Summer Reading: StandAlones, Series and Genre! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Summer Reading: StandAlones, Series and Genre!

 

As the heat continues here and across most of the midwest and eastern coast, it’s a perfect time for reading.  Series or standalones as we started to talk about last week.  Our poll is running almost neck and neck as far as preferences are concerned.  So we are leaving it up another week to see if we can tip the scales.

Me?  Series are a given.  Love having more than one story to dig deep into.  Doesn’t matter if it’s two more, three more or, be still my heart, seven or more stories, to love in a series.  I know how hard that must be for a author to sustain.  But as Yoda would say, love them I do.

Does it matter whether the series is fantasy or science fiction or supernatural or contemporary?  Not a whit!  I love them all.  Bring them forth!!!!!

Although I do wonder if one type of series is easier to sustain than another but that’s a question for authors.   If you are listening, please feel free to chime in.

Summer reading in the past was always a time for the big blockbuster books (along with the big blockbuster movies).  You’d lug the heavy hardback bestsellers to the beach in your carryall, the Michael Crichton’s, the latest Stephen King,  Mario Puzo, Danielle Steele, ….and now it’s Kindles and and more authors than I can happily name.

Back then the genre didn’t matter much.  Swinging from the horror of King to the romance of Nora Roberts to the intrigue of James Patterson to the fantasy of J.K. Rowling, we read it all any time of the year, but especially during the summer.    So it has never seemed to matter what genre we read.

Or does it?

Poll time times 2!

Turns out I’m also listening to my stories too.  Another wonderful way to get through this heatwave when looking outside and watching the weeds grow is your only choice.  Lightening my mood this week was the audio for Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Ramón de Ocampo (Narrator.  I adored this.  A perfect summer read  or audio in every way!  Funny,, sweet, lighthearted and adorable.  Catch my review on Saturday.

A Participation gold star and $10 Amazon gift card will be handed out next Sunday!

Have a great week and stay cool.  Happy Reading and Listening to all.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

 

Sunday, July 21:

  • Summer Reading: StandAlones, Series and Tropes!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Blog Tour Guest Post – Heidi Cullinan ‘s Doctor’s Orders

Monday, July 22:

  • Book Blitz – The Positions Of Love Collection – JM Snyder
  • PROMO Michael Vance Gurley + Giveaway
  • Review Tour – Patron of Mercy (Lords of the Underworld #3) by Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes
  • A Lucy Review The Positions Of Love Collection by JM Snyder
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Anhaga by Lisa Henry
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review : Patron of Mercy (Lords of the Underworld #3)  by Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes

Tuesday, July 23:

  • Review Tour -Cold Pressed (Seacroft #2) by Allison Temple
  • BLITZ The Exile Prince by Isabelle Adler
  • BLOG TOUR Breakaway by Charlie Novak
  • A Stella Review : Cold Pressed (Seacroft #2) by Allison Temple
  • An Ashlez Review: Julie the Pianist (Miss Baxter’s Girls Book 1) by Davina Lee
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Four ( Love By Numbers #2) by Tia Fielding
  • A MelanieM Releases Day Review: Absolute Heart (Infernal Instruments of the Dragon #1) by Michael Vance Gurley

Wednesday, July 24:

  • TOUR The Midspring Rebellion by Doreen Heron
  • Review Tour – What Lies Beneath – RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Review : What Lies Beneath (Lancaster Falls Trilogy #1) by R.J. Scott
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Enough by Matthew J Metzger
  • An Ashlez Review: Anise the Snowboarder (Miss Baxter’s Girls Book 2) by Davina Lee
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review:Anhaga by Lisa Henry

Thursday, July 25:

  • Release Blitz  – Trusting The Elements – Elle Keaton
  • RELEASE BLITZ Out of the Office by Louisa Masters
  • RELEASE BLITZ Eminently Elf (D’Vaire, Book 13) by Jessamyn Kingley
  • BLOG TOUR Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky
  • An Alisa Review Out of the Office by Louisa Masters
  • An Alisa Review Pack Strap Carry (Carry Me #9) by Charlie Richards

Friday, July 26:

  • Review Tour – Eli Easton – How To Run With The Wolves
  • Lisa Henry on Writing and Anhaga
  • BLOG TOUR Intoxicating by Onley James
  • A MelanieM Review:  Stand In Place by Mary Calmes
  • A Stella Review:How to Run with the Wolves (Howl at the Moon #5) by Eli Easton
  • An Alisa Review Close to Home (Finding Home #3) by Carly Marie

Saturday, July 27:

  • TOUR Ignite by Drake and Elliott
  • Release Blitz – Jay Northcote – Nothing Ventured
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Ramón de Ocampo (Narrator)

The Closing of Less Than Three Press

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Less Than Three Press  Is Closing

 

I am so sad to announce that the wonderful LGBTQIA publishing house Less Than Three Press is closing.  Here is the announcement at their website.

