A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Winter’s Knight (New Amsterdam #2) by Kelly Wyre

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

If you want a continuation of Clark and Daniel from book one, there is a short story numbered 1.1. This second book in the series actually gives more details on the backstory of how clubs Bliss and Break came to be. There is finally more shown about Clark’s side job with Lucien, complete with glimpses of Lucien and Clark’s complicated relationship as friends, business owners, and employee/employer, which help address one criticism I had for book one. Apparently they are not just bar owners, but they and their friends/employees have formed a vigilante group bent on taking down a BDSM club involved in the skin trade, run by the mob.

Lucien hasn’t seen his friend Shea for three years, since he quit his job and vanished. Lucian has kept tabs on him and he seemed alright: maybe just dropped out of the rat race to sidestep the expectations of his family. This had some amazing parts, and then had things that just didn’t work for me. Lucian is in love with him, yet stops talking to him? It’s weird that Lucian just decides to finally ask Shea out on a date under these circumstances. One thing that confused me was how close Lucian seems to Shea’s family, and how Shea is supposedly close to his family, yet when Shea just stops going home, no one goes to see him? He built his house on the family property! The author tries, unsuccessfully in my opinion, to explain this away. Could Shea really stay hidden just by selling his things and changing his job? His parents go to society and charity galas; could Shea really be that much of an unknown quantity with the mob looking for him?

They have known each other since they were six, so the three years apart helps separate the love of a childhood friend from the love for an adult. This unravels slowly, the reader working out the story of Shea from Lucien’s point of view. Shea has a country accent at the beginning, fine since he grew up on a farm, albeit a wealthy successful one. Yet, at times he is very loquacious. At first it seemed to only be pretty protocol speech when they Scene, but then it fades in and out at other times also. Yes, he is well educated, but it just doesn’t seem to me like this character ever found a consistent voice. I struggled with Lucian as well. Some of his dialogue is so pretentious, “and thus you please me greatly,” not just when they Scene, but all the time. Yes, they call him Prince, and he plays that up, but…at times his words still seemed forced, awkward, and highly stylized–like he was trying too hard to be posh. This too is weakly explained away by, a lisp? My theory is that the author is too caught up in dichotomy, but opposite sides to everyone doesn’t always translate into successfully making them complex characters.

This becomes about taking down the bad guys in military mode with guns and state of the art equipment. Though, Lucian is aware of his “arrogant insanity at orchestrating such chaos.” Although dubcon and murder are mentioned, they happened previous to the events in this book and are not described. There is, however, on page torture. I couldn’t help but think of the Unbreakable Bonds series by Drake and Elliot, so if you liked those, you might like this, but the sense of closeness, of friends as family, is not quite realized. Lucien’s father is a corrupt politician with ties to the mob, so although Shea’s storyline finds resolution here, there could be more bad guys for the vigilante friends to go after in the future. Yet, they also introduce a criminal named Kris Fawkes with the enemy of my enemy is my friend type of scenario.

The sex scenes here are tempered a bit at the beginning due to Shea’s past trauma, which is actually very effective. It’s when the BDSM becomes more involved that I think it falls down. “Shea had to trust that what he longed for wouldn’t harm him so long as he did it with the man who claimed to love him.” This needed more deft handling. So, for me the erotic parts where a mixed bag. Since this is a romance, I’m going to judge it on that part of the book, more so than anything else, and even relying on a shared history, this didn’t sparkle where it could have.

The cover design by Natasha Snow matches the series, but I have no idea what this cover is about.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:Kindle Edition, 183 pages
Published September 8th 2019 by JMS Books LLC (first published April 2012)
Original Title Winter’s Knight
ASINB07XD9162C
Series New Amsterdam #2

A Lila Review: Sundown, Holiday, Beacon (Extraordinary Book 1) by K.L. Noone

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Three superheroes in love! Or one superhero, one former sidekick, and one  redeemed supervillain, at least.

