An Alisa Release Day Review: Coasting (States of Love) by Yvonne Trent

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

What happens when you need something but don’t know what it is? Why not look in a place you never heard of?

 

Out and proud elementary school teacher Cal Hamilton thought he was happy in Philadelphia, but after a breakup, he steps back to reassess his life and discovers something is missing. He gets in his car and drives south with no idea what he hopes to find. The flip of a coin leads him to a small town in Mississippi—practically a different world from the city where he grew up.

 

Police officer Billy Labarre keeps his sexuality mostly to himself, but he knows just what he needs to fill the hole in his quiet small-town life: the right man. Unfortunately attitudes toward gay men still leave a lot to be desired in the rural South, and it’s hard to meet someone. It’s not likely his perfect match is just going to show up out of the blue….

 

This was a nice story.  Cal is trying to get his head on straight after a breakup and follows his gut on a road trip.  His coin flip leads him west towards Mississippi from Florida and he can’t ignore his gut feeling to pull off in Ocean Springs.  He’s lucky to run into Billy that evening as he has been unable to find a place to stay and Billy opens his home to him.

 

Billy and Cal immediately hit it off and are perfect example of when it feels right you don’t question it.  Both of these characters are very open about their feeling to each other so there is no second guessing what they want.  Though Billy was living half in the closet when the story began and the author doesn’t go into it but I would think he can’t really be doing that anymore once Cal is living with him and has a job in the local school.  I enjoyed this story however felt as though there was something missing and some of the breaking points in the story seemed very abrupt.

 

Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is absolutely beautiful and I love it.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 112 pages

Published: August 23, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-700-6

Edition Language: English

Series: A States of Love Story

A VVivacious Review: How to Love a Monster by Lyssa Dering

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Rating: 3.75 Stars out of 5

Seraphim finds himself in an afterlife. He finds himself in Wish City a place created by Wish for super-humans like Sera and himself.

In Wish City, Sera finds himself in the company of Fiend who may or may not have imprisoned Sera in his house. While Sera finds himself falling for Fiend, he keeps coming across clues pointing out the fact that everything he believes about Fiend might not true. When Fiend’s strange proclivities come to light what will become of Sera and their budding relationship?

This book made for a very interesting read. I personally find the subject of afterlife quite interesting and Wish City is a very innovative outlook on the afterlife. Also, the fact that these people are super-humans is kind of amazing.

What really had me interested was Sera’s power and I really wanted to see what applications would come of having such a power so, I was a bit disappointed about the fact that we didn’t get to see much about that. Sera’s power is deactivated for much of the book and doesn’t really contribute much to the storyline. Fortunately, the loss of emphasis on Sera’s super-ability was made up by all the emphasis on Wish’s ability.

Wish’s super-ability is the fact that everything he creates in his mind becomes reality, like if he makes up a place in his head where super-humans end up after death then this place actually exists and becomes reality.  So Wish is basically a miniature God and if he were to turn evil things would actually be very, very bad which actually brings me to the question about how such a powerful human being ended up being captured which just illustrates the fact that there isn’t much we know about how Wish’s ability worked while he was alive but he is definitely the God of Wish City. So you can imagine his surprise when on getting to Wish City he is immediately sedated and imprisoned by his childhood Bogeyman, Fiend, a monster he had forgotten even existed.

Fiend is an amazing character. I must commend the author’s characterisation of Fiend because his character is one that could only have been dreamt up by a kid. He is this rare mixture of sweet with a hunger for brains. There is just something about Fiend that makes it very obvious that only innocence could have birthed his character.

I loved the world of Wish City I especially loved how the author made use of the uniqueness of Wish City to carry the plot forward. This was something that made the story very intriguing.

I loved the premise for the book and the plot. The author paces this book very well. Just before you start getting bored of a particular set of events she turns the tide keeping things interesting at all times.

All in all, this makes for a unique and interesting tale and if you are looking for something different, this is the book to go for.

