A MelanieM Review: Always Forward! Never Straight by Charley Descoteaux (revised 1/10)

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Baxter Bryan is the nerdy half of BaxCo, a start-up in Portland’s Silicon Forest creating cutting-edge high-tech toys. He’s also a hermit. When BaxCo sponsors the Portland Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Bryan decides to break out of his comfort zone and do more than listen to the music with a beer in hand. The race has barely started when he bumps into a fit, handsome man, causing sparks to fly. But the long hours needed to make BaxCo a success aren’t the only reason Bryan spends most of his time alone in his apartment.

Cay Nissen runs every day to stay in shape. He would love to run away from his job in a Silicon Forest cube farm, but keeps returning to support his teenaged daughter. His true love is music. Cay writes songs for the band he helped form in high school but doesn’t see any way to turn music into a career. The half marathon seemed like a decent way to pass a Saturday, make his boss happy, and catch a performance of his old band all at the same time. When he meets a man who sparks his interest, the safety of his cubicle isn’t the only part of his life that’s in jeopardy of changing.

I’m going to do something I don’t remember doing before and that’s revising a review.  In this case downward.  Whem originally wrote this review, I knew there were things that were bothering me about this story. I thought I has mentioned them, sort of and pushed this story away.  But the funny thing is this book and its red flags kept bothering me.  They popped up at night, during the day to the point I even discussed the elements with another reviewer to see if I was making too much of what this story included so nonchalantly.  The consensus was no, I wasn’t.

So back to this review I went and out came the revisions and comments that should have been there to begin with.

One of the things that bothered me?  The body issues here.  Cay was originally overweight.  How much overweight, it’s never said.Now Cay runs, not out of any enjoyment, but as a means to keep in shape.  His ex wife is there to make sure he doesn’t “backslide”.  That includes making her disapproval known that he’s dating Bryan who is slightly pudgy and who would rather watch the race with a glass of wine than run it.  Cay’s reaction to that disapproval?  Reassuring her that Baxter must be ok because he was at least running in the marathon.  So please don’t be nasty ok?  Wow.  So many wrong things there, so many red flags.

In my original review, I skirted the issue of domestic violence, a central issue here with the character of Baxter/Bryan.  It was plain from all the cues from Baxter’s body language that he had been beaten in the past. And indeed it comes out that it’s the reason he’s been hiding in his home for so many years. A long term abusive relationship that left him deeply depressed and unable to function until his cousin “saved” him. Another problem I had.  No mention of therapy,  Or the police?  Just the cousin intervention.  As he stayed in his home for years that was not the correct approach. Is that brought up? Apparently not.

There is also serious flaws within this relationship or within the characters as constructed.  Each reader will have to be the judge.  Cay either does a completely weird turn about in behavior in one horrifying scene with Bryan or their relationship is on shaky, twisted ground from the start.   And spoilers….after intentionally physically threatening a man who has been so physically abused to the point he wants to die (and one you say you love), that same guy then runs back to you, apologizes, buys farm you can all live in together? You say yes no problem. Hell no.

Flag, flag, flag, flag!  Doesn’t matter that you’re sad and say you’re sorry too.  What’s wrong with this picture?  Everything!!!!!\

What was I thinking with my earlier review?  Honestly I don’t know.  That story started off fine and then took a turn downward.  And it’s been bothering me ever since.

So here it is.  The revised review.  I guess I’m not recommending this story.

Cover Artist: Rainbow Danger Designs.  Eye catching and the hard torso does play to a certain part of the story. However, it could also be any other story as well. 

Sales Links:  Amazon Universal Link:  mybook.to/AlwaysForward

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 84 pages
Published January 1st 2019 by CeeTwo Publications
Original Title Always Forward! Never Straight
ASIN B07L6P9NTV
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Always Forward, Never Straight by Charley Descoteaux

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Baxter Bryan, who goes by the name of Bryan in this story, is a nerd who created a drone butler named Alfred to get his new company started.  As part of their marketing strategy, BaxCo is sponsoring the Rock and Roll half marathon in the Portland area and the over forty, out of shape tech guru has trained so he can participate.  Embarrassed about his age and body shape, and a poster child for low self-esteem, he has to think twice when a cute older guy flirts with him and then runs with him for the completion of the race.

The other man is Cay Nissen, former band member of Always Forward, Never Straight, father of a precocious teen named Mac, bisexual, also in his forties, and strikingly taken with Bryan.  The first part of the story moved along really well.  Everything was set up nicely for this romance between older guys, something I love.  Neither man shared their place of employment with the other, and though they talked about most things, work wasn’t one. Cay was embarrassed by his customer service job, and Bryan didn’t want to sound like he was bragging about being a CEO.  And though they dated quite a few times, they usually ended up at Cay’s place because Bryan had a history of abuse with his ex and, before pushing himself to participate in the race, had spent years isolated and often simply staying in his apartment.

