A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Operation Green Card (Bluewater Bay #21) by G.B. Gordon

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

As this very nice series winds to a close, we revisit Anna’s partner, Natalya, whose brother, Arkady, is still in Russia and is being literally persecuted for being gay.  He’s already lost his job as a professor, been ambushed and beaten, and now Natalya is actually worried for his life.  With that fear as the basis, she approaches Jason Cooley, a young man who was retired from the military when he lost his leg and now works security on the Wolf’s Landing TV set.  Her proposition is simple: marry her brother so he can have a green card to live in the US and he will provide Jason with his life’s savings—likely enough money to pay part of the tuition Jason’s gifted daughter needs to attend a prestigious private school. 

Though Jason isn’t gay, nor does he think of himself as bi at first, he’s not a homophobe, and once he finds out that Arkady’s life is in danger, Jason steps up to the plate because protecting the underdog is ingrained in his personality.  What Jason doesn’t realize is that Arkady is going to knock him head over heels in lust (and later in love, and all his plans to remain aloof are going to go up in smoke. 

Jason is one of the most self-effacing characters I’ve ever met.  He absolutely refuses to see the good in himself—whether on the inside where he’d do anything to help others—or on the outside where he is quite attractive, regardless of his artificial leg.  Arkady sees it but struggles to get through to Jason.  I found it very difficult to like Jason’s character.  He was cold and cautious and constantly misunderstanding Arkady’s attraction to him.  Yes, he participated in sex situations with Arkady, but he always seemed to think Arkady just wanted him as a friend with benefits. 

Jason also didn’t interact with his five-year-old daughter, thinking she’d be better off living with her mother and her mother’s husband and that Jason would just be in the way.  There were reasons for his low self-esteem, but it just reinforced how difficult it was to like his character.  Arkady, though? Oh boy, he was a sweetheart.  From the moment we meet him to the end of the story, Arkady is consistently strong and focused and once he falls in love with Jason, Jason’s rejection breaks his heart—and as a reader, it broke mine as well. 

There were a few minor issues that bugged me in the story, including some of Arkady’s dialogue which was inconsistent with someone whose second language is English.  Some of the slang and idioms he used, as well as pop culture references, didn’t ring true.  So overall, though I liked the story, it’s not among my top favorites.  I should clarify, however—Arkady is one of my top favorite characters—Jason and the rest of the story are what fell short of my expectations. 

