A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Chip and a Chair (Seven of Spades #5) by Cordelia Kingsbridge

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Cordelia Kingsbridge rocketed to the top of my “must buy” author list when she released Kill Game and hooked me on the lives of Detective Levi Abrams and PI Dominic Russo. Adding in the serial killer, the Seven of Spades, just made my addiction to this series that much stronger.

That being said, this finale was outstanding, but it was not my favorite of the series. Why? Because in this book, the MCs are not only still trying to find and stop the Seven of Spades, they’re tied up in trying to stop Utopia, a Neo-Nazi militia group—terrorists who plan to knock “Sin City” to the ground. Rather than the conflict between the couple, and the conflict within the department and Levi’s coworkers, and the search for the killer, this installment focused more on the terrorist acts and the MCs efforts to stop them from destroying Las Vegas. And I didn’t realize how much I missed the heartbreak of seeing Dominic and Levi break up, or the horror of the deaths caused by the Seven of Spades, or even the rollercoaster ride of emotions as more and more kills stacked up and the killer taunted Levi, until Dominic and Levi worked together as a solid couple and the focus wasn’t all on the serial killer.

The conflict with the Seven of Spades was not as sharp in this one. And though we don’t learn who it is until the latter part of the story, we finally get the big reveal—and then we get the serial killer helping Levi and Dominic in their race against time to stop a supreme act of terrorism. It’s nail-biting, heartbreaking, frightening, and amazing! The author is truly gifted in plot macramé as each of the clues and threads in the previous books come together. And, of course, once the killer is revealed, it all makes sense. [head-desk slam] Why didn’t I think of that? Honestly, I was so far off base I was in a different ball park with my guesses. 

If you love action, adventure, suspense, intrigue, and a very cleverly told tale, by all means, read this series. As I noted in one of my previous reviews, if I could give this series ten stars, I would. I very highly recommend this book and this series to anyone looking for an action-packed, law enforcement adventure in combination with MM romance. 

The cover by Garrett Leigh features a straight back chair in an apparently deserted room, while blood drips from the words of the title onto the chair. It keeps to the theme of the previous stories and is perfect for this finale.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 382 pages
Published March 11th 2019 by Riptide Publishing
Original Title A Chip and a Chair
ISBN 139781626496415
Edition Language  English
Series Seven of Spades :

Kill Game

Trick Roller

Cash Plays

One-Eyed Royals

A Chip and a Chair series finale

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: In Safe Hands by Victoria Sue

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

There’s so much to enjoy each time I pick up a book by Victoria Sue—depth of character, complexity of story, amazing secondary characters, and a well-planned plot, usually with lots of mystery and drama.  This book did not disappoint.

Mav Delgardo can’t seem to come to terms with the loss of his foot and consequently the loss of his career as a USAF helicopter pilot. Wallowing in a bottle, sleeping in his sister’s spare room, it’s not until she needs his help to guard a former musician that he manages to pull himself together.  Deacon Daniels (real name Danny) was a teen idol until a scandal resulting in the death of a woman and her child brings his career crashing down. Add to that the fact he’s lost custody of his two-year-old niece, for whom he was named guardian when his brother died, and a stalker is now out to get him, and it’s a wonder the young man doesn’t give up.

Mav is entranced by the real Danny and realizes there’s no way the news reports and gossip sheets have any inkling of what the young man is really like. And Danny sees Mav, beyond the scars on his face and torso and his artificial foot, Danny reacts to the person who cares about others and desperately wants to be needed and find his place in life after the loss of his career.  The two become close as those involved in perpetrating the scandal that destroyed Deacon’s career are murdered and the stalking and threats increase. 

It’s not until the two start to hope for a brighter future that the situation takes a turn for the worse and it looks like Danny won’t have a future at all if the murderer has his way.  I really enjoyed the action in this story.  The story was interesting, the characters well-developed, and the mystery intriguing.  When the murderer is revealed there was still plenty of action and suspense and I had a hard time putting the book down. 

Victoria Sue creates real characters with real feelings. I can rarely stay an arm’s length from getting caught up in their lives.  This story is for those who want to experience second chances, hurt-comfort, lots of intrigue, and a couple who deserves a solid future together.

Cover by Jay Aheer is a clever blend of the MCs and the action of the story. Against the white shirt on the Maverick’s chest, the artist has superimposed a man in shadows, a large apartment building and an orange glow, depicting a fire or fires, something the mystery murderer uses in this story. 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB 07NNL14XR
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Dawn and Dusk (Day and Knight #3) by Dirk Greyson

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

For Scorpion agents Day and Knight, their relationship is slow to develop, and trust is hard to build. Then Day’s brother, Stephen, goes missing, and Day finds out more about him than he ever dreamed. Day’s first reaction to Stephen’s disappearance is to try to get to him as fast as possible.

