A MelanieM Review: Skater Boy (Hot Off the Ice #3) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

In a world that measures success in dollars, how do you put a price on happiness?

Love, marriage, and a baby carriage. It’s all Alex Staunton has ever wanted. Well, that and an Olympic medal for figure skating. The medal he got. The rest of it – not so much.

When his most recent poor decision comes to a door-slamming end, Alex moves into the house of his best friend, Thunder starting goalie, Sergei Pergov. But when tragedy strikes, giving Sergei custody of the twins he fathered confidentially, Alex’s problems take a backseat to the needs of two infants, and Alex vows to be the best fake-dad and house-husband he can be.

Sergei is dazzled by the way Alex makes managing all the craziness look as easy as doing a triple-axel. As their friendship grows even deeper, Sergei realizes he doesn’t want to imagine a life without Alex in it. Alex is the one who makes their house a home; his love makes them a family. How can Sergei make Alex understand he’s worth everything?

Skater Boy is a story about falling in love with your best friend. It contains discussions about baby poop, day drinking, girls’ night out, and the purchase of a mini-van.

Figure skaters and hockey players!  That is a match made in romance heaven!   And when the hockey player is a hot Russian goalie?  Well then that’s just the sparkles, rainbow diamond dust, and everything wonderful layered on top!  This is the couple of Skater Boy (Hot Off the Ice #3) by A.E. Wasp. Readers familiar with this series will have met both characters before in the previous stories (City Boy, Country Boy, Boy Toy) and remember some of the scenes recounted here, now told through the eyes of Alex Staunton, former Olympic medal figure skater, now a coach for several of the Thunder players.  Our other familiar face is Sergei Pergov, the Thunder’s all star goalie.  Pergov impact, story by story, is impressive as is the man.  Russian, with a personality as huge as his physique, I love this man so. And lately he was appearing with Alex by his side in the other stories.

I was dying to see their relationship start.  This is that story.

Of course, with a AE Wasp story, there are depths to both characters.  Alex Staunton’s past history, his fight to the Olympics, and his current status, all come with layers of pain, and concessions that have cost his soul and leaving his sense of self worth broken. Sergei Pergov has removed himself from Russia, his family, and the past there.   He lives alone in his huge house in the suburbs until he spies Alex and starts to want more.  Then gets much , much, more.

Wasp takes both men through the tentative stages of friendship, lust, discussions of personal revelations and self discovery, to declarations of love and a family.  It’s all done through great charactions, wonderful writing, and a plot I totally connected with.  I mean, a vulnerable figure skater, a hot Russian goalie, and twins!  It even has two adorable hairless cats Torvill and Dean, complete with sweaters.  This may end up being my favorite story of the series.  I haven’t finished reading them all yet, but I just love this couple.  What can I say?

Yes, I recommend this story and series, but read them all in the order they are written to get the most out of the relationship dynamics and the timeline for the characters.  I have them all listed below.

Cover art is lovely and in keeping with branding the series and characters.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 303 pages
Published January 9th 2018
Original Title Skater Boy
Edition Language English
Series Hot Off the Ice #3

Hot Off the Ice Series

City Boy

Country Boy

Boy Toys

Skater Boy

Boy Next Door

Boys of Summer

Hot Off the Ice Boxed Set: Books 1-3

A MelanieM Review: Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #2) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Sometimes the toughest thing to have faith in is yourself.

The first time Paul Dyson met Robbie Rhodes, they ended up naked in Robbie’s bed. The last time they met, on the ice the morning after, Paul punched Robbie in the face and called him something he’d rather not repeat.

Two years later, they’re teammates on the Seattle Thunder hockey team.

Being gay is wrong, unnatural, and there is no room for them in his world. Paul’s heard that his whole life. So when it hits him that he is gay, he does the only thing he can: he shoves himself so deep in the closet he would need a map to find his way out again.

When the chance to fulfill his lifelong dream comes along, Paul can’t say no, even if it forces him to share hotel rooms with the only man he can’t resist. It doesn’t take long for Paul to give into temptation and find himself falling in love with his brilliant, caring teammate.

But as much as he cares for Paul, Robbie is finding it harder and harder to justify hiding who he is. It goes against everything he was taught was right. He feels like he has a duty to come out to the public. He’d be the first out gay pro-hockey player.

If Paul wants to be with Robbie, he will have to turn his back on his family and everything he’s believed in. If Robbie wants to be will Paul, he’ll have to do the same.

