A MelanieM Review: Home for Christmas (Texas #9) by R.J. Scott


Rating: 5 stars out of 5


Can Connor show River a real family Christmas? H

When Connor finds River on the roof of the campus admin building, he doesn’t know what to do. His friend is drunk, and shouting into a snowstorm, a bottle of vodka in his hand. The easy part is getting River down; the hard part is insisting River comes home with Connor for Christmas.

River doesn’t have a family, or any place outside of college that he calls home. Not that it matters to him; he’s happy being alone for Christmas in his budget motel, watching reruns of Elf. Only, Connor keeps telling wildly improbable stories of the perfect family celebrations at his parents’ ranch in Texas, and it’s wearing River down. He didn’t ask to be kidnapped. He didn’t want to fall in love with the entire Campbell-Hayes family. But he does.

From one Christmas to the next. This is Connor’s year to rescue River, and himself, for them both to mess things up, make things right, fall in lust and finally, for Connor to show the man he loves what being part of a family can mean.

I have been a huge an of the Texas series since I read The Heart of Texas where playboy Riley Hayes meets and blackmails cowboy rancher Jack Campbell into marrying him.  That begins the saga of the Campbell-Hayes family,  and by association extended family and friends that is now up to book nine. We have gone through marriages, adoptions, all sorts of incredible angst, enough that this group now feels a part of us as well.

With Home for Christmas (Texas #9) by R.J. Scott, the author now gifts her readers with an endearing holiday story that not only brings us up to date on all the family members current status but gives us a look at the  twins, all grown up.  And in Connor’s case, looking for his future and love.

He finds both in the troubled form of River, a fellow student from college struggling with the holidays, a dismissal from the diving team, and so much more.

I don’t consider any of the Texas stories standalone so perhaps I should have lowered the rating for that but the gift is the series itself.  You need to read the series. It’s like buying into a family of the person you want to date.  Turns out you not only adore the person but everyone they come with.  What a winning combination!!

That’s the way with this series.

You get to see Connor grow up so you understand the young man who is at the heart of the story here.  The one fighting for River to come home with him for Christmas, the fixer of the younger generation.  The layers to this character have been coming for eight books and are now firmly in place.    We know Connor, just as we know all the children now grown here.

As always with RJ Scott, I appreciated the realistic dynamics of the relationship between River and Connor.  A struggle at times to understand each other and communicate, to open up and become aware of inground perceptions and raised barriers, it’s an authentic emotional journey between the two young men. And it let’s us connect to them more intimately then if it had been a story of instant love.

Riley and Jack, one of my all time favorite couples, is also front and center, in their own still passionate love and as supportive dads to Connor.   How I love these two!

There is so much more to this story, most of which I don’t wish to give away.  You should discover it for yourself.  It makes for heartwarming reading, perfect for Christmas and the holidays.  Plus you get all the Campbell-Hayes holidays traditions and families all together in one story!

My only wish?  It was longer than a novella.  But I wish that   for all Texas stories.

Grab this one up, I highly recommend it for all lovers of the Texas series and the Campbell-Hayes clan.  They are home for Christmas and it’s not to be missed!

Cover art: Meredith Russell.  I love that cover!  That’s Connor in a nutshell.  Perfection.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Book Details:

Published November 28th 2018 by Love Lane Books
ISBN1 39781785641435
Edition Language English
Series Texas #9

Texas Series

Book #1 – The Heart of Texas – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Texas Winter – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Texas Heat – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Texas Family – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Texas Christmas – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Texas Fall – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #7 – Texas Wedding – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #8 – Texas Gift – Amazon US | Amazon UK

An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Unheard (Hearts Entwined #2) by Andrew Grey


Rating:  4 stars out of 5


The attraction between Brent Berkheimer and Scott Spearman peels the wallpaper, but Brent is Scott’s boss, and they’re both too professional to go beyond flirting. Their priorities realign after Scott is badly injured in an accident that costs him his hearing, and Brent realizes what is truly important… he wants Scott.


Scott pushes Brent away at first, fearing a new romance will just add to his problems, but perhaps he will find unexpected strength and solace in Brent’s support as he struggles to communicate with the world in a new way.


