A Melanie Release Day Review: (PreRelease Review) Kairos by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Sometimes the best day of your life is the one you never saw coming.

Joe Cohen has devoted the past two years of his life to one thing: the care and feeding of Kade Bosa. His partner in their PI business, roommate, and best friend, Kade is everything to Joe, even if their relationship falls short of what Joe desires most. But he won’t push. Kade has suffered a rough road, and Joe’s pretty sure he’s the only thing holding Kade together.

Estranged from his own family, Joe knows the value of desperately holding on to someone dear, but he never expected his present and past to collide just as Kade’s is doing the same. Now they’ve stumbled across evidence that could change their lives: the impact of Kade’s tragic past, their job partnership, and any future Joe might allow himself to wish for….

Kairos is the greek word for the moment when everything comes together, the right time, an opportunity to have the perfect whatever you are searching for in your life…which is what Mary Calmes’ new book is all about.

Joe Cade fled his family after coming out for a life as a PI in Chicago. However his main focus in life is his partner Kade Bosa, the man he loves in secret and his best friend.  He’s Kade’s support and his family.  Kade’s troubled past is never far away from them in Chicago and their present job is just another link to it.  That it turns into something that alters all their lives irrevocably is something they never could have imagined.

Kairos is another wonderful  convoluted romance from Mary Calmes.  Two smitten partners who don’t let on to each other just how much they love each other, a criminal element, and in this case a lovely young rent boy, Declan, who I hope will get his own book sometime in the near future.

This is pure Mary Calmes, from the characters to the situations.  I loved it and felt right at home from the banter between Joe and Kade to the angst that arrives mid story and the wonderful storylines to come (no spoilers here).  If you’re a Mary Calmes fan, you’ll feel right at home here.

The only thing that troubled me was the quick resolution to the criminal element.  I was sure it was going to play out a little further only to have it end without their needed involvement.  That was sort of a shame.  However the page count should have indicated there just wasn’t room for more.  How I wish this was a larger novel….

If you’re a Mary Calmes fan, then this romance is for you.  Even if you’re new to the author, you’ll enjoy this fast-paced romance, spiced up with a hint of danger, a young rent boy who I hopes gets his own story and two special men who get their own HEA.

Grab up Kairos by Mary Calmes and have a wonderful read.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  Love this cover, unusual and attractive, it caught my eye.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 154 pages
Expected publication: December 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640804975
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: A Timely Gift by Kris T. Bethke

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Sometimes the right gift can be life-changing….

On the solstice, Rory’s grandfather gives him a pocket watch that he claims will have Rory’s life sorted and his problems solved by Christmas. Rory starts out skeptical, but when he reconnects with an ex he never thought he’d see again, he has to admit there might be some holiday magic working after all.

Deacon’s life is in shambles, and he’s returned to Syracuse for a fresh start. Running into Rory again feels like much more than a coincidence, and neither of them can deny the passion between them is still smoldering. With the watch behaving oddly at just the right moments, Rory and Deacon might receive the gift of a lifetime—if they’re willing to accept it.

Another wonderful Advent Stocking Stuffer short story from Dreamspinner Press, A Timely Gift by Kris T. Bethke has a hint of the magical about it while being essentially a second chance at love romance.

After a brief “thing” and separation when one leaves to pursue his dreams across the country, now years later Rory is about to reconnect with his past.  His ex, Deacon returns to town and runs into Rory just when both  need each other the  most.  But is it accident or is it due to Rory’s grandfather’s gift of his mysterious  pocketwatch at the Winter Solstice?

I loved everything about this slow second chance at love story. From Rory’s African Grey parrot Apollo to the injured Deacon and the naturally tender way the men reconnect and fall back into love once more.  The men, the dialogs and dynamics all felt relevant to the ages of the men and their situations.  All so nicely done and expected as I have loved this author’s stories before.

The only element here that felt a little underwhelming was the mystical “pocket watch”.  It honestly didn’t feel all that magical to me. It made a few noises but really seemed underutilized as a story element as was the Winter Solstice connection which wasn’t thoroughly explored.  As a storyline thread it was thin and I wish it was a much larger part of the story to give this a truly holiday feel it deserves.

