A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Redesigning Landry Bishop (Stars from Peril #2) by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Landry Bishop is a keeper, one who’s going to stay with me a long time. Kim Fielding created a wonderful character whose inner sweet man doesn’t match the outer persona he’s spent years creating for mass media. Known as an expert in food, fashion, interior design, homemaking, and beauty tips—Landry is a well-rounded gay man whose popularity in the media is soaring.

When Elaine, his PA and good friend, decides to resign to help take care of her aging parents, Landry is bereft until she convinces him to hire a distant family connection, Jordan Stryker. Jordan has a colorful history—not all of it good. He’s never found his place in the world and has bumbled and bungled his way through several jobs, but he has a heart of gold and a deep desire to make Landry’s life easier, something he happens to excel at.

These two souls come together like two halves of a puzzle piece. Jordan is a fast learner and his overarching desire to make Landry’s life easier makes his job a success. But there’s more than a work relationship forming, and when the two head to Las Vegas on vacation, their sexual attraction explodes. Add in some fun shopping trips, sightseeing, and downtime together and their togetherness is a given.

But inside, Landry Bishop is still the kid who grew up in Peril, Nebraska, as evidenced by his secret trips for fries and burgers and other treats he “shouldn’t” have. So when his sister convinces him he must come back to Peril, though he dreads going, he takes Jordan and they travel to a town that time forgot to change. There, a major surprise awaits Landry—one that is both well-deserved and shows Landry just how much the real Landry Bishop is valued.

One of the things I most love about Kim Fielding is her love of sharing locations in our country that many of us wouldn’t get to visit without her vivid descriptions and shared experiences. Her enthusiasm comes through and enhances my appreciation of the story by taking me to where the action is happening.

I also love her characters, all of whom are always three-dimensional and interesting. Both main and secondary characters hook me into her stories, and I remember them long after I turn the last page. Considering how many books I read each year, this is high praise, since I often can’t remember the name of the person I met yesterday! But I most certainly can remember the names of many of her MCs: Jaxon, Ennek, Miner, Elliott, Alby, and Xeno to name a few.

I highly recommend this MM romance to those who love just that—Romance with a capital R. Intriguing characters, fun dialogue, all the fun of a trip to Vegas without the expense, and a glimpse at life in Nebraska—what more could we want?

The cover by Alexandria Corza is done in the Dreamspun Desires theme and features a handsome, well-dressed man, adjusting his tie as he stares forward. The Beverly Hills sign over his shoulder adds the perfect touch for this “well-designed” cover that hits the high points of the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details;

Kindle Edition, Dreamspun Desires #88, 177 pages
Expected publication: May 21st 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07PQNZH5N
Edition Language English
Series Stars from Peril

The Spy’s Love Song

Redesigning Landry Bishop

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Montana Sky (Montana #6) by RJ Scott

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Well, even though the blurb for book 5 stated it was the end of the series, the author apparently had one more character calling out for his story. This is Martin, aka Jamie Crane, son of the despicable domestic terrorist who held Justin and Adam captive in their youth and started the whole chain of events that led to this series.

At first, I was surprised there was another book and then I got interested in the plot when I started reading it and then I was totally sold by the end. I’m glad RJ Scott decided to pull Jamie/Martin out of the shadows and give him a story complete with HEA.

What a heartbreaking character! So much so, in fact, that the early part of the story is downright depressing. Martin’s story is not pretty and the effect of being raised by Daniel Crane is evident in his psyche. Feeling undeserving of love, when the chance comes along in the form of Tyler Colby, the geologist who’s going to install seismograph equipment on the outlying acres of Crooked Tree Ranch, Martin pushes him away. He doesn’t deserve to be loved and refuses to take it when offered. Thankfully, the love and acceptance of the “family” at the ranch and the open-mindedness and kind heart of Tyler erode Martin’s stubbornness to a point where he realizes he can allow some of the pain of his past to flow away.

Tyler is smart, focused, full of information about rocks and the geologic history of the area, and highly attracted to Martin. Martin is confused, self-deprecating, depressed, and carries around the guilt of not stopping his father. In fact, much of his guilt is that he survived and escaped from the man but didn’t do more to help Justin and Adam. He doesn’t see that leaving the door open for their escape was huge and brave. Martin also has hidden depths—including an eidetic memory with an affinity for math and numbers. All he needs is time and love to heal his old wounds and RJ Scott gives him those in abundance.

