A MelanieM Review: First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Layton wants success, Adler wants family, how can love make both these things possible?

Layton Foxx works hard for what he has. The condo, the career, the chance to make his mark, is all down to the sacrifices he has made. With tragedy in his past, he doesn’t want or need love. Then he meets Adler Lockhart, the extroverted, sexy winger for the Harrisburg Railers and abruptly he can’t avoid love even if he wanted to.

Adler Lockhart has had everything handed to him his whole life. Cars, villas, cash, college tuition at the finest Ivy League schools. The only things he doesn’t have are parents who care or the love of a good man. Then Layton walks into his privileged life and shows him what real love can be like.

First of all, this book has oodles of elements that just set off the book sparklers for me.  Starts with the authors because I love R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey, then moving swiftly to the facts that you also have hockey players (be still my heart), a opposites attract trope and a good dollop of hurt/comfort?  Count me in!

When you mix that all together in the story First Season, it all comes together in a romance that hooked me in from the very start, made me love its characters from the main couple to the secondary cast and kept me invested as well as connected in everyone’s story.  First Season is the second in the Harrisburg Railers series and while you don’t necessarily have to have read the first one , it does help to give you background information here on the couple Layton Foxx is coming to help.  They make appearances is as does the next person getting his story.

But your heart and focus is on Layton and Adler and their slow, awkward, often painful dance towards love and a relationship.  I absolutely loved  Ads.  At one point he’s described as a Irish Setter, ginger, bouncy, lots of energy, maybe a small attention span….you can so see it … totally adorable in the huge body of a hockey player.  He also has almost no filters in his brain…so what he’s thinking is out his mouth without a checkpoint with obvious ramifications.  All because of a upbringing with parents that had little to do with him and left him with no social skills.  Talk about someone hungry for love and a home.

Then he meets damaged Layton Foxx who comes from an opposite background, but one where he can’t stand to go back to.  PTSD and a pain-filled past has him trapped in another way and landed him in a job filled full of his worst nightmares…jocks.  Watching Layton having to navigate his way around while trying to do the best for his clients AND deal with the confusing attentions of Adler? The dynamics are interesting, heartbreaking, funny, and often a bit convoluted even to the people involved themselves.

Locey and Scott also address the professional side of hockey and coming out, the costs to the team, the individual players etc.  I thought this was handled beautifully.

First Season came very close to a 5 star rating but I felt that parts of Layton’s story and his clear lack of recovery needed to be further addressed.  I wasn’t sure if Layton was still in therapy (I could have missed it to be honest), but the extent of his trauma I thought needed more attention here.  Not in details but in their relationship and his family towards the end after Adler and Layton decided they were it for one another. A phone call and a comment about one portion of their sexual life didn’t quite get to the depth of the trauma they are dealing with.

Others may feel the authors dealt with it to their satisfaction.

Either way, I feel it’s a wonderful story. One I absolutely recommend.    It has memorable characters, a team of hockey players to love and a series to look forward to each new release!  Bring them on!

Cover art by Meredith Russell.  The artist does both characters justice in a terrific cover.  Love it.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | KOBO | Smashwords | B&N | iTunes

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 229 pages
Published September 27th 2017 by Love Lane Books Ltd
ASINB073HGLT5X
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Harrisburg Railers 

An Alisa Review: Wake up Call by Becky Black

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

When you live beside a cat café, it’s inevitable the fur will start flying eventually. Derek “Dez” Walker, a police officer wounded in a shooting, feels adrift and isolated as he makes a slow recovery. Others call him a hero, but it’s a title he doesn’t think he deserves.

 

When Dez intervenes in a burglary at the cat café near his apartment, he meets the owner, Francis “Fran” Green. Though he’s a hero to Fran for his intervention in the burglary, it’s Fran who becomes a strong source of support for Dez. Fran offers friendship to his vulnerable neighbour and, as they spend more time together, Dez comes to rely on Fran … and his cats.

 

He begins to find the way out of his isolation, but does he deserve everything Fran offers?

 

I thought this was such a cute story.  Dez has pretty much been living his life on pause since he was wounded, avoiding others and moving on.  Being awoken by the sound of a burglary and the new friendship he develops with Fran is just the wake-up call he needs to get his life back on track.