It’s going to take them a lot of faith to find their way together in this shiny new world.

Country Boy is a love story about figuring out who you are, who you want to be, and how to get there. It contains sweet hockey plays, a 1976 Corvette Stingray, fancy underwear, and the journey of a lifetime.

Country Boy, the second in the Hot Off the Ice series by AE Wasp, puts the spotlight back on the Seattle Thunder and two of its newest teammates. Robbie Rhodes, who we met in the first story City Boy, and Paul Dyson, the Thunder’s newest recruit. As was City Boy, Country Boy is someone exploring their sexuality, what it means to be gay from a religious standpoint,  and as a young upcoming NHL hockey player.   It does so using two diametrically opposed young men.   One brought up to believe in the reality of God, hell and brimstone, gay is actually evil and to be a homosexual was to be a perversion of all things natural. It was to be cast out of family, church, and society, to admit to such beliefs.  That would be Paul and his ultra conservative upbringing.  Then there is Robby, out and proud, with loving parents who might not understand hockey but love and support their son.

Paul and Robbie have a shared collegiate hockey rivalry history as well as a shocking, short romantic one.  The last that ended in a brutal way.

Wasp brings both Robbie and Paul to life here with all the turbulence of their combined pasts, Paul’s deep confusion over his sexuality, his pain over his upbringing and religion, and the choices life seems to be asking him to make.  The author has Paul reaching deep into his heart and soul for answers about how he feels about his church, parents, religion overall, and asking himself some heartbreaking questions.  As readers these soul searching inner monologues and conversations  Paul has with himself and others, including Robbie, make him so real, his situation so believable that he is easy to connect with.

So too Robbie with his learning disabilities, his  need to remain out and not fall back into the closet that he’s worked so hard to climb out of.  And just perhaps, should be even more out of as an example for LGBTQIA+ kids wishing to play hockey everywhere.  Robbie too has his realistic struggles here and not just with his romance with Paul, although that is huge.

As much as I loved its predecessor, I feel that  Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #2) by A.E. Wasp tackled so many more tough issues here and did so remarkably well.  AE Wasp does a wonderful job balancing multiple story threads here, weaving them all into a whole that is wonderful and heartwarming.  The characters are believable and easy to connect with plus Robbie and Paul’s romance is one to remember.  I love them both and can’t wait to follow their love through the rest of the series.

It’s just book two and I am in love with this series of complex men, the game of hockey and Seattle’s Thunder.  Pick them up and read them in the order they were written to get a feeling of the entire cast of characters which make appearances in each book, and watch to see who and how their own romances grow as well.

Cover art is perfect for branding the series and for the characters involved. Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by Kelpie Press

A MelanieM Review: City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Follow the money or follow your heart?

All Bryce Lowery knows how to do is play hockey. He’s been playing professionally since he was fifteen. Twenty years later, he’s rich, famous, tired, and alone. And possibly gay according to his ex-wife.

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a motorcycle-riding white knight named Dakota, Bryce discovers he is most definitely gay. Now Bryce has a tough choice to make, follow the money to a new multimillion dollar contract, or follow his heart into the unknown?

All Dakota Ryan knows how to do is grow apples. Now at twenty-four, he faces losing both his home and his livelihood in one cruel twist of fate.

Then Bryce Lowery crashes into his life like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. He’s whispering promises to make all of Dakota’s wildest dreams come true. But Dakota knows better than to give his heart to someone who could leave, and if life has taught him anything, it’s that everyone leaves.

Dakota has a choice, sit back and wait for Bryce to decide his fate, or for the first time in his life, chose what he wants his future to be.

City Boy is a first time gay, fish out of water, May/December love story with a happy ending. It features snarky siblings, a dirty-talking farmer, lots of food, and big choices. (No poultry was harmed in the making of this book.)

Because I made a vow to go through STRW’s Hockey Romance list and read all the stories I missed and also because It’s now hockey season once more, I’ve started to read AE Wasp’s Hot Off the Ice series and I’ll tell you I’m loving it. City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by A.E. Wasp is our introduction to the  boys of Thunder, the Seattle NHL Hockey team.  Actually, one of them who is in flux. That would be hockey all star Bryce Lowery, currently on the injured reserve list until he recuperates from his recent leg injury. But he’s fighting more than just a injury, and a  deceased relative, a will, and a road trip to Colorado might give him the change of direction he needs.

