Love New Adult Stories? Check Out the Release Blitz for Not Gonna Lie (#lovehim #4) by S.M. James (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Not Gonna Lie

Author: S. M. James

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Release Date:  May 16, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s:  Enemies to lovers

Themes:  Online bullying culture, eating disorder, anxiety

Heat Rating:  1 flame

Length:  85 000 words/ 400 pages

Add on Goodreads

Not Gonna Lie is a standalone story within the #lovehim series.

There’s also the novella prequel (To Be Continued, book 6).

It will show you where it all began for Gram and Digi.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

At this year’s Webcon, nothing will stay secret for long.

Blurb

Everyone has their secrets. 

Last year Digi walked out on Webcon, on his fans, and on Gram. 

Now he’s back determined to give what they had a real shot, but Gram is more prickly than ever, not willing to risk his heart again. 

Despite trying to stay out of the spotlight, the anonymous Public Service Announcements draw Digi back in. As the secrets of the internet’s top celebrities are leaked to the world, it’s only a matter of time before Digi and Gram are next. 

To get through it, they have to set their rivalry aside. 

Will Digi handle the pressure of the bright lights long enough to find who is tearing their world apart? Or will the threat of full exposure be too much for him to handle?

Excerpt

Gram tosses his cell phone onto the bed between us. Playing along, I grab his phone and check the screen, and the selfie we took last night stares back at me. I smile, we both look relaxed and totally comfortable, even though my hand on his thigh had me buzzed in that exact moment.

I set my mug down and toss the phone back to Gram before rolling onto my side. “Reminds me of when we used to vlog together.”

He stares at the photo for a minute. “Yeah. It does. Did you see the comments?”

“Nope.”

“Turns out, people are still insanely curious about where you’ve been for the last year.”

“Eh. Why?”

“Because you disappeared, Digi. You were one of the biggest vloggers and then you were gone. All those comments are asking about you. So … let’s collab.”

“What?”

“Well we’re friends, aren’t we? I haven’t lined up any guest vloggers yet, and if you do this with me, I won’t have to.”

“Yeah, no. I’m not doing that anymore.”

“I’m not saying you have to go back to it, but this will give you a chance to tell your piece, then everyone will stop speculating and you can go back to whatever the bloody hell you’ve been doing.”

I scrunch up my face, not real interested in the idea. “I dunno, Gram. I like being able to come here and not be hassled. If I do that, I’m opening the door on everyone thinking they can stick their noses back into my life.”

He sighs. “I can’t say I don’t understand. And it is your choice though.” Gram watches me, completely unguarded for a change. There’s no tension in his face, and it’s the way I like him best.

“Hey, remember that time we snuck off while our mom’s were on a panel, and went to that dolphin place?”

“Oh yeah …” His gaze goes unfocused and I know he’s remembering that day. “Yeah, that was amazing.”

It was. We’d spent the whole day there, participating in the training sessions and swimming around. Gram hadn’t started dying his hair at that point, and I can still picture the way he kept pushing his black bangs back off his face.  

His gaze flicks to me and away again. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

I blink, noting how wide my smile stretches. “I just felt real close to you that day.”

“Probably because you kept hugging me.”

“I think that’s when we first really became friends.”

“When I first realized I’d never be rid of you.” He pretends to cringe, but doesn’t do enough to cover the affectionate tone.

“When I first realized I never wanted to be rid of you,” I counter, knowing he won’t expect it.

He sighs. “You just say whatever is on your mind, don’t you?”

“Sometimes. Unlike you. You never say what’s on your mind.”

“I do when it’s important.”

“So tell me what you’re thinking now.”

“Well that’s easy, I’m thinking I’m going to be late.”

The smile drops from my face as I glance at the time. “You don’t have to go yet.”

“You know my schedule, do you?”

“I just … I mean, you can hang out for a bit longer if you wanna. We can order breakfast up here. You won’t have to worry about fans interrupting that way.” I’m just throwing out words at this point, but his schedule doesn’t start for another two hours and he’s clearly ready. There’s no reason he has to race off, right?

“I thought you were tired,” he says.

“Not anymore.”

