A MelanieM Release Day Review: Whiskey to Wine (Leaning N #3) by BA Tortuga

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Love is hitting the slopes, and the competition is fierce.

It’s Gay Ski Week in Aspen, and blind sculptor Bleu Bridey and his ex-fiancé, Dan, are at the Leaning N Ranch to unveil Bleu’s latest commission.

Former Olympic snowboarder Ryan Shields is there too… and he’s Bleu’s true love who got away. Seeing Bleu again, Ryan remembers how they couldn’t get enough of each other in college.

Too bad it looks like Bleu is with Dan now, because Ryan would love to remind Bleu how good they were together, in and out of the sheets.

Between Ski Week parties, a bunch of exes, a private ski lesson, and one terrible accident that leaves Bleu stranded and Ryan in rescue mode, it’ll be a wonder if these two manage to survive, much less find a few seconds alone to remember how much love they have to keep them warm even in the worst of storms.

I am really enjoying the Leaning N series from BA Tortuga and this story especially checked a lot of my boxes for contemporary romances.  The first beingOK it’s author!  yes, I can never pass up a BA Tortuga story, and Whiskey to Wine (Leaning N #3) by BA Tortuga has so many elements in it that I love to red about.  It has cowboys and kids in the family that owns the Leaning N (they are central to every story here.  It also has a wonderful second chance at love, lovers reunited aspect to the romance and main couple.  Plus the couple itself has two men whose characters and personalities are just so compelling that it makes for a story and romance that grabs you right from the start.

Told from both the perspectives of Bleu and Ryan, BA Tortuga manages to bring the reader inside the darkness of Bleu’s everyday life and give us a feel for the way in which he lives and manages his life, with the assistance of his service dog.  I’m not sure who was helping with this realistic portrait but I suspect they are close to the subject or know someone like Bleu given the cringeworthy moments and comments from  other characters and situations Bleu finds himself in, the authenticity rings true throughout the story.  Everything about Blue pulls you to him, and makes you want to shove Dan, his ex right off the next ski lift.  Dan is one of the less enjoyable characters there but has been a minor series character throughout the three stories so far.

Ryan the former Olympic snowboarder also has that personality down, as well as that of regret for the past and the real sense of loss when it comes to Bleu.  When it comes to writing chemistry, BA Tortuga can make two men and their connection seem almost organic, it’s that natural and mighty.  I really loved watching them reconnect, worth through their old issues, and current ones, including current exes that won’t go away.

There is adventure, huge drama, and a wonderful end to everything that I adored.  Plus the secondary cast of characters some of which …cough..Geoff. cough..I’m hoping which eventurally get his story.

While each book easily can be read as a standalone, it’s far more fun to read them as a series, a method I recommend.    I have fallen in love with the Leaning N and the family and crew that lives there.  I only hope we will be getting so many more romances and novels to come.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  Handsome man, beautiful background.  Both in keeping with the series although I could wish for more from the story.  I just find it cute but lacking.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, Dreamspun Desires #78, 181 pages
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07NNLYLYG
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Leaning N :

Commitment Ranch

Finding Mr. Wright

Whiskey to Wine

Come Back Around coming out in July 2019

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Lord to Love by Sara Dobie Bauer

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The Price and Morgan families have been feuding for years—over a piece of land that records show belongs to the Morgan family—but contains the Price family burial ground.  So Harrison Price hasn’t been able to visit his mother’s grave, and it’s wearing on the young man who was very close to her.  Now, to top it all off, his father has died, and they must settle this debate so his father can be buried next to his wife.

Lord John Morgan offers a solution.  He will give the land freely to the Price family if the youthful, handsome Harrison will agree to marry him. Outlandish? Yes, but not unheard of in their time. Men may marry, though it’s not common.  Giving the property away?  Well, John doesn’t really want it. He only held onto it because he enjoyed the fight and because it gave him an excuse to come to the Price holdings to possibly catch a glimpse of Harrison. 

John has loved the younger man for three years, ever since his heart was engaged by a violin recital Harrison gave.  He not only admires his handsome face and long, lithe body, he admires Harrison’s intellect and quick wit. There’s really nothing about the young man he doesn’t like, and now that Harrison has inherited the title and lands from his father, the two lords are a match made in heaven.  But will Harrison see it that way?  Will he see John as a love interest or just an old man, a neighbor who’s been keeping him from visiting his mother’s grave?

