An Alisa Audio review The Spirit Key (Lock and Key #1) by Parker Williams and Collin Carcy (Narrator)

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Rating:  2 stars out of 5

When he was eight years old, Scott Fogel died. Paramedics revived him, but he came back changed. Ghosts and spirits tormented Scott for over a decade until, thinking he was going mad, he did the only thing he could.

He ran—leaving behind his best friend, Tim Jennesee.

Scott’s had five normal, ghost-free years in Chicago, when the spirit of Tim’s mother comes to him and begs him to go home because Tim’s in trouble and needs him.

He isn’t prepared for what he finds when he goes home—a taller and sexier Tim, but a Tim who hasn’t forgiven Scott for abandoning him… a Tim whose body is no longer his own. The ghost of a serial murderer has attached itself to Tim, and it’s whispering dark and evil things. It wants Tim to kill, and it’s becoming harder for Tim to resist. To free the man who has always meant so much to him, Scott must unravel the mystery of the destiny he shares with Tim.

This story was not executed well for me.  I had the biggest problem was the first sex scene, it was anger sex and I didn’t feel any of the love Scott said he felt in it and just worried that Tim would hurt Scott.  And then the fact that an adult who sees herself as a surrogate mom could watch Scott drug himself into a stupor and runaway instead of helping him understand what is happening to him.

There were all these parts about them learning what they were to do and apparently that is the tradition, but seriously all that does is hurt the Lock and Keys when they are trying to navigate their connection.  I get the first ones having to do it but not those centuries later.  I thought the story premise was interesting and may read the next book but it may need to be the ebook as I’m not sure the narration helped this book.

I unfortunately did not really enjoy Collin Carcy’s narration.  It was very slow, I mean seriously I have another book that is the same page length but is over 3 hours shorter.  The voices were inconsistent and while I was able to keep track of the story, the most notable was Scott’s, it constantly went deep and then back into normal range.  However, since this is the first book I have listened to by him I will at least try out another book by him in the future.

The cover art by Reese Dante is what caught my attention first and I love the visual is gives of Scott.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 10hrs 29mins
Published: July 5, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Lock and Key #1

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Kaden (Boyfriend for Hire #2) by R.J. Scott and Meredith Russell

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I enjoyed this story, most likely because I enjoy both this boyfriend-for-hire trope and RJ Scott’s writing—alone or in collaboration with Meredith Russell. Kaden is the boyfriend hired through the same agency as featured in book one, Darcy. He’s to provide stability and a love interest for Ryan, a young Hollywood actor whose recorded homophobic spiel hit social media and sent his ratings plummeting.

Actually Ryan Levesque is a nice guy, and the recording didn’t reveal who he was speaking about, nor did it capture everything, including the why of what he said. He was telling someone off, someone with whom he had been in an abusive relationship, someone with financial power to harm Ryan’s career if this someone’s identity became known. But no one knows these facts, and it’s halfway through the story before Ryan tells Kaden the details, even though by then, over the course of their fake relationship, they’ve become close.

The story works in the usual way—the guys start to enjoy the fake kisses and hand-holding, and eventually end up in bed, but Kaden holds onto his own secrets too. When Ryan’s secret starts to come out and another young man is involved, Ryan steps up to the plate and is supportive to the guy who is now in his former position. As I said, it’s a nice story, but a little fluffy, even considering the past abusive relationship. To be honest, I had to do some major imagination-stretching around some of the circumstances toward the end. Reality is not quite as easy as it seems in a book and I couldn’t quite grasp believability of what happened.

Also, because the guys didn’t start to have a relationship until the latter half of the book and the story faded out shortly after the issue with Ryan’s past lover was resolved, when the epilogue takes place two years later, it’s evident that much of Ryan’s and Kaden’s emotional growth has taken place off-page. Their relationship is sealed during that off-page, two-year period also, and they are committed to each other. I would have likely rated this higher if there was more substance revealed to readers instead of being left to the imagination.

Since abuse is mentioned in this story and past emotional and sexual abuse is included, this story may trigger some readers. On the flip side, overall, this is a sweet and simple boyfriend-for-hire trope so those not triggered by mention of abuse and who are looking for an easy read should like this one.