He’s frowning at the bed and it takes him a bit to answer, like he’s trying to come up with an excuse to go. “I told my mother I’d eat with her …”

“You get to see her any old time. We’re only here for two more days, Gram. Would you really deny me your company?”

He laughs despite clearly trying to hold it back, and shoves my shoulder. “Okay, fine. Just stop.”

“Stop what?”

“Being so needy.”

I shrug, sitting up so I’m facing him. “What can I say? I like attention.”

“Tch. No you don’t.”

“I like your attention.”

Gram frowns, wide mouth falling into a pout. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were flirting with me, Digi Lynch.”

I blink, eyebrows pulling up. Flirting with him? Am I? I replay my words over, and actually, I think I might be. Huh. “Would that be a bad thing?”

“It would be a strange thing.” He’s still looking at me odd, so I leave him to be confused and pick up the room phone to order our breakfast.

Gram settles back against the pillows, long legs stretched over the bed and crossed at the ankles. He’s not too much shorter than I am, but he seems smaller. Maybe it’s the over excitable personality he puts on for his vlogs, or the way his delicate face scrunches when he’s trying to be mean. I could scoop him up easily, like I did when we took that photo, and I’m hit with the impulse to do it again.

I grin as I imagine how surprised he’d be if I just grabbed him and pulled him close. I dunno want I’d do when I got him there—hug him for sure, but maybe … maybe he’d let me kiss him again?

“I’m sorry for shaving your eyebrows off,” he says suddenly, glancing over at me.

“Gram that was two years ago.”

“But I didn’t apologize.”

“You didn’t, but like I care now.”

“They’ve never grown back properly though, have they?”

I rub a hand over my eyebrows. “They’re a bit of a mess.”

“They make you look permanently bewildered.”

I laugh, lying on my side so I’m facing him. “To be fair, I feel like I don’t know much of what’s going on anyway.”

“You are adorably vague.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Gram screws his mouth up to the side, but his eyes light up, and it’s all I need to know that he’s definitely flirting with me too.

About the Author

S. M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee. 

Member of SCBWI. 

Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBT+ characters.

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1x $30 Amazon gift card

2 x paperbacks international (Winner’s choice of my books)

3 x eBooks international (Winner’s choice of my books)

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An Ali Audio Review: Where Death Meets the Devil (Death and the Devil #1) by L.J. Hayward and Rowan Scott (Narrator)

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Rating:4 out of 5 stars

Jack Reardon, former SAS soldier and current Australian Meta-State asset, has seen some messy battles. But “messy” takes on a whole new meaning when he finds himself tied to a chair in a torture shack, his cover blown wide open, all thanks to notorious killer-for-hire Ethan Blade.

Blade is everything Jack doesn’t believe in: remorseless, detached, lawless. Yet, Jack’s only chance to survive is to strike a bargain with the devil and join forces with Blade. As they trek across a hostile desert, Jack learns that Blade is much more than a dead-eyed killer—and harder to resist than he should be.

A year later, Jack is home and finally getting his life on track. Then Ethan Blade reappears and throws it all into chaos once more. It’s impossible to trust the assassin, especially when his presence casts doubts on Jack’s loyalty to his country, but Jack cannot ignore what Blade’s return means: the mess that brought them together is far from over, and Ethan might just bring back the piece of Jack’s soul he thought he’d lost forever.

This was a fast paced adventure story about two spies on opposite sides of a case. Maybe. Or maybe they’re on the same side but they don’t know it. All they know is they can’t stand each other. Maybe. Or maybe they actually love each other……..

The story goes back and forth, from chapter to chapter, from past to present. The author keeps you guessing about what happened then and what’s happening now. All you know for sure is that these two are great together and their sexual tension jumps off the pages.

This was a new author for me and I’m really glad I tried this book. It was super good and super entertaining. The story is filled with car chases, shoot outs, blowing up bad guys, some sexy times and the best camel a boy could ever have (Sheila!!). This would make a great movie. As it is, it made a great book. It’s different and really has a bit of everything in it. Good plot that’s not too confusing, great MC’s, some action and adventure and lot’s of feelz. I highly recommend this for those of you who like romantic suspense stories.

