A MelanieM Review: Pure (Trenton Security #4) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Innocence wasn’t a personality flaw.

Nicolas “Pure” Warner lived with the curse of a cute face and a terminal blush. He was waiting for his happily ever after. Yet he’d given up on finding his one. His partner and spotter wasn’t the type to settle down but he’d always been drawn to the other man. Pure decided he could live with that, but when powers outside their control took Raul away, Pure would stop at nothing to get Raul back even if that meant leaving the Trenton Security team behind.

Touching the sun only left you burned.

Raul Martinez was a brutal fighter. He’d worked freelance for several years at Trenton Security. There was one dark spot to the perfect job: Pure. The man was sweet and looking for forever. How did the damaged and unworthy ever hope to touch the sun without getting burned? And touching Pure would be a dream come true. When Pure endangers his freedom to save him, how could Raul convince his boy that letting him go was the only option?

This title may contain triggering material for some readers.

Pure (Trenton Security #4) by J.M. Dabney is another installment in the Trenton Security series, one of the four  interconnected series that take place in a small town called Powers, Georgia.   From a tattoo shop to a bar and band to a security team, we have a constant flux of made family that move into each other’s lives and beds. The men are often broken, from abused past childhoods, with horrific histories behind them.   They end up in Powers, Georgia and somehow find their mate or mates, and start to heal, often with some kink invlved.

And some element of suspense, and maybe even murder.  It’s always a wonderful mixture of personality, sex, redemption, healing, and love.

And kink.

Pure is no different.  We have been reading about the tension and strain between job partners Nicolas “Pure” Warner and Raul Martinez for three books now.  Each a bit of a mystery man, but Pure most of all.  With his strict rules of no sex and nickname “Pure” plus the fact that this is J.M. Dabney writing his story, you knew something in his background was going to be bad. And as the author says in the forward, if a graphic rape scene is a trigger, skip the Prologue.

Pure is a great dichotomy of a personality, a character I came to love here especially.  Both the cool operations  planner/sniper as well as the  beautiful damaged man inside.  But he is also one of my only issues here with the story.  Daddy/boy relationships is a familiar theme within all the series and it is a main thread here as well.  And while I thought Raul’s personality and strengths as a  Daddy were well layered into his character from the beginning, not so for Pure.

With Raul Martinez Dabney does such an excellent job with the emotional reasons why this works so well for this man.  You can see why he is a Daddy figure, why it fits him sexually and emotionally. But with Pure, the psychology of the need for a Daddy or to be his Boy, that foundation was never really laid into the story.  We just learned about Pure’s traumatic past and then almost immediately he knew he needed a Daddy.   That was too abrupt a transition emotional, mentally, and perhaps sexually, especially in keeping with what we know for this part to make sense.  In past stories, the Daddy/boy relationship was layered in more gradually so that the needs meshed from the beginning and you could see why it worked so well.  I don’t believe that foundation was necessarily laid out here.

What else  do I love?  Dabney’s ability to write amazing strong women, mother figures like Lily, Peaches, and the newest addition in this story, Jenn, Pure’s mother.    Amazing women, of indomitable spirit and reserves, deep humor and infinite capacity to love.  I heart them so bad.  She lit up every scene she was in

Another strength of this story was the action/suspense scenes.  Very well done and with a neat twist at the end.

I believe Pure will end this series although I’m not sure.  The trend is four books in each series and this is the fourth.  It would be nice to have one big wrap up novel with all the characters from all the series present.  What a gift that would be to all the fans who have followed the characters through so many stories and series.

If you like contemporary romance with damaged men, kink and suspense, then this story and series should speak to you.  I recommend that you start at the beginning to get a feel for the town of  Powers and the made family that you will meet throughout the story.  It’s quite a journey and one I have loved taking, story by story.

Cover Art: Reese Dante.  Another incredible cover with a model that is just haunting in his expression.

Sales Links: Amazon |

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 174 pages
Published August 17th 2019 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
ASINB07WQS23GD
SeriesTrenton Security #4

Trenton Security – fourth series

Check Out the Blog Tour for Pure (Trenton Security #4) by J.M. Dabney (excerpt and giveaway)

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PUREREVIEWTOURGRAPHIC

Title – Pure

Seires – Trenton Security Book 4

Author – JM Dabney

Word Count – 46,000

Genre – MM Romantic Suspense, Daddy/boy

Cover Design – Reese Dante

Release Date: 08.17.19

Pure-400x600

Blurb

Innocence wasn’t a personality flaw.

Nicolas “Pure” Warner lived with the curse of a cute face and a terminal blush. He was waiting for his happily ever after. Yet he’d given up on finding his one. His partner and spotter wasn’t the type to settle down but he’d always been drawn to the other man. Pure decided he could live with that, but when powers outside their control took Raul away, Pure would stop at nothing to get Raul back even if that meant leaving the Trenton Security team behind.

Touching the sun only left you burned.

Raul Martinez was a brutal fighter. He’d worked freelance for several years at Trenton Security. There was one dark spot to the perfect job: Pure. The man was sweet and looking for forever. How did the damaged and unworthy ever hope to touch the sun without getting burned? And touching Pure would be a dream come true. When Pure endangers his freedom to save him, how could Raul convince his boy that letting him go was the only option?

