A Lucy Review : Wrangling a Groom (Marital Bliss #2) by D.J. Jamison

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Can two men keep a childhood promise for marital bliss?

Wyatt is overwhelmed after his grandfather dies, leaving him to take over the cattle ranch. The Triple J is floundering, vandals are targeting him, and his first and only love is finally within reach–and still holding a grudge. Wyatt has wanted to marry Diego since they made a childhood pact, but Diego isn’t back for their second chance.

When a funeral calls Diego back to Texas, he comes face-to-face with the cowboy who broke his heart. Resentment has burned inside him for years, but his anger wavers as he realizes just how much Wyatt is struggling to keep his head above water. The man he once loved is lonely and burdened, and Diego feels compelled to help him rediscover the strong, capable rancher he knows him to be.

Hostility gives way to passion, then friendship as they fall into a rhythm of work and sex. Wyatt has renewed hope he might wrangle the man he wants to be his groom. But Diego has a life waiting for him one thousand miles away, and love may not be enough to prevent history from repeating itself.

The beginning of this book – with Wyatt and Diego as children making a pact to marry each other when they are 25 – is adorable and was my favorite scene. They are both six year old, both living on Wyatt’s Granddad’s ranch as Diego’s father was a foreman.   After seeing Granddad kissing Mrs. Fletcher, they make a blood swear that they will just marry each other.

Except life isn’t that easy, of course.  When the two best friends turn into more, Granddad is a homophobe and he puts pressure on Wyatt – break it off with Diego or lose the inheritance.  Wyatt chooses the ranch, figuring it will just take a little time for Granddad to come around and accept them and he and Diego can be together again.  But Diego leaves, hurt at not being first for Wyatt and doesn’t return until Granddad’s funeral six years later.  He hasn’t responded to any of Wyatt’s letters, either and carries that resentment with him.

And there is where I had some trouble with the book.  Right in the beginning Diego himself admits that while Wyatt did hurt him, it was both he and Granddad who pushed Wyatt to choose between them.  And he admits, “Maybe it’s time to go home” when he finds out Granddad as passed away.  Wyatt is now in charge of the ranch and has been struggling.  He has been the victim of homophobic vandalism, crew leaving now that Granddad wasn’t there to back him up and a cattle ranch that is too much work for the few people left on it. 

They do get past the majority of outright hostility and start sleeping together and working on a plan for rejuvenating the ranch, which desperately needs help.  The anger Diego carries comes through over and over again and sometimes I wanted Wyatt to just get up and leave – have some self-respect!

So I was expecting a reconciliation, some apologies and for Diego to jump in and help.  Some of that happens – Diego does help but he has such an attitude for most of it and seriously the way he treats Wyatt just ticked me off.  The man hurt you, I get that, and he’s apologized repeatedly.  If you can’t accept that, that’s okay but then move on.  They have sex repeatedly with Diego pushing Wyatt away after.

Wyatt is in a vulnerable place and really wants Diego to be with him.  In a letter to Diego (which was never acknowledged) Wyatt writes “I never thought the day you left that I would go so long without a word from you.  I hurt you. I own that and I’m sorry for it… Come home for a day, for a week, forever.”  So Diego knows how Wyatt feels and while I felt for Diego, “Wyatt had made his choice a long time ago, and it hadn’t been Diego”, I felt he was dragging things out. He is all about just sex, even knowing Wyatt wants more. Just FYI, there is a lot of sex in this book.

I like many of DJ Jamison’s books but this one missed the mark for me a bit and honestly, mainly it was due to Diego.   The writing is consistent and flowed well, if sometimes it felt a little dragged on. 

The cover design by Garrett Leigh, which I assume is Wyatt in an open shirt and cowboy hat, is a little generic looking and didn’t do much for me. 

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published October 10th 2019 by Amazon Digital Services
ASIN B07YR3Z1JX
Edition Language English
Series Marital Bliss #2

A MelanieM Review: Pine Tree Mary by Ofelia Gränd

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Detective Quinn Manning wants nothing more than to see Diamond Dace, one of Fagerdal’s most notorious drug lords, behind bars. After years of the man eluding the authorities, when Manning accidentally stumbles onto an opportunity to catch the powerful dealer red-handed, he doesn’t hesitate. But what should be a simple tail instead drops Manning into a real-life world of myth and legend.

