A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Any Old Diamonds (Lilywhite Boys #1) by K.J. Charles

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

KJ Charles is an incredibly talented author and when dealing with a UK historical, her work is top of the line.

Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes is the younger son of the Duke of Ilvar. He, his older brother who is set to inherit the title, and his sister have been estranged from the duke for ten years. Their other sister, who has since passed away, witnessed the duke murdering their mother so he could marry the caretaker’s widow—a miserable, miserly, poor excuse for a stepmother if ever there was one. Alec, his sister, and his brother’s family live in poverty while the duke and duchess flaunt their wealth. As the 20th anniversary of their marriage approaches, Alec determines he’s going to do something to bring the two down.

So he begins the first steps to his long game and hires the Lilywhite Boys, a notorious pair of jewel thieves. Jerry Crozier is suave, debonair, charming, a total rogue, and before Alec knows it, Jerry discovers his secret and dominates him into a series of submissions to Jerry’s desires. Alec’s plan is to get Jerry, and his partner who will be disguised as Jerry’s valet, into the house party the duke is planning as their anniversary celebration. There, Jerry will break into the duchess’s safe and steal away with her set of diamonds commissioned for the anniversary event. But along the way, Alec has to ingratiate himself to his father with a public apology and distance himself from his siblings who want nothing to do with the duke and to whom he can’t reveal his plan.

Needless to say, Alec falls in love with Jerry and Jerry, surprisingly (to himself) falls in love with Alec. The dynamic between the two is outstanding. I really wanted to hate Jerry for manipulating Alec and for holding himself aloof. As it turns out, his own heart was engaged and directed many of his actions.

I also love the author’s sense of humor, which is woven throughout the story in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. For example, Jerry is teaching Alec how to play billiards in a semi-public location when he tells Alec to put his “nose to the ball,” and the pair totally lose their composure, laughing hysterically—along with this reader.

Tender moments are equally as well done. “The question was never whether I loved you,” Alec whispered. “It was, How brave am I or maybe, How afraid am I? And it turns out I’m slightly braver than I am afraid when it comes to you…” Gah! I loved this romance.

There were also brief visits from, and mentions of, characters we met in the past, including those in the Sins of the Cities series, though this story takes place about twenty years after An Unsuitable Heir.

And the ending wasn’t at all what I was expecting. KJ Charles is a pro at plot twists and yet always manages to find a way for her gentlemen (and rogues) to find their way to their HEA. I very highly recommend this one as a fine example of her work.

The drawn caricature cover by Vic Grey features two gentlemen of the late 19th century at an opera house—one seated and one standing, both in formalwear. Not only is it symbolic of their first adventure together, the fact that it’s not a photo cover may be a play on Lord Alexander’s talent as an artist.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 30th 2019 by KJC Books
ISBN 139781912688074
Edition LanguagebEnglish
Series Lilywhite Boys #1

Love Holiday Stories? Check out the Review Tour and Giveaway for A Soldier’s Wish (A Christmas Angel Story) by N.R. Walker

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 55,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

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
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb


The year is 1969…

Gary Fairchild is proud to be a hippie college student, and he protests the Vietnam War because he believes in love and peace. To him, it isn’t just a counterculture movement—it’s a way of life. When tickets to the Aquarium Exposition—3 Days of Peace & Music, or Woodstock, as it was better known, go on sale, there’s no way he isn’t going.
Richard Ronsman is a sheltered farm boy who lives in the shadow of his overbearing father. He’s hidden his darkest secret to earn his father’s love, but nothing is ever good enough—not even volunteering for the Vietnam War. And with just a few days left before he’s deployed, he’s invited by a striking hippie to join him at a music festival.Three days of music, drugs, rain, mud, and love forged a bond between these two very different men that would shape the rest of their lives. They share dreams and fears, and when Richard is shipped off to war, they share letters and love. For Richard’s first Christmas home, he is gifted a special angel ornament that just might make a soldier’s wish come true.This story is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.
 
