An Alisa Release Day Review: The Case of the Voracious Vintner (Middlemark Mysteries #2) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

 

Where Bo Marchand comes from, gay men are just confirmed bachelors who never found the right girl. But now Bo’s a successful winemaker on the central coast of California, supporting his whole damned Georgia family, and all he really wants is the beautiful, slightly mysterious Jeremy Aames.

 

Jeremy’s vineyard is under threat from Ernest Ottersen, the voracious winemaker who seems to know all Jeremy’s blending secrets and manages to grab all his customers. Bo tries to help Jeremy and even provides a phony alibi for Jeremy when Ottersen turns up dead in Jeremy’s tasting room. But it’s clear Jeremy isn’t who he claims, and Bo must decide if it’s worth tossing over his established life for a man who doesn’t seem to trust anyone. When Jeremy gets kidnapped, some the conservative winemakers turn out to be kinky sex fiends, and the list of murderers keeps dwindling down to Jeremy. Bo has to choose between hopping on his white horse or climbing back in his peach-pie-lined closet.

 

Ok, so I liked this story, though not nearly as much as the first one, it seemed to take longer to really get going.  Bo lives his life taking care of his family and it seems as if for the most part he has let them walk all over him.  Jeremy is trying to live his life but hiding at the same time.

 

So there is all kinds of backstabbing and childish behavior throughout this book and not just by the MCs but a majority of the secondary characters, truthfully I felt like I was reading about teenagers at many points.  I just hope more stories in this series have a little more depth and some more mature characters.  I know we all deal with those who aren’t but it wasn’t real enjoyable to read about them.

 

Getting to see the story from both characters’ eyes made it a little easier to understand them.  With how easily Bo decides to come out for Jeremy it made me question why he was so determined to hide it in the first place and even went on dates with women to appease his family.  Jeremy was a bit harder to get to know as he was keeping so many secrets in regards to his past that we didn’t even know anything until he was kidnapped.  I kind of wish there had been more to them building a relationship, they were kinda dating in secret and suddenly all in, it was hard to get.  I loved getting to see Llewellyn and Blaise again and how Llew is looking into more mysteries, though I’m not sure his research did too much help but it gave some more interesting things to think about.

 

I love the cover art by Kanaxa is great and gives visuals of the characters and lots of little things from the story.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 279 pages

Published: January 29, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-840-9

Edition Language: English

Series: Middlemark Mysteries #2

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A MelanieM Audio Review: Love You so Madly (Love You So Stories #2) by Tara Lain and Ry Forest (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

A Love You So story.

Ben Shane has it all…and he’d like to give some of it back. While he loves his job heading a foundation that funds worthy causes around the world, his engagement to one of America’s wealthiest men leaves him feeling more like a trophy wife than a valued partner. The first warning that his relationship might not be designed to last is his irresistible lust for Dusty Kincaid, the golden-haired, bright-eyed handyman for his company.

Though Dusty is odd for a 23-year-old – no liquor, no sugar, and he can’t even drive – the more Ben gets to know Dusty, the more he admires him. But is Ben going to give up a guy who drives a Ferrari for one who takes the bus?

He must be mad. Dusty knows he and Ben can never work. After all, Ben’s perfect…and Dusty isn’t. But Ben might surprise everyone with proof that he’s only mad in love.

If you love sweet contemporary MM romance, then here is a light-hearted story that is high on the warmth, feel goodery aspect and pretty much low on the angst.  It’s also on the short side, so if you are new to the experience of listening to novels in the audioformat, this is  just the right length for a first introduction.

Lain’s character of Ben Shane is someone we can all connect with.  Hardworking, Ben is totally invested in his job working with charities and finding investors to partner with them.  It’s rewarding work and he enjoys it, long hours and all.  Not so his wealthy, privileged fiance,Alan Ashland, who feels that Ben’s time should be spent with him, ala kept husband since Alan has more money he can spend in several lifetimes.  It doesn’t seem to matter what Ben is saying about the importance of his job or work, Alan doesn’t seem to be getting it.  Not a great thing with a wedding in the works.

