Adore Hurt/Comfort Stories? Check Out the Blog Tour for Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2) by Parker Williams (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Galen’s Redemption (Links in the Chain #2)

Author: Parker Williams

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Genre/s: Contemporary MM Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/comfort, learning to love

Themes: Forgiveness for oneself and for others

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:  92 660 words

Release Date: April 16, 2019

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Blurb

A Links in the Chain Story

A rich man is about to set foot into an unknown world, while a Good Samaritan fears he’ll have to close the charity he’s spent his life building. Poised to lose it all, they might find what they need most in each other.

Son of a wealthy importer, Galen Merriweather lives to broker deals, and he’s damn good at it. But it’s getting harder to ignore the kind of man his father is—a man who would pay Galen’s brother’s lover to leave… a man who’d demand Galen retrieve a quarter-million-dollar check from a struggling homeless shelter.

Robert Kotke knows the money is too good to be true, but it’s a godsend that could help so many people. Still, he hands it over when Galen shows up. But he isn’t done with Galen yet, and he’s going to challenge everything Galen ever believed.

Galen will face an impossible decision: the redemption he’s come to realize he wants, or the life he’d always dreamed of.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

LATE JUNE 2018

THE PEOPLE milling around at the coffeepot scattered when Galen Merriweather stormed into Primal Imports and headed for his office. He’d gone to see his brother, Lincoln, at Park View, the diner he owned, to tell him about the betrayal of Noel Simmons, Lincoln’s lover. When his father had offered Noel a quarter of a million dollars to walk away so Lincoln would be forced to come back to the family business, Galen had been incensed. Their old man had pulled some shady crap over the years, but this was a new low, even for him.

His personal assistant, Olivia, greeted him with a warm smile when he stepped through the door. “Good afternoon, Mr. Merriweather.”

Galen sneered at her and stomped into his office, slamming the door as he did. He dropped into the stylish leather chair that sat behind the imposingly large oak desk, wondering why the hell he’d bothered to talk to Lincoln at all. His feelings about Galen had been made perfectly clear when he chose that… person over his own family.

Plus, what was up with their father? His private investigator had somehow acquired pictures of Lincoln from a BDSM club he’d frequented at some point in his storied past. They showed Lincoln and some of the submissives he’d played with at the clubs. It turned Galen’s stomach to see. Not that he had a problem with BDSM. The problem was how his father had gone about it. The guys in the pictures were innocent, but anyone could clearly see who they were. Galen had to wonder if the PI had stolen the pictures or had worked out a deal with a club owner.

Either way, the whole thing stunk, and Galen hated the thought that he’d done nothing but sit there as his father rode roughshod over Noel. He had to admit, the way Noel had played his father was masterful, and there wasn’t a doubt in Galen’s mind that when he found out, his father’s retribution would be swift.

Galen didn’t like Noel, but he had to respect the ginormous set of balls he obviously had.

Still, what the fuck was up with his father? He’d seen the man pull some awful shit, but this? It went way beyond the pale, even for him. Galen’s ire rose as he thought about how any hope of Lincoln coming back to Primal had now been dashed, and all because their father was a total asshole.

When his phone rang, Galen took a moment to compose himself, then answered it without checking to see who it was.

Big mistake.

“Primal Imports, this is Galen. How can I help you?”

“Hey, Gale.”

Galen groaned. Andy might be the closest thing he had to a friend, but Galen couldn’t muster the energy to talk to him now. Best to find out what he wanted, then politely get rid of him. “What can I do for you, Andy?”

“Don’t be like that. We haven’t talked in weeks.” If it was possible to pout over the phone, Andy was doing so. “How come you haven’t called me? Last time I saw you was at Tyler’s party, when you were puking your guts out, and he was—”

“It’s been hectic here. Was there something you needed?” Keeping the conversation focused was the only way Galen would get off the phone sometime today.

“YP is having strippers tonight. I thought we could go.”

Not just no. Hell no. The last time he’d gone to a bar with Andy, Galen had been forced to duck out the back when he thought he saw someone from the office walk in. While Lincoln was out and proud, Galen was firmly rooted in the closet, and that was the way it was going to stay. Having already borne witness to the disappointment of Lincoln’s “lifestyle,” as their father called it, Galen had no intention of being on the receiving end of that treatment. How the family friends discussed Lincoln was bad, but hearing it from his father was infinitely worse.

“Michael is going to be there. He’s been asking about you.”

Galen’s stomach knotted. Michael had been a one-night stand about a year ago. Galen wouldn’t deny he enjoyed the sex, but he would say Michael’s crude behavior made it obvious the man should never be seen in the light of day, and he certainly would never fit in at family affairs. No, with his oversized muscles, gruff voice, and arrogance, Michael would be more likely to fit in at Lincoln’s diner.

“No, but thank you for asking. I—”

The door to his office was flung open so hard, it bounced off the dark wood panels and caused Galen to flinch.

“I have to go.”

“But—”

Andy’s protests were cut short as Galen hung up the phone. His father stomped in, a sneer on his face. He stalked over to Galen, put his palms flat on the desk, and leaned in close. “Explain this… mess to me.”

What was there to explain? Noel had played them big-time. His father’s reaction came as no surprise. Jonathan Merriweather was no one’s fool. In all of his dealings, he made it very clear what was expected of people. He used it against them, more often than not, as a means of acquiring their business. Galen had enjoyed observing his father’s cutthroat tactics. Seeing men who thought they had power brought to their knees because of some slight slip of the tongue had been fascinating to watch, and Galen had taken those lessons to heart. Father wasn’t happy about having them turned against him.

“Simmons played you, Father. He followed your instructions to the exact letter, and after he had the check in hand, he left.”

“He’s still here. I’m not a stupid man, Galen. I had Tate follow him. He went back to the diner. We had an agreement, and the little shit took the money.”

“The office, Father. He left the office. You weren’t specific enough about what you wanted from him, and he used it against you. As there were no contracts signed, the only thing you have is a verbal agreement, which could be argued in court. I can’t believe you showed him pictures of Lincoln with his… whatever.”

Nostrils flaring, Galen’s father stood to his full six-foot, six-inch height. “Don’t question how I do things, Galen.”

Galen wanted the chair to swallow him whole. His father’s glower never failed to make him feel small and helpless. He’d gotten Galen to fall in line ever since he was a child, simply by turning it on him. “No, of course not, sir.”

