A MelanieM Review: Wrecked by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The call comes when Beckett Adler least expects it. He’s made a new life for himself in Vermont and has a law practice of his own. After four years he’s even stopped wearing his wedding ring. So when he finds out his husband, bull rider Skyler Paulson, has been seriously injured at an event, he isn’t sure what he wants to do. He knows what’s right though, so he heads down to Baltimore to bring his man home.

Sky knows his injuries are a career-ender, and he can’t believe Beck has come for him after all this time. He’s not a hundred percent sure what went wrong with their marriage and he has no idea how to be anything but a bull rider. But he wants this second chance, so he grabs at it with both hands.

There’s a lot Sky has to learn, from how to walk again to how to settle down with the man he loves. Beck needs to learn to open up and how to be more trusting. For their marriage to work again, both men will have to find a way to meet in the middle. Because neither of them wants to be wrecked anymore.

I’m really enjoying the writing collaboration of Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga.  This is my second story of theirs, the first being Land of Enchantment, and each story has been a real joy to read.  Each, of course, involves bull riders.  Here, the bull rider is the estranged husband of lawyer Beckett Adler.  Separated for four years, each has nevertheless still kept the other man close in their heart.  Even if secretly and apart.  One up in Vermont and the other on the rodeo circuit.

Wrecked by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga brings both men back together right at the beginning of the novel.  It takes an agonizing phone call and a brutal fall to change the path of each man’s life once more.  I love how we dive immediately into the heart of Beckett’s pain and love.  The shock of seeing Sky again, his physical state, and the past rising up around them.  I was with them in the moment every step because of the writing here.

I am so used to BA Tortuga’s broken men and great characters, put that together with Jodi Payne’s and it just meshes so well.  The experience and knowledge of the rodeo world, the pain and injuries that bull riders will often undergo in their career, and the rehab (if lucky) that awaits them afterwards.  It’s all laid out here, folded in immaculately as part of the story and the relationship as they and Sky start to mend.

I will admit that second chance at love stories are such a favorite of mine.  I’m rooting for the couple to begin with, make one a cowboy and it’s double down time.  So it was very easy for me to believe this relationship and the fact that they still loved each other despite that many years apart.  I could see stubbornness being such a large part of not calling and then the time and fear helping the separation.  What also rang true, maybe, was Skyler’s doubt about his future. I’ve seen others go on to successful careers as ranchers or announcers but as this could be projecting his own personal demons I thought that was a big possibility.  In fact, I wished the story could have enlarged a bit towards the end to show Sky and Beck working their new journey out together, not just the more finished version we got.  Which, yes, I love immensely.

Wrecked by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga is that wonderful feel great, second chance at love contemporary romance you will read in one sitting.  And then want more. Maybe a sequel to.  It left me smiling and it made my afternoon.  What more could I want?

Cover art is perfect!  Love that contrast between characters!

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Tygerseye Publishing, LLC
ASINB07TWK3Y8C
Edition Language English

Buy for $4.99 or read on  Kindle Unlimited

Check Out the new release from BA Tortuga! It’s Love the 2nd Time Around at Come Back Around (Leaning N #4) by B.A. Tortuga (excerpt and guest blog)

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Come Back Around (Leaning N #4) by B.A. Tortuga

Dreamspinner Press
Published July 2nd 2019
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Sales Links:  Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have BA Tortuga here today with an excerpt from her new story Come Back Around.  Welcome, BA.

 

 

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and cowboy fanatic. Come Back Around is the fourth in the Leaning N Series in the Dreamspun line. It’s the story of two estranged dads, a wedding, two little girls, and the universe conspiring to bring a family together.

I love exploring the more traditional dynamics about parents in a love story, and Mat and Reid didn’t disappoint me at all.

***

Mat took the girls to supper, even though all he wanted to do was stuff them in his SUV and run.

Fuck, it was good to hold them and listen to them laugh.

At dinner, though, they swarmed over Alejandro, leaving Mat nothing to do but eat his amazing mashed potatoes and watch Reid.

