A Stella Release Day Review: Larry Boots, Exterminator by John Inman

Standard

RATING 5 out of 5 stars

Kenny Long is living a new life. Blinded in an accident, he has taken control of his unexpected reality the best way he can, and it’s working out better than he hoped.

Of course Larry Boots doesn’t know any of that. All he sees is a beautiful man sitting on a park bench.

Larry has a few problems of his own: his mother. His job. The lack of romance in his life.

His job. In the course of that job, Larry strikes up a friendship with Kenny. The next thing he knows, he’s so head-over-heels in love, even his mother doesn’t seem so bad. Of course his career is still a problem, but he’s working on that. Hopefully he’ll have the problem resolved before the man he’s being paid to murder succeeds in murdering him first.

And before the man he loves finds out he’s a cold-blooded killer.

As everything John Inman writes, this new story was a huge winner to me. I fell so easily into the reading I finished it too soon. Sure, it dealt with some heavy themes, Kerry’s blindness, Larry job as a hitman (don’t call him that!), all the people hurt by the criminals Larry had to take care of. A couple of times my heart hurt a lot, nonetheless the novel had a light tone, in the relationship between the MCs, but especially when Larry’s mum was involved. She was unbelievable funny and so over the top, I laughed out loud.

I wasn’t sure I was going to like Larry Boots,Exterminator so much, because I usually prefer when both Mcs have their own POV, here I got just Larry’s. And it was enough. Through his words and thoughts, I was able to see all the fears Kenny had about his disability and about the beginning of something real and powerful with the other man. I so wanted to hug him and support his feelings.

If you like a story with all of these elements, plus some action, mystery, well written, with amazing characters, you can’t miss this new release by John Inman.

The cover art by Kanaxa is different and very fitting, I love it

SALE LINKS : Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 198 pages

Published June 4th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ASIN B07NSH9V3N

Edition Language English

An Alisa Release Day Review: Larry Boots, Exterminator by John Inman

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Kenny Long is living a new life. Blinded in an accident, he has taken control of his unexpected reality the best way he can, and it’s working out better than he hoped.

Of course Larry Boots doesn’t know any of that. All he sees is a beautiful man sitting on a park bench.

Larry has a few problems of his own: his mother. His job. The lack of romance in his life.

His job. In the course of that job, Larry strikes up a friendship with Kenny. The next thing he knows, he’s so head-over-heels in love, even his mother doesn’t seem so bad. Of course his career is still a problem, but he’s working on that. Hopefully he’ll have the problem resolved before the man he’s being paid to murder succeeds in murdering him first.

And before the man he loves finds out he’s a cold-blooded killer.

This was an entertaining story.  I believe the last book I read by this author was more serious but this one has a playful tone throughout the whole thing, even when Larry is on the job which I appreciated and I think worked perfect for this book.

These two meet by chance but don’t let that stand in their way, especially Larry.  I loved their connection from the beginning and even when Kenny finds out the truth about Larry it doesn’t really deter him.

We saw this story through Larry’s eyes which is where the playful tone comes from but he is observant which allows us to read the other characters a bit better.  I hated how hesitant Kenny was and how sure that no one would want him long term but I felt Larry did an amazing job of showing him and standing by him even when Kenny tried to push him away.

The cover art by Kanaxa is great, I love the visual of where Larry and Kenny met.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 191 pages

Published: June 4, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64405-224-2

Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: A Party to Murder by John Inman

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Wow! As a longtime fan of Agatha Christie, I am completely impressed with the quality and pace of this mystery. In my opinion, it’s worthy of sitting on the same shelf as Christie.

Both Jamie Roma and Derek Lee have been friends since childhood but they’ve recently discovered that their feelings evolved to more—their chemistry reached a flashpoint, and they’re now lovers. As the story progresses, each man realizes that the man they called best friend all their life is now the man they want to finish that life beside. It’s fun-loving Jamie who prods them to accept an invitation to a weekend house party that each received separately. In a very rural area, neither man counted on the raging thunderstorm, complete with lightning and a flash flood that adds to the creepiness of the isolated location.

