A MelanieM Audio Review: Out in the Field (Out in College #4) by Lane Hayes and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Max Maldonado loves baseball. He knows playing first base at a private college probably won’t get him to the big leagues, but he doesn’t mind. He loves the game and his teammates. If he has to stay in the closet until he graduates, that’s okay. Baseball comes first. Relationships are complicated anyway. And after his recent messy breakup, Max prefers to keep things simple.

Phoenix Bell is a fabulous theater geek. He’s excited about his recent transfer to a new school with an elite liberal arts program. Life has been on hold for a while, but this opportunity feels like the fresh start he was hoping for when he moved to California. And the chance reunion with the hot closeted jock is an unexpected surprise. The two men have nothing in common and their timing couldn’t be worse. However, when their unconventional alliance blossoms into friendship and perhaps something more, it may be time to make some hard decisions. And perhaps risk it all…out in the field.

I haven’t read all of Lane Hayes Out in College series so found that listening to Out in the Field worked perfectly as a standalone story and such a sweet contemporary romance it was.  Made all the more enjoyable by the lively narration by Michael Pauley who embodied his characters perfectly, I easily connected to Max, his love of baseball and his issues of being closeted.  At home, ata college, and on the field.  Especially after he find out that his “brief meetup” is now on campus and hotter than ever.  And definitely out as can be.

Phoenix Bell is a delight of a character, his energy flies off the page as does his vulnerability.  You definitely fear for his heart.  What you end up  fearing for is Max’s as well.

The characters are all well drawn, the situations realistic and believable.  And the locker room conversations nicely resolved, those I really appreciated.  The development of the relationship was slow but the dynamics works so well, supported by great secondary characters you grow to love just as much as the MCs. Whether it’s Phoenix’s twin sister or Max’s familym bringing them in just adds such a richness to this story and their romance that it made me smile all throughout the story.

As I said before the narration by Michael Pauley just enhanced this already wonderful novel, his ability to key into each character’s personality and bring it to life making this audio’s listening time fly by.

I highly recommend Out in the Field (Out in College #4) by Lane Hayes and Michael Pauley (Narrator) for those of you who love to listen to your contemporary romances.  This is a real gem!

Cover Art is great and perfect for the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Book Details:

Listening Length: 5 hours and 31 minutes.

Audible Audio, 6 pages
Published July 25th 2019 by Lane Hayes
ASINB07VKGJ587
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOut in College #4

Check Out the Release Blitz for Release (Rent Boys #1) by A E Ryecart (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Release (Rent Boys #1)

Author:  A E Ryecart

Publisher: Indie published

Cover Artist: Tammy Clarke

Release Date: August 9, 2019

Genre/s: contemporary MM romance

Trope/s: opposites attract, sex worker hero, class difference, found family, slow burn

Themes: salvation, redemption, attainment of a better/different/more fulfilled life

Heat Rating:  2 flames

Length: 70 000 approx. words

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  

 

When life holds them captive, can love be their release?

Blurb

Selling his body since he was a fifteen-year-old runaway, rent boy Sean Farrell has learned the hard lesson that the only way to survive the streets is to act tough and cocky. But an act is all it is, as underneath he’s never felt more adrift as he struggles with crippling self-doubt. Sean’s distilled life into three simple rules: earn enough cash to get by, stick close to the friends who have become his family — and don’t let anyone steal his heart.

Art is Laurie Cassell’s profession and passion. His calm and ordered life is just how he thinks he wants it, but it’s becoming harder to ignore the creeping feeling that calm and ordered has become dull and predictable. Laurie craves more but doesn’t know what, or not until a man with dark hazel eyes and a bad attitude swaggers into his life — and leaves with his heart.

Two men who should never have met, let alone fallen in love. Can Sean and Laurie release the other from lives that are holding them captive?

*** Release is a slow burn, opposites attract MM romance. Found family, good friends who give advice our men don’t want to hear, and the redemptive power of love can all be found between the pages. No cliffhanger, and a guaranteed HEA. ***

 

Excerpt 

“Didn’t you hear what he said? He doesn’t want a drink. Are you fucking deaf as well as stupid?”

