A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Four ( Love By Numbers #2) by Tia Fielding

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

After fleeing from an abusive relationship, genderqueer Kaos is welcomed by friends Makai and Emil (book one – Ten) who give him a safe place to stay while he looks for part time work until he can get a Wisconsin tattoo license. There he meets veterinarian Padraig Donovan, a silver fox who lost his husband four years before and is still having trouble getting used to being alone.

Padraig is stunned when he meets Kaos (who happens to be more feminine that day) since he’s never given a moment of attraction to anyone with feminine qualities before. But everything about Kaos appeals to him and soon they’ve become friends, then friends who kiss and cuddle, and eventually more. But it takes a long time to get there and an equally long time for Padraig to come to terms with his grief and for Kaos to accept his own reactions to his second chance for love.

This is a May-December, slow burn, second chance love story. There’s a lot to like here and the author did a lovely job building the characters and allowing their relationship to develop. And there was plenty of puppy love as the couple adopted and trained a mutt so those who love men with pets stories should love this as well. On a dark note, there was an underlying dramatic turn of events involving a break-in at the vet’s office and a scene describing animal abuse.

But the overall story offers hope and a sweet romance so those who look for age gap and hurt-comfort MM romance should enjoy this one.

The cover by Garrett Leigh features a young blond man looking toward the camera, a hoodie/shrug over his head. This is a great representation of Kaos, and the overall look of the cover is eye-catching.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Dreamspinner Press

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 222 pages
Expected publication: July 23rd 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07T8PCDHC
Edition Language English
Series Love by Numbers 

Ten

Four

An Alisa Review : Kink Aware (Kiss of Leather #9) by Morticia Knight

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Cruella can’t wait to show Ray the ropes…

Working at Rogue Ink is a dream job for Cruella, especially being around the hunky co-owner, Ray. Even though the money isn’t great, the eye candy and Ray’s caring heart make it all worthwhile. When Cruella risks rejection by inviting Ray to be their partner for a shibari class at Kiss of Leather, they’re thrilled when Ray accepts.

Cruella’s invitation both excites and terrifies Ray. He wants Cruella, but does he also want to become more kink aware? Still, he could kick himself for not already making a move on the sweet and beautiful Cruella, so maybe this is his chance. His protective instincts have gotten him into serious trouble before, so he’ll be sure not to make the same mistake with Cruella. They’ve made it clear they can take care of themself.

Cruella fears that Ray won’t accept their genderqueer identity and Ray aches to be the strong man Cruella needs. However, when Cruella’s dark past intrudes on their blissful present, Ray’s definition of strength might turn out to be harsher than Cruella is willing to accept.

 

Ugh, I feel frustrated because I am not sure what to say.  I have loved the series so far but this one fell pretty flat for me.  Cruella would act shy and maybe a little unsure but it seemed like more of an act to me than their true feelings.  Ray seems pretty genuine but I feel he gets in trouble for Cruella’s inexperience as a dominant.

 

The story was as well written as all the others but I just didn’t feel like this couple was actually ready for a D/s relationship and didn’t feel much connection to the characters.  I love how Ray was trying to take care of Cruella in regards eating but that seemed to just disappear part of the way through the book and the suddenly Cruella was in charge all the time but never actually placed any rules or restrictions with it.  I don’t want to feel like all I am doing is dissing the book but my frustration with their relationship overrode much of my enjoyment. I am hoping future stories in the series work better for me.

The like cover art by Erin Dameron-Hill and the visuals of the characters and that it follows the pattern for the series.

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 226 pages

Published: December 18, 2018 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-78651-710-4

Edition Language: English

Series: Kiss of Leather #9

Grace Kilian Delaney on Writing Twists, Turns and ReWrites: Waking Oisin by Grace Kilian Delaney (guest blog, excerpt and giveaway)

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Hi Everyone! I’m Grace Kilian Delaney and thanks for following me on my blog tour for my new contemporary MM romance, Waking Oisin. A special thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me here today!

Every writer has their own method of writing, and for me, as much as I try planning out my novels, there is usually some twist that happens. Sometimes it requires an entire rewrite. Waking Oisin was a complete rewrite.