Hush is a hulder, a forest spirit also known as a pine tree Mary. Since the beginning of time, his people have lived in the forest, feeding off the energy they derive from the lust and desires of passing hunters. But Hush is an abomination, the only male of his kind.

After a lifetime of starvation, Hush has struck a deal with a human. A simple trade that will give the human what he desires and keep Hush from wasting away completely.

When Manning saves a young man from Diamond and one of his men, his view of reality is altered forever. And Hush, who has never met anyone like Manning, finds the man’s attraction to him enough to finally stave off his constant hunger.

Together they set out to rescue Manning’s partner, and their connection to one another grows. But can a human detective have a future with a creature of the forest, a creature who isn’t supposed to exist?

It’s no secret that I am a fan of stories that contain mythological references and historical elements.  If both those items happen to be a tad obscure, even better. For it sends me running to gather more information about subjects I’m less familiar with and I love it when that happens.  And so it is with the quite marvelous story of Pine Tree Mary by Ofelia Gränd.  In all of the probably thousands of stories I’ve read by now, this is only the second story (that I can remember, tbh) that has a hulder in it. Not just as a main character, but in it at all.

And just like in that story, Pine Tree Mary sent me running to the reference books,  primarily because of the name.  Turns out yes, among the many names for this ancient forest being, the warden  or protector of a certain forest, is really Pine Tree Mary.

“Names include: huldra, huldrå, hylda, skogsrå or skogsfru/skogfru (meaning ‘lady (ruler) of the forest’ or ‘forest wife/woman/spirit’) and tallemaja (‘Pine Tree Mary’). They are often referred to as Ulda by the Sámi. The males are called Huldrekall (hulder man), huldu, or huldrekarl are often said to be hideous in appearance and have grotesquely long noses.

Both the male huldrekarl and female huldra are forest and mountain dwelling creatures that take the form of tall and very beautiful humans with long flowing hair.”*

Both can be kind or evil, depending on their own action and, of course, how you treat them.

Which lead me back to Pine Tree Mary.

The author folds a police crime story into a mythical romance and does so with to a heartfelt gritty effect. Grand gives a ruthless drug crime boss, a desperate police detective, and an abused male hulder in need and takes those elements and creates a tale you can’t put down.  The innocence of Hush translates so beautifully on the page,  from scene to scene, from the dialog to the descriptions, that you care for Hush and connect to him immediately.  It’s so easy to envision the life of pain and abuse he’s lived under his sisters, and yet, he’s still so pure in spite of that.

And the character of Detective Quinn Manning, aware of police procedures, trying to bring down one of the worst criminals he will ever face, comes across a being he has no explanations for.  The growth in feelings, acceptance of Hush and the preceding investigation all works.

Of course, there is never enough of the mythology for me.  I loved the communication with the animals, the birds and the moose.  The descriptions of Hush’s physical structure is so intriguing.

Basically, I just want a sequel!  I am really invested now in these characters and I want to know what happens next.  This is a HFN and I want nest.  You will too.  This is a fascinating story with characters that make you ask more questions and reach for the next story in their relationship.  Hopefully the author is listening.

Cover Art: Written Ink Designs is haunting and quite beautiful.  Perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook
Published October 5th 2019
ISBN139781646560967
Edition Language English

*Huldra, Folklore’s Lady in the Forest – Spangenhelm Publishing

 

 

A Lila Audio Review: Their Bounty (Four Mercenaries #1) by K.A. Merikan and Wyatt Baker (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

— Taken. Prized. Possessed. Loved. —Clover is an orphan and has led a tough and chaotic life. No stability. No money. No friends. He trusts no one.

His already miserable life takes a nosedive when he ends up in the hands of a human trafficking gang. Someone has placed a request for a young albino man, and Clover is to become the property of a mysterious buyer who will stop at nothing to satisfy their depraved desire. Clover’s fate seems sealed until four bounty hunters appear to take out his captors and accidentally save him.

