An Alisa Review: Pros & Cons of Deception (Pros & Cons #2) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

FIVE JOBS. FIVE CHANCES FOR REDEMPTION. One thing’s for sure: these men are no angels.

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

Job number two lands right in my lap. I’m Bond. Wesley Bond. (I can’t resist saying it that way. Blame my dad, if you can find him.) You could call me a hacker. I redistribute wealth – moving it from rich slimebags to poorer but infinitely more deserving people – and make a tidy profit as I do.  My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to bring down some modern-day slave traders.

I definitely choose to accept it.

With the life of the one person in this world I love on the line, I can’t afford any screw ups or distractions. Unfortunately, my biggest distraction is my biggest asset – Danny Monroe. Danny is a leftover complication from our first job; a victim of the vicious senator we’d gotten locked up. He’s a smart, funny, gorgeous, ex-prostitute, who can’t seem to keep his clothes on. I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut around him. But I need a fake boyfriend, and Danny is the only option.

Fooling the world into thinking we’re in love will be easy; fooling myself that I’m not might be impossible.

We don’t know who the bad guy is, we have no idea how to prove anything. There’s no internet on the island, no cell service, and I’ll have only the bare bones of my gear. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Like it or not, we’re all in this together.

This was another great story and I continue to love the way these characters interact with each other.  Danny is so adorable, he hasn’t been given a great hand in life since his parents kicked him out but he is determined to make the best of it going forward.  Wesley means well but doesn’t always come across as he would hope and it’s harder when he can’t just hide behind his computer.

It’s great to see all of these guys starting to come out of their shells a bit and see that they are actually starting to care about each other.  It’s interesting getting to know them all but can’t wait to dig deeper as they each get their own story.

Wesley is Robin Hood and Danny hit it on the head before he really knew what he did but he feels too jaded to have someone as bright and trusting as Danny in his life, though his need to take care of him and see him happy overrides all of that.  Danny is trying to figure out what his next step is going to be and while finding out he isn’t just there to be pretty he finds the love and acceptance his life has been missing.  I think all these guys are really finding the family they need in their lives with their rag-tag group and look forward to more of the books.

I loved the cover art and how it gives small visuals from the book.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 312 pages

Published: March 1, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Pros & Cons #2

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Swings & Roundabouts (The Power of Zero #4) by Jackie Keswick

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Length: 100,000 words approx.
 
The Power Of Zero Series
 
Book #0 – The Power Of Zero
Book #1 – Job Hunt
Book #2 – Ghosts
Book #3 – House Hunt
 
Blurb
 

Jack Horwood. Vigilante, hacker, security specialist. Partner to Gareth Flynn. Adoptive father to their two teenage boys. Happily juggling long days and short nights.


Gareth Flynn. Ex-army officer. Ace negotiator. Righter of wrongs. Family man. Away from home more often than he likes.


Desperate for a relationship reset, Jack treats Gareth to a romantic getaway and Sweden’s frigid peace gives them the break they both need. But Jack’s a trouble magnet and the next dead body just a wild skidoo ride away.


Can love, teamwork, and trust survive the troubles that follow them around? Can Jack save what’s become so important to him?


Expect action, drama, and hot romance in book 4 of the Power of Zero series.

 
Author Bio
 

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.


Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don’t follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.


And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.


For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops, or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places:


Website: http://www.jackiekeswick.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ctY9RD
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieKeswick
FB: https://www.facebook.com/JackieKeswick
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jackiekeswick/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jackie-keswick
Queeromance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jackie-keswick/

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Sean Michael on His Characters In his latest release Unlikely Hero by Sean Michael (author guest blog)

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Unlikely Hero by Sean Michael
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press | AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo 

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sean Michael on his tour for Unlikely Hero.  Welcome, Sean.

♦︎

Thank you very much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today.

A lot of my books are first times for the characters – their first meeting, their first kiss, falling in love with each other, etc. Unlikely Hero is different in that the characters were together in the past.

Eric and Brock split up because they wanted very different things out of their lives. Eric wanted children, Brock wanted to keep on with his high-powered life – business dinners and outings, Christmas in the Bahamas, etc. So they parted ways nine years before the events in Unlikely Hero.

Because of the nature of their split, there were no lingering hard feelings over things said or anything like that, and it wasn’t like they’d fallen out of love, they simply couldn’t figure out how to make their two visions of the future work together. And both men felt very strongly about the wanting kids/not wanting kids thing.

It was fun to explore how these two men, who were so very different nine years ago, and are still on the surface very different, react when they’re brought back together again. Nine years of being without each other, and without a significant other, leaves a lot of possibilities open when they reconnect.

