An Alisa Audiobook Review: Sweetwater by Lisa Henry and Dorian Bane (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

sweetwater_audiobookWyoming Territory, 1870.

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.

Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is—and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.

When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life . . . or truly begin it for the very first time.

I haven’t read many books set in this time period so I was eager to give this a try.  I felt the setting was done really well and I could totally picture this western town as if I was there.  There were a host of characters all of which were felt realistic and added to the overall world building.  The majority of the story was told by Elijah who was a really different type of character but I struggled with him a bit.  He had a hard life and was very much a victim.  It was totally realistic and believable but as a result I don’t think I ever really warmed to him.  He annoyed me each time he did not stand up for himself.  I felt sorry for him but it was hard for me to find him a believable romance partner.  I didn’t see what Grady saw in him.  Even though parts of the story were told through Grady’s point of view I still didn’t feel the connection.  Elijah felt more like a child who needed a caregiver not a man who needed a romance partner.  So, I liked it as a fiction story but not so much as a romance.  The writing was really well done and this author is generally one of my favorites.  This was just not the book for me.
The book was narrated by Dorian Bane who I had never listened to before.  I thought he did an excellent job on all of the characters.  This was a big cast and I thought he did each of them equally well.  This is an audio that I would definitely recommend.
Cover by L.C. Chase:  I love the cover.  I think it fits the story perfectly.
Sales Links
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Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, 8 pages, Listening Length: 7 hours and 39 minutes
Published August 5th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 29th 2014)
ASIN B01JO64IAS
Edition Language English

In Our Contemporary Romance Spotlight: Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry (tour/giveaway)

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Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry
R
iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lisa Henry here today  with her most recent release, Adulting 101.  Welcome, Lisa.

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Hi, and welcome to the blog tour to celebrate the release of Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry. I’m visiting some of my favourite blogs around the place to talk about writing Adulting 101, some of my influences and inspiration, and even sharing an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a prize!

Blurb

The struggle is real.

Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen and not ready to grow up yet. He has a summer job, a case of existential panic, and a hopeless crush on the unattainable Jai Hazenbrook. Except how do you know that your coworker’s unattainable unless you ask to blow him in the porta-potty?

That’s probably not what Dad meant when he said Nick should act more like an adult.

Twenty-five-year-old Jai is back in his hometown of Franklin, Ohio, just long enough to earn the money to get the hell out again. His long-term goal of seeing more of the world is worth the short-term pain of living in his mother’s basement, but only barely.

Meeting Nick doesn’t fit in with Jai’s plans at all, but, as Jai soon learns, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to have the adventure of a lifetime.

This is not a summer romance. This is a summer friendship-with-benefits. It’s got pizza with disgusting toppings, Netflix and chill, and accidental exhibitionism. That’s all. There are no feelings here. None. Shut up.

You can find out more about Adulting 101 at Riptide.

About Lisa Henry

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Adulting101_TourBanner

Giveaway

Each comment on this blog tour enters you for a chance to win a $20 Riptide credit and an ebook of your choice from my back catalogue. You’ll also win a super secret cute little gift that’s very close to my (and Nick’s) heart! Entries close August 20, and contest is not restricted to US residents. Remember to leave your email address in the comments so I can contact you if you win!

A BJ Review: Darker Space (Dark Space #2) by Lisa Henry

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Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

Darker Space coverBrady Garrett is back on Earth. He’s living with his partner Cam and they’re raising his sister Lucy together. Life is better than some feral reffo from Kopa has any right to hope, and Brady knows it. He’s even grateful for it, most of the time. He loves Cam, even though he’s afraid that he’s not good enough for him, and he’s still having nightmares about the alien Faceless.

Cameron Rushton loved being a pilot once, and he still feels the pull of the starlight. He’s building a life with Brady now, and with Lucy. Life is good, even if it’s not without its complications. Both Brady and Cam are dealing with the endless cycle of interviews, tests, and questions that the military hierarchy hopes will reveal the secrets of the aliens who could very easily destroy humanity. They have each other though, and together they’re making it work.

But from out in the black, Kai-Ren is still watching and everything Brady and Cam think they’ve won, they stand to lose all over again.

