New Release Blitz for Snowed In: Nen and Anani by Nell Iris (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS 
 
Length: 22,312 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books 
 
Blurb
 

It is time to go to my son.


Nen waited to hear those words from the Vasilissa for fifteen rotations, since that time the snow wouldn’t stop falling. But now that he’s about to meet Anani, the love of his life, again, he’s afraid. What if Anani doesn’t feel the same anymore?


Anani, the guardian of the water element, was only seventeen when he was banished from his mother’s court. Heartbroken he couldn’t be with the one he loved, he lost control over his emotions and his power. No matter what he tried, the snow wouldn’t stop, and as a last resort, he was sent away.


When they finally meet again, Anani is hopeful but disillusioned. The law that kept them apart hasn’t changed. How will they be able to find their happily ever after?


And what happens when the snow starts falling again?

 
Excerpt
 

A third knock hushes the forest even more. Not a single insect can be heard. Is the wildlife waiting for me to leave? Is he? Would he answer if I call out to him? Or will the sound of my voice make him even more resolved to stay behind the closed door?


Before I have time to come to a decision, the door is yanked open and he appears in the opening.


The Vasilieu.


Oh, great Spirit, still my heart!


He is magnificent!


He is willowy tall and has grown so much these last fifteen rotations, reaching me to my nose, standing over a head taller than any other member of his family. He’s dressed like a commoner in a tunic and pants even plainer than my own — where’s his kaftan? The clothes hug his body and reveal every long sinewy muscle in his legs and arms.


Hair as white as newly fallen snow is parted in the middle and hangs straight to his waist. His nose, slightly upturned, gives him a mischievous look. His pale lips, imperceptibly darker than his skin color, are pillowy but set in a severe line.


But it’s his eyes that draw my attention. Pale blue eyes staring at me as if he can’t believe what he’s seeing. After a few heartbeats, they widen, and he lets out a gasp.


A wave of emotions hit me square in the chest. What was muted just moments before grows into an avalanche as though he let them loose, or lost control of them. They overwhelm me; I physically feel them, poking and prodding my breast, invading my heart. I stagger a few steps backward and sink to my knees without hesitation. I don’t avert my gaze. “Vasilieu.”


He narrows his eyes. “Do not call me that. You know my name. Use it.”


The barrage of his emotions intensifies, making it hard to breathe but easy for me to identify them. Disbelief. Uncertainty. Hope.


… Happiness?


Yes, definitely happiness.


“Anani,” I whisper. Never before have I uttered his name, not even alone in the night. Saying it now is terrifying and freeing all at once. And it feels right, as though my lips are meant to say it. Whisper it in his ear as our limbs are entwined and sweaty.


He surges forward and throws himself on his knees before me. Cups my cheeks and lets his thumbs caress my beard. His gaze flits over my face as if though he’s trying to take in all the changes that have happened since we saw each other last. The crow’s feet by my eyes. The corners of my mouth that are downturned from the lack of smiling. The first gray at my temples in a sea of black, bristly hair.


I’m an older, more tired-looking version of the man who watched him walk away all those rotations ago, while he’s more breathtaking than ever.


“Vasilieu. Don’t kneel before me. It’s not proper.”


“Nen. Oh Nen. Is it really you?” he asks as if he didn’t hear my plea. His hands explore my face; the fingertips linger in my wrinkles and lines, sending sparkles through my body. He tugs lightly on my beard and gazes into my eyes. I wonder what he sees.


“Vasilieu. Anani.” The second time I use his name is even more momentous. “Stand, I beg you.”


He sits back on his heels. “What are you doing here?” His disbelief melts away. Clearly, he trusts his own eyes and what he can see before him. Confusion takes its place. With grace, he rises to his feet, bends down to grab my hands, and pulls me to standing with little help from me. Spirit, he is strong!


He doesn’t let go.

