A VVivacious Review: An Officer’s Submission (Cuffs, Collars, and Love #3) by Christa Tomlinson

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5
 
Logan and Clay have finally found their places in their relationship.
 
But while things at home are better than good their life at work undergoes an upheaval. This serves to bring old doubts to the forefront of Clay’s mind but when an incident at work destroys his bubble of happiness, he is lost. As he works out how to deal with things while simultaneously keeping Logan in the dark things start going bad fast. Can their relationship survive these troubled waters and at what cost?
 
This book is amazing. It is a fabulous addition to a series that was already brilliant. I love this series so much and this book is my favourite one in this series.
 
Though I have to confess that, when I started reading this book I wasn’t feeling so good about it. This is because of three reasons. Firstly because I really thought that Logan and Clay would be much further along in their relationship. Secondly the beginning of this book is just a lot of sex scenes which don’t do much for story progression or so I thought. Thirdly this book features the alternating POVs of Logan and Clay and early on in the book the POVs where changing quite frequently often in the middle of a scene which was quite disconcerting. For all the above reasons I stopped reading this book around the 20% mark.
 
But luckily for me, from that point on the book is a treasure and when I started reading the book from this point on I couldn’t stop, I read the rest of it in a single setting without any breaks. Oh My God! This book is amazing, it was just so good and believe me my entire opinion on this book took a one eighty twist. Urgh! This book is just so good.
 
I think the initial series of sex scenes is basically a parameter to measure how off base Logan and Clay’s relationship had gotten following the events of this book. Also this book shows Logan and Clay’s relationship visibly move forward, which I loved because I wanted these two characters together since they are amazing together.
 
There are so many scenes in this book which were just amazing, just because there was such a wealth of emotion suffused in some of the dialogue that I had to read those parts of the book again just to get my fill. The Shibari scene early on in the book is where things changed for me in this book. But personally my all-time favourite part of this book was the scene featuring Logan and Clay during therapy, that scene was epic on so many levels. It saw their relationship mature and that scene is just crucial in getting all the events in this book into perspective. The punishment scene is hot, I mean there are no other words for it except maybe ingenious and innovative and Logan is a genius for figuring out the perfect way to mete out punishment, amazing. Also I love the scene in the bathroom following the altercation. This book has so many good things happening for it. This book just gave me so many feels that it took me over a day to get myself into a place where I could finally try to turn those feelings into words.
 
Personally I already loved the characters and their relationship from “The Sergeant” but this time around I got to love these characters even more. The plot is so amazingly written and it is so engrossing, it was a whole new twist on everything. What I loved about the plot was that it was something so troubling but it was presented and dealt with really well given the circumstances and moreover what I loved was how well the plot was used to make us see these characters in a new light.
 
In short, loved the book, loved the plot and adored Logan & Clay. It was simply amazing and it was a fantabulous addition to an already pretty great series.
 
Cover Art by Melody Simmons of eBook Indie Covers. The cover is amazing.
Sales Links
Book Details:
Kindle Edition
Published March 15th 2017 by Torlina Publishing
ASINB06XNTLCXZ
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesCuffs, Collars, and Love #3

Amy Lane on Writing, Personal Experience, the Saber Dance and her latest release ‘Bonfires’ (guest post)

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Bonfires by Amy Lane
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist:  Anne Cain

Purchase Links

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Amy Lane here today talking about one of my recently highly recommended stories, Bonfires. Welcome, Amy.

✒︎

Saber Dance

By Amy Lane

When I was a kid, one year my dad made less than $1500 for the entire year. Yes, you read that right, we’re not missing a zero—or two.  Yeah, sure, it was the seventies, and they didn’t drug test the poor people before giving out food stamps, and we lived in a dump for $75 a month, but you got to admit, that’s cutting things a bit close.

