A MelanieM Review: Anthony, Earl of Crofton by Rebecca Cohen

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A tale set in Stuart England, where the king’s life depends on his most loyal of subjects.

Anthony Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, delights in his reputation as a charming rogue. Life is never quiet at the court of King James I, especially with his good friend and secret lover, Sebastian Hewel, by his side. As an actor with the celebrated King’s Men, Sebastian has his own admirers, but neither man has eyes for anyone else.

When a plot against His Majesty is uncovered it threatens Anthony and Sebastian’s charmed lives, and they are dragged into the political intrigue and the race to save the king from danger. Fear that a traitor is linked to the King’s Men leaves Sebastian and Anthony with no choice but to stage a very public dissolution of their friendship, so Anthony can be free to be the patron of a new rising actor, and Sebastian can be the prodigy of another noble.

It is a dangerous game they are playing to expose the plotters and still find a way to meet in secret, as Anthony is adamant that they will not sacrifice the love they have fought so hard to win. They will do whatever it takes to protect the king’s life, and their commitment to each other.

I have loved this couple from the start of their relationship.  That was  Rebecca Cohen’s The Actor and the Earl, the first story in the The Crofton Chronicles. That series was told from Sebastian’s pov and actually stretched through their lineage into the modern day Crofton Hall.  It is a terrific series, one I rec to anyone who adores M/M historical romance.

I had thought that Rebecca Cohen was finished with the Croftons, the series over.  But with the release of this new story, the author has also started a new series as well.  This time told from Anthony’s perspective and what a joy and entertaining ride it is.

Anthony, Earl of Crofton by Rebecca Cohen picks up after the events of Forever Hold His Peace (The Crofton Chronicles #3).  You don’t have to have read that story as the author fills in all the details nicely here.  But if you have, this feels like coming home again and your fingers will itch to go back and pick up the other series as a foundation.  Sebastian is treading the boards as a popular and extremely successful actor of the day, with his ex brother in law Anthony as his patron.  It’s again trying times to disguise their true relationship as lovers behind this masquerade but they are taking precautions and Anthony’s new engagement to Lady Sarah (which also shields her love for her maid Beth) will also help hide them.

Then a plan to kill King James by a Scottish insurgency intent on returning Catholicism and a far different reign to England comes to light and Anthony and Sebastian’s assistance is needed.

What makes this novel so enjoyable is that not only are the characters so well drawn but that the author has done her research for the time period and it all flows together so beautifully.  The plays, the cloths, the court, the politics and intrigue.  It all comes together in high romance, suspense, and no little amount of anxiety at times over the safety of our main couple.  And their happiness!

If you have read the other three books that make up their wild beginning story and path towards love and a real relationship, you can more readily appreciate the stage Anthony and Sebastian are at here in their lives.  If you haven’t, I have listed them for you below.  They are well worth reading before you get to this one, trust me because they are the foundation story for this couple.

Anthony, Earl of Crofton by Rebecca Cohen ended just as I hoped after such a thrilling adventure for them both.  I can’t wait to see what the next installment brings.    It will sure be one of great romance, high adventure, more than a little suspense and a love that lasted through more turmoils and troubles than anyone could expect.

The story is fast paced, sexy, fun, and so well written that it just flies by.    You will definitely want more once it’s finished.  I highly recommend reading all the Crofton stories as I love them all, including this one.

Cover art:  Garrett Leigh at Black Jazz Designs.  Well, I would have thought Anthony would be one with a little less swagger but then again maybe not.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published April 25th 2019
ASINB  07QMTQ6DB
Edition Language English

The Crofton Chronicles Series – Anthony and Sebastian from Sebastian’s pov:

The Actor and the Earl

Duty to the Crown

Forever Hold His Peace (this is where Anthony, Earl of Crofton picks up)

An Ashlez Review: Sweating Lies – Criminal Delights: Taken (Lies #1) by Emma Jaye

Standard
Rating : 4 stars out of 5

“Gladiator or toy?” Kaspar asks, as if it’s the easiest choice in the world.

It might be an easy answer for someone branded, brainwashed, and who remembers no other life. But that’s not me, not yet anyway. I’m a cop—or at least I was until my cover got blown.

Now, I’m one of the trafficked people I vowed to save.

Kaspar’s a toy —a pleasure slave— content to warm our sadistic owner’s bed; he laps up the abuse he’s conditioned to associate with affection.

