An Ali Review: Happy Birthday by B.D. Roca‏

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5     ★★★★★

HappyBirthdayLGJake Rushman is on the run, but it’s too late. He’s being tracked by an expert.

Motorcycle Club Enforcer Nick is tough, but even he has a conscience. It’s slowly destroying him, together with memories of his parents’ ugly deaths. Nick eliminates the guilty, but Jake Rushman is the innocent witness to a murder. It will be one kill too many.

Determined to find redemption, Nick plans to trade his life for Jake’s. Neither man counts on the fierce, powerful bond that the collision of their opposing worlds brings, and Jake refuses to let Nick sacrifice himself. He offers Nick the one thing he’s never had: hope.

But with a violent past tracking them, Nick might be forced to do the one thing he promised himself he never would—kill again.

This was super good! I admit I’m totally surprised. I had never heard of this author before and honestly all my attempts at reading biker books previously have gone horribly awry. But…..I’m no quitter so I decided to give this a try. It was nothing like I thought it would be. Despite it’s short length there is a lot of story here and there is great character development. I loved both of these guys and I was rooting for them all the way. The dialogue between them felt so real and there were some very emotionally touching scenes. There was no insta-love which I was glad about. It’s something I worry about in short stories but this author managed to make the relationship that unfolds between them seem totally believable.

The plot was fast paced and interesting and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how things were going to work out for them. The sex scenes were hot but they did not overshadow the story or make this an erotica piece. There is nothing else by this author on Goodreads (I immediately ran to check that out). If this is her first attempt at writing I’m even more impressed. Can’t wait to see what she does next.

Cover art by Reese Dante: I like the cover. It’s a great cover that fits the plot and the narrator Nick really well.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 62 pages
Expected publication: January 13th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781634767576
Edition LanguageEnglish

A BJ Review: Winter Knight by L. Valko

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Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

Winter KnightAfter three years living as a rich man’s toy, Micah Zaine is on his own again and struggling to salvage both his career and a shattered sense of self-worth. Accepting a position as a substitute kindergarten teacher seems like an excellent start, until he develops a crush on a student’s father.

Two years after the death of his beloved wife, Jacob Lournigran’s life revolves around work and raising his young son—a social life is nowhere in the picture. Until his meddling sister extends a holiday dinner invitation to his son’s handsome kindergarten teacher.

Spending time with Micah makes Jacob wonder if a friend could be just what he needs to start rebuilding his broken heart. And when financial difficulties and an angry ex put Micah in distress, Jacob has all the makings of a knight in shining armor.

Except Jacob is straight, and Micah is no damsel.

An absolutely adorable contemporary that spans both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. While there is sweetness, this one also has the angst, since both of the main characters are struggling to deal with loss. Jacob has a support system in his sister and son, while Micah is having to deal all on his own.

Jacob is an absolute sweetheart all the way through this story, definitely a catch or, as the blurb says, a knight in shining armor. I want a Jacob in my life! Wealthy and secure, but so down to earth that it never went to his head. In fact, he seemed to give much of the credit for this financial status to his late wife. But Jacob wasn’t perfect, and I adored that, too. His bouts of social awkwardness were endearing, as was the way he got flustered sometimes.

Micah was a nice match for Jacob; he was the one who kept making me laugh and smile with his attitude and inner dialogue, plus his wit and flirting. Initially, I had some issues with him based on choices he’d made in the past, but I quickly came to root and cheer for him. Which did not mean that I still didn’t want to reach over and smack him upside the head a few times.

Lucky for me, the author provided someone capable of giving said smacks in a much more appropriate way. That would be Jacob’s kick-ass sister, Justine. I loved Justine; loved how she stepped in as the voice of wisdom at just the right times, and loved that she was an artist, cuz well, I always love to see fellow artists in stories. And Jacob’s kindergarten age son, Cole, was a wonderful addition to the story… not just a prop as kids can be in some books, but a character with a voice that moved the story forward and felt real and vital.

There are emotional teary moments along with some hot and sexy bits, including a sensual first time m/m experience. I’ve only read a couple other books with a demi-sexual character, and this one will join that particular shelf as one of them that handled it well. Being pansexual myself, I struggle with m/m books that portray bi/pan characters negatively… and sadly I’ve run into quite a few of them that do. In this book, we do get a touch of that in Micah’s cheating ex, Alan, but Jacob more than makes up for him. I adored his reactions when he noticed his attractions to Micah, the way they progressed, and a scene later in the story where he talks to a friend/co-worker was so cute (and a bit funny).

