An Alisa Review: Hybrid Incubator by Meraki P. Dark

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

The conspiracy theorists of the world might have gotten something right. Maybe not the details, but they got something right. Secret experiments exist!

The details they didn’t get right were probably down to not having the imagination for what an ass can be used for.

A Ph.D. in one hand and a dream in the other, Alex strikes out multiple times getting the job of his dreams. One job interview left him feeling so down that he needed a stiff drink. Depressed, slightly drunk, yet still obsessive enough to believe in a brighter future, Alex makes the mistake of trusting the wrong person.

Enslaved, marked as a lab rat, and stuffed into a windowless room to await testing to be conducted on him. That’s the future for Alex. Until one of his captures overhears half a conversation. Maybe his ass isn’t the only useful thing on Alex. And maybe even the worst roads ventured can lead to fulfilling a dream.

THIS BOOK CONTAINS: non-con, dub-con, fisting, tentacles, sex between animal Hybrids and humans, master/slave, voyeurism, power struggle, sensory deprivation, abduction, exhibitionism, slavery, psychological mindfucks, dystopia settings, mpreg in the form of eggs going…places, gestation, and a surprise ending with a HEA feel to it.

This was quite an interesting story.  Alex basically set himself up for something to happen to him but ends up finding happiness and love in the end too.

There were parts that were hot and some that bugged me to, but I expected that to an extent.  When Alex is with Cooper and even those showing kindness I absolutely loved those scenes but when it came to the punishing scene that Alex went through it made me sick to my stomach and no matter what they was flat out violent rape.

I liked how Alex was able to accept his fate but also grabbed on with both hands to help save the world too.  How the scientists were going about everything wasn’t quite right but I like that it seems Alex will be the big change for that, even if we don’t get to see the details.

I don’t usually bring this up, but considering I was provided a “final proof” it’s going to be out there to everyone, this book needed an editing overhaul.  There were quite a few incorrect work choices (i.e. tracks instead of tracts, they aren’t even the same thing) and at times the language or phrases the characters used just didn’t sit right with how they were portrayed.

I love the cover art and think it is perfect for this story.

Sales Links: Smashwords

Book Details:

ebook, 258 pages

Published: May 24, 2019 by Taboo BooxXx

ISBN-13: 9788797090442

Edition Language: English

Book Reveal in the SOULBOUND series . Its A Crown of Iron & Silver (Soulbound #3) by Hailey Turner (exclusive excerpt)

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A Crown of Iron & Silver by Hailey Turner

Series (name + # in series):  Soulbound III

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date (Print & Ebook):  September 10, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 107,043

Subgenre:  LGBTQ Urban Fantasy

Warnings:  None

Link: https://haileyturner.com/a-crown-of-iron-silver-03/

Book synopsis:

Never promise a life that isn’t yours to give.

New York City is decked out for the holidays, and Special Agent Patrick Collins is looking forward to a reunion with his old team when he gets assigned a new case. A human child is missing, and the changeling left in her place causes a prominent witch family to demand justice from the fae.

Meanwhile, continued harassment from the New York City god pack forces Jonothon de Vere to formally establish his own with Patrick. Doing so will mean a civil war within the werecreature community—a war they risk losing from the start without alliances. Making bargains with the fae is never wise, but Patrick and Jono have nothing to lose when a fae lord comes asking for their help.

The Summer Lady has been kidnapped from the Seelie Court, and if they can find her, Patrick and Jono will cement an alliance with the fae. But the clues to her disappearance are found in Tír na nÓg, and the Otherworld has never been kind to mortals.

Venturing past the veil, Patrick and Jono risk losing territory, time, and their very lives while searching for answers. Because the Queen of Air and Darkness knows they are coming—and the ruler of the Unseelie Court has an offer for them they can’t possibly refuse.

A Crown of Iron & Silver is a 107k word m/m urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to All Souls Near & Nigh. Reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.

Exclusive excerpt for book reveal:

“Come on. Let’s go to bed.”

Patrick led him back into their bedroom, ignoring Jono’s huff of laughter when Patrick pushed him onto the bed. He shrugged out of his own jacket and stripped out of his sweater, tossing it aside. His dog tags were warm from body heat, even if he couldn’t feel where they rested on his scarred chest.