I loved the character of Ben, he’s well defined, layered, and relatable.  Alan?  Well, he’s just about every rich boy stereotype rolled into one, and that may be accurate, as a person, he doesn’t come across as anything but less dimensional.  Probably intentionally as he’s not someone you  would want to spend time with.  The voice given to him by narrator Ry Forrest reinforces that impression perfectly of a spoiled rich young man with all the depth of a summer puddle on a 100 degree day.  Nope, not lidable at all.

Than there’s Dusty who comes with a  bit of a mystery.  It won’t take a genius for someone to figure out it’s medical but as I don’t do spoilers I won;t go further here.  Dustry is the polar opposite of Alan.  With a wide open personality, charming and fun, happy and easy to be around, Ben is quickly drawn to the man that is everything he needs and wants.

This romance drew me in as quickly as I connected to the men involved.  The contrast with Alan’s annoying appearances with Dusty’s interaction with Ben and, well, everyone around him, it was clear chemistry in the air. There is a riotous, strong woman at the center as well.  Adored her too. No, not Dusty’s mother.

If I had my concerns, it was bringing up a serious medical issues in a short story of this length.  I don’t believe you can adequately address it but Tara Lain    does a good job.

This story moves along quickly, there’s obstacles (because of course you have to have a few), and and absolutely lovely ending.  The original story is only 120 pages in all, so when  I say it goes by swiftly, it does.  The narrator, Ry Forest , does an excellent job with all the characters, different voices no matter the gender, and manages to sweep us along on this sweet emotional rollercoaster ride of a romance.

Cover Artist: Reese Dante.  I love this cover.  It’s in keeping with the branding for the series but it’s lightness and sweetness is in character for Dusty.

Sales Links:    Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 4 hours and 36 minutes

Audible Audio, 5 pages
Published September 14th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published May 29th 2018)
Original Title Love You So Madly
ASIN B07HB5VT9L
Edition Language English
Series Love You So Stories #2
setting California (United States)

An Alisa Release Day Review: Trex or Treat by Tara Lain

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Josh Harris is all dad all the time. A busy college professor and devoted single father, Josh tries to be happy with only his son for company. But then Bradley “Trex” Trexler moves in across the street with his stepbrother, Bogo, and takes advantage of their empty home, making it into a haunted house for Halloween.

Josh’s son, Ernie, can’t wait to go, so Josh dresses up like a movie cowboy and saunters over. It’ll be the best Halloween of Ernie’s life, but there’s another sharpshooter roaming the dark corridors, and this one might have a special treat for Josh….

This was such a sweet story, but being a short there is just so far that the story can go and I don’t want to spoil it either.  Josh and Trex have great chemistry and I love that both of them don’t just want a one off.  They connect on a deeper level and even better have much more in common than Josh could ever hope for.  Seeing the story through Josh’s eyes didn’t really give us much of a chance to get to know Trex but he truly seemed to wear his heart on his sleeve and the ending gave these two the perfect opportunity to try building a life together.

The cover art by Kanaxa is great and is absolutely perfect for the story.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 34 pages

Published: 2nd edition, October 31, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64405-131-3

Edition Language: English

Tara Lain on Writing, and her new release ‘Love You So Special’ (guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Love You So Special (Love You So Stories #3) by Tara Lain
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Sales Links:

Goodreads |  Kindle |  Kobo |   B&N  |   iTunes  |  Dreamspinner Press  

 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Tara Lain here today on tour for Love You So Special. Welcome, Tara.

♦︎

Hi and welcome! I’m Tara Lain and I’m so happy to be celebrating the release of my new super-romantic story, Love You So Special. The book is a fave of mine, maybe because it not only includes one of my favorite couples, but also because I wove in a few of my favorite things – music, existentialism, and fish.

The old adage says write what you know. I think that is true primarily on an emotional and spiritual level. While I don’t know any werewolves personally, I still write paranormal stories sometimes because I do understand the alienation and loneliness that someone different from the pack might feel. At the same time, writers do weave in things we know and love. I’ve set many, many books in the town I lived in for 28 years, Laguna Beach. I love animals so I write a lot of pets. I adore decorating houses so we often know lots about where my characters live.

