A MelanieM Review : Across The Pond (Arizona Raptors #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The greatest journey isn’t from England to the States, it’s the one that two men take on the way to find each other.

Sebastian Brown is on a mission to rescue the Arizona Raptors and a vow he made to a friend in college. Either that or he’s on vacation. He’s not entirely sure that he’s made up his mind yet. Either way, traveling from England, to the arid desert of Arizona isn’t exactly a picnic, particularly with the doubts and worries he takes with him. He’s turned even the worst of companies around, but faced with the challenge of improving the reputation of a hockey team that everyone seems to hate, he knows his work is cut out for him.

Focus is key, but that is easier said than done when Seb is sent into a tailspin by the intriguing Alejandro. Seb’s entire marketing plan hinges on making Alex a poster boy for equality and fair play. But with Alex’s utter dedication to the game, and his dark secretive eyes, the gorgeous Alex is stubborn, opinionated, doesn’t want any part of being the team focus, and worst of all, doesn’t appear to like Seb at all. It takes everything that Seb has to keep his hands off of Alex, but things get out of hand and Seb’s life might never be the same again.

Alejandro Garcia has had to work hard to get where he’s at. Born to Mexican immigrants, his siblings and himself have never had it easy in this new country their parents dreamed of calling home. A native son of Arizona, Alex has always been the odd man out on the ice but he’s not going to let a stupid thing like his heritage get in the way of his dreams. He’s now a Raptor and he plans to put all that training and collegiate hockey experience to good use. Working hard comes naturally to him. It’s something his parents have instilled in him from the time he was a toddler. Being one of a handful of Latino hockey players makes him strive for success with even more determination. His first pro season has had some ups but a lot more downs, but Alex is one stubborn young man and failure is not an option.

As the Raptors struggle to rebuild not only their team but their core values, Alex finds himself drawn to one of the owner’s friends, a tall, lanky Brit with the face of an angel and an accent and attitude that bewitches and befuddles him. Sebastian is everything he thought he would never be attracted to but he can’t push the sexy, older, fun-loving man out of his thoughts. If ever there were a man he would not be able to take home to his parents – not that he can bring a man home since he is deeply closeted – it’s Sebastian, but desire knows no socioeconomic, age, or international borders. The heart wants what the heart wants and Alejandro’s wants Sebastian.

The second novel in the Arizona Raptors series, Across the Pond is a sweet, contemporary romance that will leave you wanting the next installment and asking questions about the new story threads the authors introduce here.  I really liked the new characters.  That would be Sebastian “Seb” Brown. called in by his friend and part owner of the team to help them pull the Raptors together out of the detritus team they were.  Seb is great as the Brit walking into an unknown situation with a sport he knows little about.  I liked him instantly.  Of perhaps deeper import, here and later on, for the team and series, is Alejandro Garcia.  I say that for several reasons.  He seems to represent a building tension here within the series and team.  Or should I say regional area and the team.  One that is both racist and homophobic in nature.  References are made repeatedly to how slurs are hurled against him, not even knowing his sexuality, but because of his heritage.  It’s a theme or thread that the authors seem to be building upon and not one that is resolved here.

Same goes for how homosexuality is viewed in this area.  It’s a far cry from the world of the Harrisburg Railers and the outlook is as harsh and hard as the climate.    From the machismo in the Latin culture to the outright hostility to those who are Hispanic, I will be fascinated to see where the authors take this explosive aspect of the series and how it develops.

Within the relationship between Seb and Alex, who deal with Alex’s demons with his culture, religion, and sport, and given the length of this story, a realistic HFN approach is exactly what is called for.  This is all too complex to solve within one story.  I hope to see it carried out over the series and given the treatment it deserves.

In the meantime, enjoy meeting this couple, look for a couple of our already favorites, and know that Henry’s story is coming.

Oh yes, another addictive hockey series from this pair of authors.  How I love it.  And recommend it.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 193 pages
Published November 10th 2019 by Love Lane Books Ltd
ASINB07ZY53R98
Edition Language English
Series Arizona Raptors #2

Length: 57,600 words approx.
 