His father splayed his fingers on the desk and leaned forward, his gaze locked with Galen’s. “I’ve already spoken with Lincoln, and do you know the bastard laughed at me? I want you to get that money back. I don’t care what you need to do, but no one cheats me. Do you understand?”

“Why not just cancel the check?”

His father sneered. “Because I want you to put the fear of God into all of them. They need to learn not to screw with me. Do you think you’re able to handle this?”

Galen stiffened his spine. “Yes, of course.”

“I’m going to sue that little shit into the ground.”

“Maybe it would be best if—”

His father’s expression was ice-cold. “When I want your opinion, I’ll ask. Until then, keep it to yourself and do as you’re told.” He turned on his heel and huffed like a bull as he barreled out the open door.

Galen leaned back and ran a hand through his hair. God, the old man was a prick. He’d never been a nurturing person, leaving that to Galen and Lincoln’s nanny. Of course, they never lasted long either. As soon as either he or Lincoln began to feel close, they’d be terminated and someone new would be brought in. Galen was never sure if it was because their father wanted to control his sons or if he’d been screwing the nanny and was done with her.

The sad thing was that his mother was every bit as bad. She’d had affairs with the chauffeur, one of the cooks, and if rumor was to be believed, she’d even bedded a few maids. She wasn’t discriminating about who she had sex with, nor was she shy about sniffing around them when his father was nearby. But in public, they were one big, happy family.

Yeah, he knew what a fucked-up life he led, but he couldn’t complain too much. He had money, power, and when his father retired—God, let it be soon—he would take over the company. Pity Lincoln didn’t want anything to do with it. The two of them together could rule their empire with an iron fist.

His phone rang, and this time he glanced at the caller ID. With a sigh, he picked up. “Sorry, Andy. I had someone come into the office.”

“You hung up on me. Do you know how rude that is?”

“I said I was sorry. What more can I do?”

“Come out tonight. You can buy me a drink, we can dance, watch the strippers, have a good time, and maybe we’ll even get lucky.”

It had been better than three months since Galen got laid, and his ass clenched at the thought. Still, he’d been given a task by his father, and he needed to get on that right away.

“Tonight’s not good. Are you willing to give me a rain check?”

When Andy gave that weary, put-upon sigh, Galen knew he was going to give in. He always did, just because he didn’t want to hear Andy—

“Just one drink, Gale. Please?”

—whine. He knew he was going to regret it, but really, what could one drink hurt? And it wasn’t like the job was his life or anything.

“One drink, one dance. Then I have to go.”

“Oh, goody!”

Galen shook his head. This had bad idea written all over it.

 

THE ANNOYING ringtone on the phone dragged Galen out of a drunken stupor. He glanced over at the clock and groaned. Nearly 4:00 a.m., and he was still wasted.

Despite the fact he’d repeatedly said he had to go, Andy had kept plying him with drinks, and like an idiot, Galen drank them. When someone took his hand and dragged him along, Galen stumbled onto the dance floor, where hot, sweaty men surrounded him, their skin glistening under the pulsating lights. He remembered a mouth on him, sucking at his chest. When he tried to push the person away, they sank to their knees, undid his zipper, and right there in the middle of the club, they’d gone down on him. It was such a shock, and Galen knew he ought to run, but the mouth was hot and wet and Galen was horny, so he grabbed the head and thrust in deep. As he fucked the guy’s mouth, other hands pulled down Galen’s pants. Something cold and wet touched his ass, and Galen shivered. The guy blowing him chuckled. The sound of foil ripping told Galen what was about to happen. The man blowing him pulled off and Galen was urged down to his knees. Without preamble, a thick cock pushed inside him in one stroke, burying to the hilt. Galen moaned. It had been so fucking long.

The man who’d been sucking him stretched out, his legs spread, holding his cock in his hand. He gripped Galen’s hair and pulled it toward his crotch. Galen opened wide, allowing the head to slide into his mouth. The guy locked both hands on Galen’s head, forcing him to take the considerable length.

“Good ass?”

A slap to his cheek made Galen yelp, as much as he could with a mouthful of cock.

“Fuck yeah.”

They weren’t gentle at all, and Galen didn’t care. He’d never been spit-roasted before, and he was in heaven. Two men, each using Galen to satisfy their needs, not caring about him. This was what he wanted—no, this was what he needed. He had a hard job, a shitty family, and no one gave a fuck about him.

He wondered what his old man would say if he could see him now.

The man who he was sucking began to grunt, shoving Galen’s head down hard, forcing him to open up his throat. “Gonna come.” His voice was a growl, which inflamed Galen’s senses. “Fuck, this guy can suck a cock.”

“Yeah, I’m gonna seed his ass.”

The talk was filthy, and they were treating Galen like he was a hooker or something. He didn’t care. They still treated him better than his father.

The music volume kicked up a notch, and the words and grunts were drowned out by a thumping bass that went through Galen’s body. A hand reached down and grabbed his dick, jacking it while the guy at his head shot into Galen’s mouth. He swallowed it down, delighting in the musky flavor.

As soon as Galen had swallowed it all, the guy stood up, patted his head, said thanks, then disappeared back into the crowd. When the other guy pulled out, Galen felt empty. He smacked Galen on the ass before he, too, left.

Galen wasn’t sure why, but his whole world turned upside down after that. He pulled his pants up and lurched back to the bar, where he ordered another drink, downed it in one go, then stumbled out of the place.

The ringing phone was like a drumbeat in his head. He reached over to the nightstand and grabbed it. There were six missed calls from Andy. And now he was calling again. Might as well get it over with.

“What’s going on?”

“You tell me, stud.” There was a teasing quality to Andy’s voice that unsettled Galen even more.

“What are you talking about?” Galen’s stomach rolled over, and he got up and swayed a bit before he was able to get his balance. His bladder was screaming at him, so Galen figured he should listen for a change. He moved from his bedroom to the living room.

“Your little act on the floor. It was hotter than hell, and your fans wanted to know where you went and when the next show is. Shit, the Xtube video has nine thousand views already, and it was only posted a few hours ago. You, my friend, are going to be a star. Who the hell knew you had it in you? Well, I guess we all did, since we watched.”

Galen’s stomach lurched and he threw his phone onto the couch, then ran to the bathroom, dropped to his knees, and tossed his cookies. How had this gone so wrong? The old man had gotten pictures of Lincoln somehow. What would happen if he somehow saw this video? Shit, Galen’s life could well and truly be over. After discovering his father had hired a private detective to track down information on Noel, Galen could imagine him having people scour the internet to dig up dirt on both his sons. He had no idea to what end, but seeing how he had attempted to blackmail Lincoln, tried to pay Noel to leave, and how angry he’d gotten over a little nobody like Noel getting the better of him? What would happen if he learned both of his sons were queer?

