Rating: 3 stars out of 5
SeriesBalls to the Wall #7, Balls to the Walls (DSP) #7
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Merle Justice wants to reach for the stars, but it’s tough to get respect when playing a teenybopper vampire on TV. Then he meets a famous director anxious to give him all he thinks he wants—and maybe a bit more. Everything’s looking up until a life-threatening encounter with some homophobes on Main Beach puts Merle face-to-face with a Sasquatch-sized hero in a pink puffer coat.
Tom Henry defies description. As unsophisticated and simple as an angel, he walks through life content with who he is and asking for very little except to care for his sister, Lily, and the dogs he loves. Then he meets Merle, the embodiment of dreams he barely knows he has. Merle knows the people who hold his future in their hands might love Tom—but they’ll never understand Merle and Tom together. Tom knows it too. With lives this far apart, who’s really the fool of Main Beach?
Fool of Main Beach is a sweet story about simple love and friendship. As with the rest of the books in this series, it’s also sexy and interesting. It takes a minute to get reacquainted with Merle and to remember him from previous books, but after that, it’s easy to follow his story.
This is a hurt/comfort book and Tom and Justice complemented each other with all their differences. Tom’s truthful ways are refreshing in comparison to Justice’s jaded views. In their case, taking the time to talk helped their relationship and allowed them to recognize what they needed from each other.
We get enough time with each main character to understand the decisions they take and how they move forward. All the individual events and conversations are important to understand the MCs’ reservations. Overall, they work as a couple.
There’s a lot happening and the plot goes beyond the main romance. It ties the series together and shows Tom’s and Justice’s family relationships. In Justice case, he learns more about himself and what he needs. And Tom finally sees all his positive qualities. Plus, we can’t forget how all the characters from the previous stories helped guide the new couple.
K.C. Kelly has done a nice job keeping all the characters from previous books up to par and adding new ones. It’s easy to hear the differences between them, bringing all the stories together. Plus, we get to learn more about the main character through his interpretation.
As always, the cover by Reese Dante fits the book. It’s simple but interesting enough. And it makes more sense after reading the story.
Narrator: K.C. Kelly
Length: 9 hours and 17 minutes
Published: November 4, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Tara Lain here today on her tour for Snow Balls
Hi everyone. Welcome to the holidays and the celebration of my re-release of Snow Balls, one of my most popular stories.
Recently someone asked me if I base my books on myself or my own life. And, of course, the answer is yes, great pieces of me are transmitted in my books. My belief in true love, my quest for authenticity, my enjoyment of humor is all in there big time. And, of course, actual events also make it onto the page. Bits of people I know, places I’ve been. A lot of details about the town where I lived for 28 years, Laguna Beach, CA, are included in many of my books. And —, oh yes, my hatred of skiing! This latter detail has occupied a complete scene in my brand new re-release, Snow Balls. My hero, JJ LaRousse, who is pretending to be more alpha male than he is, goes cross country skiing with the man he has a passion for. He’s never been skiing, but keeps hoping it can’t be too hard. HA!
Yep, hatred is a good word. I have only been skiing once. It was plenty. Like JJ, I pictured myself shushing along the frozen pathways enjoying the beautiful scenery and the crisp air. Oh so wrong. I spent more time in a heap on the snow with skis tangled like pickup sticks. I could not stay upright for more than a few minutes before I would fly once again into a giant pile of Tara. Painful and humiliating. Not surprising, however. While I am moderately athletic — hiking, walking, Pilates, Yoga — I have always been terrible with anything attached to my feet more challenging than a pair of Jimmy Choos. Even as a kid, roller skating and I were only on passable terms and I never learned to ice skate. Give me a bike and I could go anywhere. On skates, I barely made it down the sidewalk. And skis were even more miserable.
Now, I’ve inflicted this calamity on my poor hero from Snow Balls. And he, like me, has to face the skiing instructor who stares down at his tangled mess of a body and says, “Let’s get organized!” LOL.
I hope you enjoy Snow Balls and, despite the humiliation I put him through, enjoy rooting for JJ and his happy ever after.
JJ LaRousse looks like a quarterback but acts like a queen. He’s trying to be proud of who he is—until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan.
Ryan Star may be tough, but he keeps his sexuality to himself at work. He learned in New York that being a gay cop can be deadly. His attraction to JJ threatens his secret, but he’s finding it hard to back away from a guy who’s so totally his type. Then, during a ski trip and a confrontation with JJ’s biggest nemesis, all the façades come crashing down. In the aftermath, can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More importantly, can JJ?
Series’s Name: Balls To The Wall
Bk #1 Links:
Bk #2 Links:
Bk #3 Links
Bk #5 Links:
Bk #6 Links:
Paperback bk 1 & bk2
Volley Balls & Fire Balls
About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in gay romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 40. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, Best Romantic Suspense, and more. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/taralain
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Social Media Posts
Is it always wrong to pretend to be Mr. Right? Snow Balls @taralain http://amzn.to/2jIN5SP
(The Pennymaker Tales, #4)
By Tara Lain
Wendell “Wen” Darling lives in a world of shoulds and musts. Left to care for his brother and sister by his dull drudge of a father and wacko irresponsible mother, he suppresses his creativity, slaving in an ad agency seventy hours a week, letting his no-talent supervisor take the credit.
