An Ali Review : Jude (Lucky #3) by Garrett Leigh

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Isha has spent the last year watching his BFF get his happily-ever-after. He’s proud of Dom, but…it hurts to see him so free while Isha’s love life is still on lockdown. Only Isha’s ex-wife knows the secret that he’s kept caged for so long—that he’s queer too, and he’s lonely.

Jude’s too chained to his work to notice what he’s missing by being terminally single, but a new face in the village soon catches his attention. City boy Isha is gorgeous, and when he starts to haunt Jude’s reptile shop as well as the hook-up app on his phone, he’s a welcome distraction from Jude’s business problems.

For a control freak like Isha, letting Jude under his skin is an existential meltdown, but Jude’s not in the market to be anyone’s queer crisis, not when he’s facing troubles of his own. Unlocking their lives could push both men apart forever, but it might be a risk worth taking if sharing is the key to their happy future.

I was excited about this book but a bit hesitant.  In this Jude owns a reptile business and I also have owned a reptile business. I was super excited this was his career as I have never read that in a romance story before but I was hesitant because I thought the author may mess up story in regards to reptiles (I’ve read some really wrong stuff over the years).  As it turned out she did a great job with this aspect.  Jude’s passion for his animals jumped off of the pages and made me instantly love his character.  The information about animal care was vague enough to not get things wrong but detailed enough to show the author did her research (or owns reptiles herself).  I loved everything about this aspect of the story.
The relationship part I wasn’t as smitten with.  I loved Jude from the minute he came on page but I struggled with Isha throughout.  I just couldn’t understand him.  The fact that he was no longer in the spotlight and his four best friends were queer made me not understand why he was so afraid of coming out.  His ex-wife already knew and was accepting so I just couldn’t see what was holding him back.  His hot and cold behavior got on my nerves and I felt he was mean to Jude in his treatment of him.  He only comes around after a huge issue.  I got to the end of  book kind of feeling Jude could do better.
Despite my misgivings about Isha there were a lot of things to like about this book.  It was super steamy and those parts were great.  There are quite a few scenes with the two couples from the previous books which I was happy to see.  Isha’s ex-wife was lovely and it was nice to see a female ex not portrayed in a bad light.  I also thought Isha’s kids were done well.  Not precocious or over the top in any way.  Just two every day kids.
I liked way more about this book than I disliked so it is a definite recommend from me.

Cover by Black Jazz Designs:  This cover was done by the author.  I think it is fine.  The model on the cover is attractive but there is nothing about the cover that really stands out from others in this genre.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Buy Link

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 220 pages
Published March 24th 2019 by Fox Love Press
Original Title Jude
ASIN B07Q18JBBG
Edition Language English
Series Lucky :

Lucky

Cash

Jude

A MelanieM Review: Moonstruck by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Anthony Rawson is screwed. Fans, producers, and his agent are all chomping at the bit for the next book in his wildly popular Triple Moon series, but he’s got epic writer’s block and is way behind deadline. Then he reads Axis Mundi, a fanfic novel by his online friend “SirMarrok.” It isn’t just a great story—it’s exactly what the series needs.

Samir Daoud is thrilled when “Ulfhedinn” wants to meet up after reading Axis Mundi. When Ulfhedinn turns out to be Anthony Rawson himself, Samir is starstruck. When Anthony tells him he wants to add Axis Mundi to the Triple Moon series, Samir is sure he’s being pranked. And when their online chemistry carries over—big-time—into real life, Samir is convinced it’s all too good to be true.

The problem is … it might be. The book deal, the sex, the money—everything is amazing. But fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Samir is left wondering if Anthony really loves him, or just loves his book.