The cover by Meredith Russell is done in a light-blue background that shows a beach house overlooking the ocean in the lower panel and two men embracing, their eyes closed—symbolic of an endearing kiss at the beginning or end. It’s very attractive and suits the story perfectly.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link – Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited.

Book Details:

ebook, 150 pages
Published August 10th 2019
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBoyfriend for Hire #2

A MelanieM Review:A Rhythm You Feel (The Rock Gods: East Coast Label #1) by Ann Lister

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

Blade: As the lead singer of Hard Core, I’ve been taught several key life lessons. Unfortunately, I’ve also ignored many of them in the last twenty minutes alone, which is why I’m now being chased by a hoard of crazed fans.

But my worst misjudgment today? Going outside in public without security or a backup plan. Screaming fans come with the job and the fame is as much of a blessing as it is a curse, but I still couldn’t imagine doing any other line of work.

Music owns me and I am happy to be her bitch.

Nico: I knew who he was as soon as he burst through the front door of my store and I was absolutely starstruck and speechless. Yes, me with my own hardened attitude and jaded outlook on life had lost the ability to talk in the presence of Blade.

I’m an ex-con. I paid my debt to society, and I have my own brand of scars to show from the time I spent behind bars. My life’s regrets stain my soul as much as the ink of my tattoos color my skin. Solace for me came with ownership of a bookstore. It was a peaceful place to work until a certain rockstar blew in from the street like a Category 5 hurricane.

Hurricane Blade was about to make landfall and I wasn’t sure I’d survive the storm.

A Rhythm You Feel (The Rock Gods: East Coast Label #1) by Ann Lister is the first in a new series by this author featuring a series of bands that play together and if this novel is any indication, it’s going to be a winner.  Ann Lister has her rock n’ rock cred having run her own video production company and worked within the music industry and it shows in her writing and the world building in this story.  We see not just the “Rock Gods” but their many layers of support from the fleet of eighteen wheelers and busses that carry them from venue to venue to the men and women that provide the setup for the productions and everyday security.  We see them in the recording studios, racing to hotels, interviews, green rooms, and even the parties.  It’s truly the good, the bad, and the ugly here.  Raw, gritty , and the golden…. all energized and hauled out and then folded into a romance.

Told in alternating pov, we start with Blade on the run…a fit thrown during practice and an ill advised flight for fresh air lead to a stampede of fans after him down the streets of New York City, His thoughts are bratty, funny, and actually realistically full of fear as he searches for refuge and coming up short with the screaming women hot on his heels.

From running fear filled star to Nico, that’s the next turn.  Talk about opposites attract trope.  This is it.  Nico is a rough around the edges, bookstore own.  He’s a man who has done time in prison, working to maintain his sobriety, and keep the legacy and his livelihood that is the bookstore his father left him running.  He has restricted his life after his father’s death down to the store and a tight schedule.  And now a rock star has crashed through his front door at closing.

There are many elements at play here in this story.  Most of them focus on Nico and not Blade.  Nico’s questioning of his sexuality (prison has a  lot to do with that), his realistic struggle to maintain sobriety when certain aspects of Blade’s lifestyle screams otherwise and I (honestly I don’t know why) kept expecting these issues to get a maybe less adult treatment or some GFY tag.  But Lister went for honesty here and I admire that.

Nico admitted his doubts and the manner in which he was introduced to sexual acts but also his attraction.  I believed it. And him.  As for the sobriety? Communication, some arguments, asking if he needed to call his sponsors (recognition of AA), all the right measures for someone who is an alcoholic and conscious of their sobriety.  It was a realistic part of the romance, not outside of it, astonishingly adult and wonderful.

If I thought the ending was a little rushed (and I did), well what went before was amazing.  The author was clearly setting up the universe for other stories to come with  some of the other bands and band members.  Hopefully we will also get to check up on Blade and Nico and see where they stand in their relationship as well.

Love opposites attract?  Rockers and their lovers?  Contemporary romance? How about all three?  Then pick up A Rhythm You Feel (The Rock Gods: East Coast Label #1) by Ann Lister and get in on the beginning of what looks like a wonderful new series.  I loved it and think you will too.