 

Dec 2 – Boulevard des Passions, Gay Book Reviews, Dec 4 – Lelyana’s Reviews, Dec 6 – Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Megan’s Media Melange, Dec 8 – Xtreme Delusions, My Fiction Nook, Dec 10 – Mirrigold, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Open Skye, The Secret Of Ko, Rainbow Book Reviews, Dec 12 – Bookaholic & Kindle, Dec 14 – Making It Happen, MM Good Book Reviews, Dec 17 – Momma Says: To Read Or Not To Read, Lillian Francis, Wicked Reads, Two Chicks Obsessed, Dec 19 – Drops Of Ink, Kimmers Erotic Book Banter, Bayou Book JunkieAmy’s MM Romance Reviews, Dec 21 – Bonkers About Books, Book Corner Reviews

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.  We are loving this series!

 

 

The Christmas Angel Series

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years. Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton’s Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

Author Bio

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

 

 

 

 

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A MelanieM Review: Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run–all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn’t ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his “intended”, Robby’s only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is — and can’t resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.

Damn, what a kerfuffle. If only Trace can get rid of the fugitive while hanging on to his own stupid heart.

Do you know how there can be a disconnect between a blurb and the actual story at times?  Well for Eli Easton’s Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride, there was one not only between the synopsis but also between the cover as well.  Both ended up veering far off from the charm and drama that is this m/m historic romance.

From that first line, you might think you are getting a high farce, a comedy, but its hardly that.  Robby Riverston is a serious actor who has finally getting the roles he’s wanted after paying his dues on the stage in New York  for years.  He’s worked hard and he’s a gifted actor about to get his break until he ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time and sees one of the city’s most notorious criminals murder someone.  Unfortunately for Robby, they see him too.

A ticket out of town is his only option and one thing after another leads him to Flat Bottom.  At one point he assumes the “role”  of a woman who was supposed to be a mail order bride but reneged along the way.  As any good actor does, Robby treats “Rowena” as just that, a role he is playing.  From the makeup he wears, to his dress and mannerisms, he becomes this character and a part of the Crabtree family, a situation he feels guilty about because he comes to care about these people. So yes, no high farce to be found here.  Instead, simply a desperate man trying to elude killers and a family like no others adjusting to a Easterner in their midst.

Eli Easton does bring up another element when Trace Crabtree, the oldest son and Sheriff, figures out Robby’s secret.  How the dynamics work between these men is an aspect to this story that also surprised and delighted me.  Trace has his own issues to work through, about his past, his place within the town, and his feelings about Robby.  All while trying to keep him alive as well as his family when the killers come calling.

I  loved the characterizations and the town.  All the Crabtrees absolutely grew on me, even the father.  Easton pulls it all together in a thrilling suspenseful ending and a happy epilogue that will leave you smiling.

I highly recommend Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton to all lovers of romance, even if you arent a complete fan of historic fiction, I think you will love this one too.

Cover art, while cute, is so far off the mark.  Robby would never look like that. “Rowena” was always impeccably dressed with her makeup on at all times.  That cover gives a completely false impression of the story.  Fail.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 26th 2018 by Pinkerton Road (first published April 24th 2018)
Original TitleRobby Riverton: Mail Order Bride
Edition LanguageEnglishsettingNew Mexico (United States)

New Release Book Blitz for Astray (Wavesongs #1) by Elvira Bell (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Astray

Series: Wavesongs #1

Author: Elvira Bell

Release Date: May 1, 2018

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 99,500 words

Genre: Romance, Historical fiction, LGBT, M/M, Coming of age, Pirates, Age gap

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Nick Andrews has grown up in poverty in a tiny village. All his life he’s been told that he’s useless. After getting one scolding too many he decides to go far away, off to sea. But his experience as a farmhand has done little to prepare him for the hardships of a sailor’s life.

When his ship is attacked by pirates, Nick’s life is miraculously spared by the notorious pirate captain, Christopher Hart—a man in charge of a crew feared for their brutality. Nick is forced to join the pirates, and he dreads finding out for what reason the captain has saved him.

But Hart is nothing like his reputation suggests, and Nick soon finds himself entangled in a relationship that could endanger both their lives. Unless Nick can help Hart on his quest to find a long lost treasure, their forbidden love may tear his new life apart.

Warning: This book ends with a cliffhanger, and it does not have a happy ending. The series as a whole will have a HEA ending.

Content note: This book contains dark themes and depictions of torture, murder, and rape.