 

Fran wants to show Dez that he is worthy of affection let alone the friendship he is offering, having helped a brother with PTSD he knows he has to be patient but also push at the same time.  Dez knows he needs to try to get better to be the man he thinks Fran deserves and gains a new cat, Riley, in the process.  We see this story from through Dez’s eyes but Fran is so open and loving that you can easily how he is feeling too.  These two complement each other wonderfully and I loved seeing them together.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is adorable and gives a great visual of Dez and his new cat, Riley.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 56 pages

Published: April 8, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634863957

Edition Language: English

 

An Ali Review: One Bullet by Casey Wolfe

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Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
When Ethan Brant was shot, he found himself dealing with severe PTSD and unable to do his job as a police officer any longer. With the aid of Detective Shawn Greyson, the man who saved his life, Ethan not only finds himself again but discovers love as well.

Shawn’s life growing up was less than ideal, however, he overcame that to become who he is today. That doesn’t mean he isn’t missing something in his life. What Shawn hadn’t realized, upon first meeting, was that Ethan could give him all that and more.

One bullet changed both their lives.
I liked the premise of this story but I didn’t really like the execution.  There was a lot going on and I think it was too much for such a short book.  The book jumps from snippet to snippet but most of the major relationship dynamics take place off page. As a result I did not feel the chemistry between the two main characters.   Also, I was not invested in them or their relationship and I struggled to be interested in the plot. 
I don’t have any complaints about the technical aspects of the writing but as for content I was just not drawn in.  Everything was too superficial for my tastes.  Overall, this was just ok.
Cover by Natasha Snow:  I like the cover a lot.  It catches your eye and it fits well with the plot of the story.

Sale Links: NineStar | Amazon | Kobo

ebook, 153 pages
Published: March 27, 2017, by NineStar Press
ISBN: 9781945952814
Edition Language: English

A Lila Review: One Bullet by Casey Wolfe

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When Ethan Brant was shot, he found himself dealing with severe PTSD and unable to do his job as a police officer any longer. With the aid of Detective Shawn Greyson, the man who saved his life, Ethan not only finds himself again but discovers love as well.

Shawn’s life growing up was less than ideal, however, he overcame that to become who he is today. That doesn’t mean he isn’t missing something in his life. What Shawn hadn’t realized, upon first meeting, was that Ethan could give him all that and more.

One bullet changed both their lives.

One Bullet is a nice character exploration, not only of the main characters but those in their world. Everyone has a reason or a connection, and how they treat or react to each other enhances this study.

As a character driven story, there’s no mystery or build up that the story tries to reach. We get to see different situations that added to the protagonists’ characters and relationship. That first event that brought them together is the catalyst to understanding how a single moment in time can reshape someone’s life.

I liked Shawn and Ethan and how their relationship moved from strangers to friends, and then to lovers. They have great relationships with their siblings and best friends. Their parents are polar opposites, but very realistic.

I do need to mention that some of the scenes blocks seem arbitrary and the changes in POV, for a paragraph or two, were not always necessary. Also, there are several scenes that could have been removed to dive further into others. I think there’s a degree of separation between the characters and the readers. As if we were looking at them instead of experiencing the story.

Overall, if you are looking for a quick read with interesting characters, UST, and low to no angst, this is your story. It has a nice sense of place too.

The cover by Natasha Snow is captivating and goes well with the story. The smoking bullet is the reason the protagonist got together in the first place.

Sale Links: NineStar | Amazon | Kobo

ebook, 153 pages
Published: March 27, 2017, by NineStar Press
ISBN: 9781945952814
Edition Language: English

 

In Our New Release Spotlight: Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point #2) by L.A. Witt (excerpt and giveaway)

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Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point #2) by L.A. Witt
R
iptide Publishing
Cover Artist L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here At Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to be hosting L.A. Witt today on her Afraid to Fly tour.  Welcome, L.A.!

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Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L. A. Witt blog tour for Afraid to Fly, the second book in the Anchor Point series!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding Afraid to Fly) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 22nd, and winners will be announced on January 23rd.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Excerpt

(Clint)

Thanks to skipping lunch, I was able to slip out of the office around four thirty. Travis was held up for a while because he had a meeting with the CO, but about ten minutes before I got home, he texted me to let me know he was on his way.

While I waited for him, I couldn’t sit still. I’d showered and changed into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, and now all there was to do was wait. And wait. And try to keep myself calm and cool.

Why isn’t he here yet? He should’ve been here five minutes ago.

Did he remember how to get here? Wait, I’d given him my address, and his car had GPS. He’d find the place. Right? Did I need to text him with my apartment number?

What the hell is wrong with me?

And then . . .

Footsteps on the walkway.

The distinct sound of boots.

Fuck yes.

I opened the door right as he stepped onto the porch. Neither of us said a word. He hooked his fingers in my waistband and pulled me in close, and we were back in each other’s arms. We kissed. Stumbled. Somehow made it off the porch and into the apartment without falling on our asses, and I was so tangled up in him, I couldn’t even remember for sure if we’d closed the door.