The four mercenaries want to move on, but when Clover pleads for protection, they offer it to him at a price. In the beginning, the arrangement is all kinds of shady, but as he gets to know the four men who’ve taken him on a wild ride, his developing feelings might become as dangerous as the elusive buyer.

But can a relationship with four such different men even work? Men who kill for a living? Men so full of contradictions?

Tank. The massive ex-soldier eager to be Clover’s Daddy.
Pyro. Wild, tattooed, with a filthy mouth and an itch for violence.
Boar. Ginger, bearded, a big teddy bear who can turn into a grizzly.
Drake. Dark and dangerous, with a tongue as sharp as his knives.

Can these men provide him with the love and security he craves? Or has Clover made the worst mistake of his life?

Their Bounty is an interesting take on reversed harem. Yes, it’s dark but you couldn’t expect anything less from these authors. Although, it’s not as uncomfortable as some of their other books.

The plot to the story is simple but allows the reader to learn more about all the characters, how they do their work, and how they react to trouble. Some things were too much of a stretch but worked as a whole.

The resolution was part of those fanciful events but I didn’t see the villain coming. I was pleasantly surprised with how the person was and how everything went down.

The main reason I didn’t rate this book higher has to do with the authors’ talent to get the reader to love or hate their characters. I could see all the layers wrapped around Clover but by the time everything was revealed I did trust him.

I know the mercenaries weren’t saints but at least they were honest. And they are the reason I’m looking forward to the next books in the series. To see where their journey brings for them as a foursome + clover.

The narration by Wyatt Baker is pretty monotone in parts but he compensates with the unique intonations for each of the protagonists.

The cover by Natasha Snow goes well with the story even when Clover seems older than in the book. I’m sure there’s not that many models fitting his description.

Sale Links: Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Wyatt Baker
Length: 9 hours and 53 minutes
Published: September 7, 2019, by Acerbi & Villani Ltd.
ASIN: B07X934VQ4
Edition Language: English

Series: Four Mercenaries
Book #1: Their Bounty

Blog Tour for Rules to Break (Davey’s Rules #2) by Susan Hawke (excerpt)

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Rules to Break Tour Banner

Rules to Break

Davey’s Rules Series Book 2

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance, Daddy/boy

Release Date: 09.26.19

Rules to Break ebook

Blurb

Davey’s Rule #91: Daddy never loses faith in his boy.

Bryan Miller is satisfied with his uncomplicated life. He’s a discipline Daddy who’s not in the market for any kind of permanent relationship. And why should he be? Like the waves he surfs in the small beach town he calls home, there’s always another body available to warm his bed when he tires of the current flavor of the week.

Preston Wallace is a snotty rich brat with enough attitude to keep all the Daddies from giving him a chance. He gets it… people are jealous of him for being rich, hot, and fit. It would take a strong Daddy to take him in hand.

A casual conversation on the night of Preston’s twenty-fifth birthday ties these two stubborn men together in a bet right out of the musical My Fair Lady. Can Daddy Bryan turn the obnoxious brat into a dateable boy within a ninety-day timeframe?

Strap in for a roller-coaster of emotions as Bryan takes firm control of a brat who might just need to know someone cares enough to try

This is the second book in this series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Grab your fan and tissues because this series comes with both a high heat advisory and all the squishy feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book. Possible trigger for the death a background character.

Universal Link: mybook.to/RulestoBreak

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Excerpt

My back was rigid and my nostrils flared, but I bit my tongue and kept any arguments to myself. If a little water splashed out of the bucket when I jerked it from his hand, that wasn’t my fault. The rinsing process went a lot faster than the washing, mostly because I had a better idea of what I was doing this time. Once again, Daddy stood there jerking himself off while I worked.

Seriously? What was his malfunction? Did he think I had a humiliation kink? I really needed to set him straight one of these days. Just… yeah. Probably not today.

As I worked my way back toward the front of the bathroom, I thought of ways to get even. When I got close enough to the sink that I spotted his toothbrush sitting in the holder, I knew what I wanted to do. Every so often, I’d noticed that he’d close his eyes for a moment or so while he was jerking himself. I timed it so the next time his eyes closed, I rose to my knees and grabbed his toothbrush in a flash.

