A MelanieM Review: City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Follow the money or follow your heart?

All Bryce Lowery knows how to do is play hockey. He’s been playing professionally since he was fifteen. Twenty years later, he’s rich, famous, tired, and alone. And possibly gay according to his ex-wife.

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a motorcycle-riding white knight named Dakota, Bryce discovers he is most definitely gay. Now Bryce has a tough choice to make, follow the money to a new multimillion dollar contract, or follow his heart into the unknown?

All Dakota Ryan knows how to do is grow apples. Now at twenty-four, he faces losing both his home and his livelihood in one cruel twist of fate.

Then Bryce Lowery crashes into his life like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. He’s whispering promises to make all of Dakota’s wildest dreams come true. But Dakota knows better than to give his heart to someone who could leave, and if life has taught him anything, it’s that everyone leaves.

Dakota has a choice, sit back and wait for Bryce to decide his fate, or for the first time in his life, chose what he wants his future to be.

City Boy is a first time gay, fish out of water, May/December love story with a happy ending. It features snarky siblings, a dirty-talking farmer, lots of food, and big choices. (No poultry was harmed in the making of this book.)

Because I made a vow to go through STRW’s Hockey Romance list and read all the stories I missed and also because It’s now hockey season once more, I’ve started to read AE Wasp’s Hot Off the Ice series and I’ll tell you I’m loving it. City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by A.E. Wasp is our introduction to the  boys of Thunder, the Seattle NHL Hockey team.  Actually, one of them who is in flux. That would be hockey all star Bryce Lowery, currently on the injured reserve list until he recuperates from his recent leg injury. But he’s fighting more than just a injury, and a  deceased relative, a will, and a road trip to Colorado might give him the change of direction he needs.

Dakota is a farmer, orchard farmer to be exact, one in danger of losing everything due to mislaid trust, naivete, and a crushing loss   .  And now he faces an uncertain future and nowhere to go.

This is one of those many trope story’s.  We have age gap, coming out, sexual discovery, as well as HEA.  And it all works because of Wasp’s wonderful charizations that allows us into the mindsets of each man as they make their journey towards each other and work their way through their individual issues.  City Boy is relatively low on angst, high on sweetness.  There are great dogs, wonderful sisters (on both sides), friends that appear, and, of course, teammates to gather round at Thanksgiving…all that start to form a “found family”.

Characters that form a foundation for the rest of the series.

This story is sweet, engaging, and really sets the stage for the rest of the series.  I love it and recommend it .

Cover art is perfect with the orchard at the bottom and Bryce at the top.  Love it.

Sales: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 318 pages
Published June 29th 2017
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Marked Yours (Sentries #1) by Elizabeth Noble

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When one society fell, assaulted by natural disaster, in its place rose another, molded into something entirely different. Protectorates were divided by beliefs and distance. Slavery was accepted and threats both natural and supernatural were commonplace.

This became a world where sentries were needed. Trained almost from infanthood, these tough men and women lived in a society within a society. They were warriors and protectors, ferreting out evil and defending the citizens of New Colorado Protectorate from inhuman terrors and, on occasion, human ones.

Todd Ruger was born into life as a sentry. Raised by a hard father into a hard life, Todd becomes the consummate sentry, tough, dangerous, and good at what he does. When he wasn’t quite into his teen years, he was bonded to a special young slave named Nick. For years their only interaction was through letters. Friendship turned to a sort of courtship between them. Todd lived for the day Nick became of age and Todd’s ownership would take effect. That was the day Nick would leave the village with Todd. They’d begin a life together. They’d make a difference.

Raised as a slave, Nick never wanted to be special, but nature had other ideas for him. He grew up in a village with other slave children and was taught to be useful to his future master because he a gift … or curse. The tutors responsible for his upbringing didn’t understand what Nick could do, what he was; they were afraid of him. If sentries hadn’t bought him, it was likely he’d never have lived to see the age of five. All that changes the day Nick leaves the village with Todd. He’s cared for and shown a new, better life with a man who loves him honestly and wholly.

But after being together barely a day, Nick is brutally attacked and injured. Though he recovers without incident, Todd’s heart fills with revenge. The guardian in him turns into a dangerous, driven assassin, a wolf on the hunt.

