Of Frost and Winter Readings. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Of Frost and Winter Readings

On days like the ones we’ve had recently, when the winds blow cold and snow puts a pristine layer of white over everything within sight, one  of the first things that pops into my mind is the poem of Robert Frost~ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.  It’s one of those poems that, from the moment I first read it, has continued to resonate with me.  Especially that last stanza…

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I’m probably not alone in that. Those words have a way of circling around in my head, along with the imagery they produce.
There’s something about a winter atmosphere, an artic location for a story that can render a tale so memorable if for no other reason that for our own body memories an author is able to call upon when describing scenes and  writing chilling passages that evoke shivers and make us remember to curl up deeper into our blankets, seeking the warmth against the cold of a winter night.  Several authors whose stories made an arctic landscape vivid and coldly beautiful jump to mind including Megan Derr (Frostwick, The Prince of the Moon, Chaos (The Lost Gods #5, and many more), RJ Scott (The Christmas Throwaway, A Reason to Stay, and more as her agents, safe houses and blizzards are a great combination),Jamie Fessenden (A Viking for Yule), Freddy MacKay (Snow on Spirit Bridge, Chestnuts Roasting Anthology), Amy Lane ( Turkey in the Snow, Winter Ball, The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critter – the whole series actually, and more ), Marie Sexton (Winter Oranges), Heidi Cullinan (Minnesota Christmas series). And that’s just a few that snapped right into my head.
What winter tales made you crawl closer to the fire?  Which stories brought the howl of the cold arctic winds swirling about your home and body even though you live in the warmer climes?  You know how Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words loves our lists! So here’s your Winter List Challenge!  What’s your Most Memorable Winter Stories?  From now until the end of the month, get in your recommendations!  We will pick a winner or two to receive a gift card of $10.  Make sure you include your name and email address where you can be reached.  So bring on the Brrrrrs and the Winter Recommendations!  Contest ends January 28 at mid.
Now for this week’s reviews and  tours!  Happy Reading and stay warm!

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, January 21:

  • Of Frost and Winter Readings.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 22:

  • DSP Dreamspun Promo Kris T. Bethke
  • BLITZ To Seek and To Find by Tamryn Eradani
  • TOUR The Calling by MD Neu
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Barricade by Lindsey Black
  • A MelanieM Review: Open Net (Cayuga Cougars #2) by V.L. Locey
  • A Stella Review: When the Devil Wants In by Cate Ashwood and JH Knight

Tuesday, January 23:

  • Release Blitz – Why I Need You by Colette Davison
  • Release Blitz Tour – Meg Harding’s  Contour
  • Release Tour for:La Famiglia (A Men of Gilead Novel) by Deanna Wadsworth
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: La Famiglia (The Men of Gilead # 2 ) by Deanna Wadsworth
  • A Stella Review:  Motorcycle Man by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Dragon’s Hoard by M.A. Church and Narrator: Dorian Bane

Wednesday, January 24:

  • Blog Tour Seeing Red: Interlude by T.C. Orton
  • DSP Promo Deanna Wadsworth on La Famiglia (A Men of Gilead Novel)
  • Release Blitz – Garrett Leigh – Dream (Skins #1)
  • A Caryn Review: The Law of Love by Fyn Alexander
  • A MelanieM Review: The Case of the Man Eater (Kanaan & Tilney #2) by Jenna Rose and Katey Hawthorne
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Way with You (Memories with The Breakfast Club) by Lane Hayes

Thursday, January 25:

  • DSP Promo Sean Michael
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Two Man Station by Lisa Henry
  • Tour: Sound of Silence by Mia Kerick and Raine O’Tierney.
  • A MelanieM Review: Why I Need You by Colette Davison
  • An Alisa Review: Waking the Prince by Shawn Lane
  • A MelanieM Review: Knightsgift by J. Hepburn

Friday, January 26:

  • Release Blitz for LOVE TIMES FIVE by Lily G
  • Sounds of Silence Tour –
  • Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Twice in a Lifetime by Jodie Griffin
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Home is Where You Are ( States of Love ) by Emjay Haze
  • A Lila Review:  An Actor’s Guide to Romance by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead
  • A MelanieM Review: And God Belched by Rob Rosen

Saturday, January 27:

  • A MelanieM Review: Velvet Claw by L.J. Hamlin

 

A MelanieM Review: On Davis Row by N.R. Walker

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Nearing the end of a suspended jail sentence should unlock a brighter future for CJ Davis, only the chip on his shoulder is as hard to shift as his bad reputation. Born into a family of career criminals who live down Davis Road, an address the cops have dubbed Davis Row, his name alone is like a rap sheet that makes optimism impossible.

