A Stella Review: A Selfless Man (Men of Manhattan #6) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

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RATING 3,5 out of 5 stars

a-selfless-manRyan Carter always hoped his life would turn around for the better. He has a job that he loves, and another one that he hates. Becoming a rent boy was never his life plan, but circumstances forced his hand. When his life falls apart, hunky firefighter Michael Callahan comes to his rescue. Ryan knows better than to believe someone as wonderful as Michael would ever want to be with someone who sells his body. But spending time with Michael gives Ryan something he’s never had before.

Hope.

For months, New York firefighter Michael Callahan has been thinking about the hot guy he rescued while working crowd control during a robbery standoff. His brother is very happy dating a man, and Michael wonders if he’s finally ready for a relationship of his own. An apartment fire brings him face to face with the young man who’s been haunting him for months. Their friendship starts strong, but will Ryan’s alternate life put out the flicker before it has a chance to flame?
Can Michael convince Ryan that he wants him no matter who he is? Or will the relationship turn to ash before it even begins?

I read the previous books in the Men Of Manhattan series and I was very curious about this new installment, A Selfless Man. I don’t recommend to read it as a standalone cause here we found a lot of the couples of the previous stories, so reading the series in the right order would  be a wise choice.

I love firefighters’ stories, especially when they have some action in them and in this sense the book was a winner (even thought there is a little cliffhanger at the end, not related to the MCs story but to the mystery part). Plus firefighter and rent boy together? I couldn’t resist.

I adore when my characters fall in love at first time but the insta love needs to be supported by more elements, at least some knowledge of each other. In A Selfless Man the insta love was too much to me, really over the top;  it’s a shame because it took away credibility and I found it hard to feel Michael and Ryan as real persons.

That’s the only reason I didn’t rate it more than 3,5 stars. But in general I enjoyed the book. In fact I liked the plot, I liked how the relationship between the MCs developed and how many friends they have. Yes I admit if you haven’t read the previous books, too many characters can overwhelm your reading but if you follow the series, it will be a pleasure to meet them again and see how supportive and protective they are of their friend.

Now I just have to jump to the seven  book hoping for Bobby (Ryan’s bestie) to find his HEA and for the serial killer to be stopped.

The cover art by Wilde City Press is hot and well done. Too bad this pic has been over used, I saw it on so many covers it became boring to me.

Sales Links

Wilde City Press

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 132 pages
Published September 14th 2016 by Wilde City Press
ASIN B01LW4DAWM
Edition Language English

Men of Manhattan series

Paul’s 2016 New Year’s Paranormal Portfolio

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Pauls Paranormal Portfolio Header

Paul’s New Year’s Paranormal Portfolio

A couple of weeks ago, Melanie told us that the full moon and Christmas coincided this year.  She also shared her favorite werewolf series and commented that I might want to share some of mine.  So I am devoting this edition of PPP to my favorite werewolf shifter series.  I will be focusing on series where the primary focus is on werewolf shifters, though other paranormal beings might be featured.

I would like to start off by echoing Melanie’s suggestions.  I found the With and Without You by JL Langley series enjoyable.  Whenever I have a few minutes to spare, I pull up a book in either the Mates or Tameness of the Wolf series by Kendall McKenna and reread them to pass the time.  Both offer unique takes on the werewolf genre.

The Southwestern Shifter series by Bailey Bradford starts off with a veterinarian helping out an injured wolf on the road.  What follows is a battle to assert the rightful claim of leadership of werewolves.  The main group of characters travels to Europe and South America to help restore order to those parts of the world.  In this series, the process of being turned into a werewolf is painful but sometimes necessary in order to stay alive.

One of my favorite authors is Kaje Harper.  Her Hidden Wolves series is one of the reasons why.  Again, it starts with an injured dog being rescued by a vet.  But Paul soon learns that this is not a dog but a wolf and a shifter in fact.  In this world, being a gay wolf is taboo and telling anybody about shifters is punishable by death.  But these wolves have not met someone as spunky and outspoken as Paul.  Soon, this pack becomes a refuge for unwanted gay werewolves.

