An Alisa Release Day Review: The Nerd and the Prince (Small-Town Dreams #1) by B.G. Thomas

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Prince Charming is the man next door.

 

Small-town business owner Jason Brewster has big dreams: world travel, adventure, and most of all, a passionate romance worthy of a fairy tale. But he doesn’t believe fantasies can come true….

Until Adam moves in next door.

 

He’s handsome, cultured, European, and best of all, interested in Jason. It’s like something out of the stories Jason loves.

 

But Adam—whose real name is Amadeo Montefalcone—has a secret. He’s royalty, prince of the small country of Monterosia. Only he doesn’t want to rule, and especially doesn’t want the loveless marriage waiting for him at home. So he ran away in search of true love. With a man. And with Jason, he finds it.

 

But Adam can’t run forever. The truth will come out. If Jason can forgive Adam’s deception, they might find their happily ever after.

 

This was just adorable.  Jason hasn’t really had any luck finding love but he dreams of being swept off his feet.  Amadeo just wants to be able to live his life as himself and finds more than just shelter when he runs away to a small town.

 

Jason and Amadeo build a quick friendship that they let slowly build into love.  Amadeo is basically Jason’s dream come true and with both of their love of the Greek god and mythology they have a lot of common ground.

 

I liked how this story really focused on the love between these characters and any “obstacles” were quickly taken care of or settled.  Getting to see both of the characters’ points of view helped with understand them, though for the most part they were quite open.  Amadeo was a genuinely nice man and it came out even more as we went about wooing Jason and how he feared hurting his family.  I loved Jason’s innocence, he knows what he wants but has never found someone to share it with and isn’t scared to let Amadeo be that someone.  I loved that everything turned out in the end with Amadeo’s family, I just wish we knew how they were going to spend their life (stay in Monterosia or in their small town).

 

The cover art by Alexandria Corza is gives a cute visual of their small town and Amadeo.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 264 pages

Published: September 19, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-531-6

Edition Language: English

Series: Dreamspun Desires, Small Town Dreams #1

BA Tortuga on 5 Top Things to Do with the Uncles from ‘Two of a Kind’ (new release tour and guest post)

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Two of a Kind by B.A. Tortuga
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have BA Tortuga here today with a special post direct from Uncles Ap and Daddy. from Two of a Kind.  Welcome, BA.

5 Top Things to Do with Uncle Ap and Uncle Daddy

Hey y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things redneck.

Trey and Ap are two cowboys trying to raise their sister and brother’s five kids.

Really, isn’t that enough of a hook all on its own?

*grins*

The kids call their uncles Uncle Daddy and Uncle Ap. Trey “Uncle Daddy” is holding down the fort while Uncle Ap rides the rodeo circuit, to keep everyone afloat. They each wanted to tell y’all their favorite things to with their uncles.

Cole: I like to work on cars with Uncle Daddy, but I do like to rope with Uncle Daddy.

Bella: I like riding my barrel horse, April, with Uncle Ap and I like feeding April with Uncle Daddy.

Amelia:I like making cookies with Uncle Ap, and dancing with Uncle Daddy.

Bella: Uncle Daddy don’t dance!

Amelia: He does! Don’t you argue with me.

Braden: Can I pick just video games with both and shut the girls up?

Courtney: I like to play Shoot the Ladder.

Cole: I think that’s Chutes and Ladders, baby sister.

Courtney: Oh.

Bella: I like Shoot the Ladder better.

Amelia: Wanna play?

Courtney: Uh-huh.

😉

Much love, y’all,

BA

***

Two of a Kind blurb

Once upon a time, Trey Williamson and Ap McIntosh had quite the whirlwind romance—but that was before family tragedy left them the guardians of five kids. Their lives have changed quite a bit over the last six years, but Ap is still on the rodeo circuit, doing what he does best in an attempt to feed all those extra mouths.

That leaves Trey back on the ranch, isolated and overworked as the kids’ sole caregiver. Something has to give, and when Ap comes home, they’re reminded how hot they burned once upon a time. But is it a love that can withstand wrangling over time, money, and the future? They have to decide what kind of family they want to be… and whether what they share can stand the test of time.