PURETEASER-blurb

Universal Buy Link – books2read.com/TrenSecurity-Pure

PURETEASER-Obsession

PURETEASER-selfish

EXCERPT

He still felt Raul staring at him and it pissed him off, “I said go away.”

“Not happening.”

“Hey, Pure, back to see me again?”

He lifted his head to see the usual ER doctor breeze in. The man was handsome, probably about his age. His visits normally correlated with this doctor’s, his name was Carlton and the man had asked him out for coffee. He’d politely declined and it hadn’t been brought up again.

“Not by choice.”

“I see that,” Carl said with a friendly smile. The man turned to where Raul stood. “Sir, will you leave us so I can–”

“Like that, wouldn’t you, pretty boy?” Raul started to push away from the wall.

No one might think he paid much attention to the dangerous man other than when they were fighting but that wasn’t true, he knew what the man was getting ready to do. “Raul!”

Raul pivoted with the grace of a trained warrior and glared at him. “What?”

“Quit being an asshole.”

“He wants–”

“Shut up, he wants to know if he should call the cops in case I’m being abused.”

“I would never fucking put my hands on you, Pure, what the fuck?”

It was odd to see Raul looking offended and slightly hurt. They fought, a lot, but he never once thought Raul would ever hit him. The man seemed obsessively protective of him. Which was weird since he was at least three inches taller and about fifty pounds heavier than Raul. Raul was a fighter. Brutal when it came to his work. And, yes, the man was an asshole but he wasn’t bad when Raul wasn’t ordering him around.

“It’s standard procedure when someone has as many visits as Pure does and you always seem to be the one with him. I’m aware of his profession, but that doesn’t erase the chance of domestic abuse. Let’s check you out.”

Raul was strangely quiet. The man was eerily silent on most days, an observer, and Raul didn’t miss a thing. Except when Raul had anger rolling off him in waves, he knew the man was ready to strike. They’d spent several years anticipating their moods and moves, they worked as a perfectly synchronized team.

“I don’t have a concussion, I’m not nauseous, my head does hurt but nothing out of the ordinary when you head butt a wall.” He heard Raul’s deep growl and knew what was coming. He didn’t need another lecture. “Raul, don’t start.”

“Why don’t you let me be the judge if you have a concussion or not?”

“Yes, sir,” Pure grumbled.

JM Dabney logo

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes Body Positive/Diverse Romance and Fiction. They live with a constant diverse cast of characters in their head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. J.M. lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure they do them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and they makes sure their characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more they want from telling their stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

The author is Gender Nonconforming are uses the preferred pronouns They/Them.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/J.M.DabneyAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/jmdabney_author

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/authorjmdabney/?hl=en

Reader Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/585182991553194

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/J.M.-Dabney/e/B006QZIFLE

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-m-dabney

 

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In the Spotlight:Take Down (Texas Heroes #1) by Jess Anastasi (author guest post and excerpt)

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Take Down (Texas Heroes #1) by Jess Anastasi

Dreamspinner Press
Published July 23rd 2019
Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon  |  iTunes  |  Kobo 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Jess Anastasi here today on tour for her latest story Take Down, the first in her new Texas Heroes series.  The author has brought along a excerpt for our readers.  Welcome and Thanks, Jess.

✒︎

 

Blurb:

Attraction sizzles when Danny Jones sets eyes on Deputy Jake Perez, despite meeting over the discovery of a mutilated corpse. But being with Jake could cost Danny his family, and being with Danny could cost Jake the very thing that brought him to Everness, Texas—revenge against the man who killed his brother. How much will Jake sacrifice to take down a psychotic criminal and finally see justice served?

After college, Danny thrived as a gay man in Houston. But when his mom’s cancer brings him back to small, conservative Everness, he must go back into the closet or risk the wrath of his abusive father—a choice made even harder when Danny starts to see a future for him and Jake.

As the body count rises and Danny becomes a target, Jake is caught between his vengeance and protecting the man he loves. He never wanted to end up in a backward town like Everness, but Danny is the best thing that ever happened to him. Jake needs to keep Danny safe as his secrets catch up to them—especially when the threat might be closer to home than they imagined.

Excerpt

DANNY JONES lifted his aching head, blinking away the tears stinging his eyes, mind completely blank as he tried to make sense of what’d just happened.

There was a white blob in his face, so he groggily reached up and pushed it down, only to be confronted with the sight of the cracked windshield and steam rising from the crumpled front of his pickup truck.

Oh shit. It all came back in a single flash, like a switch flipping in his head. He’d been on his way to deliver a gasket to old Mr. Miller, who lived on a farm about half an hour out of town. Danny had been tooling down a dirt back road when he’d rounded a sharp bend and seen the stationary sedan too late.

Even as his heart had launched into his throat and he’d stomped on the brake, his truck was already slamming into the back of the other car. He couldn’t remember the airbag exploding in his face, but from the way his nose was stinging, it’d hit him good. Or had he hit it?