Ryan, John, and Holiday have been partners — in every sense of the word — for two years. They’ve saved the world, fallen in love, and remodeled the secret base to include bookshelves and a bigger bed.

But Ryan and John have always been the public face of the team. The world still believes Holiday’s a villain. And he’s been using that reputation to stay undercover and share information. Tonight, though, Holiday comes home injured, and his partners aren’t sure the mission’s worth his life.

Sundown, Holiday, Beacon is a quirky little story with lots of potential. It has great characters with an interesting backstory.

The world build and the narration were hard to follow, and I had trouble sympathizing with Sundown, Holiday, and Beacon. One thing I didn’t doubt was their love for each other.

I enjoyed how they took care of each other and how true their life story felt. Even when it was hard to figure out their age or who was speaking.

The action seemed a bit slow, chop at times, but I did wanted to learn more about their adventures. Perhaps the next book will round up their story.

The cover by Natasha Snow is simple but it goes with the story. It screams superheroes, and it gives a sense of an impending battle.

Sale Links: JMS | Amazon | Nook

Book Details:
ebook, 58 pages
ISBN: 9781646560691
Published: September 11, 2019, by JMS Books
Edition Language: English

Series: Extraordinary
Book #1: Sundown, Holiday, Beacon

An Alisa Review: Wolf, Wy by A.F. Henley

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

There’s nothing like a fresh start, and for Randy, still nursing wounds left by a cheating ex and harboring a deep mistrust for all things corporate, Wolf, Wyoming seems like the perfect place to start over. Secluded, quiet, and self-sufficient, Wolf is bound to not only inspire, but to bring Randy the peace he needs. The view’s not bad, either.

Vaughn O’Connell and his family are Randy’s only neighbors for miles, and while Randy knows it’s somewhat unlikely that a man with three kids is gay, it doesn’t hurt to look. When a misunderstanding brings Randy face to face with both Vaughn and his eighteen-year-old son, Lyle, Randy’s not sure what to feel about either of them.

But things are not what they appear in Wolf, and the closer Randy gets, the stranger the O’Connell family seems.

I really enjoyed this story, it’s one that has been on my tbr for a long time and I took the plunge to read it since it was being re-release and I am really glad I did.

Randy is trying to deal with his ex’s betrayal but also move on and figure out what he really wants to do.  Though I am not sure he ever really figured out what he wants to do he did find love along the way.  Vaughn is a secretive person and trying to protect his family but he can’t help his attraction to Randy and gives in even when he thinks he shouldn’t.

It was entertaining watching Randy trying to figure out the O’Connells but also constantly putting his foot in his mouth.  I liked getting glimpses of Vaughn’s thoughts in wolf form even if we didn’t get to see them often.  I could see him trying to push Randy away bit it never worked for very long.  I look forward to reading Lyle’s adventures next.

I really like the cover art and it shows the perfect setting for the story.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 211 pages

Published: 2nd edition, September 4, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781646561001

Edition Language: English

Don’t MIss Out on the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings by Nell Iris

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Length: 17,809 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Sometimes love finds you even when you’re not looking for it.


At 47, Oren Walker isn’t looking for love. When he knocks on Pete Higgins’ door, all he wants is to thank him for helping his mom after she broke her femur. He never expected that one look at the man would make his knees weak and heart flutter.


Pete is happy—albeit a bit lonely—after divorcing his wife of 20 years and isn’t looking to replace her. But when Oren shows up, all grateful and handsome and in that fancy suit, the longing for the deep connection of a relationship flares up inside him.


As the leaves turn yellow, Oren and Pete spend a lot of time in honest conversations. Their attraction grows. Will the two men recognize the promise of new beginnings, and take the chance to find the happiness they both deserve?

 
Excerpt



It’s been nearly three weeks since Mom’s accident — and the leaves are more yellow than green but the heat still refuses to let go — when my phone rings just as I’m on my way back to my office after a long, infuriating meeting. I don’t recognize the number but accept the call. “Oren Walker.”


