A MelanieM Review: Descendant (Apocalypse Rising Book 1) by Mychael Black

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Andrew Blackwell is only one of countless humans who managed to survive post-World War III. Living in the shell of what was once New York City, he focuses on working hard and playing hard. Nothing else matters.

But fate has other ideas, and they arrive in the form of a rather surly angel who’s been sent to find the one special human who can possibly help save humankind.

Thrown into yet another war, Andrew has no choice but to trust Mikhail … no matter where the angel may lead him.

I first started reading this author through the Legends of the Romanorum Series, a complex and riveting series I very much enjoyed that was co-authored by Shayne Carmichael. Once that series was finished, I really lost track of anything else Black was writing.   So when I saw that JMS Books had released a new story by this author, I grabbed it up, eager to see what the new story offered up.

Sadly,  while there are some terrific elements here, the overall tale just never came together for me, which was quite the disappointment. Descendant (Apocalypse Rising Book 1) by Mychael Black is incredibly short which leaves no room for character development, world building, or even much in overall plot depth, which pains me to say.  It reads more like an outline, less like an actual published story, granted with tons of sex that makes little sense.

One of the interesting elements here is that Andrew Blackwell is sought after by Heaven and Hell because he’s the only descendant of John the Baptist, and therefore, one of the closest links to the son of God still living.  I think that’s how it goes.  Really, there is no exposition here.  The world is a mess after yet another world war but again no  world building to lay a foundation.  We find out that’ there’s a way station between Heaven and Earth but little else.  Andrew and Mikhail jump into meaningless sex that instantly turns into love I think, there’s tons of shouting and yelling and then oh yes, the war between Heaven and Hell is on.  What?

The book is over.  And it’s just begun!  We are just really pages in.  Granted it’s the first in the series but still.  If the reader is left feeling clueless, well,  I would be floored if they were feeling anything else.  Sometimes I wanted to ask if Black was going for a satire or for a straight up supernatural romance, because it was hard to tell at times.

I think I’m leaving the series here.  I never came to care about any of the characters or their various fates, let alone the Apocalypse.  Maybe I will revisit that earlier series or check out other stories this author has written in the meantime.  As for this short tale, I’ll leave that up to you.

Cover art: Written Ink Designs.   Cover is ok, the angel is appropriate to the story, except the city is supposed to be in tatters.  Oh, well, half right is something.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Kobo | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published March 30th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07NPJYVDG

A VVivacious Review: Don’t Fight the Spark (Soldiers and Mercenaries #1) by Kasia Bacon

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
Yüuzuki Ōren is an Ih’mohrô (sand fighter) at the Lyliňg Fighting House and as the house prepares for the Light Festival,  Yüuzuki must prepare for a fight with insurmountable odds. A fight he is unlikely to survive. A fight he will survive if his lover, Ĥaiatto Ẽkana, the healer at the Lyliňg Fighting House, has anything to do about it and Ĥaiatto will go to any extent to make sure Yüuzuki lives, even if it means selling his soul.

 

This book is told from Ĥaiatto‘s perspective and primarily follows his actions as he tries to save Yüu from fighting a fight he won’t survive.
I couldn’t relate to Ĥaiatto. He is a healer but he curses way too much. Somehow my idea of healers as educated bastions of society doesn’t mesh with Haiatto swearing every other sentence. Also, somehow the word fuck brings me out of historical settings though this isn’t a historical per se this book does try to give the impression of a bygone era. The work fuck starting gaining popularity in the fifties and at that time it was no where near as ubiquitous as it is today. The use of words of modern origins or those that gained popularity in modern times in a setting which is anything but modern brings me out of the immersive experience of reading and after a time it becomes exhausting to keep re-immersing yourself. It is a weird quirk and I am not sure others would have this problem.

So, for all of the above reasons, validated or not, I wasn’t having a fun time being in Ĥaiatto‘s mind and unfortunately, this book is entirely from his perspective. This book also doesn’t focus much on Yüu and their relationship aside from cursory mentions. For a relationship that has been going on for three years, these two feel really new at stuff or maybe I just feel that way because we actually don’t get that much content to form an opinion one way or the other on their relationship and on Yüu.