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: Snowed In: Jonah and Cooper by Kris T. Bethke

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Jonah Lyons is looking forward to spending a weekend at a cabin with his sister, Ellie. So the last thing he expects is for his ex-boyfriend to show up. 

Captain Adrian Cooper was once the love of his life, but Jonah thinks he’s moved past it. Getting trapped together because of a snowstorm wasn’t on the agenda, but it means they either have to talk or murder each other. 

When Cooper admits the reason he left, Jonah doesn’t know how to react. The depth of Cooper’s love has never waned, and Jonah realizes he still loves Cooper, too. Now he needs to decide if he can forgive Cooper. Can he give them both the second chance they deserve?

I have a feeling I am going to be in the minority on this one but it just wasn’t working for me.  I am a big fan of short stories (this one clocks in at 45 pages) but it has to have a “complete” feel and in this case the length worked against it.

Jonah is a wonderful little brother who can’t say no to spending time with his big sister, Ellie.  When she convinces him to spend a long weekend with her at her in-laws cabin, he knows he will agree.  Even when she asks for chicken Florentine for lunch, a meal he only made for the former love of his life, he figures she doesn’t realize the significance and agrees to that too.  Except, of course, she doesn’t show up but Adrian Cooper, the military man who loved Jonah and then broke his heart three years ago, does.

When Jonah (who had blocked Cooper’s number) doesn’t answer his calls, Cooper resorted to getting Ellie to help.  Again, Jonah is an awesome little brother because as under-handed and crappy as that move was, he forgives her right away.  Jonah is completely ready to throw Cooper out the way he came, except the snow storm that started when Jonah was driving is now in full force the roads are closed.  Oh, boy.

So Cooper’s reason for breaking up with Jonah, demolishing his spirit and leaving him without a backwards glance was selfish in my opinion. “When I broke things off, I thought I was doing the right thing.”  You know, because why talk to the one you love?   Add in that he’s so surprised that Jonah doesn’t want to be with him.  “Is it really so bad? Being stuck with me?”   A pet peeve of mine, when the one who hurt their love believes they can just show up and all will be magically forgiven.  That right there was my biggest issue with the story.  There is a quite explanation that was BS, no groveling, “I did it for you” and then on to sex.   I didn’t even feel that Cooper “did it for…” Jonah.  He finished his time and then went looking.

I am usually a fan of second chance stories but this needed more for me and perhaps due to the short length, it didn’t deliver as I had hoped.

Cover art showing two happy men hugging over a snowy cabin scene is very pretty, though didn’t fit the feel of the couple.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 41 pages
Published January 19th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN 139781634867948
Edition Language English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ruff Trouble by Sharon Maria Bidwell

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is a new to me author. These stories were published previously, I believe separately, so this is a complete trilogy. The first story is Hounding The Beat. Chantelle and her police colleague Bobby, are supernaturals or supes. They keep it secret that they are romantic partners so they won’t be transferred away from each other at work. As canine shifters, they can smell the emotions of others. Sam, Bobby’s former human police partner, was injured in the line of duty and is now desk bound. It’s Chantelle who wants them to “make up” as she realizes Sam is in love with Bobby and she has caused the distance between them. Neither Sam, nor Bobby, knows the other is bisexual. Chantelle encourages their relationship, and once Bobby is honest with himself about Sam, he and Chantelle set out to seduce Sam together. Sam is moody, has low self esteem, and is disbelieving of them wanting to share what they have with him. Trusting Sam with their secret will change all their lives.

I liked all three of these characters, helped by having all three points of view. It does move from care to love quite quickly, but it’s always clear that while Chantelle and Sam are attracted to each other, Bobby is the glue that holds them together, the one they both love best. This is erotic romance, so there is one sex scene after another. Since Bobby is the Alpha canine shifter, there is some knotting involved but all the sex is while they are all in human form.

