A Lucy Review: Snowdrop in a Storm (Snow Globes #3) by Ava Kelly

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Daniel Wu’s life is wonderful. He has an amazing family in his partner, Jeff, and their adopted daughter. The only thorn in his happiness is Abby’s biological father, Nick, who can’t seem to let go of the past.

Ridden by guilt for trying to tear apart Jeff’s family a year prior, Nick Mariani struggles to find a place for himself in a future that seems bleak. With the backdrop of a holiday vacation, he embarks on a journey of redemption. An unexpected surprise is Leon, who flirts shamelessly from the moment they meet. Leon brings Nick hope, but the shadows of the past threaten to swallow all that newfound brightness.

I have to be honest – I didn’t realize this was the third in a series until right now, after I finished reading it.  So while the Nick that I got to know here talks about the  mistakes he has made and is trying hard to overcome what he’s done.  Because he’s been in therapy and he’s truly working on being part of a family again, his suffering is all the more poignant.

Jeff and Daniel are the parents of Jeff’s niece, Abby.  She was legally adopted after her mother, Lauren, died in childbirth and Nick, Lauren’s husband, took off, unable to handle the death of his wife.  To make matters more difficult, Jeff and Lauren were twins who’s best friend forever was, you guessed it, Nick. 

When Nick first returned he was awful to Daniel and said some terrible things.  Because Jeff is a good and decent person, he has given Nick another chance to prove he can be part of this family.  And Nick is trying.  They are all going to a resort over Christmas with the elementary school chess teams to compete.  Daniel is a little leery about this – what will it be like with Nick around all the time for two weeks?  “I guess deep down I was expecting Jeff to have a me-shaped hole in his life.  Instead, he was happy with you and I felt robbed.”  He’s honest about how he felt and he just wants to be part of something again.

Nick is on his best behavior.  The thing is, this is a man who was crushed by the grief of losing his wife in childbirth. “…I thought how lucky it was that I wasn’t holding the baby.  And then I thought that maybe the baby deserved it.  It had killed my wife, after all, hadn’t it?”  He knew right away that wasn’t an appropriate response, but in grief you aren’t always rational. 

It is at the resort that Nick meets Leon, another twin.  He is so attracted to Leon but can’t go there because in his head, “There it was, another twin for me to murder.”  Of course, Leon knows that isn’t what happened – Lauren died in childbirth – but again, you can’t control the guilt you feel on losing someone so important to you.

I liked the relationship between Daniel and Jeff particularly. The love they have comes through with every touch, every word.  Nick has to work hard to see where he fits anywhere but he does try.  For me, the focus was more on the evolution of Nick with a lesser emphasis on the developing relationship of Nick and Leon.  Leon is a great character and knows what he wants.  He is good for Nick.  Just as a random note, I loved how the title related to the book.

I would recommend this very much. I am hesitant to go back and read the second book, Family In a Storm, because I am afraid the Nick of that book (pretty horrible) will do irreparable damage to my vision of the Nick of this book. 

The cover by Natasha Snow, referencing the Snowdrop, is simple and perfect.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 70 pages
Published November 18th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781951057824
Edition LanguageE nglish
Series Snow Globes #3

A MelanieM Review : No Place Like Home by Annabelle Jacobs

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Will Oliver get the gift he’s hoping for this Christmas?

Oliver Walker’s Christmas is shaping up to be a quiet one. That is until hunky neighbour Ed Middleton moves in next door.

Attraction is instant, but Ed is only there temporarily and neither wants to start something with an expiration date.

As the festive season approaches, holiday cheer wraps around them, and giving in to temptation is inevitable. But Ed is still set on moving in the new year—a fresh start, miles away from those he’s closest to.

If Oliver doesn’t want to lose his heart, he’ll have to show Ed that home is wherever he wants it to be, and love is possible no matter what.

No Place Like Home is a heartwarming story of love between neighbours, family and friends, about adorable rescue cats, and remembering that sometimes the very thing you’re looking for is right under your nose.