Reid didn’t eat a bite; he just drank a glass of pinot and sat back in the corner, texting someone. Who? A new lover? Why hadn’t Reid brought the new guy here?

He needed to eat. Reid looked pale and tired. Damn it.

Jennifer sat down next to him. “God, those look good.”

“You want some? There’s an enormous bowl.” He had a feeling the chef, Geoff, loved special requests.

“I’m not allowed to eat until after the ceremony. Elena will kill me if I don’t fit in my dress.”

“Not allowed to eat?” That seemed barbaric. “Man, I’m glad I didn’t have to wear a dress.”

“Yeah, it’s overrated, this dress thing. Alejandro is loving the attention from his nieces.”

“They adore him.” He met her pretty green eyes. “Thanks for getting them here.”

“Reid never once suggested that they not come.”

“Did he know I would be here, though?” He laughed, but it sounded hollow to his own ears. “Don’t. I know he had to. It’s Alejandro’s wedding too. I’m just being an ass. I could sneak you a granola bar later.”

She began to chuckle; then that turned into laughter. He shot her a look, and she opened her purse. In it were three granola bars—one with Lucia’s name, one with Daniela’s, and the third with Reid’s.

“Well, your people love you, kiddo.” He winked at her, laughing helplessly too.

“You all do. No question.” She closed her purse and snuck a bite of his potatoes. “Are y’all going to let Patricia eat him?”

“What?” His mama would never do that. He widened his eyes hugely, going for innocent, which he knew wouldn’t work. “I might let her chew a bit, just for keeping things from me.”

“Huh?”

Now he turned serious. “He got a nanny, Jen. Full-time. He’s supposed to disclose stuff like that. His custody depends on him having more time to take care of them. You know that’s the only reason I didn’t fight harder for at least split time.”

“So he was supposed to turn Pottery Barn down? Williams Sonoma? Come on now, after you ragged his ass and accused him of being worthless? He’s been busting his ass doing everything.”

“I never said he was worthless. Not once.” He was grinding out the words through gritted teeth, but he knew what he’d said. “When he accused me of avoiding him and the kids by working too much, I told him if he worked harder maybe I could stay home more. Sue me.”

“Hey.” A hand landed on his shoulder and Jennifer’s. “Y’all stop it. This wedding isn’t about me. I’ll see you at the rehearsal, honey. I’m going to put the girls to bed.” Reid kissed Jennifer’s head. “Night, honey. I love you.”

“Night.” Jennifer gave him a tiny smile. “Sorry, Mat. I’ll get out of your hair.”

He pushed his potatoes toward her. “No, I have work to do. Have at ’em.” He wanted to catch the girls and kiss them good night.

She started to argue, but the girls were already on the move, Reid talking hard to them. Hell, he had to put on a burst of speed to catch up, and honestly he didn’t want Reid telling the girls he wasn’t coming or something.

“…and after bath time, I’ll see if Papi can come and read us a book, give nighttime sugars, okay? He needs to finish his supper or his belly will hurt.”

Oh. He stopped dead, not wanting the kids to see he’d been trailing them. That was really decent. Seriously.

***

Much love, y’all.

BA

Come Back Around blurb:

Leaning N

Can two divorced dads get a second chance at a redneck wedding?

When Reid Porter agrees to be his best friend’s man of honor, he never considers that his ex, Mateo, will be there too. Which is ridiculous, because Jennifer is marrying Mat’s brother. Reid would never let Jen down, though, so he finds himself at the Leaning N Ranch with his two daughters and a whole lot of baggage about seeing Mat again.

Mat loves his baby brother and would do anything for him, including face the love of his life, whom he’s sure has moved on. When he and Reid come face-to-face after more than two years apart, they realize they’ve never let go. Now they have to do what they never could before—balance work, home, and children, while finding a way to come back around to each other’s love.