Thanks to my seriously awesome poker face, I was able to keep from grinning when he opened his eyes to see me scrubbing the grout between the tiles with his toothbrush. He watched me for several seconds before he began chuckling under his breath. “While I like to see you thinking on your feet, perhaps my personal toothbrush wasn’t the best choice of cleaning tools? How will I ever get toothpaste into my mouth now? This is a problem, don’t you think? Hmm. Stand up, brat. Drop my toothbrush in the wastebasket and bend over the counter.”

Oooh. Bend over the counter? Yes, please. This could only mean good things, right?

I was practically vibrating with excitement when he walked over and stood behind me. I’d leaned over the end of the long marble counter and stretched forward over its length. But thanks to the mirror, I was able to see him clearly when I glanced to my left. I gulped and started to jerk up when I saw him reach for the toothpaste. Shaking my head, I started to point out his mistake when he held me in place with his other hand.


Susan Hawke Logo

As an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.

I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly.

Amazon Author: https://amzn.to/2Hdgwvl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusanHawke/

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Cover Reveal for Convicted (A Bureau story) by Kim Fielding (giveaway)

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Convicted - Kim Fielding

Kim Fielding’s new MM paranormal book in her “Bureau” series – “Convicted” – comes out on October 29th, and we have the cover reveal!

Vietnam veteran Kurt Powell’s addiction almost cost him everything, but a job as federal agent with the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs helped him find sobriety and purpose. Now he tracks down dangerous paranormal creatures as well as humans who abuse their magical powers in illegal ways.

Sent from Belfast to the United States as a boy, Desmond Hughes later fell into a disastrous relationship that led to horrific murders. He’s spent seventeen years in a bleak prison with few comforts and no hope of release.

A new mission throws Kurt and Des together in a desperate attempt to prevent disaster. Sometimes what’s long been lost can still be found, but the road to redemption is never easy—and a mutual attraction may not ease the way.

Series Blurb:

For many years the United States government has been aware that Homo sapiens is not the only sentient species inhabiting the country. Some other species were native to the continent, while others immigrated along with humans. Early on, these nonhuman species (NHS) were largely ignored when they lived peacefully within human communities. At other times they were deemed a threat and local efforts were made to eradicate them. The federal government was not involved in these early efforts.

By the early 20th century, some local law enforcement agencies expressed frustration with their inability to deal effectively with the special needs of NHS. Localized incidents of mass violence occurred in several locations, most notably the Omaha Zombie Epidemic of 1908, the Manchester (New Hampshire) Melusine Drownings of 1911, and the Eugene (Oregon) Sasquatch Riots of 1915.

In response to these incidents, as well as a heightened desire for increased federal control, President Wilson created a new federal agency in 1919 called the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs. The mission of this agency was to communicate with NHS, to control them, to investigate reported dangerous actions committed by them, and to bring them to justice or eliminate them when necessary. Since then, the Bureau has been quietly active throughout the United States. Its jurisdiction has expanded to include humans who engage in magical or paranormal activities.

Over the decades, a great many dramas have unfolded among the people who work for the Bureau. The Bureau stories are a collection of these tales. Each involves different protagonists and is set in a different era, yet all focus on the adventures and struggles of the Bureau’s agents. These novellas can be read in any order.

Amazon | Smashwords


Giveaway

Kim is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card AND an audiobook code for book one in the Bureau series – Corruption. Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4795/?


Author Bio

Kim Fielding

KIM FIELDING is very pleased every time someone calls her eclectic. A Lambda Award finalist and two-time Foreword INDIE finalist, she has migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States and currently lives in California, where she long ago ran out of bookshelf space.

She’s a university professor who dreams of being able to travel and write full time. She also dreams of having two daughters who fully appreciate her, a husband who isn’t obsessed with football, and a house that cleans itself. Some dreams are more easily obtained than others.

Author Website: http://kfieldingwrites.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/KFieldingWrites

Author Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

Author Instagram: @KFieldingWrites

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4105707.Kim_Fielding

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/kim-fielding/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kim-Fielding/e/B006FN2T78

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