I absolutely adored Dark Space, so this book really had a lot to live up to. And I got a bit nervous when, unlike book one, this one didn’t drag me into the story immediately. In fact, for me the beginning was slow and somewhat repetitious. At a little over 20%, just as I was getting rather tired of Brady’s self-deprecation and whining, everything changed. With one little italicized sentence, my entire attention was captured. From that point on the story had me locked on target and the reading flowed quick and smooth.

Brady had to grow quite a bit in this story, and I admired all the changes he went through (sometimes kicking and screaming). More than ever, this book highlights the differences between Cam and Brady. Brady is brimming full of emotion, anger being high on the list, but also love and fear. Once things started moving, I enjoyed his inner monologues, irreverent way of looking at everything, and liberal use of foul mouthing even in his internal dialogue and the middle finger. Cam’s faith and steadfastness were perfect. I adored Cam. Although I must say that little Lucy very nearly stole the show. What a great young character. Her fearlessness, wonder, trust, and even her bratty/spoiled moments were perfect.

The emotional connection between the two main characters is perfect, even during the parts where they struggle—maybe even more so at those parts. Brady put Cam on a pedestal; one he felt he wasn’t good enough to ever reach… and this is sort of his journey to get there maybe. The book has steam, but not quite the heat of the first book. Well, except that I absolutely adored the final scene with Brady, Cam and Kai-Ren. Now that was lovely!

And the end? Well, it’s really more of a beginning. I absolutely can’t wait for the next installment. There will be one, right?

The cover ties in well with the one from book one and marks its sci-fi genre well.

Sales Links:  Loose Id LLC | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

 ebook, 228 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Loose Id
ISBN139781682520239
edition languageEnglish

series Dark Space 

Dark Space (Dark Space #1)
Darker Space (Dark Space #2)

A BJ Review: Dark Space (Dark Space #1) by Lisa Henry

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★

Dark Space coverBrady Garrett needs to go home. He’s a conscripted recruit on Defender Three, one of a network of stations designed to protect the Earth from alien attack. He’s also angry, homesick, and afraid. If he doesn’t get home he’ll lose his family, but there’s no way back except in a body bag.

Cameron Rushton needs a heartbeat. Four years ago Cam was taken by the Faceless—the alien race that almost destroyed Earth. Now he’s back, and when the doctors make a mess of getting him out of stasis, Brady becomes his temporary human pacemaker. Except they’re sharing more than a heartbeat: they’re sharing thoughts, memories, and some very vivid dreams.

Not that Brady’s got time to worry about his growing attraction to another guy, especially the one guy in the universe who can read his mind. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just biochemistry and electrical impulses. It doesn’t change the truth: Brady’s alone in the universe.

Now the Faceless are coming and there’s nothing anyone can do. You can’t stop your nightmares. Cam says everyone will live, but Cam’s probably a traitor and a liar like the military thinks. But that’s okay. Guys like Brady don’t expect happy endings.

Lovely sci-fi story. Intriguing premise, wonderful writing that dragged me right into the action and didn’t let me go. Awesome world-building. But overall it was the characters that blew me away. Such nuance! The telepathy between the two main characters was handled beautifully. Cam’s face and reputation had drilled into Brady’s mind. But everyone had given him up for dead. Now he’s not only back among the living, but connected to Brady. In his head. Heart beats synced. But really… imagine having to share your head with a sexy, poster boy soldier emerging from a traumatic experience that you yourself could never have endured.

For me, this story showed so clearly how two people often react so completely differently to the same experience. How they handle it and deal with it in ways that the other may even find hard to understand. While one person may come through an event mostly unscathed and may even look back and see the positives that came from it, another may come away severely damaged.  Cam came through the traumatic events with Kai-Ren and the faceless, but Brady clearly would not have been able to do the same.

Despite the dark elements of this story (prior non-con for both main characters, scary, no terrifying, aliens, and even the death of secondary character) and the dismal dystopian world in which it’s set, the relationship that develops between these two MCs is amazingly sweet and their sex nurturing as well as sizzling hot. The angst was handled perfectly.