Brand-new parole officer Noah Huxley is determined to see the good in men like CJ. After all, he knows firsthand that bad things can happen to good people. His colleagues mock his doe-eyed optimism, but Noah soon sees CJ’s bad attitude and bravado are weapons he uses to keep people at a distance.

Both men know one simple mistake can change a life forever. At first glance, they might seem to be polar opposites. Yet underneath, they’re not that different at all.

On Davis Row is another heartwarming, excellently written novel by N.R. Walker.  CJ Davis is born carrying a name that marks him as a criminal for the community that he lives in.  It doesn’t matter that he’s trying to escape all that name means or the people he comes from,  Just the  name itself brands him and beats him down.  He’s a Davis.  And  one small mistake costs him dearly and sends him off to prison where another would have gotten off.

Walker lets us into the heart and mind of  CJ the man who wanted hope and a future and found hell and a prison instead.  Now out he’s back working for the only man, outside of his Pops to offer him help and friendship, the man who runs the carshop where he worked growing up.  CJ is out but his situation is much the same. Until Noah Huxley comes into his life.

NR Walker’s stories are realistic and gritty as they can be hopeful and loving.  That’s a careful balance to maintain, especially with dealing with the subject matters here.  The author can’t gloss over the familial abuse, criminal family history, and prison past of CJ.  It haunts his every step.  Plus Noah’s work as a parole officer throws him up against the very prison system CJ just came out of and the man who sent him there.  You need to believe in the system and CJ’s family for CJ’s foundation to be real.   And it does.

But you also need the hope, the ability for a second chance for CJ to feel just as believable and NR Walker gives us that as well in the relationship that slowly builds up between Noah and CJ, despite all of CJ’s best defensive best efforts.

This is a marvelous story, just the type of NR Walker tale I love.  I just get so emotionally invested in these men and their HEA that when the end finally swoops in, it still manages to take me by surprise.  I’m overjoyed, sad to see another NR Walker story end, and start looking forward to another.

And yes, I highly recommend this one.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

29 pages
Published November 27th 2017

A MelanieM Review: Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Victor Kalinski and his husband, Dan Arou, are living the dream. Married for over a year now, the couple have settled into life in Cayuga surrounded by friends, family, and a team that’s poised to make another championship run. Each man is enjoying professional success as well as personal bliss. Who knew life in the suburbs with a spouse and a child could be so darn satisfying? Not Vic. K, that’s for sure.

The happy times are about to turn rough, though. The Cougars have picked up a new player, Sander March, a brash young center whose sass, skill, and attitude can rival Victor’s. When it’s revealed that this new player and Dan have history, tensions begin to rise between the newlyweds. As Victor and Dan work on those issues, the one person Victor never thought he would meet arrives in the small New York hamlet and proceeds to flip everything in Vic’s life upside down.

Can Victor and Dan’s marriage withstand what life is about to drop on it, or will the challenges be too much for them to handle?

Out of all of the three books in this terrific series by V.L. Locey, Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) is by far the best.  It’s just superb in every way.  From the  excellent writing to the nuanced characters to multiple elements the author uses in this story, Coach’s Challenge just continued to surprise me with it’s depth, it’s ability to swing between emotions and subjects without feeling abrupt or jarring, or losing it’s powerful edge.

Most of that is due to the complex, tormented man Victor Kalinski, the Coach of Coach’s Challenge.  Married to hockey player Dan Arou, their lives are centered around the AHL team Cayuga Cougars, but his personal demons are driving him constantly.  With a back history being abandoned by his father, then left to be raised alone with a unbalanced, drug crazed mother who physically, mentally and emotionally tortured him since he was a baby? Yes, anger , self worth, and trust issues abound, even though he’s finally found happiness with Dan.