So what could happen to cause these two distress? <spoiler>Why their jobs, of course. And here’s where the story took a nosedive for me. Cay’s boss finds out who he’s seeing and fires him. Why? Well his company is Bryan’s competitor. But, not only does he fire him, he accuses him of what amounts to corporate espionage. Now, the author has already established that the guy does customer service in a cube farm and never completed high school. But instead of realizing how bogus the accusation is and acknowledging it, he goes to Bryan’s home and rants at him about his job, and how could he have used Cay to get information, etc. etc. etc. Really?  This was so against the personality the author had built for Cay, I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t read it myself. He was deliberately cruel to Bryan, even knowing Bryan’s fear of being bullied and physically hurt, and he totally ignored the fact that he knows nothing about the tech other than how to sell it, whereas Bryan uses his knowledge and abilities to create the drones.  And this went on for a while. 

And then Bryan decides to fight for his man because he loves him. And after Cay calmed down he realized he loves Bryan too. Really?  So this was me through the whole second half: Really?  WTF? Love? Ugh. No. </spoiler> Too bad because they seemed to be going somewhere and the initial setup was sweet. 

I also need to note that there were several awkward scenes including one in which Cay held back on offering a kiss to his ex wife because he’d just given a blow job to Bryan and another in which Bryan, a blow job, thinks back about how he never showered the day before. What was the point to these two gross statements?  They totally removed any residual enjoyment of the story and dropped my rating lower.

Cover Artist: Rainbow Danger Designs. 

Sales Links:  Amazon Universal Link:  mybook.to/AlwaysForward

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 84 pages
Published January 1st 2019 by CeeTwo Publications
Original Title Always Forward! Never Straight
ASIN B07L6P9NTV
Edition Language English

Love Contemporary Romance? Check out Always Forward! Never Straight by Charley Descoteaux (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)

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Always Forward! Never Straight

by

Publisher: CeeTwo Publications

Release Date: January 1, 2019

Cover Artist: Rainbow Danger Designs

 

Blurb:

Love isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

 

Baxter Bryan is the nerdy half of BaxCo, a start-up in Portland’s Silicon Forest creating cutting-edge high-tech toys. He’s also a hermit. When BaxCo sponsors the Portland Rock and Roll Half Marathon, Bryan decides to break out of his comfort zone and do more than listen to the music with a beer in hand. The race has barely started when he bumps into a fit, handsome man, causing sparks to fly. But the long hours needed to make BaxCo a success aren’t the only reason Bryan spends most of his time alone in his apartment.

 

Cay Nissen runs every day to stay in shape. He would love to run away from his job in a Silicon Forest cube farm, but keeps returning to support his teenaged daughter. His true love is music. Cay writes songs for the band he helped form in high school but doesn’t see any way to turn music into a career. The half marathon seemed like a decent way to pass a Saturday, make his boss happy, and catch a performance of his old band all at the same time. When he meets a man who sparks his interest, the safety of his cubicle isn’t the only part of his life that’s in jeopardy of changing.

Pages:  86

Exclusive Excerpt:

The final stage held a jazz combo playing something smooth, but not too smooth, and we veered toward it as though it had been scripted. Or maybe agreed upon, but I wasn’t in any condition to speak. I didn’t want to wheeze when Cay didn’t seem to be having any trouble, so I kept my mouth shut.

In front of the stage, a bunch of tables and chairs had been arranged, along with a booth to buy water and fruit. I frowned at the recycling bins there—adorned with the swish, of course—but before we reached them, I had decided if he made any kind of move, it was on. Without much thought, I realized I didn’t care if he had a kink for bearish men or if he wanted to have revenge sex or even if he’d never been with a man before (all things that had been no-brainers in my youth, automatic no-thank-yous)—I’d do anything he let me.

By the way he’d subtly directed our route, I thought it might turn out to be “anything he told me to do” and was surprisingly okay with that, even though vanilla should be my middle name. We stopped and grabbed water, and I almost sighed aloud when I saw the way his shirt clung to his body. Damn, never had a man with a six-pack before.

I reminded myself I might not get this one—probably wouldn’t—and he invited me to sit on a bench with a gesture. Both sitting—close enough to feel the heat coming off him in waves—I noticed he was breathing heavily, and smelled amazing. His large hands worried at the bottle of water between sips. Maybe he’s a little wound up from more than the race too?

Cay leaned his forearms on his thighs and glanced my way before asking, “You like jazz?”

I tore my gaze away from his hands and didn’t let myself linger on his eyes before checking out the band. Safer. “Yeah. I collect vinyl. Jazz records.” Duh, idiot.

