Release Blitz for The Omega’s Second Chance (Bundle of Joy # 2) by Kenna Grace

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Omega’s Second Chance (Bundle of Joy series, Book 2)

Author: Kenna Grace

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix

Genre/s: Mpreg MM gay romance

Length:  52, 000 words

Buy Links

Amazon US Author Page 

Blurb

Two best friends reunite and discover they could be something more in this mpreg, gay-for-you, second chance romance.

Cody

I left home a decade ago to get away from my crush on my straight best friend. Traveling the world helped me get over him, and now that I’m back to take care of my uncle, I should be immune. Except I’m not. I want him as much as I did before, but this time is different. This time, he seems as interested in me as I am in him, but how can that be when he’s straight? Soon enough, his baby is inside me, but that drives us apart instead of bringing us together.

Derek

Cody was my best friend, and I always ignored any feelings that were more than friendly. It was easy then, since I was about to marry my childhood sweetheart. In the years since, I’ve learned there’s nothing sweet about Heidi, weathered a divorce, and the loss of my NFL career. I’m home again and ready for something more. Cody is just what I want, but when he gets pregnant, I know it can’t be mine because I’m infertile. Aren’t I?

About the Author 

Kenna Grace is a small woman with a huge personality. By evening, she can be found writing, reading, and getting lost in her wild imagination.

In her other life, she’s a behavioral analyst and devoted partner, but writing about men falling in love and their happily-ever-after is so much more exciting!

Social Media Links

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

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Release Blitz for Without A Compass by Helen Juliet (excerpt and giveaway)

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Book Title: Without a Compass

Author: Helen Juliet

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: August 24 2017

Length: Words: 80K

Genre/s: Contemporary Romance, New Adult,

Fish Out of Water, Gay For You, First Time Gay, Opposites Attract

Blurb

Riley Anderson isn’t an outdoorsy guy. He’s a desk jockey, office by day and couch by night. So when his family insists on a camping trip for his father’s 50th birthday he’s hardly thrilled. Things only get worse when Kai shows up, too.

Kai Brandt’s more than eager to go camping with his best buddy, but his buddy’s little brother Riley is all grown up now, and hotter than hell. Kai’s willing to help him pitch more than just a tent… Which is weird, because Kai never swung that way before.

Events conspire to out Riley’s secret AND leave him stranded in Kai’s care for longer than they’d planned for. Trapped together in the wilderness, they’re going to have to face a few hard truths if they’re going to make it back to the world.

But even if they manage it, the experience will leave them forever changed.

Without a Compass is a steamy, standalone gay romance novel with a HEA and no cliffhanger.

Without A Compass

Excerpt

He’d only just managed to get his boxers on in time when the outer door swung inwards and let in a burst of light. For a moment he couldn’t see and he threw his hand up to shield his eyes. “Hello?” he squeaked.

“Oh, hey,” a deep voice replied.

Riley froze as the door swung back and he was left looking at a sweat-soaked Kai. His vest and very short shorts clung to his damp, muscular body. The vision it offered up made Riley gulp.

The tattoos on his arms appeared to gleam under the sheen of sweat from whatever workout he’d just completed. Amongst the varied designs, Riley could make out a bear and a skull surrounded by roses. The colours were muted. His artist had used subtle shades to create tone. The overall effect was powerful but not overwhelming.

Plus, it didn’t hurt that the arms carrying the decoration were huge and chiselled to perfection. Riley had almost died of happiness the couple of times Kai had casually draped one of them across his shoulders the night before.

He remembered where he was. He needed to do or say something before the moment stretched out any further and became weird.

His natural instinct was to snatch his towel up and cover his body. That would definitely make things awkward though. So Riley used all his self-control to merely pick it up as casually as he could and started drying off his hair. Just like you’re at the gym, he told himself.

“Morning,” he said brightly. “You go for a run too?”

Kai blinked a couple of times. It was obvious he was looking at Riley’s almost totally naked body and Riley tried his best not to shy away in shame. No, he wasn’t nearly as ripped as Kai was, but he knew he didn’t look too bad. This was probably awkward for Kai too, especially after last night. But if they could just move past it, it would be fine.

As if coming out of a daze, Kai shook his head and walked forward. His towel was slung over his shoulder and he had a simple all-in-one shower-gel-and-shampoo bottle clutched in his hand. “Oh yeah mate,” he said cheerfully, answering Riley’s question. “It’s beautiful around here. It would be rude not to go exploring.”

Riley chuckled and thankfully found himself dry enough to pull on his shorts. He felt slightly less vulnerable with that small amount of clothing protecting him.

“I had to sweat out the hangover. How are you feeling?”

He didn’t just mean after the alcohol. But he wondered if Kai would pretend nothing out of the ordinary had happened. He wouldn’t blame him if he did; in fact, it would probably be best for both of them if that’s how they moved forward.

“I’m good,” he said, stopping at the sink next to where Riley’s products were littered. “Can I borrow some of that?”

Riley nodded and offered up his toothpaste. Kai pulled a toothbrush from his back pocket and got to scrubbing.

As Kai was unable to talk for the moment, Riley applied his deodorant in increasingly awkward silence. He should think of something to say, something funny! Something that wasn’t ‘So, do you regret that kiss last night? Because I don’t.’