My dad was smart though—at the time he was in school to become a respiratory therapist (because Work-Fare WORKS, dammit!) and he made his scant living at a pick-n-pull, but he knew how to stretch out a dollar. We planted a garden, because seeds were cheap, and he haunted the feed stores for fertilized eggs.  A hammer, some nails, a lightbulb, and BANG! Baby chickens—and whether they were roosters or hens, one way or another those critters would feed us for a year.  (One year it was roosters—twenty-three out of twenty-five of them. My dad called all of his friends over to become a chicken-killing assembly line, and we had a hell of a barbecue, but that’s another story.)

So livestock, I’ve had it.  As well as cats, for most of my life. And the thing with feeding the chickens (or the sheep or cats or dogs for that matter) is that there are feedbags left over. A long time ago, you used to be able to get some of the feed—or rice for that matter—in heavy duty cloth bags, but mostly they came in paper. 

All of those layers of paper, with all of those leftover grains of food.

You what likes leftover grains of food?

Mice. Mice like leftover grains of food.

I remember—more than once—the chicken coop or feedbag pile getting infested with mice, and the orgy of destruction that followed.

There is nothing as entertaining as a cat chasing mice, especially one who has not become completely domesticated and still has a strong stream of jaguar running through its veins. The thing is, cats are insanely well-crafted killing machines. Everything from curved claws to sharp teeth to lashing tail plays some part in the feline Saber Dance that is a cat getting down to business.

I know some people out there—people who have possibly never had to walk into a darkened chicken coop to collect eggs and try not to freak out at the scurry of little feet as they scuttle through the hay—feel terrible for the furry little rodents, and I do see their side.  I mean, my kids have kept mice and rats as pets, and on a one-on-one basis they can be amiable little creatures with adorable beady eyes and twitching whiskers.

They can also be cannibalistic nightmares who overrun chicken coops, devour crops (remember, those were dinner!) and scurry over your sandal-clad foot when you least expect them. And my heroes, the floofy kitties, were effectively getting rid of the little grain-stealing criminals.

I was a fan!  Hell—on the day of the Massive Rooster Roast, half the adults who were supposed to be plucking and gutting chickens were in the chicken coop watching Squinter, my cat, do his thing, because that animal was amazing. If you’ve never seen a cat going after a mouse with one paw while he’s got one under the other paw and a third in his mouth, you are missing a cat’s reason for being.

So the scene from Bonfires in which Larx is throwing the feedbags onto the burn pile, and the cats are eliminating the fleeing mice—that’s drawn from my memories as a child. I remember how necessary clearing out the garden was, how the feedbags (in Larx’s case, it was cat food) often harbored more than feed, and how the family cats actually shook off their mantles of sloth and somnolence and for once earned their keep.

The texture of the light, the sharpness of the air in the fall, and the gladiatorial drama of life and death enacted on the stage of the fall bonfire all inspired a tremendous anticipation in my chest.

Like falling in love when you’re pushing fifty, it’s a timeless spectacle that feels brand new.

About Bonfires

Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.

Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.

It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.

About the Author

Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.

She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.

She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.

Connect with Amy:

Website: greenshill.com

Blog: writerslane.blogspot.com

Twitter: @amymaclane

Facebook group: Amy Lane Anonymous

Goodreads: goodreads.com/amymaclane

Stops on the blog tour:


March 17 – MM Good Book Reviews

March 24 – Divine Magazine

March 27 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  

March 27 – The Novel Approach

March 28 – Alpha Book Reviews

March 29 – Love Bytes

March 30 – Gay Book Reviews

March 31 – My Fiction Nook 

Wild Unpredictable Love Goes Marching Out. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Wild Unpredictable Love Goes Marching Out

Yes, its the final week of March, that wild, unpredictable crazy month that’s echoed the rollercoaster that is romance for so many.  Ups and downs, wild turns and topsy turvy motions that has your stomach churning. Yes, love and romance can be like that in life and certainly in our stories.  From love that finds a foothold when all hope was lost to that stunning man always out of reach suddenly turning back around to look your way to the tiger prince and the warrior mage, perhaps even more so the wonderful nerdy geeks that capture our hearts with their hesitant ways, we never know what some of our favorite books will bring us.