Dakota is a farmer, orchard farmer to be exact, one in danger of losing everything due to mislaid trust, naivete, and a crushing loss   .  And now he faces an uncertain future and nowhere to go.

This is one of those many trope story’s.  We have age gap, coming out, sexual discovery, as well as HEA.  And it all works because of Wasp’s wonderful charizations that allows us into the mindsets of each man as they make their journey towards each other and work their way through their individual issues.  City Boy is relatively low on angst, high on sweetness.  There are great dogs, wonderful sisters (on both sides), friends that appear, and, of course, teammates to gather round at Thanksgiving…all that start to form a “found family”.

Characters that form a foundation for the rest of the series.

This story is sweet, engaging, and really sets the stage for the rest of the series.  I love it and recommend it .

Cover art is perfect with the orchard at the bottom and Bryce at the top.  Love it.

Sales: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 318 pages
Published June 29th 2017
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Pros & Cons of Deception (Pros & Cons #2) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

FIVE JOBS. FIVE CHANCES FOR REDEMPTION. One thing’s for sure: these men are no angels.

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

Job number two lands right in my lap. I’m Bond. Wesley Bond. (I can’t resist saying it that way. Blame my dad, if you can find him.) You could call me a hacker. I redistribute wealth – moving it from rich slimebags to poorer but infinitely more deserving people – and make a tidy profit as I do.  My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to bring down some modern-day slave traders.

I definitely choose to accept it.

With the life of the one person in this world I love on the line, I can’t afford any screw ups or distractions. Unfortunately, my biggest distraction is my biggest asset – Danny Monroe. Danny is a leftover complication from our first job; a victim of the vicious senator we’d gotten locked up. He’s a smart, funny, gorgeous, ex-prostitute, who can’t seem to keep his clothes on. I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut around him. But I need a fake boyfriend, and Danny is the only option.

Fooling the world into thinking we’re in love will be easy; fooling myself that I’m not might be impossible.

We don’t know who the bad guy is, we have no idea how to prove anything. There’s no internet on the island, no cell service, and I’ll have only the bare bones of my gear. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Like it or not, we’re all in this together.

This was another great story and I continue to love the way these characters interact with each other.  Danny is so adorable, he hasn’t been given a great hand in life since his parents kicked him out but he is determined to make the best of it going forward.  Wesley means well but doesn’t always come across as he would hope and it’s harder when he can’t just hide behind his computer.

It’s great to see all of these guys starting to come out of their shells a bit and see that they are actually starting to care about each other.  It’s interesting getting to know them all but can’t wait to dig deeper as they each get their own story.

Wesley is Robin Hood and Danny hit it on the head before he really knew what he did but he feels too jaded to have someone as bright and trusting as Danny in his life, though his need to take care of him and see him happy overrides all of that.  Danny is trying to figure out what his next step is going to be and while finding out he isn’t just there to be pretty he finds the love and acceptance his life has been missing.  I think all these guys are really finding the family they need in their lives with their rag-tag group and look forward to more of the books.

I loved the cover art and how it gives small visuals from the book.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 312 pages

Published: March 1, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Pros & Cons #2

Series Review Tour for Pros & Cons by A.E. Wasp (excerpt and giveaway)

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SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Five Men. Five Chances for Redemption. One thing’s for sure, these guys are no angels

BOOK 1

Book Title: Pros & Cons of Vengeance

Author: A.E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-publishedCover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: MM Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: approx 83,000 words/ 331 pages

Release Date: January 18, 2019

Add on Goodreads

It is a standalone story

Blurb

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

Since job number one calls for some muscle, it looks like I’m up first. I’m Steele Alvarez, ex-Special Forces Close Protection Specialist (aka, a bodyguard for some not so nice guys).

After learning what the job is — taking down a seemingly untouchable senator with a penchant for beating up young male prostitutes — I’m in. No questions. A bullet ought to do the trick.

Then I met Senator Harlan’s latest victim: Breck Pfeiffer, the gorgeous hooker with a heart of gold and the soul of a fighter. One look at him and I’m gone. That kid laid me out harder than any punch ever did. I’ll do anything to protect Breck, even kill for him. But Breck doesn’t want the senator dead, he wants vengeance.

