A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Becoming Rory (College Rose Romance) by Ashavan Doyon

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Becoming RoryRory Graeble is a returning college sophomore and a new man. Or at least he’s trying to be a new man. Outed last year when a gay bashing turned the campus upside down, the former “Lawrence” Graeble, a geeky introverted guy who sucked men off in the steam tunnels off-campus, is now out-and-proud Rory, the sole leader of the Queer Alliance. Showing up early for orientation with other student leaders, Rory meets Danny Smits at a party, and the two literally make sparks fly together.

Contrary to his past introverted behavior, Rory decides to pursue Danny, who is the leader of the Young Entrepreneurs on campus. A skater, Danny and his group have designed a new board and are trying to find funding to move their ideas into reality. In the meantime, Rory’s RA, Barry, is becoming a close friend and is pursuing a relationship with Rory’s BFF, Stacie. Getting the support of his friends while he pursues Danny, who is sometimes like quicksilver, is important to Rory. But catching Danny, and defining their relationship is very difficult, and when he finds out why, Rory allows self-doubt to cloud the picture.

Danny suffers from a <spoiler> that has led to some very destructive behaviors in the past, including drug addiction and a criminal record. When the bank turns down the loan application to get the skateboard business up and running, he nosedives into a deep depression, knowing the cause is his criminal record. Rory has seen this disorder up close in a family member in the past, so he decides to find out more about it before he makes any commitment to his volatile lover. Will he go or stay? Will Danny’s moods even allow him to recognize his own feelings toward Rory? And what about Danny’s friends, his crew as he calls them; will they allow him enough slack to decide for himself about Rory? After all, they’ve been his rock and been his only stabilizing influence in the past. Will they now allow that role to be held by Rory?

There’s so much to this story that it’s difficult to sift through all the facts, emotions, and drama. There’s also a subplot surrounding Barry and Stacie, and there are references to the past gay bashing on campus and to the characters involved. I suspect these were featured in previous stories by this author and it was difficult to get them all straight, so this story should be labeled as part of a series. It can still be read as a standalone, but readers like me may be confused and long to have that backstory filled. I liked the basic premise of this story, however it felt too long. And there was a lot of sex, very rough sex, bordering on abusive sex. By the latter part of the book, I glossed over the sex scenes to get back to the rest of the action.

The disorder wasn’t revealed until later in the book, and it was treated with so much gravity that if I happened to suffer from it, I would have definitely tipped into depression. I don’t mean to make light of it, not at all. It’s just that it was treated like something insurmountable and fatal, and yet I’ve known many people with the disorder who have stabilized with treatment. But in this book it felt quite hopeless.

One other thing, perhaps minor, perhaps not—there was a concurrent romance between Barry and Stacie that I felt that would have been okay as a quick mention, but quite a bit of time was spent on it and I didn’t particularly care for what happened or the time spent on them in the story.