Jono watched Patrick undress the rest of the way, methodically getting rid of his weapons and clothes. He crawled onto the bed, pushing at Jono’s shoulders until he was lying down, with Patrick straddling his hips. Long fingers curled around his dog tags, tugging at the chain to pull him into a kiss that went from lazy to deep in the span of seconds.

Warm hands gripped Patrick’s hips, thumbs pressing against bone. Patrick bit down gently on Jono’s bottom lip before pulling away, dragging his mouth over the stubble along Jono’s jaw, to his throat.

“They drew first blood, and I don’t like that it was yours,” Patrick murmured against the skin stretched taut over Jono’s pulse.

He could feel it when Jono swallowed, and he tried his hardest to suck a bruise against Jono’s throat.

“Better mine than yours.”

“Fuck that.”

.

Connect with Hailey Turner:

Newsletter:  You can keep up with Hailey’s future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download several free short stories:  http://eepurl.com/cAEejL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website:  http://www.haileyturner.com

The Perfect Romance Novels and Summer Reading. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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The Perfect Romance Novel and Summer Reading

Last Sunday I started talking about the perfect romance novel because, primarily, I had just read one that if asked I would most certainly take with me to a deserted island. That would be Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston in any format.  That story had everything I look for in a romance story and I’m still basking in the afterglow it has left behind.  It’s one of my top ten this year.

And it made me start thinking about the qualities of a perfect romance novel.  What would they be?

Turns out that formula is one that hundreds perhaps thousands of authors are in search of as well.  Many are certain they have it if the articles I found online are any indication.  If that were true, there would be far more perfect novels out there (and maybe there are) then I have come across or read about.  It’s like looking through a telescope.  You can only see so many stars, there’s always some just outside your vision.

But back to what I did find.  Which was fascinating.

One article here at the Huff Post, the writer (a published romance author) lists the following as her requirements for a perfect romance novel:

  • Have a story.
  • Not too much story.
  • Sex
  • The Sum of its Parts

That got me thinking.  Can you have too much story?  Can you have a great romance novel without  sex?  For me the answer is yes and yes.  Especially within the LGBTQIA spectrum and including YA stories. I have read wonderful books where sex is not a component. Upside Down by N.R. Walker, Antisocial and The Roosevelt series by Heidi Cullinan to name a few.  Too much story or too many details?  There’s a difference to me.  A density not in layers but in not being able to know when to let go of the miniscule and the unnecessary.

What do you all think?

Think about Jane Austen for ffs.  Where’s the hot and heavy sex in that?  Climbing gently down off the box.

Ok

So the essential formula for any romance is (and should be updated in this age)

Person Meets Person

Person loses Person

Person Gets Person

Then there’s the plot:

Three of the most popular romance plot devices are:

Friends become lovers
You’re my soulmate, it’s fate
This is my second chance to love again

Then what happens after that?  Narrative magic, depending upon the author.  They choose the setting, the genre, the characters.  They bring their imagination, their own skill base and travels, history, and in some cases ability to research to the story.

And something elusive.  Shrugs.  That ability to add a spark of life, of magic to the page that let’s us, the reader, into something timeless, moving, and sometimes impactful.  Books to remember.

I have those.  I’m sure you all do as well.  What books are sitting on your shelves?  What books have continued to make the greatest impressions?    Are any of them romance novels?  Who are or were the authors?  Let us know!

 

Meanwhile, try to stay cool.  Dog days of summer are upon us.  Bring out the umbrellas, the ice tea, the occasional sprinkler and enjoy your books in every format.    Have a great week.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 4:

  • Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Team Luker by Nell Iris
  • The Perfect Romance Novels and Summer Reading
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 5

  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote – Nothing Ventured
  • Review Tour –  Sword Dance by AJ Demas
  • BLOG TOUR Beautiful Trauma by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Review: The Midspring Rebellion by Doreen Heron
  • A Lucy Review : Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote
  • A MelanieM Review : Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Free Dreamer Review : Saviors: Duty and Sacrifice 1 (The God Jars Saga #1) by Devon Vesper

Tuesday, August 6:

  • Release Blitz – MJ O’Shea’s Chef In Disguise
  • Release Blitz  Jay Hogan’s Digging Deep
  • AUDIO TOUR Out in the Field by Lane Hayes
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Digging Deep (Digging Deep #1) by Jay Hogan
  • A Lucy Review : Team Luker by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Unbroken (Hearts Entwined #4) by Andrew Grey