In Love You So Special, I wanted to show a guy who thinks he’s ordinary as dirt,  but reveals his specialness in small unique ways. He adores his landlord, a retired teacher of existential philosophy, he falls in love with the exquisite classical music he hears while installing plumbing at a concert hall, and he adores his tank full of colorful, amazing tropical fish. None of these things seem to go together, and yet for me they each revealed an aspect of my hero, Artie.

As you may know, I love opposites attract stories and one of the big challenges of these stories in uncovering and revealing the characteristics of each protagonist that make them compatible with the other, despite their superficial differences. In this story that happens through music, existentialism, and fish. I hope you love it! : )

About Love You So Special

Can a man’s secret yearnings be revealed in a tank full of fish?

Artie Haynes knows he’s nothing special, with just-your-regular-brown hair, a solid plumber’s job, not much education, and a family that can barely get off the couch. But Artie has quirks—like his love of tropical fish, a landlord who’s a professor of existentialism, a passion for the amazing piano music he hears at a concert hall while he’s fixing the bathrooms—and the fact that he’s never come out as gay and probably never will. But when he’s hired to build a guesthouse for the pianist whose music enchanted him, Artie is swept up into an unimaginable world.

Francois Desmarais may be famous, rich, and revered as one of the world’s great classical composers and pianists, but he’s soothed and challenged by the inquisitive, stalwart, protective man in his back yard. When Francois’s terrible fear of crowds turns into a dangerous plot, Artie can stay in the closet or prove just how special he is.

Excerpt 1 – Love You So Special by Tara Lain

Artie peered in the open front door of the Desmarais’s house. No way he’d pass that opportunity up. He stepped inside and followed the sound of voices. Man, what a house. All fancy and traditional and shit, with paintings on the walls of scary-looking people. Funny. He wouldn’t exactly expect that messy, casual, snarky guy to live in a house like this.

He walked quietly down the hall the woman had run down. Voices came from ahead of him.

“The man said you were hurt, Senor Desmarais.”

“I’m okay. I’m fine. Just go back to—whatever. Honest, I’m fine.”

“But he said—”

“Where is this man?” He sounded pissed and upset.

Artie stepped into the doorway. He might get a vase in the face, but—he just needed to be sure Francois was okay. “I’m here. Sorry. I was just worried that you were hurt.”

“Why? Because you scared the bloody hell out of me and made me fall on my butt?”

Artie fought a smile. Francois must be feeling better if he could be a wiseass. “Yeah. Sorry about that.”

The woman looked back and forth between them like she was watching tennis.

Francois crossed his arms. “It’s okay, Maria. I want to talk to Artie here for a minute. Thanks so much for looking out for me.”

“But—” She looked seriously uncertain.

He waved a hand. “It’s okay. Honest.”

“Your mama—”

He turned a full frown on her. “What does my mother have to do with this?”

“Nothing.” She shook her head. “Can I get you anything?”

“No thanks. I’ll get it.” He walked to the door of the room, herding her toward it. When they got there, he smiled, thanked her again, and closed the door; then he turned to Artie with a crease between his eyebrows—barely visible under his pale, shaggy bangs. “So why are you messing in my life? What business is it of yours?”

Good question. Artie gave Francois a look. The gorgeous face was still blotchy from crying, and he vibrated with stress. “Look, crying’s one thing. Everybody needs a good cry sometimes.” Francois looked shocked at that statement, but Artie pushed on. “But when I hear your music going all to shit, I figure something’s really wrong, and I don’t see anybody doing fuck about it, so—” He shrugged and took a breath. “—I did. Sorry I scared you, but I couldn’t think of what else to do.” He let his eyes meet Francois’s.

Francois stared at him like maybe he’d lost his mind—or maybe he’d found it. Somewhere in between. “What do you mean, my music went to shit?”