A first book by Valko, and one I’m glad I decided to read. Pick this one up soon  as it’s on Kindle Unlimited right now. I especially recommend it to those who enjoy GFY, slightly broken boys, bi and demi characters, and stories about family/kids.

Sales Link:  Amazon Kindle  | Buy It Here


Book Details:  143 pages

Published December 31, 2015

In the Book Spotlight: Loved Starved by Kate Fierro (excerpt and giveaway)

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 Love Starved FrontCover-WEB

Love Starved by Kate Fierro
Release Date: April 21, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/KateFierro
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Artwork by Valerie Schroedl, cover design by BuckeyeGrrl Designs

Sales Links: Amazon

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Micah Geller considers himself lucky: at 27, he has more money than he needs, a job he loves, a debut book coming out, and a brilliant career in information security before him. What he doesn’t have is a partner to share it with—a fact that’s never bothered him much.

But the romantic in him isn’t entirely dead. When a moment of weakness finds him with a contact to a high-class escort specializing in fulfilling fantasies, Micah asks for only one thing.

Show me what it’s like to feel loved.

KFRC
Pages or Words: 304 pages

Categories: Fiction, gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Angel’s shoulders were broad and strong; his hands kept a warm, steady pressure on Micah’s back, holding him so close that he could feel the movement of Angel’s chest with every breath he took. They stayed near the edge of the impromptu dance floor, swaying with the music. Micah felt safely surrounded, contained—in the familiar song, in the arms that felt as if they were made to hold him, in the magic of this evening. He turned his head, just to glance at Angel’s face, and couldn’t turn away, mesmerized by the look in his eyes. They held the world within—the world of affection, of caring. Of desire. It made something stir in Micah’s belly, a long-banished want.

Angel’s eyes flickered down to Micah’s mouth, and then back up. He bit his plump lower lip.

Around them, people were dancing, music was enveloping them in its sweet enchantment, and night air cooled Micah’s cheeks. Inside, he had suddenly only one desire. And he could have it. He’d been told to take what he wanted tonight.

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Kate Fierro spent ten years translating, editing, and reviewing other people’s words before making an impulse decision to write down some of her own. She hasn’t been able to stop ever since. Kate lives in Europe and is bilingual, with more love for her adopted language than her native one.

With nearly a million words under her belt, Love Starved is Kate’s debut novel.

Where to find the author:
http://www.KateFierro.com
Twitter: @kate_fierro
Pinterest: MissKateFierro

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Contest:  Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Dates & Stops:

21-Apr

MM Good Book Reviews

Velvet Panic

Hearts on Fire

22-Apr

Prism Book Alliance

Bayou Book Junkie

23-Apr

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

Cate Ashwood

24-Apr

Bike Book Reviews

Inked Rainbow Reads

27-Apr

Amanda C. Stone

The Blogger Girls

28-Apr

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

BFD Book Blog

29-Apr

Molly Lolly

30-Apr

Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

Love Bytes

1-May

My Fiction Nook

Wake Up Your Wild Side

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

4-May

Rainbow Gold Reviews

The Novel Approach

Multitasking Mommas

Emotion In Motion

A Touch of Fall and The Week In Reviews

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So you know that certain color of blue that only appears in the fall skies?  That is the color of the sky outside this morning.  The air has a certain crispness about it, so foreign usually in August here in Maryland.  The light is shining at a different angle, portending the coming fall and the promise of colder weather.  I even heard a flock of Canada Geese this morning, honking as they flew overhead in the largest formation I have seen this year.  What does it all mean?  Probably nothing.  But as I love autumn, I am sure that my step is a little lighter this morning and the dogs a little bouncier on this day that seems so full of anticipation.

So I will be gathering up knitting, Kindle, dogs and my coffee and heading outside to bask in the light of a fall to come.  I cannot tarry inside for I know how fleeting such days are.  Here is the week ahead in reviews and a mini rant on story resolutions.