Oisin (pronounced ocean or oh-sheen) was first introduced in Seven Minutes, a novella that focused on his friend Devon, but provided a hint at how unsatisfactory Oisin’s love life was. He deserved his HFN ending, and so a plot was born. Only it wasn’t anything like the book that got published.

Oisin and another character from Seven Minutes seemed like the perfect setup, and I thought they would work but Oisin said, “No way in hell.” So I went searching for a lover to balance out Oisin’s temperamental character, someone who might discipline him. Who better than a Dom to provide discipline? I fell down the rabbit hole of BDSM and wrote an entire story based on Trent being a Dom and rescuing Oisin from another Dom that wasn’t as kind and…yeah. I hated it. My beta readers weren’t that happy about it either. So, back to the computer I went.

I carried over the character arcs for Oisin and Trent and the circumstances involving Oisin’s father, but the rest of the plot got reworked. Their relationship went from BDSM to kink and became more playful than the initial story. Instead of a not-so-nice Dom being their obstacle, in the published version Oisin and Trent must choose between their career goals or their newfound love, a far more relatable circumstance.

The entire process from the first draft to published book took about a year and a half, proving that writing takes dedication and is truly a labor of love for me.  I’m glad I stuck with it and Oisin finally got his HFN ending.

Waking Oisin
Grace Kilian Delaney
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, contemporary, bisexual, gay, genderqueer, new adult, cross-dresser, college student, lawyer, age-gap, piercings & tattoos, dirty talk, toys, spanking, D/s dynamics, light kink, family drama, pets

Oisin Harrison blames his fiancée’s distrust for ruining their relationship. He blames his father for pushing him into law school. But more than all that, he blames himself for letting other people’s expectations stop him from going after his dream. But dressing in drag with his best friend is the one thing Oisin refuses to compromise.

As Sin, he meets handsome Trenton Fisher, a man who appreciates Oisin’s cross-dressing. Trent upends his world by doing things to his body no one ever has, making him want more than just one night together. That is, until Oisin discovers his hot hookup works at his father’s law firm and is angling for a promotion.

To complicate things, Trent doesn’t seem to recognize Oisin out of drag. Or does he?

Will Oisin and Trent’s magnetic attraction grow to something deeper, or will it threaten to jeopardize their careers and futures?

Waking Oisin contains characters from Seven Minutes but can be read as a standalone.

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Excerpt

Waking Oisin
Grace Killian Delaney © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Oisin Harrison

As I walked out of my last class of the day, the wretched feeling grew larger in my stomach, and if it weren’t for the cool January air, I might have puked. I’d failed my first project. My second semester at UNLV’s law school was not going well, and I’d be lucky if I made it through the next four months without getting kicked out.

My father had been disappointed with my decision to attend our home state’s college. Being the senior partner and founder of the most prestigious entertainment law firm, with locations in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, he’d had ridiculously high expectations for his youngest son. When he came home from LA on Friday, like he did every weekend, the news of my being on academic probation would be reported to him by one of his many acquaintances (aka babysitters) before I had an opportunity to plead my side, and a butt chewing would ensue.

I trudged back to my apartment where I found my best friend, Devon Thomson, in the parking lot getting out of his car. His makeup and short brown hair were flawless, and the stylish wrap coat he wore stopped just above his knees, leaving his calves exposed. The ease with which he expressed his femininity had always impressed me.

Devon picked up on my body language immediately. “You don’t look too happy.”

“I failed.” My chest tightened. I’d never failed at anything before. I’d survived an undergrad degree in Biological Sciences and graduated summa cum laude, but I had no heart for law. Lately, I had no heart for anything; I was a zombie masquerading among the living.

Devon hugged me. “It’s okay, Os. You’ll do better next time—you always do.”

That’s why I loved my friend. He was always a hundred and ten percent supportive and affectionate. I missed our nights making love to each other as FWB and hanging out with him like we used to before he met his boyfriend. Whenever he talked about his lover, he glowed with happiness. I’d never seen him so happy, so in love, and it made any nostalgic desires I had seem trivial.

He released me and a wicked grin spread across his lips. “I got something that might cheer you up.”

“I know that look, and it means trouble.” I laughed, and it seemed like it’d been an eternity since that sound had come from me. “I’m in.”

