A MelanieM Review: Gage (Redemption #2) by J.J. Harper

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Gage is happy, happier than he thought possible. He has Wolff Mannheim, the man he has always loved, even when he hated him, back by his side and in his bed. He is confident that their relationship can only grow stronger as they continue to rediscover each other.

When a letter appears after twelve years of silence from the family that disowned him and cast him out, he has Wolff to lean on. The contents of the letter have left Gage reeling but also have him reuniting with his estranged sister. When the shocks keep coming, it forces Gage back to his family home—a place he never thought he would return to. At least, this time, he has Wolff by his side as well as his sister.

As Gage faces the man who threw him carelessly away, he proves himself to be the better man, a stronger man, than the one forced away so many years earlier. With all his demons put to rest, can Gage live his life with his one true love?

This is book two in the Redemption Series and follows on immediately from Wolff, book #1.  While it can be read as a standalone, it’s best enjoyed reading in order. Contains some very steamy man-on-man loving and is advised for 18+ only.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to find in the follow up story after reading Wolff, but I found that I actually connected far better to Gage (Redemption #2) by J.J. Harper than I did the initial novel.  As I stated in my review for Wolff, it felt like that story, told by both main characters in alternating povs, was as much about Gage as it was Wolff, so why the title?

Here is Gage it’s clear that the main subject matter is indeed Gage,his past, and any affect it will have on his future with Wolff.  The story  picks up almost immediately after the envents of Wolff and their new commitment to each other.

While this is no instant love (can’t be with their background), it does read as a zero to sixty sort of  “erasing of years of hatred, emotional turmoil, severe nightmarish memories”.   Gage tried to commit suicide over the event that Wolff caused. Now they are humping like adorable bunnies in love.  Yes, that much sex.  They barely make to the office.  Which is where I have another issue with this being an unrealistic story.  Or at least one with flags.

Gage has been newly promoted to partner.  Wolff is a new hire in Gage’s old position.  Gage is now his boss.  So new positions for both men, unequal power distribution for starters, Gage has a admin who not only knows both men but is privy to knowledge that caused all the hurt and devastation to begin with.  And throughout the story, both men seem incapable of keeping their personal relationship separate from their business one. Gage ignoring work, snapping at his admin, giving work to Wolff that should have gone to someone else.  It’s unprofessionsal and the author doesn’t address any of this, which makes both their jobs seem like they are “tv lawyers” with all the authenticity that carries.

My favorite section of the story deal’s with Gage’s past, which returns in a huge way.  I loved the element with his sister and his mother, thought that was well done.

Also as interesting was the continuing threads with the best friends on both sides, Bannon and Theo.  Theo’s is left hanging with lots of speculation and I expect it will be addressed in the next or future stories to come.  The story with Jasper and Bannon and the abusive ex boyfriend was laid down neatly at the end  and i look forward to that one in the next book to come.

I think my issues with both Wolff and Gage is that I expect a little more authenticity within the worldbuilding, that includes contemporary stories.  Make me believe that they are lawyers, have them act professionally.  Same with emotional issues.  I thought the way Gage’s feelings towards his mother was handled beautifully.  Far more realistically than the manner in which he suddenly overcame his “deep seated hatred” of Wolff in the first story.

Other readers won’t have this problem and will love this continuation of this relationship.  With both books out, it’s easy to read one right after the other as they flow nicely together.  I’m looking forward to the next in the series.  If you enjoy contemporary romance, check these out.

Cover art works for Gage.  I like the tones and composition.  Great job.

Sales Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N6CCJ6R

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N6CCJ6R

Universal link : mybook.to/Gagebk2

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 171 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by Self Publisher
ISBN 139781794164840
Edition Language English
Series  Redemption #2

A Free Dreamer Review: Foreign to You by Jeremy Martin

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The harmony between humans and fianna, a species of shape-shifting deer, begins to wither as racial tensions and deeply rooted resentment turns violent.