Last week I reviewed Amy Lane’s Bonfires, a 5 star story that continues to stay with me.  This week, Amy Lane is here to talk about it.  That story was full of unpredictable twists and turns, typical of that author.  On Saturday, April 1, I’m reviewing a book that certainly no April Fool’s Joke, Bru Baker’s Tall, Dark, and Deported, one of Dreamspinner Press’s Dreamspun Desires titles.  Its heartwarming, sweet and surprising.  Stella has one she’s reviewing that’s on my TBR list, John Inman’s story My Dragon My Knight.  Check out that review along with me.  Plus there’s that amazing Tal Bauer series The Executive Office that has another book out.  We have back to back reviews on it this week as well along with Alex Beecroft’s new supernatural series.  So many wonderful rollercoaster stories to get hooked on going into April.  What’s on your TBR list this week?  Did it make it onto ours?  Let us know!

Plus this is the last week to enter into our giveaway.  Go over your favorites, throw us your lists!  With all these great books coming out, I’m sure you can use that gift certificate!

Wild, Unpredictable Love Giveaway!

Does love make us different?  Should it vary wildly from person to person, species to species?  Or is love so deeply essential and elemental that is transcends all boundaries?  What’s unpredictable to you? In couples and in romance. Let me know what you think and your favorite books that make your point!  The random reader chosen will receive a $10 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press.  Giveaway ends March 29th at midnight.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 26:

  • DSP GUEST POST Cy Blanca on A Teacher and a Poet
  • Wild Unpredictable Love Goes Marching Out
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, March 27:

  • Rob Rosen blog post on Fierce + Giveaway
  • Riptide Tour and Giveaway: Strays by Garrett Leigh
  • DSP GUEST POST Amy Lane on Bonfires
  • Release Blitz March 27th *The Necromancer’s Dance by S J Himes (Audiobook)
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Strays by Garrett Leigh
  • A Lila Review: One Bullet by Casey Wolfe
  • An Ali Review: One Bullet by Casey Wolfe

Tuesday, March 28:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ken Bachtold on A Company of Players
  • Release Blitz – Bronze Star by AE Wasp
  • Release Day Blitz: Enemy Within by Tal Bauer
  • Review Tour – Helena Stone’s Patience
  • A MelanieM Review: Patience by Helena Stone
  • A VVivacious Review: An Officer’s Submission (Cuffs, Collars, and Love #3) by Christa Tomlinson

Wednesday, March 29:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Angels of Istanbul by Alex Beecroft
  • Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, Book 4 by Joe Cosentino (interview with a character)
  • BLOG TOUR One Bullet by Casey Wolfe
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Counting Down by Kelly Jensen
  • A VVivacious Review: The Poison Within (Inspector Skaer #1) by Kasia Bacon
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Rainbow Sprinkles by Anna Martin

Thursday, March 30:

  • Blog Tour Spritzer – A Sparkling Gay Romance by Jon McDonald
  • Release Blitz – Dirty Games by Barbara Elsborg
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Goodnight My Angel by Sue Brown
  • A MelanieM Review: Sons of Devils (Arising #1) by Alex Beecroft
  • A VVivacious Review: Fierce by Rob Rosen
  • An Alisa Review:  Nightsong by A. M. Leibowitz

Friday, March 31:

  • Cover Reveal for Take a Chance by Megs Pritchard
  • A DSP GUEST POST Karen Bovenmyer
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Annabelle Jacobs’ Bitten By Design
  • A Lila Review: Enemy Within (The Executive Office #3) by Tal Bauer
  • A Paul B Review: Enemy Within (The Executive Office #3) by Tal Bauer
  • A Stella Release Day Review: My Dragon My Knight by John Inman

Saturday, April 1

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Tall, Dark, and Deported by Bru Baker

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Bonfires by Amy Lane

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.

Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.

It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.

Bonfires is one of those Amy Lane books that’s bigger than any review any reader could possibly write about it.  It encompasses so many huge elements and hits so many big emotional targets that when it comes to pulling it all together in one review I find it escapes me.  It doesn’t help that you go willingly into this story knowing there’s an aspect of it that’s going to tear you apart in Amy Lane’s “shred your heart” way.  You do it knowing something worthwhile will come out of it, as it does here.

Bonfires is not simply a romance any more than starting a fire is about putting two twigs together and expecting a spark. No, Bonfires is about how families are built, how foundations are laid for people to come together to become a strong cohesive unit, powerful enough to withstand some of life’s worst blows, public condemnation and more.  First you get these two men who have already had long relationships that led to having families and children. The men are real, grounded in their lives and ages.  You get them and understand them immediately.

Then you get the amazing, believable, (and not so amazing) kids on both sides.  Yes, just as in life, not all the offspring are sweetness and light.  That’s always a relief to see that bit of reality hit the pages even if its not so welcome for the couple. There’s no instant meshing of families.  Things take time, talking, and work.  There’s actual adulting here.  There’s two houses, schedules, and how and if to come out to your various working environments and staff.  Complicated? You bet and  absolutely absorbing.  Why?  Because we care about these men and children.   We gotten to know them intimately.  At school and at their workplaces.  So when deeply concerning things are happening at the school to people, adult and teens we are intensely concerned about, we care about that too.

Along with Aaron and Larx trying to figure things out for themselves and their kids, there’s another storyline unfolding that’s of equal importance and intertwined with Aaron and Larx.  Its the element with the tragic repercussions that reverberate throughout the community and the two men’s burgeoning relationship.  All things elements, all these pieces of tinder that add up to Amy Lane’s powerful Bonfire….and there’s more.  Of course, there’s always more…

When I  said its about families.  I mean families of all types. Its also the flip side of families…those that do irreparable damage to their young and their community.  And its about the larger families found within the various social communities.  Here Amy Lane’s knowledge of the school system comes in handy with the interplay with the Board of Directors, the various school teachers and factions within the education system.  It all rings very true.

At the end of Bonfires, when you finish the last sentence and reflect back on all those lives and people that Amy Lane created and you spent time with, the tears shed,  the hearts that broke and got pieced back together again, the families made into one…I still think back over this incredible story and realize there’s so much more that I never addressed or could even begin to.   Its as though she crammed a series into one book and no one noticed.  What I do think you should do is read this book.  Its one for thinking about, thinking about families and love and all the astonishing things it takes to get that right.  If we’re lucky and work hard.   When making my Best of 2017 List, Bonfires will be on it.  That’s my recommendation.

Cover Artist: Anne Cain.  Works for the story, although I’m not sure I’m that crazy about it.  Don’t exactly know why.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, 280 pages
Expected publication: March 24th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press, LLC
Original TitleBonfires
ISBN 1635333415 (ISBN13: 9781635333411)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: The Case of the Guilty Ghost (End Street Detective Agency #6) by R.J. Scott and Amber Kell

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Bob is lost in grief, Sam is fighting for his life, and there is no middle ground. Can their love survive?

Bob is grieving over his brother’s sacrifice. Guilt-ridden and devastated, he buries himself in vampire mourning and pulls away from Sam.

Magic tears Sam from the vampire castle and he has to face new adversaries alone, when all he wants is Bob at his side.

Ettore is in the Aset Ka waiting room, next in line for the ceremony for his soul to be torn from his body. Aset Ka has other plans, and Ettore finds himself reunited with a lost love and fighting alongside his brother.

A forgotten past binds Theodore ‘Teddy’ McCurray Constantine III to Ettore, and with the curse tied to Ettore broken by his death, Teddy’s past returns to him with a vengeance.