Shit. Shit shit shit.

Galen swiped a hand over his mouth, stood, and trudged to the sink. He didn’t even need the mirror to know he looked like shit. Still, he wanted to see just how bad it was. Sunken cheeks, bloodshot gray eyes, and his dark hair was greasy. Galen could smell the smoke clinging to him. Even his normally tanned skin was sallow. He turned away. That was definitely not the image he needed to present when he went into work. He took a shower and brushed his teeth, then shuffled into the kitchen where he grabbed a coffee pod and started a pot. His phone rang from the other room, but Galen didn’t want to answer it. He wanted—needed—to put the whole thing out of his mind. It was a nightmare; that’s all it had been.

But despite the drinks at the bar and the beers he’d downed after he got home, Galen remembered some of it. Their hands on him, their cocks inside him. The taste, their forcefulness, the way they’d treated him. If anyone else had done that, Galen would have thrown a fit, but those two men? Galen realized he was nothing more than a hole for them to use, but that was okay. They saw him at least. He snorted, because apparently the whole world was now seeing him. One night fucked up everything, and Galen’s dreams were crumbling to dust before him.

His only hope—and that wasn’t saying much—was to get the money back from the shelter Noel said he’d given it to. If Galen could show his father he could be as cutthroat and ruthless as the old man, maybe it would go a long way toward helping him out of this damned mess.

One thing was certain: he sure as hell wasn’t going out with Andy again.

No matter how good it felt.

About the Author

Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family.

Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and happily-ever-after always has a price tag.

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Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor 

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A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: The Spirit Key (Lock and Key #1) by Parker Williams

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This starts with a long, detailed first person recap of the past from Scotty’s POV. After he died at age eight, he started seeing ghosts but didn’t tell anyone. This is really the crux of the whole book. By the time he was eighteen, it was overwhelming, unrelenting. The stress of everything made his family implode. Through it all his best friend Tim was always supportive, but it wasn’t enough and Scotty ran away. The farther he got from Milwaukee, the sparser the ghosts became so he lived his life normally for five years in Chicago until a visitation from Tim’s mom.

If you like the idea that there is one person meant to help the main character as they fullfill their destiny, then you might like this. There are parts of this book that remind me of me of Kris Bethke’s Requiem Inc. series (or even Mary Calmes’ Warders), although there are parts that are completely original and there is no organization that helps these ghosts cross over. In fact, the support team is not fully fleshed out. I think this is meant to set up a series, but for me this felt like the complete story.

There are several times when I feel the execution could have been better. Scotty is going home after five years when no one knew if he was even alive and Tim just throws them into a sex scene with power dynamics after a day? It was a hot scene, but the emotional impact could have been greater if they had a chance to build trust first; it doesn’t quite work as angry make-up sex either. Tim’s mood swings are jarring and confusing because this is in Scotty’s first person POV and he doesn’t know Tim is possessed, but the audience already knows from the blurb, so this is not quite successful. There is a scene where it is supposed to be first person, but Sophia talks to Scott, about Scott, as if talking to someone else, which is confusing. I am hoping that gets fixed before publication. Then, Scotty does the most colossally stupid thing, without consulting Tim, which endangers himself and breaks what little trust is left between them. I know these guys are in their twenties, but the bad judgements and lack of honesty between them is what causes all the anguish in the first place, although there is plenty of parental/adult bad judgment that contributes to the circumstances Scotty finds himself in. I think the author is showing everyone trying to do the best they can. Because of these story-framing choices, there are things that just seem to come out of nowhere…at least it’s told through dialogue and not narrative.

The book is at its best as Scotty actually tries to figure out why he sees ghosts and if he can help them. The flashes of the past Scotty sees are good additions to the story. As Scotty and Tim figure out who they are to each other and how they fit into this paranormal role, they also have to take care of themselves emotionally and physically, as well as each other. What they are doing, what is happening, is dangerous. Although this could have been frightening and quite atmospheric, the author doesn’t go this route so if you dislike horror, don’t worry. There are flashes of what the killer sees, but they are short and are only detailed enough to show his character. However, there is some violence that could be upsetting. The flashes of humor and love between Scotty and Tim are a nice counterbalance. Overall, the story is supposed to be about them but their whole lives are told through a recap and in their present Tim is not really Tim; this makes connecting with them a bit of a challenge. We are told they are best friends and in love, but only shown a few days of it when they are hurt, angry, and in danger. I liked so many ideas in this book, but I feel the way it was written constrained the story.

The cover art by Reese Dante captures the dark, tortured, paranormal feel well.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 210 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644051214
Edition Language English
Series Lock and Key #1

Parker Williams on Writing, Research and his new story Lincoln’s Park (Links In the Chain) (author guest interview)

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Lincoln’s Park (Links In the Chain #1) by Parker Williams
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Reese Dante

Sales Links: Dreamspinner PressAmazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Parker Williams today on tour with his latest story Lincoln’s Park (Links In the Chain).

 

 ~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with  Parker Williams  ~

How much of yourself goes into a character?

For this particular book, not too much. Lincoln looked down on people, and I never did that. Noel found out he wasn’t loved as much as he thought. I always knew my mom loved me.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

Not in this story. Everything in Lincoln’s Park was a product of my imagination. Well, except for the list of clubs that Lincoln belonged to. Some of those will be familiar.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I did do some research into diner food, and ended up enjoying the hell out of it, and making myself really hungry in the process. Lincoln serves Noel some battered cheesy onion rings that I found, and they looked SO damn good. If you want to see them for yourself, go here.

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

You know, when I was a kid, gay characters weren’t very prevalent. IF you saw one, they were usually a joke or a molester or would die in some horrific way. Much like back then, though, many movies still treat LGBT characters the same. It’s why the phrase Bury the Gays came from. I’d like to think, with the advent of such movies as Love, Simon and newer flicks, that LGBT can be shown to be happy and not a smear stain on the sidewalk.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I honestly prefer a HEA for romance stories, but those that aren’t strictly romance (Amy Lane’s Fish series, for example), a HFN is good enough, because you know there will be more to unravel as the series continues.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I would have *loved* a good gay romance when I was a teenager. The closest I came was a book called Kevin by Wallace Hamilton, but even that was a taboo tale, although the ending was happy.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I think eBooks are going to be around for a while. I’d like to say they’re here to stay, but I said the same thing about VHS tapes, and look where those are now.

