A MelanieM Review:To Be Continued (#lovehim #3.5) by S.M. James

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Welcome to Webcon. Where the biggest and brightest internet celebrities come face to face with their fans.

Brought up in the ‘live for likes’ culture, Digi Lynch has amassed an impressive following. His channel is taking off, and Webcon always delivers a boost in numbers, thanks to his rivalry with ex-vlogging partner, Gram Saito.

Gram is popular, confident, and rising to the kind of fame worthy of a second gen internet sensation. And he’s up to his old tricks.

Digi can’t turn a corner for fear of being pranked and his reaction blasted online. And after one of Gram’s most high scale pranks yet, Digi decides it’s time to get even.

The animosity between Digi and Gram heats up as old feelings resurface, and Digi is forced to decide whether a life in the limelight is worth it …

Before they both go too far.

A YA contemporary novella, To Be Continued is the prequel to Not Gonna Lie and will show you where it all began for Gram and Digi.

To Be Continued (#lovehim #3.5) by S.M. James is the last of the available stories in this author’s must read YA series, a fact that’s making me sigh already.  That it’s ending here, on the “first half” of Digi and Gram’s story? Worse because this is not one of those happy stories.  It’s full of pain, the punch in the gut ways only family and those we care for but have blinders on can deal blows. It’s being young and trying to figure things out.  It’s real, sometimes mean and in every way authentic as S.M James gets under these characters skins and emotions like no other.

You have two boys now teenagers who used to be friends only a year ago, their animosity fueled in part by their mother’s  who are competitive in their online blogs and make sure it carries over to their sons, who have blogs and followers of their own.  A twisty world, a heartbreaking way to grow up online and Digi has had enough.

The strength and pain of his feelings come through so powerfully that we are carried swiftly along through several days of events to an abrupt end.  It will make sense and make us want to grab for the story still out of reach until May.  We need to know what happened to everyone next.  But as James tells us in the title  this is To Be Continued….

If you ask me to pick a couple as a favorite, I probably would have swayed towards Brooks and Damien….but there’s something about Digi and Gram.  Well of of them.  They get to you.  In their struggles to find themselves.  Their sexuality and their path to love.  Each and everyone has a deep place in my heart.   This story is just one more reason why.

But don’t start here.  I listed all the books below.  They are short and incredible.  Read them in the order they are written and then wait with them to see what happens with Digi and Gram.  Is it time yet?  Are we there?

 

Cover art: Story Styling Cover Design.  That’s perfect in a way.  Brands the series and has the tone down.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 114 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by May Books
ASIN B07P3SMSSR
Series #lovehim #3.5

Series #lovehim

That Feeling When (Archie and Landon)

No Big Deal
To Be Continued(3,5) Digi and Gram
In Real Life(4.5)  Archie and Landon  coming soon, hopefully.

An Alisa Review : Escaping Camp Roosevelt by Bryan T. Clark

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

“He’s a bad boy—cocky and damaged. So, why can’t I stop thinking about him?”

Broken Dreams

Sociable and unselfish, eighteen-year-old Tucker Graves loves two things—his darling little sister and the thrill of playing baseball. He never dreamed that he’d be homeless, but after a series of misfortunes, his life is nothing like he could have possibly imagined. Shocked and shattered, Tucker, his mother, and his baby sister now must brave the dangers of a dilapidated homeless encampment called Camp Roosevelt.

A Wounded Heart

Homeless since the age of fourteen, Dancer has mastered the tricks of living on the streets as a sex worker. The quiet, reclusive, and calculating ways of this twenty-year-old, green-eyed Adonis help him to survive. He hides his emotional scars from the world by interacting only with his clients, whose occasional bizarre requests he reluctantly fulfills. Dancer’s past has taught him to trust no one.

A Second Chance

When Tucker and Dancer come face to face on a stormy night, having been thrown together under the same roof, Tucker brings out a feeling in Dancer that he didn’t know still existed in him—desire. Neither man can deny the attraction he feels for the other. But some scars run deep, causing both Tucker and Dancer to question whether falling in love is even possible, especially when survival is on the line.