What I most loved about this story, aside from the premise of a marriage arranged by one man who has the hots for another, is how quickly the author engaged me with both characters and how fully she was able to sketch their personalities.  I felt the attraction.  I was there when the shy, virginal Harrison experienced his first kiss.  And I rejoiced with John when he realized his quest was not in vain. 

Though short, this story packs a punch.  I’m sure it will become a favorite among those of us who enjoy an outstanding MM romance.

The cover depicts two lords, dressed in the clothing of the time, above the lower pane that features a large old mansion.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Carnation Books
ISBN13 9781948272148
Edition LanguageEnglish

Release Blitz ALL SOULS NEAR & NIGH (SOULBOUND #2) by Hailey Turner (excerpt , teasers,, and giveaway)

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ALL SOULS is the rarest of creatures in the urban fantasy genre–a sequel that outshines the near perfect previous book. Astounding storytelling skill combined with layers of mythology, modern-day dangers, and the haunting sense this is all new yet frightening familiar, the Soulbound series by Hailey Turner is exceptional, addicting, and a new standard for the genre.

— SJ Himes, Award-winner Romance author

All Souls Near & Nigh by Hailey Turner

Series: Soulbound 2

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date (Print & Ebook): March 19, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 104,100

Subgenre:  LGBTQ Urban Fantasy

Reader Warning:  This book contains on page sexual assault.

All buy links or pre-order links: https://haileyturner.com/all-souls-near-nigh-02/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PLQBLH3/

Book synopsis:

You can’t bargain with death if you’ve already sold your soul.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been reassigned by the Supernatural Operations Agency to New York City. Learning to navigate his new relationship with Jonothon de Vere, the werewolf he’s now soulbound to, is nothing compared to dealing with territorial disputes between the vampires and werecreatures who call the five boroughs home. But the delicate treaties that have kept the preternatural world in check are fraying at the edges, and the fallout is spilling into the mundane world.

Manhattan’s club scene is overrun with the vampire drug known as shine and the subways have become a dumping ground for bodies. When the dead are revealed as missing werecreatures, Patrick and Jono find themselves entangled in pack politics twisted by vampire machinations.

Learning to trust each other comes with problems for both of them, and the gods with a stake in Patrick’s soul debt aren’t finished with him yet. Bound by promises they can’t break, Patrick and Jono must find a way to survive a threat that takes no prisoners and is stalking them relentlessly through the city streets.

Old and new betrayals are coming home to roost but the truth—buried in blood—is more poisonous than the lies being spun. Trying to outrun death is a nightmare—one Patrick may never wake up from.

All Souls Near & Nigh is a 104k word m/m urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to A Ferry of Bones & Gold, and reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one. Please see the disclaimer in the Look Inside for content some readers may find triggering.

Author Hailey Turner says All Souls Nigh & Near is: An exciting sequel that builds on the series plot and will keep readers wanting more!

Short Teaser 1

Jono braked for the amber light and leaned across the console to kiss Patrick. “Let’s keep that between us, yeah?”

“You know me,” Patrick muttered, chasing after Jono’s mouth when he tried to pull away. “I’m all about secrets.”

“Wish you weren’t,” Jono said, stealing one more kiss before the light turned green to shut him up.

He didn’t want to hear what Patrick would say to that; didn’t want to smell the lies Patrick still couldn’t give up.

Some things, Jono knew, you just had to live with.

Short Teaser 2

“Everyone is where they should be except for Sage. Her mediation was today and it’s running late, but she’s with a senior partner of her firm. Estelle and Youssef won’t argue with the fae over her whereabouts.”

Jono snorted, ignoring the sounds of taxis honking to his left on Broadway. “Because they’d lose.”

“We’re safe,” Emma told him. “You’re the one in the cross-fire.”

Jono kept his eyes on Patrick, watching as the mage side-stepped a couple of posh-looking blokes as they continued down the street. “I’ll be fine. We both will.”

“Keep an eye on Patrick. Don’t let him do anything stupid.”

“Ask for a miracle, why don’t you.”

Emma laughed in his ear, but there was little humor in her voice. “Call me when it’s over.”

“Can do. Ta, love.”

Short Teaser 3

“You don’t have to leave because of me. You can stay here.”

“I don’t want you gone, I just want you back.” Jono smoothed his hand over Patrick’s messy ginger hair. “You’ve been lost in thought since the meeting in the park earlier today. This news article isn’t helping. I hate seeing you like this.”

Patrick sighed tiredly, the troubled look in his eyes something Jono wished he could wipe away. “I didn’t mean to drag you into this.”

“We’re a pack. Where you go, I go.”

“Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of.”

