A Free Dreamer Review: Eagle In The Hawthorn (Rowan Harbor Cycle #7) by Sam Burns

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Rowan Harbor has had a tough winter, and Devon Murphy wants nothing more than to make it better. When he proposes a solution to the town’s low morale, it creates a rift in his relationship with his boyfriend, Wade. They’ve hardly ever argued, and when things get tense, Devon has no idea how to handle it.

But an evil presence in his town targets the people Devon loves, he has to put his personal worries aside and face danger down again. Will he be able to protect his town, and if he can, will Wade be waiting for him when it’s done?

“Eagle in the Hawthorn” marks the beginning of the end, it’s the first book of the last trilogy in the Rowan Harbor Cycle. Once again, this is not a standalone. You have to read this series in order or you’ll be lost.

We’re back with Devon and Wade, my least favourite couple of the three. It was still kind of sad to know this would be their last book, though.

This book made me like Devon a little more. I like how completely unromantic he is. I’m not much of a romantic myself, so I can totally relate to that. His reaction to Wade’s disappointment was still annoying, though. I get that the unromantic proposal wasn’t very well thought out, but even the most unromantic person in the entire world should be able to understand their partner. It made me want to shake him a little.

There was a lot of family drama going on, or at least there should have been. It all felt a little flat and got an awfully convenient resolution.

We get more scenes with Oak, who’s my most favourite secondary character in the series. I could totally see myself becoming friends with them, so I was really happy about their on-page time. We also get more scenes with all the friends and it was nice to catch up with everybody.

The big bad villain makes an appearance and we learn a few things about what’s really going on. The final showdown was very anti-climactic, however. Suddenly, the threat didn’t seem all that dangerous anymore and was beaten in record time.

So, yeah, me and Devon and Wade just aren’t really clicking. But that’s okay, I’m really looking forward to the final two books. Every series has its weakness and to me, that’s Devon and Wade in Rowan Harbor.

I’m not a huge fan of the cover. The model looks a bit like a Ken doll and not like a real human. Especially his hair.

Sales Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2WUnrxk

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2E9XuT8

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Book details: E Book, 153 pages

Published February 14th 2019

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Diplomatic Relations (The Sci-Regency Series #4) by J.L. Langley

Standard
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

A Sci-Regency Novel: sequel to My Regelence Rake

Opposites don’t just attract… they sizzle.

A lusty special forces soldier who lives by his own set of rules, Dalton Fairfax decided long ago to stop wishing for his father’s love, and he found his calling. Now that he’s back home and between assignments, he finds himself at loose ends. When the opportunity arises to play bodyguard and help out his country, Dalton jumps at the chance. Not only does it keep him busy, but it just so happens that his charge is the man he saw on leave last month and hasn’t been able to get out of his head.

Heir to a dukedom and a conservative politician, Blaise Thompson strives to prove himself worthy of carrying on the family legacy as the next IN Councilman. However, his closest competitor keeps getting in the way and taking credit for Blaise’s ideas. Maintaining his stellar reputation isn’t easy to do while keeping his outrageous younger brother in line and foiling his rival’s personal attacks. He has no time for a guard and even less time for romance.

When a priceless antique goes missing, Blaise and Dalton discover that Regelence has larger problems than just IN plots. Now the only way to stop a scandal that threatens both of them is to compromise, and they are forced to confront the risk of losing everything… even each other

Diplomatic Relations (The Sci-Regency Series #4) by J.L. Langley marks the first departure from the original stories already published and for me that’s a plus here.  I’m not a fan of the new versions of the original stories.  I’ve done side by side comparisons with the beloved originals and the revised stories are pallid substitutes, imo, for the robust novels they replaced. Everything from the loss of the bdsm element in Aiden and Nate’s relationship in My Fair Captain to the revisionist aspects of the personalities of major characters, I have found these new revised stories to be very flawed for those of us who loved the original novels, characters and their relationships.

But I’m also addicted it seems to the series and need to see how the overall story arc plays out and what happens to various other characters.  So onward I plunge.

Diplomatic Relations is focused on Dalton Fairfax, nephew to Raleigh (aka Cony) consort to King Stephen , which gives readers more insight into that side of the Royal family.  Dalton is or was high society’s black sheep.  Always at the center of scandals, always the rakehell.  His last one gets him a ticket into the Navy and an admonition to grow up and take hold of himself, courtesy of his Uncle Raleigh.