 

 

 

 

Important Announcement From Less Than Three Press

Dear Customers and Supporters of Less Than Three,

It is with a heavy heart we announce the closing of Less Than Three Press. Despite our best efforts, we cannot continue on. We apologize this comes so sudden, but the past month has made it clear that it’s best if we withdraw now, rather than keep hoping and pushing, and end things too late to exit gracefully and with minimal harm.

Thank you for believing in us, and helping us with our dream of seeing more queer representation in the romance genre. The past ten years have been a joy and honor, and we truly regret we won’t have ten more. It’s been a wonderful journey, and we’re grateful to everyone who lent their support and encouragement as we worked to bring more queer representation to the romance world.

If you have purchased a book that has not yet been released, your preorder will be refunded within the next few days. Your library will be available to download through September 30, 2019. If you have any questions, please email service@lessthanthreepress.com. We anticipate a large volume of requests, so please be patient as we work through replies.

Sincerely,

Samantha, Megan, and Sasha

 

 

Less Than Three has always been an incredible press full of wonderful authors and artists, editors and well, just amazing people.  We are poorer without them.  They will be greatly missed.

 

For more of this announcement, see their website.

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Terms of Service (The Heretic Doms Club #2) by Marie Sexton and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I highly doubt I can do justice to this story in a simple review. In one word: phenomenal. I listened to the audio version narrated by John Solo so much of my praise is due directly and indirectly to his outstanding narration.

On the surface, this is the story of River, an ER physician who’s just lost his husband to a fellow doctor and is struggling to come to terms with his own identity. Among his issues, besides being devastated by his husband’s infidelity, is his failure to be able to have penetrative sex and, in fact, his frequent failure to achieve an erection. Add to that the stresses of taking graveyard shift in the ER, which he’s chosen to do to avoid his ex who has day shift, and he’s just a powder keg waiting to go off. The unlucky victim of his latest blowup is the hospital pharmacist, Phil. But Phil doesn’t just stand still and take verbal abuse. He shows River his own errors, and ultimately not only does River back down, but he later seeks Phil out to apologize, something unheard of among that hospital’s physicians.

What he learns is that Phil is interested in him, but Phil doesn’t do regular relationships. He only does domestic servitude, and he never reacts emotionally—neither to sex nor to situations where others might expect some reciprocation.

Below the surface story lies the true depth found in this book (pun intended). It depicts an emotional, often painful journey to discovery for both River and Phil. This journey encompasses River’s acceptance of Phil’s domination, Phil’s own struggles with deeply buried emotions, the turmoil and upheaval of having River’s estranged husband hound him constantly to sign the divorce papers, and River’s deep-seated issues surrounding his twin’s death and his subsequent emotional separation from his family. Over and above all that, Phil’s grandfather, Pops, is in an extended care facility on the other side of the Denver metro area and suffers from dementia. Phil visits him weekly and loves him a great deal though he finds it difficult to express how deeply he cares for the man. Pops inadvertently plays a role in helping River discover some of the joy he felt in his childhood, when camping and fishing with his family, and that joy splashes over into a ripple effect that encompasses Phil.

There are appearances by Warren and Taylor, from Trailer Trash, and other members of the Heretic Dom’s Club, primarily Gray and Charlie. Each of these men is developing as a strong, supportive character in these stories, and I hope each gets his own love someday. For River and Phil, the struggle is long and real and fraught with undermining from coworkers, a theft from the hospital pharmacy, and an ultimatum by River’s ex who throws a major monkey wrench into River’s new developing relationship. The audio is over fourteen wonderful hours of pure entertainment. Compelling, riveting, dramatic, completely engrossing, I was literally unable to stop listening except for time out to recharge my cordless headphones and to sleep (but only one night because this book deserved my devotion for two solid days.)

I highly recommend this to anyone remotely interested in D/s relationships, with a focus on domestic servitude, and those who enjoy a long, slow journey to a highly rewarding destination. And most definitely, get the audio. It’s pure listening pleasure.

Cover art is dramatic and pulls your eye towards the book. Works.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Details:

14 hrs 20 mins

Audible Audio, 15 pages
Published August 13th 2018 by Marie Sexton (first published June 25th 2018)
Original TitleTerms of Service
ASINB07G9LRXMX
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Heretic Doms Club #2
settingColorado (United States)

Standalone or Part of a Series? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Standalone or Part of a Series?

