A MelanieM Review: Branded by Flames (Dragon Soul, #1) by Sean Michael

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Meet the Beteferoce brothers. Five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power. And each with a fierce desire to find his soul mate…

For years, dragon-shifter-slash-firefighter Jake has been searching for his mate, but he’s beginning to tire of the search. Maybe soul mates are only for the lucky few.

Then he meets Shae.

A former navy welder, Shae is handsome, talented, into power play and rough sex, and covered in dragon tattoos. All of this suits the shape-shifting dragon just fine—until he finds out that Shae literally has Jake’s family crest already tattooed on him. A coincidence? Or something more…

Jake must convince Shae to trust him as a man and as a Dom before the heat between them burns out of control. Becoming a dragon’s mate is not without danger, and Shae will need Jake’s guidance—and love—if he’s going to make it through alive.

 

I found the Dragon Soul series by Sean Michael by reading the second book in the series first, Seduced by the Tide and loved it.  So of course that meant I had to go running back to find the first and get caught up on what I missed out, the world building and the references alluded to in the second story that I didn’t quite understand.  I am delighted to say that Branded by Flames is just as hot (no pun intended), just as sexy as I was hoping while giving me some of the foundation I was looking for this series.  I can see that Michael intends to draw out the information about each brother and the dragons in general over the series, which I’m more than ok with.  I’m full of anticipation now to see how each brother’s story plays out.

Here Jake (of course I have the benefit of the second story) seems to understand the significance of all the dragons that decorate Shae’s skin and occupy his mind and art.  We will too after a while.  Shae has a past with a Dom that’s left him alone, outside of the leather community.  Part of this story is all about trust issues, breaking trust and rebuilding it.  How do you do that when one of you is a dragon?  Interesting situation.  There is a lot of kinky sex play here as Jake and Shae start to explore boundaries and issues of trust.  If you’re not into BDSM or D/s, this is not the series or book for you.  If you are, read on!

I find the two of them incredibly sexy together, combustible even (ok someone had to say it).  Jake the dragon needed more work for me as a character than Shae the man, Shae having more depth, more poignancy given his past history and pain.  However, we get to see them again in Seduced by the Tide and there they come together even better as a couple.

Branded by Flames is the first of at least five stories as there are five Beteferoce dragon brothers looking for their soulmates.  I have to admit Mark’s story is the one I want the most. But that’s not to be. Park ranger Luke Beteferoce is the next brother to get his story.  See you in September!  Until then, if you love dragons, hot sex and kink, here’s a series for you!

Cover art is hot and perfect for the story.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 216 pages
Published January 30th 2017 by Carina Press
ASINB01LLOUAVM
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDragon Soul #1
CharactersJake “Beteferoce,, Shae O’Reilly.

Dragon Soul series:

A MelanieM Review: Seduced by the Tide (Dragon Soul #2) by Sean Michael

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Meet the Beteferoce brothers. Five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power. And each with a fierce desire to find his soul mate.
…
Deke has yet to meet a man who gives him a rush. Coast Guard rescue has kept the dragon shifter busy, but there’s no harder work than finding a mate. Then comes Bryan. Bearded and inked, the personal trainer turned mechanic smells of grease, sweat and red meat. How irresistibly human can you get? And when it comes to hot, slamming sex, they’re the perfect fit. Now all Deke has to do is to tell Bryan what he really is, and what he has planned for them.

Bryan has never met anyone like Deke, a consuming lover with a body so arousing it damn near hurts. And he knows how to use every inch of it. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that Deke is hiding something. Just not this-the stud he’s falling for is a centuries-old dragon who has marked him as a mate.
Bryan has to admit that something inside him is changing. For the first time ever, he’s satisfied, body and soul. If Deke really is telling the truth, this could be his destiny-if he’s ready to face it.

There is no question that Sean Michael writes hot, sexy men and combustible sex scenes.  That’s in abundance here with dragon shifter Deke and his soul mate Bryan.  This is not a 1-🔥 story but 10 🔥 as their scenes together almost set the room on fire, ironic when one dragon’s element is water.  But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

Seduced by the Tide by Sean Michael is the second story in the Dragon Soul series and the first one I’ve read (something I’m going to remedy asap).  While I would have liked to have had the background and history of that first story, I don’t feel it was necessary to have in order to understand everything that was going on here.  Michael delivers enough past information that I wasn’t left floundering in the dark, instead I felt I had a pretty good foundation of this universe to sit back and enjoy the meeting and mating of Deke and Bryan. Plus they were surrounded by the first couple (and Bryan’s neighbors),Jack and Shae. This was beneficial in so many ways.  Having Jack and Shae there provided additional information as to what was happening to this couple (they had  gone through it) and gave a wonderful update to those readers who had read the first story.