The audiobook was narrated by Rowan Scott who I had never listened to before.  I thought he was really good and I very much enjoyed his performance. His voice was great and I never had a problem figuring out which mc was talking. I thought he did a good job on the side characters also. I will definitely listen to this narrator again soon.
Cover art by L.C. Chase:  I love the cover for this book as well as the rest of the series.  They are striking and they really stand out. The compliment each other and are perfect for the vibe of the story.
Audio Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing |Audible | Amazon | iTunes
Audio Details:
Audiobook, 11 pages
Published April 11th 2019 (first published February 26th 2018)
Original Title Where Death Meets the Devil
ASINB07QF57V9C
Edition Language English
SeriesDeath and the Devil #1

Looking for Something Dark and Different? Check the Blog Tour for Sweating Lies (Criminal Delights: Taken Lies #1) by Emma Jaye (excerpt)

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NEW RELEASE

Book Title: Sweating Lies (Lies #1): Criminal Delights – Taken

Author:  Emma Jaye

Publisher: Purindoors Publications

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Thriller/Romance

Trope/s: Enemies to lovers, Protector, Tortured hero.

Themes: Crime,  Slavery,  Mental Health Issues,  Dominance, Abduction.

Heat Rating: 4 flames    

Length: 81 000 words

Release Date: April 28, 2019

Add on Goodreads

 

Blurb

“Gladiator or toy?” Kaspar asks, as if it’s the easiest choice in the world.

It might be an easy answer for someone branded, brainwashed, and who remembers no other life. But that’s not me, not yet anyway. I’m a cop—or at least I was until my cover got blown. 

Now, I’m one of the trafficked people I vowed to save.

Kaspar’s a toy —a pleasure slave— content to warm our sadistic owner’s bed; he laps up the abuse he’s conditioned to associate with affection.

He’s my only way out. To gain our freedom, I must play the hardest undercover role of my career and be everything his fractured mind needs: a more controlling bastard than the man who turns people into grateful slaves for a living.

Officer Jiao Sweatt thinks I’m a victim. 
He has a lot to learn. 
And it’ll hurt.

This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark M/M romance. 
Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted. 

 

Trailer Video

 

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon DE

 

Excerpt 

He accepted, absorbed, and floated in the serenity of obedience. His physical pain became walled up in a corner of his mind. The only thing that mattered was his master’s will.

“Fuck, I didn’t see you down there. Why didn’t you say something?”

“It’s not my place to disturb my master.”

Jiao frowned. “Don’t call me that. I’m nobody’s master, and you’re nobody’s slave, Kaspar. Come on, up you get. You don’t have to kneel to me.”

Kaspar didn’t move. He didn’t know if he could get up, but they needed to establish something first.

“I do have a master, and right now, it’s you.” He handed Officer Sweatt the Chorbaji’s note. He hoped Officer Sweatt wouldn’t mind that it was a little damp and crumpled from being in his hand all this time.

Jiao glanced at it and scowled. “Well then, as your master, I order you not to kneel to me.”

Kaspar didn’t resist smiling. A pet’s duty was to adapt to his master’s needs. Officer Sweatt clearly liked teasing, playfulness, that he could do.

“That’s going to make blow jobs a little uncomfortable, but–”

“You don’t have to do that either; now get up and talk to me like a man.”

“Can’t men kneel?”

“Just get up, will you? You make me feel uncomfortable.”

That got him moving. Making your master uncomfortable, unless it was to entice him to pleasure, was not good pet behavior. He tried for his normal graceful, hands-free stand, but ended up on his ass; his sore, bruised, battered, and cut ass. Rolling to his side he sucked in a breath, trying to contain the bright flare of pain while expected a kick for his lack of grace.

“Shit, how long were you down there? Never mind.”

With surprising strength, his new master lifted him to his feet, one hand on his bicep, one across his chest, under the brands, and helped him limp across to the bed. He climbed up and lay on his side, head resting on one fist while he balanced himself with the other in front of him. He hoped he looked at least a little enticing. Flirty and playful, that’s what had put a smile on his new master’s face in the gym.

