A MelanieM Review: Bull (Brawlers #3) by J.M. Dabney


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Welcome to Brawlers Bar…

They said men only get better with age, distinguished and all that BS, but Archer “Bulletproof” Woods hadn’t gotten better. At fifty-six he was still as much an asshole as he’d been in his twenties and thirties, hell, maybe he was worse. Being a bouncer at a bar called Brawlers suited him just fine and he even tolerated the rest of the crew who’d taken up residence in his house when they’d had nowhere else to go. He was big, growly and homely that kept the parade of men passing through Brawlers at arm’s length for the past decade. One night changed all that.

What he’d thought was happily ever after turned into a nearly five year nightmare. Gregory Charles appeared to have it all, a successful business, sophistication, and a perfect marriage. His friend and best employee, Landon, begged him to come out to a friend’s bar to celebrate Landon’s anniversary. What could it hurt? A night without contemplating the hell that would come down on him the moment he served his husband with divorce papers would do him good. That is until he met the brooding older man staring into a whiskey straight ignoring everyone around him.

Watching for trouble was his job and Gregory screamed mistake as soon as the long, lean and handsome man sat down beside him. But he also knew when someone was in over their head and Gregory needed someone to watch his back. That someone was Bull, only time would tell if he’d have to fight Gregory as much as the man after him.

Bull‘s story is the one I’ve been waiting for.  I’ve love the huge, hulking father figure ever since I became aware of the Brawlers and their extended family.  It’s Bull and his house whose been the home and focal point of so many of these stories.  And it’s been Bull who’s been such a steadying influence on those around him when everything felt like it was being destroyed for them.  Yet Bull was ever lonely, alpha among alphas, and you wanted to get the know the person called Bull.  In Bull (Brawlers #3) by J.M. Dabney I finally got that story.

The solitary man isn’t the one I was prepared to find.  He’s hardly anywhere close to the men he houses, although he  clearly understands them and the violence that drives them.  Instead Dabney gives us a man full of pain and loneliness, hating it, yet perhaps thinking that his time for something more has passed him by because of his age.  The sadness is overwhelming.  Then Gregory appears at Brawlers, helping to  celebrate Landon’s anniversary and a connection is made that changes everything.

Gregory is a complicated character (they all are here).  Explaining more about Gregory actually gives away too much of the the plot for my comfort, however, let’s just say trying to serve divorce papers to a husband isn’t always the easiest thing when the husband refuses to accept them.  This is a hurt/comfort story and deals with issues of domestic violence and control.

Bull’s situation (he’s divorced with a grown child he hasn’t seen in awhile) plus his age all determines the manner in which he views his actions towards Gregory and any possibility of a relationship.  Gregory’s own demons also need to be dealt with by Gregory himself and others.  Broken, bruised men are the heart of most of Dabney’s stories.  For most, life has made them hard and violent, but for some, it’s left it’s marks in other ways.

The relationship dynamics here make any romance unsure and slow as it should be.  I loved the struggle and the carefulness taken to ensure more pain wasn’t inflicted.   I like that there is an awareness of the age issue, it’s addressed, and they move forward. Was it a little rushed towards the end?  Perhaps, but the whole is darn near perfect.

I think Bull is one of my favorite Brawler books of the series.  Of course, I do love the whole series and the one that follows it.  I have them all listed below.  Check them all out and check them off as I review them.  I highly recommend them all.

Cover design by Winterheart Designs is perfect for Bull, how I love these covers.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 199 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC (first published 2017)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBrawlers #3

  • Executioners – third series

A MelanieM Review: The Rhubarb Patch (Men of Gilead #1) by Deanna Wadsworth


Rating: 4 stars out of 5


City boy, sci-fi novelist, and recovering pushover Scott Howe doesn’t know what to expect when he inherits his grandmother’s house outside the quaint village of Gilead, Ohio—but it isn’t an enormous bald man in nothing but tighty-whities and orange rubber boots shouting at him to keep his weed whacker away from the rhubarb patch.