I loved the depth of world building here and the glimpses I got of the other brothers who’s books  I know are coming.  There was the tattoo and Elf ink master I wanted to know more about, plus the dragon home world and of course the rest of the Beteferoce brothers.  Michael makes each man interesting and their mating sexy, hot and intimate.

I can’t wait for the next story and get to find out how it all began with the first installment Branded by Flames (Dragon Soul, #1) by which I’m guessing that Jake the dragon shifter’s element is fire.  I hope it’s as good as this story.  As it is, if you love hot men, hot sex, love and dragons, you will love Seduced by the Tide (Dragon Soul #2) by Sean Michael.

Cover design is perfect for this story.  I love the dragon elements on the bottom half especially.

Sales Links:  Carina Press 


Click to buy on AmazonClick to buy on Apple iBooksClick to buy on Barnes & NobleClick to buy on KoboClick to buy on Google Play

Book Details:

Book two in the Dragon Soul series
This book is approximately 79,000 words

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: June 26th 2017 by Carina Press
Original Title Seduced by the Tide
ASIN B06XFJPWPS
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Pre Release Review: On Point (Out of Uniform #3) by Annabeth Albert

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

Really, it’s so hard to have favorites among Annabeth Albert’s series. Worse even to try and chose among her myriad of stories within those series.  I love her Out of Uniform series, which gets better with each book. On Point, the third installment, is now my favorite to date.  In On Point Albert takes secondary characters Ben and Maddox, makes them complex individuals with a relationship dynamic fraught with challenges and the potential for pain and growth if only one of them will make a move.

Ben especially has a lot of emotional growing to do and the reader follows him along every painful step in this journey.  Maddox too has some memorable moments here and the two men together, as friends and as potential lovers are narrative magic.  Albert writes real people with problems we can relate to and understand.  It happens here, even if some of the most drama scenes are ones we may never experience.  It’s the emotions that telegraph through the vivid descriptions and dialog that grip you and won’t let you go.

If you love friends to lovers, this is an excellent example of why that trope is so popular.  You understand Ben and Maddox as friends, your heart wants them to be more as much as they want each other. You absolutely believe in their love and that they can have a HEA if only they reach for it and each other.  Powerful stuff but I expect nothing less from this author.

I highly recommend this story and this author.  This series too!

Cover art works for the couple and for branding the series.  I like it.

Sales Links: Carina Press


ebook, 320 pages
Expected publication: June 5th 2017 by Carina Press
Original TitleOn Point
ISBN139781488022630
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOut of Uniform #3

A MelanieM Review: Wolf in King’s Clothing by Parker Foye

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

An exiled shifter. His alpha mate. And a desire so intense it could be the death of them…

York, England, 1912

Kent was a pack outcast. His shifter instincts cruelly muted, he was collared and kept as a stray. Until he was offered his freedom—for something in return. He must rescue Hadrian, an alpha held hostage in the wolf highlands. It’s a pleasure for Kent to follow the captive’s scent, one so wild and virile it gives him a rush. Though he despises being treated like a mutt called to heel, he’ll gladly fall to his knees for an alpha like Hadrian.

Hadrian has never met anyone like this damaged wolf warrior. His savior who licks the blood from his wounds and who arouses in him feelings he doesn’t understand or want to control. But Hadrian suspects that more than desire binds them. It’s betrayal. Pawns in an elaborate and feral deceit, they’re now caught in the deepening maze of a vengeful shifter world, where navigating the mysteries of the heart could prove just as unpredictable and dangerous as the enemies they face.

I thought Wolf in King’s Clothing by Parker Foye had many terrific elements to it.  Foye’s  writing was able to engage me in Kent’s situation and his need for Hadrian.  In fact, Kent is the best thing about the story.   He’s almost feral, a wild being yet one we are able to connect with.  Foye’s decision to make him a berserker was a good one that plays out against his size and constant state of disorder and more.  We feel compassion for Kent and that allows us to come to his side of the story and remain there.