The problem with rereleases like Moon Struck by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt is that they haven’t been revised enough that the original, and the series that surrounded it, is never far from your mind.  The fact that the characters names have been swapped out, books and movie titles changed, never really sinks in enough to erase the fact that, if you loved and are deeply familiar with the first release, this is just a bit jarring.  My mind kept changing everything back, refusing to accept Anthony Rawson for Hunter Easton and Samir Daoud for Kevin Hussain.  Don’t get me started on the rest of  Half Moon Bay crew that makes appearances here, so to really enjoy this, I think you have to not have read any of the prior stories from that series at all.  Be a new reader to Moon Struck and take it as you would any other new release and stand alone story.

Now, taking it from that angle, there are elements I loved and ones that I weren’t as comfortable with in my romances.  I love the whole geek thing, as well as fan fiction. It’s relatable, at least to me as someone who loves cons and reads fan fiction.  Using that as a base for a romance between an established author and a fan was a great idea, especially since they had started an online relationship through a fan board.  It made the almost instant love feel to this romance not as unbelievable because that had been established.  Do I wish it was incorporated more into the story?  Yes, if nothing else than to give us a feeling that these two different men had a more intimate knowledge of each other emotionally than comes across at times.

They know each other/they don’t know each other.  One is powerful, rich, older, in charge, an established writer.  One is much younger, unsure of himself, plunging into an unknown somewhat cutthroat world of publishing, media, movies, contracts, with someone he honestly barely knows.  Hmmm, talk about unequal power situation.  Even though his book saves Anthony’s series because of writer’s block, there is only one driver here and it’s not Samir.  This is a May/December romance and for the most part, the power seems to be one sided.  At least for most of the story.

Moon Struck is well written and the characters well developed, it’s just the relationship and the situation that I seem to have issues with.  The lack of support for Samir, even knowning how overwhelming it all could be and was, it never appeared.  Not even the explanations made sense.  Nor the fast reconciliation in the end and the expected HEA or HFN  depending on how you look at it.

If you are looking for a contemporary May December romance with some interesting elements, try Moonstruck by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt.  Its still an enjoyable ride.

Cover art works for Rawson and its very attractive.

Sales Link:

Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 331 pages
Expected publication: April 12th 2019 by 44 Raccoons (first published November 12th 2014)
Original TitleLone Wolf
ASINB07NTX4FFH
Edition Language English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Impacted! (Bay Area Professionals) by Mickie B. Ashling

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5 

As the author acknowledges, she had a limited knowledge of BDSM when this was written. While this story was originally written in 2009, this is a re-edited and re-released version for 2019. It does jump right into a rough sex scene between strangers with no real concern for trust or safety, not really enough lube, and no prep.

Scott Gregory has bought into a periodontal practice in San Francisco. Knowing his partner Ron is conservative, he decides to stay in the closet due to the trial period in the contract before he becomes a full partner. His hookup with Red, from a BDSM club during his vacation, turns out to be Robin Kennedy, his new dental hygienist. Of course he is in the same boat–working for a homophobe and worried about being fired. Scott’s best friend from school, Susie ends up being hired to be his assistant. I’m not sure that having Susie or Ron’s point of view helped this book.

As soon as Scott and Robin see each other, they want each other again even though it’s a terrible idea. Then they go straight to Scott calling him Master for their second scene and swiftly into a contract. The encounter where Scott tops Robin is uncomfortable; he’s a virgin and doesn’t bottom, or as far as we know even use toys and there is no prep at all! Robin says he would never risk exposing Scott, yet that’s exactly what he does. If you read the blurb and thought, what could possibly go wrong…then you know exactly what goes wrong. Of course, they get caught. Then there is an OTT (over the top) ridiculous plot twist!

Susie doesn’t come across as the most likeable character. She also can’t be that close of a friend if she doesn’t know about Scott. Now all of the sudden she gets introduced to BDSM. I found this whole plot point rather irritating to be honest. She obviously has trust issues, hasn’t seen a loving relationship, and treats men as disposable…but now all of the sudden that makes sense because she might be a Domme? The other dental assistant Jenna, Ron’s wife, and Ron’s daughter are not pleasant either. In fact, the only likeable female character in this is actually Robin’s mom.