His hands were shaking as he reached down and unclipped the seat belt. His neck was sore, and his whole body felt weird. The door was jammed, so he rammed a shoulder against it to get it open, and then he practically fell out of the cabin when it suddenly gave way. His first few steps away from the truck weren’t exactly steady, but as he forced himself to take a couple of deep breaths, the shock began to wear off and his mind started working again.

The front of the pickup was completely totaled. And as the son of a mechanic, he could say that without a single doubt. He hurried over to the sedan he’d crashed into, the back end crumpled almost into the back seat.

As he approached the front, he could see a figure slouched behind the wheel.

Oh Jesus. What if he’d killed someone? He yanked open the door but then froze in horror. There was blood everywhere. Covering the front of the man’s chest, splattered across the windows and upholstery. Congealing in dark blobs in some places, but dried and cracked where the sun had been blazing down on it on the top of the dash. The man’s dark eyes were open and staring sightlessly ahead, expression twisted into a permanent contortion of fear or pain. The smell was indescribable, and his stomach lurched violently.

Danny stumbled back a step, spinning away from the gruesome sight. It took three tries to yank his phone out of his jeans because his hands were shaking so much. When he finally pulled it free, it dropped from his numb fingers to land in the dirt at his feet.

He cursed, crouching to pick it up, but then he didn’t have the power in his legs to push himself up again. He stayed crouched there, stomach churning with nausea as he dialed 911. He forked a hand into his hair, staring at his shoes as the call connected.

Despite the way his head was spinning, he was almost detached as he requested the county sheriff and explained what had happened in a too-calm voice. When the 911 operator disconnected the call, he shifted back to sit heavily on the ground and then hung his head in between his knees, breathing fast as dizziness wound tighter and tighter around him. He couldn’t get the bloody picture of the dead man out of his head. And the smell—

The sounds of a siren registered, gradually drawing closer, until it was accompanied by the crunch of gravel under tires. Distantly, Danny told himself he should get up, but it was all he could do in that moment to breathe and stay upright.

“Are you okay?” a deep voice asked from above him. A moment later, a hand touched his shoulder. “Are you injured?”

His hands and feet had gone numb, like he was losing contact with his body. He shook his head, sure he was a second away from passing out like that one time he’d been blindsided by a defensive linesman during a football scrimmage back in college. The coach had reamed him later because he hadn’t been paying close enough attention.

“You’re hyperventilating. You need to calm your breathing.” A hand landed on the side of his face and urged his head up. It was a deputy. Not much older than him, with short, dark, wavy hair, deep bronze skin, thick, dark eyelashes, and golden-hazel eyes.

The deputy smiled, reassuring. “Okay, can you breathe with me? In… one, two, three. Out… one, two, three.”

Danny held his gaze, the deputy’s calm and confident stare anchoring him as he breathed slowly several more times while the deputy counted in a deep soothing voice.

Once the dizziness had ebbed away, he closed his eyes.

“Are you okay now?” the deputy asked.

“Not even close,” Danny replied, his voice scratchy as he focused again on the man before him. “But I’m not about to pass out, so that’s a plus.”

The deputy’s smile widened. “Think you can stand?”

Danny nodded, so the deputy held out a hand and helped him to his feet.

“What happened?” The deputy stepped back, resting his hands on his utility belt, like he’d snapped into business mode.

Danny glanced over his shoulder at the wreck. Shit, he’d had that truck since he was seventeen, spent hours under the hood rebuilding the engine. It hadn’t looked like much on the outside, but inside it purred. Would it be worth trying to salvage? It looked like a write-off. Of course, maybe he should have been more concerned about the dead body, not the pickup he’d been driving for six years. The reminder of what he’d seen made acid burn in the back of his throat and he swallowed, refocusing on the deputy.

“I was coming down the road, and when I rounded the bend, the car was just there. I didn’t have time to stop. Slammed right into the back of him. And when I went to check—”

He broke off as his stomach churned hard. He tried to block himself from seeing the image in his mind again. Didn’t work. He got the feeling that it was going to take a lot of drinking or therapy to get rid of the picture now laser-printed into the back of his eyelids.

“I’m pretty sure he’s dead.” His words came out hoarse. “Really dead.”

“I’m sorry you had to see that.” The deputy was looking like he wished he hadn’t seen it himself, lips pressed together and features tense.

“He didn’t die from the accident, did he?” Danny was already certain, but he needed the officer to tell him he hadn’t been responsible for that man’s death.

“No, he was already dead before you hit his car. Probably for half a day at least judging by the dried blood.”

A familiar sweet-sour smell hit his sinuses, and he glanced at the wreck. Danny was momentarily distracted out of his shock. “Smells like—”

“Gasoline.”

Even as the deputy said the word, flames sparked from beneath the hood of Danny’s smashed pickup.

“Get down!”

The deputy wrapped both arms around him and they hit the ground, Danny ending up on the bottom as all the air left his body on impact. There was a sudden burst of heat and a deafening boom cracked over them, leaving him instinctively ducking his head into the crook of the deputy’s neck, who’d brought his arms up to cover both their heads. In the seconds after, small, fiery pieces of debris rained down around them.

For a few suspended moments they were frozen, and Danny distantly realized he wasn’t breathing again, this time from almost getting exploded. Wouldn’t that have just made his day? Finally, though, the deputy pushed up on his arms to look down at him, their faces only inches apart.