Hadrian is more of a shadow character, elusive as we don’t have as much background on him and honestly, I didn’t believe in his character as I did Kent’s.  Or the ugly people and beings that surrounded Kent, they were very much alive.

I found it odd that  Foye decided to place his story in York, England, 1912.  There didn’t seem to be any firm reason for that.  This could have been any fantasy world or alternate world, there was nothing or no real reason other than to bring the Titanic into it (and that was sort of absurd).  Anything else, avalanche, earthquake, bomb, could have been used to the same effect…get rid of a bunch of leaders in one place.  Because the reference disappears and you really don’t care when the story is placed again.  It’s merely an oddity and a jarring one at that.

The pathos at the end of the real is real.  It tugged at my heart.  I felt for both characters.  But again, with the good comes the bad.  I was also let down because there was no comeuppance for the person who put Kent through all that.  It was “oh well, that happens”.  I’m all about the revenge here.   Ah well.

As I said, there were some good elements here, enough that overrode the bad that I’m giving it 3 stars.  The writing made me connect to one of the main characters, enough to pull at me at the end when it looked like he was going to die.  I only wish the author had built on the  good elements they had going, and scattered the others away.

 

Cover art is just so so.  Doesn’t speak to the era or  show the interesting characteristics of the MC’s. Could be any book.

Sales Links  

Carina Press – Amazon: CA / COM / UKKobo

Book Details:

This book is approximately 32,000 words\ebook

Expected publication: May 15th 2017 by Carina Press
Original TitleWolf in King’s Clothing
ISBN139781488078521
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Jeri Review: At Attention by Annabelle Albert

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Annabeth Albert has done it again. I honestly don’t think I have ever given one of her books fewer than 4 stars. At Attention is book 2 in her Out of Uniform series. These can absolutely be read as stand alones, but if you are like most who start reading her books- you will search them all out to devour.

Apollo is a single dad to twin girls after losing his husband. His mother has an apartment above the garage to help take care of the girls while he is at work. But she is going on a much deserved and long awaited vacation. Being a former SEAL on desk duty because of a bad back, Apollo doesn’t like his carefully crafted routine disrupted.

In walks Dylan- his Navy friend’s little brother whom he hasn’t seen in 8 years. Since Dylan is spending the summer at home before he begins a new job, he seems like the perfect person to help Apollo with the girls. But Apollo and Dylan suddenly have crazy chemistry- and Apollo has no intentions of acting on it.

Ho-ly HOT. When Apollo is in Dad or work mode, he is nearly perfect. Very straight laced, plays by the rules guy. But when he is with Dylan- DAYUM. This book is a long slow burn that combusts at the perfect moment. And when Apollo finally goes all in on his attraction- he is filthy. The good filthy.

I will admit that main characters with back problems is kind of triggery for me. I won’t go into it. So for the first time reading one of her books I was a bit hesitant. That being said, the point that he had back problems was prevalent, but she didn’t beat us over the head with it. Which I really appreciated. Repetition of something in a book drives me batty.

Dylan is just about the complete opposite of Apollo. Where one is a control freak, the other rides the wave that comes. But they play off of each other beautifully without making the other feel less for being different from them. It helps them open the eyes of the other.

The twins were absolutely adorable and I really loved their interaction both with their father and Dylan. Writing kids so prominently into a story can be tricky, but it is well done here.

Apollo has to deal with a lot in this book- the girls, his grief, his guilt over his attraction to his friend’s younger brother…. but he does, and does it well. And not always with a tidy little bow as so often happens.

And now I can’t wait for the next book…..

Cover art is lovely and works for the series and tale.

Sales Links

Carina Press

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: April 10th 2017 by Carina Press
Original Title At Attention
ISBN13 9781488022623
Edition Language English

1 Week Tour for At Attention by Annabeth Albert (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title:  AT ATTENTION

Series: Out of Uniform, book 2 (but stands alone well–different couple for each book)

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher:  Carina Press

Release Date: April 10, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 73,000

Genre: Romance, Military romance, contemporary, age difference, may/december, SEALS

Add to Goodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Annabeth Albert here today.  Welcome, Annabeth. Tell us more about your new release!