Then his bosses blow the campaign for their biggest client and Wen gets a chance to shine—but only if he can find the artist who painted a wild, glorious wall of graffiti in the subway. Hiding behind a pillar at 2:00 a.m., Wen comes face-to-face with the scarlet-haired, elven-faced embodiment of his divergent opposite—Peter Panachek, the flighty, live-for-today painter, singer, and leader of the rock group the Lost Boys. Everything Wen takes seriously, Peter laughs off, but opposites attract, even if their kisses always lead to battles. Peter’s devil-may-care persona hides a world of secrets, self-protection, and hidden fears, until the day a drug dealer, Vadon Hooker, threatens everything Wen holds dear. Guided by the mysterious Mr. Pennymaker, Peter has to choose between facing responsibility or burrowing even deeper into Neverland.
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
This was a highly enjoyable and entertaining audiobook. In fact, I enjoyed this Tara Lain story more than any of her other stories in the past few years. I don’t know whether she changed her writing style, or whether it was simply the added boost by the narration of talented voice actor Greg Tremblay, but I simply couldn’t turn the audiobook off. I listened as often as possible, even facing teasing from my family who were surprised that I’d rather listen to the audio than to them. Imagine that!
Seriously though, this story about young Luca McGrath, a graduate chef who returns to the Napa Valley to take a position with a prestigious restaurant—while at the same time reuniting with his father and the wealthy Armstrong family for whom he works as a chauffeur—was delightful. Luca is a sweetheart, as well as being intelligent, a gifted chef, a loving son, and he’s held an unrequited love for James Armstrong ever since they were children. Even now, it doesn’t matter to Luca that James is heterosexual—he’s still stunning, sexy, and flirty with Luca—leading Luca to believe he might not be 100% straight.
In the meantime, James’s older brother, Dylan, is equally stunning, but quieter, more introspective, more of the tycoon-type businessman, and better able to hide his feelings for Luca. He’s out to prove James is not really interested in Luca, and yet he wants to protect Luca’s feelings. There are also complications related to James’s upcoming marriage to a woman whose company is about to merge with the Armstrong family holdings and a messy breakup will mess up the merger plans.
And to make matters even more complex, Luca becomes unintentionally involved in intrigue involving a local food contest that is the highlight of the local cuisine industry. Unknown to him, he’s set up to take the fall for theft of a recipe from his boss’s competitor, and when that happens, he throws in the towel and escapes back to New York. He’s done with all the Armstrongs, and with the Napa Valley as a whole. Will Dylan let him stay in New York, or will the strong-willed, quiet man finally take a risk and tell Luca how he feels?
Honestly, this is a very enjoyable story. It’s fast-paced and full of both intrigue and handsome men. There’s also lots of romance and loving—for family and for potential life partners. And Greg Tremblay brings it all to life. Each character has his—or her—own unique voice, adding to the listener’s pleasure. I definitely recommend this to lovers of contemporary MM romance and most definitely recommend it in audio format. Kudos to Ms. Lain and Mr. Tremblay!
The cover by Reese Dante is bright and attractive, featuring a close-up of young, fresh-faced Luca and a darker figure in business suit in the background—most definitely representing Dylan.
Published September 28th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 2nd 2017)
Original TitleReturn of the Chauffeur’s Son
Ten Things About High Balls
Hi! I’m so happy to be here to tell you about my new book, High Balls. Here are ten things you might or might not know about my new Balls to the Wall romance.
I hope you enjoy High Balls. Like all the Balls to the Wall books, it’s quite standalone. Feel free to start with it and, if inspired, try some of the other books.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Aloysius, the magical black cat and powerful witch’s familiar, isn’t afraid to go into battle to protect his master, but the outcome of the fight turns his feline world upside down. A direct hit of magic steals not only his memories and power, but even the body he’s lived in for several centuries. When he wakes up naked on the floor of a veterinarian’s office, it isn’t as the cat Aloysius, but as the sixteenth-century French gentleman Alain Bellarose. And when Alain sees sexy and enigmatic veterinarian Luke Elliott, he decides he’ll make the best of his time as a human.
Luke is a man with secrets who generally prefers the company of animals—though the flamboyant boy who washes his face with the side of his hand and tries to lick his own privates might prove an exception.
Meanwhile, Witch Master Killian Barth and his secret weapon, Sammy, struggle without Aloysius’s power to draw on. Two evil females are circling, and seeing the coven’s weakness, they’re about to move in for the kill. When Alain’s memories return, he’s faced with the ultimate dilemma: protect his community or stay with the man he loves.
I had no idea what to expect with this story in the series, I was even a bit wary for some reason, but I am so glad I was wrong and I really enjoyed this book. Luke has been hiding in plain sight for years not really letting anyone get close until the innocent and captivating Alain appears. Alain can’t remember anything other than his name but has a strong sense to protect Luke along with some of his friends but doesn’t understand it.
Killian looks out for Alain but continues to miss Aloysius and when they are attacked again needs his amped up powers. Alain is hit with magic again they all need to look at what is more important: power or love.
We see the story from both characters so it allows us to see their feelings and emotions better. Alain grows on Luke quickly even as he tries to tell himself it is all temporary. I connected with Luke a little better because I could feel his fear of having his past coming back to haunt him and his heart break when he thought he would lose Alain forever. I loved when Alain “accidentally” learned how to become Aloysius and he was able to keep his duty to his community and also build a life with Luke. This was a very nice way to wrap up this series.
Cover art by Reese Dante is beautiful and gives a great visual of Alain’s beauty.
ebook, 200 pages
Published: 2nd Edition, September 13, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English
Series: The Aloysius Tales #3