 
Arizona Raptors Series
 

Book #1 – Coast to Coast – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

A Lucy Audio Review: Finders Keepers by N.R. Walker and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Needing a change of scene, Griffin Burke moves from Brisbane to Coolum Beach to start a new job. The beautiful white sand, aqua-coloured ocean, blue skies, and summer breezes are everything he longs for. What he finds is a mud-covered dog, lost and hungry, with a nametag and a phone number.

Dane Hughes is stuck in Surfers Paradise at a week-long work conference when he gets a phone call from his distraught mother. His dog, his fur baby, Wicket, has run away. Unable to leave and feeling helpless and miserable, he gets a text from a guy. “I think I found your dog…”

Griffin and Dane start talking, and Griffin agrees to look after Wicket until Dane can collect him. With a few days left before his new job starts, Griffin takes Wicket on some coastal adventures and sends Dane photos of their fun, and so the start of something new and kind of wonderful begins.

Griffin might have moved to Coolum in search of a new life, but what he finds is so much more. What he gets to keep just might take some four-legged help.

This was just what I needed after a pretty angsty book and it’s going into my “read after a bad day” folder on my iPad.  Griffin has just moved to Coolum Beach and on a hiking trip ends up giving water to a cute dog.  When he returns the next day, it’s raining and miserable and the poor dog is still there, now wetter and dirtier.  Griffin is a nice person, so he takes the dog, Wicket, and contacts the owner from the phone number on the tag. 

Poor Dane. He’s Wicket’s owner, and he has been frantic.  He left Wicket with his parents while he went away on a work conference and the little escape artist managed to open the screen door and disappear.  Dane’s parents are so upset and Wicket is no where to be found. In swoops Griffin, to say, “Yes, I found a dog.  Can you tell me about him?”  And so begins the friendship turned more of Griffin and Dane. And Wicket the dog, who is far from the parent’s house.

Griffin offers to care for Wicket until Dane returns from his business trip and does so in style, taking him to restaurants and parks, hiking and out for doggie desserts, all the while sending pictures and updates to Dane.  It was adorable.  Dane and Griffin get to know each other via text message and phone calls and I loved that as well. Sometimes it was awkward and adorable.  “And if you were looking-“I cringed at how ridiculous this was.  “-and used dating aps, would you use Tinder? Or maybe Grindr?”  I buried my face in the sofa cushion and rolled my eyes and wanted to die.”

The story basically is the adventures of Wicket and Griffin and then adding in Dane.  Friendly, flirty and then on to more. They do move pretty fast but they admit it.  “He told me he recognized we were moving pretty fast but he liked it, and I told him I agreed.  Wholeheartedly.”   The story is told in alternating first person point of view and I appreciated that as well.  I like getting to hear both sides. 

There is no angst in this book, no conflict.  It’s just a gentle, soft, fluffy story with a meet-cute and a lovely dog.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Narration by Joel Leslie is perfect, as usual.  He gives different voices to Dane and Griffin, making it easy to differentiate between the two and his upbeat tone fits very well.

Cover art, showing Wicket with Griffin, is simple and I felt is conveyed the feel of the story well. 

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible | Audiobooks

Audio Book Details:

Listening Length: 6 hours and 30 minutes

Audible Audio, 7 pages
Published July 30th 2019 by Tantor Audio (first published January 31st 2018)
Original Title Finders Keepers
ASINB07VHJHR1L
setting Australia

An Alisa Review: Slow Birth (Heat of Love #2.5) by Leta Blake

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Rating:  2 stars out of 5

Jason and Vale are back in this side story set in the Heat of Love universe!

A romantic getaway turns dramatic when an unexpected heat descends on Vale, leaving Jason with no choice but to act. The resulting pregnancy is dangerous for Vale and terrifying for Jason, but with the help of friends and family, they choose to embrace their uncertain future. Together they find all the love, joy, and heat they need to guide them through!

While this story follows the characters from Slow Heat, it will be most enjoyable if read directly after Alpha Heat, as it takes place contemporaneously with that book.

This book just did not hit the mark for me.  I mean I read Alpha heat so I know how it all works out in the end but was hoping for more of an in depth story.  I felt what I got was way too much sex and too much emphasis on them being Érosgápe.