If we’re going to find a way bring down the slimebag and get the blackest mark on my record erased, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Like it or not, we’re all in this together.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

Thank Christ someone had been bright enough to leave the air conditioning on in Charlie’s mansion. Dead men paid no electric bills, I guess. Fucking Florida. I’d been gone too long and had somehow forgotten how truly miserable the humidity could be. Sure, it could hit a hundred and fifteen outside of Baghdad, but it was dry heat.

I thought about taking off my suit, or at least my tie, but until I knew what the hell was going on here, I wasn’t going to let my guard down.

Besides, I looked good in a suit.

“Nice house, huh?” Wesley said from my behind me, as I was busy assessing the layout of the house and cataloging any possible pinch points. Like I said, I didn’t know what I was doing here, and I wasn’t taking any chances.

“I’ve seen bigger.” In my most recent incarnation as close protection specialist and hired muscle to some very rich and very bad men, I’d been in mansions that made this place look like a pool house. Not that this place sucked. Not at all. The cabin I’d grown up in could have fit in the foyer with room left over.

We followed Ms. Miranda Bosley, Charlie’s attorney, single-file down the tiled hallway of the big house like a line of ducklings. Wesley was the only guy I knew and consequently the only one in the group I trusted enough to walk behind me. Even Ms. Bosley looked like she wouldn’t hesitate to stab me in the kidney if she felt she needed to.

Seeing Wes at the funeral had been a surprise. A quick, stilted conversation had revealed that he was here for the same reason I was – we were both being blackmailed by Charlie.

I couldn’t imagine what Charlie had on the kid. I’d only worked with Wes twice before, but he was more a gray hat than a black hat hacker; the kind of person who didn’t mind doing the wrong things for the right reasons. A cross between MacGyver and Anonymous, the kid had probably been on an FBI watch list since he was twelve.

Wesley had triggered my protective instincts from our first meeting, but he’d never really needed much help beyond muscle. Sure he could take of himself with that jujitsu or whatever, but sometimes some people just needed their faces punched, and I was more than happy to do that for him. It was satisfying.

Now Angel-Face, as I’d taken to calling the gorgeous blond kid who’d been sitting a few rows ahead of me at the graveside ceremony, he triggered other instincts in me. Made me think things I probably shouldn’t be thinking at a funeral. But then again, Angel-Face hadn’t seemed exactly consumed with grief either. I hadn’t been completely surprised to see him following Miranda after the funeral along with Wes and me. Very interesting. What had that choir boy done to be in such bad company at such a young age?

BOOK 2

Book Title: Pros & Cons of Deception

Author: A. E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: MM Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 80,000 words/ 300 pages

Release Date: March 1, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

I’m Bond. Wesley Bond. (I can’t resist saying it that way. Blame my dad, if you can find him.) You could call me a hacker. I redistribute wealth – moving it from rich slimebags to poorer but infinitely more deserving people – and make a tidy profit as I do. My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to bring down some modern-day slave traders.

I definitely choose to accept it.

With the life of the one person in this world I love on the line, I can’t afford any screw ups or distractions. Unfortunately, my biggest distraction is also my biggest asset – Danny Monroe. Danny is a leftover complication from our first job; a victim of the vicious senator we’d gotten locked up. He’s a smart, funny, gorgeous, ex-prostitute, who can’t seem to keep his clothes on. I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut around him. But I need a fake boyfriend, and Danny is the only option.

Fooling the world into thinking we’re in love will be easy; fooling myself that I’m not might be impossible.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

“Hey, can anyone explain why my shirt drawer is empty?” Ridge Pfeiffer demanded, appearing on the patio where the rest of our little band had congregated. Our resident retrievals expert (read: thief) was naked from the waist up and scowling beneath his blue eyes and blond curls like the world’s most overgrown, pissed-off Botticelli angel.

I pulled down my sunglasses to look at him, then slid them back up so I could focus on my phone screen. Right now, I was engaged in a long-term bout of spear phishing at Campbell Enterprises, and I was about to close the deal. This was way more interesting than anything Ridge was likely to share.

Janie, I typed, I’m on a plane with Dal Anderson and he wants a four-paragraph summary of Thursday’s press release so we can prepare talking points for the investors!! Can’t access the secure server from here and I’m fah-reaking OUT!! Send me something? – Becks

There. That ought to do it.

Becks, aka Rebecca Frankel, Junior Executive Assistant to the VP of Human Resources at Campbell, according to her LinkedIn profile, was adorably naïve and helpful. For example, when a friendly IT man had called the other day and asked for her credentials to verify a “suspicious login” from her site, she’d provided all the necessary info. Hell, if I’d asked for her astrological sign and social security number, she’d probably have given me that too.