Still A Timely Gift by Kris T. Bethke is a sweet second chance at love romance, one you won’t want to miss.

Cover Art by Paul Richmond is humorous and lively, just what I expect and want for my Advent Stocking Stuffer cover.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 39 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802995
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers

An Alisa Review: The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Last month, Alex Barrow’s whole life imploded—partner, home, job, all gone in forty-eight hours. But sometimes when everything falls apart, better things appear almost like magic. Now, he’s back in his Michigan hometown, finally opening the bakery he’s always dreamed of. But the pleasure of opening day is nothing compared to the lonely and beautiful man who bewitches Alex before he even orders.

Corbin Wale is a weirdo. At least, that’s what he’s heard his whole life. He knows he’s often in a fantasy world, but the things he feels are very real. And so is the reason why he can never, ever be with Alex Barrow. Even if Alex is everything he’s always fantasized about. Even if maybe, just maybe, Corbin is Alex’s fantasy too.

When Corbin begins working at the bakery, he and Alex can’t deny their connection any longer. As the holiday season works its magic, Alex yearns for the man who seems out of reach. But to be with Alex, Corbin will have to challenge every truth he’s ever known. If his holiday risk pays off, two men from different worlds will get the love they’ve always longed for.

I loved this story, both Corbin and Alex have wanted someone that they needed or that needed them but they either weren’t looking for it or were too scared if it were to happen.  Alex and Corbin first begin with a tentative friendship which builds up to more on both sides but they have to learn how to really open up to each other to risk everything.

Corbin is considered strange but I think he has persevered despite his non-traditional upbringing.  I love the world he has built around him and how he sees the world differently than most.  These things are what initially draw in Alex and he just wants to learn more about this elusive man.

I liked that we got the opportunity to see this story from both characters’ points of view.  We get to see Alex’s open mindedness and
how he doesn’t allow others to influence his life negatively.  I also loved seeing how Corbin’s mind worked, at times it was harder to
follow that others but that was expected but also how he was willing to try and change what could happen in his life despite what he was told as a child.  I loved their support of Alex’s best friend, Gareth, and the support and push they need in return.  I was so happy to see both of these men find their HEA and would love to see a story about Gareth someday.

Cover art by Natasha Snow is wonderful and I love it.

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 237 pages
Published: November 27, 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-62649-692-7
Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Secret Santa by Jay Northcote

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Jay Northcote’s stories get better and better each year.  This one pokes a bit of fun at dating apps, as Luke, who happens to be working as Santa this year while awaiting the start of a new job, spots a guy on his app who seems to be interested in more than just a quick hookup.  But as Luke’s getting older, he’s getting more interested in finding some permanence—a steady relationship with just one man. 

Theo is thrilled that his first foray into the dating world since his son, Archie, was born four years ago seems to be a potential success.  The only problem is that as they were chatting online, Luke made a comment that indicated he didn’t like kids.  So Theo makes a decision that will drive the plot of this story most of the way to the end—he decides not to tell Luke about Archie.  That can wait until later.  If they hit it off, Theo will then explain that he and his high school girlfriend had a child four years ago and they share custody of the sweet little boy. 

I enjoyed this plot bunny and really liked Archie. He wasn’t overly precocious.  He was just a sweet little fellow.  And when Theo takes his little guy to the mall to visit Santa, Theo is impressed that Santa seems to really like working with the kids.  On the flip side, Luke is shocked when the little boy who comes to see him happens to be accompanied by a gorgeous daddy—Theo!   Luke decides not to tell Theo who he is, thinking he’d wait until their first real date and Theo would share all about his son.  But the more time that goes by, the deeper both men get into the lies and when Archie convinces his daddy to come back to see Santa two more times, Luke starts to get really angry with Theo. 