My only complaint about No Place Like Home by Annabelle Jacobs?  That is wasn’t longer!  I just adored this story!  It was heartwarming.  It was adult, that dealt with a number of themes besides the wonderful romance.  All of which Annabella Jacobs addressed with sensitivity, folding it gently into the building slow burn romance between Oliver and Ed.
One that kept recurring was Ed’s half hearted “leaving for the North” motion and the later revelations behind it.  It made sense as did what happened when Ed thought through everything that had happened and all it had meant to him.  It was realistic and meaningful and heartwarming.   There is so much here about family.  Whether is is Ed, his sister’s, his friends and their SOs or Oliver’s nan, and Oliver’s family. They all start to meld together in one joyous holiday group of familial love.  There’s the understanding moments of acknowledging Oliver’s nan’s aging and decline in memory, the all encompassing support from all corners.  for her , for Ed, and for Oliver.
And the cats, including Monty, looking for his forever home.
This story is so beautifully written, the characters so well crafted, and the relationships so well developed and laid out that I know No Place Like Home by Annabelle Jacobs is a story I will revisit again and again.  Looking for a special holiday story?  Look no further, here is one to treasure and one I highly recommend.
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 218 pages
Published November 26th 2019
ASINB081TD3QC4
Length: 48,000 words approx.
 

Love SciFy Fantasy? Join in the Blog Tour for A Broken Winter by Kale Knight (Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway)

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Title: A Broken Winter

Author: Kale Night

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 25, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 81000

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBT, Fantasy, futuristic, hurt/comfort, soul mates, re-incarnation, political terrorism, prison, religious extremism, scientist

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Synopsis

General Auryn Tyrus is tired of serving an emperor who turns political dissidents into expensive steak and claims to have swallowed Ankari’s sun. He is fed up with pretending not to know Emperor Haken is buying biological weapons and collecting taxes for a war that doesn’t exist. Auryn’s role in the entire mirage leads him to drastic choices, but unexpected news halts his plans. Seven-year-old Keita Kaneko, the son of a former lover, is captured by the emperor’s special forces. Auryn secretly intervenes and spares Keita from execution.

Keita changes everything. Instead of feeling helpless and oppressed by a self-proclaimed living god, Auryn works to expose the emperor as a fraud. But he knows exactly will happen if he’s discovered, and the extent of Emperor Haken’s lies is worse than anticipated. If Auryn expects anyone to believe the truth, he’s going to need proof. And a lot of help.

I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt of a deleted scene from A Broken Winter. The plot of A Broken Winter is rather complex and over the years I’ve spent working on the novel I’ve made a concentrated effort to reduce the complexity wherever possible. This scene got cut because I took out the idea of Tiernan being “tagged” (implanted with an enchanted chip of crystal) for the sake of simplicity. It’s unfortunate, because I like the interaction between Tiernan and Ari. Tiernan is a wounded paladin who’s traumatized by his previous mission and Ari is a Magus who takes an interest in helping him.

Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt:

Tiernan couldn’t remember the last time he’d had company. He couldn’t think of anyone whose company was a favourable alternative to his own. Not since Cappa died.

  “You live here alone?” asked Ari, gazing around the large three story house. “My father’s a carpenter. He’d love this house.” It was constructed from wood rather than stone, unlike most other dwellings of comparable size; Tiernan’s mother liked the aesthetics of exposed wood grains and parallel beams. To her it felt warmer, more welcoming, and his father leapt at the opportunity to please her.

“It’s a lot of room for one person, but …” Tiernan shrugged. “I don’t know. It works.”

“You don’t get lonely?”

“No. I’m used to living alone. I don’t spend a lot of time around other people, unless I have to. Most people make me uncomfortable.”

“Do I make you uncomfortable?” asked Ari, hands delving into the depths of his pockets, the white fabric of his robes standing stark against the reddish brown undertone of his skin.

“No.”

Ari gestured towards a velvet-upholstered stool. “Have a seat. And take your shirt off, please.”

Tiernan sat. A look of brief confusion crossed his face in response to the latter part of the request, but he complied nonetheless. “Well, since you asked so nicely …”

“The most likely place for a tag is your upper back,” explained Ari, taking on a faint flush of embarrassment. 

He instinctively cringed when Ari touched him, shoulders hunching, retreating into an invisible shell.

“Sorry,” murmured Ari. His fingers curved around Tiernan’s shoulders, kneading.

Tiernan slowly withdrew from his shell, inhaling deeply. Ari’s fingers traced slow lines over his shoulders, barely grazing the surface of his skin, searching for anomalies. The movement was methodical, leaving a brief tingling sensation wherever Ari touched him.

Ari found what he was looking for close to Tiernan’s left shoulder blade. “Here. I can feel it underneath the skin.”

“Cut it out.”

“Do you have anesthetics and surgical tools lying around the house?”

