Check Out KC Well’s Chatting about Covers and her new release Kel’s Keeper by KC Wells (guest blog and excerpt)

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Kel’s Keeper

KC Wells

M/M Romance, Daddy/boy, Age gap

Release Date: 09.01.19

Kel's Keeper Cover

Cover by Meredith Russell

Photographer by Ben Fink

Models: Adam Keith and Joe Ryan

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host KC Wells here today talking about her new release Kel’s Keeper and cover art. Welcome, KC!

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You can’t judge a book by its cover.

We’ve all heard that a thousand times, right?

Yet…

How many of us choose a book for precisely that?

As an author, that’s one very important piece of marketing right there. Because if readers don’t like a cover, they might not be willing to go any further.

So who judges a book by its cover? EVERYBODY.

That’s why I spend a lot of time looking for THE perfect cover.

Take the cover of Kel’s Keeper as a for instance.

I was on a stock photo site, looking for Daddies. And not having a lot of luck. Just then, a dear friend, author Wulf Francu Godgluck, messaged me. I shared the couple of photos I’d found by that point, neither of which made me go OOOH YEAH.

“Try this guy.” Wulf sent me a link to Ben Fink’s page on Instagram, and BAM. I was lost in a sea of gorgeous daddies and bears. I scrolled down, looking for the right one. And suddenly I was stopped by a familiar face.

Adam?

Yup, it was someone I’d met twice in the US, as we shared a mutual friend. And the guy with him was his partner, who I’d also met. Adam Keith and Joe Ryan.

I LOVED that photo. I messaged Ben Fink immediately, and his reply was pretty quick. He wanted to know more about the book. I could understand that. I sent him the blurb, and he asked me to call him. He was actually filming a commercial for McDonalds when we got to chat.

He liked the book idea, and he was happy for me to use the photo, as long as Adam and Joe were okay with it too.

You can guess the rest.

Why did I choose that photo? The way they looked at each other. The emotional connection that was so obvious. Last week, I got to meet up with them in London for a few hours, and they are such a lovely couple.

A few of my books have featured real-life couples on the covers: An Unlocked Heart, Trusting Thomas, and Make Me Soar were all by one man, Terry Cyr. I chose the photo for Step by Step because of the way they looked at each other. And as for the cover of On The Same Page, (Secrets #4) I love photographer Ron Amato’s work. I used one of his photos for the cover of Threepeat, and when I saw this photo, I fell in love with it instantly. It’s a good thing Parker Williams liked it too, right?

I’ve been really fortunate with my publisher. I’ve heard from so many authors who have been sent a draft of their cover and they’ve had little input in its creation. In my case, if I find a photo I like, I send it to the Art department at Dreamspinner, and they have never said, ‘Oh no, that’s awful.’

They’ve also contacted photographers to purchase the rights to photos that I had to have. (Think First. That photo was freaking PERFECT for the book.)

Of course, good photos cost money. I’ve paid anywhere from $50 to $600 for a photo, and believe me, that’s not expensive. For some of your favorite covers out there, we’re talking $1,000+.

But for the right cover? It’s SO worth it.

BLURB
When Kel Taylor’s life changes irrevocably, he finds himself alone in the world. He might have rebelled a little against his parents, but that didn’t mean he was ready to lose them. Unable to cope with his grief and feelings of guilt, he turns to booze, but before he hits rock bottom, someone dives into the murky waters to save him.

Luc Bryant watched Kel grow from the little kid whose football broke a pane in his greenhouse, into the sexy young man who sent heat racing through him. That was when Luc stopped watching and distanced himself, because he didn’t want to be that kind of a man. And that’s how things continued, until he saw to what depths the boy had sunk. Luc will be damned if he’ll let Kel kill himself. What Kel needs is a friend, and Luc’s shoulders are plenty big enough to bear his burdens.

Kel doesn’t need a friend. He needs a pair of strong arms to hold him, a broad chest to curl up against, someone to listen to him, someone who cares for him… and a whole lot more.
What he needs is a Daddy.
He just doesn’t know it yet.

A stand-alone book that contains an age gap relationship between a sexy daddy and a virgin.

