A MelanieM Review: Heart2Heart Anthology, Vol. 3

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Rating: 5 stars out ot 5 (because just one of these stories earns it that let alone so many)

Once upon a time, a group of authors wondered… What if the Heart2Heart app — the dating app with a glitch that matched up the oddest, most perfect couples, and sponsored the charity date raffles that helped dozens of people find love — offered a classifieds section, too?

Need a handyman who knows how to wear a tool belt? Have a closet of drag costumes that needs a new home? How about finally tracking down that guy who made the perfect drink, or who’s just the right height to reach the top shelf?

Join some of your favorite authors of gay romance as they bring you sixteen brand-new stories inspired by reader suggestions!

Once again, all proceeds from this collection will go to the authors’ favorite LGBTQ charities, to ensure that love in all its forms will be celebrated and protected every single day of the year!

This collection will be available for only 90 days before it’s gone forever.

It’s rare that I come across an anthology that I actually gush about because the stories are just that good but Volume 3 of the Charity Anthology Heart2Heart is absolutely amazing!  From the overall concept to the authors involved to the stories inside, this is a 5 star ride all the way.  I’d say E Ticket but how many remember what those are any more?

The fabulousness starts right at the beginning with a split story that explains the concept behind the stories of this Collection.   That’s right a story, The Closet (Parts 1 and 2) by Eden Finley, both open and close this incredible collection.  The story both calls forth the birth of the ads format and sees in retrospect what those ads have caused to happen.  It’s lovely, poignant, and oh so touching.  And throughout all the other stories, the fact that this one was missing it’s ending hovered in the background waiting gracefully for it’s time to come.

Want to know just what a treasure awaits you? Here they are without ratings because, honestly, they all shine so brightly and with such variety, that you will be rereading them over and over again.  I can say that only 2 missed the mark with me and slid to a 4 and I think that was just my reading preferences.

  • The Closet by Eden Finley Part 1: 

A young man and a friend go to empty his deceased uncle’s home, one he hadn’t seen in years only to find someone who had loved him and knew him far better than anyone else.   As I said , this story “bookends” the collection.  It splits upon a revelation and the idea of putting ads in a dating app that the friend runs called yes Heart2Heart.  I won’t spoils the amazing delights this story holds but it sets the bar and gets your heart ready for what’s to come.

  • The Book by Aimee Nicole Walker:

Bookstore owner seeking identity of adorkable customer...” i

This how the ad starts.  Oh these ads. So many had me laughing out loud, including this one.  The story was fun, charming, sexy, and yes, romantic. Loved it!.  If you know this author, then you are aware of how quickly she can build a universe, fill it with great characters, and a relationship that you know will last.  She does it here. Line up the hearts!

  • The Date by Annabeth Albert

Wanted: Companion for exquisite five course gourmet Valentine’s Day dinner at a top-secret Portland restaurant, no sex or romance required…

I should just leave this at “nuf said”.  Because if you are again familiar with her stories, you are in for a treat.  In fact, I wanted this to be double the length as I didn’t want to leave this could behind.  I loved the food (yes, yes, there is food), amazing characters to grab your heart, and the perfect setting.    I want this couple for a lifetime, including their marriage! Listening, Ms Albert?

  • The Yarn Wrangler by Charlie Cochet:

Help Wanted: Yarn Wrangler.  Have you ever thought to yourself,  : I wonder what a house full of yarn looks like? Have you ever dreamed of getting paid to box up a whole bunch of yarn?…”

Yes, bring on the guffaws!  They are warranted!  While the start is oddly not humorous it quickly tumbles into lovely gentle laughter and love.

That’s how Simon meets Liam in a house full of yarn collected by his grandmother.  Plus there’s a cat with a yarn batting average any pitcher would be jealous of.  Oh but there’s an expensive boyfriend and….well, this a gem to be unraveled slowly.  And smiled and yes, giggled at.  Happy endings all around.