Available at Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/two-of-a-kind-by-ba-tortuga-9841-b

About the Author

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

You can find BA at:

Website: http:www.batortuga.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/batortuga

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/batortuga

Blogger: http://batortuga.blogspot.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/batortuga/

Tumblr: http://batortuga.tumblr.com/

An Alisa Audio Review: Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson and Simon Ferrar (Narrator)

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Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

Will a bitter bite from the past spoil a sweet romance?

Tristan Love, the youngest of seven brothers, is back in his hometown. He’s left the New York food scene and an abusive relationship behind him, but he holds his love of French pastries close to his heart and is determined to put his skills to use in a bakery of his own.

Returning to his childhood home means his meddlesome brother Simon will butt into his business, but before the bakery even opens its doors, Tristan’s delectable creations have the town’s mouths watering, and Jake, a cute mechanic, asks Tristan out. It all seems worthwhile….

That is, until the bakery burns down, Jake’s criminal past comes to light, and Tristan’s nasty ex rears his head where he is decidedly not wanted.

This was a nice story.  I liked Tristan’s determination and stubbornness to be the independent person he wants to be and with who he wants.  Jake has worked hard to turn his life around though he is constantly being looked down upon.

This was a pretty fast paced story with a few time jumps that I was unsure about.  These characters had great chemistry and weren’t afraid to support each other no matter what.  Now, Tristan’s brothers and friends warning off Jake for no reason other than having been to jail sucked and I just hurt for him when people he thought were at least kind of his friends pretty much turned their backs on him.  It wasn’t a surprise to see who the one was causing problems from the beginning.

Simon Ferrar did a nice job narrating this story.  The different voices also helped with keeping track of the story, however the whiny voice he used for Tristan just put me off from his character a bit.

Cover art by Bree Archer is nice and I liked the visual of Tristan in his bakery.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5hrs 49mins
Published July 13, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

Series: Amuse Bouche #1, Dreamspun Desires

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Two of a Kind by BA Tortuga

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Working on a full house.

Once upon a time, Trey Williamson and Ap McIntosh had quite the whirlwind romance—but that was before family tragedy left them the guardians of five kids. Their lives have changed quite a bit over the last six years, but Ap is still on the rodeo circuit, doing what he does best in an attempt to feed all those extra mouths.

That leaves Trey back on the ranch, isolated and overworked as the kids’ sole caregiver. Something has to give, and when Ap comes home, they’re reminded how hot they burned once upon a time. But is it a love that can withstand wrangling over time, money, and the future? They have to decide what kind of family they want to be… and whether what they share can stand the test of time.

Cowboys with kids, and dancing around the L word together.  It’s a winning combination in Two of a Kind by BA Tortuga, a new release from the Dreamspun Desires line from Dreamspinner Press.

My fondness for a BA Tortuga cowboy knows no bounds and luckily for me, her stories contain two, with the occasional threesome.  For the sweetness of romance and love is always tempered by the realities of life in her novels.  Perfection is a fairy tale and something told to the kids at bedtime, if that.  No, these men, all her men, are grounded in the gritty, raw, and often painful existence of men trying to scrape by, doing the best they can to financially stay afloat, keep their families together,  and not fall asleep at the barn while mucking out stalls.  You feel their exhaustion, their wry humor, and their utter love for the kids in their care and community.

What does that all really mean?  It means these men, these kids, and town breath a vitality and believability that lets you take them to heart.  You get the decisions these men made, even how they’ve lived all these years with a minimum of communication, and yet, they are still able to rely, believe in each other.  The author has long since made us connect with them that there’s no second guessing any decisions only hoping as they struggle for a way around the current problems.

The drama is shocking and painful,  and yes, very realistic.  Things happen that quick.

The family dynamics work so beautifully for me, as much as the romance.  Probably because they are on the same level of importance.  They are all one family, although it make time a little time for the glue to harden.  Everything about this story works for me. Excerpt the length of course.

I hate coming to an end of a BA Tortuga tale.  Adios hurts when you’ve come to love everyone so.  As I do here.

Want a romance that gives you not just a couple but an entire family and perhaps even a town to love?  Full of joy, drama, laughter, and so much love it just spills over the pages?

Then grab up Two of a Kind by BA Tortuga.  I absolutely recommend it.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  Adore that cover, perfection with a teddybear.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:ebook, 224 pages
Expected publication: September 4th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640807259
Edition LanguageEnglish

 

Cover Reveal for Femme Faux Fatale by Susan Laine

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 Femme Faux Fatale by Susan Laine

Release Date: November 20, 2018

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza, http://www.seeingstatic.com/

Buy Links:   Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback 

 

Blurb:

 

Mystery. Murder. Men in silk stockings. Hollywood nights are heating up.