Excerpt:

“I’m back,” Patrick said in lieu of hello.

Casale opened the office door wider, gesturing for them to enter. “I wish you weren’t.”

“One of these days you’ll miss me.”

“When I’m dead, maybe.”

Patrick couldn’t help the bark of laughter that escaped his mouth. He respected Casale despite knowing the NYPD didn’t much care for when a federal agency came in to take over a case. But Casale would’ve been the one to reach out to the SOA asking for assistance in the first place. Henry had offered up Patrick out of the field office’s Rapid Response Division and Casale hadn’t said no.

About Hailey Turner:

Hailey Turner is big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She’s been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story. Hailey loves stories with lots of action, gritty relationships, and an eventual HEA that satisfies the heart.

Newsletter:  You can keep up with Hailey’s future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download two free Metahuman Files short stories and the Soulbound short story Down A Twisted Path:  http://eepurl.com/cAEejL

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/haileyshellions/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/haileyturnerwrites/

Facebook Profile:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014824811406

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/hailey-turner

Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHaileyTurner/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/haileyturnerwriter/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16473068.Hailey_Turner

Website:  http://www.haileyturner.com

Giveaway: Win 1 e-copy of any back catalog Hailey Turner book!

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Need A Little Urban Fantasy in Your Reading? Check out the Blog Tour for Marked by J. Jay Barrett (excerpt)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title:  Marked

Author: J. Jay Barrett

Publisher: Self-Published/ VPJ Publishing

Cover Artist:  J. Jay Barrett

Genre/s: LGBT Urban Adventure, Fantasy/Romance

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: approx 70 500 words/206 pages

Release Date: February 20, 2018

Add on Goodreads

 

 

Blurb

Never interfere. Those were his orders, and for centuries he stood by them, faithfully serving those that had given him his charge. Until one fateful night, while hunting, the young vampire stumbles upon a handsome, young stranger. Within minutes, Holden finds his peaceful existence thrown into a tailspin. Soon, it’s a race against time to save the human that he just can’t seem to get out of his head.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Paperback

Amazon UK

Paperback 

 

Excerpt

Chapter One

When Holden opened his eyes, the only light in the room was the orange glow of the sodium street lamps sifting between the wooden blinds from the grid of city streets, forty-four stories below, and the pale blue light of his alarm clock.  The colors combined to give his stark white walls a purplish tint. The clock read 10:32.

Shit.  He had overslept.

The sun had set hours before, which meant he’d wasted good, prime hunting time.  If he didn’t hurry, all he’d be left with would be drunks, junkies or the homeless.  None of which appealed to him. Most of them would probably taste sour and would offer very little in terms of nutritional value, their blood tainted with so many chemicals.

Before he slid out from beneath his satin sheets, he quickly scanned his local armada of Ismeros for any sign of trouble throughout the city. He had about fifty or so Ismeros of his own posted around Chicago.  Various members of the High Council probably had another sixty or seventy. They lived their normal, day-to-day lives, yet kept a close watch for him during the day while he slept. He offered them protection from the terrors that the world provided, while they provided him with information and food.

Truth be told, had anything serious happened that day, the psychic connection he held with his Ismeros would have woken him from even the deepest sleep.  It was part of a vampire’s long-evolved self-preservation mechanism, an army to protect him while he was most vulnerable, while he slept. While the need for an army of Ismeros had long since faded, the tradition of keeping them had not.  The simple fact that he’d overslept was a sign that all was peaceful in the city. At any rate, it was still something he did every evening when he awoke, just to be sure.

It had been decades since anything tempestuous had happened in his domain.  The last Strigoi to invade Chicago had been John Wayne Gacy. His reign of terror had lasted far too long. It had taken the Council years to catch up with and dispose of the rogue vampire.  They would have caught up with him much sooner had human law enforcement not gotten in their way. The thought of the long-executed Strigoi still made Holden rage inside.

That bastard had killed one of Holden’s favorite Ismeros, Lukas, back in the 1970s.  That boy had fucked like a champ and tasted like heaven, dipped in amazing and served with a side of remarkable.  It still made Holden sad to think about. After all, it was because of Holden that boy had learned to trust vampires, which ultimately lead him to his untimely death.  Holden still felt partially to blame and like a failure for not being able to save him.

“Should I just order takeout? Or should I go pick something up?” Holden said out loud to his empty room as he climbed from the warmth of his bed, scanning a mental list of Ismeros again, this time searching for any willing blood donors, who lived happened to live nearby, that might pique his interest.  It was Monday. Which meant the bars and clubs would be relatively quiet in the area, yet none of his Ismeros were catching his attention.

