In The Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:Counter Culture by JL Merrow.

Standard

Counter Culture by J.L. Merrow

Riptide Publishing
Published November 4th 2019

Cover Art: LC Chase

Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing | Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo

 

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today to celebrate the release of my new rom-com, Counter Culture, which features a clash of cultures between a socially conscious steampunk and a stressed-out department store retail worker.

About Counter Culture

Customer service has never been this personal.

Robin Christopher, beleaguered retail worker, isn’t having an easy November. His boss is raising stress levels planning a Black Friday to end all Black Fridays, his family doesn’t understand him, and his best friend thinks his new crush is a hallucination brought on by watching too many episodes of Doctor Who.

Archie Levine dresses in Victorian style and divides his time between caring for his young son and creating weird and wacky steampunk gadgets from bits of old junk—when he’s not looking after his mum and trying to keep on good terms with his ex. The last thing he’s got time for is a relationship, but the flustered young man he met while disembowelling a fridge is proving very tempting.

When his mum’s social conscience is roused by a local store with a cavalier attitude to the homeless, former rough sleeper Archie shares her anger. Little does he know that Robin works for that same store. When Archie finds out he’s sleeping with the enemy, things could cut up very rough indeed.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

 

 

About JL Merrow

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. 

She writes (mostly) contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Two of her novels have won Rainbow Awards for Romantic Comedy (Slam!, 2013 and Spun!, 2017) and several of her books have been EPIC Awards finalists, including Muscling Through, Relief Valve (the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) and To Love a Traitor.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Crime Writers Association, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: https://jlmerrow.com/, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

 

 

Giveaway

To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $10 gift card to Riptide. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 9, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info! 

Cover Reveal for Unbreakable (a Heaven and Hell Club prequel) by Colette Davison

Standard

 

 

 

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: Unbreakable (a Heaven and Hell Club prequel)

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Independently published

Cover Artist: Colette Davison

Release Date: November 14, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Fake boyfriend

Themes: Self-belief, stronger together, faithfulness, friendship

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 65 000 words

It’s a prequel to Broken, but can be read as a standalone.

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |   Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 

From fake, to real, to unbreakable.

Blurb

Mac’s life isn’t perfect, but he likes it the way it is: safe and predictable.

Mac works in a struggling pole dancing club at night, and a gym during the day. He’s tired and cash strapped, but content, until a confident twink walks into the club and turns his life upside down. It’s hard to resist when Russel asks him to be his fake boyfriend for one night, in return for double his normal take-home pay.

One date turns into more, as Mac helps Russel get an exclusive that will secure him the job he’s always wanted. But the rich playboy who holds Russel’s career in his hands isn’t going to give him the scoop so easily.

As Mac and Russel spend more time together, the lines between fake and real begin to get blurred, but can their relationship become strong enough to be unbreakable in the face of adversity?

 Unbreakable is a fake boyfriend MM romance, with a buff pole dancer who swears like a trooper, a twink who likes to take charge, some spanking, light bondage, and a happy ever after. It’s a prequel story to Broken, but can be read as a standalone romance.

 

Excerpt 

“I’ve been invited to a very exclusive party on Saturday, but it’s couples only. And, horror of horrors, I can’t find a date.”

Mac laughed loudly. “So you thought you’d ask me?”

Russel shrugged in an attempt to appear nonplussed. “Why not? You’re sexy and we’d make a hot couple.” He flicked his gaze up and down Mac’s body. “You do have some nice clothes, don’t you?” When Mac’s eyes widened, he shook his head. “Never mind. I can take you shopping.”

Mac put his hands on his hips, shaking his head. “You can’t be serious?”

“Handsome, I’m deadly serious.”

“Let me get this straight: you want me—a total stranger—to be your date for some posh party?”

Russel nodded. “That about sums it up.” He wagged his finger. “Except you need to pretend to be my boyfriend. Like I said, it’s couples only.”

Mac stared at him, jaw slack and eyes wide.

“I’ll pay you.”

Mac jerked his chin up a little. “Huh.”

“Whatever you’d earn here on a Saturday night, I’ll double it.”

“You know I could just give you some bullshit figure, right?”

Russel nodded. “I’m aware.”

Mac scratched his chin. “You’re nuts and your time’s pretty much up.”