 

Hardboiled Los Angeles PI Cain Noble is hired by wealthy and gorgeous Camille Astor to find her husband and a priceless work of art, both of which have disappeared.

At the nightclub owned by Mr. Astor, Cain encounters the mesmerizing Lily Lavender, who has the body of a goddess and the sultry voice of an angel—but is really a young man named Riley who attracts trouble like a magnet.

What’s a private dick in the vein of LA’s bygone era and a cross-dressing burlesque starlet to do when faced with the hidden decadence and lethal dangers of the Hollywood Hills? They have their work cut out for them because they haven’t even scratched the surface of an elaborate scheme more twisted than anyone could ever have imagined.

Category: Mystery/Suspense, Dreamspun Desires

Pages: 236 (ebook), 240 (paperback)

About the Author

 

Susan Laine, an award-winning, multipublished author of LGBTQ erotic romance and a Finnish native, was raised by the best mother in the world, who told her daughter that she could be whatever she wanted to be. The spark for serious writing and publishing kindled when Susan discovered the gay erotic romance genre. One of her books, Monsters Under the Bed, won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Paranormal Romance.

Trained as an anthropologist, Susan’s long-term plan is to become a full-time writer. Susan enjoys hanging out with her sister, two nieces, mother, and friends in movie theaters, bookstores, and parks. Her favorite pastimes include pop music, action flicks, and doing the dishes while pondering the meaning of life, while a few of her dislikes are sweating hot summer days, tobacco smoke, and purposeful prejudice.

  • Website: http://www.susan-laine-author.fi
  • Email: susan.laine@hotmail.com
  • Newsletter: us3.campaign-archive1.com/home/?u=e35b161ef419de2a024b5de9c&id=c5cc358074

 

A Jeri Release Day Review: Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

This was a cute, what I like to call, a throw away read. It kept me fairly entertained, there was no big angst, the sex was fairly hot and the romance tried. But overall I wasn’t emotionally connected to the characters and it left me wanting a little more.
Jed is running the family ranch and has since his father took off to become an entertainment manager in LA. Specifically the manager of Remy Sean, up and coming Disney star. But as the years pass and Remy becomes more and more popular until he is mobbed at a concert. Overwhelmed with anxiety, he goes off to hide at the ranch. With Jed, who barely remembers Remy but who Remy couldn’t forget.
So, that was part of my issue. How could Jed hardly remember Remy when it was Remy’s career that his father left for. Jed just sees this as a means to an end. His father gets to send his biggest client to the ranch to relax and Jed will get his father to sign over the other half of the ranch and guarantee his father’s presence at his sister’s wedding.
Overall Jed was so blah. He didn’t even really perk up when he and Remy got together. He really was a wet blanket.
I get that Remy needed the time on the ranch, but it seemed to dull his sparkle. There was so much there that could have been used to make the story more interesting. More playing, more banter, more longing looks. Just more.
I won’t remember this story in a week, but it was ok.
Cover art: Aaron Anderson.  The cover is eye-catching and splashy! A perfect combination of cowboy and rockstar.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 228 pages
Published August 21st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleRocking the Cowboy
ISBN139781640804449
Edition LanguageEnglish

Love Contemporary Romances? Check out The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster (exclusive excerpt)

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The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster 

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art:  Aaron Anderson

Sales Links:

Goodreads:                 The Missing Ingredient
Amazon:                     The Missing Ingredient
Dreamspinner Press:    The Missing Ingredient

Brian Lancaster stopped by on his tour for The Missing Ingredient and brought an exclusive except.  Check it out below!

Blurb:

Sometimes it takes losing everything to realise what you had all along.

Up-and-coming London chef Marcus is poised on the edge of success, but apart from the occasional casual encounter, the only men who seem to stick around are investors. His best friend Lorraine Bradford—Raine—and her family used to keep him grounded, but a horrible accident took her life and left Marcus’s godchildren without a mother.

But if the death throws Marcus’s life into turmoil, it’s far worse for her husband, Tom—especially since she died in a car with a strange man. Tom is consumed by grief, and he shuns the help of friends. Until almost a year later, that is, when Marcus stumbles upon Tom out with his daughters and sees how far Tom has fallen. So he steps in and, bit by bit, helps them to rebuild their world until their lives return to a semblance of normality.