What is better than a series about werewolves?  How about werewolves who are assassins?  Yes, I am talking about Sandrine Gasq-Dion’s popular Assassin-Shifter series.  What started out as a contract hit on a successful business owner turns into a fight against rogue werewolves that want to convert all werewolves to their rabid ways.  My favorites in the story actually do not do any fighting yet.  I am talking about the young Kane and Matty, the future leaders of werewolves when they grow older,

One last series I would like to mention for now is Charlie Richard’s Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  This series started with one of the Stone Ridge werewolves sold to a local zoo by a group of hunters and expanded into a worldwide conspiracy of evil scientists who have been doing experiments on shifters for almost 200 years.  And yes, another vet is in the first book.  (Do I see a pattern?)  This series spun off three other series all set in the same universe, which feature non-wolf shifters, vampires, and gargoyles.

This is by no means a complete list of my favorites.  I will include more in a future edition of the Portfolio.  I hope everybody has a healthy and prosperous New Year.

You can find all the books at the series pages below:

A Mika Review: Fret (The Rock #1) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

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Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars 

Fret coverFormer Navy SEAL Axel Blaze lives a solitary life. He doesn’t do emotions, and he doesn’t do babysitting. Used to being on his own, his job consists of Wetwork (a charming term coined by the KGB) for his former Master Chief, Mac. When an out-of-the-ordinary job lands on his doorstep, Axel heads down a path that includes a famous heavy metal rock band and one quiet, vulnerable, guitar-shredding virtuoso named Gareth Wolf.

Gareth Wolf’s life changed in an instant when a car he was a passenger in crashed, hurting his brother’s best friend and the band’s lead guitarist. They created the band, Skull Blasters, as kids. Gareth had always been happy in the background, playing roadie. With the lead guitarist’s injury, Gareth is suddenly thrust into the limelight and into a frenzied life he never imagined for himself. Finally fed up with living a lie, Gareth comes out as gay in a newspaper interview and finds himself in the bulls-eye of a crazed stalker. Somebody wants Gareth hurt – or worse – and Mac has been hired to be sure that doesn’t happen. Babysitting duty is NOT Axel’s strong suit, but Mac won’t be budged.

Enter Axel Blaze.

Against his better judgment, the big man takes the job to protect the shy musician. The more time he spends with Gareth Wolf, the more he admires the man. Where’s a simple assassination when you need one? The situation becomes more volatile for each man as the attempts on Gareth escalate just as Axel finds himself falling for the quiet lead guitarist.

Strong, funny, smart-ass — and kinda sweet Axel is everything Gareth has ever wanted in a man. Too bad he’s off limits. As the stalker grows bolder, Gareth and Axel move closer emotionally – but is it too late? All Axel knows is that they don’t stand a chance if he can’t find the maniac trying to kill the man he’s come to care about. A lot. 
Everyone knows that relationships that begin in pressured or volatile situations eventually fizzle out. 
Or do they?

I’m used to  Sandrine Gasq-Dion‘s bodies of work. I’m sure I’ve read 98% of her published catalog. I know what to expect out of her stories before I start reading them. Be it the Men of Manhattan Series, or my obsession with her Assassin/Shifter series. I can expect pure smut, unadulterated sweetness, a lot of gyrating, some closeted a-holes, a lot of acceptance from straight guys, and just fun reading them. You can say I’m familiar biblically with her work. I wrote that to say, this seemed like a first draft for me. I don’t think I ever had an issue with the editing, and proofreading of her stories. It took a toll on the rating for me. You know a handful of errors is doable, the entire story is unacceptable. The writing errors, speech errors, and the constant point of view changes made the story unexciting.

