Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: The Harder They Fall by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The Harder They Fall coverTad, a spoiled and neglected rich kid, has been raised with money and privilege but not much else. His parents barely know he’s around, but keep his allowance coming—an allowance that Tad uses to show off what a big shot he is at the expense of others.

When Tad revisits the brothel where he humiliated a young, inexperienced whore the last time he was there, he asks for an older, more experienced man. He’s looking forward to another night of domination and dishing out humiliation—actions that make him feel good about himself.

He does get an older man, but instead of getting an old, washed-up whore like he requests, he gets “Daddy”, a big, strong, gorgeous, older man with a major domination streak. And Daddy doesn’t care what Tad wants—Daddy is going to give Tad what he needs. And what he needs is punishment—to be forced into obedience and subtly enlightened about his real and underlying issues. A little humiliation in front of the young whore he previously abused, an opportunity to be Daddy’s good boy—to be with someone who seems to actually care about him, and Tad suddenly isn’t interested in leaving.

Daddy-kink lovers, this one is for you! It’s an enjoyable M/M story, with subtle undertones that address Tad’s psych issues and the resolution a D/s relationship might bring him. I would definitely like to read more about these MCs.

Book Cover: Simple, but contains an element of the story.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 68 pages
Published July 20th 2015 by Smashwords Edition (first published July 18th 2015)
original title: The Harder They Fall
ISBN139781626493247
edition languageEnglish

A Sammy Review: Tin Man (Bliss #1.5) by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

Standard

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Everything in his life that should have been profound had been nameless. Life and death, fucking and killing—it should have been profound. It should have resonated. He wanted it to, with Ace. He just wanted something to matter, for once.

Tin Man coverAshoka “Ace” King is known as a crim, as are most people living in District Three. Between Morality Laws and rules that target those without jobs or homes, life in Tophet isn’t easy for those not in the upper realms of society. On top of it all, they all have to be on the constant look out for the ATU, a police force known to kill at random.

One unlucky night, Ace runs into a member of the ATU. He’s forced to make a split-second decision that puts his life in danger and makes him a target for the ATU. What he doesn’t expect is for that decision to lead him to Soren Lau, the ATU agent who just couldn’t seem to pull the trigger when ordered.

After a sordid tryst, the two become irrevocably entwined. But they’re on two different sides, and when fate brings them together yet another time, they both have to make a choice and decide which side they want to end up on.

“What would you do?” he asked. “If you were me, standing at the edge of the world. Would you run back toward solid ground, or would you jump?”

“I caught you once, didn’t I?”

One of my favorite things in books is when they are able to build this world that feels so vivid it’s nearly tangible. I was hoping to get that out of this book, and I did. The authors managed to weave in details of life in Tophet without making the book heavy with them, they intrigued me as a reader and made a society that I felt lucky to get to see and lucky to not have to live in… or do I?

Sometimes I think I can read a bit too much into things. My career involves social justice and advocacy, so upon reading this, bells went off in my head. A society where the people meant to protect us are causing harm, particularly to those in poverty? A society that marks people as criminals like it’s a brand that will forever be embedded in their skin? A society divided not by right and wrong but by the money in your pocket? So yeah, let’s just say I connected with that, and as much as it pained me, it was so wonderfully done. This society that is labeled as dystopian but somehow resembles bits of our own? If that’s not intriguing and thought-provoking, I don’t know what is.

But onto other matters, the characters. Ace and Soren together managed to create this almost devastating couple that shouldn’t work but did. Soren is questioning his role and all he’s dedicated himself to, and Ace is struggling just to survive. But these characters are anything but weak. Being able to watch them in their own battles was a real treat, especially when it resulted in their growth.

My absolute biggest complaint is that I wanted more. It ended just as it was getting good, and while I was satisfied to an extent, I definitely will be wanting more not only of this universe, but also these characters. Where do they go from here? I don’t know. I hope that I’ll find out though.

I really appreciate the cover art by L.C. Chase. It is very simple but provides a stark image and helps me visualize Soren without giving me all the intricacies of detail that readers like to fill in for themselves.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing  |  All Romance |  Amazon  | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 134 pages
Expected publication: July 20th 2015 by Riptide
ISBN139781626493285
edition languageEnglish
seriesBliss #1.5

Tin Man by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau – A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Must Read!

Standard

 

Tin Man cover

Tin Man (Bliss #1.5)
by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau

Riptide Publishing
Goodreads Link – Add It To Your Bookshelf
Cover Artist:  L. C. Chase

Sales Link:  Riptide Publishing  |

We have Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau here today to talk about Tin Man, their latest release.  Need a new book to read? Check out Tin Man by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau – A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Must Read! And don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the tour contest!

TinMan_TourBanner

Hi! Welcome to Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau’s blog tour for our new release, Tin Man. We’re visiting some of our favourite blogs around the place to talk a bit about writing Tin Man, and sharing some of our influences, our ideas, and even an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment, for your chance to win prizes!