Scott has never met anyone like Phineas Robertson: homesteader, recluse… Republican. A tender—if unlikely—friendship grows over the summer while Phin and his schnauzer, Sister Mary Katherine, teach Scott about life in the country and the grandmother he never knew. Opposites attract, but widower Phin worries his secret will send Scott running faster than his politics, and Phin isn’t convinced he deserves a second chance at romance.

Scott is convinced—rural life, and his one-of-a-kind, older neighbor is the future he wants. Before he can settle in, his mother drops a bombshell that strains their already tenuous relationship, and a cousin who believes he is the rightful heir to the property puts Scott in danger. It’ll take a lot of compromises, and even dodging a few bullets before they’re out of the weeds, but nurturing something as special as true love always takes hard work.

I loved The Rhubarb Patch (Men of Gilead #1) by Deanna Wadsworth.  As a fan of the ‘slow burn’ and a narrative paced according to the storyline, this book sang to me like a katydid on a summer country night.  It was sweet, realistic, heartwarming, and loving.  Wadsworth has given us a beautifully written story full of characters with heart, dealing with loss, homophobia, warring relatives, and a mother whose maternal abilities leave much to be desired.  And all the people here feel true and layered, whether we like them or not, two legged or four legged.

And it all starts with a rhubarb patch.

Prepare to fall in love with the country here and the vegetables of the garden along with Scott as Phin educates his “City Mouse” in his newly acquired home and gardens.  As the men tentatively learn about each other (also as Scott learns about the grandmother he never knew, who was adored by Phin and the people of Gilead) and Phin starts to open up to Scott about his past and his loss, the reader is pulled into the growing intimacy of their shared lives and relationship and country living.  We watch and listen as Scott’s affection, then love for this small house/farm and neighbor develops and deepens.  And the same for Phin.  We laugh and are charmed by Sister Mary Katherine, Phin’s aging schnauzer.  And yes, made more than a little crazed by Scott’s dysfunctional mother, her homophobic boyfriend and attitudes towards Scott’s life.  But always the author keeps us actively engaged in the relationships, the town, and especially in Phin and Scott’s relationship as the seasons change and the gardens along with it.

There are several elements here that Wadsworth handles beautifully.  As they aren’t mentioned in the blurb, I won’t reveal them here.  But the manner in which it is revealed, handled as a part of their lives and connected to another character is smooth, intelligent, and believable.

When I finished the story, I was happy knowing I wasn’t done with the town of Gilead, this couple and the person who most likely will be getting their romance next.  You see I’d fallen just as deeply in love with them all as Scott had and now I  can’t wait for my next visit to come around.  I want to check in on them, see how everyone is doing and see how the next romance will develop…slowly….will be my guess.  I highly recommend you pick up this book and get reading before the next one comes out.

Cover Artist: Anne Cain.  What a great cover.  From the men, to the patch to   Sister Mary Katherine over in the corner waiting to steal some vegetables.  It’s perfect!

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 284 pages
Published July 24th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesMen of Gilead #1 settingOhio (United States

A MelanieM Review: Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor


Rating: 5 stars out of 5


Kulani is “The Orchid,” a young, insecure, pro-surfer who comes from a rough background on the Big Island of Hawai’i. He’s Beau Toyama’s cousin from Hawaiian Lei. But he’s also a healer and has a heart as deep as the ocean he’s part of. Like the great Hawaiians, who have gone before him, warrior Kulani Mahikoa epitomizes the spirit of aloha and love. Kulani’s not only healing his own wounds, but “The Lost Boys”—young, homeless, abandoned and abused gay boys he’s taken under his wing.

Rob Masterson is a wounded psychologist who’s trying to come to terms with his husband Tony’s death. When he died, they were separated but still living together. Can the lone and lonely New Zealand widower reconcile all the pieces of guilt and love, to heal and fall in love again? When he drops anchor in Kona Harbor and meets the exotic islander—young, bolshie Kulani—explosive heat makes sparks fly between them.