It was very monotonous to have to go over what I read. The plot wasn’t a mystery. I think it was a good concept, but conception wise it fell very short. This does not feel like a SGD book at all. I wasn’t happy with it. I liked the characters, but I felt like it could have been more. I think Axel and Gareth could have been better characters if they were developed more. I never got attached to them. I felt like we were treading water throughout the story. Of course I’ll continue to read her work, but this one left me unsatisfied and disappointed.

 Cover Art by unknown:  I think the cover was nicely done. It fit well with the blurb and plot of the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 232 pages
Published September 1st 2015 (first published August 28th 2015)
series

It Gets Hot, Sexy and a Bit Scary with Sandrine Gasq-Dion’s Fret (author guest post, excerpt and giveaway_

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Sandrine Gasq-Dion Talks M/M Romance, Inspiration and Fret!

A lot of people ask me the same question all the time, why male romance? This whole journey began in 2010 while I was watching a soap opera. The gay couple on the show was written so beautifully, I fell in love with them immediately. I began writing fan fiction once the show was cancelled and posted a chapter a day. For two years I wrote stories on the fan site until one day, an avid reader told me I should publish a book. I wrote A Marked Man a few months later and then three more books after that. I sent A Marked Man to a few publishing houses and one of them was very interested. After checking out their offer, I was pointed towards Kindle Direct Publishing and decided to go that route.

I haven’t looked back.

I’ve written thirty-three books and I have no plans to stop. I have a few more books in the Assassin/Shifters and about 7 more in the Olympians. I also have two more books in The Men of Manhattan Series plus the five in Rock Series. I am panning one more book in the Angel series to follow up with Second Time Around and Gabriel’s Fall.

The Idea of FRET came when another author wanted to do an anthology about Rockers/ Actors. Well, my mind jumped all over that and FRET was born. Writing FRET was so much fun as I was hanging out with a band in Flagstaff and got to hear all about their touring life. I am still taking drum lessons and will begin guitar lessons again soon. I now live in the town I’m writing about and love it!

Stay tuned for much, much more!!

AboutTheBookFret_Sandrine_FSTitle: Fret

Author: Sandrine Gasq- Dion

Cover Artist: Kellie Dennis

Length: 48,000 words

Release Date: September 01, 2015

Blurb: Former Navy SEAL Axel Blaze lives a solitary life. He doesn’t do emotions, and he doesn’t do babysitting. Used to being on his own, his job consists of Wetwork (a charming term coined by the KGB) for his former Master Chief, Mac. When an out-of-the-ordinary job lands on his doorstep, Axel heads down a path that includes a famous heavy metal rock band and one quiet, vulnerable, guitar-shredding virtuoso named Gareth Wolf.

Gareth Wolf’s life changed in an instant when a car he was a passenger in crashed, hurting his brother’s best friend and the band’s lead guitarist. They created the band, Skull Blasters, as kids. Gareth had always been happy in the background, playing roadie. With the lead guitarist’s injury, Gareth is suddenly thrust into the limelight and into a frenzied life he never imagined for himself. Finally fed up with living a lie, Gareth comes out as gay in a newspaper interview and finds himself in the bulls-eye of a crazed stalker. Somebody wants Gareth hurt – or worse – and Mac has been hired to be sure that doesn’t happen. Babysitting duty is NOT Axel’s strong suit, but Mac won’t be budged.

Enter Axel Blaze. Against his better judgment, the big man takes the job to protect the shy musician. The more time he spends with Gareth Wolf, the more he admires the man. Where’s a simple assassination when you need one? The situation becomes more volatile for each man as the attempts on Gareth escalate just as Axel finds himself falling for the quiet lead guitarist.

Strong, funny, smart-ass — and kinda sweet Axel is everything Gareth has ever wanted in a man. Too bad he’s off limits. As the stalker grows bolder, Gareth and Axel move closer emotionally – but is it too late? All Axel knows is that they don’t stand a chance if he can’t find the maniac trying to kill the man he’s come to care about. A lot.