Amazon US

Barnes and Noble

Kel's Keeper Teaser Rule 10Kel's Keeper Teaser Rule 9Kel's Keeper Teaser Rule 8promo post #3

EXCERPT

The time for worrying about Kel had long past. Luc had to do something.

After the funeral, he’d kept his promise and checked in on the boy regularly, and at first it had looked like Kel was coming through this. At least, Luc assumed he was. He didn’t get to see Kel all that much, but their brief conversations over the property boundary were proof that Kel was alive and well, if looking a little thin.

Then the conversations dwindled, as did the phone calls. Kel politely refused Luc’s invitations to eat with him. He refused Luc’s offers of assistance. And lately there had been far too many occasions when Kel didn’t answer his phone. No reply to texts. When Luc had ventured across to knock at the door, there had been no answer. Of course, he could have been out, but somehow Luc doubted that. When April gave way to May, Luc’s disquiet increased.

There were signs of life at the house next door, however. Walmart trucks came and went, and more than once, Luc dashed out to catch Kel before he closed the front door, but he was never fast enough.

Almost as though the boy was avoiding him, which if it were true, would be extremely ironic.

The day arrived when Luc wasn’t content to sit back anymore and wait for something to happen. It was time for the last resort—and that meant Christine’s spare key, the one he’d never gotten around to giving back to Kel. Thank God.

Luc grabbed it from the hook in the kitchen where he kept his keys, and went out of the house. Kel’s car was in the driveway, and judging by the state of the ground beneath it, Kel hadn’t moved it for a while. That only added to Luc’s sense of foreboding.

He went around to the front door, not bothering to ring the bell. After weeks of his knocks going unanswered, there seemed little point. Luc inserted the key into the lock, praying there wasn’t a chain attached on the other side. Thankfully, the door opened, and Luc stepped quietly into the silent interior. He peered into the sitting room, then the dining room, but there was no sign of Kel. When he entered the kitchen, the sight was enough to stop him in his tracks.

Dishes were piled high on every countertop. The dishwasher door was open, and Luc peeked inside. It was full of dirty dishes. The sink was full too, and the trash looked like it hadn’t been taken out for weeks.

Luc noted the pizza boxes and take-out cartons. At least he’s eating something. It was only when he took a closer look at one corner of the kitchen that the full extent of the situation hit him.

Bottles. Lots and lots of empty bottles. And most of it was the hard stuff, Luc was dismayed to see. There were empty cans and bottles of hard cider, and bottles of wine too. It appeared as if Kel had drunk his way through the contents of a bar.

Dear God, what state is he in, if he’s drunk all that?

Luc checked the rest of the first floor, but there was still no sign. He paused at the foot of the stairs, his nostrils flaring. The smell of stale alcohol was very noticeable. Luc mounted the stairs, his heart pounding. This is not good. This is way worse than I thought. Already he was kicking himself for not charging in sooner.

When he reached the door to Kel’s room, Luc paused, steeling himself for whatever lay beyond it, and praying fervently that the boy hadn’t choked to death on his own vomit. He pushed open the door and heaved an internal sigh of relief at the sight that awaited him.

Kel was in his bed, only the top of his head visible above the comforter, but he was clearly breathing. The room was in semidarkness, and the reek of alcohol was at its strongest, accompanied by the smell of stale sweat. Luc crossed the floor, put his hand to the lump beneath the covers, and gave Kel a light shake.

Nothing.

Luc gave him a stronger shake, and Kel’s groggy voice shattered the quiet. “Wha?”

“Kel,” Luc said urgently. “It’s Luc.”

“Go ’way.”

Like Luc was going to do that. “No, I’m not going anywhere. Remember?” He slowly drew back the comforter, only to have Kel seize it from him and pull it back over himself. Half-closed brown eyes regarded him with incredulity.

“How’d you get in here?”

“I have a key. You mom gave it to me. Remember, she asked me to check on the house?”

Kel propped himself up on his elbows, and the comforter slid lower, revealing…

Well, I certainly didn’t expect that.

Kel had a tattoo, a pattern of black swirls and spikes that covered his right shoulder, his pec and came halfway down his upper arm. There was also a lot more body hair than Luc had been prepared for. Before Luc could utter another word, Kel set his jaw. “I want it back, then I want you to leave.”