He clapped, his suede gloves dampening the sound. “We got invited to a record release party in Los Angeles next weekend, and I was thinking we could dress up like we used to? It’s been too long since we had some fun together.”

My heart swelled. Seemed I wasn’t the only one missing our together time. I should stay and study. Be a good little student. But what Devon offered was too tempting. Screw it. I was going to LA. “Sounds perfect.”

“Yay! I’ve got the best outfit for you. You’re gonna look so hot, you’ll be swatting off guys and girls.”

“I don’t know about that.” Sometimes I thought being bisexual was a blessing, other times a curse. The curse had happened last semester when my fiancée determined my bisexuality was a cover for being gay and that one day I’d leave her for a man. I protested. She left anyway.

“I do,” Devon affirmed, hooking his arm with mine and resting his head on my shoulder as we walked the few steps to my front door

“Who are you? Susie Sunshine?” I envied the confidence he had; it drew people to him. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt safe or confident in my own skin.

He brought his hands to his face, framing it like a sun’s rays. “Oh, you know me. Just a ray of light wherever I go.”

“Will Stone be there?” Mentioning his boyfriend’s name brightened his smile to megawatt proportions. I’d need sunglasses if he kept it up.

“Yep. And before you even ask—no, Matty will not be there.”

Matty. Stone’s bandmate, who’d brought me to his hotel room, kissed me, and then shoved me away. Last time I saw him, he apologized for leading me on. Alcohol made any hole look good until a hiccup of sobriety hit. Whatever. Matty had been my last attempt at getting laid, and that was so many months ago, I’d reinstated my virginity.

I let out a breath. “It won’t matter if he’s there, Dev. We’re good. He’s over it. I’m over it. It’s not like he’s the first person to reject me.” That sounded more pathetic than I’d intended. Time to change the topic. “Do you mind if we stop by Paws for Love before getting dinner? There’s someone I want to check in on.”

“Wouldn’t be one of those gorgeous redheaded veterinarians, would it?” Dev raised his perfectly arched eyebrows.

“Despite my crush on the twins, no. It’s a female of the four-legged variety—much too hairy. I found a dog, a black lab, with a damaged leg.”

Devon brushed my cheek with his gloved fingers. “You’re so sweet, you know that?”

The familiar touch set up an ache in my heart, but not because I wanted to be in a relationship with him. Devon and I had been there, done that, and decided we were better off friends.

“Being sweet has done nothing for me.”

“Ooh, you could get yourself a leather daddy, go all whips and chains. You know, be bad.” Devon tapped a finger against his lips, his gaze shifted upward in thought.

“Seriously?” I struggled with the lock to the lemon-yellow front door, fighting back the disturbing image.

Devon lightly pushed me out of the way and turned the key twice before it gave. He plopped the key into my hand without acknowledging his triumph over the stubborn lock. “Might loosen you up some.”

“Getting laid would loosen me up, never mind getting a leather daddy.” I shouldered the door and went inside.

“I think we’ve found a goal for our LA trip.” He rubbed his hands together.

I barked a laugh. “My dad always says it’s good to have goals.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Grace Kilian Delaney resides in flammable Southern California where she spends the wee hours of the morning drinking coffee and writing. She identifies as genderfluid and pansexual, though both are recent labels, and a goal of hers is to create stories that include gay, bisexual, and genderfluid characters. When not writing, Grace composes music, pretends she’s an opera singer, plays piano, and practices yoga, though not all at the same time.

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Blog Tour for Queer Magick (Queer Magick Vol. 1) by L.C. Davis (special excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Queer Magick

Series: Queer Magick Vol. 1

Author: L.C. Davis

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date: April 26, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/M/M, Male/Male Menage

Length: 212 pages

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Horror, lgbt, polyamory, genderqueer, trans MC

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Synopsis

An LGBT+ fantasy of apocalyptic proportions.

Twenty-something Holden Adams never asked to be the harbinger of the apocalypse, or for the seven lovers who come with the job. All he wanted in Stillwater, Vermont was a fresh start, but his past as a preacher’s kid turned witch threatens any hope he has of a normal life in the idyllic town. A fateful encounter with a strange cat on the brink of death earns Holden a new enemy and some unlikely friends, but as Stillwater reveals itself not to be as conventional as it appears, the line between the two becomes irreparably blurred.