Meanwhile, planetside, there’s Blaise Thompson, brother to the irrepressible Bannon (who appears in multiple stories), trying to adjust to his future as heir to a dukedom and as a politician.
The two become reacquainted when the treacherous plot between Regelence and the IN brings them together when Blaise needs a bodyguard.  That’s a huge simplification of a Intergalactic plot that has been unfolding through four novels, and shows no end in sight.  I really have enjoyed watching this complicated suspenseful, and action-packed element thread through every story.  There have been kidnappings, murder, IT shenanigans, and, high rescues in space.  It’s been grand and shows no sign of letting up.
But let’s trot back to Regelence.  There’s some elements here I liked and some where the continuity again is severely lacking.
That continuity.
In the first three books, the Regency society culture, especially the Ton and High Society was rigid over its rules where its young men are concerned.  Chaperones are a must.  No public displays of affection, even among those affianced.  Three dances at a ball?  That is an announcement of an intent to wed.  Bannon and Trouble’s  (as well as Aiden’s ) in getting rid of their dance cards, while funny, was also running on the edge of ruinous.  The previous books all took note of that… all it took was being “alone” in a room with another man in order to be compromised.   That’s how innocent most of these young men were.  Cloistered and insulated by Regelence’s culture to be virgins until married.  That typified both Aiden and  Payton’s background and attitude.  Plus it’s standard “Regency” fair, whether M/M or  M/F.
But here standards are relaxed to include kissing, PDA, and more which given no declaration of intent, meant that a reputation could or was on the way to be ruined (intentional or not).  This book, unlike the others, doesn’t seem to take seriously the universe in which it’s situated.  The other novels and characters within them understood the gravity of their actions,, said so, and then moved forward.  There is none of taking responsibility here should they get caught. That whole aspect of virtue and its importance in Regency culture is ignored.  Which is curious because the author uses the strictness of Regency morality when she needs to in another part of the story. Just not here. No, the ramifications of one’s actions in this society are intense and swift.  Whether it plays out in the gossip column or in the government.  But Langley applies that when it suits her, in scenes and to certain characters here and there.  And the entire story suffers in my opinion from such an approach.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Dalton and Blaise’s relationship, because I did. I liked that they balanced each other in their personalities.d But, the shaky framework it exits within is noticeable. Here there are women employed as man servants, something brand new and not brought up as a possibility in the other stories.  One hand, it makes sense in a homosexual society, to include those of the opposite sex as butler etc.  But in the previous stories, they were all men, no mention of women even attaining the roles.  It would have been great to have some groundwork or foundation laid for women in these roles before seeing it here.  It brings up so many questions.  How widespread it this practice.  Is it only in the Thompson family that it occurs?   Like I said…questions.
The ending will make everyone happy, well except for Bannon who has the next story coming out.  There is a excerpt for that after the ending.  I am looking for it it.  Especially as its off planet. What could go wrong?
I’m recommending this story.  Those of you reading it as a new series are loving it as you have nothing to compare it to.  Those of us who love the first series still need to know what’s happening to all the characters and the overall arc.  This does both and gives us a lovely romance to boot.
Meet you all at Bannon’s story.  See you then.
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design: This is a very nice cover.  Brands the series and its bright and light.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 288 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 164080692X (ISBN13: 9781640806924)
Edition Language English
Series Sci-Regency #4

A Lucy Review : Sweet (Uncorked #5) by Shea Balik

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Elden Richland didn’t want to waste money on an office. Instead, he worked from home, or, when he needed a change of scenery, from The Cure All, a local bar. Staring at Cabe Donovan, the bar owner, may not help Elden get any work done, but it was well worth it. 

Cabe had been watching Elden come into The Cure All for months now. Elden might not be his normal type of date, but Cabe didn’t want typical, he wanted forever. He wanted Elden. 

But what did a hot bar owner and a computer nerd, who didn’t like the taste of alcohol, have in common? Fireworks. 

Warning: Alcohol consumption not only occurs in this book, it is encouraged, over-consumed and, ends with praying to the Porcelain God. Oh, and being naked. Don’t want to forget that. Although, maybe not in the way Cabe hoped. 