He always did what he could to avoid the any of the Council’s Ismeros, never fully trusting them. Their loyalty lay with the Council, not with him. So, he always thought of them as spies despite working for the same team.  “I’ll pick something up,” he decided out loud to an empty room.

He moved to the window, pulling up the generic blinds, which released a cloud of dust and looked out the city grid below.  The orange shimmer flooded the room, illuminating his naked body in the window. He really loved this new apartment; it was too bad he wouldn’t be able to stay long.  The Council forced him to move frequently, more so because they thought it was best, not because he wanted to. It was an attempt to not to draw any unwanted attention from a nosey human.  Human neighbors tended to notice when the twenty-something next door always remained a twenty-something.

Holden had learned that lesson quickly in the years following the Great Chicago Fire.  A neighbor had accused him of being a witch, which made for an exciting few weeks. In a stroke of luck, she’d ended up dying of cholera a short while later, and the attention quickly dwindled.

That age had been a bit more superstitious than today’s society, but the Council insisted he not take any chances, so every few years he moved to a different part of the city.  He had found this apartment a few months prior. Its location on a penthouse floor of a high rise on Lake Shore Drive had definite perks. Lincoln Park, the lakefront playground that stretched from downtown to the far north side, was directly across the boulevard-turned-freeway, and it offered plenty of dark areas for hunting, chock full of potential meals.  Joggers, bikers, various riff-raff, late-night walkers… to a Vampire, it was like an international buffet. Each and every one of them ripe for the picking, with the park affording all the necessary discretion to do so. It was quite dark; all the trees muted the copper glow from the city streets on one side and on the other, a hundred mile stretch of the black, open waters of Lake Michigan.  He almost always hunted his breakfast here, granted, it was usually a few hours earlier.

Another option was to try his luck in the local bars and nightclubs that the neighboring Boystown and Wrigleyville had to offer. Being a Monday the only people at the bars and clubs around 4 am, his dinner hour, would be the hardcore drunks.  And that much alcohol neither helped with how they tasted nor with how well they’d perform in the bedroom, both of which were equally important to a vampire. Tonight, he decided, he would exercise his third option, he would find an Ismeros to bring over for dinner, but breakfast he was going to be an excellent old-fashioned hunt.

His naked form crossed the room into the ensuite bathroom, and he turned on the shower.  Steam quickly fogged up the enclosure, which was entirely made out of frameless-glass. He climbed into the black marble interior and let the hot water spray over his skin and muscles washing away any trace of his early morning romp with last night’s dinner.

The hot water soothed as it poured over his body. He massaged both of his shoulders with his hands.  All of his muscles ached and burned. They cried out to be fed, burning for fuel. Every muscle fiber in his body was silently screaming out for food, having long burned off the meal from his tryst the night prior.  Reminding him that it had been almost eighteen hours since he’d eaten. Jacob? Jake? John? Joe? He couldn’t remember. Johann? He had tasted Swedish, or maybe Finnish; it was hard to tell here in the New World. Everyone was a little bit of everything these days.  Whatever he was, it was nothing spectacular, neither in taste nor his ability to perform in the bedroom. The boy had wound up being rather prudish and shy in bed, which was what Holden had expected from a boy who agreed to come home with him less than thirty minutes after they’d met.

Sundays had historically been very easy.  The boys of East Lakeview were always eager for one last weekend rendezvous before they had to go back to the monotony of the workweek.  Most them begging for his phone number before he sent them on their way, always remembering the incredible fuck, never remembering him feeding on them.  He was still happy to oblige. A vampire was always on the lookout for new Ismeros, sex, and food available at his every beck and call, but it was rare that they ever actually called.  Sure, he’d sometimes get a text message, but in truth, the sleek iPhone that he’d bought at the insistence of his live-in Ismeros, Marie, rarely left where it was neatly docked on his desk in the living room.  He had no real use for the thing, anyone he truly cared for, he was directly linked to, with a natural, psychic link. By the time he would see the text message, the boys usually had moved on to the next best thing, and that suited this vampire just fine.

He emerged from the shower, wrapping his toned vampire body in only a plain white towel.  The terrycloth fabric hung low from his waist, showing off his well-defined abdominal muscles and giving off just the slightest hint of well-groomed hair that it hid beneath its rough surface, as he walked into the living room.  Marie was there, folding the solid black, Egyptian cotton sheets from his feeding room. He kept a second room strictly for feeding and fucking, having long ago been taught that you don’t bring your food into the bed that you sleep in. Things, of course, could always end up getting a little bit messy, with the inevitable exchange of body fluids.

