A Stella Release Day Review: A Model Escort by Amanda Meuwissen

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

 

What’s the value of love? Shy data scientist Owen Quinn is brilliant at predictive models but clueless at romance. Fortunately, a new career allows him to start over hundreds of miles from the ex he would rather forget. But the opportunity might go to waste since this isn’t the kind of problem he knows how to solve. The truth is, he’s terrible at making the first move and wishes a connection didn’t have to revolve around sex. Cal Mercer works for the Nick of Time Escort Service. He’s picky about his clients and has never accepted a regular who is looking for companionship over sex—but can the right client change his mind? And can real feelings develop while money is changing hands? Owen and Cal might get to the root of their true feelings… if their pasts don’t interfere.

 

A Model Escort was the first book I read by Amanda Meuwissen and it won’t be the last. I fell into this beautiful story so easily I too soon was reading the last chapter and I so wanted to restart it again and again.

Sure, some of you can obviously think there’s nothing new in the plot, just an already seen plot, a “Pretty Woman” (or better say “Man”) retelling; and you’re right, I thought it too but that’s exactly why I picked it. Have no fear, there will be some surprises.

The reason why I loved A Model Escort so much stays in the main characters, I adored Cal and Owen deeply, their pasts, their futures together. The author did an amazing job with them, I was able to know so much, how they suffered from different and at the same time, similar reasons, how they were able to escape and be strong and build their new lives. Plus the author gave me many second characters, all of their friends, families, coworkers, bosses. And they were never too many, cause I felt them all supportive and positive.

I appreciated how Owen and Cal took their times, they were of course attracted to each other, but being things a little complicated, they waited and it was simply perfect. They were funny, sexy, cute. And although they were so different, they were open and never judgemental versus the other.

I feel to highly recommend this novel, I loved it from the start till the ending. I give up, I think I’m going to reread it right this second.

The cover art by Bree Archer is simple and fitting, but it’s not so eye catching as the covers I usually love

SALE LINKS   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 184 pages

Published March 5th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ASIN B07NND1YR8

Edition Language English

 

A MelanieM Review: Magic Fell (The Mages’ Guild Trilogy #1) by Andi Van

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Past and present are about to collide, and the world will never be the same.

Magic has been missing from the world for a millennium, and it’s needed now more than ever. It falls to young Tasis Kadara to revive the fabled Mages’ Guild of the Dragon’s Claw. But in a culture where arcane power is forbidden and practitioners are executed, Tasis will have to keep his own aptitude for magic secret. With nothing to direct them besides bizarre dreams and a mysterious cat, Tasis and his sister Zaree undertake a quest to discover the hidden island that was once home to the guild.

Kelwin Tiovolk departs his village following his mentor’s suggestion. As an elf wandering into human civilization, he’s in danger simply for being who he is. A brawl at an inn leads him straight into the path of the young man he’s been dreaming about, and he’s compelled to help Tasis and his sister any way he can. Together, the trio might have a chance of accomplishing their mission—or the attempt might kill them.

I walked backwards into this series with a call to review the final story in this trilogy.  One look at that blurb and I was hooked!  You see I have loved high fantasy and dragons since I can remember, reading the books of Anne McCaffrey and her Dragonriders of Pern or Ursula K. LeGuin and her Wizard of Earthsea.  And there were so many more that started me for my craving for high fantasy and elves, and magic, and lands so wondrous that I wanted to live there and never leave.

Well, Andi Van has written another trilogy that I would have adored finding at that age and actually any age.  This YA high fantasy novel is beautifully written, with great world building and characters that continue to show growth and depth as the story moves through the trilogy arc.  It’s also just fast paced enough that you can feel as though you’ve had a chance to “look around” and enjoy the highlights and jewels of each scene and new character while never fretting that the story is lagging about the need to drive to the all important final narrative destination.

In other words, the plot is beautifully balanced between the need for speed/action and the love of story and character.  Both are looked after and flourish here.

I love, love all the characters here.  The three main characters of half elf Tasis Kadara, his sister Zaree Muna, and full elf Kelwin Tiovolk  each get their own assignments in this trilogy of saving the world.  Tasis has the first installment, when the wait of one thousand years is over and he has a role to play.

We are giving the heartbreaking beginning and the devastation that begins the wait.  Then we go forward in time to Tasis and his sister Zaree.  I won’t go into  spoilers here.  But as I said the world building is gorgeous and so well done.  And the author will continue to expand on it as the story and trilogy continues.  The relationship dynamics between brother and sister,  brother and Kelwin, Kelwyn and the siblings are realistic, connectable, and scenes so remarkable in the interactions with each other that I  just thoroughly enjoyed it.