Mistletoe and Wine is the second story. In order to resolve having three police officers involved with each other in the same precinct, Sam and Chantelle have quit and opened a bar/restuarant together. They have moved away from London to a place better suited to their canine impulses to run in the woods. Bobby is now a country cop. Here the sex gets more intimate. This includes all possible combinations (m/f, m/f/m, m/m/f, m/m) as they work to be a triad and pack. There is quite a bit of violence in this due to a criminal with a grudge.

Paws for Thought is the third story. When they go back to London for a ceremony to honor their old Sarge, Chantelle gets kidnapped. This is also somewhat violent as Sam and Bobby try to find her before something happens to her, and before the police do. Decisions made in the last story and during Chantelle’s captivity prompt changes in their future. I’m trying not to spoil what plot there actually is; I think fans of Kate Douglas’s Wolf Tales series should like this, although this has a bit more depth. The scenes are steamy hot and the care and comfort is clear. The connection between the characters is forged through consent, compromise, and agreement. Although the three plots are simple and obvious, each one serves to move the romantic relationship further along. For erotic romance, I would recommend this. I would say it might be best to read them one story at a time, with breaks, so you can enjoy all the sexy scenes without them getting to be too much.

Cover Design: Written Ink Designs with the image(s) used under a Standard Royalty-Free License. I am assuming the couple is Sam and Chantelle, with the wolf as Bobby in the foreground. I would guess this is meant to represent the first story, as Sam is in uniform, and leaves the police force by the end. I have to say, this cover is a little more sweet than the carnal nature displayed repeatedly in this book.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon

Book Details:

Published January 12th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
Kindle Edition, 248 pages
Author(s): Sharon Maria Bidwell (Goodreads Author)
ASIN: B07M6M6BBR

An Alisa Review : Awakenings and French Songs by Nell Iris

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

An existential awakening and lots of French chansons equal a favorite neighbor seen in a new light.

Iggy Wilker never expected his 36th birthday to turn into an existential crisis. When Iggy’s friends celebrate him with his usual favorite pastime — drinking, dancing, and willing guys — he suddenly wants nothing to do with any of it. He’s fed up and ready for something else. The question is what?

Ronan Clenney has had his eye on his neighbor forever, but as a single father of a precocious eleven-year-old, he’s never believed he stands a chance. But over a late night cup of tea, it seems circumstances have changed. Is this the right time, finally?

Iggy has never believed in romance, but can Ronan show him he’s wrong? That love is a real thing?

This story was sweet.  Iggy has hit that point in his life that the partying and quick encounters don’t feel right.  Ronan’s life is focused around his daughter and though Iggy has become a part of their life he hasn’t let anyone in close.

I liked this story but didn’t feel a strong connection to the characters.  Being a short story a surface view is expect but I just felt as though I would have liked to know them better.  Though Iggy seems to be having a existential crisis he quickly decides what is it he wants and Ronan quickly accepts his advances though he tries to make it sound as if they need to move slowly.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is a sweet picture of the characters.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 11,120 words

Published: January 12, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634868471

Edition Language: English

Release Blitz – – Acts Of Service by Jessie Pinkham (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 22,000 words approx.
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Tom can’t catch a break when it comes to his love life. He’s not good with romance, as his exes told him in uncharitable terms, and he’s starting to wonder if there’s something wrong with him. So when he finds himself attracted to his temporary roommate, he’s afraid of being called inadequate all over again.


Alex has serious anxiety which make his life a challenge and his dating prospects slim to nonexistent. He assumes Tom isn’t interested in him because men never are. It’s a pleasant surprise to start a friends with benefits relationship, so Alex goes out on a limb in an attempt to impress Tom. When it backfires spectacularly, he thinks all hope is lost.


Both men are held back by past rejections. Will a minor crisis bring them together … or tear them apart?


Excerpt


This is undoubtedly the stupidest thing I’ve ever done to impress a guy.


“Go ahead, start it up,” said Tom.


