A Lucy Review : Under The Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The most wonderful time of the year is about to get even better.

On a cold, rainy December morning, Finn’s beloved Grampa, his best friend and rock, makes a friend outside their home who he invites for coffee. The last thing Finn expects is Nelson, a man with a painful past, who is beautiful and generous and turns Finn’s knees into jelly.

What starts out as a chance to get out of the rain, soon becomes more as Nelson helps Finn get ready for the Christmas market. They bond over coffee and fabric and Mariah Carey. Can handmade Christmas ornaments and an understanding heart give Nelson the love he’s been denied?

This seriously cute story focuses on Finn, a very happy man who lives with his beloved Grampa.  He works at a craft store and makes crafts to sell, such as fabric ornaments and the felt mistletoe.  When Grampa finds a cold young man looking for neighbors who moved, he of course invites Nelson in to warm up.  When they find out Nelson was looking for the family who moved, it was a little heart breaking. “They…they are my parents and siblings.” 

Finn and his grandparents have the best relationship.  Gramma has passed away and Finn tries to make sure he is there for Grampa’s grief while Grampa does the same.  They are the epitome of what family means.  And Grampa’s pushes with Finn and Nelson were cute.   Their coming out stories were so different – Finn just “…introduced my first boyfriend to him without earning him he was gonna mee a boy.  He…they…just loved me.”   Nelson’s was not happy.  “My parents threw me out on my eighteenth birthday.”   It’s so enraging to think how often this still happens. 

I did feel I was missing a little bit – I wanted to know more about Nelson’s family and I missed the “tentative” communication with his sister.  There is no sex on in the story, for those who look for that, but it was a cute holiday short with some very nice characters and a dollop of some Christmas spirit.

Cover design by Written Ink Designs shows Finn, his crazy curls under a beanie and wearing a giant smile with the felt mistletoe in the background.  It really captured the way I envisioned Finn.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

Book Details:

ebook
Published December 8th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN 139781634868204

More Holiday Fun with the New Book Release Blitz for Under The Felt Mistletoe by Nell Iris (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 13,000 words.
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

The most wonderful time of the year is about to get even better.


On a cold, rainy December morning, Finn’s beloved Grampa, his best friend and rock, makes a friend outside their home who he invites in for coffee. The last thing Finn expects is Nelson, a man with a painful past, who is beautiful and generous and turns Finn’s knees into jelly.


What starts out as a chance to get out of the rain, soon becomes more as Nelson helps Finn get ready for the Christmas market. They bond over coffee and fabric and Mariah Carey. Can handmade Christmas ornaments and an understanding heart give Nelson the love he’s been denied?

 
Excerpt



Sunday arrives with clear skies and no rain, but instead, the temperature has dropped overnight and hovers in the low thirties. I arm myself with a thermos of coffee and dress accordingly: long johns under my orange bellbottom corduroy pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a turtleneck layered under my windbreaker, a fluffy scarf wound around my neck and a beanie that makes my hair look ridiculous. It flattens everything under the hat, but at the ribbed cuff, my curls explode in every direction with a vengeance.


A lot of people attend the first market of the season and despite the cold pluming my breath in front of me, everyone is in high spirits and full of holiday cheer. My neighbor to the right, Mrs. Winterbottom — yes, that’s her real name — is dressed as Mrs. Santa and sells magnificent hand-crafted fir wreaths. On my left, Mr. and Mrs. Carruthers sell gold-brushed chocolate pralines that are too pretty to eat and taste even better.


Every vendor plays holiday music, greets the shoppers with a jolly ho-ho-ho, and a comment on the weather. The shoppers, in turn, have deep pockets and are eager to acquire the merchandise. People love my ornaments, and my stuff flies off the table. I will be cleaned out completely before the market closes if this continues. I need to spend more time sewing so I can bring lots more next week.


After a couple hours, huge powdery snowflakes start sailing leisurely from the sky, adding to the holiday feeling. The only downer on this fabulous day is that I ran out of coffee early. Mrs. Winterbottom forgot hers at home, and I shared mine with her. I wouldn’t let my worst enemy go without coffee if I could do something about it.


