A Stella Review:Close to Home (Sawyer’s Ferry #4) by Cate Ashwood

RATING 4,5 out of 5 star

I excelled at two things: systems engineering and going completely unnoticed.
The engineering took work and determination. The invisibility came naturally. Until one day, the wrong person noticed me. Battered and broken, I fled, escaping to Sawyer’s Ferry and the only friends I’d ever had.
Now, I just needed to figure out what I was going to do next.

Life was good.
I had a great job, good friends, and a family who loved me. Even my roommate was decent. At least he was until he let his nudist brother come to visit. The opportunity to house-sit and help an injured friend couldn’t have come at a better time.
All I’d needed was to avoid an awkward situation for a few days, but I got more than I bargained for when my entire uncomplicated life flipped upside down. The last thing I’d been looking for was love, but it wasn’t until Witt that I realized just how much I’d been missing out on.

Close To Home was another great addiction to the Sawyer’s Ferry series. Cate Ashwood delivered another well done story. I like this kind of plot, even if the first pages, where Witt is struggling with his life, were not so easy to read. Luckly he reached his friends, Jackson and Logan, who were ready to open their home and host Witt during his recovery. Witt has lost everything, he really has no one in the world and it broke my heart more than once, his past, his choices, I wanted to hug him and shelter him from himself sometimes. Mason was a good match, so different, full of friends, with a job he loved, a huge family who support him. From the first time they met it was clear to me how good they were for each other and I had a smile on my face till the end, a lovely and sweet HEA.

Moreover in Close To Home the author gave me a peek of Frankie and Barrett and I was so over the moon, they are still my fave couple so far, I was so happy to see them.

I fell to rcommend this new release and the whole series, better read it in order to fully appreciate it but all the titles work great as standalone too in my opinion.

The cover art by Cate Ashwood is well done and fitting the story and the other covers. I like it a lot.



Kindle Edition, 275 pages

Published June 11th 2019

ASIN: B07T27BJ37

Edition Language English

Sawyer’s Ferry series #4

A Stella Review: Copper Creek (Sawyer’s Ferry #3) by Cate Ashwood

RATING 5 out of 5 stars

My life sucks.
After spending a year jobless and on the edge of becoming homeless, I’d officially reached a level of desperation that, even if I wasn’t completely broke, retail therapy couldn’t fix.
While Sawyer’s Ferry, Alaska, is the last place on earth I’d ever want to visit, when my best friend, Holden, begs me to fly out and plan his wedding, I can’t say no. What I didn’t expect was to stumble into the administrative chaos at Copper Creek Brewing—or its too-hot-to-be-legal owner.
Clearly the man needs my help, and I’m willing to go above and beyond.
Way beyond.

I am screwed.
Six months after my assistant up and quit, I’m not any closer to finding a replacement, and things at the brewery are starting to fall apart.
And then in walks Frankie. He’s not the typical guy you’d find in these parts, and he brings with him a world of confusion. Because as much as I need his help, I can’t seem to keep my eyes—or hands—off him.
He’s supposed to be getting my life in order, but instead there’s a chance he could turn everything upside down.

Cate Ashwood delivered another great book, I have to say I couldn’t wait for Frankie story, I knew it would have been awesome as he is. I was a big fan of him, he is a fabolous friend, a character always positive, open and ready to help, even when he is deep in problems and he can’t see some light shining in his future. Sometimes we really just need to wait and be brave and all the good can happen, in love and work, as it happens to Frankie.

I fell so easily into Barrett and Frankie lives. It was so clear from the beginning how much they were into each other. Although Barrett has never been attracted to a man in the past, although Frankie is in Sawyer’s Ferry only for planning his best friend’s wedding, still something important is beginning and it will change them. One thing I appreciate a lot about Barrett was how easily he accepted his love with another man, sure there were some initial doubts, but at end he easily saw how deep were this feeling for Frankie and tried to fix their relationship.

As everything Cate writes, Copper Creek was a lovely story, I liked everything about it, I was able to meet Holden and Gage again and see how happy they were, still the ending was the better part, so sweet and romantic, it was simple to fall in love with these men all over again.

I feel to recommend the whole Sawyer’s Ferry series, it’s very well done and you won’t be disappointed.