Once I’d accessed her email, I’d had the keys to the castle. It had been easy to copy her writing style – hyper-friendly, with way too many exclamation points for a person over the age of thirteen – to learn that she was going on a business trip with her boss this week, and to find that she was smoke-break buddies with Jane DeVoor, Assistant to the CFO. As soon as Jane emailed back a summary of Thursday’s press release to help her pal out, I’d make a few quick investment decisions like I’d somehow learned to predict the future.

Hint: Ditch your psychic friends and go phishing instead.

“Um, would we say the drawer is really empty, though?” Breck, Ridge’s identical twin, asked from the lounge chair where he was stretched out in the sun practically on top of his boyfriend, Steele Alvarez.

“Close enough. The only things left are a pink tank top that says I Would Bottom You So Hard and this Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirt.” Ridge held it up. “Neither of them is mine, and frankly I don’t feel comfortable wearing either.”

About the Author

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding love, family, and magic in the everyday world. From professional hockey players to professional thieves, her boys work hard, play hard, and love harder. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, and living with the same hopes and fears we all have.

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.

Author Links

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Facebook

Twitter

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An Alisa Review Pros & Cons of Vengeance (Pros & Cons #2) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

*FIVE JOBS. FIVE CHANCES FOR REDEMPTION. One thing’s for sure: these men are no angels.*

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

Since job number one calls for some muscle, it looks like I’m up first. I’m Steele Alvarez, ex-Special Forces Close Protection Specialist (aka, a bodyguard for some not so nice guys).

After learning what the job is — taking down a seemingly untouchable senator with a penchant for beating up young male prostitutes — I’m in. No questions. A bullet ought to do the trick.

Then I met Senator Harlan’s latest victim: Breck Pfeiffer, the gorgeous hooker with a heart of gold and the soul of a fighter. One look at him and I’m gone. That kid laid me out harder than any punch ever did. I’ll do anything to protect Breck, even kill for him. But Breck doesn’t want the senator dead, he wants vengeance.

If we’re going to find a way bring down the slimebag and get the blackest mark on my record erased, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Like it or not, we’re all in this together.

This was a great story and I look forward to see the rest of the jobs.  I own a few books from each of these authors but have never read them and I think that may be a mistake I need to fix.

Charlie sure brought an interesting group of guys together.  They each have their strengths and they quickly learn how to work with each other.  Even though they are all “bad” guys they will go to extreme lengths to take out the real bad guys.  They all find a common ground and I can’t wait to see who the next book will focus on.

Steele feels the need to care for Breck and with his brother Ridge glaring in the background he has trouble taking the next step.  I loved seeing Breck be able to get past Steele’s defenses and give him the safety to be able to deal with his demons at the same time.  I love the start these two have gotten and hope we get to see their relationship blossom even more.

I loved the cover art, it just draws your eye.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages

Published: September 10, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Pros & Cons #1

Love Mystery and Suspense with your Romance? Check Out the Series Review Tour and Giveaway for Pros & Cons by A.E. Wasp

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SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Five Men. Five Chances for Redemption. One thing’s for sure, these guys are no angels

BOOK 1

Book Title: Pros & Cons of Vengeance

Author: A.E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: MM Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: approx 83,000 words/ 331 pages

Release Date: January 18, 2019

Add on Goodreads

It is a standalone story

Blurb

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

Since job number one calls for some muscle, it looks like I’m up first. I’m Steele Alvarez, ex-Special Forces Close Protection Specialist (aka, a bodyguard for some not so nice guys).

After learning what the job is — taking down a seemingly untouchable senator with a penchant for beating up young male prostitutes — I’m in. No questions. A bullet ought to do the trick.

Then I met Senator Harlan’s latest victim: Breck Pfeiffer, the gorgeous hooker with a heart of gold and the soul of a fighter.  One look at him and I’m gone. That kid laid me out harder than any punch ever did. I’ll do anything to protect Breck, even kill for him. But Breck doesn’t want the senator dead, he wants vengeance.

If we’re going to find a way bring down the slimebag and get the blackest mark on my record erased, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Like it or not, we’re all in this together.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

Thank Christ someone had been bright enough to leave the air conditioning on in Charlie’s mansion. Dead men paid no electric bills, I guess. Fucking Florida. I’d been gone too long and had somehow forgotten how truly miserable the humidity could be. Sure, it could hit a hundred and fifteen outside of Baghdad, but it was dry heat.

