A MelanieM Review: No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession #1) by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A retired SEAL is about to face his toughest assignment yet. As a nanny…

Fixer. Bodyguard. Advocate. Brann Calder is expected to play all these roles and more as a member of Torus Intercession, a security firm guaranteed to right what’s wrong. In the military, catastrophe was his specialty. Five months out of the service, Brann is still finding his way, so a new assignment might be just what he needs. Unless it includes two things sure to make a seasoned, battle-trained veteran nervous: life in a small town, and playing caretaker to two little girls.

Emery Dodd is drowning in the responsibility of single fatherhood. He’s picked up the pieces after losing his wife and is ready to move on now, hopeful that his engagement to a local patriarch’s daughter will not only enrich his community but will grant his daughters some stability too.

The only thing standing in Emery’s way is that he can’t he seem to keep his eyes—and hands—off the former soldier he’s hired to watch his girls until the wedding.

Emery’s future is riding on his upcoming nuptials, but being with Brann makes him and his family feel whole again. Too bad there’s no way for them to be together.

Or is there?

No Quick Fix (Torus Intercession #1) is the quintessential Mary Calmes story. It has all the elements I love about her stories and characters, including the main character.    I can sit back, giggle over the dialog (always snapping smart, cute, and connectible) and just sink into the romance that I know is about to happen.  Plus the kids, great wonderful kids.  And a dog named Winston.  Ok, that did it upteen times over.

Brann Calder is Mary Calmes’ archetype hero.  He’s gorgeous, great at everything he does, kids and animals adore him (so do readers), he has a bruised heart wanting recovery and needs someone to love him. And a home.  Here the author dumps him into a job that will give him all three if everything works out…which of course they will eventually.  Because with a Calmes book it’s the journey to the end we know that’s coming.  How will they get there?

And who does it involve?

In this case (well, it’s not unusual with her novels) it takes a small town or village, all of whom we get to know.  From the women of the baseball team, to the captain of the Vol Fire Department, the people at the dinner and bakery, and the Veterinarian’s, we get to meet and like or love them all.  And they in turn love Brann, take him right to heart.

But before that?  It’s a family that is in sore need of a change of direction and heart. Emery Dodd and his two daughters (and one Westie) have several problems.  One the loss of a mother and wife that still haunts the family.  Two, Emery has agreed to a business arranged marriage for the betterment of the town and his family, whether they like it or not.  And nothing should stand in the way of that marriage going forward so perhaps a bodyguard is needed. Enter Brann Calder and an explosion of possibilities and fireworks.

If you are not familiar with how the classic Calmes main character acts, than watching Calder “superhero” his way through the town almost on day one will engender more than a few eyerolls.   But if you’re a lover of Jory and Sam, a reader of Frog, or Timing, or Marshals or I could keep going, then you know that’s the classic Calmes main man in action.  And we love him and her for it.

Because as he’s performing all these acts of bravery or compassion or whatever they may be, he’s also learning that he’s been missing out on something in his life and now it’s staring him in the face at every level, furred (dog), child, and man.  And a town that clearly needs him.

I’m so hooked every time.  From the moment he tiredly exits a car and ends up staring into a child’s daunting glare.  I’m there with him, especially as he meets that challenge and heads into the next, cuss words and all.  He had me at “shit”.  And “awesome”.

Love that whole family.

Wow, I’m torn between wanting more of Brann and this town and more of the other men in the Torus group who clearly need their own HEA.  Mary, can’t I have both? lol

And yes, I highly recommend this story and the author.  When I have need of a comfort read, a hero and a romance, Mary Calmes’ stories have often saved the day.  Adding another now.

Cover art: Reese Dante.  Yes, that is Brann Calder to the core. Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 289 pages
Published March 19th 2019
ASINB07PLJ65NT
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesTorus Intercession #1

An Ali Review: All Souls Near and Nigh (Soulbound #2) by Hailey Turner

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

You can’t bargain with death if you’ve already sold your soul.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been reassigned by the Supernatural Operations Agency to New York City. Navigating his new relationship with Jonothon de Vere, the werewolf he’s now soulbound to, is nothing compared to dealing with territorial disputes between the vampires and werecreatures who call the five boroughs home. But the delicate treaties that have kept the preternatural world in check are fraying at the edges, and the fallout is spilling into the mundane world.

Manhattan’s club scene is overrun with the vampire drug known as shine and the subways have become a dumping ground for bodies. When the dead are revealed as missing werecreatures, Patrick and Jono find themselves entangled in pack politics twisted by vampire machinations.