Excerpt

Nick enters the cabin to find Hart sitting at the table. A book is open in front of him. Red-tinted sunlight floods the windows, casting a burnt orange glow over his hair and coat. He doesn’t look up as Nick steps inside and closes the door behind him.

“What did you want with me, sir?”

Hart sighs. Gives Nick a brief glance. “Ah, yes. My boots need a cleaning. Over there.” He points to the boots, neatly placed next to the door. “You should find what you need in that chest opposite them.”

Nick glances at the clogs on his own feet. Hart has not just one pair of footwear, but two—on his feet instead of the jackboots are black leather shoes. Sinking down to his knees, Nick gets to work. He grabs one of the boots, reaching for the cloth he’s found. His stomach clenches. All he can think of is that pool of blood around Stubbs’ head. He worries that Hart’s soles will be red, stained with the cabin boy’s blood. Thankfully, they aren’t. In fact, there’s not a trace of blood on them—almost as if they have been cleaned before.

Nick glances over to Hart. Did he clean his own boots before calling Nick in here? And if so, why? It makes no sense that he has wiped away the blood himself, when he could have made Nick do it.

Hart sighs and scribbles in the book. It’s unnerving to be alone with him and Nick feels relief surge through him when both boots are spotless and shiny.

“All done, sir.” He puts the boots back by the wall and stands up, turning to face Hart again.

The Captain doesn’t look at him. “Thank you.” Outside the window, the glowing sun has turned to just a sliver on the horizon. “That will be all.”

Available to purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

Elvira Bell lives in Sweden and spends most of her time writing, reading or watching movies. Her weaknesses include, but are not limited to: vintage jazz, musicals, kittens, oversized tea cups, men in suits, the 18th century, and anything sparkly.

Elvira writes m/m fiction with a touch of romance and has a penchant for historical settings. She adores all things gothic and will put her characters through hell from time to time because she just loves watching them suffer. It makes the happy endings so much sweeter, after all.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

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A Jeri Release Day Review: Roses in the Devil’s Garden (Fallen Rose #1) by Charlie Cochet

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

As a big Charlie Cochet fan, I was eager to read the first of a new series coming from her. And this is both very different, and in some ways quite a bit the same as her THIRDS series.

This is a VERY short primer to what I assume is a series coming out. Set during Prohibition, the story follows Harlan and Nathan- best friends, lovers and detectives in the Prohibition unit. There is pretty much no such thing as an “out” gay man, but within clubs and speakeasies, it is often overlooked.
Honestly, there isn’t a ton here to review. I will say it is a good set up and I definitely want more. Ms Cochet writes seamlessly with 20’s era lingo and style. There were a few things that I questioned, but I am hoping more comes to light with the next book(s).

The cover art by Aaron Anderson is another winner by this artist and works for the story and characters.

Sale Links: DreamspinnerAmazon | Nook

ebook, 67 pages
Published: April 6, 2018, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781640802346
Edition Language: English

Series: Fallen Rose

Book #1: Roses in the Devil’s Garden

Release Day Blitz for Captain Merric by Rebecca Cohen (excerpt and giveaway)

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Pirates! The name alone conjures up swashbuckling adventure and a thrilling life on the high seas. No wonder they are a well loved romantic hero. Being swept away by a pirate captain, rescuing you from the monotony of daily life is a lovely way to escape reality for a while.

This image has endured through the centuries, and later enhanced on film and screen. Pirates might have been blood thirsty scoundrels, but in a romance novel or film we’re hoping for a hero who is a bad boy with a heart of gold, or a dark past, that has driven a good man to his dastardly trade.

Pirates have long had a fascination for me, and smugglers too (but you can blame that on me being the daughter of a Cornishman). So when I first started to try to get my writing published, an anthology for pirate themed stories caught my eye and I wrote the original short story version of Captain Merric. Since then I’ve enjoyed writing many other things, but when I got my rights back it felt a shame to leave Captain Merric on my hard drive.

My initial thoughts were a quick edit and self-publish as a cheap short, but my love of writing historicals has also grown over the years and so Captain Merric got a complete rewrite, including more details of the period (early Georgian 1718). An extra 43K words later and the larger than life Captain Merric, and his stubborn Royal Navy officer will-he-won’t-he-be-lover, Daniel Horton, re-emerged.