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

When I work with Dreamspinner, I always ask Reese Dante if she’s available to do the cover for me. Ever since I first saw her work, she was a favorite of mine. When I wrote Pitch, a friend asked about the cover, and I said I would love to ask Reese, but she didn’t do young adult stuff. So my friend asked for me, and Reese said yes!

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

My current favorite is An Unlocked Mind with K.C. Wells. I have wanted to do a story for Rob ever since we met him. He’s funny, sarcastic, and not anything like a sub is expected to behave. (A lot of that comes from K.C., who gave him personality in An Unlocked Mind.)

No matter what, I will always be grateful to her for allowing us to do his story.

What’s next for you as an author?

I just finished edits on my first ever ghost story, ‘The Spirit Key’!

When he was eight years old, Scott Fogel died. Paramedics revived him, but he came back changed. Ghosts and spirits tormented Scott for over a decade until, thinking he was going mad, he did the only thing he could.

He ran—leaving behind his best friend, Tim Jennessee.

Scott’s had five normal, ghost-free years in Chicago, when the spirit of Tim’s mother comes to him and begs him to go home because Tim’s in trouble and needs him.

He isn’t prepared for what he finds when he goes home—a taller and sexier Tim, but a Tim who hasn’t forgiven Scott for abandoning him… a Tim whose body is no longer his own. The ghost of a serial murderer has attached itself to Tim, and it’s whispering dark and evil things. It wants Tim to kill, and it’s becoming harder for Tim to resist. To free the man who has always meant so much to him, Scott must unravel the mystery of the destiny he shares with Tim.

And I got a contract for book two in the Links in the Chain series, Galen’s Redemption. (Galen is Lincoln’s brother, and after you read Lincoln, you’ll see why he needs to be redeemed.)

And I just finished writing the third and final book in the Links in the Chain series. This one will feature Aiden (who we meet in book two) and Tom, the brother of Robert from book one. I shared a bit of the story with two friends who told me they never cry, and both did, so that makes me happy. (Yes, gentle readers, if I can make someone have some kind of emotion, it makes me happy.)

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

Hm. This is a good question. Can a character be too real? To be honest, I don’t think so. I mean, I could be wrong, and it would really depend on what kind of faults a person has. If he’s a cheater, abuser, liar, or something, then he might be beyond redemption. But if his faults are that he’s loud or has an annoying laugh, then no, I don’t think it prevents him from being a love interest.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I love characters who aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves. Or, barring that, can learn to laugh with someone. If someone doesn’t possess at least a little bit of self-deprecating humor, then what fun are they?

 

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

I’ve got plenty of stories in my ‘to-be-written’ pile that I tuck away until I’m ready for them. As for stopping a work in progress, I did that on Haven’s War. There’s a scene that gutted me, and I had to stop and write something sweet (Of Love and Corn Dogs) to take my mind of the horrible, awful thing the bad guy did. (Note: I am taking no responsibility for it!)

 

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

No, I don’t drink. I have, however, taken a sleeping pill the doctor gave me, and sat down to write. Let’s just say that was…unpleasant. When you can’t even decipher what the hell it is you’ve said, it’s time to leave those pills alone.

BLURB:

A Links In the Chain Story

Lincoln Merriweather was born an entitled brat with a silver spoon lodged so deep, it might never have come out. At the BDSM club or in business, Lincoln was a storm, blowing in and disrupting the lives of everyone he touched, until the day he met a man who peeled away the tarnished layers to expose a decent person.

Lincoln found—then lost—love. 

Since then, he’s tried to atone for his past, including walking away from his family’s wealth. He opened a diner, hiring people to work for him that he would have spit on before his epiphany. He’s found peace, which he’s about to lose to a hazel-eyed man.

Noel Simmons wound up on the street when his parents discovered he was gay. His path leads him to Lincoln’s diner, where he asks for a job. He’s thrilled when Lincoln agrees to hire him, but finds his new boss perplexing. Can anyone be this kind and decent?

What starts out as business becomes something more. Noel discovers he needs Lincoln in order to feel safe. Lincoln needs Noel to complete him. But when Lincoln’s past gets in the way of his present, will the two have a future?

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press

iBooks

Amazon

About the Author

Parker Williams is a bestselling author of MM romance and suspense. One of his recent works was nominated for the Lambda Literary Awards, and several books have been runners-up at the Rainbow Awards.

Parker loves the written word. A chance encounter with an amazing author changed the course of his life as he began to write the stories his men were whispering to him. With the help of some amazing friends and a community of writers he’s proud to be part of, Parker continues telling stories of love, hurt, comfort, and sometimes tosses in a little angst for fun. He believes in love, but also knows that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (and maybe a little hurt and comfort too). The course of true love never runs smooth, and he enjoys writing about it.

A Stella Release Day Review: Lincoln’s Park (Links In the Chain) by Parker Williams

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RATING 3,75  out of 5 stars

A Links In the Chain Story

Lincoln Merriweather was born an entitled brat with a silver spoon lodged so deep, it might never have come out. At the BDSM club or in business, Lincoln was a storm, blowing in and disrupting the lives of everyone he touched, until the day he met a man who peeled away the tarnished layers to expose a decent person.

Lincoln found—then lost—love.

Since then, he’s tried to atone for his past, including walking away from his family’s wealth. He opened a diner, hiring people to work for him that he would have spit on before his epiphany. He’s found peace, which he’s about to lose to a hazel-eyed man.

Noel Simmons wound up on the street when his parents discovered he was gay. His path leads him to Lincoln’s diner, where he asks for a job. He’s thrilled when Lincoln agrees to hire him, but finds his new boss perplexing. Can anyone be this kind and decent?

What starts out as business becomes something more. Noel discovers he needs Lincoln in order to feel safe. Lincoln needs Noel to complete him. But when Lincoln’s past gets in the way of his present, will the two have a future?

As always Parker Williams is a guarantee. As soon as I started this new release, I understood it was going to be a beautiful journey into these guys lives. Lincoln and Noel was simply amazing, together and as individuals. The strength both of them had when they took their complicated worlds and morphed into something better and filled with love, was striking. Lincoln was so brave to say no to his family’s money and start a new diner that little by little became a sort of sanctuary for people who needed to be cared or just a second chance. His big heart, more than once hurt, was still open and ready to welcome more friends. Someone like Noel was exactly who Lincoln was waiting for and when the younger man walked into his diner, Lincoln soon fell for Noel.