Todd’s obsession with tracking down the men who hurt Nick and making them pay could very well get them both killed. Can they survive and build the life together they’ve both dreamed of for years?

NOTE: This is the third edition of Marked Yours. The first and second editions were released by another publishing house. This story has been revised and re-edited with the end result being a better, stronger story

I am a fan of this author’s stories so I was eager to see what Marked Yours (Sentries #1) by Elizabeth Noble contained as far as characters and worldbuilding from this author I admire so.  And while I did enjoy many elements, I also found myself questions that many more, more than I would have normally expected to find in one of her novels.  Some I will chalk up to my distaste for slavery stories.  I read this one because of the author and you never know exactly what take each writer will have on a master/slave relationship and world building.  So I was curious as to what I would find here, which was a mixed bag at best.

The characters here were very well defined and layered within the restrictions of the world they lived in and the relationship as it developed.  I think my issue here is honestly with the world building, less with the characters.  Perhaps.

They exist within a state with depends upon, recognizes a Master/slaves economy.  Treatment of those slaves vary from master to master, but those slaves are still considered a product, not a being.  A tool as it were and are raised as such from childhood.  They are bought and sold as commodities.  Now, and here I have a problem.  Nick has special abilities which are recognized early.  He was given special training as a child slave which makes him an incredibly valuable tool/slave.  In this society and economy, it should follow that his price and value should rise as well.  Also for all that training, he’s curiously inept.  It’s like making a knife incredibly sharp and then leaving it in a draw for 15 years.  In this case a sentient one.  Why all that training and then not showing him why or how to use it?  It makes no sense, even as a slave.  Here let’s make you great with weapons but you can’t ever use them. SMH.  So no, that’s not working here for me.

I got the writing and letters.  Cute but again.  Slave/master and not realistic.  Especially given the Sentinel society, Todd Ruger’s father’s attitude towards slaves, and Nick’s own status.    Plus whatever anti slavery feelings that develop are never acted on, just voiced here.  Again, this is just the only story in this series I read so maybe that changes in other books.  But the acceptance of the  extreme inequality in their relationship here, that they will be “ok” as long as they are in private …well no.  That if anything happens to Todd , well Nick will just be “willed” to a nice person….not freed mind you, willed away.  For me, that is never a solution that works, here or in any story that I could recommend.

Also in a semi spoilery sort of way.  The only  anti slavery country is treated in a less than favorable light..  So wth.  We are supposed to go all in for the slavery government because these two are happy?  Ah no.  There’s just a ton of mixed messages here, most of which just don’t work for me no matter the romance or characterizations.

So, for the characterizations, Marked Yours (Sentries #1) by Elizabeth Noble gets a 3 star rating, for everything else?  A 2.  Honestly not a story or series for me.  Whether you wish to read it, I will leave it up to you.

Cover Art is really a disconnect from the story which has wagons, horses…seems right out of a western, as well as slaves.  That cover could be science fiction.  Are we looking at 2 different stories here?

Sales Links:  AmazonJMS Books LLC

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, Revised and re-edited 3rd edition, 218 pages
Published October 12th 2019 by JMS Books LLC (first published May 23rd 2011)
ASINB07YNZNS1C
Edition Language English
Series Sentries #1
Characters Todd Ruger, Nick Ruger
setting New Colorado
West Caldera
New Colorado City, New Colorado

Check Out the Blog Tour and Giveaway for Rules for Santa (Davey’s Rules #3) by Susan Hawke

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Rules for Santa

Susan Hawke

Davey’s Rules Series Book 3

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance, Daddy/boy

Release Date: 11.01.19

Rules for Santa Cover

Blurb

Rule #18: Daddy’s boy will always believe in his Santa Daddy.

Homeless, alone, and now jobless, Cameron Evans is lost… until he’s found after a prominent local attorney literally trips over him when the boy is passed out from dehydration.

Scott Hendrickson has two things in life: his job as an assistant district attorney, and his son Davey. Other than that, he lives alone in a house that’s too big, too empty, too… lonely.

It’s not just Cameron’s life that might change for the better when Scott takes him in. Scott can provide material things and security, but Cameron returns the favor by breathing fresh air into Scott’s stale life.

Two men who need each other… one magical holiday season. Could a little Christmas magic be all that’s needed to bring the biggest gift of all? Maybe Cameron doesn’t need a Sugar Daddy… because he already has a Santa Daddy.