I hope you enjoy this tale of a brooding hero, second chances with a pirate and naval officer, and their fight to get their happy ending. Drop a comment below to tell me why you love pirates and be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of an ebook from my backlist (excluding the Crofton Chronicles bundle).


Excerpt


Daniel struggled to his knees, looking up to get a view of the pirate. The sun must have affected him more than he had thought, and the figure that stood before him had to be an illusion. The face was older, and now had a beard, but belonged to that of a man who had died over fifteen years ago.He shook his head to clear his sight, but it didn’t change the vision towering over him. “I am seeing ghosts.”One of the pirates snorted. “The captain’s many things, but a ghost ain’t one of them.”Daniel blinked rapidly, but still the man he’d grieved for, a man he had once loved, stood in front of him. He could barely breathe, his heart pounding so loudly he couldn’t hear himself think or believe his own eyes. He tried to chase away the image, but he was not mistaken. The confusion bled away and was replaced by a disturbing reality. Edward Merriston was alive and well, playing pirates in the Caribbean, when Daniel had thought him lost to shipwreck all those years ago.Edward had always been tall and broad, but his time at sea had made him stronger, and the sun had bleached his long hair so it was blonder than Daniel remembered, making his blue eyes even more striking.“You’re meant to be dead,” were all the words he could manage.

Edward’s eyes widened, and a look of disbelief flashed across his face. “You’re not the first one to have said that and won’t be the last to wish it.”

 
 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Length: 55,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

A tale of pirates, lost love, and the fight for a happy ending.


After he’s set adrift and left to die by his mutinous crew, the last person Royal Navy officer Daniel Horton expects to come to his rescue is Captain Merric. An infamous pirate, Merric is known as much for stealing his victims’ hearts as their jewels. Daniel’s world is about to be turned upside down when he recognises Captain Merric as none other than Edward Merriston, someone he thought he’d never see again.
Edward can’t believe Daniel Horton is aboard his ship. While Edward is willing to do anything he can to get a second chance at their happy ending, Daniel isn’t interested in digging up the past. But Daniel is one priceless treasure Captain Merric isn’t about to let go of without a fight.


Captain Merric first appeared as short story in a pirate-themed anthology. Now completely rewritten and extended he is ready to set sail again.



April 6 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
April 9 – Open Mind For A Different View
April 10 – The Novel Approach
April 11 – Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Making It Happen
April 12 – Diverse Reader
April 13 – Two Chicks Obsessed
April 14 – MM Good Book Reviews
April 16 – My Booked Filled Life, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Velvetpanic, BooksLaidBareBoys, Bayou Book Junkie
April 17 – Love Bytes

 

Author Bio


Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.


Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

Giveaway

Giveaway: Drop a comment below to tell me why you love pirates and be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of an ebook from my backlist (excluding the Crofton Chronicles bundle). (Revised)

 

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for Captain Merric by Rebecca Cohen

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Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Length: 55,000 words approx.
 
Blurb



A tale of pirates, lost love, and the fight for a happy ending.


After he’s set adrift and left to die by his mutinous crew, the last person Royal Navy officer Daniel Horton expects to come to his rescue is Captain Merric. An infamous pirate, Merric is known as much for stealing his victims’ hearts as their jewels. Daniel’s world is about to be turned upside down when he recognises Captain Merric as none other than Edward Merriston, someone he thought he’d never see again.
Edward can’t believe Daniel Horton is aboard his ship. While Edward is willing to do anything he can to get a second chance at their happy ending, Daniel isn’t interested in digging up the past. But Daniel is one priceless treasure Captain Merric isn’t about to let go of without a fight.


Captain Merric first appeared as short story in a pirate-themed anthology. Now completely rewritten and extended he is ready to set sail again.

 

Author Bio


Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.


Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

Giveaway: Drop a comment below to tell me why you love pirates and be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of an ebook from my backlist (excluding the Crofton Chronicles bundle).

 

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A Lila Review : Of Hope and Anguish(Revolutionaries #2) by Silvia Violet

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

What they say this book’s all about?