“You slept late tonight,” she said, giving him a sharp look of concern, “Are you feeling okay?”

“I wish you’d woken me,’ he smiled.  “But, yeah, I feel fine,” he said with a shrug of confidence. He was a vampire, and vampires never got sick.  “Have you ever known me, or any vampire for that matter, to feel sick? I’m not sure, maybe my dinner date wore me out last night,” He smiled, remembering how attractive the boy had been.  His name had definitely been Johann. “Speaking of, did you see him out?” Holden’s voice had long ago become very Americanized, losing almost all traces of its European roots.

“He left shortly after he awoke this morning,” she said, “looking just as confused as the rest of them.  I’m not sure how you do it…” She chuckled.

“Talent,” he said coyly, a smirk spreading across his porcelain skin. “I learned from the best.”  He, of course, was referring to his Sire, Damek. The elder vampire was nearly a thousand years old and had personally groomed Holden to be in the position that he was, Watcher for the High Council of Vampires.

“I find it hard to believe that you aren’t the best,” she flirted, “I seem to remember you being the best.”  Her New Orleans accent was still discernable after all these years and always served her well in the art of flattery.

They, of course, had a very long history, at least in human terms, dating back to the late 1960s.  He’d found her, homeless on the streets, ravaged by a rogue vampire, who had briefly passed through town. Having run away from an abusive home in Louisiana, she had nowhere to go, so he’d taken her in, raised her first as a foster child, then as a lover, but now she’d out-aged him, and things had come full circle.  She loved him, Holden could tell, but not as a lover as she had in her youth, but more maternally. He felt a pang of remorse deep inside his heart. Holden had stolen her youth, taken her life and any hope she had ever had for a family. Next, he would steal her golden years. He shook his head to clear the thought away.

“I think I’m going to the get dressed and head to the park for some breakfast,” he said. “No strange late-night visitors tonight, I promise.”

“Good, then maybe tomorrow I will be able to sleep in,” she said with a nod and a joking smile, returning to the pile of linens at her feet.  “Take your phone, please.”

He, of course, heard her request, it was the same request she gave him every night but like most things’ humans said to him, he didn’t give it a whole lot of thought.  He dropped his towel into the empty laundry basket next to her feet, turned and his naked form walked back towards his room to get dressed.

About the Author

Jay Barrett lives in Chicago with his husband.  A writer in the evening, he’s a flight attendant by day and an avid runner.  Marked is his first novel.

 

Author Link

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A MelanieM Review: No Big Deal (#lovehim #1.5) by S.M. James

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Angus Reid has always hoped for a roommate. As the only openly gay student at Pinebrook Private, he’s never had the kind of friendship everyone else in his year does, until Tyler shows up. Tyler is sweet, thoughtful, and absolutely adorkable—and better still, he couldn’t care less that Angus is gay.

Unfortunately, falling for your straight roommate is never a good idea, and during a snowed-in weekend, Angus learns this lesson the hard way.

A YA contemporary short story, No Big Deal is the prequel to To Be Honest and will show you where it all began for Angus and Tyler

No Big Deal is as the blurb says the prequel to the marvelous YA road story romance, To Be Honest, second novel in S.M. James’ outstanding YA #lovehim series.  And yes, yet another story I’ve read out of sequence.  I just can’t seem to read this series in order which is really doing it, the author, and me a disservice.

Because had I read this before To Be Honest, I would have had so much more insight into the characters and the issues they faced going into that story.  It would have made an already layered and moving reading experience that much richer.

No Big Deal is the story of Angus and Tyler’s first introduction, our look into their first steps as roommates and friends, and some hidden clues into each person’s back histories and personalities, especially when it comes to the LGBT community.  All of which have important roles to play in the next story.

This is a short story of 38 pages so it does just fly by but the writing is smooth and so beautifully done.  The characters as bright, funny, thoughtful, and engaging as I remembered.  They act their age, with so much depth to their emotions and mental acuity that its a pleasure to watch them grow as individuals and in their relationship.  In this story and in the series.

Told you, I read the other story first.

Don’t you do that.  Read all these amazing book in the order they were written.  Each and every one is a treasure.   More to come that, yes, I read out of order too. Sign.

Oh, and no sex, no heat, definitely YA all the way, this is also just meeting for a first time story.