A royal family in denial, a battle between gods, and long forgotten love leaves no time for Sam and Bob to take a breath. Is it too late to save the supernatural world?

The last book in a series always has an enormous job to do.  It can’t simply tell its story, no it has to wrap all up the loose ends and dangling plot threads from multiple couples and books that came before it.  How it does all that and tell its story will leave the reader either feeling really good about the series and couple/couples or feeling that they’ve missed something and that it all fell rather flat. Or even, quelle horror, a waste of their time! What a burden placed on that last novel!

I’m so happy to report that The Case of the Guilty Ghost wraps things up quite nicely for everyone at the  End Street Detective Agency and even gave us a look at the future that left me all aglow as they say.  Nothing so wonderful as bringing a series full circle as the authors did here.  I’ll say right at the beginning that it doesn’t get the full 5 stars because someone coming into the story without reading all the previous books would be quite lost.  You need to have read all the others to have a firm foundation and fix on the characters and situations already established at page 1, starting with the  grieving Bob.  Yes, I still love a vampire called Bob.

I also thought this was the weakest link here.  There’s no real reason for Bob to separate himself from his family during this time of mourning.  Everyone seems to be telling Bob to buckup and bring at least Sam there to help him through this.  But of course, Sam’s presence is needed elsewhere and Bob won’t soon be mourning.  So begins an action packed supernatural adventure that brings so many characters together one last time.  We learn who and what Sam truly is, a mystery that ran throughout the series.  How that bracelet Sam wears comes into play and a outstanding fight to end all fights at the end.   And our Terry, the resident ghost of End Street Detective Agency? Well, he figures into this in a huge way as well. Oh and did I mention there’s sex too? That too, lots of that.

If a plot is tied up too neatly, well, ok.  I thought that banishment was quick and pretty handy.  But the rest of the story was so good and answered so many of my questions, that I’m willing to overlook something so expedient as that.  Plus it worked within the narrative, so I’m happy even if I wanted something a little more complicated.  Sam, Bob and daughter Mal have their HEA as do our other favorite characters.  That’s what I wanted here and what I got with a lot of suspense and acton along the way.

Then Amber Kell and RJ Scott threw in the marvelous Epilogue and brought things full circle.  That was just delightful and left me smiling even more.  I could walk away from the End Street Detective Agency happy and content.

Cover design by Meredith Russell is perfect for the characters and storyline.

Sales Links

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2mYNrYY

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2nDMEK6

Book Details:

ebook, 164 pages
Published March 15th 2017 by Love Lane Books Limited
ISBN139781785640759
SeriesEnd Street Detective Agency #6

Wild, Unpredictable March and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Wild, Unpredictable March – Wild Tales of Love

 

Love provokes all sorts of emotions in us all and authors then write about them.  And of course, we love to read about them.  I’ve been talking about unpredictable couples, when one of the pairs turns out to be something totally unexpected ~ shifters, alien, what have you.  We paused that for St. Patrick’s Day and irishmen.  But  let’s pick it up again and expand the category.  What about those stories where one of the pair is unpredictable?  What is unpredictable to you?  Is it the best friend?  The frenemy? That first love that reappears after 20 years?  Or a true SciFy or Fantasy couple?  Again shifters, fae, magicians, and aliens etc come into play.

Do you all find that to be true?  Or is it when you fall in love with the friend that has always known you so well, been there for you, been your rock, a quiet love? What sorts of love do you find irresistible to read about in stories?  I wonder if the types of couples makes any difference when it comes to love.  I’m reviewing three books this week, one a contemporary love story by Amy Lane where the couple finds love at an older age and two with established fantasy and supernatural couples.  For all three love feels very much the same for all three pairs no matter the circumstances.

Wild, Unpredictable Love Giveaway!