Then the unexpected happens: Tom confesses he has romantic feelings for Marcus, and nothing can ever be the same.

Exclusive Excerpt:

“Marcus. We need to talk.”

When he saw Tom’s expression, his heart froze. He knew Tom well enough to know thoughts bubbled beneath the man’s surface, but he articulated nothing to allay Marcus’s fears. Now he worried that he had messed up again.

“Before you say anything,” said Marcus, hoping to preempt the cause of the conversation, his heart pounding, “I want to apologize. I should never have insisted on Katie riding that pony today. Going against Lorraine’s wishes. And it was unfair to put you in a position to force the decision.”

“I made that choice, not you. And I would do the same again. This is not about that.”

In an effort to bolster himself, Marcus folded his arms tightly. Tom’s steely expression said everything. This was not going to be an easy conversation, whatever the subject. Marcus felt a dryness in his throat.

“Is this about seeing women?”

“No. Well, yes. Partly.”

Maybe Tom could mask his expression, but the flinch of his eyes betrayed the difficulty he was having trying to articulate what he needed to say. Marcus knew he could make things easier if he wanted, but to hell with that. Why should he? Whatever the news, it was clearly not good. Without saying another word, Marcus stood his ground, glaring at Tom, arms folded even tighter, waiting for the other man to speak.

“We’re being unfair to you, Marcus. You’re doing far too much. Mum thinks we shouldn’t be relying on you so heavily. Should give you a chance to find your own life.”

“Moira said that?”

“Yes.”

“Meaning what, exactly? You don’t want me to see you and the girls anymore?”

“No, of course not. Well, perhaps not as much.”

“And how do the girls feel about that?”

“They’ll be fine.”

“And John?”

“What do you mean?”

“What does your father think about his wife’s brilliant suggestion?”

“That’s beside the point. The fact is I agree with her.”

And there it was. One card shown. Tom wanted him to back away. Unable to speak for a few seconds, Marcus was unprepared for how much that declaration hurt.

“This is my life, Tom. Mine to use how I want. Helping you and my goddaughters is my choice, always has been. Even when Raine was alive.”

“And you’ve been amazing. Truly. But having a female presence in their lives, even if it’s not their mother, could only be good for the girls.”

Another slip. Another card shown.

Marcus could not stop the disappointment showing in his face. Even though he thought he had done well nurturing the girls when Tom could not be there, having the soft touch of a caring woman in their lives someday in the future might be good for them. But not so soon. Maybe Tom sensed Marcus’s feelings, because he quickly added, “I haven’t seen anyone yet. Call me old- fashioned, but I can only hold feelings for one person at a time. Unlike my teammates at the club, I can’t just turn them on and off to suit.”

“What is this about, then?”

“I’m doing this for the girls.”

“So what?” said Marcus, surprised at the force of emotions that hit him. “My job here’s done, is that it? Thanks for playing, Uncle Marcus, but we don’t need you around so much anymore?”

“No, that’s not what I mean—” said Tom, shaking his head. “Why is this so hard for me?”

“Hard for you?” said Marcus. His eyes burned now, despite attempts to hold his emotions at bay. “If you really want me to back out of your lives, you at least owe me a truthful explanation. Who wants me to back away? Is it your mother?”

“No, Marcus. The decision is wholly mine.”

“But why?” he cried before clenching his jaw and stepping into Tom’s personal space, causing the bigger man to back away a step. “I love those girls. Like they’re my own. And I thought I was helping you. Thought I was making things better, making a difference.”

“You are. You have. But—”

“But what?”

“All right,” said Tom, gently pushing Marcus away from him. “The problem is mine, okay?”

“With what?”

“With you.”

“Me? I don’t understand.”

“I can’t be in the same room as you, Marcus. Not without—”
Marcus felt shame creep across his face and couldn’t bear the sudden pause, wanted to fill the silence. What the hell had he done to embarrass the man? Was this about him being gay? Was this about the woman at the water park who thought they were a couple?

“Without what? Come on, Tom,” said Marcus, his voice softening to a plea. “Tell me. I thought we were getting along much better now. What did I do?”