I really enjoyed writing the story the characters brought me and I hope you enjoy it too!

Sean Michael

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Blurb

When his three-year-old daughter is kidnapped, Eric Wilson doesn’t have many options, and time is running out. With nowhere else to turn, he reaches out to his ex, influential businessman Brock Vencenza, whose money and contacts might be able to save Josie.

Brock never got over Eric’s loss, and he’s more than willing to help when Eric needs him most. Together with law enforcement and private security, they embark on a twisting investigation to find the little girl—and who wants to hurt her and destroy both men in the process. Under the circumstances, confessing he still has feelings for Eric would be inappropriate, but Brock can’t deny what’s in his heart. He doesn’t know if their love can be rekindled or if he can even protect Eric and Josie. But one thing is certain: Brock’s determined to be the hero in reality that he is in Eric’s eyes.

About the Author

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/

TWITTER: seanmichael09

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

A Caryn Review : Alpha Chef (JT’s Bar #2) by Sue Brown

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I was a bit conflicted about whether I should even review this book, since I wasn’t really impressed with the first in the series, and it was kind of a chore to read Alpha Barman.  But, I thought, it really can’t get any worse, and I usually like this author, so I’ll give her a chance to redeem herself.

Well, maybe she did.  A little.

In Alpha Chef, Jake and Mitch are now back together, and running JT’s bar.  And the rest of the team is still hanging out and sleeping on the floor of the bar (?????  I didn’t get that at all.  Didn’t they have anywhere to go?  A hotel?  Back home?  At least an air mattress???)  Which is convenient, because now Mitch’s little brother Greg is in trouble.

Greg has been in the witness protection program for 14 years, after witnessing an execution.  Greg’s testimony put the murderer in prison, but he’s been moving from place to place, new identity to new identity, always looking over his shoulder as the gang keeps finding him.  When his house and the diner where he works are both torched on the same night, he knows he’s been found again.  When he can’t reach his handler in the US Marshal’s office, he heads for JT’s bar and his older brother Cole, AKA Mitch, whom he hasn’t seen since Cole left for the Army.

Colm Riordan is the most recent marshal in charge of Greg.  There has always been attraction there, but neither man acted on it.  But Greg is in more trouble than he ever was before, and the danger just ramps up both men’s desire.

So, I had many issues with this book.  Greg and Riordan get together out of lust, and I could never see that there was more to the relationship.  The whole background story of how Greg got into WITSEC in the first place was a little stretched.  There were a lot of unnecessary (in my mind) sidebars – Wyatt threatening Moose, the parents showing up, etc.  Even the original team being there in the first part of the book was superfluous since they left before any action occurred.  The action scenes weren’t all that exciting.  New men were introduced to the story near the end, and I guess if they are to be part of the next book in the series it makes sense, but otherwise they added nothing to this story.  There were minor inconsistencies that had me scratching my head, as well as just enough grammatical errors that I got pulled out of the story.  And on a petty note, I kind of object to the term chef being applied to a guy who has been a line cook at a few diners.  But I guess Alpha Fry Cook doesn’t have the same ring to it…

Cover art by Garrett Leigh shows a good looking model, with an appropriately disturbed expression, that I feel represents Greg well.  Except for the fact that Greg has long hair.  Or was the model supposed to be Colm?  Oh well, it’s a good looking model either way…

Sales Links:  Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published September 27th 2017 by One Hat Press
ASINB07617FCSZ
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesJ.T.’s Bar #2 settingWyoming (United States)

Review Tour and Giveaway for Deacon’s Law (Heroes #3) by RJ Scott (excerpt)

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Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 50,000 words approx.
 
Heroes Series
 
A Reason To Stay (Book #1) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Last Marine Standing (Book #2) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

How can you trust the man who tried to kill you?


Undercover cop Deacon Shepherd lost everything trying to maintain his cover – the man he loved and the future he craved. He walked away and never looked back because it was the only way to keep Rafael alive.


The last thing he needs is to be dragged back in that world, but an attempt on Rafael’s life is enough to make him risk his heart again.


Rafael ‘Rafe’ Ramirez wakes up in the hospital, the victim of a hit and run. He’s horrified when the first face he sees is that of the man who betrayed him and left him for dead three years before. Witness protection had stripped Rafe of his family and friends, and now it seems his sacrifice to bring his Uncle to justice was for nothing.


Someone wants Rafe dead, and the only way he can stay alive is to go with the murdering drug dealer who broke his heart. But how can he ever trust Deacon, and how can Deacon protect Rafe without falling in love all over again?