I loved the two main characters deeply and with no hesitation because they were pure, always positive and so open and full of love to give, it was a joy to read each new chapter. Their relationship and the ones they had created with Kate and Robert were real and perfect like every friendship or love story should be. I think all of us should deserve someone like these  guys into our lives.

Although I adored Lincoln’s Park, I admit I didn’t give it a higher rating because the last chapters, when something I can’t spoiler happened, weren’t really what I expected from this author. It was too simple, almost a cliché, resolve things with that meeting, seen too many times already in movies and books, it missed some freshness and originality.

Still, I can’t wait to read the second installment in this new series and I feel to recommend this novel and everything else the author has written.

The cover art by Reese Dante is lovely and well done but I can’t see in the model neither of the two MCs.

SALE LINKS  Dreamspinner PressAmazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 244 pages

Published October 16th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781640806139

Edition Language English

A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Runner by Parker Williams and Patrick Zeller (Narrator)

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.

He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—

But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.

I’ve been sitting here wondering what to write.  How do I write a review when I thought the writing was exceptional and the narrating so perfect that I was emotionally pulled into the story from the very beginning? There’s no getting around the fact that Parker Williams can write heartbreaking stories.  This is certainly one of those.  What happens to Matt Bowers at the young age of sixteen should never happen to anyone and yet it does.  We hear stories of sexual abuse over and over again until it almost numbs you.  It takes stories like Matt’s to make those numbers personal and give them a face again.  And a narrator like Patrick Zeller to give them a voice.

Something else horrible happened to Matt that day the teacher attacked him, a deep part of him died or maybe it just permanently changed in order to survive the attack and to try to heal as best he could.  He became a different Matt, a post attack Matt that handled  living post attack far differently than pre attack Matt ever could have envisioned.  He had to take control of his life in the small ways he knew how,  he had to clean, and, he had to make sure he was safe.  Words we would apply to Matt would be PTSD and OCD, however, those words would not be words he applied to himself.

Because this story is told from Matt’s pov, after the attack, Matt finds nothing but  pity and an inability for his Mother and brother to see him as anything other than a wounded preattack Matt, not as the functioning post attack Matt he’s become.  In that frame of mind,  with the help of lawyers, Matt takes charge of the settlement fund at the age of 18, leaves home, buys a remote house with land and basically becomes something of a hermit, remaining isolated and in his mind safe from harm.

So I have major issues there with an 18 year old and his mother not looking at other options for treatment, counseling etc.  Yes, a book can have literary license but my issues with the mother and brother will continue on throughout the story and it’s origins begin here.  I find them irresponsible and their following actions more so.  That Matt “writes off” their actions or apologizes for them because they love him?  That I find equally troubling.  That they  continue to do what they think is best, whether it actually is or not, is something I find controlling bordering on abuse.  That it’s done with love?  Doesn’t make it right or downright creepy.  Especially now that the local sheriff is also his brother.

The runner, a writer named Charlie, gets to know Matt in an unusual way.   And slowly they build a tentative relationship, one that also allows us to see that Matt has also built a life for himself on his land that has its own riches.  There is true beauty here in Parker’s narrative.  Descriptions of  Matt’s life on the land and his inner thoughts of his life and schedules.   And how it all starts to slightly fracture and enlarge as Charlie wedges himself into Matt’s life.

Its only as the brother bludgeons his way back in over and over, harsh and with such a shattering impact that I had to really think about the story and the way the brother is included into Matt’s life.  That he’s such a vivid character is due to the author’s terrific characterization, but I just never “liked him” or the manner in which he felt he had the right to control Matt’s life.  Same goes for Matt’s mother.  Ah well.  Great writing if you make me dislike the characters so.

Either way, these are difficult subjects to address and I’m not sure everyone is going to be able to look at them objectively.  Its far too emotional a story for that.  It is, however, a wonderfully moving one.  I love how it ended.  And for me Patrick Zeller will always be the voice of Matt.  Fragile at times, wounded certainly, and finding the strength that was there all along.  How I love him.

Yes, I absolutely recommend this story and this narrator.

Cover art: Reese Dante is perfection.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 6 hours and 11 minutes

Audible Audio
Published January 23rd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published July 28th 2017)
ASINB0796Z54VX
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhsettingMaine (United States)

Parker Williams on Characters, Writing and his new release ‘Runner’ from Dreamspinner Press (guest blog and excerpt)

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Runner by Parker Williams
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Runner sales links:

Dreamspinner Press Amazon | iTunes | Kobo

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Parker Williams here today.  We asked Parker to talk about his writing and the character in his latest story, Runner. Welcome, Parker

✒︎

Q Would the author act the same as his main character in the story? Did that help write the story?

The simple answer to this question is no, I wouldn’t act the same as the main character. Of course, I’ve never dealt with the level of trauma that Matt does, and everything he goes through is a product of my imagination. There are some similarities between us, though.

His favorite book is My Side of the Mountain. When I was a kid, I devoured that book so many times that I had a dog-eared copy of it, too. Matt lives alone in the woods, a good distance from people. I’d love to do that, as long as it allowed me to continue writing. And Matt isn’t good with people. Neither am I. I prefer to stay insulated, especially from groups. I tried twice to go to GRL, and even though a lot of the people that were there I consider friends, I just couldn’t bring myself to go out in public. Fortunately, a few of them stopped in to see me. And I got to visit with K.C. Wells, so that was a huge bonus.

For me, the story was easy to write. Matt walked me through the entire process, telling me how he’d behave, what triggers he had for his PTSD and OCD, and guided me from the point where he was fearful of everyone, to grudgingly learning to accept the presence of the Runner on his property. From there, it was a cakewalk…. Well, for me. Matt? Not so much. He’s got a lot of issues to deal with, and he’s got to confront things that have been holding him back.

I hope that people who read the book will find Matt and Charlie to be an interesting couple, because they both (especially Charlie) hold a special place in my heart.

“SO THEN the detective says, ‘I knew you were guilty the day you walked into my office. The stench dripped from you like so much rotting garbage.’ And the killer says, ‘Then why did you take the case?’ And Tremaine answers, ‘Because I needed to find evidence that you were guilty, so I could have you arrested for murdering your brother. Basically you paid to have me get you put on death row.’”

I was hooked on his words. I had never heard of his books, but now I wanted to know more. I glanced down at my watch and realized I had been sitting with him on my porch for nearly three hours. I’d never spent that much time with any other person after the incident. And I didn’t feel freaked out by his presence. After seeing him every day, he’d somehow become a fixture, and that desperate need to keep order in my life had somehow come to include him. I wasn’t ready to let him into my home, but I found I didn’t mind talking to him so much.