How this resolves is fun and interesting and just adds to the overall joy of the holiday season.  A very light and uplifting story, with the implied moral of being truthful (even on dating apps!), I found it very difficult to put this down and literally consumed it as fast as a box of chocolates.  It was just as delicious, and I highly recommend it to all lovers of stories of men with children, seasonal romances, and of course, a very happy ending. 

~~~~~

Cover art by Garrett Leigh features a handsome, bearded young man, no doubt representing Luke. Though there is a Santa hat on the page, the cover doesn’t feature a lot of holiday glitter—a good thing in my opinion. 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 150 pages
Published November 24th 2017 by Jaybird Press
ASINB077MKNWD1
Edition LanguageEnglish

Tour for An Unlocked Mind (Secrets #2) by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams (Author Interview, Teasers, and Giveaway)

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Title: An Unlocked Mind
Series: Secrets Book #2
Author: K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
Genre: M/M Romance Light BDSM

Release Date: December 11, 2017 

Scattered  Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with K.C. Wells & Parker Williams

  • As you write as a team, what happens with a story?  Does one of you come up with an idea or both?

We each come up with story ideas, then we run them by our betas to see which gets their thumbs up. In our current series, we ran eight ideas by them. Five got a green light, so those are the ones we’ll concentrate on first.

  • With sequels, do you already know where the series is going (plotting it out) or pantzing it?  You throw ideas at each other and see what happens?

KC is an epic plotter. I’m a pantser. We mesh our styles by doing a little of each. In this series, it’s more pantsing, but there are plotting elements as well, since the stories do interconnect.

  • Bdsm is a reoccurring theme/element in many of your stories….why?  Other than you find it sexy of course….

Well, finding it sexy is definitely a plus. But there’s also the stories where the men take care of one another. At the core, our stories are more love with a little BDSM. And yeah, it’s sexy.

  • Did each of you write a character here or is it a combined effort?

Definitely a combined effort. As the stories take place in London, KC is the one who has the say in what we do/don’t do. I trust her judgment and let her lead where we’re going to go with it.

  • What are your favorite things about this story?

Mine personally? Rob. I have wanted a story for him ever since I read An Unlocked Heart. At his core, Rob was mean and sneaky and…vulnerable. I saw flaws in him. When we started Secrets, KC said we could do a story for him, and I was all over that!

  • What grabs at your hearts about your own characters?  What “human flaws” do you find the hardest to write about and the easiest?  If there is such a thing.

No one liked Rob. He didn’t deserve it. We like taking a person who seemingly had no redeemable qualities and making him into something that people didn’t expect. One blogger who reviewed it said she hated Rob going in, and it took her a long time to change her mind. We love our flawed characters, because there is so much of a chance to build them back up.

  • What’s next in the series?

The next book in the series, Threepeat, will be something I’ve never done before. It’s a ménage story, with two Doms who take in a young man they found on the streets. Aaron and Sam show up in books one and two, and now it’s their turn to get a story. Tim, the guy Aaron finds on the street, will fall in love with them before he finds out that there used to be three men in the relationship…

The really weird thing about this book? We both had the same idea for it…on the same day. No, really… And when you know that Parker doesn’t write ménage, that makes it all the weirder…

  • What’s next for each of you as writers?

I submitted a book called ‘Lincoln’s Park’ to Dreamspinner. It’s about a guy who owns a diner and the guy he hires as a server. It starts out as business, but becomes something more, thanks to the machinations of their friend. This one also has light BDSM elements, but they should be fun. (Think Noel wearing a sex toy while he’s working…)

And KC submitted her first ever murder mystery, Truth Will Out. We’re both waiting to hear!

Rob Daniels is determined to prove to himself that his brother Alex got it wrong. Alex believes he found love through BDSM; Rob is certain that’s not possible. He even makes several visits to a London club to prove his point. But when he attends the grand opening of Secrets, Rob gets a shock, one that has him fleeing, vowing never to return—until he does… and runs into the brick wall that is Dom Vic Prentiss. As first meetings go, theirs is a disaster.