This story really gives a look into homelessness and how they live.  I was able to see the characters frustration and hopelessness when it came to their situation and not knowing how to break out of the cycle they have been in.  It was nice to see Tucker give Dancer a reason to break out of it and them give each other hope.

Tucker has been staying with his mom and sister to protect Mattie from his mom’s addiction.  Though it seemed horrible at the moment I was very glad that his mom ended up being arrested and it looks like she was doing better in the rehab she is in, though I wasn’t seeing any remorse for how she acted but would hope that would come in time and with the distance apart.  Though Tucker loves Mattie I was glad that she is able to be with their mom since it takes a large burden off his shoulders.

Dancer has had to make tough choices over the last six years and you can see how it has ate at him.  I was glad that him finally letting down his walls was a big help in breaking free but unfortunately it was mostly due to his mother making an appearance in his life again.

I unfortunately didn’t connect much with these characters and I don’t think was way anything about the situation they were in.  These two just so quickly switched there moods or flipped how they were feeling, I just felt much of it was disingenuous.  I was glad they get out of their situation but it was mostly due to the luck of Dancer’s mom finding him and her having the money to change things.  I’m not sure what they would have done if that didn’t happen.

The cover art by Karrie Jax is nice, giving a visual of the two man characters.

Sales Link: Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 252 pages

Published: May 1, 2019 by Cornbread Publishing

Edition Language: English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Man-Eater by Jenna Rose and Katey Hawthorne

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5 

This book is the second in the series and it would help to read them in order, but there is enough subtle recapping to read this alone. The series has a fun modern noir vibe. Be aware they describe brutal murders and this case deals with cannibalism. Lowell is a gruff, cuddly sort. Being a packless wolf shifter and ex-cop makes him a little prickly what with the prejudice and lack of respect the public has for either. Lowell’s boyfriend and business partner is John, pyrokinetic and mystery author. How he manages to not set certain people on fire makes him a better person than me. The series is set in Boston and they serve a diverse praeternatural community. They get hired by a young Terran named Fergus to look into the murder of his Beast (lion shifter) boyfriend Mateo. Lowell’s obnoxious hedgehog-shifter stalker is back to help with the case. The reader gets to see more of John’s friend Macy. I hope she gets to help on a case in the future. The few “good” cops are highlighted as helping them. As with the first book, most of this is “pounding the pavement” to solve the case with brief moments of their life they try to fit in around trying to find the killer and not getting killed.

Soon the bodies start to pile up. The victims being packless allows the opportunity of learning more about werewolf culture and pack structure. The blatant prejudice against packless with an actual hate group was sad. Being packless seems a lot like being shunned and has spiritual implications also. It is against the law for packless to form a pack, so they are afraid to even be friends or gather in groups for anything social or meaningful life events. I definitely want to see some activism on that front in future books.

As always, John is a bundle of energy and much a source of amusement. His complicated relationship with his mother is a source of stress that being with Lowell gives him the strength to deal with. Lowell has the strength to emotionally deal with the way things happen with his mother’s pack thanks to having John. These two are just so cute together and the love scenes are hot, but also emotionally move their relationship forward. I may have unfairly judged the first book because I think I have been reading a lot of science fiction in which the world building is all in the first book like a huge info dump–then I get upset if it’s never used or revisited again. This series works the other way–the world building happens gradually in the stories as more characters are added that the author will revisit again in the future and the reader will learn more about them when the time comes. Overall, I enjoyed this book. As with any P.I. series there will be some cases more interesting than others, but with likable main characters, intriguing side characters, and poignant social commentary to give this unexpected depth, I will continue to read these.

The cover was designed by Aisha Akeju. It matches the first cover in the series and catches that modern noir vibe well, but doesn’t give you much about the story

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 193 pages
Published March 25th 2019 by Less Than Three Press, LLC
ASINB07NRV981M

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Love Kills (Criminal Delights: Serial Killers ) by Michael Mandrake

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited.
 
Length: 56,600 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

Deranged birds of a feather flock together… leaving trails of blood in their wake.