Cover art:  It’s perfect for Blade.  Hot, sexy, and rocking.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published July 29th 2019 by Rock Gods, Inc.
ASINB07VV7YTN8
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Rock Gods: East Coast Label #1

Release Blitz for Bike Business: A Holeshot Novel by Lynn Michaels (excerpt)

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Bike Business

A Holeshot Novel

Lynn Michaels

Genre: M/M Romance

Releases Date: 08.23.19

bike Business-KJ

Cover Design: Jay Aheer

Photography: RLS Images

Cover Model: Logan Weeks

BLURB

Apex Racing is expanding and absorbing Pilot and his lovers. Everyone is happy with it…except for Johnny. He’s constantly feeling left out and more alone than ever before. It’s time to seek out his own win, and find his holeshot even if it’s off the track and away from Pilot.

Gavin is determined to put together the hottest Supercross team, and he wants that to include Bryce Nickels. But that seems almost impossible since Bryce signed with Apex. Perhaps he needs a new angle, like the sexy business partner of the bodyguard, Johnny Killebrew. Maybe he’ll sign on more than he bargained for.

Everyone is chasing their own dreams, but Johnny isn’t sure he even has one.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/GetBikeBiz

Universal (everywhere else): http://bit.ly/BikeBizUniversal

johnny no link

Excerpt

Gavin walked around the pit area like a damned king. He was probably getting more out of the cock cage than Johnny, but it didn’t matter. He’d snapped the thing shut that morning before they had left the hotel and made their way to the stadium. Johnny had wiggled around a lot and kept trying to look at his crotch as if he could see it through his clothes. Eventually, he’d gotten used to it and relaxed some.

Even better, Johnny hung out with him at the BikeMax pit instead of going down to Apex. That shouldn’t have thrilled him anywhere as much as it actually did. He threw his arms around Johnny and kissed the side of his face. “I’m glad you’re here.”

“You’re glad I’m wearing this medieval torture device.”

“Mm-hmm…that I am.”

Johnny shifted his hips back and forth in a sign of his discomfort, but it rubbed that pert ass against Gavin’s groin at the same time—exquisitely teasing.

“Yo, boss!” Craige Lee came out of the trailer parked behind the pit area, where he’d been eating and getting ready for the race. His qualifying run was due up in half an hour. He had his boots, pants, and his chest plate already on, but he carried his jersey in his hands, trying to fight the heat and stay cool.

“Hey! You ready?” Gavin slid to the side of Johnny, keeping his arm draped over his shoulder. He needed to touch him, to prove his presence there was real.

Craige bobbed his head, agreeing. “I’m ready. I’m hungry.”

Johnny snorted. “Didn’t you just eat?”

“Ha-ha, funny. I mean, hungry for the podium. I want to win.”

“Save it for the Main Event. Get through qualifying and grab a transfer spot in your heat. Then you can worry about the podium.”

“I’ll take a heat win.” He pulled his jersey over his head.

“I’m sure you would, but don’t kill yourself or your bike trying. That track is tricky.”

“No lie. It’s the sand. I got through it on the practice run. I think I might even dig the sand. You can power through it, doing a wheelie half the time.”

Johnny’s eyes grew wide. “Isn’t that dangerous?”

Craige laughed. “Not the most dangerous thing on the track, dude.”

“Go then.” Gavin waved at him. He was the center focus today. They still hadn’t picked up a 250 East racer, so the mechanics fussed over the big 450 bike. The head mechanic, Joe Fischer, got on the back of the bike, riding behind Craige as they made their way through the pit area and up to the back of the stadium. The bikes would be entering and exiting the track through the tunnels below the stadium. It made for an easy in and out. Gavin liked their setup and hoped they’d be back here again next season. They hadn’t raced in Tampa in a few years. The hot and humid weather in Central Florida made them sweaty and sticky. “You want to go watch his qualifying match or—”

“Or go back to the hotel?”

Gavin hugged him tighter. “No, stay here with me.”

“I am. Ugh. Don’t squeeze so hard.”

Gavin let up on the hold and then kissed the side of his head again.

Lynn MIchaels Logo

Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. When she’s not writing she’s kayaking, hanging with her husband, or reading by the pool. Lynn writes Male/Male romance because she believes everyone deserves a happy ending and the dynamics of male characters can be intriguing, vulnerable, and exciting. She has both contemporary and paranormal titles and has been writing since 2014. Her stories don’t follow any set guidelines or ideas, but come from her heart and contain love in many forms.