“I have a sharp knife and a bottle of 80-year-old scotch.”

Ari sighed audibly. “We can go back to the hospital.”

“No, thanks. I’ve served my time there.”

Ari pressed close to him, long hair grazing his shoulder. “Stubborn,” murmured Ari. His fingers continuing to wander even with their objective accomplished, caressing Tiernan’s lower back.

Tiernan closed his eyes, envisioning Ari’s hand taking its exploration of his body elsewhere, invading his pants, capturing his cock and pumping it into submission.

Stop that. Ari doesn’t want you. You’re a source of curiosity, that’s all. Like a three-legged dog. How long do you think that’s going to last? He’ll get sick of you any day now, and he’ll disappear.

Tiernan slid off the stool with more force than expected, nearly toppling it. “I’ll be right back.” He left the room, returning with a cloth, a knife, iodine, cotton swabs, gloves, tweezers, and a bottle of scotch.

“What did you use to sterilize these?” asked Ari, eying the implements critically.

“They’re clean. Don’t worry. No need to close the wound. It’ll heal on its own.”

“What am I supposed to do, sit here and watch you bleed?”

“Sure. It would make an interesting side-show act.”

Ari put on the gloves and disinfected the site with iodine. When he went to make the incision, he hesitated.

“What’s the problem?” asked Tiernan.

“I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Give me the knife. I’ll do it.”

“The angle is all wrong; you won’t be able to get at it. I’ll be faster, and I can dull some of the pain.”

Tiernan opened the bottle of scotch and took a long swig. “So can I.”

Get on with it. The sooner he leaves, the better. Even if he did want you, you should be atoning for what you’ve done, not letting a man who should be immortalized in marble play with your dick.

Ari sliced, using an enchantment to minimise the pain. A razor thin sliver of bluish crystal became visible. He held out his free hand, a flare of energy circling each fingertip, sensing the nature of the inscription. Ari lowered his hand hastily, applying pressure to the wound. “I can’t remove it.”

“Why not?”

“It’ll kill you. There’s another incantation woven into the tag. If I try to remove it, it’ll send a jolt of electricity straight to your heart.”

“Wouldn’t want that.” Tiernan brought the bottle to his lips and drank deeply.

 

 

A Broken Winter
Kale Night © 2019
All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Kale currently resides outside a small town in northern Alberta, where she works in a library. She’s an avid reader with an English degree from the University of Calgary. In her spare time Kale loves playing video games, making chain maille, watching anime, and cultivating a steadily expanding bonsai collection.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Tour Schedule

12/2 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

12/3 The Blogger Girls

12/4 Love Bytes

12/5 Diverse Reader

12/6 MM Good Book Reviews

12/7 Mickie B. Ashling

12/8 I Love Books and Stuff Blog

12/9 Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

12/10 Matt Doyle Media

12/11 MM Midnight Cafe

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Review Tour and Giveaway for No Place Like Home by Annabelle Jacobs

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Length: 48,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb



Will Oliver get the gift he’s hoping for this Christmas?


Oliver Walker’s Christmas is shaping up to be a quiet one. That is until hunky neighbour Ed Middleton moves in next door.
Attraction is instant, but Ed is only there temporarily and neither wants to start something with an expiration date.


As the festive season approaches, holiday cheer wraps around them, and giving in to temptation is inevitable. But Ed is still set on moving in the new year—a fresh start, miles away from those he’s closest to.


If Oliver doesn’t want to lose his heart, he’ll have to show Ed that home is wherever he wants it to be, and love is possible no matter what.

For Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review, visit here. We highly recommend it.

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.


Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website – www.annabellejacobs.com
Email – ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction


 

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COVER REVEAL for Rialto (Unbreakable Bonds #8) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

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Rialto by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Cover created by Design by Drake

RELEASE DATE: December 16, 2019

Available to Pre-Order at Amazon

Book 8 in the Unbreakable Bonds series!

Someone has it out for Rialto.

Ian Banner is loving his hectic life. He’s newly married, ready to start a family, and opening a new restaurant. All his dreams are coming true.

The last thing he needs is a problem with his restaurant.

But when one attack after another comes, he grows convinced he has another enemy.

Ian tries to handle things by himself, but his friends are soon drawn in when the attacks become violent. That’s when Ian realizes the target isn’t Rialto. It’s him.

Rialto is the final installment in the Unbreakable Bonds series and features sexy times, Daciana snuggles, overprotective family, fire, and of course, code names.

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