Holland has fantasies most can’t accept. When potential mates discover Holland’s bloodlust, it’s too late for them to refuse. Determined to get what he wants, Holland continues to seek a man to fulfill his deepest desire and he won’t stop at anything


Archer is inspired and aroused by the tales he’s heard from his boyfriend. Still, he’s greedy for something that pushes him over the edge. Although this might drive him and his partner apart, Archer’s dark want won’t disappear.


Clint’s love for his job has slipped for years, and he’s pondered change. These days he’s cared more about how to please his man, than the rigorous position of solving murder cases. Clint thinks his attitude will eventually get better, thus prompting him to stay aboard. Still, the constant worry of Archer finding someone new niggles at him.


Putting sketchy characters behind bars had always been Clint’s forte, but when new feelings arise, Clint’s conscience is tested. Furthermore, what will happen if Clint is forced to choose between the love of his life, his career, and his morality?


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.

 
About the Author
 

Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Through these, he builds worlds not centered on romance but rather the mainstream and/or obscure plots we might encounter in everyday life and beyond.


Website: https://michaelmandrake.wordpress.com/
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichaelMandrake/
FB Profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004610177001
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/MichaelMandrake
Follow me on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/michael-mandrake
Triad Newsletter – https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z7f2c7
Triad Fangroup – https://www.facebook.com/groups/275083546529760/

 

Giveaway

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Bryan T. Clark’s Escaping Camp Roosevelt

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Length: 87,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Karrie Jax
Blurb
 

“He’s a bad boy—cocky and damaged. So, why can’t I stop thinking about him?”


Broken Dreams
Sociable and unselfish, eighteen-year-old Tucker Graves loves two things—his darling little sister and the thrill of playing baseball. He never dreamed that he’d be homeless, but after a series of misfortunes, his life is nothing like he could have possibly imagined. Shocked and shattered, Tucker, his mother, and his baby sister now must brave the dangers of a dilapidated homeless encampment called Camp Roosevelt.


A Wounded Heart
Homeless since the age of fourteen, Dancer has mastered the tricks of living on the streets as a sex worker. The quiet, reclusive, and calculating ways of this twenty-year-old, green-eyed Adonis help him to survive. He hides his emotional scars from the world by interacting only with his clients, whose occasional bizarre requests he reluctantly fulfills. Dancer’s past has taught him to trust no one.


A Second Chance
When Tucker and Dancer come face to face on a stormy night, having been thrown together under the same roof, Tucker brings out a feeling in Dancer that he didn’t know still existed in him—desire. Neither man can deny the attraction he feels for the other. But some scars run deep, causing both Tucker and Dancer to question whether falling in love is even possible, especially when survival is on the line.


Bryan T. Clark is a multi-published, Rainbow Award-winning author and LAMBDA finalist.


*** One hundred percent of the royalties from the first year of this novel’s publication is being donated to the Larkin Street Youth Services/Castro Youth Housing Initiative. The CYHI provides transitional housing in the city of San Francisco, California, for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. Fear of being raped, abused, or murdered should not be a part of anyone’s youth.


 

 

Bryan T. Clark is a Lambda Literary finalist and Rainbow Award winning author of gay romance, and contemporary books. He is also a funny, loving, family-oriented, and proud member of the LGBT community. Behind his computer, working on his next novel, Bryan writes romance with an emphasis on moral dilemma. His multicultural characters and riveting plots embody real life, filled with challenges, personal growth, and, of course, what we all desire—love.


In his work, he is known to push the boundaries with brilliantly crafted stories of friendship, love, complicated relationships, and challenges all woven into a hard-earned happily-ever-after.


When Bryan is not writing, he enjoys reading a great book, traveling, lying by a body of water soaking up the sun, and watching a good movie while snuggled up with his husband on the couch with their loyal companion Nettie, the Sheepadoodle.


Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bryan has made his home and life in the Central Valley of California.


Author’s website: www.btclark.com
Twitter: @BryanTClarkx2
Facebook: BryanTclarkauthor@facebook.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/romanceauthor/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7875459.Bryan_T_Clark.com

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