Their hosts seem to be absent—that is, until they discover the corpses of an elderly couple in the basement. While the storm rages, they also find their cell phones missing, their tires slashed and the car engine wires cut. The lightning, thunder, and high wind add just the right ambiance to this grisly tale as one by one, the murders continue. Reminiscent of And Then There Were None by Christie, but with a modern-day twist, I was totally caught up in the story from the beginning. 

The author set up the personalities of the main characters with words, memories, and dialogue about their current circumstances right from the beginning, and I realized by the second chapter that I liked these guys and didn’t want anything to happen to them. Getting me on their side early in the story was key to my enjoyment and kept me glued to my Kindle as I turned each page.

I enjoyed the romance between these two really nice guys whose friendship and love is tested under duress, and I enjoyed trying to solve the mystery as the author revealed more and more about each person within the spooky old house before the deaths started to pile up and there weren’t many characters left to pick from.

There’s nothing quite as good as an outstanding story that can take me away from my day-to-day world and transport me to a place where I can enjoy someone else’s drama. Add MM romance to that and then give me a mystery and I’m sold. I very highly recommend this book to those who are looking for a challenging mystery with romance and the spooky ambiance of a high-energy thunderstorm at night. 

The cover by Paul Richmond, done in a spooky nighttime gray tone, depicts two young men, one with his head on the other’s shoulder from behind, the other with his head tossed back and his torso naked. They’re set against the backdrop of a darkened house with one tiny light showing in the gloom. The title is in white fading to dark red and the whole piece just screams murder. Perfect for this outstanding story within.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 214 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644051368
Edition Language English

An Ashez Release Day Review: Strays and Lovers by John Inman

Standard
Rating : 4 stars out of 5

Forty-six-year-old Eddie Hightower has a problem. He’s all alone. The only thing that saves him from facing that stark reality is the fact that he isn’t really alone at all. He has a house full of pets and a refuge full of stray unwanted animals he spends every waking hour trying to place in homes. While he loves what he does with all the joy in his heart, that same poor aging heart is still missing something. And Eddie knows exactly what it is. Romance.

But wait. Cue the music. Suddenly, beyond all hope, it happens. In the small desert town of Spangle, California, where Eddie lives, comes a sad young stranger with piercing gray eyes. They are the palest, most stunningly beautiful eyes Eddie has ever seen. Poor Eddie Hightower is swallowed up in their silver depths and disappears without a gurgle. The stranger’s name is Gray Grissom. Gray, like his eyes. Without hesitation Eddie opens his doors—and his heart—to the lost young man. After all, that’s what Eddie does. He finds homes for strays. But this is one stray Eddie intends to keep for himself.

I love books involving animals, and, I mean, these are some well written animals!  I can’t believe how much the animals play an integral part in the storyline, and how adorable and well described they were.  From their actions to their playing aspects and how they looked – it was unreal.

I didn’t mind Gray or Eddie – Eddie acted his age (mostly, aside from the occasional awkward giggle) and Gray (also an awkward giggler) and his past were a truly interesting integration as well into the story.

I need myself a Louie – you know what, I’ll take every single one of the pets in the book I was seriously in love with them before the story was over.

Slow burn, sweet, funny, cute definitely a must if you love a good animal included story.  I thought the “romance” portions of the book fell a little flat but overall it was a fun read.

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas – 100% fitting, and adorable
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 152 pages
Expected publication: November 30th 2018
ISBN 139781640808720
Edition Language English

John Inman on Writing, Research, and his new release Nightfall (author interview and giveaway)

Standard

Nightfall by John Inman

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host John Inman back again, talking about his latest release Nightfall. Welcome, John.