Ok, all of you know, it’s usually something I’m reading or just read that sets off a topic for my Sunday blog, and that’s the case again today.  Actually I’m surprised this hasn’t come up before now because I feel pretty strongly about it.  And that’s whether a book is labeled a standalone story or is part of a series.  And should a reader know that in advance of picking up a book to read.

My answer is yes, let the reader know.

Give your reader as much information about your story to make an informed guess as to whether to go and read the previous stories or to jump into the middle or, as I just did without any inkling, end up at the end of a trilogy that killed off a main character.  Was I happy?  Uh no.  This while giving happy endings to characters I had no idea who they were but apparently had stories that preceded this one.

How did I find that out?  Because while the title and blurb gave no indication that this novel was part of a series and the finale, when I went looking for  (hopefully) stories or notes that would indicate that the author would have new books coming to resolve this ending (there were ways given the nature of this book), instead I found reviews for the others in the series.  I was flummoxed.  Looking over each title, none indicated it was a part of a series/trilogy.  Yet the two characters in books one and two only get their resolution in the third novel.  One actually dies in his story. So uh, without reading them, what is their ending like? Got to be cliffhangers.

How do you feel about picking up stories you think are standalone only to find  that they are part of a series?

Sometimes it hasn’t mattered.  I have come in many times in the middle of contemporary series that feature multiple couples throughout the stories and pictured up the other books with no problem.  It depends I think on the narrative and overall arc.  I’m trying to think if I have done the same with a fantasy or paranormal series, and the answer is probably given the sheer amount of books I’ve read.  But again, I’ve already noted in my review that said novel or story, unlike whatever the blurb has said, isn’t a standalone, that its a part of a group of tales to be read in the order they were written.

I just did that with a Josh Lanyon book (The Art of Murders series) and a Ana Newfolk book from her Made In series.  The foundation and universe is the series each author has painstakingly created for their stories. Especially in Josh Lanyon’s case where The Art of Murders is a brilliant labyrinth of twisted psychology, deep emotions, and murder mysteries. Separating one out of the mix?  Can’t and shouldn’t be done.  In fact, the number of series where you shouldn’t come into the middle far out number the ones where it probably wouldn’t matter so much.  That’s like falling into the middle of Abigail Roux’s fabulous Cut & Run series with Ty Grady  and Zane Garrett.  You could do it but why would you? Or Amy Lane’s Fish Out of Water Series or or or…

So why do it at all?  Why say standalone if they really aren’t?

Hmmmm. Well, probably to sell stories for one.

People are less likely to commit to a series than they are to one story.  Well not me.  I love series.  But others, probably. Ok poll time let’s find out.

 

I can’t wait to see how this turns out.  How do people really feel about reading one book. One or  three or more?  For me it’s the more the merrier honestly.

Unless I come in on the end and they have killed off a major character with no hope of revival.  Sigh.

But I can see publishers or authors wanting to put their stories out there and making them as accessible to readers as possible, even if (in my opinion)that’s labeling them as a standalone when they aren’t (again my opinion) or lumping them under a bazillion of genre tags.  Ok, how many times lately have you seen a story labeled as a sci fy fantasy paranormal supernatural romance?  It’s a cat and bunny romance, you are already there.

Head desk!

Well that’s a topic for another Sunday.

Anyhoo, back to my topic.  How do you feel about standalones and series?  Write in and let me know.  There’s a $10 Amazon gift card waiting for a lucky reader chosen among the replies. And please take our poll, I’m dying to see our answers!

Oh and as to the book that set this all off?  I’m reviewing it later this month.  See if you all can guess which one it is. lol

Note:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 14:

  • Standalone or Part of a Series? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • SALE BLITZ – RYKER – RJ SCOTT & V.L. LOCEY

Monday, July 15:

  • REVIEW TOUR Chef On Top (Sizzling In The Kitchen #3) – MJ O’Shea
  • SERIES REVIEW TOUR – The Series of Fates by C.C. Dado
  • Release Blitz – Alison Temple – Cold Pressed
  • An Alisa Review :Denying Fate (A Series of Fates #1) by C.C. Dado
  • A Lucy Review: Invisible by Iyana Jenna
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Chef On Top (Sizzling In The Kitchen #3)  by MJ O’Shea

Tuesday, July 16:

  • Review Tour Request – C.F. White – Love & Tea Bags
  • Tour for “Serpent’s Teardrop” by Mary Rundle
  • Blog Post – Victoria Milne – Purple Method
  • Book Blitz  – WS Long – Revving It Up Box Set
  • A Stella Review: Love & Tea Bags (Pink Rock Series #1) by C.F. White
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Warm Heart (Search and Rescue #1) by Amy Lane