Alex took a deep breath and turned the key. Tom’s truck roared to life. No such luck as a fortuitously-timed engine malfunction. Though he shouldn’t think such things, as Tom was only being nice and wishing expensive repairs on him was hardly fair.


He looked around trepidatiously. The parking lot really was almost deserted, with only a few vehicles parked and those much closer to the doors. He wondered what role those people played in the postal service that required them to work on Sundays, then realized the line of thought was just a mental delay.


“You’re not going to cause any damage,” said Tom. If he was impatient, it didn’t come across in his voice.


“Your brakes are in good order, right?”


“Yes. The truck just passed inspection last month with no problems at all.”


It was a valiant attempt to make Alex feel better, and he appreciated the intent even though it failed.


The brake pedal went down smoothly under his foot. Such a small little piece of metal, and it could be a matter of life or death. Did people who worked at brake factories realize how much trust was being placed in them every single day?


Once he had that all-important device pressed firmly against the floor, he reached for the gear shift. The first notch down put the truck in neutral, the second in drive.


“Now ease up on the brake,” Tom said, remarkably cavalier about putting his safety, not to mention his vehicle, in the hands of a man who couldn’t drive.


Nothing happened when he lightened his touch on the brake as instructed. Maybe it was a sign. Alex had never believed in such things, but he was willing to consider the possibility.


“Wow, you had it stomped all the way down, huh? Okay, let it go. Take your time so you’re comfortable.”


As if that will ever happen.


“How about less terrified? I believe in setting realistic goals.”


“Sure. Whatever works. Just remember, there’s nobody around us, so you can’t do much damage.”


“I could drive into a light pole,” countered Alex, not because he was trying to be ornery, but suddenly concerned about damaging Tom’s truck. Those poles were stuck into cement, a material not known for being kind to vehicles.


“I’m not worried.”


Well, that made one of them. Alex eased up on the brake a bit more, but nothing happened aside from a vague sense of power waiting to be unleashed, though that could have been his imagination.


“Good,” said Tom. “Now give it some gas.”


If I crash into a light pole, he can’t say I didn’t warn him.


Of course he knew the truck was an inanimate object and thus had no feelings. All the same, it seemed as though the massive beast was eager to move, and it lurched forward when he pressed on the gas pedal just the slightest bit. He wasted no time in going back to the nice, safe brake.


“Not bad. Try again, and let it go a little more.”


Alex tried to ignore the churning in his stomach and nervous sweat rolling down the back of his neck, and he depressed the gas pedal again.


This time, the truck moved a good six feet forward before he threw down the brake. The parking lot was beginning to spin around him, something which hadn’t happened in years, and suddenly the truck’s ventilation system seemed entirely insufficient.


“That was good,” said Tom. “A little jerky on the brake, but with practice …”


He was still talking, but Alex didn’t hear a word because he was trying to get his traitorous body to obey him for once. It wasn’t working.


Five years since he’d last had a panic attack, half a decade, and he recognized the oncoming storm as though it had been five days. His heart raced, he struggled to breath, and if he’d eaten recently he’d probably be on the verge of throwing up. Most of all, the whole world raged around him, out of his control while he couldn’t even manage his own physiological response to stress.


Never mind driving, at this point he’d have happily settled for not breaking down in front of Tom, but he knew it was too late for that. Once a panic attack started, there was no cutting it off.


So much for making a good impression.

Some kids have imaginary friends. Not content with that, I dreamed up an imaginary village, and I never stopped, though these days my stories feature a lot more hot men.



I love a rich fictional universe as much as a happy ending, and I have a tendency to get so lost in worlds of my own creation that I have to rush out at the door the last minute in a panic, desperately hoping I don’t hit too many red lights.


Other ways to describe me: avid reader; chocoholic; historian; sci-fi geek; proud New Englander; koala lover; travel enthusiast.


Author Links:


Website: https://www.jessiepinkham.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessiePinkhambooks/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16835564.Jessie_Pinkham

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New Release Tour for Awakenings and French Songs by Nell Iris (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS 
 
Length: 11,000 words approx.
 