The cover art by Cate Ashwood is clean and simple, it follows the style of the other covers in the series, I like it.

Sales Link:  Amazon


Kindle Edition, 213 pages

Published March 25th 2019


Edition Language English

Sawyer’s Ferry Series



Bishop Ridge

Whisky Christmas 2.5

Copper Creek

A Stella Review: Bishop Ridge (Sawyer’s Ferry #2) by Cate Ashwood

RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

They found exactly what they weren’t looking for.

I had almost everything I’d ever wanted—career, friends, my own easy life in Sawyer’s Ferry, Alaska. I’d given up on filling in the missing pieces long ago. Now, I was more than satisfied with the perfectly practiced, perfectly predictable routine I’d created for myself. At least until Jackson Daley walked into my clinic.

Working the rigs is temporary. Everything in my life is. Jobs, cities, and the guys I take home—nothing sticks, and that’s exactly the way I like it. After four years in Alaska, I’m itching to pick up and leave. I’m ready to move on and start over someplace new, until a one-night stand I can’t seem to shake has me breaking all my own rules.
Now as I get closer to walking away, my reasons for leaving seem blurrier than ever, and for the first time in my life, there could be something worth staying for.

This new release by Cate Ashwood is one of the reasons why I love the author so much, Bishop

Ridge was a very good novel and I will surely reread it in the future. This second installment in the Sawyer’s Ferry series was perfect as the first one.

I followed with enthusiasm and trepidation the love story between Jackson and Logan, how beautiful they were together, really made for each other, although Jackson’s determination at not falling in love with the sexy doctor. He needed an almost life ending situation to finally admit that he wanted logan in his world so badly. The chemistry was explosive sure, but what I adored the most was how the author matched the sex scenes with as many scenes where the characters deeply talked and knew each other backgrounds, they discovered their fears and qualities. And I was able to feel them and they caught my heart, and then meeting again Hoden and Gage was a huge bonus.

I was hooked by these characters lives from the beginning and really got stuck to them till the ending, I loved the writing, the dual POV was well done. The only reason why I am not giving Bishop Ridge the full five stars is that I need a little more from the ending part, I wasn’t ready to let these men go, I think they had a little more to say and for just a tiny moment, at the end, I was disappointed. I so hope the author will decide to write again about them.

The cover art by Cate Ashwood is lovely and fitting, I like it.



Kindle Edition, 191 pages

Published November 13th 2018


Edition Language English

Series Sawyer’s Ferry #2

A Stella Review: Alaska (Sawyer’s Ferry #1) by Cate Ashwood

RATING 5 out of 5 stars

Nobody says no to a Prescott.

Not even one of their own.

Living up to expectations had never been easy, but when I went after something, I got it. Success. Money. Victory. I was standing on the doorstep to having it all. There was only one thing standing in my way.

Power and prosperity are overrated. Especially when they come at a price. When enough became enough, I walked away. Nothing had ever tempted me to look back, until one day the past showed up in my backyard.

I’m not so sure I can walk away a second time.

Finally a book that truly satisfied me and left my heart full. I’m so happy Cate Ashwood wrote Alaska, she did an amazing work and missed nothing. A perfectly written book, with well defined characters, a good plot, clear and real chemistry and love between the MCs, hot sex scenes, a dreamy ending. And so much more. What else could I request?

Gage and Holden conquered my heart from the beginning, I was caught into their minds and was so curious to know how they were going to get their HEA, I couldn’t put my Kindle down. Maybe for the first time I’m glad the blurb told me pretty much nothing, that’s why I’m not going to reveal nothing in this review. Just know it will be almost impossible to be disappointed by the story, it’s funny, sweet and sexy, an easy read, with just a tiny bit of drama. I loved Alaska, every words and every characters. I can’t wait for the next book and the next couple to love.

With this first installment in the new Sawyer’s Ferry series, the author gave me everything I want to find in a story. It was a huge success and I can’t stop myself from recommending it to all of you. I think I’m going to reread it right this second.

The cover art by the same author is lovely, I can see Gage in the model even if his face is eyes are cut off.



Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 183 pages

Published April 22nd 2018 by Cate Ashwood


Edition Language English

A Stella Review: ​Cruising by Cate Ashwood

RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Best friends Dylan and Jake have been inseparable since college, but Dylan has one secret he can’t bring himself to share with Jake—he’s completely, utterly in love with him.