Wednesday, July 17:

  • Cover Reveal, – Joanna Chambers – Gentleman Wolf
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – Lucky Town by Morgan Brice
  • PROMO M.D. Grimm
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Lucky Town (Badlands #1.5) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (narrator)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Terms of Service (The Heretic Doms Club #2) by Marie Sexton and John Solo (Narrator)

Thursday, July 18:

  • R GREY PROMO ON Oasis
  • Release Blitz Signal – Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes – Patron Of Mercy
  • Release blitz Beautiful Trauma by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • BLOG TOUR Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • An Alisa Review: Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • A Caryn Review: Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (Dancing with the Lion #1) by Jeanne Reames

Friday, July 19:

  • Release Blitz  – What Lies Beneath – RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz – Hanna Dare – Black Sky Morning
  • Release Blitz – Eli Easton – How To Run With The Wolves
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Kneading You by CS Poe
  • A MelanieM Review: Séance on a Summer’s Night by Josh Lanyon

Saturday, July 20:

  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Craving’s Creek by Mel Bossa
  • A Lucy Review: 9 Willow Street by Nell Iris

A MelanieM Review:The Monuments Men Murders (The Art of Murder #4) by Josh Lanyon

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Someone is watching. Someone is waiting.

Despite having attracted the attention of a dangerous stalker, Special Agent Jason West is doing his best to keep his mind on his job and off his own troubles.

But his latest case implicates one of the original Monuments Men in the theft and perhaps destruction of part of the world’s cultural heritage–a lost painting by Vermeer. Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander Emerson Harley wasn’t just a World War 2 hero, he was the grandfather Jason grew up idolizing. In fact, Grandpa Harley was a large part of what inspired Jason to join the FBI’s Art Crime Team.

Learning that his legendary grandfather might have turned a blind eye to American GIs “liberating” priceless art treasures at the end of the war is more than disturbing. It’s devastating.

Jason is determined to clear his grandfather’s name, even if that means breaking a few rules and regulations himself–putting him on a collision course with romantic partner BAU Chief Sam Kennedy.

Meanwhile, someone in the shadows is biding his time…

When it comes to men and their romances, Josh Lanyon has managed to write some incredibly complex and psychologically convoluted relationships.   Whether it’s the brilliance of The Adrien English Mysteries and the long twisted road that Adrian English and Jake Riordan took to happiness or perhaps her Holmes & Moriarity  series with its deep levels of mixed ties professional  of authorship and personal relationships intertwined to confuse and befuddle its two main protagonists, you can count on a story that is both haunting and gripping to the end.

So it continues to be with The Art of Murder series and the tortured relationship between Special Agent Jason West and BAU Chief Sam Kennedy.  Always strained by their own past histories and by the long distance between their offices, the latest attack by Jason’s stalker has put additional pressures on Jason’s mentally and emotionally.  He’s missing his partner’s support although he won’t admit it.  The constant threat to his safety is imperiling his health, he’s not sleeping.  And Lanyon makes us feel every second, every minute of West’s anxiety and fear.

For me this series runs neck and neck with Adrian English with its couple and labyrinthine path to any sort of happiness.  And we are only at book four.  Lanyon just demonstrates a consistent excellence in character development, depth of storyline, and overall arc that showcases her prowess as an author.  These are not easy men but hard, articulate, intelligent men in demanding jobs that take them around the country or all over the world in some cases.  It puts them in danger, and has cost them highly in emotional terms. Especially one.    They have hugely different (and by now well known to the readers) back histories that contribute sometimes to their difficulties in their relationship.  Everything they argue about, try to work through is grounded in something authentic and real. So we as readers bleed emotionally with them when they hurt in these times.  And they are many considering who they are and what they are going through.

Which is a series theme with a truly evil stalker for West.  This is one thread that is chilling in more ways than one.  As it’s been playing out, its psychologically physically, and emotionally scary.  After that is a mystery/murder per novel that is enthralling.  Often involving artwork which brings in Jason, then a murder which will involve Sam.  Somewhere all will overlap in a mentally challenging narrative that will have you glued to the page until it’s all done.

Like it did here.  Where it looked to tear my heart out right up to the last sentence.

Where it teetered on the brink of despair and barely brought it back again.  Just barely.  Oh these men.

Stories and series like this are one of the reasons I read   They aren’t easy but they keep you thinking, your mind and heart are always alert for what’s coming next.  And you never see it when it hits you.

So amazing.  Lanyon can’t write them fast enough for me.  I need the next one now.