“So, a redhead named Bryan. Are you Irish?”

Damn, he has a sexy voice. Even if I am more gray than red now.

“Sort of. I mean, a little. How’d you get a name like Cayman? I mean, it’s unusual.”

“Mom. Dude. Island.” I glanced over, and he had one eyebrow raised.

I got it. I opened my mouth to apologize for prying but instead out came a smartass comment, “Grand Cayman?”

A grin bloomed on his lips, and he turned away and laughed, as though he’d tried to contain it but failed. He sipped his water and then said, in a low rumbling voice meant only for me, “You’ll have to be the judge of that.”

I sprayed a mouthful of water onto the pavement in front of us. A few people moved away and made comments regarding my rudeness, but when I dared a look, Cay was grinning and shaking his head as he patted my back.

 

Buy Always Forward! Never Straight or read free on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon Universal Link:  mybook.to/AlwaysForward

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43096991-always-forward-never-straight?from_search=true

About the Author:

Charley Descoteaux is the author of the Buchanan House Love Stories. Book One was a USA Today Must-Read Romance.

Charley has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through a single day without stories.

Rattle Charley’s cages:

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Blog:  http://cdescoteauxwrites.com/

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Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/CharleyDescoteauxAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CharleyDescote

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Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/charleydescote/

e-mail: c.descoteauxwrites@gmail.com

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A Lila Release Day Review: Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Chase Holland spends his days painting Portland scenes to hang in local businesses, neglecting his own surrealist style. After twenty-five years as a full-time artist, he’s frustrated that his career has stalled, but churning out the equivalent of corporate art is better than getting a day job. Chase and Garrett have been together—off and on, but mostly on—for a decade. If asked, they would both say the source of their trouble is the seventeen-year age gap. The truth is less clear-cut. Life would be so much easier if Chase could make a living with his own art, or if Garrett held less conventional ideas about relationships.

Garrett Frisch has been watching their friends get married for the past two years, and it’s taking an emotional toll. When he proposes as a way to keep them together permanently, he thinks he’s being responsible, but Chase is ambivalent and hurt and can’t hide it. It doesn’t help that Garrett’s anxiety is out of control and he’s dealing with insecurities about his own art career. They will have to do their least favorite thing—talk about something more important than which food cart to visit—if they are to get the happy ending they both want.

Art House is the last book in the Buchanan House series and it delivers a lovely new story. Plus, it gives us a last hurrah with the rest of the couples. We get to see a little more of their journeys and how their love and friendships have developed over time. It’s nice to be part of their family.

As for this particular book, I have to be honest, it’s not one of my favorites but it’s the most real of them all. It is very depressing, but not because of the content. It’s because the reader becomes one with Chase and Garrett. Their troubles are palpable and the reader has no other option but to share the burden with them.

Don’t get me wrong, the book is interesting and hard to put down. The love and passion between the MCs are breathtaking and the extremes they go to keep each other from falling apart are incredible. Their relationship takes place within ten years but is not until the very end that they turned a new page and commit to their future. It’s not easy but it is exactly what they needed.

Everyone in this story plays an important part in Chase’s and Garrett’s happy ending. They are the bumpers that kept them from losing themselves in the darkness that followed them. Their actions, words, and encouragement are intense and hopeful. This was definitely the right couple to wrap-up this series.

The book has another perfect cover by L.C. Chase. It’s not only beautiful but it goes perfectly with the story and the covers for the rest of the series.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Amazon | iBooks

Book Details:

ebook, 254 pages
Published: August 21, 2018, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781640805668
Edition Language: English

Series: Buchanan House
Book #1: Buchanan House
Book #2: Pride Weekend
Book #3: Tiny House
Book #4: Safe House
Book #5: Holiday Weekend
Book #6: Art House

Charley Descoteaux on Writing, Characters and Art House (Buchanan House #6) (author interview)

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Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date:  August 21, 2018
Cover Artist:L.C. Chase

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press eBook and   Paperback  

Dreamspinner Press, Buchanan House series page 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Charley Descoteaux here today talking about writing, characters and the lastest in the Buchanan House series, Art House.  Welcome, Charley.