“Are you okay?” The deputy was breathing hard, and Danny could feel each inhale where their chests were pressed together. His heart was pounding like he’d run five miles.

“What’s your name?” he heard himself ask. Since the guy had just saved him from being barbequed, it seemed like they should be on a first-name basis.

“Jake,” he answered in a low, quiet voice. “Deputy Jake Perez. You?”

“Danny. Daniel Jones. But everyone calls me Danny.”

About the Author

Jess Anastasi has been making up stories ever since she can remember. Though her messy handwriting made it hard for anyone else to read them, she wasn’t deterred, and now she gets to make up stories for a living. With a multi-award-winning science fiction romance series to her name, her books feature larger-than-life heroes with relatable vulnerabilities who find themselves in situations that push their resolve to the limit. Jess is a tea addict who loves loud music, dancing in her kitchen, and a good book on a rainy day. A fangirl at heart, she probably spends too much time watching too many TV shows. Jess lives in regional Victoria, Australia. Find out more about Jess and her upcoming releases at www.jessanastasi.com.

Social media:

Blog: http://jessanastasi.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @JessAnastasi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jess-Anastasi-Author-Page-129441077081452/

Tumblr: https://jessanastasi.tumblr.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jess_anastasi/?hl=en

Series Review Tour for Pros & Cons by A.E. Wasp (excerpt and giveaway)

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SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Five Men. Five Chances for Redemption. One thing’s for sure, these guys are no angels

BOOK 1

Book Title: Pros & Cons of Vengeance

Author: A.E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-publishedCover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: MM Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: approx 83,000 words/ 331 pages

Release Date: January 18, 2019

Add on Goodreads

It is a standalone story

Blurb

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

Since job number one calls for some muscle, it looks like I’m up first. I’m Steele Alvarez, ex-Special Forces Close Protection Specialist (aka, a bodyguard for some not so nice guys).

After learning what the job is — taking down a seemingly untouchable senator with a penchant for beating up young male prostitutes — I’m in. No questions. A bullet ought to do the trick.

Then I met Senator Harlan’s latest victim: Breck Pfeiffer, the gorgeous hooker with a heart of gold and the soul of a fighter. One look at him and I’m gone. That kid laid me out harder than any punch ever did. I’ll do anything to protect Breck, even kill for him. But Breck doesn’t want the senator dead, he wants vengeance.

If we’re going to find a way bring down the slimebag and get the blackest mark on my record erased, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

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

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

Thank Christ someone had been bright enough to leave the air conditioning on in Charlie’s mansion. Dead men paid no electric bills, I guess. Fucking Florida. I’d been gone too long and had somehow forgotten how truly miserable the humidity could be. Sure, it could hit a hundred and fifteen outside of Baghdad, but it was dry heat.

I thought about taking off my suit, or at least my tie, but until I knew what the hell was going on here, I wasn’t going to let my guard down.

Besides, I looked good in a suit.

“Nice house, huh?” Wesley said from my behind me, as I was busy assessing the layout of the house and cataloging any possible pinch points. Like I said, I didn’t know what I was doing here, and I wasn’t taking any chances.

“I’ve seen bigger.” In my most recent incarnation as close protection specialist and hired muscle to some very rich and very bad men, I’d been in mansions that made this place look like a pool house. Not that this place sucked. Not at all. The cabin I’d grown up in could have fit in the foyer with room left over.

We followed Ms. Miranda Bosley, Charlie’s attorney, single-file down the tiled hallway of the big house like a line of ducklings. Wesley was the only guy I knew and consequently the only one in the group I trusted enough to walk behind me. Even Ms. Bosley looked like she wouldn’t hesitate to stab me in the kidney if she felt she needed to.

Seeing Wes at the funeral had been a surprise. A quick, stilted conversation had revealed that he was here for the same reason I was – we were both being blackmailed by Charlie.

I couldn’t imagine what Charlie had on the kid. I’d only worked with Wes twice before, but he was more a gray hat than a black hat hacker; the kind of person who didn’t mind doing the wrong things for the right reasons. A cross between MacGyver and Anonymous, the kid had probably been on an FBI watch list since he was twelve.

Wesley had triggered my protective instincts from our first meeting, but he’d never really needed much help beyond muscle. Sure he could take of himself with that jujitsu or whatever, but sometimes some people just needed their faces punched, and I was more than happy to do that for him. It was satisfying.

Now Angel-Face, as I’d taken to calling the gorgeous blond kid who’d been sitting a few rows ahead of me at the graveside ceremony, he triggered other instincts in me. Made me think things I probably shouldn’t be thinking at a funeral. But then again, Angel-Face hadn’t seemed exactly consumed with grief either. I hadn’t been completely surprised to see him following Miranda after the funeral along with Wes and me. Very interesting. What had that choir boy done to be in such bad company at such a young age?

BOOK 2

Book Title: Pros & Cons of Deception

Author: A. E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: MM Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 80,000 words/ 300 pages

Release Date: March 1, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

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 also 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.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

“Hey, can anyone explain why my shirt drawer is empty?” Ridge Pfeiffer demanded, appearing on the patio where the rest of our little band had congregated. Our resident retrievals expert (read: thief) was naked from the waist up and scowling beneath his blue eyes and blond curls like the world’s most overgrown, pissed-off Botticelli angel.