“You didn’t do—” said Tom, expelling a heavy breath and staring at the ground. Defeated, he leaned against the doorframe, put a hand to his hairline, and pushed a handful of hair back. “For fuck’s sake. Why is this so hard?”

“You need to tell me, Tom. Tell me what I did wrong. So I can try to fix it.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong. And there’s nothing to fix. You’ve just been… you. I know it sounds clichéd, but this is really about me, not you. Oh hell, how do I begin?” said Tom, his voice calming as his steady blue eyes met Marcus’s. “You’re right, we are getting along much better. But the problem is I’ve—oh shit—I’ve developed feelings for you, Marcus. Okay? Beyond brotherly affection. And it’s confusing the hell out of me. Six weeks ago you left to go traipsing around New York for almost a month. A whole bloody month. Left me trying and failing to do everything for the girls without my copilot. Without my best friend. Felt as though my arm had been amputated. And when you turned up at my mother’s house that Sunday you flew back, the moment I chanced to look up and spot you smiling that goofy bloody smile of yours…. Fuck. Something plowed right into me. Thought I’d been run over by an express train. I wanted to leap across the garden, wrap you in my arms, and kiss the life out of you. No matter who was watching. Wanted to throw you over my shoulder, haul you inside, and fuck you senseless. Until you promised never to leave again.

“That night I lay awake, disgusted at myself, wondering what the hell was wrong with me. I told myself that once you were back home for a while and things got back to normal, the feelings would go away. But it’s the opposite. Like they’ve been unleashed into the wild and now I can’t haul them back. Lately they’re never far from my thoughts. And whenever I see you, they hit me hard. And I’m sick with worry that I might act on them one day and scare you off forever. And I can’t let that happen, not again. But if you could just please be a little less present in our lives—in my life—I might be able to cope better when you’re around.”

Marcus hadn’t realized his mouth was hanging open until his own startled voice sounded. “Fuck, Tom.”

Marcus knew he should say something more, but words had abandoned him. Tom, his idea of an ideal man, fancied him? Him. Wanted to kiss him? To fuck him? Maybe this could have happened in one of his rare erotic dreams, but in real life?

 

About the Author

BRIAN LANCASTER is an author of gay romantic fiction in multiple genres, including contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, crime, mystery, and anything else his muse provides. Born in the sleepy South of England, the setting of many of his stories, he moved to Southeast Asia in 1998, where he shares a home with his longtime partner and two of the laziest cats on the planet.

Brian Lancaster once believed that writing gay romantic fiction would be easy and cathartic. He also believed in Santa Claus and the Jolly Green Giant. At least he still has fantasies about those two.

Born in the rural South of England in a town with its own clock tower and cricket pitch, he moved to Hong Kong in 1998. Life went from calm and curious to fast and furious. On the upside, the people he has since met provide inspiration for a whole new cast of characters in his stories. He also has his long-term, long-suffering partner and two cats to keep him grounded.

After winning two short story competitions in 2006 and being published in a compendium, he decided to dive into writing full- length novels. Diving proved to be easy; the challenge has been in treading water and trying to remain afloat. Cynical enough to be classed a curable romantic, he is not seeking an antidote. When not working or writing, he enjoys acting in community theater productions, composing music, hosting pub quizzes, and any socializing that involves Chardonnay. And for the record, he would like to remind all those self-righteous white wine drinkers that White Burgundy, Chablis, and Champagne are still essentially Chardonnays.

A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

It can take losing everything to realize what you had all along.

Up-and-coming London chef Marcus Vine is poised on the edge of success, but the only men courting him are investors. That leaves Marcus with some free time—which is fortunate, because his godchildren need him.

A year ago, a horrible accident killed Marcus’s best friend, Raine, leaving her children without a mother and her husband, Tom, without a partner. Consumed by grief, Tom has been going it alone, refusing help, but when Marcus sees him out with the children, it’s obvious that Tom and his two daughters need someone. His persistent caring finally wears Tom down, allowing him to accept the comfort Marcus offers. Soon Marcus is up to his elbows in homework, home-cooked meals, and after-school activities. Over time he helps them rebuild their world, until soon their lives are approaching normal.

Then the unexpected happens: Tom confesses he has romantic feelings for Marcus, and nothing can ever be the same.

