An Alisa Review: Tainted Life​ by ​Mel Gough

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Metropolitan Police detective Pete Tucker’s world comes crashing down when his wife sues for divorce and sole custody of their only son.

Desperate to forget his sorrows for a while, Pete seeks refuge in a Soho bar where he is approached by a sexy, funny, and clearly interested stranger. Photographer Liam Jackson is just the ticket for one oblivious night of perfect passion.

However, their attraction proves too intense for a one-night-stand. To his surprise, Pete finds that he’s game for something more – but his baggage soon gets in the way. Then Liam’s own dangerous secrets claw their way to the surface, and threaten to derail the budding romance.

Is their growing bond strong enough to weather the violent storms ahead?

Ohh man, this one pulls at your heart strings.  Pete’s wife just filed for divorce and seems to be making it out to be his fault.  Liam has been doing what he needs to survive but being with Liam gives him a little bit of happiness.

Pete has quite a bit to work through and I liked watching him figure out what is important to him and go for it.  I was glad he stayed by Liam’s side when he got hurt and the time they spent together helped them build some base for a relationship.  These two played off each other well and I liked how Liam interacted with Pete’s son.  I would have liked to see a bit more of a conclusion with Pete’s wife than the hostile truce she seems to have.

The cover art by Jazz Design is a beautiful picture of these two.

Book Link:  Tainted Life is available as a free ebook when you sign up for Mel’s mailing list: https://melgough.com/newsletter

Book Details:

ebook, 135 pages

Published: July 16, 2018 by Mel Gough

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Challenge (Kinky in the City #2) by Quinn Ward

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

When two men reveal the secrets they tried keeping, even from each other, sparks will fly…

Freddie’s life changed forever when he walked in on his best friend dancing around the room in women’s lingerie. A lifetime of friendship was buried in the same box as Peter’s lingerie and makeup. The single father isn’t ready to face the man who made him question his sexuality when they were teens.

He may not have a choice.

Peter refuses to call himself the black sheep of the family, because his life has been nothing but color since he left home rather than face a future he didn’t want. The death of his mother brings him home, and he can’t leave until he knows his sister’s okay. When Freddie offers him a place to stay, he’s not certain his heart will survive.

Can Freddie make Peter believe he’s not turned off by a bit of satin and lace while finally exploring his bisexuality?

This was a wonderful way to continue this series and give us a chance to see more of the Marino family.  Freddie and Peter were best friends growing up but a misunderstanding as teens pushed them apart.  When Peter comes home they get the chance to clear the air.

Freddie’s life is focused on work and his daughter after all the drama his ex-wife caused.  Seeing Peter after all these years brings back his old feelings but this time he is ready to face them head on. Peter came home to support his youngest sister after his mother’s death but finds support and acceptance with Freddie.

I liked both of these characters, and the story was told through both of their eyes.  Peter found acceptance when he went to New York and it was wonderful to see him find it in his hometown when he didn’t expect it.  Freddie isn’t afraid to bring Peter back into his life but he fears that Peter would leave them.  I loved Sophia’s openness and how much happiness she brought to Freddie and Peter’s life.  I am loving this series and can’t wait to see Matteo find his happiness.

The cover art by Cover Me, Darling is great and I like how it’s the same pattern of the series but gives a distinct visual of Freddie.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 193 pages

Published: May 28, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Kinky in the City #2

An Alisa Release Day Review: Mystic Man by E.J. Russell

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

When a series of personal crises prompt risk-averse research librarian Aaron Templeton to apply for a job on the other side of the country, nobody is more surprised than he is. He nearly runs home before the final interview except for one little problem: he has no home anymore. He put his condo on the market before he left California and it’s already sold. Only an encounter with free-spirited Connecticut native Cody Brown at the Mystic Seaport Museum staves off Aaron’s incipient panic attack.

Cody loves nothing better than introducing newcomers to the great features of his beloved home state, and when the newbie in question is a rumpled professorial type with the saddest blue eyes on the planet? Score! The attraction between the two men deepens as they explore Cody’s favorite spots, but when difficulties arise and Aaron’s insecurities threaten to overwhelm him, will Cody’s love be enough to keep him in Mystic?

This was a cute story.  Aaron has stepped so far outside of his comfort zone with his rash decision and Cody helps to take his mind off it.  Cody loves with his whole self and jumps in with his both feet but why does Aaron make him doubt he wants to travel again.