Just as they decide the chance of a happy future together is worth the risk, Scott and Brent discover darker challenges in their way—including evidence that the “accident” Scott suffered may not have been so accidental.


This was another great story and it takes place about two years after Heart Unseen.  Brent has tried to keep his distance from Scott to avoid any problems at work or to weigh him down with an older man.  Scott has flirted with Brent but since nothing has ever gone further feels that Brent isn’t interested.


Brent has been trying to figure out what to do about his attraction to Scott and the accident quickly puts things in perspective.  Scott is overwhelmed with healing from the accident and being treated as breakable that he isn’t sure he has that strength to try a relationship.


This story is told from both characters’ point of view so we are able to see their thoughts and feelings.  Brent has kept his personal doubts from everyone, even his best friends and mother, for so long he doesn’t even know how to vocalize them.  I loved Brent’s conviction to stand by and support Scott even if Scott doesn’t want more; I think his support was what helped Scott become stronger and more confident.  Scott’s strength to help Brent get over his doubts was wonderful.  I loved seeing Trevor and James again and hope the next book helps Dean find someone.


Cover art by LC Chase is absolutely wonderful and I love how understated it is.


Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N


Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: November 17, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-152-3

Edition Language: English

Series: Hearts Entwined #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rekindled Flame by Andrew Grey


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Rekindled FlameWhen he arrives at the scene of a raging fire with his unit, Morgan doesn’t waste any time going in to rescue a disabled man from his burning apartment. The moment the family who owns the house tells him about their trapped tenant, Morgan notifies his captain and goes. Getting permission isn’t as important to him as saving the man’s life, and it’s a good thing he didn’t hesitate because he manages to pull Richard out of the apartment with no time to spare. Morgan cares about the people he pulls from burning buildings and always checks on them the next day, so when he heads to the hospital to check on Richard, he’s shocked to find that Richard is Richie, his childhood best friend.

He and Richie were next-door neighbors, and in fact, their friend Amy performed a marriage ceremony for them in the barn on her property. Playing wedding with the little girl to keep her busy while her mom got ponies ready for all of them to ride was fun—up to a point. Boys don’t usually like to play wedding, but Morgan had kept the nail-turned-into-wedding-ring he received that day because it was soon after that his father just suddenly packed them up and moved out of town without giving Morgan a chance to say good-bye to Richie, and it’s something that Morgan never forgot.

Now, he offers Richie the spare room in his house while the man gets his life back in order. He doesn’t know it at first, but Richie has nothing left, including hope. Richie was severely injured in a classified mission in Iraq, and he’s never recovered physically or emotionally. His PTSD causes nightmares, and when the arsonist strikes again, this time trying to burn down Morgan’s house, it’s evident that Richie is the intended victim. However, Morgan is more concerned with the fact that Richie is in danger than with the attempt on his house, and he realizes his heart might not survive if he loses Richie again.

But even though Morgan seems to be one-hundred percent committed to getting romantically involved with Richie, their romance is a slow-burn, especially from Richie’s perspective. Between his injury and his inability to be specific about classified information, he can’t participate in helping to find the arsonist. And to top it off, though he cares for Morgan, he’s afraid Morgan is getting in over his head with someone so disabled.

This was a great love story as well as a suspenseful action drama. The guys do get their HEA, but it’s a difficult journey to get there. I enjoyed the secondary characters as well as the MCs and, of course, the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever puppy featured in the story were the perfect icing on the cake for me. I recommend this one to lovers of Andrew Grey, especially if you happen to enjoy sweet and sexy MCs and those who manage to overcome seemingly insurmountable disabilities.


Cover Art by LC Chase shows a young man bare from the waist up in a close-up on the cover. In the background is a raging inferno, a firefighter fighting the flames, and an empty wheelchair—all important to this story.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published June 13th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634774698 (ISBN13: 9781634774697)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Coffee Sip and Book Break with The Articles of Release (The Release Series #2) by B.A. Tortuga (excerpt and giveaway)


The Articles of Release cover

The Articles of Release (The Release Series #2) by B.A. Tortuga
Release Date: September 4, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer


Sales Links: Dreamspinner eBook & PaperbackAmazon


Just released from the military, wounded warrior Eric Tremaine is trying to put his life back together like the doctors reassembled his shattered leg. He’s a man with no home, since his Louisiana family rejected him, so Eric winds up in Texas with his old Army buddy, Adam Winchester, and his lover, Sage.