Overall, the storyline felt very dark and depressing. I honestly don’t recommend it if you are looking for a sweet young adult romance, but if you like hurt-comfort stories and don’t mind some dark angst mixed in, you might want to consider this one.

~~~~~

Cover Art by Kris Norris fits the story quite well as it features a headshot of a young man with a skateboarder jumping in the background.

Sales Links:  Torquere Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published June 8th 2016 by Torquere Press LLC
ASINB01GLQA3KS
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesCollege Rose Romance

Need a Blast of Science Fiction and Romance? Check out The Tide of War by Lori A. Witt (giveaway)

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The Tide of War by Lori A. Witt
Publisher:  Riptide Publishing
Cover Art by L.C. Chase

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Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Lori A. Witt blog tour for The Tide of War!

Giveaway

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (including books written as L.A. Witt or Lauren Gallagher, excluding The Tide of War) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 28th, and winners will be announced on July 29th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries and you must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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About The Tide of War 

Lieutenant Commander Kyle West is one of Earth Fleet’s greatest fighter pilots. Every day, he leads his squadron into battle over Earth’s cities in a seemingly endless war against a vicious alien race, defending his home and his loved ones.

Millions of miles away, the Fleet’s Elite Squadron attacks from another angle, engaging the enemy on its home turf. Casualties are high, and the Squadron needs more of the Fleet’s very best. But joining the Elite is a death sentence—a surety Kyle isn’t willing to face. Until a devastating attack wipes out the family he refused to leave.

Commander Andrei Dezhnyov, an Elite Squadron gunner, isn’t sure what to make of the cocky new American pilot. Kyle is equally uncertain about the snarly Russian, but as they warm up to each other, their tentative alliance becomes a deep bond—one that endangers them both when a daring and disobedient rescue reveals secrets that call into question everything they’ve ever believed about their enemy. Secrets that their superiors would kill to protect.

The Tide of War is available July 22nd from Riptide Publishing.

About Lori A. Witt...

Lori A. Witt is the fourth corner of the Gallagher-Witt quad, and prefers to play in the genres of science fiction and fantasy over all that romance nonsense. Okay, so romance does show up sometimes, but these are the books she writes when she needs a change of pace. Sword and sorcery, spaceships, and just general weird nerdy goodness—Lori writes it all. Like the other members of the quad (  L.A. Witt, Lauren Gallagher, and Ann Gallagher), Lori is in the process of relocating from Omahabad, Nebraskastan to the southwestern coast of Spain. In her spare time, she tries to stay out of the middle of L.A.’s and Lauren’s ongoing rivalry, while never missing a chance to trip Ann when she’s not paying attention.

Connect with Lori:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorloriawitt
Website:http://www.gallagherwitt.com
Blog: http://gallagherwitt.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GallagherWitt

STRW Book Spotlight: 24-Karat Conspiracy (Precious Gems #4) by EM Lynley (excerpt and contest)

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24-Karat Conspiracy (Precious Gems #4) by EM Lynley
Release Date: June 12, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press All Romance (ARe) – AmazonBarnes & Noble

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Love is the only gold

Former Ranger turned FBI agent Reed Acton faces his biggest challenge yet: a Christmas visit from partner Trent Copeland’s parents. He’s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves. When he’s assigned to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad, things start to look up.

This time, Trent’s part of the mission, which takes them to exotic Istanbul. The crowded streets and labyrinthine markets fascinate Trent, but soon murder is on their trail. The investigation continues as Reed goes undercover at a US Army base, with Trent masquerading as his spouse. Surprisingly, fastidious and ever-fashionable Trent fits into base life right away and soon takes one of the suspects’ wives under his wing when domestic abuse rears its head.

Their faux marriage leads Reed to appreciate Trent in ways he never expected, strengthening their bond—until Reed has to confront the worst demons from his past: his relationship with his estranged family.

  • Pages or Words: 240 pages, 72k words
  • Series is recommended to be read in order
  • Categories: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance

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STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“The ladies told me that there’s a welcome barbecue on Sunday, and we can’t miss it.”
Reed frowned at Trent. “Do I have to go?”
“Of course. We’ll meet the other new families. It’s supposed to be a fun social thing, and it will be a good way for both of us to get to know some people besides our neighbors and your coworkers.”
“Fine. If you want to be the social butterfly, that’s great. As long as I don’t have to do more than smile and drink beer.”
“Is that what soldiers do on Sunday afternoons?”