Wednesday, August 7:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:  Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
  • Release Blitz – Thomas Grant Bruso ‘s The Two Of Us
  • Book Reveal SOULBOUND #3 by Hailey Turner
  • An Alisa Review: Hybrid Incubator by Meraki P. Dark
  • A Stella Review Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble and John Solo (Narrator)

Thursday, August 8:

  • PROMO Gene Gant
  • Blog Tour- Small Town Sonata
  • A Stella Review: A Pocketful of Stardust (Aster) by JP Barnaby & Rowan Speedwell
  • A VVivacious Review: Toy by R Parr
  • An Alisa Review: Rules to Follow (Davey’s Rules #1) by Susan Hawke

Friday, August 9:

  • Release Blitz Heel by KM Neuhold
  • Release Blitz  for Release (Rent Boys #1) by A E Ryecart
  • Review Tour – Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review:  World Turned Upside Down by Elyse Springer
  • A Lila Audio Review: Running on Empty (Havoc #3) by S.E. Jakes and Mark Larchmont (Narrator)

Saturday, August 10:

  • A MelanieM  Pre Release Review: The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe

 

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Intoxicating (Elite Protection Services #1) by Onley James

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

I like my erotic romances with some depth and this fit the bill. There are many triggers in this book so please pay attention to the tags: past and present abuse, off page rape, self harm, flashbacks, alcohol, drugs, and suicide attempts. Of course, this all means the hurt/comfort trope is quite strong. Wyatt is full of pain from parents who don’t know what love means; he is acting out recklessly in his hopelessness. Lincoln is hired by Wyatt’s father as a babysitter for him during the Senate reelection campaign.

Much of this story takes place in a fish bowl of forced proximity. The attraction is immediate for both of them and while a misunderstanding keeps them apart for a little while, once that is gone there is no stopping the lust from boiling over, even if it all seems like a horrible idea, bound for heartbreak all around. As an erotic romance, the sex scenes are plentiful and smoking hot if light Daddy play is your thing. My heart hurt for both of them pretty quickly. Linc’s usual scenes and after care haven’t prepared him for actually caring for a boy of his own. He is in denial about his PTSD from the service and glosses over his own childhood abuse. Wyatt’s never had a man care for him at all, in any capacity. This is completely dysfunctional, but at least Linc understands that. Linc is an intimate witness to Wyatt’s life without his consent; it is Linc’s choice to share his life with Wyatt in return. With this dynamic, I wonder if anyone who showed Wyatt affection would have sufficed. Still, the moment that it becomes less about play and more about making love, the sex is real including the fear, communication, and humor.

The pacing is fast due to the feeling of racing against the clock. This has an expiration date, not just because of the senator’s campaign, but because this bubble is not sustainable. There are thankfully some interesting supporting characters involved: Linc’s boss and former service buddy Jackson, Graciela the housekeeper, Charlemagne or Charlie as Wyatt’s best friend, and Wyatt’s grandmother Violet. Charlie has the largest, much needed role as support for Wyatt when he can’t support himself. Some might criticize her for not doing more, but I think she did what she could whilst not humiliating and outing Wyatt against his will. When he makes the choice to change his circumstances, she protects them all. I admit Linc and his sister’s circumstances make no sense to me: caring for someone who hurt, neglected and abandoned them over someone Linc is falling in love with seems like a fake box to put him in. Neither does Wyatt’s situation make a lot of sense: if at 22, Wyatt is so abused and mentally screwed up that he can’t get out of the situation with his father, then he is not fit to be anyone’s partner. There are two scenes where Wyatt shows he can be supportive of Linc also–enough to give me some hope. With all the angst I had to wade through, I would have liked to see the epilogue expanded to show more of the happiness a romance brings to the table. Their kinks and childhood traumas match enough for them to bond, but I do wish there had been a bit more as to why they would work as a couple in real world circumstances for a more believable HEA.

The cover design is by We Got You Covered Book Design. This doesn’t have anything to do with the story. This model is a bit more built than I pictured Wyatt and less built than I pictured Linc. The tagline makes this seem more about discipline or BDSM, which doesn’t match the flavor of this book at all.