Russel took thirty pounds out of his pocket, stood, and put it in the money jar on Mac’s behalf. “Now I’ve got three more minutes.” He sat down again. “So, are you going to pretend to be my boyfriend on Saturday night, or are you going to make me beg?”

“You really are serious, aren’t you?”

“Yes.”

Mac threw his hands up. “What the hell. Why not? It could be a laugh.”

 

About the Author 

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

 

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Facebook Group: Colette’s Cosy Corner

BookBub

Goodreads

Instagram

Mailing List

 

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

A Stella Review: Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds by Kris T. Bethke

Standard

RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Will Grant only attends the PFLAG meeting because his mother guilts him into it. But the instant he hears the night’s speaker, Will is glad he showed up. Joshua Rhinehardt is dynamic and engaging. Although Joshua isn’t physically Will’s type, Will can’t get the man out of his head.

Joshua may be comfortable in his own skin, but it isn’t often men like Will are attracted to him, and he’s not comfortable changing for someone else. He wants to make a life with Will, but his own insecurities keep getting in the way.

Will’s unwavering acceptance helps Joshua see that when two people connect, physical appearance just might not matter at all.

I loved this  story, I already read other titles by this author and always had a good time with them. Pumpkin Rolls and Porn Sounds is a very sweet and lovely short, Will and Joshua are two young men interesting, busy with their jobs, but ready to be supportive and active with PFLAG meetings. They meet and soon something strong seems to be born between them, but Joshua wants to take his time to know Will, especially since he’s not the exactly Will’s type.

I liked the pace of the story, the narration wasn’t rushed as often happens with titles short like this one. I fully enjoyed the amazing characters, their times together. I loved how both Will and Joshua felt real to me, with their dreams, but most of all with their insecurities and fault.

I feel to recommend this story by Kris T. Bethke, it’s easy and simple, a joy to read.

The cover art by lovely and fitting, I like it a lot

SALE LINKS JMS Books LLC | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 53 pages

Published September 21st 2019 by JMS Books LLC (first published February 11th 2015)

ASIN B07XLZQ4R7

Edition Language English

A Lucy Review: Irises in the Snow by Isabelle Adler

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

It’s Christmas, and Justin’s life is fraying at the edges. The family business he took over instead of going to art school is bleeding money, and his boyfriend of seven months cheated on him. Under these circumstances, family gatherings can be rough, but Justin believes he has everything under control. That is, until Elliot, his former best friend (and the first guy to ever break his heart) unexpectedly shows up at the holiday dinner party.

With both of them still nursing the wounds of the past, it might take a real Christmas miracle for Justin and Elliot to learn to appreciate the art of second chances.

Justin is the best of sons, to the detriment of himself sometimes.  He has been trying his best to make his family’s hardware store a success but the arrival of a Big Box store (Tool Depot) just a little way from their store has hit the finances hard.  He doesn’t want to spoil the holidays so he puts on his best faux happy face. Add into this his boyfriend Mark was caught “I literally walked in on you with your pants around your ankles and some guy’s mouth around your d**k” and, well, it’s a rough holiday season.

For the icing on the cake he walks into his parent’s holiday dinner to find Elliot, the boy who had been his best friend and the man who had broken his heart, is there on visit from California, where he runs a successful art gallery.  He and Justin were supposed to go to art school together but when Justin’s father was diagnosed with cancer Justin stayed and Elliott left.

I was thoroughly in like with Justin but Elliott brought my rating down somewhat.  I understand continuing to follow your dream even when your boyfriend can’t, but to cut him off completely?  If nothing else, they had been best friends for years and Justin deserved better.  “It was selfish of me, I know.  I got everything I wanted, and I took it.”   I get that, but “You never called or responded to any of my messages. You ignored me on social media…”  He did that on purpose, “I thought it’d be easier that way…I figured at some point you’d give up.”  Do you do that to a friend?  Even if you want out of the romantic angle, do you just cut off your best friend who’s father is going through cancer treatment? When Elliott’s parents are killed in an accident and Justin tries to reach out, again, “The truth is, I was avoiding you.”  I’m not sure how we are supposed to view Elliott but I’ll be honest – I thought Justin deserved to be treated better.   