When Eric decides to stop sitting on his ass feeling sorry for himself, he is introduced to trainer Troy Daniels, who lost both his legs in a teenage accident. Troy knows what it’s like to feel as if your body is your enemy. While Eric and Troy have a bumpy start, they soon find enough common ground to make a friendship, if not more. But taking it to the next level means finding out what they have to offer each other, and the world, before they can trust that the love they find together won’t cause more pain than pleasure.

Pages or Words: 65,000 words
Categories: Contemporary
A Highly Rated Novel by Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
see our review here



Want to join me?”
“Thanks, but I’ll stand. Sitting’s a pain in the ass.”
Eric blinked. That was a new one. “Uh, did I piss you off? I didn’t mean to.”
“Huh? No. No, you’re totally good. Completely. How’s your falafel?”
He hadn’t even tasted it. What was it about this guy that got under his skin? “It’s fine. What, the trainer doesn’t want to be seen with the cripple or something?”
“Pardon me?” The asshole actually looked around, like he didn’t know what Eric was talking about.
“Well, it’s not like I wear a T-shirt, but the heavy limp is kind of a giveaway.” He could do sarcasm too.
“What the hell are you going on about, man?”
“I want to know why you would rather stand and hold your food than sit with me!” That came out loud enough to draw few stares, and Eric kinda felt as if he was having an out-of-body experience.
Troy’s cheeks went a dark red, and the man moved over and set his food down. “Sorry, man.”
Sage and Win were heading over, and Troy sat at the end of the table, sitting awkwardly at the edge, legs barely tucked under.
Eric tried to breathe, to calm the fuck down, but his fury hit him about the time Sage stumbled into the table and Troy damn near went ass over teakettle onto the grass. That was it. Seriously? Seriously, this motherfucker was going to treat him like a goddamn leper because he limped? Gonna fall onto the ground rather than sit with the crip like a decent human being? Fuck, the bastard was probably one of those liberal hippie types that thought every soldier was a fucking murderer and deserved what he got.
He’d just been doing his job, goddamn it!
“Jesus, just go, would you? Some trainer you are, being ashamed of a guy with a bad leg!”
“Don’t you fucking pretend that you don’t know what I’m talking about!”
“What the hell?” That was Sage, who always managed to look vaguely confused, which pissed him off too. What? Did falling in love give you the magical ability to live in fucking lala land? Huh? “What happened?”
“Just fuck off.” He wasn’t sure who he was aiming the snarl at.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Troy was looking at him like he had two heads and neither one of them were speaking English.
“What’s wrong with me? I’m sick of people humoring me and pretending that it doesn’t matter that half my leg is missing when they’re grossed out by it.” Eric kinda lost his shit, right there, slamming his hands on the table.
“It’s not missing.” The words from Troy were flat, dead still somehow, and didn’t really make sense.
Troy got up, stood like he was setting himself, then carefully pulled up the legs of his jeans, exposing metal rods that disappeared into the motorcycle boots. “This is what missing looks like, just sayin’.”



About the Author

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife (still amazing to say that), Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has gone to the high desert mountains and fallen in love. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

Where to find BA Tortuga:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batortuga
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/BATortugaBooks?fref=ts
Twitter: @batortuga
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/batortuga/
Other: http://batortuga.blogspot.com
Other: http://www.batortuga.com
Other: https://instagram.com/batortuga/



Enter to  win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘The Articles of Release’ by B.A. Tortuga.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prize(s) provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Tour Dates & Stops:

4-Sep Reviews by Jessewave, Up All Night, Read All Day

7-Sep Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, The Jena Wade

8-Sep MM Good Book Reviews

9-Sep Amanda C. Stone

10-Sep Jessie G. Books

11-Sep LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

14-Sep Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

15-Sep Hearts on Fire

16-Sep Multitasking Mommas, BFD Book Blog

17-Sep Kimi-Chan, Happily Ever Chapter

18-Sep Iyana Jenna

21-Sep Prism Book Alliance

22-Sep Bike Book Reviews

23-Sep Divine Magazine

24-Sep Inked Rainbow Reads

25-Sep Love Bytes

28-Sep The Novel Approach

29-Sep My Fiction Nook

30-Sep Just Love Romance

1-Oct Bayou Book Junkie

1-Oct Molly Lolly


A Bj Review: The Gig (Speechless #2) by Kim Fielding


Rating:  3.5 stars out of 5

The Gig coverAn accident in Drew Clifton’s past left the former novelist with aphasia, unable to communicate through either speech or writing. Through sheer strength of will, he built a quiet but lonely life for himself. But now he’s fallen in love with Travis Miller.