With regard to any romance or sexual relationship?  Not really. This is truly a YA story, a young YA story because the only romance is an acknowledgement of tender feelings between Kelwin and Tallis, and finally a kiss. And a lovely chaste kiss at that.  One to make you laugh and cheer a bit.  But that’s it.

No here the fantasy story about magic, the search for knowledge and something bigger ….that’s the focus and oh, how it works.

Here be Dragons!  Here’s a story not to be missed!  A trilogy in fact.  Two more reviews to come.  I highly recommend this to all ages and lovers of dragons, magic, elves, and all that includes, magical cats included.  How could I forget him?

Cover Artist: AngstyG.  Beautiful cover.  I adore it.

Sales Links: Barnes & NobleHarmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 190 pages
Published May 19th 2016 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN 1634768817 (ISBN13: 9781634768818)
Edition Language English
Series The Mages’ Guild Trilogy

Magic Fell

Magic Wept

Magic Triumphed

A Stella Release Day Review: Stealing His Heart (Connoll Pack #1) by Bru Baker

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

 

Love sneaks in like a thief in the night. Danny’s parents raised him to believe his wolf was a curse. He’s part of the wealthy and powerful Connoll Pack, but only nominally. He abandoned that world to volunteer with supernatural kids, and he isn’t looking for a mate…. Max is a shifter who is also a detective. He’s working a case that could make or break his career. Danny’s caught up in the case he’s on, and he’s also irresistible. They’re a bad match—Max, an Alpha having trouble with his new powers and Danny, who trusts Alphas as far as he could throw one. But they can’t get enough of each other, and they might bond before they even see it coming. They could be amazing together, but they have to get past a few obstacles—especially since someone close to Danny might be involved in the thefts Max is investigating.

 

It’s been years since I read a Bru Baker story and as soon as I read the blurb of her new release, I was intrigued. I loved Stealing His Heart from the beginning, I found it very well done, both the romance and the mystery. There were great characters, main and second ones, all of them well defined, I’m so ready to read more about some of them and being this novel the first installment in the Connoll Pack series, I know I will get more and I’m enthusiastic.

The story between Max and Danny was easy to read and the plot engaging. It was different, especially their relationship which was well balanced through the alpha bond. The way they approached their mating, well pondered and not, as often happens in shifters stories, the spur of the moment of sex and attraction. I loved them dearly cause it was clear how good souls both of them were, how generous and ready to take serious risks for the safe of their friends. And then there were their families, imperfect and complicated like our real ones, with a lot of love to share, some messes to mend.

Stealing His Heart is a lovely story, full of feelings and laughs, I adored how Max and Danny bantered with each other, it was so easy to fall into their world and inlove with them.

The cover art by Aaron Anderson is not a favorite of mine among the artist works, but it’s simple and likeable.

SALE LINKS  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 240 pages

Published March 5th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ASIN B07M7FRHHG

Edition Language English

 

A MelanieM Review : Touch Of A Yellow Sun (Color of Love #2) by V.L. Locey

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Rating : 5 stars out of 5

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?

I just love this portrait of a deeply troubled man who just happened to be a hockey player, a sport that no matter how much he loved it brought out the worst in him.  From his anger issues to the expectations of the owners and fans, Marek and the manner in which he played “his” sort of game was the only way he could continue his career in hockey, no matter the level.

And when we start into the story, we see Marek at the lowest level of his career, the ECHL.  His actions, anger, and violence that followed him have sent him down the leagues from the NHL to the AHL on down to this his final team and last chance.  As well he knows.  Why Marek is so mired in his anger, so quick with his fists is something that the author slowly lets us in on.  Of course, it all starts with his childhood and a father he idolized lost to violence himself.

But the key to unlocking Marek lies with Shey, the yogi next door who will lead Marek to a path to understanding.  I loved Shey and his studio and of course that cat!  The calm and beauty of Shey seemed to seep right out of the story and my Kindle itself.  How could he not have an affect on Marek.

But it’s Marek and the painfully hurt boy inside that will grip the reader’s heart.  The one that never got over his loss, the one that felt tossed away, and abandoned, that’s the one that we come to feel so deeply for.  He’s so real, so twisted up inside.  And that makes his slow revelations about himself, his history, Shey, and their relationship even more rewarding.

Truly, VL Locey makes us feel the warmth of the sun as it starts to settle over Marek and Shey after a long winter of cold and perhaps deprivation.

This may be one of my favorite books of hers yet.

For me, it has everything.  A memorable plot, two characters I can’t get out of my head, and a ending that I’m still smiling about.