Cover Art by Lyssa Dering. I like the cover it truly fits the book.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 164 pages
Published August 12th 2017
ASINB074S89JKF

A Jeri Review: Tops Down Bottoms Up by Jay Northcote

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This was a fun little read! Jay writes feel good books with little or no angst. And sometimes that is exactly what you need.
This was another example of not only opposites attract, but of one of the main characters getting caught making fun of what the other main character does. Namely Morris dancing. I had no idea what this was (silly American that I am!) and was off to youtube to get a better picture. But once Rowan is softly pushed into trying it, he doesn’t hate it like he thought he would. And that isn’t just because Seth is hot and the sexual innuendos fly.
But after a quickly punched in phone number turns out to be one digit wrong, Rowan figures it was a festival fling and to move on. But his best friend finds out where the Morris dancers are next and has a plan to get Rowan and Seth back together.
This book is a perfect read for sitting by the beach or pool. It will put a smile on your face, the sex isn’t off the charts steamy so you won’t be red in the face in public, and it is a quick read.
Enjoy this little Morris dancing romp.
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design.  Sexy and appealing.

Sales Links:

Amazon US:http://amzn.to/2uHLViY

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2w92Wmu

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 91 pages
Published August 16th 2017 by Jaybird Press
Original TitleTops Down Bottoms Up
ASINB074TVDMFQ

Review Tour for Jay Northcote’s Tops Down Bottoms Up

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Buy Links: Amazon US:http://amzn.to/2uHLViY

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2w92Wmu

 
Length: 23,000 words approx 
 
 
Blurb

 

Will Rowan’s festival fling with sexy dancer Seth lead to something more permanent?


Rowan is stuck at a folk festival helping out a mate, and it really isn’t his scene. The yoga and singing workshops are bad enough, but morris dancing is the final straw. Bearded men with beer guts prancing around wearing bells—who wants to watch that?


All Rowan’s preconceptions are shattered when he meets Seth—a morris dancer, and the stuff Rowan’s fantasies are made of. Seth persuades Rowan to come to a dancing workshop, and Rowan’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to know Seth better. The attraction is mutual, and a lesson filled with innuendo and flirting leads to an incredible night together.


When Rowan arrives home, he’s gutted to find that Seth has given him the wrong phone number. Assuming Seth did it on purpose, Rowan resolves to forget about him. But fate—and friends—conspire to get them back together. Will they manage to stay in step this time around?

A much shorter version of this story was originally published in the Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology by Dreamspinner Press. This version has been revised and extended. Almost half of it is new content


 


Author Bio

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


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


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


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

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Blog Tour for Inhuman Beings by Richard May (excerpt and giveaway)

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IB banner

Title: Inhuman Beings
Author: Richard May
Release Date: June 15th 2017
Genre: Gay Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Erotic

Inhuman Beings-Front cover

BLURB

Fall in love with a shapeshifter in San Francisco, a ghost in Scotland, or a vampire in Russia. Time travel to 1920s Mesopotamia, 1600’s Africa, or to ancient Greece before time even existed. Find yourself on a distant planet, in love with a creature whose very being can destroy you, or in a post-apocalyptic world, drawn to a mutation created by the destruction of Earth.

Enjoy these 18 erotic stories about romantic encounters between men and not men–monsters and myths, gods and demons, science fiction and fantasy. Each story is the stuff of nightmares–and of dreams.

Add Inhuman Beings to Goodreads

Paperback Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK *The paperback version has 3 new stories*

Ebook Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | MLR Press

REVIEWS

“With Inhuman Beings, May seductively crosses the boundaries of time and space, the real and the imaginary, in these spellbinding tales of love and lust and things that go bump, not to mention hump, in the night.”

Rob Rosen, editor of the Best Gay Erotica series

Inhuman Beings is an enormously imaginative, genre-crossing work in the tradition of Peter Cashorali’s groundbreaking Fairy Tales but with greater breadth and franker eroticism; an impres­sive achievement.”

Michael Nava, author of the Henry Rios novels

Inhuman Beings represents a seminal work in gay male erotic literature that draws on the threads and yarns of our cultures and civiliza­tions. Tales from many countries and eras transport you across the globe and through the years, making this book one that will stand the test of time.”

Wayne Goodman, author of Better Angels

“Richard May’s new collection of short fiction contains an international menagerie of legendary creatures. There’s a Hindu god, a Native American cyclone spirit, a Chinese rain dragon, a moody Jewish golem, a sadistic Iraqi jinn, and more. Fans of the homoerotic melded with the speculative and the paranormal will savor every page of Inhuman Beings.”

Jeff Mann, author of Country and Consent

“The beauty of this collection lies in its imagination – May is doing nothing less than writing a gay mythology, complete with monsters and fairy tales, imagined futures and refreshed pasts. His bold infusion of desire into mythology and encounters with the paranormal is unique, bracing and insightful. Inhuman Beings is full of a kind of sacred frivolity.”