The reader is given a front row seat to the inner turmoil and fire that’s  the mind and heart of Victor Kalinski.  It’s doesn’t matter whether we are at the hockey ring watching the goalie in his “butterfly defense” posture (and having Locey easily sliding in an explanation of what that is for hockey neophytes) or sitting in his therapist’s office for one of their gut wrenching sessions.  Oh those sessions! As Victor fights against the  questions she’s asking him, the dialog runs from outright hilarity to breakdown sobbing that has you reaching for the tissues as well.   If I could reach out to the author for all the dialog and just for this man alone, I would be hugging her and giving her a writing award.

And while we are glued to the incredible passion and drama that is Victor Kalinski, that means we are bound also to those around him.  Dan Arou, who’s love for Vic, means he has to navigate the emotionally troubled  times, the anger, self hate, and in this case, jealousy of Dan’s past love life, that comes with being with Victor, both as a Coach and as a husband.  Watching the interplay and relationship dynamics, so grownup, between these  men, is such a pleasure.  They actually talk things through, working out issues as grownups should.  They talk about his sessions with his therapist, how it affects them, more issues to be discussed, very aware that’s nothing is resolved or can be when you are dealing with years of abuse  such as Victor’s.  His scars are deep, not just the ones you see on the surface.

Every character here is a pleasure to meet.  I loved his therapist, the hockey players we have come to know and love in the prior stories, his son and baby mama (Victor is bi), everyone here is given the Locey treatment.  By that I mean, each one feels alive, fully dimensional, and able to shoulder an entire story on their own because their personalities and lives have foundation and are real to me.

I love hockey (go Caps) so having a series and this story where the author’s exuberance for the sport and its players flows over every word and page is such a joy to read.  Combine that with outstanding storylines and characters so memorable that you want to stay in their lives a little longer?  Well, if I could give this story more than 5 stars I would.    And I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.

I highly recommend Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey.   Excellent in every way.

Cover Design:  Rêverie Design & Formatting.  I wish that  black and white scene was a little more well defined.  I like the overall composition but it’s grayed out too much and it’s hard to see.  Plus the model in the back is way too young for the men n the story.

Sales Links:

Amazon USAmazon UK |  B&N  |  iTunes   |  Kobo 

Book Details:

ebook, 154 pages
Published January 10th 2018 by Self-Published (first published January 8th 2018)
Original Title Coach’s Challenge — Cayuga Cougars #3
ISBN13 9781386044130
Edition Language English

Review Tour : Coach’s Challenge (Cayuga Cougars #3) by V.L. Locey

Standard

 

 
 
Point Shot Trilogy – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cayuga Cougars Series
 
Book #1 – Snap Shot – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Open Net – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Victor Kalinski and his husband, Dan Arou, are living the dream. Married for over a year now, the couple have settled into life in Cayuga surrounded by friends, family, and a team that’s poised to make another championship run. Each man is enjoying professional success as well as personal bliss. Who knew life in the suburbs with a spouse and a child could be so darn satisfying? Not Vic. K, that’s for sure.


The happy times are about to turn rough, though. The Cougars have picked up a new player, Sander March, a brash young center whose sass, skill, and attitude can rival Victor’s. When it’s revealed that this new player and Dan have history, tensions begin to rise between the newlyweds. As Victor and Dan work on those issues, the one person Victor never thought he would meet arrives in the small New York hamlet and proceeds to flip everything in Vic’s life upside down.

 

Can Victor and Dan’s marriage withstand what life is about to drop on it, or will the challenges be too much for them to handle?

 

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 – star review here.




January 10 – Gay Media Reviews, BooksLaidBareBoys
January 11 – The Novel Approach
January 12 – Xtreme Delusions
January 13 – Love Bytes Reviews
January 15 – Making It Happen, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Reads
January 16 – Gay Book Reviews
January 17 – MM Good Book Reviews, Hearts on Fire Reviews
January 18 – Alpha Book Club
January 19 – Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Jim’s Reading Room, Book Review by Virginia Lee, Valerie Ullmer, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, OptimuMM
January 22 – MM Good Book Reviews


Author Bio


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, 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 flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey 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 hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.