Luc slowly shook his head. “No. You need help.”

Kel’s eyes blazed, and he sat bolt upright. “You. Need. To. Go. Now.”

“And let you keep doing this to yourself? Kel, you’re better than this.”

Kel’s jaw dropped, then he snapped it shut. “You need to go,” he repeated through gritted teeth. “I don’t want you seeing me like this. I’m a pathetic excuse for a human being. Help me? You couldn’t help me. I’m a hopeless case. I’m worse than useless.”

Luc’s stomach turned over. What the fuck had happened? “I have no idea where all this is coming from,” he said, doing his best to keep his voice even. “I know you, Kel. You’re nothing like the person you just described.”

Kel stared up at him, a dazed look in his eyes, his mouth open. “Know me? You don’t know me! Even my parents didn’t know me!” His chest rose and fell rapidly, his breathing harsh and staccato. “If they did, they’d have shunned me for the abomination that I am.”

Abomination? “Kel, I—”

I was not a good son!” Kel yelled, the cords of his neck standing out. “And if they’d seen into my heart, they’d have been horrified. I went against their teachings.” He brought his left hand down hard on his right pec, wincing. “This. This would have given them so much pain, and I still had it done, knowing that.” His eyes glistened. “And there was worse than this. So many things I wanted to tell them, but I couldn’t, because they’d have been so damned disappointed in me. And now it’s too late. They’re never going to know what I’m really like. And I can’t bear that.” Tears spilled over his cheeks, his shoulders shook, and he sobbed.

Luc knew what he was seeing. In an instant, he sat on the bed, drew back the comforter, and pulled Kel into his lap, his arms around him. It was no surprise when the boy threw his arms around Luc’s neck and buried his face in Luc’s chest, his knees up to his chest, harsh sobs racking his body. “It’s okay,” Luc whispered. “Let it out. It’s all right to let it out, Kel.” Hot tears soaked into his shirt.

“I… can’t… stop… it from… hurting…” Kel choked out between sobs.

“It’s supposed to hurt.” Luc held onto him, one arm around his back, the other around his legs, cradling him, aware of the tremors that jolted through Kel’s frame. “This is grief. You’ve held on to your emotions so tightly, but now you have to let go.”

Kel’s sobs increased in volume and frequency, and Luc remained silent, gently rocking him in his arms, a weeping young man dressed only in his briefs, curled up against Luc’s chest and clinging to him. Luc’s arms were full to capacity: Kel might have been shorter than him, but he’d obviously been working out at some point. Little by little the tears subsided, and Kel’s breathing became less erratic. Luc brought his rocking to a halt, his nose buried in Kel’s hair. Finally, Kel moved gingerly, as though embarrassed by his position.

Luc let go, and Kel sat on the bed beside him. He sniffed, then wiped a hand across his eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to apologize for. If you knew how long I’ve been waiting for you to show some emotion over their deaths….” Luc stroked Kel’s hair. “It’s perfectly normal. And nothing to be embarrassed about. Although….” Luc wrinkled his nose.

Kel swallowed. “I guess I smell a bit ripe, huh?”

“Just a little,” Luc lied. “Nothing a good shower wouldn’t put right. If you think you can stay upright for that long. You might be a little shaky on your legs.” He stood, and held out a hand to Kel, who took it and pulled himself to his feet. Luc watched him anxiously. “Well?”

Kel expelled a long shuddering breath. “I can manage a shower.”

Luc nodded in approval. “And while you’re doing that, I’ll go downstairs and make you something to eat.” He cocked his head to one side. “That’s assuming there’s food in your kitchen. Edible food.”

Kel bit his lip. “Yeah, about that…”

Luc rolled his eyes. “Get washed. I’ll go to my place and raid the refrigerator. Take as long as you like.”

For the first time since Luc had entered his room, there was a flash of the old Kel. “Is that Luc-speak for ‘you stink’?”

Luc laughed. “Shower, dirty boy. Then I’ll feed you. And then… we can talk.” He felt a good deal lighter. That had been a cathartic moment, and while Kel still had a way to go, the outlook was hopeful.

