A MelanieM Release Day Review: Overtime (Cayuga Cougars #4) by V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Sander March is one season away from the pros, or so everyone tells him.

If only Sander had as much faith in his ability as the Cougar coaching staff does. Outwardly, he’s cocksure, borderline bitter, and slightly sarcastic. All that strut and sass hides a wounded soul though. Working to hide a brutal past filled with humiliation, abuse, and a family member who still haunts him, Sander has never found the kind of comfort and understanding he so desperately needs. Until he meets Mateo Castillo, a minor league baseball player for the nearby Elmira Egrets. Mateo and Sander click instantly, and a budding friendship develops between the two athletes.

Mateo then introduces Sander to his boyfriend, Noah Coombs, an aspiring manga comic creator. The three men find themselves bonding strongly, and that slowly gives way to sexual attraction. Eventually, Mateo and Noah invite Sander into their relationship. The path to happiness isn’t going to be easy for Sander as he faces criticism from his friends, teammates, and the press for his choices. The brash young star can handle all that, it’s when his abuser shows up in Cayuga that Sander fears not only for his own safety, but for the lives of the two men he has grown to love. Will Sander’s past tear him away from Mateo and Noah, or will he be able to leave the darkness behind?

Sander Marsh is hiding a secret.  From his team,  from everyone except his sister and niece who share it.  It haunts his every waking minute, and causes anxiety attacks when he doesn’t depress the memories of his past childhood.  To say he’s not dealing well is an understatement.  Plus he must concentrate on his career with the AHL hockey team, the Cayuga Cougars and it’s team Coach which hates him because of his prior relationship with his husband and team hockey star.  What a load to carry.

I normally don’t go out of my way to read M/M/M stories because that’s just not my choice in coupling but when an author does a terrific and moving job in not only bringing the three men together in a realistic way but also in a manner that makes us want to see all of them in a loving, supportive, and yes, hot threesome.   V.L. Vocey does that here with Sander, Mateo, and Noah, all of whom are so very different men.

One is a hockey player, one a baseball player and another a manga artist.  And yet all three fill the empty holes in each others hearts and lives and the author makes us see and feel that.

As with all the other stories, the novel is almost divided into two sections, the hockey side and the romantic one.  On the hockey side, you see Sander and his Coach still embroiled in their constant “verbal war of aggression” that’s wearing Sander down to the point that he’s even mentioned it to Dan Arou,  his teammate and the Coach’s husband.  We know the Coach’s demon’s (Coach’s Challenge) are driving him to act this way but Sander doesn’t, he only knows he’s the target.  From the hockey side to the personal which intersects over a dinner of “champions” where he meets Mateo, a baseball player with a boyfriend named Noah.

Noah is a wounded soul, artistic, unable to function outside their apartment due to his past, he “gets” a part of Sander that the others don’t see just as Sander understands the parts of Mateo that Noah never will.  While it’s not quite instant love, it is instant attraction, then friendship, which morphs into much deeper feelings.  That way in which it happens and the circumstances and intensity does promote a sort of believability for the characters and storyline that let me connect with it all immediately.

It should be mentioned that if you have issues with violence, past mentions of child abuse, mentions of rape, this might not be the book  for you.  There is graphic violence at the end.  If that is your trigger, just be aware that it occurs.

I wish I could say that elements of this story just didn’t happen but that would be untrue.  You can open up a paper or listen to the news and find so many instances of people who should never have been paroled.  Chalk this one up to one more.

I love this series and highly recommend Overtime (Cayuga Cougars #4) by V.L. Locey as it takes it place.  Now to wait for the next one to release.

Cover art:  Reverie Formatting and Design.  For me this cover is a fail.  If the purpose of a cover is to draw a purpose in, to inform and attract, this fails on every level.  The design is murky and hard to see, the figure barely visible in the background.  While that might figure into the storyline, that’s not the primary purpose of the cover.  It is in keeping with the tone and branding of the series covers however.  That’s about all I can say   here.

Sales Links: 

Amazon – https://tinyurl.com/yd33o2mg
Amazon UK – https://tinyurl.com/yaux3co4
Kobo – https://tinyurl.com/ybkclg5u
Nook – https://tinyurl.com/y75x5tx5

Book Details:

ebook, 148 pages
Expected publication: June 13th 2018 by Self-Published
Original TitleOvertime (Cayuga Cougars #4)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesCayuga Cougars #4

Cayuga Cougar Series:

Book #1 – Snap Shot: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Open Net: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Coach’s Challenge: Amazon US | Amazon UK

New Release Blitz – Overtime (Cayuga Cougars #4) by V.L. Locey

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 68,000 words approx.
 