Trebor Healey, author of Faun and Eros & Dust

EXCERPT

Clocks told me it was after midnight, the new last day for the Daberleys at Enscombe. I climbed the central staircase, thinking of all the feet which had trod before me.

My father’s bedroom felt freezing so in quick order I stripped, not bothering to hang my clothes, and slid under the heavy blankets. Sleep came quickly but I was awakened soon after, or so it seemed, by the sound of footsteps in the hall outside my room. I was groggy and pulling myself into sitting when the bedroom door opened and the shadow of a tall man stood in the doorframe.

“Aren’t you afraid?” he asked in Stephen Taylor’s voice.

“No,” I lied, jumping out of bed and turning on the lamp, only belatedly covering myself with underwear tossed aside.

“But I do want to know what you’re doing in my house in the middle of the night.”

“I come here often,” was all he said as he entered the room and closed the door. I made ready for him as he came across the carpet but he just sat, slumping in the armchair.

“He killed me, you know.”

Giveaway: Comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Inhuman Beings

About the Author

Richard May

Richard May’s short fiction has been published in his collections Inhuman Beings and Ginger Snaps: Photos & Stories (with photographer David Sweet), his series Gay All Year on Amazon Kindle, in anthologies like Never Too Late, Best Gay Erotica, and the Lambda Literary nominated Outer Voices Inner Lives, and in literary journals, including Bay Laurel, Chelsea Station, and Hyacinth Noir.

Rick also organizes the monthly Perfectly Queer book reading series with his partner Wayne Goodman in Oakland CA at Nomadic Press: Uptown and in San Francisco at Dog Eared Books Castro, individual LGBTQ Pride Readings for visiting authors, the annual literary festival Word Week in Noe Valley CA, and an online book club Reading Queer Authors Lost to AIDS.

Rick is from Sacramento CA and Brooklyn NY and now lives in San Francisco. He has red hair and truly believes in all things ginger. Another genetic stunner: he is 19th cousin to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

Please follow him on social media at facebook.com/richardmaywriter, @rickmaywritr on Twitter, and richard.may1313 on Instagram.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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A Lila Audiobook Review: Just Add Argyle (Fabric Hearts 3) by KC Burn and David Ross (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Tate Buchanan is a troublemaker who can’t keep a job, no matter how many times his lucky argyle sweater gets him hired. Add to that a learning disability and an impetuous nature that sends him into altercations to protect the defenseless, and he hardly manages to make friends, let alone find a man who’s interested in him for more than one night.

Most people think EMT Jaime Escobar is a player, but the truth is he wants a serious partner—he just can’t justify wasting time on guys he knows aren’t a match. But when he treats a gorgeous redhead after a fight, he finds the spark he’s spent so many years looking for.

Jaime wants to take the next step with Tate, but it’s clear Tate’s not going to curb his impulsive behavior—his next fight sends him to the hospital. Jaime’s relationship with a near criminal isn’t something his family is ready to accept, not any more than Tate is willing to be kept a secret. Jaime will need a lot of understanding—and some luck of his own—to keep them both. But this is one fight he’s going to see through to the end.

Just Add Argyle is the best one in the series so far. Most likely because we have known Jaime since book one and we have witnessed his longing for love and his support for his friends–plus the love for his family. We are all cheering for his happily ever after and he finally gets it.

Tate is perfect for Jaime. With all his troubles and childhood issues, he still a good man with a penchant for children and the needy. I love the way he always tried to help others even when he gets in trouble for it. He’s more about taking action than looking into consequences.

Putting Jaime and Tate together we get to see what a loving relationship is all about. We see them taking care of each other and trying to help the other to achieve their potential. Also, their relationships with others are relevant to their love story; giving us updates from the previous couples.

Overall, this is a quick read with a mismatched pair that fit together. Their lives aren’t easy but they work together to move forward and nurture their love and future.

David Ross once again did an excellent job voicing not only the main characters but those we have met in the previous books in the series. It’s nice to connect the voices with their previous actions.

On the cover by L.C. Chase, we get to see Tate wearing one of this lucky argyle vests. It goes with the other covers and the adaptation of the e-book cover.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: David Ross
Length: 7 hours and 32 minutes

Published: July 21, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B0742K3BGH
Edition Language: English

 

Series:  Fabric Hearts
Book #1: Tartan Candy
Book #2: Plaid Versus Parsley
Book #3: Just Add Argyle

Review Tour – Elin Gregory’s The Bones Of Our Fathers

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Length: 80,000 words approx
 
Publisher: Manifold Press
 
Cover Design: Michelle Peart
 
Blurb
 

Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.


Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?


Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.



 

Author Bio

Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and works in a museum in a castle built on the edge of a Roman Fort! She reckons that’s a pretty cool job.


Elin usually writes on historical subjects, and enjoys weaving the weird and wonderful facts she comes across in her research into her plots. She likes her heroes hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow. Often they are in danger, frequently they have to make hard choices, but happy endings are always assured.


Current works in progress include one set during the Great War, another in WW2, one set in the Dark Ages and a series of contemporary romances set in a small town on the Welsh border.



www.elingregory.com
www.facebook.com/elin.gregory
@ElinGregory
www.elingregory.wordpress.com

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A MelanieM Review: Ghost (Executioners #1) by JM Dabney

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Gideon Jane earned the name Ghost for his reclusive nature when he joined a group of guys in Powers, Georgia in a band called Executioners. It had been his way of settling into small town life after living in New York for the past twenty years. He loved the band and his small organic farm. What he didn’t love was being single, but it appeared it was his new reality. He didn’t want his ex back, although he did want something. What that was eluded him until the evening he walked into Nightingale’s Books.

Small town girl Harper Sage knew pain, and she’d lived with it—she had the scars both mental and physical to prove it. It would’ve been easier to hop in her car to find safety and anonymity, but Harper stayed to prove she was stronger than hurled fists and bruising prejudice. She found herself within the safety of a close-knit group of rough bikers and bar bouncers. That didn’t mean it was all perfect.

What’s a girl to do when she craves normalcy and acceptance: she just smiles. Choices are made, some with dire consequences and others that bring her closer to her dream. Will she make the right decision or finally discover escape is her best option?

Author Note: This book contains scenes of violence and descriptions of self-harm.

I was wavering about reading this story as I have a huge stack of books to read but something about that cover and synopsis reached out to me.  That and the fact that the times we live in has made it so important that people in the LGBTQIA spectrum be made to feel loved and normal and as part of society as everyone else. Ghost helps highlight the lives that many have been made to live as it has a main character who has been marginalized and abused for most of her life.

So I picked this up and dived into a world of pain, self abuse, recovery and love.  It’s a remarkable story, full of characters that have such staying power that I’m still mulling over how to write this review even now.  Told from Gideon’s (aka Ghost) and Harper’s perspective, an emotionally gripping, deeply moving story unfolds. From Harper, we see her pain, her self-harm, her journey from boy to woman and the trauma inflicted by others on her for that choice.  This story does contain graphic descriptions of violence as Harper chose to inflict harm on herself through bad choices in men, one horror of a man in particular.  The scenes are vivid and carry a huge emotional impact.  If this is a trigger for you be warned.  We are there inside Harper’s heart and mind, we feel how little she believes she deserves in life and how far to the ground her self esteem has fallen.  Prepare for your own heart to be as bruised and broken as Harper.

Then there’s Gideon Jane, known as Ghost because his presence around town is so fleeting.  He’s moved to this small town needing peace, quiet, friends and a new start after a long-term relationship destructed.  Gideon is beautiful and layered, moving solidly and quietly into Harper’s life like a balm, a wonderful large, perhaps chubby (his ex’s words) rock of a man.  He recognizes how wounded she is and how slowly he has to move, winning her trust inch by inch.  It’s done through communication and by actions, the reader falling in love with Gideon along with Harper.

J.M. Dabney has also chosen to have Harper not undergo gender reassignment surgery and Harper talks/muses about her emotional choice to live with body dysmorphic disorder and what it’s cost her.  Everything about this aspect of the story is handled realistically and with extreme sensitivity.  The scars that line Harper’s body are extensive.  How she views her body image and how that changes over the course of the story will bring tears to your eyes.

There is so many layers here.  The romance between Gideon and Harper is tender and slow moving as it should be.  There is the element of her abusive ex who is still around. Plus Dabney gives us a town of amazing characters whose stories we need to be told.  I hope that Joker’s story will be the second to arrive in this series.  As a character who pulled on my heart he was on a level with Harper with his angst and trauma filled past history.

The only reason Ghost did not reach a full 5 star rating is that I felt it wrapped up too quickly for everything that had gone on before. Had the author spread out the ending as she had the rest of the story, this novel would have reached perfection.  As it was it came amazingly close.

Ghost (Executioners #1) by JM Dabney is a deeply moving love story.  Its contemporary in it’s subject and timing.  But timeless in its message and beauty.  I highly recommend it but please heed the warnings.