Website
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Goodreads
Blog

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Spun! by JL Merrow and Mark Steadman (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

With friends like these . . .

An ill-advised encounter at the office party leaves David Greenlake jobless and homeless in one heady weekend. But he quickly begs work from his ex-boss and takes a room in Shamwell with easygoing postman Rory Deamer. David doesn’t mean to flirt with the recently divorced Rory—just like he doesn’t consciously decide to breathe. After all, Rory’s far too nice for him. And far too straight.

Rory finds his new lodger surprisingly fun to be with, and what’s more, David is a hit with Rory’s troubled children. But while Rory’s world may have turned upside down in the last few years, there’s one thing he’s sure of: he’s straight as a die. So he can’t be falling for David . . . can he?

Their friends and family think they know all the answers, and David’s office party hookup has his own plans for romance. Rory and David need to make up their minds and take a stand for what they really want—or their love could be over before it’s even begun.

Spun! by JL Merrow won the Rainbow Award for Best Romantic Comedy in 2017 and with this outstanding audiobook, should have won that category as well.  Mark Steadman has zoomed up my list of narrators I just love to listen too and this audiobook and series is a prime example why.

Mark Steadman’s lively and articulate narration makes JL Merrow’s comedy romance all bright and heartwarmingly alive!  It’s in his many voices that easily separate the characters for you and for all the sweeping inflections and yes, ear for regional “dialects” that brings this story into the 5 star status as a audiobook as well as a novel.

Oh this story!  I loved David back when he made his appearance in Out! along with his bear Gregory.  He’s such a kind and sympathetic soul and you wanted him to find someone who wanted him back for his wonderful, flamboyant, empathetic, self. Who knew he would find it in a postman?

That would be postman Rory Deamer, father to two, and soon to be having the surprise lodger of his life.  Spun! is a lovely slow burn of a romance which works because we get to watch these two men connect over their shared love of Dr. Who and the fact they both can’t cook, bonding, talking….I just loved it.

And David?  Well, we enjoyed his friendship with Mark’s daughter so it’s no surprise to see his interactions and relationships build with Rory’s kids here.  It’s as much a part of the story as their romance and it should be because they are forming a family.

There’s miscommunications and misunderstandings abounding everywhere towards the end.  Enough to  make you  want to crack some heads together.  But the sheer joy of this romance, the absolute “rightness” of Rory and David finding love with each other?  It’s perfect.  And just  one more  reason I love visiting Shamwell so.

I love this audiobook.  What a great way to  spend the hours!  Read it, listen to it!  In fact, grab up the whole audiobook collection!  I recommend them all.

Cover art: Natasha Snow.  These simple but eye catching covers work for the characters and series.

Audiobook Details:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon, Audible, iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, Listening Time: 7 hrs. 44 min

Published November 29th 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published July 1st 2017)
Original TitleSpun!
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Shamwell Tales #4
Literary AwardsRainbow Award for Best Bisexual – Romantic Comedy & Suspence & Nominee for Best Bisexual Book (2017)

A Stella Review: The Fortune Hunter by Bonnie Dee

Standard

RATING 5 out of 5 stars

A man with nothing finds everything.
Abandoned at birth, WWI veteran Hal Stanton faces bleak employment prospects in post-war London. Desperation spurs him to reinvent himself to hook a wealthy wife, one he will be devoted to even if he feels no real passion. But when he meets his fiance’s cousin, Julian Needham, it’s all he can do to keep his heart in check and his eye on the prize.

From the moment he’s introduced to the charming stranger Margaret plans to marry, Julian suspects the man’s motives yet fights a relentless attraction. He’s determined to reveal Hal as a fraud but must handle the matter delicately to protect his sweet cousin’s feelings. A weekend at the family estate should allow time and opportunity for him to expose Halstead Wiley.

Even as the men match wits in a battle of attempted unmasking, powerful sexual attraction threatens to overcome them both and win the day. Can a true love connection possibly grow between these adversaries without destroying lives and loved ones?

