A Stella Release Day Review: Ringo and the Sunshine Police by Nick Wilgus

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

ringo-and-the-sunshine-police-by-nick-wilgusThomas, an older gay musician living in a small Southern town, is ready to start a family. He fosters Jeremy, a special needs boy with no arms, and teaches him to play the drums so Jeremy can realize his potential to do anything he wants. Though it takes time, Thomas’s closeted boyfriend Randy steps out of the shadows to be part of what Thomas is working to build. With the advent of marriage equality, it’s a different world in the Deep South—one where the three of them have the chance to be a family.

Yet no one said it would be easy, and they soon learn the foster care system is far from perfect.

Just as Jeremy begins to settle in and thrive, his biological father reappears, demanding custody. Thomas and Randy know the man is unfit to care for Jeremy, but the law says otherwise. It seems they’re the only ones looking out for Jeremy’s best interests, and they face an uphill battle if they want to keep their new family together.

Nick Wilgus is one of my favorite authors, I’m not sure how many times I said it in the reviews of his previous releases, but I’m never tired of his works. Each time he breaks my heart with his stories, and each time I love his writing more and more.

This new release, Ringo and The Sunshine Police, was no exception. I cried a lot of course, it was really inevitable to not fall in love and suffer with the little Jeremy. I supported Thomas and hoped for Jeremy to find a family till the end, I hurt when Thomas was missing Jeremy so much he couldn’t find the strength to help Derek, another boy who desperately needed a new family. I wasn’t a huge fan of Randy, maybe I wasn’t able to know him very well. In fact this is a story focused not on the usual male/male couple, this is a story focused on Thomas and his strong will to have a family and most of all to adopt children with special needs, the same children no one wants. Randy has not a huge role in Thomas’ plans of the future, especially at the beginning of the novel, where Randy is still in the closet and a man in the closet can’t really play a role in what Thomas wants. Instead I liked Thomas from the start, he is a great man, the love he has and wants to give to Jeremy is bigger than himself, he was overwhelmed by it when he lost Jeremy but too powerful to forget.

Ringo and The Sunshine Police is not for everyone, all of the stories Nick writes are not for everyone, the subjects he speaks of are important, cruel, too strong, and when they are paired with children they become too hard to read. These themes could be a trigger for some reader, so be careful. If you’re looking for a light story, Nick Wilgus isn’t what I can recommend, at all. But if you’re looking for an emotional book, with characters that will stay with you for days, you can’t go wrong with any story by this author.

The cover art by Garrett Leigh is well done and fitting and I particularly like its brightness.

Sales Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 300 pages

Publication Date: February 24th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635332893 (ISBN13: 9781635332896)

Edition Language English

A Stella Review: Go Tell It on the Mountains (Sugar Tree #3) by Nick Wilgus

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars    ★★★★★

Go Tell It On The MountainsYears have gone by since the death of Noah, his special needs son, and Wiley Cantrell realizes it’s time to move on. He and his husband, Jackson Ledbetter, try to adopt little Tony Gorzola, a deaf boy with HIV who is emotionally traumatized.

Difficulties quickly set in. Tony is a sweet boy but very damaged by abuse and neglect. And Tony’s mother, in prison, is unwilling to relinquish her parental rights. No sooner do they get the go ahead to foster Tony when another child they had considered becomes available—the daughter Jackson always wanted.

With two children on their hands, life is complicated—wonderfully so. But just as things begin to settle down, Tony, his immune system compromised, falls ill with pneumonia—and Wiley and Jackson find their little family faced with crisis once again.

A portion of the proceeds from this book are being donated to the Kentucky Youth Law Project (www.kylpinc.org), whose goal is to reduce homelessness and promote legal protections for LGBT youth in the state of Kentucky.

I fell in love with this author’s stories since I read Shaking the Sugar Tree, the first book in the Sugar Tree series by Nick Wilgus. Although all his books left me a mess, they are addictive and I always wanted more. If you haven’t read the series yet and you are planning to do it, please do not go on with my review, you don’t want to know what happens in the third book now.

That said, as you can read from the blurb, this story takes place years after Stones in the Road, years after the death of my beloved Noah. I can admit it was a huge shock, I wasn’t expecting the author to go where its forbidden to go. Before reading it, I thought I would have preferred a third book in this series was not written. Not because I don’t love the author’s works, just because  I would have preferred wondering about what would have happened to Noah and not actually know.   I thought for a moment I was going to skip this book cause I wouldn’t like it. But I couldn’t. I’m too much into these characters’ lives and so I had to put aside my beliefs. I appreciated the author gave me just some glimpse of the time when Noah was dying. My heart couldn’t have taken it all.

