ScatteredThoughts Summary of Reviews for November 2013

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November really was such an extraordinary month for books.  It almost makes me giddy with joy. I can’t remember when I last had more 5 and 4 star  rated books as I have had this month.  And their genres and plots ran the spectrum, from contemporary fiction to what I might best describe as fantasy horror, making this truly a rainbow month of great books by outstanding authors.

There are quite a few books that are a part of a series and should best be read in order, while others are stand alone pieces of fiction, with one or two in between in that they are a part of a series but could be read by themselves. It’s all in the reviews which I have linked to each title.

The holidays are upon us and ebook gift cards are a wonderful way of sharing books with those we love.  Make a list, check it twice to make sure you have the titles listed below on yours:dried flowers for november
November 2013 Review Summary

*part of a series

5 Star Rating:

Corruption by Eden Winters*, contemporary
Encore by Shira Anthony*, contemporary
Lessons for Suspicious Minds by Charlie Cochrane*,historical
Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux*, contemporary
Sweet and Sour by Astrid Amara, contemporary
The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men by Eric Arvin*, horror, fantasy
Too Many Fairy Princes by Alex Beecroft, fantasy

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

After The Fall by L.A. Witt* (4 stars), contemporary
Bar None Anthology (4.5 stars) mix of contemporary, scifi
Close Quarter by Anna Zabo*(4.75 stars), supernatural
Family Texas by R.J. Scott*, (4.5 stars), contemporary
Good Boy by Anne Tenino*, (4.5 stars),contemporary
How I Met Your Father by LB Gregg (4.25 stars), contemporary
Illumination by Rowan Speedwell (4.5 stars), contemporary
Long the Mile by Ally Blue (4.25 stars), contemporary
The Retreat by BA Tortuga*, (4 stars), contemporary
The Stars that Tremble by Kate McMurray, (4 stars), contemporary

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Captive Magic by Angela Benedetti* (3.75 stars), paranormal
Hat Trick by Chelle Dugan (3 stars), contemporary
The Blight by Missouri Dalton (3.75 stars), fantasy

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:
N/A

Review: How I Met Your Father by L.B. Gregg

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

How I Met Your FatherFormer boy band member Justin Hayes is in a plane on his way to San Juan, the wedding destination of his good friend and former band member Chuck.  Justin would rather be home in Chicago, preparing for a wintery Christmas than on this plane, as he has never liked flying.  But Justin is the best man and the one most likely to make sure the wedding goes off without a hitch.  Then the plane hits turbulence, Justin panics and only his gorgeous stranger in the seat next to him keeps him steady enough to survive the wild ride before landing safely at the San Juan airport.  Then Justin notices just exactly how hot the man is leading to wild sex in the airport bathroom.

Jack Bassinger is not a happy man.  His only daughter has just informed him that she is marrying a man he has never met and its a destination wedding on the island of San Juan on short notice.  Along with his son, Jack is traveling when all he really wants is to stay at home for the holidays.  When the plane hits major turbulence, Jack notices that his adorable seat mate is starting to hyperventilate and acts as subtly as possible to give him comfort until the ride evens out.  But a little comfort turns into a white hot anonymous sexual encounter in the airport bathroom and suddenly the trip starts to look that much better.

Neither man expected to see each other again.  Both men were wrong, oh so wrong.  They meet again at the groom’s bachelor party and the wedding starts to go off course from there.  Is a real relationship possible when it starts out lost in confusion, best intentions and hopeless attraction?  Justin and Jack certainly hope so.

I love LB Gregg.  Her Albright and Romano books are among my most favorite light-hearted romance stories.  So I was delighted to see that she was releasing a new story, How I Met Your Father, just in time for the holidays.  How I Met Your Father has everything I have come to expect from this author.  It’s heartwarming, has great characters and more than its share of laughter filled moments that will leave a reader smiling.

Two dissimilar men meet in an adorably unexpected way with complications for both that neither see coming.   There is a marked difference in ages but Gregg shows us that both men are on equal standing in outlook and maturity, something that cannot be said for either Jack’s daughter or Justin’s bandmates.  As with any classical comedy setup, there is the surprise drama and a reveal scene as funny as you would hope it to be.  I often found myself smiling away and wishing I was lurking about on the outskirts of the wedding party just to watch the proceedings and the drama unfold.   LB Gregg has added the extra component of Justin’s closeted status and the impetus needed to make that final step out into the open.