Sales Links: Amazon | Universal Link 

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 12th 2019 (first published July 8th 2019)
Original Title Intoxicating
Edition Language English
Series Elite Protection Services #1

Summer Reading and the Perfect Romance Novel. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

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Summer Reading and the Perfect Romance Novel.

 

One thing summer reading has always meant is relaxation and escapism.  Not for me books that offered the psychologically twisty horror plots or ambiguous endings.  Those get pushed to fall or winter.  Even some of the hard core action adventure may slide a bit, depending on the plot and characters.    Sometimes, I just want to recline and dive into a great fantasy world or romance that carries me away from everything happening in RL, listen to the ocean waves if I happen to be at the beach, and simply savor summer.

It will be gone all too soon as will the summer state of mind.

For me nothing says summer reading better than a romance story.  Two people finding each other, the journey, the temporary heartbreak, the realization of forever love, and then happily ever after.  The story that makes your heart burst and then puts it back together with puppies and sparkes and tissues and everything warm and glowly The novel with characters that pulls you in and you connect with them, and hold them close, and reread their story….over and over.  A story that sometimes turns into your comfort read.  That romance story.

The Perfect Romance Story.

Summer is the exact time for the Perfect Romance story (not that any time of the year isn’t as well).  I found a Perfect Romance story this summer (thank you, Barb, our Zany Old Lady.). I should say I found it through a review here by Barb. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, although I just finished the audio, narrated by Ramón de Ocampo. This book has me wanting the ebook and even the paperback format.

The only problem?  It’s the author’s only story.

For me, it’s everything I want and need in a romance story.  I’ll go into that next week.

But for now.  Do you all have that perfect romance story?  What is it?  What makes it a perfect story for you?

While we are waiting for those answers next week.

Here are the answers from our Polls.  We  are 50/50 about  series and standalone stories.  We don’t care obviously.  About the type of stories?  Well, contemporary runs slightly ahead of SyFy/Fantasy/Other trilogy with Paranormal running last.

Some of the comments from our readers:

H.B.:

“I can go either way. I don’t mind series but I do tend to gravitate towards standalone stories more (because it’s just faster to get through them and find the next exciting read). I usually like to wait till a series is near completion or completed to even start it because I know if I start one and the next book takes months or years to write I will have to go back to re-read the series and for me going back to read 8-10 books just to prepare to read the newest addition to the series is time consuming and not something I want to do for any series I just thought was okay but didn’t quite blow my socks off.

I do want some warning that a book will be a series before I start and whether or not they could be read loosely as standalones or not. As for series that intersect with other series. I don’t really mind them. I’m usually good about reading stories out of order sometimes and connecting them into a time line that will work but can see how it can’t work for others.”

and

Jenf27

|”I love both series and standalone stories. But, I do want to know if I a book is part of a series. I get that sometimes a standalone story turns into a series later due to reader requests or the author’s muse. And that’s cool, but if it is already a series or already planned to be a series, I want to know. One of my especial pet peeves is when a series is convoluted and you can’t tell the reading order. Such as a series within a series or interconnected series. In those cases, it is helpful when the author publishes a reading order.”

So to both of you go a $10 Amazon gift card.  Please contact Stella at scatteredthoughtsandroguewords@gmail.com with the email address to use for your gift card. And Congratulations.

 

So now think about what is your perfect Romance novel, what makes it so, and send it in.  Let’s make that Summer  List of Perfect Love Stories!  Go!

Now here is our week ahead!  Happy reading and listening!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, July 28:

  • Summer Reading and the Perfect Romance Novel.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

Monday, July 29:

  • BLOG TOUR Rules to Follow by Susan Hawke
  • Review Tour – Trusting The Elements – Elle Keaton
  • Tia Fielding
  • An Alisa Review: Between the Covers Anthology
  • A MelanieM Review:Trusting the Elements (Never Too Late #1) by Elle Keaton
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Mercs and Strippers (Ore 5 #3) by Meraki P. Lyhne

Tuesday, July 30:

  • Review Tour – Alison Temple – Cold Pressed
  • Release Blitz – Tal Bauer
  • Tour Here Comes the Son by Dahlia Donovan
  • PROMO Jess Anastasi
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Shaman of Kupa Piti (Shaman’s Law #1) by A. Nybo
  • A MelanieM Review:Here Comes the Son” by Dahlia Donovan
  • A Stella Release Day Review: A Pocketful of Stardust (Aster) by JP Barnaby & Rowan Speedwell
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Beautiful Disaster (Geek Life#3) by Marguerite Labbe