Does love make us different?  Should it vary wildly from person to person, species to species?  Or is love so deeply essential and elemental that is transcends all boundaries?  What’s unpredictable to you? In couples and in romance. Let me know what you think and your favorite books that make your point!  The random reader chosen will receive a $10 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press.  Giveaway ends March 29th at midnight.

Lucky In Love – A St. Patrick’s Day Giveaway!  The Winner is Fehu.  Stella will be in contact with you about your certificate.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 19:

  • Wild, Unpredictable March – Wild Tales of Love
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, March 20:

  • DSP GUEST POST Cy Blanca on A Teacher and a Poet
  • Blog Tour A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove
  • Release Day Blitz From Top to Bottom by Kevin Klehr
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: The Virgin Manny (The Mannies #1) by Amy Lane and John Solo (Narrator)
  • A VVivacious Review: A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove
  • An Ali Review: An Arresting Ride (Survivors Find Love #2) by Lissa Kasey

Tuesday, March 21:

  • Cover Reveal – By The Numbers – RJ Scott
  • DSP GUEST POST Tara Lain on Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns
  • BLOG TOUR Between the Secrets by S. Ferguson
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Growing Pains by Cass Lennox (giveaway)
  • An Ali Review: A Matter of Duty by JC Long
  • An Alisa Review: My Best Man by  Linn Edwards

Wednesday, March 22:

  • No Regrets by Nicky James Tour
  • An Alisa Review: The Cookie Said Red by J.D. Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  An Invitation by Jay Northcote
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns (Cowboys Don’t #2) by Tara Lain

Thursday, March 23:

  • Review Tour & Giveaway – The Case Of The Guilty Ghost (End Street Book #6)
  • HARMONY INK PRESS BLOG TOUR Russell J. Sanders on All You Need is Love
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into the Fall (Leaning Into #2) by Lane Hayes
  • A MelanieM Review: The Case Of The Guilty Ghost (End Street Book #6) by Amber Kell and RJ Scott

Friday, March 24:

  • Release Day Blitz She Belongs to Them Both by Sedonia Guillone
  • DSP PUBLICATIONS BLOG TOUR Don Travis on The Bisti Business
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Bonfires by Amy Lane
  • An Ali Review: Here For Us by AM Arthur

Saturday, March 25:

  • A MelanieM Review:  Twilight by Megan Derr

 

A MelanieM Release Day Review: There’s this Guy by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

theres-this-guy-by-rhys-fordHow do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?

Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.

It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued Art Deco building on the WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the artistic, sweet man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.

When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.

What can you say about a book that opens up on the darkest moment of a man’s life, that point where he see’s no hope, no light and then carries you and him on a journey that see’s him safe, in love and with a future that burns as bright as the sun?  You say that you love it and cherish the man and couple you have been reading about.  That’s what you say.

Jake Moore is that man.  His life is one long night of pain, bloody beatings and unmeasurable sorrow.  And it hasn’t ended by any means.  The person most responsible is still barely alive, punishing Jake even from his dying bed.  The hell that this vicious man has made Jake’s life is brought vividly alive through Jake’s confused thoughts and memories of his past, his mother, conversations…his anguish bleeds off the page and into your heart.  He’s a welder by trade, also an artist which is where he pounds out his anger and confusion that he feels over his life and sexuality, welding pieces from the bits left over in the shop and things that he finds to bring home.

Then Dallas Yates and his best friend (and all around wonder) Celeste come into Jake’s life via the renovation of a Art Deco building across the street.  Between the two of them, Dallas who makes Jake yearn for everything he’s been told was evil and Celeste, flamboyant, feminine and proud of who she is (and how far she’s come), makes Jake think  past other boundaries he’s always been provided with.  It’s never downplayed how broken Jake is or that he needs professional help to recover, an important element I really loved here.  The relationship build is slow as Celeste questions Dallas on his ability to and his reasons for being attracted to Jake (there is a past element here for Dallas).  Layers upon layers here, like the detritus that has to be removed from the Art Deco building before she can shine, have to be peeled back before Dallas and Jake  can be a couple and have a future.