♦︎

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with John Inman ~

Q.–Does research play a role in choosing what genre you write.
A.–Well, research certainly had a lot to do with writing NIGHTFALL.  One of the reasons I had never tried writing science fiction before was because I knew that to write about a scientific subject, you have to know a little bit about it. Even with science fiction where the plot may not be exactly realistic, you still have to have a basic knowledge of the real subject before you can start skewing the facts.  Even so, I’m sure I made a few factual goof-ups.  So if there are any scientists out there looking to read a gay romance, you might want to pick up SHY instead.  In that one, at least, I knew what the hell I was talking about.  Haha.
Q.–How do you choose your covers?
A.–I’m glad you brought up book covers, because I think the cover for NIGHTFALL is absolutely beautiful.  It was done by Anna Sikorska at Triferet Designs.  I love the colors, the panorama of the red sky, and the two characters in silhouette are perfect.  The way I choose a cover is just try to pick a moment from the story that will maybe translate visually.  I give the idea to the incredible artists at DSP, and they come up with a few choices for me to pick from.  I’ve been happy with all my book covers.  Some are memorable, some are just nice, but I really have liked them all.  I’ve often thought how hard it must be for writers who self-publish to find the artwork for their stories.  I’m so glad I have a publisher behind me to make that job so much easier.
Q.–Do you have a favorite among your own stories, and why?
A.–I think some of my best stories are SHY, THE HIKE, LOVING HECTOR (love the donut fight) and the Belladonna Arms series, all five of them.  But my absolute favorite is THE BOYS ON THE MOUNTAIN.  That’s the book that got me to New York City with a nomination for the Lambdas, and that’s the book I fought hardest to write while my lover at the time was dying of cancer and my business was going to pot.  Everything at that point in my life was falling apart except for that book.  It’s my longest novel and it took me a flat year to write it, but that’s the one I’m most proud of.  I know it’s horror, but I love it anyway.  Maybe just because it was so hard to finish.  But most definitely because of the Lambda nomination.  That meant everything to me.  Even losing didn’t hurt.  Getting there was the main thing.  A highpoint of my life.  And having my husband there with me made it even better.
Q.–Why do you write?
A.–That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it.  I think I write just because it’s something I’ve always had to do.  It’s like a compulsion.  Even when I was a kid I was writing stories.  I don’t remember exactly, but maybe even with crayon, haha.   I’m happiest when I’m writing.  I love the solitude of it.  I like the fact that I can go anywhere I want and I can bring anybody in the whole wide world of imagination along with me when I go.  Some people talk about how they struggle to write.  Not because of the turmoil going on in their lives, but just the simple problem of putting down one word after another.  I get hungup sometimes in the middle of a story, but I never come to a screeching halt.  Knock on wood, not yet anyway.  I just plod along, move the story forward a little bit to get away from the problem area, and go back later to repair the damage.  Stopping is the worst thing a writer can do.  I think basically, the main reason I write is because I have never found anything else that makes me happier.
Q.– If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write where would that be, and why?
A.–I think the best place for me to write is right where I am right now.  I have my own office overlooking a birdbath and fir trees in the backyard.  I have the beautiful weather of Southern California shining down on the house.  I have a cat sleeping on either side of me.  I have total silence except for the sound of birds outside, and I have my husband piddling around in some other part of the house, humming to himself sometimes but always trying to be quiet about it.  I think if a writer is happy with himself inside, it doesn’t matter where he is physically when he tries to write.  The real story comes from the heart.  If he has peace and happiness there, then he’s got it made.  Nothing else should be a problem.
Q.: Any last words about your new release, NIGHTFALL?
A.: I just hope a decent percentage of the people who read it, enjoy it.  Book releases are always a little nervewracking.  A few reviews will hurt, a few others will make you feel good.  Then one day you get an email from some farm kid in Podunk, Arkansas, telling you how much your book meant to him, and all the other stuff is forgotten.
I want to take a minute to thank everyone at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for letting me spend a few minutes talking about my new book.   I hope NIGHTFALL finds a welcome home in a few laps and I hope everyone who gives it a chance will find a smile or a gasp here and there as they travel through the pages.
Keep reading, everybody!
John
_________

About Nightfall

Joe Chase and Ned Bowden are damaged men. They each bear scars from surviving the world they were born in. Deep scars, both physical and emotional.

When fate offers its first kind act by bringing the two together, suddenly their scars don’t seem so bad, and their lives don’t feel so empty.

Yet that kindness comes at a price.

Just as Joe and Ned begin to experience true happiness for the very first time, the world turns on them again.

But this time it turns on everyone.