I could feel Aaron’s fear when he would think about the situation he is in and how Cody’s ease seemed to seep into him and help him relax and take his mind off his worries but when it overwhelms him he hurts Cody and himself.  Cody loves his home but has been a bit of a wanderer and hasn’t ever doubted how he feels until he meets Aaron and it make him want to change his plans.  These two help to balance each other out and even hope that they can have a future together.  I loved seeing them navigate their feelings and work everything out.

The cover art by Brooke Albrecht is great and gives a nice view of Cody.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages

Published: June 22, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-639-9

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: What It Seems by Sydney Blackburn

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Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

Michael’s straight and infatuated with a woman he worked with one day, over a year ago. But when he finally sees her again, he’s astounded that the woman of his dreams is a man in drag.

Darcy is ace and not interested in dating anyone, so he and Michael just hang out. A lot. When he needs to do an on-screen kissing scene, Michael is the best person to ask for help.

Michael soon discovers he isn’t as straight as he thought he was, and Darcy likes kissing him a little too much for someone certain he never would. Those are a lot of changes to accept, but they just might be worth it.

This was a wonderful story of self-discovery for both of the MCs.  Michael has spent so much time waiting to see Darcy again he almost loses his chance when they first actually talk.  Darcy likes making a new friend and they soon begin to date without noticing.

Michael and Darcy are both blind a bit to each other and their feelings a bit but grow a great friendship in that time.  I was able to see Michael spends his time coming to terms with his bisexuality and looking up any information he may need.  It was sweet to see Darcy find that he wasn’t as ace as he always thought but find the acceptance and answers he needed.  I loved watching both of these men slowly grow their relationship, even if they didn’t realize it at the time.

The cover art by Natasha Snow is great and I loved the visual of Darcy.

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 66 pages

Published: May 21, 2018 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-948608-66-4

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Release Day Review: Love You So Madly (Love You So Stories #2) by Tara Lain

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Ben Shane has it all… and he’d like to give some of it back. While he loves his job heading a foundation that funds worthy causes around the world, his engagement to one of America’s wealthiest men leaves him feeling more like a trophy wife than a valued partner. The first warning that his relationship might not be designed to last is his irresistible lust for Dusty Kincaid, the golden-haired, bright-eyed handyman for his company.

Though Dusty is odd for a twenty-three-year-old—no liquor, no sugar, and he can’t even drive—the more Ben gets to know Dusty, the more he admires him. But is Ben going to give up a guy who drives a Ferrari for one who takes the bus? He must be mad. Dusty knows he and Ben can never work. After all, Ben’s perfect… and Dusty isn’t. But Ben might surprise everyone with proof that he’s only mad in love.

I read the first book in this series when it first came out years ago and loved it, I was excited to see the author is now continuing the series because I love a sweet shorter story almost all the time.  Ben is drawn to Dusty when he first sees him and finds that he enjoys his company much more than his fiancé.  Dusty has been a bit sheltered due to his health concerns but embraces the chance to spend some time with Ben.

I still can’t figure out why Ben said yes to Alan’s proposal, he doesn’t seem to really have anything in common or enjoy spending time with him, it may just have been flattery at the time.  I did love his openness to Dusty and how willing he is to adapt his life to someone who actually matters to him.  I loved seeing Dusty finally get something good in his life and you could see how he didn’t want anyone to feel bad for him.  Both of these characters were wonderful and it was easy to connect and see what they were feeling.  I can’t wait to read more of these stories as they come out.

The cover art by Reese Dante is great and I love the visual of Dusty.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 120 pages

Published: May 29, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-448-7

Edition Language: English

Series: A Love You So Story

An Alisa Review: Exploration (Kinky In The City #1) by Quinn Ward

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

The reluctant manager of his family’s restaurant, Frankie attempts to live up to the legacy of his father and grandfather. Running a business that isn’t his passion and trying to do it without asking for help leaves him turning to less-than-legal means when he wants to surrender control.

Newly divorced, Calvin no longer lives in the closet, leaving him searching for what he most desires- control. So when he finds Frankie on his knees in the back room of a local bar, Calvin sees the sub he’s only ever fantasized about having.

Can Calvin find the confidence to explore his dominant side while showing his younger roommate that submission isn’t only about whips and pain?