I rarely read historical mm books, but once in a while a blurb or a cover or an author’s name catches my interest and I have a go. The Fortune Hunter by Bonnie Dee was simply amazing. I will definitely reread it and reread again and again. A huge success. It has all the elements I look for in a historical story, not necessarily in the mm world. It’s a romance, a pure romance, the kind of story that lets you dream and brings you into the MCs’ world. I simply adored it, that’s why it deserves all the five stars.

I’m often dubious about characters set in a non contemporary time, because what I want to find in my books is the chance to empathize with them or to fantasize, and more than once it doesn’t happen. In this case I got both, maybe because the story is set in a not so far away historical period, just after WWI, maybe because the author is very good at writing. Anyway I read her new release in a one sitting, I savoured every single scene, every word, and I deeply loved it.

I saw the attraction between Hal and Julian, I followed them while they struggled with their fears and doubts, and I cheered on them to finally find a way to be together. I learned their pasts and started to love both of them, and actually the second characters too, from the first chapters. Every single one well developed and defined.

I enjoyed the plot, I think the author delivered an amazing story, there is no cheating here, which is something I’m not comfortable with, on the contrary, not just the MCs will get their HEA. I felt every feeling Hal and Julian felt, their desire to be in each other arms. And more important, to me the story seemed very realistic.

I feel to recommend The Fortune Hunter, even if you are not a huge fan of historical romance like me, I’m sure you will love it.

The cover art is likeable and well done.

SALE LINKS    AMAZON

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 235 pages

Published January 2nd 2018

ASIN B077XLY1ND

Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Tribute Act (Porthkennack #8) by Joanna Chambers

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Nathan Bridges hadn’t intended to settle down in his home town of Porthkennack—he just ended up staying after saving the family business from ruin. The truth is, Nathan can’t stop himself from stepping in when problems arise. He’s a fixer, the man everyone turns to. But even fixers can’t solve everything.

When Nathan’s sister needs an organ transplant, it’s his stepbrother, Mack, who the family turns to as Rosie’s only potential living donor. Nathan’s curiosity about the stepbrother he’s never met turns to shock when he realises that Mack is his latest—and hottest ever—one-night stand.

Nathan and Mack agree to forget their single night together, but that’s easier said than done. When Mack moves in to Nathan’s place to recuperate after surgery, it’s not just the sexual tension between them that keeps growing. Against all the odds, and despite Mack’s wariness of intimacy, the two men grow close enough that Nathan begins to wonder what it would take to mend the rift that’s kept Mack and his father estranged for over a decade . . . and whether Mack might consider staying with Nathan in Porthkennack for good.

Sometimes, when the writing, the themes, and, the characters all come together, then a place comes alive for a reader.  You feel like you can walk down the pathways, watch the wild seas, look in through the glass windows into the pubs and storefronts of a place and feel you know it intimately because it’s now real for you.  Porthkennack is now that place or me.  Which is more amazing because the series isn’t written by one author but by five (at least for the moment).  Each one adding to the mythology, the foundation of the place, it’s people and its history.

Some are stand alone novels, such as this one, others are not.

All make you wish with all your heart that Porthkennack was a place you can grab a plane or bus to.  Tribute Act is just another reason why.

Tribute Act opens with music from songs from Nathan’s father’s band, one he walked away from, along with his marriage when he married Nathan’s mother in Porthkennackk, giving up music, settling down to have a family and fun a ice cream store.  That’s where we meet Nathan Bridges.  Home to rescue his Dad (awful businessman), his Mom, and sister.   It’s Nathan who is the rock of the family, always giving, sacrificing to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the family.  Nathan’s character is so well defined.  We see how much it takes out of him to continually be the giver, leaving little for himself, including dreams for his future.

Nathan’s sister is in need of a transplant which introduces Mack to the family and a series of startling revelations for all, especially Nathan who’d hooked up with Mack the night before not knowing he was his stepbrother.  Mack also was shocked by that little surprise.  Mack is a torn, bitter young man, hurt by seeing the family before him he never had as he was abandoned by Nathan’s dad.