Knight initially holds him back so they can attempt to find out what they’re walking into. But when Knight sees Day’s desperation, he steps in to help and tries to calm the man he’s growing to care about, even though the trail is cold and clues are scarce.

When Day witnesses his brother being shot live on television, he loses the last of his control. Despite the lack of answers, Day is more determined than ever to find out what happened. Stephen was all the family he had left.

Bone-deep fear and adversity threaten to tear Day and Knight apart, but facing unimaginable hardship together might finally cement the bond between them.

I have to say that Dawn and Dusk (Day and Knight #3) by Dirk Greyson is my favorite and best story of the series so far.  Tightly told, high on suspense and mystery, it still never forgets that the readers wants agents Dayton (Day) Ingram and Knighton (Knight) to deepen their personal relationship, letting that aspect shine here.

Family is a big thread in this series and with these men.  For Knight, its the wife and boy he lost, their memories and guilt he battles with, and the killer he hunts and who eludes him.  It’s also the biggest obstacle between himself and a relationship with Day.  For Day, a family also represents both his biggest wounds and closest ties, just like Knight in some ways.  The loss of his parents and tightknit family unit, the foster homes, and then being claimed by his older brother and being raised by him, his only relative and family.

If Day has an Achilles Heel, its his brother Stephen and that’s exactly where Day takes an emotional hit when his brother goes missing.  A normally “together” Dayton becomes unraveled when nothing adds up about his brother’s disappearance, the facts he “knows” about his brother, and then the shocking newscast of a man looking like his brother being assassinated on the air.

This is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, action, drama, and high suspense and I just adored it.  I normally catch up on the series with a audiobook and missed out on the superb narration of Andrew McFerin so I’ll wait for that when this comes out in that version but reading it still made my heart race in places.

Stephen has been a figure on the circle around Day in the last two books so it’s great to get him fleshed out here.  Its also necessary as he’s been so much a part of Day’s history and emotional backstory that Stephen is another puzzle piece that is  now nicely slotted into place ini Dayton’s character makeup.  There are other terrific characters here, including Knight’s ex-Marine friend, Colt Holsten, He was a great addition and I could easily see a book or series written about him.

There were vivid descriptions of the desert, intricate plot twists and turns, and some delightful movement forwards in Day and Knights relationship, enough to leave this reader totally satisfied.

All in all, I loved this story and can’t wait to see what the next story brings. How they deal with their new relationship and revelations in the desert. Oh my!  This series just keep getting better and better.  And yes, I want to hear the audiobook version too.

Cover art: L.C. Chase.  Great cover, that works for the story, characters and series.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 178 pages
Published May 6th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634772792 (ISBN13: 9781634772792)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Day and Knight :

Day and Knight

Sun and Shadow

Dawn and Dusk

A Paul B Review: Credo (Demon Elite 8) by April Kelley

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

credo-demon-elite-8-by-april-kelleyIn most action romance series that I have read, there comes a time when the action gets put on the back burner and the romance comes to the forefront.  For the Demon Elite series, Credo is that book.

The book starts toward the end of the events in Max but told from Twiggy’s point of view.  Starting with Twiggy calling Sydney for help, the first part of the book describes his journey from being captured by Victoria Mize’s men to his rescue by the Demon Elite squad.  He is passed over to Credo, who promises Twiggy not only to protect him, but help in kicking his drug habit. Too bad the man only wants him for information that he does not have.

Credo, Creed to his gringo friends, is determined to keep Twiggy, who is now using his given name of Morgen, safe.  He has been trying to keep his family safe since his mother was in an accident over twenty years ago.  Joining a gang and then a mercenary squad to provide money for his family, he has finally found a home in Demon Elite.  He is starting to get feelings for Morgen but has trouble expressing his feelings.  He needs to get across to Morgen that while he has to attend to family matters, he is not abandoning him.  He also must stress that he will be there for Morgen even if he cannot provide the information that they think he has.  Going so far as to keep themselves invisible from not only Mize’s operation but his own squad should prove that he thinks. 

I liked that his was slow moving romance with the action taking a break for the most part.  All the real action takes place in what is the retelling of the ending of Max in Morgen’s viewpoint.  Unlike most of the other books, this one has several gaps in time between some chapters.   So this is not a face paced romance that some of the others have been.  Morgen is an addict and is learning how to stay sober.  He has issues trusting people as his only real friend has been Sydney.  He starts out thinking that Creed is only interested in protecting him for the trial that will be coming up.  Creed must show Morgen that he thinks of him more than just a protectee while dealing with his family issues.  He has been protecting those people closest to him all his life.  He must learn to take a step back before he loses all that he loves.