If I have any quibbles about this story, it would be that the sense of light hearted fun also lacks a certain depth that I also associate with her writing, for with every laugh there is normally a moment of sadness or loss.  This story certainly has that possibility within it as the aspect of Jack’s daughter and Chuck’s almost unconscionable behavior towards Jack is never clearly or as satisfactorily resolved as one would hope.   Another scene or two where that all plays out plus one with Jack’s son would have made it all the more realistic and satisfying.

But those quibbles aside, I loved this story.  I loved Jack and Justin especially.  They are wonderful main characters, layered, emotionally real and their romance hit all my buttons.  I absolutely recommend this story to all lovers of light comedic romance and holiday love affairs that turn into happily ever afters.  How I Met Your Father is a lovely, happy romp, perfect for the Holidays and beyond.

Cover Art by L.C. Chase, http://lcchase.com/design.htm.  A fun cover but somewhat generic in design.  It could be for any book located on a beach.

Special Author Note:

20% of all proceeds from this title are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York, whose mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit http://www.aliforneycenter.org

Book Details:

98 pages
Published November 18th 2013 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626490840
edition language English
Buy Link url http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/how-i-met-your-father

How I Met Your Father Guest Blog and Book Tour

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Good morning everyone! ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords is so happy to have  LB Gregg here with us today.  She has been a favorite of mine ever since I discovered her Romano and Albright series as well as her newish Cornwall  books.  She is stopping by today to promote her new release How I Met Your Father.  I loved this story and think you will too. So without further ado, here is LB Gregg:

Hi! My name is LB Gregg and I write m/m romantic comedies. Thanks for stopping by on the How I Met Your Father blog tour. I’m LBGreggpicturethrilled to be part of the Home for the Holidays collection and want to encourage you to purchase my book—as Riptide will donate 20% of the proceeds of the sale of this book, and the collection, to the Ali Forney Center in New York. The centers mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.”

Exclusive How I Met Your Father excerpt!

“Gee. I wish my dad had been as cool as you.”

That cracked his veneer. I would have said more, but Jack’s gaze found mine, and what I saw reflected there wasn’t annoyance. It was amusement. He flicked ash into the sand, and his wink made me glad it was dark under the trees.

Laid up, huh? My pleasure adding to your list of conquests, Mr. Hayes.”

And this time he didn’t just smile. He bowed.

“Please.” I rolled my eyes. “I hiccupped. I wasn’t trying to be smooth or add notches to some imaginary belt.” Which was admittedly filled with all manner of notches. “You pursued me. And how in the hell did you hear me in the bar?”

“I came in from the beach.” The glowing end of his cigar waved toward Nevis’s shore. “They left the hotel without me, too.”

He’d taken the same path from the hotel that I had. He’d come in right after me, following me again, though he’d waited before he’d approached his family. Lurking in the shadows. What wasn’t weird about that?

“You kids did a nice job. Catchy.”

Kids. I resisted the urge to sit taller. “Gee. Thanks, mister.”

He exhaled a ring of smoke.

I found myself asking, “You really didn’t know who I was?”

“Not a hint. What do I know about music? My daughter listens to women who don’t shave their legs, and my son wears headphones twenty-four seven.”

My ego took a tiny, tiny hit, and damn him, Jack noticed.

“Does it bother you that I didn’t know?”

“Not really. It’s actually refreshing.” How could he possibly know Chuck Kinney, the fucking Chuck Kinney, and not have seen a picture of me at some point? There were photos of us together all over Chuck’s apartment. There were posters of us, actually. Teen Choice Awards. We’d had a picture with the president. Surely he’d Googled Chuck? Wherever Chuck stood, I’d been at his side.

A man like Jack would have practiced due diligence and had his daughter’s fiancé investigated before giving his blessing on any marriage, right? I’d confirmed that both Mandy and Chuck had signed their prenup because that fell under my job description as peacemaker and watchdog for the four of us.

Jack’s keen gaze read me easily. “I bet for you, it’s a pain in the ass that everywhere you go, people think they know you.” His words were uncomfortably astute. “I know I wouldn’t like it.”

“It can be a pain in the ass, but I appreciate the fans.”

“You practice that in a mirror, sport? Because you didn’t look appreciative this afternoon when that woman pointed a camera at you. You bolted.”