I guess this is frustrating because I liked elements of this and it flowed well for the most part, but there were just so many things that didn’t work for me. After such a major conflict, everything gets wrapped up with a bow without really working things out properly in my opinion. It ends abruptly. I must be in the minority in my view because there are five books in this series, with Bonds of Love being the sequel that still focuses on this couple. I’m torn about whether to read it or not because I know these guys now and I want to see them progress emotionally and deal with things more maturely. I want to know what happens with Ron. However, I am annoyed with Jenna and she’ll likely feature in the sequel. I personally have no interest in Susie’s storyline going any further. I don’t see how Ron could be redeemed and I don’t have any interest in what that would look like. I have to decide if this HFN is enough for me, or if I want to read about what Scott and Robin’s relationship is like now that they are out of the closet. Also, there are some soap opera elements that should be wrapped up in the sequel.

The cover art is by Kanaxa. I don’t know who this is. Scott is described as having honey colored hair and green eyes. Robin is a natural redhead with freckles. This cover has no connection to the story at all.

Buy links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon 

Book Details:

ebook, 234 pages
Published August 3rd 2009 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 2009)
Original TitleImpacted
ISBN 1615810234 (ISBN13: 9781615810239)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Bay Area Professionals #1
settingCalifornia (United States)

Don’t Miss Out on the Book Blast for Always Ours: An MMM Menage Romance (The Always Series #5) by J.P. James (excerpt and giveaway)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title:  Always Ours: An MMM Menage Romance (The Always Series, book 5)

Author:  J.P. James

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Kimberly Soto

Genre/s: Contemporary MMM Romance

Trope/s: Ménage

Themes: Battling hate crime in the LGBTQ community

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  55 000 words/ 198 pages

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

I was the victim of an LGBTQ hate crime but two handsome cops saved me.  Will our love prevail?

Blurb

Chance:

I didn’t know what danger was until I was assaulted one night. It was a hate crime against the LGBTQ+ community, but fortunately, two cops stepped out from the shadows and wrestled my attacker to the ground. My breath caught upon seeing them because Mason and Logan are everything I’ve ever wanted: brawny, handsome, and heroic. But something tells me there’s more to these men than meets the eye.

Logan:

We shouldn’t have taken what the young man offered. But when he knocked on our door, my twin and I gave into our deepest desires. We’re twins who share, and Chance said he wanted to feel alive again after his close brush with death. As a result, we stepped up and made it a skin-to-skin game. 

But now, the relationship has gone off the rails. Chance wants more – not just our bodies, but also our hearts, minds, and souls. The problem? We’re not ready for this. We’re cops, and while the force has an unofficial “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy, it’s difficult to keep our innermost desires secret. But Chance wants more. He’s not satisfied with being kept in the closet. He wants to be part of our lives, out in the open and proud. Can we do this for him? Will we, when our lives and careers are at stake? 

**Always Ours is a full-length MMM novel with a HFN/HEA and no cliffhangers.**

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

Excerpt

“Walk me home?” I ask the twins shyly.

I have to fight past my nerves if I want them to take me seriously.  Hell, I need to do this if I’m going to take myself seriously.

Logan and Mason share glances and then nod.  I know these guys are big and strong, but I can’t help going mushy whenever they look at each other.  I might not ever be able to understand their twin language, but it’s a privilege to witness.

I don’t want to be alone, so I’m grateful when they agree to take me home.  I live in a tiny apartment on the top floor of a five-story building.  Of course, there are plenty of stairs and the three of us smile as we ascend.

“Police Academy training has nothing on this walk-up,” Logan chuckles as we hit the fourth floor.

“I’m used to it,” I explain with a spring in my step.

“I can tell,” Mason husks.

I feel the firm, sure touch of his hand at my ass as we ascend the stairs.  I laugh but don’t bother batting his hand away.  I love that he appreciates my body.  I don’t exercise much, but I have to scale one hundred and thirty-two steps at least once a day.  My lower body is made of steel, and if these guys want to admire it, I’m not going to stop them.  If anything, it gives me a confidence boost.

