An Alisa Review: Wolf, in League (Wolf #3) by A.F. Henley

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

It’s been months since anyone at the Committee has had any contact from the O’Connell family or their pack members, and they are not happy. Suspicious of the activities that took place in D.C. and determined to find out what the wolves are up to, the Committee recruits one of their newest residents, Dr. Matthew Dietrich, to play the part of neighbor and infiltrate the family.

Matthew has always been a keep-to-himself kind of person. Though idealistic and optimistic, he prefers to work in solitude, at night, while he researches the findings that he hopes will one day change the world. When he’s approached by the executives of the Center, he has no idea why they’d choose him. And to say he is skeptical over the concept of men that can shift into wolves would be an understatement.

Okay, so this book wrapped up some of the loose ends from the previous book but let the ending with a few other questions. I had already guessed that the main people at the Committee weren’t all that great but after what they have put Gavin through and now Matthew really shows where their priorities lie and how they feel about paranormals.

But man, this book is all about overturning the control that the Committee has over the O’Connell family, Gavin and others like them. I loved that Matthew was just so innocent that he had so much trouble believing that the Committee would treat people the way they have but I’m glad that him and Gavin were able to figure out what needed to be done and the Matthew was able to help Gavin figure out what was going on with him.

The ending with paranormals (or at least vampires) coming out to the world was interesting. I liked the little news stories in the end but would have liked to see how this news affected the O’Connell family and those around them especially after Rafe’s vision.

Once again I really like the cover art and all those from the series are similar but different at the same time.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 233 pages

Published: 2nd edition, September 18, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781646561025

Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : First Priority (Priorities #1) by Este Holland

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

The blurb sounded very interesting so I looked forward to starting this book. Unfortunately, it fell far short of expectations.  Truman was obnoxious in his haughty conceit and demeanor and by 30% I was ready to DNF. But—and it’s a big but—I wanted to give this new author a chance to show me her work so I went on and, although Truman never became likeable (IMO), he wasn’t quite as bad once I got to know him.  An Oscar-winning actor, former model, and highly sought after bachelor, it’s no wonder Truman thinks he’s hot stuff, so it intrigues him when one of the young men he meets at the “after-Oscar” party isn’t all that impressed.

Yay for Adam. Smart man. And one of the only smart moves he makes in this story. Twenty-seven-year-old Adam suffers from social anxiety and is an introvert. He’s a writer of litRPG books and happens to currently be living with a (mean) stepbrother while his apartment is cleared of mold. Unfortunately, Adam comes across as childish and immature and there’s no way on God’s green earth I can see these two enjoying a date together or time hanging around the house, as they did in the book. It was like watching a shark and his little minnow-sized fish as the shark told the fish how compatible they were and the minnow alternated between nodding his head yes and then swimming away.  In addition, Adam’s character and actions in some situations was OTT fem and teen-girlish. I don’t think the author deliberately intended him to come across that way, since his fem side was never mentioned as such, but I was very put off by his reactions in certain situations since they reminded me of my daughter when she was in her late teens. And, most certainly, they were not the reactions of a twenty-seven-year-old adult man.

The plot consisted mostly of Truman trying to win Adam’s interest and then Truman whisking Adam away once their relationship becomes known in the media so that he can protect Adam, and as a side benefit, get to know him better, and vice versa. They fly to Ireland and boat out to Truman’s private island where they do indeed get to know one another better and the virginal, shy Adam eventually gives Truman what he wants. Because—here on the island is where Truman’s true self shows, and the real, non-actor comes out. This reader wasn’t really impressed. To me, the shark got his minnow and became sold on wanting more and more minnow. In any event, the threat eventually disappears, Adam loves Truman’s home, his extended family in town, and—surprise—Adam loves Truman and Truman loves Adam.  All is HEA in their world.

Sadly, this is not a story I can recommend. Of note: the cover features a bearded handsome man in a white T-shirt with a look of arrogance on his face—one eyebrow raised and an “I am the greatest” look about him. Sums up my opinion of him well, and if I’d seen the cover first, I may not have read the book.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 183 pages
Published October 15th 2019
ASIN B07Z7CVDCN
Series Priorities #1

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Earthquakes (New Amsterdam #4) by Kelly Wyre

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This is the fourth book in the series focusing on Ellis and his crush on one of his customers from the firing range named Bryndon. Previously Ellis seemed enamored with Clark; there is definitely still hero worship involved, complicated by doing BDSM scenes with Clark and his husband, but Ellis knows the difference between what he has and what he wants. He’s decided that he wants Bryn.