Website: https://rubiconwriting.com/lynn-michaels/

Lynn’s Loonie Bin – Facebook Readers Group: http://bit.ly/LooneyBinonFacebook

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sljasble

Amazon: http://bit.ly/LynnOnAmazon

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/LynnMichaelsonBB

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lynnmichaels69/

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Don’t Miss Out On the Blog Tour for Behind the Stick, The Speakeasy #3 by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Behind the Stick, The Speakeasy #3

Author: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Release Date: August 20, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary, MM, Romance, Interracial, Erotic Romance

Trope/s: Bad Breakup, Hurt/Comfort, Interracial Relationship, Sex Buddies Become Lovers, Found Family 

Themes: Family, Friendship, Family Conflict, Racial Intolerance, Forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length: 97 045 words/370 pages

Add on Goodreads

 

 

Blurb 

Kyle McKee lives a charmed life. He co-owns Under, an uptown speakeasy, where he is chief mixologist. Friends poke fun at Kyle’s tiny one-bed apartment in Chelsea, but they’re the best support system a man could ask for. Unfortunately, Kyle’s lackluster love life has led him to take a break from dating.

Harlem resident Luka Clarke is a lieutenant with Engine 47, the Pride of Morningside, where he carries on his father’s legacy with the FDNY. Luka, who is mixed race and bisexual, has his eye on Kyle, whom he met at a local burger joint and he just needs to make time to visit Kyle’s bar.

Before work one evening, Kyle is trapped inside the luncheonette when a fire breaks out. Luka’s firehouse answers the call and he connects with Kyle again under the most unexpected of circumstances. When Kyle gratefully invites Luka and the firehouse squad to Under, the flirting between the two men leads to a date.

Kyle and Luka quickly grow close, but Luka’s mother and sister distrust Kyle for being both white and gay. Luka believes his family will come around and accept Kyle in the end, but Kyle is not optimistic and hides his disquiet as attraction blossoms into love.

Kyle and Luka’s near-idyllic bubble is shattered one evening after a hate crime leaves them scarred, inside and out. Shaken, they put on a strong front but struggle inwardly against fear and personal demons. As the emotions seething beneath the surface finally come to a head, both men must decide if they have the strength to find love enough to conquer hate.

Reader advisory: This book contains references to non-nurturing parenting; homophobia; racism and racist slurs. There are references to recreational drug use. This book also contains scenes of mmmm ménage and characters caught in fire.

 

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

  B&N  |  Apple  |  Google  |  Kobo

 

Excerpt 

Kyle McKee set down his gym bag and yoga mat and pulled up a seat at his gym’s juice bar. The class he’d taken had warmed his skin and stretched his muscles and joints to their limits. He felt like the world’s most relaxed slab of single New York man, which was good for Kyle’s state of mind. He’d been stressed lately, about his love life in particular. Because damn if every guy he’d been out with in the last two months hadn’t turned out to be a shitheel of epic proportions. So much so, Kyle had decided to stop dating entirely.

Eyes closed, Kyle forced away thoughts of dating catastrophes. He rolled his neck from side to side but peeled his lids open again when the chair on his left slid back and his friend Malcolm Elliot dropped into the seat. Malcolm gave Kyle a lazy grin. At six-three, he stood a few inches taller than Kyle, and he looked rosy-cheeked and loose limbed, his blue-gray eyes shining.

“I am a man-sized untwisted pretzel,” Malcolm said. “I’m not sure what that means, so don’t ask.”

“You’re yoga-stoned, dude.” Kyle smiled at Malcolm’s laugh.

“Is that a thing?”

“Totally a thing.”

Malcolm narrowed his eyes at Kyle. “You’re the one with the bloodshot eyes—what did you do after class?”

“Ugh, nothing but itch from allergies. Ragweed is my kryptonite.” Kyle pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers, then nodded at the menu on the wall behind the counter. “What are you drinking?”

“I’ll do a Kale Storm with protein,” Malcolm said.