Ruthless hunter Finn Hail and prophesied liberator Adelaide may be heroes to their own species, but they are enemies to each other. With war on the horizon, the reluctant pair must team up to find the most elusive of prey: the god of the Forest.

As enemies press in from all sides, true intentions begin to show. For Finn to save the boy he cares for most, he might need to aim his gun at the very god he seeks. And Adelaide, with her festering hatred for mankind, will have to determine if peace holds true salvation for her people.

First of all, I have no idea why “Foreign to You” is classified as Young Adult. The protagonists are the right age, I guess, but the story itself really has none of the typical young adult themes. It’s a brilliant Fantasy novel for adults, but I wouldn’t sell this as Young Adult.

Also, this is a “Literary/Genre Fiction” title by Nine Star Press, which, in this case, means there’s next to no romance here. And there’s a warning for “scenes of bloody violence and the death of a secondary character”, which should be taken seriously as well. This is not a criticism at all, just letting people know what to expect.

I absolutely loved this book. It reminded me a little bit of “Greenwode” by J. Tullos Henning, mostly because of the Stag God and the important role of the forest in the story. But “Foreign to You” is High Fantasy and has a very different story line.

The writing style was truly poetic. I’m really impressed Jeremy Martin managed to keep it beautiful and natural. A lot of authors have tried and failed spectacularly. But this was simply wonderful and it fit the story perfectly. It did a great job of transporting me to a world that’s completely different to our own.

Shapeshifters aren’t exactly a new thing in fiction, but the author took a very unique approach to it. The world-building was excellent and really conveyed the horror of the shift from deer to human and back. It made me wince and cringe in sympathy. I really don’t think I want to be a Fianna.

The story itself was a very sad one. Finn has a crazy father, a dead mother and was forced to join up with the hunters. My heart really ached for him and his struggles. His grief was utterly heartbreaking to witness.

Of course Adelaide’s life isn’t exactly easy either, she faces a whole different set of problems. She’s the prophesied Maiden, come to save her kind. Too bad she has no idea how she’s supposed to do that. And having a human form isn’t all that great either. I loved how she discovered her human body and had to find new words and meanings for all sorts of things. I could actually relate to the newness of a body that’s so very different from what she’s used to, even though a human body is obviously the only thing I’ve ever had.

I usually don’t like completely evil villains, that have absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever and just exist to make life hell for everybody else. But yet again, the author excelled. Garth doesn’t have a single good cell in his body, but he was still a realistic, believable character with actual depth. The creepy twins he controls are yet another example of the type of villain I usually don’t like, but again, they worked perfectly for the story.

Honestly, “Foreign to You” was such an amazing book, I can’t possibly do it justice here. I can’t believe this is the author’s debut work, it’s incredibly polished and professional. If you like Fantasy and don’t mind your heart being broken, read this book. You won’t regret it. It was one of the first real highlights of my reading year so far.

I love the cover by Natasha Snow. At first glance, it looks beautiful and innocent. But the longer you look at it, the creepier it gets. A true work of art.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details: ebook, 299 pages

Published February 11th 2019 by NineStar Press

A Lila Review The Mercenaries of the Stolen Moon by Megan Derr

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

For twenty years Myra has served the High King, so familiar, respected, and envied the rest of the palace calls him the High Secretary. For twenty years he has kept his secrets buried, and after so long he dares to believe he has left his past behind. But during the Festival of Harmony, tragedy strikes, and Myra’s past is dragged into the present.
Once third in command of Fathoms Deep, Charlaine is used to shadows and secrets, but even he is shocked to learn what his best friend, and the man he secretly loves, has been hiding all these years. In the wake of a terrible tragedy, he doesn’t know what to do—except whatever it takes to help his friends.
Though Jac is a member of the Three-headed Dragons and primary bodyguard to the High Consort, she is used to being overlooked and underestimated. But she didn’t earn her spurs by backing down, and she’s not about to do so now—even if she must defy the High Throne itself to save the man she’s falling in love with.