I was irritated when Ellis “realizes” he’s in love with Bryn, even though he’s only spoken a few sentences with the guy. Having said that, in the same conversation Daniel was talking to Ellis about Clark, which I loved. So, while the recapping will let you read this as a standalone, it has more emotional impact if you’ve read book one, story 1.1, and book three. Once Clark, Daniel, and Lucien try to help Ellis get noticed by Bryn, their worlds crash together. Bryn’s friend Medea is annoying, but she is also a force of nature as she helps play matchmaker. It’s also nice to have wealthy friends Ellis can borrow a plane from whenever he wants. While this widens the friends as family cast, the focus is on the two main characters. The alternating points of view between Ellis and Bryn actually made me worry for both of them.

Bryn is a ballet dancer with mental health issues. The creepy parts of this are him being haunted by someone who’s dead. He keeps everyone at arm’s length, but Ellis sneaks into his thoughts…and then Ellis ignores all Bryn’s boundaries. Even though he is the submissive, it is Ellis that pushes this whole thing forward. The more the author reveals about Bryn, the less likeable he is to me. At the same time, I see why Ellis wants to save him. His mother has been emotionally abusive his whole life so it’s not any different when Bryn goes home for his father’s funeral, Ellis in tow. Unfortunately, most of this is about Bryn’s revenge on his Mom and a plot twist that seems to have been written to heal Bryn. For me, it all comes down to this: how can Ellis trust Bryn to tie him up, to hurt him? Ellis is basically a saint, but I thought he had a somewhat healthy view of the situation until he agreed to a scene when Bryn was angry, under stress and emotional duress, and had been drinking. This was just a big turn-off for me. I was not convinced that the cathartic release was worth more than having this be safe and sane.

While love will not cure mental illness, it can give a person hope and support. If that had been the focus, I would have enjoyed this more. Complex PTSD would make sense for this character, but the author chose to have Bryn be on antipsychotics. My understanding is that hallucinations can be suppressed, not cured–even his epiphany, his closure, wouldn’t stop real hallucinations that require antipsychotics. In the end, even though there is a happily ever after, it didn’t seem realistic to me. There was no follow-up about the state of Bryn’s mental health, no therapy, no mention of Ellis meeting Bryn’s therapist, no way to know if Bryn was still having hallucinations or still taking medication…the whole thing is just dropped out of the plot. I know this is fiction, and I applaud having mental health issues being represented, but it does a disservice to people if it’s not portrayed accurately or just used as a plot device until it’s no longer needed.

The cover design is by Natasha Snow. It matches the rest of the series with the city view, but this one shows Bryn–dancing, but to me also wrestling with his darkness

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published September 28th 2019 by JMS Books LLC (first published February 29th 2016)
Original Title Earthquakes
ASIN B07Y3TL7XB
Series New Amsterdam #4

Looking For Your Next Romance Story? Check Out the Blog Tour with Excerpt for Consorts of the Red King by Eden Winters

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Consorts of the Red King

Eden Winters

Gay Romance/Sci-fi/Menage

Release Date: 10.26.19

Cover artist: Perie Wolford

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Blurb

In deepest space the ruthless Federation lays waste to one rebel colony after another, leaving comrades-in-arms Van Orskey and Tayn Kassik without family, without a home, and without hope.

With nothing left but each other, they run contraband and smuggle fugitives from the safety of their ship, the Cormorant—with the occasional clandestine mission for the rival Coalition thrown in. Their heists have not gone unnoticed, though even the bounty on their heads doesn’t prevent them from being a thorn in the enemy’s side at every opportunity.

Pissing them off? Big mistake.

From the day of his birth Prince Jorvik of Akiak learned duty, wisdom, and honor from his father, leaving him ill-equipped to withstand betrayal by his Federation-puppet uncle. He has no love for the greedy off-worlders who plunder his world’s natural resources and enslave his people. To defeat his foe, he needs the cunning, fearlessness, and touch of treachery only outlaws can offer.