This was a nice story.  Frankie and Calvin have been roommates for a few months but when Calvin finds him in the back room of his friend’s bar it pushes them to change their circumstances a bit. Frankie has felt trapped in the family business and doesn’t make the best decision when he is feeling so stressed.  Calvin has spent a lot of time contemplating the type of relationship he wants and Frankie hands it to him on a silver platter.

Calvin’s number one priority is his son, Ryan, but he longs for someone to love and to love him in return.  Frankie adds stress to his life by hiding from his family and not opening up but with Calvin’s help he sees how that’s not what he needs to do.

Seeing this story from both of these characters’ points of view made it easy to understand them both and connect with them.  Frankie loved Calvin taking charge but has trouble accepting that Calvin would want him all the time.  Calvin’s love and caring for his son and Frankie was wonderful to watch.  This is a great start to a new series and hope to read more in the future.

The cover art by Cover Me, Darling is perfect for this story and I love the visual of Frankie.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages

Published: April 24, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Kinky in the City #1

An Alisa Review: Rended Hearts by Riza Curtis

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

After a life on the run, witch Gabriel just wants to enjoy having a home. He’s perfectly happy pottering around his garden and using magic to quietly help people. Then the Alpha of the local wolf pack is attacked by a member of the local coven, and everything changes. There’s no love lost between the witch and the wolves, but Gabriel saves the life of the Alpha in an attempt to keep the peace.

 

Simon finds his mate in the witch that saves his life, but the coven is coming for Gabriel, and they don’t care who gets in their way…

 

This was an enjoyable story. While I say that there seemed to be a lot of background information that felt glossed over or not really given, I felt like I was tossed into a world that was historical but not and a lot of prejudices that we were just supposed to accept.

 

Gabriel has been running for what feels like forever, we were never really told when his mother died so I’m not sure how long or how old he is, and just when he starts to have a place that feels like home he is thrown another curve ball. Simon has been quietly leading his pack for years hoping that someday he will find his mate but that seems hard when he doesn’t leave his pack often, I mean Gabriel has been in town for two years and they had yet to meet. Gabriel doesn’t really accept their connection until late in the story and tries to protect Simon and his pack but it backfires.

 

I liked the story but didn’t feel like I really knew the characters or what they were doing. Simon was simple with the wolf’s mate bond and connection but Gabriel pushed and didn’t seem to understand their connection. Gabriel went through a lot of changes that I didn’t feel were described to me.

 

The cover art is nice and I like the “starry” wolf.

 

Sales Link: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 150 pages

Published: March 30, 2018 by Riza Curtis

Edition Language: English

 

An Alisa Review: Corked by Brigham Vaughn

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Originally published as the “Wine Tasting Series”.

 

Corked” is an expanded re-release with new editing and over 8,000 words of additional content!

 

Sean Powell is having a terrible day. When he walks into Bistro Argent, ready to unwind over a glass of wine with the sommelier, he’s stunned to discover his friend has been replaced by a hot young guy with big ideas. Lucas Spencer is determined to liven up the staid and stodgy wine list, but his brash approach alienates the wine distributor during their first meeting.

 

There’s no avoiding each other though and the more they butt heads, the hotter the tension between them gets. As they work together and their relationship progresses, they have to figure out how to blend their professional frustration and personal attraction without risking their careers.

 

Lucas is eleven years younger than Sean, and despite their sizzling chemistry and compatibility, Sean can’t quite believe the feelings are mutual. A wine tasting trip to Traverse City, Michigan threatens their fledgling relationship. Sean’s insecurities rise to the surface as Lucas’s fears of losing Sean lead to jealousy.

 

Does the relationship have legs or will they find out it’s corked?

 

Man did these two start out on the wrong foot but eventually got past their initial hostility. Lucas wants to prove himself in his new dream job and Sean rubs him the wrong way at their first meeting. Sean is really good at making assumptions and he makes some of the wrong ones immediately.

 

I liked seeing these two navigate the portions of their relationship we were shown. Once they actually sat and talked like adults they found out common interests and goals. I liked that we got to see them get together, after they have settled a bit into the relationship and in the future when they are getting their HEA. Though these are separated into separate stories they flow together with only some time gaps in between.