  • Dork Lord by Damon Suede: Missed Connections: Lion eyes, I love to watch you swim.

Tarquin, a swimmer finds his match where he least expects it.Hot, sexy, typical Damon Suede story.

  • Top Shelf by Hailey Turner: 

Can You Be My (Tall) Knight in Shining Armor? is how this ad starts. A very cute tale about a short guy in need of some tall help in his new apartment in DC.

  • The Family Reunion by K.M Neuhold:

Needed:fake boyfriend to get my parents off my back.

This is the story of Lawrence, the premed student needing a break and Roman the son needing a boyfriend for a reunion with his family in Boca.  Neuhold nicely turns around the character of Roman who isn’t all that likable to begin with into soHelp meone we can connect with in the end.  Lovely story.  And a believable ending.

  • The Last Drop by Layla Reyne

Dear Mr. Manhattan, We met nine months ago at a bar in New Orleans… starts the long ad

I just found this author with her book Dine With Me.  My only issue with this story is no recipes!  I needed the recipes for the drinks and meals served like crazy!  You will drool through this story.  Over the men and their relationship too..   Greg Valteau, chef and owner, and Tony Monaco, bartender extraordinaire.  Everything about this is sensual, hot, and amazing.

  • The Dog Walker by Lily Morton

SOS Call From Cornwall! Me: Broken right arm with a general lack of ability to do anything for myself for a few weeks….” is how this ad starts off.

No getting around this.  The Dog Walker is one of my favorites.  Something about this understated, gorgeously written story got under my skin immediately.  From the language to the layered relationship and the gentle revelations exposed over time.  It’s continued to haunt me.  I want more.  I can’t sing its praised enough.

Surprisingly it starts off with sex between Sim and Ziggy, a bold act for a nuanced relationship. Won’t say anymore.  Buy this collection for this story alone.

  • The Treehouse by Lucy Lennox:

“Help Wanted: Building  a treehouse for my kids this weekend and need a extra pair of hands…..”

This is why I read anthologies.  To wonder why I don’t read more stories by Lucy Lennox and smack my head.  This is a wonderful bright contemporary love story.  Great characters like Harvey the Angora Rabbit farmer just returned from NZ and Bryn with two kids trying to build them a treehouse, plus a matchmaking sister in a small town.  I adore this story.  You will too.

  • The Restoration by Mary Calmes

“Help Wanted: Laborers to assist with basement restoration. ….”

Of course, this is Mary Calmes so we are talking about the restoration of more than just a basement.  It’s a broken marriage in need of repair.   Alasdair McKenna aka Sandy is separated from his military husband who is always away on assignment and needs his flooded basement restored.  It’s been six months since he’s seen Kyler but it seems that Kyler is still looking after him…..

This is very Mary Calmes in the relationship between the men, one very protective, scary in a military way.  Sandy with his circle of friends who support them both.  The story works so well because the author knows her men and their dynamics.  It all works and works just as it should.  HEA!

  • The Vase by May Archer

FOR SALE: Antique Vase Authentic Limited edition hand-painted vase  from  local artist…”

I really left the best parts of that ad out, as I have for most of these ads.  Nauticolli indeed.  May Archer has another winner here with this story.  I easily wanted ti expanded, and a sequel too.  I has so much heart and I love the main characters and their relationship, short as it is.  Their future is so bright and I want to know what happens next.  Surely we need a followup story?  Pretty please.  We need to know how Malachi will get on with Landon’s cats don’t we?  Just read this story!

  • The Helping Hand by Nora Phoenix

Wanted: Someone with serious  furniture assembly skills and a buttload of patience who speaks IKEA…

Anyone who has ever had to assemble anything let alone something from IKEA, well you will relate to this story and the characters.  A gentle bear of a science fiction writer who needs help assembling his new furniture and the nature photographer who will show him patience for his furniture and in loving him as well.  Another gentle story, sweet, and endearing.