Two off-world mercenaries make unlikely partners in Jorvik’s quest for vengeance, but the more he learns of them, the more common ground he discovers. In each other’s arms they find passion, heat, and maybe, a reason for living—until their common enemy threatens to tar them apart.

To survive, they must take on the corrupt Federation.

And win.

3D

Excerpt

How dare they assault the king’s son! Where were Father’s advisors? He demanded answers.

Jorvik’s anger crumbled when a familiar figure swept through the door. His heart seized.

His uncle? A moment of relief hit. Uncle would help him.

He stopped himself from stepping from the closet.

What was… The guards turned toward his uncle.

Why was Uncle smiling? He looked so… satisfied, patting a blood-spattered guard’s shoulder. What…

Dear Queen of the Stars. Cold fear captured him in an icy grasp.

Jorvik grabbed the wall to keep from falling, and bent double, struggling to breathe. Air. He needed air.

No help. All alone. Six armed guards.

One Jorvik.

He must get to his father.

What could he use as a weapon? As quietly as possible, he rifled through his clothes, tossing away a belt. No, wouldn’t do. A pin? A boot? His eyes fell to the sex toy he’d dropped on the floor. One kick hid the object beneath a pile of silk.

He’d been taught to fight, more for exercise than self-defense, with a staff, knives, but mostly with his hands. While he’d bested his teacher a few times, he’d not fare well against so many well-trained guards.

Knives! The blade of his dagger glinted from the pile of clothing he’d left on the floor. A grinning man picked up the gleaming blade and slipped it into his waistband. What? No! His father gave him the dagger.

Why hadn’t he hidden more weapons in his room?

His blood boiled, instincts screaming, “Attack! Attack!” He nearly added his own scream, of frustration. No. To do so meant sure death.

He crept away from the door, though not far enough to escape the sight of Sika and Gris, mouths open and eyes staring in his direction.

Just a few moments ago they’d been alive, loving…

His uncle spat on the robed body on the floor. Please let him not see me, please let him not see me. All the while Jorvik’s brain accused, “Coward!”

The dim greenish glow of the crystals gave his uncle an eerie, monstrous look as he crouched down by Gris’s body. “He’s just a whore, but a pretty one. Such a shame he chose the wrong bed to come to.”

One of the guards laughed.

Whore? How dare the traitor call sweet Gris an off-worlder insult! Jorvik’s hard swallow didn’t lessen the burning in this throat. These were his father’s own guards. What were they about? And what were they doing with his uncle?

Worst still, what was his uncle doing?

“Take them! Burn their bodies!” his uncle barked.

The men split up, one each at their victims’ heads and feet, lifting them from the floor, with two trailing behind.

Burning their bodies? No. They must be taken to the caves to join Akiak’s cycle of life, amidst chanting and prayers to the queen of the stars. To be burned…

One guard stopped, glancing toward the closet door. The breath caught in Jorvik’s throat. Please don’t see me. Please don’t see me.

“Come! Now!” his uncle ordered from the hallway.

With one last sweep of the room, the guard spun on his heel and followed the carnage, leaving the door ajar.

A trail of red followed the procession out the door.

Jorvik collapsed against the wall, head in his hands. His heart still pounded. Try as he might he couldn’t get his breathing under control. Nothing made sense. Surely, he slept and wine-induced dreams haunted him.

More cries sounded from the hallway.

He couldn’t cower here. Father! He had to find his father.

Countless lessons drove his actions. At the time he’d thought the caution ridiculous. Who would dare challenge the king?

Yet, his father insisted he train for battle, an ancient art practiced by rulers and guards.

Though he wanted to run to his father straightaway, he’d do as he’d been told and plan for the worse.

Jorvik closed his eyes, opening them again a moment later when visions of two dead men appeared on his eyelids.

Choking down his horror, he forced himself to stand and grabbed a travel case. His hands shook. He must pack quickly, but taking too much might slow him down. These were his things, by the mother. He’d every right to them.

The urge to forget all else and run straight to his father nearly overwhelmed him, but with a threat to the family, his father would send him into hiding. They’d been through the drill. Someone might plot to harm the heir, but who would dare move against the king?

His guards would keep him safe. Wouldn’t they?

Jorvik’s chest ached at the thought of the two dead men. He couldn’t help them now, but he could help others.

If he lived. Living meant taking only what he truly needed.