Available July 2: Amazon

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, knitting, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friends, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

A Stella Release Day Review: Soft Place to Fall by BA Tortuga

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Stetson Major and Curtis Traynor are about as opposite as two cowboys can get. Stetson is a rancher, tied to the land he loves in Taos, New Mexico, while Curtis is a rodeo cowboy whose wanderlust never could be tamed. But now Stetson’s momma is dying of Alzheimer’s, and she can’t remember that Curtis hasn’t been Stetson’s boyfriend for a long time. Curtis’s absence makes her cry, so Stetson swallows his pride and calls his ex-lover. To Curtis, Stetson is the one who got away, the love of his life. And Momma is his friend, so he’s happy to help out. Yet returning to the ranch stirs up all sorts of feelings that, while buried, never really went away. Still, the rodeo nationals are coming up, and Curtis can’t stay—even if he’s starting to want to, especially to support Stetson when he needs it most. Stetson and Curtis want to find a place where they both fit, to be there to catch each other when they fall. But family, money problems, and the call of the rodeo circuit might end their second-chance romance before it even gets started.

Soft Place To Fall is a very well done story, well written and developed. What hugely surprised me was, although the author decided to deal with some important themes, although I shed a couple (or more) of tears, the book was never too heavy or too much to take as sometimes happens to me with this kind of plots. Instead this novel was so easy to read the ending came too soon.

The romance between Curtis and Stetson is a second chance at love and I have to say it was absolutely beautiful to see how strongly the main characters were ready to reconnect; sure it showed how stupid they were to be apart all that years, but is also demonstrates how real love is destined to last no matter what. And it could sound cheesy, and maybe it is, but this is the feeling I got from this story and it filled my heart.

If you love the author previous releases, or if you are a fan of cowboys and you’re looking for a story with laughs, sweetness and sad moments, you can’t miss the new novel by BA Tortuga.

The cover art by Tiferet Design is so sweet and I don’t know how to say it with another word, so soft like the title of the book says, it’s perfect.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 258 pages

Published April 9th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ASIN B07PPBK1MY

Edition Language English

BA Tortuga On Land Allegiance and her new story Soft Place to Fall (guest blog)

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Soft Place to Fall by B.A. Tortuga

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have BA Tortuga back again talking about all things Texan, writing, and new stories, in this case Soft Place To Fall. Welcome, BA.

 

 

My Daddy Hates It Here 😉

Hey y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things western.

I have to tell y’all a story. As y’all may know, I’m a Texan and when I announced to my daddy I was moving to New Mexico, he was pissed.

You see, Daddy really likes all of his little girls near, thank you.

Regardless, here I moved, and when Daddy saw it, he hated it.

Now, I live in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, so I live surrounded by high desert and mountains. It’s stunning here. The light, the sun, the colors…I can rhapsodize.

All my daddy sees is dirt.

*grins* That’s how it goes with my newest book – Stetson in a New Mexican, Curtis is a Texan. Stetson is married to the land, Curtis is married to rodeo.

Damn y’all.

When Stetson has to call Curtis for a favor years after they break up? Whoa.

Much love, y’all,

BA

Soft Place to Fall Official Blurb:

Stetson Major and Curtis Traynor are about as opposite as two cowboys can get. Stetson is a rancher, tied to the land he loves in Taos, New Mexico, while Curtis is a rodeo cowboy whose wanderlust never could be tamed.

But now Stetson’s momma is dying of Alzheimer’s, and she can’t remember that Curtis hasn’t been Stetson’s boyfriend for a long time. Curtis’s absence makes her cry, so Stetson swallows his pride and calls his ex-lover.

To Curtis, Stetson is the one who got away, the love of his life. And Momma is his friend, so he’s happy to help out. Yet returning to the ranch stirs up all sorts of feelings that, while buried, never really went away. Still, the rodeo nationals are coming up, and Curtis can’t stay… even if he’s starting to want to, especially to support Stetson when he needs it most.

Stetson and Curtis want to find a place where they both fit, to be there to catch each other when they fall. But family, money problems, and the call of the rodeo circuit might end their second-chance romance before it even gets started.