Is the age difference between them a barrier or something they’ll get past? Kulani has more layers than Rob ever bargained for. And Rob’s tangled knot of responsibility, grief and guilt with his New Zealand heritage and past life is something he needs to untangle.

Two wounded men have to learn to trust and love one another. Traveling between the South Sea Islands of beautiful New Zealand and the exotic Hawaiian Islands—they forge a sea change, finding a home for their shrapnel laced souls.

I discovered Meg Amor through the first terrific book in this series, Hawaiian Lei. Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor cemented the fact that I’ve found something incredibly special, in this series and in this amazing author. From that forward where I learned the author had suffered two losses central to her heart, she brought that pain and loss to this story, making it ours through the character of Rob.  All the way, from the first sentence through to the dictionary at the end, Meg Amor held me captive by a tale layered in the need and search for love in all its aspects, from romantic to familial.  It does so within a deep and encompassing framework of various Pacific Island cultures and religions, the spirituality flowing through the storylines like a healer’s chant.  It takes place not only on the Big Island (BI) of Hawaii but also in New Zealand as Rob searches for closure for himself and a start anew finally with Kulani. For Kulani, he’s looking for acceptance, healing, and love too.  It’s his journey as well. This is a big story, big in heart, big in scale and the author makes this vast narrative intimate in emotion and connectivity for the reader.

Rob Masterson is a complex character. He’s older than Kulani, wounded by the loss of his husband, torn and beaten in ways by the way in which his marriage was ending and the way his husband died. Rob hasn’t healed when he meets Kulani, a gorgeous younger man.  Rob immediately recognizes in Kulani someone with wounds as deep or deeper than his but there’s an attraction between them than neither can resist.  Kulani is a character full of surprises for us and Rob.  That initial meeting of a sullen, young man lays the right superficial impression for the author to blow us away with the depths of pain and beauty awaiting below the surface.  She peels away the first layer slowly for Rob and us as Kulani slowly begins to open up and show his true self, only for Rob to realize how much he’s been holding back himself. Amor makes us believe in each man.  Their pain, sometimes awkwardness (Kulani’s), abruptness (Rob’s), and tenderness to and for each other is vivid, authentic and real.  So is the steps they take, forward and back,  towards a relationship.  It includes help and support from a number of other characters, including Beau and Matt from Hawaiian Lei and even their respective parents.  Again, the relationship dynamics here are complex and real.  And they make the story.

Now this story also contains a third element I won’t go into here.  It sets the stage for the third book in this series, Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians #3) which I’m going to read and review next.  Going into it here would I believe spoil something wonderful so I’m leaving it out.  But again, this aspect of the story, again just elevates Hawaiian Orchid and this series into another realm for me, that of the comfort read and the story I’ll read again and again.

The mysticism and spiritualism present in the first story is still here, toned down somewhat but it flows through as naturally as breathing air.  So beautifully done you might not even notice how deeply ingrained it is for these men and families.  But it’s there, especially in the reading Rob has done for him, one more important necessary step in the healing process for him.  Plus there are other elements that appear in the story as well, folded in so easily that I believed in them as much as Rob and Kulani.

This is an incredible story.  I highly recommend it as I do the one that starts the series. Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor will be on my Best of List this year and it’s highly likely the series will as well.  Hawaiian Fragrance is next.  There’s something else you might want to look at! There’s a link here to the Hawaiian Orchid page on Meg Amor’s website. It contains more information on the meaning of the different orchids, the characters, the big island of Hawaii and much more.  Check it out!

Cover artist:  Syneca Featherstone. I just love these covers.  Beautiful and as lush as the islands themselves, the men are perfect!