The cover by Latrisha Waters is another winner.  A shirtless Credo stands in front of a red background with the Demon Elite crest in the corner again.  The only minor quibble is that the man is not quite as tattooed as his description. 

Sales Links

eXtasy Books | amazon

Book Details

EBook, 111 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published:  November 11, 2016 by eXtasy Books

ISBN:  978-1-4874-0912-8

Series:  Demon Elite

A Paul B Review: Enemies of the State (The Executive Office #1) by Tal Bauer

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars       ★★★★★

Enemies of the StateEthan Reichenbach is the lead agent in the President-Elect’s Secret Service detail.  He expects to spend the next four or eight years being shadowing the man just elected to live in the White House.  What he did not expect is to become the new President’s friend. Nor did he expect to develop a crush on the man in the first few months after they move to Washington. Doing so would break so many Secret Service rules and would be grounds for dismissal.  Not to mention that the President is straight.  This breaks Ethan’s personal rules of never getting involved in a relationship and never falling for a straight man.

Jack Spiers has spent the fifteen years since his wife’s death in combat in public service.  Focusing on veterans and their families, he has held several posts in Washington.  Having been elected President should be the pinnacle of his career.  But having lost his wife a long time ago, Jack finds the office lonely.  He turns to his lead Secret Service agent for friendship, which Ethan is hesitant to give at first.   However, as their friendship develops, Jack is surprised when one night Ethan kisses him.  To say that Jack is surprised would be an understatement.  As the two put distance between them, Jack still wants Ethan to be his friend.  But Jack begins to realize that he has feelings for Ethan as well.  He wants to find a way to make this work.

Against this backdrop, Jack is still President.  He must deal with a world that has basically gone to hell in a handbasket the last ten years.  With China and Russia both occupying countries and the Islamic Caliphate causing trouble both in the Middle East and around the world through terror attacks, Jack has his hands full.  However, the real trouble might be right under Jack’s nose.  An American general is working with agents in the Middle East to bring about even more instability to a region already at war.  As Jack works toward bringing peace to the world, there are others who are trying to insure that he does not succeed.  Ethan must work to protect the man who is not only the President but also his lover.

In order for a political thriller to work, the premise behind the book must work.  Set approximately 10-30 years in the future, Enemies of the State describes a world that could possibly exist at that time.  The Islamic Caliphate (ISIS/ISIL) has grown bolder with the passage of time, as has Russia with their land grabs.  The English, French and Germans are battle weary after numerous terrorist attacks.  Into this world, Jack must try to bring all sides together to prevent the start of World War III.

The other part of a good political thriller is the romance.  I loved the slow building romance between Ethan and Jack.  Ethan, the gay Secret Service agent, knows that a relationship with Jack is wrong on so many levels.  But are the signals the President is sending him real?  Jack is alone in the White House and needs a friend.  What could be wrong with that?  They begin to learn about each other as they work through their own problems with this relationship.  I look forward to see where the next book goes with both this relationship and the various subplots that are left unresolved.

The cover art by Aria Tan shows Ethan and Jack above the Washington skyline.  It is a fitting cover for the book.

Sales Links:   NineStar Press | Amazon |  ARe

Book Details

ebook, 324 pages
Published February 15th 2016 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781911153337
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series:  The Executive

Enemies of the State (The Executive #1)

Cover Reveal for ‘Acts of Passion’ by Sedonia Guillone‏ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Sedonia Guillone reveals the breathtakingly amazing cover art of her upcoming book titled Acts Of Passion.

It releases on January 15, 2016.

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BLURB

When a man is found in his apartment, appearing to have committed hara kiri with a samurai sword, Boston Homicide Detective Jack Cade suspects more is going on than what it appears. The department’s criminal profiler has left and a new guy is taking his place. At first, Cade is skeptical of Dr. Michael Di Santo. Di Santo seems so absent-minded and too neurotic to be effective. But he is brilliant and hot and Cade finds himself falling hard and fast, both in lust and in love. The attraction is mutual, although Michael’s past demons haunt him, keeping him from getting too close. Together, they begin to unravel Michael’s emotional knots even as they close in on a killer, another brilliant, wily person whose sights are now set on Michael.

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PRESENTING

Acts of Passion

Cover Art by Louca Matheo

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Yes, Green wouldn’t have to worry any longer about his inability to face the world. Not after tonight.
He was going out the way a man should.
With honor and dignity.