Artie gave him a duh look. “You were all over the place. All angry and making no sense. It sounded like you were pissed at the piano. I mean, when you write, you stop and start, but it has a flow. You know? This didn’t. It was just like a bunch of notes, like—” Artie stopped because Francois’s lips were parted and he looked like he might pass out. Well, hell. “Look, I don’t mean anything by it. I never heard better music than you play, but what the fuck do I know? I’m just a plumber. So don’t pay any attention to—”

“How do you even know that?”

“What?”

“What my music sounds like. How I was all over the place?”

Artie pointed toward the window. “I listen.” He held up his hands. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eavesdrop. But I work right out there. How could I not hear?”

“You listen.” He said the word like he was sleepwalking, and his eyes got all shiny. “People pay huge prices for tickets to my concerts and don’t listen!” Shit, is he going to cry again?

Artie didn’t say anything. Hell, he didn’t know what else to say. But crying men weren’t really an everyday thing for him. He’d never seen his father cry. His brother, a little, but never any guy he worked with, even when they got hurt bad.

I cry. Alone, under a pillow. Sometimes to the fish. I know what that feels like. He’d stick his fingers in the water and let them nibble just to have something touch him that wasn’t cold or hurting. Tentatively, he reached out and put a hand on Francois’s arm. “It’s okay.”

The crease flashed between his brows as he stared at Artie’s hand. “What’s okay?”

“Whatever.” Artie smiled. “All of it. Sometimes being a particular way is just a pile of shit.” Jesus, he didn’t even know why he’d said that.

Francois gasped—and suddenly Artie had an armload of guy. Francois threw his arms around Artie’s neck and just squeezed.

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Erotic Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance,  Best Gay Characters, and more. Readers often call her books “sweet,” even with all that hawt sex, because Tara believes in love and her books deliver on happily-ever-after. In addition to writing dozens and dozens of romance novels,  Tara also owns an advertising and public relations firm. Her love of creating book titles comes from years of manifesting ad headlines for everything from analytical instruments to semiconductors. She does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. Together with her soulmate husband and her soulmate Dog, she recently realized a vision to live where there were a lot more trees and a lot fewer cars by moving to Ashland, Oregon. She hasn’t stopped smiling since.

Author Links:

Website:  http://taralain.com/

Blog: http://www.taralain.com/blog

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/taralain

Twitter: https://twitter.com/taralain

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4541791.Tara_Lain

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/taralain/

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2ICPcCZ
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tara-lain
Newsletter: https://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=jwbsibjab&p=oi&m=1109217838793&sit=bt77devgb&f=53f7942e-58f8-4890-8011-f710698f5d46

 

Giveaway

 

Giveaway: $10 Amazon Gift Card

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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Series Information

goodreadss: https://amzn.to/2M0bb7O

Book 1:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39509418-love-you-so-hard

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2Ekn197

Audible: https://amzn.to/2LZWDFr

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-you-so-hard

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-you-so-hard-tara-lain/1128265129?ean=2940159114952
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-you-so-hard/id1357837139?mt=11

Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-madly-by-tara-lain-9634-b

Book 2:


Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39674254-love-you-so-madly

Kindle: https://amzn.to/2s1SCrU

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-you-so-madly

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-you-so-madly-tara-lain/1128729869?ean=2940161525616
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-you-so-madly/id1383081348?mt=11

Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-you-so-madly-by-tara-lain-9634-b

An Alisa Release Day Review: Love You So Special by Tara Lain

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Can a man’s secret yearnings be revealed in a tank full of fish?

Artie Haynes knows he’s nothing special, with just-your-regular-brown hair, a solid plumber’s job, not much education, and a family that can barely get off the couch. But Artie has quirks—like his love of tropical fish, a landlord who’s a professor of existentialism, a passion for the amazing piano music he hears at a concert hall while he’s fixing the bathrooms—and the fact that he’s never come out as gay and probably never will. But when he’s hired to build a guesthouse for the pianist whose music enchanted him, Artie is swept up into an unimaginable world.

Francois Desmarais may be famous, rich, and revered as one of the world’s great classical composers and pianists, but he’s soothed and challenged by the inquisitive, stalwart, protective man in his back yard. When Francois’s terrible fear of crowds turns into a dangerous plot, Artie can stay in the closet or prove just how special he is.