The more time he spends around Rob, the more convinced Vic becomes of two things—one, something is eating away at Rob, and two, he’s looking for something. Every instinct tells Vic to help him, but trying to unlock the secrets hidden in Rob’s mind requires a key. All Vic has to do is find it. Because maybe then he’ll get to see the real Rob, the man who’s scared to let go….

 

K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.

She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.


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Book Tour for Ghoulish by Kat Bellamy (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Ghoulish

Author: Kat Bellamy

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Self-made

Length: 332 pages

Release Date: October 22, 2017

Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, MM fiction

There is an HFN ending, but the book is the first in a continuing series.

 The next book will be available for review January, 2018.

Blurb

Colt Jager never knew what happened to the parents who abandoned him, and he never cared–until he inherited their ghoulish secret.

Raised as a human who had no idea he was anything but a blue-collar construction worker until the night of his 25th birthday, Colt finds it hard to adjust to life in the Kinship, a hidden world woven discreetly into human society.

After a grisly encounter with his true nature, Colt meets a family of human-friendly ghouls who teach him that there’s a way to be inhuman without being inhumane. But things get complicated when he realizes that the “wolf attack” responsible for killing his boyfriend’s brother was actually committed by a ghoul on the hunt.

When an elite family of especially monstrous ghouls called Alphas threatens the man he loves, Colt will have to lie to Jason to keep him safe. Can a predator ever truly be a hero, or will the man he loves become his prey?

 

 

Buy Links ~ Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads Link

Excerpt

“You could help people lots of ways. I just don’t see why you have to pick the one that could get you killed.”

“I’ll be pushing papers for the DA, not infiltrating a crystal meth ring,” Jason shot back.

The argument had been brewing for some time, and Colt knew that he didn’t stand a shot at winning now that they’d finally gotten around to it, but he could hardly take the news that his boyfriend had just signed up for the most dangerous job in the city sitting down.

“And what happens if some psycho gets pissed at your boss for putting him in jail and you get caught in the crossfire?”

“Then I’ll have a hard time holding water.”

“I’m glad you find this so funny.”

“Colt,” Jason pleaded, taking Colt’s face in his hands. “It was a joke.”

“I guess I just don’t find the very real possibility of losing you all that funny.”

Jason’s face fell. “I’m sorry,” he said softly. “But I can’t give up on my dream. Not even for you.”

Colt clenched his jaw. “Why is this so important to you? Why does it have to be this field?”

Jason settled back against the couch with a heavy sigh. “You remember how it was when Luca was killed. We all spent months reeling, grasping for something to make sense of what happened. I’d listen to my dad reaming out Fish and Wildlife reps for hours on end, demanding reports and explanations for how a lone wolf in an area where there wasn’t supposed to be anything other than coyotes and fisher cats just showed up and killed his son. It made no sense, and we desperately needed it to, even though we knew logic wouldn’t bring him back. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized there are some things in this world you just can’t make sense of. Things that you can’t explain no matter how hard you try, and even if you could, it wouldn’t change anything. But there are tragedies that can be explained, and there are families out there who suffer needlessly until someone finds the answers. I want to be one of the people who finds those answers, Colt. I don’t want anyone else to feel the way my family did if it can be helped.”

Colt’s stomach churned as Jason spoke. The conviction in Jason’s voice alone was enough to soften his anger, but more than that, it was the doubt it caused in Colt that unsettled him.

What if it hadn’t been a wolf that attacked Luca, after all? Colt had never questioned the official narrative as a preteen, but knowing what he knew now as an adult, “animal attack” rang as nothing more than a callous euphemism. If one of his own kind had killed Luca, keeping this secret about his own identity was more than just a lie. It was a betrayal.

“Please tell me you understand,” Jason said, searching Colt’s face.

“I do.” Colt cleared his throat. “I’m not gonna pretend like I’m happy about it, but I get it. If this is what you want, I won’t try to stop you, but I am going to ask you to be careful.”

Jason smiled, leaning in for another kiss. “And that’s where you’re different from my family.”