There are more teasers for you to read at –

:: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words :: Bayou Book Junkie :: Divine Magazine ::

:: Frosty’s Book Corner :: My Fiction Nook :: Wicked Faeries Tales And Reviews ::

:: The Purple Rose Tea House :: Drops of Ink :: Diverse Reader :: Alpha Book Club ::

:: Kathy Mac Reviews :: MM Good Book Reviews :: Gay Media Reviews ::

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning, multi-published author of erotic romance, Sedonia Guillone spends her days writing deliciously naughty romances—when she’s not cuddling with the man she loves or watching kung fu and samurai films and eating chocolate.

Sedonia welcomes comments from readers. You can find her website and email address on her author bio page at http://www.sedoniaguillone.com.

:: Website :: Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Google+ ::

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GIVEAWAY

One lucky commenter will win an e-copy from Sedonia Guillone’s backlist. ( Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Leave an email address where you can be reached if chosen.)  Simply tell us what you think of the cover and the book in order to enter this contest.

CONTEST ENDS: 13th January, 2016

Coffee Sip and Book Break with Elizabeth Wilde of Defiant Loyalties by Elizabeth Wilde (interview,excerpt and giveaway)

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Defiant Loyalties by Elizabeth Wilde
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 23, 2015

Purchase Links:  NineStar Press   | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Elizabeth Wilde here today to talk about Defiant Loyalties and tell us a little bit about herself and the writing experience. Welcome, Elizabeth!

Hello! I’m thrilled to be here for my very first ever guest post/novel/you name it. Defiant Loyalties is my debut.
It’s not every day—or any day—you get to reach out to people like this, so whilst I was scrabbling to come up with something interesting to say, a thought struck me. Quite simply, I’m petrified!

I never expected the actual writing of this book to be the easy part.

Defiant Loyalties is the story of Jack Preston, the son of a corrupt politician, as he fights for the things he deserves: love, freedom, peace of mind. He’s thrown headlong into the world of mysterious assassin Alex, often by his own stubborn and curious nature, and together they must navigate the colliding of those worlds, the risks they’re willing to take.

Now I am no Jack Preston, but I feel a little thrown headlong into a new world myself—my own stubborn and curious nature notwithstanding.

Going from a fairly unassuming job to publishing something feels like a huge step. So huge, in fact, that I still can’t buy it, even though it’s happening to me right this minute.

The other day someone told me I seemed surprisingly nonchalant about the whole affair. Apparently, I have an amazing poker face because what I’m actually experiencing is more akin to internal silent terror—with a touch of excitement, which comes and goes depending on the day. It’s a strange combination, like riding up the chain of a rollercoaster, approaching that first hill. Surreal and out of your control, the only way forward is barreling down at eighty miles per hour screaming.

Perhaps that’s a good thing, though. This awestruck fear keeps me appreciating this opportunity, remembering that nothing is ever certain in this world, and that when good things come along, to grab on with both hands and make the absolute most of it.

Book Blurb

All Jack Preston has ever wanted is freedom: from his father’s oppressive political reign, from his mother’s dying memory, from his own guilt in the part he’s played to get George Preston to the top. When an assassination attempt is made on his father’s life, Jack is thrown into a dangerous game of lies and espionage, and as his whole world destabilizes, he finds himself turning to the most unlikely person for help.

Alex—the assassin who started it all; the man whose face haunts Jack’s dreams—becomes his only ally. As they come together to fight a bigger enemy, Jack’s attraction becomes a risk too large to take and too powerful not to. Will falling in love with a dangerous killer play right into his enemy’s hands? Or will Alex risk everything to protect the son of the man he was sent to murder? Loyalties will be tested and sacrifices made, but Jack will learn that some things are truly worth fighting for.