He’s my only way out. To gain our freedom, I must play the hardest undercover role of my career and be everything his fractured mind needs: a more controlling bastard than the man who turns people into grateful slaves for a living.

Officer Jiao Sweatt thinks I’m a victim.
He has a lot to learn.
And it’ll hurt.

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.

Overall this book was great, it was very well written and the story progressed nicely.  I had a problem with the older terminology for the whole organization and I could have done without that, as Jiao mentioned early on.
Kaspar was great – he was a very well rounded character and it takes you into a psyche that I don’t think normally one would get to look into.
Jiao was just an average character – I felt he 100% had a hero complex.
I don’t think that this book progressed in a particularly fast fashion like the other criminal delights book I had read – but it did manage to weave a story that was quite spellbinding.  So apart from the lack of movement in the story (which honestly was moving fast .. I can’t describe that) the story was awesome and well worth a read.
Cover art by Natasha Snow: overall makes sense and matches the book.
Sales Links:  
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 286 pages
Expected publication: April 29th 2019 by Purindoors Publications
ASINB07PHZQFBB
SeriesLies #1

Amanda Meuwissen on Good Writing Habits and her new release Coming Up for Air (author guest blog)

Standard

Coming Up for Air by Amanda Meuwissen

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design
Publication: April 30th 2019

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press Paperback and  eBook

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to welcome back Amanda Meuwissen here today talking about writing and her new release Coming Up for Air. Welcome, Amanda!

✒︎

66 Days to Create Good Writing Habits

More than any other piece of advice, what people most often ask me is how do I foster good writing habits to create as much content as I do each year. The simple answer is I write every day, but that isn’t what people want to hear. Writing every day sounds hard. It sounds nearly impossible.

Considering the amount of people (myself included) who try to break bad eating and exercise habits and fail, it’s no wonder we feel that way. We all wish there was an easy route to what we want to accomplish, but sadly, the difficult path is the only one that works.

But back up. Writing every day, while it might sound difficult and does take discipline, isn’t as hard as you might think. It just starts with consistency, and over time, you can build on that more and more.

When I say write every day, that doesn’t mean you have to write 2,000 words every day. Even a single sentence can be enough, but you must build the habit of writing something each day as a starting point.

Developing discipline as a writer is the same as any good habit (or bad habit you want to break). I’ve heard varying numbers about how long it takes to make or break a habit, but the general rule is that it takes a little over two months, or around 66 days for something to become routine—for eating and exercise habits too, by the way.

And I speak from experience, nothing is harder than the first two weeks of those 66 days, but if you can last that final push over two months, the third month is easy, and from there, it’s no longer a challenge to keep consistent.

That’s why I have repeatedly told people who ask me this question that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month in November) is a great starting point for any writer to get into good habits with writing. It gives you your first 30 days right off the bat as a challenge. The trick is to not stop there.

Another exercise I took on last year was an AU (alternate universe) a day challenge for a full month, which can easily be tailored to be a prompt a day challenge if you prefer. In my case, I took one of my favorite fandoms, the superhero world of DC Comics, and chose a different universe to place those characters in each day, so ultimately, I was creating a unique story every time but with familiar faces.

Meaning, I wasn’t pumping out a full novel during this time like with NaNo, adding new chapters and scenes to a single story, I was dabbling in a different story every time I sat down to write.

You don’t have to add to the same project every day if you don’t feel inspired from one day to another, just write something, some amount, and if you do take a day off, make it only ONE DAY. Any more than that, and you risk breaking the path to a good habit.

Blurb:
It’s not easy being someone’s fairy tale.
Leigh Hurley is making a name for himself among thieves and criminals, even if it isn’t the life he would’ve chosen. He shouldn’t have screwed over the Moretti brothers, though. It landed him in the river with weights on his feet. But somehow he’s escaped certain death. The last thing he remembers before waking on the riverbank is a beautiful face and a soft kiss.
Then, Tolomeo turns up naked at Leigh’s apartment.
Tolly comes from a race of killers—merfolk who drown humans for fun. But Tolly is different, and when he sees a human in trouble, he offers a kiss, granting the man the ability to breathe underwater… and himself the ability to walk on land, at least until the next full moon. The ancient laws state that if he is given a vow of love by the one he kissed, he will be able to keep his legs. If not, he will be put to death when he returns to the water.
But love is not something Leigh offers easily… and Tolly has a secret of his own.
Author Bio:
Amanda Meuwissen is a primarily gay romance writer, as well as Marketing Operations Manager for the software company Outsell. She has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed major from St. Olaf College in Creative Writing, and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. As author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga, young adult novel Life as a Teenage Vampire, the novelette The Collector, and superhero duology Lovesick Gods and Lovesick Titans, Amanda regularly attends local comic conventions for fun and to meet with fans, where she will often be seen in costume as one of her favorite fictional characters. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga, and can be found at www.amandameuwissen.com.