✒︎

Thank you so much for having me today! I’m so excited to be celebrating the release of AT ATTENTION which stars a widowed navy SEAL dad and his best-friend’s little brother who’s staying with him for the summer to help with the kids. Music is a huge part of my creative process, and I knew going into this that the playlist for these two was going to be a challenge.

Apollo is dealing with a lot of grief and the pain of moving on after losing his husband, so his songs to start with were sad and slow, while Dylan is sunnier, younger, and more upbeat. I’d go from bombastic TV show soundtracks for Apollo to fun pop for Dylan and back again, trying to find the musical profile for this book.

Sam Smith was an obvious choice, but other notable additions to the playlist were revelations—lesser known artists who became intertwined with the writing of this book.  You can find the full playlist on spotify, but I wanted to talk about a few songs and why they were so key to the book.

  • James Blunt, “When I Find Love Again.” I’d never heard of James before starting this book, but when I found this song, I knew I’d found Apollo’s path forward. It’s joyous and upbeat and everything missing from Apollo’s life at the start of the book. But by the end, this song really has become the embodiment of the book’s message about being brave enough to try again.
  • Tenth Avenue North, “Worn.” This song more than any other on the playlist really encapsulated who Apollo is at the book’s opening—he’s tired of struggling, tired of being alone, but he’s not sure he believes in a different future for himself. He’s waiting for something like Dylan in his life, even if he can’t admit it yet.
  • Angus and Julia Stone, “Stay with Me.” The thing about Sam Smith being on repeat for two months is that eventually one finds their way to Sam Smith covers. And this one is particularly gorgeous, and really spoke to the black moment for me, for both men, how much they need each other.
  • Haley Reinhart, “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” I listened to a lot of covers of this song, as it was such a perfect song for Apollo who really, really does not want to fall in love with Dylan, but does anyway, but this version of the song really spoke to me with her heartbreaking delivery.
  • Rebecca Ferguson, “Nothing’s Real but Love.”  Another artist I discovered while searching sad song playlists, her voice really spoke to Apollo’s resilience and how much he needs love back in his life.
  • Kina Grannis/Gardiner Sisters, “I was Made for Loving You.” This is one of Dylan’s songs—hopeful, and full of love, but wary.
  • Jewel, “Near Me Always.” I put a little piece of myself in every book, but in this case, I gave them a song from my past, one that always makes me relive a little heartbreak to hear because I needed to channel that sadness, and a funny thing happened—over the course of listening to my playlist, this song became much less about my own past and more about Dylan and Apollo’s future.

Thank you so much for having me! If you’re curious to learn more about Dylan and Apollo’s journey, I hope you’ll check out AT ATTENTION. And if you have a good earworm for me, I love hearing of new artists and songs!

Synopsis

Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

Book Two of the Out of Uniform series

This book is approximately 73,000 words

Excerpt

**This is from the first chapter**

Hamburger. Onions. Pickles. Ketchup. Buns. Buns.

Well, hello, there. Possibly the most perfect specimen Apollo had ever seen was bent over in the bakery aisle at Sprouts, looking at a rack of organic cookies. High. Tight. Round. Attached to muscular legs poking out of board shorts, the kind of legs that suggested a serious investment in a sport or fitness. He wasn’t going to do more than look, but even when he’d been with Neal, he hadn’t been blind, and it was nice to know perfection like this guy existed in the world.

It was like swimming by a perfect coral reef on a dive or the blue of a cloudless sky right before a jump—

Wink. Fuck. The guy straightened before Apollo could look away and caught Apollo staring, and instead of blushing or serving him with the angry glare he deserved, he gave Apollo a saucy wink. It was the sort of wink that a decade ago would have had Apollo crossing the shiny linoleum and getting the guy’s number, but those days were long gone.

Instead he grabbed the closest twelve pack of hamburger buns and one of hot dog buns and headed to the next aisle. Those were the only kind of buns he had any business letting himself be distracted by. He was a father for crying out loud, not some single guy out treating the natural grocery store like his own personal pickup joint. Reflexively, he rubbed his ring with the side of his pinky, making it spin on his ring finger. Yeah. No more looking.

“Apollo! How are you?” Bridget from down the street almost ran her cart into his as he navigated the aisles. Her red-haired toddler waved at him from the basket.