Genre: Gay, Romantic Suspensedefiantloyalties
Pairing: M/M
Length: Novel

Excerpt

He approaches the thoroughfare in a daze, drugged off the powerful sensation of gravity tugging him home, and the shadowy figure he spots halfway down doesn’t concern him for half a minute or so while he happily indulges himself.
Until suddenly it does.
His steps falter but don’t stop, axis of gravity abruptly shifted, and now Jack’s walking toward the figure instead, in the grip of some terrible, warped sense of inevitability with his heart rate kicking up.
His boots against the ground feel like a march, and he finds he’s angry. Fraught with fear, yeah, but angry nonetheless. Worse, it’s a petty anger, a kind of outrage that’s got him thinking how dare you even though he’s almost positive he brought this one on himself.
The figure stands with his stance wide and easy and his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket, casual as anything. He’s wearing All Stars and Jack has to be fucking hallucinating right now, spent too long obsessing over this with no exposure to the outside world to ground him.
The figure tells Jack, “Hey,” thoroughly doing away with that notion.
“Hey?”
The Goddamn assassin raises his eyebrows. “It’s a term of greeting.”
“Yeah, thanks,” Jack snaps. “Gotta say, it’s a massive improvement from your first one.”
The guy shrugs a shoulder, mouth quirking up at one corner, and fuck, Jack had somehow forgotten how striking he was. Under the sodium lampposts, standing against the gray-shaded sugar maples, he’s almost otherworldly—or maybe that’s just Jack’s abused brain whirring, fever-pitched imagination running wild with him like a kid let out for the first time on its own.
“Is this it, then?” Jack goes on, still dripping in sarcasm. “Time to say my prayers?”
“Walk with me?”
Jack does an honest-to-God spit-take, levelling a glare. “Walk with you.”
“You can keep repeating what I say if you like.”
Jack does, thanks. “Walk with you?”
“You haven’t gone running to your armed guard for help,” he points out and then, with a quiet weight, “It’s important.”
I’m sorry about this. Jack hears it over and over, a litany always inhabiting him, and this man had stood in his father’s study with a gun, apologizing for a murder he was a split-second away from committing. Two days ago he’d handed Jack a threatening note, flirting with him while he did it.
Jack shakes his head. He wrenches himself away, one, two steps, turning his back on the face that’s been dogging him for a week now because if he doesn’t—
“Jack.”
If he doesn’t, Jack’s going to do something like fucking walk with him.
Back still turned, Jack states the very obvious. “You know my name.”
“Lotta people know your name. Your real one, anyway.”
He spins at that. “How did you—”
“This is important,” the man repeats gravely, but there’s still an easiness to his stance, a kind of open appeal. He’s drawing Jack in just like the flirting; good at his job, Jack thinks dizzily.
“Tell me your name, first.”
He doesn’t answer right away, sound of nothing but the trees swaying while he looks up at Jack with his head tipped down—really good at his job, then. There’s a definite reluctance there, but beyond that, Jack really can’t guess what he’s thinking; maybe games of chess in his head, working out moves and countermoves, assessing Jack for danger.
“Alex.”
Jack tries it out in his mouth—“Alex”—and finds it suits him whether it’s real or not. “Fine, Alex, let’s walk.”
Alex cocks his head, gesturing to the end of the thoroughfare so Jack supposes they’re heading away from the house and out into the city. A small mercy, at least.
They fall into step, Alex tossing Jack curious little sideways glances but otherwise staying perfectly quiet, until they come out onto the boulevard and under the open night sky, clear except for the spotty clouds moving time-lapse fast in the lower atmosphere.
There, Alex belatedly speaks. “You’ve been drawing attention to yourself.”
“That an art pun?”
Another curious glance and Jack stays looking resolutely forward; he’s really not sure indulging himself or this guy is the right thing to do.
“Maybe. Thanks for the sketch, by the way.”
“Oddly polite for someone who handed me a threat in return.”
“Which you didn’t take seriously.”
“So that is why you’re here, because I googled some asshole judge?”
“Look, Jack—”
Jack immediately bristles. “Why am I drawing attention to myself? What’s so important that you gotta follow me around town and spirit me away into the night like this, after you—after you tried to fucking—”
“I was sent to give you the note,” Alex interrupts, carefully placing every syllable like they’re practiced. “I wasn’t sent tonight.”
Jack turns his head, trying to get some sort of equal footing here. “And what does that mean?”
“I’m trying to help you.”

About the Author

Author Bio
Elizabeth is a debut author from the north of England. With a long-time passion for writing, at eight years old she attempted to write and illustrated her very own Goosebumps books, as well as an ongoing series of solve-it-yourself mysteries, and several stories about a single lady living her life with an unfortunate perm. One day she hopes that practice will pay off, but until then she’s been recently adopted by two cats and gets by working for the government.
Email: libbydwilde@hotmail.com
Website: http://elizabethdwilde.wordpress.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/elizabethdwilde

Giveaway

NineStar Press is hosting a Rafflecopter Giveaway to run for the duration of the tour. Prizes will include a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a credit for a free book from the NineStar Press website. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by NineStar Press.

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A MelanieM New Adult Review: Jefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh Lanyon

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Jefferson Blythe Esq coverIn this fast, fun and dead-sexy male/male new-adult caper from multi-award-winning author Josh Lanyon, twentysomething Jefferson Blythe gets lost, gets found, falls in love and comes out…all in the span of one wild summer

After his first relationship goes disastrously awry, Jeff Blythe uses his savings to tour Europe—the old-fashioned way. Armed with his grandfather’s 1960 copy of Esquire’s Europe in Style, Jeff sets off looking for adventure but finds much, much more than he bargained for…

In London, dodging questions from shady criminals about a mysterious package he most certainly does not have is simple. Losing the gunmen who are convinced he’s someone else is not. And when George, an old friend, offers him help—and a place to stay, and perhaps something more—things become complicated.