The Missing Ingredient by Brian Lancaster is one of those contemporary romances that some normally  label Gay For You, a tag I’ve never liked or been conformable with.  This is a heartwarming, sweet romance about a widower who has lost his wife and  finds love again with his wife’s best friend….a man.  It’s a slow burn, come to the realization of attraction and feelings story but more than that, it shows the challenges a person faces when they’ve put themselves and their sexuality into a box and now have to step outside if they want another chance at love.

Lancaster has certainly does a wonderful job of giving us a group of connectable and believable characters, from the adults down to the realistic kids, inhalers included.  From the minute Marcus reconnects with Tom, the author reveals Tom in a very state of stress and depression.  Unkempt and skinny, the house a mess, the kids barely meeting their scheduled activities…things are falling apart.  It’s a believable portrait of a man and household going under the loss of their wife and mother.

Marcus, as the children’s godfather, steps in and starts to organize the mess he sees, including Tom.  It’s a huge success for all as Marcus slides seamlessly into a family that needs him so.  Just as much it turns out as Marcus needs them as an anchor in his hectic life.

Then the thing that destabilizes everything.  An announcement of feelings and attraction.  Maybe more by Tom.

From there the novel becomes a push me/pull me sort of story as Tom works through his issues with his beliefs about his sexuality.  Is he straight? Is he gay?  What bothered me here is not once did the words pansexual or bisexual ever come up. Even though there was a long discussion from Tom that he really never had feelings for either men or women before his wife, so why was only two types of sexuality up for discussion here?

Still, the characters are well done, the writing flows, and the romance heart felt.

As this is a Dreamspun Desires novel, yes, our couple (and adorable kids) got their HEA.  I thought the scene where Tom came to Marcus lovely and adored the epilogue.

As I said this is a sweet  romance and I do recommend it for lovers of contemporary  romance and second chances at love.

Cover art:  Aaron Anderson.  That is  exactly my idea of Marcus on the cover. Love it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, Dreamspun Desires #63, 220 pages
Expected publication: August 7th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802742
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane

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Rating 5 stars out of 5

In my opinion, this is the best of the Mannies series and one of my favorite Amy Lane stories.  As the author states in her promo, her work is divided into three flavors: alt universe, angst, and sunshine-yellow happy.  Well, color this one bright sunshine because it was one of those stories that grabbed me from the first chapter and pulled me through to the end when the very clueless Quinlan Gregory realizes just how very loveable and needed he is.

Quinlan was kicked out by his wealthy parents when he announced he was gay.  He had a feeling it would happen, so he had all his worldly goods packed and all his finances in order. In fact, the moment he left the house he changed all his passwords so his family couldn’t access his accounts or his trust fund.  Good thing too, because years later he found out they’d tried to access them immediately.

Quinlan is Sammy’s college friend and fellow musician, so naturally, kind-hearted Sammy sees being a manny for his aunt’s brood is the perfect job for Quin, and the timing is perfect since Taylor is getting married and leaving the position. Though he knows nothing about being a manny, he really wants to be a part of the world of this close-knit family—a world so far from the cold, lonely life he left behind. When he spots Dusty, the oldest, and boldest, of the kids, acting out and assuming the role of family troublemaker—Quin realizes he can definitely make a positive contribution to the Robbins-Grayson’s lives.

Time passes, and as Quin and Dusty become friends, Dusty bides his time to reach his goal of making Quinlan see him as an adult, an equal, and a mature responsible lover. There aren’t more than six years between them, but Dusty knows he’ll need to be in his twenties before he can actively pursue the man of his dreams.  So by the time he’s twenty-one, he starts to make his move, and though it takes more than one attempt, he’s finally in a position to help the kind, caring man when Quin comes home from summer band tour with a bad virus and virtually falls into Dusty’s open arms.

What follows is a courtship that made my heart melt. Dusty is the perfect mate for Quin and he sets out to prove it as Quin receives news his father has died and his mother is again attempting to access Quin’s money.

The most outstanding feature of this story is the character development and family interactions. These are real people in a large, happy family composed of those both born into, and folded into, their collective arms. Dusty’s character was a surprise on the one hand, but knowing his parents, it shouldn’t have been. He’s very much like his father in temperament and he’s goal-driven like his mother with an attitude that proves good things come to those who wait.