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You will know Eden Winters by her distinctive white plumage and exuberant cry of “Hey, y’all!” in a Southern US drawl so thick it renders even the simplest of words unrecognizable. Watch out, she hugs!

Driven by insatiable curiosity, she possibly holds the world’s record for curriculum changes to the point that she’s never quite earned a degree but is a force to be reckoned with at Trivial Pursuit. She’s trudged down hallways with police detectives, learned to disarm knife-wielding bad guys, and witnessed the correct way to blow doors off buildings. Her e-mail contains various snippets of forensic wisdom, such as “What would a dead body left in a Mexican drug tunnel look like after six months?” In the process of her adventures she has written twenty gay romance novels, has won several Rainbow Awards, was a Lambda Awards Finalist, and lives in terror of authorities showing up at her door to question her Internet searches.

When not putting characters in dangerous situations she’s a mild-mannered business executive, mother, grandmother, vegetarian, and PFLAG activist. Her natural habitats are airports, coffee shops, and the backs of motorcycles.

Website: edenwinters.com

Email: edenwinter@gmail.com

Twitter: edenwinters1

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

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Don’t Miss Out On the Release Blitz for Irises in the Snow by Isabelle Adler (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Irises in the Snow

Author: Isabelle Adler

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 4, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 25300

Genre: Contemporary, Anxiety, artist, childhood friends, Christmas, contemporary, family drama, holiday, second chances, small town

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

It’s Christmas, and Justin’s life is fraying at the edges. The family business he took over instead of going to art school is bleeding money, and his boyfriend of seven months cheated on him. Under these circumstances, family gatherings can be rough, but Justin believes he has everything under control. That is, until Elliot, his former best friend (and the first guy to ever break his heart) unexpectedly shows up at the holiday dinner party.

With both of them still nursing the wounds of the past, it might take a real Christmas miracle for Justin and Elliot to learn to appreciate the art of second chances.

Excerpt

Irises in the Snow
Isabelle Adler © 2019
All Rights Reserved

The Rowel family home greeted Justin with familiar smells of cinnamon cake and fresh pine. In his mind, these scents had always been associated with the holiday season and long evenings spent around the dinner table or playing Scrabble in front of the fire. They were enough to ease some of the ache in Justin’s chest, softening his mood a tiny fraction.

“Justin!” His father clapped him on the shoulder and pulled him into a hug, which Justin carefully returned. “I’m glad you could finally make it.”

Despite the long remission, his father still appeared frail—or so it seemed to Justin, who, like most children, had grown up with the illusion his father was invincible until the universe proved him wrong.

“Of course,” Justin said. “You know me; I can’t say no to mom’s cooking.”

His father raised his eyebrow skeptically, undoubtedly recalling the string of last-minute cancellations and half-hearted excuses for not coming over in the last few weeks.

A familiar wave of guilt washed over Justin. With everything that had been going on, he knew he’d be hard-pressed to withstand his parents’ well-meaning inquiries into his personal life and into the state of the family business, which had become Justin’s sole responsibility. He couldn’t bring himself to tell them just how badly both those things were going.

He cranked up his smile to a new level of dissimulation, but thankfully, his mother emerged from the kitchen before his dad could challenge his statement.

His mother wiped her hands on her apron and reached up to plant kisses on Justin’s cheeks.

“Everybody is already here,” she told Justin as she led him by the arm into the living room as if he’d forgotten the way. “I love it when the house is full.” Her tone was a touch wistful as she gave his arm a gentle squeeze before returning to the kitchen.

Justin supposed having them all together was a rare occurrence these days. He lived in a one-room apartment above their hardware store, and his sister Trish had recently moved in with her fiancé. Nowadays, only the holidays presented an opportunity for Kelly Rowel to gather all of her loved ones, and, despite having to close the shop early on Monday to attend the day-before-Christmas-Eve family gathering, Justin was glad he could do something to make his mom happy. But as soon as he entered the brightly lit living room, he came to a screeching halt.

A fire already crackled merrily behind the grate. Huge red and white socks adorned with hand-embroidered names hung off the mantelpiece, decorated with a fake holly arrangement making its yearly appearance in the Rowel household. The TV showed a romantic comedy set in the Swiss Alps, as far as Justin could tell at a cursory glance. His sister Trish, her fiancé Dave, and Aunt Marnie sat glued to the movie while Uncle Tony fiddled with his iPhone.