But in a lull between customers, a savior arrives.


Nelson. Carrying two paper cups in mittened hands.


Warmth flashes in my chest at the sight of him; his shy smile and brown eyes that are warm enough to thaw the thin layer of ice from the pond in the middle of the park where the market is held.


“Hi,” he says, sounding out of breath. “I know you like coffee, but I thought maybe hot chocolate would be nice in this cold?” He holds out of the cups and if we weren’t separated by the table I would show my gratitude by hugging the stuffing out of the man. New acquaintance or not.


“My hero!” I accept the offering, tear off the lid, and inhale. The sweet, slightly bitter aroma makes my mouth water. I take a small sip, but it isn’t too hot to drink so I have some more. I hum in happiness and smile at him. “This is awesome. Thank you so much.”


Nelson’s gaze is glued to my mouth with eyelids heavy and lips parted. “You’ve got …” He sets down his cup and pulls off his red and white mittens, then he leans forward and swipes the pad of his thumb along my upper lip.


I draw a stuttering breath.


“You had chocolate on your lip,” he rasps, his voice so deliciously rumbly I feel it all the way in my bones. “There. All gone.” He does a final sweep before withdrawing.


I can’t help it; my hand flies to my mouth and I finger my lip as though I’m trying to stop the lingering warmth from evaporating.


“Thank you.” My voice is hoarse. Our eyes lock as he picks up the mittens and put them back on. My breathing grows shallow and the Christmas music cacophony and loud buzz of the market-goers fade into the background. All I see is him. All I hear is his breathing.


“Finn. I …”

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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An Alisa Review: Peaches and the Shadow by K.L. Noone

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

At twenty-four, Ethan Aur has a lot to prove. He’s the youngest member of his family, the academic one, and the latest heir to the tradition of supernatural quests and spells and enchanted swords. The family’s always protected him and worried about him, and his older brother keeps calling to check in.

 

But this particular quest is Ethan’s quest, and this ghost is his problem. He’s going to solve it on his own. By any means necessary. Even if that ghost is a very handsome man, charming and confident and dominant and kind.

 

Jake O’Malley took one look at the newly arrived Knight and that magical Sword and those determined eyes, and now he’s aware he’s in trouble — as if he didn’t have enough problems, being the trapped and ghostly version of his 19th Century brothel-keeper bastard self. But the Knight who’s come to help is everything Jake could’ve ever wanted: brave and generous and sweet, vowing to find a way to solve Jake’s stuck-between-worlds predicament, no matter what it takes.

 

Even if that involves a mutually pleasurable ritual involving sexual magic.

 

This was a nice story but I felt as though I wasn’t getting the full story.  Ethan is trying one more quest before he takes the reigns at the new museum his family if opening.  There he finds Jake that has been trapped as a ghost by one of Ethan’s ancestors.

 

You could tell Ethan was frustrated with being the baby and having everyone looking after him and for the first time someone actually sees past that.  He inexplicably connects himself to Jake when he brings him back to life but it is probably the best “mistake” he has ever made.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is a nice picture for the story.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 27 pages

Published: October 20, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634867450

Edition Language: English

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A Stella Review: Accidentally On Purpose by JM Snyder

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RATING 3,75 out of 5 stars

One morning before work, Alan Travers accidentally bumps into Detective Jim Garrison at a cafe where both men stop for coffee. The handsome younger man interests Alan, but he misses his chance to get to know the detective better and wonders if he’ll get another. 

With the help of his nephew Bryce, Alan concocts a plan to try and get Jim’s attention “accidentally on purpose.” It works, but as things heat up between them, Alan worries what Jim will think if he finds out their getting together was no accident. 

Then Bryce goes missing, and Alan’s going to have to come clean. But is he the only one not being truthful?

I picked Accidentally On Purpose by JM Snyder cause I’m a huge fan of grown up main characters and the blurb sounded really interesting and funny. I wasn’t disappointed, this story was hilarious and sweet, but totally believable. Who of us has never tried to catch the attention of another person using silly jokes or stupid behaviours? Well, Alan and his nephew Bryce are the kings of the “accidentally on purpose” game and the results were well deserved, although sometimes a little too over the top.

