An Ashlez Review : It’s In My Blood (Criminal Delights:Obsession) by Sean Azinsalt

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Rating – 2.5 stars out of 5
Death eventually comes for us all. But what if there’s a way for older people to regain their youth? To stay a step ahead of the grim reaper?


Turning 40 was the last straw for me. It’s practically 60 in gay years and I wasn’t ready for dentures yet, so I came to Youthology — a program that injects clients with blood transfusions from young, fit and healthy donors.

I chose Nick.

Handsome. Masculine. And more importantly, young.

I thought I hit the lottery, until my life started to change for the worst. Not even the top medical experts can explain what happened to me. From the moment Nick’s blood flooded into my veins, I stopped being me, and I became something new; something dangerous and deadly.

I became my donor.

His obsessions are mine now. His darkest desires, his dreams, his needs, and nightmares are all a part of me, and I don’t want to let them go.

I embrace them and the beautiful boy who haunts both of our dreams.

My blood pact was sealed the moment I entered Youthology.

I never thought I’d become a killer.

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.
 
Honestly when I first started this book I thought YES another criminal delights book!!!!!!!!!! I started reading and was sorely disappointed – Concept, of course, cool, the MC was lackluster and really annoying with his hangups, I really didn’t need him complaining for 1/4 of the book – and I did not enjoy the initial fun time scene in the book.
 
I’m very conflicted – I adore the criminal delights but this book was just a dud through and through .. again, was an interesting concept the whole eternal youth and blood angle was pretty cool to read and the transition of the main character from who he was to who he became was quite the read, but in the end it was just not the book for me.
 

Perhaps I’m projecting my love for a few of the others in the criminal delights “series” into this one and that’s why I found it lackluster, still worth a read if you like cool science things and some freaky happenings.

Cover art by Natasha Snow: cover seems dark/spooky, related to blood so that’s cool.
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 217 pages
Published May 17th 2019
ASINB07PS6XFQZ
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Uncommon Ground (Aliens in New York #1) by Kelly Jensen

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Dillon Lee’s grandfather was a conspiracy theorist. Every summer he’d take Dillon on a tour of New York City while entertaining him with tales of aliens. Fifteen years later, after a phone call from a lawyer, Dillon is carrying his grandfather’s ashes from landmark to landmark, paying a sort of tribute, and trying to figure out what to do with his unexpected legacy. When someone tries to steal the ashes, a guy Dillon has barely met leaps to the rescue, saving the urn and the day.

Steilang Skovgaard is a reclusive billionaire—and not human. He’s been living in Manhattan for over twenty years, working on a long-term plan to establish a safe haven for his people. For seven years, his reports have gone unanswered, however, and he is the only surviving member of his interstellar team. The connection he forms with Dillon soon after meeting him is something he’s missed, something he craves.

But after someone keeps trying to steal the ashes, it looks as though Dillon’s grandfather was involved in more than theories—and might not have been exactly who everyone thought he was. Steilang doesn’t know how close he can get to the truth without revealing himself, and Dillon is running out of people to trust. Can these two work out what’s going on before the thieves set their sights higher?

Uncommon Ground (Aliens in New York #1) by Kelly Jensen is an entertaining and enjoyable story.  And I will certainly be reading the second installment to see what happens to this couple and the next step in their relationship and the events that happen here.  But having said that, Uncommon Ground also suffered from two things for me in comparison.  One wasn’t something it could  have anything to do with but I had just finished an absolutely brilliant science fiction novel and anything that came immediately after wasn’t going to measure up.  Again, not this story’s fault.

But the other?  It doesn’t hold to the usual meticulousness with which  Kelly Jensen permeates her typical stories.  There’s such a preciseness, a air of completeness about mostly everything this author writes that I have come to expect from her tales.  And I sort of tind that lacking here.

Maybe because I find the backhistory and foundation incomplete and Jensen is going to include that in future novels in the series. Perhaps its the swiftness of the relationship between Dillon Lee and Steilang Skovgaard.  But so much here didn’t logically add up for me.  And I liked these characters and the whole idea/arc that Jensen seems to be building here.  But as the story progressed and events happened quickly, I just wanted more answers to fall into place.  And the  ones that did, again felt too slight in their delivery.  They ended up putting forth more questions than the answers they supposedly provided.

