshops with his partner in sarcasm and humour, Virginia Heath as http://www.realpeoplewritebooks.com and has also ghost written a client’s 5 Star reviewed autobiography.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Release Blitz for In Case You Missed It (#lovehim #3) by S.M. James (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: In Case You Missed It

Author: S. M. James

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Genre/s: YA LGBT romance

Heat Rating: 1-2 flames

Length: 98 000 words/400 pages

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: February 12, 2019

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

 

 

Blurb

Brooks is convinced his life is totally, one hundred percent happy. 

Until Darien tracks him down.

Darien was supposed to be the guy he kissed once and remembered forever, but now he’s back in Brooks’s life, with easy smiles and big ideas.

The first of which … show the homeschooled Brooks everything he’s missed out on. But as the pair work through a spring of playing catch up on life, it becomes obvious to Darien that Brooks has a secret. 

And as things heat up between them, Brooks’s secret might just be Darien’s worst fear.

Because Darien has always lived in the moment. 

But Brooks has always lived for the future he knows is inevitable. 

When life is set to tear them apart, will love be enough to keep them together?



All books in the #lovehim series are stand alones. The series number is the recommended reading order.

 

Excerpt

We cross the front of the school, head past the football field, and into the courtyard. It’s eerily quiet, with filtered sunlight and a soft breeze breaching the concrete quad.

Darien heads for a bench that runs along the base of an enormous tree and flops down onto it. I sit next to him and silence settles gently over my shoulders. The courtyard is surrounded by buildings on three sides, and I vaguely remember one of them as the science wing.

“So this is where you’d eat at breaks on a nice day. Cameron and Chels sit there, and some of the others here, and over there.” He points to an opposite bench. “We’d sit right here, of course. Since you’d be in all the nerd classes, we’d be inseparable over break.” He grips the back of the bench and leans into his hands, grinning over at me.

I swing a leg over the back of the bench so I’m facing him. “And you’d be such a shameless flirt, I’d have to find new friends to save you the embarrassment.”

“No point.” He shrugs. “I’d just follow you there too.”

The thing is, I believe him. I don’t know how anyone can be so effortless about how they feel. He doesn’t try to hide it, but he doesn’t push me either, and the fact he can be so unashamedly into me, makes me want to give him more.

But he’ll get over it. And I have to help him.

I lean away from him a little. “So, is there anyone here who’s caught your eye?”

“There’s this one guy …”

His tone makes me arch my eyebrow. “He wouldn’t be me, would he?”

“See? You’re too damn smart.”

I duck my head as I hold back a laugh. “Seriously though. Nothing is going to happen between us, so it’s okay if you find someone else.”

“Yeah, we’re not doing this.”

I frown. “What do you mean?”

“We’ve been over this, like, a thousand times. Jesus, Brooks, I get it. I just want to spend time with you, as friends, and I don’t need you trying to push me onto someone else.”

“Darien …” I reach for his arm and he shrugs me away. “I’m sorry.”

“Good. Now no more mentioning that shit, okay? My memory is fine, I can make my own damn decisions.”

“You’re right.” But how does he make the right decision when I’m keeping a huge part of myself from him? I take a couple of short breaths, the very real possibility of telling him, looming at the front of my thoughts.

“Here.” Darien finally takes off his backpack and unzips it. He’s packed a heap of food, some I haven’t seen before, and he slides away from me on the bench to set it out between us. “Dig in.”

Lunch is delicious, and I try some of everything. Darien talks me through some of the foods his mom made, like zelnik and tulumba, and it’s so damn good, I’d hang out with him just for the food. After a week of barely eating I don’t hold back, but I didn’t bring my enzyme tablets with me, so it’s close to pointless.

Darien takes some more photos after lunch as we explore the school. He fills me in on little bits and pieces about his first two weeks, and we wind up under the bleachers. He dives into his bag again and pulls out two cigarettes.

I give him a flat look. “Fuck no.”

He smirks. “Goodie two shoes.”

“Nope.” I shake my head, trying to think of how I can get him to put those freaking things away. “I just don’t see the point in sucking on something that can fucking kill you.” My words come out way harsher than I mean, but if he starts on one of those things, I’m leaving him here.

His dark eyebrows furrow, and something goes on behind his eyes that I can’t quite make out, but he just shrugs and grinds the smokes into the ground. “Thank the lord. Don’t think I could have stomached it, even for you.”

I relax a little, though I’m not sure I really believe the words.

He steps closer. “You know, there are other things people do under the bleachers …”

It takes me a second to catch up, and my focus automatically drops to his lips. My stomach is a riot as I try not to focus on how good our first kiss was, all those months ago.

Darien smirks and steps back, breaking my runaway thoughts. He pulls a marker from his bag. “We have to mark we were here, otherwise it doesn’t count.”

“That, I can do.” I take the marker from him and uncap it with a click. Reaching above my head, I hesitate a second, trying to figure out what to write. In the end, I go simple.

BL + DM.

“Those letters look good together,” Darien says. His voice is low and warm and reminds me of summer. His fingers slide down mine as he takes the marker from me.

He reaches up and his shirt pulls higher on his back, leaving this smooth strip of brown skin exposed. The pull to touch him is so strong. I need to feel his skin under my fingertips. It’s a physical battle to hold back, and just as I’m about to fold,

To reach,

To touch,

To give in to him, Darien finishes up, and steps back to survey his work. I blink a few times to try and lessen the fog in my head, then turn my focus up.

He’s drawn a heart around our initials.

 

 

 

About the Author 

S. M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

​​Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.

 

Author Links

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Giveaway 

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$30 Amazon gift card (AU or US only)

2 x paperbacks (That Feeling When or To Be Honest) (International)

3 x eBooks (That Feeling When or To Be Honest) (International)

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