About BA Tortuga 

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

You can find BA at:

Website: http:www.batortuga.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/batortuga

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/batortuga/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/batortuga

Blogger: http://batortuga.blogspot.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/batortuga/

Tumblr: http://batortuga.tumblr.com/

A Lucy Review : The Forever Kind Of Love by LA Bryce

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

You never forget your first love … especially when they cause you pain. Chase thought he was doing the right thing when he left Liam years earlier, but when he finds out he was wrong, it might be too late. The trust they once shared may be past the point of repair.

The Forever Kind of Love is a story of second chances that asks the question — is a good reason enough to wash away the years of hurt it caused? Chase comes home from the military ready to start his life with Liam. But he discovers Liam’s life has already started without him. Is there a place for him in it? Is the possibility of more pain worth the risk for Liam?

If that isn’t hard enough, they only have the week Chase is on leave to come to terms with their future. Can they find forever in seven days?

First off, the blurb is a little misleading.  “…when he finds out he was wrong, it might be too late.”   A bit inaccurate, since Chase’s plan from the beginning was exactly what he did.   He never thought he was wrong, he just never bothered to consider things from Liam’s point of view.

I was worried when I started this book due to the length.  While I love second chance tropes, I also need enough time and detail to make me want them to get back together and to really understand why they were apart.  Forever Kind of Love is only 44 pages long and I didn’t get what I needed to make the story work. 

Chase and Liam were in love, telling each other they were in love, and then Chase just up and leaves with no word, no message, no nothing for four years.   Now he’s back and expecting Liam to open arms wide, take him back and then move the life he’s built in Chase’s absence to be with Chase, because Chase hasn’t left the military, which is where he went.  It’s not really clear why the first four years were a turning point because even though Liam works for Chase’s mom at her art gallery, where he also shows his own art, Chase has never asked about Liam.  We know this much because he was surprised Liam was showing his art work at the gallery, as well as not knowing that Liam no longer lived with his dad.  No one knew about Chase and Liam back then, so Liam didn’t discuss it with  mom either.

“And now it was time to finally go home and get his man.”  He just shows up at his mom’s, where they happen to be throwing a party for Liam.  He didn’t even do the courtesy of a phone call, a message, nothing.  Then he is so shocked with Liam’s reaction because really, he didn’t bother with how Liam would have felt.  “Just what? Explain what you were thinking? You didn’t think enough of me to explain at the time.”  “Chase took a deep breath.  This wasn’t going the way he planned.”  There were so many WTF moments for me but I continued on, waiting for the groveling to happen.  Which didn’t. 

“Again, he’d known Liam would be mad about him just leaving, but he’d hoped that after four years some of that pain would’ve subsided.”  What???  How does the pain subside when now Liam is faced with Chase, who has done absolutely nothing to make things better. Add in that it is really Chase’s mother who does the explaining to Liam and Chase gets no respect from me.  Let’s also mention that throughout the book, Chase NEVER ONCE says he is sorry to Liam.  Liam says sorry a few times but never Chase.  Liam is still expected to give up his job, his house, his friends, his relationship with Chase’s mom as his boss, and with a day or two to decide, just move on.  Chase doesn’t grovel at all during this time and for two days just mopes but makes no effort to clear up the mess he made.

The ending, which is supposed to make us feel good about them, just made me more aggravated with it.   This is where the length of the book really worked against the author.  We don’t get the sense at any point that Chase really loved Liam.  Yes, the high handed reason for leaving (who knows why in four years he couldn’t be bothered to reconnect) is supposed to be for “Liam’s sake” but communication is more important and there is none. We are told that he loves Liam but nothing shows that he does.  There needed to be more time between his return and the inevitable magical rekindling.  “Did he really have a picture of Liam jumping up and proclaiming his undying love?  Even after all Chase had done to hurt Liam?  Yep, Chase did.  Maybe I also needed to see how they were four years ago to make it seem like Chase really did love Liam and wasn’t just claiming him, as he says. 