 

Excerpt
 

Rafe opened his eyes, attempting to focus on the ceiling above him. He tried to lift his hand, but it felt as if there was lead in his veins, everything heavy and he couldn’t move. They’d told him he was getting better, so what the hell had happened? Had he relapsed? Why was he convinced that they’d taken him somewhere in an ambulance? That he’d leaned against a leather jacket that smelled of sunshine and soap? He blinked until the ceiling finally coalesced into the tiles he was familiar with.


Only there were no tiles.


Instead, the ceiling was a smooth white, and there were no strip lights, just a lampshade in a curious shade of blue. He blinked again. This didn’t make sense. 


But when he opened his eyes, nothing had changed. The ceiling was still white, the lampshade blue, and the drapes at the window matched the shade. The drapes. There were drapes at the window. Confusion morphed into panic and he turned his head to the right to get a better feel for where he was and he saw…him.


Sprawled awkwardly in the chair, his head back, long limbs this way and that, clearly too big for the chair, was a specter from a past that wouldn’t leave him alone.


Deacon.


Intense fear sliced into Rafe.


They’d found him, had him strapped to a bed…was it Deacon who’d tracked him down and driven a car at him? He was paralyzed with a fear that made it hard to breathe, and he yanked at his hand, hoping to escape his restraints, only he wasn’t tied down, there was no rope. Instead his hand came up fast and he rolled sideways. Catching himself and coming off the bed, forgetting the fact that his leg was in a cast and toppling sideways, falling with a crash into a cabinet. He flailed but couldn’t stop himself falling, and he knew this was it – this time he was really going to die.


Deacon was up and at his side in an instant, and Rafe wanted to shut his eyes, wanted to block out seeing Deacon’s face again as he died, but he had to watch. He wanted Deacon to see his fear, and maybe that would stop him; maybe he could make Deacon stop and think.


“Shit, Rafe— Craig,” Deacon said, and reached for him, grasping his arms.


Terror became ice inside him, and Rafe stopped fighting; like a deer caught in headlights, he froze.


“What happened?” A second man stood in the doorway, someone Rafe didn’t know – tall, dark and dangerous-looking. Maybe this new arrival could stop Deacon?


“Help me,” Rafe forced out, looking past Deacon, scrambling to stand as the ice melted and he pushed himself to move.


“He woke up, saw me, and fell out of bed,” Deacon said, and the other man came right in. There were two of them, and there was little Rafe could do to get away. There and then, he screwed his eyes shut; nothing was going to save him now.


But there was no pain, no bullet. Instead, the two men helped him to stand, and then he felt the bed at the back of his thighs and they sat him down.


“Are you okay?” Deacon asked. Even with his eyes shut, Rafe recognized his voice. He would never forget the tone of it, or the coldness of the man who’d tried to kill him. He said nothing.


“Open your eyes,” the other man asked.


No.


“Craig? Rafe? My name is Mac. We’re here to help you.”


But fear was choking him and he couldn’t breathe. “No,” he managed between attempts to inhale enough oxygen not to pass out.


“He’s panicking. What the hell did you do, D?”


“Tried to fucking kill him three years ago, remember?”

Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.


The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.



mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
www.rjscott.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts
www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
twitter.com/Rjscott_author
www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

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Taylor V. Donovan on Writing, Style and her release “Six Degrees of Lust“ (author guest post and giveaway)

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Six Degrees of Lust (By Degrees #1) by Taylor V. Donovan

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Taylor V. Donovan here today to talk about writing and her release Six Degrees of Lust. Welcome, Taylor!

~

 

Hello, everyone!

My name is Taylor V. Donovan and I’m an author of gay romance and suspense. Today I’m here to talk about writing…about my voice and my style. Thank you so much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me!

Those of you who have read my work already know my stories are mostly inspired by everyday situations. For those of you who have yet to read my work and have absolutely no clue what to expect, I’ll tell you that realism is my “thing.” There’s no magic penis that’ll cure anything and everything, but my characters are full of love, commitment, hope, and determination to be happy. Also, making my readers part of my characters’ journey is my main goal. The ride is never a quick or easy, but hopefully you’ll feel emotionally invested.

My first title was contracted in May 2011. My first story, a freebie called Heatstroke, was published in July of 2011. Since then I’ve become very familiar with reviews and readers’ reactions to my work. I’ve met other readers clamoring for “different” stuff. I’ve learned there are professional reviewers, neutral reviewers that focus on craft, mean reviewers that make authors reconsider whether they’re cut out for writing or not, passionate readers that offer their opinions in the form of a review, reviewers that have such firm ideas of how a story should go that they pretty much tell us how we should’ve written the book, reviewers that—

I’ll shut up now. I’m pretty sure you all get my drift, and this post is not about reviews. It’s about my personal journey and individual style as an author, but before we reach that point, I need to get back to basics.