If you aren’t familiar with this series.  I have listed them all for you below.  Read them in the order they were written.  Then this amazing novel next.  I highly recommend them all for those looking for contemporary romances with adult long paths to happiness and mysteries too.  Trust me, just brilliant.

Cover art works for the storyline and to draw your eye to the book. Great job.

Sales Links:  Amazon | GooglePlay | Kobo

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 199 pages
Published June 30th 2019 by JustJoshin Publishing, Inc.
ASINB07R818GZ9
Edition Language English
Series The Art of Murder #4

The Art of Murder Series

The Mermaid Murders

The Monet Murders

The Magician Murders

The Monuments Men Murders

The Movie-Town Murders winter 2020 smh!

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Doctor’s Date (Copper Point Medical #2) by Heidi Cullinan

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Before I started this book, if I had taken a bet on how good I thought Owen’s story could possibly be, I would have lost soundly. Because this book was not just good—it was fantastic!

Owen is the anesthesiologist at Copper Point Medical Center. He’s also the former roommate of Simon and current roommate of his other bestie, Jared. Together, the three shared a house when they came to Copper Point to work at the hospital. Now, Simon lives with Hung-Wu, aka Jack (The Doctor’s Secret), and Owen gets his fun by picking arguments with Erin Andreas, head of HR and son of the hated board president, Jean Jacques Andreas.

Though Owen doesn’t know it, Erin is strongly attracted to the gruff doctor but his inexperience in all things sexual (yes, he’s a virgin!) and his natural shyness, coupled with the emotional abuse heaped on him by his father as he grew up, all keep him from acting on the attraction. Until the bachelor auction held to raise funds for the new cardiac unit. Erin bids on Owen. In fact, Erin makes an outrageous bid for Owen—in the amount of $25,000! And things change between them. Each realizes the other is not the persona they show the world. And Erin learns that fighting with him is one of Owen’s life’s pleasures and he has to admit Owen’s attention is not unwanted.

I love how the author took the time to develop a relationship between these guys as their outer layers were slowly peeled away, one at a time, to reveal their true self, their inner child, so to speak. Because both have undergone emotional turmoil in their teens that strongly affected their lives and relationships with family, friends, and each other. And concurrent to their budding relationship, there’s more going on at the hospital as the administrator, their friend Nick Bennett, discovers that the hospital funds have been siphoned off for years. The dirty, underhanded board politics goes deep, and Erin fears his father may be at the center of the web. But, for as much as he hates him, he’s not sure he’ll survive the shame. There’s just so much to this story that it would take three times the size of a normal review to delve into what makes it so wonderful. 

And guess what? No on-page penetrative sex. Wow. It wasn’t necessary to the story so the author didn’t offer what would have amounted to a gratuitous sex scene. There’s kissing. Lots of kissing. And cuddling. And there’s some frottage, and more kissing, and more cuddling. And there’s love. Much love. In fact, I adored this couple and I believe other readers will too. I very highly recommend this book and series, beginning with The Doctor’s Secret for the full experience.

The cover by Kanaxa not only ties in to the cover of book one, it also spotlights Dr. Owen Gagnon in all his gruff glory. It’s perfect for this book.

Sales Links:Goodreads • Publisher • Audible • Ripped Bodice • Barnes & Noble • Google Play Ebook • Google Play Audio • Apple Books • Kobo (US) • Kobo (Canada) • Amazon (US) • Amazon(Canada) • Amazon (UK) • Powells

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title The Doctor’s Date
ASINB 07PNPP1GD
Edition Language English
Series Copper Point Medical #2

Copper Point Medical Series

The Doctor’s Secret

The Doctor’s Date

The Doctor’s Orders

A Melanie M Review :Made In Lisbon (Made In #5) by Ana Newfolk

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Can you get more than one true love in a lifetime?

Three years after his husband’s death, Vitor is still grieving. Too young to be alone and too old to start again, he feels stuck. Accepting a new job in Lisbon is just what he needs, but it also means going back to the city that sealed his fate nearly thirty years ago.

Between looking for his missing brother and running an LGBTQ Youth Center, Tiago doesn’t have time for dating or commitment. When his best friend asks him to find a family member that ran away years ago, Tiago welcomes the distraction.

A past full of secrets.

An anonymous kiss that turns their world upside down.

When past and present clash, will the two men put everything aside and give themselves a chance at happiness? Or are the things keeping them apart stronger than the feelings keeping them together?

I have been a huge fan of Ana Newfolk’s Made In stories from the first novel in the series.  That  would be Made In New York which launched the series and introduced us to this amazing cast of characters that exist in Lisbon and NYC, intimately connected by families and two LGBTQIA youth centers.  While each story has at its center one couple, other of the characters appear, adding their support and pieces of their history to this rich tapestry of this series universe.  One that only grows more culturally vivid and heartwarming with each new addition and romance.