The words were out of Sean’s mouth before he could think. This wasn’t his fight, this wasn’t his problem. What am I getting myself into? But Sean knew why he hadn’t walked away. The drunk was a bully, and his hectoring voice had scratched down Sean’s spine like nails over a chalkboard. Sean moved in closer, narrowing the space between him and the drunk to no more than a hand’s width. 

“Piss off. This hasn’t got anything to do with you.” The drunk made a good effort at standing his ground, but his voice had lost its edge. He was no longer so sure of himself, the ground beneath his feet no longer so stable. 

Sean said nothing, offering only a grim smile. He knew what the drunk was seeing. 

Tall and well built, and with his hair cut short and severe, Sean looked like a squaddie, a soldier off-duty for the night. Have you got the uniform? Have you got the fatigues? Words, and others like them, he’d had panted into his ear more than once. Sean watched as the drunk hesitated. Unexpectedly challenged, he deflated like a balloon stabbed with a pin.

The guy shrugged and walked off, banging his shoulder into Sean in a final show of defiance. Sean let him have his second or two of triumph; he was gone, and that was all that mattered.

A soft and cultured voice drifted out of the shadow.

“Thank you. You didn’t have to, but, thanks. I appreciate it. He didn’t seem to want to listen to me.” The added words were accompanied by a nervous, hesitant laugh.

Now that the drunk had gone, Sean focused his full attention on the guy.

Dark, heavy hair fell in a floppy fringe across his brow. Pushing it aside, the guy looked up. 

Under the bar’s muted lights, Sean couldn’t determine the colour of his eyes, other than they were large, dark, and full of gratitude. There was a fine-boned delicacy about his clean-shaven face — no hint of designer stubble — and he was well, if conservatively, dressed. Late twenties, thirty at a push, Sean guessed, just a few years more than his own twenty-four.

“Are you waiting for friends or was that just a way of telling him,” Sean said, jabbing his thumb over his shoulder, “to take a hike?” He stared down at the guy, who looked as awkward and out of place in the overpriced, pretentious bar as he did. 

The guy nodded, fiddling with the mixer stick in his glass, stirring the ice, and pushing down on what looked like a whole load of salad leaves.

“I am. This wasn’t my choice, but, well…” He screwed up his nose as he looked beyond Sean and into the bar. 

Sean glanced behind him, surprised to see how in just a few minutes the crowd had swollen. He turned back to the guy and met his wry smile with one of his own.

“Yeah, well, this place was my choice, but I’ve gotta ask myself why.”

The guy laughed. “Everybody’s allowed one erroneous choice. It’s a friend’s birthday, and he wanted to come here, so I didn’t get a lot of say.”

“So where is he, then?”

“Late, as always, but I’m early. As always.”

 

About the Author 

I love all kinds of MM romance and gay fiction, but I especially like contemporary stories.  Born and raised in London, the city is part of my DNA so I like to set many of my stories in and around present-day London, providing the perfect metropolitan backdrop to all the main action. When I’m not writing at home, in the gym, in cafés – in fact any place I can find a good coffee – I can be found with my feet up thinking of more ways to put my men through the emotional wringer!

 

Author  Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Newsletter Sign-up

Facebook Readers’ Group 

Talking RoMMance… with a British accent

(This a shared group. The other UK authors are Jack L Pyke, Louise Mae, and Susan Mac Nicol)

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebook copies of Release.

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Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review : With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Volume two in a collection of novellas that take place in With a Kick, an innovative ice cream shop where they make ice creams with liquor for an extra “kick.”

The first story is Pluck and Play featuring Curtis, a young man who’s had his ups and downs in life—mostly downs—but works hard to be a Jack-of-all-trades to many. Basically, if you need an odd job done, it’s Curtis you call. Friends with the staff at With a Kick, Curtis stops in when he has time between deliveries and sometimes even to make a delivery there. It’s on one of those visits he notices the handsome cowboy playing a guitar on the street corner.