The story is the perfect mix of angst and hope, heartache and heartwarming opportunity. I liked it much more than the last two or three stories. I felt transported back to the beginning of the series when the stories held me entranced and the resulting romances and everlasting love felt stronger. If, like me, you are a sucker for a beautiful story of hope and redemption, complete with a romantic HEA epilogue, you should really enjoy this finale to the Montana series.

The cover by Meredith Russell features two men, in keeping with the covers of the other books in the series. However, personally, I don’t care for the men chosen for this one. They are neither young enough nor attractive enough to match my ideal of Martin and Tyler.

Buy Links:
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 143 pages
Published April 24th 2019 by Love Lane Books Ltd
ASINB07R447NZG
Edition Language English
Series Montana #6
 
Montana Series
 

Book #1 – Crooked Tree Ranch – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #2 – The Rancher’s Son – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #3 – A Cowboy’s Home – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #4 – Snow In Montana – Amazon USAmazon UK | Universal Link

Book #5 – Second Chance Ranch – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link 
Book: 6 – Montana Sky (series finale)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Chip and a Chair (Seven of Spades #5) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Cordelia Kingsbridge rocketed to the top of my “must buy” author list when she released Kill Game and hooked me on the lives of Detective Levi Abrams and PI Dominic Russo. Adding in the serial killer, the Seven of Spades, just made my addiction to this series that much stronger.

That being said, this finale was outstanding, but it was not my favorite of the series. Why? Because in this book, the MCs are not only still trying to find and stop the Seven of Spades, they’re tied up in trying to stop Utopia, a Neo-Nazi militia group—terrorists who plan to knock “Sin City” to the ground. Rather than the conflict between the couple, and the conflict within the department and Levi’s coworkers, and the search for the killer, this installment focused more on the terrorist acts and the MCs efforts to stop them from destroying Las Vegas. And I didn’t realize how much I missed the heartbreak of seeing Dominic and Levi break up, or the horror of the deaths caused by the Seven of Spades, or even the rollercoaster ride of emotions as more and more kills stacked up and the killer taunted Levi, until Dominic and Levi worked together as a solid couple and the focus wasn’t all on the serial killer.

The conflict with the Seven of Spades was not as sharp in this one. And though we don’t learn who it is until the latter part of the story, we finally get the big reveal—and then we get the serial killer helping Levi and Dominic in their race against time to stop a supreme act of terrorism. It’s nail-biting, heartbreaking, frightening, and amazing! The author is truly gifted in plot macramé as each of the clues and threads in the previous books come together. And, of course, once the killer is revealed, it all makes sense. [head-desk slam] Why didn’t I think of that? Honestly, I was so far off base I was in a different ball park with my guesses. 

If you love action, adventure, suspense, intrigue, and a very cleverly told tale, by all means, read this series. As I noted in one of my previous reviews, if I could give this series ten stars, I would. I very highly recommend this book and this series to anyone looking for an action-packed, law enforcement adventure in combination with MM romance. 

The cover by Garrett Leigh features a straight back chair in an apparently deserted room, while blood drips from the words of the title onto the chair. It keeps to the theme of the previous stories and is perfect for this finale.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 382 pages
Published March 11th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title A Chip and a Chair
ISBN 139781626496415
Edition Language  English
Series Seven of Spades :

Kill Game

Trick Roller

Cash Plays

One-Eyed Royals

A Chip and a Chair series finale

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Milo (Finding Home #2) by Lily Morton

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Milo and his author, Lily Morton, delivered me right to the door of a very satisfying, feel-good Happy Ever After. No disappointment knocking on my door, for sure.

The prologue tells us Milo’s story in a nutshell.  He’s in an abusive relationship, at first emotional, and now physical, which brings out the stutter that he’s worked years to overcome. Feeling unworthy, painfully inadequate, and most definitely awkward, he’s about to be abused yet again by his domineering artist lover when his brother’s best friend Niall shows up to rescue him and literally carry him away to a new life. That new life is at Chi an Mor, the beautiful ancient estate owned by Silas, the sweet man whom we first met in Oz.