This book made me laugh.  Cabe is the owner of The Cure All, a bar in Dahlonia. He’s very interested in the computer nerd, Elden, who comes into the Cure All to work sometimes.  Does he have a crush on Cabe?  You bet.  Is he way too shy to do anything about it?  Again, you bet.  Elden can’t imagine why anyone would be interested in him, let alone a smokin’ hot guy like Cabe.  But a boy can dream.

Elden is so sweet and so cute.  “No way was he letting anyone see his Star Wars boxers  That would only get him named President of the Nerd Hall of Fame.”  His clothes don’t fit well, he can’t wear contacts so has to use glasses and his mother has brow beaten him into a self-loathing mess.  I can’t even begin to say how awful his mother is. 

“From the moment Elden had entered The Cure All four months ago, he’d (Cabe) been obsessed with the sweet, yet extremely shy, man.”   Cabe likes the glasses, the smile, the awkwardness, everything about Elden just as he is. Elden doesn’t believe it though. So we get to experience Cabe showing Elden just how serious he is.  I loved that.

I did have one WTF moment in the book.  We get to see Shine and Montague (from Shine, Uncorked #4).  Shine brings moonshine to the Cure All and it is mentioned, “With Shine’s new partner, Montague, their flavors had improved dramatically, but that didn’t mean it would stay that way.”  What??  The flavors were remarkable already (hence how Shine got Montague and on the tour) so for Shine’s sake I was incensed.

It is funny that Elden has odd sayings “Duck water” like Shine, but his are so random even Shine is speechless.  Cabe is so awesome about it, “One day, I really hope you’ll tell me what that means.”  Again, unconditionally accepting of all of Elden.

Elden’s mother, however,  is not.  She is so awful I couldn’t fathom why Elden continued to have dinner with her or even talk to her.  She insults him, cuts him down, makes fun of him, the works.  And when we get her reason for it, I didn’t buy it. Thank pete for Cabe, who not only stands up for Elden but allows Elden to be confident enough to stand up for himself.  She is supposedly getting better but honestly she is poison.

I loved when Elden goes to a New Year’s Party Cabe invited him to and ends up drinking with Shine and Montague, David and Mac.  A drunken Elden is funny, the hangover Elden more so.  Even when Elden freaks out, Cabe is calm and there.  We get some aww moments for Shine and Montague too, that happen in typical Shine fashion.

There were a few editing issues with this one, and a name error (Jess for Jeff) but they were minor.  This was a great addition to the series.  Now I still want Andrew and Brogan’s story but I also would like Jaivon’s story as well.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve read all the books in a series, so this was something special for me!

Cover art shows Elden and Cabe and this is the first book in the series that I thought the men on the cover were the men in the book. Well done!

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published February 4th 2019
ASIN B07N7ZZNSS
Series Uncorked #5

Series Uncorked :

Bubbly

Full Bodied

Blush

Shine

Sweet

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: No Fae is an Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez

Standard

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This is book four and you need to read these in order as it starts three years after the previous book. It took me a while to warm up to this series, but by book three I was completely sucked in. As Diego and Finn return to the world after Diego’s exile, everyone is still dealing with the aftermath of what he did. Zack is acting Consul and will have to remain so as having Diego return to the job might not be in their best interests. Magic legislation is still very much as issue. Neither Diego nor Theo have forgiven themselves. It has become unsafe in certain parts of the world to be magical. Trying to be useful and help rescue three Canadian students arrested in a country that is anti-magic, Diego and Finn find themselves also taken prisoner. The social commentary is about bigotry and the corruption of power. How are we still here fighting issues we thought had been addressed and dealt with?

While Diego was in exile, he learned as much as he could from the dragons and studied the wild fae. A young selkie, Limpet, follows Diego across the veil when he comes home. His POV keeps this fresh as he is innocent, curious, and naive about the human world. The pairing of Limpet with Theo is unlikely, but seems to be because Theo needs that kind of outlook to help him move forward and enjoy life again. I have to admit I didn’t like that Theo tends to tune Limpet out and not really listen to what he is saying, or worse tells him to not talk. That’s fine when they are in danger or hiding and Limpet doesn’t know any better, not so fine the rest of the time. Being excited, talking a lot, and being curious (which means asking a lot of questions) is part of who Limpet is. While the sexual compatibility isn’t in question, for me, the communication left something to be desired.