Riley is making his living as a busker. His cowboy boots, hat, and accent identify him as American. His ability to carry a tune isn’t the best, or is it the shite music he plays? Curtis can’t decide, but he does decide he’s attracted to the man. Through a series of good days and bad, the two get to know one another and start a sexual relationship, until Curtis’s former lover—and abuser—comes calling. He blackmails Curtis into owing him money for a van Curtis bought from him. But what Curtis doesn’t realize is that instead of having no one to turn to, he has a ton of people willing to back him up, and they are led by Riley and by Brian, Phiz’s boyfriend (Slap and Tickle) and including Eddy and Nuri (A Twist and Two Balls).

The story is heartwarming, funny, and very British. Performed by the inimitable voice of Joel Leslie, it couldn’t be more entertaining. Riley even gets an ice cream named after him, one with bourbon and chocolate crunchies and named Pluck and Play.

The second book on the audio is Double Scoop, which features Patrick, the With a Kick shop owner, and Lee, his young assistant. Lee has been in love with Patrick for a long time, but it isn’t until a freak accident occurs that he finally has his chance to spend the night with the older man. Unfortunately, Patrick is so worried about how Lee might feel the next day that he overthinks everything and constantly puts his foot in his mouth. If he’d just say what’s on his mind he and Lee might have a chance.

Most of the story revolves around Patrick and his misunderstandings—both the ones he perceives and the ones he creates. It makes for a great story, even though I really wanted to whack him in the head a few times to knock some sense into him. The gang of friends, including those who show up in the first story, comes to the rescue in this one, too, as everyone chips in to not only settle affairs at the shop but to assist Patrick and Lee and show them how very much they belong together from now into the future.

I love the voices Joel Leslie brings to this audiobook, not only for the MCs but also for the host of secondary characters. He makes it fun and interesting and an audio I definitely didn’t want to have to shut down when real life intruded. I recommend not only this collection but also collection number one in audiobook format for many hours of listening pleasure.

The cover by Lou Harper is in the same theme as that of volume one and features a handsome young man with a sweet treat, obviously created at the With a Kick ice cream shop, in the bottom right corner.

Buy Links

Audible US

Audible UK  

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Jocular Press
Audible.com Release Date: April 5, 2019
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English, English
ASIN: B07QHFNXBW

Love Listening To Your Stories? Check Out the Audio Tour for With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR 

Book Title: With A Kick Collection #2

Author: Clare London

Publisher: Jocular Press

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Release Date: April 2, 2019

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Opposites attract, friends to lovers

Themes: Diverse romances, May/Dec, finding community

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  8 hours 58 minutes

Includes 2 standalone novellas with a connecting arc

Buy Links

Audible US

Audible UK

Add on Goodreads

Romance, London, and alcoholic ice cream – what’s not to love?

Blurb

This collection includes Clare London’s second two charming London-based novellas of the With A Kick series – Pluck and Play, and Double Scoop.

Read the enthusiastic reviews at the individual book pages!

WITH A KICK: A new and enticing ice cream franchise, with a unique blend of full flavour, mischief and romance. Patrick and Lee are struggling to make a success of their alcoholic ice cream shop in the centre of tourist London. At the same time, their business partnership may take a turn towards the personal – if either of them can find the time and nerve to go for it! Meanwhile, they cater to the wild and wonderful range of customers in the area, many of whom have their own romantic agenda. Will ice cream be the final ingredient they’re all looking for?

Each story is a self-contained romance, but will follow the history of the shop throughout.

PLUCK AND PLAY: Curtis is a cheery young entrepreneur, secretly licking his wounds after being beaten up by his ex-lover. Handsome cowboy Riley is stranded in London without money. His consolation is his music, and his fascination is Curtis. Their music brings them together, Riley’s guitar and Curtis’ poetry. But when Curtis is threatened by his ex-lover, Riley intends to be the man to help.

Ebook Link

DOUBLE SCOOP: A sudden disaster strikes the novelty ice cream shop, With A Kick, threatening the livelihood of its owner, Patrick, and also his assistant Lee. The last thing in the world Patrick wants is to hurt Lee, but deeply-held insecurities prevent him from confessing his love. And how long will Lee wait to make his own move? Hopefully the disaster brings a new opportunity for them to make a go of things.

Ebook Link

Collection #1 has also been released, featuring Clare London’s first two novellas, A Twist and Two Balls and Slap and Tickle, and also the two bonus short stories Nice and Snow and Smack Happy.