“Wow,” I said, knowing that it wasn’t nearly what I meant.

“You’ve seriously never read one of my books?” He seemed amused.

“No. I… I don’t get out much.”

He chuckled. “I’m teasing you. My niche is pretty small, but if you like mysteries….”

“I do love to read,” I admitted.

“If you give me your email, I’ll send you copies. I mean, if you think they’re worth reading.”

RUNNER by Parker Williams

Blurb:

Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.

He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—

But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.

****

Excerpt:

I COULDN’T find it within myself to talk to him for the first four days. I kept hoping he’d stop running by and my life would go back to normal. I should have known better. Ever since the incident, nothing went the way I expected it to. I continued to watch him, and I had to admit, the apprehension that coursed through me had eased. He didn’t really frighten me anymore, but the thought of talking to him filled me with dread. What made it worse for me? He’d continued to glance toward the house, and if he saw me, he’d give a smile or a little wave.

No, I wasn’t being honest. After a few weeks of him waving, I had actually started to weave that into my daily routine. I stood in front of the window, looking out at the road every day at ten thirty. One day it rained, and he was thirteen minutes late. I went into panic mode, hyperventilating and pacing around the house, chastising myself. How had he become a part of my world? Why did I now depend on him to be where I expected him to be? I grew angry with myself for that. Despite the pleading I’d done with Clay, I no longer wanted the man to stop running by my house now that I’d grown used to seeing him.

And worse, when he waved, I had started waving back.”

****

Categories: Romance, Gay Romance, Contemporary

—-

About the Author

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.

Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his husband of a quarter century, Parker continues to believe and writes stories where there is (almost) always a happy ending.

Connect with Parker on:

Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/parker.williams.75641

Or you can visit his website: http://www.ParkerWilliamsAuthor.com

A Stella Review: Haven’s War (Safe Haven #2) by Parker Williams

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

With Haven on an extended honeymoon with Sammy, bad guys around the world are breathing a lot easier. No one is better at permanently removing these lowlifes who target children—and the brutal murder of two teenage girls makes clear it’s past time to return to work. Haven’s first assignment back results in a new family member and a renewed sense of urgency to protect and avenge the innocent.

There is nothing ‘usual’ about the business of hunting predators, but when several of Haven’s fellow agents are killed, a pattern emerges. The hunters have become the prey, tools in a bitter vendetta for a perceived wrong.

Despite years of working alone, when the target shifts to someone unexpected, Haven calls in reinforcements—a friend to stand between the family he loves and a ruthless killer. Teamwork may be the only way to win this fight—unless it’s already too little, too late.

Haven tries to approach this as he would any other assignment. Find your enemy and make sure they suffer before you eliminate them. But when a member of his team goes off-book and ends up dead, everything changes. It’s no longer a battle.

Now it’s war.

I was waiting for Haven and Sammy to be back in my life since I first read their story in Haven’s Creed in 2015. I so hoped the author would decide to give me more about them and you can imagine my joy when I finally saw Haven’s War. And in my opinion this new release is the best Parker Williams wrote so far (among what I read of his and I want to specify I am not talking of his coauthored books because I haven’t read those ones). Apart from the plot, which I loved and I will talk about in a bit, I was so engaged by the writing, perfect, clear and focused on getting every single feeling to the reader. Because the story is full of feelings and maybe it’s just what conquered me. Beautifully done.

The Safe Haven series is not what I usually want on my Kindle, I like sweet, I like cute and I don’t like thrillers, blood and abuses. I made an exception for this author and although Haven’s War is hard to read and in some parts the scenes are really detailed, I didn’t feel the fear or the tightness in the throat often stories like this give me, leading me to not enjoying the reading at all. The author with his writing was great, he showed me the love and the force of the good no matter how much blood and human parts were shed.

One more thing I loved, the characters, all of them (I’ll be back to beg for one of them own story, no worry). Yes, someone will die of course and it is necessary for the solving of the plot, but have no fear the important characters will be saved and I am not saying this to spoiler, just to reassure the interested readers. A lot will happen in Haven’s War because as the title say there is a war to fight, but some good events will warm your hearts, new weddings, new puppies, new amazing friends. The way Haven and Sammy are able to create a family with the amazing people they have in their life is so reassuring, they take care of each other and how never once one of them try to be selfish, thinking always at the strength they had in their union.

I have to say I’m pretty satisfied from this book, the author gave me exactly what I wanted, to know what was going on in Sammy and Haven life, see them together and how their love has developed. He gave me an happy ending, not just for them. Now I have just a little little request, I think Oscar deserves more words, I deserve to know Max and so pretty please if there could be more in the series I would be greatly delighted.

I feel to recommend Haven’s War but keep in mind it doesn’t work as a standalone so you have to absolutely read Haven’s Creed first.

I don’t like the cover art by Laura Harner, as I didn’t like the cover of the previous book, they are pretty similar so nothing changed.

Buy Now: Universal Link 

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 411 pages

Published June 26th 2017 by Pride Press

ISBN13 9781941841501

Edition Language English

Safe Haven #2

Blitz Tour: Haven’s War by Parker Williams (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Haven’s War
Series: Safe Haven #2
Author: Parker Williams
Genre: M/M Dark Romantic Elements
Release Date: June 26, 2017
Buy Now: Universal Link 

Hello Scattered Thoughts people!

This is a really interesting question. Haven, in both books, is totally different from anyone I’ve ever written. He’s dark, not afraid to hurt people if it gets him what he wants, and death is just a part of his job.

In Haven’s War, there is a part that affected me enough to make me stop writing for two months, because it was that painful to me. (Admittedly, I am not sure it will bother others, though one person who beta read the story said it really hurt her, too.)

Haven is a culmination of my dark thoughts. When I envisioned him, I was dealing with a coworker who was, to me, the epitome of evil (at least on the job). She threatened coworkers, acted like everyone owed her because she was lowering herself to do a job she considered menial. No one liked her. The thing of it was? She was good with the guests. Which, apparently, was enough to keep her employed, despite the fact she once said she wanted to take a manager out in the alley and beat the shit out of him.

So she was the focal point for Haven. She became Valerie (and her name just happened to be Valerie. Weird coincidence, huh?)