Daniel St. James is getting too old for this crap. The love of his life turned out to be a cold-blooded killer and while Dennis got away with murder thirteen years earlier, Daniel and the rest of the town are still reeling from the tragedy. Now some kid who claims to be a witch waltzes into town and all of a sudden, Daniel’s unflinchingly straight best friend is head over heels for Holden. Chaos has a way of following Holden, revealing a web of supernatural secrets around Daniel that makes him question everything he believes about the town he’s lived in his entire life–and everything he doesn’t.

Welcome to Stillwater. Things are a little queer here.

Special Excerpt

 

“So, tell me about yourself, Holden. Did you really come here for the plants?” The way Nick’s eyes shone in the moonlight made it pretty damn clear he knew I was lying about my reason for moving to Stillwater, but at least he didn’t seem offended.

“No,” I confessed. “Honestly, I came here because I wanted to go somewhere that was the complete opposite of the place I grew up in, if that makes any sense.”

“It does,” he said thoughtfully. “A lot, actually.”

Normally, silence made me nervous unless I was enjoying it alone, but being around Nick was almost as easy. “So,” he began, “I hear you’re a cat thief.”

“That damn doctor can’t keep his mouth shut,” I muttered.

Nick laughed. “To be fair, I’m usually the first person he calls to bitch to.”

“You’re friends?” I did a poor job of hiding my shock, if his grin was any indication.

“Daniel’s an acquired taste, but he’s a good guy. Just a little…”

“Obnoxious? Overbearing? Judgmental?”

“I was gonna say crusty, but yes to all of the above. Sorry about the diner. I heard he laid into you pretty bad.”

“That’s putting it mildly.”

“He’s just a little overprotective of this town. Thinks he’s its self-appointed guardian or some shit.” He looked me over, tilting his head. “Did you really take that cat from his office?”

“Yes, but in my defense, I was the one who brought it in.”

Nick shook his head. “Man, you picked the wrong day to piss him off. Daniel holds a grudge like no one’s business.”

“Good to know,” I said with a sigh. “If you’re such good friends, do you think I’m a charlatan, too?”

“Nah. I’ve got a good feeling about you, and my gut’s never wrong.” He shrugged. “Besides, I’m pretty sure I saw that cat wandering around earlier and he was fine. I don’t exactly believe in miracle cures, but whatever you did obviously worked.”

“You saw the cat? Where?” I asked hopefully.

“Outside Daniel’s place, actually.” He chuckled.

“What?”

“Just thinking about the look on his face when he sees that thing. He’s convinced you’re keeping it in your freezer or something.

I grimaced. “Glad I’m making such a positive impression in my new town.”

“Aw, don’t worry about it. You’ve made a good impression on the people who count.”

“Your aunt and uncle?”

“Them, too.” He grinned.

I couldn’t help but smile. Cocky son of a…

Nick’s phone buzzed in his pocket and he took it out, frowning. “Sorry, I’ve gotta get going.”

“A prior engagement?”

“More like someone is coming who I’d rather avoid.” He paused. “What are you doing tomorrow night?”

“Nothing much, really. Why?”

“There’s not a lot to do in Stillwater, but I could give you the tour after work. We could grab something to eat after.”

I hesitated, mostly because I was sheltered enough that I was having a hard time figuring out whether he was asking me out or just being friendly. Before I could ask, he added, “And yes, it would be a date.”

My face grew warm and I hated how easy it was for me to turn into a blushing schoolboy talking to his crush around Nick. Looked like my gaydar was off, after all. “Yeah, that sounds nice.”

“Cool. I’ll pick you up at seven.”

“You know where I live?”

His face went blank. “Yeah, Aunt Carla told me.”

“Right.” I laughed. “Of course. Small town.”

“Hope you don’t have any deep, dark secrets,” he teased.

I forced a smile but felt that old familiar feeling of dread creeping in again. “Oh, just a few.”