“I would hope I’m different in a few more ways than that,” Colt teased, pushing Jason back against the sofa.

Jason laughed. “Well, kissing you is a lot more fun than kissing great-aunt Gertrude. Less stubble.”

Colt shuddered. “You know how to paint a picture.”

“I could paint a better one if you come camping with me,” Jason purred, winding a strand of Colt’s hair around his finger. “Please?”

Colt sighed. “How am I supposed to say no to that?”

“You’re not,” Jason whispered against his lips.

Colt moaned as Jason’s knee slipped between his thighs and the friction of their jeans made his grinding pure torture. Colt reached underneath Jason’s shirt, tracing the lines of his abs down to the sharp cut of his hips. His hand drifted lower just as the phone on the coffee table buzzed.

“Ignore it,” Colt murmured, capturing Jason’s lips. The phone kept buzzing.

“They’re not giving up,” Jason gasped, breaking the kiss. “Maybe you should answer it.”

“Fuck whoever it is.”

“What if it’s the secret girlfriend you’ve been running off with lately?” Jason asked in a teasing tone. Colt could tell there was a hint of genuine suspicion in it.

“Fuck her, too.”

Jason gave his shoulder a playful shove and reached for the phone. “Hello?” His face went blank and Colt sat up sharply. How he hated technology. “No, sorry. I’ll put him on.” He pushed his finger against the speaker and whispered, “It’s the Sheriff.

Colt winced, taking the phone. “Sorry. I should take this.”

Jason’s eyes were full of questions, but he said nothing as Colt stood and crossed the room, pressing the phone to his ear. “Sheriff Venson. Hi. What can I do for you?”

“I assume that was the mysterious boyfriend Susan’s always speaking of,” Roland said in a dry tone. “Does he know?”

“Not at all, sir. Did you need me to answer any more questions about Chuck?”

That seemed to satisfy Jason’s curiosity, or at least convince him to pretend like he was interested in his own phone.

Roland chuckled. “A word of advice. If you care about him, keep it that way.”

“That’s what I was planning on.”

“I won’t keep you. Just wanted to check in and make sure Wilbur hasn’t tried contacting you again.”

“No, I haven’t heard anything but I’ll let you know if he calls.”

“Good man, Colt. Keep your head down,” the Sheriff said before hanging up.

“That was about Chuck?” Jason asked, leaning over the back of the couch.

“Just a few follow-up questions.”

“Follow-up?” Jason frowned. “They questioned you about Chuck’s death?”

Shit. “Uh, yeah. It was routine.”

“For an animal attack?”

Colt could see the wheels turning in Jason’s head and knew he needed to stop the investigation train before it ran off the tracks. “Yeah. I guess his wife is insisting on it. Can’t bring herself to accept what happened,” he said, cringing internally. He felt like scum before the words were even out of his mouth.

“Poor thing,” Jason said sadly.

“Yeah. So,” Colt said, clearing his throat. “Where were we?”

“I was trying to convince you to go with me on that camping trip.”

“If your mind’s made up, so is mine,” Colt said with a shrug. “I’m not letting you go out there alone.”

Jason scowled, but there was more amusement in his gaze than irritation. “I’m not sure I like the new caveman Colt.”

“Get used to it, he’s not goin’ anywhere,” Colt half-teased, leaning over the couch to kiss Jason. “Especially not if you’re working for the DA.”

“I haven’t even gotten the internship yet.”

“Oh, you’ll get it. You get everything you want.”

Jason grinned. “That’s very true. As a matter of fact, there’s something I want you to give me right now.”

It just so happened to be something Colt was more than willing to give.

 

 

 

About the Author

Kat Bellamy is a nonbinary author of MM fiction and urban fantasy. Ghoulish is their debut series. When they’re not writing, they spend their time watching bad horror movies and losing board games.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

 

December 11

Beautiful Book Corner

Lily G Blunt  

December 12

Millsy Loves Books

December 13

The Blogger Girls  

Stories That Make You Smile  INTERVIEW    

December 14

Gay Book Reviews 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 

December 15

Sur l’étagèère, derrière la sirène en plastique

December 16

Blazing Zane Book Blog   REVIEW

December 17

MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews 

December 18

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

December 19

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews 

December 20

Bayou Book Junkie   REVIEW

Book Lovers 4Ever 

Louise Lyons   

December 21

Queer Sci-Fi

December 30

Drops of Ink  INTERVIEW

January 6

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  REVIEW 

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Review Tour – Secret Santa by Jay Northcote