Cover Design: Winterheart Design.  I love this cover.  It’s a perfect representation of Gideon and the story. Perfection!

Sales Links:  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble PayHip | KOBO

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 157 pages
Published July 18th 2017 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
ASINB073WH7WFJ
URL https://www.jmdabneyauthor.com/executioners
SeriesExecutioners #1 settingGeorgia (United States)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by LA Witt and Cari Z

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This story picks up where Risky Behavior left off and Detectives Darren Corliss and his older partner, Andreas Ruffner are persona non grata in their precinct. Actually, they’re not really popular anywhere in the police department because it was their investigation that sent the mayor, the former commissioner, and multiple crooked detectives to prison.  At the very least, the fallout caused many to resign and family members left to suffer from the consequences of the crooked cops’ actions.  On the surface, one would wonder why they wouldn’t be popular after having busted such a large crime ring, but as the story goes on, many of the repercussions are shown and the behaviors directed at them by other officers was damn depressing.

On the bright side, these men are dynamite together—both as detective partners and as boyfriends/life partners.  In fact, by the end of the story, the L word was said.  Not sayin’ who said it, just be aware that it’s a fun side benefit of reading this story.  And for those looking for man on man loving, I need to say there was very little sex in this one.  How could there be?  As the story opens, Darren is still recovering from the shoulder wound he suffered in the last book, Andreas’s children are visiting, Darren’s brother is being committed to a home for his early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and again, not sayin’ who, but another injury strikes the pair later in the book. But it really didn’t matter because the love shone through, and the caring and concern each shows the other, the strength of their partnership, and their attitude as they worked together as a team were all stronger than ever. 

Not knowing quite what to do with them, especially while the departments are being reorganized due to the loss of so many officers, their captain assigns Darren and Andreas a cold case file with several unsolved serial killer murders.  When they study the notes in-depth, they realize that this is one serial killer who changed his motives, victims, and methods after several killings each time.  And that leads them back to the officer who was investigating, who just happens to be Trent, the IA detective who’s now in prison for his role with the mayor in masterminding the previous corruption.  Complex? Yes.  Interesting? No doubt.  Compelling? Intriguing? Frightening? Suspenseful?  Yes, yes, yes, and yes!  This is a fantastic murder mystery/action drama by two very talented authors. 

The series does not end on a cliffhanger, but does leave plenty of room for personal growth and new situations to develop.  We still don’t know if Darren has the same gene as his brother, Andreas’s oldest daughter has a date with the ER doc they met in the last chapter (and Daddy’s not pleased!), and none of the cops who ignored their pleas for help as this latest mystery came to a head are happy with them as the repercussions for their failure to act add up. 

I’m definitely looking forward to more from this dynamic duo—both the characters and the authors!

~~~

Cover art by G.D. Leigh is similar to the artwork used in book one and features a professional-looking man in a dark trench coat against a dark background and city skyline—possibly Darren.  In combination with the cover for book one, which featured a different character but similar cover, this sets the mood perfectly for the story.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon link to follow

Book Details:

ebook, 283 pages
Expected publication: August 21st 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626496293
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBad Behavior #2

A Jeri Release Day Review: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna # 5) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
Another really good read in the Love in Laguna series. These books are fun, very little angst with great characters that make you smile.
Tom is… well, Tom. The author never said exactly how Tom was different, except that he is dyslexic, but it is clear that he has something. But above all, he is just sweet and lovable. He is the guy who will always make you smile and will always give you a hug.
Merle is a television actor known as a teenage vampire on screen. He is grateful for the job but he is afraid of being typecast until he can no longer pass as a teen. When Tom saves Merle from several guys who were ready to beat him up, Merle can’t stop thinking of the big guy. So when he finds out Tom is working on the renovation of his house, Merle wants to know more.
They have a slow burn romance, always a favorite of mine. The conflict comes when Tom doesn’t think someone as handsome, rich and famous as Merle would want him. But he does. Merle never makes Tom feel badly for what he is lacking and takes the time to point out to Tom how incredible he is. You don’t have to be book smart to be a wonderful person.
We see everyone from the previous books in this one, which I love. Revisiting previous couples makes me warm and fuzzy. Knowing everyone is still happy.
Absolutely put this on your TBR pile. It is well worth it.
 Cover art by Reese Dante works for branding the series and catching your eye.
Sales Links
            
Book Details:
ebook, 274 pages
Expected publication: August 21st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781635339666