Buy Links and Listen to a sample here:

Audible US 

Audible UK 

Amazon Universal link (all territories)

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

Also listen on SoundCloud

About the Author

Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter-three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her on all her social media.

Join her occasional newsletter.

Author Links

Audible Profile

Blog/Website

Facebook  

Twitter

Amazon

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Release Blitz and Giveaway – Gray’s Shadow (Kings of Hell MC #4) by KA Merikan

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 150,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Nastasha Snow
 
Kings Of Hell MC Series
 
Book #1 – Laurent & The Beast – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – My Dark Knight – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – On Your Knees Prospect – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb

 

— There can be no shadow without the man to cast it. —



Gray. Lost his twin. Will never be complete. Works alone.
Shadow. Monster? Human? Exists to be Gray’s one true companion.


After losing his twin brother, Gray has devoted his life to the Kings of Hell MC. He will do anything to protect his family and that means anything.


Even sell his own shadow to the devil.


Following a fire that left him without one arm, Gray feels pushed to the sidelines. In order to prove to his club that he is still capable of completing dangerous tasks, he will have to team up with the strange creature from the Other Side. Tall, inhumanly strong, and menacing despite the handsome exterior, Shadow is just the tool Gray needs.


The moment Shadow lays his eyes on Gray, he wants to crawl under Gray’s skin and make the human his.


Gray on the other hand isn’t willing to get attached to a monster destined to do the devil’s bidding and disappear once his time is up. Rejected, Shadow has to do everything in his power to convince his human that they belong together.


But as the clock ticks away precious minutes of Shadow’s existence, Gray will have to choose between his loyalty to the Kings of Hell MC and responsibility for the creature he brought into this world.

*
 
“Do you feel me running through your veins?”
Gray nodded.
 
*



POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Themes: motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, monster, tattoos, secrets, crime, gothic, grief, mourning, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, fish out of water, opposites attract, demisexuality, gentle giant
Genre: Dark, paranormal M/M romance
Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes
Length: ~150,000 words (Book 4 in the series)


WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride.


K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.


FACEBOOK PROFILE
K.A. MERIKAN’S TWITTER (RUN BY KAT)
AGNES MERIKAN’S TWITTER
K.A. MERIKAN ON GOODREADS
PINTEREST
M/F ROMANCE BY MISS MERIKAN

Giveaway

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Scotty Cade on his Character King Slater and new release From a Jack to a King (guest post and excerpt)

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From a Jack to a King by Scotty Cade
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Paul Richmond

Release Date 07/03/2018

Buy Links for “From a Jack to a King”

Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon  |  iTunes  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Scotty Cade here today on tour for his new release From a Jack to a King.  Welcome, Scotty.

Happy Summer!

Firstly, I’d like to thank Stella and Melanie at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for allowing me to stop in today and spend a little time with you. I truly appreciate your support and the support of your readers.

I’m going to spend a little time with you today to bring attention to my latest release “From a Jack to a King.” The blurb and excerpt will pretty much give you an overview of the novel, and coupled with the fact that I’ve done seven blog spots about the book so far with three more to go, I’d thought I’d use Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to introduce you to King Slater. King is one of the main characters of the novel and although he is a handsome man and one with special talents, like many of us, he’s has his own demons to conquer.

Without giving away any spoilers, King is simply a pleaser. A real people person. That’s obvious by his popularity and fame in the gay porn world. He’s a highly paid porn star but even he makes the bulk of his money by being an even better escort.  Getting paid to have sex on camera or with a guy who’s paying has never been a moral issue for him. He has no shame in his chosen profession nor does he have any grandiose dreams of this lasting forever. He’s well aware his fame will last only as long as his body holds up and his youth stays intact.

But what King does better than anyone is care about his clients. Its not always about sex with his clients and sometimes he simply listens. He can read what a client needs almost instantly and then goes about meeting those needs. He takes pride in that and it keeps his clientele strong.

Now to touch a little on the demons King face on a daily basis. I don’t want to give anything away but King has been forced to separate his work from his personal life. No sex outside of work is the bottom line. He has things to sort through and although his profession makes things way more complicated, he’s taking things one day at a time.

