Of Comfort Reads and Love Stories. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Of Comfort Reads and Love Stories

We’ve been talking about our top books for comfort reading and love stories, some of which have ended up on each list with authors common to both.  I had to admit it got me thinking what makes a ‘comfort read’? What is that indefinable something a story contains or that an author offers that makes us want to read it over and over again.? Is that its a “known quantity”? That we go into that story knowing that the pleasures (and even some pain) it holds are ones that not only have touched us so deeply but that fulfill some hope or want in us?  Tales that reach us in multiple ways?  We love these men, their journey to love and a long term relationship, whether it be a contemporary world or something supernatural or otherworldly.  And we love these authors and their talent to create not only believable, vivid men and beings as well as for their ability in which they pull us into their characters lives and worlds over and over again, making it feel like home every time we read these stories.

That’s a wonderful gift and it shows in how many of the same authors and stories/series show up in list after list, including my own.  My gratitude to them.  And thank you to all our readers who contributed these last few weeks and days, letting us look into your favorite lists and authors too.  You’ve definitely added to my TBR pile and brought back a few books I’ve forgotten. Thank you!

Of course, our lists keep growing as we find new authors and new stories to share with you and hopefully, you our readers to share with us.  I love reading your lists too.

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Here’s some of our readers favorite couples and Love stories/series:

♡H.B. loves:

Jory and Sam from Mary Calmes’ A Matter of Time series
Jin and Logan from Mary Calmes’ A Change of Heart series
Rand and Stefan from Mary Calmes’ Timing Series
Ty and Zane from Abigail Roux/Madeleine Urban’s Cut & Run series
The couples (Dex/Sloane, Ashe/Cael, Calvin/Ethan) from Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS series
Tucker and Elliot from Josh Lanyon’s All’s Fair series
Kit and J.X. from Josh Lanyon’s Holmes & Moriarity series
Gaven and Vlar from J.C. Owen’s Gaven series
Neil and Andrew from Nora Sakavic’s All for the Games series

(I agree H.B.  You  named Tucker and Elliot, 2 I left off of mine by accident, Gaven and Vlar because I had just forgotten about them!  Argh! Thank you for  bringing them back to mind.)

♡From Didi:

Jonty and Orlando, and Ty and Zane by Abigail Roux (and by Madeleine Urban)
Here’s my addition favorite couples to the above:
– Kit and JX from Holmes & Moriarity series by Josh Lanyon
– Tucker and Elliot from Fair Game by Josh Lanyon
– Mark and Stephen from I Spy series
– James and Sedgwick from the Dickens with Love
– Lucien and Stephen from A Charm of Magpie series
– Whyborne and Griffin from Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne and Griffin series
– David and Murdo from Enlightenment series

Again, thanks, Didi, I see  some I’ve been meaning to get too.  This is a wonderful reminder!

♡And from Jen:

Some of my favorite couples are:
Whyborne and Griffin from Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne and Griffin series
Jonty and Orlando from the Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows series
Cole and Jae from Rhys Ford’s Cole McGinnis series
Charlie and Travis from NR Walker’s Red Dirt series
Laurie and Sasha from Harper Fox’s A Midwinter Prince series
Gray/Caleb & John from Jordan L. Hawk’s SPECTR series
Crick and Deacon from Amy Lane’s Promises series

Crick and Deacon were on my Comfort list, Jen, but I so agree with you!  So were Charlie and Travis, Cole and Jae, love them!  Do you know there are series here I need to add to my list?  Yay! Thank you all to add to my staggeringly high TBR pile!

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Winner Announcements!

♥︎Winners of our Comfort Story Reads are:

Purple Reader
Shirley Ann

♥︎Winner of our Love Story Read/List is:

Didi

 

Congratulations to you all.  Stella will be in touch with you about your prizes.  Now all our readers keep you eyes turned to us for more giveaways coming soon!  Meteorological Spring is within 2 weeks.  I’m sure we’ll think of some way to celebrate new beginnings and the coming of Spring!  Give me your suggestions and stay with us!

📚

Now for this week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.   We handed out a new list of questions to authors for our author interviews and the results have been wonderful.  Everything from how they feel about their covers to what they think about ebooks and Gary Stu writing.  Don’t miss out on those.  Plus we have plenty of Release Day Reviews and audiobook reviews for those who  love to listen as well as read!  Something for everyone!

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This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 19:

  • Of Comfort Reads and  Love Stories
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 20:

  • Release Blitz – Find Me (Rent Me Series #5) by Brina Brady
  • Release Day Blitz College Discipline by Caitlin Ricci
  • Release Day Blitz Unzipping 7d by J.C. Long
  • A Jeri Review: Down By Contact by Sloan Johnson
  • A Lila Review: A-dork-able by J.D. Walker
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Tropical Depression by BA Tortuga
  • A PaulB  Review: Dead Camp book 3 by Sean Kerr

Tuesday, February 21:

  • Review Tour – NR Walker’s Imago 
  • Jared’s Family Blogger Tour and Giveaway
  • DSP GUEST POST Andrew Grey on Poppy’s Secret
  • Review Tour – Lyssa Dering’s fangjunkie27
  • A MelanieM Review:  Imago by NR Walker
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Love (Leaning Into #1) by Lane Hayes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Unzipping 7D (Unzipped Shorts #2) by J.C. Long

Wednesday, February 22:

  • DSP GUEST POST: Catt Ford on Cross My Heart
  • TWO NATURES* by Jendi Reiter 4 Tour
  • A Caryn Review: Unspoken by R.A. Padmos
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Off Stage (Off Stage #1-2) by Jaime Samms
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Rushing Love (States of Love) by Meg Bawden
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Murmuration by T.J. Klune and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

Thursday, February 23:

  • DSP GUEST POST Meg Bawden on Rushing Love
  • Release Day Blitz Justin’s Season by S. M. Sawyer
  • RIPTIDE BLOG TOUR Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk
  • An Alisa Review: Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Open Road by M.J. O’Shea and Robbie D (Narrator)
  • An Ali Audiobook Review:  Everything Changes (Resilient Love #1) by Melanie Hansen and Robert Nieman (Narrator)

Friday, February 24:

  • DSP GUEST POST Matthew Lang on Better with Bacon
  • Book Blitz: Fallen Angel by Eden Winters
  • Release blitz: AFTER THE FIRE by Felice Stevens
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Goodnight My Angel by Sue Brown
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Ringo and the Sunshine Police by Nick Wilgus
  • A PaulB  Review: Max (Demon Elite 7) by April Kelley
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Kieran: The Atherton Pack 4 By Toni Griffin
  • A PaulB  Review: The Chains of Their Sins (Taking Shield #4) by Anna Butler

Saturday, February 25:

  • 3 day release blitz: *Snapshots by Addison Albright*
  • DSP GUEST POST Ariel Tachna on Talking in Code
  • A MelanieM Review: Man and Tree by Wayne Mansfield

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Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air! This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air!

Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and surely Love is in the Air!  All those hearts, balloons, and boxes of chocolates and other signs of romance all around are making me think of so many things, like the best love stories in movies and of course, in books (cue the soundtrack to Doctor Zhivago)!  We can all remember the traditional love stories, meaning het of course! I’m sure they are popping into mind even now.  Romeo and Juliet, Lancelot and Guinevere (Arthur got a raw deal I think), Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, Paris and Helena,Tristan and Isolde…most ended unhappily I know.  But ah,  how bright their love and passion burned!  We can even think of our happy love movies.  Love Actually is played constantly during the holiday season (love has so many faces).

But how about LGBTQIA love?  Is Brokeback Mountain the first movie that comes to mind?  How about Shelter or Big Eden or Latter Days?  They didn’t have big names attached to them but the romance and love left you smiling instead of feeling torn apart.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day watching!  What’s your recommendations for Valentine’s Day binge watching?

I can remember my very first novel, outside of fanfiction (K/S among others) that was not only M/M but had a happy ending.  That was The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I still have my hardback copy.  It was a revelation.  The idea of m/m romance and love with the possibility of a future in some way. The Catch Trap was published in 1979 which was when I first read it so a future then is markably different then the way in which LGBTQIA romance (and marriage) is regarded today (bigotry not withstanding).  Some of my comfort reads are also my favorite love stories but not all. Some of my favorite couples also had pain, loss and suspense attached to their stories as well.  Here are some of those.

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Some of My Favorite Couples and Their Series in no particular order:

Ty and Zane of Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series (some written with Madeleine Urban)

Lucky and Bo of Eden Winter’s Diversion series

Jory and Sam of Mary Calmes’ A Matter of Time series

Jin and Logan of Mary Calmes’ A Change of Heart series

Adrien and Jake from The Adrien English Mysteries by Josh Lanyon

Jonty and Orlando from Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows Mysteries

Jim and Griffin as well as Evan and Matt from Tere Michaels’ Faith, Love & Devotion series

And this is without adding in those couples from my comfort list books!  There’s more as well.  Do you have your favorite couples?  Tell me which ones I missed!

Goodreads has its own Listopia: Best Gay/Lesbian Fiction With Happy Endings (140 books).  You might check out this list too.    But back to your favorite couples and your favorite love stories.  What love stories jump into your mind when I say  “Romance”!  That love with a capital L story where “one swims the oceans, fights all the fights, does everything they must to be with the one they love” story.  Give us your list and see if you come up with Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Valentine’s Day gift card!

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Valentine’s Day Love Story Challenge.

Yes its time for the Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Valentine’s Day Love Story Challenge.  Give us your list of either top couples and their story or top love stories with your email address. One random reader will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate by midnight next Sunday, February 18th.  This is a quick contest so get your lists in this week.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

And as a reminder, our Comfort Reads Giveaway also closes on the 17th.  So here is two chances to win a gift certificate.

📚Comfort Reads Giveaway from Last Week!

Send us your List of Comfort Reads!  Your Snuggle Up To, Comfort Blankey Books!  One random reader with a List will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press.  Contest ends February 17 at midnight.  Please leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Now for this week’s schedule.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 12:

  • Its Valentine’s Week and Love is In the Air!
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A MelanieM Review:  Flaunt by E. Davies

Monday, February 13:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ari McKay on Letters from Cupid
  • DSP GUEST POST Tara Lain on Fire Balls
  • Release Day Blitz The Start of Something New by Tamryn Eradani
  • A Caryn Review: Too Soon For Love by Kimberly Gardner
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Jerricho’s Freedom by Jake C. Wallace
  • A VVivacious Review: The Start of Something New by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

Tuesday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day):

  • DSP GUEST POST Evelise Archer on Jaeger
  • DSP GUEST POST Lila Leigh Hunter on Dating in Retrospect
  • Jared’s Family by VS Morgan Release Blitz and Giveaway
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Yes, Professor by Renae Kaye
  • A PaulB Review: The Atherton Pack 4 by Toni Griffin
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Letters from Cupid by Ari McKay
  • An Alisa Releases Day Review: Warlock in Training by TJ Nichols

Wednesday, February 15:

  • DSP PUBLICATIONS GUEST POST TJ Nichols on Warlock in Training
  • Release Blitz Clare London – How The Other Half Lives
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The New Wolf (Building the Pack #1) by RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Blossom of the Samurai by Sedonia Guillone
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Poppy’s Secret by Andrew Grey
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter

Thursday, February 16:

  • DSP GUEST POST Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia on Wounded Pride
  • Release Day Blitz Learning to Want by Tami Veldura
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Where There’s Smoke by Cari Z and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: What the Cat Dragged In by Kate Steele
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Hanging The Stars (Half Moon Bay #2) by Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Behr Facts (Foothills Pride #3) by Pat Henshaw and David Ross (Narrator)

Friday, February 17:

  • Suki Fleet – Foxes Tour and Giveaway
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Half by Eli Lang
  • A Stella Review: Half by Eli Lang
  • A Paul B Release Day Review: Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth
  • A Caryn Review: How The Other Half Lives by Clare London
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Foxes by Suki Fleet

Saturday, February 18:

  • A MelanieM Review:  Necessary Medicine by M.K. York
  • A MelanieM Review: Danced Close (Portland Heat, #6) by Annabeth Albert

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A PaulB Review: Wolf Whistle (Werewolves of Manhattan #7) by A.C. Katt

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

wolf-whistle-2I always eagerly await the next book in the Werewolves of Manhattan series.  And with this seventh edition, I am not disappointed.