Today we’re sharing an excerpt from Tin Man. In this excerpt, Soren is back at headquarters after his encounter with Ace, and afraid his superiors will find out exactly what happened:

 Excerpt from Tin Man:

“Rookie? Hey, rookie, you still with me here?”
Soren swayed a little as Ruby helped him out of the back of the truck. His boots hit the ground, jarring his bones.
“Come on,” she said. She unhooked her water bottle from her belt and gave it to him. “You got yourself a nice concussion, rookie. Don’t pass out on me.”
It wasn’t his concussion making him dizzy. It was fear. Soren unscrewed the lid of the bottle and took a mouthful. He swirled it around and spat. The water stained the asphalt black. Soren watched it spread into the tiny cracks and slowly bleed away.
The rest of the team headed for the showers and locker room. One or two of them clapped him on the shoulder as they passed, but most didn’t. Soren glanced at Ruby, at his helmet held under her arm, and wondered what the feed had showed Command.
He took another swig of water and washed his mouth out again.
She took the bottle from him. “Let’s get you to the medical unit.”
He followed her inside. The sudden shift from sunlight to shade blinded him for a moment, and he didn’t know if Ruby’s hand on his shoulder was to guide him or restrain him. He blinked, waiting for the world to come back into focus, waiting for the blue shapes burned on his retina to vanish.
She steered him down the corridor.
Inside the medical unit, Captain Bernhardt was waiting with the doctors. “Lau.”
“Sir.” Soren tried not to read anything into the way that the captain’s gaze slid slowly over him. How much did he know? The worst thing he could possibly do, Soren knew, was to start offering up excuses too early. Innocent men didn’t do that. Only guilty men and weak men. In this place, they were the same thing.
“Clothes off,” the doctor said, stepping forward.
Soren bent down to remove his boots and socks. Then he tugged his shirt off and dropped it into the bag that the doctor held out. An evidence bag? God. His fingers fumbled with the button of his fly—all he could remember suddenly were Ace’s fingers sliding over his skin, making the muscles in his abdomen dance—then he shucked off his pants and underwear.
“Some abrasions and contusions,” the doctor said. “I’ll document them now and take the photographs in a day or two once the bruising comes up.”
He was talking to Captain Bernhardt, Soren realized, not him. Soren was a piece of evidence now. In some ways, it made things easier. It was useful to disengage himself from this for now, to move how the doctor wanted him to move, to stretch this way or bend that way, and not have to feel the humiliation a person might, with all these gazes on him. He was trembling, though. Couldn’t stop that.
“Hands on the edge of the table,” the doctor said. “Bend over.”
At least Ruby looked away for that indignity. Soren squeezed his eyes shut and gritted his teeth. Easy to submit to the humiliation of it when he knew it wouldn’t reveal anything incriminating. The fact that they were examining him there at all, though . . . Why do it in the first place if they didn’t suspect anything?
The doctor moved away at last. Soren straightened up and turned around again.
Then the doctor was back, with a swab. “Open your mouth.”
Soren caught Ruby’s gaze as the doctor poked the swab around. Did she guess why he’d washed his mouth out with her water? Why he’d done it twice? He watched as the doctor slid the swab into a plastic tube and had to fight the crazy urge to reach out and grab it back. There was no point panicking about what the swab might tell Command when his own words might condemn him yet.
Ruby looked away. Yeah, Soren was fucked.
“Okay, Lau.” Bernhardt held out a fresh set of clothes—a white undershirt and boxers. Nothing else.
Soren dressed. His body ached. The doctor didn’t offer him any painkillers, but it didn’t matter. Just because nobody had accused him of anything didn’t mean they weren’t suspicious. Didn’t mean he was in the clear.
Soren knew the worst was yet to come.
Blurb:

Petty thief Ashoka “Ace” King knows better than to get in the way of Tophet’s Anti-Terrorist Unit. Rightfully feared in Tophet’s crime-ridden underbelly, a face-to-face encounter with an ATU is almost certainly a death sentence. But Ace has never been one to follow the rules.

Soren Lau might be an ATU rookie, but he’s not naive enough to believe everything his superiors tell him. Then again, he’s not stupid enough to disobey them, either. If he doesn’t shoot and kill as ordered, he might be next on their list.

But when Soren meets Ace, a moment’s hesitation is all it takes to put both their lives on the line. They don’t know each other, they don’t trust each other, and there’s no way in hell they can both walk away from this alive. But with suspicion and mortal danger mounting against both of them—and the forbidden attraction blazing between them—there’s nothing they can do but try.

Tin Man is out on July 20. You can order it now at Riptide.

Author Bios:

Lisa Henry

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Connect with Lisa:

Blog: http://www.lisahenryonline.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaHenryOnline
Goodreads: http://http//www.goodreads.com/LisaHenry

Heidi Belleau

Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write.

She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centred on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with unironic papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!)

When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her newborn daughter or standing in line at the local coffee shop, waiting on her caramel macchiato.

Connect with Heidi:

Blog: http://www.heidibelleau.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HeidiBelleau
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/heidibelleau
Email:  mailto:heidi.below.zero@gmail.com

TinMan_TourBanner
Giveaway:

Each comment on this blog tour enters you for a chance to win a $20 Riptide credit and an ecopy of Bliss, the first book set in this universe. Entries close July 25, and contest is not restricted to US residents. Remember to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you if you win!