Hell. He knew he should have brought at least one of the girls shopping. Then Bridget could have focused on the kids, and not his least favorite question in the universe.

“Hanging in there.” Apollo gave her a practiced a smile. “Good” would be a lie and no one wanted to hear “same as yesterday,” which was closer to the truth. But what the Bridgets of the world all wanted to hear was that Apollo was moving on—like time was the magic cure for the hole in his heart. “Having some people over for a barbecue later. Apologies if anyone parks in front of your place.”

“Oh, no worries.” Bridget patted his arm. “Having friends is so important.”

“Yeah, it is,” Apollo agreed because Bridget was a nice person, but inwardly his teeth gnashed together. He was so tired of well-meaning people telling him what was good for him when not a damn one of their suggestions would bring Neal back. “I better get on with my list.”

“You do that. And be sure and let us know if you need anything.

Apollo nodded. Two years. It had been two years of neighbors and friends stopping him like this, making kind offers, but none of them able to do the one thing he wanted more than anything.

Fuck. Snap out of it, Lieutenant. No one wants your mopey ass around on this sunny May weekend. And it was an absolutely gorgeous day, perfect for playing with the girls outside and kicking back a few beers with his friends. He wasn’t on duty and had three consecutive days off for the first time in a long time. No sense dwelling on sad shit. Time to get stuff done.

Find something else to focus on.

Like that perfect ass?

No. Absolutely not that. Like…pickles. Lots and lots of pickles.

He saw Mr. Perfect Butt again in the juice aisle, and it was damn hard to keep his resolution to stick to shopping. The guy was model cute—curly hair falling just so over his forehead, sparkling eyes, chiseled jaw, and a tight T-shirt advertising a British soccer team showing off a defined chest and tight stomach. The guy smiled at him again and looked like he might want to speak, so Apollo grabbed the juice boxes for the girls and got out of there like he’d just launched a flash bang in the guy’s direction.

At the checkout, Mr. Perfect Butt was ahead of him in the only line that seemed to be moving. Apollo very carefully did not look at his butt again and busied himself grabbing some gum and trying to give off “don’t talk to me” vibes.

But those vibes seemed to be an utter failure as the guy turned, offering another movie-star-worthy grin. “You want to go first?” His voice was husky, like every word was a secret.

“I’m good,” Apollo said.

The man nodded, shy smile teasing the edges of his mouth, making his blue eyes dance. “You know—”

“ID please.” The cashier interrupted whatever flirtation the guy had planned as his six pack of beer went across the scanner.

“Oh, yeah.” A faint red flush spread up the guy’s neck. Oh hell. He wasn’t just younger than Apollo. He was a kid. A kid who still got carded, and rightfully so with that baby face. What the hell had Apollo been thinking, admiring his body?

Apollo focused on unloading his own groceries, making neat rows for the cashier, and making sure the buns wouldn’t get squished.

Buns. Nope. Not going there. The kid hung around after paying for his groceries, mouth moving as if he were debating speaking, but Apollo kept his attention squarely on the cashier.

No more looking. Remember who—what—you are now. When he finally looked up, perfect butt guy was gone, and if Apollo felt a twinge of regret for being a bit on the rude side, he squashed it quickly. Wasn’t like he’d ever see the guy again anyway.

****

What will Apollo do when he discovers that Perfect Butt guy is his best friend’s little brother? Find out in AT ATTENTION!

Purchase

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Meet the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Sign Up for Annabeth’s Newsletter!

Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

A MelanieM Review: At Attention (Out of Uniform #2) by Annabeth Albert

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars ouf 5

at-attentionLieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

Annabeth Albert has become a  “go to, must read” author for me quickly.  It started with her series #gaymers but Portland Heat and now Out of Uniform is also making her a comfort read as well.  If you haven’t started any of these series, walk-don’t run to your nearest computer and pull them up!  At Attention is the second in her Out of Uniform series and oh my, how I do love this one.  It has characters I met in the first, we’re talking Lt. Apollo Floros.  He’s widowed with twins and just the small amount of time he appeared in the first story, Off Base (Out of Uniform, #1), was enough to know that you needed more of him.  And that he had to have a HEA.