What puzzled him were a couple of things Kel had said. At this point Luc wasn’t sure if he was going to leave them for now, or bring them out into the open. Because sooner or later, they had to talk about them.

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K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.

She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: My Fair Brady by K.C. Wells

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Rating: 4. 5 stars out of 5

KC Wells took an old classic—My Fair Lady—one of my all-time favorites—and created a Dreamspun Desires book that gave me all the feels I’d expect from a story with that theme done in the MM romance genre.

In this instance, Brady Donovan is the best PA any exec could hope for. He’s bright, cute, anal about being organized, and anticipates his boss’s every need. Jordan Wolf couldn’t ask for a better assistant, and the sweet, smart nerd with his dark-framed eyeglasses is cute too. When Brady is suddenly no longer there to meet his needs, it takes a few days, but Jordan finally goes to Brady’s place to check on the guy. There he finds a Brady so ill he can’t take care of himself and Jordan’s nurturing side comes out. Added to that, getting to know Brady in a different way tweaks something in Jordan’s heart and he no longer only sees his PA when he looks at the young man.

Not long after that, Jordan asks Brady if he’d be his plus one at a weekend party in the Hamptons, and when he agrees, Jordan treats him to a day at the spa followed by a shopping trip that awakens Jordan’s hidden desires and gives Brady hope that his attraction may not be one-sided after all. Get the picture? Of course, this is based on a well-worn trope, but KC Wells infuses it with new life, and I was transported to my happy place where the smile never leaves my face as I engage with two very nice men who needed a subtle push to get together. 

Are there angsty moments? Definitely, but they’re not overdone. And is there a nasty surprise over the weekend—a protagonist determined to break them up? Well, yes, but there are also friends who won’t let that happen, and there’s the bloom of new love and open communication which seals the foundation of their chance for love.

I totally enjoyed getting to know these characters and was caught up in their lives within the first 10% of the story. The long, slow love scenes were explicit and yet more romantic than a quick hop into bed. KC Wells does this so well. A host of secondary characters round out the cast and add enough to the story without taking it over.

All in all, a very satisfying and heartwarming read. MM romance at its best. 

The cover by Alexandria Corza features a handsome young man, wearing glasses, a button-up shirt and a bowtie. He’s the perfect representation of Brady and the bright colorful cover is very attractive.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 226 pages
Expected publication: February 19th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07NN5GSDX
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Truth Will Out (Merrychurch Mysteries #1) by K.C. Wells

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Jonathon de Mountford’s visit to Merrychurch village to stay with his uncle Dominic gets off to a bad start when Dominic fails to appear at the railway station. But when Jonathon finds him dead in his study, apparently as the result of a fall, everything changes. For one thing, Jonathon is the next in line to inherit the manor house. For another, he’s not so sure it was an accident, and with the help of Mike Tattersall, the owner of the village pub, Jonathon sets out to prove his theory—if he can concentrate long enough without getting distracted by the handsome Mike.

They discover an increasingly long list of people who had reason to want Dominic dead. And when events take an unexpected turn, the amateur sleuths are left bewildered. It doesn’t help that the police inspector brought in to solve the case is the last person Mike wants to see, especially when they are told to keep their noses out of police business.

In Jonathon’s case, that’s like a red rag to a bull…

In the spirit of Dame Agatha Christie, KC Wells delivers a mystery worthy of the great British authors who preceded her. And no sex on page! Imagine that. I actually liked the fact that sex didn’t distract from the story. Yes, there’s a romance, but it’s secondary to the mystery.

There’s a large age gap between Jonathan, who doesn’t have good luck with romance, and Mike, who’s older and doesn’t have much opportunity to meet new men in Merrychurch. But they grow to like each other, and they work together to solve the mystery of Jonathan’s uncle’s death. Mike is a former cop so has the skills and Jonathan has the determination and persistence needed to eventually find the culprit.

Did I guess? Yes! The author gave us clues, but it’s not easy to figure out and it was likely my love of Poirot and Miss Marple that helped me guess correctly. Since this is mystery #1 in a new series, I expect we’ll see more of Jonathon and Mike in future. At least, I hope we do. Mystery buffs should enjoy this one, for sure.