Okay, so King and I will leave you here and let you read the excerpt. But before we let you go, I’d like to know if you were a paid escort or porn star, do you believe its possible to separate work from play. Is sex simply that? Sex? And after doing it all day in front of a camera would you want to go home and do it all night with a partner? If you post, you’ll automatically be entered into a drawing for an e-book of “From a Jack to a King.”

Thanks for spending the time with me and I wish you and yours a wonderful and relaxed 4th of July weekend.

Now here’s your excerpt and lot of other stuff about where to find me and my books, especially “From a Jack to a King.”

Blurb

New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity—at least on the surface. In public he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and introverted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice—gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.

Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play.

 

Excerpt

One corner of the man’s mouth curled up into a little smile, and his eyes twinkled with mischief. He took a few steps back and resumed his position leaning against the wall. “Now did you? That’s funny. I didn’t realize I was transferrable.”

“Oh jeez.” Bay realized what he’d just said. “I’m so sorry, I’m talking about you like you’re a piece of meat or something.”

The guy laughed, and his entire face lit up. “Hell, I’m not offended. I’ve been referred to as a piece of meat on more than one occasion.”

Bay suddenly wished he was back in the safety of his New York apartment writing about Jack instead of standing in the hall of a Las Vegas hotel talking to his likeness.

“So with whom do I have the pleasure of spending my next two hours? If I may ask?”

“Oh sorry. I’m Bay.” Bay stuck out his hand.

“Bay?”

Bay nodded.

“Odd, but nice.”

“Thanks. It’s a family name,” Bay said. “Look, you don’t have to stay. The guy thought he had a winning hand, but I raised and he was out of money, so he offered you up to even the pot.”

Instead of accepting Bay’s hand, the guy folded his arms over his chest again, smiled, and looked Bay up and down. “And his loss is definitely my gain.”

Bay smiled weakly and warmth crawled up his face. “Yeah. No… I mean—” He realized the man was flirting with him, as Jack did with so many of his conquests. This is uncanny!

Bay withdrew his hand, and the man took a step toward him. “I’m King Slater.”

He was so close now, Bay could smell his spicy cologne. “Nice to meet you, King.” They locked eyes, and King seemed to be waiting for some sort of recognition. But his name didn’t ring a bell.

King appeared amused by Bay’s nervousness and discomfort. “I’ll show myself in,” he said, still smiling seductively at Bay.

Bay watched in amazement as King walked right past him. He even had Jack’s swagger down to a T.

After quickly looking down the hall in both directions before closing the door, Bay followed King into the living room. King suddenly stopped, and Bay almost ran into his back. When King turned around, still grinning, he looked into Bay’s eyes, cupped the back of Bay’s neck, and pulled him close to press his lips against Bay’s in a slow, tender kiss.

A slew of reactions flooded Bay’s head. Stop him came first. Then before Bay could move, King deepened the kiss. His lips were moist and warm, and Bay’s nether regions tingled. He froze, mentally and physically. What the hell? He had never been kissed by a man. Not that he was against it; it had just never happened. Sex had never been a real part of his life. He’d always figured no one would want him, so why bother? Since his fame had blossomed, the couple of encounters he’d had were with women, and on both occasions they’d slept with Jack Robbins, not Bay Whitman. He imagined that neither he nor his partner could have gotten through that experience.

When the kiss ended and King stepped back, looking quite pleased with himself, Bay was speechless. He instinctively touched his lips and recalled the pressure that had been there.

King smiled again. “Don’t be embarrassed, I have that effect on guys all the time.”

 

Scotty Cade left Corporate America and twenty-five years of Marketing and Public Relations behind to buy an Inn & Restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with his partner of over twenty years. He started writing stories as soon as he could read, but just eight years ago for publication.  With the Inn and restaurant now sold, you can find him in Greenville South Carolina where he and his husband are restoring a hundred-year-old house or in Charleston South Carolina on their boat simply hanging out.  Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, all of his characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there.  He believes that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.

Here’s where you can find me:

www.scottycade.com

www.facebook.com/scotty.cade

www.twitter.com/ScottyCade

scottycade@gmail.com

A Jeri Review : Hug It Out (Haven Hart Universe #2) by Davidson King

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This book really surprised me. In a good way. I really didn’t expect to like it as much as I did for a couple of reasons. The first was total bias- a new author. She wrote one book before this that I didn’t read because new author. I’ll get to the second.