“You’ve been on a drip.” Jiao nodded toward the small cotton ball taped to his inner arm.

“Not a lot gets past you, does it, Ma–” he paused at Jiao’s frown. “Well, what would you like me to call you? Sir? Officer Sweatt? Chief? Boss? Please, don’t say Daddy, anything but–”

“Would you shut up?”

Kaspar’s mouth snapped shut. At least he’d got him to give an order.

A hand pushed through the inky black hair. “Look, Jiao is fine. I got called ‘Sweaty’ enough as a kid never want to hear ‘Sweatt’ again.”

Kaspar frowned. “I’d never call you that, and your first name hardly seems respectful. I–”

“This is important to you, isn’t it?”

Kaspar’s frown deepened. Understanding this new master was a challenge. “Of course it is. The higher the status of my mas–” he paused, grinning “–special friend, the higher I–.”

As he spoke, his new master grabbed a bathrobe from the back of the bathroom door and draped it over him.

Humiliation hammered. He dropped his forehead to the mattress. He was useless, unworthy, and unwanted. He disgusted this man he had been instructed to please. His failures swirled and thickened in his mind like fog.

You deserved what Azur did to you; he should have finished it. Put you down like a useless old dog.

 

 

About the Author

I have a reputation for writing dark, angst filled stories in a swathe of genres, from Sci-fi and paranormal, to contemporary romance and erotica with m/f, m/m and multiple partners. I blame my rebellious muse (who looks like Chris from the Paint Series) for the erotic aspects tickling the angst, and the humour cuddling up with the erotic. You’ll find all this and more in my books!  No matter the genre, I can promise different characters, dark themes, steamin’ sex, laughs and a HEA or HFN.

When I’m not writing or reading, in leafy Sussex, England, I herd Birman cats and sons. Both groups argue that the other is too large.

 

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Twitter: @EmmaJayebooks  

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An Ashlez Review: Sweating Lies – Criminal Delights: Taken (Lies #1) by Emma Jaye

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Rating : 4 stars out of 5

“Gladiator or toy?” Kaspar asks, as if it’s the easiest choice in the world.

It might be an easy answer for someone branded, brainwashed, and who remembers no other life. But that’s not me, not yet anyway. I’m a cop—or at least I was until my cover got blown.

Now, I’m one of the trafficked people I vowed to save.

Kaspar’s a toy —a pleasure slave— content to warm our sadistic owner’s bed; he laps up the abuse he’s conditioned to associate with affection.

He’s my only way out. To gain our freedom, I must play the hardest undercover role of my career and be everything his fractured mind needs: a more controlling bastard than the man who turns people into grateful slaves for a living.

Officer Jiao Sweatt thinks I’m a victim.
He has a lot to learn.
And it’ll hurt.

This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark M/M romance.
Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted.

Overall this book was great, it was very well written and the story progressed nicely.  I had a problem with the older terminology for the whole organization and I could have done without that, as Jiao mentioned early on.
Kaspar was great – he was a very well rounded character and it takes you into a psyche that I don’t think normally one would get to look into.
Jiao was just an average character – I felt he 100% had a hero complex.
I don’t think that this book progressed in a particularly fast fashion like the other criminal delights book I had read – but it did manage to weave a story that was quite spellbinding.  So apart from the lack of movement in the story (which honestly was moving fast .. I can’t describe that) the story was awesome and well worth a read.
Cover art by Natasha Snow: overall makes sense and matches the book.
Sales Links:  
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 286 pages
Expected publication: April 29th 2019 by Purindoors Publications
ASINB07PHZQFBB
SeriesLies #1

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Wrong Way Home (Criminal Delights: Taken) by K.A. Merikan

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This series has very dark themes. Each book is by a different author and can be read as standalones. Please pay attention to the trigger warnings and tags.