Aliens among us is a familiar trope as even Dillon remarked and I still feel like I’m waiting on Kelly Jensen to fully put her mark on this trope, series and story.  I know this author can write science fiction because her novel To See the Sun is a 5 star favorite of mine.  So I will wait to see how this series and the characters grow and proceed.

If aliens among us and science fiction are your things, here is a series to take a chance on.  I am going to to Purple Haze, book two.  I will let you know what I find

Cover art is such a disconnect for me.  They look absolutely nothing like the characters and really what makes you think aliens?  Dillon has a strange face, purple hair, piercings and weirdly colored eyes for starters. I won’t get into Skov.  This is an utter fail.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 147 pages
Published June 22nd 2017 by Kindle Worlds
Original Title Uncommon Ground
ASINB0731VVQTZ
Edition Language English
Series Aliens in New York #1, Memories with The Breakfast Club

A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Hitting the Mark by Aidan Wayne

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The story starts with Marcus going back to where he’s from to film a movie. He has the chance to visit the taekwondo academy where he spent five formative years, from age 10 to 15. Back then, his crush was the son of the owner, Taemin, who became an instructor, training to take over the family business. Meeting Taemin again and getting to know him as an adult and equal, shows Marcus everything he wants in a partner. Taemin takes a bit longer to realize what he is feeling, that it’s ok to feel this way, and that Marcus is someone he wants in his life as more than a friend.

There is smart writing on the author’s part in the use of all the side characters. Preeti, a former student and now instructor, gives them a buffer and shows that they are adults now–that Preeti and Taemin are friends and colleagues, especially with Preeti being younger than Marcus. Mr. Avi is the father figure, even though he is Taemin’s employee. Marcus’s assistant, Billy, is not just an employee, but also a supportive friend. When you spend as much time at work as these two do, their whole world is really their colleagues and people they meet through work. A huge amount of this book is the day to day details about Marcus and Taemin while they are at work, doing what they love.

With Taemin’s work ethic, his schedule is grueling. He teaches almost every day and is training for the Olympic qualification tournament on top of his charitable work. This is a habit, but may also be a way to stave off the loneliness of down time. Marcus’s life as an actor, doing most of his own stunts, is also full of training, publicity, and requires travel. There are no surprises about the travails this couple will face. There is no manufactured angst–just the real work of making it through their first disagreement. This is a realistic view of two men falling in love who must work out a way to integrate their lives together. It is a solid, well crafted romance about strong, masculine men who are confident about who they are. The love scenes are beautiful without being salacious. That the author captures that feeling of butterflies in your stomach, of wonder that the person you want, wants you back, is satisfying. It is the length, that the reader really gets to know who these men are, that elevates this above most romances.

The cover art is by Kanaxa and shows both characters as I pictured them.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 193 pages
Expected publication: May 28th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN1 39781644051436
Edition Language English

A VVivacious Review:It’s in My Blood – Criminal Delights: Obsession by Sean Azinsaltt

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Rating: 2.75 Stars out of 5

Mark is a journalist obsessed with growing old or more accurately obsessed with not growing old. As he turns forty, he can’t help feeling like his life is over, when he gets the chance to investigate a company that claims to reverse ageing. As Mark starts his treatments at Youthology not only does it seem to work but it does so much more, as the blood in Mark’s system works to make Mark more like his donor, Nick. But there is a darkness in Nick and now it’s in Mark too.

This book is Mark’s story and I liked Mark. Even with how shallow he is you can tell that he is a good person. He is definitely vain but I really couldn’t fault him for his views. Mark was a fascinating character and I really would have liked to see more of his views on what was happening to him.

This book is primarily Mark’s story and we see all characters from Mark’s lens. Sean is an interesting character who manages to get two men completely obsessed with him though I wonder if he has more of a dark side than we got to witness though I like him as the innocent character in this one. Nick is too much testosterone. He is the alpha male who thinks with the wrong head. He is cocky to his very detriment. He is an idiot and I guess I just have to come out and say this, Mark was always going to win this battle.