I very much appreciated they didn’t fall immediately into bed and the magic penis solved all problems.  The ex-boyfriend showing up helped with that but Justin himself didn’t think it was the best idea and I agreed. Elliott’s ham-handed attempt at a second chance just made me want to shake him.  “Mark’s betrayal had stung but this breach of trust cut so much deeper.” I am a fan of second chance stories and I was very glad Justin gets to have his HEA but I’m never going to be a fangirl of Elliott. 

This is a new author for me and I enjoyed the writing very much.  Characters were well fleshed out, even given the short length of the story (74 pages).  The connection between the story and the title was perfection.

The cover by Natasha Snow, two men facing each other as background to a single vibrant iris, fits the story perfectly.

Sales Links:

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

Book Details:

ebook
Published November 4th 2019 by Nine Star Press
ISBN 139781951057695
URL https://ninestarpress.com/product/irises-in-the-snow/

A Lila Review: About Time by Carol Holland March

Standard

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Lou is married, in the closet, and facing bankruptcy in Carmel, California. It’s Christmas Eve and he must sell his house to pay his debts while he tries to cope with the mysterious voice in his head telling him it’s time to go home. He has no idea what that means, but he’s pretty sure the voice is a symptom of stress. His wife has left him for her longtime lover and when he goes to his favorite bar on Christmas Eve, all he’s hoping for is a friendly face to help him forget his problems.

About Time is a mix-match short story. The premise was interesting, even the pickup scene at the bar seemed promising. But in the end, this wasn’t enough to carry the book.

I had a hard trying to connect with Lou to begin with. I like his hesitation and enjoyed George persistence.

In the end, it lacks a cohesive plot with relatable characters. The fantasy part has no explanation for many details, including what changes after Lou’s return home. In the end, it was disappointing.

The cover by Written Ink Designs has some elements from the story, buy it felt too juvenile.

Sale Links: JMSAmazon | Nook

Book Details:
ebook, 100 pages
ISBN: 9781646561360
Published: October 9, 2019, by JMS Books
Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Rules to Break (Davey’s Rules #2) by Susan Hawke

Standard

Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Davey’s Rule #91: Daddy never loses faith in his boy.

 

Bryan Miller is satisfied with his uncomplicated life. He’s a discipline Daddy who’s not in the market for any kind of permanent relationship. And why should he be? Like the waves he surfs in the small beach town he calls home, there’s always another body available to warm his bed when he tires of the current flavor of the week.

Preston Wallace is a snotty rich brat with enough attitude to keep all the Daddies from giving him a chance. He gets it… people are jealous of him for being rich, hot, and fit. It would take a strong Daddy to take him in hand.

A casual conversation on the night of Preston’s twenty-fifth birthday ties these two stubborn men together in a bet right out of the musical My Fair Lady. Can Daddy Bryan turn the obnoxious brat into a dateable boy within a ninety-day timeframe?

Strap in for a roller-coaster of emotions as Bryan takes firm control of a brat who might just need to know someone cares enough to try.

This is the second book in this series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Grab your fan and tissues because this series comes with both a high heat advisory and all the squishy feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book. Possible trigger for the death a background character.

I have mixed emotions about this book, I was glad that we were able to see Preston as an actual person and learn about him but I felt that he just continued to feel hurt and not really wanted throughout the book.  Yea he had Daddy Bryan but he knew their “relationship” had an expiration date and that would be the end of it and even though Bryan helped hold him up during their 90 days he always knew it was going to end.

Bryan is a Daddy but not one for relationships.  Preston is a brat but has some people in his corner but as Bryan slowly learns, Preston has learned to wear his attitude as a shield.

I liked that Bryan was able to show Preston that he is worth someone’s time even if it took until the very end of the book for Bryan to realize he was worth his time forever.  I hated seeing Preston just wish and hope for someone to love and care for him and unfortunately his attitude was just a byproduct of how he grew up.  I also got confused on the timeline, I know Preston and Bryan had 90 days in the bet but so much happened in the first week and then a couple weeks later and suddenly they were at the end of their time, I don’t know I just felt like I missed something and was trying to place when things were happening.

The cover art by Cate Ashwood is great and I like the visual of Preston.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 311 pages

Published: September 26, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Davey’s Rules #2

Check Out the Release Blitz for Crossing the Line: A Dirty Angels MC/Blue Avengers MC Crossover by Jeanne St. James (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Crossing the Line: A Dirty Angels MC/Blue Avengers MC Crossover

Author: Jeanne St. James

Publisher: Double-J Romance, Inc.