Sales Links:  Amazon |    Loose Id LLC


Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Loose Id LLC
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Hawaiians :

Cover Reveal for By the Book By Maria Vickers (excerpt)

Title: By the Book


Genre: M/M Romance


Author: Maria Vickers
Cover Designer: T.E. Black Designs
Photographer: CJC Photography
Models: Tank Joey and Connor Jay
Release Date: June 14, 2017

Joshua Dayton met the man of his dreams as a sophomore in high school—his mentor and biology teacher, Mr. Cayden. Fearing his love would be considered forbidden and rejected, he ran away to college, determined to move on and forget. Three years later, he is summoned home and comes face to face with the man he tried to leave in the past. The same man he never stopped loving.

Samuel Cayden was looking for a fresh start and an escape. What he was not expecting was to develop feelings for his student, Joshua. Yet when the boy returns home a man, Samuel can no longer pretend the pull between them doesn’t exist.

Will the student become the teacher, showing Samuel how to open his heart? Will Samuel be able to prove to Joshua that things are not always what they appear? Or will the spark fizzle before it has a chance to ignite?

It’s time they got a lesson in love and temptation.



Amazon US
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One more deep breath when I reached the porch, and I opened the door to step inside, and stopped with only one foot in, frozen in my tracks. Across the living room, in the kitchen, leaning against the island, stood the one man I had been trying to get away from.

We stared at each other, both too shocked to move. I pulled my other foot inside and dropped the bag in my hand. It landed with a loud thud. Yes, Imperial was probably one of the smallest towns around. Yes, Sam lived in the same small town and taught at the local high school, but that did not mean I expected to see him in my house, standing in my mother’s kitchen. If I managed to run into him, I would’ve sworn it’d be around town or at a restaurant, not here.

Neither of us broke eye contact. I hadn’t seen him in three years, but right now, it felt as if that time had not separated us. All I could think about was the letter I wrote him, the one I shoved in his hands after graduation had come to a close. I left for Florida the next day. Had he read it? I wanted to know, and yet, at the same time, I wanted to pretend I was never that bold.

Much like the house, he hadn’t changed. His white t-shirt pulled tight across his chest, and I could see his tattoos disappearing underneath his sleeves. The tattoos covered one arm completely, while the other one only had a half-sleeve. I also knew that he had ink that covered his back and one leg. There was something sexy about a man covered in color. Actually, it was only this man. Others with tattoos did nothing for me. It was only Sam.

In my dreams, I could picture it all so clearly. The colorful swirls of pictures flowed over his skin from his upper back to his ankles, his skin alive with vivid color. I’d dreamed of kissing every inch of paint.

Samuel Cayden appeared as if my magic in my life as a sophomore. This was the man I had been thinking about yesterday, the reason I pushed Jacob away. And now he stood less than fifty feet from me.

“I’m…I’m glad you came,” he said, his voice gruff and tight.

I pondered his words for a moment. Had he expected me to abandon my only family, my mother? “My mother needs me, where else would I be?” I swallowed hard and then dismissed him, “Thank you for helping out, you can go now.” I had to get away from him so I could breathe again. Being around him, seeing him again after I left without a backward glance, messed with my equilibrium. My emotions intensified and crashed down upon me with a vengeance. Leave, please leave. I silently prayed. I didn’t know why he was here. I couldn’t occupy the same space as him right now.

“I uh…” he started to say. His lips turned downward and his eyes appeared haunted and sad.

“Samuel,” a soft, muffled, feminine voice called out from somewhere to my left. I knew that voice: my mother. It sounded weaker than I remembered. And it had called for my old teacher.

“I’ll be right there,” he answered loudly, never taking his eyes off me.

Samuel? I’d like to know when my mother started calling my old teacher by his first name. Up until the point I’d left, it’d always been Mr. Cayden, but then again, I hadn’t been aware that they’d kept in touch.

A soft knock startled us and we finally broke eye contact. Sam cleared his throat. “Why don’t I get that? Your mom will want to see you,” he suggested. His voice still sounded tight and unsure. His forehead was wrinkled slightly from his small frown, and his eyes darted from me to the direction of my mother’s bedroom door.