 

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words Interview with Charley Descoteaux

Hello & thank you for visiting me on my Art House tour! I’m thrilled to be here—thank you for having me!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Yes and no. From the age of nine I loved sci fi—I watched episodes of Star Trek (the original series) every chance I got, and read anything I could get my hands on that was set in space. As a teenager, though, I read (and re-read) S. E. Hinton. It felt almost impossible to find books with characters who were like me—who didn’t live fancy, exciting lives and always got everything they wanted in the end. It took until I discovered Romance (by “borrowing” my mom’s when I was about 13) before I understood that escaping into a contemporary (or historical) book could be just as satisfying as heading out into space.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

They all get something from me, usually when I’m getting to know them. Once I get past the halfway point in the draft a story begins to take on a life of its own—and so do the characters. When that happens the characters are more like someone who’s had similar life experiences than fictional versions of me. In Art House, I gave the main characters pieces of invisible disabilities I deal with, but they experience depression and anxiety in their own unique ways.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

Right now, Art House is my favorite. I think my favorite among my stories changes based on what stage the story is in—when I’m drafting or releasing a story, that one will be my favorite. If I didn’t have a new release, I’d probably say my favorite was either Torque or Speedbump. Both are under my other pen name, and are more bisexual fiction than Romance, but I think those are the stories I’m most proud of.

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

I hope not! I love complex and conflicted characters—the more flawed the better! Hopefully that doesn’t make it impossible for readers to empathize with my characters. It’s true, many readers are looking for an escape, and not everyone loves angst as much as I do, but I think it’s worse for a character to be “too perfect” than to have so many flaws they might be read as “too real.”

 

Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

All. The. Time. I didn’t get much in the way of parenting while I was growing up so I learned most of what I know about how to be a good human from books. First I got that information by reading them, and then by writing them. I tend to work through issues in abstract ways, though, and usually don’t recognize the way my characters’ problems intersect with my own until after the book is drafted. Or edited. 😉

 

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

At the beach! I love the beach but haven’t been very often in the past five years or so. In February I went on an author retreat, though, and that was ideal. We had an Air BnB right on the coast and those few days were paradise on Earth!

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

This is a hard question, one I’ve been struggling with lately. I’m not sure what I want to write, and since I’ll probably never be able to write full time the joy is the most important thing for me. I’m open to suggestions!

Seriously. Suggest away! Every suggestion is an entry to my giveaway! At the end of the tour every name will go into a hat and the winner will get a signed paperback of Art House, some Buchanan House and Dreamspinner swag, and a surprise or two. This giveaway is worldwide.

 

While you’re thinking about what I should do next, here’s an excerpt from Art House.

Chase woke a half hour later feeling more rested than he had in the past two weeks of nights. And then realized he was alone in the large bed. He didn’t need to open his eyes to know that Garrett wasn’t lying beside him. His throat constricted, and in that moment, he thought he experienced true despair.

He rolled toward Garrett’s side of the bed, the sheet that might still smell like him, depending on how long ago he’d gone, and saw him. Garrett was sitting on the floor beside his easel, curled into a ball, hugging his legs and drawing on the wall near the floor. Beautifully nude. Garrett must have heard the rustle of the bed because his hand stopped.

“Are you tagging the bedroom wall?”

Garrett turned his head and rested his cheek on his knee. His smile warmed Chase to the marrow of his bones. “Sorry.”

“Finish it? I love watching you work.”

Garrett’s smile turned a touch shy and he resumed his work, not quite turning away to do so. Chase meant what he said about watching, but at the moment he couldn’t spare much energy for the actual content of said work. He was happy to lounge on the bed and watch the fine muscles in Garrett’s arm and shoulder, to draw his gaze down his lean torso and the curve of his delectable ass.

“You’re the most talented artist I’ve ever seen.”

“Am not,” Garrett answered quickly, with a smile in his voice. “You’re better.”

Chase sputtered out something that passed for laughter. “What? That’s crazy. I paint the equivalent of hipster advertisements. Corporate art.” Chase waved at the canvases in the corner nearest the door—views of Mt. Hood and Multnomah Falls and the Japanese Gardens in various stages of completion. He’d had more trouble than usual keeping his mind on a single canvas, but it didn’t matter much when the paintings were destined to hang in Puddle Jumper’s dining room to replace the ones purchased by tourists. He did like the two versions of the Portland Oregon sign, though: he’d replaced the words “Portland Oregon” on the iconic sign with the name of a local band on one, and a popular microbrewery on the other. At least they’re different.

“Just because you do that, doesn’t mean that’s all you can do.”

About Art House...

Chase Holland spends his days painting Portland scenes to hang in local businesses, neglecting his own surrealist style. After twenty-five years as a full-time artist, he’s frustrated that his career has stalled, but churning out the equivalent of corporate art is better than getting a day job. Chase and Garrett have been together—off and on, but mostly on—for a decade. If asked, they would both say the source of their trouble is the seventeen-year age gap. The truth is less clear-cut. Life would be so much easier if Chase could make a living with his own art, or if Garrett held less conventional ideas about relationships.