Publisher: JMS Books 
 
Blurb
 

Iggy Wilker never expected his 36th birthday to turn into an existential crisis. When Iggy’s friends celebrate him with his usual favorite pastime — drinking, dancing, and willing guys — he suddenly wants nothing to do with any of it. He’s fed up and ready for something else. The question is what?


Ronan Clenney has had his eye on his neighbor forever, but as a single father of a precocious eleven-year-old, he’s never believed he stands a chance. But over a late night cup of tea, it seems circumstances have changed. Is this the right time, finally?


Iggy has never believed in romance, but can Ronan show him he’s wrong? That love is a real thing?


Excerpt


“Iggy?” A slow smile blooms on his face and his eyes brighten. “What are you doing up this early? What happened to no knocking on my door before ten on weekends, young Miss Emery?” he asks, imitating my words perfectly.


“I grew old, that’s what happened.”


“Awww. Poor Iggy.”


“Hey! Be nice or I won’t share my breakfast.” I hold up the bags to show him what he’d be missing.


His eyebrows shoot to the heavens. “You brought breakfast?”


“Um, yeah. You gonna let me in, or …?”


“Of course. You just about shocked me to death, that’s all.” He pretends to clutch his pearls.


“That seems to be my theme this week,” I mutter and follow him to the kitchen.


“I was just about to start breakfast –” he points at a carton of eggs, “– but I guess I don’t have to?”


“Nope. Coffee would be good though. I didn’t buy any.”


“Sure.” He leans over to the machine and pushes the button. “All done.” He grins at me and takes a seat at the table. “Show me what you got.”


He watches as I unload my purchases. Baguettes. Croissants. Pain au chocolat. A box of pastel colored macarons I bought only because they’re so pretty and I thought Emery would appreciate the pinks and purples and yellows. Three tiny, fancy-looking jars of French jam; black cherry, fig and walnut, and raspberry. And finally, a box of huge, dark red strawberries the bakery sold for some unknown reason.


Ronan’s mouth falls open as he takes in everything. “What brought this on?”


I take my usual spot at the table. “I’ve had that song on my mind ever since the other night. I have no idea what it’s called or what the guy was singing about, but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. So when I walked past Knead It and they had a French flag hanging in the window, I couldn’t help myself.”


“Which song?”


I hum a few bars, hoping I don’t butcher it too much so he won’t recognize it, but he nods.


“‘Ne me quitte pas’ by Jacques Brel.”


I repeat the title in a terrible French accent. “What does it mean?”


“It means ‘Don’t leave me.’”


His words make my heart stutter in my chest. “It’s great. So emotional,” I rasp out.


“I didn’t know you were a fan of old French songs.”


“I’m not. But it’s really beautiful.” The explanation feels inadequate, but I don’t know how to express myself better.


He doesn’t talk for several seconds, and then he says, “Huh.” His gaze is full of questions he’s not asking, and he doesn’t let up the intense scrutiny for even a moment. Inside, I’m squirming like a maggot on a fish hook, but I hope I manage to present a calm exterior.


For the first time ever, things are weird between us. The conversation is stilted, and the silences awkward. I know why, of course. By showing up like this, I changed the dynamics of our relationship. I’ve never been one for socializing in the mornings. And while I’ve brought the occasional pizza or six-pack, I’ve never brought anything like this before. Something meaningful. Something that shows I’ve been thinking about him and the time we spent together. Something serious.


I can’t blame him for wondering what’s going on. He listens to that French stuff all the time and I’m sure he’s played that song a million times before, but it’s like I heard it for the very first time on Wednesday.


I can’t stand his close examination any longer, so I get up and start setting the table with plates and cups and cutlery. “What’s the deal with you and all the French stuff anyway?” I ask with my head buried in the refrigerator, looking for butter and something for Emery to drink since she’s not allowed coffee.