Cover Artist/Photographer: Golden Czermak of FuriousFotog

Cover Models: Austin Standage & Zach Fox

Release Date: November 2, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Forbidden love, Enemies to Lovers, Gay/Bisexual, MC

Themes: Coming out

Heat Rating: 4 out of 5

Length: 66 450 words / 296  pages

It is a standalone story in the Dirty Angels MC series

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK

 

When the wrong man turns out to be the right one…

Blurb

Nash, a longtime Dirty Angels MC member and lead singer of Dirty Deeds, has a secret. For years, he’s hidden his bisexuality from his brothers, fellow bikers, worried how they’d take the news. But Nash isn’t the only one keeping secrets from his brotherhood. So is Cross, a police officer and member of the Blue Avengers MC.

As opposite as they come, when Cross spots Nash across the bar, he can’t resist the unexpected attraction. Then lines are crossed, boundaries blurred. And they need to survive in two different worlds where men who like other men aren’t usually accepted, and where bikers and cops don’t mix.

Reality and fantasy are two different things. The fantasy being Cross and Nash can be together, that they can make it work. The reality being their situation is impossible. Cross will never give up being a cop. Nash will never give up being a biker. What either of them would have to walk away from is more than anyone should ask for. In the end, fighting reality could be a losing battle in a war they might never win.

Note: A standalone, Crossing the Line is a crossover gay romance involving a member of the Dirty Angels MC and one from the Blue Avengers MC. It includes forbidden love, enemies to lovers, cop vs biker, alpha vs alpha. As with all my books, it has no cliffhanger and an HEA.

 

 

Excerpt 

The man with the long dirty-blond hair, whose name he still did not know, jerked away from him and moved from the bar and through the crowd. Cross saw a few sets of interested eyes following him as he went. He understood that interest because he was feeling it himself.

The man they were watching had long, lean legs which could eat up real estate fast. His hair was a bit shaggy for Cross’s taste and his beard a bit haphazard, but his hazel eyes held a story Cross wanted to hear.

He doubted he’d ever get the chance, but he still wanted a shot at it.

How the man knew he was a cop, Cross didn’t know. He didn’t have a severe haircut like most, nor did he carry an arrogant air. When it came to his job, he tried to be fair. He treated others as he’d want to be treated if he was in their shoes when dealing with an officer of the law.

But the nameless man whose back he watched as he shifted through the crowd, didn’t seem to want to give Cross a chance.

Ignoring his beer, he quickly got to his feet and decided to follow. The more the man refused to give him his name, the more Cross was determined to learn it.

He wasn’t one to give up so easily.

He also wasn’t the one who gave up on his last relationship, his former boyfriend did. Being a cop, he didn’t want the hassle of coming out. Other cops usually didn’t like it when “one of their own” wasn’t quite “one of their own.”

And luckily, his department was one which pretty much stuck to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” so Cross kept that shit to himself.

But Jeff didn’t want to keep their relationship a secret. He didn’t want to go back in the closet. He wanted to go to Cross’s station functions, like the annual Christmas party, as a couple. Or attend their own parties and fundraisers.

He also wanted to ride on the back of Cross’s Harley when the Blue Avengers, the law enforcement MC Cross belonged to, did their monthly runs.

That was never going to happen because things with him and his career would never be the same again. He wanted to make corporal by the end of the year, and he figured if he was outed that might not come to fruition. Excuses could be made why Cross wouldn’t get that fucking promotion, even though he was qualified and had time enough on the job, but Cross would know the truth of why he kept getting passed up.

If Cross had to decide between getting dick and his career, he was choosing the one that would most likely last the longest. All he needed was another fifteen years on the job and he could retire with a nice pension and full bennies.

So why the fuck he was tracking the man who refused to give him his name and who had something against cops, Cross didn’t fucking know.

And even though he knew it wasn’t smart, his feet wouldn’t change direction.

No, instead he pushed out the front door of The Cockpit and into the late fall night. The paved lot was well lit, so he spotted his target immediately moving between two rows of cars.

Cross began to jog. He needed to stop him before he left. It would bug the shit out of him if the guy left before Cross ever got to know his name.