Cover Design: Reverie Formatting and Design

Cayuga Cougars Series


Book #1 – Snap Shot: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Open Net: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Coach’s Challenge: Amazon US | Amazon UK
BlurbSander March is one season away from the pros, or so everyone tells him.If only Sander had as much faith in his ability as the Cougar coaching staff does. Outwardly, he’s cocksure, borderline bitter, and slightly sarcastic. All that strut and sass hides a wounded soul though. Working to hide a brutal past filled with humiliation, abuse, and a family member who still haunts him, Sander has never found the kind of comfort and understanding he so desperately needs. Until he meets Mateo Castillo, a minor league baseball player for the nearby Elmira Egrets. Mateo and Sander click instantly, and a budding friendship develops between the two athletes.

Mateo then introduces Sander to his boyfriend, Noah Coombs, an aspiring manga comic creator. The three men find themselves bonding strongly, and that slowly gives way to sexual attraction. Eventually, Mateo and Noah invite Sander into their relationship. The path to happiness isn’t going to be easy for Sander as he faces criticism from his friends, teammates, and the press for his choices. The brash young star can handle all that, it’s when his abuser shows up in Cayuga that Sander fears not only for his own safety, but for the lives of the two men he has grown to love. Will Sander’s past tear him away from Mateo and Noah, or will he be able to leave the darkness behind?

Warning – This story has disturbing subject matter.

 

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.


When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

 

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A MelanieM Review: Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

A Porthkennack Contemporary Novel

After a massive anxiety attack, Sam Atkins left his high-powered job in the City and committed himself to life on the road in a small van. Six months in, he’s running out of savings and coming to the conclusion that he might have to go home to his emotionally abusive family.

Needing time to think, he takes a walk through a copse by the Cornish roadside, only to stumble upon the body of a ritualistically killed sheep. As he’s trying to work out what the symbols around the animal mean, the sheep’s owner, Jennifer, and her nephew, Ruan Gwynn, come upon him.

Ruan is a kind-hearted young man with a large supportive clan, and since he and Sam feel almost instant attraction, he doesn’t want to believe Sam is a sheep-killing cultist. In fact, the moment he lays eyes on Sam’s miserable solitary life, he wants to rescue the man. But as the killings escalate, he and Sam need to stop whoever is actually to blame before they can concentrate on saving each other.

The Porthkennack series from Riptide Publishing has become a serious addiction of mine and this latest story, Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft is an excellent example why.  Alex Beecroft gives us Porthkennack from two perspectives, that from the insider, Ruan Gwynn, from one of the ancient families in this Cornish seaside town and the other, Sam Atkins, an ’emmett’, an outsider.  Sam has left his old life behind as a matter of emotional and physical survival.  Sam has fled his controlling, emotionally abusive family, his job, everything and he’s now living out of his van which he has parked in a field in Porthkennack.   And trouble has found in in a huge and troubling way.

Porthkennack itself is not just a setting but a vivid, stirring major element of this series.  It’s layered in ancient history, murder, smugglers, a tightly knit community that believes it can police itself and its actions as it has for hundreds of years.  There’s a tapestry of dependency and communication that’s often invisible to outsiders and making that come alive and apparent to everyone in all the scenes takes a wonderful eye and great writing.  Alex Beecroft has done that here.

All the hidden currents of this village flow around the events that are happening and Sam picks on up them even if he’s not sure what they mean at first. Ruan is aware at the surface of which families might be involved, but as Ruan investigates further into his village’s past, even he is surprised by the revelations.  I love Ruan.  His desperation and bravery as he knowingly goes against village “law’ and tradition only bring us closer to him.  This is a character who’s very vulnerability makes him shine so bright.

Each author builds on the other’s stories and universe which is fascinating. Porthkennack’s legends and histories keep evolving. I loved the author’s take on characters met in other stories.   As always the local, ancient criminal family, the Lusmoores figure large and here I got to see matriarch Wyn Lusmoore in a totally different light than I did in House of Cards (A Porthkennack novel) by Garrett Leigh.  Which was perfect indeed.   Nor was she the only Lusmoore that showed up or character from the village.

So many terrific elements here from the young girls who banded together around the van and Sam, like Tegan and Maryam, aunt Jennifer and Alana.  With Beecroft’s excellent characterizations, these people came to life here and I felt like I knew them all.  Plus the sensitive manner in which the author handled Sam’s anxiety attacks and their debilitating effects it made our connection to and understanding of Sam even stronger.

In all, Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft is just a terrific story.  It has a great mystery, wonderful romance and is set in a village I never tire of visiting.  The books in this series are mostly independent of each other.  House of Cards by Garrett Leigh does have a sequel coming out soon and some in the series are historical.  But if you love M/M contemporary romance with a touch of mystery, this one is a sure winner!

Cover by G.D. Leigh is perfection.  From the color tone to the character, it has it all.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 249 pages
Expected publication: September 4th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626495463
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesPorthkennack #5

This title is part of the Porthkennack universe.