“My grandmother was from France. She always used to sing the old songs to me and teach me the lyrics.”


I place a cutting board and a bread knife on the table. “Oh. What was her name?”


“Celeste.”


“That’s a beautiful name.”


“Yes.”


I look around for something else to do. “Do you speak French?”


“Iggy?”


I gulp, knowing what’s coming. “Yes?” Reluctantly, I retake my seat at the table.


“Why are you really here?” His voice is soft and caring and I’ve heard him use the same tone when he speaks to Emery about important matters.


I line up the jam jars in a perfect row, needing something to do with my hands. “I … uh … want to spend more time with you and Emery.”

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 Ashez Review: Elias by Erin E Keller

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Rating: 2 stars out of 6

After his partner’s death, Thomas Doyle lives a life made of work and late-night sexual encounters with unnamed bodies. It’s a life of solitude that leaves him too much time to think and regret.

Yet, despite everything, he jealously treasures it.

That’s why when Elias Byrne—who comes out of the shadows of Thomas’ nights—suddenly bursts into his everyday life with arrogance, Thomas finds himself fighting against ambivalent feelings—the need to reject the tormented Elias and the strange, inconceivable, and difficult to accept desire to join their solitudes.

My Thoughts:
In the beginning of this book I had high hopes – it was moving quickly and it was intriguing, I wanted to know Elias’s backstory, I wanted to know Thomas’s backstory.  By midway through the book I got a bit bored of the characters, I felt like they didn’t progress enough for me, Elias showed his age (I felt he could have been written a bit more adult given his past/current) and I found him rather annoying.
The same goes for Thomas, I felt he could have been written a bit more mature, he’s older and has a past (which in the end I wasn’t even really interested in) but he acted like a teenager sometimes.
It was all written mostly with Thomas/Elias – barely any outside influence happened at all and I was frustrated, it gave less opportunity for the characters to really develop.
Overall it just wasn’t my type of read – but it’s still worth a read if you like an intriguing backstory to a character/very main character driven book.
 
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 123 pages
Published January 5th 2019 by JMS Books, LLC (first published May 28th 2016)
ASINB07MGNFX8L
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLandmeadow #1

A Lila Review: Not on My Bucket List by Tom Munroe

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

When Sam goes on a gay website looking for romance, he finds more than he bargained for. Rejecting all the usual requests for hook-ups, he searches for something more sincere. And he finds it in the most unexpected of places, as he is drawn to the profile of a man in a faraway place.
Amir, an Algerian descended from desert nomads, has posted a profile looking for the love of his life. Sam finds it amazing that a gay man born in the Algerian desert has the bravery to not only declare he is gay, but also to admit his dream is to find a husband to spend his life with.
While Sam doesn’t consider himself the marrying kind, he starts chatting with Amir, telling himself he just wants to learn about another culture. His friends laugh at him, saying this man just wants to use him to emigrate to the west and take him for his money. But he refuses to believe it, sensing a sincerity he has never seen with anyone else. The two begin a dialogue that moves to weekly Skype sessions, discussions of religion and world politics, assistance with life challenges and, finally, a declaration of love … and an invitation.
Can these two men from vastly different worlds and cultures meet and find common ground for a romance? The challenges are great, and spending a life together seems like an impossible dream. While Sam’s friends continue to discourage him, he knows he cannot give up this man. Is Amir sincere, or is Sam being used?
There is only one way to find out if Amir is really sincere. And Sam knows what he has to do.

Not on my Bucket List surpassed my expectations. The blurb was interesting and the author delivered. Perhaps not on a way we are used to, but it worked for the story and the characters.

This is more of a narration than a romance novel. It’s like seating with a friend at a cafe, listening to his love story. Even so, it’s hard to put down. I’m glad I read it during the Holiday Break because I stayed awake past 2 AM.