Is George really who he seems? And is Jeff finally ready to act on his attraction?

From Paris to Rome and back again, Jeff and George fall for each other, hard, while quite literally running for their lives. But trusting George at his word may leave Jeff vulnerable—in more ways than one.

Jefferson Blythe, Esquire is simply something new and yet totally Josh Lanyon at the same time.  A new adult story told from the point of view of Jeff Blythe, a young man fleeing across the ocean from an expected marriage he knew was wrong for both of them. With his grandfather’s heavily noted (and need we say outdated) 1960 copy of Esquire’s Europe in Style in hand, Jeff decides to tour Europe using that as his guide.  Oh, the naivete’.  And yes, it all starts going disastrously awry from the start, ala Josh Lanyon style.

One of the elements that I have always loved about Lanyon’s style is the way the author combines humor with bleak reality.  The main character is often at their lowest point and yet some small bit of humor or a slight funny line of dialog will slide into the moment, making it still real but  more human and a tad lighter.  It happens here right at the start when Jeff goes from plane, making his way laboriously to the place where he expects to  stay. Its a fight all the way and when he gets there?  More awfulness ensues…to our shock and hilarity.

But that start is our introduction to Jeff Blythe. We see the start of his learning process and the beginning of what will be an exponential tour of growth as he learns about himself, who he wants to be and who he wants to be with.  That would be George, a former friend who now lives in London and isn’t exactly who he tells Jeff, or “Jefferson” as George calls him, exactly who he seems to be.    What follows is a series of mishaps, investigations, theft, and all sorts of things criminal across Europe in increasing degrees of seriousness until Jeff is finally involved in murder.

There is a pattern here that Lanyon lays out for Jefferson and the reader.  Things start to unfold, events happen, Jefferson and George try to move forward and Jefferson leaves to another part of Europe while growing emotionally, criminals follow as do more threatening events, Jefferson grows increasingly resourceful and independent…and the story just gets better.  I won’t spoil it further.  I did find myself thinking fondly about those wonderful 60’s films with Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, superb background music, thieves playing out across Europe with their clever dialog.  But there was no self discovery in those films as there is here, no Jefferson Blythe to adore and rejoice in as he realizes he is resourceful, gay and knows exactly who it is he loves.  I want more Jefferson Blythe, I really do.

I did waver a bit about that ending. Did I love it? Wish it was longer?  Finally I decided it was the perfect way for Jefferson Blythe to end his journey.  At least for the moment.

I loved this story and hope that Josh Lanyon takes more adventures in new adult novels.  I highly recommend this story and author.

Cover art captures the essence of the character and story. Lovely.

Sales Links:  Carina Press |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: November 16th 2015 by Carina Press
ASINB00Z726LZ4
edition language English

Its Release Day for Flesh Market by Kate Lowell (excerpt and contest)

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Author Name: Kate Lowell

Book Name: Flesh Market

Release Date: November 10, 2015

Blurb:

Special Agent Leo Gale is up a creek. A year and a half of deep cover is about to go up in flames. He needs help – something, someone to salvage the operation and save the lives of untold numbers of trafficked teenagers.

But he wasn’t expecting the partner they sent, or his own gut-punch of a response to the man.

Julian worked hard for that FBI Honors Internship. It was supposed to be a foot in the door. He’d never expected it to catapult him into the middle of a major undercover operation. Yet here he is, sleeping on a filthy mattress and using every trick in the book to avoid torture—and worse. He’s never felt so scared, or so alive, in his entire life, and he’s not sure if it’s the danger, or Leo, that’s making his heart race.

There’s no time to think about it, though. The operation is heating up, and Leo and Julian are running out of time and options. As choices become more difficult, they must find a way to take the traffickers down, or risk becoming just another set of organs for sale.

 

Pages or Words: 75,000 words (pre-edits).

Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Thriller

Excerpt:

Inside the bathroom, DeGraff peered behind the door and moved an OUT OF SERVICE FOR CLEANING sign from the back to the front.

Julian was at the sink at the far end of the room, staring into the mirror with water dripping off his face. DeGraff stepped into one of the stalls, and Leo went to wash his hands at one of the other sinks. Julian glanced up at him, then tore off some paper towel and wiped his face dry. He tossed the towel in the overflowing garbage can and slunk past Leo with all the angsty self-consciousness of a hormonal teenager.

Leo wished he had time to appreciate the performance, but he had a job to do. As Julian passed him, Leo spun and grabbed him from behind, pinning Julian’s arms to his side and covering his mouth. Julian made a startled noise, muffled by Leo’s hand, and began to thrash. He kicked Leo painfully in the shin, but by then DeGraff was out of the stall and had jabbed his syringe into Julian’s shoulder. Leo fought the young man down to the floor while DeGraff stood watch by the bathroom door. Five tense minutes later, Julian was completely spaced out, limp as a rag in Leo’s arms.