I thought about taking off my suit, or at least my tie, but until I knew what the hell was going on here, I wasn’t going to let my guard down.

Besides, I looked good in a suit.

“Nice house, huh?” Wesley said from my behind me, as I was busy assessing the layout of the house and cataloging any possible pinch points. Like I said, I didn’t know what I was doing here, and I wasn’t taking any chances.

“I’ve seen bigger.” In my most recent incarnation as close protection specialist and hired muscle to some very rich and very bad men, I’d been in mansions that made this place look like a pool house. Not that this place sucked. Not at all. The cabin I’d grown up in could have fit in the foyer with room left over.

We followed Ms. Miranda Bosley, Charlie’s attorney, single-file down the tiled hallway of the big house like a line of ducklings. Wesley was the only guy I knew and consequently the only one in the group I trusted enough to walk behind me. Even Ms. Bosley looked like she wouldn’t hesitate to stab me in the kidney if she felt she needed to.

Seeing Wes at the funeral had been a surprise. A quick, stilted conversation had revealed that he was here for the same reason I was – we were both being blackmailed by Charlie.

I couldn’t imagine what Charlie had on the kid. I’d only worked with Wes twice before, but he was more a gray hat than a black hat hacker; the kind of person who didn’t mind doing the wrong things for the right reasons. A cross between MacGyver and Anonymous, the kid had probably been on an FBI watch list since he was twelve.

Wesley had triggered my protective instincts from our first meeting, but he’d never really needed much help beyond muscle. Sure he could take of himself with that jujitsu or whatever, but sometimes some people just needed their faces punched, and I was more than happy to do that for him. It was satisfying.

Now Angel-Face, as I’d taken to calling the gorgeous blond kid who’d been sitting a few rows ahead of me at the graveside ceremony, he triggered other instincts in me. Made me think things I probably shouldn’t be thinking at a funeral. But then again, Angel-Face hadn’t seemed exactly consumed with grief either. I hadn’t been completely surprised to see him following Miranda after the funeral along with Wes and me. Very interesting. What had that choir boy done to be in such bad company at such a young age?

BOOK 2

Book Title: Pros & Cons of Deception

Author: A. E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s:  MM Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:   80,000 words/ 300 pages

Release Date: March 1, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

I’m Bond. Wesley Bond. (I can’t resist saying it that way. Blame my dad, if you can find him.) You could call me a hacker. I redistribute wealth – moving it from rich slimebags to poorer but infinitely more deserving people – and make a tidy profit as I do.  My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to bring down some modern-day slave traders.

I definitely choose to accept it.

With the life of the one person in this world I love on the line, I can’t afford any screw ups or distractions. Unfortunately, my biggest distraction is also my biggest asset – Danny Monroe.  Danny is a leftover complication from our first job; a victim of the vicious senator we’d gotten locked up. He’s a smart, funny, gorgeous, ex-prostitute, who can’t seem to keep his clothes on. I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut around him. But I need a fake boyfriend, and Danny is the only option.

Fooling the world into thinking we’re in love will be easy; fooling myself that I’m not might be impossible.


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Excerpt

“Hey, can anyone explain why my shirt drawer is empty?” Ridge Pfeiffer demanded, appearing on the patio where the rest of our little band had congregated. Our resident retrievals expert (read: thief) was naked from the waist up and scowling beneath his blue eyes and blond curls like the world’s most overgrown, pissed-off Botticelli angel.

I pulled down my sunglasses to look at him, then slid them back up so I could focus on my phone screen. Right now, I was engaged in a long-term bout of spear phishing at Campbell Enterprises, and I was about to close the deal. This was way more interesting than anything Ridge was likely to share.

Janie, I typed, I’m on a plane with Dal Anderson and he wants a four-paragraph summary of Thursday’s press release so we can prepare talking points for the investors!! Can’t access the secure server from here and I’m fah-reaking OUT!! Send me something? – Becks

There. That ought to do it.

Becks, aka Rebecca Frankel, Junior Executive Assistant to the VP of Human Resources at Campbell, according to her LinkedIn profile, was adorably naïve and helpful. For example, when a friendly IT man had called the other day and asked for her credentials to verify a “suspicious login” from her site, she’d provided all the necessary info. Hell, if I’d asked for her astrological sign and social security number, she’d probably have given me that too.