I laughed and I cried with Quin and Dusty, and I wallowed in the pure enjoyment of seeing where Channing and Tino are in their relationship, as well as where Sammy and Cooper are in theirs. Quin’s reaction to Sammy’s good news was spot-on and showed just what a wonderful friend and caring character he is.  There’s so much to this story, it’s hard to pick a favorite segment, and conversely, it’s almost impossible to pick something I didn’t like—other than the evil, cold-hearted woman who birthed Quin, of course. And to be honest, to make the story work, she needed to be exactly the way she was.

I wouldn’t recommend this book as a standalone, purely because of the interactions with the other characters in the series, but I would highly recommend it to those who’ve read the others, especially books one and three.  And to those who haven’t read them—start from the beginning and enjoy this whole series. It’s so worth it.

The cover by Bree Archer, in typical Dreampun Desires style, features a handsome young man, likely Dusty, set against a dark purple background.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 230 pages
Expected publication: July 17th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleA Fool and His Manny
ISBN139781640805040
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Mannies #4

 

A VVivacious Release Day Review: Stranger in a Foreign Land by Michael Murphy

Standard

Rating: 2 Stars out of 5

Patrick is in Thailand when his cab gets involved in a brutal accident resulting in him losing all of his memory. Lost and confused not to mention tired, bruised and helpless Patrick finds shelter near a pineapple cannery where he meets Jack.  Jack starts to take care of Patrick now known as Buddy and earns his trust and more. Just as Patrick and Jack find themselves deeply in love Patrick’s past comes knocking in the form of his brother.

Oh! I have a lot to say about this one. There were just so many things in this one that bugged me right from the very beginning. The first and foremost one being the wandering POV. Right in the very beginning of this book when Patrick was all alone the author managed to make the POV wander between Patrick and Amnesia Patrick aka Buddy.

In the middle of Patrick/Buddy trying to save his life, you would find yourself in the middle of some exposition on money which actually held no relevance to the story whatsoever and ended on the note that it wasn’t the first and foremost thing on Patrick’s mind, maybe because he is trying to flee a car moments from exploding.

But, the wandering POV just didn’t let up and when we got to Jack, the POV changed every paragraph until it resulted in passages such as the one below –

“I don’t know,” Jack answered honestly.

Feeling uncomfortable, Buddy decided to make a joke, or try to anyway.

It was obvious to Jack what Buddy was trying to do.

“You obviously see the bed,” he said, gesturing toward the double bed against another wall.

By the end, I had no idea who was actually talking.

Generally, I can tolerate head-hopping to quite a great extent but since in this book it was happening from the very beginning, it kept bringing me out of the book, as a result, I just wasn’t as invested in the characters and therefore was hypercritical of everything.

For me the shower scene came across as very predatory, especially considering Buddy’s almost child-like enthusiasm with everything Jack. I was hyperaware of the power Jack had over Buddy in that situation and I truly feel that not addressing that inequality did nobody any favours because till the very end Buddy/Patrick is way too dependent on Jack for everything. Jack is his entire life and frankly if this relationship doesn’t pan there will be no Patrick which is a horrifying thought.

Also, would it have killed Patrick to sympathise with his parents? He acts as nothing short of a petulant child in all those scenes. I was actually quite shocked to face the reluctance with which Patrick approaches the entire ordeal of learning who he was. He definitely doesn’t seem interested and makes no efforts to reconnect or at least sympathise with his parents which was something I couldn’t understand. Like he refers to his mother as that woman, I mean yeah I know you have no recollection of her but she is your mother and just for that fact you owe her respect if nothing else.

For some reason the author goes back to calling Buddy as Patrick even though he has no idea what it is to be Patrick and more so ever has no interest in finding out either and considering how Patrick/Amnesia Patrick/Buddy reacts to everything Patrick, I really don’t think she should have gone back to it.

Also, I have got to mention this but Patrick at one point asks James if his/their, mother is aged, and I was left gawking, well she has to be older than you doofus and you are no spring chicken yourself. This was just one of those many things in the book that made the story veer into the implausible. I couldn’t relate to the story and the plot just seemed far-fetched.

I, for the most, liked Jack but it was very hard for me to tolerate Patrick he was just so many things at so many different times that it was hard to know who he was, whoever this character was, Patrick or Buddy since I am not even sure about that.

Despite its flaws, I still managed to finish the story which seems like an accomplishment in itself.

Cover Art by Bree Archer. I liked the cover though I have no idea who that model is supposed to depict.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 216 pages
Expected publication: July 3rd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802506
Edition LanguageEnglish