I’ve been reading fiction forever. I adore doing so. It’s been my favorite hobby my entire life.  If I remember correctly, I discovered the romance genre when I was only eleven. A battered Harlequin copy was mixed in with a bunch of magazines my aunt gave me. I read it and I was hooked. Not to Harlequin, but to reading romance.

As a reader, I don’t like gratuitous anything. Books with misunderstandings that go on for at least four chapters, silly bickering written in an attempt to replace real conflict, and too stupid to live characters that should not be allowed out of their houses are, in my opinion, a waste of precious reading time and an insult to my intelligence. And boy, don’t get me started on the sex. I mean, I most definitely enjoy a hot sex scene, but it’d better not be the only thing happening in the book, and it better mean something. Porn without plot and stroke stories are not for me. When the only thing growing between the main characters is their erections I cannot help but to feel turned off and frustrated.

I want a solid plot. I want realistic characters and situations. I don’t want to escape the world. I want to see how these guys who become real to me the moment I start reading deal with every day issues. I want to get emotionally invested and cheer on the guys until they find their way to happiness.  And you know what? That doesn’t always happen within 50,000 words and fifteen chapters.

If you’ve been following my writing career you know I’m not a rookie author anymore, even though I only have a few titles to my name. Life happened to me, so yeah… To date I have three published stories: HeatstrokeSix Degrees of Lust, Six Degrees of Separation, Hearsay, and Disasterology 101, which is currently being formatted for re-release. But if you’ve read my work then you also know I don’t stick to any specific formulas. There are two reasons for this:

1. I write what I like to read, and

2. early on I decided to let the characters do the talking.

Every one of my stories, both published and works in progress, began with just one character. Sometimes he turns out to be the MC, but not always. He’d much rather be in the background and wait until the time is right for him, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have lots to say and things he needs to bring to the table.

That was the case with Logan, one of the characters in my By Degrees series, a romantic suspense featuring a serial killer of gay men and the FBI team leader trying to catch him. Logan demanded his POV was included in Six Degrees of Lust, the first installment in the series. Then another character appeared with the same behavior. And another. And another. And what they had to say needed to be said on their time and on their own terms. I had to listen to them because if I didn’t, their story wouldn’t have been the same. And that, my friends, is how I ended up writing an ensemble serial with unresolved situations. 

Several unresolved situations.

This, of course, will change as the series advances. Sadly, it just could not happen in one book. Not unless I wrote a 2,000-page saga.

Six Degrees of Lust, Second Edition was just released on January 2, and it has received wonderful reviews. Some readers love the format and the build-up. They appreciate the fact that every character has a distinctive voice. Other readers hate the cliffhangers and would’ve preferred the book didn’t have as big a cast, and focused on Sam and Mac’s POVs, the main romantic couple in this installment. All opinions are valid and appreciated. It is a matter of personal taste and to each their own, yes?

But when the first edition of the book released back in 2011, those opinions got me thinking hard and carefully. Should I not write ensemble novels? Should I find a way to silence all those voices even though I know why their story needs to be told a certain way? Should I stick to conventional formulas so that I don’t upset the readers that know what they want (only the MCs) and how it should be (no cliffhangers or open storylines, please)?

Someone told me I need to write more sex. I’ve been advised to stick to a proven, successful formula. I’ve been told I’m better off not including kids in my books. I’ve tried to decide the kind of readers I want to reach: the escapists or the hard-core realists… and I’ve decided that the best thing I can do is to remain loyal to my characters and their journey, however long and bumpy it might be.

All my other stories, and this includes Heavy Hitters, my next title to be released, focus on the main couple. But when/if the time comes for another big cast, I will welcome it with open arms, because they have a right to be heard even if they aren’t the norm.

Just like I’m not.

But enough about me. I want to hear what you guys have to say about this. Are you willing to read out of your comfort zone, or do you prefer to stick to stories similar to the ones you’ve liked the best so far? Why do you feel that way? Could I change your mind? Just kidding on that one. 😉

Come on, guys. Discussion time. Inquiring minds would like to know. 🙂

Xoxo

Taylor

P.S. I’ve brought some copies to give away. Leave a comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a set of electronic copies Six Degrees of Lust and Six Degrees of Separation, Second Edition.

P.S. 2 Six Degrees of Lust, Second Edition, releases today. If you read the first version, I’d still recommend you get this one as well, as some characters were fleshed out and, even though the story arc remains basically the same, there are tweaks foreshadowing events in Six Degrees of Separation, which in turn leads to events in Six Degrees of Agony, finally coming to you late 2017.

Good luck!