More please.

Cover Design: Designs By Sloan.  I love this cover.   That face is stunning and Marek all the way.

Sales Links:

Universal Buy Link

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | KOBO | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Book Details:

ebook
Published February 27th 2019
Edition Language English
Series Colors of Love #2

Lost in Indigo

Touch Of A Yellow Sun

An Alisa Review: Shadowmancer (Paladin Charm #1) by Devin Harnois

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Marius Everhart is something even mages fear — a shadowmancer. His power marks him as cursed, a creature belonging to the Queen of Shadows. Marius escaped her realm with his memories corrupted and his sanity in tatters, managing to live a fragile, lonely existence at the edges of society.

Some might call Ayodele Sauveterre delusional. He prefers the term “optimistic”. With his homeland in danger from invasion, Ayodele will do anything to protect it, even recruit a shadowmancer. Marius’s incredible power and gentle nature make him a perfect addition to Paladin Charm, a new mage guild dedicated to helping rather than exploiting the non-magical populace. The fact that handsome Marius also warms Ayodele’s bed is a wonderful bonus.

With support from Ayodele and his new friends in the guild, Marius begins to heal. He’s also quickly falling for the alluring mage, but Ayodele struggles with what’s forming between them. Past experience left Ayodele flippant but guarded, and Marius’s open honesty unnerves him.

As they grow closer, Paladin Charm prepares for a battle with impossible odds. And in the darkness, the Queen of Shadows waits to reclaim Marius and drag him back into a nightmare.

This was a great beginning to a new series.  Marius is feared for what he is, even if it isn’t something he can change and he is just like a puppy underneath.  Ayodele lived under a guild that he now wants to fight against while trying to convince those in his homeland that magic (and Marius) aren’t necessarily bad.

This was a very interesting world, though at times I wished I would have more background, I felt I was just told how things were and not reasons for it.  Many of the names in the story are a bit fanciful to me and the longer they are or if they were being used a lot sometimes made me have to really focus on the story to know what was going on.

I felt for Marius from the beginning, you could easily see he just wants somewhere to call home and to be even somewhat accepted.  I hurt for him when all the thought he deserved was semi-tolerance.  Now Ayodele, I know he means well but he doesn’t always go about it the best way.  He seems to expect a lot to be so because it’s what he wants and while it hurt Marius I think that it helped him to realize that a bit.  I look forward to reading more about these two in the next book.

I loved the cover art by Kanaxa and the many visuals from the book.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 178 pages

Published: March 5, 2019 by October Night Publishing

Edition Language: English

Series: Paladin Charm #1

Don’t Miss Out on the Series Finale on the Kings of Hell MC. Check out the Release Blitz for In The Arms Of The Beast (Kings of Hell MC #5) by K.A. Merikan

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 105,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Kings Of Hell MC Series
 

Book #1 – Laurent & The Beast – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – My Dark Knight – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – On Your Knees Prospect – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #4 – Gray’s Shadow – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 
— The real demons live within —



Laurent. Time traveller. Devoted husband. Stubborn as the devil himself.
Beast. Kings of Hell MC president. Will stop at nothing to protect his family.


After everything Baal put them through, neither Laurent nor Beast considered ever making another pact with a demon, but in the spur of the moment, temptation becomes too great, and they decide on one more deal.


This time, with Mr. Magpie.


But the gift might prove to be more than they can handle. The danger to the human world has already strained their relationship, but Magpie’s offering brings out the worst in both Laurent and Beast. Confronted with each other’s flaws, they need to decide if, despite all they’ve been through together, perhaps they’re just not meant to be.


With the world on the brink of collapse, and their pact binding them in new and unexpected ways, they have to put their differences aside to stand a chance at saving their family.




POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Themes: motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, tattoos, secrets, crime, gothic, opposites attract, biker, commitment, family, sacrifice, relationship issues, established couple
Genre: Dark, paranormal M/M romance
Content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes
Length: ~105,000 words (Book 5 in the series)


FINAL BOOK IN THE SERIES. NOT A STANDALONE.


WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride.


K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.


FACEBOOK PROFILE
K.A. MERIKAN’S TWITTER (RUN BY KAT)
AGNES MERIKAN’S TWITTER
K.A. MERIKAN ON GOODREADS
PINTEREST
M/F ROMANCE BY MISS MERIKAN

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Love Your Romance with a Touch of the Paranormal? Check out the Release Blitz for The Rising (Badlands #2) by Morgan Brice (excerpt and giveaway)

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Book Title: The Rising (Badlands, Book 2)

Author: Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Natania Barron

Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Release Date: February 13, 2019

Can be read as a standalone

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Kobo

Nook/B&N

Blurb

A big storm is brewing, there’s a killer on the loose, and the ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless. Psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his sexy cop boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato have their hands full helping the Grand Strand brace for rough surf, driving rain and high winds as a winter storm roars toward shore.