The story starts off interesting and it is quite engrossing in the beginning. The sex is hot but somewhat about the halfway point this book devolves into nothing but sex. There are like chapters filed with it. Chapters twenty-four and twenty-five are basically one never-ending sex scene. This author wrote the sex scenes well but there truly is something as too much of a good thing. I really wanted some plot point to emerge amid all that sex but it was for nought. The ultimate conclusion of the story is predictable as we get a hint to it in the prologue so I thought the journey to that point would be interesting. I truly wished that the last act would have been a homage to Mark truly becoming Nick and I would have liked it if it had played out that way but for the most, the author failed to develop the plot much after Sean enters the picture. There is nothing new the story introduces after that point and everything interesting happens before that point.

The writing of this book is a little quirky with some awkward sentence structuring but I think it overall works to build the charm of the book, though at times it did bring me out of the book.

This book is marketed as a dark book and I feel like the author should have stuck to the blood and its side effects to add darkness to the story instead she halfway decides that the darkness in this book is going to come from all that sexual depravity which didn’t work for me. Side Note – There is actually a lot of kinky stuff happening in this book and some stuff might be off-putting to people so just a heads up there are some golden showers in this one. I have read almost every sexual taboo out there so it’s hard to get me that way. Therefore, I must acknowledge that this book might be subjective with some people agreeing that it is a truly dark read but it wasn’t for me.

The last scene should have been the darkest of all but it just doesn’t play that way and that epilogue was downright cheery. It was the darkness that this book promised that had me intrigued but it failed to deliver.

Cover Art by Natasha Snow. I really liked the cover it really fits the theme of darkness and intrigue this book was going for.

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

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 217 pages
Published May 17th 2019
ASINB07PS6XFQZ
Edition LanguageEnglish

Amy Lane on Hanging by a Thread and her new release String Boys (author guest blog)

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String Boys by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner Press
Publication: May 28th 2019
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Buy Links– Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Amy Lane back again and blogging with us on tour for her new wonderful release, String Boys. Welcome, Amy!

 

Hanging by a Thread

By Amy Lane

So when you are very young and very in love, one of the most difficult things to deal with is temptation.

Seth and Kelly have seen people they love do pretty unforgivable things by the time Seth has to go away to school. They’ve watched Seth’s father work hard to atone for his fall from grace, and they’ve seen Kelly’s brother spiral into guilt and substance abuse because he can’t deal with the things he’s done.

They know that the consequences of a misstep far outweigh the rewards for giving in.

So when that temptation comes knocking—in the pretty coworker who’s kind to Kelly or the rakish redneck that Seth finds himself playing with in a honky-tonk dive, they totally see how the other person could be tempted.

They’re so young. It’s not like they’re unaware that cheating can be a thing.

So they develop a code phrase for, “Is it too hard to do this? Do we need to end this thing that started when we were too young anyway?”

They ask, “Do you need me to walk away?”

And the response is always, “No! I will never need you to walk away.”

And some people might think that’s doubt talking. It is, in fact, maturity. They would rather “walk away”—part on good terms, say goodbye while they still love each other—than do the unforgivable thing.

So much of String Boys is about holding onto love by a thread. There is so much against Seth and Kelly—and as the boys themselves acknowledge, the world is wide and they are very small. They couldn’t have made it without the thread of communication. Without having a code phrase or a way of dealing with even the possibility of infidelity that didn’t cause them to lose everything they love about each other.

They may have been hanging on by a thread, but there’s nothing saying that thread can’t be forged by tensile-strength steel.

Blurb–
 

Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento.

Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain.

Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands.

Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.

About the Author
 
Amy Lane lives in a crumbling crapmansion with a couple of growing children, a passel of furbabies, and a bemused spouse. She’s been nominated for a RITA, has won honorable mention for an Indiefab, and has a couple of Rainbow Awards to her name. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action-adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Review Tour and Giveaway for It’s In My Blood (Criminal Delights:Obsession) by Sean Azinsalt

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 62,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

Death eventually comes for us all. But what if there’s a way for older people to regain their youth? To stay a step ahead of the grim reaper?


Turning 40 was the last straw for me. It’s practically 60 in gay years and I wasn’t ready for dentures yet, so I came to Youthology — a program that injects clients with blood transfusions from young, fit and healthy donors.


I chose Nick.


Handsome. Masculine. And more importantly, young.