I have to say I easily fell into these guys romance, I couldn’t wait to know how everything started and would develop. They fought for their happy ending, they took their time getting to know each other. And after some scary moments, they were ready to begin their life together.

I feel to recommend this novel, it is well done and written, it’s funny, cute and real, I read it in one night cause I was too curious.

The cover art is very fitting and nice.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 173 pages

Expected publication: November 24th 2018 by JMS Books LLC

ASIN B07JMGFC8L

Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Date from Hell by Gareth Vaughn

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

In his desperation to find a date in time for the annual Helloween bash, minor-rank demon Kev summons a coworker he once hooked up with. But when the smoke and sulfur clears, it isn’t demon Ira standing in the ring, but a very perplexed, very human mortal named Archer.

Archer is cute, confused, and willing to consider going as Kev’s date … for a price. Turns out this isn’t the first time Archer’s met a demon, and he wants his soul back.

So, Kev is not your standard demon; he more just seems resigned to his fate.  Archer is not happy about being summoned but decides to make the best of a bad situation.

This is kinkier that I had thought, not crazy but just wasn’t what I was expecting or looking for at the time.  I liked Archer’s dedication to his brother and felt bad for Kev since he is stuck in Hell due to an ex-girlfriend.  I didn’t really feel the connection between the characters but it works out for them in the end.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is okay but works for the series.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 73 pages

Published: October 13, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634867535

Edition Language: English

Rob Rosen on Title or Concept, and his new hilarious release Mary, Queen of Scotch! (author guest post)

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Mary, Queen of Scotch

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Cover Art: Written Ink Designs
Publisher: JMS Books LLC

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Rob Rosen here to talk about his latest novel Mary, Queen of Scotch.  Hi, Rob, welcome back.

✒︎

Which comes first, the book title or the story concept? In the case of my latest novel, Mary, Queen of Scotch, it was most definitely the title, which simply popped into my head one day. “Rob,” my head said, “this seems like a bitchin’ title.” My head, you see, frequently uses out-of-date vernacular. Anyway, I agreed with my head this time. Now all I needed was a story, and, right away, I came up with a drag queen, namely Mary, Queen of Scotch. Seemed like a perfect fit.

Most of my novels contain drag queens. I grew up in Atlanta. Drag queens abound in the south, Atlanta especially. I adore drag queens, live for a good drag show, and love writing about them. Drag queens, you see, can say just about anything, can do just about anything, and people stuff wads of cash into their hands. It’s all in good fun, right? But what if the fun is just a cover?

Which brings me back to my novel. I figured if one drag queen was good, a whole slew of them would be even better, especially if they all have deep, dark secrets they’re trying to hide, namely from Mary, Queen of Scotch, detective extraordinaire. Throw in a good mystery and a comic romance or two, add a few villains and a raucously funny meddling mom, and, voila, I had a story. I hope you can check it out!

You can buy a copy here (though you can find it on all book sites):  Amazon

Or for even less money, directly through my publisher:  JMS Books LLC

Excerpt:

Here’s a little excerpt to give you a taste:

The room was oddly empty. Oddly because, without the others in there, it was devoid of bitchiness, of fabulousness. It was all shell, no soul. Cryptlike would’ve been apt, but crypts rarely come replete with boas, bangles, and a blinding array of beads.

There were four tables, all with mirrors above them, bulbs all around, the lights now dim. The tables were cluttered, the mirrors lined with photos of the girls, of their loved ones, of naked beau-hunks, of catty cartoons. There were makeup containers everywhere, clothes strewn about. A cyclone couldn’t have made the place look any more cluttered.

There were eight of them, eight in the troupe. The eighth was now me. There were four tables shared by two girls. Lucy shared the table closest to the wall. It, like the other three, was covered with drag debris: discarded lipstick tubes, half-open jars of makeup remover, a few dislodged feathers, rhinestones. There was photo of Arthur and Chad taped to the mirror, a Polaroid, the couple in some sort of Buddhist-looking temple. The person taking the photo was a good bit away so that their age difference seemed less apparent, distance being a girl’s best friend.