Without thinking, I let out a low purr.  It’s quiet in the staircase, and I know I can’t it play off like an actual cat escaped a neighbor’s apartment.

I turn around to face them, and find their hungry eyes feasting on my body.  I watch the rise and fall of their chests as they try to calm their breathing, but my little outburst unleashed more of their animalistic grit.  I consider it a privilege that I can do this to them.

Everything about these guys feels like a privilege, if I’m being honest, and I don’t want to deny myself the pleasure either.  My body screams for Logan and Mason, as if I belong to them already.  Doctor Marty says I should focus on the things I have control over, and I’ve been thinking about that a lot.  I’m tired of feeling overwhelmed and helpless.  I want to chase the things that inspire and empower me, and never look back.

Right now, what empowers me is having my buff saviors by my side.  Logan and Mason treat me right.  When I feel anxious, I remember their sure, comforting touches and their gentle, kind words.  It warms me, and calms the ache in my heart.

It’s what I need to feel and hear tonight. 

I think this does more healing for me than any therapy.  I know Doctor Marty is a professional, but these guys mend my body and soul more than they know.

“My apartment is at the end of the hall,” I explain as I push the door open to the fifth floor.  “Would you like to come in for a bit?”

They nod and pick up the pace behind me.  I notice their eyes shift around as we cross towards my front door.  In fact, I think they’ve been watching for lurkers and creeps the entire walk home.  Maybe it’s their training that makes them act this way, but I like to think there’s something special about this level of security.  Something reserved only for me.  Dare to dream, I guess.

“This is nice,” Mason says, stepping into my apartment with Logan on his heels.  I shut the door behind them, feeling my heart start to quicken.

“It’s tiny,” I tell them, but Logan shakes off my remark.

“It might be tiny but it’s clean.  If you weren’t pursuing interior design, now would be the time we tried to convince you to,” he says with an affirming smile.  “Your décor is amazing.”

Yum.  Every word out of their mouths gives me strength.

I gesture for them to sit at the leather couch in the living room.

“My Aunt Darcy bought this sofa and also my bed.  They’re the only nice things I own because everything else is Ikea, until I get a real job at least,” I joke.

“It’s beautiful,” says Mason as he grips the leather cushion beneath him.

“And there’s nothing wrong with Ikea,” Logan adds.  “It has its uses.”

I pull a cushion from the closet and set it on the ground in front of them.

“Hey, don’t sit there,” Mason starts, but my hand flies up to stop him.

“Believe me, I like sitting on the ground.  Plus, this way I can admire both of you at the same time,” I tell them.  I can feel the blush on my cheeks but I fight through it.

“Thank you,” Logan chuckles.  “You’re really sweet.”  Mason smiles too.

“I wanted to tell you something,” I say as I look between their beautiful blue eyes.  I take my seat on the cushion, and push my knees up to my chest as I cradle myself for comfort.

“Yes?” the twins ask.  I take a deep breath.

“Well, I started going to therapy because you know the city pays for it after an attack like the one I had.  I had my first session the other day, and I have another appointment next week.  Until I can get my anxiety under control.”

Their eyes are a complex mix of affection and sadness, the blue going from light to dark, and then back again.  They’re happy that I’m seeking treatment, but it’s another reminder of how we know one another, and how we got to this place.  The good with the bad, I suppose.

“We’re proud of you,” Mason promises, looking directly into my eyes.  “It’s important to take your mental health seriously.”

Logan nods all the same.  “Exactly.  You’re brave, but we already knew that.  This is to help you recover even more.”

The blush hasn’t left my face.  If anything, I feel warmer and definitely want to take my shirt off, anything to get some cold air on my skin.

“There’s something we want to ask you too,” Logan says in the next moment.

I look between them, but their expressions are unreadable.  “Sure, ask away.”

“The trial for your attacker is in a few days.  I was thinking about testifying, if that’s alright with you,” Logan confesses.