I thought I hit the lottery, until my life started to change for the worst. Not even the top medical experts can explain what happened to me. From the moment Nick’s blood flooded into my veins, I stopped being me, and I became something new; something dangerous and deadly.


I became my donor.


His obsessions are mine now. His darkest desires, his dreams, his needs, and nightmares are all a part of me, and I don’t want to let them go.


I embrace them and the beautiful boy who haunts both of our dreams.


My blood pact was sealed the moment I entered Youthology.


I never thought I’d become a killer.


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.

 

 

Author Bio


Sean Azinsalt is the pen name for Shane K Morton.


Shane lives in Studio City, CA with his husband Jody and their fur baby Slayer. His first novel, The Trouble With Off-Campus Housing was published in 2016. When not writing, Shane can be found at a film festival or performing cabaret somewhere in a dark dive bar in LA.


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RELEASE BLITZ for Keeping Cade (Crave #1) by SE Jakes

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Keeping Cade RDB Banner

Keeping Cade

Crave Series, Book 1

SE Jakes

Gay Menage Romance

Release Date: 05.27.19

Keeping Cade Cover

BLURB

Protection has its price, but so do fantasies…

Fantasy Week happens twice a year at Crave, and it’s always a big hit—a way to live out your wildest fantasy in a safe, sane, and consensual manner.

But when Cade comes in with his Fantasy Week invitation, he’s not happy about it. He’s stoic as hell and his preferences don’t seem to match his fantasy at all…and yet, despite that, he enjoys himself with Tegan and Vic. At least at first.

When it becomes glaringly apparent that the fantasy isn’t something Cade’s comfortable with, it’s confusing for the men he’s been paired with, and Tegan and Vic put a stop to the scene immediately.

What Cade doesn’t know is that Tegan and Vic are not only co-owners of Crave, but they’re also owners of a mercenary group, Gray Ops, that’s run out of Crave. They’ve also been circling each other for years… but nothing sparks until their session with Cade.

What happened in Room 4 is something none of the men can forget…but it’s got nothing to do with a fantasy and everything to do with blackmail. Can Tegan and Vic help Cade keep his secrets, while keeping all of them safe at the same time? Because the threatening to spill out aren’t only Cade’s…

*This series is set in the MEN OF HONOR world, in the bar called Crave from Bound By Honor

Keeping Cade Teaser 1

Keeping Cade Teaser 2

Excerpt

Just when you thought you’d gotten away from this shit, you’re back in.

Oz stopped in front of the door marked Room 4 and handed Cade his card. “Give this to the first man you see inside the room—that’s when your fantasy starts, so now’s the time for any last-minute questions or concerns.”

“I just need to do this.” His heart thudded in his chest. He took a long gulp of water, and Oz put a hand on his arm.

“Hey, it’s normal to be nervous, but this is supposed to be fun. Freeing. Nothing happens that you don’t want. Remember, red and yellow, okay?”

Right—fun and freeing. Cade wanted to tell him that this was an obligation for someone he loved, because of someone he hated who, for all he knew, might show up behind this door…but instead, he simply nodded, handed off his glass…and walked inside.

The door closed behind him as he waited for his eyes to adjust to the low lighting in the room. Later, he’d notice the bed in the corner, the bench, and various BDSM tools, but his immediate focus couldn’t help but narrow, with a laserlike intensity, on a man who took up all the space in the room.

That force of nature stood casually, leaning against the wall, his gaze bent on exposing and seducing and Jesus, he was goddamned beautiful in that hot, badass kind of way with short, spiked, almost white-blond hair that made him look fierce. He was taller than Cade and broader, but his body was honed from whatever work he did for a living and not simply gym muscles. Cade could definitely tell the difference. This man was capable.

This man would break him. And he’d have fun doing it.

Cade shifted, not sure what to do next. Finally, he held out the card and said, “Hey, I’m Cade.” Like maybe the guy didn’t know who he was, or why he was here.

The man’s dark-blue eyes caught him, held him in place. “Hey, I’m the one who’s going to make you scream.”

His voice was a deep drawl that ran like warm honey down Cade’s spine. He fought a shudder and lost, and the man graced him with a wicked smile.

Man up. Get it over with. Cade straightened his spine and waited for the order.

It came far too quickly.

“Strip. Now. There’s no reason to keep your clothes on for what you’re here to do.”

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SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

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