“You know what my mom wants?” I asked snidely.

“I—” Another knock at the door interrupted him. “Go and check on your mom,” he directed as he came toward the door, his hand raking through his thick hair.

Moving away from the door to give him space, our chests accidentally brushed, and the spark of electricity I tried to forget, ignited, stopping me in my tracks. Three years apart and I still craved him like no other. My breath caught and my skin felt alive as my heart thumped harder and louder. I wanted to reach out and grab him and at the same time, shove him out the door so that I didn’t have to see him, didn’t have to be around him.

His Adam’s apple bobbed and my eyes zeroed in on that part of his body. I wondered what it would be like to lick it, to suck on it until we were both writhing with desire.



Maria Vickers currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her pug, Spencer Tracy. She has always had a passion for writing and after she became disabled, she decided to use writing as her escape. By the Book is her first MM romance, but she has three other published contemporary romance books.

❤✨ From the Author ✨ ❤

Life is about what you make of it. You have to live it to the fullest no matter the circumstances.

I have always loved books. Not only creating the stories, but reading them as well. Books transport me, and when I was younger, I would run into walls because I refused to put my books down even for a second. Take note, walking with books is not advised. LOL.

With my books, I just want to share my stories with the world. I want others to be transported or to feel the emotions my characters feel. That is my goal with my writing. If I can do that for one person, I succeeded.

Getting sick changed me and my life, but it also opened doors that I thought were closed. Today, even though I cannot do much, I still have my mind and I can write.




Release Blitz for Bronze Star (A Veterans Affairs Story) by AE Wasp

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Veterans Affairs Series
Half-Broke: A Veterans Affairs Short Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Incoming: A Veterans Affairs Novel Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Christmas Outing: A Veterans Affairs Story Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paper Hearts: A Veterans Affairs Novel Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paper Roses: A Veterans Affairs Story Amazon US | Amazon UK

Chris Dobbs is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants now is his boss.
Everything about the dangerously handsome enigmatic older man drives him to his knees in more ways than one, ways Chris is realizing he’s always craved.

Giving Jay-Cee his body is as simple as breathing, but when Chris smashes through all of Jay-Cee’s hard earned control, he learns Jay-Cee demands more than just his obedience. He wants things Chris can’t give him – his heart, his soul, and his trust.

Jay-Cee offered his brilliant young protégé everything. In return, Chris took only the pieces he wanted and rejected the rest, leaving Jay-Cee reeling.

But the deep connection between them isn’t easily severed, and it promises to heal them both of the scars of their pasts. If they are to build a sanctuary from the rubble of their broken hearts, they’re going to have to risk everything.



April 1 – Love Bytes
April 3 – Sarandipity
Author Bio

After time spent raising children, earning several college degrees, and traveling the world with the U.S. State Department, she is returning to her first love – writing.

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world than can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.

Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.




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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Lickety Split by Damon Suede


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is one of the strangest love stories I ever read. On the one hand, it felt as if two guys were just getting together for some rough sex mixed in with a lot of down-home talkin’ and good earthy slogans, but under the surface level, when we scratch deep enough, it was really a love story between a 40+ old cowboy/farmer/rodeo rider and a 20+ NYC deejay who comes home to good ol’ Hixville,Texas, after his parents are killed in an accident.

Even blindfolded, I’d know Damon Suede wrote this due to his inimitable way of spitting out rough, tough, rapid-fire dialogue. Add to that the deep Texas accent of the older MC, and the often back-to-his-roots twang of the younger MC, and at times I found the dialogue and narrative difficult to follow.

The story in a nutshell: Patrick “Patch” Hastle, New York City-based international “circuit” deejay, is notified that his estranged parents left their farm to him when they were killed as his dad tried to beat a train through a crossing. Heading back to Hixsville, Texas, is the last thing he wants, but he needs the money from the sale of the farm to invest in a new club that he and his BF are planning to open.