 

Buy the book: Amazon

 

 

 

Meet the author:

Kate lives on the east coast of Canada, in an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. She has one horse now, who still has medical issues, and three cats, all of which still have mental issues. She still refuses to get a dog, because who knows what would be wrong with it?

Kate loves to read and write. She also likes playing with computers and is going back to school to do a programming degree, just for giggles. Or the opportunity to take over the world. (Oh, who are we kidding? Think of all the work that would mean.) She also likes pictures of pretty men and keeps many of them on her computer. (The pictures, not the men.) She would dearly love a cabana boy to mow her lawn and maybe rub her shoulders after a long day of making men fall in love with each other, then cackling evilly and raining frustration and danger on them.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008313548018

Twitter: @Kate_Lowell

Website: www.katelowell.com

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27273838-flesh-market

Publisher: Loose ID

Cover Artist: April Martinez


Tour Dates & Stops:

10-Nov: Release Day Book Blast!

Parker Williams, Bayou Book Junkie, The Hat Party, Decadent Delights, Nephy Hart, Andrew Q. Gordon, BFD Book Blog, MM Good Book Reviews, KathyMac Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Gay Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Bonkers About Books, Charley Descoteaux, Sassygirl Books, Chris McHart, The Day Before You Came, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Moonbeams Over Atlanta, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Nautical Star Books, Alpha Book Club, Iyana Jenna

 

 

 

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It Gets Hot, Sexy and a Bit Scary with Sandrine Gasq-Dion’s Fret (author guest post, excerpt and giveaway_

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Sandrine Gasq-Dion Talks M/M Romance, Inspiration and Fret!

A lot of people ask me the same question all the time, why male romance? This whole journey began in 2010 while I was watching a soap opera. The gay couple on the show was written so beautifully, I fell in love with them immediately. I began writing fan fiction once the show was cancelled and posted a chapter a day. For two years I wrote stories on the fan site until one day, an avid reader told me I should publish a book. I wrote A Marked Man a few months later and then three more books after that. I sent A Marked Man to a few publishing houses and one of them was very interested. After checking out their offer, I was pointed towards Kindle Direct Publishing and decided to go that route.

I haven’t looked back.

I’ve written thirty-three books and I have no plans to stop. I have a few more books in the Assassin/Shifters and about 7 more in the Olympians. I also have two more books in The Men of Manhattan Series plus the five in Rock Series. I am panning one more book in the Angel series to follow up with Second Time Around and Gabriel’s Fall.

The Idea of FRET came when another author wanted to do an anthology about Rockers/ Actors. Well, my mind jumped all over that and FRET was born. Writing FRET was so much fun as I was hanging out with a band in Flagstaff and got to hear all about their touring life. I am still taking drum lessons and will begin guitar lessons again soon. I now live in the town I’m writing about and love it!

Stay tuned for much, much more!!

AboutTheBookFret_Sandrine_FSTitle: Fret

Author: Sandrine Gasq- Dion

Cover Artist: Kellie Dennis

Length: 48,000 words

Release Date: September 01, 2015

Blurb: Former Navy SEAL Axel Blaze lives a solitary life. He doesn’t do emotions, and he doesn’t do babysitting. Used to being on his own, his job consists of Wetwork (a charming term coined by the KGB) for his former Master Chief, Mac. When an out-of-the-ordinary job lands on his doorstep, Axel heads down a path that includes a famous heavy metal rock band and one quiet, vulnerable, guitar-shredding virtuoso named Gareth Wolf.

Gareth Wolf’s life changed in an instant when a car he was a passenger in crashed, hurting his brother’s best friend and the band’s lead guitarist. They created the band, Skull Blasters, as kids. Gareth had always been happy in the background, playing roadie. With the lead guitarist’s injury, Gareth is suddenly thrust into the limelight and into a frenzied life he never imagined for himself. Finally fed up with living a lie, Gareth comes out as gay in a newspaper interview and finds himself in the bulls-eye of a crazed stalker. Somebody wants Gareth hurt – or worse – and Mac has been hired to be sure that doesn’t happen. Babysitting duty is NOT Axel’s strong suit, but Mac won’t be budged.

Enter Axel Blaze. Against his better judgment, the big man takes the job to protect the shy musician. The more time he spends with Gareth Wolf, the more he admires the man. Where’s a simple assassination when you need one? The situation becomes more volatile for each man as the attempts on Gareth escalate just as Axel finds himself falling for the quiet lead guitarist.