This is my first time reading this author and while this story absolutely was not for me, I would give her another try with a different type of story line.

Cover art, showing a naked male torso with dog tags, is simple but effective.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 44 pages
Published March 2nd 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ASIN B07NVZ8HJD
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Designer Holiday by Ari McKay

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

It’s never too late for a second chance at love… or is it?

Rayne Sadler left the tiny town of Holiday Pines and his childhood sweetheart, Emilio Rives, to make a name for himself in the world of interior design. For twelve years, he never looked back. Now he has the successful career he wanted, but no one to share his life.

Emilio isn’t happy when Rayne returns to Holiday Pines to renovate the local playhouse. The town wants to stimulate the failing tourist industry, but Emilio has no interest in reviving the ashes of his relationship with Rayne.

Yet shared memories and experiences are powerful things. As the playhouse is restored to its former glory, the friendship between Rayne and Emilio slowly returns as well, and their chemistry is as powerful as ever. Rayne has designs on Emilio’s heart, and he sets out to prove it. Will the magic of Christmas thaw Emilio’s heart, or will it remain as cold as mountain snow?

What a perfect time for a lovers reunited and second chance at love story than at Christmas?  Designer Holiday by Ari McKay is a sweet, contemporary romance that brings two high school sweethearts back together after a long separation.  While one has seemingly moved on, the  other clearly hasn’t emotionally, the pain of the breakup deep even after all these years.

It’s hard since the breakup was as teenagers to imagine why Emilio carries such an enormous burden after all these years but McKay (and a lovely character, Emilio’s mother) go a long way to reasonably explaining such a deeply held grudge towards Rayne.  And Rayne’s take on it all, which honestly seems to normal for a teenage boy.

The way in which the town comes together for the playhouse, the various members of the community, and the place itself has it’s own magic.  I would definitely love to visit there myself would it appear on a map.  The authors have a way of making a walk down the street turn into an intimate stroll that pulls the readers into the scene, glancing here and there about the location while eavesdropping onto the conversation taking place.  It’s real, lovely, and in the moment.

The same goes for the romance.  At first hard and a bit tortured, it becomes a slow path back to trust and love and the way home at Christmas time.  Sweet, heartwarming, and believable.  I loved it.

Want to add a holiday story to your Christmas reading?  Pick up Designer Holiday by Ari McKay.  I recommend it to add sweetness and joy to your holiday reading.

Cover art is suitably Christmassy and bright, I like the models but wish for a little more of the playhouse that drew them both back together.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 132 pages
Published December 8th 2018
ASIN B07L7K5CKM

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Stetsons and Stakeouts by BA Tortuga

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

 

Gianni Cesare is a DEA agent and rancher—who also happens to be a millionaire heir to an Italian count. Running a multiagency sting out of his East Texas ranch means he needs a new foreman… preferably someone a little wet behind the ears who won’t ask too many questions.

Gianni’s Aunt Jerilyn hires Bonner Fannin, a roughstock rider with zero ranch experience and a sister who’s pregnant with a violent biker’s twins. If that’s not bad enough, Bonner is pretending he and his sister are married to protect her and to help get him the job.

Gianni didn’t think Bonner was the marrying type during their torrid beach affair years ago, but he’s not sure if he has time to explore that thought now, as overrun as his ranch is with drug cartels, macho government agents, and local cops. Looks like Bonner and Gianni are both in over their heads, and they may have to band together during this adventure to swim rather than sink.

BA Tortuga has set a huge agenda for this story and at 292 pages almost gets it all in. The author is juggling so many plots threads here and just as big a cast of characters to go along with them.

It starts with Gianni Cesare who wears identities like people put on clothes.  He’s Italian count in his father’s side, Texas ranch royalty on his mama’s.  He’s also a DEA undercover agent and millionaire with his fingers in a number of agency “pots”, local and otherwise.  We enter the story just as a drug biker bustup is going south and it introduces us to Gianni, his partner, and associates.  Briefly, just enough to see their camaraderie and the fact they’ve been together a while. It also introduces the fact that whatever they have been working on includes drugs, highways, and Gianni’s ranch being run by his aunt.