Instead, he chewed at his lips and began picking up his various tubes and tubs to collect them back into his wash kit.

“Whereabouts did you-”

“How did you-”

They both looked at each other, then laughed. Kai spat out his toothpaste and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “I was just wondering how you slept.”

“Oh, fine thanks, fine.” Riley paused as Kai began peeling off his vest. “Uh, you?”

Kai rubbed his face. He seemed a bit sheepish for some reason. Riley hardly noticed though as he was focusing extremely hard on not staring at his pectorals.

“Yeah, fine,” he grunted. But he offered up a smile that cancelled out whatever had bothered him.

Buy Links

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Link

Author Page

Without A Compass

Meet the Author

Helen Juliet is an M/M author currently living and working in London. She’s been writing stories since she was young, and got her start publishing fanfiction of sites like Wattpad. Fifteen years and over a million words later, she discovered the world of M/M fiction and found it was just as good as the fanfiction she was reading. She fell head over heels in love with the genre and became determined to try her hand at a book herself. On December 31st, 2016, she rang in the new year by publishing her first original novel, and hasn’t looked back since.

Social Media Links:

Blog/Website

Facebook Author Page

Facebook Group – Helen Juliet Books  

Twitter

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five copies of A Ballad of Confetti, Cake and Catastrophes with swag.

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Release Blitz Schedule

WITHOUT A COMPASS SCHEDULE

August 24

Bookaholic & KindleTangents and TissuesDrops of Ink, Making it Happen

Diverse ReaderLouise LyonsLily G. Blunt 

August 25

Kimmers’ Erotic Book BanterThe Way She Reads

Love Unchained Book Reviews,

Millsy Loves BooksWe Three Queens, My Fiction Nook

August 26

Follow the ReaderSmokin’ Hot Reads Book BlogBayou Book Junkie

Sur l’étagère,  Gay Book ReviewsWe Like It Big Book Blog,

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue WordsValerie Ullmer

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An Ali Review: Winter Ball by Amy Lane

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Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Winter BallThrough a miserable adolescence and a lonely adulthood, Skipper Keith has dreamed of nothing but family. The closest he gets is the rec league soccer team he coaches after work—and his star player and best friend, Richie Scoggins.

One brisk night in late October, a postpractice convo in Richie’s car turns into a sexual encounter neither of them expected—nor want to forget. Soon Skip and Richie are living for the weekends and their winter league soccer games—and the games they enjoy off the field. Through broken noses, holiday decorating, and the killer flu, they learn more about each other than they ever dreamed possible. Every new discovery takes them further beyond the boundaries of the soccer field and into the infinite possibilities of the best relationship of Skipper’s life.

Skipper can’t dream of a better family than Richie—but Richie’s got real family entanglements he can’t shake off. Skipper needs to convince Richie to stay with him beyond winter ball so the relationship they started on the field might become their happy future in real life!
 
 
This was sweet story about two everyday guys who fall in love.  The two men had been friends for years before their first sexual encounter and you can feel their bond from the very beginning of the story.  I enjoyed the fact that this wasn’t an insta-love and that there was a solid friendship in place.  The dynamic was interesting as neither man had ever been involved with another man before.  As their relationship progresses both men question what is happening between them and how their friends and family will react but their is no big drama with it.  Their questions and concerns seemed realistic to me.  These MC’s are just every day, average guys and that was a nice change of pace from some of the more stereotypical MC’s we see in the romance genre.  As usual with this writer, the writing was strong and well paced.  I think this is a lovely addition to her catalog of work.
 
Cover art by Anne CainI liked this cover and thought it not only looked nice but was a good representation of parts of the story.  My only concern with it is that it makes it seems like this is a Christmas story.  While a part of the story takes place at Christmas much of it does not and I hope that does not stop people from wanting to read it  at other times in the year.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Published December 25th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1623808987 (ISBN13: 9781623808983)
Edition LanguageEnglish

In the Spotlight: ‘Alone Together’ by DC Juris (excerpt/giveaway)

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Alone Together by DC Juris
Release Date: January 6, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris

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Blurb

Garrett’s homophobic family and his own big mouth keep getting him into trouble. If he’s not careful, he’ll lose everything—wife, job… and Aaron.

Ever have one of those days where you open your mouth and trip over every single word that comes out? Garrett Morris is having a bad day. On a scale of one to ten, it’s a twenty. Mind you, it should be going much better, considering he’s seeing Aaron, the secret love of his life, for the first time in a little over two years. But his wife’s homophobic family and his own big mouth keep getting him into trouble. If he’s not careful, he’ll lose everything—wife, job… and Aaron. Previously published by Stiff Rain Press.

 

Pages or Words: 12,576 words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance

Excerpt

“You all right?”

I sighed and nodded. “I might as well be. I’m not the one hooked up to a bunch of machines without my consent.”

“That’s not your fault. You didn’t know what the living will said. It easily could’ve said do everything.”

“How did I not know what my own father wanted?” I held my hands wide.

He shook his head and shrugged. “I don’t know what mine would want. Really, who talks about that stuff? We live our lives in a state of invincible denial.”

“I guess.”

“You know what you’re going to do?”

“Pull the plug.” I sat down in the pew with a groan, wincing at how hard the wood was. “That’s what he would want. Says so right there in black and white. I just…” I shook my head and swiped at welling tears.