Travis has his own issues—a permanent eye injury and unemployment. But he’s determined to help Drew find ways to engage and succeed again in the wider world, and a guitar-playing gig at a local coffeehouse seems like a good start.

Dylan Warner and Chris Nock happen to be in the audience that evening, and they have a few niggling problems of their own. Perhaps a chance meeting will provide solutions that might benefit all of them

A revisit with the guys from Speechless: Drew Clifton’s, the former novelist with aphasia, and Travis, the one-eyed machinist. After his accident, Drew built a life for himself in Portland, and now shares it with his love, Travis Miller.

Now that he’s back in Portland, Travis is unemployed and being cared for by his lover isn’t sitting well with him. He wants to stand on his own two feet. He’s determined to help Drew though and one way he finds is to see his lover succeed again in the wider world, this time using his talent as a guitarist. He gets him a gig at a local coffeehouse.

There they meet Dylan Warner and Chris Nock, who happen to be in the audience. Will this chance meeting provide solutions that might benefit all four guys?

Dylan and Chris are characters from another of Fielding’s books, one that I haven’t as yet read. I love how she gave me some subtle clues about them without having them come right out and say things.

Well-written and fun but very short read. Like Speechless, this is all from Travis POV. It does a nice job of tying up some loose ends from the first book. BUT I have the same niggle with it that I did with book one. The ending is abrupt and leaves me wanting more. I totally wanted to attend the event that was mentioned with these guys… the set up for it was so perfect. I wonder if it might be in one of the books containing Chris and Dylan. I must go now and scope that out.

The cover  by Paul Richmond is understated, but fitting for the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) |

Book Details:  

ebook, 24 pages
Published May 22nd 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781623807122
series Speechless #

A BJ Review: Speechless (Speechless #1) by Kim Fielding


Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

Speechless coverOne-eyed Travis Miller is a machinist living what he terms a “fairly sucky” life in Portland. His only real companion is a rescue a cat named Elwood. After he spots a handsome man playing the guitar on his porch along his walking route home, that starts to become a highlight of his day. Travis gathers the courage to speak to the man and discovers that the former novelist Drew Clifton suffers from aphasia after having been in a car accident. Drew can understand what people say, but cannot speak or write.

These two lonely men form a friendship that deepens into romance, but soon realize it might not be communication that’s their biggest challenge. Travis is inexperienced at relationships and struggles with a precarious financial situation.

Speechless (Speechless #1) by Kim Fielding was an easy, quick read. It’s a sweet love story without being syrupy or full of drama. I love broken/wounded characters and watching them overcome their hardships. Both of these men are wounded, Travis having lost his eye and Drew his speech. Yet both are strong characters and the angst level is fairly low–neither of these men whined over their situations. Not to themselves or each other. I enjoyed that. Both men came across as everyday guys, not super handsome, buff, rich or super tough.

This is told only from Travis POV, which made Drew have to get himself across to not only Travis but also us readers through only his actions. Not an easy thing for the author to achieve, I’m thinking. But yet, she did it wonderfully. Drew comes across as a very expressive, endearing, strong and determined man. Still, I admit that I’d have loved to have gotten a bit into Drew’s head, because how awful for him as a writer to lose his ability to use words! He made light of it to Travis, but I can imagine that was not the case. At least he could still read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this refreshing story and these imperfect, yet perfect for each other men. In life, people who can talk just fine often have such a hard time communicating. Sometimes it seems people don’t make a very strong effort to do so if it’s too difficult. I love this quote “I hardly ever had any problem understanding him. You just have to pay attention.” Exactly. But unfortunately, even to those of us who speak, many don’t pay attention, don’t really listen or watch to see what’s behind the words. Travis paid attention, and I loved him for that.