Which brings in another group of characters and necessitates the hiring of Bonner, his storythread with his pregnant sister,  and the thug of a biker after her.  I will be truthful here.  I find the sister, her pregnancy the weak section here.  There is, for me at least, ample storyline without her and in the  end she just sort of fizzles away.  I found her whiny and unnecessary.  Surely BA could have found another way to bring these two together other than this sister. And doing an unnecessary injury to the aunt as well.  Nothing about this element ended up satisfactorily with me.

The duo of Sheriff Chris and badboy/vet Xavvy, IT mad guy Colt and medic Mason, even Gianni’s partner Alison, his parents and aunt as well as Bonner’s best friend.  They are all terribly interesting and engaging personalities and the story just doesn’t have time for them all.  Although it tries hard.  And that’s pretty much the issue here.  Each  character/couple has major elements in this novel and for a while get’s a narrative spotlight shone on them.  Just not enough because of the overall plot arc which gets a little murky.  If this is the first in a series, then this is all just the author laying the foundation for future stories to come.  Which I get.

But if this is a standalone, then we are left at the end of this novel with several characters just sort of fading away that had major page time, an aspect of the crime story that is never fully resolved, and a general feeling of “where’s my wrap up?”  And not just with the aunt, or the deputy, or some of the others in the team.  I was just left with a sense of incompleteness somehow. That’s not a feeling I expect in a BA Tortuga story.

Like I said this is a huge novel with a huge agenda and a cast to match.  Somehow I think something got lost here.  Maybe it’s that intimacy, that sense of “knowing” that this author is able to bring to her Texas characters that I never felt with “Gianni”.  He never rang true.  Bonner did, so did the others.  I don’t know.  My usual connection was never made and I missed that.

If you love BA Tortuga, I’m sure you have already grabbed this up.  If its action/adventure you crave, this has some of that as well.  I’m just not sure it all made as much sense as it should have.  I’ll leave that up to you.  Romance?  Check, it’s got that covered!

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  I like the cover with the Stetson and badge.  Simple and yet, catches your eye and tells you about the character.  Like it.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 292 pages
Expected publication: December 11th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781640809154
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Safe Harbor by David O. Sullivan

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Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5

Best friends since they were children, Mikhail and Solomon later took their friendship to the next level. But they have a falling out after a horrible mistake.

Seven years later, the men are reunited on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean where they both work as waiters. The animosity between them runs deep, but the close quarters at sea bring them back together, with a little help from a fellow shipmate.

Can Solomon and Mikhail move beyond the mistakes they made in the past and rekindle what they had? Or are they fated to only being friends?

How many ways can a author sink a story?  Let me count the ways….

In Safe Harbor by David O. Sullivan the author’s choice of adjectives in describing his characters looms as number one Sullivan’s favorite word when it comes to Mikhail is whimpering. Mikhail enters a meeting late whimpering, he whimpers upon encountering Solomon, he just whimpers all over the place.  Is the author just not aware of the imagery he’s projecting onto his poor character?  Unfortunately, I just ran across another  author with a similar bent who kept describing his main character as sniveling.  Smh!  Do these people not own a dictionary?  Who does that to main characters and why do they think readers will then find them attractive?  Questions, questions.  Plus why didn’t an editor catch that?

Anyway, while poor Mikhail is whimpering away, Sullivan has done an equal injustice to Solomon.  Both men are of the Jewish faith which is clearly of deep importance to them now and growing up.  However, in bringing into Solomon’s dialog some Jewish or Yiddish slang the character comes across more like a 50’s comic or character from a Borscht Belt comedy act or an actor in the plays in  the summer resorts of the Catskill Mountains in the 50’s and 60’s.  It’s a constant rain of ‘Schmucks’ from his lips. You’re a Schmuck, he’s a Schmuck, everyone’s a Schmuck.  Talk about tiresome.  Everyone here is a cardboard character of little to no depth.