This is the third book in a series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Get ready for all the squishy holiday feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book.

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Excerpt

After a sleepless night spent tossing and turning, I was up with the sun. Cameron came down right as I was pouring the fruit compote over a Belgian waffle. I noticed the backpack on his shoulder right off the bat.

His stomach growled—loudly—but he ignored it as he met my eyes. “I’m going to get out of your hair now. I just wanted to thank you for taking me in last night. I looked out the window and it’s not raining right now, so I should be okay.”

Shaking my head, I pointed to the island. “Drop your bag and come have breakfast. I didn’t cook all this just for me, did I?” My chest fluttered when he instantly obeyed.

His cheeks were pink as he climbed onto the stool. “Sorry, I just didn’t want to assume or impose. I thought you might be sick of me by now. But I suppose it won’t hurt to stick around long enough to have breakfast, especially since you went to so much work.”

“You’re not imposing at all. It’s nice to have a little company in the house.” I figured we would discuss his leaving later. First… food.

“Wow, that’s a beautiful compote. You reduced it perfectly, I won’t even need syrup.” Cameron smiled brightly as he looked at the plate I set in front of him. There were already platters of scrambled eggs and bacon on the counter, along with a container of freshly squeezed orange juice. I might have been a little too busy.

“I just hope you like waffles.” I spoke casually, setting a carafe of coffee on the counter along with a container of cream and cups for each of us. “I wasn’t sure if you drink coffee or not. If not, that just means there’ll be more for me.”

His eyes were closed as he moaned around his first bite of waffle. I wasn’t sure whether to be pleased or turned on. Maybe a bit of both? After he swallowed, his eyes popped open and he reached for the coffee. “I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but I don’t hate it. Especially with a rich breakfast like this, I’ll definitely want coffee today.”

Susan Hawke LogoAs 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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In Need of a Holiday Romance? Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for The Christmas Deal by Keira Andrews

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

Length: 250 pages

Cover Design: Wicked Smart Design

Blurb

Will fake boyfriends become the real deal this holiday?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—except ex-Marine Logan is jobless and getting evicted. Worse, he’s a new single dad with a stepson who hates him. A kid needs stability—not to mention presents under the tree—and Logan’s desperate.

Then he meets lonely Seth and makes a deal.

Can Logan temporarily pretend to be live-in boyfriends to increase Seth’s chances at a promotion? If it provides a roof over their heads for the holidays, hell yeah. Logan considers himself straight—he doesn’t count occasional hookups with guys—but he can fake it. Besides, with his shy little smile, Seth is surprisingly sexy.

Make that damn sexy.

Shocked that Seth has only been with one man, Logan can’t resist sweetening their deal to teach him the joys of casual sex. No strings attached. No feelings. No kissing.

No falling for each other.

Easy, right?

The Christmas Deal is a steamy holiday gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring fake boyfriends, bisexual awakening, a clueless single dad with an angry preteen, and of course a happy ending.


Author Bio

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:
“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

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Join Us for the Release Blitz and Giveaway for For Sam, Times Infinity by Suki Fleet

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 60,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

After growing up in care, all Sam wants is to make a home for him and Tommy, his kid brother by choice. But it’s not as easy as he thought, especially when his social worker finds him a job miles away. And falling for the surprising boy at work only makes things harder.


Evra is different, his past a mystery. Being truly himself is not something he’s ever felt safe enough to be with anyone, not until Sam, the shyest boy ever, saves his life at work and Evra finds himself inexplicably trusting him. Wanting him.


Problem is, Sam is leaving, unable to stand being so far away from Tommy. And Evra can’t leave, not when he has consequences to face.


Making things work might seem complicated, but sometimes falling in love has its own consequences.

 

About The Author


Award Winning Author. Prolific Reader (though less prolific than they’d like). Lover of angst, romance and unexpected love stories.


Suki Fleet’s first novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards, and was a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards. Foxes won Best Gay Young Adult story in the 2016 Rainbow Awards.


You can contact Suki at sukifleet@gmail.com


If you’re interested in hearing about upcoming releases, works in progress, giveaways and freebies, please sign up to Suki’s newsletter.

 
 
 

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