Cover Artist: Kanaxa.  The cover is done in sepia tones with both MCs pictured—one superimposed over the shadowed image of the other. To be honest, though it may represent the MCs and setting, I don’t care for the color and it doesn’t stand out at all.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 204 pages
Expected publication: October 30th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640806290
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Merrychurch Mysteries #1

An Alisa Audio Review: BFF by K.C. Wells and Michael Mola (Narrator)

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

I’m about to do something huge, and it could change… everything.

I met Matt in second grade, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We went to the same schools, studied at the same college. When we both got jobs in the same town, we shared an apartment. And when my life took an unexpected turn, Matt was there for me. Every milestone in my life, he was there to share it. And what’s really amazing? After all these years, we’re still the best of friends.

Which brings me to this fragile, heart-stopping moment: I want to tell him I love him, really love him, but I’m scared to death of what he’ll say. If I’ve got this all wrong, I’ll lose him—forever.

Oh, this was such a sweet story.  Matt and David have been best friends forever and really have been in love with each other for just about as long.  I loved been able to hear about their journey to discovering this and the life they have built together.

We get to see snippets of their lives growing up but it was the important moments that helped shape who they are.  It’s clear that these two just didn’t realize how they feel about each other until David has a major health scare.  Even though the story was told from David’s point of view he really describes Matt perfectly, it make it easy to understand and love both of these characters.

Michael Mola did a great job narrating this story.  The different voices also helped with keeping track of the story and I think they were perfect for the characters.  I could easily feel the characters emotions through the way he portrayed them.

Cover art by Reese Dante is perfect and I love the different pictures of Matt and David together.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5hrs 31mins
Published: September 11, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Truth & Betrayal by KC Wells

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When I began to read this story in the morning, little did I know I would not be able to put it down until the last page—and that was somewhere past midnight. This story was so interesting, so riveting, and so beautifully written that I kept reading throughout the day to the exclusion of everything else in my life.

Character-driven, this emotional tale takes us from the time Jake learns his older brother Caleb has died in a traffic accident through the next year as Jake discovers that he’s not the only one with a Caleb-sized hole in his life. Through Caleb’s death, he learns more about his brother as he meets both his partner and his friends who lead Jake on a journey that reveals details of the last seven years of Caleb’s life. Some details are sweet, and some are shocking, but they help to bring him closure. They also give him the willingness to accept who he is and move forward with a new strength to his convictions. He falters and stumbles along the way but ultimately with support of his new friends, he discovers the love of his life, a man who can be both friend and companion, supporting him, loving him, and giving him hope for a bright future together—that man is Liam, Caleb’s former lover.

Without giving away spoilers, it’s tough to describe the full scope of what takes place, but I must say one of the things that stood out clearly to me was the fact that the story wasn’t rushed. Details weren’t glossed over. Situations were realistic. And the pace was unhurried. This story literally unfolded, page by page, and each page was filled with dialogue. To me, an author who “shows” the action rather than “tells” the action can engage the reader and pull them into the story more easily. Allowing the characters to come to life with words and thoughts through dialogue, text messages, and email conveys what’s actually happening at the time and adds to the overall enjoyment.

Ms. Wells also covers sensitive topics throughout the story. Liam is black and gay and Caleb and Jake come from a rural, predominately white Southern town. Several gay couples Jake meets while visiting Caleb’s friends in Atlanta have an open relationship. He learns intimate details of Caleb’s relationship with Liam that shock him. And he learns the pros and cons of PrEP and bareback sex for men in a committed relationship. The author brings a sensitive approach to these topics but is clear and concise in explaining a variety of views.

I believe this story is the best KC Wells has written, to date. I have my favorites as I’ve read almost all of her work, but this touched my heart in a special way. I don’t recall being so captivated by a story in a long time. It’s the love that shines through here—love for a brother, a lover, a parent, a family, a friend, and more. I suppose I could go on and on, and I could go into detail about Jake’s discovery of love and Liam’s discovery of the kind of love that lasts a lifetime, but it’s best if I leave the details for the next reader. And I hope there are many. This is a story that deserves to be shared. And it’s most definitely going on my Best of 2018 list. I very highly recommend it to all lovers of MM romance.