My chest tightens, but the twins have their hands on me before I freak out.

“We don’t want to stress you out,” Mason adds.  “But the DA has asked us to get up on the stand.”

I steady my breathing, trying to focus on their touch.

“That’s alright.  It’s fine.  I’m going to be fine,” I say.

Mason nods, and I can feel my face burning up.  It’s not like they have any choice when it comes to testifying.  But still, their concern shakes me to my core.  It’s all so much, how these guys take care of me and ask about getting up on the stand, as if my opinion makes a difference.  In such a short time, they’ve become important people in my life.  I can feel it everywhere, in my heart, in my head, and in my groin right now.

“You seem flushed,” Logan notes as his eyes rake over my face.  They dip lower, taking in the rest of me as I unfurl my knees from my chest.

“Yeah,” I breathe.  “I can’t help it.”

I let my gaze wander over their bodies.  They must like it too, both of them spreading their arms and legs wider on the couch, giving my eyes as much of them as possible.

“What do you want, sweetheart?” Mason asks.  He tries to sound innocent but my ears find nothing of the sort behind his hoarse voice.

I focus again on them, succumbing to the fire building in my chest.  “I want you.  Both of you.  Is that okay?”

About the Author

J.P. James is an MM author who’s secretly been writing LGBTQ romance novels for a decade.  She looks forward to bringing you more steam, heat, and passion between handsome billionaires, beautiful boys, and the men who rock her world.

Author Links

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BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Geeks and Romance? Check out the Book Blitz for Moonstruck by Aleksandr Voinov and LA Witt (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Moonstruck

Author: Aleksandr Voinov & LA Witt

Publisher: 44 Raccoons

Release Date: 12 April 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 95,000

Genre: Romance, contemporary, friends to lovers, may/December

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Anthony Rawson is screwed. Fans, producers, and his agent are all chomping at the bit for the next book in his wildly popular Triple Moon series, but he’s got epic writer’s block and is way behind deadline. Then he reads Axis Mundi, a fanfic novel by his online friend “SirMarrok.” It isn’t just a great story—it’s exactly what the series needs.

Samir Daoud is thrilled when “Ulfhedinn” wants to meet up after reading Axis Mundi. When Ulfhedinn turns out to be Anthony Rawson himself, Samir is starstruck. When Anthony tells him he wants to add Axis Mundi to the Triple Moon series, Samir is sure he’s being pranked. And when their online chemistry carries over—big-time—into real life, Samir is convinced it’s all too good to be true.

The problem is … it might be. The book deal, the sex, the money—everything is amazing. But fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Samir is left wondering if Anthony really loves him, or just loves his book.

Excerpt

Grimacing, he stood and went back into the kitchen to plug in his phone. While it charged, he poured himself a cup of reheated half-day-old coffee, and as he drank it, he stared at his darkened phone. Axis Mundi was amazing. No two ways about it. He wondered what SirMarrok would think if he knew who he’d sent it to. He was probably shy and socially awkward—what writer wasn’t?—and thought he was sending this book to some other Triple Moon fan. Not the author himself.

I need to know the face behind this book.

Anthony tapped his fingers on the counter beside his phone. The two of them had chatted and emailed, even flirted a bit—okay, a lot—but they’d never exchanged photos or real names. According to SirMarrok’s administrator profile, he lived in a suburb of Seattle, so just a few hours away.

Anthony opened his email and quickly wrote out a message.

SirM,

This book is fucking amazing. Would you be interested in discussing it over coffee?

Ulf

Before he could think twice, he hit Send.

Even though he reloaded the page a few times, SirMarrok didn’t respond immediately.

His stomach grumbled again, and he opened the fridge to check for edibles, but nothing appealed to him. There was one lone pomegranate in the crisper, but that didn’t count for a full meal, especially after Ryan had warned him about not eating enough protein right after training. Nobody delivered pizza out here, and he might have been able to throw something together based on the two vine tomatoes, the half jar of pesto, and the red onion he’d spotted, but what he really wanted to do was sit down and read the rest of the story, even though he should probably do his fucking job and at least go up to the office to bang his head against the half novel that was mocking him from the twenty-four inch screen.