Jake’s friendship is the most important thing in the world to Dylan, so as much as it hurts to see him with other people, Dylan keeps his mouth shut about his true feelings. When Jake wins a cruise to Alaska, he asks Dylan to go along, but what Dylan doesn’t know, is that there’s more on offer than a dream vacation.

Can Dylan and Jake sail off to their happily ever after, or are they cruising toward disaster?

Cruising is a lovely short story, I finished it quickly and was fully satisfied from what I learned about the MCs and how the plot went. I was able to connect with Dylan and Jake from the start, I felt the deep link they have for each other, an important friendship both of them scared to destroy with a possible love relationship. Problem is both of them are too deep into their feelings to ignore them and just continue to be besties. And so finally Jake decides to be brave and risk it all.

Cate Ashwood is one of my favorite authors since the first time I read Keeping Sweet at the beginning of my obsession with the MM books. From that moment I wait anxiously for each new release. Cruising is well written and engaging short story, just 13K words, plus I adore the friends to lovers trope, especially when they are well done as in this case. Moreover this is FREE, so if you haven’t read this author works, give this title a chance, it won’t cost you nothing but I’m sure you will looking for more from her.

The cover art by Cate Ashwood is well done, I like it and it reminds me of a specific scene in the story so it’s fitting too.

Sales Links: FREE here https://www.instafreebie.com/public/FC7UD

Book Details:

ebook, 45 pages

Published December 8th 2017 by Self Published

Word Count: 13,000 words

Genre: Contemporary m/m romance

Edition Language English

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Tasting Notes by Cate Ashwood and Narrator Michael Pauley

Rating:  3 stars out of 5


Tasting Notes AudiobookThere’s nothing that can’t be solved over a glass of excellent wine.


Joseph “West” Weston has paid for his wealth and success with long hours at the office and no personal life to speak of. Meetings, conference calls, and paperwork dominate his waking hours and have kept him from honoring the promise he made to his late grandfather years before.


After leaving the Marines, Robert “Rush” Coeman returns to his hometown and settles in as a Christmas tree farmer. His life is quiet and simple, and he likes it that way. When West arrives in town and buys Rush’s parents’ vineyard on a whim, that simple life is turned upside down. The animosity between them is palpable, but Rush shelves his preconceived notions in order to protect his parents’ legacy. He agrees to help West learn how to run the vineyard, and Rush soon realizes that love doesn’t necessarily come in the package he expected.


West decides to take time off to fulfill his promise to his grandfather, the first impulsive thing he has done in years.  While on his road trip he quickly makes another impulsive decision to buy a winery even though he knows nothing about running one.  Rush feels obligated to show West the ropes in order to protect the winery’s reputation, but soon learns that West isn’t quite what he originally thought.


This story is told from both character’s points of view.  West feels so lost and hasn’t had anyone to rely on but himself for years.  When he is forced to get help from the gruff Rush he has a bit of a reality check, but knows this isn’t his usual environment.  Rush has to learn to get over some of his pre-conceived notions before they can make their future work together.


Michael Pauley did a nice job narrating this story.  The use of different voices for the characters helped me keep track of the story.  However, his reading was a bit mechanical and I got most of the characters emotions from the word more than his speaking.


Cover art by Anna Sikorska is beautiful and works well for this story.


Sales Links



Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 6hrs 12min
Published June 30, 2016 (ebook first published October 26, 2015)
Edition Language: English

An Alisa Release Day Review: A Fallen Heart (Zero Hour #2) by Cate Ashwood

Rating:  4 stars out of 5


A Fallen Heart by Cate AshwoodAfter his last disastrous relationship, Joseph Ford has absolutely no interest in getting attached again. Concentrating on working as a trauma nurse and keeping his life as simple as possible are his only goals. Unfortunately, his plans could be derailed by the charming, sexy Nash.


Things are looking up for paramedic Ridley Nash when he transfers to Station 217. He gets along with the crew, likes his partner, and is finally on a team willing to accept him—gay and all. It’s everything he’s always wanted, but when he meets Ford, Nash knows his life is about to get very interesting.