Wednesday, July 31:

  • Book Blast – The Artist’s Boxer by Este Holland
  • SERIES REVIEW TOUR – Fairground Attractions by L M Somerton
  • PROMO A. Nybo
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review:  Ghost Train by AM Summerton
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Rocking Thin Ice by Z. Allora
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Burn (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice, Kale Williams (narrator)
  • A Lily Audio Review:Burn (Witchbane #1.5) by Morgan Brice, Kale Williams (narrator)

Thursday, August 1:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Mason’s Run by Mellanie Rourke
  • J.P. Barnaby/Rowan Speedwell on A Pocketful of Stardust
  • Blog Tour –  – Mad About the Boy
  • A MelanieM Review:Where the Night Reigns by Emilie Lucadamo
  • A MelanieM Review: The Hate You Drink by NR Walker

Friday, August 2:

  • PROMO Wendy Quall’s Rockets and Romance
  • PROMO Marguerite Labbe on A Beautiful Disaster
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Rockets and Romance by Wendy Qualls
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Intoxicating (Elite Protection Services #1) by Onley James
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Ramón de Ocampo (Narrator)

Saturday, August 3:

  • A MelanieM Review: Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale

 

Love SciFy? Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Black Sky Morning (Mind + Machine Series #3) by Hanna Dare

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Length: 74,000 words approx.
 
Mind + Machine Series
 

Book #1 – Machine Metal Magic – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – The Wayward Prince – Amazon US | Amazon UK

 
Blurb 



A bounty hunter in over his head.


Xin knows how to look out for himself, and he knows when something sounds too good to be true. But a forgotten planet filled with riches is too tempting to pass up. Fortunately Xin also knows someone who can back him up – if he doesn’t arrest Xin first.


A government agent who’s lost hope.


Jonathan Gray used to believe in a better future. Now he’s not so sure. Then Xin walks in, with his dark eyes and maddening smirk, and Jonathan feels like he’s waking up for the first time in months. Well, parts of him at least. He knows Xin is trouble, but when trouble looks this good it’s impossible to resist.


Two men. One dangerous planet. To survive they need to trust each other – too bad neither of them does trust.

 

A writer-for-hire for more than ten years, Hanna Dare now writes what she loves to read: well-written, character-driven stories of men exploring their identities and discovering their own unique kind of happily ever afters… usually through sexytimes.


Find Hanna on the internet enjoying pretty pictures, procrastination and caffeinated beverages!

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Cover Reveal for Eminently Elf (D’Vaire Book 13) by Jessamyn Kingley

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COVER REVEAL

Book Title: Eminently Elf (D’Vaire, Book 13)

Author: Jessamyn Kingley

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations

Release Date: July 25, 2019

Genre/s:  M/M Urban Fantasy Romance

Trope/s: Fated Mates

Themes: Love, Courage

Heat Rating:  3 flames

 

Even for a legend, victory has a price.

Blurb

Emperors Chrysander and Ellery Draconis are in love and looking toward the future. Ellery is the first hybrid to survive a dragon shift, becoming a legend. Chrysander couldn’t be happier with his elf dragon, and for the first time he is truly savoring life. Despite the demands of their schedules as the leaders of the Council of Sorcery and Shifters, the pair have also managed to find balance. But not everyone is happy to see the leader of the dragons with a half-elven mate.

As the two go about their daily business, those sworn to protect them work tirelessly each day to ensure the safety of their emperors. They lived through the horror of the previous rulers being murdered and are all too aware of the dangers that lie in wait. Nothing is left to chance, but regardless of their dedication, not even they can prevent evil from rising from the mists.

On a seemingly ordinary day, an unexpected attack shocks everyone. A matebond is taken to the brink and the limits of magic are tested as the strongest forces unite to try to repair the damage. It will take time, patience, and perseverance for good to prevail. Chrysander and Ellery will once again overcome the odds and emerge victorious, but in the end, nothing will ever be the same.

 

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website

Follow her on Facebook 

She loves to engage with readers there.