Six Degrees of Lust, Second Edition

Release date: January 2, 2017

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Blurb

By Degrees; Book One

New York City FBI team leader Samuel Shaughnessy lives for his immediate family and his job. After a marriage gone wrong he has stuck to a firm rule when it comes to relationships: he doesn’t have them. Sexually active and emotionally unavailable keeps him satisfied, especially now that he is in hot pursuit of a serial killer targeting gay men.

Former firefighter Machlan O’Bannon now manages a successful sports bar in Houston and after years of waiting he’s ready to stand up and be the man he always wanted to be: out, proud and drama-free. His politically-aligned family wants to keep him locked in the closet, but Mac just wants to meet the man of his dreams.

One man is as high strung as the other is laid back. A chance meeting brings the two men together, and one night of passion ignites a fire neither can fight. Their lives are not only miles apart, but as different as day and night. They don’t want to get involved, but they might not be able to keep apart.

First Edition published by MLR Press, December 2011.  

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Taylor V. Donovan is a compulsive reader and author of gay romance and suspense. She is optimistically cynical about humanity and a lover of history, museums, and all things 80s. She shamelessly indulges in mind-numbing reality television, is crazy about fashion, and passionate about civil rights and equality for all.

When she’s not writing or making a living in the busiest city in the world, Taylor can be found raising her two daughters and their terribly misbehaved furry baby in their home.

Website

Facebook

Goodreads

Giveaway

Taylor Donovan has brought some copies to give away. Leave a comment along with your email address where you can be reached if chosen and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a set of electronic copies Six Degrees of Lust and Six Degrees of Separation, Second Edition.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

A Lila Review: Nothing Special V (Nothing Special #5) by A.E. Via

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

nothing-special-v-by-ae-viaAtlanta’s notorious narcotics task force is at it again. They are stronger, bigger, and better than ever. Especially when a city councilman sends RECON Marine, Edwin Steele – who’s been blacklisted from his Oakland department – to join the team. God and Day weren’t recruiting. They have a lot on their plates, like the fact they’re supposed to be getting married soon. They don’t have the time or the patience to integrate a decorated war hero with a slight chip on his shoulder into their well-oiled machine.

A hothead that’s uncontrollable and terrible with authority… but wasn’t that their team motto?

Steele was ready to hang up his shield. He was done fighting with bigoted bastards that couldn’t respect the job. He was good at fighting; he just needed the right team to fight with. When his uncle – City Councilman, Rasmus Steele – shows him a video of God’s team in action, he knows right away, it’s where his nephew belongs in order to restore his faith.

Steele pointed to the driver, a behemoth of a man wielding those massive firearms like a true beast… like a soldier. “And him. Who the hell is he?”

“That’s your new boss. Lieutenant Cashel Godfrey… they call him… God.”

Steele was skeptical about his new placement, but when he meets God’s technology specialist/computer genius, “Tech,” he’s willing to give it his all, and he definitely shows and proves.

Tech is stunning. His sweater vest and khakis, a stark contrast to the blue-jeaned roughnecks he works with. A beautiful sheep amongst the wolves. Steel thinks there’s no way the brilliant man would be interested in a hardhead like him, but Tech has a few badass hidden talents of his own and manages to fool him… fool all of them.

Nothing Special V is two books in one. We get Steele’s and Tech’s story. Plus, side stories from all the previous couples. It takes a moment to get used to all the POV changes, but the author did an excellent job keeping them organized and relevant. All the voices combined gives us the best look into the futures of God’s and Day’s men.

The first meeting between Tech and Steele set the pace for the story. It shows the reader how well-equipped they are to deal with each other and how good they fit in the team. Reading both of their thoughts and feelings also clue us into the path they need to follow to be together. They needed to grow stronger individually to be a couple.

The combination between meaningful smexy scenes and the action-packed plot lines create the perfect balance of enjoyment. These men are more than their batches, they’re a family that works like a well-oiled machine. But under everything else, they are strong because of the men at their side. Each couple and their love make them more than lethal.

If you are a fan of these men, you’re going to love the extra scenes with them as a group and the individual couples. The whole thing works together and sets the stage for even more couples to come.

And the bonus story at the end of the book is a perfect five. I love the little short story about the youngest couple in their bunch.

The cover by Jay Aheer is a compilation of the covers from the other books in the series, together with the new additions—Steele & Tech.

Sale Links: Amazon | Smashwords | Nook

Book Details: 

ebook, 360 pages
Published: December 19, 2016, by Via Star Wings Publishing
ASIN: B01N0G9507
Edition Language: English

Series: Nothing Special
Book #1: Nothing Special
Book #2: Embracing His Syn
Book #3: Here Comes Trouble
Book#4: Don’t Judge 
Book#5: Nothing Special V

 

A Paul B Review: A Time to Rise by Tal Bauer

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Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

A Tiime To RiseFor all the holiness that surrounds Vatican City, evil lurks within its walls.