The Mercenaries of the Stolen Moon is slower than the previous books. Perhaps due to the amount of plot twists in it. They don’t take away from the overall story but delayed the romance aspects.

I love triad stories but in this case Jac seems a bit in the peripheral of the relationship. The author does an excellent job bringing her in the established attraction between Myra and Charlaine but it still not enough.

The story isn’t all love and flowers but the battles, suffering, and adventures of the main characters are interesting and engaging. The world-build is exceptional and the cast as diverse as the author’s ideas.

This is a nice addition to the series. We get updates from all the previous characters and their current lives. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment.

The cover by John Coulthart follows the style of the previous ones. It’s pretty but not as detailed as the others.

Sale Links: LT3 | Amazon | Nook

Book Details:

ebook, 284 pages
Published: November 19, 2018, by Less Than Three Press
ISBN: 9781684313860
Edition Language: English

Series: Tales of the High Court
Book #1: The High King’s Golden Tongue
Book #2: The Pirate of Fathoms Deep
Book #3: The Heart of the Lost Star
Book #4: The Mercenaries of the Stolen Moon

An Alisa Review: The Romantic by Elodie Parkes

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When Ethan Goss decides to ease a broken heart by finding a new apartment, he never dreams that he’ll also find the love of his life.

Handsome Luke Kirby loves books so when he finds boxes of old and beautiful tomes in a dusty shop, he can’t resist buying them. To his delight one of them contains what he hopes will bring an end to his loneliness and heartache. As he prepares to cast an ancient prayer-spell to the god of love, across town Ethan Goss decides that moving to a new apartment will ease his broken heart.

With the help of an eccentric real estate agent, gorgeous Ethan goes to a viewing in the block where Luke lives.

When Luke meets Ethan in the lobby, it’s the start of a passionate love affair.

Fate hasn’t finished with the two handsome men—will true happiness evade them both?

Alright, this was an interesting premise and executed pretty well but it just seemed off to me.  I liked Luke’s openness to find love though how he felt so desperate for it after only a couple months was a little desperate and Ethan was kind of the same.

They both had an instant attraction and pretty much jumped in together.  I don’t know but I didn’t feel it, I get that they were pretty much meant to be soul mates but it just fell into place way too easily.  I always love a happy ending but it just came so fast it didn’t work in my head.

The cover art by Angela Waters is nice and I liked the visual of the character together.

Sales Links: eXtasy Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 79 pages

Published: January 4, 2019 by eXtasy Books

ISBN: 978-1-4874-2304-9

Edition Language: English

BLOG TOUR Salute to the Stud by Beth Laycock (Excerpt and giveaway)

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Salute to the Stud by Beth Laycock

Publisher: Rainbow Romance Press

Release Date: February 21, 2019

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance

Order here: Amazon only.

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NGRFKG9

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NGRFKG9

The novella will be only $0.99 on ebook during release-week and tour, February 21-27!

Synopsis:

Jasper is licking his wounds in paradise after being dumped, according to his ex, for someone more adventurous. The romantic Hawaiian getaway for two he booked hadn’t featured his sister as his plus one, but sometimes real life sucks.

For the two weeks he’s there his plans include hot dates with a sun lounger and working his way through the local craft beers. Nothing more.

Until he receives a sext from a wrong number. A mystery yoga instructor offering a private session to teach him the plow, and maybe even get plowed. Jasper’s never had a hookup with anyone before, but perhaps it’s time to prove his ex wrong.

One night with Tamal, no matter how hot it is, isn’t enough, yet that doesn’t change the fact this thing between them can’t last. Because time is running out. Jasper has to leave, has to return to London and real life.