Five years later, the story opens to show us Milo has adapted to his new life as an art restoration expert in Silas’s employ and is best friend to Silas’s husband, Oz. Pause for a moment here—Oz and Silas are exactly as I’d hope they’d be at this point in time. Parents of a beautiful 7-month-old girl, Cora is the love of their lives. I was thrilled to have this glimpse of their future because Oz remains one of my all-time favorites. So when the couple has to rush off to London to help Oz’s mom, who better to watch Cora than Milo? Well, add Niall to that because the heat in the mansion has failed and as estate manager, he lives nearby so offers his home to Milo and Cora. Not because Niall has the hots for Milo. Oh, no. Certainly not. {smirks}

The author took the time to make each of these men very real. Their backstory—individually and together—and the interactions with one another were spot-on. Each was different and yet so complementary to one another it’s a wonder there aren’t bookends or salt and pepper shakers in their image. The beauty of this story is in the details that allow us to get to really know each man. Niall’s past relationship with Gideon, Milo’s brother, causes some upset for all three men as it becomes known. But accepting Niall’s maturity and his devotion to Milo is fairly easy in the long run as deeds speak louder than words. The author’s writing style and unique sense of humor carry us forward so quickly I was shocked when I reached the end. I wanted more. I need more, and I certainly hope more will come with Gideon finding his own love at the hand of Lily Morton in the near future. 

The scenes involving the group who went on the ski trip were priceless. Milo’s quiet acceptance of the quirky group was taken in stride “when to anyone else this would have had more disaster written over it than getting a ticket on the Titanic.” Witnessing Niall’s realization that he’s no longer interested in hookups and is far past scoffing at those who claim love is wonderful was delightful to behold. “Emotion fills me all of a sudden, like I’ve inhaled happiness helium.” Need I say more? Lily Morton is highly talented and Milo and Niall reap the benefit of that talent.

When I open one of this author’s books, I know I’m in for a treat. I highly recommend this story and the one before because this can be read as a standalone but it’s so much better after reading Oz. Reading it alone would be like having an ice cream sundae without the sprinkles and cherry on top.

The cover by Natasha Snow features a close-up of a handsome young man, long hair blowing in the breeze. Done in a purple tone, the cover grabbed my attention immediately.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published February 15th 2019
ASINB07NN13TCW
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Finding Home #2
Characters Niall Fawcett, Milo Ramsay

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Hexhunter (Hexworld #4) by Jordan L. Hawk

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Detective Bill Quigley first met Isaac, the mastiff familiar, the night Isaac was rescued from the witch who kidnapped and tormented him to force his magic for illegal uses.  He’s head over heels for the quiet young man who works for MWP (Metropolitan Witch Police) but Isaac doesn’t seem to return his regard. In fact, Isaac seems quiet and withdrawn most of the time; definitely not someone who’d appreciate Bill’s advances. So when Sionn, the owl familiar who works with Isaac, asks Bill out, he accepts and it seems to be with Isaac’s blessing.

But Isaac does indeed like Bill—he just feels inadequate and worries that his magic is tarnished after what happened. Plus, the witch Isaac’s familiar is attracted to doesn’t want him, and Isaac knows Bill only has a little magic and likely wouldn’t be interested in someone with damaged magic like his.

There’s plenty of time for a slow-burn attraction in this story, and that’s what happens. Just when it seems Bill might settle for Sionn in an effort to forget Isaac, an attempt is made on their lives and Isaac and Bill are thrown together in painful circumstances.  They can’t deny their attraction after that and that day begins a slow return of Isaac’s confidence and starts their journey to a lasting relationship.  Along the way there’s plenty of adventure and a dastardly scheme involving kidnapping children and experimenting with hexes to tailor the form the adult familiar takes so that the wealthy witches can have what they want.  Add to that, a surprise in the form of Bill’s half brother and the story has so much to offer that readers, like me, will get lost in the pleasure of this author’s highly creative and imaginative mysteries.

I am looking forward to much more in this wonderful hex world and most definitely I’m hoping Sionn gets his own book.  That little owl has a lot to offer!  I highly recommend this story and this series to readers of paranormal and mystery MM romance.

The cover by Jordan L. Hawk is done in a style similar to others in the series: above the title a profile of a man matching the description of MC Bill Quigley and below the title is the shadow of a mastiff, which represents MC familiar, Isaac, and it’s set against the background of an old street map of New York City.  Very creative and attractive.

Sales Links:  Buy from Amazon

Buy from Kobo
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Smashwords

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Expected publication: February 8th 2019
ASIN B07MM5SL79
Edition Language English
Series Hexworld #4

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Rough Terrain (Out of Uniform #7) by Annabeth Albert

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

How to describe this story?  Hmm.  I feel wrapped up in warmth and goodness. Like I received an unexpected gift.  Annabeth Albert paints a clear picture of her characters early in the story so readers, like me, can shadow them and experience their joy, their sorrow, their emotional growth, and yes, their love.