“Oren. Hi. It’s Pete. Pete Higgins. Your mom’s next-door neighbor.”


“Oh, hey!” I would be lying if I said I haven’t thought about him these last few weeks. In the shower, before bed, while having my morning coffee. He’s hot enough to set fire to my pants, but that’s only part of the appeal. Mom hasn’t stopped talking about him since her accident; about how gentle he was when he helped her. How considerate and thoughtful and nice he was when she was hurt and scared, and in the days that have followed.


Of course, I noticed all his good sides myself, those few minutes we spent together, and he hasn’t been far from my thoughts whenever I’ve had a free moment.


“I’m sorry to disturb you at work,” Pete says.


“No problem. I just got out of a meeting with some very upset people and could use a friendly voice right now.” I close my office door behind me and throw myself onto my chair. “What can I do for you, Pete?”


“Nothing urgent. I just needed to tell you something.”


“Shoot.” I lean back and close my eyes, rubbing my temples with my thumb and index finger, trying to fend off the threatening headache.


“I just wanted to let you know that I interfered with your mom earlier. She was on her way to the grocery store. On foot, with her crutches, and I managed to catch her when she hobbled past my house.”


I groan. “Oh my God, her stubbornness is unprecedented.”


“Yeah, I hear you, man. I had to sweet talk her forever before I managed to convince her to go back home. The thing that persuaded her was when I lied and told her I was on my way to the store myself so I could pick up whatever it was she needed.”


“I don’t understand. I bought everything on her list the day before yesterday.”


“Nuh-uh. You forgot the chocolate chips. She couldn’t bake cookies for the church bake sale on Sunday. It was a class one disaster and I’m surprised she didn’t call 911.”


I groan again. “I can’t believe her,” I grumble. “I’ve told her, again and again, to call me whenever she needs anything. I bring my phone everywhere. To bed. To meetings. To the fucking bathroom when I take a shit, so I won’t miss her call.”


My rant is interrupted by a boisterous laughter.


“Gaah, I’m sorry. That was way more information than you needed.” My face heats and I slap myself on the forehead. Good job, Oren. Way to seem like a crazed lunatic in front of the nice man!


“Nah, it’s fine.”


“No, I’m sorry. That was highly inappropriate. Mom would be so ashamed of me. It’s no excuse, but I’ve had a long day.”


“I figured.”


I rub my temples harder. “I just don’t understand why she won’t call me.”


“Listen. She’s fiercely proud of you and all the hard work you’ve done to get where you are. She told me she doesn’t want to be a bother.”


“She’s not.”


“I know that. I told her. But she insists that you are busy and stressed and don’t need more on your plate right now,” he says.


“But she’s my mom.”


“Yeah. But take it from me, as a parent. When you’ve spent the biggest part of your life loving and protecting your kids, you can’t just turn it off. It’s instinct. We want to be the strong, invincible protector we’ve always been and it’s hard to accept that the situation might be reversed.”


“Oh.” That makes a lot of sense; I’ve never thought about it like that. “Thanks. That was a lot more helpful than you probably realize.”


He laughs. “Yay! Who woulda thought? Me doling out parenting advice!”


“You’re better than you give yourself credit for.”

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!


Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.


Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.


Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.


Email contact@nelliris.com
Web www.nelliris.com
Twitter @nellirisauthor
Facebook page www.facebook.com/nellirisauthor
Facebook profile www.facebook.com/nell.iris.12
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/nelliris
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nell_iris/
QueeRomance Ink https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/nell-iris/

 

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A Lucy Review : Of Autumn Leaves and New Beginnings by Nell Iris

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

At 47, Oren Walker isn’t looking for love. When he knocks on Pete Higgins’ door, all he wants is to thank him for helping his mom after she broke her femur. He never expected that one look at the man would make his knees weak and heart flutter.

Pete is happy, albeit a bit lonely, after divorcing his wife of twenty years and isn’t looking to replace her. But when Oren shows up, all grateful and handsome and in that fancy suit, the longing for the deep connection of a relationship flares up inside him.