Jack and Eli have been separated for months while Jack gathers intelligence in Philadelphia and Eli spies on British officers in New York. When Jack has to take on the role of spymaster and work behind-the-scenes, Eli offers to insinuate himself in Philadelphia’s loyalist circles, taking Jack’s place.

As Eli works to uncover traitorous negotiations between a high-ranking American officer and the British, he cozies up to British spymaster John Andre. Jack doesn’t like Eli putting himself at risk, nor does he like seeing him fawning over a beautiful, charming man.

As the chances of the American army surviving the winter decline, tensions mount between Jack and Eli, threatening to tear them apart. They will have to rely on their love and trust for one another to make it through these harrowing months.

Of Hope and Anguish brings the American Revolution to another level. It starts shortly after Revolutionary Temptation and it’s more interesting and intriguing than its predecessor. We get to experience more of everything, romance, action, spies, and much more.

The literary fiction element in this story is also present. I really appreciated the way the author added her characters to Revolutionary times. It’s definitely more engaging than what we learned in high school. All details are relevant and mixed with reality to create a well-crafted book.

There’s a better balance between romance and fiction in this second book. Perhaps because we now know the characters, settings, etc. and can dive into the overall content. We get to see Eli and Jack grow as a couple and we get to understand the decisions they take, not only for the country but for their new-found love. Also, Constance gets a bit of happiness in this story that added to the plot. Even the villains are an integral part.

Just like before, the pace in this book is fast, entertaining, and leaves the reader looking for more. The book does have a fulfilling ending but it leaves us with enough to look forward to the next book. One of those exceptions when the second book is better than the first one.

Just like the previous cover by Meredith Russell, this one fits the story and the characterization of Eli & Jack.

Sale Links: Smashwords | Amazon Payhip

ebook, 218 pages
Published: March 5, 2018, Silvia Violet Books
ISBN: 1984134361
Edition Language: English

Series: Revolutionaries

Book #1: Revolutionary Temptation

Book #2: Of Hope and Anguish

A Free Dreamer Review: Finding Sanctuary (The Hampton Road Club #6) by Morticia Knight

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Francesco might not know a thing about being a submissive, but for Master Theo—he’d be willing to learn anything.

Living on the streets of 1920s Los Angeles and pleasuring men in dark alleys for his survival is not how Francesco had thought his life would turn out. But he’s filled with hope that someday—if he learns how to be a respectable fellow—he can make a home for himself and maybe even find a man he really cares for who also cares for him. In the meantime, he hustles to get by and looks for the good where he can find it.

Theo’s existence is safe and predictable. He indulges in his perverse nature at his friend Saul’s sadomasochism club on Hampton Road and negotiates contracts for the Hollywood players and studios. When an enticing little grifter crosses his path one day, the encounter unnerves him. Not because he gets conned, but because the refreshingly open and unaffected young man holds a mirror up to Theo’s own dreary existence. Theo might have plenty of material wealth, but his wealth of spirit can’t compare to the delightful Francesco’s.

Theo rescues Francesco from a dire situation and brings him home. If nothing else, he can at least find the desperate young man some decent employment. Instead, they both find themselves increasingly drawn to each other. But until Theo introduces Francesco to what being a submissive means, he doesn’t dare give his heart away. Francesco has yet to discover the secrets that are hidden behind the walls of the Hampton Road Club.

Publisher’s Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of the Hampton Road Club series. This instalment is a prequel to book one and can be read first.

Review: “Finding Sanctuary” ticked a lot of boxes for me: It’s set during the prohibition, it has BDSM and a homeless character. So I expected great things, which the book couldn’t quite deliver.

First of all, this is the first book of the series I’ve read and it definitely works without the other parts, as this is some sort of prequel to book one. So you can definitely start your journey with “Finding Sanctuary”.

My biggest issue with this book was Francesco. He was just way too sweet and innocent. He’s been living on the streets for several years and has been through a lot even before then. It just seemed extremely unrealistic for him to be so very nice after all that’s happened to him. He was extremely trusting and naive and it got a bit annoying after a while. I didn’t particularly like him.