Other Author Links

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Pinterest

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Check out the other blog posts here

 

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Paris is a successful artist who picks up Roy, a maintenance man, at his gallery showing. He’s trying to get away from his overbearing sister, Julia and the patrons who all want a piece of him. This one night stand doesn’t go like all his others. By the time his other sister Alice is introduced, it’s obvious something is very wrong with not only Paris, but everyone who surrounds him. It’s a story of greed, lust, and betrayal.

First, I would say this book has very dark themes with: angst, violence, drugs, drinking, brutal sex, deaths, PTSD, and past trauma. But those are just words; if you read this book, you will feel all of those words. Second, it is written in the first person POV of a mentally ill person who is in tremendous pain, is self medicating, and has no sense of self worth. Add in the layer of abuse Alice heaps on him as his legal guardian, and the story is quite harrowing. There is a really pivotal scene where I realized Paris can take care of himself…does he let Julia hurt him because of guilt? or is it just fear and habit?

The meaningless sex here is brutal and explicit as Paris exercises some of the only power he has. Then there is the dubious/non consensual sex. As Roy starts to realize the sex means nothing, he tries to date Paris without it. All the meaning comes from Roy’s care giving, but Roy quickly realizes he’s in over his head and Paris needs professional help. Roy is also clever enough to realize he can give Paris a positive sexual outlet for the first time in his life, with someone who loves him. I made a point to mention this because, sex is a major, integral part of this book. I didn’t feel the story lacked anything at all, it’s just important to remember the reader is never given anyone’s POV but Paris’s. Paris’s world is filled with wealthy, bloodthirsty sharks. Paris is drowning from the inside out. Roy may be a flotation device, but Paris still has to hang on, and he is still in the sea.

By the halfway mark, the reader should understand almost all of the demons that drive Paris, but it’s not until the end that the demons driving Julia and Alice are understood. There could be a debate about whether this is a romance or not. While I love Roy, for me, the HEA comes from Paris getting the professional help he needs from a doctor he trusts. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I knew it was going to be an emotionally devastating read, so I kept putting it off. I can say without a doubt, this will be on my best of the year (and possibly ever read in this genre) list.

The cover design is by Adrienne Wilder with a photo from Dan Skinner. While it does show the colors in Paris’s mind, and the photo shows the darkness, it’s not terribly compelling.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book Details:

ebook, 320 pages
Published June 20th 2014 by Adrienne Wilder (first published June 19th 2014)
Edition Language English

A Lila Review: The Demon of Hagermarsh (Virasana Empire: Sir Yaden #1) by Beryll Brackhaus and Osiris Brackhaus

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

“The Emperor cares for each and every one of his subjects.”

Many consider the catchphrase of the imperial Lotus Knights to be nothing more but well-polished propaganda, but for Yaden, it is a way of life.

A young Lotus Knight himself, his first mission in service of the Emperor sends him to the remote village of Hagermarsh, a suspiciously friendly place on a planet known for its inhospitable people. But how to uncover a demonist coven when nothing bad ever happens?
Getting to know the villagers only makes things more difficult – the motherly fishmonger surely isn’t a demonist. Nor the gruff leader of the local militia. And definitely not the cute baker from across the street.

Or are they?

Come discover a dazzling, hopeful universe of knights and monsters, of psions, aliens and ancient deities! The Demon of Hagermarsh is the first book of ‘Sir Yaden’, an epic SF saga of grand adventure, romance, bromance and family, set in the multi-faceted Virasana Empire. It is a romantic adventure and can be read as a standalone.

The Demon of Hagermarsh is a well-written mix of paranormal and sci-fi elements. It transcends the MM Romance genre and set itself apart with a great set of characters and mystery elements. The descriptions include all senses and it’s easy to feel and understand Yaden since the reader is part of him.

It does have slow spots and lengthy descriptions but they can be appreciated when they become relevant further in the story. The battles and explanations could have been shorter but it helps the overall story.

The characters are three-dimensional and the reader gets a chance to cheer for their future. I wanted a bit more of Darios since he’s an important part of the memory chapters, but not much of the regular ones. I was intrigued by him and the possibilities of his future.

I like Colin and the innocence of his relationship with Yaden. The rest of the people in the village felt real and interesting. Even after everything happened, I wanted to revisit them and see how they have changed.

The small peek into Yaden life as a Lotus Knight and all his friendships opened the door for future installments in this saga. I’m definitely reading the next one.

The cover by Anna Tiferet is perfect for the story. It shows the setting as described by Yaden. Everything from the weather to the house stones is relevant to the story.