As Ford and Nash find themselves stuck in the middle of a homicide case, things become more complicated. For the last year, the mutilated bodies of teenage boys have been showing up all over downtown. With no leads, the police are getting desperate. One of the victims is found alive, and he’s the best chance the police have to catch the killer—if only they can get him to talk.


Will Nash be able to catch Ford when he falls, or is there too much standing in their way to make it work?


This was a nice continuation of the Zero Hour series.  I enjoyed the first book and liked this one just as much.  Ford has closed his heart off after his last relationship ended badly, but Nash starts to tear down those boundaries from the first time they meet.


Nash has recently transferred stations and is now Adam’s partner and is happy to be somewhere he isn’t persecuted for who he is.  Ford has never hidden who he is, no matter what his ex wanted, but is afraid to let someone else in.  Their mutual friendships with Adam and Sam from the first book help bring them together even when Ford is trying to stay apart.


This story is told from both characters’ point of view which makes it easier to connect with the characters.  Seeing how scared Ford is to lose himself in another relationship just broke my heart, but Nash is determined to show him that what they have is good and not like what Ford had before.  I can’t wait for the next book in the series to see more of these characters.


Cover art by Bree Archer is nice and follows the pattern for the series.


Sales Links





Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: August 29, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN-13: 9781634775793
Edition Language: English

Series: Zero Hour #2

An Alisa Audiobook Review: A Forced Silence (Zero Hour #1) by Cate Ashwood and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

Rating:  4 stars out of 5


a-forced-silenceFor paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.


The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn’t gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn’t enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other’s arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.


I enjoyed listening to this story.  Sam has been living openly since he left home for college and doesn’t want to hide himself while Adam has been hiding himself from everyone afraid to lose his job or family.  Sam and Adam used to be best friends with the same person in school, however were never friends themselves in fact Adam used to go out of his way to make his life horrible.


When this story starts Sam has grown a lot from the awkward and shy teenager he was when they were in school, but Adam has moved farther from his attitude he had in school.  I could feel both of their emotions, Sam absolutely loves the Adam he knows in private, but it tears him up to not show it in public.  Adam is constantly feeling down about not being there for Sam out in the open.  The story was left open and I hope I can see more of these characters in the future.


Scott R. Smith did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I was able to keep track of the stories and characters which is always nice.  He was able to portray the characters emotions in his reading.


Cover art by Melody Pond is nice and I wouldn’t change it.


Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Audible | Amazon |  iTunes


Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5hrs 47min
Published June 3, 2016 (ebook first published December 11, 2015)
Edition Language: English

A Stella Review: Resurrecting Elliot (Newport Boys #2) by Cate Ashwood

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Resurrecting Elliot coverNightmares and panic attacks following a horrific tragedy leave Professor Elliot Lawrence a prisoner in his own home. After months of relying on his sister as his only connection to the outside world, Elliot is desperate for a sliver of independence. But leaving the safety of his home isn’t an option, not yet, and he reaches out in the most innocuous way he can think of: grocery delivery.

Colton Kelly, retired porn star and recent college grad, is struggling at two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. During one of his grocery deliveries, he meets Elliot. Although the attraction between them is instant, they must first traverse the long road of putting Elliot back together. When disaster strikes yet again, this time in Colt’s life, Elliot’s not sure he’s strong enough to be the man Colt needs him to be.

Resurrecting Elliot by Cate Ashwood wasn’t what I was expecting, at all. I was first waiting for something still set in the porn industry, then reading the blurb I was sure it was darker. I love Cate’s writing and ideas so of course I enjoyed this book, I gave it 4 stars after all. Still, in my humble opinion, I think if she had decided to focus on or emphasize more the struggle both MCs went through in their lives, I could have been reading just what I love to read; maybe it would have been heavier but although I liked Resurrecting Elliot A LOT, too many times it seems to me the story flowed too easily.

The way Elliot could overcome his fears just with Colt’s help was beautiful to watch but was much too simplistic. I know when you close yourself off, after a trauma like the one that hit Elliot, the love of the person you have beside can be strong enough to help you heal but not so smoothly as in this book. Okay it’s  fictional but I’m always looking for reality in my stories. So for me the author made a couple of choices that prevent the book for being perfect like others written by her.