Kyle held up a hand when Malcolm reached for his wallet. “I’ll grab these—you paid last week.” He smiled at the barista who’d stepped up to take their order. “A Kale Storm with a protein powder shot and a Peanut Butter Baby with chia, please. You headed home after this?” he asked Malcolm.

Malcolm shook his head. “I’ve got errands to run. My kitchen has mysteriously emptied itself of food since my brother and his girlfriend came back to town. What about you?”

“I’m opening tonight, so I’ll just head to the bar. I have extra clothes at the office I can change into.” Kyle co-owned a speakeasy called Under with his friend Jesse Murtagh and, while he loved his job, the commute uptown from Chelsea to Morningside Heights could be a pain in the ass. He welcomed the option to skip extra stops when he could.

Malcolm ran his gaze over Kyle’s gray Henley and dark jeans. “You could always serve in what you’re wearing, you know. You’d blow Jesse’s mind.”

Kyle covered a theatrical gasp with one hand. “I would never!” His preference for black or dark gray clothing while working was a source of gentle teasing among his friends. “Seriously, I don’t feel like I’m working unless I’ve got my blacks on. I’ve done it for so long it’s just part of how I do my job.”

 

About the Authors

K. Evan Coles

K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

K.’s books explore LGBTQ+ romance in contemporary settings.

 

K. Evan Coles

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Brigham Vaughn

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga.  She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

Her books range from short stories to novellas. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.

 

Brigham Vaughn

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

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Newsletter 

Facebook Author Page 

Fan Group (Brigham’s Book Nerds) 

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Giveaway 

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Check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

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Review Tour and Giveaway for Kaden (Boyfriend for Hire #2) by RJ Scott & Meredith Russell

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link – Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited.

Length: 43,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Boyfriend For Hire Series
 
Book #1 – Darcy – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
 
Blurb



When the lines between pretense and reality blur, can the actor and the boyfriend-for-hire discover something real?


Ryan Levesque is Hollywood’s newest blue eyed boy. Moving from soap operas to the big screen has paid off for the kid from Minnesota, and he’s hot property. But, when a video from the lowest point of his past is shared on social media everything begins to unravel and old hurts resurface. His agent suggests a way out of the mess, and he jumps at the chance to make things right by pretending he’s in a committed, loving relationship with the tall, dark, sexy boyfriend for hire, Kaden. Only, he never counted on the impact Kaden would have on his life, or his career.


When Kaden Moore’s next assignment lands in his lap, he’s expecting nothing more than a self-centered celebrity who’s messed up. Kaden’s new role is that of Hollywood A-lister Ryan Levesque’s boyfriend, a PR stunt concocted by his agents to restore the actor’s dented popularity. Kaden is aware of the video that surfaced from Ryan’s past, and though it raises questions about what kind of man Ryan is, it’s not any of Kaden’s business. Kaden has been pretending his entire life, and knows he can show the troublesome actor a thing or two about the world beyond the Hollywood bubble. But maybe Kaden isn’t as clued up as he thinks, especially when it comes to the heart and love.

 

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.


RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.


The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing. Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.

 

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Love a Little Suspense with Your Romance? Check Out the Release Blitz for Kept in the Dark (Locke and Keyes Agency #1) by Charlie Cochet (excerpt and giveaway)

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Kept in the Dark

Locke and Keyes Agency Series, Book 1

Charlie Cochet

Gay Romantic Suspense

Release Date: 08.20.19

Blurb

Former Army Ranger turned government assassin Álvaro Montero and CIA Officer Caiden Cardosa crossed paths two years ago in Vienna, where their encounter ended less than amicably—despite the explosive sexual chemistry between them.

Now Caiden is riding a desk at Langley after his cover is blown. And Álvaro—who was “killed”—has a new identity and purpose as Delta/D, an operative for the Locke and Keyes Agency, under the leadership of the mysterious Alpha Orion.

When D and Caiden team up in a deadly black ops mission, the urge to kill each other will have to take a back seat to the desire for revenge against the man who betrayed them both. Surviving the mission won’t be easy. Resisting the passion between them—that might be impossible.

Universal Link: http://getbook.at/KeptInTheDark

Kept in the Dark 2Kept in the Dark 1

Excerpt

“You don’t need to be a designer to know how not to decorate your house,” D said, scowling at the vintage floral loveseat across from the blue velvet couch. “I think my grandmother had a couch like that. Except it was vacuum sealed in plastic. Nothing like sitting on a plastic-lined couch in the summer with no AC.”