I pulled down my sunglasses to look at him, then slid them back up so I could focus on my phone screen. Right now, I was engaged in a long-term bout of spear phishing at Campbell Enterprises, and I was about to close the deal. This was way more interesting than anything Ridge was likely to share.

Janie, I typed, I’m on a plane with Dal Anderson and he wants a four-paragraph summary of Thursday’s press release so we can prepare talking points for the investors!! Can’t access the secure server from here and I’m fah-reaking OUT!! Send me something? – Becks

There. That ought to do it.

Becks, aka Rebecca Frankel, Junior Executive Assistant to the VP of Human Resources at Campbell, according to her LinkedIn profile, was adorably naïve and helpful. For example, when a friendly IT man had called the other day and asked for her credentials to verify a “suspicious login” from her site, she’d provided all the necessary info. Hell, if I’d asked for her astrological sign and social security number, she’d probably have given me that too.

Once I’d accessed her email, I’d had the keys to the castle. It had been easy to copy her writing style – hyper-friendly, with way too many exclamation points for a person over the age of thirteen – to learn that she was going on a business trip with her boss this week, and to find that she was smoke-break buddies with Jane DeVoor, Assistant to the CFO. As soon as Jane emailed back a summary of Thursday’s press release to help her pal out, I’d make a few quick investment decisions like I’d somehow learned to predict the future.

Hint: Ditch your psychic friends and go phishing instead.

“Um, would we say the drawer is really empty, though?” Breck, Ridge’s identical twin, asked from the lounge chair where he was stretched out in the sun practically on top of his boyfriend, Steele Alvarez.

“Close enough. The only things left are a pink tank top that says I Would Bottom You So Hard and this Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirt.” Ridge held it up. “Neither of them is mine, and frankly I don’t feel comfortable wearing either.”

About the Author

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding love, family, and magic in the everyday world. From professional hockey players to professional thieves, her boys work hard, play hard, and love harder. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, and living with the same hopes and fears we all have.

Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.

Author Links

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Facebook

Twitter

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Giveaway

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SERIES REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE

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Love Mystery and Suspense with your Romance? Check Out the Series Review Tour and Giveaway for Pros & Cons by A.E. Wasp

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SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Five Men. Five Chances for Redemption. One thing’s for sure, these guys are no angels

BOOK 1

Book Title: Pros & Cons of Vengeance

Author: A.E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s: MM Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: approx 83,000 words/ 331 pages

Release Date: January 18, 2019

Add on Goodreads

It is a standalone story

Blurb

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

Since job number one calls for some muscle, it looks like I’m up first. I’m Steele Alvarez, ex-Special Forces Close Protection Specialist (aka, a bodyguard for some not so nice guys).

After learning what the job is — taking down a seemingly untouchable senator with a penchant for beating up young male prostitutes — I’m in. No questions. A bullet ought to do the trick.

Then I met Senator Harlan’s latest victim: Breck Pfeiffer, the gorgeous hooker with a heart of gold and the soul of a fighter.  One look at him and I’m gone. That kid laid me out harder than any punch ever did. I’ll do anything to protect Breck, even kill for him. But Breck doesn’t want the senator dead, he wants vengeance.

If we’re going to find a way bring down the slimebag and get the blackest mark on my record erased, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

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

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Excerpt

Thank Christ someone had been bright enough to leave the air conditioning on in Charlie’s mansion. Dead men paid no electric bills, I guess. Fucking Florida. I’d been gone too long and had somehow forgotten how truly miserable the humidity could be. Sure, it could hit a hundred and fifteen outside of Baghdad, but it was dry heat.

I thought about taking off my suit, or at least my tie, but until I knew what the hell was going on here, I wasn’t going to let my guard down.

Besides, I looked good in a suit.

“Nice house, huh?” Wesley said from my behind me, as I was busy assessing the layout of the house and cataloging any possible pinch points. Like I said, I didn’t know what I was doing here, and I wasn’t taking any chances.

“I’ve seen bigger.” In my most recent incarnation as close protection specialist and hired muscle to some very rich and very bad men, I’d been in mansions that made this place look like a pool house. Not that this place sucked. Not at all. The cabin I’d grown up in could have fit in the foyer with room left over.

We followed Ms. Miranda Bosley, Charlie’s attorney, single-file down the tiled hallway of the big house like a line of ducklings. Wesley was the only guy I knew and consequently the only one in the group I trusted enough to walk behind me. Even Ms. Bosley looked like she wouldn’t hesitate to stab me in the kidney if she felt she needed to.

Seeing Wes at the funeral had been a surprise. A quick, stilted conversation had revealed that he was here for the same reason I was – we were both being blackmailed by Charlie.

I couldn’t imagine what Charlie had on the kid. I’d only worked with Wes twice before, but he was more a gray hat than a black hat hacker; the kind of person who didn’t mind doing the wrong things for the right reasons. A cross between MacGyver and Anonymous, the kid had probably been on an FBI watch list since he was twelve.