Now I’m going to stop to be so freaking critical and start talking about all the good aspects. First of all the book opened with the marriage of Evan and Bran. Do you have an idea how happy I was? Keeping Sweet, book #1 in the Newport Boys series, was the first book I read by Cate Ashwood and most likely one of the first m/m books I read in the 2013. I fell in love with Evan and knowing he would have had his deserved HEA was beautiful, especially after the little snippet in Thirty Things (https://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords.com/2015/04/17/a-stella-review-thirty-things-by-cate-ashwood/). Also you can read it as a standalone.

Resurrecting Elliot is set six years after the first one,  Colt has quit doing porn and is looking for a job as a teacher. Meanwhile he’s doing a couple of job, one of this as a delivery man. Guess to whom he goes to deliver groceries? Elliot is imprisoned himself a year after watching one of his students take his life. The trauma was so deep he’s having problems to even leave his house. When he meet Colt things finally change. They soon hit it off and start seeing each other first as just friends and then as lovers and Colt is able to help Elliot dealing with his fears and panic attacks. There is a little more I obviously can’t talk about that  was a great closure to Colt and the final push to Elliot to be stronger than ever and overcome the pain.

As every book Cate Ashwood wrote, Resurrecting Elliot was well written, sweet, hard to put down. A truly feel good story. I want to recommend it to all of you.

Cover art by Brooke Albrecht. I like it. Nothing special but simply and clean. Well done.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published July 20th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
edition languageEnglish
seriesNewport Boys #2

Newpost Boys Series (Goodreads links -add  to your TBR list:

In the Book Spotlight: Resurrecting Elliot (Newport Boys #2) by Cate Ashwood


Resurrecting Elliot (Newport Boys #2) by Cate Ashwood
Release Date: July 20, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht


Sales Links:  Dreamspinner eBook | Dreamspinner Paperback | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Nightmares and panic attacks following a horrific tragedy leave Professor Elliot Lawrence a prisoner in his own home. After months of relying on his sister as his only connection to the outside world, Elliot is desperate for a sliver of independence. But leaving the safety of his home isn’t an option, not yet, and he reaches out in the most innocuous way he can think of: grocery delivery.

Colton Kelly, retired porn star and recent college grad, is struggling at two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. During one of his grocery deliveries, he meets Elliot. Although the attraction between them is instant, they must first traverse the long road of putting Elliot back together. When disaster strikes yet again, this time in Colt’s life, Elliot’s not sure he’s strong enough to be the man Colt needs him to be.

Pages or Words: 200 pages

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

TEN MINUTES. He was going to be here in ten minutes. Maybe. The website had given Elliot a window of an hour, but with ten minutes to, he was beginning to feel anxious. His heart was racing. His palms were already sweating. No one other than his sister and Dr. Mazur had crossed the threshold of his front door since it happened.
Nothing like throwing himself into the fire.

Elliot paced around the house, tidying what had already been tidied. He didn’t want this guy thinking he was a hoarder on top of being a shut-in. He double-checked that there was no clutter on his coffee table, that the newspapers his sister brought were neatly stacked and ready for the fireplace. The side tables had been dusted—twice—and the blanket on the back of the couch straightened. Pulling down the blinds on his front windows, he peered out, looking for a strange vehicle, but the street was deserted.

He walked back into the kitchen. Spotless. He wasn’t really sure how the whole delivery thing worked, if the guy just left his things at the door or if he brought them all the way into the house. Glancing at the clock again, he saw he had just enough time to fix—

There was a loud knock at the door. This was it. He hoped he wouldn’t puke on this guy’s shoes as soon as the door opened. He felt like he might. As calmly as he could, he walked to the front door and unlocked it.

Deep breaths, just keep breathing, he reminded himself before he clutched at the doorknob, turned it, and pulled his front door open.

He almost forgot to keep breathing.

The man that stood on the other side of his door, backlit by the sun, looked up and gave a crooked smile that made Elliot’s already rapidly beating heart hustle.

“Hi, are you Elliot Lawrence?” the man asked, his southern drawl warm and comforting somehow.

“Yes,” Elliot said unintelligently… and then forgot how to speak.

“I’m Colt.”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her little boy, and their two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cate.ashwood
Facebook Author Page
Twitter: @cateashwood
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cateashwood/


Tour Dates & Stops: July 21, 2015
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