Aaron circled in front of me and knelt on the maroon carpet. “It’ll be okay. You’re doing the right thing.”

“How do you know?”

“Don’t you feel it?” Aaron laid a hand over my heart. “Isn’t that what’s got you? Everyone’s arguing, but you know what needs to be done.”

I nodded. “I don’t want to be the one to say it. I don’t want to be the bad guy. The one who killed Dad.” I couldn’t stop the choked sob.

“Garrett,” Aaron whispered. He pulled me close and held me. “You didn’t kill him, baby.”

His embrace was warm, and being called baby in that gruff, manly voice of his made me want so much more with him. Secretly, I’d always found him attractiveso strong but so tender at the same time. Maybe it was the grief. Maybe it was the fatigue. But the scent of him, the heat of him, drove me insane. I leaned back just enough, tipped my head, and rubbed my lips over his.

He responded, maybe on instinct, maybe on purpose, but the result sent a jolt of longing through me.

Aaron pulled back and wiped his lips. “I’m sorry.”

“No, it’s okay.”

“It’s not. I shouldn’t—”

I shook my head and tugged him forward for another kiss. I couldn’t let him regret this. I couldn’t bear to think of that.

At length we parted, and he pressed his forehead to mine before he stood. “Someone’s bound to miss us and come looking. We’d better head back.”

Buy the book:  Torquere Books

RC

Meet the Author

Romance author, sci-fi fan club Captain, cosplayer, reigning Queen of Monkeyland, and random menace. Yep, we’re talking about DC Juris. She’s a cupcake making, football watching, rubber duck collecting, drag show loving, full of fabulous with a Capital F kinda gal. She’s also an Ordained Minister and an amateur photographer. She lives in Upstate NY with her husband, three dogs, and three cats. When she’s not writing, you can find her in her favorite chair watching “Star Trek” and “Supernatural” repeats on Netflix, or surfing the web for porn. Er…research. Surfing the web for research. She may speak softly but she lives and loves loudly. Just ask the neighbors. ::wink::

Where to find the author:


Tour Dates & Stops: January 5, 2016

Parker Williams, The Hat Party, BFD Book Blog, Book Lovers 4Ever, Full Moon Dreaming, Bayou Book Junkie, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Alpha Book Club, Velvet Panic, MM Good Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Charley Descoteaux, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Kirsty Loves Books

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 Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Alone Together’ by DC Juris.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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In the Spotlight: ‘Life is a Stevie Wonder Song’ by V.L. Locey (excerpt and giveaway)

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Life is a Stevie Wonder Song by V.L. Locey
Release Date: December 30, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris

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Blurb

Authors know that their muse is a fickle creature. Best-selling spy novelist Stephen Ramsey has been in a hate-hate relationship with his inspiration for months. Stephen’s publisher lays a legal ultimatum upon him, with a rapidly approaching deadline, he knows he must do something to kick-start his creativity or face the unemployment line. His daughter comes up with a possible answer: a summer camp for the creative soul. With nothing to lose, Stephen packs up his laptop, phonograph and beloved record albums and heads from Manhattan to the Catskill Mountains.

There, among a horde of college students attending for extra credits, is Declan Pomeroy, a photographer of fey creatures who is twenty years younger than Stephen. The woods are a magical place, and he quickly finds himself falling under the spell of the free-spirited photographer. Confusion wars with desire inside Stephen as he succumbs to the feelings welling up inside. But, sadly, summer camp always has to end. Can a man who has just found himself really leave the person that makes his heart sing?

 

Pages or Words: 24,600 words
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Gay For You, May/December

Excerpt

Then he appeared from the tree line, a lithe, pale creature of the Finnish goddess Mielikki’s woods if ever I had seen one. Yay for that semester of world mythology back in college finally paying off. Declan wore nothing but a scrap of linen tied around his lean waist and a camera around his neck. I swallowed and stepped down off the porch, anxious to get closer to him. He waited patiently for me. As I drew closer, I could hear him humming. A smile tweaked my lips. It was Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

“You look like you have too much on,” Declan announced when I stood in front of him. I glanced down at my attire. Gym shorts, a T-shirt, and sneakers sans socks. “How would you feel about doing this nude?” My sight knifed back from my clothes to my guide into the Twilight Zone.

“You’re not naked,” I pointed out once I could speak around the knot of desire clogging my throat.

“I usually am, but I figured you’d be far too uptight to not have clothes on, so, I fashioned a makeshift chiton to cover my goodies.”

“Okay. Yes, I’m not comfortable with our goodies hanging out.” He glanced up at the fat moon over our heads, then sighed dramatically. “I can do no shirt and no shoes, however.”

Declan’s gaze returned to me from Madame Luna. He made a sort of cooing sound then rose to his tiny toes to press his lips to mine. It was a soft peck, our mouths touching for a mere second, but it did things to my perceptions of who Steven Ramsey is that I still cannot fully explain.

“I think I’d like to see you without a shirt,” he whispered over my lips.

“What are you doing?” I croaked. He shrugged a shoulder, then dropped back down to stand flat-footed. “Stop it, okay? I’m old enough to be your father.”