Wesley had triggered my protective instincts from our first meeting, but he’d never really needed much help beyond muscle. Sure he could take of himself with that jujitsu or whatever, but sometimes some people just needed their faces punched, and I was more than happy to do that for him. It was satisfying.

Now Angel-Face, as I’d taken to calling the gorgeous blond kid who’d been sitting a few rows ahead of me at the graveside ceremony, he triggered other instincts in me. Made me think things I probably shouldn’t be thinking at a funeral. But then again, Angel-Face hadn’t seemed exactly consumed with grief either. I hadn’t been completely surprised to see him following Miranda after the funeral along with Wes and me. Very interesting. What had that choir boy done to be in such bad company at such a young age?

BOOK 2

Book Title: Pros & Cons of Deception

Author: A. E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Genre/s:  MM Romantic Suspense

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:   80,000 words/ 300 pages

Release Date: March 1, 2019

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Blurb

There’s nothing like being blackmailed by a dead man to really bring a group of cons together. And what a group we are: a hacker, a thief, a con artist, a thug, and a Federal agent with an axe to grind. The deal is simple, we do the jobs and Charlie’s lawyer wipes the slate clean for each of us, one at a time.

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 also 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.


Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Excerpt

“Hey, can anyone explain why my shirt drawer is empty?” Ridge Pfeiffer demanded, appearing on the patio where the rest of our little band had congregated. Our resident retrievals expert (read: thief) was naked from the waist up and scowling beneath his blue eyes and blond curls like the world’s most overgrown, pissed-off Botticelli angel.

I pulled down my sunglasses to look at him, then slid them back up so I could focus on my phone screen. Right now, I was engaged in a long-term bout of spear phishing at Campbell Enterprises, and I was about to close the deal. This was way more interesting than anything Ridge was likely to share.

Janie, I typed, I’m on a plane with Dal Anderson and he wants a four-paragraph summary of Thursday’s press release so we can prepare talking points for the investors!! Can’t access the secure server from here and I’m fah-reaking OUT!! Send me something? – Becks

There. That ought to do it.

Becks, aka Rebecca Frankel, Junior Executive Assistant to the VP of Human Resources at Campbell, according to her LinkedIn profile, was adorably naïve and helpful. For example, when a friendly IT man had called the other day and asked for her credentials to verify a “suspicious login” from her site, she’d provided all the necessary info. Hell, if I’d asked for her astrological sign and social security number, she’d probably have given me that too.

Once I’d accessed her email, I’d had the keys to the castle. It had been easy to copy her writing style – hyper-friendly, with way too many exclamation points for a person over the age of thirteen – to learn that she was going on a business trip with her boss this week, and to find that she was smoke-break buddies with Jane DeVoor, Assistant to the CFO. As soon as Jane emailed back a summary of Thursday’s press release to help her pal out, I’d make a few quick investment decisions like I’d somehow learned to predict the future.

Hint: Ditch your psychic friends and go phishing instead.

“Um, would we say the drawer is really empty, though?” Breck, Ridge’s identical twin, asked from the lounge chair where he was stretched out in the sun practically on top of his boyfriend, Steele Alvarez.

“Close enough. The only things left are a pink tank top that says I Would Bottom You So Hard and this Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirt.” Ridge held it up. “Neither of them is mine, and frankly I don’t feel comfortable wearing either.”

About the Author

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding love, family, and magic in the everyday world. From professional hockey players to professional thieves, her boys work hard, play hard, and love harder. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, and living with the same hopes and fears we all have.

Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.

Author Links

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Love Your Contemporary Romance with a Touch of Angst? Check out Rough Trade (Woodbury Boys #3) by Sidney Bell (excerpt and giveaway)

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Rough Trade (Woodbury Boys #3) by Sidney Bell

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: Monday December 3

Print (mmp): Tuesday December 25

Length (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: 496

Print (mmp): 496

Subgenre:

Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Male/Male Romance

Reader warnings: Childhood sexual abuse, angst

All buy links or pre-order links:

Synopsis:

Quick-witted hustler Ghost is no stranger to living dangerously; survival has always been the name of the game.

He’s just always gone it alone.

Now he’s got the wrong people breathing down his neck, and the only way out demands placing his trust in the unlikeliest of heroes: Duncan Rook, a gruff cop whose ethics are as solid as his body.

Cozying up to a criminal is hardly what Duncan’s reputation on the force needs—especially when that criminal is temptation personified. Ghost is Duncan’s polar opposite, and the last person he expected to fall for.

So then why does every imaginable scenario for taking down their common enemy end with Ghost in his arms?

This book is approximately 122,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Excerpt :

He turned around with his jaw set and put both hands on Duncan’s chest. He pushed gently, so gently that Duncan couldn’t interpret it as anything but a question, and a nonthreatening one at that, so he found himself playing along until his back hit the concave wall of the tunnel. The cement seeped cold through his own thin, sweat-dampened T-shirt, making him shiver.

Or maybe it was Ghost nudging at Duncan’s feet with his toes until Duncan widened his stance, making room for Ghost to step closer still, until their thighs brushed, until Ghost’s tilted-up face was only inches away, his breath on Duncan’s lips. Ghost’s hands trembled against him. That small vulnerability made Duncan hurt deep in his belly, hot and sweet and aching.