Garrett Frisch has been watching their friends get married for the past two years, and it’s taking an emotional toll. When he proposes as a way to keep them together permanently, he thinks he’s being responsible, but Chase is ambivalent and hurt and can’t hide it. It doesn’t help that Garrett’s anxiety is out of control and he’s dealing with insecurities about his own art career. They will have to do their least favorite thing—talk about something more important than which food cart to visit—if they are to get the happy ending they both want.

About the Author

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Rattle Charley’s cages:

A Lila Release Day Review: Holiday Weekend (Buchanan House #5) by Charley Descoteaux

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

holiday-weekendRyan Orchard moved from small-town Idaho to Portland almost two years ago and still feels like a hick. When Paulie Nesbitt dumped him, he wasn’t even surprised. Despite losing twenty-five pounds since then, Ryan’s confidence is nonexistent, and his life has stalled. Not only is he convinced the career he wants is beyond his reach, he’s given up on relationships. A new job at a familiar restaurant—and his gorgeous coworker—could be just what Ryan needs to believe in himself again.

Glenn Hernandez might be the only nineteen-year-old in Portland who dreads his days off. Between his horrible housing situation and the ever-present temptation to crawl back into the bottle, Glenn prefers to keep busy. He volunteers at the Elliott Foundation House, a homeless shelter helping LGBTQ former sex workers. As an alum of the shelter himself, Glenn finds it hard to leave his past behind. But when the new server at the trendy restaurant where he works catches Glenn’s eye and works his way into his heart, Glenn finally has a reason to start a new life.

Holiday Weekend is a sweet novella. Just like Pride Weekend, this is a short and to the point side story. We get to see the main characters from the other books, but they are simply part of the overall atmosphere. In reality, Glenn’s and Ryan’s story don’t interfere with the relationships of those living at the Buchanan House.

This story has a more new adult feel than the others. It takes us through Glenn’s and Ryan’s journey of self-discovery and trust. They came from different backgrounds, but circumstances only made them stronger in the end. I’m glad for the slow burn and the time they spent getting to know each other.

Both characters were flawed but they were able to be there for the other. They worked well together, and that translated to their relationship. They were sweet and almost innocent, even after everything they went through. And I loved seeing how real Glenn’s day to day struggle was.

I wanted to see a little more of the time frames that were skipped over, but I understand the constraints of a novella.  It’s nice that they got their HEA, but it was just too fast for the reader to really get invested in the couple. Overall, this story is a nice addition to the series.

Another perfect cover by L.C. Chase. It matches the series and the holiday season just like the story itself.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 125 pages
Published: December 16, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1634778200 (ISBN13: 9781634778206)
Edition Language: English

Series: Buchanan House
Book #1: Buchanan House
Book #2: Pride Weekend
Book #3: Tiny House
Book #4: Safe House
Book #5: Holiday Weekend

 

A Lila Release Day Review: Safe House (Buchanan House #4) by Charley Descoteaux

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

safe-house-by-charley-descoteauxKyle Shimoda is an asshole magnet, has been for as long as he can remember. At forty-seven, he doesn’t see much chance for improving his luck in love. His friends who run Buchanan House, a gay retreat on the central Oregon coast, know he wants to find “someone nice” to settle down with, and they set him up with Officer Brandon Smith. Kyle has a turbulent history with law enforcement, but he can’t deny his attraction to the buff cop.

Brandon has been a police officer in Lincoln City almost since the day he graduated from high school over thirty years ago. He’s cultivated the facade of a serious, disciplined law enforcement officer, but beneath his overdeveloped chest beats the soft heart of a drama queen. A cancer scare shifts Bran’s focus from finding a serious relationship to having as much sex as he can—putting his goals squarely at odds with Kyle’s. If he can’t find the courage to be honest about his feelings for Kyle, the happiness they’ve both been searching for could slip through their fingers.

Safe House goes beyond a simple love story and into each main character as individuals. I like how we were able to see them with their friends and families before they were together and how well it worked when both their worlds met. We see how their past framed their future and relationship approach. Kyle and Brandon didn’t need each other to be great characters, but they complemented the other; giving the reader the opportunity to enjoy mature men falling in love.

I enjoyed Kyle’s and Brandon’s story. They were perfect for each other and had the life experience to value the small details that made them a lovely couple. There’s a bit of miscommunication between them, but not enough to take over the entire story. Their times together in bed were hot and their interactions sweet.

The cancer scare and Kyle history with police were the only two aspects that kept me from giving this story a higher rating. Not because they were part of the book, but because they became secondary and almost were solved too quickly. In the beginning, the author did an excellent job bringing them to the forefront, but after the MCs’ relationship starts, their backgrounds get pushed aside.

As in the previous books, every character taking part in the series has a reason to be there and are as important in this particular installment. It’s also nice to get updates from those we met previously.