He smiled then spun around, his bare back gleaming pure white. I wanted to touch his skin, trace the knobs of his spine with my tongue. This whole thing was pure insanity, yet I hurried to strip off my old T-shirt and kick off my sneakers. Declan glanced over his shoulder, smiled again, and then rushed off into the night, the coquette. I followed because what else could I do? Not traipsing after the kid was impossible. The grass was cool and wet under my bare soles. The high whine of a mosquito zipped past my ear. I would be nothing but a massive bug bite in the morning. I walked behind Declan, swatting at the air, hoping I didn’t step on something that would require stitches or a tetanus shot. We stepped into the woods. I debated going back for my shoes.

“We have to be as silent as possible,” Declan, standing on my right, whispered.

“Shoes are quiet,” I replied, my hand resting on the scraggy bark of an old pine.

“Shoes don’t allow you to touch the earth.”

“They also don’t allow thorns to penetrate your flesh,” I parried. My guide grunted in consternation then set off once again. A million questions bounced around my head as I tenderly placed one foot down then the other. What kind of camera did he use? Was there a special ethereal film for capturing fey? Did I need therapy? Did I just step on a slug?

We walked deeper into the woods. The farther we traveled, the more I wanted to speak up or at least scoff. I was working on a good zinger when I ran into Declan’s bare back. He threw up a hand to silence me. My body tightened from a weird combination of fear and desire. The kid felt wonderful pressed against my chest, his clammy skin resting against mine. I peered over his head, my hand coming to rest on his left hip. Declan leaned back into me just the slightest bit. My cock began to swell. My eyelids drifted down as he wiggled enticingly closer still.

“Look at the hazy ring around the moon,” Declan whispered. My fingers dug into his bony hip. I opened my eyes and looked up. We were on the edge of a small glen. He lifted up his camera and snapped several images as I stared at the milky white fingers of magic tickling the moon. “Now look at the ground.” I did. There, in the center of the small glen, was a small, perfectly circular ring of mushrooms perhaps ten feet wide. “That’s known as a fairy ring.”

“Huh,” I grunted, my body trying desperately to take over the show. Declan had to feel my erection resting against his pert ass. He seemed perfectly as ease with a hard dick between his buttocks. I, on the other hand, was slowly going mad. I longed to lower my mouth to his neck and lick the sweat from his skin. I also wanted to run away screaming to the world that I was not a faggot, but was I? It certainly looked it. Declan lowered his camera and took a few shots of the white mushrooms.

“I’ve heard tales of the fey blessing those who stand in a fairy ring under a full moon. Would you like to go stand in the ring, Steven?” he asked. I nodded. He slid out of my grasp and reached back to find my hand. His fingers were thinner than mine. He pulled me into the glen. I glanced up, then back. “Are you afraid that someone will see us cuddling in the fairy ring?”

“At the moment,” I stepped carefully over several large mushrooms,” I’m afraid of everything, mostly you.”

 

Buy the book: Torquere Books

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Meet the Author

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

Where to find the author:


Tour Dates & Stops: December 29, 2015

Parker Williams, The Hat Party, Bayou Book Junkie, Havan Fellows, Just Love Romance, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, BFD Book Blog, The Jena Wade, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, 3 Chicks After Dark, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, MM Good Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Velvet Panic

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Life is a Stevie Wonder’ song by V.L. Locey.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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A Stella Review: Cliff’s Edge (Willow Springs Ranch #7) by Laura Harner

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Rating:  3.75 stars out of 5

Cliff's Edge coverNavy SEALs Cliff “Snides” Snyder and Ryan “Rhino” Matthews have been moving comfortably in each other’s worlds for two decades. Best friends since attending BUDs twenty years earlier, and despite playing for different teams, they’re often accused of acting like an old married couple—much to their amusement.

Assigned to shore duty for his final tour before retirement and without Ryan to anchor him, Cliff’s restlessness leads him to a local club and hands-on research that leaves him in a compromising position and a witness to murder—signaling the abrupt end of his Navy career. Needing a place to lay low and lick his wounds, Cliff visits his old friends at the Willow Springs Ranch while he considers making cowboy his new job title.

After six long months on deployment, Rhino returns to San Diego—only to discover Cliff’s gone dark and the unlikely words ‘poor judgment’ hanging in the air. Despite the offer of a prestigious assignment, Ryan opts to track down his best friend first and finds him at the WSR…along with more questions than he ever expected. With the most coveted orders for a SEAL dangling, twenty years of service under his belt, and Cliff determined to move on without him, decisions must be made.

Ryan is certain he has the perfect solution going forward, but Cliff knows he must face the fallout of his actions alone—and the one thing he’s determined to do is protect Ryan from making the biggest mistake of his career—even if it costs Cliff everything. You know what they say—the only easy day was yesterday.

Cliff’s Edge is the seventh book in the Willow Springs Ranch series. I read the first two and something else by Laura Harner. She is a great author, I like her writing style and let me say she writes hot sex scenes. This book was good too. Every book in the series can be easily read as a standalone, so pick whichever you want and give it a try. Remember the first one, Ty Hard is free at major online retailers. I can say I particularly enjoyed this last one.

I’m a fan of friends to lovers and gay for you stories so I soon jumped into this one. Ryan and Cliff were great and hot together, but it took too much for them to see in their heart. Twenty years, what a waste of time!