As the leaves turn yellow, Oren and Pete spend a lot of time in honest conversations. Their attraction grows. Will the two men recognize the promise of new beginnings, and take the chance to find the happiness they both deserve?

This is a pretty short story (54 pages of actual content) telling the beginnings of Oren and Pete.  I really liked that these guys are older.  I loved that Oren is completely and unapologetically his mama’s boy.  He adores his mom and doesn’t care who knows.  I also appreciated  that “When every other gay guy in the country checks out asses or the front package, I drool over arms.”  I hear you, Oren.

The two meet when Oren goes over to thank Pete, Oren’s mom’s neighbor, for helping mom out when Oren wasn’t there.  Mom is on crutches and she’s stubborn and awesome.  Pete is a good neighbor and helps her out more than once.  The friendship between the two men evolves from the mom connection to being comfortable hanging out.  Pete is divorced with two older children and his ex-wife is the best.  No wicked witch here – she is supportive and great friends with Pete.

This isn’t slow burn so much as it becomes friends to lovers.  The sex here is off-page, which worked for me, as I felt the connection between them with their conversations and actions.  Oren questions his job with some nudges from Pete and Pete welcomes Oren into his family. 

The epilogue is as sweet as Pete and Oren themselves. 

Cover Art works for the character and the composition and colors make it beautiful and eye catching.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: September 21st 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN1 39781646560325
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love by Kris T. Bethke

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

As it often does, the bad news comes in the middle of the night.

When attorney Ben Winters’s close friend takes a bad spill and ends up in the hospital, he flies across the country to be there for her. His instant attraction to her brother takes him by surprise.

Wanting Zack Anderson is easy; actually having him is a bad idea. While the two connect over concern for Zack’s sister, there are many reasons to fight the attraction brewing between them. Things heat up as Ben’s friend begins to show improvement, but the reasons not to get involved with the younger man remain the same — long distance relationships never work, and Ben doesn’t do one-night stands.

But there’s one powerful reason to give in: Ben has never wanted anyone more.

This was a nice story but almost felt too short.  When Jack’s sister and Ben’s friend gets hurt Ben arrives to help support Jack and see how his friend is doing in person.

I thought Jack and Ben were cute, first with Ben taking care of Jack and then Jack taking care of Ben.  I hated that it took them being apart for either of them to actually try and think of a way for them to be together.  I loved that Jack was able to see through Ben’s insecurities and show him that he can still find love.

I like the cover art by Written Ink Designs the scarf that Jack’s sister knitted.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 22,281 words

Published: August 17, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781646560219

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Murder in the Condo Next Door by Edward Kendrick

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When the crazy woman from hell, as he thinks of her, moves in next door to Michael, he isn’t happy about it. When she’s murdered, he’s even less ecstatic, especially when he has to deal with a detective’s suspicions and a nosy reporter.

Reid Hanson is a good reporter with a nose for a story. When he tries, and fails, to interview Michael, he’s intrigued by the man’s resistance. It takes all his persuasive powers to get Michael to open up to him about the murder … and his past.

When Michael does, the two men set out to try and learn more about the woman’s murder … and a related one a week later. In the process they begin to fall for each other. Will their attraction come to fruition or will the killer manage to eliminate Michael, the only witness to his existence, before that happens?

This story was alright but didn’t connect we me.  Reid meets Michael after his neighbor’s murder and Reid’s investigating brings them closer together.

Okay, so Michael’s neighbor from hell hadn’t even been there a month and he was already making a big deal out of it that just seemed a bit preemptive.  And I don’t know I didn’t connect with Michael or Reid and their relationship felt forced with Reid trying to figure out the murder even more than them actually having anything in common.  In the end this story just didn’t work for me.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs works well for this story

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages

Published: August 10, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781646560240

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Love Potion #9 by Tinnean

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

All quiet and friendless high school student Drey White wants is to create a formula that will give him the confidence to talk to a guy. With the encouragement of Artemas Beaumont, his favorite teacher, Drey thinks he’s succeeded.