Strong, funny, smart-ass — and kinda sweet Axel is everything Gareth has ever wanted in a man. Too bad he’s off limits. As the stalker grows bolder, Gareth and Axel move closer emotionally – but is it too late? All Axel knows is that they don’t stand a chance if he can’t find the maniac trying to kill the man he’s come to care about. A lot.

Everyone knows that relationships that begin in pressured or volatile situations eventually fizzle out.

Or do they?

Excerpt

Thumping music was shaking the walls of the Dome as I headed for my designated spot. I guess I’m meeting Paul, the band’s manager.

I took mental notes as I passed through the crowd of screaming, jumping people. The band was rocking it out and I sought out Gareth Wolf. There were two guitarists, but I found him right away. Black hair touched his shoulders and his lean body moved with his guitar.

He was in his element.

The song was wrapping up and the floor was shaking from the bass drum. The floor-to-ceiling speakers pumped out the last notes of the song. The crowd immediately went wild as Ransom Fox leaned over the stage.

“Let’s hear it for the best lead guitarist on the planet!” he shouted.

Gareth shook his hair back and bowed with one hand out. Again, the crowd screamed, shouted and whistled. Ransom went on to give some love to the other members of the group.

I rolled my eyes and pushed my way through the crowd toward the side of the stage. A large man eyed me and then nodded as I walked by. Again, I could have been wearing a ‘Hello, I’m God’ tag and security wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. As it was, my tag faced backwards; he couldn’t even see my name or credentials.

Security for the Skull Blaster band was sorely lacking.

I sat through another hour of bone-jarring hardcore metal before the band finally left the stage. I scanned the area for their manager, but no luck.

I walked right behind the curtain and fell into step with the band members as they trudged toward their dressing rooms. They didn’t even notice me — and I’m really hard to miss.

They stepped into the dressing room; I followed and slammed the door shut behind me. Ransom turned and his eyes widened.

“Who the fuck are you?!”

“Nice of you to finally notice me,” I pointed out.

“Paul!” Ransom thundered. He immediately moved in front of Gareth, shielding him.

“Oh for fucks sake.” I arched a brow.

The door behind me opened and a startled man looked me over from head to toe. He flipped my name badge over and sighed audibly, clearly relieved.

“It’s cool, Ransom. This is the guy I was telling you about.”

“You could have mentioned he was a semi-truck.” Ransom’s eyes narrowed.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you,” Paul apologized to me. “I ran into some media and couldn’t get away.”

“Not that this isn’t fun — because, oh so much fun — but I’m here to do a job. So I need to speak to whoever is in charge of ‘security.’ Now.” I leaned very slightly — but effectively — in to Paul’s face.

“Why?”

I turned to see Gareth peeking out from behind his brother’s broad shoulders. His eyes were a shade of green I’d never seen before, and with his pale complexion and dark hair? The guy was a looker and then some.

“Because band security royally sucks. I walked right on back here with them and not one person noticed or stopped me. That is not acceptable.”

“Who are you?” Gareth gaped.

I pinned him with a hard look. “I’m your bodyguard.”

Ransom chuckled.

“What the actual fuck?” Gareth stepped in front of his brother. “Is this a joke?”

“Nope.” Ransom shook his head.

“Jinx, Harley, Rebel. Give us a few, eh?” Paul opened the door and tilted his head toward the hallway.

“Sure thing, boss.” Rebel tipped his hat and winked at me.

I leaned against the wall as the members walked out. I overheard one of them, not sure which, talking to another.

“Did you see the size of that guy?”

“How could you miss him?” another one answered.

Paul shut the door and turned to Gareth with an apologetic smile.

“I knew what you’d say if we told you beforehand,” he admitted.

“Oh, did you now? You had to get me Conan the Destroyer? Jesus Christ!”

“Gareth,” Ransom warned.

“What? This is stupid! I don’t need a human shield!”

“You’re going to play nice and allow this man to watch your back, Gareth!” Ransom shouted. “You’re getting threats since you came out! I insist you be kept safe!”

“Gareth, why don’t you go clean up? Then you and Mr. Blaze can get acquainted.”

“Seriously? Blaze?” Gareth snorted.

I narrowed my eyes at the kid. Well, to me he was a kid, after everything I’d seen in my life. Gareth was almost twenty-three and I was pushing thirty. We locked eyes for a few seconds before he turned away.

AboutTheAuthor

AuthorPicBest-selling author, Sandrine (Sandy) was born in Inglewood, California. Raised by “Old School” French parents, she later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in High School. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn’t until a soap opera caught her eye that she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of research. She’s been involved with the military in one way or another for over twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She’s traveled the world, but has finally returned to Arizona.

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