Other than that, the story was nice. There was no huge conflict and the few troubles that did pop up got resolved without much fanfare. I’d hoped for a more historical feeling to the overall setting, but I didn’t get much of that. The love story wasn’t very spectacular either. It was pretty much love at first sight and a relatively smooth road from then on.

Overall, “Finding Sanctuary” was just too fluffy and cute for me. There wasn’t much depth to the whole plot and I didn’t particularly like Francesco. It just wasn’t what I expected and felt kind of toothless. I’ve had similar issues with other books by the author, so I guess we just don’t click. Her books aren’t bad by any means, they’re just not for me.

If you’re looking for a sweet, light read, then you’ll probably enjoy this book. The BDSM elements weren’t too intense, so you don’t need to worry about that either.

The cover by Posh Gosh looks nice, though the naked cover model definitely doesn’t fit the description of Francesco. He’s way too muscular for that.

Buy Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book details: ebook, 135 pages

Published October 10th 2017 by Pride Publishing

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Station by Keira Andrews

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

It’s the mid 1800s and Colin Lancaster is being groomed to attend Cambridge and then come back to his family’s estate to take his rightful place.  But Colin has a secret—he wants to be like the family’s stablemaster, Patrick Callahan, and not for his care of horses.  Colin spied Patrick years earlier as Patrick mounted another man, and ever since then, Colin has dreamed of the same happening to him.

When Patrick is caught with his pants down, Colin’s father has no choice but to condemn him to death—the punishment for sodomy.  But Colin intervenes, declaring himself as a sodomite and circumstances shift quickly.  Both Colin and Patrick are given a reprieve of sorts, and instead of death, they are sentenced to serve their time in Australia.  After an amazingly difficult sea voyage, during which Patrick survives typhoid due to Colin’s care, they are assigned to a widow who is heading inland to claim the land she and her husband purchased sight unseen. 

This story is very rich in description of the Australian outback, so much so, that it was very easy to picture the conditions under which Colin became a stockman, learning to ride and rope, and later, learning to appreciate his new life circumstances.  Patrick, on the other hand, resented being there and did not want to find the positives about the experience.  He had resisted Colin on all fronts, until finally giving in and having sex with the younger man on shipboard, and later again in Australia, when they found opportunities to slip away from the others. 

Patrick was the antihero in this story and not interested in romance at all, so it was difficult to like his character, and it was, therefore, difficult to label this a romance.  The story was more of a sexual conquest with a lot of romantic angst on Colin’s part but quite a bit of indifference and simple sexual need on Patrick’s part. 

There were also a few difficult-to-believe circumstances. Okay, there were a lot of difficult-to-believe circumstances and plot points—everything from the widow who drove three men and 500 herd of cattle onto land they’d never seen through a hostile neighbor’s property to their own—property marked by a simple red rag on a stick. Hypothetically, if the neighbor who owned a mega property didn’t really want them there—and we learn later that he didn’t—couldn’t he have yanked that rag off the stick? 

Then there was the issue of Colin’s and Patrick’s status as criminals, or not, and more issues related to the widow and Robbie, the other stockman.  I’m trying to be vague here so I don’t give away plot points, but the reality for me was that the story veered quite a bit from the realism I expected. And though I know this is fiction, I had to suspend belief quite a few times in the latter part of the story.  Or perhaps I’m too much of a skeptic. 

In any event, I loved Colin’s character, his joie de vivre, his persistent positive attitude, and appreciation for the land.  Loyal and steadfast, he never veered from his heart’s desire.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Patrick.   So, although I enjoyed the story, I didn’t enjoy it as much as previous stories from this author, and that was disappointing. 

I would recommend this to anyone who likes historical romance and those who appreciate a story set in Australia during the time of the early settlers. But I caution this author’s followers, who like me, may have been expecting another Semper Fi or Beyond the Sea.  This one isn’t it.

~~~

Cover art by Dar Albert features a sexy stockman standing in front of a grassy area populated by kangaroos, with a semi-transparent face superimposed over the background sky.  This must represent Patrick as the stockman and Colin as the face in the background.  Definitely not my favorite cover, I think it would have been better without that extra superimposed face.   

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition, 188 pages
Published January 18th 2018 by KA Books (first published October 5th 2010)
Original TitleThe Station
ASINB078Z2T6XM
Edition LanguageEnglish