Just then, the intercom buzzed—one long, two short. Thank God, it was Chastity. He padded to the door and opened it. She held a pile of letters and a cookie tin. “Hey, do you have time?”

Code for, “You’re not writing, are you?”

“Come on in.” He stood aside and waved her into the house. “You know you don’t have to buzz me, right?”

“I know, but God forbid I let myself in while you’re in the zone.”

“Much appreciated. Fortunately, I’m not.” He started toward the kitchen. “I was reading. Checking something in the chronology.”

“So how’s the book going?” she asked.

“It’s not really going, but I’m working on it.” He resisted checking whether SirMarrok had responded. He knew stalkers and obsessives, and he wouldn’t turn into either of those. “How’re you?”

“Jesse’s off to his grandparents, so …” She shrugged. “Kind of bored, I guess.” Between being Anthony’s bodyguard, part-time PA, and the mom of a very active eight-year-old, Chas had the patience of a Swiss glacier. Bored or not, she deserved a break.

“Have you eaten yet?”

“I have. And I brought you muffins, in case you’re interested.” She put the tin down. “Jesse didn’t manage to eat all of them, though he gave it a good try.”

“Thank you, St. Jesse, patron saint of starving artists.” He opened the tin and found one of the banana-and-chocolate ones that he loved. Beat cooking for one person while feeling guilty about not writing. “Coffee?”

“I’m too wired. I’ll make tea?”

“Sure.” He offered her the kitchen with a sweeping gesture, “Mi casa es su casa.”

She gave him an ironic glance, considering she lived on the property as part of her package (and because her last house had been torched by her crazy ex). While she went through the cupboards to assemble a teapot and hot water, Anthony demolished the muffin in a few bites, and then set up the coffee machine again.

“So, planning a long night?”

“There’s a full moon. I absolutely plan on a long night.” He had the most amazing view from the office, and he could happily spend a few hours gazing at the moon if the novel didn’t budge. The whole werewolf thing had started because some of his Army buddies had teased him about being a secret werewolf: nocturnal, “dark brooding charm,” a penchant for taking solo night hikes during full moons—all of that. And look where it had taken him.

“You getting anywhere with that book?”

Anthony groaned.

Chas laughed. “Still?”

“Still.” His eyes darted toward his phone. “Of course, then one of my fans manages to figure out exactly where the story needs to go.”

“You’re letting fans beta read for you now?”

“No, no. I told you about SirMarrok, right?”

“Sir—” Her eyes lost focus. “Oh, right. From that fan site.”

“Yeah. He finished his book. And it’s …” Anthony sighed and threw up his hands. “It’s amazing.”

“So what are you going to do? Ask him if you can use it?”

Anthony straightened. “I’m not going to take his work.”

“No, but if it’s really that good for the series …”

“I don’t know. Leanne will probably blow a gasket if she even finds out I’ve been reading fanfic, never mind wanting to incorporate some of it into the series.”

“If the alternative is waiting another year for the eighth book, she might be flexible.”

Anthony laughed dryly. “Good point. Well, I emailed him to see if he wants to meet and talk about it.” His stomach clenched. Had that been too forward? Didn’t SirMarrok like meeting people in real life? Might think—

“Oh, Anthony.” Chas snickered. “You’re so adorable when you’re flustered.”

“What?”

She rolled her eyes. “The second you mentioned meeting him, you got all tense and pink.” She gestured at her cheeks, and Anthony could suddenly feel the heat in his own.

“I’m just a little nervous. He has no idea who I am.”

Her eyebrow arched. “Is that the only reason you’re nervous? Because he’ll find out his biggest fan is Anthony Michael Rawson?”

“I …”

Chas laughed again and patted his arm. “So adorable.”