The back door slammed, saving me a lame denial, and a woman in a slinky romper tiptoed shakily across the rocky patio. We waited. Jack gazed thoughtfully into the darkness, and I swatted insects and wondered what the hell else he saw. He sort of freaked me out. He’d had my number since the Fasten Seatbelt sign first illuminated.

I shot him a look, but Jack was watching the shoreline, one hand stuffed in his front pocket and his blazer wrinkled manfully behind his arm. White smoke floated around his head.

So far, no one had come looking for us, which was a minor miracle, but TJ and Matt were hitting on anyone with a C cup or higher, and Chuck . . . would appear in the doorway any second now.

The girl in the stilettos joined her friends at the fire pit, and I had one burning question for Jack. “How old are you?”

“Younger than I look. Older than I feel.”

“That’s helpful. You’re supposed to answer the question with a number. Like this: I’m twenty-nine. I’m guessing you’re . . .”

I sucked at guessing anyone’s age, but I gave it a shot. Silver-streaked hair, tan enough to do some work or sports outdoors, ripped from the gym, loaded if the watch was any indication, smoker of Cuban cigars, wearer of fine shoes, father of Mandy—

Holy fuck. The man must be fifty.

“Relax. I’m forty-four.”

My relief must have been evident. It was certainly audible as I sighed.

Jack shook his head. “Not as old as you thought. Thanks.”

“Sorry. I’m really bad at this. And forty-four’s not old. It’s distinguished.”

“Sure. You look twenty, so let’s call it a draw.”

“Twenty?” He would have carded me, too. Maybe I did need a beard. “So you are a pervert.”

His mouth twitched.

“Or did what happened earlier have nothing to do with age? For you, I mean.”

“Didn’t it?” His low words made my neck tingle. He didn’t move closer, but his gaze settled on my mouth like he remembered the feel of his lips on mine. “It had to do with opportunity,” he said slowly. “Adrenaline. Anonymity. Adventure. Age. You didn’t know me. I didn’t know you. And you loved it.”

I swallowed.

“I knew you would. I knew it the second I saw you. We could do it again.” He moved closer. “Take our time. Get to know each other.” His words skimmed across my nerves like a caress and Jesus Christ, they called me a player? The man could give lessons. “We could go back to the hotel.”

So tempting. But I remembered Chuck. And Mandy. And Benji’s slightly worshipping gaze. The wedding. Propriety. A bug hit my eye and, thank God, it broke the spell Jack had me under. I smacked another mosquito, and I knew Jack wasn’t playing me—he was playing with me.

LB Gregg writes m/m contemporary romantic comedies for a variety of publishers including Riptide, Carina Press, Samhain and Musa. For information about LB’s books, visit her on the web at lbgregg.com.

Contest Specifics or How To Enter to Get This Fabulous Book: 

Enter your details in the Rafflecopter below and leave a blog post comment to gain entry in the Home for the Holidays giveaway! This week of the tour closes at midnight, EST, on November 22nd. One grand prize winner will be contacted at the end of the tour on December 15th. Contest is valid worldwide.

Rafflecopter Link – visit and enter at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YThmY2QyMTMwZGEwMGQ2MzU3MWZhNDI0MjFlOTM1OjA=/
HowIMetYourFather_150x300Publisher Blurb:
The man of your dreams could be sitting right next to you.

Former boy band member Justin Hayes isn’t looking for a man. He just wants a quiet, scandal-free Christmas at home in Chicago, out of the public eye. But his best friend and bandmate is subjecting everyone to his destination wedding, and Justin can’t dodge the “best man” bullet. All he has to do is get to the island on time, survive the reunion, and get Chuck to the altar with as little drama as possible. What could possibly go wrong?

Jack Bassinger’s own plans for a quiet Christmas have been dashed by the summons to his daughter’s hasty wedding with a man Jack has hardly met. On the bumpy flight to the island, he finds himself comforting a nervous — and extremely attractive — young man. One hasty sexual encounter in an airport bathroom later, they both feel much better. No one ever has to know, after all.

Now Justin and Jack must find a way to explore their attraction, despite the distractions of disapproving family members, unexpected announcements, an impromptu concert, and an island paradise that proves there’s no place like home.

Buy Riptide Publishing buy link.Click here to read an excerpt and order How I Met Your Father!

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