Canaan Finley is working the register when his favorite Navy SEAL, the guy his team calls Rooster, comes into his family’s cafe for a smoothie. The hot guy has caught Canaan’s attention each time he comes in but this time, Canaan isn’t going to let the moment pass without making…a pass.  He manages to surprise Rooster who is equally attracted to the cute guy making his smoothie just the way he likes it.  A cute intro, I like the way the author set the two up so that it’s natural to ask Rooster when Canaan needs a fake boyfriend.  He used to be in a rock band that’s just finished a European tour and would like to attend their “reunion” camping trip but won’t go alone. Why? Because his ex and the guy he cheated on Canaan with are both going to be there and Canaan doesn’t want to seem a loser. 

Over the course of the trip, which is no simple excursion to the woods, Canaan and Rooster are caught in a canyon during a flash flood.  Rooster’s quick thinking and rock-climbing skills save them both and over the course of time, as the two are stranded on a ledge above the canyon, attraction blooms into a solid foundation for a relationship.

The author’s skills in creating two very different characters who complement one another in unusual ways, getting those characters to be important to readers, and then making the characters important to each other is what I love best about her work.  These men are flawed, and they have backstories that include good judgment and bad mistakes, but I got so attached to them after a few chapters that I couldn’t go on with my daily routine until I knew more, more, more! Each scene was better than the previous and I simply had to know what came next and whether or not these two could find their way to their HEA.  And if a certain couple named Ben and Maddox (On Point) happened to run into them while they were out on a date, and if that run-in led to Rooster finding out about Canaan’s past adventure with the couple, well, all I can say is that was icing on the cake of my happiness.

I very highly recommend this story. In fact, I very highly recommend the entire Out of Uniform series to all MM romance lovers. And if you love SEALs or military men in your romance, this one is super perfect.   

The cover features two bare-chested men, one hugging the other from behind. The one in front, wearing camo pants, is Rooster. Canaan, of course, is behind and the models chosen look like those described in the story.  The coloring and theme of the cover matches the other Out of Uniform books in the series.

Sales Links:   Carina Press |  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Expected publication: January 14th 2019 by Carina Press
Original Title Rough Terrain
ASINB07GB8B4XR
Edition Language English
Series Out of Uniform #7

Series Out of Uniform /add to Goodreads here:

Off Base

Homecoming (1.5)

Off Leash (1.6)

At Attention (2)

I Do (2.5)

On Point (5)

Wheels Up (4)

Homebodies (4.5)

Squared Away (5)

Tight Quarters (6)

Rough Terrain (7)

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Whole Latte Sass (Geek Life #2) by Marguerite Labbe

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Felipe Suero is a cosplayer. He’s also a gamer, a costume designer, a college student, and a tollbooth operator for the state—a job he loathes. As soon as he graduates and gets a decent job he’s out of there.  In the meantime, he attends conventions, making his own highly detailed costumes, flirts outrageously, and hangs with his bestie, Morris (A Little Side of Geek). 

Trask Briscoe, silver fox, over forty, clean and sober for fifteen years, owns the Magick Den, a haven for gamers, and lives his life a day at a time, always thinking things through thoroughly before acting.  He doesn’t date but finally gives in when the much-younger Felipe continues to ask him out for coffee.  It’s turns out to be the best decision he’s ever made.

This is a May-December, very slow burn romance, complete with moments of humor and heartache.  The author handled the aspects of addiction and recovery necessary to this story beautifully, being true to the twelve-step philosophy, while showing the heartbreak of failure. And family?  Family is the heart of Felipe’s upbringing, and he still lives in an apartment he rents in his family’s sprawling complex.  He’s surrounded by his parents, grandparents, and his sister, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Trask is not so fortunate, having been raised by parents who didn’t meet the definition. 

Its difficult to even begin to cover everything this story encompasses. There’s the family of origin and the family of the heart. There’s the not-so-mismatched, older, quieter Trask dating the younger, energetic, outgoing Felipe. Trask calls him his “imp”—a perfect descriptor.  The story is fun to read and yet it’s also serious. There’s no insta-love here. Instead, there’s a slow and steady movement forward, giving each man the opportunity to not only get to know the other, but also their friends and support group, and to make a conscious decision on how each can mesh their lives with the other. 