The first chapter opens with Wiley and Jackson ready to adopt a seven years old deaf boy with HIV. They already meet other children but Tony is special and Wiley knows he can be the only parent to that kid. His stubbornness and courage will lead them in a beautiful journey to a possible happiness.

And when the sweet Amelia will join their new family, the circle will be completed. The story is full of obstacles and trauma to discover and try to overcome with the only thing all these characters need, love.

I was happy to meet Wiley and Jackson again and find out Wiley is still Wiley. They are still funny together, bantering and making fun of each other, and six years after the death of Noah they are at a point in their lives where they are still recovering yes but can maybe see a family again in the future.

Let’s be honest and say I cried a lot, maybe too much; some scenes, like the ones at the cemetery, were very emotional and too hard to take. Wiley is not ready to let Noah go, he’s still hurting, grieving. I cried through all the story till the last word. And it was okay. I cried for Noah, for Wiley, for Tony, for Amelia, for all the love I breathed from the pages, for the braveness of these flawed persons.

Go Tell it on the Mountain is a beautifully written book, as always the author was able to let me feel every good and bad emotion the characters felt. That’s one of the reasons why I read his books even if they break my heart. IMO Sugar Tree is one of the best series I read so far. I have no idea if this  is going to be the last book in the series or there will be more. If it is, I will of course be sad but it’s the perfect conclusion for a series like that.

Go Tell It on the Mountains is a love story, powerful and touching. I wish I could give it two thousand stars. My words are not good enough to really express my feelings about this book and I think it’s not easy to do it. I just want to highly recommended it. Just a warning: the series is not a light one. If you’re looking for romance, you’ll find it somewhere else, but if you’re looking for love, Sugar Tree is the right place, you’ll get every shade of love to fill your heart.

The COVER ART by Anne Cain follows the style of the covers of the previous books, well done.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 336 pages
Published February 22nd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634769075
Edition LanguageEnglish

SERIES Sugar Tree

Shaking the Sugar Tree

Stones in the Road

Go Tell It on the Mountains

Stella’s Top Comfort Reads for a Spooky October Night!

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skeleton reading books

Stella’s Top Comfort Reads

“On a scary, spooky October night, you just might need to settle in with your favorite romantic story.  The one that warms your heart and soul….

I have been reading exclusively mm books from more than three years, since the first time I put my eyes on Testa Calda, the Italian translation of Hot Head (Head, #1) by Damon Suede. I never looked back and in the years I read a lot but there are some stories thatHot Head cover stayed in my mind and heart and that I have re read often, especially when I need a cuddle after a hard book or when I simply need a strong story.

Let’s start with one of the best, Mary Calmes. I can always count on her cause she never disappoints me, I think I read everything she wrote, all of them are strong and emotional but I want to mention just a couple I love so much. Mine, as the title says, is full of that “not always sane” possessiveness and tight dependence between the MCs, Landry and Trevan, that can sound strange in RL but it works so good with Mary’s writing, especially cause it’s Frog coverenclosed in so many positive feelings I could forgive anything else. My all the time favorite book is Frog, it was love at first reading. I have a soft spot for this kind of story, with characters that came from different social worlds and with children. This is a magic book to me, it has the power to let me forget of everything bad in my life and just focus on Weber and his big heart. I fall in love with him each time. Melanie loved Frog too, she used it for our MM Romance First Line Quiz, did you see it?

There a series I like to reread by another favorite author of mine and it’s the Shifters one by Chris T Kat. SecretSecret Chemestry cover Chemistry and Secret Energy are both a five stars to me, sweet and light, and both the covers by Anne Cain are so cute. Same author, different cover artist (Paul Richmond), same love (mine), different shifters, The Wolf and His Diva is funny and adorable too.

Other times I need a different kind of comfort read, a little more emotional to me since I already know I will end up sobbing under my blanket, sad and happy tears either.

One of the  most emotional is Second Chances by TA Webb, there are no words to explain how much this book is Second Chances cover TAbeautiful. It’s a second chance at love story, overwhelming in the heartbroken it gives me, it drawn me in each time I read it. But it’s full of hope. It’s one of that stories I call complete, it evolves in a long time frame and the relationships and the events that happen are all well developed.

Then there is The Last Thing He Needs by JH Knight. Another emotional story based on the strong and brave love Tommy, the MC, has for his own family, and the amazing people that surround him. I cry for him and his so heavy life but I laugh too and most of all I cheer on him and his HEA till the beautiful end.The Last Thing He Needs Cover

One more is Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell is one of the first MM I read in Italian and one of the few I read about abduction cause I am not brave enough, it is a little hard to take but it deserves my tears. It’s scary and awful Finding Zach coverand amazing. What zach suffered was unbelievable and his long and hurtful journey to take his life back was so well written I could feel all of him.