The board members of Garou Industries are celebrating the mating and wedding of Etienne Daurensbourg and Julio Reyes in suburban Chicago.  As a wedding present to Julio, Etienne has found Julio’s childhood friend Richard Kerrigan who is living in Chicago.  The two have not seen each other in over ten years, when Julio was placed in foster care after the death of his parents.  Richard’s family was not able to take Julio in because of state regulations and was not given any further information on him.  Richard jumps at the chance to reunite with his friend.

Richard has been living in Chicago for the past few years to take care of his sick mother.  While going through this, he is fired from his job as an engineer after blowing the whistle on shoddy parts in military vehicles.  The company effectively blackballs him from any other engineering company in Chicagoland.  Richard is unable to move after paying for his mother’s medical and funeral expenses.  Working at a local bar, a local Serbian mobster takes an interest in him.  Knowing that sooner or later, the mobster will make his move on him resulting in unwanted sexual encounters or worse, he takes the offer of a job at Garou, which Etienne has helped arrange.  He is to be mentored by Julien Bellaire, who happens to be Richard’s mate.  Arrangements are made so that Richard can leave with Julio and the board of Garou the next morning.

As usual, the mating of a board member does not go off as planned.  The Serbian mobster will not let Richard go that easily.  He tracks him down to New York in order to get him back.  There is also the fact that Richard must be told that he is Julien’s mate and that the board members of Garou are all wolf shifters.  Julien hopes that through Julio’s friendship and Colin’s book that the transition is not as traumatic as the others have been.  Now all Julien has to do is ensure that Richard is alive by the time they travel to Oregon for the mating ceremony.

As the characters in the book point out, the mates and matings all seem to follow a pattern.  But the author makes each one unique and then starts to change the script on the reader.  As with the previous two novels, we are introduced to the next potential mate at the end of the book.  This mate seems to shatter the mold completely.  I liked the introduction of Don Ferone’s gay stepson.  He wants his stepfather to change his ways but is isolated from most of the family business because of his thoughts.  I am pretty sure he will be a go between for the two powerful forces in New York.  Please hurry with book eight, Ms. Katt.

Winterheart Designs’ cover art is another winner.  The red headed Richard and brunette Julien are above a New York bridge skyline with a wolf howling against the backdrop of the moon above. 

Sales Links

MLR Press

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Book Details

EBook, 201 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published January 20, 2017 by MLR Press

ISBN:  978-1-944700-44-0

Series:  Werewolves of Manhattan

His Omega (Werewolves of Manhattan #1)

Remy’s Painter (Werewolves of Manhattan #2)

Scarred Mate (Werewolves of Manhattan #3)

Marking Kane (Werewolves of Manhattan #4)

Alexi’s Mouse (Werewolves of Manhattan #5)

Julio’s Wolf (Werewolves of Manhattan #6)

Wolf Whistle (Werewolves of Manhattan #7)

What Are Your Comfort Reads and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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What Are Your Comfort Reads?

I know, I know.   Its February and I could have so much more to talk about.  Its Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and Love Stories and so much more. And I may get to those next week. But the truth of the matter is that I’m heart sore these days.  With all the news and politics and a President determined to see us and our rights thrown back to the fifties and nations at war, my heart and head feels like its being plundered, torn into pieces daily.

You do what you can, you speak up, sign petitions, march. But at night or whenever you need it, I know that I need to escape into my books and my comfort reads.

I’ve been falling back into some of my early stories from many authors, ones that have remained my “go to books” when I need that instant book blankey.  Don’t tell me you don’t have those.  A story that means an instant smuggle for you.  So you tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.  Let’s see how they mesh if at all.  Some of mine include an entire series:

MelanieM’s Comfort Read’s (partial and constantly growing)

  • Amy Lane’s Keeping Promise Rock
  • Red Dirt Heart Series by N.R. Walker
  • Faith, Love & Devotion Series by Tere Michaels
  • Change of Heart series by Mary Calmes
  • Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell
  • The Shearing Gun by Renae Kaye
  • Frog by Mary Calmes
  • No Going Home (Home #1) by T.A. Chase
  • Home Series by T.A. Chase

I think B.A. Tortuga’s new series, The Release, may find its way onto this list.  Too soon yet. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

That’s for starters, ones that just popped up without giving it any thought.  I know there’s more to come.  So pull up yours.  I want to know the stories you reach for when you want to feel good, happy.  We certainly can do with so much more of that these days.

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📚Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Giveaway!📚

Send us your List of Comfort Reads!  Your Snuggle Up To, Comfort Blankey Books!  One random reader with a List will be chosen to receive a $10 gift certificate from Dreamspinner Press.  Contest ends February 17 at midnight.  Please leave your name and email address where you can be reached if chosen.

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This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 5:

  • A Free Dreamer Review: Wasted Youth by H.B. Kurtzwilde
  • A MelanieM Review: Calling His Bluff (Club Raven #3) by B.A. Tortuga
  • What Are Your Comfort Reads?
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 6:

  • INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR Storm Season by Pene Henson
  • Cover Reveal for No Regrets by Nicky James (excerpt and giveaway)
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Working It by Christine d’Abo (giveaway)
  • A Paul B Release Day Review: Wolfmanny by Julia Talbot
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: What Remains by Garrett Leigh and Craig Beck (Narrator)
  • An Ali Review: Working It (Ringside Romance #1) by Christine d’Abo
  • An Alisa Review:  They Walk Among Us by T.A. Chase

Tuesday, February 7:

  • HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST: Sherrie Henry on Flag on the Play
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Embers by Kate Sherwood (giveaway)
  • DSP GUEST POST Ingela Bohm on The Seventh Flower
  • A Stella Review: Storm Season by Pene Henson
  • A VVivacious Review: The Puritan Pirate by Jules Radcliffe
  • An Ali Review:They Walk Among Us by T.A. Chase
  • A VVivacious Review: THE MUTT: AN ORDER SHORT STORY by Kasia Bacon

Wednesday, February 8:

  • DSP GUEST POST: Julia Talbot on Wolfmanny
  • HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST: Jo Ramsey on Midnight Chat
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Fire Balls by Tara Lain
  • A Jeri Review: Off Base by Annabeth Albert
  • A Stella Release Day Review: The Seventh Flower (World of Love) by Ingela Bohm
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Buyout by Dev Bentham

Thursday, February 9:

  • DSP GUEST POST: Jake C. Wallace on Jerricho’s Freedom
  • DSP GUEST POST:  Dirk Greyson on Darkness Rising
  • A Lila Review:  Tempted to Taste by Shawn Lane
  • A PaulB  Review: Descent of Kings: Books BUNDLE by Maria Albert
  • A Caryn Review: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling by Matthew Robbins
  • An Alisa Review: Fire Triangle by Iyana Jenna

Friday, February 10:

  • *FLAUNT by E Davies 2 week blog tour and giveaway
  • DSP GUEST POST Dev Bentham on Buyout – A Love Story
  • DSP GUEST POST Mason Thomas on The Shadow Mark
  • Release Day Blitz: Leaning Into Love by Lane Hayes
  • A Paul B Review: Sealed With Acceptance (Signed, Sealed, Delivered #5) by Caitlin Ricci and A.J. Marcus
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Jaeger (Order of the Black Knights #4) by Evelise Archer
  • An Ali Release Day Review:  Shifting Views (The Carlisles #4) by Meg Harding

Saturday, February 11:

  • A MelanieM Review: At Attention (Out of Uniform, #2) by Annabeth Albert
  • A MelanieM Review:  Necessary Medicine by M.K. York

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An Alisa Review: Silent Night by Shawn Bailey

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

silent-night-by-shawn-baileySometimes it takes a little divine intervention to make someone see the error of their ways.

 

Hunter Beams is only eighteen years old but he’s tired of the world. Orphaned since birth, moved from one foster home to another and then gets fired from a minimum wage job just because he wouldn’t sleep with the boss. He is tired of getting bullied because of his sexuality. Nothing about him is normal not his size, his looks or his damn hair. Losing his job is the last straw. He is just going to end it all because he is just too damn tired of trying to survive.

 

Thirty year old Donte Womac has it all…a comfy townhouse in Chelsea, an active social life, a stable of cars and a cushy job. Then tragedy strikes and a young man lay dying in his arms. Then Donte discovers that all the money in the world can’t help a person who wants to kill himself.

 

This story was heartwarming and shows that when you meet the right person at the right time then everything will eventually work out.  Unfortunately Donte will have to help Hunter heal before they can really see if they are right for each other.  Hunter is so adorably sweet and innocent; he just hasn’t had an easy road in life and doesn’t see a reason to continue.  Donte will do anything to show Hunter that life is worth living, but doesn’t know what to do when Hunter doesn’t want him to spend his wealth on him and isn’t impressed by it.

 

This story is told from both characters’ points of view so we get to see them a bit more clearly.  They both come from such different backgrounds and Hunter doesn’t want to take from Donte, but really Donte is almost as innocent as Hunter is emotionally.  I loved both of these characters and how they interacted with each other and the side characters and in the end this book gave me the warm and fuzzy I was looking for when I went to read it.

 

Cover art is very nice and give great visuals for both of the characters.

 

Sales Links: MLR Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 150 pages

Published: December 15, 2016 by MLR Press

Edition Language: English

The Last of the Best of 2016 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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The Last of the Best of 2016

 

As this is the last weekend of the month, we will finish up our Best of 2016 and leave that year behind.  So here’s the last of our Best of Lists of 2016.  We are well on our way to accumulating our lists for 2017.  I know that Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1) by Amy Tasukada and There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford are already on my list for this year.  Wow.  That’s a great start!

Our Contest ends tonight so there’s plenty of time still to get your list in:

STRW 2016 Best of Giveaway

We will pick one random reader who leaves a comment with their year end Best of (along with their email addresses) to receive a $10 DSP gift card.   Contest ends January 29, at midnight.  Must be 18 years of age or older.

Paul and I are up today.  So let’s hear from PaulB next on his favorites from 2016:

PaulB’s Best of the Year 2016

From Paul B: I am going to cheat a bit here.  Normally these lists are top ten kinds of affairs.  However, since a lot of the books that I read and review are from series, I’m going to abbreviate my list and group books in series together if they were released this year. 

Top Books/Series of 2016

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Best Covers of 2016

WolfsongFor A Dragon's Persuasion coverfor-a-dragons-controlFor a Dragon's Enthusiasm (Highland Dragons #9) by Charlie RichardsFor A Dragon's Redemption coverEnemies of the Stateenemy-of-my-enemy-by-tal-bauerinterlude-first-noel-by-tal-bauer

 

 

 

 

 

~📚~

  • Wolfsong  by TJ Klune, Cover Artist Reese Dante—The simple paw prints on a black background sets the mood of the book
  • Highland Dragon series by Charlie Richards, Cover artist Angela Waters—Ms Waters never fails to create stunning covers for this fantasy series set in Medieval Scotland
  • Running Blind by Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes, Cover artist Anna Sikorski—The two arms linked together by a cord sums up the book perfectly
  • Demon Elite series by April Kelley, Cover artist Latrisha Waters—Simple cover always captures the essence of the title characters of the books.
  • Executive Office series by Tal Bauer, Cover artist Natasha Snow—Gorgeous Washington settings with perfect representations of the main characters

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MelanieM’s Favorite’s  of 2016

Devil at the Crossroads

Favorite Covers of 2016

The ForesterThe Forester II- Lost and Found coverFull CircleA Triad in Three ActsUntilSeptember_600x900Dormant HeartUnder a Sky of AshOut of Nowhere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the Covers of The Tales of the Forest by Blaine D. Arden – Cover art by Simone

Until September by Chris Scully, Cover art by Lou Harper

Fantasy for a Gentleman (A Planet Called Wish #2) by Caitlin Ricci, Cover art by Caitlin Ricci

Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey, Cover art by Kanaxa

Devil at the Crossroads by Cornelia Grey, Cover art by Jared Rackler

Out of Nowhere by Roan Parrish, Cover art by Angsty G

Dormant Heart by Lane Swift, Cover art by Anna Sikorska

Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt, Cover Art by Anne Cain

Do-Gooder by J.Leigh Bailey, Cover art by Aaron Anderson

The Unlikely Prospect (States of Love) by Lex Chase, Cover art by Reese Dante

Fantasy for a Gentlemando-gooder-by-j-leigh-baileyTheCircusoftheDamned_500x750the-unlikely-prospect-by-lex-chase

 

 

 

 

 

With special nod to the stylized covers of Will and Patrick Get Married, yes all of them.  Just a delight!  I don’t know who the artist is.  If you do, please let me know.