Overall, this book has a well-balanced amount of flirt, smexy times, and low angst making it a perfect read for a fall afternoon.

Another beautiful cover by L.C. Chase. It matches the rest of the series and shows important aspects of the story.

Sale Links

        

 

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: September 19, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634776073
Edition Language: English

Series: Buchanan House
Book #1: Buchanan House
Book #2: Pride Weekend
Book #3: Tiny House
Book #4: Safe House

 

A Lila Review: Tiny House (Buchanan House #3) by Charley Descoteaux

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Tiny HouseWe were first introduced to Nathan and Paulie in book one, Buchanan House, together with the rest of their misfit band. Their story starts just after the ending of book #2, Pride Weekend. We get to see how Nathan’s life changes in minutes and how important his connection with Paulie it’s to both of them.

For eighteen years, they had danced around each other but have been the only ones that didn’t see how deep their connection was. They struggled with their daily life and after moving apart, they think that what they feel for each other wouldn’t have the opportunity to blossom.

During most of the story, Paulie and Nathan are just friends, struggling to overcome their circumstances without letting others help. Nathan’s abandonment issues are taking over the new life he wanted to build. Paulie’s self-image troubles made him settle for less than he deserved. It’s up to them to take a leap of faith and trust that the other would be there to catch them.

Tiny House is a lovely story. I liked Nathan in the previous books and was happy to see that his story lived up to my expectations. Even when in pain, he maintained a serenity that brought people in and made them feel special. Paulie too had that quality, but mostly, he was the only person, other than Eric, that made Nathan feel love.

Even when the main characters have had sex multiple times over the years, this story is a slow burn. Maybe too slow in some parts. I wanted them to have a little more in-page time together, but in the end, the distance made their HEA sweeter.

More characters were introduced to their eclectic bunch, and we get to see more of the family Nathan left behind. This story is more than just a romance. It’s a promise that life gets better and that a family goes beyond the one you were born into. The Buchanan House is the place where everyone can feel safe and love, and Nathan is one of its pillars.

Overall, another great story in this series. And since I’m an architectural geek, I loved seeing the Tiny House take form and the way Nathan and Paulie make it theirs. It was a cocoon for their love affair.

The cover by L.C. Chase matches the previous two books in the series, but it felt rushed and a bit generic. Perhaps an issue with the lettering.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: April 29, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1634768779 (ISBN13: 9781634768771)
Edition Language: English

Series: Buchanan House
Book #1: Buchanan House
Book #2: Pride Weekend
Book #3: Tiny House

A Lila Review: Pride Weekend (Buchanan House #2) by Charley Descoteaux

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★

Pride WeekendIn this free short story, we meet Adam Byron and Silas Grant. They’re looking to enjoy a good time during Pride weekend at the Oregon Coast, but they couldn’t afford to stay at the Buchanan House individually. They agreed, online, to share the expenses of one room, no strings attached.

Adam and Silas had the opportunity to exchange text messages before their trip and get to know a little bit more about each other. Even when they agreed before hand to keep it platonic between them, as soon as they see each other their attraction is quick and mutual.

We get to be part of their weekend. Plus, we see their interactions with some of the characters from the previous book. By the end of the story, the reader understands the magic of the Buchanan House.

Pride Weekend is a lovely story. It has the romance and the magic that was missing in the first book of the series. Perhaps because it concentrates in just one weekend in the life of the main characters and we get to experience the new found lust they have for each other.

This short story is a simple, but a sweet snippet in the life of two guests at the Buchanan House. They spent most of their time in their room, but even so, we learned about their past and what they want for their future.

There are a lot of smexy scenes, but the reader gets a sense of place and the opportunity to see a new relationship develop. What starts as lust, changes rapidly into great chemistry, and unexpected possibilities.

Overall, a great, sexy short– filled with an easy friendship and the start of an amazing relationship. The pacing works well. The characters are memorable, and their HFN is strong enough to be considered the start of a HEA.

The cover by L.C. Chase is beautiful. The colors, the couple, and the atmosphere are the perfect setting for this short story. Really inviting.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 50 pages
Published: April 22, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634768757
Edition Language: English

Series: Buchanan House
Book #1: Buchanan House
Book #2: Pride Weekend
Book #3: Tiny House

In the Spotlight: Charley Descoteaux ‘Torque’ (character interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Torque by Charley Descoteaux
Release Date: February 23, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Charley Descoteaux author of Torque! Hi Charley, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about your current book.

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Torque is a Romance featuring a bisexual man, a man on the ace spectrum, and a trans woman with no plans to transition surgically. Most of it takes place in a working wrecking yard, so no glitz or glamor, but a lot of angst. Thank you for inviting me to visit, I’m thrilled to be here! Instead of hogging the spotlight, I’m turning it over to Mick, the main character of my novella, Torque.