The bulk of the story focuses on Ĥaiatto trying to solve Yüu‘s predicament which he does without consulting Yüu something I found weird. I  also don’t get why he didn’t just tell Yüu the truth about the crimping or atleast about his deal with the Order. It didn’t make any sense for him to withhold that information. Here is someone preparing for death wouldn’t you try to alleviate their fears with legitimate hope? Leaving that aside, this is the part of the story that I enjoyed the most as Ĥaiatto interacts with members of The Assassin’s Guild. All members of the Guild made quite an impression on me. None more than Lu Feninghan, the grandmaster himself. If I am right he is Lochan’s father and now I really want to see him pop up in Lochan and Ervyn’s story because that would make for one hell of an interesting dynamic. I actuality won’t mind more of Lu.

Cover Art by. Can I just gush over that cover? It is amazing. It is definitely the best cover of the year because I really can’t foresee any cover topping it. The infinite cosmos and the two kissing faces forming out of the ether are so gorgeous. Just break my heart already.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:Kindle Edition, 86 pages
Expected publication: April 26th 2019 by The Order Universe
Edition Language English
Series Soldiers and Mercenaries #1

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Wrong Way Home (Criminal Delights: Taken) by K.A. Merikan

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This series has very dark themes. Each book is by a different author and can be read as standalones. Please pay attention to the trigger warnings and tags.

The first two chapters are Colin’s POV as he takes a new route home to visit his parents and ends up seeing a murder. The horror elements are well done. I understand the negotiating–believing maybe if Colin tried to offer favors it might save his life or improve his quality of life in the situation. I think for me, the attraction was too quick on Colin’s part after what he witnessed. Chapter three shows Tarin’s POV. He’s not a psychopath, but he is a survivalist and definitely follows his own rules and moral code. After the initial awkwardness in transitioning them from captor/hostage to actual lovers, the book gets very intriguing when absorbing the reader in what might be Stockholm Syndrome. The sex here is raw, wild, and brutal the first few times and then gets intense with intimacy as the book progresses. As the rest of the book alternates between them, both characters get their layers peeled away.

I liked the blurb and got drawn into the possibilities presented, but the book ends up having a very different feel than what I thought it would be. The original murder is explained and Tarin ends up being quite thoughtful, if stubborn and damaged by past trauma. Colin starts out as not terribly happy and filled with anxiety about decisions and disappointing his family. He and Tarin are strangely well suited and while he may not realise it, his true personality comes out once he feels “safe” enough to fight with Tarin. The noncon/dubcon part of the scenario would have always hung over them unless it was addressed; so while it is addressed, I think I might have liked Colin and Tarin to have more time apart and Colin to have come back on his own, on equal footing. I’ll not spoil it, but there was an opportunity to bring some of the horror elements from the beginning, back into the story and the authors chose a different path. It is also awkward in parts and the plot is a bit thin. Overall, this is a surprisingly sweet romance about two men who might have never met but for fate. They both learn what having a relationship actually means (working together towards a common goal, compromise, listening to each other, respect) and that they are stronger and happier together than apart.

The cover design is by Natasha Snow. Almost all the covers by these authors are dark and stylized with bright fonts. The covers for this series are all similar. This shows Talin and makes sense to the story on more than one level, so I thought it was well done.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 264 pages
Published April 15th 2019 by Acerbi & Villani ltd
ASINB07P9MVC31
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review : Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2) by Ruby Moone

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Aaron Baker has a problem. His online clothing company is under attack. Whilst MC Securities tackle the breaches in security, he asks for an agent to pose as his fake boyfriend. He doesn’t bargain for getting a snarky, ex-marine with sad, blue eyes and submissive tendencies.

Dumped by his boyfriend, Finlay Masters concludes that the best, and safest, place for him is to return to the closet. Kicked out by his parents as a kid for being gay, closeted in the army for fifteen years, body wrecked by an explosion that cost him his job, he isn’t the best bet for any kind of relationship. Even a fake one.