Excerpt 

I had talked myself in then out of meeting up a thousand times. Then back in, because I wanted to see Tamal again – more than I probably should. But then the thought of seeing him again – of what we might do – had my breaths coming far too quickly and my skin itched like it had been stretched too thin. I knew nothing about the man I was meeting apart from the yoga and plowing bit if Tamal and the sexter were one and the same person. If they were then I was worrying unnecessarily because Tamal had been… A sigh escaped as the word ‘everything’ flittered through my mind. Stupid, getting carried away, and I

didn’t know what to wear. What if Tamal expected to give me an actual yoga lesson? What if I’d misunderstood the whole conversation?

My sister texted me to let me know she was having a great time at the waterfalls. So I texted her I was going out for a wander down the beach and would see he in the morning. Not a complete lie but not the whole truth. But some things my sister didn’t need to know.     

My bare feet sank into the sand as I strolled along the water’s edge. The waves crept up the beach and lapped at my feet. Goosebumps erupted up my legs, the water cool now the sun had disappeared. The tops of the waves glinted where the moonlight caught them, and a few stars twinkled like they were winking at me and in on my secret. The further I wandered the

quieter the sounds of the hotel became, to be replaced by the quiet rush of the sea and the high-pitched whistle of the frogs calling to each other that I still hadn’t got used to. Once I passed the bar lounge, there was nothing but palm trees and beach until the sand disappeared beneath a stretch of rocks. I climbed over them to find a single wooden shack with a coconut-style thatched roof, and the only thing visible in the secluded cove. If it hadn’t been for the window that glowed brightly against the inky night sky I’d have thought it was abandoned.

I hesitated. In or out? Told myself it was like a gay rite of passage – had to have at least one hookup in my dating life. And I wanted to see Tamal again. Fuck it. I strode up the beach like I owned the goddamned place. Like I would have done before Sam. Fake it till you make it, right?

Author Bio:

Beth Laycock’s books are influenced by her time living overseas as well as the gritty, urban landscape of the north of England where she grew up. She has been reading romance since she was old enough to tell herself that line every book lover does—just one more chapter.

As a teenager, she attempted to write her first novel, and many more since then are still gathering dust on her bookshelf. It wasn’t until she discovered the M/M genre that her muse showed up and refused to quit telling her stories about beautiful men finding love together. She hasn’t stopped scribbling them down since. Beth’s muse usually shows up when she is in the shower, is allergic to cleaning, rarely lets her watch TV, and insists she drinks copious amounts of coffee so she can turn caffeine into words.

When not writing or reading, Beth can be found procrastinating on social media or being dragged around the English countryside by her dog Freddie.

Author links:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bethlaycockwrites

Facebook: www.facebook.com/beth.laycock.writes

https://www.facebook.com/bethlaycockauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2188017221465443

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18580707.Beth_Laycock

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BethLaycock_

Website: https://bethlaycock.com

Newsletter: http://bethlaycock.com/newsletter

Pinterest: www.pinterest.co.uk/BethLaycockAuthor

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/beth-laycock

 

Giveaway:

Win a $10 Amazon gift card + an ebook copy of Miracle On Three Kings’ Day by Beth Laycock.

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Release Blitz How Not To Sin (Lovestrong #3) by Susan Hawke (excerpt and giveaway)

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How Not To Sin RDB Banner

How Not To Sin

LOVESTRONG Series, Book 3

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance

Release Date: 02.20.19

SinCover

BLURB


One regular guy who happens to be a preacher…


Reverend Dr. Gabe Samson doesn’t think he’s better than any of the people in his church, so please don’t put him on a pedestal. While he’s never hidden the fact that he identifies as bisexual, he’s never acted on it either. Gabe isn’t happy to learn that the sole reason he was hired to pastor the LGBT-friendly church was that the ruling elders wanted a safe poster child for inclusivity—in other words, they wanted the rainbow flag without letting it fly.


Plus one easygoing, new age kinda guy…


Seth Thomas owns Holistic Healing, a metaphysical shop and yoga studio. He’s never really been a relationship kinda guy, but only because he hasn’t met the right man yet. Seth is laid back and goes with the flow. When fate drops a hot preacher in his lap, why wouldn’t he accept the gift?