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Unlike my covers, most of which had a lush artistic look, my favorite books ran the complete spectrum of fictional genres from contemporary to supernatural to fantasy to science fiction.  Three were series finales, four actually if you include Full Circle.  If you haven’t read any of these trilogies/series, start now!

Favorite Stories of  2016

Our readers still commented with their favorites.

From Our Readers:

📚jenf27 

Thanks for sharing your lists! I loved a lot of those same books. Here is my list from last year:

Fallow by Jordan L .Hawk
A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Hexworld series by Jordan L. Hawk
The Weight of It All by NR Walker
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale
Wolfsong by TJ Klune
The Mermaid Murders by Josh Lanyon
Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton
Strong Signal by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell*
Inversion Point by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Phase Shift by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford
Foxes by Suki Fleet
King’s Rising by C.S. Pacat
Dancer of Death by Jordan L. Hawk
Nightingale by Aleksandr Voinov
Cold Fusion by Harper Fox

📚Didi:

Thanks for sharing your list, I saw quite a number of titles I haven’t read, so this really help me to add more to my TBR. My own best of 2016 is not much; Jordan L. Hawk’s Fallow & Hexmaker, Josh Lanyon’s So This Is Christmas, Lloyd A. Meeker’s Stick & Stones.

Keep those lists coming!

Announcements

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Wilde City will be closing its doors in 2017.  They were another wonderful press and will be greatly missed. From their authors and stories to their amazing covers, Wilde City Press was a class act! From Ethan and Wilde City Press, their announcement:

To all our friends, readers, reviewers and fans of our authors,


Due to various personal reasons it is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close Wilde City Press. We have enjoyed every moment of our journey over the past four years, and want to thank everyone who has been a part of our adventure.

 

Over the next few months we will be ensuring that everyone who has worked with Wilde City will be paid in full and have their rights returned to them. We are very proud of the work our authors and editors have given to the world, and we hope these books will be published again to be enjoyed for many more years to come. For members of our book club, we will give you plenty of time to back-up any files you have purchased through our site so you don’t lose anything.

 

We want to say a sincere thank you to all the authors who put their faith in us, the readers who have supported us and the incredible friendships we’ve made over the years. Rest assured we are not disappearing from our beloved industry; Ethan and Geoff will continue writing as authors, Adrian will continue to design amazing book covers, and all of us will forever be a part of this cherished tribe of book lovers.

 

From your friends at Wilde City Press,

Ethan, Geoff, Tracy and Adrian

So long, Wilde City Press!  We will miss you!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, January 29:

  • Release Blitz – Cristina Bruni’s Seven Days
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Undertow: A Whyborne & Griffin Universe Story by Jordan L Hawk
  • The Last of the Best of 2016 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 30:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ki Brightly on Trust Trade 
  • Release Day Blitz The Visionary by Charli Coty
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Making Love by Aidan Wayne
  • Review Tour – Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates 4) by Jay Northcote
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: Making Love by Aidan Wayne
  • An Ali Review: Falling into Darkness by LM Brown

Tuesday, January 31:

  • Blog Tour: Adrift by Isabelle Adler (excerpt and giveaway)
  • In the Spotlight: Soothsayer by Cari Z (excerpt and giveaway)
  • Release Blitz: Rick R Reed’s A Face without a Heart
  • A Lila Review:  Soothsayer by Cari Z.
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Face Without a Heart by Rick R. Reed
  • A Paul B Review:  Descent of Kings: Books BUNDLE by Maria Albert
  • An Ali Review:  Soothsayer by Cari Z.
  • An Ali Review: Stallions and Ice by Stephani Hecht

Wednesday, February 1:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR: Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby
  • Cover Reveal for Secrets of You by Skylar M. Cates
  • “Spell Fall” by Jacob Z. Flores tour and giveaway
  • An Alisa Review: Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Thick & Thin (THIRDS #8) by Charlie Cochet
  • An Alisa Review: American Telepath (Dragons Schooled #2) by Emily Carrington
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Worst Best Man by M.J. O’Shea
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Inheritance by Sean Michael

Thursday, February 2:

  • Blog tour  for COZZI COVE: STEPPING OUT by Joe Cosentino (guest post)
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on Inheritance
  • A Caryn Review: The Star of Versailles by Catherine Curzon & Willow Winsham
  • A Lila Review:  The Visionary by Charli Coty
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Crime Wave by Adam Carpenter narrated by Joel Leslie
  • An Alisa Review:  Silent Night by Shawn Bailey

Friday, February 3:

  • DSP GUEST POST Z. Allora on The Craving
  • BLOG TOUR The Black Sheep and The Rotten Apple by K.A. Merikan
  • Terrible Twos by Megs Pritchard tour and giveaway
  • A MelanieM Review: Happy Medium (Club Raven #1) by Julia Talbot
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: The Craving by Z. Allora
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride #2) by Pat Henshaw and David Ross (Narrator)

Saturday, February 4:

  • The Fire Trilogy – RJ Scott Tour
  • A Paul B Review: For a Dragon’s Control (Highland Dragons #10) by Charlie Richards
  • A MelanieM Review: Wishful Thinking (Club Raven #2) by Kiernan Kelly

 

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Best of 2016 Lists and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Best of 2016 Lists Continue

Yes, our Best of 2016 Lists roll on.  Our readers have been contributing some wonderful lists of their own and our own reviewers choices still pour in as well.  I have  both for you all today.

The lovely thing is that we don’t have to let go of some of our favorites.  If they are series that haven’t wrapped up, we have new stories to look forward to in 2017.  So many authors spring to mind that we are waiting on new stories in their series:  Jordan L. Hawk, Mary Calmes, Megan Derr, Mell Eight, Rhys Ford…to name a few.  Which authors are you waiting on new stories from?  And which series?  My personal list is endless to be honest.  I added to it with new authors this year including Amelia Faulkner and her Inheritance series.  Don’t know how I missed that and her.  But I did.  My list will be the last to arrive.  This week we hear from Stella, Free Dreamer, and some of our readers on their favorites from 2016.