I almost gave this 4.75 stars over things as small as not seeing the opening of Bombshell, and other such things that really are extraneous.  Would I have loved them here?  Absolutely.  But were they necessary to the plot?  I don’t think so (although I do think they are in some cut pages somewhere on Rhys Ford’s computer).  I got the men, I got their love and their journey and that was deeply moving and so memorable.  I loved them so, and all..well, most of the secondary characters too.  From Celeste to the Yates family.

Want a story full of hope?  Want a story full of recovery, love and a journey towards a brighter future for a man who thought a future was something he didn’t deserve?  There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford is the story for you.  But let Rhys Ford put it better.  From Rhys Ford’s Foreword on There’s This Guy:

This book is for anyone who has stared into the abyss and wondered if they can or should go on.

You should.

Take that next step forward and go on.

And should you need help finding the strength for that step, reach out. There are people and places who will help you.

Keep walking until you find the sun on your face and until you can see the stars again.

You are worth that step. Worth that journey.

The world is a better place with you in it.

OK, I’m about to start crying all over again.  Probably will pick up the story and start reading it again as well.  Get the idea? Yes, I highly recommend it.   How I love this author!

Cover art is ok, but honestly I don’t know what I wanted for such a complex story and character.  Color me confused.

Sales Links 

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2017 by Dreamspinner Presss
ISBN 1635334993 (ISBN13: 9781635334999)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Caryn Review: Drinker of Blood (SPECTR Series 2, #3) by Jordan L Hawk

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is the 9th book in this series (technically it’s the 3rd of SPECTR 2, but since you can’t really read SPECTR 2 without SPECTR 1, I think of it as a continuation), and the best thing about it was knowing there will be more coming!  This book concludes with more loose ends than most of the others, but it is by no means a cliffhanger.  A new character is introduced (no spoilers, but it’s gonna be good!) that I am pretty sure will be featured strongly in the upcoming installments.

For those who have not been reading this series, this review may not make much sense.  I highly recommend the entire series, and the books are all quite short – less than 100 pages – so they are quick reads.  What keeps me coming back is the uniqueness of the paranormal aspect of the main love relationship.  John is an agent for SPECTR – the government agency responsible for eliminating non-human entities, AKA demons, from our world.  His lover Caleb is possessed by a powerful vampire spirit, Grey, but the two share the body equally.  It makes for a fascinating 3 way relationship (and sex!)  I love how Grey maintains his non-human perspective, even as he learns about human emotions and society, and Drinker of Blood highlights that “otherness” even more.

This book builds upon the tensions introduced in the last two books – their boss at SPECTR, Barillo, is increasingly antagonistic and his fear and hatred of Grey/Caleb (and not a little homophobia) are becoming too much for even John to smooth over.  Caleb has joined the Paranormally Abled Support System, but has to hide Grey from them, so John and Zahira are truly the only people who know and support Caleb/Grey.  Although the love between John, Caleb, and Grey remains strong, outside influences are becoming intolerable.  Defeating the monster du jour is almost a side plot to the building strain, and inevitable crisis.  Maybe in the next book?

Finally, I love how this author incorporates some excellent secondary characters.  Zahira continues to shine in this book, and I can’t wait to see more of the new character.  Who, by the way, is going to put even more stress upon the John/Caleb/Grey relationship in the next book, I can see it coming *wink*

Cover art by the author is consistent with the rest of the series, but I still think Grey would look more menacing in his kevlar-lined elk hide coat instead of a tee shirt 🙂

Sales Links

Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo | Smashwords

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 84 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2017 by Widdershins Press LLC
ASINB06X942Q64
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series SPECTR:

A MelanieM Recent Release Review: Who We Are by Nicola Haken

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Since putting his life on hold ten years ago, Oliver Clayton doesn’t know who he is anymore. To his clients at the hair salon, he’s the sassy and confident stylist. To the crowds who come to watch his drag act at the club, he’s the fierce and fabulous Miss Tique. He’s popular. Talented. Out, proud, and self-assured.