“Shut up.”

“Is that any way to talk to the woman who keeps the stalkers away at cons?”

He groaned theatrically. “Fine. Sorry. And yes, it is the only reason I’m nervous about meeting him.”

“Bullshit it is.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

She ticked the points off on her fingers. “You blush whenever you mention him. You’re clearly more nervous about meeting him than you were about being on a panel with a bunch of your literary idols at Comic-Con. You actually think I’m going to believe for a second you’re nervous about meeting another writer who’s—”

“Okay, okay, I get it. But you’re still wrong. I’m just, okay, maybe a little intimidated by this kid.”

Chas blinked. “Intimidated? Why?”

He waved a hand at his phone. “Because he can write fucking circles around me with my own goddamned characters! What the hell am I supposed to say to him, anyway? ‘You clearly know my own world better than I do, so how much do you charge to save my ass?’” He shook his head. “Fuck, I shouldn’t have emailed him. It isn’t like I can use his book, and for all I know, he completely botches the ending anyway.”

“And how likely do you think that is?”

Anthony met her gaze, then sighed. “About as likely as me finishing book eight by tomorrow morning.”

“Sounds like he might save your ass, then.” She smirked and started to speak, but he gestured sharply at her.

“Don’t even say it.”

“Say what?”

He glared, and she smothered a laugh.

“All right, I won’t say it. But has he responded to your email yet?”

“I don’t know.” He glanced at the phone again, eyeing it like it had morphed into a spider that was about to bite his hand. “I haven’t checked.”

“Well.” She nodded toward the spider-phone. “Check it.”

He hesitated, but figured there was no point in arguing with her—there never was—and picked up the phone. He refreshed his inbox, revealing several new emails. Most were notifications about posts on threads he’d been following on the fan site, but there it was:

SirMarrok.

Holding his breath, he tapped the message.

Are you serious? Coffee? That’d be great. When/where? — SM

Anthony was almost certain that if Chas hadn’t been standing there, he’d have made a very undignified sound. Only her presence and playful scrutiny saved him.

“He wants to meet.” And Anthony couldn’t help grinning like an idiot. Probably blushing again, if the heat in his cheeks was any indication.

“Aww.” Chas grinned. “So it’s a date?”

“It is not a date.”

“Why not?”

“Besides the fact that he’s probably half my age?”

She snorted. “Or maybe twice your age?”

Anthony rolled his eyes. “Point being, I want to meet him because I want to talk writing. Maybe I can hook him up with Leanne, get his career going.” Unless, of course, he was already a seasoned writer who’d been impersonating a newbie to get his kicks. But no. No. SirMarrok had seemed really fucking genuine about everything. Anthony didn’t know that much about him in real life—they’d mostly talked writing and wolves and fan stuff. He’d kept his own life under wraps so he could be himself. Which was ironic. This whole fame thing locked him into behaviors and reputation and expectations.

“Anthony.” She folded her arms and arched her eyebrow. “It is okay to get involved with someone. You know, if you click.”

“And it’s okay not to get involved with people.” He sipped his coffee. “I’ve done just fine this long.”

Chas studied him. “You get lonely sometimes.”

He shrugged. “Happily married people feel crowded sometimes. Doesn’t mean they want the other person to leave. In my case, yeah, I get lonely once in a while.” Another shrug. “Doesn’t mean I want someone else in my space.” They’d had this discussion before, and the thought of going through the whole thing again exhausted him, so before she could answer, he held up his phone. “You mind if I send him a quick reply?”

She waved a hand. “Sure.”

He typed out, You’re in the Seattle area? What about Saturday, around lunch? You choose the location. He knew SirMarrok was working in IT—he sometimes referred to a “job” and a “boss.” And if they hit it off, he wanted the option of spending a few hours rather than being constrained by schedules and such. Damn that need for a day job for most writers. A talent like SirMarrok should be raking it in and choosing his own hours.

“So what’re you going to wear, Casanova?”