  • What do you find attractive in a man?

Mick: Confidence. I like that in women too. 😉

  • The first thing that went through your head when you saw Scotty Bell.

Mick: How much trouble I was in. Same with Mercy. Both of them turned my crank in ways I never expected and didn’t think I’d be able to resist.

  • Do you think you’ll insist the author visits you again?

Mick: I don’t know. It was hard enough making it through the one story, not sure I’m up for being tortured like that again. I already have more than I ever thought to want, so I’ll probably let her move on and drag another poor sucker through the mud and the grease instead of calling attention to myself again.

  • Before you met Scotty, what was your ideal man?

Mick: Before I met Scotty I didn’t think there was such a thing as an ideal man. I also thought it didn’t matter—I’d never have a man anyway, so what good would it do to think about what kind I wanted?

  • You’re going out for dinner. What’s your favorite food?

Mick: One I didn’t cook! Ask Scotty, I can’t cook for shit, even with instructions right on the box. Seriously, though, I love Mexican food and could live on burritos. And pizza.

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Blurb

Sometimes letting things get complicated is the best way to figure it all out.

Mick Randall is on the run, from the biker culture he grew up in and his impossible vision of love. Alaska should be far enough to escape his old life—until he rolls into a wrecking yard and gets lost in a pair of pale, bottle-green eyes.

Scotty Bell has spent years learning to channel his fiery temper into the heat of a welding torch. His sexual heat has always been slower to ignite, but one look at Mick rouses confusion alongside desire. In all his life, he’s only been attracted to one other person—his best friend, Mercy Taylor.

Mick lands a temporary job at the yard, and finds an uneasy crash pad at Scotty’s place…where the ragged ends of his emotions get tangled up in Scotty and Mercy’s relationship.

But when Mick hears a Harley engine from his past bearing down on him, his first instinct is to go back to the half-life he’d been living. Lest his secrets destroy the only two people who’ve ever made him feel whole.

Warning: Contains references to abuse, subversive ideas about sexual identity and gender expression, and a free-range bisexual on a mission.

 

Pages or Words: 47,337 words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Ménage/Poly, Romance, *Trans, Asexual, LGBTQ+ Fiction

Excerpt

Copyright © 2016 Charley Descoteaux
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Mick slept on the couch for two weeks before Scott let him get dinner. Mick brought a pizza, hot wings and a six-pack. When he offered Scott a beer, Mick thought for a second he was about to get decked.

“No thanks, I don’t drink. But you go ahead.”

Mick put five bottles in the fridge and popped the top on the sixth. The long pull of rich beer felt like cool water after he’d been walking for weeks in the desert.

“Never?”

“Nope. I got enough of that before I was even born, I don’t need any more.”

It only took half a beer for Mick to get past the uncomfortable feeling he should’ve asked Scott to tell him more, or that he should’ve switched to Mountain Dew. Scott rented an On Demand movie, something forgettable with vampires, and they sat in their places on the couch and divided their attention between the movie and the pizza for the next two hours. Tom camped out in his usual spot between their thighs, graciously accepting all the chicken and pepperoni tributes offered to him.

After the movie was over they watched another one on HBO, but didn’t pay much attention to it. Mick had a nice buzz going and was happy to sit back and listen to Scott talk about his project—the VW Microbus he was converting into a flatbed. A warm, fuzzy feeling Mick almost didn’t recognize as happiness set up camp in his gut, and life was good.

He thought, more than once or twice, that Scott leaned toward him in a way that was a little more than friendly, but it had to be the beer.

Too bad.

Mick jerked in surprise when he realized he’d started to lean toward Scott. He had no right to be “more than friendly” to Scott. None at all.

Scott reached out to grasp his shoulder. “You okay, Mick?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Are you ready for bed?” Scott kneaded his shoulder, sending a current through his body.

“The movie isn’t over.”

“It’s not very good. If you don’t want to finish it, that’s okay with me.” Scott smiled and sat back against the couch, releasing Mick’s shoulder.

He couldn’t help himself, he leaned forward. Only a little bit. He didn’t want to lose Scott’s touch. In that moment, he couldn’t think of anything more important than Scott touching him, not even self-preservation.

Mick Randall wasn’t a stranger to self-medicating with alcohol but before he found Bell’s he hadn’t had a lot of money to spare, and lately he hadn’t had the time. Together, those circumstances had turned him into a lightweight. That had to be the explanation for why he saw a come-on in every glance and heard innuendo where surely Scott didn’t mean any. He’d have to be a lightweight to want so badly to respond to Scott’s touch with an embrace.

Maybe I should quit drinking.