“Are we having a bromance?” Ryan blurted.
“A bromance?” Cliff laughed, and Ryan’s eyes narrowed. Oh boy, never laugh at a drunk who thinks he’s making an important point.
“Yeah, a bromance. Where two guys hang out all the time, like the same shit, would probably fuck each other if they were both gay—or if one of them was female.”
Fighting off more laughter, Cliff nodded. “Sure, you can call it that. Come on, princess, let’s get you to bed.”

It was a solid book to me, quick but well developed. There was an actual story, a mystery to solve and some important life decisions to take. I particularly liked the writing, it let the reading flow smoothly.

There were a couple of things that bugged me a little. First of all the accurate use of military acronyms forced me to use Google a little too much for my taste, sometimes diverting my attention from the story. But it was my fault, my ignorance.
Then in some scenes Ryan was disconcerting: first when he was still thinking he was straight after their first hot encounter and then once realized he was bisexual, he was too easy in exploring his new acceptance with Cliff. Sometimes he confused me.

Luckly once they cleared the air everything went well, hot, sweet and romantic.

Rhino’s hand fisted in Cliff’s hair and he pulled hard enough to force his head around to meet his gaze. He knew if it had been light enough in the room he’d see the gold flecks blazing in the hazel eyes.
“Tell yourself any lie you want to, Cliff, if you think it will make you feel better. Just remember, I know you as well as you know me…maybe better. You might run, but you’ll never be able to hide. I’ll just drag your ass back. To me.”
His lips closed over Cliff’s, mashing them so hard their teeth bumped.

“You’re never going to be alone as long as I’m alive.” […]“I love you, Cliff. As my friend. As my lover. As my forever.”

What I would have like to know more was the unexplored bdsm aspect, maybe to just have a short scene to see how they will behave. More in the next book, please? Even if I want Draco’s story.

Cover art by Laura Harner. It fit very well the style of all the covers in the series.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe)   –   Amazon     Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published April 22nd 2015 by Hot Corner Press
ebook, 115 pages
ISBN13 9781941841013
Edition Language English
Willow Springs Ranch series #7

Willow Springs Ranch Series:

Come meet the men of Willow Springs Ranch in northwest Arizona. Life isn’t always easy, but these men know the value of friendship and hard work…and will touch your heart along the way.

  • Ty Hard (Willow Springs Ranch, #1)
  • Hold Tight (Willow Springs Ranch, #2)
  • Taking Chance (Willow Springs Ranch, #3)
  • Ty’d Down (Willow Springs Ranch #3.5)
  • Hanging Chad (Willow Springs Ranch #4)
  • Park’s Lot (Willow Springs Ranch #5)
  • Whit’s End (Willow Springs Ranch #6)
  • Cliff’s Edge (Willow Springs Ranch, #7)

 

A BJ Review: Just a Bit Unhealthy (Straight Guys, #3) by Alessandra Hazard

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

When the line between “need” and “want” gets blurred… 



SONY DSCGabriel DuVal, rising soccer star.

Jared Sheldon, team physician.

To the outside world, they’re just good friends. But the truth is, Gabriel isn’t entirely sure what they are to each other.

Some call their relationship unhealthy. Some call it codependency. Gabriel calls it confusing. He knows Jared wants him – as more than a friend. He doesn’t want Jared. He’s straight, he has a girlfriend, and he loves her. But Jared is… Jared is more. Jared is his. He needs him – his touch and his strength.

But is it enough for Jared?

 

Gabriel DuVal is a soccer star and Jared Sheldon the team physician who pulled him up from hell after an accident that threatened to end his career. Jared loves Gabriel, has for a long time. He tries to hide it because Gabriel is straight and has a girlfriend. Jared secretly knows exactly how Jared feels for him. Knows he should let him go, but can’t. Codependency? Maybe. When Jared discovers that Gabriel knows and quits the team, Gabriel is devastated. He makes a deal to get him back. A very unhealthy deal.

The latest in the GFY “Straight Boy” series is not a light-hearted, sweet romance… it’s just as the title implies, quite more than a bit unhealthy. Watching Gabriel struggle with wanting Jared, thinking of him as his and yet not thinking he physically wants him the way he knows Jared wants him was a fun ride. Both of these guys are rather shitty to each other at time and to others as well, so I can see why some folks might dislike them both. Despite that, I felt their connection, felt they belonged together, and thus I thoroughly enjoyed this!

This well-written series centers on “Straight Guys” who discover or come to terms with their sexuality a bit later and usually not without some trauma along the way. If that’s not what you are interested in reading, then this series may not be for you.

Cover was a bit different from the others in the series, not a matched set so to speak, but it works well enough for the story.

Sales Link:  Amazon   Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 193 pages
Published March 26th 2015 by Alessandra Hazard
ASINB00V8L0G5O
edition languageEnglish
seriesStraight Guys #3

Publisher’s warning: This is not a light-hearted story; this is a rather twisted gay-for-you story. It contains some steamy MM scenes, explicit language, and two people so wrapped up in each other that the nature of their relationship goes beyond friendship–and beyond normal.