At Attention is his story and romance.  Sigh and swoon.  The author gives us a man who hasn’t yet dealt with his grief over losing his husband.  Apollo has just been going through the motions of adjusting to being an only parent with total responsibility of his twins, a job that’s taken him out of the field and the daily recognition of the hole in his life.  But actual mourning?  No, he hasn’t let himself do that and so he’s  stuck in a way that  not even his family   and friends know how to help him move forward.  I love how Albert makes us feel this man’s pain and loss as well as his love for his daughters and the man he married.  We see how much he needs to move ahead and yet how unable or unready he is to do so.

Then Dylan comes to town for a summer job and his brother, Apollo’s friend and teammate.  Who hasn’t had someone younger crush on them or had a crush on someone older?  We know how it goes and feels.  Albert captures those old feelings perfectly as well as what happened when the crush and crushee meet years later.  Its so hard to let go of those old impressions, especially if you’re the older person.  I love how that factors into this slow moving relationship because its so very realistic.

There are other obstacles here, not just that  past history.  Each is believable and realistic as they come.  And yet those sparks that fly between these characters are hot, hot, hot!!!  The chemistry that the author cooks up between Apollo and Dylan is combustible and I believe in that and them too.

Plus you throw in the girls and their love for Dylan as well and this story just sang for me.

So At Attention is already a favorite of the series and its just book 2.  What will the rest of the series bring?  I can’t wait to find out.  Please hurry up with the next story!

Cover art is lovely and works for the series and tale.

Sales Links

Carina Press

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: April 10th 2017 by Carina Press
Original Title At Attention
ISBN13 9781488022623
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Necessary Medicine by M.K. York

Standard

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

necessary-medicineWith intelligence and humor, debut male/male author M.K. York delivers an emotionally charged slow-burn romance set in a prestigious Bay Area teaching hospital

In the high-intensity world of hospital residency programs, there’s no room for romance. So it’s a good thing for first-year surgical resident Neil Carmona that his crush on the gorgeous cardiologist Eli Newcombe is sheer fantasy. Not only is the sexy doctor Neil’s superior, he’s also recently divorced.

As Neil’s skill as a surgeon grows, so does his friendship with Eli, and his silent, hopeless longing for more. It isn’t until Neil’s final year that Eli at last admits his own deepest desires. But Neil’s joy is short-lived: Eli has no intention of pursuing a relationship. Their positions in the hospital would make it unethical, even if he was emotionally ready for someone new.

Wounded and furious, Neil is determined to forget about Eli once and for all. But when a near-tragedy strikes, a new question arises: Is a life without love—without Neil—a greater risk than laying his heart on the line?

Well, I just  adored Necessary Medicine by M.K. York, probably because it hit so close to home as a close family relative lived with us during his residency here. During that time period I got an up close look at his hours, his total exhaustion and the dedication it took to get him through those years (and all those rotations).  York knows that world intimately and brought it back to me so vividly I almost got on the phone to relive it  with my cousin again. Almost!

First-year surgical resident Neil Carmona felt so believable in every way.  From his fumbling through the different rotations, to his trying to find some semblance of ties to other people to ground him, I understood this man completely and loved him.  And when transplant surgeon extraordinaire appeared during one of his lectures, I could see the crush coming his way.  Neil’s world is an insular one and York does a fine job of describing its pressures and incredible around the clock adrenaline rush of procedures, stress, and Expectations that bombard residents so that we can see why he wants to reach out to someone he’s attracted to so badly even though it might be the worst idea ever.

Eli Newcombe is more of an enigma, at least at first.  Its when we meet up with him a second time that we get to know the man behind the reputation and realize that perhaps that, beyond the chemistry these two have, there just might be a future.

This is a slow burn sort of relationship that’s has its foundation in the reality of a teaching hospital.  York gives us not only Neil and Eli but Neil’s mentor (and Eli’s friend), other residents and Neil’s small circle of friends and the insular world of surgery and the transplant field.  I think this book is a marvel, and I found so many things about it fascinating. Yes, I did remember my cousin’s similar stories from his internship and they pretty much measured up to the ones here.  I wonder who  York has been talking to.

However, if you’re not a fan of things like tv medicine show dramas with ensemble casts and romances, this book might not be your thing.  But it was absolutely mine.  As I said I adored it.  I so hope M.K. York write more like this as the author has found a fan in me.