None of them, however, had the dubious honor of grabbing Justin’s attention. That belonged to the young man wearing trendy gold-rimmed glasses and the blandest Christmas sweater in existence, sitting ramrod-straight in Dad’s old armchair and seemingly engrossed in Anne Hathaway’s foreign love affair.

No way. What was he doing here?

Justin didn’t know how long he stood in the doorway, transfixed, until his father, coming up behind him, gave him a slight nudge.

“Look who I have here!” he announced, and everybody, including the young man and Uncle Tony, raised their heads and turned his way.

“Hey, Justin!” Trish got up to meet him and give him a vigorous hug.

They sure were an affectionate lot, he thought absently as he hugged her back. Once, all that warmth was what kept him going. Now, it seemed almost…superfluous.

“Hi, Trish,” Justin said when she let up, and nodded to the rest. “Aunt Marnie, Uncle Tony, Dave. Elliot.”

“Oh, right.” Trish finally seemed to recall there was someone else present. “Mom invited Elliot to spend the holiday with us. You remember Elliot?”

Justin nodded curtly, unable to tear his eyes away from their guest. He definitely remembered Elliot Turner.

The man in question stood up, vacating his seat for Justin’s dad, and extended his hand in greeting.

“It’s nice to see you again,” he said.

Elliot’s voice was deeper, more mature than the last time Justin had spoken to him. Somehow, he seemed taller too. His gray eyes behind the shiny glasses regarded him seriously.

“Sure,” Justin said politely, shaking his hand. “It’s been a while.”

“Five years,” Elliot said.

“I was sorry to hear about your parents,” Justin said.

An awkward silence, accentuated by the chatter from the TV, settled around the living room at the mention of the tragedy. Trish and Aunt Marnie exchanged a nervous look. Really, did they expect Justin to just ignore what had happened?

When he’d heard of the terrible car accident last year, he tried calling Elliot in Los Angeles, but Elliot never picked up the phone or responded to Justin’s email in which he offered his condolences. That, above anything else, made it perfectly clear Justin was no longer welcome in his life.

So what was he doing back, standing in Justin’s parents’ living room?

“Thank you,” Elliot said gravely.

Suddenly, Justin was aware he was still holding Elliot’s hand and let it go, taking an involuntary step back. He wasn’t prepared for all the half-repressed memories dragged to the surface by Elliot’s touch—and he certainly wasn’t prepared to deal with them in front of his notoriously meddlesome, if well-meaning, extended family.

Elliot stepped away as well, dropping his eyes. The sudden loss of contact felt like…well, a loss.

“Is Mark coming?” Trish asked, peering behind Justin’s shoulder as if expecting to find his boyfriend loitering in the corridor.

“No,” he said curtly.

“Oh, that’s too bad. Maybe he’ll join us tomorrow, then?”

“I don’t think so. How are your studies going?” he asked Trish, desperately trying to divert her focus elsewhere.

“I’m doing great. Passed all my midterms.”

“With flying colors,” Dave said.

He rose from his seat to shake Justin’s hand as Elliot stepped aside to make room for him and plopped back down, taking over half the couch in a casual sprawl. Dave was a big guy, tall and built like a quarterback. Trish was taller than Justin by an inch, and nearly as broad in the shoulders, but Dave made her seem petite in comparison.

“That’s terrific,” Justin said, his voice warming.

His plan of going to art school had gone up in flames and then slowly fizzled over the years as other considerations took precedence over the illusions of youth, but at least it hadn’t all been for nothing. With her athletics scholarship, Trish had been accepted to UIndy, and as long as she got to achieve that dream, he was happy to do anything he could to support her.

“I can’t believe you got even paler, though,” Trish said, casting a critical eye over him. “And thinner. Are you auditioning for the role of the Ghost of Christmas Past?”

“You’re the one to talk, Trish,” Aunt Marnie observed primly. “That’s the trouble with young people today. You can’t be bothered to take care of yourselves. Eating sandwiches in front of the TV instead of sitting down for a proper meal, chugging all those soft drinks, always on your phones instead of having a nice long conversation over the dinner table.”

She glanced disapprovingly at Uncle Tony as she said it. Justin couldn’t tell whether her dissatisfaction stemmed from his being effectively absent from the proceedings, or that his preoccupation with his own mobile device undermined her point of it being the affliction of solely the younger generation.