Learning to trust each other comes with problems for both of them, and the gods with a stake in Patrick’s soul debt aren’t finished with him yet. Bound by promises they can’t break, Patrick and Jono must find a way to survive a threat that takes no prisoners and is stalking them relentlessly through the city streets.

Old and new betrayals are coming home to roost but the truth—buried in blood—is more poisonous than the lies being spun. Trying to outrun death is a nightmare—one Patrick may never wake up from.

I loved this book.  Urban fantasy is my favorite genre and we rarely get true UF with the main characters having m/m relationships.  I had read the first book in this series and enjoyed it but felt it had a lot of problems with repetition and clunky world building.  I felt the writing was good but that it really needed better editing.  I almost didn’t try this but I had really enjoyed the characters themselves and felt the series had a lot of promise so I decided to give it another try.  I am so glad I did.  All of the issues I had with book one were absent here.  This was really well written and I felt there was a marked difference in the quality of this story.
 
I love the world the author has created and there are a lot of really interesting and well developed characters; both the two main characters, Jono and Patrick, as well as all of the side characters.  There are a lot of types of characters too which is always a bonus for me.  There are magic users, various types of shifters, vampires and gods.  The gods are one of my favorites and are not seen very often in most UF series so I find that a creative touch.  The author has done a great job of including gods from various cultures which I’m also a fan of.
 
The story is action packed and filled with twists and turns.  I found it all easy to follow though and I was immediately caught up in the plot and the new adventure these guys were on. 
 
The romance is lovely and is a unique twist on the fated mate trope.  I’m a sucker for fated mate stories and I’ve read a bunch of them.  This is the first time though that I’ve read fated mates that have a slow burn also.  These two know they’re fated to be together and they accept that but they’re taking their time developing their relationship and they stop and question different things.  They want to make sure they are clear on what things are the bond and what are their actual feelings.  They’re also very respectful of each other’s differences.  They have the potential to become a favorite couple of mine I think.
 
This could be read as a stand alone but I think you could easily follow along.  I would recommend you read book one first.  You meet all of the characters and it’s a good story overall.  This series is a must read if you like UF series with two male leads.  
 
Cover Art:  This cover was done by AngstyG and I love it.  I think it’s gorgeous and it really sets the vibe for the story and matches how I imagine Patrick. 
Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 374 pages
Published March 19th 2019
ASIN B07PLQBLH3
Edition Language English
Series Soulbound #2

A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Can two men find happiness in a country that doesn’t accept their love?

When Jack Calloway is transferred to his firm’s South Korean branch on Jeju Island, he’s assigned a valet, the beautiful but shy Song Woo-bin. He stirs feelings Jack has rarely experienced for another man, but everything seems to be against them—Jack is older and Song Woo-bin’s supervisor. He is just beginning to understand the new culture surrounding him even as he accepts his own desires for the first time, and Song Woo-bin is closeted, inexperienced, and estranged from his family. Their path to each other is full of obstacles and societal disapproval. Will the two men eventually come together amid the clash and complement of Eastern and Western culture… and find a home among the yuchae blossoms?

I have to say I was very conflicted when it came to writing my review for The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn.  One, this is the author’s debut novel and I thought Quinn did a wonderful job with several elements here.  It’s those sections that really raised this story up for me.  Primarily, the Korean setting, the author’s knowledge of the south Korean culture, use of language and settings which added not only considerable depth but obvious affection to the story and characters.

It made me want to visit several places Quinn mentioned, and I spend time searching out pictures of places and dishes to better familiarize myself with a place that already felt like a destination I needed to fly to.

On top of that?  Amazing secondary Korean and American characters that I seriously treasured, from one grandmother housekeeper to an Assistant who needed to be wearing a cape.  They came off real, personable, and compelling in their own right.

No, unfortunately my struggle here was with the main character of Jack Calloway, who, although supposedly familiar with the region, acted with all the finesse of a bull in a china chop.  Angry, borish, rude, with little regard to the Korean customs and people working for him.  Yes that changed ….mostly.    But here is a man who had a sister in a committed lesbian relationship  but left his son to live with his bigoted parents (they wouldn’t let her partner come for the holidays) for three years while he was going to be living in South Korea getting his “project” underway.  Really? With all those assistants, and you are leaving your son with them?  It was one thing after another that just kept me from connecting with this man.  Even to the end, it was other people keeping him out of jail and suggesting ways to thwart the “evildoers”.  Smh!