I opened my eyes briefly. Glanced past him.

Yep. Door was closed.

Where were we?

I cradled the back of his head and kissed him even harder.

“Sorry I took so long,” he panted against my lips. “Fucking traffic through the gate.”

“’S’okay. You made it.”

“Finally.”

“Mm-hmm.”

His hands slid across my bare skin, emphasizing how dressed he still was. That wouldn’t do. This uniform needed to be on the floor right now.

He must’ve had the same idea, because we both started fumbling with buttons. One by one, they gave. I pushed the blouse off his shoulders.

“By the way,” I said as I ran my hands up the front of his snug T-shirt, “one more hour at work, and I would’ve run out of military bearing.”

“You and me both,” he said between kisses, and slid his hands down over my ass. “Today was killing me. Even before you showed up in my office.”

“Tell me about it.” I started kissing my way down his neck. “You didn’t have to stand up in front of a class and try not to get a hard-on.”

He laughed, tilting his head to the side as I inched toward his collarbone. “Maybe I should’ve teased you a bit more.”

“That wouldn’t have been a good idea.” I bit his shoulder through his clothes, and he responded with the most delicious groan.

“Not a good idea?” He pressed against my dick. “Why not? What would’ve happened?”

“All kinds of . . . court-martial-worthy . . . offenses.” I groaned softly. “On government property.”

“More than what we already did?”

“So much more.”

“Hmm. Scandalous.” He dipped his head and kissed my neck. “Might have to step up my game at work. See what happens when you lose all your—”

“Don’t you dare,” I growled.

“Or what?”

“I’ll tell the CO.” I curved my hands over his ass. “Tell her you seduced me in my office.” I kissed beneath his jaw and murmured, “Tell her I was . . . helpless to resist . . . your charm.”

We both broke out laughing.

“Go ahead and tell her,” he said. “I won’t deny it.”

“Shameless bastard.”

afraid-to-fly-by-la-witt

About Afraid to Fly

Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.

Afraid to Fly is available January 16th from Riptide Publishing.

This title is #2 of the Anchor Point series.

About L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

Website: http://www.gallagherwitt.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GallagherWitt

afraid-to-fly_tourbanner

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Afraid to Fly, one lucky winner will receive $10 in Riptide Publishing credit and two books of choice from L.A. Witt’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 21, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Love Some Hurt/Comfort with Your Romance? Check out Valor (Vigilance #1) by K. Laché (excerpt and giveaway)

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Author: K. Laché

Title:  Valor

Series Title and Number: Vigilance 1

Publisher:  Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date:  7/6/16

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 90K

Genre:Erotic Romance, Gay Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Drama

Add to Goodreads

Valor Cover

Synopsis

It takes valor to support and love those who need it the most and never expected to receive it.

For Rivet Scalzo, returning to his childhood home after a decade was not on his list of places to go while recuperating. After nearly being blown up on a mission, Rivet is forced to deal with his PTSD and sudden deafness without help from Vigilance, the secret governmental agency he works for. He resigned himself to a lonely recovery, but, perhaps by chance, he met Blare Chaplynn, a model whose caring nature helps ease the horror of Rivet’s home life. As they grow closer, Rivet is burdened by the secrets he can’t share with the one man he grows to love.

If Blare knew a mild concussion was all he needed to meet the man of his dreams, he would have gladly accepted it long ago. He knew there was something special about Rivet when he first saw him at the park, but never guessed this man of mystery would be hiding so many secrets. Blare is forced to confront the fact that Rivet may never tell him everything, but is trust the reason Rivet is so close-lipped or is it something more?

Excerpt

“I told him it was a bad idea to start you so young.” She turned away from him and muttered under breath, “It’ll only cause more problems for us when he gets older, I said.”

Rivet slammed his hand down on the counter and snarled, “What problems, June, huh? What problems have I caused?” He pointed his finger at her and said through his teeth, “I have done nothing save for following the orders I’ve been given. I was told to come to this shit town and stay with my shit family until they deem me fit enough to return.” He opened his arms wide. “And here I am. So I want you to tell me what problems I’ve been causing, June.”

Her eyes narrowed to slits, and her lips pressed into a thin line. “Remember just who you’re talking to, Rookie. A buster like you needs to have respect for his superiors.”

“You were making rookie mistakes, June. They forced you to retire.”

Lightning fast, she swung her hand out to smack him across the face. He was faster. His hand tightened around her slim wrist, stopping it inches from his face. He roughly shoved her hand away and tsked. “You were always slower than me.” He turned his back on her and walked through the door to the back room marked Employees Only.