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 38,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Blurb
 

Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son there aren’t many hours left over. He’s lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn’t mention that he has a child. It’s early days and he’s worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.

Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He’s surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn’t recognise Luke, and Luke realises he’s not the only one with a secret.

Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches their secrets pile up like colourful packages under the tree. If they’re not careful, they’ll lose the best gift of all—each other.

 



November 24 – Gay Book Reviews, Mikku-chan
November 27 – Out Of My Head, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings
December 1 – The Day Before You Came, Millsy Loves Books, V’s Reads
December 4 – BooksLaidBareBoys
December 6 – Drops of Ink, Au Boudoir Ecarlate
December 8 – My Fiction Nook
December 12 – Valerie Ullmer, Padme’s Library, Nicole’s Book Musings, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews
December 14 – Books Lovers 4Ever, Making It Happen, Slashsessed, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Reads
December 16 – Jim’s Reading Room, Bayou Book Junkie, Xtreme Delusions, The Way She Reads

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star Review Here

Author Bio

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

 

Website: https://jaynorthcote.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jay_Northcote
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/dellamere
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction
Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/JN-readers
Jayís books: http://author.to/JayNorthcote

 
 
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A MelanieM Review: Love Happens Anyway by RJ Scott

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Hiring a boyfriend for Christmas; what can go wrong?

Derek is facing yet another Christmas where his life feels out of control. He has a new career that doesn’t feel like his, and parents who would just love to see him settled down. All he needs is a temporary buffer for the parties he has to attend, and for his parents to leave him alone. Enter, Luke.

Luke is twenty-thousand dollars short for the renovations on Halligans; his family’s bar in New York’s Financial District. A favor for a buddy has him agreeing to play the part of boyfriend to a guy with more money than sense.

But when the spirit of Christmas works its magic on the two men, and they begin to fall for each other, Derek runs scared, and Luke needs space.

It doesn’t matter what obstacles you throw in the way of love, or how much you run in the other direction, because, when you’re least expecting it, whether you want it or not, love happens anyway.

Love Happens Anyway is RJ Scott’s holiday take on that familiar romantic storyline whereas the romantic heroine or hero in our case has been hounded by family and friends for  weeks/months/years/an ungodly amount of time to bring a boyfriend home to the family, makes one up and then for whatever reason has to produce one just in time for a big family event or the family  holidays celebrations.

The Hallmark Channel would go broke if we took this staple of a theme out of their  rotation.

Derek has done his story up right.  It’s so detailed that he needs a notebook to keep all the make-believe elements straight, including all the names of the kittens his firefighter boyfriend rescued and who he gave them to.  Omg!  Yes, the cuteness aspect here is lovely! So the man he needs has to meet his exact qualifications.  As it so happens, one does.

Luke is out of a job (the why’s on this is nice twist in the story), and in deep need of money. I’ll save you on the hows and whys he ends up as Derek’s temporary boyfriend.  That’s the only part that seemed sort of a stretch here.  Everything else? Amazing and nothing I’ll spoil.  It has to do with Luke’s background and a part of NYC’s history.  With Luke’s family and background folded into what starts off as a familiar romantic storyline, RJ Scott deepens it, adding touch of poignancy and reality to a lovely heartwarming romance.  I loved the couple and the family and friends that surrounded them.

The holidays are a wonderful time to curl up in your favorite spot and read some wonderful holiday  romances.  Be sure to put Love Happens Anyway by RJ Scott on your list to read this holiday season.

Cover art is absolutely adorable.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

110 pages
Published December 2nd 2017
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Short Order (Foothills Pride #8) by Pat Henshaw

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

A Foothills Pride Story