“During the playoffs, sure. In Texas, definitely.”
“What playoffs?”
Reed shook his head, but he was smiling. “Football. NFL. The Super Bowl is in a couple of weeks…. Trent, even if you’re gay, you’re male. And I know you like college football. I saw you watch with your dad.”
“Outside of Oklahoma college teams, I don’t know anything about football.”
“You don’t need to.”
“I don’t want to hang out making iced tea and serving cookies to children.”
“Not loving the life of an Army wife?”
“They call us spouses now. We’re not all wives.”
“Could have fooled me.”
“You want to sleep on the couch?”
“Sorry, honey.” Reed gave a silly grin and ducked out of Trent’s reach.

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

EM-at-GRL-book-signing3

EM Lynley writes sizzling gay romance with a hint of mystery. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.
Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emlynley
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/790672047651196/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/emlynley
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/emlynley
Website: http://www.emlynley.com
Free Reads: http://www.emlynley.com/free-stories/

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Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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  • Tour Dates & Stops:
    12-Jun
    MM Good Book Reviews
  • 15-Jun
    Bayou Book Junkie
  • 16-Jun
    Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
  • 17-Jun
    Tara Lain
  • 18-Jun
    Divine Magazine
    Jessie G. Books
  • 19-Jun
    Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
  • 22-Jun
    Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
  • 23-Jun
    For the Love of Bookends
  • 24-Jun
    The Novel Approach
  • 25-Jun
    Molly Lolly
  • 26-Jun
    Bike Book Reviews
  • 29-Jun
    Dawn’s Reading Nook
  • 30-Jun
    Mikky’s World of Books
  • 1-Jul
    BFD Book Blog
  • 2-Jul
    Decadent Delights
    Nic Starr

 

A Paul B Review: Temple’s Touch (A Wizard’s Touch #6) by Amber Kell

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Temple's Touch coverMadison Archer and Temple Stewartson have longed for each other for years. When Temple goes to school, they think they have missed their chance. When Madison goes missing, Temple will use all his connections to find his man.

Temple Stewartson was born the son of a wizard father and a werewolf mother. Unlike his siblings who were strong wolves, Temple favored his father’s side of the family. As his brother shows strong alpha tendencies, the Stewartson siblings decide they will start their own pack as soon as Temple has finished his schooling. Having been tutored by the wizards associated with his pack, Temple heads off to wizard school.

Madison Archer is an orphan who lost his pack in a flood when he was a young pup. He was adopted by the members of Temple’s pack. He considers Temple his best friend and longs for the day that he can make Temple his mate. But he feels that he must let Temple go to school so that he can fulfill his destiny to be a healing wizard.

The two have grown up in the same pack, having shared the same bed as pack mates often do but each long for more. Temple believes that since Madison is a full wolf he should feel something but hasn’t so they must not be mates. Madison feels that since Temple is part wizard, the need to mate must not be as strong because of his mixed heritage. Only with the help of Temple’s father do they realize that they are indeed mates.

Problems start just after their mating when a new wolf shows up near the pack house. The pack calls on Temple to calm the jittery wolf down but in doing so, Temple passes out. When he recovers the next day, Temple goes to school and Madison goes to work. When Temple returns from school, Madison is not waiting for him as usual and the new wolf is missing as well. Temple turns to his pack and their friends to find his missing mate and solve the mystery of just who the new wolf was.

This is the sixth book in the Wizard’s Touch series. It is helpful to have read the previous books to get some of the references that are mentioned in the book. Having said that, this book does time jump quite a number of years from the previous books in the series as Temple’s father was a wizard student himself in the previous books. As Temple is the youngest of three children, I would say approximately twenty years or so have passed since the last book. However, it is nice that most of the major characters from the previous volumes either make an appearance or at least mentioned in the storyline.

I enjoyed the characters of Temple and Madison. Given their different backgrounds, I could understand how they would come to the misunderstandings that they did about the other maybe not being their mates. Each assumes that the other would be recognizes that they are their mate and say something but neither do. This makes an important lesson that communication is essential even in were relationships.

The cover art by Posh Gosh depicts two young men in the background with a wolf in the foreground. Decent cover that reflects the characters well.

Sales Links:    Totally Bound Books       All Romance (ARe)      Amazon        Buy It Here

Book details: 
Ebook , 93 pages
Published: April 2015 by Totally Bound
ISBN: 978-1-78430-537-6
Edition: English

Series: A Wizard’s Touch
Jaynell’s Wolf (Wizard’s Touch #1)
Kevin’s Alpha (Wizard’s Touch # 2)
Farren’s Wizard (Wizard’s Touch # 3)
Elijah’s Ghost (Wizard’s Touch #4)
Porter’s Reaper (Wizard’s Touch #5)
Temple’s Touch (Wizard’s Touch #6)