From Stella

Stella’s BEST BOOKS 2016

Stella’s Best Covers 2016

freckles-by-amy-lane8fc5c-mustlikespinach-f2b252812529when-the-dust-settles-by-mary-calmeshis-fairy-godfather-by-cate-ashwoodde8d7-true-lovemurmurationDaniel and Erik's Super Fab Ult Wedding ChecklistSnakes Among the Flowers

His Fairy Godfather by Cate Ashwood and Nico Jaye

The ‘True Love’ Solution by Julie Bozza

Must Like Spinach by Con Riley

Freckles By Amy Lane

When the Dust Settles by Mary Calmes

Murmuration by T.J. Klune

Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist by K.E. Belledonne

Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black

 Free Dreamer’s Best Covers of 2016

 

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The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci (Cover artist: Natasha Snow)

Stygian by Santino Hassel (Cover artist: Damonza)

Dreams by Erich James (Cover artist: Paul Richmond)

Love Can’t Conquer by Kim Fielding (Cover artist: Brooke Albrecht)

Stygianlove-cant-conquerDreamsofFireandGodsDreamsACID cover

FoxesSalt and IronSalt and Iron by Tam MacNeil (Cover artist: AngstyG)

ACID by Wulf Francu Godgluck (Cover artist: Wulf Francu Godgluck)

Foxes by Suki Fleet (Cover artist: AngstyG)

Free Dreamer’s Best Books of 2016:

Stalking Darkness”, “Traitor’s Moon” and “Shadows Return” by Lynn Flewelling

Lima Oscar Victor Echo and The Truth About Everything by Suki Fleet

Salt and Iron by Tam MacNeil

ACID by Wulf Francu Godgluck

Every Day” and “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan

The Hunger Man by Scott D. Pomfret

Love Can’t Conquer by Kim Fielding

O/s by Jane Davitt

Crush by Caitlin Ricci

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Stygian by Santino Hassel

Dark Space by Lisa Henry

The Lodestar of Ys by Amy Rae Durreson

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And from our Readers….

 

📚Purple Reader :

Thanks for your list, and this has inspired me to think about mine (at least the gay ones, and I like a lot of different subgenres, but not all were out this year).
– Purple Reader, TheWrote
Fav Gay Book Group read: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Fav SciFi: Interscission Project series by Arshad Ahsanuddin
Fav Steampunk: Blue on Black by Carole Cummings
Fav Fantasy: finished the Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling
Fav Paranormal: Widdershins by Jordan Hawk (and a mystery)
Fav M/M Romance: Lavender in Bloom by Lily Velez
Fav Gay Romance: My Bare Naked Heart by David Avery
Fav YA: Foxes by Suki Fleet
Fav Mystery: Third Man Out by Richard Stevenson (oldie but goodie)
Fav Western: The Search for Soaring Hawk by Terry O’Reilly
Fav Historical: Frontiers/Man & Beast by Michael Jensen
Fav History/NonFiction: Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality by Debbie Cenziper, Jim Obergefell
Fav paperback/hardcover: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan (also a good YA)

📚 H.B:

Thank you for sharing your list Lila! They all sounds great =) Here’s my list:
Made in Marian series by Lucy Lennox
A Kind of Story series by Lane Hayes
How to Be a Normal Person by TJ Klune
Wolfsong by TJ Klune
At First Sight series by TJ Klune
Soaring Hearts by AL Boyd
Catch a Tiger by the Tail by Charlie Cochet
Smoke & Mirror by Charlie Cochet
The Weight of It All by NR Walker
Red River by Cardeno C.
Not a Game by Cardeno C.

~

Trust me, both of you, I’m taking notes of any books and authors I’ve missed!  There’s plenty of time still to get your list in and be entered in our giveaway.  Here’s all you need to be entered.

STRW 2016 Best of Giveaway

We will pick one random reader who leaves a comment with their year end Best of (along with their email addresses) to receive a $10 DSP gift card.   Contest ends January 29, at midnight.  Must be 18 years of age or older.

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This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, January 22:

  • Best of 2016 Lists Continue
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 23:

  • DSP GUEST POST Reece Pine on In Your Court
  • Amy Tasukada –Blood Stained Tea Tour
  • Club Raven Blog Tour for BA Tortuga, Julia Talbot, and Kiernan Kelly (3 books, one series)
  • BLOG TOUR People Fish by Medella Kingston
  • A MelanieM Review: Blood Stained Tea by Amy Tasukada
  • An Alisa Review: Twelve Gifts by Casper Graham
  • A Paul Release Day Review: Love in the Line of Fire by Michael Murphy

Tuesday, January 24:

  • DSP GUEST POST J. C. Long on Broadway Babe
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Speakeasy by Suzey Ingold
  • A Paul Review: The Last Dragonet by Shannon West and Susan Scott
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Gaining Trust (Kiss of Leather #5) by Morticia Knight
  • An Ali Review: Duncan Andrew’s mysteries (bundle) by Stephen Osborne
  • A MelanieM Review: The Case of the Wandering Wolves by Mell Eight

 

Wednesday, January 25:

  • RIPTIDE Tour: Whiteout by Elyse Springer (giveaway)
  • Review Tour – Anna Martin – The Impossible Boy
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys, Novella One) by Brandon Witt
  • A Lila Review:  The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin
  • A Stella Review: Whiteout (Seasons of Love #1) by Elyse Springer
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Just like Cats and Dogs by BA Tortuga

Thursday, January 26:

  • Cover Reveal – Sue Brown’s Goodnight My Angel
  • Release Blitz – K.A. Merikan’s Hipster Brothel
  • Max Vos : blog tour for the re release of his novel P.O.W
  • DSP GUEST POST Caleb James on”Exile”
  • DSP GUEST POST BA Tortuga on Just Like Cats and Dogs
  • A Caryn Review:  Hipster Brothel by K.A. Merikan
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Lord or a Thousand Steps by Tara Lain