But book two? Haven’s opponent this time is someone who isn’t necessarily evil. But he’s still a monster. It took a while for me to bring the two halves together and write what I hope is a convincing bad guy who Haven needs to take off the board, but still makes you wonder if maybe things could have been different.

No matter what, I do love Haven. He’s dark, but he himself is damaged. He needs someone who provides him with something he’s lost, and to me that’s what Sammy does.


With Haven on an extended honeymoon with Sammy, bad guys around the world are breathing a lot easier. No one is better at permanently removing these lowlifes who target children—and the brutal murder of two teenage girls makes clear it’s past time to return to work. Haven’s first assignment back results in a new family member and a renewed sense of urgency to protect and avenge the innocent.

There is nothing ‘usual’ about the business of hunting predators, but when several of Haven’s fellow agents are killed, a pattern emerges. The hunters have become the prey, tools in a bitter vendetta for a perceived wrong.

Despite years of working alone, when the target shifts to someone unexpected, Haven calls in reinforcements—a friend to stand between the family he loves and a ruthless killer. Teamwork may be the only way to win this fight—unless it’s already too little, too late.

Haven tries to approach this as he would any other assignment. Find your enemy and make sure they suffer before you eliminate them. But when a member of his team goes off-book and ends up dead, everything changes. It’s no longer a battle.

Now it’s war.



PROLOGUE

He glanced up at the evening sky. A haze enveloped the quarter moon, giving everything an ethereal glow. Though the night would be considered sultry, it lent itself to romance, walking hand in hand with someone you cared for, sharing whispered words, promises that might last an evening or be the foundation for a lifetime commitment. These people had no idea how quickly something like love could be ripped away, how those things said to one another would be worth less than the air you spent on saying them.

He shook his head. Now he needed to focus, not lose himself in memories of what might have been if things had been different. God, how he wished things could have been different.

The street could only be described as quaint. Small houses, each nearly identical to the next, but with a few tweaks that marked them as individual. The place he focused on had a small flowerbed, bursting with a variety of a flower he knew, but couldn’t recall the name. Tulips, maybe?

The slate gray siding, the maroon shutters on the windows, and the solar-powered pathway to the door that lit up in beautiful colors at night. The overall effect could only be described as charming. A lot of love went into making the house something special. It reminded him of what he’d lost.

He’d taken refuge in a house across from the home for six days, getting the lay of the land, taking note of the occupants’ arrival and departure schedule. Then every night, he drifted off, thinking about the place. It had been a dream of theirs, to own a little farm of their own, where no one would send them off to the corners of the world to handle problems. And for one very brief instant, they’d achieved it. But that dream had died in more ways than one. One day it was there, the next it was gone, as ephemeral as if it had never existed.

He tugged the collar of his black jacket and wished for a cool breeze. The earlier rain had sent the humidity soaring, and sweat was building up under his bulletproof vest, matting the sparse hairs. What he wouldn’t give for a tall glass of iced tea about now. He tried again, lifting the bottom of the vest up, hoping to let a little air in to cool him down, but nothing helped. He glanced at his watch. He’d need to make his move tonight. No way could he stand to be in this place any longer. The memories and wistful dreams alone threatened to drown him, but this heat had him sweating to the point where even he could smell himself. When he grabbed a coffee at the convenience store down the street while his target was out, the man behind the counter had a hand on the phone. Probably thought he was a vagrant. He sure as hell looked like one. He hadn’t showered in days, and his dark blond hair felt greasy to the touch. The beard he’d grown over the last year hadn’t seen a razor either. He looked like shit.

When he heard the hum of an engine on the quiet street, he crouched down. Though his patience had long ago come to an end, he needed to see this through. He would wait as he’d been trained, even if every fiber of his being rebelled against the idea. Still, he was an assassin, and he had a job to do.

The woman—Sarah, according facts he’d assembled—slid from the driver’s seat, her blond hair pulled back into a ponytail. She laughed at something the other occupant shouted, then opened the rear door of the van. It took several minutes for her to get set, then she stepped away as a ramp slid down to allow the man in the back to wheel out and be lowered to the ground. She bent over and kissed him, then walked to the passenger side where she took a baby from the car seat. She held the child up, and then blew a raspberry on his belly, which caused the kid to laugh and wiggle. Regret tore through him. He wished there could be another way, but two months ago he’d approached the man—Daniel Tollifson—there had been angry words exchanged, as well as the threat of police involvement. He couldn’t allow that, because there would be no one else to take down his ultimate target.

He forced himself to focus on the here and now. He needed to remain detached. Better to not let facts like these intrude on his mission—a few weeks ago, he’d gone to Daniel, begging for information. He’d been rebuffed. That wouldn’t be the case today.

If the man wouldn’t help him when he asked, then he’d have to find another way to get his message across. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a photo of a man whose smile had never wavered. Terry had been his whole world, and then had been ripped away from him in a matter of moments. All he wanted had been the name of the person responsible. Why couldn’t Daniel see he wasn’t asking for much? How would he feel if it had been his wife? Or his child?

Daniel disengaged himself from the ramp, and Sarah started to come around to the other side. It had to be now.

He’d run out of tears a lifetime ago, but again he wished he had another alternative. He didn’t. He raised the rifle and peered through the sights. The woman and baby had gotten too near the man, and he refused to hurt the innocent. Not like Terry had been. He lowered his weapon.

He waited while the two were engaged in conversation. She touched her husband’s face, then bent down to blow a raspberry on his cheek, which had them both laughing. She held out the baby to him and gestured to the chair. He frowned, shook his head, and waved her off. She laughed and stuck out her tongue, dodging the swat he attempted to lay on her ass, then strode to the house, singing something loud and only slightly off-key. Her husband yelled something about the neighbors, and she merely laughed. He could see the obvious love the two of them shared, and that made what he had to do even more difficult.

Regret tore through him. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, no longer sure who the sympathy was for.

She opened the front door, and her husband began to roll toward the house. Now would be his chance. Despite his misgivings, he had to take it. He again raised the rifle, closed one eye, and locked in on his target. The wheelchair stopped at the curb, and the man tried unsuccessfully to move it. He called out to Sarah, an edge of frustration in his voice. She laughed and took eight steps toward him when the trigger of the M24 he held in slightly trembling hands depressed, and a loud bang split the quiet suburban street. Less than a second passed before Daniel’s head exploded, blood and other materials spattering his wife and child. For a moment, she stood there, eyes wide. She gripped the baby close to her chest, and then screamed.

Before the echo died away, he had already scurried off into the night.