This was such a nice story, it’s only loosely connected to the last books but it allows those who haven’t read them to jump right in.  Artie appreciates many things but doesn’t really allow others to see the real him and even allows himself to be pushed down by others expectations.  Francois has been sheltered from many things but hasn’t really had anyone in his corner no matter what until he walks in to his new house and meets Artie.

Both of these characters were great and for many different reasons.  I felt bad for Artie that he thought he needed to hide himself from those around him but was relieved when he wasn’t really hurt when he finally did come out.  Francois felt safe with Artie which gave him some freedom from his fears that kept him back but he also supports Artie to be himself and vows to show him how great he really is.  My only hang up is Francois’s mom, she was an ice queen at the beginning and had a sudden change of heart after Francois is put in danger and Artie helped rescue him; I just can’t see such a sudden change in anyone.

The cover art by Reese Dante is great and I love how it follows the style from the previous books.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 141 pages

Published: September 28, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-961-1

Edition Language: English

Series: A Love You So Story

A Lucy Audiobook Review: Love You so Hard (Love You So Stories #1) by Tara Lain and Narrator: Ry Forest / Stephen Kurpis (Vitruvian Sound)

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Rated 3.5 stars out of 5

Craig is having a really bad month.  He is a strategic planner for an IT company and he’s very good at his job.  He was up for a promotion that he didn’t get because an office sleezeball stole his ideas and took all the credit so got the promotion instead.  When he decides he needs to take time away from work after hearing this news0, he starts a vacation that immediately is crappy when a well-known slimy slut tries to hit on him and ends up hitting him instead.  His beloved mother is battling Alzheimer’s and of course that isn’t getting better. It’s just not a good time.

The only bright spot is the beautiful man he has been seeing at the coffee shop.  The one with the “I would bottom you so hard” t-shirt that has featured in many of Craig’s dreams.  All that has happened to him has brought him to the realization that he needs to make some changes in his life.  When Jesse, the beautiful man, approaches Craig to talk, this is his chance.  Craig is going to make those changes and he is going to start with learning to top. He’s always been a bottom, “…no one ever let Craig top.  In thirty-two years of life, he’d never once topped.”  He also realizes that “He wasn’t even sure he bottomed hard.” Changes, changes need to be made.

So he asks graduate student Jesse to teach him to top. He was astounded to find out Jesse had noticed him before and even more shocked to find out Jesse is attracted to him and is willing to tutor him in the art of the top (from the aspect of an awesome bottom).   And so they begin.

I have to say – I really liked both Craig and Jesse.  Craig, he is such a good person who really thinks so little of himself.  “I mean, you don’t mind being with me? You know. Having people think I’m, like, your date or boyfriend or something.”  While Jesse is the younger of them at 21, Craig at 32 comes across as the younger one.   As part of their tutoring, Jesse declares that Craig’s final exam will be getting the promotion he deserved or one like it.  So he’s going full out to help Craig make changes.  Jesse is confident, sweet and knows what he wants; he is just what Craig needs. 

I liked the two of them together as well. I liked how Jesse teaches Craig it’s okay to be yourself.  “We have as much right to be lovers as anyone.”  I loved the changes that Craig was able to make and how he started to look at himself.  This was a sweet short story that made me smile.  It’s not angsty or overly serious, just some sexy fluff.

I do have to mention that narration by Ry Forest/Stephen Kurpis was really good, the voices being very close to what I would expect by the description of the characters.  Except for Ida, the waitress at the coffee shop, who for some reason had a deep gravelly voice! 

Cover art:  Reese Dante.  It’s a great cover and works perfectly for the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio, 3 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 2nd 2013)
Original TitleLove You So Hard
ASINB07FMCDX34
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLove You So Stories #1

An Alisa Release Day Review: The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean (The Middlemark Mysteries #1) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Dr. Llewellyn Lewis leads a double life, as both an awkward but distinguished history professor and the more flamboyant Ramon Rondell, infamous writer of sensational historical theories. It’s Ramon who first sets eyes on a gorgeous young man dancing in a club, but Llewellyn who meets teaching assistant Blaise Arthur formally at an event held for wealthy socialite Anne de Vere, descendant of Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford—who some believe was the real Shakespeare. Anne wants Llewellyn to prove that claim, even though many have tried and failed. And she’s willing to offer a hefty donation to the university if he succeeds.