Monday, Aug. 5, 2013:                    Dance Only For Me by Megan Derr

Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013:                    Wicked Solutions #1 by Haven Fellows

Wed., Aug. 7, 2013:                           Faire Fugitive by Madeleine Ribbons

Thurs., Aug. 8, 2013:                         Wicked Bindings #2 by Haven Fellows

Friday, Aug. 9, 2013:                        The Beast Without by Christian Baines

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013:                 Wait? That Was The Ending? A Story Writing Mini Rant

Review of Inertia (Impulse #1) by Amelia C. Gormley

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Rating: 4 stars

Detroit handyman, Derrick Chance, has life just the way he wants it after recovering from period of excruciating loss and emotional turmoil brought on by the deaths of his grandparents and brother.  Safe, unexciting, normal. some would say routine even and they would be right.  Everything in its place, everything in order. and especially no unwelcome surprises lurking to throw up his hard won equanimity.  It has taken Derrick 10 years to get to this point in his life where he feels balanced and safe and he doesn’t want anything to change.  Just look at his home and furnishings.  The house is much the same as when his grandparents had lived there, nothing updated, even the appliances.  Heck, he didn’t even have texting on his phone.

Then Derrick gets a phone call from Gavin Hayes, an accountant who needs his home office outfitted with some shelves.  One look at Gavin, a quick handshake and all Derrick’s comfortable and predictable life is shaken up. Derrick gave up trying to date and all personal relationships when trying to recover from the loss of his family at a young age.  He just didn’t have anything left over to give so why bother? Now Derrick doesn’t know how to handle the emotions Gavin is bringing back to the surface after a long absence.

Gavin too is fighting the impulse to get to know his skittish handyman better.  Gavin has just removed himself from an abusive relationship and the thought of trusting another at this time leaves him uncertain and more than a little afraid, given a secret he is hiding.  It is going to take more than time and an attraction for Derrick and Gavin to decide to risk it all on a chance at love.

Inertia is the first book in the Impulse series that looks to follow the course of a relationship between two men, Derrick Chance and Gavin Hayes. The title of the book is an accurate description of the state of Derrick’s life.  Derrick has remained unchanged, and happily so since the trauma of his grandparents death. Then his brother died as well leaving him so emotionally empty that he was unable to do more than react as his life changed forever.  From that time on, Derrick froze himself into a lifestyle of emotional stasis that comes complete with a house full of relics from his grandparents time, a business based on fixing things from the past, and an isolation so complete that his only friends are his dog, his elderly neighbor and his friend, Devon.  When a work order leads to a meeting with Gavin Hayes, their mild flirting shakes him up, to the point of  Derrick reevaluating his choice of a solitary life.

Gormley does a really nice job of conveying Derrick’s uncertainty about the future and making changes to his life.  From Derrick’s perspective, the future has never held anything but heartache and pain causing him to withdraw from an active social life.  She paints the portrait of a man so hurt, so afraid of emotional pain that he does nothing to move himself forward for fear of being hurt once more.  Derrick has also frozen his sexuality as he has been abstinent for years, remaining a virgin into his thirties. This gives his character a certain innocence that plays off nicely against the character of Gavin Hayes.

The character of Gavin Hayes has also some interesting layers to him.  He is just come from an abusive relationship with a man whose ideas on HIV and AIDS are not only frighteningly self delusional but dangerous.  He too is full of fear for the future and hesitant to start a new relationship. So when the men find they are attracted to each other, each advances forward with all the hesitancy and indecisiveness of ants at a tap dance rehearsal.  For each uncertain foot forward, then is an almost immediate step back, sometimes several so that they find themselves back at the starting point.  But instead of this being a frustrating element, Gormley makes us understand these men and their actions.

Then there is the sex.  There are some very hot scenes here as Derrick discovers that his sexuality didn’t die along with his family but has just been dormant, awaiting a spark to come back to life.  Gavin is more than happy to be that spark.  But this is not a teacher/student relationship as Gavin’s former lover has left him with mental scars where their sex life was concerned.  There is a very realistic give and take here between the men as Derrick discovers he has a slight submissive kink and Gavin explores the idea of reciprocity in sex play.

There is no real angst here although from the sound of Gavin’s former lover, it might appear in the sequel Acceleration, Impulse #2. Inertia is simply the story of the beginnings of a relationship.  It may go on longer than necessary. In fact, the entire book could be tightened up with respect to editing errors and repetitive sections.  This is the second edition of this story after all. All of this might be due to the fact that Inertia is a self published book that could benefit from the efforts of a good editor.  That said, Gormley has done a wonderful job with her story and I look forward to the next installment in the relationship of Derrick and Gavin.

Cover:  Interesting cover by Kerry.  Compelling in its own way but also a little rustic in feel.