While Diego and Finn are in captivity, Diego gets everyone to band together, reminding them that they are stronger as a community rather than individuals living in fear. Finn, who is not my favorite character, spends much of this book subdued by steel. He does get to be a hero here, and there is none of the melodrama of previous books. Maybe being with Diego during his banishment in the Otherworld calmed him a bit. The author establishes a djinn character called Nusair, and a half human/fae named Asif, both of whom I expect to see in the future. Nusair is by far the more intriguing of the two. It’s a shame that the The Silver Adepts coven is left simmering in the background, but this book is about Diego finding his footing again. It’s a necessary step to make the whole series more cohesive. I’m hoping now that Diego and Theo are sorted, the next book will go back to some of the previous characters on new adventures.

The cover art is by Emmy @studioenp. It features Diego, the desert, and Finn as the bird. It’s in keeping with the rest of the series and I really like the golden color.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 281 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Pride Publishing (first published September 5th 2014)
ISBN 139781786517029
Edition Language English
Series Endangered Fae #4

Review Tour and Giveaway for Eagle In The Hawthorn (Rowan Harbor Cycle #7) by Sam Burns

Standard

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2WUnrxk

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2E9XuT8

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

 
Length: 45,000 words approx.
 

Cover Design: Melanie Farlow @ Clause & Effect

 

The Rowan Harbor Cycle Series


Book #1 – Blackbird in the Reeds – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Wolf and the Holly – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Fox and Birch – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Hawk In The Rowan – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Stag and the Ashe – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #6 – Adder and Willow – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6.5 – In Any Light – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 

Blurb

Rowan Harbor has had a tough winter, and Devon Murphy wants nothing more than to make it better. When he proposes a solution to the town’s low morale, it creates a rift in his relationship with his boyfriend, Wade. They’ve hardly ever argued, and when things get tense, Devon has no idea how to handle it.


But an evil presence in his town targets the people Devon loves, he has to put his personal worries aside and face danger down again. Will he be able to protect his town, and if he can, will Wade be waiting for him when it’s done?

 

Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.



If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.


Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

Giveaway

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

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

New Releases Blitz for Ostakis by Angelica Primm

Standard

Title: Ostakis

Author: Angelica Primm

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 18, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB

Length: 52600

Genre: Science Fiction, LGBT, sci-fi, action, intersex

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

The Human Planets Collective sent young Ambassador Kaj Deder to the former colony planet Ostakis to establish relations. But in the twenty-five hundred years since Earth lost contact with Ostakis, the people of that colony have dramatically changed. Kaj is tasked with finding the reason for these changes while he forges trade links between the HPC and Ostakis. Without trade with the HPC, the dwindling resources of Ostakis will ultimately end human life on the planet. But his mission faces a huge obstacle in the form of Most Reverend Thyenn Sharr, the head of the Faith Progressive Church, who sees the arrival of Kaj as the beginning of the end of the Church. Kaj’s powerful attraction to Trademaster Klath’s son, Arlan does not smooth relations.

Arlan Klath, the son of the Trademaster of Ostakis, bears the secret that the pious people of his planet want to hide from the homeworld and the HPC. The Curse of the Unspoken, wrought through the unspeakable acts of the First Colonists, afflicts all Ostakians, but some more strongly than others. Arlan is totally Cursed, considered born sinful and he lives without legal rights or property. He is scrutinized by Sharr who is enraged that Arlan’s father defiantly refuses to submit Arlan to a cruel act to “redeem” Arlan’s soul. The stakes increase when Arlan and Kaj form a relationship that Thyenn Sharr considers ample justification to usurp the Trademaster position through the power of his Church.

Excerpt

KAJ

Dearest Marta,

You would ask if I’m upset with my new posting. No. Not that. Discomforted. Yes. That is the correct word. You know I am a man who likes his routines, the stuff that meshes you to the pleasurable aspects of living. A delicious cup of coffee in the morning. Grilled vegetables on the barbecue and a nice glass of wine on the terrace in the evening. Everyday things.

Where I head is not ordinary…

Landfall is the most dangerous part of the journey.