Another quote from this that I adored, mainly because it made ME feel good was this one, “…even if you never write anything again, you’ve already done way more than most people.” Again… damn, I love Travis.

My quibble is that the ending felt rushed. However, I noticed that there is a sequel to be had, so will have to check that out and might end up having to up my stars on this down the road.

The cover by Anne Cain is a little plain as far as color but it gets the point of the story across well.

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

Book Details:  

ebook, 62 pages
Published July 18th 2012 by Dreamspinner Press (first published July 2012)
ISBN 1613727178 (ISBN13: 9781613727171)
edition language English

A MelanieM Review: Must Love Dogs by K. Lynn


Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Must Love Dogs coverSince a mugging a year ago, Ben’s lived with blindness. Despite an art career on hold and a deadbeat boyfriend who left him because of his disability, he’s finally getting his life back on track. Ben is gaining a new sense of independence thanks to his guide dog, Colt.

But Ben’s carefully balanced life is thrown into chaos when veterinarian Dr. Jay Connor hits Colt with his car. While Colt is on the mend and recovering nicely, Ben finds that Jay is not only fond of Colt, but also quite interested in Ben.

However, one overheard conversation might put a stop to their romance before it can grow into something more. Maybe Ben’s destined to go it alone in the dark. Or can Jay help him see there’s still a chance for happily ever after?

Must Love Dogs by K. Lynn had several things going for it that pushed my buttons and made me want to read the story, that Paul Richmond cover for one.  Two cute guys holding hands in a park, one with a guide dog.  Adorable men and puppies! Love it! Check!  The blurb also hinted at something more than just a sweet love story,, a little bit of angst and depth thrown in as well.  Another draw for me.  Check and double check! So what did I find?  A nice story with a few issues, so one that didn’t live up to my expectations.

Several issues came up immediately that irritated me enough to pull me out of the story.  One, a very small thing but it annoys the heck out of me,  is that one character has a last name, and the other doesn’t.  Perhaps its the sense of imbalance or the implied (in my head) inequality of stature, but do one or the other, two last names or none, but don’t do both.  Argh as they say.

The second?  A little more serious and it appears multiple times in the story.  That would be the author’s use of the word “paranoid” when I would use the word common sense.  Ben and his guide dog, Colt, went walking at night and Ben got spooked. Who wouldn’t?  Ben proceeded to override his dog’s training in trying to get home, walked ahead, misjudged his footing and fell into the road.  Colt was hit by a car trying to protect him.  All reasonable as well as believable. Then the story starts to get a little shaky for me.

A guy stops the car, tells Ben he’s a vet, puts them both into the car (no calling the police) and later Ben berates himself for the stupidity of his actions.  Lynn calls it his paranoia, I call it common sense.  You can’t see, that guy who almost ran you over and hit the  expensive guide dog is hauling you both away in his car and you take his word for it and then tell yourself you are nuts for doing so?  No, that’s a reasonable response and one based on common sense.  Lynn had Ben’s frantic actions based on a believable human response to a terrifying situation but then negated that by implying his thoughts were due to a sense of “paranoia”? I just didn’t think that worked on any level.

And then there’s Dr. Jay’s actions at his veterinary clinic/office where he takes Colt and Ben after the accident.  I talked to my vet yesterday (happy coincidence for me, not Winston who was getting his shots) about Jay’s actions.  Guide dogs have a huge responsibility to their owners/charges.   Plus they are incredibly expensive to train and obtain.  So I asked her, “would you have sent him home without x-rays or further tests?  Just a little leg manipulation and you’re good to go? Especially considering the fact that you were the person who injured him?” I’m betting you know the answer to that one.  So one more less than realistic element that disconnected me from the story and the characters.

Jay and Ben’s story does have some lovely, sweet moments where they are getting to know one another.  Plus the author has a strong female best friend in Darcy, who’s a major supporter of Ben and his adjusting to his new situation.  The author also has done research into how a person and their guide dogs behave when they’re “off the clock” and how others can act towards them.  That worked within framework of the story and the relationships portrayed here.

But then that darn “paranoia” thing cropped up again right at the end,so that the story sort of fizzled out on a odd, discordant note that lost that sense of sweetness that ending was going for.