Alain Autenburg has been a member of the Swiss Guard for the past twelve years.  As a member of the group of men charged with protecting the Holy See and the Supreme Pontiff, the Swiss Guard have been serving popes for centuries.  Unbeknownst to most within the Guard, there is a subset within their numbers who are members of the Knights Templar.  They are responsible for ridding Rome of all the unholy paranormal happenings going on in the city.  Alain is the current Knight responsible for these duties.

Cristoph Haase is a new halberdier in the Swiss Guard.  Older than most of the other new soldiers in the pope’s army, Christoph is not quite sure why he is in Rome.  While it is the top assignment of the Swiss army to be selected as a member of the Guard, Cris is not sure he fits in.  Resigning would not only end his military career, but also leave a stain for any future private employment.  To make matters worse, Cris is fighting his attraction to and non-committal response from the Sergeant in the “Special Projects” office of the Guard, Alan Autenburg. To make matters worse, the sergeant is assigned to be his mentor.

As the attraction between the two grows, Alain has severe reservations about letting Cris into his world.  The last time he let someone in it almost destroyed him.  Alain wants to protect Cris from the things that go bump in the night.  A relationship with this new recruit would put in jeopardy, especially if he were to be trained as his replacement.  All that changes when Cris is cornered in a bar one night by an incubus who is trying to steal his soul.  The incubus shows both men their deepest desire.  They must now move forward with their relationship while fighting demons being called by someone within the walls of Catholic leadership.

This is a well-crafted book with enough tease of romance and action to fulfill the premise of the book.  Alain wants to be with Cris but the last man he was close to was hurt by his line of work so he Is very hesitant to follow his feelings.  This drives Cris crazy with what seems to be Alain’s flip flopping on whether or not to see where their feelings lead.  The secondary characters work to move the story along.  Of special note is Father Lotario.  The chain smoking, vodka swilling exorcist is not what one expects to find. I hope there are more tales of Alain, Cris and the demon fighting men of the Vatican.

The cover art by Aria Tan is perfect for the book.  Alain is standing in profile with the Vatican City skyline in the background.  You can also see Cris looking on in the background.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details

ebook
Published May 2nd 2016 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781911153481
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Review: Trowchester Blues (Trowchester Blues) by Alex Beecroft

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Rating: 4.75 stars rounded up to 5 out of 5

Trowchester Blues coverAs a Metropolitan Police Officer Michael May has seen it all, including the worst people can do to each other,  and it’s getting to him.  When confronted by the monster who has tortured and murdered a number of young girls, Michael loses it and  assaults him.  The ramifications of an officer attacking “an alleged suspect” will be ignored only if Michael “retires”.  It’s an act he agrees with even if it destroys a part of him.

The recent death of his brutal father gives Michael a place to disappear to, the small quaint town of Trowchester.  He’s inherited his childhood home with all its damaging memories of his abusive father and frail mom, and the narrowboats moored at the shared dock behind the house.   Beset by memories, afraid of his own rage, Michael is lost until a chance meeting with the town’s antique book seller changes everything.

Fintan Hulme is now an honest man.  Five years ago that wasn’t the case.  Then Finn was a happy  high class London fence, specializing in rare books and object’s d’Art.  But then everything changed and Finn turned his back on his old life and criminal associates to open a antique book shop in Trowchester where he became a model citizen.

Until the past finds him once more and embroils him in a crime with far reaching consequences.

For Finn, falling in love with an ex-cop with anger management issues is the last thing he should be doing, only he can’t seem to help himself.  And Michael, unaware of Finn’s background, is just starting to trust his instincts and people once more.

When the past collides with the present, and criminals starting to appear around every corner,  can an ex-cop and ex-con pull together to save not only their relationship but their lives as well?

Trowchester Blues by Alex Beecroft is such an amazing story.  It hooked me in from the opening paragraphs and our heartbreaking introduction to burned out cop Michael May.  He and his partner, Jenny Smith (another well done character), enter a basement that contains the mutilated corpse of a young girl.  The descriptions are horrifying and the reactions of May and his partner human and unstandable. But for Michael May, its the final straw, the last act of a depraved monster that puts Michael’s rage at himself and society over the top.  It’s impact is visceral, the memories of it on the reader and May lingers throughout the story.