For those who don’t believe in gay-for-you, give this one a try. It might change your mind. That element was excellently handled. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that Brady didn’t have any lengthy self-hating, but analyzed and accepted what he was feeling. Heck, every element was excellently handled. This was a stunning story—I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Well, yes, I could. I want more! And luckily, the author seems to have heard our cry as book two, Darker Space, is out now. Look for my review here soon.

The cover set’s the theme perfectly as m/m sci-fi… the darker, muted colors work perfect for the novel’s tone. The model is exactly how I had pictured the main character Brady.

Sales Links:   Loose id LLC | ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here


Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages
Published December 4th 2012 by Loose Id, LLC
original titleDark Space
ISBN139781623001124
seriesDark Space #1

Dark Space
Darker Space (Dark Space)

Its Back to Science Fiction with Lisa Henry’s Darker Space (author guest post and giveaway)

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Darker Space cover

Darker Space (Dark Space #2) by Lisa Henry
Published by Loose id LLC
Cover art by Mina Carter
Purchase it at Loose id | Amazon | ARe

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lisa Henry here today to talk about her latest series and release, Darker Space. Welcome, Lisa, tell us a little about the writing the characters and the sequel to Dark Space, Darker Space.

When it came to writing Darker Space, the sequel to Dark Space, it meant getting back into Brady’s head which, although always an entertaining place to explore, isn’t exactly filled with rainbows and sunshine. Brady is probably one of my favourite characters to write, but he’s a challenge. In Dark Space he was unhappy, afraid, and filled with anger and self-loathing. In Darker Space he’s grown a little, but he’s still very much a work in progress.

It was important for me to show that Brady’s grown in the sequel, and that he’s trying to put the past behind him. Obviously the past, in the form of Kai Ren, shows up again, but Brady’s also haunted by the past in more insidious ways. At the beginning of Darker Space he’s back on Earth, and he and Cam are raising his sister Lucy together. Lucy was Brady’s main focus in Dark Space. His knowledge that she wouldn’t survive if he was stuck in space for the rest of the term of his military service was what made him so angry, and so hopeless. So living with Cam and Lucy should make him happy, right? Right? Well, not exactly.

It’s not so easy for Brady to let go of the anger and despair that were once big enough to define his existence. Lucy is alive and safe and that should be enough, but every day Brady is forced to deal with prejudice, whether overt or imagined, that he doesn’t fit into the life he shares with Cam. He’s not from the right background. He’s not from the right people. Something as simple as holding a birthday party for Lucy is excruciating for Brady. He doesn’t know how to socialize with the parents of Lucy’s friends. He grew up hungry and poor. He has very little formal education, and his job in the military is on the lowest possible level. He’s got nothing in common with these people at all. More worrying for him, he feels he’s got nothing in common with Cam.

It’s a fine line for a character to walk. I wanted readers to empathise with Brady and his struggles, without making Brady seem like he’s ungrateful or a whiner. And maybe if sometimes he does whine just a little, I hope readers will remember he’s twenty. He’s still a kid in so many ways, who was forced to grow up too quickly and is doing the best he can.

And Darker Space is the book where Brady really does grow. He’s a character who was defined by his fears in the first book. In the second book, he has to not only face those fears, but embrace them. And I think, like always, Brady is braver than he thinks, especially when the people he loves are threatened.

You can find out more about Darker Space at Loose Id.

Blurb

Brady Garrett is back on Earth. He’s living with his partner Cam and they’re raising his sister Lucy together. Life is better than some feral reffo from Kopa has any right to hope, and Brady knows it. He’s even grateful for it, most of the time. He loves Cam, even though he’s afraid that he’s not good enough for him, and he’s still having nightmares about the alien Faceless.

Cameron Rushton loved being a pilot once, and he still feels the pull of the starlight. He’s building a life with Brady now, and with Lucy. Life is good, even if it’s not without its complications. Both Brady and Cam are dealing with the endless cycle of interviews, tests, and questions that the military hierarchy hopes will reveal the secrets of the aliens who could very easily destroy humanity. They have each other though, and together they’re making it work.

But from out in the black, Kai-Ren is still watching and everything Brady and Cam think they’ve won, they stand to lose all over again

About the Author

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Connect with Lisa: Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Dark Space Series:

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter prize of a book from Lisa Henry’s  backlist, your choice (not Darker Space).  You must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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