Teddy is a professional companion and hugger. Yes, you read that right- a hugger. Sounds cheesy, but the more I read into his meanings for starting his business, it totally made sense. And it could have been so cheesy- but it wasn’t. He wasn’t this overly optimistic happy guy. He was just a regular guy with an odd profession.

Riordan can safely be called a vehement non-hugger. In fact, unbeknownst to his family, he is a professional assassin. But after a job goes wrong, he takes a hiatus from the job. But he is holed up in his house, no friends, withdrawing more and more. So his sister hires Teddy to move in and help Riordan for a month.

We should not late Riordan. He is mean and nasty. He kills people for a living. He takes a gruesome souvenir from each of his kills.This is the second reason I didn’t expect to like it. I mean, GRUESOME. And yet…you kind of feel badly for him.

There is absolutely no reason that Teddy and Riordan should work. Total opposites. Warm and fuzzy versus cold and hard. But, they do. Color me shocked.

The plot line was interesting, the sex and relationship were hot and I didn’t figure out who the Big Bad (Buffy reference) was until it was almost revealed.

So I know that this author is a huge MM fan. And to bastardize a Quentin Tarantino quote “she didn’t go to book school, she read books”.

And yes, I am definitely going back to read book 1 and I look forward to book 3.

Cover art while dark seems perfect for the story.

Sales Links:

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2GqNjbC

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2GKqrHh

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published March 2018
Original TitleHug It Out
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHaven Hart Universe #2

A Jeri Review : Dream (Skins #1) by Garrett Leigh

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

This was my first book by Garrett Leigh and it won’t be my last. While some things left me wanting, overall I really enjoyed the story and characters.
Lovato’s is a sex club for all. They have BDSM as well as couples who want to see and be seen. Dylan just wants one thing- to be used. He loves his day job, but at night he needs the release. And mystery man Angelo is there to provide it. After a fairly anonymous night in the club, Dylan can’t stop thinking about Angelo. And fate brings them together again.
Angelo is a former professional ballet dancer who has to retire due to health reasons. He also takes over the family’s deli after his father dies. He went from the world stage to the deli counter in a small town in England. Lovato’s gives him the control he needs.
The push and pull between them was great to read. Dylan in charge during the day, Angelo in charge at night. Angelo did have a bit too much going on for me. Chronic illness, crazy family, financial issues, etc etc etc. It was a bit too much. And Dylan was also a bit too much in his seemingly perfect life. Doing a job he loves, living in his own place, a loving father. They couldn’t be more opposite. And I enjoy opposites attract, but there were just so.many.issues with Angelo. And of all of those issues, I really expected more about him having to give up the career he spent his whole life  building. But that seemed almost an afterthought.
There is A LOT of sex in this book. Yes, it is absolutely hot, but they fell back on sex far too often instead of being real with each other. They story could have been so much more by delving into other things without just always ending in sex. The scenes were very well written and not repetitive, but it was a lot.
The ending was nice and tidy, a bit too tidy if you ask me. But it was still an enjoyable read.

Cover Design: GDLeigh @Black Jazz Design. Cover Photo: Dan Burgess @Moonstock Photography. Very hot!

Universal Buy Link:  books2read.com/DreamGL

Buy Link:  Amazon

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 244 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by Fox Love Press
Original TitleDream: A Skins Novel
ASINB0792NRTH6
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSkins #1

A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Gryphon King’s Consort by Jenn Burke

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Love takes flight.

The sudden death of the Gryphon King throws the kingdom of Mythos into uncertainty, and Crown Prince Luca rushes both his coronation and an arranged marriage to a man he’s never met. Eirian is young and idealistic, and while they both want what’s best for their people, their philosophies couldn’t be more different. While Luca believes in honoring tradition, Eirian is determined to infuse modern values into their kingdom of magical creatures. When given the choice between loyalty to his husband and his own crusade, Eirian makes a decision that might doom their marriage.