Caiden gasped. “Wait, you had a grandmother?”

“Have. Yes.”

“Which means you had a mother.”

“Have a mother. Yes.” D squinted at him.

“Where are you going with this?”

“Well, damn.”

“What?”

Caiden shrugged. “I was under the impression you emerged from the darkness below. Clawing yourself out from the dirt, like a zombie or a great evil that’s come back to life after a misguided loved one buried you in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.”

D didn’t appear impressed. “Funny.”

“What does the Dark Lord look like?” Caiden asked, moving to inspect one of the pillars between two bookcases. “Was he like Tim Curry in Legend or sexy and British like Tom Ellis in Lucifer?”

“He was your height, blondish hair, with green eyes. A mouthy motherfucker who never shut up because he was a smart little shit who thought he knew everything.”

“Wow. That’s pretty specific.” Caiden nodded, removing his tablet from inside his messenger bag. “A mouthy motherfucker and a smart little shit. Sounds like an interesting guy.”

“Sounds like a certain pain in my ass,” D hissed from behind him.

Charlie Cochet is the international bestselling author of the THIRDS series. Born in Cuba and raised in the US, Charlie enjoys the best of both worlds, from her daily Cuban latte to her passion for classic rock.

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found devouring a book, releasing her creativity through art, or binge watching a new TV series. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website: www.charliecochet.com

Email: charlie@charliecochet.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliecochet

Twitter: @charliecochet

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THIRDS HQ: www.thirdshq.com

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Follow Charlie on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/charliecochet

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A MelanieM Review: Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) by Avon Gale

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.

After spending years guilt ridden for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.

Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

With each new novel in the Scoring Chances series I’m finding myself saying “oh, this is now my favorite story and couple”.  Because this series just keeps getting better and better.

Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) by Avon Gale switches the focus of the series over to the hapless Spartanburg Spitfires, previously mentioned as the worst team in the ECHL, the one you didn’t want to be traded to.  Now it’s undergoing a radical change with a new coach and assistant coach team brought in by it’s owner and GM Max to light a fire and shake things up.  What better way then to team two men to coach together that were featured in one of the most notorious hockey injuries in recent memory?

However, under that powderkeg of a idea and storyline, lies a layered duo and a terrific plot. Misha Samarin, the demonized player (unfairly) in this scenario has since then logged many years both as a NHL player and minor league coach.  He’s earned this spot and respect.  The many dimensions to his personalities that will be plumbed during this story, not only through his interactions with Max and their shared accident and growing romance, but also through a player in the Spitfire team with a shared background.  I really connected with Misha and adored this man utterly.   He’s complex, intelligent, and amazing.  Then Gale pairs him with Max, who’s career as a player was finished by their shared accident on ice while Misha’s continued.  Max has had to rebuild and retool, his goals, his life…and the result is unexpectedly optimistic and charming.  While others might be bitter, Max is forward thinking and positive in his outlook, something that astonishes the Russian, who doesn’t expect forgiveness.

The dynamics and the chemistry between Max and Misha is electrifying.  For that alone, buy this book.  Then comes the hockey and this sad sack bunch that becomes a real cohesive hockey team under the guidance and leadership of these two men. It feels real, and authentic, and wow, do you start to cheer for them all.  Trust me, you’ll be picturing these games in your head and screaming and cheering them on…go Spitfires go.  Even that smarmy Belsy of a GM turns out to have layers….

Then there’s s Isaac Drake, goalie of the Spitfires.  He will win your heart too.  Just a complex character (ok he’s a goalie) and he is getting his own story too.  So worthy of it.

But I can’t help that it’s the Russians that continue to capture my heart.   Here it’s Mikhail ‘Misha’ Samarin who takes the honors.  With that haunted past, reserved manner, intelligence, and yes, humor, I’m addicted to him.  It doesn’t take long,  It didn’t for Max.  And it won’t for anyone picking up this story.

Love contemporary romance?  Whether you love hockey or not, this one is for you. Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) by Avon Gale is well written, beautifully plotted, full of amazing characters and with a sexy, hot romance and great action on ice to boot.  Grab this and the entire series up for a reading experience guaranteed to stay with you!