Justin rolled his eyes and caught a glimpse of Elliot doing the same. He pretended not to notice.

“Oh, shush, Marnie.” Justin’s dad, John, tsked in annoyance at his sister-in-law as he settled comfortably in his shabby armchair. “Leave the girl alone. The last thing she needs is your dieting advice.”

“Just so you know, I eat healthier than all of you,” Trish said, sitting back down on the sofa beside her fiancé. Thankfully, she wasn’t ruffled by her aunt’s comment. Unlike Justin, she had always boasted a sunny disposition and staunchly refused to let bullies of any variety upset her. “And I drink nothing but fresh juice and water. Carbonated for special occasions.”

Dave snickered and petted her arm lovingly.

“Yes. Well. You must be tired, dear,” Aunt Marnie said, changing the subject and addressing Justin. “Why don’t you sit, put your feet up for a bit? Now, are you sure your young man isn’t coming? I had such a nice chat with him when you brought him over for Thanksgiving. Did you know—”

“I’m sure,” Justin interrupted her. Elliot’s gaze was like a laser beam trained on him, but he refused to meet it head on. “Actually, I think I’ll go see if Mom needs any help in the kitchen.”

Justin beat a hasty retreat before they could all start bickering again—and before he had to explain his current heartache in front of the man who was the first to ever break it.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

A voracious reader from the age of five, Isabelle Adler has always dreamed of one day putting her own stories into writing. She loves traveling, art, and science, and finds inspiration in all of these. Her favorite genres include sci-fi, fantasy, and historical adventure. She also firmly believes in the unlimited powers of imagination and caffeine.

Website | Twitter

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Check out the Release Blitz for Graveyard Shift (Not Dead Yet #3) by Jenn Burke (excerpt and giveaway)

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Graveyard Shift by Jenn Burke

Series: Not Dead Yet #3
Release Date: November 4, 2019
Subgenre: LGBTQ+ Paranormal Romance

Order here:

Amazon US:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SJ7BWBD

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/graveyard-shift-13

B&N:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/graveyard-shift-jenn-burke/1131793391?ean=9781488036279

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/ca/book/graveyard-shift/id1466052950

Google Play:https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jenn_Burke_Graveyard_Shift?id=Af6aDwAAQBAJ

Synopsis for Graveyard Shift:

 

Ghost/god Wes Cooper and his not-life partner, vampire Hudson Rojas, have settled into cohabitation in an upscale part of Toronto. So what if their hoity-toity new neighbors haven’t exactly rolled out the welcome mat for the paranormal pair? Their PI business is booming, and when a suspect they’ve been tailing winds up in the morgue, it’s alongside a rash of other shifters in apparent drug-related fatalities.

Now Wes and Hudson must connect the dots between the shifter deaths and an uptick in brutal vampire attacks across the city. Throw in a surprise visit from Hudson’s niece—who may or may not be on the run from European paranormal police (who may or may not exist)—and guardianship of a teen shifter who might be the key to solving the whole mystery (if only she could recover her memory), and Wes and Hudson have never been busier…or happier.

But when a nightmare from Hudson’s past comes back to haunt him, their weird, little found family is pushed to the brink. Mucking this up would mean Hudson and Wes missing their second chance at happily-forever-afterlife…

Release Blitz Teaser:

“Drug deal. Walter’s a dealer.”
“Huh.”
I pulled out my phone and made notes about the big man and his female bodyguard as I told Hudson what I saw. When I looked up, Walter’s car still hadn’t moved.
Strange. “I thought he was heading out the door as I left.”
“Maybe he had to make a trip to the little boys’ room. Yeah, see? There he is.”
Walter opened the passenger door and did something—we couldn’t see exactly what, since the body of the car was blocking us, but I assumed he was hiding the product. Wouldn’t do to have it sitting on the seat if he got pulled over. After a few seconds, he stood up, looked around surreptitiously, and hopped over the driver’s-side door to land behind the wheel.
“Now that’s talent,” I said. “You should practice something like that.”
“I don’t drive a convertible,” Hudson pointed out.
“The Dukes of Hazzard didn’t either.”
He didn’t say anything to that, but his lips twitched.
Walter passed us and Hudson waited until he was a few car lengths ahead before doing a U-turn to follow. We trailed him northeast on Queen Street. We were both quiet—Hudson was concentrating on not losing Walter in traffic, and I was pondering what the truth was. Embezzler? Dealer? Both? Something else?
I was still silently debating when Walter’s car suddenly picked up speed and crossed the yellow line. He barely missed an oncoming streetcar and instead plowed through a black metal fence and into the trunk of a giant maple tree. The tree’s remaining leaves showered down into the interior of the little crumpled car.
“Holy shit,” I gasped.
Hudson wove around a few cars between us and Walter’s wrecked Miata, parked in the middle of the street, and jumped out. “Call nine-one-one,” he shouted over his shoulder.
Nine-one-one. Sure. I could do that. Once my hands stopped shaking. I fumbled with my phone but finally brought up the dial pad and reported the accident. When I emerged from the car, still unsteady from the dump of adrenaline into my system, Hudson stood next to Walter’s wrecked car.
He was draping a blanket someone had handed him over our subject’s motionless body.

Release Blitz Excerpts

No sooner had I hung up with Ren than my phone buzzed again—this time with the ringtone I’d assigned to Hudson, “Axel F.” To say he wasn’t amused by it was an understatement—“I’m not Eddie Murphy, for fuck’s sake”—but that was about 80 percent of the reason I kept it. The other 20 percent was that I really liked Beverly Hills Cop.
“Hey,” I answered. “How’d the client meeting go?”
Now that Hudson and Evan, his baby vampire and junior investigative assistant, weren’t affected by sunlight anymore, thanks to regular sips of my blood—godhood had its benefits—we’d adjusted the hours of the firm to reflect their new availability. We worked late when needed, but usually most nights we wrapped things up around ten instead of after midnight. Hudson had taken to being the lead on client meetings during the day now, since Iskander’s voice was iffy thanks to a throat injury he’d suffered the year before.
“Lots of crying. Jesus.” Hudson huffed out a breath. “I mean, she knew. She told me at our first meeting she was certain he was fooling around. So I’m not sure why all the waterworks.”
“Because she knew, but she didn’t know. You know?”
“No.” I could hear the smile in his voice at the wordplay.
“You hugged her, didn’t you?”
He grunted. “Yes. Ruined another goddamned shirt.”
God, I loved this man. He could grumble and complain all he wanted, but he loved being a private investigator. It showed in the bounce of his step and the lightness in his eyes, even if he tried to maintain the gruffness that had been way more natural when he’d been a homicide detective.
“Look, I’m going to miss lunch. I got a call from Kat—she wants to meet me at the morgue.”
“Uh…” That was not where I thought this conversation would go. “Why?”
“Weird stuff.”
Of course. Hudson’s old boss, Detective Sergeant Katrina Li, brought him in on anything that seemed hinky these days. “Anything to do with our buddy from yesterday?”
“She didn’t say.”
“Okay, come get me.”
Silence came over the line. “It’s the morgue, Wes.”
“I’m dead, Hudson.”
“Yeah, but not—not dead-dead. Not morgue dead. It might be gross.”
“I can handle it.”
“Wes—”
“I can handle it. Come get me. You might be able to use my godly insights.”
Hudson made his trademark can’t react don’t react breathy-grunt noise, but I wasn’t sure if he was holding back a chuckle or a groan. Maybe both. I had that effect at times.
“Fine,” he finally said. “I’ll be there soon.”
I hung up, triumph flashing through me. Lately he’d made a real effort to show, on a regular basis, that he trusted me and my judgment. This was progress, and I was excited.
“The morgue?” Lexi bit off the last of her lollipop and crunched it. “Ready to witness an autopsy?” She smirked.
My elation faded. “He didn’t say anything about that.”
“Oh, cool. Maybe it’s not that, then.” She chucked the stick at the garbage can next to the end table and got it in. “Could be an identification request. Sometimes bodies come in so decomposed or damaged—”
“Lexi—”
“Watch out for the brains in jars.”
Yeah, that definitely wasn’t happiness in my stomach now.

 

Author Bio:

Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.

Jenn is the author of a number of paranormal and science fiction romance titles, including the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (authored with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press.

She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.

Author links:

Website: http://www.jennburke.com
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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9869819.Jenn_Burke

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