I understand that pregnancy is supposed to make omegas horny but it seemed all Jason and Vale did was have sex for a good 75% of the book and I can only read about how great their ass or cock feels before it’s just too repetitive and too much, I mean Bitter Heat had a pregnant omega and it wasn’t focused this much on the sex.  I had trouble with them using their Érosgápe connection as the reasoning for everything like no other couple who are not Érosgápe wouldn’t have the type of connection at all and I felt it degraded Xan and Urho’s relationship from Alpha Heat even as they were supporting them.

I felt bad for Jason throughout the whole book because everyone blamed him and put everything on his shoulders if something went wrong (like the unexpected heat), like Vale wasn’t a person and couldn’t make his own decisions, and I don’t know it didn’t help with my frustration at all.  The book was well written as usual I just felt it went off in the wrong direction.

The cover art by Dar Albert is very nice and I like that it is the same models that were used for Slow Heat.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 167 pages

Published: October 17, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Heat of Love #2.5

Join Us for the Release Blitz with Excerpt for The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings by Lily Morton

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The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings

Lily Morton

Gay Romance/Paranormal Ghost

Release Date: 11.14.19

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Blurb

Levi Black is at a crossroads. After suffering a loss and breaking up a long-term relationship, he’s looking for a change. When he receives the news he’s inherited a house in York, he seizes the opportunity to begin a new chapter in his life.

However, when he gets there, he finds a house that has never kept its occupants for very long. Either through death or disinclination, no one stays there, and after a few days of living in the place, Levi can understand why. Strange noises can be heard at all hours of the day and night, and disturbing and scary things begin to happen to him. He never believed in ghosts before, but when events take a sinister turn, he knows he must look for help. He finds it in the unlikely form of the blue-haired leader of a ghost tour.

Blue Billings is edgy, beautiful, and lost. Utterly lost. He conceals so many secrets that some days it’s a miracle he remembers his own name. He knows that he should ignore Levi because he threatens the tenuous grip Blue has on survival. But there’s something about the kind-eyed man that draws Blue to him. Something that demands he stay and fight for him when he would normally run in the opposite direction.

As the two men investigate the shocking truth behind Levi’s house, they also discover a deep connection that defies the short length of time they’ve known each other. But when events escalate and his life is on the line, Levi has to wonder if it was wise to trust the Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings.

https://getbook.at/BlueBillings

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Excerpt

His audience are raptly hanging onto his every word, but attention is disrupted when a large group approaches. At its lead is a thin man with long black hair pulled back into a ponytail. He’s handsome, but his expression is discontented and his mouth is sharp. He’s dressed in similar clothes to Blue, and he carries a large wooden box.

The group moves past us, coming to a stop a few yards away. The man places his box on the ground with a rather dramatic precision. My mouth twitches as he climbs on with a great deal of dignity.

“I’ve brought you here,” he says in a ghoulish tone, “to talk about plague and death and a terrible end in solitary confinement locked away in a small house.”

“Excuse me.” Blue’s loud voice cuts straight through the man’s dramatic spiel.

The man stops talking with an impatient sigh. “Can I help you?” he asks.

“I’ll say you can,” Blue says sharply. “This is my pitch for the next ten minutes. That’s the agreement if I keep off the York Devil bit until last thing.”

“Well, Frank changed the route. Sorry if you didn’t get the memo,” Box Boy says in a bored voice.

“You don’t sound sorry,” Blue says calmly. “You sound quite cross.” He pauses. “Or constipated. I never could tell the difference.” He looks him up and down. “Both ways were a build-up of shit.”

The man seems to lose his grasp on his temper. “You don’t own York,” he says loudly.

“Obviously not,” my guide says patiently. “Or I wouldn’t be doing ghost tours.” He clearly remembers his audience and turns back with a charming smile. “I would, of course, still be doing ghost tours for wonderful groups like this even if I owned the city of York, because I live to impart spectral knowledge.” The other man snorts slightly, and Blue smiles at us kindly and winks. “You’ll have to excuse us,” he says. “We used to date. Can I just say there is no correlation at all between box size and penis size?”