Still, Luca is committed to making their union work, and that means forgiving his brash consort. But when Eirian becomes the target of a deadly conspiracy, Luca must act fast—or forever lose the chance to explore their burgeoning love.

I don’t honestly remember reading anything from Jenn Burke before but if The Gryphon King’s Consort is typical of the tales I can expect from this author, then I’m off to search for other stories to read.  It’s full of gryphons, all sorts of magical beasts, political intrigue, an arranged marriage, and happily, a romance that leads to a love that’s forever after. I mean these beings live a long, long time!

Be still my heart!

A story from Dreamspinner Press’ Dreamspun Beyond line, Burke does a lovely job of laying down a complete alternate universe.  She delivers on the history of the hidden world of magical beasts revealing themselves to humans, the resultant wars and the peace accord that survives to present day.  Also the factions within the Mythos kingdom, the Modernists and the Traditionalists.  It’s a neat believable divide albeit complete with magical beasts (which I adore btw).  Also, a touch I appreciated is the connection a King has with his people.  It’s something I wish more heads of state had these days.  That scene was marvelously touching and pulled the reader further into Luca’s character and his new role as King.

Even the author’s take on gryphons and their ability to shift into different creatures is wonderful and used to great effect here within the storyline, along with all the other hosts of magical beasts/beings we meet here and the rituals or parts of their cultures that Jenn Burke has created for the story.

And all that serves as a foundation and stage for her two main characters, Luca and  Eirian (as well as some memorable secondary characters).  I felt both men/beings were so well done.  The story is told from both perspectives and works extremely well that way.  The reader can see what the emotional cost of an arranged marriage is as far as trust, lack of friendship, personal knowledge  and even missing simple comradeship can be between two people.  Especially when the affairs of state seem determined to keep them apart.

This is, quite simply, a slam bang fantasy romance!  One you can immerse yourself in and be quite startled at how quickly you’ve come to the end.  I loved it and was sorry to see it over.  If you are a lover of fantasy and romance, here’s a story for you!

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson.  I like the cover, definitely catches your eye.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 210 pages
Expected publication: December 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635339208
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into Always (Leaning Into Stories #1.5) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Let me start by saying I love Lane Hayes’s work, so I immediately jumped at the chance to read this one for review. I was given three weeks, but I took less than three days to read it, savor it, and write this review. This story was delicious, delightful, and decadent. Better than a fine piece of chocolate!

Set in San Francisco, this story was originally part of an anthology and is now going to be the start of a new series. All I can say is “Sign me up!” because if the rest are anything like this one, I’m all in.

There’s not much I love more than a geek, so I was quite happy to find that Eric Shuster is that and more. He’s also cute, humble, sweet, and the type of person who sees to the needs of his friends before his own. His work partner and ex-lover, Nick, has announced that he’s getting married, but Eric can see immediately that he’s marrying for money, not love. The girl is the daughter of a wealthy investor and Nick is always on the lookout for more funds for their technology company, whether they need them or not.

As the story evolves, Eric finally faces the fact that he and Nick were really never in love, just friends and fuck buddies, and there’s no reason to grieve his loss. He ends up spending more time with his friends, especially Zane Richards, a handsome sportsman who loves his water sports, whether they be surfing, water polo, or sailing. In fact, Zane has his own company working with the wealthy who need an experienced yachtsman to simply sail or to race. Eric and Zane become closer than they’ve ever been in the dozen years they’ve known each other as they rediscover their likes and dislikes and explore a deeper connection than the usual surface level among friends.

I highly enjoyed watching their friends-to-lovers relationship develop. Ms. Hayes provided the perfect amount of heat and humor and even a little angst, though thankfully that wasn’t overdone. Just give me a love story that will cheer me up, make me break out my personal fan, and leave me feeling warm and fuzzy and you’ve made my day. This one made my day. I highly recommend it to all MM romance lovers, and especially to those who enjoy friends-to-lovers romances. Yummy!

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Cover art by Reese Dante shows a male naked torso against a scenic background photo depicting the Golden Gate Bridge with sailboats gracefully floating along below on the deep-blue water of the bay. It feels refreshing and is both attractive and pertinent to the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Lane Hayes
Original TitleLeaning Into Always
ASINB075CVSKG6
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLeaning Into Stories #1.5