It wasn’t a perfect shot. He could hear Terry cursing at him, making him do it again and again until he got it right. But Terry had died, and though two years had passed, he would finally be avenged.

Daniel Tollifson had been the first, but there was no doubt he wouldn’t be the last. Though he didn’t want to kill anyone, there had to be a penalty for those who refused to help him get justice for Terry. He needed to track down and eliminate the person who’d been responsible.

No matter who had to die in the process.

 


(Warning: This may be considered a trigger for some people. The images used in the video are stock photos and not real pictures of violence against children.)

 


Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.

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A Stella Review: Of Love and Corn Dogs (Of Love and… #1) by Parker Williams

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

of-love-and-corn-dogsWith more money than he could spend in ten lifetimes, Darwin Kincade still couldn’t keep death from stealing his lover. A little older and a whole lot wiser, flirting with his twice-a-week waiter is the perfect no-risk substitute for a real relationship. Until the night his routine is upended by the restaurant’s newest employee.

Ricky Donnelly loves people. While being a server isn’t his dream, he’s good at it. When a grumpy man is seated in his station, Ricky sees there’s more to him than he lets on, and when the man relaxes, he’s actually sweet.

As the two men bond over a discussion about corn dogs— something Darwin’s never heard of—he realizes how much he’s missed out on in his life. He vows to open himself to new experiences—including, perhaps, a chance at finding love again.

Not wanting anything to muddy their blooming relationship, Darwin hides part of himself from Ricky. He likes the look in Ricky’s eyes, unclouded by Darwin’s notoriety. Unfortunately, the truth can never stay hidden, and when it comes out, Darwin may lose any hope of holding onto the future they’ve begun to build.

Of Love and Corn Dogs by Parker  Williams is the light and easy read I was so craving when I  opened the file on my kindle. That’s one of the reasons why it was a winner to me.

The story between Rick and Darwin is sweet and so lovely. They fall for each other in an heartbeat, almost from the first time they see each other in the restaurant where Ricky is working, at least for a couple of more days. And then bad luck and a nasty man will force him to resign. While trying to find a new job to sustain himself and pay his school debts, the friendship with Darwin starts to develop in something more. Problem is Darwin forgets to tell Ricky he is a very wealthy man and when Ricky finds out how and where his new boyfriend lives, well let’s just say he’s not happy.

I appreciated a lot of elements in this story:  I liked the writing but it was nothing new because I already read (and quite enjoyed) other books Parker Williams wrote in the past. I loved the lightness and the easiness the plot had, how the MCs gave themselves to each other. Yes there was a little bump in their HEA because Ricky doesn’t need a knight to save him from his unlucky life, he’s a strong young man, used to taking care of his troubles alone. While Darwin, although his life is too full between his job and his wonderful brother, is pretty much lonely and can’t wait to give himself and everything he owns to Ricky. Plus there are some great secondary characters, starting with Maria and Henley, they are supportive and don’t waste a moment to cheer Darwin. What I really loved or better who I fell in love with was Ricky, maybe because I emphasized with him and his life so much, maybe simply because the author depicted a great character.

If you’re looking for a light, sweet and angst free story, don’t miss this new release by Parker Williams.

The cover art is not my favorite, but fits the story well.

Sales Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 154 pages

Published September 23rd 2016 by Parker Williams

ISBN13 9781941841471 

Edition Language English

Of Love and … series #1

A Stella Review: Haven’s Creed by Parker Williams

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RATING  3, 5 out of 5 stars

Havan's CreedAn act of violence destroys his family and ends the life he knows. To escape his haunted past, he joins the military, where, as a sniper, he is trained to kill with precision and detachment. When a covert organization offers him a new purpose, he becomes Haven, an operative devoted to protecting the innocent when he can and avenging them when he cannot.

After ten years of battling the evil in the world, the life no longer holds the attraction or meaning it once had, and he’s ready to walk away. Then he meets Samuel, a young man forced from the age of twelve to work as a sex slave. If ever a man had a need for Haven, it is this one.

Yet nothing about this growing relationship is one-sided. Sammy gives Haven a stability he’s never known, and Haven becomes the rock upon which Sammy knows he can depend.

When Sammy reveals something about the enemy Haven has been hunting for months, Sammy fears it will destroy what they’ve built and he’ll lose his home in Haven’s heart.

After a year I finally had a chance at reading a new book by Parker Williams. I have to admit as I read the blurb of Haven’s Creed, I was soon curious about it. I understood the story would have been something different from the usual fluffy romance I so love and so I wanted to give it a try.

What surprised me was how much I felt myself into the story, I found hard to put it down and I read it quickly. I liked the premise, the writing, the secondary characters and the development of the general story. That’s why I gave it a high rating, because  I liked it so much.

That said,  I had a lot of issues with Haven’s Creed, the most important one was that the book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, I was waiting for something different and when I understood I wasn’t getting it, I felt so disappointed.

First of all, be aware, this story is extremely hard and violent, and it could hurt the sensibility of people not used to these kinds of themes. I had been cautioned about them and I started this book knowing it wouldn’t be strictly a romance but I was still hoping to get some kind of love story, in any way possible. The problem for me is that Haven’s Creed IS a romance, meaning the romantic part shadowed the fiction sections greatly, turning it into a simple love story with some violent elements (and not the other way around). And when you approach a reading knowing you are going to get something and then actually got another thing, the frustration is almost certain.

Also this narrative letdown also brought about some issues with the main characters. I was confused about Sammy. I was not sure how someone who went through hell like he did, could be so strong and dominant and open with his sexuality in his relationship with Haven. Not being scared of a new man felt unrealistic and extreme. And I was confused about Haven too. From the moment he met Sammy, he became needy and emotional, he started making mistakes during his job. There was a very improbable and pointless change in his personality that almost depreciated the whole first part of the story. Really a shame.

I was ready for violence, abuses, gritty scenes and a lot of blood.  I was ready for it to be emotional. I wasn’t honestly waiting for a HEA and for me there was one between Sammy and Haven. I was hoping for a love story and I’m happy I got it. But in my opinion the author should have been bolder and pushed more versus what the story promised.

Although it left me with a lot of not so good feelings, I gave Haven’s Creed 3,5 stars because it deserves them. The author was able to keep me glued to his words till the end and I can’t ignore this.

The cover art by Laura Harner could have worked but I already saw this cover around for another book, so to me it’s nothing new.

Sales Links:  Smashwords | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon |

Book Details:

Published December 14th 2015
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
ASIN B0190XCAX2
Edition Language English