It also means a chance for Llewellyn to get to know Blaise much better.

Not everyone thinks Llewellyn should take the case—or the money. Between feuding siblings, rival patrons, jealous colleagues, and greedy administrators, almost anyone could be trying to thwart his work… and one of them is willing to kill to do it.

When Anne de Vere turns up dead, the police believe Blaise is the murderer. Only the shy, stuttering professor who has won his heart can prove otherwise….

This was a fascinating story.  Llewellyn is adorably shy and when he is himself he prefers to hide away in his office behind books and research.  Blaise easily draws everyone in and wants nothing more than to catch Llew.

Llew if trying to decide what to do with pressure from all sides and no one really caring how he feels about it.  But Blaise stands by him and throws everything he ever thought about himself out the window.  But the truth about why Blaise is at MIddlemark may keep them apart.

I loved Llewellyn, even though he is crazy shy he can stand up for himself too and it was easy to understand him as most of the story is through his eyes.  It was great to see him find someone who wants to care for him and doesn’t see him as a burden.  Only a small portion is seen through Blaise’s eyes and when we do see his thoughts it’s easy to see how conflicted he is about what he is doing but his actions really show how he feels.  I can’t wait to see what else happens around Middlemark.

I love the cover art by Kanaxa is give so man little visuals from the story.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages

Published: July 31, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-486-9

Edition Language: English

Series: Middlemark Mysteries #1

Release Day Blitz: The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean by Tara Lain (excerpt and giveaway)

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A cozy mystery with a tongue-tied nerd of a history professor tempted by a gorgeous graduate student and millions of dollars if he can solve one of history’s greatest mysteries — who was Shakespeare really?
 
The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean
by Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Dr. Llewellyn Lewis leads a double life, as both an awkward but distinguished history professor and the more flamboyant Ramon Rondell, infamous writer of sensational historical theories. It’s Ramon who first sets eyes on a gorgeous young man dancing in a club, but Llewellyn who meets teaching assistant Blaise Arthur formally at an event held for wealthy socialite Anne de Vere, descendant of Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford-who some believe was the real Shakespeare. Anne wants Llewellyn to prove that claim, even though many have tried and failed. And she’s willing to offer a hefty donation to the university if he succeeds.
It also means a chance for Llewellyn to get to know Blaise much better.
Not everyone thinks Llewellyn should take the case-or the money. Between feuding siblings, rival patrons, jealous colleagues, and greedy administrators, almost anyone could be trying to thwart his work… and one of them is willing to kill to do it.
When Anne de Vere turns up dead, the police believe Blaise is the murderer. Only the shy, stuttering professor who has won his heart can prove otherwise…
Available for purchase at
Excerpt
About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Erotic Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance,  Best Gay Characters, and more. Readers often call her books “sweet,” even with all that hawt sex, because Tara believes in love and her books deliver on happily-ever-after. In addition to writing dozens and dozens of romance novels,  Tara also owns an advertising and public relations firm. Her love of creating book titles comes from years of manifesting ad headlines for everything from analytical instruments to semiconductors. She does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. Together with her soulmate husband and her soulmate Dog, she recently realized a vision to live where there were a lot more trees and a lot fewer cars by moving to Ashland, Oregon. She hasn’t stopped smiling since.

A Lucy Audiobook Review: Hearts and Flour By Tara Lain/ Ry Forest (narrator), Stephen Kurpis (narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

In a word, I thought this story was adorable. Micah is a raw vegan food evangelist who owns a vegan cafe, making up for a childhood of poisoning (alcohol) that finally killed his mother. He is rabid about all things healthy and wants his customers to take it as seriously as he does. He gets upset when they “mostly” follow healthy guidelines.  To top it all off,  he goes home early and finds the cheating, pathetic loser he calls his boyfriend having sex in their bed with someone else. Very classy guy, who is then shocked that Micah is kicking him out.  Dharmaram is such a user it is ridiculous.  But poor Micah.  “And here he sat.  Alone.  Dharmaram didn’t want him.  His customers didn’t want him.”