If you are a fan of silver foxes, personable characters, age gap, slow burn, gaming, cosplaying, strong characterization, and solid writing, by all means read this story.  Check out my review of book one and add that to your list as well.  This can be read as a standalone, though reading A Little Side of Geek will make this experience so much better.  After all, Felipe did have a secondary role in that story, and having the chance to watch him find his HEA was like adding the cherry to the top of the whipped cream on the sundae.  Just yummy.  Highly recommended.

The cover by Kanaxa features a young Latino man set against a golden background.  It’s a good representation of Felipe, but would be so much better if he were wearing a costume! Nevertheless, it coordinates well with the cover of book one.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner PressAmazon

Book Details:

ebook, 290 pages
Expected publication: January 1st 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644050088
Edition Language English
Series Geek Life #2

A Little Side of Geek

A Whole Latte Sass

A Barb the Zany Old Lady: Christmas Homecoming (The Christmas Angel #4) by L.A. Witt

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I read this story with a sense of nostalgia as both my father and mother and my father-in-law served in World War II and I could imagine clearly what the times they lived in were like, having been raised on stories of wartime and having lived in neighborhoods where elderly bachelors lived together. We were never to go near their house, though, because God knows why two men would choose to live without wives. I include that here to give a sense of the times. And LA Witt captured it beautifully.

This story was simple and sweet—the story of two young men who parted as teens in 1939 and met again as adults in 1945. But now they were war veterans, marked by the emotional toll the war took on soldiers and sailors, having suffered loss and lived in fear.  And they struggle to find a way to tell each other that they never forgot that kiss goodbye when they parted at their favorite swimming hole.

Roger has a gift for Jack—an angel he picked up in his travels and carried with him throughout the war. She brought him peace as he thought of Jack on those lonely and fearful nights away in a foreign country and she brings them together now.

I can’t describe how good I feel after having lived this story with these men. It wasn’t long, and to be honest, I wish it was longer. It did have some drama, angst, heartache, but mostly it had hope and love and left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside—the hallmark of a sweet romance. I highly recommend it and, in fact, I highly recommend all the books in this series of stories surrounding the Christmas angel.

The cover by Meredith Russell features a 1940’s soldier in uniform standing against a snowy background. A very attractive cover, this represents Roger, home on leave after WWII.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook
Published December 2nd 2018
ISBN 139781642300352
Edition Language English
Series The Christmas Angel #4

The Christmas Angel Series

Christmas Angel – Eli Easton – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding – Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Soldier’s Wish – N.R. Walker – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Hiding the Moon (Fish Out of Water #4) by Amy Lane

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Though this is the fourth book in the Fish Out of Water series featuring Ellery Cramer and Jackson Rivers, this could also be considered Racing for the Sun #2 as Sonny and Ace figure prominently in the story. In fact, Ellery and Jackson’s page time is mostly a repeat of their previous conversations and activities as they raced to bring down Karl Lacey, renegade colonel in A Few Good Fish. The difference is that we mostly hear them via the bugs planted by Lacey’s team and monitored by Lee Burton, friend of Ace Atchison and Sonny Daye (Racing for the Sun) and special ops division covert operator.

Only Amy Lane could get away with having characters named Burt and Ernie, or in this case, Lee Burton and Ernie Caulfield. When Lee takes an assignment to “hit” Ernie, he’s cautioned by his manager that the target doesn’t seem to fit the usual mold and he tells Lee to back off if he agrees. Not only does Lee agree after a few days of watching Ernie, he saves the young man’s life when Lacey’s team of hit men arrive to finish Ernie off. Sending five guys seems like overkill to Lee, and he quickly dispatches the three who have Ernie pinned in an alley. He gets Ernie to a safe place before beginning a new job—covert, of course—working for Corduroy, the organization housed with Lacey and his deranged group of “special” soldiers who Lacey is training as assassins. His job is to monitor the activities of a lawyer (Ellery) and his partner (Jackson) and to let Lacey know if they get further in their investigation of him.

In the meantime, he’s installed Ernie with Ace and Sonny. Ernie is a psychic and a beautiful character. Sweet and loveable, the guy wants the best for those around him but he can read their emotions like a book and Sonny is one explosive book. Over time, he comes to value Ace’s role in Sonny’s life and vice versa as he sees how one completes the other. He’s also growing to care for Burton who comes to see Ernie during the night, make love with him under the star-filled desert skies, and then head back into insanity to try to foil Lacey’s plans.