  • The Dream Machine by Piper Scott writing as Emma Alcott

For Sale of the Low, Low Price of Free….

 

I will admit that this story seems the odd one out of the bunch, not a contemporary romance but one with a science fiction or whatever twist.  Just want a story I connected with but I could have been that it felt jarring among the others.  In another collection, it might have gotten a different reaction.

  • The Wedding Date by Susan Hawke

Date Needed! If you like weddings, awkward events where your date’s ex is the man of the hour, open bars, and crappy cake, I’m your man!…

Back to the lovely contemporary romance and with a unexpected twist.  Especially as it starts off with Hunter who fosters kittens with special needs.  Absolutely endearing, and the kittens are described in depth and will grab at your heart along with Hunter.Quinn answers the ad and the story is on.  Another true charmer in a collection’s worth.

  • The Wrong Guy by Sloane Kennedy

We bonded over a screw… of the nuts and bolts variety.

Travis and Jackson have been friends for a while and yet some things remain to be discovered between them.    It takes an ad to bring it all out in the open.  I liked this story.  Felt raw and real in places, emotional and painful, especially when assumptions you’ve made about someone turn out to be false.

  • The Closet Part 2 by Eden Finley

I debated putting the ad in that started it all.  In the end, I hit delete.  That’s as much a part of this story as walking into that closet.  And reading this ending.  It’s everything.

This is a one of a kind collection of stories.  It’s one you must read, and not just because its for chairty.  But because these stories resonate.  They are full of laughter, love, sex, sensuality, food, and romance.  Even yarn and kittens!

Don’t let it pass you by. It’s only here for 90 days.  Grab it up now.  I highly recommend it.

Cover art by AngstyG is perfect for the collection and tone.  love it. Makes you feel it just looking at it.

Sales Links:     

All Proceeds Go To Charity:

Amazon US

Everywhere Else

Book Details:

Buy for $4.99 or try Kindle Unlimited to read over a million titles
Kindle Edition, 761 pages
Published October 1st 2019
ASINB07XP6D2M5
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: American Love Story (Dreamers #3) by Adriana Herrera

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The third in what continues to be a top favorite series, the author brings us a completely different sort of romance from the others in the series. Set in Ithaca, New York, home of Cornell University, this time it’s Patrice’s turn in the spotlight, and he certainly shines. Oh my, does he shine! A quick word about the cover: it’s to die for! The stunning black man, his locs tied back, the smile on his face, the dimples… Oh my gosh, he’s gorgeous and should definitely attract attention to this book. I know he attracted my eye. And throughout this story we learn he’s as beautiful inside as he is outside.

This series features four young men who grew up together in New York City. All sons of Caribbean immigrants, the men are of an age to strike out on their own. In American Dreamer, Nesto pursued his dream by taking his food catering business to Ithaca, where he met the man of his dreams. In book two, Camilo Santiago Briggs, or Milo to friends and family, is a social worker and project manager in a nonprofit that serves victims of domestic abuse. He meets his dream man in the City in the least likely location—his workplace. Their story is told in American Fairytale.

Now it’s time for Patrice, who has been hired as a professor at Cornell University—the greatest achievement of his life. He wants to make his momma proud since she worked two jobs to raise him after they fled from Haiti on their own when he was a child. Patrice is not only a professor, however. He’s also an activist and his Black Twitter feeds have thousands of followers. Now, shortly after arriving in Ithaca, he learns about the narrow-minded cops who pull over young men for “driving while black.” And Patrice is full on board with bringing that to an end.

Last summer, Patrice showed up in Ithaca to help Nesto set up his business and at the same time met Easton Archer, the tall, gorgeous, intelligent assistant district attorney. Now he’s back and he’s not sure he and Easton stand a chance, because Easton’s job puts him in conflict with Patrice’s activism, and though they are sizzling in the bedroom, their personal and professional lives continue to collide until a single traffic stop sends them into disaster.