Equals a pair of men who click from the start.


The two men find it almost too easy to get together, especially Gabe, who is fully embracing his bi side for the first time. Nothing in life is simple though. While Gabe and Seth are busy falling in love, they face an anti-gay hate group, a divided church, and a ruling elder who is hell-bent on sowing discord. Between Gabe’s patient wisdom and Seth’s snark, the pair fight the growing drama with the strongest weapons in their arsenal: love and humor.


This is the third book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town, and the third in series. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance full of all the fun, fluff, and feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.


Note: This isn’t a trigger warning, but please be prepared for a few instances of ignorance and hate speech, and mentions of violence. This is a romance, not a sermon—but please keep in mind that the main character is a pastor dealing with real-life issues in his church and these truths are reflected in Gabe.

 


mybook.to/HowNotToSin

HNTS

HNTS-2

EXCERPT

“Come on, you know you want to try it.” Gabe’s eyes danced as he tried to get me to take a bite of his Rocky Mountain oysters. “Are you really going to sit there and pretend you’re not adventurous enough to take just one itsy bitsy taste?” His fork danced in front of my mouth, as if he were trying to tempt a baby into taking a bite.

“It’s not a matter of being adventurous so much as solidarity. A bro just doesn’t eat another dude’s balls—at least, not like this. Trust me, preach. There are far more fun and less gory ways to enjoy your ball-eating fetish.” I shuddered dramatically as I leaned my head back and to the side while I batted at his hand to push it away.

Gabe snorted then brought the fork to his mouth and made a big show of pulling the meat from the fork with his teeth. His moans were almost pornographic, especially when combined with the total sex face he was making—complete with his eyes rolling back into his head while his lashes fluttered like crazy.

“You do know that people are staring, right? You’re like that chick in that movie, you know the one… where that chick’s faking an orgasm in the middle of a crowded diner?” I thought for a second, trying to remember. Once I got Meg Ryan’s face in my mind, I was able to recall the movie. “When Harry Met Sally. Yeah, you’re totally pulling a Sally.”

He took a moment to casually blot his lips with a napkin before leaning forward with a raised brow. “Were they staring at me, though? Really? Or was it maybe the look on your face while you watched that caught their eyes, hmm?”

I shifted in my seat, trying to ignore the sudden tightness in my pants. “Definitely you. I guarantee you that I wasn’t looking turned on while I watched you nosh on testicles.” I pointed to the side of his mouth. “You’ve got a little sauce right there that your napkin missed.”

My pants grew a little tighter when that tongue darted from the side of his mouth to lick it away. I shook my head. “Nope, a little down and to the left.” I couldn’t help but grin at the facial contortions he was making as he tried to get rid of it. Shaking my head, I reached over the table with my own napkin and wiped his cheek.

Gabe caught my hand as I started to pull it away. Turning it over, he kissed the pulse point of my wrist while gazing up at me from under his ridiculously long lashes. When he spoke in a low rumble, I could swear that deep voice was liquid sex. “Will you promise to wipe me clean every time I get messy?” I blinked away a vision of me licking splatters of cum from his bare chest, then feeding it back to him as we kissed. Yeah, that imagery didn’t help the tight pants issue at all.

Note to self: don’t wear skinny jeans when going on a date with a sexy clergyman.

Pulling my hand back, I made a show of rolling my eyes. “I hope you enjoyed that, Pastor Babe. After watching you eat that foul food, I’m pretty sure that’s the only part of my body you’ll be kissing tonight.”

A corner of Gabe’s mouth twitched as his eyebrows shot up. “Are you really talking about kissing body parts in the middle of dinner? Shame, shame, Seth. I’m starting to think I can’t take you anywhere. Although, as first dates go? This is definitely one for the record books.”

Susan Hawke Logo

As an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.

I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly.

Amazon Author: https://amzn.to/2Hdgwvl

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

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