 

I liked both of these characters, while they could seem a bit self-important at times they really have some deep insecurities and want someone to love them. Lucas works hard to show Sean how important he is to him. Sean has trouble voicing his feelings without any hostility and needs some reassurance and though they can push each other’s buttons make each other happy.

 

I really like the cover art and the visuals of the characters in their elements.

Buy Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

Book Details:

ebook, 42,000 words

Published: April 28, 2018 by Brigham Vaughn

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Release Day Review: As I Am by Melissa Collins

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Chase Hansen. Broke. College drop out. Male stripper.

My life wasn’t at all what I imagined it would be. I should have been finishing up college, interning with a well-respected business, partying with my friends. But instead, I was raising my seventeen year old brother, struggling to make ends meet. Love wasn’t even on my radar. Besides, what did I have to offer? A few crumpled singles pulled from my G-string? Defeated and exhausted, I knew I had zero chance of finding someone to love me just as I am.

Noah Carpenter. Angry. Betrayed. Doctor.

Just when I thought my life was going exactly as it should, everything turned upside down. With my final rotation in medical school complete, I finally achieved my lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. What I never expected was to catch the man of my dreams in our bed with the man of his. Beyond infuriated, I struggled to piece together the remnants of my life. Just when I’d decided to give up on love altogether, I found a man who loved me just as I am.

Oh man, both of these guys and everything they have been through, they totally deserved to find love and that it’s together is even better!  Chase had to make some hard decisions after his parents died and hasn’t really had any support or help.  Noah has given himself over to being a doctor and after his last relationship ended he doesn’t really see the point in trying again.

Chase is at the point where he is just trying to survive and in his own mind he knows that no one would want him if they really knew everything he had going on.  Noah has a great group of friends around him but is quick to think the worst after catching his ex cheating.

I couldn’t help but feel for these guys.  I was easy to relate to Chase because I know what it’s like to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders even if I couldn’t in other ways and I loved watching Noah just take care of and support him when he needed it, it was just what his fragile heart needs.  I still couldn’t really like his friend Gavin though, even if at times he thought he was helping he didn’t do much and thought about himself first.  Noah is very cynical in his assumptions but I loved that he was willing to apologize and accept when he was wrong and the unconditional support from Chase was just what he needed.  I loved these guys so much and the only reason it’s not 5 stars is that there were just too many points that I felt the characters didn’t fully resolve what they were talking about or doing.

The cover art by Sommer Stein is great and I love the picture of these characters together.

Sales Links:

Amazon
iBooks
Nook
Kobo
Google Play

Book Details:

ebook, 320 pages

Published: April 25, 2018 by Melissa Collins

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Life Is A Stevie Wonder Song by V.L. Locey

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Authors know that their muse is a fickle creature. Best-selling spy novelist Stephen Ramsey has been in a hate-hate relationship with his inspiration for months. When Stephen’s publisher lays a legal ultimatum upon him, with a rapidly approaching deadline, he knows he must do something to kick-start his creativity or face the unemployment line. His daughter comes up with a possible answer: a summer camp for the creative soul. With nothing to lose, Stephen packs up his laptop, phonograph and beloved record albums and heads from Greenwich Village to the Catskill Mountains.

There, among a horde of college students attending for extra credits, is Declan Pomeroy, a photographer of fey creatures who is twenty-two years younger than Stephen. The woods are a magical place, and he quickly finds himself falling under the spell of the free-spirited photographer. Confusion wars with desire inside Stephen as he succumbs to the feelings welling up inside. But, sadly, summer camp always has to end. Can a man who has just found himself really leave the person that makes his heart sing?

This story just pulled me in and I really enjoyed it all the way though.  I love seeing guys have and accept a life altering change and see how it makes their lives better.  Stephen has succeeded as an author even as he has had multiple marriages come apart.  Declan is a free spirit who for the most part is very patient with Stephen’s slow acceptance of their connection.

The story is told from Stephen’s point of view which makes it easy to see his frustration with his writer’s block and confusion in regards to Declan.  When he gave himself the chance to let go and see what would happen it was freeing for him.  I was able to see Declan’s emotions through Stephen’s eyes even when he didn’t always seem to understand.  I loved Declan’s determination to stay true to himself and make Stephen make the big change of moving but it was for the better for both of them.

The cover art by Sloan J Design is nice and I love having visuals of both of the characters.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 87 pages

Published: 2nd edition, April 18, 2018 by VL Locey

Edition Language: English