There have been many unifying storylines running through this series but none that has been no mystifying or has potentially heartbreaking as the mystery of what happened to Uncle Mario’s  younger brother,Vítor who disappeared after a beating and was never seen again.  Vitor had been so young and gay back in Lisbon at a time when it was not readily accepted.  Now  Tiago has been asked to look for him by his family, to see if anyone could find out what happened to him.

Family beatings, especially of gay young men is a recurring element here and it echoes through character after character.  Family issues, acceptance, rejection, a huge emotional bundle that gets examined through character after character realistically and often with great pain.

A mirror action to looking to Vitor is Tiago looking for his younger brother, who is also missing due to parental abuse.  Tiago is loaded down with issues with he meets a man he’s immediately attracted to.  The man is older but gorgeous, kind,  and compelling.  Everything Tiago needs in his life at the moment to help ground him.

While Tiago is dealing with his memories of his brother and the responsibilities to the youth center in Lisbon, this “man” has his own issues as well to work through.

A widower who has been dealt  a shock by a recent revelation about his husband, he is trying to move forward with his life, a wounded and bereaved son who’s redrawn from hin and now a new attraction to a young  man he’s just met.

Between a complicated romance that starts to unfold, we have a wealth of storylines about fathers and sons (good and bad), family dynamics that change over the decades, and just layers of hurt/comfort and forgiveness that not only feels real but will have you in tears.

If anything there is an embarrassment of riches here in what stories the author wants to tell.  Tiango”s brother needs his own story its that compelling and haunting.

There is at the end, a marvelous resolution to make you want to sing.

All of it beautifully located once more in Lisbon and surrounding areas.  As much as I love the NYC books, my heart lies here in Lisboa.  Yours will too.

The Made In stories are beautifully written, full of heart, and great romances.  I recommend them all highly.  But I disagree that they are standalones and feel they should be read in the order they were written to get the full experience and understand all the character relationships and connected histories.

Cover Artist: Rhys Athanasiadis-Lawrence, Ethereal Ealain  Love that cover.  Vitor all over.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Published July 6th 2019
ASIN B07T8PN73B
Edition Language English
Series Made In #5

 

 

 

 

 

Made In Lisbon is May-December MM romance with hurt/comfort themes, lots of steam and a HEA.

Made In Lisbon can be read as a standalone but will be better enjoyed as part of the Made In Series as characters and stories from previous books appear in this story.

Series reading order:

Made In New York – Book 1 (Max and Isaac)
Made In Portugal – Book 2 (Joel and David)
Made In Paris – Book 3 (Dorian and Jean-Paul)
Made In Manhattan – Book 4 (Max and Isaac)
Made In Lisbon – Book 5 (Vítor and Tiago)
Made In Love – Coming Autumn 2019

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Paris is a successful artist who picks up Roy, a maintenance man, at his gallery showing. He’s trying to get away from his overbearing sister, Julia and the patrons who all want a piece of him. This one night stand doesn’t go like all his others. By the time his other sister Alice is introduced, it’s obvious something is very wrong with not only Paris, but everyone who surrounds him. It’s a story of greed, lust, and betrayal.

First, I would say this book has very dark themes with: angst, violence, drugs, drinking, brutal sex, deaths, PTSD, and past trauma. But those are just words; if you read this book, you will feel all of those words. Second, it is written in the first person POV of a mentally ill person who is in tremendous pain, is self medicating, and has no sense of self worth. Add in the layer of abuse Alice heaps on him as his legal guardian, and the story is quite harrowing. There is a really pivotal scene where I realized Paris can take care of himself…does he let Julia hurt him because of guilt? or is it just fear and habit?

The meaningless sex here is brutal and explicit as Paris exercises some of the only power he has. Then there is the dubious/non consensual sex. As Roy starts to realize the sex means nothing, he tries to date Paris without it. All the meaning comes from Roy’s care giving, but Roy quickly realizes he’s in over his head and Paris needs professional help. Roy is also clever enough to realize he can give Paris a positive sexual outlet for the first time in his life, with someone who loves him. I made a point to mention this because, sex is a major, integral part of this book. I didn’t feel the story lacked anything at all, it’s just important to remember the reader is never given anyone’s POV but Paris’s. Paris’s world is filled with wealthy, bloodthirsty sharks. Paris is drowning from the inside out. Roy may be a flotation device, but Paris still has to hang on, and he is still in the sea.