Cross was a detail type of guy. Being a cop, that was important. While he could easily see what vehicle the man got into and run his plate, that would be an abuse of power and if he got caught doing that shit, he could kiss his promotion goodbye.

He caught up with him a few vehicles down from the entrance.

“Wait. Hold up.” Cross reached out to grab his arm and stop him. But the man spun on him, taking a defensive position by planting his feet wide.

Cross stepped back giving them space in case the guy tried to take a swing at him.

“What the fuck do you want?”

This was a bad idea. A really bad fucking idea. Cross should go inside and find someone a lot more willing. But for some reason, he couldn’t let this go. He hadn’t had this strong of a reaction to anyone in a long time, even to Jeff. Which probably was why when Jeff broke it off, Cross didn’t give a shit. Yes, he’d miss the sex, but that was it.

The only time Jeff didn’t bore him was when they were in bed, which was another major problem between the two, as well. Cross should’ve known they were doomed from the start.

Not that Cross was looking for any kind of meaningful relationship with this guy. The one who clearly had a thing against cops, which was a big part of who Cross was. But they didn’t have to discuss their career choices or anything much personal at all.

He simply wanted a name.

 

 

About the Author 

JEANNE ST. JAMES is a USA Today bestselling romance author who loves an alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing. Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages.

Want to read a sample of her work? Download a sampler book here: BookHip.com/MTQQKK

To keep up with her busy release schedule check her website at www.jeannestjames.com

or

sign up for her newsletter: http://www.jeannestjames.com/newslettersignup

 

Social Media Links

Website  |   Facebook  |   Instagram  |   Twitter  

Amazon Author Page  |   Goodreads  |   Newsletter  |   Facebook Readers’ Group

 

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of two ebook copies of Crossing the Line.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Cover Reveal for The Christmas Oaks (Laurel Holidays #1) by V.L. Locey (Giveaway)

Standard

 

 
Release Date: December 4 2019
 

Cover Design: Designs By Sloan

 
Blurb 
 

Can the magic of Christmas, and the soft voice of a man who has seen too much, show Bryan a future where anything is possible?


Bryan Graham is shocked to find he’s inherited a hunting cabin in north-central Pennsylvania. From his grandfather of all people; a stubborn man who went out of his way to make Bryan’s childhood miserable. He’d vowed never to go back to the small, rural community of Kutter’s Summit, not that he didn’t have fond memories of the place. It’s just that he’d rather be celebrating a quiet Christmas back in Nashville with his cat and his contracts.


A couple of weeks of hunting, cleaning, and handyman work, and he can hopefully put the place up for sale and move on with his life. He never expected to find his childhood friend Parson Greer living in the cabin. Parson is no longer a boy, but a handsome, wary man consumed by the demons of a faraway desert war. When a rekindled friendship shifts into something deeper, Bryan finds himself lost in emotions that a workaholic like him has never made time to experience before. 

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.


When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

 
Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : First Priority (Priorities #1) by Este Holland

Standard

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

The blurb sounded very interesting so I looked forward to starting this book. Unfortunately, it fell far short of expectations.  Truman was obnoxious in his haughty conceit and demeanor and by 30% I was ready to DNF. But—and it’s a big but—I wanted to give this new author a chance to show me her work so I went on and, although Truman never became likeable (IMO), he wasn’t quite as bad once I got to know him.  An Oscar-winning actor, former model, and highly sought after bachelor, it’s no wonder Truman thinks he’s hot stuff, so it intrigues him when one of the young men he meets at the “after-Oscar” party isn’t all that impressed.

Yay for Adam. Smart man. And one of the only smart moves he makes in this story. Twenty-seven-year-old Adam suffers from social anxiety and is an introvert. He’s a writer of litRPG books and happens to currently be living with a (mean) stepbrother while his apartment is cleared of mold. Unfortunately, Adam comes across as childish and immature and there’s no way on God’s green earth I can see these two enjoying a date together or time hanging around the house, as they did in the book. It was like watching a shark and his little minnow-sized fish as the shark told the fish how compatible they were and the minnow alternated between nodding his head yes and then swimming away.  In addition, Adam’s character and actions in some situations was OTT fem and teen-girlish. I don’t think the author deliberately intended him to come across that way, since his fem side was never mentioned as such, but I was very put off by his reactions in certain situations since they reminded me of my daughter when she was in her late teens. And, most certainly, they were not the reactions of a twenty-seven-year-old adult man.