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

L.C. Davis is a trans & nonbinary author of lgbt fantasy and romance with a passion for representation. His current series include Queer Magick, Kingdom of Night and The Mountain Shifters.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

Tour Schedule

6/12    Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

6/12    Happily Ever Chapter

6/13    Books,Dreams,Life

6/14    MM Good Book Reviews 

6/15    Boy Meets Boy Reviews 

6/16    Stories That Make You Smile 

6/17    Sharing Links and Wisdom

6/18    Divine Magazine

6/19    Queer Sci Fi

6/20    Love Bytes 

6/21    Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 

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Review of Blacker Than Black by Rhi Etzweiler

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Reviewed for JoyfullyJay blog where I am a guest reviewer:

Rating: 4.5 stars

Black and Jhez are twin Nightwalkers, those who sell their chi or life force to the vampires that now rule the world.  Living in the shadows and tenements of the blue-light district of York, they thrive where other Nightwalkers soon wither and fall.  Their secret?  They steal the chi of their vampire clients even as they are selling theirs, a silent, stolen exchange of energy that has kept them alive for decades.

One unfortunate choice of a john changes everything for them.  Black picks Monsieur Garthelle as the john for the night, not recognizing the master vamp of the city.  What should have been a simple selling of Black’s chi (and the taking of a sliver of Garthelle’s energy) turns explosive, with Black running back to the streets, shaken beyond belief.  When Garthelle recovers, he tracks the twins down, confronts them and forces both to work for him as spies against other vampire families.  Facing not only the loss of their liberty and possibly their lives, they quickly discover nothing is what it seems to be, especially after a high placed vampire is murdered at Garthelle’s home.  Who are their enemies?  Who can be trusted?  What is the nature of the vampires obsession with them?

What a story.  I am going to say right off the bat, that this review is very frustrating to write.  I don’t want to give away any spoilers because who doesn’t love that “huh, didn’t see that coming” moment in stories they are reading?  And trust me, there are quite a few of those here.  The author plays with several themes here, fluidity and changeability run throughout the book.  Whether it is the changing nature of human society, the vampire families and their alliances, right down to the basic natures of human/vampire natures, all is constantly in flux.  The characters and the reader both can be certain of nothing as the story deepens.

The story unfolds from Black’s POV.  From the new world order to the skanky streets the twins live and work on, Black’s confusion is our confusion.  I like that the details of how the vampires came to rule are left deliberately vague.  The author has left our imaginations to fill in the gruesome blanks.  There are black holes of knowledge every where just waiting for the characters (or reader) to stumble and fall into in this story.  Just as the characters discover one alliance that may affect the balance of power, another event happens to undo all they have learned.   And that seesawing plays out so nicely as layer upon layer comes off and more of the plot is revealed.

I think the author has done a wonderful job of characterization here, not only with Black, but with Garthelle, Jhez, and Blue, a close friend of the twins.  Each different yet completely memorable.  What we learn of the new world everyone inhabits is gleaned through gritty realistic details of littered streets and grim despair of the human condition contrasted with the glossy buildings of obsidian black of the ruling vampires.

And speaking of vampires or the Lyche as they call themselves.   This is a different take on vampirism, combining elements of the traditional European vampires with that of the succubus/incubus type energy feeders to arrive at a vampire that seems old and fresh at the same time.  Familiar enough not to throw one off but with some new elements that make you sit up and take notice.  Very well done with vivid imagery that portrays the nature of chi exchange each character undergoes during a feeding.

That is not to say that there aren’t some slow parts where the narrative bogs down.  There are too many descriptions of Garthelle’s apartment building or rooms in his mansion, too much black.  I am going to assume that  this was intentional as the author is very careful in the construction of this story.  I was finding myself wondering how many times the author would find a way to insert the word black or blacker in terms of decor, apparel, or anything as a matter of fact.  I had black fatigue in some places.  But oh the pyrotechnics at the end.  They are wonderful.  A great way to end the journey of a thousand fun house mirrors.

And yes, I am still dying to tell you some spoilers.  But my lips are sealed and I am throwing away the key.

Cover:  Cover art by Del Melchionda. Love the cover.  It is lush and absolutely perfect in tone and graphics for the story. I even feel there is a hint here as well to one of the first twists in the story.  Great job.