Everyone knows that relationships that begin in pressured or volatile situations eventually fizzle out.

Or do they?

Excerpt

Thumping music was shaking the walls of the Dome as I headed for my designated spot. I guess I’m meeting Paul, the band’s manager.

I took mental notes as I passed through the crowd of screaming, jumping people. The band was rocking it out and I sought out Gareth Wolf. There were two guitarists, but I found him right away. Black hair touched his shoulders and his lean body moved with his guitar.

He was in his element.

The song was wrapping up and the floor was shaking from the bass drum. The floor-to-ceiling speakers pumped out the last notes of the song. The crowd immediately went wild as Ransom Fox leaned over the stage.

“Let’s hear it for the best lead guitarist on the planet!” he shouted.

Gareth shook his hair back and bowed with one hand out. Again, the crowd screamed, shouted and whistled. Ransom went on to give some love to the other members of the group.

I rolled my eyes and pushed my way through the crowd toward the side of the stage. A large man eyed me and then nodded as I walked by. Again, I could have been wearing a ‘Hello, I’m God’ tag and security wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. As it was, my tag faced backwards; he couldn’t even see my name or credentials.

Security for the Skull Blaster band was sorely lacking.

I sat through another hour of bone-jarring hardcore metal before the band finally left the stage. I scanned the area for their manager, but no luck.

I walked right behind the curtain and fell into step with the band members as they trudged toward their dressing rooms. They didn’t even notice me — and I’m really hard to miss.

They stepped into the dressing room; I followed and slammed the door shut behind me. Ransom turned and his eyes widened.

“Who the fuck are you?!”

“Nice of you to finally notice me,” I pointed out.

“Paul!” Ransom thundered. He immediately moved in front of Gareth, shielding him.

“Oh for fucks sake.” I arched a brow.

The door behind me opened and a startled man looked me over from head to toe. He flipped my name badge over and sighed audibly, clearly relieved.

“It’s cool, Ransom. This is the guy I was telling you about.”

“You could have mentioned he was a semi-truck.” Ransom’s eyes narrowed.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you,” Paul apologized to me. “I ran into some media and couldn’t get away.”

“Not that this isn’t fun — because, oh so much fun — but I’m here to do a job. So I need to speak to whoever is in charge of ‘security.’ Now.” I leaned very slightly — but effectively — in to Paul’s face.

“Why?”

I turned to see Gareth peeking out from behind his brother’s broad shoulders. His eyes were a shade of green I’d never seen before, and with his pale complexion and dark hair? The guy was a looker and then some.

“Because band security royally sucks. I walked right on back here with them and not one person noticed or stopped me. That is not acceptable.”

“Who are you?” Gareth gaped.

I pinned him with a hard look. “I’m your bodyguard.”

Ransom chuckled.

“What the actual fuck?” Gareth stepped in front of his brother. “Is this a joke?”

“Nope.” Ransom shook his head.

“Jinx, Harley, Rebel. Give us a few, eh?” Paul opened the door and tilted his head toward the hallway.

“Sure thing, boss.” Rebel tipped his hat and winked at me.

I leaned against the wall as the members walked out. I overheard one of them, not sure which, talking to another.

“Did you see the size of that guy?”

“How could you miss him?” another one answered.

Paul shut the door and turned to Gareth with an apologetic smile.

“I knew what you’d say if we told you beforehand,” he admitted.

“Oh, did you now? You had to get me Conan the Destroyer? Jesus Christ!”

“Gareth,” Ransom warned.

“What? This is stupid! I don’t need a human shield!”

“You’re going to play nice and allow this man to watch your back, Gareth!” Ransom shouted. “You’re getting threats since you came out! I insist you be kept safe!”

“Gareth, why don’t you go clean up? Then you and Mr. Blaze can get acquainted.”

“Seriously? Blaze?” Gareth snorted.