The cover by Meredith Russell perfectly depicts both MCs, exactly as described in the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 403 pages
Published August 3rd 2018
ASINB07G1BWKXF
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lucy Audiobook Review: Bromantically Yours by K.C. Wells and Narrator: Daniel Henning

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Nate and Dylan are the joined at the hip kind of friends.  They have been best friends, confidants and support for each other since they were young children. When they get together with their group of friends, they still mostly pay attention to each other, although they don’t realize it.  It is during a night out with what they though would be the group that they end up going further than even the closest friends would.  The blurb is a little misleading because it states “…until the night they share a drunken kiss…” when in actuality it is a drunken handjob that starts it all.  While that part goes just fine, the aftermath not so much.  Nate reacts badly, “Okay, Dylan got that Nate had to be embarrassed as he**, but still, to treat him like some cheap trick…”  I felt bad for Dylan and agreed, I wouldn’t have spent the night on Nate’s couch after that either but they were both just so confused.

I felt like they should have had a little inclination, since they did think of each other as cute, but it is so easy to be oblivious! Their friends, however, were not clueless. “You don’t think there’s something going on here?  Because we sure do. Think about it. When you get good news, who’s the first person you call?  When you’re feeling low, who do you call? Are you telling us that you’ve never noticed how your life revolves around him?”  That takes some thinking.

There really isn’t any problem or angst here.  There is a little tension with a conversation between Nate and his mom but that’s about it.  Otherwise it is a very sweet romance with both of them coming to the realization that they love a man pretty easily.  There is a little concern about losing their friendship but it’s minimal.  Their friends are completely accepting and supportive.

This is the sequel to K.C. Wells Out of the Shadows, which I did not read but didn’t feel as though I were missing any vital information.   One minor peeve was the use of “He did NOT just do that” or “He did NOT just say that.”  It was only five times but, and maybe it was because I was listening to the story, it caught my attention.

Something I definitely liked about this was that the first blow job wasn’t perfect. There was choking and learning about gag reflex.  There was Nate nearly getting kneed in the face and then being unable to work a sixty-nine because he was too distracted by what Dylan’s mouth was doing.  I loved that while both Nate and Dylan went to gay friends about sex, it was Nate the teacher who pulled out a notebook to take notes and who, at a sex shop, bought books.

The narrator, Daniel Henning, did a good job with inflection though could have used a bit more differentiating voices.  Sometimes when I am listening I would lose the thread of who was talking but it didn’t happen often. I liked the narration overall and would listen to this narrator again.

Cover art by Brook Albrecht is very cute and fit the feel of the book.  Two men looking playful with two hearts worked well to capture Nate and Dylan.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 3 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 14th 2018)
Original TitleBromantically Yours
ASINB07DGG8YG8
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: BFF by K.C. Wells

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

I’m about to do something huge, and it could change… everything.

I met Matt in second grade, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We went to the same schools, studied at the same college. When we both got jobs in the same town, we shared an apartment. And when my life took an unexpected turn, Matt was there for me. Every milestone in my life, he was there to share it. And what’s really amazing? After all these years, we’re still the best of friends.

Which brings me to this fragile, heart-stopping moment: I want to tell him I love him, really love him, but I’m scared to death of what he’ll say. If I’ve got this all wrong, I’ll lose him—forever.

I’m having a terrific contemporary fiction week! BFF by KC Wells is a warmhearted, feel good story of discovery, friendship, and love.  It’s  got a sort of tone to it that caught me off guard that I attribute to its format.  I almost had to read the   first couple of paragraphs twice to make sure  it was part of the story and not an author’s forward.  Well, it was an author’s forward.  But it  didn’t come from K.C. Wells but rather from David, our narrator of this story.

You see BFF is the coming of age, coming out story that charts two men’s friendship from their first meeting as second graders where they became the Dynamic Duo, through high school, all through roommates at college and after graduation as they start their various careers…always together.  As the best of friends.