The transport shook and rattled as it descended to hit the atmosphere of Ostakis. Flames flared from the heat shield and now I know why the pilot told me to pull the shade on my seat window. It’s terrifying watching the flames of friction ignited ionized gas shimmer outside the window and engulf the ship. To take my mind off my impending death I mulled over my last briefing with Director Kotel.

“How terraformed is this planet?” I had asked the director. We both paged our copies of the sparse notes and reports on Ostakis on our government issued readers. Survey had just turned in the information, and I was eager to see it. But, at the director’s request, I had to wait until this meeting to go through it thoroughly.

“Not quite Earth normal,” said Director Kotal. “Ten percent of the original plant and animal forms still survive. The Ostakians fight the planet’s encroaching desert sands. The shield wall the colonists built is in disrepair.”

That was an interesting bit of information. “Any reason why?”

“Our survey found abandoned population centers. Grey and Jacobs in Analysis think the number of people is shrinking. They may not have the workers to maintain it.”

“So, after all this time, it has begun.”

“Yes. It had to, didn’t it?” She stood and stared out of the port window that revealed the desert planet beneath us. “If any planet needs what the HPC offers, it is Ostakis.”

A silence hung between us. The urgency of the mission weighed more heavily.

“And another thing,” she said. “The scout team reported rumors, or myths, of aboriginal tribes hiding in the desert.”

We looked each other in the eye. The first hope of Earth had been finding indigenous sentients, but to our disappointment found none.

“Our lack of knowledge of the basis of the Faith Progressive Church hampers us. They didn’t send literature on their precepts.”

“Odd. Religions like to proselytize.”

“Exactly. So we can only assume that there are things they don’t want us to know. Be careful of Thyenn Sharr, Kaj. He’s the church’s head man. I can’t impress this enough on you. Their highly conservative religious movement does not condone much that isn’t praying and preaching. The hardest part of this assignment is conforming to the societal norms of the planet.”

“Until I otherwise need to.”

“Yes,” she said with a nod of her head. “Until that. So tread carefully.”

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Born in a century far less progressive than how her brain is wired, Angelica engages in occupations now considered now less than reputable, one of them being a ghostwriter of erotic and romance fiction. Since time travel is not an option, in her off time she contents herself with writing about people and places in a far distant future with the twists that only come with traveling to the stars.

Angelica lives in Connecticut with an odd assortment of cats and humans and putters at hobbies ranging from art to bird watching when she’s not turning a phrase for her supper.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway

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

Blog Button 2

An Alisa Release Day Review: Diplomatic Relations (The Sci-Regency Series #4) by J.L. Langley

Standard
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

A Sci-Regency Novel: sequel to My Regelence Rake 

Opposites don’t just attract… they sizzle.

A lusty special forces soldier who lives by his own set of rules, Dalton Fairfax decided long ago to stop wishing for his father’s love, and he found his calling. Now that he’s back home and between assignments, he finds himself at loose ends. When the opportunity arises to play bodyguard and help out his country, Dalton jumps at the chance. Not only does it keep him busy, but it just so happens that his charge is the man he saw on leave last month and hasn’t been able to get out of his head.

Heir to a dukedom and a conservative politician, Blaise Thompson strives to prove himself worthy of carrying on the family legacy as the next IN Councilman. However, his closest competitor keeps getting in the way and taking credit for Blaise’s ideas. Maintaining his stellar reputation isn’t easy to do while keeping his outrageous younger brother in line and foiling his rival’s personal attacks. He has no time for a guard and even less time for romance.

When a priceless antique goes missing, Blaise and Dalton discover that Regelence has larger problems than just IN plots. Now the only way to stop a scandal that threatens both of them is to compromise, and they are forced to confront the risk of losing everything… even each other.