When recent horticulture graduate Dr. Fenton Miller arrives in Stone Acres, California, he thinks his only concern is which job offer to accept after spending the holidays working at his cousin’s plant nursery. But after he rents a room from another shorter-than-average man, sous-chef John Barton, Fen falls in lust.

While he’s attracted to Fen, John’s got bigger concerns when two men from his past arrive in town and pressure him to return to San Francisco. Although John tries to stop Fen from getting involved, Fen realizes his lover is in trouble and is determined to protect him.

As the holidays get closer and Fen makes his own enemy, the joy of the season gets lost in the ill will around them. To ensure love triumphs, Fen and John must stand tall to show that short, dark, and handsome is a recipe for love.

Fen Miller is back in his own story, returning to Stone Acres after getting his degree in horticulture.  He meets John Barton, another man who’s just as “shorter-than-average” as he is when he rents a room in his lovely Victorian house.  At first  John’s reclusive ways makes it just an attraction at a distance until a cup of coffee and a conversation turns John and Fen’s relationship into something with promise.

With every Foothills story, there is a edge to the story.  Here it’s John’s back history and  the man that haunts him that threatens their new relationship and John’s present happiness.  I always wish that Pat Henshaw would expand her stories so we could get deeper into each man’s background and emotional layers that seem to abide here.  We get wonderful flashes of depth and sorrow that comes with the horrors of John’s time on the streets.  And I wish we had more of Fen’s time away, his creativity with the greens  and his connectivity that enables him to create the things he does.  That seems to be missing here because of the length of the story.  We get glimpses and bits that make the men real but, of course, I wanted more.

The Foothills series continues to grow with each couple, distinct and wonderful.  I loved this one as well.  Each story is a quick read so I recommend reading the series right up to this story.  You’ll get the whole town as it grows!  This one even has the holiday flavor!

Cover Artist: AngstyG.  I just love the covers for this  series.  Perfect in tone and characters!

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 89 pages
Expected publication: December 13th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781635331141
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Secrets & Silk: A Holiday to Remember by Nicole Dennis

Standard

Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

(Part of the “A Holiday to Remember 2017 Series”) 

Conscientious and detailed to a fault, David Appleton refuses to leave for the office Christmas party until he finds the error in a report submitted by Marc, one of the workers in his department. Aside from the fact that this guy constantly tries to undermine David, the bottom line is that David won’t allow anything with his department’s signature on it to go out incorrect.  Get the picture?  David is pretty darn straight-laced.  He’s also a nice guy, a gay man who has never had a partner, and a man with a secret underwear fetish that he doesn’t want exposed.  He actually came close to being outed for his sexy pants when CJ, a coworker, happened to see him in the locker room after his workout one day, but so far, CJ seems to be keeping his lip zipped.

After finding the error and having a confrontation with Marc, David heads to Santa’s secret gift exchange.  Marc and his buddies slip a gift into the exchange that’s intended to embarrass David, but CJ, this year’s Santa, spots it and knows it’s not really for David since CJ is the one who drew David’s name.  The clearing up of the confusion over the gifts and over that day in the gym and a consequence for Marc lead to a satisfactory conclusion for this light holiday romance. 

This story had a promising plot bunny, but unfortunately, the execution was poor.  The author is a new author to me, and I’m not sure how experienced, but very definitely her writing style, the transitions from scene to scene, and the missed opportunities for humor or further dialogue were quite below average.  So two stars for the fact that the overall story was okay and an extra half because it’s Christmas, and I don’t like being an Ebenezer who shoots down an author’s efforts at holiday romance. 

~~~

Cover art by Freddy MacKay features a handsome guy in a plaid vest and dark slacks superimposed over a gift box with tissue paper in disarray.  This would be David after opening his gift from CJ.   Very nice representation of the story.

Sales Links:  Mischief Corner Books | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 40 pages
Expected publication: December 13th 2017 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
ASINB07767S6XC