Just like with the previous books, there’s so much to like about this story—the writing, the pace, the Haitian cultural information, the relationship-building, the secondary characters, and the core message of drawing strength from family and friends. When Patrice finally lets his guard down, he and Easton face a very nice happy ever after.

I’m definitely looking forward to more from this author in future and I very highly recommend this book to all lovers of MM romance, and especially to those who enjoy stories so rich in cultural heritage that readers are inspired to learn more.

Cover is one of STRW Best of 2019.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon | Kobo | | Audible

Book Details:

ebook, 352 pages
Expected publication: October 7th 2019 by Carina Press
ISBN 1488053936 (ISBN13: 9781488053931)
Edition Language English
Series Dreamers #3

Dreamers Series

American Dreamer

American Fairytale

American Love Story

Release Blitz for Lost and Found by Liv Rancourt (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 75,000 words approx.
 
Price: 2.99 (4.99 from October 20)
 
Blurb
 

A dancer who cannot dance and a doctor who cannot heal find in each other the strength to love.


History books will call it The Great War, but for Benjamin Holm, that is a misnomer. The war is a disaster, a calamity, and it leaves Benjamin profoundly wounded, his mind and memory shattered. A year after Armistice, still struggling to regain his mental faculties, he returns to Paris in search of his closest friend, Elias.


Benjamin meets Louis Donadieu, a striking and mysterious dance master. Though Louis is a difficult man to know, he offers to help Benjamin. Together they search the cabarets, salons, and art exhibits in the newly revitalized city on the brink of les années folles (the Crazy Years). Almost despite himself, Benjamin breaches Louis’s defenses, and the two men discover an unexpected passion.


As his memory slowly returns, Benjamin will need every ounce of courage he possesses to recover Elias’s story. He and Louis will need even more than that to lay claim to the love – and the future – they deserve.

 
Excerpt
 

The table on the other side of me was empty, at least until I’d poured myself a second glass of wine. Then, crossing the room in a familiar halting rhythm, my neighbor, the man from the café on the Place du Tertre, took a seat.


I raised my glass in a toast of alcohol-fueled enthusiasm. “It’s nice to see you.”


He blinked as if surprised by my words. “I’m not sure I know you.”


His gaze suggested otherwise. “A while ago, you were at L’Oiseau Bleu.” I swirled the wine in my cup. “Are you following me?”


“I had a taste for fish.” Hooking his cane over the edge of his table, he shrugged again. “And I have better things to do than observe the habits of a drunk American.”


We were interrupted by the arrival of my dinner. There might have been humor in his tone, but still, the sting of his words quashed the impulse to invite him to join me.


Turning to the waiter, slick black hair gleaming, he placed his own order. When the waiter brought his wine, I took the opportunity to raise my glass a second time. “Cheers.” I deliberately did not smile. “Comment allez-vous?” How are you, using the formal “vous,” not the more intimate “tu.”


Tu. In all my time in France, I’d never regularly used the personal form of address. To be honest, if English had an equivalent construction, I could have said the same about my friends and family at home.


Bien. I am well.”


His tone, and the slight tremor of his fingers on his glass of wine, hinted otherwise. He turned as if to shield himself from my appraisal. I couldn’t help myself. It was my nature to observe. Assess. Diagnose. “I’m Benjamin Holm.” The distance between us was too great to bridge with a handshake.


He raised his glass. “Louis Donadieu.”


I forced my fork through the crisp crust of fish. Juices ran free, and my mouth watered. I ate, hunger keeping my attention fixed on the food on my plate. Though it had been almost two years since I’d last sat at an army canteen, I still attacked each meal as if someone might steal it away.


At my last bite, I glanced at Louis. He watched me, a pool of stillness amidst the confusion around us. “Did you even taste it?”


“Yes.” Swirling my fork through the drippings on my plate, I fought the urge to smile, unsure of the rules for the game he played.