The first two chapters are Colin’s POV as he takes a new route home to visit his parents and ends up seeing a murder. The horror elements are well done. I understand the negotiating–believing maybe if Colin tried to offer favors it might save his life or improve his quality of life in the situation. I think for me, the attraction was too quick on Colin’s part after what he witnessed. Chapter three shows Tarin’s POV. He’s not a psychopath, but he is a survivalist and definitely follows his own rules and moral code. After the initial awkwardness in transitioning them from captor/hostage to actual lovers, the book gets very intriguing when absorbing the reader in what might be Stockholm Syndrome. The sex here is raw, wild, and brutal the first few times and then gets intense with intimacy as the book progresses. As the rest of the book alternates between them, both characters get their layers peeled away.

I liked the blurb and got drawn into the possibilities presented, but the book ends up having a very different feel than what I thought it would be. The original murder is explained and Tarin ends up being quite thoughtful, if stubborn and damaged by past trauma. Colin starts out as not terribly happy and filled with anxiety about decisions and disappointing his family. He and Tarin are strangely well suited and while he may not realise it, his true personality comes out once he feels “safe” enough to fight with Tarin. The noncon/dubcon part of the scenario would have always hung over them unless it was addressed; so while it is addressed, I think I might have liked Colin and Tarin to have more time apart and Colin to have come back on his own, on equal footing. I’ll not spoil it, but there was an opportunity to bring some of the horror elements from the beginning, back into the story and the authors chose a different path. It is also awkward in parts and the plot is a bit thin. Overall, this is a surprisingly sweet romance about two men who might have never met but for fate. They both learn what having a relationship actually means (working together towards a common goal, compromise, listening to each other, respect) and that they are stronger and happier together than apart.

The cover design is by Natasha Snow. Almost all the covers by these authors are dark and stylized with bright fonts. The covers for this series are all similar. This shows Talin and makes sense to the story on more than one level, so I thought it was well done.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 264 pages
Published April 15th 2019 by Acerbi & Villani ltd
ASINB07P9MVC31
Edition Language English

Review Tour for Wrong Way Home (Criminal Delights: Taken) by K.A. Merikan

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 70,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

— ONE WRONG TURN. ONE RIGHT MAN. —


Colin. Rule-follower. Future doctor. Witness to murder. Captive.
Taron. Survivalist. Mute. Murderer. Captor.


Like every other weekend, Colin is on his way home from university, but he’s taunted by the notion that he never takes risks in life and always follows the beaten path. On impulse, he decides to take a different route. Just this one time. What he doesn’t realize is that it’s the last time he has a choice.
He ends up taking a detour into the darkest pit of horror, abducted by a silent, imposing man with a blood-stained axe. But what seems like his worst nightmare might just prove to be a path to the kind of freedom Colin never knew existed.


Taron has lived alone for years. His land, his rules. He’d given up on company long ago. After all, attachment is a liability. He deals with his problems on his own, but the night he needs to dispose of an enemy, he ends up with a witness to his crime.


The last thing Taron needs is a nuisance of a captive. Colin doesn’t deserve death for setting foot on Taron’s land, but keeping him isn’t optimal either. It’s only when he finds out the city boy is gay that an altogether different option arises. One that isn’t right, yet tempts him every time Colin’s pretty eyes glare at him from the cage.


*


“When Taron looped the heavy metal collar around the slender neck and closed the padlock, his body throbbed with the excitement of knowing he owned this boy.
Was it wrong? Yes, yes it was.
Was it so, so good? Definitely.”



Themes: prepping, alternative lifestyles, disability, crime, loneliness, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, fish out of water, opposites attract, abduction, Stockholm syndrome, family issues
Genre: Dark, thriller M/M romance
Heat level: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes


This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark M/M romance.
Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted.

Check out Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.  We recommend it and the series.

K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride.


K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.


FACEBOOK PROFILE
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In the Spotlight and Giveaway: The Doctor Takes a Detour by Bren Christopher

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The Doctor Takes a Detour by Bren Christopher

Riptide Publishing

Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Bren Christopher here today on tour for the new release The Doctor Takes a Detour. Welcome, Bren!

✒︎

 

Hello everyone. I’m Bren Christopher and I’m excited to be here today to talk about my new release, The Doctor Takes a Detour. Thank you so much for joining me. During this blog tour, we’ll be chatting about the origin of the book, the research needed when writing a medical, and of course, all about the setting: my crazy home state of Florida. Please follow along as I go on this tour and comment for a chance to win the grand prize, a $25 Riptide gift card! The winner will be chosen randomly from comments across all tour stops.