Once I’d accessed her email, I’d had the keys to the castle. It had been easy to copy her writing style – hyper-friendly, with way too many exclamation points for a person over the age of thirteen – to learn that she was going on a business trip with her boss this week, and to find that she was smoke-break buddies with Jane DeVoor, Assistant to the CFO. As soon as Jane emailed back a summary of Thursday’s press release to help her pal out, I’d make a few quick investment decisions like I’d somehow learned to predict the future.

Hint: Ditch your psychic friends and go phishing instead.

“Um, would we say the drawer is really empty, though?” Breck, Ridge’s identical twin, asked from the lounge chair where he was stretched out in the sun practically on top of his boyfriend, Steele Alvarez.

“Close enough. The only things left are a pink tank top that says I Would Bottom You So Hard and this Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirt.” Ridge held it up. “Neither of them is mine, and frankly I don’t feel comfortable wearing either.”

About the Author

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding love, family, and magic in the everyday world. From professional hockey players to professional thieves, her boys work hard, play hard, and love harder. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, and living with the same hopes and fears we all have.

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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An Ali Review: Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #2) by AE Wasp

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Sometimes the toughest thing to have faith in is yourself. 

The first time Paul Dyson met Robbie Rhodes, they ended up naked in Robbie’s bed. The last time they met, on the ice the morning after, Paul punched Robbie in the face and called him something he’d rather not repeat. 

Two years later, they’re teammates on the Seattle Thunder hockey team. 

Being gay is wrong, unnatural, and there is no room for them in his world. Paul’s heard that his whole life. So when it hits him that he is gay, he does the only thing he can: he shoves himself so deep in the closet he would need a map to find his way out again. 

When the chance to fulfill his lifelong dream comes along, Paul can’t say no, even if it forces him to share hotel rooms with the only man he can’t resist. It doesn’t take long for Paul to give into temptation and find himself falling in love with his brilliant, caring teammate. 

But as much as he cares for Paul, Robbie is finding it harder and harder to justify hiding who he is. It goes against everything he was taught was right. He feels like he has a duty to come out to the public. He’d be the first out gay pro-hockey player. 

If Paul wants to be with Robbie, he will have to turn his back on his family and everything he’s believed in. If Robbie wants to be will Paul, he’ll have to do the same. 

It’s going to take them a lot of faith to find their way together in this shiny new world. 
This was a good second installment to the Hot Off of the Ice series.  We met Robbie in the first book.  He was a teammate of Bryce’s and attended the big Thanksgiving dinner.  This book starts a few months down the road and Paul has just been traded to Robbie’s team. 
These two have a history and it didn’t end well.  Their new beginning doesn’t start well either.  After some fighting, the coach tells them they better work out their differences or else.  This begins a hesitant truce.  But since they are the newest team members they end up having to room together while they’re on the road.  One thing leads to another and soon they can’t keep their hands off of each other.  
This book was much more serious than the first book in the series.  This starts as an enemies to lovers and turns into a hurt/comfort trope.  There are two main issues going on.  One is whether either or both of them want to come out and how that will effect their hockey career.  The other is the religiously oppressive home that Paul was raised in.  Being someone who was raised in the same type of home, my heart went out to Paul.  I could understand the internal struggles that he was trying to work through.  I felt these were realistically done and I liked the entire overall plot line.  
The only thing I didn’t not care for was a side plot with Paul’s dad.  I felt it added some unnecessary drama and I found the entire thing unbelievable.  I also found his dad’s quick turn around on his views unrealistic.  I wish the author would have left that entire part out of the book to be honest.
 
We see a decent amount of Bryce and Dakota as well as Jake and Nikki.  Both of which I enjoyed seeing again.  While this book is the second in the series it can be read fine as a standalone.  
 
Overall I really enjoyed this and I’m excited to have found a new series and a new author who I like a lot.  I will definitely be looking forward to more books in this series.
 
Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix I like the cover a lot.  The colors stand out and are eye catching and the models match the descriptions of the MC’s.  I think the cover is a good representation of the story and it flows well with the previous book in the series.
Sales Links:
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by Kelpie Press
ASINB075BQ57YV
SeriesHot off the Ice #2

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

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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
 
Blurb

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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HALF-BROKE: A VETERANS AFFAIRS STORY FOR FREE
 

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