Some authors can and have beautifully folded in the Jewish culture, language, religion, and, yes, phrases, into a story effortlessly.  This is not that book.  Here it is jarring and one-dimensional.

Even a rabbi, a fire, and Hanukkah is used, poorly, to illustrate a “miracle” on board and to bring the men back together.  It’s actually cringeworthy.

Often when I say I  couldn’t get to the end quick enough, I mean that in a great way.  I raced to the end because I was so in love with everything that the story flew by.

Here it’s the exact  opposite.  I just wanted it to be over.

How sad.

Cover art is adorable.  How I wish the book reflected what was going on in that cover.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 53 pages
Published September 29th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07H81K7KB
Edition Language English

Release Blitz and Giveaway – From The Ashes by C.M. Valencourt

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Exclusive to Amazon in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 65,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: James @ Go On Write
 
Blurb
 

Hunter and Derek are at a fork in the road…


At their friend Justin’s funeral, once-best-friends Derek and Hunter meet again almost four years after their monumental falling out. Hunter kissed Derek, and Derek freaked out and chose a college on the other side of the country.


If they had a choice, both of them would walk away and never see the other again. Except Justin has given them a mission: an epic road trip to scatter his ashes all over the Midwest, complete with cryptic notes, new friends, and a whole lot of sexual tension. Can Derek and Hunter finish Justin’s road trip without ripping each other’s heads—or clothes—off?

 
Author Bio



C.M. Valencourt is a new m/m romance author. They started devouring queer fiction when they still had to smuggle it into their parents’ Catholic household, and dreamed of writing books about queer people finding love ever since. They like figure skating, ghost hunting shows, and Carly Rae Jepsen. You can find out more about their books and learn about upcoming releases at cmvalencourt.com.


Website: cmvalencourt.com
Twitter: twitter.com/cmvalencourt
Facebook: facebook.com/cmvalencourt

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An Alisa Review: Square One (Under The Uniform #7) by JJ Harper

Standard

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Xander is angry and fed up with being signed off work for something that was out of his control. He loses himself in alcohol and one-night stands, anything to dull the pain in his head.

Jonah is enjoying the freedom away from his small-town life, living life to the full in a big city. A few weeks away from starting his job as a firefighter, he embraces the nightlife and the men found in the clubs. One man, in particular, catches his eye, and not even exchanging names, they spend a night lost in each other, and then another. Still not bothering to find out any more about each other, they go their separate ways.

Until they find themselves face-to-face at work.

Unable to stay away from each other, they embark on something that soon morphs into so much more. Deeper, more intense, looking a lot like love.

But will it be enough when Jonah hears some life-changing news and he turns to Xander for support?

I liked this story once Xander and Jonah really got together, I liked that it started the morning after their firs one night stand so we know how everything was from the beginning.  The beginning of the book is littered with inconsistencies about the characters from they never to repeats to they want what they have to be inclusive from the beginning and one even getting jealous form when they weren’t exclusive.  I just don’t like when characters do the flip flop and after pushing things away jump right in like they never hesitated before.

Jonah and Xander quickly find their groove together, though I don’t actually know how much time passes throughout the whole book.  I loved that Xander’s family quickly accepts and loves Jonah which he needs in his life.  We never really get to know Jonah’s family just see his mom’s nagging through phone calls but it’s known they are not very supportive and it seems to me they are selfish.

I loved how Jonah helped Xander to accept himself after the accident and that it’s okay for someone to support you and see you vulnerable.  I was glad to see Xander support Jonah through his ordeal also and hurt for Jonah at the lies and deception from his childhood friend.  They really build a family together, I just wish there would have been some real closure with Jonah’s issues other than Kit suddenly becoming an important part of their lives.

The cover art by JC Clarke is nice but doesn’t have any real connection to the story.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 247 pages

Published: September 20, 2018 by Aubergine Publishing

Edition Language: English

Series: Under the Uniform #7