 

About The Doctor Takes a Detour

An unexpected detour sets two men on the path to love and healing.

After being attacked by a drug addict, Dr. Josh Parker fled New York, his career as an ER doctor, and a failed relationship. Determined to start fresh, he takes a job as a concierge doctor to the wealthy older population of sunny Naples, Florida. Nothing to fear there. No trauma. No stress.

It’s a good idea that doesn’t last long. Traveling to his new home, he discovers a car accident and is forced to make a detour to render aid. There he meets sexy paramedic Ian Manolas.

Since Ian returned from the Army, every day has been a struggle to atone for past mistakes. The Glades Free Clinic is his chosen path to redemption. The people Ian helps are a world away from Josh’s wealthy clients though. Addicts, prostitutes, gang members: they all come to Ian’s clinic for help, not judgment. He’ll do almost anything to keep the clinic going, including roping in one reluctant—and hot—ex-ER doctor.

The attraction is immediate, but Josh wants nothing to do with Ian’s clinic. For them to have a future, both men must work together to find a path to love, while helping those who need them most.

Now available from Riptide Publishing!


About Bren Christopher

Bren Christopher is a multipublished romance author who currently resides in Florida. Although Bren has always been an avid reader in every genre, it wasn’t until she discovered gay romance that the characters who had been content to reside in her imagination started insisting they needed a wider audience. She has a lot of fun helping her folks come to life, and hopes the reader has just as much fun getting to know them.

Bren loves to hear from readers, so stop by her web page at brenchristopher.com or keep in touch via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bren.christopher.1.

 

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Doctor Takes a Detour one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 13, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave a way to reach you!

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Magic Runs Deep by Alex Whitehall and Adam R Watson (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I really enjoyed this story. An unusual shifter tale, in this one Veier (rhymes with bear) has been chained to a king’s throne and kept in his bear shifter form for five years. He’s freed when the kingdom is overthrown, but the new king wants him executed and it’s his brother, Elrid, who saves Veier’s life. Elrid is a powerful mage and he rightly points out that the chain indicates Veier was not necessarily loyal to the previous rulers.

But it takes patience and trial and error before Veier is trusted enough to be let outside the room where Elrid works and sleeps with him as the two begin to build trust. He has brief moments of freedom but always seems to be in the wrong place when trouble occurs. He and Elrid become close as he slowly starts to trust that this human may really not wish him harm.

When Elrid is severely injured in an attack by the previous king’s followers, it’s Veier who risks not only his freedom, but his life, to go to Elrid and use his own life force to help Elrid recover and regain his strength. 

I liked the way the author created Veier’s character as a very rough, gruff, hard to get to know man, yet one who we definitely want to get to know and cheer for as he slowly grows from the bear who reacts before thinking to the man who feels all levels of emotion.  Elrid was the strong, silent type—the kind of man with enough patience to wait out Veier’s slow buildup of trust. 

The narrator did a good job with unique vocalizations for each man. If I had one peeve it would be that the MC’s name, Veier, rhymed with bear and he’s a bear shifter. Perhaps the narrator mispronounced it. Or perhaps the author never read the book out loud.  In either event, it caused confusion on several occasions when I was listening as I wasn’t quite sure which word was being used. And at some points in the story, when it was important to know Veier was in bear or in human form, it was frustrating.

Other than that, this is a definite recommendation to my fellow MM romance readers.  Most definitely not insta-love, this is a slow burn, enemies to friends to lovers story with a unique shifter slant. 

The cover by Shayne Leighton features a close-up of a bearded man, hand under chin, and a bear paw print with the title of the story superimposed over it. Very nicely done.