Sale Links: Amazon | iBooks | Smashwords

Book Details:
ebook, 212 pages
ISBN: 9781092150453
Published: June 3, 2019, by Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus
Edition Language: English

Series: Virasana Empire
Book #1: The Demon of Hagermarsh

New Release Tour:The Demon of Hagermarsh (Virasana Empire: Sir Yaden #1) by Beryll Brackhaus and Osiris Brackhaus (excerpt)

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The Demon of Hagermarsh

Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus have a new MM fantasy book out: The Demon of Hagermarsh.

“The Emperor cares for each and every one of his subjects.”

Many consider the catchphrase of the imperial Lotus Knights to be nothing more but well-polished propaganda, but for Yaden, it is a way of life.

A young Lotus Knight himself, his first mission in service of the Emperor sends him to the remote village of Hagermarsh, a suspiciously friendly place on a planet known for its inhospitable people. But how to uncover a demonist coven when nothing bad ever happens?

Getting to know the villagers only complicates things – the motherly fishmonger surely isn’t a demonist. Nor the gruff leader of the local militia. And definitely not the cute baker from across the street.

Or are they?

Come discover a dazzling, hopeful universe of knights and monsters, of psions, aliens and ancient deities! The Demon of Hagermarsh is the first book of ‘Sir Yaden’, an epic SF saga of grand adventure, romance, bromance and family, set in the multi-faceted Virasana Empire. It is a romantic adventure and can be read as a standalone.

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Excerpt

Banner of Hagermarsh Meme

Instantly, Yaden was on his feet and in the sales room, only to realise that he had absolutely no reason to do so except for his curiosity, but now it was too late for a credible retreat.

“Good day, Sir,” he greeted Colin, hoping he’d come across as a diligent shop servant and not some weirdo.

Colin looked a little startled at his sudden appearance, but he gave him that sunny smile of his. “Good day, Yaden. I thought I’d break with tradition and come in first, so the rest of them can follow. Me being the other most recent newcomer to the village and all.”

“Oh?” So that was why Colin seemed so out of place in Hagermarsh. “You’re not from here either?”

“Actually I sort of am. My family has owned that bakery for generations. But my mother and her sister ran away to Schimmelbach. They hated this place, so, I wasn’t born here.”

“Really? But what’s to hate here? Hagermarsh seems pretty nice so far.”

“I don’t actually know,” Colin replied with another smile, this time bittersweet. “Mother died when I was little, so Aunt Mildred raised me. And she rarely talked about their time in Hagermarsh.”

“So there’s a terrible, dark secret to this village?” Yaden tried to keep his tone down and not too hopeful.

Colin laughed out loud. “In Hagermarsh? If there is one, I haven’t been initiated yet. I only moved here a few years ago, when my Grandpa died and I took over the bakery. And so far, it’s been the nicest place I’ve ever lived in.”

Not a useful lead. Yaden feverishly tried to figure out a way to ask more questions without making their conversation sound too much like an interrogation, until he noticed that Colin was looking at him with that beaming smile of his. It made him terribly nervous.

“So … What are you looking to buy?” Inelegant, but at least it was a way out.

“A few odds and ends. We do need the General Store to open again. Which reminds me, can I have my basket back, yet?”

“Actually, I dropped it off with your apprentice yesterday. Didn’t he tell you?” Yaden had specifically told the youth to let his master know, but had only received the usual grunt in return.

Colin groaned dramatically. “Rory! That lazy foghead is going to be the death of me one day! Eithne insisted that regular work would be good for him and he would improve, but I swear he is getting worse. That’s what you get for listening to a kind old lady trying to barter off one of her grandsons.”

“I’m … sorry?”

“No, no, not your fault at all.” Colin’s smile was back again in a blink. How could a man smile that much? “I’ll deal with him. After all, he is my apprentice and I’m responsible for him. I’ll get him into shape eventually.” He pulled a small note from his pocket, scanned it and for the first time properly looked around the sales room, his eyes going wide. “Wow! This is so orderly. And so much. It looks like you have at least one of everything.”

Before moving from Erys to Lagoona, Yaden would have agreed. He vividly remembered the first time he and Darios had visited one of the big shopping malls in Ridge, the highrise quarter of Agami, and gaped at the sheer amount of stuff on sale they hadn’t even known existed. They sure had felt like clueless country bumpkins. But after a year in the Empire’s capital, he had gotten used to it to a point where the General Store’s range of goods felt rudimentary to him.