Mick wasn’t capable of walking in a straight line by the time he hit the can, but it didn’t matter. Four beers was plenty and he’d take the other two out of Scott’s fridge the next day and remember not to bring more. If he wanted a drink, he wouldn’t have to drive far. When he left the bathroom his thoughts centered on that warm, happy feeling, and what he could get up to the next day. Before he knew what was happening, Scott had him backed against the wall, both hands spread across his chest.

All that fuzzy warm happiness disappeared, replaced by a tiny shiver of panic mixed with a side of relief. The relief tangled with a mix of “fucking finally” and “what the fuck” that made Mick dizzy. Or maybe that’s just the beer.

“Scott. Maybe I should sleep somewhere else tonight.”

“Yeah. Like in my bed with me.”

“I was thinking like my car, or a motel.”

Scott frowned and pushed him back against the wall harder, caressing his chest and shoulders as he did. The contrast of the unyielding wall against his shoulder blades and the man in front of him spun Mick’s head around once. “You don’t feel anything like Mercy. I knew you wouldn’t.”

“Don’t you think Mercy would—”

“She wouldn’t care. I’m not the only one she fools around with.” Scott leaned against him, chest to chest, close enough to kiss.

“Let me go.” Mick took hold of Scott’s shoulders and tried to push him back, but Scott was stronger than he looked.

“No. I don’t want to.”

“What am I supposed to do now?” Mick couldn’t see a clear path to the door. Panic reared up in the back of his mind—he had no game plan for this, no idea what his part should be.

“You can let me blow you. Or you can blow me. I don’t care who goes first. You want me, don’t you?”

Mick tried to speak but couldn’t. He couldn’t get a decent breath either, not with Scott’s hands on him. He nodded and tried to pull himself together.

“Haven’t you ever hooked up before?”

“Yeah.” Liar.

“Well, so have I. I’m not a little kid. You don’t have to—”

“I know you’re not.” Mick squeezed Scott’s shoulders, anxious to learn how his skin felt over those hard muscles, how those muscles looked when he moved. “I know.”

“So why—”

“I’ve hooked up before.”

“So why not with me?”

“Because it’s different with you. I mean, it would be— I can’t…”

“You think I’m an idiot? Too dumb to know what to—”

“No! No. That has nothing to do—” Mick saw something in Scott’s eyes that made the rest of that sentence turn to dust in his throat. He swallowed hard and was about to—no idea what he was about to do, but he couldn’t stand there forever—when he saw something else that stopped him. “You’re shaking.”

“Yeah.” Scott’s voice had a hard edge so when he surged forward, his erection pressing against Mick’s thigh, it was unexpected.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m trying to keep from punching you in the face.”

“Why do you want to punch me in the face?”

“Because you’re pushing me away. I thought you liked me.”

“I do like you. But—”

“Don’t say it’s not right. I’m dumb but I’m not—”

“I didn’t say you were dumb. You’re not dumb.” Mick could barely speak past his desire, so his last few words came out as breathless as he felt. He’d started panting and the sound filled the short hallway. “Please don’t punch me in the face.”

Scott frowned, but fear and pain was mixed up with the anger and desire showing in his light bottle-green eyes. Mick felt it all right along with him.

“Maybe I should go.”

When Scott didn’t respond Mick slid against the wall, sideways. In just a few steps, Mick wasn’t supporting all of Scott’s weight anymore, didn’t feel his tense muscles or his heat. Mick gingerly pushed off from the wall and walked backward, toward the living room.

“You don’t have to.”

“I think I do.” Mick sat on the sofa to pull on his boots and Scott dropped onto the cushion beside him. Mick straightened, one boot on and one off, and Scott grabbed him and kissed him.

Buy the book: SamhainAmazon USAll Romance eBooks

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Meet the Author

Charley Descoteaux misspent a large chunk of her youth on the back of a Harley, meeting people and having adventures that sometimes pop up in her fiction. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. Charley has survived earthquakes, tornadoes and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

23-Feb

Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Book Lovers 4Ever, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Posy Roberts

1-Mar

The Novel Approach, Velvet Panic, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Hearts on Fire

8-Mar

Louise Lyons, Foxylutely Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, the Twins: Talon ps & Princess so, Inked Rainbow Reads

15-Mar

Full Moon Dreaming, Elin Gregory, Alpha Book Club, Bayou Book Junkie

22-Mar

Butterfly-O-Meter, Kirsty Loves Books, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Unquietly Me

29-Mar

Jessie G. Books, QUEERcentric Books, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Love Bytes

5-Apr

Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Divine Magazine, Prism Book Alliance, Molly Lolly

12-Apr

Nephy Hart, Happily Ever Chapter, MM Good Book Reviews

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Amazon gift card.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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