“What are you doing?” Duncan whispered.

“You asked why.” Ghost cupped the back of his skull, trying to coax him to lower his head, and Duncan stupidly, stupidly, went along with it. Ghost’s mouth, when it pressed against Duncan’s, was dry and tentative and awkward.

He should move. He should push Ghost away. It was an act. It was bullshit. At the very least, it was manipulation. It had to be. He should run for his life and sanity and soul, but he couldn’t. He was stuck in place by nothing more than two hands resting on his sternum and the slow realization that this was Ghost kissing him, not the sly seducer, not the innocent victim, not the wry pal up for a convenient good time. This wasn’t the empty distance of disconnection that Ghost had given him before when he’d gone doll-still and creepy. It wasn’t the confident, knowing, arousing seduction of the kisses that had preceded Ghost’s fugue that last time, either.

This was new and uncertain and heavy. It reminded Duncan somehow of climbing down the outside of the parking garage, the terror of looking at a long drop and a messy landing if he couldn’t figure out what he was doing.

It was the waiting, maybe, that made it so overwhelming. He’d been waiting for this all along, wanting this all along. He’d tried not to think about it, but it’d been there, and now that Ghost was here and it was happening, he felt strung tight as a rubber band, on the verge of snapping, because this tiny, tentative, closemouthed kiss, was a cup of cool water after a day in a desert, enough to tempt, but not nearly enough to sate.

About Sidney Bell:

Sidney Bell lives in Colorado with her amazingly supportive husband. She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing in 2010, considered aiming for the Great American Novel, and then promptly started writing fanfiction instead. More realistic grown-ups eventually convinced her to try writing something more fiscally responsible, though, which is how we ended up here. When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.

Connect with Sidney:

Giveaway: Win 1 of 5 Paperback of HARD LINE and LOOSE CANNON (Woodbury Boys series) by Sidney Bell! (North American addresses only)

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New Book Release Tour for Unforgivable (Accidental Roots #6) by Elle Keaton (excerpt and giveaway)

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Unforgivable

Elle Keaton has a new MM Romantic Suspense book out on May 18th:

No one ever said it would be easy.

Running away from his messy divorce did not bring Ira Fragale the peace he sought. If he is going to get his life together he needs to pull up his big boy pants and take care of business. He’s been hiding out licking his wounds in Skagit for two years now, keeping his head down (except for the trail of twinks he’s left behind). Something’s going to give.

Cameron McCulloch needs to knock Ira off the pedestal he’s placed him on. Because he’s older doesn’t mean Ira has any clearer idea about life and the universe than Cam. Cam needs to focus on his own needs and forget about Ira, but he can’t. Bartending at the Loft is easy and he likes the community he’s fallen into since his family rejected him, but if he wants more out of life he’s going to have to go out and get it himself.

Ira didn’t choose Skagit at random, he came to the small city because events twenty years ago set him on his path on today. The mystery of his father’s murder may never be solved but Ira would like to lay his spirit to rest.

None of this explains the upswing of possible hate crime in Skagit. The small town has its share of trouble but someone, or someones, are on the prowl, harassing the LGBTQ community, and Cameron is in their crosshairs.

Amazon Coming Soon


Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a n eBook copy of “As Sure As the Sun,” book four in Elle’s “Accidental Roots” series. Enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

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Excerpt

Ira supposed as he had many times, that his job wasn’t much different than Cameron’s. Cam of the golden brown hair and deep amber eyes. Cam who was so off limits that Ira shouldn’t even be thinking his name. Too young, too smart, too quick to find Ira’s soft spots. Ira’d had a moment of weakness and they’d a freakishly pleasant weekend together but he hadn’t let it continue.

And, yeah, Ira couldn’t stop himself from going to the Loft where Cam worked, but at least he hadn’t gone home with him again. A win for the team.

The door burst open again and, shit, it was the kid from the other night. Ira should have known better, but Ira’d wanted company and he’d made himself very available. Too late Ira realized he had starry eye’s and boyfriend practically tattooed on his forehead.

“Hey, Ira.” He had his hands shoved in the back pockets of his jeans, his hips cocked in what he probably thought was a cute pose. At the Loft, Ira’d thought he was thirtyish. In daylight, he was adjusting that estimate down to barely twenty-one and cursing himself. Ira liked younger men, he enjoyed the enthusiasm, in bed and out, and their worldviews – so different than the scary gay-aids world of the 1980s and 90s that Ira had experienced first hand. The problem was not they were too young but that Ira was too old.

Ira searched his memory, they’d gone to the kid’s apartment and had sex. Ira had left regardless of him telling Ira he could stay, he couldn’t remember his name. Kevin? Shaun? No. Colin?

He finished cleaning another table then made his way to the front counter to help make drinks and dole out pastries. “Did you need something?” he asked Cary – he was sure of it – on his way by.

Cary’s pale complexion flushed a rosy pink. “Oh, uh, not really,” Ira could see him scrambling to come up with an excuse for having stopped by. “I was just in the neighborhood.”

He walked behind the counter where the counter kid was staring at the influx of newcomers, “Sebastian you want to make drinks or take their money?”