Ah, that’s the huge weakness at the center.  The roaring musician, the dad who’s basically a coward but still loves his family.  This story is full of flawed people.  Some you will love, some you’ll understand, some you might despise…but all of them feel downright authentic.   They act, talk, yell, and react from places that you expect….deep wells of pain and anguish.  Childhood abandonment and loss.  Lack of familial love.  That’s very powerful stuff and it flows from the very heart of the narrative here.

And when hesitatingly, it all  starts to find a way to  come together, in forgiveness and as a family?  Well, you can’t help but feel joy and love for them all.  And another story and group takes its place in your Porthkennack corner of your heart.  How I love this place.

If you aren’t familiar with the Porthkennack series, Tribute Act (Porthkennack #8) by Joanna Chambers works fine on its own.  I highly recommend it and the others.  Check out the entire series here.  You might find me waiting on the bench by the bus stop waiting to walk with you into town.   You never know what magic can happen there.

Cover art by Garrett Leigh is spectacular.  Moody, it captures the tone, location, and character and pulls you in.  I love it.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 206 pages
Published January 15th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published January 13th 2018)
ISBN139781626496842
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPorthkennack #8

This title is part of the Porthkennack universe.

An Alisa Release Day Review: Beneath This Mask (Enhanced #3) by Victoria Sue

Standard

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Gael Peterson has spent years hiding behind the enhanced abilities he wears like a mask, even though he is an important, confident member of the FBI’s exclusive H.E.R.O. team. The hurt and betrayal of his mom’s abandonment and his father’s fists are secrets buried deep beneath the ugly scars on his face, and he doesn’t trust Jake, his new regular human partner, with any of them. In a world where those with special abilities like Gael’s are regarded as freaks and monsters, it won’t be easy for him to rely on Jake to have his back, especially when the abilities of a vulnerable nonspeaking enhanced child make that child a murder suspect.

Tempers rise and loyalties are challenged, and when the serial killer targeting the enhanced finally sets his sights on Gael, not only will Gael have to trust Jake with his secrets, he might have to trust him to save his life.

This was another great story in the Enhanced World series.  I loved getting to see some more insight into other members of the team in this book.  Talon and Jake both make some assumptions about the other and slowly learn to trust themselves and each other.

Gael uses his uniform as a mask and doesn’t want anyone to see the vulnerability that is inside of him.  While Jake has been hurt in the past just not in the same ways as Gael, his need to take care of others helps break down some of Gael’s walls.

I loved both of these characters.  Gael’s soft heart and ability to connect with all those around him is wonderful, I loved seeing him with Derrick and the trust the young boy showed him.  Jake has made mistakes in the past but is working through his own hurt, some of the best mental healing he got was when Gael got the opportunity to take care of him.  I love Jake’s declaration of love to Gael and how much he wanted to build a family together.  It’s looking like the next book is going to feature Vance and I can’t wait to learn more about him and Samuel, his new regular human partner.

I love the cover art by Brooke Albrecht and it gives some wonderful visuals for the story.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 206 pages

Published: January 16, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-128-8

Edition Language: English

Series: Enhanced World #3

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Fighting Addiction (Fighting Addiction) by B.A. Tortuga

Standard

Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Country hat act Markus Kane is skeptical when he’s asked to do a joint tour. He hasn’t seen Sebastian Longchamps since he gave up drinking—and since their compulsion for each other nearly cost them both their livelihoods. But Markus’s career is on the downhill slope, while the country-fried Cajun rocker’s star is still rising. His label thinks it’ll be a match made in ticket-sales heaven.

Sebastian knows better. One wrong move and Markus will break his heart all over again. This time he has much more to lose.

Time has changed both men, though, and while Markus and Sebastian try to fight their addictions, the big music industry machine has plans for them that don’t include a quiet retirement. Can Markus convince Sebastian that there are things in life more important than adrenaline and control? And can Sebastian make Markus understand that all he really wants is his music and his man?

Fighting Addiction is about music, breakups, breakdowns, chicanery, and second chance at love.  That’s a country song right there.  And that’s sort of perfect because music, the writing of it, the singing of it, the getting together and hashing out a melody and tracks…that’s an essential part of these men and the story Fighting Addiction.  In fact, you could say, that music is the deep addiction that helps save both of them from their demons and reunites them so they can have their HEA.