Song Woo-bin on the other hand is a wonderful character, easy to relate to and someone who will grab onto your heart.   I wanted more of him, his backhistory, just more him, less Jack. The author never made a case for what Song saw in Jack.  Because all Jack did was yell, bluster, crash over the niceties of their culture.  To mix  national monsters…Jack came across as a bit of a American Godzilla. See?  Mixed bag.    Way too good for Jack.  Had the author been able to make the readers see exactly what made Jack so attractive to Soon Woo-bin I might have bought into the relationship and the “deep love” they said they had for each other.  But I never got it.

The  intolerant attitude towards homosexuality in South Korea is only lightly addressed and considering the role it played here, more  information should have been relayed about the current laws and cultural family framework that holds this society so tightly in reign.   Of course, maybe that’s asking too much of 162 pages and a light contemporary romance.

This is a coming out, sexual discovery story too for two men of two different cultures and that sort of got glossed over in favor of a “love almost at first sight” story.  As I said there is a  lot going on here.

So while I may not have fallen in love with Jack, I did with his household and its surroundings. Asher Quinn did a lovely job of bringing small parts of Southern Koren alive for me, along with several great characters.    I can’t wait to see what this author does next!

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht  Lovely cover with the character of Song Woo-bin and of course, the Yuchae Blossom of the title.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 162 pages
Expected publication: April 5th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781644051924
Edition Language English

An Alisa Audio Review: Romancing the Undercover Millionaire (Romancing the… #3) by Clare London and Seb Yarick (narrator)

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Can poverty and privilege find a loving compromise?

Alexandre Bonfils, a rich and spoiled second son, is tired of being ignored and decides to help when the family’s exclusive wine business is in trouble. Going undercover in the warehouse, he loves the adventure—and the chance to be close to the sassy and sexy manager, Tate Somerton.

Tate is hardworking and financially struggling, bringing up his siblings on his own. A suspected saboteur at work is his latest challenge, but now he also has a clueless, though very attractive, new intern. There’s an immediate spark between the ill-matched couple, until a shocking accident cuts short Alex’s amateur sleuthing.

While recovering in the generous care of Tate and his family, will Alex realize what belonging really means? Passion and pride come together to fight for the company they’re both committed to preserving, but can a personal bond remain when the dust settles?

I continue to get these stories hoping that I will enjoy them more but continue to feel like they aren’t living up to my hopes, they aren’t bad but I’m not sure they are for me.  Alex is basically a spoiled playboy, with depths that no one knows, but is suddenly foisted from his lavish position with the company.  Tate works hard to keep control of his life and make sure that his employees are taken care of even if it works him to the bone.

I had trouble with how quickly Alex changes his tune when he goes undercover, he finds what he’s been missing down deep but it just seems uncharacteristic.  Tate was leery about the new intern but very quickly seems to get over his hesitation of dating an employee.  I thought Tate’s family was adorable and a bit over the top but they all loved each other.  I didn’t really connect with the two men all that well, I understood Tate’s life much more than Alex’s but all the interactions didn’t add up to me.

Seb Yarrick did a nice job narrating this story.  For the most part I was able to keep up with the story because of the different voices he used but they constantly seemed to get quieter as the story went on that I would have to focus more.

Cover art by Alexandria Corza is nice though the picture doesn’t connect with either character.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 7hrs 15min
Published: February 14, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Romancing The …

Sean MIchael on Food, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and his release ‘Personal Best 3’

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Personal Best 3 by Sean Michael

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Published March 22nd 2019

Buy links:

Dreamspinner PressAmazon  Kobo  | Barnes and Noble 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sean Michael here again on tour for his novel Personal Best 3. Welcome, Sean.

 

 

 

 

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today!

So most of my other posts for Personal Best 3 have somehow revolved around food and why buck a good trend?

As I write this, I’m not feeling great. Just a cold, but those kind of zap your energy and leave you feeling low. I’ve often said that one of my favorite comfort foods is grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, but the grilled cheese has to be made with plain loaf toast and Kraft slices.

However, if I’m not sick, there are some amazing varieties of ‘grilled cheese sandwich.’

Here are five different ways to make grilled cheese anything but that classic comfort food, but nonetheless delicious.

5. Pretzel bun, a sharp cheddar and a bit of whole seed Dijon mustard – the advantage to whole seed mustard is that you get these little pops of mustard flavor.

4. Sliced steak sprinkled with blue cheese on a light rye bread. As with all grilled cheese, even when the cheese isn’t quite the star, the trick is to get the bread really crispy.