When he begins to realize even his most loyal customers may be following some of his advice but certainly not all of it (as evidenced by the giant cupcakes he keeps catching them eating), its demoralizing for him. He decides to attend his friend Yancy’s anti-Valentine’s Day party (orgy) to get laid and forget the cheater. Here, he meets Queen, who is so pretty in a fire engine red dress that Micah first thinks he is a woman, and hot sex ensues. Queen is very reticent about meeting up again but Micah can’t forget him. When he calls Queen, they go out again and sparks again fly.

It is when Micah realizes who Queen really is, i.e. Quentin the evil cupcake baker, that the problem starts.  Despite the obvious attraction, “So masculine and ladylike at the same time.  So brazenly sexy and so innocent. You turn me on like a Ferrari ignition”, Micah can’t get past the “poison” that Quentin is selling to his customers.  As a vegetarian, even I was thinking “Micah, calm down!” but poor baby, he had a rough week.

There is more drama with Dharmaram, who really just is a piece of work.  There is Queen’s lovely Southern grandmother, Mary Beth, who is gentile and the typical Southern lady.  Or is she? The love she has for Quentin and he for her is so wonderful.

There is quite a bit of sex for the length of the book and the rest really is fluffy and cute. I did want to get to read Micah having an orgy of cupcakes (SUGAR cupcakes) but that will have to wait. I am positive he will succumb to Charismatic Cupcakes sooner or later. Recommended for a light, quirky read.

Interestingly enough, there are two narrators, Ry Forest and Stephen Kurpis, but I would have sworn it was all the same person.  I was a little worried at first because the voice seemed melodramatic but as the book progressed the voices fit.  Quentin is given that South Carolina drawl, sexy as hell.

Cover art by Amanda Kelsey shows Micah holding a fluffy pink cupcake and I felt that was a great fit to the book.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible |

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook
Published June 19th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published January 30th 2013)
Original TitleHearts and Flour
Edition LanguageEnglishsettingCalifornia (United States)
Laguna Beach, California (United States)

An Alisa Release Day Review: Love You So Madly (Love You So Stories #2) by Tara Lain

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Ben Shane has it all… and he’d like to give some of it back. While he loves his job heading a foundation that funds worthy causes around the world, his engagement to one of America’s wealthiest men leaves him feeling more like a trophy wife than a valued partner. The first warning that his relationship might not be designed to last is his irresistible lust for Dusty Kincaid, the golden-haired, bright-eyed handyman for his company.

Though Dusty is odd for a twenty-three-year-old—no liquor, no sugar, and he can’t even drive—the more Ben gets to know Dusty, the more he admires him. But is Ben going to give up a guy who drives a Ferrari for one who takes the bus? He must be mad. Dusty knows he and Ben can never work. After all, Ben’s perfect… and Dusty isn’t. But Ben might surprise everyone with proof that he’s only mad in love.

I read the first book in this series when it first came out years ago and loved it, I was excited to see the author is now continuing the series because I love a sweet shorter story almost all the time.  Ben is drawn to Dusty when he first sees him and finds that he enjoys his company much more than his fiancé.  Dusty has been a bit sheltered due to his health concerns but embraces the chance to spend some time with Ben.

I still can’t figure out why Ben said yes to Alan’s proposal, he doesn’t seem to really have anything in common or enjoy spending time with him, it may just have been flattery at the time.  I did love his openness to Dusty and how willing he is to adapt his life to someone who actually matters to him.  I loved seeing Dusty finally get something good in his life and you could see how he didn’t want anyone to feel bad for him.  Both of these characters were wonderful and it was easy to connect and see what they were feeling.  I can’t wait to read more of these stories as they come out.

The cover art by Reese Dante is great and I love the visual of Dusty.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 120 pages

Published: May 29, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-448-7

Edition Language: English

Series: A Love You So Story