I was super excited about this book. I have read the original three books more than once and I’ve read all the codas and short stories. I had given up hope that the series would be continued.  Then when I saw the first three were re-releasing I was overjoyed with the prospects of a new book. I went in to this with high hopes.  I’m very happy to say that this met my expectations and then some.
I was initially unsure when I read the blurb because I had figured the book would be about one of the other Townsend brothers. This one is about their cousin Dalton. After I started it I realized it was a great way to stretch out the series and introduce new characters. And, I loved Dalton. Like a lot.
Dalton is more of a handful than any of the other boys and he’s a rake in every way.  But he’s a good guy at heart and once he starts to fall for Blaise he’s totally committed. Blaise was also a really done character. He’s Dalton’s opposite. Blaise is quite proper, is a virgin and very much cares what people think.  I liked that Dalton didn’t try to corrupt or change Blaise. He was very respectful of Blaise’s beliefs. The chemistry between the two jumps off the page. This was more slow burn than the previous books.
There is the ongoing plotline of the corruption in the galactic alliance and there is also a plotline where Dalton & Blaise have their eyes opened to the poverty on their planet.  Both plots were fast paced and entertaining.
It’s a fairly low angst book and the relationship is really sweet and lovely.  There are some very romantic moments between these two.  These two ended up being my favorite couple so far in the series.
For fans of the series I have great news. There’s another book already planned and there is an excerpt at the back of this book. There is also what seems like a set up for another book running through this story. It’s a match up I’m super excited about. I’m not telling you who either couple is though….you’re going to have to read this and find out.
I have no complaints about this story. I loved it from beginning to end and was really glad to be back in this world, with these characters.
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design: I love this cover. I think it’s very eye catching and attractive and the models are a good representation of Dalton and Blaise.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 288 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 164080692X (ISBN13: 9781640806924)
Edition Language English
SeriesSci-Regency #4

A Lucy Audio Review: Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates and Colin Darcy (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Opposites who go together like country and rock ’n’ roll. 

Long before he was a superstar, Remy Sean had a secret crush on Jed Riley. But Jed sees Remy as a spoiled pop rocker and an extension of his father’s control. Still, Jed is willing to let Remy hide from the press on his ranch—but only as a way to get his father out of his life and business for good. 

Used to being admired and fawned over, Remy keenly feels the sting of Jed’s dismissal. Can he make Jed see him as more than a pain in the ass? Or is Jed too tangled up in his ranch to see past his old hurt?

Jed doesn’t believe someone desired by so many fans could want him, a simple cowboy. But Remy is determined to change Jed’s mind and steal his heart….

Remy goes through a terrible event and it freezes his ability to write music or be in front of a crowd.  It is his manager, Buddy, who comes up with the idea of sending Remy to the ranch Buddy owns and his son, Jed, cares for.  Buddy couldn’t be less interested in the ranch but he is stubborn (and selfish) and won’t sell it to Jed.  So the idea of hosting a diva singer in exchange for Buddy selling Jed the ranch as well as showing up for Jed’s sister’s wedding and giving her away seems like a good one.

Remy definitely doesn’t seem like a spoiled pop star. He owns a mansion that he rarely spends any time in. He mentions things like his clothes and hair products as a must, but he doesn’t whine or throw a fit about anything. He’s more down to earth than the blurb made it seem.  He definitely isn’t used to not being admired, but he wants to earn Jed’s attention and respect.  He takes to the ranch life so well, learning to ride a horse and work around the place.

Jed is quiet, used to the isolation of the ranch and unwilling to admit that the desertion of his father for Hollywood has affected him so much.  At first he takes this out on Remy because Remy was Buddy’s big break, the boy who had the potential to be a big star.  Potential that was fulfilled and Buddy left the ranch to manage his star without looking back.  As the days go on, however, Jed sees what a good person Remy is and what stress he’s been under.  Jed starts to thaw and teach Remy the workings of the ranch.  TShe two become friends and then turn to more. 

Everything is under the cloud of Remy leaving.  Remy is an internationally famous pop star and his life and world is a million miles away from the isolated ranch in the mountains that Jed loves so much.  They know the time is limited and try to make the best of it.  The wedding of Jed’s sister will bring Buddy back to the ranch and Jed knows that will be the end. 

There is not a lot of angst here although there is that sense of “how can this work” throughout.  We do get Jed acting like a brat who won’t listen, Buddy acting like a major ass and pulling a stunt that proves how selfish he is (as if we didn’t know that from his conversation about Nicky, Remy’s horrible ex-boyfriend, before Remy goes to the ranch) and Remy being his lovely self.   I liked how this got worked out and especially that Remy was the strong one throughout. 

Narration by Colin Darcy had an odd nasal quality at times but mostly worked. This was my first audiobook with him as narrator and I would try another one.

This is a sweet, low key story of two opposites who want to make it work. 