I narrowed my eyes at the kid. Well, to me he was a kid, after everything I’d seen in my life. Gareth was almost twenty-three and I was pushing thirty. We locked eyes for a few seconds before he turned away.

AboutTheAuthor

AuthorPicBest-selling author, Sandrine (Sandy) was born in Inglewood, California. Raised by “Old School” French parents, she later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in High School. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn’t until a soap opera caught her eye that she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of research. She’s been involved with the military in one way or another for over twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She’s traveled the world, but has finally returned to Arizona.

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A Stella Review: A Healing Man (Men of Manhattan #5) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

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Rating 4 stars out of 5

A Healing Man coverDario Ramos thought he’d left the fighting behind in the war zone when a life-threatening injury sent him home. But a certain Irishman crossing his path everywhere he went convinced him that his biggest battle might be ahead. Tiernan Callahan is a bigoted jerk. Ramos finds himself constantly in the man’s orbit, even in a city as big as New York. The wounded warrior knows all about pain and loss — and that sometimes anger is the only form of release. When Tiernan once again crowds Ramos’ space, his eyes are opened to the possibility of other forms of release.

Tough NYC cop Tiernan Callahan is still mourning the death of his beloved youngest brother, Mason.

Fearing his close-minded family’s reaction, the young soldier never got to tell them his secret — that he was gay and engaged to the love of his life. Tiernan is surviving on anger and guilt. When he continues to run into Dario Ramos, who continues to push his buttons, something inside him snaps. Suddenly, anger isn’t the only emotion he feels.

Two very different men, still trying to heal: Can they come to an understanding and heal each other?

A Healing Man is the fifth book in the Men of Manhattan series by Sandrine Gasq-Dion and so far my favourite. It was sweet funny and sexy. I loved every single word. It’s a beautiful story about loss.

Tiernan is a cop in the NYPD, he lost his brother in war four years ago. Mason was in the closet and when he died Tiernan discovered he was gay and engaged to Casper. He feels betrayed by Mason cause he didn’t trust him to know the most important thing about his life. He’s so angry he is becoming distracted at work and an homophobic asshole. Since his brother died, Tiernan has put his carrier in danger one time too much. His captain decides to assigned him a new partner, Danny, a gay man. Danny is the first one to think Tiernan could be gay, or at least bi.

“Oh God, you’re one of those.”

“What?”

“A paranoid penis. A guy who thinks each and every one of us gays wants in your ass. Trust me, Callahan—I don’t want your ass.”

Dario loses his leg in duty and he is still recovering for alcohol abuse too. He drank to forget all about the years he spent on the field. Now he’s been sober from years and he’s working for the Wounded Warrior Project and as a model. He lives with his girlfriend Maria, until one day he goes home and finds her packing, tired of being with him just for pity.

Tiernan and Dario keep running into each other and what was “hate at first sight” in time become lust/love.
I loved these characters so much, they are amazing, I liked how in the story they grow to be better men, especially Tiernan. He was really hateful in the previous books and I was so proud of him for admit and make up for his mistakes. Of course his parents really sucked but he’ll have a great cast of second characters to support and love him no matter who he’s chosen to love.

There are some very funny scenes, for example when Dario asked gay sex tips to Danny, it was hilarious. And really? Bacon lube? No idea it existed, I’m already hungry.

There are some guys I really want to know more about. I’m hoping in a couple more of books at least in this series. They deserve to have their own HEA.

Highly recommended, this book and the whole series.

COVERT ART by Wilde City Press. I don’t like this series’ covers. They are pretty much the same with a different model for each book. They are good to look at but nothing more.