“Mostly I need a new pen and a whole bunch of different spices.” Colin smiled at Yaden hopefully. “Could you show me where everything is?”

“Sure, though we may not have exotic spices in stock. But we can order them for you.”

“That would be great. Okay, let me see. Most urgently, I need some garnak, ideally whole pods, and some dried lurka leaves. Do you have any terran caraway, by chance?”

There wasn’t much assistance Yaden could offer, apart from showing him where they kept the spices. Deciphering the labels on the tins would have taken him much longer than Colin. But he recognized them at a glance, and Yaden stayed with him to portion out the amounts he needed and bring them over to the counter.

When Colin followed him to the counter, he noticed Darios properly for the first time and did a double take at his size.

“Master Darios, who actually owns the store,” Yaden introduced.

Darios greeted Colin with an amicable grunt and put his book down to ring up Colin’s purchases.

“I promised Master Colin a discount in exchange for his welcoming bread,” Yaden reminded him.

“Oh, no, that is absolutely not necessary.”

Colin looked embarrassed, but Darios glanced at Yaden with a decidedly amused twinkle in his eye. Instead of figuring in a discount, he pulled two extra pencils from the box he kept under the counter and pushed them over to Colin.

“Thank you.” He smiled first at Darios and then at Yaden again. For a Leichnami he smiled suspiciously much, but his smile was warm and pretty and Yaden couldn’t bring himself to mind. “Well, I should be on my way before the rest of Hagermarsh starts wondering whether you have eaten me.”

Walking him to the door was ridiculous, of course, but Yaden trailed behind him.

“Will I see you at the scribba training tonight?” Colin asked when he stepped out onto the porch.

“I thought that is only for the fighting citizens?”

Colin shook his head. “No, it’s a bit of a social gathering, too. Lots of people standing around, drinking beer and giving useless advice to us poor fork-wielding folk.” He smiled yet again. “I could introduce you to some of the younger villagers.”

Yaden gave an exaggerated shudder. “I’m not sure I want to meet them if they are anything like Bridget from next door,” he grabbed the opportunity to gather more information.

“Oh, so you met Bridget?” Colin’s smile gained a decidedly snarky edge. “Did she give you the ‘in this village we don’t tolerate any bullying and you better not step out of line’ speech?”

“Actually, she asked me lots of questions. And she gave me the ‘if anyone bullies you, I’ll protect you’ speech.”

“She did?” Colin looked amused and indignant at the same time. “Now, why do you look worthy of protection to her and I get treated like a ticking time bomb?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I look harmless?” Which was more than a little ridiculous considering what Yaden was capable of.

“Mmh,” Colin huffed and shrugged. “Granted, Bridget is a bit odd. But there are some nice folks in Hagermarsh. They only act gruff when there is a chance of strangers observing them. Hagermarsh is a real community where people look out for each other. I think you’ll like it here.”

Colin gave him that movie-star smile again, but Yaden had to struggle keeping up his own.

Those last sentences had triggered all alarms in Yaden’s head. All of that sounded way too much like propaganda, crafted to keep the population calm, happy and ignorant of any ugly things happening behind the scenes. It sounded very much like the slogans the Lotus Pavilion PR team had drummed into his head. Colin had even the right kind of wholesome handsomeness that made believing such stories so easy. If Yaden managed to pinpoint where this propaganda was coming from, he’d be on the right track.

“See you at the training, tonight?” Colin asked.

Yaden only managed an affirmative grunt.

“Looking forward to it. Oh, and you may wanna bring some beer. That’ll go a long way in making you less of a stranger.”

Yaden grunted again. Maybe not beer, but he had unpacked a whole crate of different kinds of schnapps and brandy earlier. Those would surely work just as well. He managed a parting smile before Colin turned around and left across the road.


Author Bio

We are Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, a couple currently living our happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of our cat.

Both of us are voracious but picky readers, we love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, we write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of our happiness with our readers.

Beryll: An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of our duo.

Osiris: An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.

Author Website: http://www.brackhaus.com/

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Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brackhaus

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Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6427435.Osiris_Brackhaus

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Osiris-Brackhaus/e/B00IVTRO2E

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