But David is recounting it at the beginning of novel, he’s writing it all down as a story, complete with notes and reflections on his behavior towards Matt at the time (hindsight is everything).  It gives the book an immediate and intimate feel as his thoughts and feelings come tumbling out along with the memories.  Through David’s eyes, both Matt and their families come alive as does their long, blended history together.  If the two boys were always side by side so too were their parents (and siblings), matching them for support and love, even in the toughest of times.

Oddly I’m talking financially here.  This wonderful story has these families carry with them many of the strains most modern families do….job security, moving, eduction issues, and learning disabilities.  Even sex education and tolerance in the nicest of ways.  What it doesn’t have?  Extreme angst of any sort.  This is a gentle, moving story of a journey of a friendship and a deep love  towards a final revelation and HEA.

KC Wells really got to me.  Even when she had David remarking on his own dialog as a kid (too smart) in his story, to his interactions with Matt throughout the years, I was there with them, throughly invested in their relationship, their happiness.  That included their families.  I tell you I loved both sets of parents and when you read this story, you will too.

Honestly, that blurb gives you one idea of the plot line. But the story is so much more than that.  It’s bigger, warmer, decades in these mens lives and a touching, joyous journey to love.  Trust me, I really didn’t want to let them go.  I highly recommend this story.  It left me smiling and with a happy heart.  Doesn’t that sound like a grand afternoon?

Cover art:  Reese Dante.  This cover is perfect in every way.  That’s David and Matt and an importation location.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: June 5th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640801004
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lila Release Day Review: Bromantically Yours by K.C. Wells

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A friends-to-lovers novella that came from Out of the Shadows, because Nate and Dylan needed a story….

Nate and Dylan have been pals for a long time. So what if their friends think they’ve got a little bromance going? Doesn’t mean there’s anything more to it than that, right? And even if there is, Nate and Dylan are totally oblivious….

Until the night they share a drunken kiss—and everything changes.

Bromantically Yours was an unexpected surprise. I didn’t know this story was related to Out of the Shadows until the moment I started reading it. It can be read as a standalone but having the background of Nate’s and Dylan’s friendship complements the reading experience. It gives the reader an extra in into their relationship that’s not available with most short stories. Also, it’s good to see Christian and Josh again.

I liked the slow start to their transition from bromance to romance. It was unexpected for them, but they didn’t let their new feelings get in the way of their friendship. They asked questions and took the time, not only to date but to get to know the other’s expectations and fears.

It was funny, sweet, and smexy. The short length didn’t take away from the character development or the story plot. It’s simple, traditional, and nothing out of the ordinary but it works perfectly for the holiday.

The cover by Brooke Albrecht shows a perfect representation of Nate and Dylan. It is a cute Valentine’s cover for a sweet short story.

Sale Links: DreamspinnerAmazon | NOOK

ebook, 97 pages
Published: February 14, 2018, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781640805347
Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Silk (A Material World #3) by K.C. Wells

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

My favorite of the series so far, in this story—which can easily be read as a standalone, by the way—a young male escort and his older client discover much more than a surface attraction when they first down and dirty between the blue silk sheets. 

Matt Dorning is twenty-seven and works as a waiter at his parents’ restaurant. He’s also an underwear model and an escort.  Does he have to do the escort work? Well, the extra income goes a long way toward his independence in living on his own in New York City, plus he loves sex so it’s win-win in his book.  The personable biracial man has plenty of friends, a hot body, and a keen intellect.  He’s on track to take over his father’s restaurant business—something he’s looking forward to in the future when his dad is ready to step down.  But for now, he’s livin’ life and enjoying every moment, and every repeat client, and every new opportunity.

Lucas Sawyer is forty-six, a highly successful entrepreneur, and unknown to most people, suffers from social anxiety.  It’s much easier for him to hire an escort than it would be to cruise a bar for a date, and he always keeps it simple by never hiring his escort for more than one night. No strings. No regrets.  His Park Avenue apartment is secure, convenient, and comfortable and the boys he hires seem so to enjoy their time with him between his silk sheets in his oversized king bed. And then he meets Matt and all bets are off.  Matt loves his job and he’s not afraid to ask for what he wants and to be a bit bossy in the bedroom—all things that Lucas hasn’t really experienced before.  Lucas is usually the dominant in the bedroom, telling the escorts what to do and when to do it, but Matt just goes for what he wants and that includes telling Lucas what to do and when to do it.  Matt has heard of Lucas from fellow escorts and knows he’s only going to have one night so he figures why not do what he wants? As it turns out, this approach really piques Lucas’s interest and he thinks of Matt long after he’s gone. 