“Uh. I was planning to go kind of low-key.” Thank God he’d only given in to that author photo-related pressure after the publisher had agreed that it didn’t necessarily have to resemble him; some atmospheric black-and-white shoots and Photoshop had made sure he didn’t really look like the guy on the jacket. However, if SirMarrok was the überfan he appeared to be, he’d have seen Anthony at conventions, or on Tumblr and YouTube. “Won’t be fooling him I guess. Damn.”

“Ah, the burden of fame.” Chas put a hand on her heart.

“Well, I could use a little break. Head out to Seattle on Friday, watch a movie or something, and come back on Sunday? You want to come along?”

“Movie sounds great.” She opened his fridge and made a face. “I have a nice ratatouille bake at the house.”

“No competition from the lone pomegranate.”

“I thought so. And while I go get that …” She pointed at the pile of letters. “A few nice ones this time.”

“That’s because you burn the nasty ones.” He finished off his coffee. “How bad were the bad ones?”

“Mostly threats over the next book not coming out.”

“Christ, every time I read one of those I want to kill a character.”

“Yeah, yeah, Mr. George R. R. Martin, we know.” She laughed. “I’ll go get that ratatouille.”

She left the kitchen, and Anthony’s gaze went back to his phone. So that was that. In a few days, he’d meet the guy who apparently knew his own stories better than he did. And much like the unfinished book upstairs, he had no idea how this weekend was going to play out.

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Meet the Author

Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London, where he works as an financial editor, writing coach, and complementary therapist. At 43 years of age, Voinov has written more than two dozen novels and published five novels with German publishers. After many years working in the horror, science fiction, cyberpunk and fantasy genres, Voinov is now primarily writing queer fiction.

Described as a “workaholic speed-writing freak” by fellow writers, a “creative writing class drill sergeant” by his writing ‘padawans’, Voinov is a self-confessed geek and has enlarged his days by 12 secret hours in return for the sacrifice of ten albino virgin pygmy hippos.

Voinov’s style has been called “dynamic to the point of breathlessness” and “disturbingly poetic” by publishers and literary agents. A recurring theme in his fiction is “the triumph of the human spirit” or an individual rising to challenge the status quo in a world gone bad.

Intellectually, he is drawn to the dark side of human nature and history. As a trained historian, he is fascinated by wars, religion and the conflict between the individual and society.

Interests at the moment include WWII, medieval siege warfare, William Marshall, the Golden Age of Piracy, and whale-hunting. These interests are subject to change from one day to the other, and Voinov single-handedly sustains two bookshops in London.

Public Contact Email: vashtan@gmail.com
Website: http://www.aleksandrvoinov.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aleksandr.voinov.12
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vashtan
Goodreads Author Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3074905.Aleksandr_Voinov
Tumblr: http://aleksandrvoinov.tumblr.com/
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/aleksandrvoinov
Newsletter: https://us3.list-manage.com/subscribe

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Love Contemporary Romance? Don’t Miss Out on the Review Tour and Giveaway for Jude by Garrett Leigh

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Length: 60,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Lucky Series
 
Cash – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Isha has spent the last year watching his BFF get his happily-ever-after. He’s proud of Dom, but…it hurts to see him so free while Isha’s love life is still on lockdown. Only Isha’s ex-wife knows the secret that he’s kept caged for so long—that he’s queer too, and he’s lonely.


Jude’s too chained to his work to notice what he’s missing by being terminally single, but a new face in the village soon catches his attention. City boy Isha is gorgeous, and when he starts to haunt Jude’s reptile shop as well as the hook-up app on his phone, he’s a welcome distraction from Jude’s business problems.


For a control freak like Isha, letting Jude under his skin is an existential meltdown, but Jude’s not in the market to be anyone’s queer crisis, not when he’s facing troubles of his own. Unlocking their lives could push both men apart forever, but it might be a risk worth taking if sharing is the key to their happy future.

 

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.


Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.


When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.


Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.


Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh

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Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We definitely recommend it.