We get May’s frustration and anger at his inability to keep something like this from happening as well as the possibility that the murderer will get off with a light sentence and do it again.  But the years and Michael’s abusive past turns Michael into a vengeful attacker, something that no law enforcement agency can afford to have working for them.   The scenes within the Metropoliton Police Station and its Captain give Michael an  authentic background and an avenue for our empathy and feelings for this sad, lonely man.  And the darkness follows May and the story as the location changes to the village of Trowchester.

This story has so many layers to it and all the characters you will meet.  These are complicated people with varied pasts, intellect and skills.  Michael, Finn, and all the rest lead lives that will fascinate, and compel you on through adventures, events both glorious and disastrous in nature. It’s sexy, and hot.  Be prepared for a little kink but the reasoning and actions not only make sense but feel right for both men and their burgeoning relationship. It all works sublimely as a whole. Beecroft’s narrative is lively, magnetic in its ability to hold your attention, and gripping in its suspense and ability to surprise you.  I hated to put this book down.

Confession time.  I wanted Trowchester to be real even though I knew through the author’s notes it was fabricated for the story.  Trowchester felt alive, its aged streets and canals so imaginatively described that I felt as though I could see them.  And it was the perfect setting in which to meet Fintan Hulme, a beautifully realized former thief of intellectual and emotional depth.  What a perfect character, not just in his personal qualities,  the wonderful way in which the author constructed him.  Fintan has such dimension, including his love of books. That is especially conveyed through the shop he owns and has lovingly decorated. It in his passionate tirade delivered to an unfortunate and all important book owner.  Fintan is a puzzle, but one the reader will love to figure out.  We take him to heart and fear for him when his past finds him again. And his matchup with a fireplug of an ex-cop who is his intellectual and emotional match is a true wonder.

I loved everything about this story, including learning about the narrowboats (more googling to my delight), and antique books. I enjoyed Beecroft’s creation of a village where the economical vicissitudes have wrought  a revival that brings with it the world-weary sophisticates and gay tea shop owners but still has a dark side that exists along the docks.  The suspense and pain of discovery, the desolate past that mixes with a hopeful but shaky present for all involved here.  Even a “ghost” in need of help appears and grabs at our hearts.  And I realized that the last thing I wanted to do was see the end of this story.  I wanted Trowchester Blues to continue and enlarge, pulling in more of the characters we meet along the way to the resolution.

Lucky for us, we’re going to get it.  Alex Beecroft is not done with Trowchester yet.  Be still my heart.  There is more to come. Alex Beecroft has at least 2 more stories planned for 2015 in the Trowchester series and I can’t wait.  Until then, grab up this marvelous tale and make the acquaintance of two opposite yet equally compelling men and their journey towards love and a future together.  It’s a book you won’t want to put down and one you will happily pick up again and again while waiting for the next in the series.  It’s one of my highly recommended reads!

Cover Artist Lou Harper does an amazing job.  It’s perfect.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing    All Romance (ARe)  Amazon    Buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 290 pages
Expected publication: February 9th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626491984
edition languageEnglish
seriesTrowchester Blues

Books in the Trowchester series are:

  • Trowchester Blues (Trowchester #1) to be published February 9th, 2015
  • Blue Eyed Stranger (Trowchester Blues #2) to be published April 6, 2015 by Riptide
  • Blue Steel Chain (Trowchester Blues #3) to be published July 27, 2015 by Riptide

2013 Pulp Friction Series Finale, Finale Contest and Odd Man Out!

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Pulp Friction 4 covers

Today ScatteredThoughts is welcoming back authors Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Laura Harner and Tom Webb to talk about the last book in the Pulp Friction series…all of the series…, Odd Man Out.  Odd Man Out was written by all of the authors and ties up all the storylines for each author’s main character or characters.  There is a sensational contest to go along with this series finale, Odd Man Out 2013 Finale coverbut before we get to the contest, lets meet our authors for our final Pulp Friction get together of 2013!

Meeting already in progress, let’s listen in….

Havan: Right now, here, talking about this—this feels like it might’ve been the quickest year of my life. I swear just a couple of days ago Laura came to us with—

Wait a second…how rude, here I am assuming that you know us and our dastardly delicious Pulp Friction stories…introductions may be appreciated…”us” is Laura Harner, T.A. Webb, Lee Brazil and Havan Fellows…now back to our ramblings *winks*

—so Laura approached us with this crazy idea of bad guys being good guys and serial pulp fiction booklets and lots of man love…or something like that. After we completely thought she’d taken up some sort of (perhaps illegal lol) habit and realized she was just naturally…um…spunky like that…lmao…we sat and thought about her proposition.

I just love saying that…Laura propositioned 3 people at once…and we accepted!

And…Pulp Friction was born.