And no one gets rednecks, music, and perhaps their demons better than BA Tortuga.  Check out her playlist for this story here.

From the prologue to the epilogue, music is driving the story and these men.  Both the need to get the music out for the labels, the need to write, the need to sing….music is at the heart of this story.  And Tortuga makes us understand this fundamental element.  From the sessions with the bands to the scenes where Markus and Seb are talking to each other through lyrics and songs, the power of music and its ability to direct lives sings in this book through the author’s vivid descriptions and lively dialog.  The scenes are intimate, the language local and knowing, flavored with sayings, terms of endearment, and nicknames that speak of long term familiarity and love.

The characters, main, secondary, fleeting and not, all  feel like people you know.  Maybe musicians you’ve heard howling or picking along, if you’re lucky enough to  go SXSW about 5 years ago or some of the bars in Nashville.  Tortuga makes you feel their love of music and each other.  You get the laughter, the love, and yes, the pain, and angst, when it all starts to go wrong with Seb.

Along with the music addiction, you have two main characters with other addictions.  Markus is an alcoholic who’s sober now.  Seb has his own demons driving him that you need to read about in the story.  And yes, one more addiction.  They are addicted to each other at a level almost cellular.  All flowing to the country beat, as country melodies float through the stories like a sweet and sad refrain.

I loved the story, the fight for each other and for their music, all the cast of characters…but I confess I’m a dance on the graves of my enemies sort of gal and miss the total comeuppance at the end.  That’s all that’s keeping this from a 5 star story.  Except for that?

Fighting Addiction by BA Tortuga is fine as frog’s hair and a story I absolutely recommend!

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design.  Sexy cover but I’m getting tired of the half naked torso.  More bank perhaps?

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 217 pages
Expected publication: January 16th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published September 25th 2012)
ASINB078QH89QX
SeriesFighting Addiction

An Alisa Release Day Review: Ghost of a Chance (Requiem Inc. #1) by Kris T. Bethke

Standard

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Only love makes life worth living—over and over again.

Ghostwalker Blake Jones dies every day. It’s his job and how he helps trapped souls cross over. But to return to life, he needs an anchor. His new partner, Derek Scott, is a surprise. Not only is he male, but his appearance belies a caring and gentle heart. Despite attraction and a strengthening relationship, they know they shouldn’t take things further.

But there’s a big difference between knowing and doing.

Their growing love presents a problem, though not the one they expect. Blake and Derek have to decide if they should take their relationship to the most permanent level—an unbreakable metaphysical bond. Doing so offers both risk and unimaginable reward. Can Blake let go of his fears and put his complete trust in Derek in order to have the happily ever after he’s always craved?

I absolutely loved this story.  Blake is used to people leaving him, his only constant has been his brother and boss and fright from the get go he wants to see if Derek has it in him to stay.  Derek is willing to take that bet from the start and exceed anyone’s expectations.

Blake’s biggest fear is someone he loves leaving him, his parents kicked him and his brother out after they learned about the ghostwalker gene and all his lovers leave once they realize he is a ghostwalker.  Derek has always wanted someone to take care of completely, he begins while they are sequestered but gets more of a chance to take care of Blake in every way as their relationship evolves.  If only they were more informed about the anchor bond.

Blake and Derek are wonderful.  Blake finding the support and strength he so desperately needs in Derek and seeing him finally able to put aside his fears was perfect.  Derek is so grounded and it’s in his nature to take care of others but he can tell from the beginning that it means more with Blake.  I could feel both of these characters emotions throughout the whole story; Blake’s fear when he had a problem in the spirit realm and Derek’s when Blake came back to life to quickly are the biggest and made my heart stop for a second.  This story is a great beginning to this new series and hope it continues.  I really hope to see Blake’s brother, Sam, find the happiness he is looking for too.

The cover art by Aaron Anderson is great and gives a wonderful visual of Blake.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages

Published: January 16, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-034-2

Edition Language: English