I came very close to giving this 2 stars but then reconsidered.  Those small things that bother me might not bother  another reader.  It was a sweet story, with some nice character interactions and relationships.  So 3 stars it is.

This is the first K. Lynn story I’ve read and it has enough good elements to  make me look forward to the next story this author has to offer.   One last thing, this is just another prime example of the power of book covers.  A terrific book cover will pull you in and that’s exactly what this cover did to me.

Cover  art by Paul Richmond.  See the remarks  above.  Really loved it.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 54 pages
Expected publication: July 22nd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original title Must Love Dogs
ISBN13 9781634763127
edition language English

In the Spotlight: BA Tortuga’s Ever The Same (exclusive excerpt and contest)


STRW In The Spotlight Header


Ever The Same by BA Tortuga
Release Date: February 27, 2015

Love BA Tortuga?  BA Tortuga’s latest release, Ever the Same, the first in a new series,  maybe  just the story for you.  Check out the exclusive excerpt and don’t forget to enter the contest for a signed paperback copy of Ever the Same!

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

About BA Tortuga:

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has headed to the high desert mountains. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batortuga
Twitter: @batortuga
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/batortuga/
Other: http://www.batortuga.com
Other: http://batortuga.blogspot.com


Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Christy Caughie

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press   Amazon

About Ever the Same…

Audie Barrack is in it up to his elbows with a sick calf when his son’s school calls. Seems Grainger has gotten into yet another fight. When he walks into the principal’s office, he’s shocked to find his son has been fighting with a little girl named Randi. 

A little girl with one blind dad and one dad who recently passed away. 


Dixon has lost his sight, his career, and his husband. Thank God for his brothers, Momma and Daddy, and his little girl, or he would simply give up. The last thing he needs is for Randi to start trouble at school, especially trouble that puts him in contact with another dad who might expect him to be a functional human being.

Dixon is struggling to live as a blind man, Audie is terrified someone might see he has a closet to come out of, and everyone from the school to both men’s families is worried for the men and their children. Unless they get themselves together and commit to change, neither of them stands a chance.

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, M/M Romance, Western/Cowboy

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt


2 Great Excerpts, Our Exclusive First!

“I’m sorry, Daddy. I am.”

“I know, baby.” He reached out to stroke her hair, finding it with no fumbling. That he didn’t need to see to do. “What is it about this boy that makes you nuts?”

“I don’t know. He looks at me like I’m dirty. Everybody does.”

“Oh, honey, I know it’s hard to be the new kid.”

“No. I mean, yes, but they say it’s wrong to have two dads!”

“That’s because they’re raised by closed-minded assholes that wouldn’t have an original thought if you paid them.” Oh, wait. Had he said that out loud?

She snorted, the sound eerily like her other dad. “Daddy, you said asshole.”

“I did! I’m fired.”

“Out of a cannon. Bang.” He didn’t think she even knew what that meant, but Ron had always said it.

“I miss your dad, kiddo.” Like breathing.



“It’s not like him to pick on someone who’s having a hard time.”

“Of course it’s not. Randi’s the one that’s the vicious little bitch, right?”

Damn, Mr. Snooty could snap.


“What? She’s had a shit life for the last year. She lost one of her dads, she had to leave Austin and her friends and her school, and suddenly she’s the fucking bad guy?”

“Hey, I never said my boy was perfect,” Audie said, snarling a little himself. “He’s managed to get to six without trying to kill anyone, though, so this is new. Back off.”

“Enough. No one is saying either of these children are bad. Randi has a huge number of hurdles to overcome, and Grainger is a shy little boy with a tendency to follow the crowd. Neither of these children have mothers at home, and I was hoping we could brainstorm some ways to help Randi feel included with the others.”

This was ridiculous. It wasn’t his fucking job to make sure this asshole’s little brat felt like she didn’t need to punch his son anymore.

“That’s her teacher’s job, Shannon.” Audie was through with this shit. “I’ll tell my boy to stay away from her. Can we go now?”

“Yes. Yes, of course. Mr. White….”

“I’ll talk to her. If it happens again, I’ll… shit, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll make it up as I go along.” The guy stood, and his mom handed him a cane. A white cane.