He’s also a good actor.

Sebastian Day is content with life’s easy, if not a little monotonous, routine. After several failed relationships, he likes the simplicity of being alone in his truck at his job as a heavy goods driver, spending the weekends with his teenage son, and putting the world to rights with his cat, Marv. He’s not lonely. He isn’t hiding.

At least…he doesn’t think he is until he meets the mesmerising stranger with the red hair and purple lips.

Can Oliver and Sebastian help each other embrace who they are? Or will a cruel twist of fate end their journey before it’s even begun?

Who We Are is just a superb bit of storytelling, from the incredible characters to the heartrending life obstacles and things almost guaranteed to derail all our hopes, dreams and plans for happiness that get thrown in these characters way.  Haken charts it all out here and then realistically manages to give us and her characters the ending we are crying out for.  How  I adored this story.

Of course, any outstanding story has to have its foundation in its characters and that especially true with Who We Are.  But its not just Ollie Clayton and Seb Day that we get here (although they are so incredible that would it be just them, it would still be a 5 star tale). No, its all the characters that circle them with an almost gravitational pull.  From Tyler, the brother Ollie has brought up and supported since their mother died of cancer to Scott, Seb’s son, (and the other family equally great), to mothers, fathers, uncles, best friends, the author has created a community for Ollie and Seb to live within that’s so vibrant and meaningful that the reader easily loses themselves to the story and to the lives of all the people they meet within.  Each person moved me with what was going on in their lives and how they were or weren’t handling it. These were layered human beings who acted their ages, had problems and conversations that reflected that as well.  I believed in them with all my heart and needed them to move forward any way they could.

Oh, the issues these people faced….a myriad of them.  This story unfolds so beautifully, especially the courtship of Ollie and Seb.  The awkward flirting, the funny meetings that slowly turn into deep feelings.  The butterflies in the stomach that the reader feels as well.  Grab that box of tissues.  These two will sink deep into your heart as they do with each other.  Soulmates has never felt so true.

But life is harsh as Ollie has learned over and over.  I think Nicola Haken has taken a stark look at what happens to people, their relationships when life deals them a tough blow.  This section is just as wonderful and terrifying as everything that went before.  And for some, maybe the hardest pages to read.

But that ending…that wipe your tears, grab up the book and start from the beginning again ending….yes…simply splendid.  I see and then hear these words in my head and immediately, I start smiling and reaching for the Kindle in anticipation of a book I’m happily recommending to you all:

“Are you flirting with me?”
“Is it working?”
“Maybe”

Cover art is perfect for the character and story.

Sales Links

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 271 pages
Published March 8th 2017
ASINB06XHGDVGF

Release Blitz & Review Tour – K.C. Wells’s Step By Step

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner


Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


Length: 85,899 words


Cover Photo: Strangeland Photography


Cover Design: Paul Richmond

Blurb

Jamie’s life is one big financial mess, and it really isn’t his fault. However, the last thing he expected to find in the library was a Good Samaritan. He might have been suspicious of Guy’s motives at first, but it soon becomes apparent that his savior is a good man who has been lucky in life and is looking to pay it forward. Guy being gay is not a problem. Jamie’s not interested… or so he thinks.

Guy is happy to help Jamie, and the two men get along fine. But when Jamie’s curiosity leads him from one thing to another, Guy finds himself looking at the younger man with new eyes. What started out as a hand up is now something completely different….



Author Bio

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….

K.C. loves to hear from readers.

E-mail: k.c.wells@btinternet.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KCWellsWorld
Twitter: @K_C_Wells
Website: http://www.kcwellsworld.com

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✒︎A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Highly Recommended Novel.  Read Lila’s Review here.