He sniffed. “Bien.” Shifting in his seat, he poured himself more wine. As long as he wasn’t looking, I continued my assessment. He held his right leg extended, as if he was unable to bend it at the knee, but was otherwise quite vigorous, virile even.


I finished my peas and potatoes, bemused by my strange dinner companion. After a week in Paris, I’d had no luck with my main goal, and this conversation, though tentative, intrigued me.


“Were you injured?” I gestured at his feet with my wine.


“What?”


“In the war. Your leg.” His narrowed gaze suggested I’d transgressed. So, no questions about his health. “Pardon. I did not mean to—”


“No, I was unable to participate in the grand conflict.”


He turned his attention away, leaving me confused. This was less a game than a jousting contest. Rather than bring another helping of rudeness on my head, I swallowed the rest of my wine and prepared to leave.


“What are you doing?”


I paused in the act of reaching for my wallet. “I’m finished. I need to be going.” Though I had no real destination beyond the poor comfort of my solitary rooms. Instead of my wallet, I fished out the photograph. “Here.” I stood, leaning over his table and offering him the picture of Elias. “I’m looking for my friend Elias. Have you seen him?”


Always the same words, bringing the same blank response.


“Maybe he doesn’t want to be found.” He tapped the white edge of the photograph, and I snatched it away.


“He’s my friend.”


“So?”


His acid tone burned through my good humor. Who is this man to follow and then abuse me? “Have a good evening.”


“Good evening, though if you give up so easily, you must not really want to find him.”


Surprise kept me planted by his table. “Do you know where he is?”


He tipped his glass in my direction, the corner of his lips curling in what could not truly be called a smile. Though it wasn’t a scowl either. “No, but if I do see him, I will send him to the heavy-footed American man who lives on the floor above me.”


Tired of being the target of his sport, I straightened, falling into the habitual pose of a military officer. “Again, good evening.” Annoyed beyond what the situation called for, I departed.



About Liv Rancourt



Liv Rancourt writes romance of all kinds. Because love is love, even with fangs.


Liv is a huge fan of paranormal romance and urban fantasy and loves history just as much, so her stories often feature vampires or magic or they’re set in the past…or all of the above. When Liv isn’t writing she takes care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether she’s at work or at home. Her husband is a soul of patience, her kids are her pride and joy, and her dogs – Trash Panda and The Boy Genius – are endlessly entertaining.Liv can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at her website (www.livrancourt.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). She also blogs monthly over at Spellbound Scribes (https://spellboundscribes.wordpress.com/). For sneak peeks and previews and other assorted freebies, go HERE to sign up for her mailing list or join the Facebook page she shares with her writing partner Irene Preston, After Hours with Liv & Irene. Fun stuff!
 

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for Loving Daniel (MC Securities #3) by Ruby Moone

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Length: 69,500 words.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
MC Securities Series 
 

Book #1 – Trusting Jack – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #2 – Finding Finlay – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

 
Blurb



*Can be read as a standalone.


Twelve years ago, Daniel McCafferty walked away from the man he loved without a backward glance. He threw himself into his father’s business as heir apparent of their vicious criminal empire in Manchester. Forced to deny who he was, who he loved, he buried himself in work and drink.


Christian’s life is steady. He has a good business, good friends, but he’s never had a lasting relationship. Second cousin to Daniel, they fell hard for each other one hot summer long ago. When Christian needed him the most, Daniel walked away. It broke something inside him. Over the last year, Christian asked Daniel for help with a lowlife named Bryce. Daniel gave it. Unstintingly.


When Daniel’s father dies unexpectedly, Christian stands by him. Offers him comfort. But when Bryce rears his ugly head again, and Christian is in grave danger, Daniel whisks him away to Europe. Away from normality, Daniel and Christian are thrown together in the heat of the Mediterranean sun. Daniel’s walls tumble, and for the first time he thinks that just maybe, it can work. All he has to do is keep secret the real reason he left Christian.

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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