By the halfway mark, the reader should understand almost all of the demons that drive Paris, but it’s not until the end that the demons driving Julia and Alice are understood. There could be a debate about whether this is a romance or not. While I love Roy, for me, the HEA comes from Paris getting the professional help he needs from a doctor he trusts. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I knew it was going to be an emotionally devastating read, so I kept putting it off. I can say without a doubt, this will be on my best of the year (and possibly ever read in this genre) list.

The cover design is by Adrienne Wilder with a photo from Dan Skinner. While it does show the colors in Paris’s mind, and the photo shows the darkness, it’s not terribly compelling.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book Details:

ebook, 320 pages
Published June 20th 2014 by Adrienne Wilder (first published June 19th 2014)
Edition Language English

Its Officially Summer! What are You Reading ? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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It’s Officially Summer! What are You Reading ?

Now that the fireworks of the 4th are over, it feels like summer has officially begun.  People have set off on their vacations, schools are out, and roads, rails, and airports heading towards the mountains, beaches, and other places to play and restore your soul are full.  Along with the normal list of sunscreen, casual clothes and perhaps swimwear, we normally carry along our books to read.  It used to be a bag of paperbacks, with the occasional hardback if it was the latest release (yes, I am dating myself).  Now it’s our eReader, our Kindles and Nooks, our IPads or Phones with whatever book app you might be using like iGoogle or iApple.  So many ways of taking our books along these days.

Of course, we might want to lie in the sun and listen to our stories!  Again, there are more apps there to choose from these days.  And so many great narrators.  I have my favorites.  Do you?  right now I’m making my way through Morgan Brice’s Witchbane stories on audio featuring the excellent Kale Williams as the narrator.  I can’t wait to work my way through each and every one.  There’s so much to be said to be lying back and letting a story flow over you while the sun relaxes you!  Ok, back to the blog! lol

Or any combination of eBook or audio.  That works!  And that are great stories out there right now.  If you are a fan of m/m hockey romances, then you might know that the wonderful Harrisburg Railers series by RJ Scott and VL Locey has just released its final story in Save the Date. Yep, done.  Don’t know the series?  It makes great summer reading, all nine stories.  And a new series (connected by the son of one of the main characters) will start later on towards the end of the summer. I myself intend to read some of those hockey stories I never got to on our M/M Hockey Romance list found here.  Especially those of Jeff Adams and Samantha Wayland!  Turns out my boys of summer play hockey! lol

I found out that Mell Eight has two new stories out over at Less Than Three Press I have to go check out and Josh Lanyon also has two new novels I plan on reading.  Heidi Cullinan has a trilogy I’m just finishing and and and….yes, it is truly summer.

What books are on your list to read?  What are you reading now? And how are you reading them?

Let us know…..

 

Note:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is looking for Reviewers!  We are looking for reviewers for our blog.  If you love to read or listen to LGBT stories and share your thoughts about them with others, consider reviewing with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please send all inquiries to scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.  We are very flexible about how many reviews each reviewer takes on.   That’s entirely up to each reviewer’s own schedule.

And now onto our week ahead.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 7:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris – 9 Willow Street
  • Blog Tour – Andrew Grey Heart Unbroken
  • It’s Officially Summer! What are You Reading ?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, July 8:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Another Dance by L. A. Ashton
  • BLITZ Through the Tears by Leigh M. Lorien
  • HARMONY INK Lou Hoffmann on Dragon’s Rise
  • PROMO Steven Harper
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Home Improvement by Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Review: Palm Trees and Paparazzi by J.C. Long

Tuesday, July 9:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky
  • Release Blitz – Victoria Milne – Purple Method
  • DSP PROMO Andrew Grey
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Crossing Nuwa: Escape by Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Through the Tears by Leigh M. Lorien

Wednesday, July 10:

  • Release Blitz – V.L. Locey – Shake The Stars
  • Promo : Sean Ian O’Meidhir and Connal Braginsky on Crossing Nuwa: Escape
  • Book Blast – Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder
  • A Lucy Review: Invisible by Iyana Jenna
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

Thursday, July 11:

  • Cover Reveal Eminently Elf (D’Vaire, Book 13) by Jessamyn Kingley
  • Release Blitz – Rich Kids by Quin Perin
  • BLOG TOUR Triple Threat by Davidson King
  • Blog Tour – Made In Lisbon by Ana Newfolk
  • A MelanieM Review:  Made in Paris (Made In #3) by Ana Newfolk
  • A Melanie M Review :Made In Lisbon (Made In #5) by Ana Newfolk

Friday, July 12:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Intoxicating by Onley James
  • Review Tour – Sam Burns – Salmon and The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle #8)
  • PROMO Tara Lain on Home Improvement
  • A Free Dreamer Review : Salmon and The Hazel (Rowan Harbor Cycle #8) by Sam Burns
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  The Doctor’s Date by Heidi Cullinan
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Jaeger’s Lost and Found by Ofelia Gränd