I have to admit that I spent most of the time waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yes, I expected a trick behind their story, catfishing… but gladly, it didn’t happen. I had trouble with Amir’s attitude in some instances but the author did an excellent job presenting all the cultural differences.

That’s something that’s well done in this story as well. The traveling process, the visas, the government bribes, and everything else related to inter-cultural relationships. Plus, the countries descriptions.

Overall, if you don’t mind some telling, this is a great story to read. Just be sure you have the time to read it start to finish or close enough.

The cover by Written Ink Designs doesn’t make justice to the story. It’s a generic couple, cute but not relevant to the book.

Sale Links: Amazon | Nook | JMS

Book Details:
ebook, 100 pages
ISBN: 9781634867962
Published: December 22, 2018, by JMS Books
Edition Language: English

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Erin E Keller’s Elias (excerpt)

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Length: 37,000 words approx.
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Detective Thomas Doyle has been living a lonely, compartmentalized life ever since the death of his life partner, Aiden. He vowed never to let anybody get close to him again — the pain of losing a loved one is too much to bear. Despite his vow, Thomas is lonely, and has a number of one-night stands, sexual encounters with unnamed men he doesn’t care to remember. Then he meets Elias.


Elias Byrne knows the pain of abuse and rejection intimately. Unable to escape the clutches of his older brother, Elias dreams of someone to love, and of being loved in return. He admires Thomas, but the detective never pays him any notice. In a desperate attempt to get closer to him, Elias steals his wallet, then gives it back the next day.


Pretty soon, Thomas feels a strong attraction to the fiery, arrogant, younger man. Elias intrigues him, but he resists his growing feelings because he doesn’t want to get hurt again.


When Thomas rescues Elias from his abusive brother, can he also rescue them both from the loneliness that threatens to consume them? Can Elias conquer the detective’s hardened heart and find the love he always longed for? Or will Thomas stubbornly refuse to give himself another chance at love?

 
Excerpt
 

The Black Sheep’s lights were soft; people’s shadows moving inside seemed like dark souls waiting for a body to enter. In fact, people came to this specific pub for that reason. He wasn’t the first to use the privacy given by the place to find a hot body to lose himself in. Thomas entered and looked around, a worried expression of his face. His fists clenched, arms stiff at his sides. He headed to the bar and leaned an elbow on it, observing the surrounding people, the darkest corners, the private rooms, and the dance floor, a small area that only fit a few people. The music was rhythmic but not too fast. It was kind of sensual, so different from the folk music you usually heard in most Irish pubs.


Adrian, the barman, slid a glass in his direction.


“Here you go, the usual,” he said, winking.


Thomas nodded and answered with half a smile, putting the money on the counter. He turned away for a few moments before looking back at Adrian.


“Do you know Elias?” he asked.


Adrian seemed to think for a moment. “Thin, black hair, even darker eyes, sexy as hell?”


Thomas blinked. From the description, it sounded like Elias, even if Thomas didn’t personally find him sexy as hell. That is, he couldn’t deny what he’d seen under those long locks was something magnetic, that his body seemed thin but not skinny, but …


Thomas shook his head. He was a boy. And a thief. And a stalker. And who knew what else? And he wasn’t interested in him in that way.


“I think so,” he finally replied.


Adrian smiled and gestured to a hidden corner of the tiny dance floor. There, wearing a pair of tight jeans and a white T-shirt, was Elias, dancing with a guy behind him who had one hand on his chest and the other on his belly. His eyes were closed, and he was moving his pelvis. Sexy as hell, actually. His head was reclined, leaning on the shoulder of the man behind him, and he had his hand by his side as he swayed.


Thomas picked up his drink and took a long sip. That boy owed him an explanation. Suddenly, he realized he couldn’t accuse him of anything without some kind of evidence. For a very short moment, doubt ran through his mind: had it really been Elias, or had Thomas finally lost it? Maybe when he’d been twirling under the rain like an idiot fighting his panic attack?