Straight Guys Series:

 

Review: Fall For Me (The Rock Gods #1) by Ann Lister

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Fall For Me coverRyan Pierce, music reporter for Music Spin magazine, has an assignment to interview the lead singer of the rock band Black Ice.  But his past experience has not prepared him for the rocker he is to interview.  Dagger Drummond is all swagger,  sex on two legs.  He is also tired and not happy about being interviewed after his last gig.  He tells his manager to cancel the interview and enters his tour bus.  But miscommunication follows, with Ryan, Dagger’s manager in tow, entering his tour bus to everyones embarrassment and anger.  Accident aside, the mens attraction to each other is instant and fierce, not that either would show it.  Dagger is all about manipulation and Ryan is straight, isn’t he?

What follows is a complicated relationship that deepens quickly.  Ryan is left reeling not only over his new found attraction to the very male Dagger but hiding explosive information about Dagger that could make him as a journalist but ruin Dagger’s life.  Will Ryan choose his career over a chance at love?

Ann Lister is a new author for me and her subject matter is one genre I grab up immediately – that of a story about a rock star and love.  So with those things in mind, I really wanted to like the first book of Lister’s that I have read. What I found after enthusiastically diving into Fall For Me is all together different.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a nice story about love and discovering your sexuality.  But in my opinion, it never rises higher than just nice or perhaps sweet.  And the reasons for that are both varied and elemental.  Its all about the characterizations, writing style and editing. Or lack thereof.

When reading contemporary fiction, I want my characters grounded in reality and I can’t quite say that about the character of Ryan Pierce.  As created by Lister, Ryan is an entertainment reporter with years of experience covering the rock music beat.  Yet he comes across as not only naive about the rockers he interviews but unaware of the ethics of his profession. Especially with regard to getting involved with the subject of his assignment.  One of the major ethical considerations for those who work in the news industry is that the reporter stay clear of any bias, so that their objectivity can’t be questioned,and that it cannot be  said of their  article/newscast that it tilted towards favoritism.  But Ryan and Dagger become best friends, texting away almost immediately. Several of Ryan’s actions defy common sense to a huge degree and further disconnect the reader from any belief that he is a seasoned reporter  or responsible adult.  Ryan’s disingenuousness is almost beyond belief as is Dagger’s pursuit of a man in a profession he is wary of and a reporter who could out him to his adoring public.  Dagger mentions numerous times that he doesn’t trust the media.  Yet Dagger’s implicit belief in Ryan’s honesty and trust is swift and unyielding.  Consistency is a problem in Fall For Me especially with regard to her characters and their personality traits and backgrounds. Ryan has worked for Music Spin for years but the interview scene sounds anything but professional.  Here is a quick example.  Ryan is back at the office and meeting a new intern, Sebastian, for the first time.

 “I’ve heard you’re the ‘go-to’ guy for interview skills.”

“Is that so?”

“It’s been suggested I talk to you, maybe watch you work, so I can improve how I conduct an interview.”

Ryan scratched his head.  “Well, I don’t have anything scheduled until next week.  Then I’ll be sitting down with Zander Metcalf and his band Ivory Tower.”

“Damn!  Ivory Tower?  Their new album is their best yet.”

Ryan nodded.  “Well, you’re welcome to tag along with me, if you want.”

“I’d like that,” Sebastian said.  “Maybe you’ll let me take you to dinner a few days before that and I’ll help you outline your interview material?”

“I suppose that’d be okay,” Ryan said.

Never would a seasoned reporter let a new intern outline his work for him.  Not in any respect does the character of Ryan Pierce work as a real reporter. However, the character of Dagger is still more authentic than Ryan and I could easily see him as a rock star, mostly.  Many rock stars today are savvy about media exposure and working the press is as much a part of their business as the music.  Dagger seems oblivious to that as any 80’s rock star would be.  In my opinion both characters could have been shored up by better research and more attention to detail.

Unfortunately, the plot was very predictable.  So formulaic that I knew exactly how the story would play out by the third chapter, not great in a book that contains 19 chapters.  When that occurs in a book I am reading, I would expect other aspects of the narrative to elevate the story past the predictable into a higher state.  A level  that said the author had put their own stamp on the plot in some way, whether it be in the outstanding characterizations, the high quality of the writing or the dialog that is so entertaining and yet pertinent to the characters and situation that it sings. Lister failed to do that here as well.  I know it is hard to add a new element to such a well used story but a savvy writer can find a way.

At issue here is also Ryan’s sexuality.  Ryan thinks he is straight.  He had a long term girlfriend. But his attraction to Dagger has him reexamining his past and his feelings towards Dagger and all men in general.  Even Ryan can’t decide if he is gay for Dagger or just gay.  I liked that the author had him bringing up the “gay for you” question for discussion.  But again, Ryan’s actions and the dialog kept this aspect of the story from feeling authentic and involving.  Plus Dagger goes from manipulator to man in love just as neatly and quickly as can be expected.  Somehow neither man ever really involved me in their issues or their possible future.

One last element to talk about is the editing.  This story is far too long.  It is repetitive and dense in some areas.  There are many paragraphs, even pages that could be cut to make this a tighter, better balanced story.  As it is, getting to that last page made a very long journey indeed.

Not everyone will feel this way about this book.  Some will love it just for the subject matter alone.  Those readers will be very happy to find out that this book is the first in a series about the other musicians in the band and their friends.  But I have read far too many outstanding books about rock bands and their singers and those make this story anemic in comparison.  For those rock star addicts out there and those alone,  this one is for you.