Once there, he runs into good ol’ Tucker Biggs, his father’s BF and his one-time crush. In fact, that crush is still happening and may explain why his one-night stands in the city are always based on his fantasies about Tucker. Long story short, after being caught eavesdropping on a masturbating Tucker, the two fall into a fuck-buddies relationship that takes a turn for the better—or worse, depending on your viewpoint—when Patch realizes he loves the old guy and then later realizes the feeling might be mutual. But too many years of denying any feelings and too many years spent running (for Patch) and going too slow (for Tucker) make for a major communication gap.

Can the two find their way to much-needed communication? Can Patch possibly make a living down in Texas when his deejay work takes him all over the world? And can Tucker finally acknowledge his own needs, fears, and feelings? That’s what makes this story tick and what left this reader feeling very close to two very unlikely lovers. So despite sometimes being lost and not being a fan of the good ol’ boy twang in the dialogue, I still felt connected with the characters and I can’t seem to ferget ’em as the day goes on—a sure sign that this one needs to be at least a 4 star book.


The cover by Reese Dante is quite attractive, featuring a close-up of an older cowpoke on a brightly colored background.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, 286 pages
Expected publication: March 13th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Yes, Professor by Renae Kaye


Rating: 3 stars out of 5


yes-professor-by-renae-kayeTwenty-two-year-old Avery Stewart has a crush on his neighbour. Always attracted to older men, Avery is tantalised by Mr Redding’s professorial looks and obvious obsession with perfection.

When he finally gets the courage to speak to Christopher Redding, Avery manages to get invited back that evening on the pretext of bringing a cake for Christopher’s birthday. But things don’t work out how Avery had planned, and he finds himself sent home with the cake and without any intimacy.

Christopher is everything Avery has ever desired—older, self-assured, dominant, and intelligent. Avery needs someone in his life to take charge—in and out of the bedroom. He wants Christopher to be that man. However, Avery must first convince Christopher to take a chance on him.

Renae Kaye is a “must read” author for me.  I adore her stories and The Shearing Gun is among my all-time comfort reads.  So you can image how eagerly I await each new story by her.  Yes, exactly!  With a high degree of anticipation over the type of main male character I will find and the story Kaye has decided to tell for him.  Usually she throws a quirk at her readers and its no different here.

Avery Stewart is has some of the same elements I expect from Renae Kaye.  He’s got his  own brand of quirkiness while Kaye explores yet another ray of the Rainbow sexuality (or any sexuality for that matter) – this time its that of control and older men .  Here it translates into Avery’s obsession on his older neighbor, Mr. Christopher (not Chris, thank you very much) Redding.  Avery’s unable to focus for very long on things like his  studies or goals or anything other than his object of lust, Mr. Redding.  His day is almost planned around how to meet the man next door who he watches trim his hedge row very meticulously in his very trim, neat, meticulous clothing.

I have to admit Kaye almost lost me completely within the first 5 pages of this story.

But it was Kaye so I read on.  Yes, Avery does grow on the reader.  I sympathized with him and almost with his obsession.  Which I never, ever got.  Even after meeting the man.  That’s the crux of my issue with this  story.  I never really got a feel for Christopher Redding or felt any chemistry between him and Avery.  Any real insight into Christopher Redding the man came too late for me and as a reader, that all important connection to him and to them as a couple was never made.  That loss which was so surprising in a Renae Kaye story was one that Yes, Professor never recovered from.  I won’t go into any aspects of insta-love vs obsession, although an argument could certainly made for it here.  That would take up pages.  Lets just bring it all down to super control vs super flighty.

I love the full range of the variety of types of characters Kaye has shown us in her stories.  Whether its Shawn of Shawn’s Law (love, love him) to Jay Bell of Loving Jay to the gruff Hank of The Shearing Gun and the miner Lon Taylor and young Casey of Safe in His Arms, and everything in between.  Twunks, twinks, blind men and their housekeepers.  Kaye’s imagination has ranged magically all over the place so a unfocused Avery and a dom Prof shouldn’t have been a issue but somehow it just never gelled for me.