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson. Eyecatching and in the style of sthe Dreamspun Desires series.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audio Details:

Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published January 3rd 2019 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 21st 2018)
Original TitleRocking the Cowboy
ASINB07LB5XBH1
Edition LanguageEnglish
settingCalifornia (United States)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: My Fair Brady by K.C. Wells

Standard

Rating: 4. 5 stars out of 5

KC Wells took an old classic—My Fair Lady—one of my all-time favorites—and created a Dreamspun Desires book that gave me all the feels I’d expect from a story with that theme done in the MM romance genre.

In this instance, Brady Donovan is the best PA any exec could hope for. He’s bright, cute, anal about being organized, and anticipates his boss’s every need. Jordan Wolf couldn’t ask for a better assistant, and the sweet, smart nerd with his dark-framed eyeglasses is cute too. When Brady is suddenly no longer there to meet his needs, it takes a few days, but Jordan finally goes to Brady’s place to check on the guy. There he finds a Brady so ill he can’t take care of himself and Jordan’s nurturing side comes out. Added to that, getting to know Brady in a different way tweaks something in Jordan’s heart and he no longer only sees his PA when he looks at the young man.

Not long after that, Jordan asks Brady if he’d be his plus one at a weekend party in the Hamptons, and when he agrees, Jordan treats him to a day at the spa followed by a shopping trip that awakens Jordan’s hidden desires and gives Brady hope that his attraction may not be one-sided after all. Get the picture? Of course, this is based on a well-worn trope, but KC Wells infuses it with new life, and I was transported to my happy place where the smile never leaves my face as I engage with two very nice men who needed a subtle push to get together. 

Are there angsty moments? Definitely, but they’re not overdone. And is there a nasty surprise over the weekend—a protagonist determined to break them up? Well, yes, but there are also friends who won’t let that happen, and there’s the bloom of new love and open communication which seals the foundation of their chance for love.

I totally enjoyed getting to know these characters and was caught up in their lives within the first 10% of the story. The long, slow love scenes were explicit and yet more romantic than a quick hop into bed. KC Wells does this so well. A host of secondary characters round out the cast and add enough to the story without taking it over.

All in all, a very satisfying and heartwarming read. MM romance at its best. 

The cover by Alexandria Corza features a handsome young man, wearing glasses, a button-up shirt and a bowtie. He’s the perfect representation of Brady and the bright colorful cover is very attractive.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 226 pages
Expected publication: February 19th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07NN5GSDX
Edition Language English

New Book Release for Blood Lust by L.E. Royal (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title: Blood Lust

Author: L.E. Royal

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 18, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 73200

Genre: Paranormal, LGBT, Paranormal, contemporary, lesbian, vampire, family-drama, human slaves, horror, dark, paternal murder, blood play, psychic ability

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

The sequel to Blood Echo.

For Rayne Kennedy, the only Hybrid in Vires, a walled Vampire city in Vermont, life is almost over. Despite the new family and temporary happiness she’s found, her vampire girlfriend, Scarlett Pearce, has been given ninety days by the mysterious city government to turn her into a vampire. She’s sure her days as a human are numbered.

Scarlett fights to find a way to avoid Rayne’s death when her father and society have decreed it must happen. Between new relationships formed, old ones reshaped, and a bloody romp through the city’s darkness, Rayne must decide if she trusts Scarlett not to give in to her blood lust. Thrown into the center of an unexpected revolution, Rayne tries to save herself and Scarlett, unsure if her days as a human, and their time being blood bound, are truly coming to an end.

Excerpt

Blood Lust
L.E. Royal © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
“Pick it up.”

Scarlett watched with lazy eyes as my hand shot forward to grab the apple. I hated her a little for how easy she found this.

“You’re scowling, Princess.”

I dropped the apple the minute she let me and did my best to straighten my face.

The revelation that Scarlett and I were blood bound was old news, but its implications were still new to both of us. We’d been spending time when we were alone learning to overcome the phenomenon—or trying.

The vampire stretched, reclining before me on the black satin bedsheets, and I wondered if she felt me compelling her at all. I tried to recreate the feeling inside myself from the rare times I had succeeded in bending her to my will. Silently, I concentrated and willed her to pick up the apple.

She yawned.