As the investigation mounts, Aaron wants more, but Finn has no faith in love, never dared need anyone. Aaron talks of how lucky he is to find him, but Finn knows if he is to have a chance at a relationship at all, he needs to find himself.

Oh man, this one pulled at my heart strings.  Finlay just needs someone to love him and be there for him no matter how much he likes to think he doesn’t and is afraid of being hurt.  Aaron is losing his relationship with his son and having problems at his company when Finlay comes in to help they find they can both help each other so much more.

I felt for Finlay and how he has lost everyone in his life, even his most recent ex put a wall between him and his only friend.  I hurt as I watched him working through his thoughts and worries but was so glad that Aaron would be there to hold him up in the end.  Aaron poured himself into his business not realizing how much his son needed him at the time but when trying to fix the problems in his company Finlay helps him to take a step back and realize what’s really important.  Finlay getting back some of that which he thought he had lost probably went more towards him finally admitting his feelings towards Aaron than he would ever have been able to admit.  I am loving this series and look forward to other books.

The cover art is great, I love the visual of Finlay and how it’s similar in style to the previous book but also different.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 245 pages

Published: April 9, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: MC Securities #2

Love Fantasy? Check Out the Release Blitz for The Gathering Storm (Juxtan #2) by Tricia Owens (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Gathering Storm (Book 2 of Juxtan)

Author: Tricia Owens

Publisher:  Self-Published

Cover Artist: Tricia Owens

Genre/s: Fantasy, M/M romance

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: 50 000 words

Release Date: April 22, 2019

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

 

 

Blurb

After betraying the only man he ever loved, Hadrian ni Leyanon waits for death amid the ruins of a sorcerous battle. Before that can happen he is recruited by the Council of Elders which governs the use of magick in Juxtan. The Council needs him to track down his evil sorcerer father and force him to face a justice they aren’t powerful enough to inflict on their own. Wracked with guilt, Hadrian agrees to join the mage-led mission in the hopes it will allow him to redeem himself. But when Caled, the handsome mercenary whom Hadrian betrayed, insists on joining the mission, too, Hadrian discovers that redemption needs to come from the man who hates him most.

This book was previously published as The Gathering.

 

Excerpt

The mercenary tightened his fingers around Hadrian’s wrist in response. For a brief instant Hadrian was transported back in time, when Caled held his arm this way because he was leading Hadrian back to the Bell and Buckle for a midday roll and they were trying to be discreet while excitement quickening their pulses. The memory was so sharp and the ache it caused so painful that Hadrian let out a whimper of longing before he could stop himself.

Caled turned his head at the sound, his glorious blue eyes still full of a hate that seemed to age him. But there was something else which lurked in those sapphire depths, something…

“Please,” Hadrian said, the word holding a thousand meanings―it was up to Caled to decide which interpretation to take. “Please.”

Caled had brought them to a mudroom off the main entrance that afforded some privacy. In the semi-darkness, surrounded by hanging cloaks and furs, Caled released Hadrian’s arm and turned around. He herded Hadrian back against the nearest wall, Hadrian clumsily moving his feet out of the way to avoid being stepped on.

“It’s too late for that,” Caled told him grimly. “It’s too late for pleas, for forgiveness. It’s too late, Hadrian.”

Hadrian found himself pressed into the scratchy fabric of wool cloaks. Damp mud on their hems brushed the backs of his bare calves, making him shiver at the cold. But if he needed heat, all he needed to do was look into Caled’s eyes.

“I understand you’re going to kill me,” Hadrian began, his voice stronger than he expected. “I deserve your justice.” The lines around Caled’s eyes deepened. “But I want you to know, Caled. I want you to know―it wasn’t a deception. What we shared―it was real. It was real for me.”

 

About the Author

Tricia Owens has been writing m/m fiction since 2000, after stumbling onto the term ‘slash’ and thinking it referred to horror stories. She is the author of the Sin City, A Pirate’s Life for Me, and Juxtapose City series, among several others. She lives in Las Vegas.