Oh, Jesus fucking Christ. Seriously? Seriously, Grainger picked the kid with a blind dad and a dead….


Pages or Words: 256 pages

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Never A Hero (Tucker Springs #5) by Marie Sexton


Release Date is May 13, 2013 from Riptide Publishing.  Review reposted on May 14, 2013.

Rating: 4.5 star

Never A Hero coverOwen Meade watches from his window as the duplex next to him exchanges one renter for another looking at the men he sees carrying boxes and moving furniture.  Two are clearly a couple and the others are astonishing in their diverse physiology and tattoos.  And Owen wonders who they are and what they do, knowing the chances of finding out are slim as he never leaves his house.  Owen stutters, and years of  verbal abuse from his mother over his sexuality as well as his congenitally amputated arm have left him so traumatized socially that he confines himself to his rooms in his side of the duplex, rarely venturing out unless absolutely necessary.  Owen works at home and has his groceries delivered, making his hermit like lifestyle possible until his new neighbor changes everything.

Veterinarian Nick Reynolds moves into the downstairs duplex with his three dogs and immediately goes to meet his new neighbor. Friendly, outgoing and unflappable, Nick lets Owen know immediately that his arm doesn’t bother him as his sister has a congenitally amputated arm too. Introductions soon turn into friendship with Nick and his sister who pulls Owen into piano lessons for the both of them.  And always Owen senses that Nick is attracted to him, an attraction that Owen returns.  In fact, Owen thinks he just might be falling in love with Nick, but every time they get close physically, it is Nick who pulls away leaving Owen confused and hurt.

Nick is hiding a secret of his own and Owen must become his own hero, thwart his mother and Nick’s own fears, to save the day and his future with the man he has come to love.

What a lovely book!  Marie Sexton has provided us with many wonderful characters before but Nick Reynolds and Owen Meade are at the top of the crowd.  Owen has had a life time of parental abuse from his mother that has resulted in a stutter, lack of self confidence and a painful shyness about his truncated arm.  I have never met a character quite like Owen before . Marie Sexton has done a great job in bringing this man totally to life so that we get a glimpse of what it must feel like to be a person with disabilities, their apprehensions and difficulties in doing small things for themselves that others accomplish with ease.  The title comes from the fact that his mother refused to let him wear super hero costumes on Halloween because of his disability. And the author brings home to the reader the pain and unrelenting stress his mother’s abuse that Owen suffered from as a child and into adulthood. Owen’s endearing, easy to empathize with, and you feel angry on his behalf when his mother reenters the picture.

Nick Reynolds was also a surprise.  I never guessed at his secret and found myself as confounded as Owen was.  Here again, the author moves forward with knowledge and sensibility to defuse a delicate situation and handle this serious topic with needed sensitivity.  Plus Nick is a veterinarian, a favorite vocation of mine.  Gorgeous, caring, you just know he is the perfect match for Owen. He has his own flaws and is easy to relate to.  I loved him as well.

Another thing I have come to count on in a Marie Sexton story is the beautiful flow of her narrative.  Never dense, never jerky, the story moves forward so smoothly, so effortlessly that the chapters transition one into another without bringing the reader up short once.  She makes it look so easy that you forget how difficult it is to achieve.

As this is a Tucker Springs, Colorado book, other characters from previous stories make appearances to my total delight.  Really, I can’t get enough of this series, I hope you feel the same when you get started.   Never A Hero contains everything you need for a fabulous story, so don’t be surprised when you find yourself still awake at 2 am because you just can’t put this book down.  I wanted to don my Superman duds and head out to the Light district to find Nick and Owen, Seth, El and all the rest.  By now they feel like close friends.  So grab a few tissues, this book and curl up in anticipation as you start in on Never A Hero.  You don’t have to have read the other books in the group but it helps to identify the various characters who pop up in this story.

Tucker Springs Website

Here are the books in the order they were written:

Where Nerves End (Tucker Springs, #1) by L.A. Witt

Second Hand (Tucker Springs, #2) by Marie Sexton

Dirty Laundry (Tucker Springs, #3) by Heidi Cullinan

Covet Thy Neighbor (Tucker Springs, #4) by L.A. Witt

Never a Hero (Tucker Springs, #5) by Marie Sexton