Everyone’s on edge, and rumors are rampant about sightings of Blackcoat Benny, a ghostly omen of danger, and worse, the Gallows Nine, the spirits of nine infamous criminals hanged back in the 1700s, a harbinger of disaster. Rough tides wash the wreck of an old pirate ship into shallow waters, high winds threaten to damage an old mansion with a dark past, and the citizens of the beach town hunker down to ride out the storm.

As the skies grow dark and the sea turns wild, several men from prominent local families end up dead under suspicious circumstances. Simon’s premonition confirms Vic’s gut feeling—the killing is just getting started. As Simon tries to reach out to the spirits of the murdered men to help the investigation, he’s attacked by malicious ghosts that don’t want anyone getting in the way of their long-overdue vengeance.

With the storm hammering the coast, and new victims piling up, Simon is certain that the sins and secrets of the past are coming due, and that the murders have a supernatural link. Vic and Simon race to stop the murders against an unholy deadline, but as they battle rising tides and risen ghosts, can they save the intended victims without getting trapped themselves.

Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide (not main characters)

Excerpt 

Grand Strand Ghost Tours didn’t just arise from Simon’s passion for myth, legend, and folklore; it was rooted in his abilities as a psychic medium. Sure, the ghost tours were largely entertainment, but Simon also gave private psychic readings and conducted séances by appointment. Along with the books he wrote about ghosts and the speaking engagements he provided for local organizations, Simon had managed to create a thriving business. He leaned against the railing, enjoying a moment of contentment.

Or maybe, the calm before the storm, a little voice in the back of his mind warned.

His phone buzzed, and Simon pulled it from his pocket and smiled. “Hey. Miss me?”

“Always.” Homicide lieutenant Vic D’Amato’s voice was a husky rumble. “I just wanted to check what time you finish up tonight. Figured it was my turn to pick up dinner.” The tone in Vic’s voice promised far more than food, and Simon felt the anticipation go right to his dick.

“I should be finished around seven. It’s off-season, so no tours on Mondays. You have a busy day lined up?” Simon asked as he started walking toward his favorite coffee shop.

“Not yet, and I’m hoping it stays that way,” Vic replied. “It’s never a good thing when we’re busy.”

“Let me know if you hear anything official about the storm. I’ve heard six different forecasts, and I haven’t even gotten coffee yet.”

“Sure thing—but don’t expect anything dependable yet. We’re too far out.”

Simon knew how changeable forecasts could be so close to the ocean. Still, Myrtle Beach had barely gotten back on its feet after the last hurricane, so the news of another severe winter storm—hurricane or not—had everyone on edge.

“Be careful out there,” Simon said, letting his voice drop to a growl. “I love you.”

“Love you, too. Stay out of trouble.”

Despite the forecasts, Simon couldn’t help feeling a spring in his step after talking with Vic. They’d been together for less than a year, but Simon was finding it more and more difficult to remember what life was like before meeting his handsome homicide cop. Vic had officially moved into Simon’s retro blue bungalow after the holidays, and while they were still working out their new living situation, Simon had never been happier.”

“The boardwalk might not be busy, but Le Mizzenmast, Simon’s favorite coffee shop, was always bustling. The locals called it Le Miz, not to be confused with the musical. The building had previously been a pirate-themed attraction, and when Tracey Cullen took over, she couldn’t afford to remodel, so she just incorporated the pirate decor into her theme and went with it.

“Hi, Simon!” Tracey called with a wave from behind the register. “You want the usual?” When Simon nodded, Tracey turned to her barista. “One Dread Pirate Roberts and a mocha please!”

Simon took his place in line, remembering how he and Vic had met right here, waiting for coffee. Simon had taken one look at Vic’s muscled body, his dark brown eyes, and the ink on his arms and felt an instant attraction. After all these months and several hair-raising adventures, the magnetism had only gotten stronger. Being in love felt wonderful, and Simon resolved to enjoy every minute of it.”

Excerpt From: Morgan Brice. The Rising: A Badlands Novel.

About the Author

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Other books include Witchbane, Burn, Dark Rivers, and Badlands. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Group

Pinterest (for Morgan and Gail) 

Twitter: @MorganBriceBook

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Touch Of A Yellow Sun(Color of Love #2) by V.L. Locey

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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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Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star review here.