Raindrops ran down the sleek glass doors of Scarlett’s balcony, the sky a dreary gray. Even from the great height of the thirteenth floor, I could see little beige specks below that I knew were actually humans. They came from the outskirts of the city—the Fringe, brought in to work around the decadent skyscrapers that housed Vampire families, like Scarlett’s. High up in Pearce Tower we could live under the illusion of safety, for the moment.

Below, the streets of Vires teemed with vampires, Deltas who were genetically advanced enough to walk in the daylight. The non-Deltas would join them at sunset.

A flash of curiosity disturbed me, pulling me back off the dark path I was traveling, thoughts of society in Vires starting to consume me. Without looking, I could feel her watching me, taste her curiosity. Her wish to know what was going on inside my head was clear through the emotional connection we shared. I tried to lock her out, to shield my feelings from her. She tipped her head and when I met her dark eyes, their intensity burned. I figured I was successful.

Pick up the apple.

Her voice was liquid smoke, lingering in my mind, penetrating every corner. My pale hand darted forward and grabbed it again. She smirked. My stupid, smug, beautiful vampire.

My fingers released their grip the moment she bade them to, and the abused fruit fell back onto the sheets.

“Your turn.”

I wanted to grumble, to ask what the point was. We both knew I couldn’t resist the commands she gave. We also knew she could resist mine effortlessly most of the time. I smoothed my hands over my jean-clad thighs and tried again.

“I’m not resisting you, sweetheart. I haven’t felt any compulsion to resist yet.” She was amused. It danced in her eyes, in the little tug at the corner of her mouth, but I knew she was trying to be diplomatic, at least.

“Why is this even important?”

She had been playful and light-hearted, secretly enjoying the little game we shared. The minute I asked the question I felt her growing cold, uncomfortable. The pleasant hum of her emotions as they lapped at me waned before they shut down altogether.

The subject we were avoiding hung between us, heavy and suffocating. After almost a week of sleepless nights and uneasy dreams I knew sometimes she could share, I was ready to drag it out into the light.

“I don’t ever want it to be used against us.” She was somber, her expression dark and unreadable.

“Scar, if I’m going to be a vampire anyway…”

She hissed. I prepared to backpedal, wishing I had been a little more tactful, but she was already speaking.

“Why are you so obsessed with becoming a monster?”

“Jade’s not a monster and she’s a vampire.” Dark eyes softened at the mention of her younger sister, one of the people she loved most in the world. Through our connection I had quickly grown to love her too.

“Jade has struggled more than you know.” It was cryptic and caustic and an answer that was oh so Scarlett.

“You’re not a monster, really.”

She scoffed.

We were silent for a few seconds, my reply dancing on the tip of my tongue. It was a large part of what had been keeping me up at night, but I was too afraid of her answer to voice the topic.

“Say what’s on your mind?” It was only half a question, and I could tell it took some effort for her not to command it out of me. Beneath the cold indifference she had painted on her face, tiny tells and miniscule shimmers of her feelings told me she was nervous.

“I don’t want to get old when you’ll always be young.”

She laughed, and the sound was ever so slightly bitter.

“I’m three hundred and sixty-nine years old, Princess.”

I wondered if I would ever stop being staggered by that fact.

“Besides, I don’t think aging is something we have to worry about. I’m almost certain you’ve already stopped, being as you are.”

“Hybrids don’t age?” My voice was an octave too high with surprise, and maybe a little bit of joy.

We hadn’t much discussed what I was, what I had become, what she had made me. Her cool and careful handling of the subject frustrated me, and it gave me the uncomfortable feeling she was making plans without any of us.

“Just a hunch.” She tried to curtail me before I got too fixated on the fact. “But if I’m right and age isn’t a factor, are you still so eager to be turned?”

I shrugged, unsure.

“Being a hybrid is still dangerous. What if the Government eventually discovers that us sharing blood is what caused this? What if they find out we’re blood bound? Wouldn’t it be safer if I was less…breakable?”

Purchase

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

Meet the Author

L.E. Royal is a British born fiction writer, living in Texas. She enjoys dark but redeemable characters, and twisted themes. Though she is a fan of happy endings, she would describe most of her work as fractured romance. When she is not writing, she is pursuing her dreams with her multi-champion Arabian show horses, or hanging out with her wife at their small ranch/accidental cat sanctuary.

Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

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

Blog Button 2