My eyes went from my client to the tabletop to a drawer below. I gave it a pull. It pulled back. In other words, it was locked. Locked drawers have always held a special interest to me. And I’m not speaking euphemistically. Mostly. I mean, you watch any detective movie, any detective TV show, read any detective book, and the detective is always adept at picking locks. I mean, sure, I was no Columbo, but I could still hold my own in the whole lock-picking thing. That said, don’t tell my alma mater. Lock picking is illegal. And even online schools frown on their alumni committing crimes. Or at least getting caught doing so. Meaning, I learned from YouTube and practiced on my mom’s bathroom door and jewelry case—when she wasn’t at home. Mainly because Mom frowned on illegal activities as well, especially when they were done by her son, who the sun surely shined down upon, who the angels had blessed with all things wholesome and good, who walked around a trail of ants rather than stomp across them. FYI, I burned them with magnifying glasses when I was a kid. I prayed the angels were looking the other way at the time.

In any case, it was an old desk and a cheap lock, and there were bobby pins galore in that dressing room. Which is to say, Columbo would have been proud. Or maybe the fickle finger of fate was simply flipping someone off, preferably not me. And hey, I didn’t even need to put gloves on to hide my fingerprints because I was already wearing a pair—satin instead of rubber, but still.

The bobby pin went in, I did a few YouTube-inspired twists and turns, and, voila, I was in like Flynn. I quickly rummaged around inside. There was mostly jewelry inside, more expensive stuff, by the looks of it, then what was left on the countertops. There was some cash, too, but not much. Mostly, it was just knickknacks. Mostly. Mostly but not only.

“A key,” I said.

To which I got a rattling reply of, “What are you doing, Mary?”

I turned right quick and shut the makeup table door. Chad was standing there, not yet Lucy. Chad wasn’t supposed to be there. Chad had already done his two days. “First day on the job,” I replied, keeping my voice even, not speaking too fast, trying not to look guilty. I was good at that. I’d practiced, lying to baristas, to store clerks, meter maids. Making shit up off the fly. Takes some getting used to. When most people lie, you can tell. Politicians are good at it because they do it so often. Takes training, is what I’m getting at. Me, I was trained. Online, sure, but trained nonetheless. “Looking for some space for my valuables.” I tinkled my earrings his way. They were my mom’s. Valuable was a matter of opinion, namely mom’s. Ebay might have a different take on it.

He nodded as he walked in the room. “That’s my makeup table.” Chad didn’t seem as nice as Lucy. Maybe the wig did it. Turned on some nice-switch inside his brain. Lucy always seemed to be smiling. Chad definitely wasn’t as he drew nearer.

“I’m filling in for Connie,” I said. “Isn’t this her table, too?”

Chad shook his head. He eyed the now-closed drawer nervously. Chad, it seemed, wasn’t trained like I was. “That one,” he said, pointing at the table next to his. He grabbed for the drawer. It opened, of course. “This was locked.”

I shrugged. “Not just now. Maybe you forgot.”

He squinted at me. It was weird. We were friends, of a sort, except he suddenly looked anything but friendly. He thought to say something. His mouth began to move, then stopped. A smile appeared. Even out of drag, there was still this strange sadness behind it. He breathed. He seemed to have counted to ten, given that about ten seconds had gone by. “Yeah, I must’ve forgotten to lock it. My bad, Mary.” He reached out his hand. “Congrats on the gig.” The smile widened. “Chad, by the way.”

I shook his hand. “You make a nice boy.”

He chuckled. “I’ll tell my parents you said so.”

About Mary, Queen of Scotch…

Four five-star Yelp reviews do you little good when you’re nailed inside a giant barrel of whiskey, which is where our intrepid private detective Barry finds himself while on the case to help his campy drag friends, all of whom have numerous secrets to hide.

If he can decide between the man he once loved and the bartender he’s falling for, successfully stay undercover as his alter-ego, Mary, Queen of Scotch, and keep one step ahead of the bad guys, plus a raucously funny meddling mom, he just might live to see that much-desired fifth review.