Cover Art Design:  Kari Ayasha.  It is a nice design, a little dark in tone and color.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published May 11th 2013 by SleighFarm Publishing Group
ASIN B00CQWDQA6
edition language English
series The Rock Gods

Review: Heart of the Race by Mary Calmes

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Heart of the RaceBrian Christie has loved Varro Dacien since he was 9 and saw him for the first time out the window of his foster home.  Varro and his brother Nico were getting ready to jump a go cart off his family’s rooftop.  That day saw Varro in the hospital yet again and Brian moved into the Dacien home as a newly minted member of the family.  The two boys proved inseparable, right up until Brian realized he was both gay and in love with his foster brother.  Varro, a lover of all things fast, decides to be a professional motorcycle racer even as Brian heads off to college, unable to stand the pain of being near the man he can never have.

But without Brian at his side, Varro becomes reckless and heedless of others words of caution.  Racing around on tough courses at hell bent speeds, Varro is crashing more than he is winning and he is sure it is because Brian is missing from his life.  Brian is still trying to move on but his love for Varro is keeping him firmly moored unable to go forward with someone else.  When Varro finally wakes up to the fact that he loves Brian not as a brother but a lover,  will it be too late for Brian to accept his change of heart?

Heart of the Race is another sweet and sexy story of two men deeply in love , exactly we have come to expect from Mary Calmes.  At 86 pages, it is shorter than most of the stories I have read of hers but the characters, their issues and slow build to a loving relationship all have the Mary Calmes hallmarks that make her stories a comfort read for all her fans, of which I am one.

I loved the manner in which the boys meet.  That  delightful and charming window into their childhoods really set the tone of the story for me.  It was funny, it felt real, and had its moments of heartbreaking clarity with regard to Brian’s neglected life as a foster child.  In fact I enjoyed this section of the story so much that I wanted to see more of Brian and Varro’s childhood and their close friendship growing up.  It was one of my quibbles with this story that I wanted a firmer foundation for their background history because the few glimpses given just wetted my appetite for more. The author does such a wonderful job of setting the framework of the story that it just cries out for a larger book to do it justice.

Brian and Varro fall beautifully into the Mary Calmes pantheon of main characters. A foster child shifting from home to home, Brian’s need for stability and his love for Varro come through perfectly as his driving motivations for his actions.  Varro’s character is in need of  more substantive layering.  My issues with Varro come from the fact that he is portrayed as a man slut, three and four women a night, so his jump to homosexuality is abrupt and not quite believable.   Gay for you stories need a realistic platform in order for the switch to seem authentic and I had problems believing that of Varro.  I think that the shorter length hurt the story in several ways, including making Varro’s walk to the gay side believable.  I wish that we had been given more of Varro’s viewpoint during the year he was racing without Brian so we could see what Brian’s absence had on him and what, if any, changes he made to his sexually voracious lifestyle.

I thought Mary Calmes did a good job with the aspects of life as a motorcycle racer, something I was not familiar with,  it was a perfect profession for Varro but I did miss descriptions of what it must feel like to race a bike on such a course, and how it felt for Brian to be a part of that life for a year.  We get a bit of insight here and there but again, a longer book could have included that aspect of their time together and it would have highlighted the pain each felt while they were apart.

I did enjoy Heart of the Race.  It was fast and sexy, just like the motorcycle races Varro rode in.  If I came away feeling a little less satiated, I think that a longer book and a little more back history would have taken care of that.  If you want a short tale of love and sex in the fast lane, pick this one up and have a great time.

I love that cover by Catt Ford.  Just outstanding in every way.

Book Details:

ebook, 86 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by Dreamspinner Press

Review of With or Without Series by JL Langley

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ating: 5 stars for the series

My first introduction to JL’s shifters came when I picked up the Hearts From The Ashes anthology and read With Love, the first in Langley’s shifter series.  It featured a young clutzy Omega wolf named Laine Campbell who was perpetually in hot water over things he said or creating chaos with the things he did.  Everything about Laine was adorable, from his hair to his manner of speech and I fell in love immediately.  So did Dev, the Alpha wolf moving to Ashton with his betas and business partners.  He was hooked on Laine and I was hooked on Dev.  I could not believe it when the story was over. I wanted more shifters, specifically I wanted JL’s shifters and I wanted them now. This is a reoccurring theme with JL Langley’s books so be prepared.

Then came Without Reservations in 2007 and my addiction was official.  Without Reservations is the story of Chayton Winston, a veterinarian living in New Mexico.  He is also a shifter and all his life he has been dreaming of a fair haired mate, much to his Native American  parents chagrin.  His entire life Chay has considered himself heterosexual until an injured wolf is brought into his office.  The wolf is a gorgeous male shifter and his mate.  He is also Caucasian something he is sure his mother will never accept.

Keaton Reynolds wakes up in a veterinarian ‘s office to find himself injured and being treated by his mate.  He should be overjoyed except he just got out of a relationship from a shifter who had a girlfriend on the side but also said he was Keaton’ mate.  Keaton is not one to repeat his mistakes and a hetero shifter is not someone he wants to take a chance on, no matter what his body and even his heart may think.  But Chay won’t give up on Keaton and finally Keaton agrees to get to know Chay better.  And slowly they start to build a relationship together.  But there is Chay’s mother’s disapproval to overcome and a power struggle in Keaton’s Georgia pack that threatens them both.  How will they overcome the odds to find the happiness they both deserve?