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs. The cover art is so simple yet appealing, and perfect for the characters.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 38 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by May Books
ASINB07FX69TTC
Edition Language English
Series#lovehim #1.5

Series #lovehim

That Feeling When

No Big Deal

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Milt’s husband of many years, Corky, has passed away after suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, a horrible deterioration of mind and body.  As is the case with many who suffer from this disease, Corky forgot who Milt was at times and at other times was angry and resentful toward him. He escaped his home, sometimes while nude, and in short, tested Milt’s reserves to the nth degree.  But Milt never stopped loving him and now, sitting in his new mobile home in Palm Springs, California, he’s far away and yet still close in his heart.  Some thought Milt was being too reactionary when he packed up and moved across country, but he and his adopted dog, Ruby, are beginning to acclimate to their new lives together.

Then, along comes a flash flood and a friendly neighbor to rescue them. Billy Blue, handsome, young, a former singer, now working at Trader Joe’s is an alcoholic in recovery for several years and planning to stay that way, despite the emotional ups and downs he begins to feel when Milt enters his life. Though several years older than Billy, Milt is nevertheless exactly the man of Billy’s dreams and Billy has to exercise all his life lessons to remember that good things happen in their own time, not on his time schedule.

Those who follow my reviews know I get a little (okay, a lot) peeved when authors glaze over a “drinking problem” or have their character in detox and then have him live a happy life, drinking again whenever he’s out with friends—with no consequences.  But in this story, Mr. Reed presented alcoholism and recovery, through the twelve step fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, as clearly, kindly, respectfully, and honestly as I’ve ever read. And I’m old, so I’ve read a lot! I appreciate his attention detail more than I can say.

A frequently heard term in AA is “the joy is in the journey, not the destination.”  And for me, the joy was in the journey of reading this beautiful portrayal of a man coming to grips with the death of his husband, moving through the stages of grief as time goes on, and ultimately recognizing that it’s okay to love again.  There’s also joy in being present for Billy’s journey as he follows direction from his sponsor and does what he’s learned is most important to his balance—to put his sobriety first.  After all, he wouldn’t have any chance with Milt if he wasn’t the man he is today and that’s due to working the program. 

I simply loved this story.  It’s not explicit, thankfully.  That wasn’t necessary.  What was necessary was to allow two men to have an opportunity to get to know each other, become friends, and eventually move to a firm and loving relationship.  Slow burn, hurt-comfort, age gap, men over forty, grief, men with pets—I can think of many more tags I’d use for this one. But ultimately, the tag I’d use first and foremost is amazing.   Thank you Rick R. Reed! You have set the bar high. 

The cover by Reese Dante features two men in an embrace—perhaps a kiss about to happen—set against a beautiful blue background of the sky over Palm Springs.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 190 pages
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN B07NNX7J4Q
Edition Language English

Review Tour for Shadows On The Border by A.L. Lester

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Release Date: March 9 2019
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Lost In Time Series
 

The Gate (a FREE short story introducing the characters from Lost In Time)
Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books

Book #1 – Lost In Time – Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Newspaper reporter Lew Tyler and his lover, Detective Alec Carter, are working out the parameters of their new relationship. Meanwhile, time traveler Lew is trying to decide whether he wants to stay in the 1920s or find a way to get back to 2016, and Alec doesn’t know if he can bear the vulnerability of being in love with someone who uses such dangerous magic.


Fenn is a Hunter from the Outlands, come through the Border to search for the murderous Creature and its offspring at the behest of the Ternants, who maintain the balance between Fenn’s world and ours. Fenn strikes a bond with Sergeant Will Grant, Alec’s second in command, who is keen to learn more about his own magical abilities. As time goes on, Will grows keen to learn more about Fenn, as well.


Fenn has their own painful secret, and when they appear to have betrayed the team and goes missing in London, Will is devastated. He has to choose between following his heart or following his duty.


Moving through the contrasting rich and poor areas of post-First World War London from West End hotels to the London docklands, the men need to work together to capture the Creature … and choose who – and what — is important enough to hold on to and what they may need to give up to make that happen.


Author Bio


A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.


She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft


Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CogentHippo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cogenthippo/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester

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Looking for that Second Chance at Love Story? Check Out Release Blitz for Rewind by Rowan Shaw (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Rewind

Author: Rowan Shaw

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Molly Phipps

Genre/s: MM Romance

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: 73 350 words/ 343 pages

Release Date: March 18th, 2019

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Buy Links

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All other vendors (Nook, Kobo, iBooks)

Tagline

Were Enzo and Florian truly meant to get a second chance or were they doomed from the start?