Amy Lane has given new life to Sonny and Ace with this story. I loved them when I first met them years ago, but I adore them now—even with the chaos that is Sonny’s brain. Ace is strong, inside and out, and loves his man wholeheartedly and that strength of character and love shines through. His ability to think on his feet, when he and Ellery have their adventure, just adds to the enjoyment of the story. Ellery and Jackson are just as sharp and fun to read as they always are. In Ernie, the author gives us a very different character. He’s sweet and innocent on the outside, but strong and complex on the inside. His ability to “see” the future or “read” others before the actual events occur and his acceptance of his gift make him totally endearing. And Lee, perhaps the strongest character of all, has great depth of character with a strength and fortitude to keep moving forward toward his objective, despite the odds. He’s intelligent, resourceful, and comes to love Ernie with all his heart. His quiet, soul-searching moments reveal more of his personality, adding to readers’ enjoyment.

Honestly, how Amy Lane juggled all those balls in the air at one time, without dropping any, and then gave us an outstanding and complex story is beyond my imagination. But she most definitely did it!

The cover by Reese Dante features a gorgeous black man staring at the night sky. This, of course, is Lee Burton, and it’s a wonderful representation of the core of the story as he and Ernie generally get their time together at night in the desert.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages
Expected publication: October 23rd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Hiding the Moon
ISBN139781640809369
Edition Language English
Series Fish Out of Water #4

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Counterpoint (Twisted Wishes #2) by Anna Zabo

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I honestly didn’t think it would be possible for a sequel to be better than the first story in this series, Syncopation, but I was wrong—very, very wrong. This book exceeded all my expectations and effortlessly moved to my top five of 2018.

Adrian Doran heads out to dinner one night in his Brooklyn neighborhood and happens to be seated next to a stunning, nerdy looking guy who returns his casual perusal with one of his own. Adrian is a computer programmer for a NYC bank by day and a Dom by preference in the rest of his life. When the guy accepts Adrian’s offer of a bite of his lemon meringue pie and then proceeds to moan and make subtle orgasmic facial expressions, Adrian knows what, and who, his next goal is going to be.

Dominic Bradley is a quiet, unassuming bookworm, who enjoys reading most genres of literature, visiting museums, playing his guitar, and being an all-around geek. With Adrian he discovers his submissive side, but he suffers from social anxiety, especially when he needs to take the stage with his bandmates in Twisted Wishes, a well-known rock band. To do so, he dons a new personality, Domino Grinder, a rock god who wears leather, has an upper body covered in tattoos, wears makeup, and throws the finger at the world. The lead guitarist takes bull from no man. But Dominic and Domino can’t coexist and as Dominic succumbs to the allure of a new relationship with Adrian, he’s going to have to hide Domino or risk losing the man.

As their relationship grows and Dominic discovers rope play really cements his submissive role with Adrian, he despairs of ever being able to let Adrian in on who he really is. He desperately wants to introduce him to his bandmates, and he wants to find a way to merge his two sides but backs away from any confrontation until it’s almost too late. When Adrian spots Dominic’s tattoos on the arm of the lead guitarist for Twisted Wishes on a magazine cover, he loses hope for a future with the man he loves. Can these two continue their D/s relationship and continue to grow their love if one can’t trust the other completely?

I love this author’s writing style and creativity. Caught up and totally immersed in the relationship between Adrian and Dom, I rooted for both men equally and was captivated by each page-turn as their lives took new twists and turns. Adrian was being undermined at work in a job that provided no satisfaction. Dominic was playing as Domino all day while the band practiced or did promo events, yet he couldn’t let in the one man who’d make his life even better so switched to Dominic the moment Domino was no longer needed. The dynamic of the two men in both their private D/s lives and their “out in the world” lives was comfortable, strong, balanced, in sync, and loving. But their secrets nearly broke them apart.

I accidentally discovered this author last year, but I am 100% on board as a fan. I have yet to read something that isn’t top quality and I highly recommend this story. In fact, I highly recommend this series to fans who enjoy books featuring musicians, domination/submission, great plots, interesting deep characterizations, and MM romance. 

The gorgeous, attractive cover features a handsome, bearded, dark-haired guitarist—complete with the tattoo described in the story, set against a bright turquoise background, the bottom border of which shows fans at a rock concert. It’s perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition
Expected publication: September 24th 2018 by Carina Press
ISBN139781488089374
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Twisted Wishes #2

Syncopation

Counterpoint