I reread this book all the time.  Chayton Winston and Keaton Reynolds are such wonderful creations that I return to their story time and again.  Chayton is one of the nicest people you will meet in the author’s novels.  He is both elementally patient and rock solid in his beliefs so that when presented with a man as a mate, he accepts it.  If it switches his sexuality over to gay, ok as long as he gets his mate, something no wolf shifter would ever turn down.  And you believe this paradigm shift absolutely as being in character for Chayton because he is so real from the moment we meet him.  Keaton also engages our hearts and affections with his prickly nature  and forceful personality packed into a slight build.  A small white wolf, he has the personality and power of an Alpha without needing to lead. Keaton would rather teach and help educate so the fact that his mate would be a healer, a veterinarian makes complete sense.  JL Langley surrounds these two with people as authentic and believable as they are and gives us a mystery to boot.  Just an outstanding novel.

With Caution came next.  It remains my favorite of the series and again one I read over and over again.  With the characters of Remington Lassiter and Jake Romero, JL brings a level of complexity and depth to her characterizations that I had not seen before.  And added to our main characters, she introduces us to the rest of the men who will become their pack.  Each man is a unique unforgettable creation as they sit astride their motorcycles and roar into our hearts.  Remy is a shifter we meet in Without Reservations and he makes a rather disastrous first impression upon us in that story.  But here we discover the dark background that surrounds him in shocking detail as well as the reasons for his actions.

There are parts of this novel so bleak and despairing your hearts will bleed for Remy and his brother Sterling  even as our hero bleeds out from the abuse.  Remy’s sexuality and his acceptance of a male mate is a huge part of this story and his past as well.  I cannot give Langley enough credit for the sensitive way she deals with child abuse and recovery as an adult.  There is also a murder mystery to be solved, and the exploration of a naturally submissive nature.  There is some mild bdsm that works beautifully within the plot of the story and the glimpses of new couples, mates, for future stories.  One couple in particular has had the fans clamoring for their story since this book was published.  This story has depth, multi-layered characters and a multitude of themes running through it, not the least of which is how Reservaton law can also isolate the members it is supposed to protect, control issues and child abuse.  Heavy themes indeed but this book is also packed with love and redemption.  With Caution is an incredible read you won’t want to put down.

Next comes a series of free stories that can be found on the Fiction With Friction website until JL Langley’s site is back up and running.  These are in order:

A Lot To Be Thankful For (With or Without Series 3.1) Sterling Lassister and Rhys Waya (the fans just wouldn’t shut up for their story)

A Sterling New Year (With or Without Series 3.2)  with Sterling Lassister and Rhys Waya (love, love these two and so will you, get on the bus)

With Abandon (With or Without #4) brings back Aubrey Reynolds and the rest of the Georgia pack that we met in Without Reservation.  Aubrey is Keaton’s brother and our introduction to him in Without Reservation was not exactly a positive one.  Matt Mahihkan, one of Gadget’s sons from With Caution is back and going to college in Georgia. Matt was a quirky young man who we got to know only superficially but JL Langley brings him together with  Aubrey Reynolds and that combination sparks all sorts of problems not the leasts of which is that Aubrey is not out to his family or the pack. And Matt is not only out and proud but turns out he is Aubrey’s mate. It took me a while to like Aubrey, perhaps some of that was left over emotions from Without Reservation.  But his reluctance to accept Matt officially as his mate made him hard to like.  He has to grow on you, something none of the other characters has had to do.  Matt, of course, is absolutely adorable and we entrust our affections with him from the get go.  And with Matt, comes some of the members of the New Mexico pack we have come to love as well.

Next come three free short stories in succession. I am convinced JL Langley thought the fans would be showing up on her doorstep if she didn’t at least throw them all several bones. I will admit to being one of them:

Christmas Dinner at Reynolds Hall (With or Without, #4.1)

Attack of the Killer Dust Bunnies (With or Without, #4.2) 

Christmas Cookies and Garland (With or Without, #4.3)

So what and who are coming next?  That would be Sterling and Rhys.  This is the story everyone has been yelling for, myself included. I believe JL Langley said it will be done in a few month from now but isn’t sure when it will be published. That will depend upon Samhain Publishing’s schedule.  Be still my heart.

Without Fear (With or Without series #5) – coming from Samhain Publishing.

So that’s JL Langley’s shifters in a nutshell.  I am not sure I did them justice.  Shifters of all species hit my buttons. Native American shifters hit them twice.  I don’t care if they are wolves, big cats or even weresloths of London (thank you, Charlie Cochrane for that memorable story).  But thinking back to the beginning, it all started with JL Langley’s wolves who come to life on the pages of the With and Without series, grabbed both my attention and my heart and have never let them go.  I have these books in paperback (prior to my Kindle) and I have them now in eBooks as well.  From their killer covers to their outstanding characters and plots, I return to them often.  To reacquaint myself with old friends and find comfort in their presence.

Some find JL Langley through her cowboys and others through her sci-Regency series.  I found her through her shifters.  If you are new to JL Langley as an author, try them all.  Start from the beginning of each series and work your way down.  You will find yourself with a new  addiction just as I did.  Write me. Let me know what you think. I will be waiting.