 

Author  Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

 

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

 

 

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Love Contemporary Romance? Check out the Review Tour and Giveaway for Ruby Moone’s Finding Finlay (MC Securities #2)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Availalbe to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 72,800 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
MC Securities Series 
 
Book #1 – Trusting Jack – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Blurb
 

Aaron Baker has a problem. His online clothing company is under attack. Whilst MC Securities tackle the breaches in security, he asks for an agent to pose as his fake boyfriend. He doesn’t bargain for getting a snarky, ex-marine with sad, blue eyes and submissive tendencies.



Dumped by his boyfriend, Finlay Masters concludes that the best, and safest, place for him is to return to the closet. Kicked out by his parents as a kid for being gay, closeted in the army for fifteen years, body wrecked by an explosion that cost him his job, he isn’t the best bet for any kind of relationship. Even a fake one.


As the investigation mounts, Aaron wants more, but Finn has no faith in love, never dared need anyone. Aaron talks of how lucky he is to find him, but Finn knows if he is to have a chance at a relationship at all, he needs to find himself.
Each book in the MC Securities Series can be read as standalone. 
 
Excerpt
 

Finn cleared his throat. “Just thinking that if you fancy me, and I fancy you, we could take advantage of the situation we find ourselves in. So to speak.”


Aaron couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Finn was suggesting they had sex? “You put forward a strong argument.”


Finn stared straight forward. “You just need to know that my body is a mess. My left leg, left shoulder, chest…” he waved a hand over the area and pulled a face. “Not pretty. I can leave a T-shirt on and sweats if it’s too much for you.”


The matter of fact way Finn said it robbed Aaron of speech. The car pulled up at the venue, and the moment was lost, but Aaron knew he needed to address it, he just didn’t know how.


He walked into the hotel with Finn by his side. He looked absolutely magnificent. His military bearing was clearly apparent in the way he held himself, he looked every inch the protective boyfriend as he stood aside to let Aaron pass. They walked, shoulder to shoulder in the direction of the event. Aaron glanced sideways at him.


“Hey.” His voice was low.


Finn looked at him. His dark rimmed blue eyes unreadable.


“No T-shirts, no sweats.”


Something shone in those dark eyes. The side of his mouth twitched in the tiniest of smiles as he looked away.

My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal. I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading. I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head…he probably has a point!


Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RubyMoone/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter – @RubyMooneWriter
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rubymoone/

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Review Tour for Wrong Way Home (Criminal Delights: Taken) 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: 70,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

— ONE WRONG TURN. ONE RIGHT MAN. —


Colin. Rule-follower. Future doctor. Witness to murder. Captive.
Taron. Survivalist. Mute. Murderer. Captor.


Like every other weekend, Colin is on his way home from university, but he’s taunted by the notion that he never takes risks in life and always follows the beaten path. On impulse, he decides to take a different route. Just this one time. What he doesn’t realize is that it’s the last time he has a choice.
He ends up taking a detour into the darkest pit of horror, abducted by a silent, imposing man with a blood-stained axe. But what seems like his worst nightmare might just prove to be a path to the kind of freedom Colin never knew existed.


Taron has lived alone for years. His land, his rules. He’d given up on company long ago. After all, attachment is a liability. He deals with his problems on his own, but the night he needs to dispose of an enemy, he ends up with a witness to his crime.


The last thing Taron needs is a nuisance of a captive. Colin doesn’t deserve death for setting foot on Taron’s land, but keeping him isn’t optimal either. It’s only when he finds out the city boy is gay that an altogether different option arises. One that isn’t right, yet tempts him every time Colin’s pretty eyes glare at him from the cage.


*


“When Taron looped the heavy metal collar around the slender neck and closed the padlock, his body throbbed with the excitement of knowing he owned this boy.
Was it wrong? Yes, yes it was.
Was it so, so good? Definitely.”



Themes: prepping, alternative lifestyles, disability, crime, loneliness, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, fish out of water, opposites attract, abduction, Stockholm syndrome, family issues
Genre: Dark, thriller M/M romance
Heat level: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes


This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark M/M romance.
Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted.

Check out Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.  We recommend it and the series.

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.


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