When he looked at the dance floor again, Elias had disappeared.


“What the fuck!” he burst out, frustrated, a second before feeling somebody touch him, a solid body pushing against his back and a voice speaking in his ear, softly enough so as not to be heard by anyone else.


“If they told me to choose who to fuck, I would choose you.”


Thomas turned suddenly and almost spilled his Guinness on himself.


There he was — Elias.


Thomas observed him for a few moments, and his brain registered different things. This time, he could see Elias’s face, even if it was barely lit. It was a very unusual face: thin, big black eyes, a sharp nose, and a large, full mouth. Elias wasn’t as thin as he first seemed. Or, yes, he was thin, but the right definition would have been slim. The stretch T-shirt highlighted his long muscles, as well as his tight jeans, which underlined the contour of his hips, molding his legs. His hair was long at the front and really, really black. His gaze in that moment was particularly intense. The corners of his mouth were turned up in half a smirk.


Thomas suddenly looked away from his lips, the taste of which he could still feel on his mouth, and took a sip of beer.


“I saw you while I was dancing. You came looking for me,” Elias continued.


It wasn’t a question. It was an assertion.


“No. I came looking for my wallet.”


Sure, he could have beaten around the bush, but this guy somehow got on his nerves, and he wasn’t in the mood for acting kindly. He waited for a question from him, even outrage. What he wasn’t expecting was Elias taking his hand, turning it over, and putting the wallet in it.


“And what does this mean?” Thomas growled. “If this is a joke, it’s not funny.”


“Isn’t that your wallet? Didn’t you come here for it? Here it is. No joke.” Elias’s expression was unperturbed.


“You stole it.”


“Had it on loan.”


“I could report you.” Better yet, I could arrest you. But he didn’t say that out loud because he didn’t want Elias to know anything else about him.


“Does it look like I’m stopping you from doing anything you want to do?”

 
Author Bio
 

Erin is Irish in her heart and soul, and she hopes she’ll move to the Emerald Island one day. She lives with her husband and their cats in a house near a wheat field.


She has been writing for years, but admits she is a very undisciplined writer. The problem is that handling a couple of jobs makes it almost impossible to write every day. She loves letting her mind wander through the real world. She likes to write contemporary M/M romance because she loves love. And men. 



For more information, please visit erinekeller.com.

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An Alisa Review: Best Christmas Ever by Terry O’Reilly

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Bowing to his parents’ homophobic demands, Professor Henry Rodimacher always chose Christmas with his family over spending it with his partner. However, when Jeremy became terminally ill, Henry defied his family and stayed home for Jeremy’s final Christmas.

After Jeremy passes, Henry decides it’s time to mend fences, so despite a raging snowstorm, he starts the long drive home. Before he gets very far, though, he’s alarmed to see a hitchhiker out in the weather, Henry offers the man a ride, and is surprised the hitchhiker is Jimmy Wilks, a former student of his.

The heavy snow eventually forces Henry and Jimmy to leave the highway and take refuge in an abandoned log cabin. As the two hunker down to wait out the storm, they give into their mutual attraction and celebrate a wonderful Christmas together.

Can their newfound love survive once the snow thaws? Will history repeat itself with Henry going back home alone, or will the magic of their best Christmas ever live on into the New Year and beyond?

I really liked the bulk of this story.  It starts with Henry being very shy and uncertain of himself because of his past relationship and family.  Jeremy seems to know what he wants but isn’t quite ready to say it out loud.

I liked how they interacted once they were on the same page and really did have a great little Christmas together, though everything just worked out great from their feelings to the owner of the cabin being fine with everything, not very realistic.  Most of this is told from Henry’s point of view so I feel a little more connected to him and was very glad for him to realize his parents’ restrictions are too much for them to ask.  There was a big flash of doubt for Terry near the end which didn’t seem like him but it was quickly resolved.

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

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 68 pages

Published: December 15, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634868334

Edition Language: English