Friday, January 27:

  • DSP GUEST POST M.J. O’Shea on The Worst Best Man
  • DSP GUEST POST Michaela Grey on Broken Halo
  • A Caryn Pre Release Review: The Black Sheep and The Rotten Apple by K.A. Merikan
  • An Alisa Review: Rockin’ the ‘Nog by Michelle King
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: Trust Trade by Ki Brightly
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Close to You (Sunshine and Happiness #3) by Skylar M. Cates and Tristan James (Narrator)
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: Spell Fall by Jacob Z. Flores

Saturday, January 28:

  • Victoria Sue with a New Release – The Alpha King + Giveaway
  • A MelanieM Review: The Case of the Wandering Wolves by Mell Eight

gaining-trust-kiss-of-leather-5-by-morticia-knightlove-in-the-line-of-firenachoshash_postcard_front_dspthe-last-dragonet

More Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of Lists for 2016 and This Week’s Schedule

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More Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of Lists for 2016

We are still in the process of looking over all the great stories and covers of last year as there were so many.  I know its so hard to choose favorites.  How to pick a favorite story when one may be a comedy and one a drama?  When one had you bent over laughing so hard your stomach ached and the other left you sobbing with an empty tissue box?  So hard I know.  I have the hardest time, that’s why my list will be on the last Sunday of the month.  I’m still mulling mine over, adding, subtracting…its crazy.  But most of the reviewers here have been far better at it than I.  Here is Lila’s list.  Plus we still want to hear from our readers, there’s a giveaway associated with your comments.

person reading stacks of books

 

STRW 2016 Best of Giveaway

We will pick one random reader who leaves a comment with their year end Best of (along with their email addresses) to receive a $10 DSP gift card.   Contest ends January 29, at midnight.  Must be 18 years of age or older.

 

Lila Icon

Lila’s Best of 2016

Favorite Book of 2016

Bitter Legacy by Dal Maclean


Favorite Short Stories

Pride Weekend by Charlie Descoteaux

Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne

Guardian by Jordan Taylor

Favorite e-Books

Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton

Rock N Soul by Lauren Sattersby

The Pirate of Fathoms Deep by Megan Derr

Favorite Audiobooks

The President’s Husband by Michael Murphy

Good Boy by Anne Tenino

Trust by Ella Frank

Worth Mentioning

Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer

Risk Aware by Amelia C. Gormley

Ghosts by Jackie Keswick

Murderous Requiem by Jamie Fessenden

To the Highest Bidder by Caitlin Ricci

Murder Once Seen by J.T. Hall

The Scholar’s Heart by Antonia Aquilante

The Assassin’s Pet by Nana G.

Favorite Covers

Horsefeathers by Caitlin Ricci – Designed by Natasha Snow

I Love You More Than Pierogi by K.A. Merikan – Designed by Anna Sikorska

Heartscapes by M.J. Williamz – Designed by Sheri [Graphic Artist 2020]

i-love-you-more-than-pierogi-by-k-a-merikanheartscapesHorsefeathers

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This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, January 15:

  • COVER REVEAL for Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: Extrasensual Perception by Rayna Vause
  • More Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of Lists for 2016
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 Monday, January 16:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Finding You Feet by Cass Lennox (giveaway)
  • DSP GUEST POST Aidee Ladnier
  • Release Day Blitz: Delayed Gratification by Tamryn Eradani
  • DSP GUEST POST Jaime Samms on Permanent Ink
  • Review Tour – Clare London’s Chase The Ace (London Lads #1)
  • A MelanieM Series Review:Jack of Thorns, Knight of Flames & Lord of Ravens *
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  By the Numbers by Chris Owens and Tory Temple
  • A VVivacious Review: Delayed Gratification by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review:  What’s in a Name? by Pat Henshaw and David Ross  (Narrator)

Tuesday, January 17:

  • DSP GUEST POST Marina Ford on Lovesick
  • Blog Tour  – Max, Brad, and Maisie Mystery Series by L.G. Fabbo-Gonnella
  • Review Tour – Silvia Violet’s Revolutionary Temptation
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Undercover Boyfriend by  Jacob Z. Flores and Rusty Topsfield (Narrator)
  • A Lila Review: Revolutionary Temptation by Silvia Violet
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review:  Hanukkah Gifts by  Jacob Cheyenne

Wednesday, January 18:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Afraid to Fly by L.A. Witt (giveaway)
  • DSP GUEST POST Kim Fielding on Love Is Heartless
  • A Caryn Release Day Review:  The Mighty Have Fallen by Bonnie Dee
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Cemeteries by Moonlight by Hunter Frost
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Permanent Ink by Jaime Samms
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: In Your Court by Reece Pine

Thursday, January 19:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ariel Tachna
  • DSP GUEST POST Elizabeth Noble on “Quarry
  • Blog Tour Schedule – Max, Brad, and Maisie Mystery Series by L.G. Fabbo-Gonnella
  • Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys, Novella One), Brandon Witt Guest Blog/Giveaway
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Anna Martin – The Impossible Boy
  • A Jeri Review: Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point #2) by L.A. Witt
  • A Lila Review: The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin
  • A Paul Review: Max, Brad, and Maisie Mystery Series by L.G. Fabbo-Gonnella

Friday, January 20:

  • An Interlude Press Tour “Lunch With the Do-Nothings and the Tammy Dinette by Killian B. Brewer
  • DSP GUEST POST Jon Keys on Camouflage 
  • DSP GUEST POST Rayna Vause on Extrasensual Perception
  • A Jeri Review: Please Don’t Go by Felice Stevens
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores and John Solo (Narrator)
  • A Stella Review: Do Not Disturb by Chris Scully
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Camouflage by Jon Keys

Saturday, January 21:

  • RJ Scott….The First Wolf Tour and Giveaway
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote
  • A Jeri Review: Dare You To by Riley Hart
  • A MelanieM Review: The Prince of the Moon by Megan Derr
  • A MelanieM Review:  The First Wolf by RJ Scott

 

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A VVivacious 2 Review in 1: Dare To (Dare #1) by A.K.M. Miles +Dare’s Christmas Gift (Dare #2) by A.K.M. Miles – Bonus short story

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dare-to-dare-1-by-a-k-m-milesDare To by A.K.M. Miles
Rating – 3.5 Stars out of 5
 
Dare works as a youth counsellor, a vocation he is very passionate about. He and Ryan meet at a time of loss for both of them but they are unable to deny their intense chemistry. But just as Dare is finding his footing in his life with Ryan and Ryan’s nephew JC, he ends up as front page news for a heroic act of his which also ends up outing him as gay. What follows is an upheaval in his professional life that tests the bonds between Ryan and Dare.
 