The plot consisted mostly of Truman trying to win Adam’s interest and then Truman whisking Adam away once their relationship becomes known in the media so that he can protect Adam, and as a side benefit, get to know him better, and vice versa. They fly to Ireland and boat out to Truman’s private island where they do indeed get to know one another better and the virginal, shy Adam eventually gives Truman what he wants. Because—here on the island is where Truman’s true self shows, and the real, non-actor comes out. This reader wasn’t really impressed. To me, the shark got his minnow and became sold on wanting more and more minnow. In any event, the threat eventually disappears, Adam loves Truman’s home, his extended family in town, and—surprise—Adam loves Truman and Truman loves Adam.  All is HEA in their world.

Sadly, this is not a story I can recommend. Of note: the cover features a bearded handsome man in a white T-shirt with a look of arrogance on his face—one eyebrow raised and an “I am the greatest” look about him. Sums up my opinion of him well, and if I’d seen the cover first, I may not have read the book.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 183 pages
Published October 15th 2019
ASIN B07Z7CVDCN
Series Priorities #1

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Earthquakes (New Amsterdam #4) by Kelly Wyre

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This is the fourth book in the series focusing on Ellis and his crush on one of his customers from the firing range named Bryndon. Previously Ellis seemed enamored with Clark; there is definitely still hero worship involved, complicated by doing BDSM scenes with Clark and his husband, but Ellis knows the difference between what he has and what he wants. He’s decided that he wants Bryn.

I was irritated when Ellis “realizes” he’s in love with Bryn, even though he’s only spoken a few sentences with the guy. Having said that, in the same conversation Daniel was talking to Ellis about Clark, which I loved. So, while the recapping will let you read this as a standalone, it has more emotional impact if you’ve read book one, story 1.1, and book three. Once Clark, Daniel, and Lucien try to help Ellis get noticed by Bryn, their worlds crash together. Bryn’s friend Medea is annoying, but she is also a force of nature as she helps play matchmaker. It’s also nice to have wealthy friends Ellis can borrow a plane from whenever he wants. While this widens the friends as family cast, the focus is on the two main characters. The alternating points of view between Ellis and Bryn actually made me worry for both of them.

Bryn is a ballet dancer with mental health issues. The creepy parts of this are him being haunted by someone who’s dead. He keeps everyone at arm’s length, but Ellis sneaks into his thoughts…and then Ellis ignores all Bryn’s boundaries. Even though he is the submissive, it is Ellis that pushes this whole thing forward. The more the author reveals about Bryn, the less likeable he is to me. At the same time, I see why Ellis wants to save him. His mother has been emotionally abusive his whole life so it’s not any different when Bryn goes home for his father’s funeral, Ellis in tow. Unfortunately, most of this is about Bryn’s revenge on his Mom and a plot twist that seems to have been written to heal Bryn. For me, it all comes down to this: how can Ellis trust Bryn to tie him up, to hurt him? Ellis is basically a saint, but I thought he had a somewhat healthy view of the situation until he agreed to a scene when Bryn was angry, under stress and emotional duress, and had been drinking. This was just a big turn-off for me. I was not convinced that the cathartic release was worth more than having this be safe and sane.

While love will not cure mental illness, it can give a person hope and support. If that had been the focus, I would have enjoyed this more. Complex PTSD would make sense for this character, but the author chose to have Bryn be on antipsychotics. My understanding is that hallucinations can be suppressed, not cured–even his epiphany, his closure, wouldn’t stop real hallucinations that require antipsychotics. In the end, even though there is a happily ever after, it didn’t seem realistic to me. There was no follow-up about the state of Bryn’s mental health, no therapy, no mention of Ellis meeting Bryn’s therapist, no way to know if Bryn was still having hallucinations or still taking medication…the whole thing is just dropped out of the plot. I know this is fiction, and I applaud having mental health issues being represented, but it does a disservice to people if it’s not portrayed accurately or just used as a plot device until it’s no longer needed.

The cover design is by Natasha Snow. It matches the rest of the series with the city view, but this one shows Bryn–dancing, but to me also wrestling with his darkness

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published September 28th 2019 by JMS Books LLC (first published February 29th 2016)
Original Title Earthquakes
ASIN B07Y3TL7XB
Series New Amsterdam #4