“Uh,” Sebastian stared at Ira through the thick lenses of his glasses, stalling out. Ira watched Cary leave without ordering anything. Wonderful, his reputation as a complete and utter asshole was untarnished.

“I’ll do drinks,” Ira said and pushed past Sebastian to get to the machine.

Ira should’ve asked Sara for the day off but he’d hoped an extra shift would keep him distracted, and anyway he had days ahead of him to brood. Nothing could distract Ira from the fact that this was the month that his father had been murdered nearly twenty years ago, and two years since his life fell apart a second time. Over two years since he’d talked to any of his remaining family. To Simon.

The squeal of the steam wand and hiss of the heads as hot water was forced through the portafilters lulled Ira into a kind of calm. He made several espresso drinks, chatting mindlessly with the uniformed cops who were waiting for their caffeine.

A familiar voice insinuated itself past his shell of serenity. Ira had to force himself not to turn toward the sound of Cameron McCulloch ordering a drink. Cameron was at the end of the line, saying hi to a cop standing in front of him. Ira snuck a look to see if he was with anyone. Cam waited, rocking back on his heels with his hands in the pockets of his worn jeans, not talking to anyone else. On his own then.

As he often did, Cam had his long brown-blonde hair tied back in a messy knot. Ira supposed it was a man bun or whatever but on Cameron it was natural and incredibly sexy. Cameron had an air of friendliness, which probably came from being a bartender, or his naturally sweet personality. But he also had a sadness about him, an invisible cloak giving him a shadow. He hid it well, but Ira saw it. Was afraid to learn more about it, knowing that the more he knew the harder it would be to keep him at arms-length.

Cameron saw Ira glance over at him but didn’t crack a smile. He acted like they didn’t know each other. Yep, Ira was an asshole and a hypocrite. And maybe he didn’t have to worry about keeping Cam at arms-length anymore. For reasons he didn’t want to examine, he found the thought unsettling.

Cam claimed his Americano muttering a terse, “Thanks.” Then he went and sat at the farthest open table from the front. Ira went back to what he was doing but he had Cameron radar. He knew exactly where Cameron was in the room and, exactly when another man came and sat down at his table.

Ira felt anger rise, hot and heavy. Cameron greeted the stranger with obvious pleasure, first a handshake before the other man pulled him into a hug. Was it unreasonable to expect that Cameron wouldn’t meet dates where Ira worked? Hypocrite.

The line continued to grow, and Ira spent the next hour with his head down making coffees as quickly as he could. He knew when Cameron and his friend left and forced himself to focus on what he was doing, to not look up and watch the two of them leave together. He was the one who didn’t want anything, who’d seen the compassion and caring in Cameron’s eyes. He was the one who was broken and would make a nice guy like Cameron miserable in the long run.

 

Much later, after his extra-long shift at the Booking Room finally drew to a close, Ira half-heartedly tried to convince himself not to go to the Loft for a drink. It was a Friday though, and he had the next few days off. Cameron had shown up at his work, no reason he couldn’t go to Cameron’s.

Tomorrow he would quit showing up at the Loft, and stop picking up men young enough to be his kid. Stop thinking about Cameron McCulloch. The weekend they’d spent together. God. Ira was such a shit. Yeah and tomorrow he’d get his act together enough to pick up a paintbrush and actually do something with it.

Their weekend together had been incredible. Ira’d been relaxed, happy, comfortable with himself for the first time in years. He’d enjoyed the sex, of course, but he’d also soaked up the conversation, small touches, and Cameron’s genuine caring personality. They’d binge-watched stupid TV shows and compared music playlists. Ira’d teased Cameron about his ratty collection of Jane Eyre novels until Cameron had pulled one from the shelf and started reading aloud to him. Jane Eyre was forever going to be on Ira’s top ten.

They’d snuck out for food, Cameron’s small refrigerator laid bare after a couple rounds in the sack, they’d both been ravenous. Pretending the weekend could turn into more had been far too easy for Ira to imagine. Which is why he’d ended it before it went too far. Ira was damaged goods, somehow Cameron would learn the truth about him. If he let Cameron in Ira didn’t think he could knit himself back together again after he left.

Those two magical days had been a vacation from the unadulterated fuckery that was Ira’s real life. When Sunday evening finally rolled around reality had set in. Ira’d messed up enough lives, he needed to make sure Cameron didn’t think Ira was able to give him anything. So, he’d been an asshole. Yeah, Ira.

He rubbed his chest, it was like he had actual physical pain when he thought about what he had done and the pain he’d caused. He missed them both, so much. The tears caught him by surprise.


Author Bio

Author/imaginator & photographer (also rare Pacific Northwest Native), Elle grew up in Seattle, WA., with the Cascade Mountain range to the east and Olympics to the west.

Elle shares her life with between three to five cats (depending on who’s counting), an extremely patient fiancé and a flock of young adults. She’s lived in four US states, London England, and Hong Kong; always knows what time it is, and has little problem finding parking even in the most difficult places.

Elle’s series made its debut spring of 2017. Accidental Roots is set in the Skagit Valley of Western Washington. Writing has always been a passion but not something she was able to take seriously until recently. Some journeys are longer than others. Now her head is full of ideas and not enough time in each day. As far as we know she wasn’t actually raised by wolves.