Cover art: Aaron Anderson.  What that cover might surprise some people, those who love hockey know that the coaches wear suits as do the players coming into the area.  They look sharp and that suit projects the right powerful image i would expect of Misha Samarin.  excellent all around.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published May 9th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Power Play
ISBN 163477244X (ISBN13: 9781634772440)
Edition Language English
Series Scoring Chances #3
setting South Carolina (United States)

Scoring Chances Series

Breakaway

Save of the Game

Power Play

Overtime

Empty Net

Coach’s Challenge

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Broken News by Sara Dobie Bauer

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This book features a crime boss, Eric West, and the prostitute he falls in love with: Will, aka Simon Gladby, freelance reporter working undercover to get the goods on Eric. Neither are the sort of heroes I’d expect to meet in the pages of a romance, yet this story shows that even these men can find love.

I enjoy this author’s work, primarily because of her writing style and ability to build interesting characters and tell a complex story. This was indeed a complex story but there were quite a few situations and actions that were difficult for me to believe and embrace, hence the lower rating. The characters, including secondary, were many and varied. Among those, I disliked Melanie, Eric’s wife, but I believe that was the author’s intention. I thoroughly disliked Selena, editor-and-chief of the large newspaper Simon aspires to work for as a featured reporter. Her stereotypical badass boss role fell flat for me. I couldn’t accept her reasoning behind Simon’s actions in getting the story, nor her threats to destroy him if he didn’t keep doing the undercover work. On the other hand, I liked the other principal female character, Will’s friend and owner of the brothel, Catherine. That woman had a many-faceted personality and meshed well with others in all her roles. Rob, Eric’s second in command, was an interesting character with a strong personality.

The main character, Simon, aka Will, was okay, but unfortunately, I didn’t warm to him, especially when his real personality as Simon was on page, front and center. I couldn’t get behind his love for Eric at all. Having sex with Eric was a job. At least, that’s what he said and repeated when asked. And even when he finally expressed his love, he didn’t feel three dimensional to me. But Eric, the crime boss? My favorite character of all. And I didn’t want to like him, never mind love him. From his background to his present role as head of the organization, he had so many flaws, but he was honest in how much he cared about Will right from the beginning. The oddities in the circumstances of how the final stages of the story worked out were overlooked as I worked my way to the HEA because, after all, Eric needed his redemption. 

I recommend this to those who love a bad guy turned good, age gap, and lots of shooting and underhanded action.

The cover by Sara Dobie Bauer features a cute young man in a suit against a background representing a big city—perfect for the story.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition
Expected publication: August 22nd 2019
ASINB07WG3ST8G
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Forever Nine by Kris T. Bethke

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When Jesse Reid needs emergency surgery, he calls his neighbor to come pick him up instead of one of his many family members. As the youngest of nine, Jesse is used to feeling like a leftover, and he doesn’t need their coddling.

Holden McRae is a big, beautiful man, everything Jesse wants. But Holden has made it clear he doesn’t want Jesse as a submissive.

Under the influence of Holden’s care, Jesse becomes bolder and makes Holden see what he’s been missing. The two men’s interests line up, and the attraction that has always been there is something they can finally act on. As Jesse heals, he shares parts of his life with Holden, and Holden helps him see he’s so much more than #9. Their love might not be the most conventional, but maybe it’s exactly what both men need.

This was a nice short story.  Jesse is tired of being the afterthought with his family and is overwhelmed by them so he calls Holden from the hospital.  Holden has denied his attraction to Jesse for years but their forced closeness breaks through his barriers.

I felt for Jesse with his family and was so glad that Holden stood up for him with his family which helped him to learn some more about his brothers but also help get his thoughts across to them.  Holden seems basically scared of throwing Jesse into the BDSM deep end but Jesse has been curious for years.  I don’t know I think they jumped into some things a bit quick and Jesse had a hard time saying what he wanted which made Holden have to assume.  I’m not sure there was something wrong with the story but it just didn’t click or work for me.

I think the cover art by Written Ink Designs is a nice picture of Jesse.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 83 pages

Published: July 20, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634869454

Edition Language: English