Cover art works but I’m not a fan of reds like this in cover art.  I find it offputting.

Pre Order – Sales Links

Carina Press

Other links to come

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 251 pages
Expected publication: April 24th 2017 by Carina Press
Original TitleNecessary Medicine
ASINB01MYM441N
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Pre-Release Review: At Attention (Out of Uniform, #2) by Annabeth Albert

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars ouf 5

at-attentionLieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

Annabeth Albert has become a  “go to, must read” author for me quickly.  It started with her series #gaymers but Portland Heat and now Out of Uniform is also making her a comfort read as well.  If you haven’t started any of these series, walk-don’t run to your nearest computer and pull them up!  At Attention is the second in her Out of Uniform series and oh my, how I do love this one.  It has characters I met in the first, we’re talking Lt. Apollo Floros.  He’s widowed with twins and just the small amount of time he appeared in the first story, Off Base (Out of Uniform, #1), was enough to know that you needed more of him.  And that he had to have a HEA.

At Attention is his story and romance.  Sigh and swoon.  The author gives us a man who hasn’t yet dealt with his grief over losing his husband.  Apollo has just been going through the motions of adjusting to being an only parent with total responsibility of his twins, a job that’s taken him out of the field and the daily recognition of the hole in his life.  But actual mourning?  No, he hasn’t let himself do that and so he’s  stuck in a way that  not even his family   and friends know how to help him move forward.  I love how Albert makes us feel this man’s pain and loss as well as his love for his daughters and the man he married.  We see how much he needs to move ahead and yet how unable or unready he is to do so.

Then Dylan comes to town for a summer job and his brother, Apollo’s friend and teammate.  Who hasn’t had someone younger crush on them or had a crush on someone older?  We know how it goes and feels.  Albert captures those old feelings perfectly as well as what happened when the crush and crushee meet years later.  Its so hard to let go of those old impressions, especially if you’re the older person.  I love how that factors into this slow moving relationship because its so very realistic.

There are other obstacles here, not just that  past history.  Each is believable and realistic as they come.  And yet those sparks that fly between these characters are hot, hot, hot!!!  The chemistry that the author cooks up between Apollo and Dylan is combustible and I believe in that and them too.

Plus you throw in the girls and their love for Dylan as well and this story just sang for me.

So At Attention is already a favorite of the series and its just book 2.  What will the rest of the series bring?  I can’t wait to find out.  Please hurry up with the next story!

Cover art is lovely and works for the series and tale.

Sales Links

Carina Press

Other links coming soon

 

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: April 10th 2017 by Carina Press
Original Title At Attention
ISBN13 9781488022623
Edition Language English

A Jeri Review: Off Base (Out of Uniform #1) by Annabeth Albert

Standard
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
off-baseI love Annabeth Albert’s books. I have read all of them-usually as soon as they come out. She does “series” and each series is totally different than the others. She definitely doesn’t stick to one trope only.
Off Base is the start of her next series, but there are charactersfrom her Gaymers series in this book as well. Namely, the two main characters. But if you haven’t read the previous series you won’t need an explantion of anything.
Zach is in the military and desperate to get out of on base housing. And roommates. When his superior offers him a free place to stay- with the caveat that he fix up the house so that they can flip and sell it, Zach jumps at the chance. One big problem- Zach has no idea about home renovation.
Pike had an unconventional upbringing and one of the things he and his mother did was renovate houses. So when Zach laments that he might be in over his head- Pike wants to help. He also wants to get out of where he is living and into something else. Perfect solution for all. Except for the attraction between the two. And the fact that Zach is a virgin.
 Watching Zach and Pike dance around each other was hot. I love a slow burn romance. I loved how Zach- this big tough military guy- was a virgin and totally inept at being a fixer upper. Yet Pike- apologetically gay and a bit of a gay stereotype- is right at home with sheetrock, tile and plumbing. And sex.
Zach was just so sweet. This poor guy was out of his element in so many ways but wanting to figure it all out. Pike was funny and a great fit with Zach. The whole opposites attract thing can be really hot.
This was a great book and I love that there are more to come. Hot military guys, Bring em on!

Sales Links

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 9th 2017 by Carina Press
Original TitleOff Base
ASINB01LLPCCMG
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOut of Uniform #1