Maybe I’m overthinking this here.  Its just I look for such high storytelling standards in her novels and I think Yes, Professor didn’t hit them in my opinion.  Others may pick it up and find it a nice  romance with D/s elements (yes, there are  those here).  I will be waiting on the next  Renae Kaye story to arrive.  She always has something different in store for the reader.  Its just that this one wasn’t for me.

Cover art is cute but that guy seems too conservative for Avery.

Sales Link



Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 121 pages
Expected publication: February 14th 2017
Original TitleYes, Professor
Edition LanguageEnglish

Return to Lake Lovelace with Rough Road by Vanessa North (contest)


Rough Road cover

Rough Road (Lake Lovelace #2)
by Vanessa North

Published by Riptide Publishing
Cover Art by L. C. Chase

Series: Lake Lovelace

Sales Link:  Riptide Publishing Rough Road Page


Hi, Welcome to the Rough Road Blog Tour!

I’m Vanessa North, and I’ll be sharing some of my thoughts throughout the week on writing the second book in the Lake Lovelace series, Rough Road. Join the conversation by commenting on the posts and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a $25 Riptide Publishing gift certificate. Thanks for reading!

You can find all of the Rough Road tour stops at http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/rough-road


Eddie Russell is many things: A wealthy pillar of the community. An outrageous flirt. A doting best friend. A masochist with a kink for brawling with his bedmates. But he is definitely not a man who invites intimacy. His friends are close but few, his lovers rarer still.

When Eddie runs his Mercedes off the road on a hot July afternoon, Wish Carver comes to his aid—and leaves his number in Eddie’s phone. Wish, a road crew worker half Eddie’s age and sexy as sin, seems fascinated by Eddie’s different sides. Mutual attraction and compatible kinks ignite the sheets, but it’s their connection outside the bedroom that Eddie begins to crave.

When the two come down on opposite sides of a local issue, Eddie finds his growing feelings for Wish at odds with his business interests and his devotion to his best friend, local wakeboarding legend Ben Warren. Torn between old loyalties and his new love, Eddie is reluctant to make a choice. But he knows he can’t make Wish wait too long to make up his mind.

About the Author

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

Connect with Vanessa:

Website: vanessanorth.com
Facebook profile page: facebook.com/AuthorVanessaNorth
Twitter: @VanessaNWrites
Goodreads: goodreads.com/VanessaNorth



Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for $25 in Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 3rd. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to leave your email so we can contact you if you win!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Lake Lovelace Series

Welcome to Lake Lovelace: a small town that’s big on charm!

Lake Lovelace is famous for its wakeboarding competitions and the local athletes who dominate it. Legends of the sport and stars of the future share the glory, and everyone celebrates. Whether on the water or around town, the men and women of Lake Lovelace collide, clash, and ultimately find love under the scorching Florida sun. – See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/lake-lovelace#sthash.FcS4OefA.dpuf

– See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/lake-lovelace#sthash.FcS4OefA.dpuf

Books in the series to date:

Double Up (Lake Lovelace #1) and Rough Road (Lake Lovelace #2) – see links to our reviews.

Double Up coverRough Road cover


A MelanieM Review: Safe in His Arms by Renae Kaye


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Safe In His Arms coverAfter returning home from his long shift at work , Lon Taylor washes away the filth of the Western Australian mines in the communal showers at the trailer park that’s Lon’s home.  Already showering is Casey Douglas, a young man who lives with his grandmother in the park as well.  A spark of interest between them leads to a suggestion and then something more.  It ends with Casey spending the night in Lon’s small trailer.