Flash forward roughly a year…and we’re now saying good-bye to the characters that became a part of our lives. Oh I’m not kidding, when Zack got mad at Wick it was hard as hell for me to not think that Laura was mad at me…and when Rory walked out on Chance hearts broke and we wanted to wrap our arms around Chance and tell him it would be okay. These are our boys, our hearts and souls…we’ve brought a very turbulent year of their lives to you and hope that you—our readers—love them as much as we do.

The dynamics of these men are really mind-boggling. We were already friends when we decided to test our boundaries with this endeavor. We knew that we could spend elongated periods of time together and not want to do each other bodily harm…lol…but could we write together? Could we allow the others into our minds and create—develop something that readers would enjoy? (Because make no mistake, even though only the last book is a combined effort we were holding each other’s hands through every single one of the twenty books that came before the finale.) That’s a scary as hell concept for private people to bear.

But we did it…and when the finale came around four extremely talented (some maybe a tad bit melodramatic *cough cough* or a touch hard-headed) and dedicated authors worked together and wrote one blazingly hot and holy-shit-hang-on-for-your-life-roller-coaster ride of a book.

Oh – and just for the record – our voices freaking sing when combined…*bows*.

And now it’s time to say good-bye to what started as five bad guys being good guys and ended as nine men (throw in a cousin & aunt, a housekeeper/mother figure, a manager of a bar & smartening up cop, a brother with two kiddos and a voice across the line) and well—that’s one hell of a family that no one wants to cross and anyone would be proud to be a part of.

We’ll miss them, we’ll think of them often and we’ll always have a place for them in us.

That being said…we’re ready to wow you next year when we take on Flagstaff and see what kind of trouble we can rouse up there.

Lee: Havan, I think you said everything that we’re all feeling right now. I’d just like to add a big thank you to readers and reviewers who supported us with such enthusiasm in this whole endeavor. It isn’t the usual fare in today’s world of instant gratification. This whole concept of waiting to find out what happens next? Well, we knew it would tick some people off, but we hoped you’d love it as much as we did! People like Melanie and Will Parkinson wowed us with their responses, and that is so encouraging. Big hugs and lots of love to all of you!

Laura:  What she said. And then some. I really had no idea what this would turn into by the end of our first year together, but I can tell you, that just as the characters grew into a family, so have the PF writers. Friends who aren’t afraid to test the limits only come along so often in life. I’m grateful to have Havan, Lee, and Tom in mine. Tom wasn’t able to be with us today, but he and I have talked so much this past year about just how lucky we are to be part of this magical collaboration. He is always so appreciative of the amazing reader response to Marcus and Ben.

Havan: Oh-kay…the feelings have been tossed out there, our boys have shared every side they have…and the Macallans Whisky has run dry—well if that isn’t our cue to wrap this up nothing is. But we don’t want to leave ya’ll empty handed…because you should always have something in your hand *winks* soooooooooooo…time for some fun.

Leave a comment…any comment you want, we aren’t picky…and FOUR lucky winners will be picked—each to receive one of the four compilations we published of the series. Oh…don’t forget to leave your email address also! And for the ones keeping count at home—yes we just said we will be giving away a total of twenty books to four lucky winners…a set of each of the series…so leave your comment already *points to comment area*

Contest Rehash (because I always wanted to use that word): Leave a comment here and four winners will be picked to receive one of the four compilations of the series.  That’s 24 books to 4 lucky winners, wow.  A set for each of you.  And please leave us your email address as well so we can get in touch.  I mean, this is remarkable.  Here is what the winners will get:

Wicked Truths coverWicked’s Way Series by Havan Fellows:

Wicked Solutions (Wicked’s Way #1)
Wicked Bindings (Wicked’s Way #2)
Wicked Incarceration (Wicked’s Way #3)
Wicked Guidance (Wicked’s Way #4)
Wicked Truths (Wicked’s Way #5)
Odd Man Out (4 series finale, #6)

Chance In Hell coverChances Are Series by Lee Brazil:

Chances Are (Chances Are #1)
Second Chances Are (Chances Are #2)
Fifty, Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are, #3)
Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are, #4)
Chance in Hell (Chances Are #5)
Odd Man Out (4 series finale, #6)

Darkest KNight coverCity Knight Series by T.A. Webb:

City Knight (City Knight #1)
Knightmare (City Knight #2)
Starry Knight (City Knight #3)
Knights Out (City Knight #4)
Darkest Knight (City Knight #5)
Odd Man Out (4 series finale, #6)

Duplicity coverTriple Threat Series by Laura Harner:

Triple Threat (Triple Threat #1)
Retribution (Triple Threat #2)
Defiance (Triple Threat, #3)
Crucify (Triple Threat, #4)
Duplicity (Triple Threat #5)
Odd Man Out (4 series finale, #6)