Saturday, July 13:

  • Elyse Springer on  World Turned Upside Down
  • A MelanieM Review:The Monuments Men Murders (The Art of Murder #4) by Josh Lanyon

A MelanieM Review: Save the Date (Harrisburg Railers #9) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Ever since he first set foot in Harrisburg, Tennant’s life has been a rollercoaster. Ups and downs too numerous to mention, hard knocks and championship rings. Through all of those monumental moments, one thing has been a constant for him, Jared Madsen. Now that their wedding day is drawing nearer, Ten is seriously considering eloping. He would, if not for his mother, his father, his brothers, the wedding planner, the guests, the cake, the press, and the team. Oh, and then there’s his best friend, who is vying for the job of ringmaster of the wedding circus. Would sneaking off during the night with Jared and skipping to the honeymoon part of the festivities really be all that bad?

When Jared proposed to Ten, he imagined a quiet wedding, on a beach somewhere, with family, and maybe the team. But life gets complicated with Ten’s warring brothers, a Russian goalie with a love of sequins, and a bachelor party organized by Adler. When Trent sends them a wedding planner, every spare hour is filled with choosing invitations, cake tasting, and finding a rose in the perfect shade of green. Add in Layton organizing a press conference, and suddenly their private wedding is destined to become a media sensation. Is it wrong to think seriously about kidnapping Ten and spiriting him away to a small deserted island?

Adler organizing the bachelor party, Trent supplying the wedding planner, and Stan writing a speech. What can possibly go wrong?

I can’t think of a better way to end this amazing series than with an all inclusive wedding!  Yes, Ten and Jared get married with all our favorite couples from over the series (and one from the connected Owatonna U books) gathered to celebrate their union.  And the authors putting their closure to the run of stories about these remarkable bunch of wonderful men,

How I will miss them so.

One of the questions that continues to pop up when asked about this series is who is your favorite character.  I have to admit my answer is always Stan.  Stan that irrepressible, larger than life Russian goalie is someone I’ve kept close to my heart and he’s in full force as one of the couple’s best (if a little scary over the tpp Elvis loving) best friends.  Stan, his hockey other half husband Erik and their brood …well, I’m not letting them go.  Nope, Not ready.

Same goes for the main couple who started this series rolling.  Tennant and Jared.  What a journey they’ve been on!  And we have been there every step of the way.  From their first meeting, through all the angst and coming out, the romance and the relationship, now culminating in their marriage.  It’s been a joy and a sexy, entertaining ride through nine stories, even when they weren’t the main couple, Ten and Jared were always there, a solid foundation and enduring framework for each new man and couple to be.

Even now as my mind wanders through all the marvelous couples who’ve touched me in every story, Layton and Adler (oh my Adler), bad boy Dieter and figure skater Trent (how I heart them both and Trent’s grandmother), Stan my goalie man and his heart and winger husband Erik (all their brood tooI), Max of his last chances,  and Ben with his rescue dogs, bu goalie Bryan and tattoo artist Gatlin, every couple is one that I treasure.  And they are all here for the wedding.

True to form, the authors bring as much humor to the occasion as they do solemnity and beauty.  Whether it’s in the attire Stan is wearing or the emotional speeches everyone is giving or just the sheer overwhelming sentiment of the location and celebration of the union of these two men everyone there (and the people reading ) love so much, the impact of the story comes through loud and clear.

Yes, I had sniffles.

There are stories in the series…Neutral Zone (a heartbreaker) and Hat Trick (Stan goes to Russia) that stand out from the rest in that they don’t feature a couple coming together but an established couple taking another sort of journey or battle together.  It’s fitting they preceded Save the Date.  You need the maelstrom to appreciate the calm, and heady safety of arriving into your port of home.  That’s what this story is.  Tennant and Jared finally getting that moment of calm, of home and forever after.  And I love every word of it.

If you are a fan of this couple and series, you will too. Although i imagine you’ve already read your way through the story.  But if you’re new to the series, I can’t recommend it highly enough.  I have listed them all below.  Read them in the order they are listed for the best reading experience.  Enjoy!  I will be rereading the series as these men feel like friends and you never let friends go.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell.k  I just love this cover.  Perfect in every way.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Links:

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 30th 2019 by Love Lane Books Limited
Edition Language English
Series Harrisburg Railers #9

Harrisburg Railers Series


Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Goal Line – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #7 – Neutral Zone – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #8 – Hat Trick – Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Book #9 Save the Date: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Links (finale)