About the Author

Rob Rosen is the award-winning author of the novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, FateMidlife Crisis, Fierce, And God Belched, and MaryQueen of Scotch, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015, and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

You can contact Rob at:

A Lila Review: Death Benefits by William Holden

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Victor Kane isn’t an ordinary funeral director. He’s a vampire, and not an ordinary one, either. He doesn’t drink fresh blood, but rather the lifeless blood from corpses that come into his family-run business. Despite the benefits of dead blood, there’s one side effect he hasn’t come to terms with — dead blood caused erectile dysfunction.

Cliff a handsome young man who loses his husband unexpectedly in the heat of passion and calls After Care Funeral Home to help with the arrangements. When Victor and Cliff meet, though, it’s anything but business.

Cliff wants to feel again, and sex is his answer. Victor knows from experience that sex with a vampire is a powerful aphrodisiac and tries to keep Cliff at bay. Can Victor confess his identity to Cliff without ruining his chance for love?

Death Benefits is not what I expected after reading the blurb. It’s listed as an erotic romance, but even as a short erotica it didn’t work for me. It has s great premise and Victor is an interesting character but it’s not enough to carry the story.

I’m fine with the instant attraction between Victor and Cliff but I wanted a reason behind it. Even if it was momentary or an effect from Victor being a vampire. Also, Cliff detachment felt a bit out of place. Even if he was grieving from his loss, I needed more to believe he would jump into Victor’s bed mere hours after his husband’s death.

There’s no lack of lust and connection between the main characters. That part went well. I love the way Victor interacted with the dead bodies and the stories about his life before turning into a vampire. I like the ending too, it was fun and not as predictable as many other paranormal stories.

The only relevant part of the cover by Written Ink Designs is the vampire. It’s definitely too generic for the story.

Sale Links: Amazon | Nook | JMS

Book Details:
ebook, 100 pages
Published: October 13, 2018, by JMS Books
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Mary, Queen of Scotch by Rob Rosen

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

 

Four five-star Yelp reviews do you little good when you’re nailed inside a giant barrel of whiskey, which is where our intrepid private detective Barry finds himself while on the case to help his campy drag friends, all of whom have numerous secrets to hide.

If he can decide between the man he once loved and the bartender he’s falling for, successfully stay undercover as his alter-ego, Mary, Queen of Scotch, and keep one step ahead of the bad guys, plus a raucously funny meddling mom, he just might live to see that much-desired fifth review.

One of the things that just does it for me in a novel is well done dialog.  When an author nails it, has his character’s personalities fleshed out  so well, so dynamically that the words flying out of their mouths just snap with life, a vitality that rocks the reader’s world….well, job well done!   If that author can do it for more than one character but an entire cast?  Kudos and scotch.  In this case, a barrel full.

I will admit it almost did him in the beginning.  That first chapter where Barry explains, from the inside of a barrel of whiskey, how he got to the state he’s in was a little too scattered, too too, even for me, a lover of the big personality and free form inner conversations.  At places, you almost got lost in who Barry was and what was happening to him.  Luckily, Barry get the exposition out of the way. We understand that he’s a private investigator on a new case that entails him becoming a drag queen and, boom, there we are, hooked into another wonderful, weird Rob Rosen  adventure.

I was not prepared to find that my first loves in this book were Barry’s parents!  Jewish, hilarious, smart, devoted to each other and their son, the relationship between his mother and dad, parents and son, were among some of the best (and funniest) in the story. Each scene, whether with the mother or dad could have potentially veered into comedy because of the crackling dialog but the layers of understanding and love that hold those scenes up elevate above meer laughs into the acknowledgement and joy that comes from  the snarky back and forth salvos obtained from poking at people you care about.  That glint you see in the eye, that up turn on the side of the mouth before a comment is made.

And as always Rosen’s characters are a roll call of complexity, grittiness, depth, and, brash pizazz!  Most of them have been through the worst and still gotten back p on their Louboutin’s and started lip syncing.  How I love his drag queens!  This author gets under the skin of what it feels like to be a  drag queen, to be part of the sisterhood and pulls the reader in as well.