That one night is full of discovery for Lon and Casey.  For Casey, it’s the first time in almost forever that he feels safe and secure.  For Lon, holding Casey feels like coming home.  Lon is still reeling from the explosive breakup of his family years ago. Now Lon afraid that he’s not ready or able to provide the comfort and security Casey craves.  For Casey’s actions at times show that something or someone has damaged him badly.  There are huge skeletons looming in Casey’s background that have to come out just as there are in Ron’s.

What will happen will the past is revealed?  Can Casey trust that Lon is the one he can love and keep him safe?  And will Lon can risk opening his heart again, especially when Lon feels like he has failed his family so badly in the past?

The Shearing Gun was the first Renae Kaye story I fell in love with.  Safe In His Arms is the second.  Both stories are steeped in the Australian areas they take place in, filled with the regional flavor and dialects that make the reader feel as though they are there along with the characters.  In Safe In His Arms, Ron works as a FIFO employee of one of the large mining corporations in Pilbarra, Western Australia.  FIFO means “fly in, fly out”.  Mining employees work long shifts living in small temporary rooms called dongas, then they fly home for a short time of rest, relaxation, and clothes washing, then fly back out again.  All for the huge salaries paid to them.  Kaye makes us understand all the aspects of this extraordinary life and the tough men and women who live it.  It’s hard in every way (physically, emotionally, intellectually), well paid, and in some cases, very dangerous.  And Lon’s been doing it for some time and feeling its effects on body and soul.

Casey is younger, much younger, a fact that might squick some readers.  It does some of the characters here, including Casey’s mother, grandmother and some of Lon’s friends.  I like that Renae Kaye addressed this element and the manner in which it is handled makes any uneasiness fall away.  Casey’s had a hard, abusive life and is far older than his years (he turns 21).  What happened to him as a child is horrific and unfortunately, all too familiar a story.  That Renae Kaye has Casey using therapists, doctors, and prescribed medication to deal with the abuse and its after effects is responsible and makes us understand the lengths to which Casey is going to help himself heal and move forward.  Letting us into this healing process also allows the readers to feel close to Casey, letting us into his mindset and heart.  We soon come to love this person who has been through so much. Casey isn’t blind (can’t be with the scarring) to the full extent of the damage inflicted upon him and yet still Casey wants love, physical love and is mature enough to take the responsibility to help others understand why as well.  Yes, I adored and loved Casey.

And I feel the same about Lon.  He’s complex, huge, and hurting in his own way.  Through Lon’s backstory, we see what a case of fetal alcohol syndrome can have on the maturation process of a child (not Lon) and what tragic effects that can have on a family.  It’s another type of parental abuse that will affect the child from the moment its born, another authentic and heartbreaking aspect of this story.  It’s just so well done.  There is so much damage and pain on both sides, albeit in different ways.  Watching Lon and Casey work through their pasts, their bouts of non communication and age issues is wonderful and helps the reader totally commit to these characters and their slow building relationship.

Other pluses beside characterizations and plot?  The setting and location as I have already mentioned.  Kaye took me to Perth’s Cottesloe Beach, the red dust of Newman, and the intense heat of the red dirt mines of Pilbarra.  I learned that the Fremantle Doctor is a sea breeze and exactly what they call flipflops and coolers (that is a fun discovery you will want to make on your own) in Australia. I loved that beach scene! Hilarious. I was grounded so thoroughly in Australian culture I could feel a “G’day” wanting to escape my mouth as I swatted the mozzies.

I am so happy to have discovered Renae Kaye. She has quickly become a “go to” author for me.  I highly recommend Safe In His Arms, along with The Shearing Gun.  Pick them up and start your journey into Australia and this terrific author.  Happily, there are other stories from Kaye to pick up and revel in just as I intend to do.  Happy Reading!  G’day!

Cover artist Anna Sikorska does a wonderful job with that powerful representation of Ron Taylor.  Brooding, hulking and gorgeous.  Great cover.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback     All Romance (ARe)    Amazon        Buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 208 pages
Published November 28th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
edition languageEnglish
settingPerth (Australia)