The back room was full of buckets of flowers, scraps of ribbon, and other odds and ends left over from arrangements. He paused in the room, looking for the door he knew led to the basement. He saw the door to the industrial-sized refrigerator and continued roaming the room. He skillfully weaved around vases of carnations, roses, and other flowers he didn’t know the names of. A soft smile sprung to his lips when he spotted a pot of daisies sitting happily on the counter. Gentle fingers caressed the stark-white petals before dropping away. Rivet eyed the bright yellow disk florets nestled in pure white petals. The glossy green leaves completed the innocent picture. He shook his head, battling against the memories pushing from the back of his mind.

Continuing to the door, he pushed it open and gently shut it behind him. He flicked on the light switch and descended the stairs. The basement was bare save for miscellaneous ladders and stepping stools. He walked to the nearest wall and placed a hand on it at chest height. He closed his eyes and slowly walked the perimeter of the basement, fingers trailing along the cool bricks. A few paces later, he paused and opened his eyes. He ran a finger down the left side of the brick. There was a faint click and he placed his fingers on the faux concrete face and slid them toward the right, revealing a keypad in the hollow. He reached his hand in and pressed a nine-digit code into the keypad before turning his hand palm-up and pressing his hand flat against the top of the hollowed brick. A soft blue glow pulsated before something clicked open behind him. He glanced back to see a trapdoor had opened under the stairs, a sliver of light appeared through the crack between the door and the floor. Rivet grabbed a nearby rag and wiped the fingerprint scanner and the keypad before sliding the panel shut and running his finger up the left side, locking the faux brick.

He stepped over to the trapdoor, feet making no noise as they gracefully moved around furniture. Rivet reached down and lifted the door. The hinges squeaked in protest, and he let it rest open so he could climb into the opening, dropping his bag to the tile first. He secured the door and jumped the rest of the way to the floor. The room was brightly lit by the fluorescent lights in the flooring shining off the dark walls. The subbasement was split into two sections. To one side was a dark armoire built into the wall. The doors were shut and locked; a fingerprint scanner and keypad were just to the side of it. The other section was an enclosed area that took up most of the floor, also secured by a scanner and keypad.

Rivet walked over to the armoire and typed his nine-digit code into the keypad with the knuckle of his finger. The light to the scanner flickered on. He placed his hand flat and watched the beam of light move up and down his hand. The doors of the armoire clicked and opened. There was a small flat-screen monitor on each door and one monitor settled in the middle. A small metal stool raised from the floor. Rivet sat, dropping his bag by his feet, and pulled the keyboard from under the monitor. He held down the Escape key while typing a four-character password. All three monitors flickered to life showing a plain command box with Passcode at the top and the cursor blinking below it. His fingers easily typed in a twelve-digit code.

When the computer loaded, a new message window popped up. He clicked the mouse to view it and quickly read the message:

Contact me when you get this.
—Commander D.

Rivet sighed and clicked on the contact’s name. It brought up a live video feed of a man sitting in a nondescript office, bookshelf behind him.

“Agent Scalzo,” the man’s voice was commanding and firm.

Rivet was used to the no-nonsense voice and gave him a nod. “Commander.”

“Have you settled?”

He paused a moment before answering. “Sir, civilian life and I do not agree.”

“You need to make it work.”

Rivet shook his head. “All due respect, sir, couldn’t I have been stationed elsewhere? I have told you about my family. I could have been anybody, anywhere else.”

“You are on leave and need to be who you really are, not another persona. The Council and I believed this was the best option.”

Rivet snorted bitterly and fought not to glare at his superior.

Commander Donovan narrowed his eyes. “What was that, Agent?”

He clenched his teeth. “Nothing, sir.”

He watched the commander pause a moment. “You are to pick up a package at the post office. The clerk will ask you how you are doing and tell whomever it is that you’re glad to be away from the rain in London. The package contains a secure laptop and cell phone, understood?”

“Affirmative, sir.”

Purchase

Torquere Press

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Meet the Author

A third grade writing project started it. It was the key that unleashed a passion to create and tell fantastical stories. K. Laché felt as if she were made to tread the path of authorial conquest and never once looked back. She entered a world where anything could be created. She was hooked.

She has fan fiction to blame (or thank, depending on how you look at it) for introducing her into the world of slash fiction. What’s better than one hot guy in a book? Two hot guys in a book! After an epiphany in college, K. Laché decided to try her hand at getting published. For years she struggled but never gave up. Now she debuts with her first published work, Valor—the first, but sure to be not her last

K. Laché can be found here:

https://www.klachewrites.com

https://www.facebook.com/K.LacheWrites

https://www.facebook.com/KLWrites

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win an eBook copy of Valor.

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