_________

About the Author

John Inman is a Lambda Literary Award finalist and the author of over thirty novels, everything from outrageous comedies to tales of ghosts and monsters and heart stopping romances. John Inman has been writing fiction since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He and his partner live in beautiful San Diego, California. Together, they share a passion for theater, books, hiking and biking along the trails and canyons of San Diego or, if the mood strikes, simply kicking back with a beer and a movie.

John’s advice for anyone who wishes to be a writer? “Set time aside to write every day and do it. Don’t be afraid to share what you’ve written. Feedback is important. When a rejection slip comes in, just tear it up and try again. Keep mailing stuff out. Keep writing and rewriting and then rewrite one more time. Every minute of the struggle is worth it in the end, so don’t give up. Ever. Remember that publishers are a lot like lovers. Sometimes you have to look a long time to find the one that’s right for you.”

Giveaway

John has generously agreed to giveaway with this post, a book from his DSP backlist to whichever reader we choose.  So leave a comment for John, along with your email address should you be chosen.  And  may the force be with you!  Happy Reading!

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Ginger Snaps (Belladonna Arms #5) by John Inman

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Though I normally love John Inman’s stories and I’ve salivated over the Belladonna Arms books, alternating between laughing and smiling over the sweet, sappy MM romances, this one just didn’t reach the bar set by the other four. 

Usually, the stories are about a very nice young man who’s down on his luck and finds his way to the Belladonna Arms where the world’s biggest (and largest) drag queen, Arthur, takes him under his (considerable) wing and then the love pollen that seems to saturate the former hotel works its magic.  And lo and behold, after some starts and stops, he falls in love with another very nice young man.

And that’s the case here at the beginning of the book: Reed has left his wife, having realized that he can’t push his homosexuality any further inside than he’s been doing for years.  Gideon has broken up with his boyfriend, who very cruelly took all of Gideon’s possessions and donated them to Salvation Army.  He only saved his laptop because it happened to be in the trunk of his car.  Arthur has put both young men in apartments next to one another and is simply waiting for the love pollen to sprinkle their way.  The Belladonna Arms seems to be infested with love pollen that has worked to bring other couples together in the past.  The only issue with these two is that both young men are redheads and neither wants to fall in love with a redhead. 

Soooo, of course, that’s what happens.  They bond over the sorry state of their apartments, so Reed pulls out hammer and tools and sets about repairing both his and Gideon’s apartments, both having been sorely neglected in the past.  For several weeks, all is well and then Reed’s ex-wife throws a wrench in the works just before Arthur’s wedding.  Coinciding with all the usual craziness associated with wedding preparations, the San Diego area is experiencing tremors and small earthquakes—all of which send Arthur into screaming and hiding mode. The stress takes its toll on him and he ends up in the hospital—but not without visits from all the residents of the Arms. The big guy is a sweetheart and everyone secretly loves him.   

Then Reed breaks Gideon’s heart…and leaves pieces all over the floor.  He totally goes against all the promises he’s made to Gideon and leaves him in tatters.  To be honest, this reader would not have taken him back.  He pulled a really stupid, IMHO, stunt and should have been cut from the book, never mind from Gideon’s life.  But love is blind, and this is fiction, so the two end up back together in time for the grand wedding event.

As I said earlier, this story just didn’t cut it for me.  I don’t think my sense of humor has changed drastically over the years, but the Arthur earthquake and wedding scenes were too OTT for me. And Reed’s wife?  Not even worth the pages she occupied in the book.  Then there’s the chapter devoted to Reed and Gideon babysitting little Artie—the baby Sylvia and Raymond adopted—which I suppose to many may have been funny, but not to me.  I had no interest in it or patience for it at all, and in fact, I’d have preferred the chapter be cut from the story. 