It’s cristal clear I like to suffer with all those tearjerker comfort reads, so I can’t not talk a little about Nick Wilgus. The Sugar Tree series and Get Your Shine On are all emotionally beautiful and so real. The unexpected union of an angsty sadness and hilarity. He’s a master at creating imperfect characters and make them growing on you. I could read anything by him.Get Your Shine On cover

All of the books I mentioned are five stars to me, they are highly recommended, for different moods, but each one is simply the perfection. If you’d like, let me know what are your comfort reads.

                                                                                                                 ~ Stella

Stella’s Comfort Books with Goodreads Links

Hot Head (Head, #1) by Damon Suede

Frog by Mary Calmes
Mine by Mary Calmes

Secret Chemistry (Shifters, #1) by Chris T. Kat
Secret Energy (Shifters, #2) by Chris T. Kat

 

Second Chances (Second Chances #1) by T.A. Webb

The Last Thing He Needs (The Last Thing He Needs, #1)
by J.H. Knight

Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell

Shaking the Sugar Tree (Sugar Tree, #1) by Nick Wilgus
Get Your Shine On by Nick Wilgus

Mine coverHot Head coverSecret Energy CoverShaking the Sugar Tree cover

A Stella Review: Get Your Shine On by Nick Wilgus

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★

Get Your Shine On coverWhen his mother goes out to party one Saturday night and doesn’t come back, seven-year-old Ishmael Hood is taken in by his estranged uncle Henry and Henry’s live-in boyfriend, Sam. As this unlikely trio begins to build a new life together, they encounter both support and hostility in the small Mississippi town where they live. Seems like just about everybody has an opinion on the matter—and they’re not shy about expressing it.

While this blossoming little family finds its feet, outside forces—and ghosts from the past—threaten to tear it apart. Henry, still trying to deal with the tragic death of his parents, finds himself hard-pressed to open his heart to this needy child.

Just as a little shine begins to come back into their lives, Ishmael’s mother returns, and their world is thrown into chaos.

Nick Wilgus is one of my favorite authors, I have a soft spot for his Sugar Tree series, so every time I know he’s releasing a new book, I start to hyperventilate. Even if his books are not the usual m/m books I read, most of all even if his writing is hard to read for me, I’ve learned to simply love them and wish for more and more of his characters.

Get Your Shine On was another winner to me. I didn’t read the blurb because I didn’t care what it was about, I just cared that it was out. I wasn’t expecting this kind of story, so much (sometimes too much) emotional for me and I wasn’t ready for it. Especially halfway through it when we get some heavy angst. I so hoped,  until the end, that it wasn’t like I suspected to be and when my suspicions became reality they were hard to take; the central part was melting, I had to stop a couple of times.

The style and the language are the ones we used to find in the Sugar Tree series so if you liked that books you absolutely can’t miss this new one. I enjoy Nick Wilgus’ writing so much especially because he talks about children, the not so lucky ones, the same ones that break my heart in almost every scene I read. He writes so beautifully about imperfect characters, in fact there is no one perfect character in all of his books. For example at the start of Get Your Shine On I despised Henry, the MC, so much. I didn’t like how he approached his nephew Ishy, he didn’t get the boy at all and often he was too hard to the little one to my liking. But Wilgus is great at creating well developed characters, some of them will grow in the book and become better people, for other character there will be no hope sadly. Each one of them is well portrayed, from the details, to their background.

What I appreciate the most (cause it’s real) but at the same time I can understand it could be not easy to accept, is a specific quality of this author, so present in this book too. His books are full of crap, the MCs usually have to take it from everyone. There are a lot of homophobic people, too many times the word pedophile is said and it is just one of the nasty things that flew in the books. It’s a trait of his writing that can leave the reader puzzled the first time but later will be understood as the true way to show us a world that truly exists. Moreover the icing on the cake is that all of this is surrounded by a ton of laughter. There are so many funny scenes that balanced the angsty and heavy and sad parts.

As you can see I haven’t talked about blurb, plot or characters, it will be your pleasure to discover them, I’m sure. I just want to mention my favorite character (apart from the little Ishy that filled my heart every time he smiled), because she deserves it. She is Sister Ascension. She was the best, so fierce in her wanting to help Hen and his new family. Religion and I  have a tough relationship and I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the author for giving me a nun as the most positive person in this book.

I want to recommend Get Your Shine On cause it was emotional, funny, too many times really over the top. I can’t have enough of Wilgus’ works.

Cover art by AngstyG. It’s not my favorite by this artist. Not a bad cover at all but not so eye catching. I like it but nothing more. But at the end you could have give me a blank cover for this book, I wouldn’t have cared.

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

Book Details:

ebook 350 pages
Published July 24th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781634763738
Edition Language English