On the flip side, I’ve enjoyed this series immensely and have met quite a few authors new to me along the way.  All of these talented authors have put together a world that I’m going to miss.  There’s two more to go in the series and then we are done.  If you haven’t visited the world of Wolf’s Landing, I highly recommend you at least read the first few stories.  I suspect you may become as hooked as this reviewer. 

~~~

The cover by L.C. Chase features a sunglasses-clad muscular man standing in front of an American flag while looking at a handsome man in the foreground. This is the perfect representation of Jason—tall, muscular, T-shirt-clad and wearing sunglasses.  Ex-military—and Arkady, a slighter framed, young man glancing back at the man who’s captured his attention.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 217 pages
Published December 11th 2017 by Riptide Publishing (first published December 9th 2017)
Original TitleOperation Green Card
ISBN139781626496750
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Bluewater Bay

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Get a Grip (Bluewater Bay #19) by L.A. Witt

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

When a storm drops a tree through a soundstage at the Wolf’s Landing TV show site, it’s grip Shane Andrews who has to check for damages once the scene is cleared for safety by local volunteer firefighters.  He nearly swallows his tongue when he first spots firefighter Aaron Tucker.  In his mid-forties, he’s got the necessary touch of gray to make him a borderline silver fox, but it’s the rest of his package that makes Shane’s mouth water.  And when Shane takes that as a signal that it’s time to have some fun in his life, he’s shocked when it’s Aaron who first responds to his profile on Grindr. 

Twice divorced—once from a woman and most recently from a man, Shane has three children and their welfare has always come first.  But he’s determined to live a little for himself now that he’s made his decision.  His daughter is old enough to babysit and his ex-husband is happy to take the kids anytime he needs help, so why not?

By the second “date” with Aaron, he commits a faux pas when he tells Aaron he doesn’t think he can do a friends-with-benefits, no-strings-attached relationship, but when Aaron states unequivocally that he will only do hookups, Shane reconsiders and starts to enjoy his flings with the sexy man.  But then after several months, when Aaron decides he wants more, Shane is ill-prepared to handle the thought of having a man get involved with his family and possibly disappoint the kids again.  Who knows what will happen with these two stubborn men?  The fun is in reading this story!

I am really enjoying the recent influx of stories involving men over forty, second chances at love, silver foxes, and more, and this was no exception.  I picked it up because it was Bluewater Bay—a series I’m totally enjoying—and I was no more than one chapter in when I realized I was reading LA Witt.  Yes, I didn’t check first, and yes, her style is unique and a fan like me an easily identify it. And yes, it’s hot and heavy sex, two men who can’t get enough of each other, and finally, the long-awaited emotional attachment when they realize it’s not just sex anymore.  So in a way, it follows a formula this author has been highly successful pulling off. But honestly? I don’t care.  LA Witt does it best and came through with this one.  It’s hot and steamy, older guys who take their time and fall in love.  What’s not to like?  I highly recommend this one to lovers of MM romance, Bluewater Bay, LA Witt, older MCs, men with pets, men with children, firemen, etc.  I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, it’s a winner.

Cover art by LC Chase depicts two handsome men, one in firefighter uniform, the other simply a stunningly handsome man, set against the backdrop of the rural area of Washington state.  It’s not only very attractive but also true to the story.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 300 pages
Published July 24th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleGet a Grip
ISBN139781626496071
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBluewater Bay #19

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay #12) by Jaime Samms

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

How the Cookie CrumblesFrederic Jackson pulls up roots and moves to Bluewater Bay after losing first place on a reality TV cooking show.  Frederic is a baker, taught by his gran, but with a natural talent for creating perfect pastries.  He was on track to win the show, but the show’s producer, Blaire Caruthers, the man who Frederic fell head-over-heels for, fixed the win in favor of the hot little twink who stole Blaire from Frederic before the two could even get started.  The potential for scandal was squashed with money from Blaire’s father, who owns the production company. Frederic used part of the money to buy the bakery, with its barely working equipment, and part to settle medical bills for his alcoholic father.

A few months later, Blaire shows up in Bluewater Bay ostensibly to work on marketing and promotion of merchandise for the Wolf’s Landing TV show.  But in reality, he wants to win Frederic back, and he deeply regrets his stupidity with Jerry, the twink who won the competition.  What he doesn’t know is that winning the show would have gotten Frederic all the equipment he needed to operate the bakery.  He really didn’t want the cash because he knew his father would tap him for part of it and that proved to be true.  Now Blaire has the nerve to make overtures to him again? No way!

But fate has something else in store for the men and as they realize how much they’ve each changed, and new people and circumstances combine to keep throwing them together. There might be a way for them to find happiness after all.

I really enjoyed this story.  I like the way the author built on the existing Bluewater Bay series concept but took it much further to develop a completely separate story which works fine as a standalone.

The characters were three-dimensional and flawed but just perfect together.  Frederic’s workaholism, in combination with the emotional tug of war with his father, brought him to a personal health crisis that was both unique and believable.  Blaire’s need to separate from his own father, both emotionally and as an employee, was very evident but proved to be a difficult struggle.  His growth and maturity and his desire to find the freedom in creativity that he had craved for years finally overcame his fear of failure and of disappointing his father. The strength he found to make that break and the compassion and love he bestowed on Frederic were just the perfect mix to make this old heart swoon for Blaire and rejoice when he and Frederic finally found their way back to each other.

I very definitely recommend this story to all lovers of MM romance, especially to those who love an enemies to lovers, a hurt-comfort, or a lovers reunited theme.

~~~~~

Cover Art by L.C. Chase depicts a handsome man in a suit staring back at a young man sitting alone on a pier. This is the perfect representation of Blaire and Frederic.

Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 345 pages
Published February 13th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleHow the Cookie Crumbles
ISBN 162649388X (ISBN13: 9781626493889)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://riptidepublishing.com/titles/how-the-cookie-crumbles

Series: Bluewater BayBWBlogo_Web

Books in this Universe include with links to our reviews:

Starstruck (Bluewater Bay #1) by L.A. Witt
There’s Something About Ari (Bluewater Bay #2) by L.B. Gregg
Hell on Wheels (Bluewater Bay #3) by Z.A. Maxfield
Lone Wolf (Bluewater Bay #4) by Aleksandr Voinov
The Burnt Toast B&B (Bluewater Bay #5) by Heidi Belleau & Rachel Haimowitz
Lights, Camera, Cupid (A Bluewater Bay Valentine’s Day Anthology; Bluewater Bay #6)
Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay, #7) by Anne Tenino
The Deep of the Sound (Bluewater Bay, #8) by Amy Lane
When to Hold Them (Bluewater Bay, #9) by G.B. Gordon
Rain Shadow (Bluewater Bay, #10) by L.A. Witt
Stuck Landing (Bluewater Bay, #11) by Lauren Gallagher
How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay, #12) by Jaime Samms
Selfie (Bluewater Bay, #13) by Amy Lane

 

Its Back to Bluewater Bay with Amy Lane’s Deep Of The Sound (tour and giveaway)

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Deep of the Sound by Amy Lane
Publisher:  Riptide Publishing
Cover Art by L. C. Chase

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing

The books and universe of Bluewater Bay has been a favorite of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words from its inception.  Now  this series and one of our favorite authors combines to produce Deep of the Sound by Amy Lane!  Check it all out below and don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address in the body should you be chosen for this fabulous prize!BWBlogo_Web

About Deep of the Sound by Amy Lane

Cal McCorkle has lived in Bluewater Bay his whole life. He works two jobs to support a brother with a laundry list of psychiatric diagnoses and a great-uncle with Alzheimer’s, and his personal life amounts to impersonal hookups with his boss. He’s got no time, no ambition, and no hope. All he has is family, and they’re killing him one responsibility at a time.

Avery Kennedy left Los Angeles, his family, and his sleazy boyfriend to attend a Wolf’s Landing convention, and he has no plans to return. But when he finds himself broke and car-less in Bluewater Bay, he’s worried he’ll have to slink home with his tail between his legs. Then Cal McCorkle rides to his rescue, and his urge to run away dies a quick death.

Avery may seem helpless at first, but he can charm Cal’s fractious brother, so Cal can pretty much forgive him anything. Even being adorkable. And giving him hope. But Cal can only promise Avery “until we can’t”—and the cost of changing that to “until forever” might be too high, however much they both want it.

About Author Amy Lane!

Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.

She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.

She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.

Connect with Amy:

Website: http://www.greenshill.com
Blog: http://www.writerslane.blogspot.com
Twitter: @amymaclane
Facebook group: Amy Lane Anonymous
Goodreads: goodreads.com/amymaclane

DeepoftheSound_TourBanner

Giveaway

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an eBook package of all of Amy Lane’s backlist titles with Riptide! (Excludes The Deep of the Sound and anthologies.) Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 20, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!

 What is Bluewater Bay?

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Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.WolfsLanding_transparent

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield, Aleksandr Voinov, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, and Jaime Samms. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

– See more at Riptide Publishing’s Bluewater Bay Universe page.

The books in the Bluewater Bay universe each stand alone and may be read in any order. If you’d like to read them in order of publication, it’s as follows with links to our reviews:

Starstruck by LA Witt
There’s Something About Ari by LB Gregg
Hell on Wheels by Z. A. Maxfield
Lone Wolf by Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt
Lights, Camera, Cupid! (A Bluewater Bay Valentine’s Anthology
The Burnt Toast B&B by  Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz
Wedding Favors by Anne Tenino
The Deep of the Sound by Amy Lane
When to Hold Them by G. B. Gordon