I can stretch this to a 3 star rating, though if we all rated in half scales, I’d likely give it 2.5—mostly due to Reed’s ex-wife who is still irritating me, days after I finished reading the book.  For those who have read other books in the series, I’d recommend reading this one and would be interested in other reviewers’ opinions. For those who haven’t read the series, this can’t stand alone and needs to be read after the others.  Start with Serenading Stanley, which to me was the best, and work your way through.  It’s a nice series of MM romances and worth taking the time to read.

~~~

Cover art by Aaron Anderson depicts a ginger young man at work welding, with open shirt, low-rise jeans, and with a darkly shaded apartment building in the background.  Nicely done, it depicts Reed and the Belladonna Arms.   

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleGinger Snaps
ISBN139781640800311
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Belladonna Arms #5

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Ginger Snaps (Belladonna Arms #5) by John Inman

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

Even with a string of earthquakes jarring the tenants of the Belladonna Arms, rattling nerves and smashing dishes, life still manages to plod along as usual. Love pollen continues to fall, romances continue to flourish, and Arthur, the grand Pooh-bah in residence, continues to plan his upcoming wedding extravaganza.

In the midst of all this drama fall Gideon Chase and Reed Kelly, two redheaded losers at love who find themselves regrouping under the auspices of the most incorrigible matchmaker in heels.

Arthur sees hope for the two right away. He leases them adjoining apartments, then continually tweaks their budding friendship in the hope it will slip into love. Just as Arthur’s plans are coming along nicely, Reed’s past shows up to toss a monkey wrench into his and Gideon’s blossoming romance.

With Arthur’s wedding ceremony nigh, and Reed and Gideon on the verge of heartache yet again, Arthur faces one inescapable conclusion.

It will take more than love pollen to sort this mess out.

There’s is absolutely nothing better than to be home again in that faded six-story apartment building called The Belladonna Arms high atop a hill overlooking the ocean, a fabulous view of the city,  and new possibilities for love for all who arrive there.  For you see, it’s full of  love pollen  as each book has proved time and again.  Love pollen and cats.  Both figure large in each story.

John Inman has written so many incredible stories in many genres from contemporary romance to humor to the supernatural and horror.  But none has so captured my heart and left me wheezing from laughter or yes, sniffly from tears as his Belladonna Arms series and the oddball family that has sprung up in each apartment on every floor.  I thank John Inman every time each one/or couple makes an appearance in his stories.  And they do. In every one because they are a family that supports each other, no matter the occasion, in this case Arthur and Tom’s wedding (omg…the wedding dress).  The earth itself is having conniption fits over Arthur’s upcoming wedding as earthquakes galore are running through the area.  Through Inman’s vivid descriptions and our in depth knowledge and love or these characters we feel every quake and shimmy as if we were there.

The author really makes us a part of this family too.

From the moment heart hurt, homeless ginger haired Gideon Chase walks to see The Belladonna Arms because Ben  has told him he can get him a room there, we know Gideon is on a special journey.  One that starts with Arthur in all his drag  splendor waiting at the entrance, shifting boobs made of quinoa bags and all,  of The Belladonna Arms.  Then we move to red-haired Reed, his marriage, his decision not to live a lie, and again his arrival at The Belladonna Arms.  Two gingers, both hurting, now side by side neighbors.  Let the love pollen flow.

Lacking the necessities, all of the couples of the apartment building gather round Gideon to help him furbish his new home.  By chapter three, I’ve wrapped this book around my heart like a favorite comforter, so happy I feel to be back in their midst.  Then Gideon opens his door to two of my favorite kleptos, married couple Charlie and Bruce,  And it happens.  I’ll say the words.  Internet ballet lessons.

Ok, now I’m starting to wheeze here and the tears are streaming down my face.  I’m laughing so  hard that typing is a fail.

Brilliance.  The humor here will just grab at you when you least expect it.    This is just the first of many such scenes.

Of course, there’s plenty of poignancy too.  Reed has some powerful issues to work through and he’s not always as successful as one would hope at  first in finding his way.  Nothing here is ever easy.  But The Belladonna Arms family comes through again and again in the most amazing ways.  Inman finds paths that lifts everyone up, not just the main characters, but the secondary ones, that in other hands might have come out looking somewhat villainous, and that would have been   such a shame as well as unnecessary.