As they see each other again, their dynamic begins to change and they share more than sex. Matt suddenly decides to help Lucas with his anxiety by inviting him to Matt’s brother’s wedding—something Lucas normally wouldn’t enjoy but does—and the bonus is the night they get to spend sleeping together before a nice round of wakeup sex the next day.  Over time, both men acknowledge that they aren’t really escort and client any longer, but Matt faces some huge personal challenges, and without any commitment from Lucas, he’s not sure what to do.  How will Lucas feel when Matt continues to have sex with his other clients?  Is there room for each man in each other’s lives?

This was a terrific story, very different from others I’ve read that featured escorts, and I enjoyed both the writing style and the cast of characters—all well-developed and interesting characters.  My favorite was Diane, Lucas’s grandmother.  I can’t tell you how happy I was to see that she was not portrayed as a faded lily—a little old lady who was on her last leg.  I bowl every week with women in their nineties and I aspire to be like them when I grow up.  Diane can go on that list—I loved her!

I also enjoyed the dynamic between Matt and Lucas and the development of each individual character and the couple as a whole.  They took their time and it wasn’t all about sex, though I must admit there were some smokin’ hot scenes! Whew! Get the personal fans out for this one. 

In all seriousness, however, I must say that I can very easily highly recommend this MM romance to all—and especially to those who enjoy age-gap.  Twenty years here with unforgettable characters.  Don’t miss out on this one. 

“““““`

The cover by Meredith Russell features two men reclining in a bed covered with dark blue silk sheets. The older man has silver hair and the shoulder tats described in the story and he’s staring at the camera, while the younger man is obviously biracial and sound asleep.  It’s hot and delicious and perfect for this story.  Very attention-getting!

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published September 29th 2017 by Island Tales Press (first published September 2017)
ASINB0762Y7Y1J
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Material World #3

A Lila Audiobook Review: Out of the Shadows by K.C. Wells and Finn Sterling (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Can he step out of the shadows and into love’s light?

Eight years ago, Christian Hernandez moved to Jamaica Plain in southern Boston, took refuge in his apartment, and cut himself off from the outside world. And that’s how he’d like it to stay.

Josh Wendell has heard his coworkers gossip about the occupant of apartment #1. No one sees the mystery man, and Josh loves a mystery. So when he is hired to refurbish the apartment’s kitchen and bathrooms, Josh is eager to discover the truth behind the rumors.

When he comes face-to-face with Christian, Josh understands why Christian hides from prying eyes. As the two men bond, Josh sees past his exterior to the man within, and he likes what he sees. But can Christian find the courage to emerge from the darkness of his lonely existence for the man who has claimed his heart?

Out of the Shadows is a slow burn romance between a recluse Christian and an extrovert Josh. I like how they communicated when Josh started working at Christian’s apartment and would have loved to see more of it.  It allowed them to get comfortable with each other, creating a foundation for their relationship.

This is a very sweet and fluffy story but those aspects worked with the Dreamspun series. I wanted a slower transition for Christian to adjust to his new reality but in this case, love cured it all. Their attraction was immediate as well as Christian’s acceptance of Josh’s plans for him.

Overall, this story has nice characters, and interesting instigating event, and the potential for so much more. Unfortunately, I never connected with the main couple. Their bromance was stronger than their romance. In the end, it was an okay story.

The narration by Finn Sterling was a fifty-fifty for me. I enjoyed all the characters but Josh. And since he’s one of the main characters, it took from my enjoyment of the story. I think he tried, too hard, to create a distinctive voice for Josh, but ended with a cartoonish version of a young man instead. Everything else saved his performance.

The cover by Bree Archer is a bit theatrical. Perhaps a hoodie would have worked better. The model doesn’t reflect Christian’s description, either.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Finn Sterling
Length: 6 hours 6 minutes
Published: September 13, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B075KNQDCT
Edition Language: English