I snort out a laugh despite myself and watch as the other man picks up his box and gestures to his group in a bad-tempered way. I watch him go, smiling. The grin drops away as I suddenly become aware that the group is staring at me and our guide is talking to me.

“Sorry,” I say quickly. “I wasn’t paying attention.”

“Obviously,” he says. “Because you missed the bit where I said I wasn’t a resident charity.”

“I think I’ve missed something,” I say slowly.

The other members of the group shift slightly, obviously enjoying the entertainment, but not wanting to draw too much attention to themselves in case his laser gaze turns on them.

“You have missed something,” he says. “You’ve missed the part where you pay for the tour.”

“Oh fuck, sorry.” I edge forwards and dig in my pocket for my wallet. “Of course I’ll pay. How much is it?”

“Well, usually it’s six pounds.” I open my wallet, and he stares at me. “But that’s for people who are on time. You, however, are late, so it’s a tenner.”

I’m about to argue with this logic when a big man stirs at the back of the group. “Can we get a move on? It’s fucking freezing.”

“Could you watch your language?” another man says crossly.

“I can. I just might not want to,” the big man says.

My guide sighs and glares at me. “See what you’ve done now? This was a very well-behaved group before you turned up. You’re like a human grenade.”

I open my mouth to refute this unfair observation, but he shakes his head.

“Okay, people,” he calls out to the group. “Let’s be off to our next stop on the ghost tour led by the Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings.”

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Lily writes contemporary romance novels, and specialises in hot love stories with a good dose of humour.

Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she bought her first Kindle.

She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else could she get to spend her time with hot, funny men!

She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – chocolate Baileys! Her lifetime’s ambition is to have a bath in peace without being shouted by one of her family.

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Across The Pond (Arizona Raptors #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey

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Length: 57,600 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Arizona Raptors Series
 

Book #1 – Coast to Coast – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

 
Blurb
 

The greatest journey isn’t from England to the States, it’s the one that two men take on the way to find each other.


Sebastian Brown is on a mission to rescue the Arizona Raptors and a vow he made to a friend in college. Either that or he’s on vacation. He’s not entirely sure that he’s made up his mind yet. Either way, traveling from England, to the arid desert of Arizona isn’t exactly a picnic, particularly with the doubts and worries he takes with him. He’s turned even the worst of companies around, but faced with the challenge of improving the reputation of a hockey team that everyone seems to hate, he knows his work is cut out for him.


Focus is key, but that is easier said than done when Seb is sent into a tailspin by the intriguing Alejandro. Seb’s entire marketing plan hinges on making Alex a poster boy for equality and fair play. But with Alex’s utter dedication to the game, and his dark secretive eyes, the gorgeous Alex is stubborn, opinionated, doesn’t want any part of being the team focus, and worst of all, doesn’t appear to like Seb at all. It takes everything that Seb has to keep his hands off of Alex, but things get out of hand and Seb’s life might never be the same again.


Alejandro Garcia has had to work hard to get where he’s at. Born to Mexican immigrants, his siblings and himself have never had it easy in this new country their parents dreamed of calling home. A native son of Arizona, Alex has always been the odd man out on the ice but he’s not going to let a stupid thing like his heritage get in the way of his dreams. He’s now a Raptor and he plans to put all that training and collegiate hockey experience to good use. Working hard comes naturally to him. It’s something his parents have instilled in him from the time he was a toddler. Being one of a handful of Latino hockey players makes him strive for success with even more determination. His first pro season has had some ups but a lot more downs, but Alex is one stubborn young man and failure is not an option.


As the Raptors struggle to rebuild not only their team but their core values, Alex finds himself drawn to one of the owner’s friends, a tall, lanky Brit with the face of an angel and an accent and attitude that bewitches and befuddles him. Sebastian is everything he thought he would never be attracted to but he can’t push the sexy, older, fun-loving man out of his thoughts. If ever there were a man he would not be able to take home to his parents – not that he can bring a man home since he is deeply closeted – it’s Sebastian, but desire knows no socioeconomic, age, or international borders. The heart wants what the heart wants and Alejandro’s wants Sebastian.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.  We highly recommend it.

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.


RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.


The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.


When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

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