I believe this story would have been so much better if just a few details were tinkered with till they were perfect.
 
It is a slice-of-life fiction, so basically a lot of things happen but the events don’t culminate into a climax, it’s just life as usual. At a few, very few, times I was hesitant at believing that such calamities would befall one person in such a short span of time but I have made peace with that aspect of this story. Overall the plot and the story make for a fairly interesting read.
 
There are a lot of side characters in this one but having read the story in its entirety I don’t feel like I know these characters well enough like Melanie, Jackie, Brandon, Linc and JC. I particularly felt this lack of development for JC’s character because no matter how you slice it he was always going to be a big part of Ryan and Dare’s life together and I would have loved more scenes with the trio of Ryan, Dare and JC. While we are on the topic of side characters, I would like to mention Ben Tyler who had just such an amazing personality.
 
This book is entirely from Dare’s perspective which kind of made the story very one-sided almost everything that happens, happens in Dare’s life it’s about his problems, his troubles and in the bargain we miss out on a lot of backstory on Ryan and his life and his friends.
 
The single most amazing thing about this book that pretty much carried this book for me was Ryan and Dare and their chemistry. It was sizzling hot. It really has me believing that if Ryan and Dare were real people they would be perfect for each other because oh my God! It was actually unbelievable how well these two characters played off of each other.
 
Personally this book is an interesting read with an awesome couple and it holds a lot of potential to be better.
Dare’s Christmas Gift by A.K.M. Miles
Rating – 3.75 to 4 Stars out of 5
 
Dare and Ryan are ready to celebrate their first Christmas together. But things get complicated when both JC and Brandon report spotting the mean guy. Now Christmas feels like a minefield for Dare, Ryan and Jackie to traverse, keeping the boys safety and happiness in mind at all times.
 
First of all I must confess that this story would have read much better if I wasn’t reading it right at the end of “Dare To” and that is reason for my variable rating. I feel like I didn’t enjoy it as much because I had just met these characters and I already knew their story and in some ways this felt like a rehash of “Dare To” but I’m pretty sure I would have liked it much better had there been a gap.
 
Okay so the ‘mean guy’ turns out to be Mitch not Phil and don’t worry this isn’t much of a spoiler because apparently all the characters knew who ‘mean guy’ referred to. I don’t know why I was expecting Phil, maybe because Dare To was very Dare-centric and I kind of thought this story would be too but in hindsight how would the kids know about Phil, that truly doesn’t seem like information to share with kids.
 
Okay yeah so the whole Mitch – thing felt like a rehash, I kept getting the ‘been there, done that’ feeling all throughout that story-line playing out and I was kind of expecting a sweet-Christmas story not a catch-the-bad-guy story. So yeah that was a bit repetitive.
 
But there are a lot of things to like about “Dare’s Christmas Gift” with the first thing being Dare’s Christmas Gift. It was truly inspired and I loved the gift so much and it just proved to me that Dare and Ryan were going to go long-term. I mean seriously I couldn’t wait for Ryan to see it.
 
Also this story has Ryan’s and JC’s perspectives the lack of which I felt very acutely in “Dare To”, so I loved their POVs and I loved that we got to spend time in their heads. Ditto scenes between Ryan, Dare and JC, we got a nice sweet helping of those too.
 
It was a great short story, I loved how we got to meet everyone and I am positive I would have enjoyed this story a lot more had I been reading it after a little break between reading “Dare To” and reading this. So everyone who loved the book be sure to pick up this short because “Dare’s Christmas Gift” is truly inspired, literally.
 
Cover Art by Kris Jacen. I love the cover with its background of blue at the top and the snowflakes at the bottom and how they transform from one into the other. Also I loved Dare’s expression on the cover; it feels very Dare-ish and like something he would actually do.
Sales Links
Book Details:
Kindle Edition
Published December 16th 2016 by MLR Press (first published July 1st 2008)
Original TitleDare To
ASINB01N9IS02Z
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDare #1
CharactersDare Wilson, Ryan Spencer
Bonus story included 

 

 

A VVivacious Review: Reconnecting Christmas (Seeing Me #3) by Megan Slayer

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Rating – 2.5 Stars out of 5
 
reconnecting-christmas-by-megan-slayerOliver and Bert have been in a relationship for the past two years but despite having been together for that long, there relationship is still simmering in uncertainty.
 
This Christmas all Oliver wants is for Bert to come home and Bert does but he ends up bringing a plus one with him. Will this spell the end of Oliver and Bert or will this force these two to examine the cracks in their relationship? Eventually, what will this Christmas bring Oliver & Bert?
 
This story is a nice fun holiday read. I liked the way the story was written, it flows and everything was nicely executed. The story moves at a fast pace which helps because the characters often say something and do something else.
 
This story doesn’t read like an established couple romance Oliver and Bert don’t feel like they have been together for two years and they still have a lot of issues to deal with so when things finally do get sorted out, I got the feeling that they had fallen in love for the first time. The characters aren’t that well developed, while their situation felt genuine, I really couldn’t figure out what made the tick.
 
Things happen very quickly, everything gets solved in a few days. Basically the whole story is like a flash in the pan. Things happen but no matter the magnitude of the upset things settle down quickly and quite uneventfully. Also towards the end I felt like Bert and Oliver were moving a bit too fast especially concerning how nascent their relationship felt, I mean these two were just figuring out how to be partners in their relationship with each other after having been in said relationship for two years.
 
What worked in spades for this story was that Oliver and Bert had great chemistry and great friends, actually friend that being Kenley. His advice was the most spot-on and helped get things on track.
Cover art is typical of the holiday stories.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
ebook
Published December 16th 2016 by MLR Press, LLC
Original TitleReconnecting Christmas
ISBN13e000000005674
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSeeing Me #3