No one leaves The Belladonna Arms feeling unloved or a Belladonna Arms story feeling less that a bit dusted by love pollen yourself. I can’t help but wonder if a certain half naked flower boy will be featured in the next story.  Here’s hoping!

But until then I’m keeping myself warm with the laughter and love I find within the pages of Ginger Snaps (Belladonna Arms #5) by John Inman.     I know I will see Reed and Gideon again so this is but a seeya later.  And I keep bursting into giggles and outright laughter over the thoughts of Gorilla tape and cowboys hats and plie’s.  Truly my stomach hurts.  But not my heart.  John Inman has left that in excellent shape.

Now to wait for my next visit.  Until then I highly recommend you take a trip  to the Belladonna Arms yourself.  Meet everyone and fall in love.  Start at the beginning and work your way here.  Join in on the family fun.

Cover art: Aaron Anderson.  Normally I love Aaron Anderson’s work but I think this is a miss.  You have a story about gingers and you cut the top off the model so you miss out on the color of the hair?  Nope.  Plus the bandana really belongs to Charlie.  Fail all around.  Except that its done in the style that brands the series.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleGinger Snaps
ISBN139781640800311
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Belladonna Arms #5

A Stella Releases Day Review: Laugh Cry Repeat by John Inman

Standard

RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

Wyeth Becker is a quiet man. Staid, serious, calm. A librarian. When he meets preschool teacher Deeze Long, he discovers joy for the first time in his life. With joy comes laughter, excitement, and a new way to look at the world through the eyes of the kindest, most loving man he has ever met.

When tragedy strikes and Deeze loses his joy, it is Wyeth who helps him find it again. It is Wyeth, the man who never truly understood happiness, who pays that gift back. Giving all he can of himself to the man who changed his life. Restoring in Deeze what he now so desperately needs.

But the road of their relationship doesn’t end there. The joys and sorrows of life are never-ending. As they set out to weather the highs and lows together, Wyeth and Deeze hang on to the one thing that makes all the tears and laughter worthwhile.

Love.

For only through love can life be truly savored at all.

This new release by John Inman was  another success by this favorite author of mine. He’s an amazing writer and I surely already said it in the past but each new book is a confirmation, with the characters and the plots he builds, the emotions he can make the readers feel. I shed more than one tear as I usually do every time I read his new titles. He has the ability to hit the core of the matter and to leave me without a breath to breathe. I felt like this more than once during my reading of Laugh Cry Repeat.

I fell in love with Wyeth and Deeze as soon as I met them. Both of them positive characters, both of them stubborn people, the first in the strong will to be alone with his lovely dog, Chances,, the second with the strong desire to conquer and be loved by Wyeth. I adored how they met and dated, how they finally admitted their feelings. I was overwhelmed by how lovely and caring persons they were, how passionate about their works as librarians and teacher. And then there were the second characters, the little Jack, the noisy neighbour Agnes, the cousin Laurie. The way the interacted, always right and measured.

Laugh Cry Repeat is a powerful story, a novel hard to forget for the themes it speaks of, some more evident and loud, others subtle but not less important at all. It’s a book packed with love in every form love exists for a soulmate, for a job, for a life deserved to be lived although its  cruelty days, although we are about its strongness, because yes it can be a clichè, but love really is all around us and living without it it’s impossible. And this novel showed all.

The cover art by Reese Dante is well done, I like it and I can see the MCs in the models’ faces.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Expected publication: December 4th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781635336344

Edition Language English

A Stella Release Day Review: The Hike by John Inman

Standard

RATING 4,25 out of 5 stars

Ashley James and Tucker Lee have been friends for years. They are city boys but long for life on the open trail. During a three-hundred-mile hike from the Southern California desert to the mountains around Big Bear Lake, they make some pretty amazing discoveries.

One of those discoveries is love. A love that has been bubbling below the surface for a very long time.

But love isn’t all they find. They also stumble upon a war—a war being waged by Mother Nature and fought tooth and claw around an epidemic of microbes and fury.

With every creature in sight turning against them, can they survive this battle and still hold on to each other? Or will the most horrifying virus known to man lay waste to more than just wildlife this time?

Will it destroy Ash and Tucker too?