Blurb

The day Enzo Chevalier lost his hearing, everything changed. Forced to rebuild his future and fight for his dreams, Enzo refused to let anything take him down…until the man of his life walked out on him and shattered his heart. 

Florian Beaudry had his whole life figured out. His business was flourishing and everything was settling down at last. Or so he believed…until he walked in on his girlfriend and best friend.

Still on the rebound and unable to trust another man, Enzo never expected a chance encounter with Florian. The one person he thought he would never see again. The one person he missed the most. 

Were they truly meant to get a second chance or were they doomed from the start?

REWIND is an MM romance novel set entirely in France. Though part of a series, it is a standalone story without a cliffhanger.

Excerpt

I stared at Enzo, unsure what to do or how to react. I hadn’t seen him in such a long time. When I smiled at him, the deep scar on his left cheek carved into his skin as he replied with a grin of his own, along with a shy wave. I gaped like a moron. He was even more breathtaking than he used to be, taller and stronger too.  

My eyes caught on the gorgeous male with his arm around Enzo’s shoulders. Something inside me sank. I could either be a coward and ignore Enzo, or I could be the bigger person and ask him to join me for a drink—even if that meant watching him flirt with that hot guy all evening.

Enzo was staring back at me without moving, so I took that as my cue to beckon him forward. The man next to him raised a questioning eyebrow, but Enzo signed at him, explaining I was someone he used to know in high school. The guy crinkled his forehead and glared at me with eyes so green, I couldn’t help but stare. Even their hypnotizing tint wouldn’t soften the warning in his glower.

Enzo chuckled at the guy’s reaction and grabbed his hand, leading him toward me.

I had also forgotten how beautiful he was when he laughed. Even in my fondest memories, he had never looked as good as he did now. The scar on his face only heightened his splendor, especially since I knew what it represented. I tried hard not to gawk, but it felt so good to see him again and get confirmation he was well.

Enzo kept smiling at me shyly, but before he could reach my level, the other guy stood in the way.   

“Florian, is that it?” he asked with a hint of hostility.

“Yeah.”

I held out my hand to shake his, but he snubbed me, leaning forward instead, blocking Enzo’s view. “I don’t remember Enzo telling me about any friends in high school. If anything, I only remember him talking about his bullies.”

I clenched my teeth at the threat under his tone. “I’m not going to hurt him if that’s what you’re implying.”

About the Author

Rowan Shaw is a human being from Planet Earth (originally from the country of France). She’s also the queer author of Rewind, an MM romance series set entirely in her home country.

Addicted to reading and writing, Rowan can usually be found with a book in her hands or sitting in front of her computer typing some kind of story while listening to music from the 80s.

Author Links

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Giveaway

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RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for The Demon Lord Of California (Infinity 8 #1) by Jeanne Marcella

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Length: 77,500 words 
 
Blurb



Earth, 1900.


Calico Winghorse has no choice but to flee to the plane of existence called Earth. His great grandfather, suffering from a terrible curse, strips him of his psychic abilities and nearly murders him.


As a mixed-blood phoenix concealing himself in human form, Calico first settles in England, then in the San Francisco Bay Area. In order to make a living, he opens a small bakery and quietly licks his wounds.


But just how Calico escaped his childhood home—via interdimensional portal—is the very reason why he’s drawn the unwanted attention of Infinity Corporation.


Representing this angelic-run company is Agustín Chávez de la Cruz, the Demon Lord of California. Even though Agustín is IC’s heir, he finds himself demoted from his daily duties for a new assignment: take absolute control of Calico’s portal.


Calico and Agustín’s first brief encounter ignites sparks of attraction. Their second is highly explosive, bogging down initial communication with innocent mistruths and a healthy dose of fear.


As Agustín struggles to restore trust, Harper, the demanding head of IC interferes, further complicating matters. With negotiations slowed, Calico and Agustín realize they both wish to establish more than just a business deal.


However, until the extensive and brutal psychic injuries Calico received from his great grandfather are healed, the portal remains vulnerable to the darker forces that want it at any cost. Agustín will have to push both his angelic heritage, and his psychic powers to the very limits to mend someone who bears more than celestial blood, but who is also the god of space and time.


And the clock’s ticking.

 
About The Author
 

Jeanne Marcella was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Granted unlimited access to books at a very early age via the library, she quickly acquired a fondness for creating her own stories through word and drawing.


She writes queer dark fantasy not for the faint of heart, and fun (but sometimes gritty) urban fantasy soaps, all with romantic elements.