3. Pumpernickel bread with lots soft ripened mozzarella, a slice of tomato and a few leaves of fresh basil. Like the classic caprese salad in a sandwich.

2. Grilled cheese sandwich made with raisin bread, cheddar cheese and apple slices is delicious and a lot of fun for kids and adults alike.

1. My absolute favorite that I’ve eaten is pear slices and brie cheese on sourdough bread. The bread gets a lovely crunch and nothing melts as ooey gooey as a brie cheese.

What’s your favorite unconventional grilled cheese sandwich?

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

Blurb:

Swimmer Mike Gauliet is on his way to an Olympic berth, sitting on the edge of fulfilling his potential and achieving the dreams his coach and lover, Jessy Turner, has for both of them.

All Mike wants to think about is swimming his laps faster than anyone else. Too bad things aren’t going exactly according to plan. Mike’s getting threats, and he’s afraid to tell Jessy and determined to handle things alone.

When the threats escalate to the point where Mike can’t hide them, though, Jessy takes over, moving Mike to a new training location, promising to keep him safe. Mike and Jessy try to go on with business as usual, but someone has such hatred for Mike that it seeps into their everyday life, straining their relationship, making Mike wonder if he even wants to swim anymore. Danger lurks around every corner, in and out of the pool, and while Mike and Jessy work with the police to discover the culprit, one attack leaves their life in shambles. Can Mike and Jessy find their attacker and get Mike back on track to a championship?

Bio:

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

Blog Tour for Snow Storm (Haven Hart #3) by Davidson King (excerpt and giveaway)

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Snow Storm Tour Banner

SNOW STORM

Haven Hart Series Book 5

Davidson King

M/M Contemporary/Action/Suspense Romance

Page Count: 225

Release Date: 03.20.19

Snow-Storm-EBook-Cover (1)

Cover Design: Morningstar Ashley @ Designs by Morningstar

https://www.facebook.com/DesignsbyMorningstar/

BLURB

The city of Haven Hart rests under the heel of Christopher Manos. He reigns over the most dangerous and deadliest citizens as the most powerful crime boss the city has seen in generations. Yet, for the last five years, the harshest edges of his nature have been tempered by the loving devotion of his husband, Snow, and the nephew Christopher adores like a son. His life is a balance of darkness and light until a birthday trip for his nephew, Simon, is interrupted by a hail of bullets and explosions, threatening to destroy it all.

Snow has found a home, a family, and the love of one of Haven Hart’s most powerful men. When Christopher and Simon are kidnapped, Snow risks everything to find his family. Utilizing specialized skills he learned on the streets and the finer points of running a city from his crime boss husband, Snow takes on roles he never dreamed he would–protector, leader, and avenger. No one threatens his family and lives. Experienced enough to know he can’t do this alone, Snow calls in every favor he is owed, risking his life promising favors in return, all to save his family and the man he loves.

The sins of the Manos crime family are escaping the dark recesses of the past and threatening the bright future of everything Snow and Christopher have built. Yet, even with the help of some unlikely and uniquely dangerous people, Snow finds himself wondering if their efforts will be enough to save the two most important people in his life. Will the loving family Snow has finally found be taken from him forever?

UNIVERSAL LINK: mybook.to/SnowStorm

teasess

EXCERPT

Christopher

“You settled that perfectly.” His voice was like a purr, and suddenly, I realized I was going to be very late for my meeting. “It’s like you’re some boss or something, making the hard calls.” He said the word hard with a moan and I knew if I turned around, he’d be stripping off his clothes.

“Snow…” I tried for a warning tone, but it was Snow. He couldn’t be deterred.

“You’re already going to be late.” His hands pressed against my back. “And you’re already going to be naked in a second.” He reached around my waist and began pulling my belt buckle.

“What’s a little more lateness, hmm?”

Resistance was futile, so I turned in his arms and smiled at the cheeky, adorable man I loved more than the air I breathed.

“You argue a good case, Mr. Manos, so make me later.”

He chuckled as he pushed me onto the bed, straddling me in all his flour and sugar-covered glory.

I relished in the feel of his mouth over my heated skin, his tongue gliding along my flesh like a paint brush. With my shirt open and my cock freed from the confines of my pants, I moaned as he made me later.
Davidson-King-Logo-Main JPG

Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.

When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.

If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.

Links

Website: https://www.davidsonking.com

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DavidsonKingsCourt/

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidsonKingAuthor/

Personal Page: https://www.facebook.com/DiverseReader

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidsonkingauthor/?hl=en

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YztgRD

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/davidson-king

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17286464.Davidson_King

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidsonKing11

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