There’s a nifty mystery, a pretty realistic resolution, and yes, HFNs all around.  Barry and company are clearly I need to spend more time with, on and off the stage.   That includes his parents!

There’s romance, one Barry figures stuff out, lots of sex, mystery to solve, and all the wonderful characters and dialog this reader could want.

Even a Preface and a Afterword.  Don’t’ miss those.  You know I never do.

I love this author and Mary, Queen of Scotch is simply another great reason why.  The writing is wonderful.  the plot interesting and well made, and the characters easily people to take to heart.  I highly recommend it.

Cover: Written Ink Designs.  I start to laugh just seeing this cover.  Great job.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Published November 10th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ASIN B07JXS5M8L
Edition Language English

A Lila Review: To Tame an Omega by Lisa Gray

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

In a non-shifting alpha/omega society, omegas have become so scarce, they’re sequestered at birth in isolated facilities.

Rafael Vargas, cyber expert, is an omega hiding in plain sight. At least until activists recruit him to hack an omega facility and rescue the children. He gets away clean until a prime alpha unwittingly hires him to trace the hack. With his precious freedom at risk, Rafael battles his instinctive attraction to the alpha.

Grant Tenereth, an alpha overseeing the omega facilities, is hell-bent on finding the kidnapped children. But from the moment he hires the fascinating but challenging Rafael, Grant finds himself questioning his rock-solid devotion to the rules. When he learns the man is an omega as well as a criminal hacker, he tries to do the right thing for the law, even if it isn’t the right thing for him. Or for the omega.

Grant struggles, trapped between duty and desire. Rafael aches for love but fears losing his independence. Will they realize before it’s too late that what they have isn’t just instinct? It’s everything.

To Tame an Omega is different than other Omegaverse stories. The author added a different spin, giving Betas a more important role. They are the real dividers between Alphas and Omegas, for good and back. There are also traditional events as the first heat, auctions, and socioeconomic characteristics.

The romance is more about lust and instinct. There are several miscommunication issues which give the story a good start. Te setup is interesting but some chapters and events felt a bit flat. I wanted more of everything.

Overall, the story has great potential but it fell short in the end. I really expected a better resolution.

The cover by Written Ink Designs is a simple representation of two generic characters, It could be the cover for any other story.

Sale Links: Amazon | Nook | iBooks

Book Details:
ebook, 101 pages
Published: October 6, 2018, by JMS Books
Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Carnival Cowboy by Temple Madison

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

At the end of a bloody trail, Johnny Redd finds an incredible secret.

While struggling with a bullet in his chest, he crawls along the ground until he finds himself surrounded by a maze of quaint carnival tarps. Inside is a world of color, costumes, false hair, nails, eyelashes — and a man who dresses like a woman. It’s a world of trickery, deception, and lies. Johnny makes it just inside the tent when his strength fails and he faints dead away. When he awakes, he’s reminded of the bizarre reality that surrounds him.

It’s that he learns he has been taken care of by a man – er. woman — by the name of Frenchy Starr. The name rolls from the tongue of this fallen angel, this princess of darkness, this twilight queen. She’s a mystery, a dangerously beautiful mystery, and Johnny slowly becomes ensnared in the trap which she sets.

After one night of incredible love, a jealous fan shoots Frenchy. Thinking her dead, Johnny’s heart is broken and he leaves in search of something to fill the hole she left in his heart.

Enter Kit Dalton.

I’m not really sure what to say about this story.  I didn’t like the whole fend for yourself and it doesn’t matter about anyone else attitude that went on in the story, maybe it was right for the time period but it made it hard for me to enjoy the story.  Also, the characters didn’t often talk directly about subjects and it was frustrating.

Johnny and Kit have a connection but they both need to come clean first which takes most of the book.  I didn’t feel like I was able to connect with these characters or understand them all that much.  Most of the writing just felt disconnected from the characters.  I didn’t not like it but it didn’t connect with me either.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs works well for the story.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

Ebook, 21,050 words

Published: September 22, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634867412

Edition Language: English