The opportunity to test it arrives when he’s invited by the cool kids to their party. After mixing the powder with his beer, he barely has time for a sip before another teen grabs the bottle and drinks. Drey is unsure if the potion will work, but then he’s kissed by the guy. Pleased, Drey retrieves the bottle and drinks the remainder himself, only to find it gives him a case of the giggles.

Now an adult, the effects of Love Potion #9 still reverberate through Drey’s life. Will things ever return to normal? And what will Artemas, now his friend — and hopefully more — think when he discovers what Drey has created?

This was an alright story, though even giving myself a few days I’m still not completely sure how I feel about it.  I can’t say I would agree that Drey’s potion was the cause of his problems, it was stupid teenage drama.  I mean it was cute but something felt off.

I felt a little weird about how Drey went to Artemis when he had to leave college and from then on it seemed to be status quo with Drey going back to work at the pizza place but gaining friendship with Artemis.  I thought it was strange that they didn’t change anything for years and only after Drey kind of throws a hissy fit.  I felt very disconnected from the characters though Drey would be the only one for the reader to get to know.

I think the cover art by Written Ink Designs is a nice and good for the story.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 56 pages

Published: July 27, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634869829

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: The Ninth Elixir by Pelaam

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Crevyn is a student of the College of Mystic Arts with an affinity to animals, especially those with magical properties of their own. He is one of a chosen few to undertake a quest for the Ninth Elixir. The finder’s reward is to be claimed by one of the arcane Masters.

But Crevyn’s opponent is a man used to winning, who will use any means at his disposal to ensure he brings back the Ninth Elixir.

At the risk of losing to Garvit, Crevyn still take time to help those in need. But even if he’s successful in finding the elixir, the trick will be surviving the challenge.

I enjoyed this story, though a little bit of a set up as they knew who would win the challenge.  Crevyn really was a sweet guy and did the right thing the whole way through.

I thought it was strange that they went through with the whole search for the elixir when Crevyn was the only one who could complete it.  I guess it gave them the ability to get rid of Garvit but it was a weird way to go about it.  I think it was a different way to meet your mate and it looks like Crevyn gets a good life but not much detail into their lives.

I like the cover art by Written Ink Designs the visual of Crevyn.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 50 pages

Published: July 27, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634865593

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Forever Nine by Kris T. Bethke

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When Jesse Reid needs emergency surgery, he calls his neighbor to come pick him up instead of one of his many family members. As the youngest of nine, Jesse is used to feeling like a leftover, and he doesn’t need their coddling.

Holden McRae is a big, beautiful man, everything Jesse wants. But Holden has made it clear he doesn’t want Jesse as a submissive.

Under the influence of Holden’s care, Jesse becomes bolder and makes Holden see what he’s been missing. The two men’s interests line up, and the attraction that has always been there is something they can finally act on. As Jesse heals, he shares parts of his life with Holden, and Holden helps him see he’s so much more than #9. Their love might not be the most conventional, but maybe it’s exactly what both men need.

This was a nice short story.  Jesse is tired of being the afterthought with his family and is overwhelmed by them so he calls Holden from the hospital.  Holden has denied his attraction to Jesse for years but their forced closeness breaks through his barriers.

I felt for Jesse with his family and was so glad that Holden stood up for him with his family which helped him to learn some more about his brothers but also help get his thoughts across to them.  Holden seems basically scared of throwing Jesse into the BDSM deep end but Jesse has been curious for years.  I don’t know I think they jumped into some things a bit quick and Jesse had a hard time saying what he wanted which made Holden have to assume.  I’m not sure there was something wrong with the story but it just didn’t click or work for me.

I think the cover art by Written Ink Designs is a nice picture of Jesse.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 83 pages

Published: July 20, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634869454

Edition Language: English