 

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Of Wild Weather, Eostre and Spring. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Of Wild Weather, Eostre and Spring

 

I don’t know how many of you are fans of the book by Neil Gaiman or show based on it, American Gods, but the weather the nation has been having this past week has called to mind one scene from last season’s finale, when the goddess Ostara, provoked or encouraged (depending on how you look at it) by the god Wednesday, reminds those partying around her of her true origins and power with catastrophic results… removing Spring’s bounty and renewal from the lands….  setting off a withering landscape and the onset of winter.

I think it was watching that weather map showing a “bomb cyclone” sweeping across the Midwest bringing hurricane force winds and blizzards so unexpectedly, while here in Maryland we were experiencing 65 to 70 degrees of Spring.  It was Spring as its most turbulent, violent, and yet weirdly warm and calm state.  It just depended where you lived.  And yes, I do know its due to climate change.

But it did draw my mind back to that scene and to the goddess Ostara.

Ostara, or Eostre or Eastre, she has many names, the goddess of Spring.  She is responsible for the renewal of the earth each year after winter, the bringer of Spring, the symbol of fertility and birth.  Yes, rabbits (those reproducing, repopulating stars) are her symbols.  She has been pictured with a rabbit’s head but more often with them at her side.  They are the reason we now have the Easter Bunny, same with Easter Eggs.  All due to her, Eostre or Eastre.  Or Ostara.

She’s been on my mind a lot, for many reasons.  The Spring equinox approaches on the 21st, a new season of American Gods has started, and all around me, from my backyard to the news I have reminders of just how wild and unpredictable nature and Spring can be at times.

At night I’ve heard both the calls of wild geese migrating and the sound of a barred owl so out of season….must be a youngster trying to find his voice.

But it’s a reminder that rebirth can be a wild and tumultuous time.  That renewal isn’t always peaceful and calm, that wild winds and blizzards can herald the arrival of Spring just as often as the call of the bluebird.

Something to remember when pondering that Easter bunny.

Kristin Chenoweth as Ostara in American Gods

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, March 17:

  • Of Wild Weather, Eostre and Spring. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Book Blitz – LA Bryce – The Forever Kind Of Love

Monday, March 18:

  • Release Blitz – Rewind by Rowan Shaw
  • Release Blitz – Jeanne Marcella – The Demon Lord Of California
  • Review Tour – A.L. Lester – Shadows On The Border
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Blue Umbrella Sky by Rick R. Reed
  • A Caryn Review Shadows On The Border (Lost In Time #2) by A.L. Lester
  • A MelanieM Review: No Big Deal (#lovehim #1.5) by S.M. James

Tuesday, March 19:

  • Release Blitz ALL SOULS NEAR & NIGH (SOULBOUND #2) by Hailey Turner
  • Release Blitz – TL Travis’ A Heart Divided
  • Blog Tour – Marked by J. Jay Barrett
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Whiskey to Wine (Leaning N #3) by BA Tortuga
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: I’m Not Who You Think I Am by Felicitas Ivey
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Lord to Love by Sara Dobie Bauer

Wednesday, March 20:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Clean Break (Farm College #2) by Erin McLellan
  • Book Blitz  Tour Request – Elin Gregory – Midnight Flit
  • BLOG TOUR Wicked Games by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • A Lucy Review : The Forever Kind Of Love by LA Bryce
  • A Jeri Review Clean Break (Farm College #2) by Erin McLellan
  • A MelanieM Review: Lunar New Love by Casper Graham
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: In Safe Hands by Victoria Sue

Thursday, March 21:

  • Book Blast – An Extra Alpha (Pine Wood Falls #2) by Sarah Havan
  • DSP PROMO Felicitas Ivey on I’m Not Who You Think I Am
  • PROMO BA Tortuga on Whiskey to Wine
  • An Alisa Review: How Not To Sin by Susan Hawke
  • A Stella Review: Brush Strokes by E.S. Karlquist
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review :Kennard’s Story (Cronin’s Key #4) by N.R. Walker

Friday, March 22:

  • Review Tour –  A Body In A Bathhouse by Brad Shreve
  • Review Tour – Apple Boy (The Quiet Work #1) by Isobel Starling
  • Blog Tour for A Broken Promise by Mel Gough
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Apple Boy (The Quiet Work #1) by Isobel Starling
  • An Alisa Review: Demon on the Down-Low by EJ Russell
  • A Caryn Review: Best Behaviour by Matthew Metzger
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Black (Kitty Play Romance) by Quin Perin

Saturday, March 23:

Release Blitz Memory of Scorpions Series by Aleksandr Voinov