The Hike is one more proof ( one I didn’t need to know) how talented John Inman is. With this new release he made a hit again. The book is a succession of emotions, I was enthusiastic as soon as I saw the author had a new book coming soon, I was curious as soon as I read the blurb. Then I fell in love with Ash and Tuck in a bit, and it was inevitable. Later I was intrigued because I wasn’t understanding what was going on and John was amazing at keeping the suspense on high levels, I was scared and yes the tension was at eating me. At some point I admit I wanted to kill him because he wrote about something I’m not going to mention, but it’s something he should have avoided and I won’t forgive him (that’s also the only reason I didn’t give the story the full five stars). And at the end the feeling of satisfaction I got from the reading was deserved, to the characters since they went through so much, and to me too, because let’s be honest, I suffered with them.

And to me here stands the winning element of The Hike, how much I was able to connect with the characters, to feel them and their minds, to empathize with their hurting. Both Ash and Tuck were loveable, sweet and cute how I like my MCs, caring and brave. They are best friends first of all and even if now, ten years later their first meeting in high school, they are ready to admit their feelings for each others, they are determined to put the friendship on the first place. But the love is too strong and the hike they began will bring them to be fiercely sure of their future together.

I want to recommend The Hike because it is a great reading, the author writing is perfect and the mystery part is the ice on the cake, a little more that the author likes to add in his stories, like he did in the latest Love Wanted. I am definitely going to put John Inman among my favorite authors.

The cover art by Maria Fanning is very well done, and so fitting in the colors, the font, and looking at it now that I finished the book, I like it more cause I can truly see The Hike in it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 206 pages

Publication Date: September 4th 2017

ISBN13 9781635335361

Edition Language English

A Stella Release Day Review: Love Wanted by John Inman

Standard

RATING 4,25 out of 5 stars

When it rains, it pours. Not only has Larry Walls been evicted from his apartment, but his hours have also been cut at the department store where he works, leaving him facing homelessness.

Meanwhile, Bo Lansing, a total stranger to Larry, toils at a dead-end job as a fry cook while attending night classes to become a certified chef. When the school closes its doors without warning, leaving Bo in the lurch for thousands of dollars in tuition, his dream of becoming a chef is shattered and his financial troubles spiral.

Desperate for a new beginning, each man answers an ad for live-in help posted by a wealthy recluse, and wonder of wonders, they are both hired! Just as their lives begin to improve, a young Kumeyaay Indian named Jimmy Blackstone joins the workforce at the Stanhope mansion.

When Mr. Stanhope’s true reason for hiring the young men is discovered by one of the three, a fourth entity makes its presence known.

Greed.

With all these players vying for position in a game of intrigue orchestrated by one lonely old man and a mischievous ghost, can a simple thing like love ever hope to survive the fray?

After having so loved My Dragon, My Knight a couple of months ago, I was very eager to read this new release by John Inman. I’m surprised by how much I actually enjoyed Love Wanted, it has all the elements that should have brought me to dislike the novel. Instead it was a huge success. Probably this review will contain some spoilers so better skip it if you don’t want to know a couple of things.

First of all if you like me are not a fan of multiple POVs this should not be your story, to me sometimes even just the two MCs’ POVs are too many, so go figure when each character has its own POV.  In this case they were perfect, I deeply fell in love with all the characters so of course I wanted to know everything was going on their minds. And their voices beautifully mengled together to create a lovely narration.

And just when I was engaged and in love, the author decided to turn one of my beloved MC into a greedy and nasty person. I was shocked, angry and didn’t really know what was going to happen, especially cause I tend to not read blurbs when the authors are the ones I prefer. First I learnt to love him, then I had to learn to hate him and want him away from Larry.

And then in this novel you will find ghosts and I’m easily spooked, but these ghosts are awesome and funny and jealous. At last there is going to be a death, and it was predictable and natural, I know he was going to die, but still I wanted him to live forever so it saddened me a little.

These are all the elements why I should have despised Love Wanted, instead I adored it and the main reason why this happened is simply and powerful, I couldn’t resist Roger and his love for Jeremy and all the people in his life. He is a force of nature and he caught my heart.

Hats off to John Inman and his amazing writing.

The cover art by Maria Fanning is fitting and simple. I like it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 270 pages

Publication Date: June 19th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635334721 (ISBN13: 9781635334722)

Edition Language English