Sales Links:  Wilde City Press    All Romance (ARe) Amazon Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 137 pages
Published January 21st 2015 by Wilde City
edition languageEnglish
url https://www.facebook.com/authorsandrine.g.dion
seriesMen of Manhattan #5

The Men of Manhattan Series:

A Betting Man (Men of Manhattan, #1)
A Marrying Man (Men of Manhattan, #2)
A Fighting Man (Men of Manhattan, #3)
A Working Man (Men of Manhattan, #4)
A Healing Man (Men of Manhattan, #5)

A Stella Review: A Working Man (Men of Manhattan #4) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A Working Man coverMatthew Hawke’s professional life is soaring as high the powerful bird of prey whose image is inked on his back. He’s at the top of his game as the owner of an advertising agency that is scooping up prime accounts like a mighty hawk wrapping its talons around an unfortunate ground rodent. Yes, work is good. Too bad his love life has more in common with the dying rodent than the triumphant hawk.

When the thought of a sexy man trumps actually being with a sexy woman, Matthew thinks it might be time for a change. And there IS a gorgeous man at the gym he’s noticed.

Drakon Mavros is working his shapely ass off to make ends meet. His administrative assistant job at a messenger service is steady, but the money he gets from his more creative job pays most of the bills. An ex-boyfriend took his confidence, his trust and his self-esteem and Drakon is afraid to take another chance at love. When an adorably goofy man at his gym actually hurts himself trying to flirt with him, Drakon can’t resist falling under Matt’s spell. He makes Drakon feel good about himself again and praises his artistic talent – neither of which his ex ever did.

As the men begin to fall for one another, it appears nothing can go wrong – they seem to be soul mates. Secrets and lies can crack even the firmest foundation, though. It takes a true master to shore it up so that it never crumbles. Is love the mortar that can restore trust and faith and bind men forever? Only time will tell. Can Drakon and Matt take that chance?

A Working Man is the third book in the Men of Manhattan series by Sandrine Gasq-Dion.

Not one of my fave so far, cause honestly? I found it a little unrealistic.

Matthew is 38 years old, the owner of an advertising firm who for the first time in his life is starting to be attracted to men, especially to a particular dark haired man he met at a masquerade party. He decides to try a sex hotline because he needs to know if he’s still attracted to women. But on the other side of the phone there’s a man with a sexy voice. It seems he’s not so straight after all.

Drakon is a 25 years old addicted to twinkies and colored sneakers, he started working for a sex line as Drake, while looking for a new job. He meets Matthew at the gym (not one of the finest moment for Matt, he was trying to flirt with Drakon and fell off the treadmill!)

Matt wants Drakon but keeps speaking with Drake at the hot line and thinking of the man with the mask. At the same time Drakon wants Matt but has fantasies with Roy(Matt)’ s voice.

Fortunately this big misunderstanding didn’t go to far in the story, but as I say I found it so unlikely, it was hard to me to really love this story, and in a way to me this situation smelled like cheating. I know it’s an extreme point of view, but I got this feeling that I couldn’t overcome. At the end it was like both of them has three men in his mind, the gym one, the party one and the sex line one. Not for me.

What I love about this series is that each book can be read as a standalone and you will miss nothing. But in each one of them you’ll find the characters you loved in the previous books, so for example if you want to know more about Matthew and Drake you just need to read the next book.

Well, I’m going straight to read A Healing Man, hoping to see these MCs again and learn to like them a little more.

Cover Art by Wilde City Press. I don’t like this series’ covers. They are pretty much the same with a different model for each book. They are good to look at but nothing more.

Sales Links:  Wilde City Press     All Romance (ARe)     Amazon       Buy It Here

 

Book Details:

ebook, 129 pages
Published September 24th 2014 by Wilde City Press
ISBN139781925180497
edition languageEnglish
url http://www.wildecity.com/
series Men of Manhattan #4

The Men of Manhattan Series:

  • A Betting Man (Men of Manhattan, #1)
    A Marrying Man (Men of Manhattan, #2)
    A Fighting Man (Men of Manhattan, #3)
    A Working Man (Men of Manhattan, #4)
    A Healing Man (Men of Manhattan, #5)