Sales LInks:  Riptide Publishing | Audible | Amazon | iTunes

Audio Book Details:

Audiobook
Published October 24th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published April 9th 2018)
Original Title Magic Runs Deep
Edition Language English

A Jeri Review: Shane and Trey (Enemies to Lovers #1) by Anyta Sunday

Standard

Rating: 2.5  stars out of 5

Sorry, this was just a weak story. Boy falls for his sister’s boyfriend. I’ve read that, it’s a decent trope. Sister’s boyfriend turns out to be gay. Ok, I’ll go with it. They are paired up as roommates in college and almost immediately fall into a relationship. Blah.
First, the book started out with Shane and his twin sister June being best friends who would do anything for each other. Guess what, even though they broke up, he shouldn’t have hooked up with her ex.
Second, June is upset but “understands”? Nope.
After they got together, it just turned so sappy. There was a whole spin off story with one of Shane’s friends and his boyfriend and then his father. Trey has some big family secret (although, pretty easy to suss out), and they are “away” at college in dorm rooms but are only 30 minutes from home?
. They were so cutesy. And they seemed to know exactly what to do with each other even though neither had any experience. Where was the awkward? It was all just kind of a mess for me
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 232 pages
Published January 2nd 2014 (first published January 2nd 2012)
Original Title Shane and Trey
ASIN B0070FDJPG
Edition Language English
Series Enemies to Lovers #1

A Lucy Review: Love Around the Corner (New Milton #1.5) by Sally Malcolm

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Real life enemies, online lovers. Two lonely men, destined for each other—if only they knew it.

Alfie Carter grew up in New Milton, caring for his sick father and keeping their auto repair shop on its feet. He’s touchy about his poor education and doesn’t take kindly to snide remarks from the town’s prickly bookstore owner—no matter how cute he looks in his skinny jeans. Left to run the family business alone, Alfie spends his lonely evenings indulging his secret passion for classic fiction and chatting online with witty, romantic ‘LLB’ as they fall in love over literature.

Leo Novak’s new life as owner of Bayside Books is floundering. And he could do without the town’s gorgeous, moody mechanic holding a grudge against him after an unfortunate—and totally not his fault— encounter last Christmas. Still reeling from a bad breakup and struggling to make friends in New Milton, Leo seeks comfort in his blossoming online romance with thoughtful, bookish ‘Camaro89’. 

But as the holidays approach, ‘LLB’ and ‘Camaro89’ are planning to meet, and realities are about to collide… 

This story has one of my favorite tropes- the online lovers who are finally going to meet, only for one of them to realize his lover is, in fact, his arch enemy.  It was, quite simply, adorable.  Alfie is a mechanic, running the auto repair shop and caring for his dad.  He may not be highly educated but Alfie is smart and he loves literature.  He meets LLB, his online best friend and love, in a Jane Austen group and they share no personal information but share all the important things.  Talking to LLB makes Alfie’s life more enriched.  It might even be incredible, if it weren’t for the snobby, snotty Leo, who owns the used bookstore.

I’ll put it out there – I had a hard time warming up to Leo because of how judgy he is, even though I get it – apostrophe usage needs to be correct! They had a run in last year at the Christmas party, “No offence, Carter, but I prefer a more cerebral type.”  Alfie may have responded but it’s Leo that starts it.  “I’m sorry but I require at least a basic level of literacy, even in a hookup.”  Then he has the nerve to be upset when Alfie fires back.  Ahh, Leo.

When LLB and Camaro89 are finally going to meet, both men are so nervous, so excited and so in love.  Until Leo (LLB) shows up to see that Camaro89 is Alfie.  He is crushed and leaves, never telling Alfie what happened.  So Alfie gets stood up and is devastated.

This is truly a case of opposites attract as Leo and Alfie (who was the bigger person and reached out a friendly hand to Leo) start to spend some time together and get to know each other.  They come to realize they have so much more in common than they thought, beginning with literature.   Alfie, with his big body, his rough exterior, soft heart and love of audiobooks, made the book for me.  I seriously adored this character.  “Rather too light, and bright, and sparkling.”  Not too light – he’s just perfect.

You know the situation has to come to a head and it does, while my heart broke for Alfie.  But Leo is clever and he wants to make things right. I would recommend this bright, lovely book.

Cover art, whimsical and clever, fit the feel of the story for me.  “..light, and bright, and sparkling.”

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 117 pages
Published November 29th 2018
ASIN B07KFPF782
Edition Language English
Series New Milton #1.5