Need a New Contemporary Romance? Check out the Review Tour and Giveaway for Love Is A Walk In The Park by V.L. Locey & Stephanie Locey

Standard

 

Pre-Order Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 50,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Sullivan Haines knows exactly what he wants out of life. Fame as a Broadway dancer and to find the man of his dreams. Sadly, his love life is a dismal mess, his roommate is PMS personified, and working at a dingy dance studio teaching old people how to tango and foxtrot is not exactly the bright lights. Actually, life in the Big Apple is pretty rotten, until he and his dog run into tall, dark, and oh-so-handsome Duane Hart in the park. Their pooches hit it right off, but can the two men find romance along the park’s winding paths?


Duane Hart hasn’t had a lot go right in his life. His girlfriend recently broke up with him, taking everything that wasn’t nailed down or in his roommate’s name. Well, everything except the Yorkshire terrier that he didn’t want to get in the first place, and that she now refuses to take back. However, when he meets a handsome stranger and his pit bull in the dog park, will the blooming heat in his chest be able to convince him to start dating again? Or will fate prove love isn’t a walk in the park, after all?

 

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.

 

Stephanie Locey loves video games, bad jokes, and kind people. She works full-time at a low-paying job and strives to not do that anymore. When not writing or working, she can be found playing fantasy RPGs, petting cats, and planning for adventures.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Love Historicals? Don’t Miss the Review Tour and Giveaway for Rebecca Cohen’s Anthony, Earl of Crofton

Standard

 

 
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Length: 66,000 words approx.
 
Blurb



A tale set in Stuart England, where the king’s life depends on his most loyal of subjects.


Anthony Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, delights in his reputation as a charming rogue. Life is never quiet at the court of King James I, especially with his good friend and secret lover, Sebastian Hewel, by his side. As an actor with the celebrated King’s Men, Sebastian has his own admirers, but neither man has eyes for anyone else.



When a plot against His Majesty is uncovered it threatens Anthony and Sebastian’s charmed lives, and they are dragged into the political intrigue and the race to save the king from danger. Fear that a traitor is linked to the King’s Men leaves Sebastian and Anthony with no choice but to stage a very public dissolution of their friendship, so Anthony can be free to be the patron of a new rising actor, and Sebastian can be the prodigy of another noble.


It is a dangerous game they are playing to expose the plotters and still find a way to meet in secret, as Anthony is adamant that they will not sacrifice the love they have fought so hard to win. They will do whatever it takes to protect the king’s life, and their commitment to each other.

 

Author Bio
 

REBECCA COHEN spends her days dreaming of a living in a Tudor manor house, or a Georgian mansion. Alas, the closest she comes to this is through her characters in her historical romance novels. She also dreams of intergalactic adventures and fantasy realms, but because she’s not yet got her space or dimensional travel plans finalised, she lives happily in leafy Hertfordshire, England, with her husband and young son. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and sloe gin with lemon tonic in the other.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Love A Supernatural Romance? Check Out the New Release Blitz for Wounded Soul by Annabelle Jacobs (giveaway)

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link – Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 89,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Blurb
 

One night can change everything…


Jesse Sykes has lived far longer than his youthful appearance suggests. Becoming a vampire after tragedy struck seemed the only option when his soul was shattered, after all he’s no stranger to having to hide what he is from the rest of the world. But eternal life isn’t without problems or heartache.


With a good job and great friends, Ian Moreton’s life would be almost perfect—if only he wasn’t in love with his best friend. His feelings are unrequited, and in an effort to move on, he takes a chance on a one-night stand with the handsome stranger he meets in a bar.


Jesse knows the risks of becoming attached to a human, but with neither of them looking for anything serious, where’s the harm? At least, that’s what Jesse thinks until his chemistry with Ian proves off the charts.


A second hook-up solidifies their connection…and brings Jesse to his senses. He scrambles to protect Ian from danger, but it’s already too late. With Ian unwittingly drawn into a world he knows nothing about, events are set in motion that will change both of their lives forever, and it’s up to Jesse to steer them safely through it.

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website – www.annabellejacobs.com
Email – ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions