The Sin City Uniform Men are Back in Morticia Knight’s ‘Negotiating Love’ (Excerpt and giveaway)

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Negotiating Love (Sin City Uniforms #5) by Morticia Knight
Release Date: October 27, 2015

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Publisher
: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh

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Blurb

Can the kinky billionaire owner of Dark Fantasy Resort Casino capture the heart of a muscled SWAT officer with a secret fetish?

SWAT Team Hostage Negotiator, Steve, wonders why he can’t stay away from the spoiled rich Allistair, owner of Dark Fantasy Resort Casino. They have mutual kinks – ones Steve can’t find with other lovers—but there’s something else about the emotionally detached, beautiful man that calls to him.

Billionaire Allistair stays alone in his luxury penthouse apartment at the top of Dark Fantasy, terrified of the real world and of opening himself up to genuine emotions. He takes lover after lover, all of them allowing him to do whatever he wants to their bodies, in the hopes that they can scam something from him.

One night is all he ever shares with a plaything—he knows they only want the money and luxury he can offer them and nothing more. But the down to earth Steve is different. They share the same kinks and are explosive when together. But could the muscled law officer ever want more than the lust-filled encounters that have become such an addiction?

As they grow closer, they discover they also have to find a balance between Steve’s everyday world and Allistair’s entitled world before they can truly find an ever after. They also have to make sure Allistair stays safe. Filthy rich playboys are too tempting to those who seek the ultimate payday—and who aren’t afraid of hurting someone to get it.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of BDSM and fetishism.

 

Pages or Words: 50,851 words
Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Erotica, M/M Romance, Mystery

Excerpt

Steve pulled a surprised Allistair into his arms, embracing him in a strong hold. They’d never hugged. It wasn’t anything Steve had planned, but Allistair’s words reinforced the conclusion Steve had come to about the casino owner—he was in desperate need of being treated with care and affection.
Maybe I am too.
The extreme tension in Allistair melted the longer Steve held him. He didn’t pat or stroke his back, he kept them still, the rate of their breathing eventually matching.
“What if you use me all afternoon until I’m wrung dry? Then I’ll undoubtedly need sustenance for later on tonight. If we get to a restaurant early enough, we’ll be able to enjoy the view while it’s still light out.”
A light rumble from Allistair’s laugh vibrated against his chest. “You’re amazing. That sounds perfect, but I need to add one thing.”
Steve pulled back enough to see Allistair’s expression, without completely letting go. “I hope it’s something filthy. You’ve been unusually well behaved since we left the penthouse.”
The smile Allistair beamed at him was stunning. It made him even more beautiful and Steve could detect a glimpse of what the real Allistair might be like.
“Just our shared kink.”
“They’re in my bag. I’ll wear whichever one you choose.”
Steve was aware of his cock filling right as Allistair hardened, his pupils widening.
“Pour the champagne, Steve. Then peel off your clothes for me, slowly.” Allistair’s breathing sped up. “Very slow when you get to your jeans.”
“Anything for you, Allistair. Whatever you want.”

Buy the book 

Pride Publishing | Amazon US |Amazon UK | B&N  | ARe

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Meet the Author

Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after.

If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little heart’s desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share – her adventures as a published author began in 2011.

Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

 

Where to find the author:

Final

Giveaway

Giveaway Factoid: 3. Allistair has a secret camera system in Club Seduction that allows him to pick out his evening’s entertainment.

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Signed paperback and a Halloween goodie bag. 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:

26-Oct: Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Foxylutely Book Reviews

27-Oct: Nautical Star Books, Nephy Hart

28-Oct: Velvet Panic, Bike Book Reviews

29-Oct: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Divine Magazine

30-Oct: Just Love Romance

2-Nov: Mikky’s World of Books, Bayou Book Junkie

3-Nov: Havan Fellows

4-Nov: My Fiction Nook, Jessie G. Books

5-Nov: Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

6-Nov: Happily Ever Chapter

9-Nov: Love Bytes

10-Nov: MM Good Book Reviews

11-Nov: Prism Book Alliance

12-Nov: V’s Reads, Inked Rainbow Reads

13-Nov: Parker Williams

15-Nov: The Hat Party

16-Nov: Decadent Delights

17-Nov: The Novel Approach

18-Nov: 3 Chicks After Dark

19-Nov: TTC Books and More

19-Nov: BFD Book Blog

20-Nov: Molly Lolly

 

 

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review :Three’s Company by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This is the kind of story where the characters burrow into your heart and stay long after you finish the last page.

Three's Company coverWilson Curtis arrives at the small hotel in Key West to begin his long-awaited two-week vacation for two—but without Mr. Two. His boyfriend Rod has joined with others in his Alabama hometown to ostracize him when it’s learned that he’s gay. Rod is a police officer who saw Wilson covertly for nearly two years but left him without a second thought the minute Wilson was outed while having drinks with Rod and a few other friends one night. And just like that, his life was turned upside down, because not only did he lose Rod, the townsfolk boycotted his restaurant business, and though his friend Callie is keeping it open for now, business is declining as the rumors of his homosexuality spread.

When he arrives at the beachfront hotel, he’s greeted by the handsome, dark-haired, blue-eyed manager, Simon Stanford. Simon excitedly tells his live-in lover—carefree, blond, gorgeous Adam—about the new guy who’s arrived, and together they make plans to seduce him into their bed for a night of ménage fun.

The couple is surprised, however, to discover that one night is just not enough, and they find themselves extending the invitation for the length of his stay. Suddenly, their feelings are involved, and when that happens, more than the positive feelings emerge—there’s a miscommunication, and Simon storms off and won’t speak to the others; outsiders are trying to buy the hotel; and life as they knew it goes rapidly downhill.

This was the best M/M/M romance I’ve read to date. These guys had diverse and interesting personalities as well as careers that jelled, life circumstances that fit together like puzzle pieces, and hot, steamy sex in places and positions that stoked the imagination. And they kissed—in two’s and three’s—sweetly, and oh, so sinfully, not-so-sweetly. I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve read a ménage that I can actually picture working—from the sex to the personalities and vice versa. I very highly recommend this to all M/M romance lovers who want to dip a toe into the pool of ménage, and if you’re already into threesomes, why wait? Pick up your copy right now!

Cover Art by Posh Gosh features a bright and beautiful Florida sky and blue waters. Superimposed on that is a photo of three men sitting on the beach with the center man’s arms around the others. There are also other photos depicting tropical paradise themes. Very nice, attractive, colorful cover!

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon (not supported at Amazon)

Book Details:

ebook, 176 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Pride Publishing (first published 2012)
ISBN139781784307424
edition language English

A Mika Review: Trust by Sarah Masters

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ★★★

Trust coverSometimes, trusting your instincts leads to happiness and love.

After coming out, life took a turn for the worst. I knew people would view me differently, of course I did, but… See, here’s the thing. How does a person cope when a few of their work colleagues play such a cruel trick that it leaves them wondering if they’ll ever trust anyone again? It happened to me, and trusting isn’t something I do easily now.

Until James comes along. He’s a work colleague too, but my issue is, I keep thinking he’s playing another trick. You know, reeling me in, making me think he’s a good bloke.

He’s asked me to go out with him and although I should maybe get to know him a bit better first, I’ve said I’ll go. I need to get back out there, live a little. And if I get hurt? Well, I’ll just have to deal with it. Again.

But maybe he won’t hurt me. Break my heart and all that. Please God.

Definitely a short, sweet and cute read. Trevor is basically humiliated at work by his co-workers after them finding out about his sexuality. I thought it was cute of Trevor talking to himself and trying to reassure himself in the most sensible way that things were going to get better. Enter admin guy, who Trevor doesn’t know if anything coming out his mouth is genuine, and he takes a chance on him. These guys seem like they are in their awkward teenage phase of life, but they are adults dealing with being out in two different ways. We learn that sweet admin guy is just boring James as he describes his name, like Trevor, I see nothing boring about him. I think it took a lot of confidence to come up and talk to someone who’s basically being shamed at work. James gives off the aura of confidence when he has his own insecurities as well. I really liked how they came together, and were better with each other.

Cover Art by Posh Gosh. I liked the display of Trevor at the Art center where he and James can be themselves. No one is judging them, and they are happy being their own bent selves!

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 11th 2015 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781784307103
edition languageEnglish

A Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Sense of Place by N.R. Walker

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5  ★★★★★
Sense of Place coverThe capstone in the trilogy of books making up the Thomas Elkin series, on my second read through this one, I found I loved it even more than I had the first time due to the subtle way the author tied the core of what makes this couple ticktheir keen sense of appreciation of all things architectureinto their love for each other and respect for each other’s ideas, concepts and experiences.

Thomas Elkin and Cooper Jones have been living together for a week or so when this story opens. Things are going well for Cooper in his position, and he’s just scored a huge job based on the work he did in prep for an architectural show in Philadelphia. This job can make his career and Tom couldn’t be prouder. As the job advances, and Cooper spends more time at work, rather than let the stresses break them up, the two work together to successfully fit in “couple” time.

Cooper’s chief problem is the property developer for whom he’s working is making advances to him left and right, and Coop spends most of his time diplomatically trying to call him off. It doesn’t help when Tom is so understanding, though from Tom’s perspective, Tom has total confidence in Cooper. However, when the straw breaks the camel’s back , a small confrontation and show of possessiveness on Tom’s part is enough to make Cooper happy, and they survive to the end of the job without losing their tempers or their employment. But in the meantime, at Tom’s workplace, one of the partners in his firm is making his life miserable by questioning everything he does. He knows it’s homophobia but can’t get the guy to back off, and it eventually results in Tom making a major life-changing decision.

On the surface, this story wasn’t as complex or intense as book two, Clarity of Lines, but as I stated at the beginning of the review, the subtleties made it even better and watching the men cope with family and job pressures yet continue to grow stronger as a couple was a pleasure. Tom and Cooper have found their personal “sense of place”when the place you’re in feels like homewhere you’re at peace. <spoiler>The way the author wove this in to the marriage proposal was sweet. And, the proposal itself was unique and unexpected and totally perfect. Sigh. </spoiler>

I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a wonderful couple, with a sweet romance, age gap, and humor. And the bonus is that it leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart and a wish for more time with the men before you have to leave them. If you get the chance to read this series, by all means, don’t pass it up.
~~~~~~~
Cover Art by Posh Gosh is very similar to the other books in the series and features the upper torsos of two men wearing suits, set against a background of tall buildings representing the architecture MCs in the series.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | All Romance (ARe) |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, Special Edition
Published August 11th 2015 by Pride Publishing (first published February 14th 2014)
ISBN13 9781784307417
edition language English

A Jeri Review: Semper Fidelis Anthology (authors by S.A. McAuley , T.A. Chase , Devon Rhodes, LE Franks, Sara York, Kendall McKenna , Morticia Knight)

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Semper Fidelis Anthology CoverWhew! Extremely cut, shirtless guy on the cover. How can you not want to read that?

Six short stories are in this anthology, with only the common thread of the military. I think that is one of the things that I liked the most about it- all 6 stories were very different from the others.

Anomaly by S.A. McAuley

Warning: Untested chemical reactions in process…

When Staff Sergeant Galen Welc is handed Temporary Additional Duty orders that move him to the Marine Corps base at Twentynine Palms, he thinks he’s prepared for what’s to come. Known for his uncanny ability to spot improvised explosive devices, he’s pitted against the latest in defense technology. He trusts his instincts and his training, but they may just be leading him somewhere—and to an explosive reaction with someone—he could never see coming.


This short involves a Marine involved in a study and a scientist who works at the same facility. I really enjoyed that they first connected through the phone app Waze. It’s nice to hear about “real life” things- especially since smart phones are such a part of life now.

Always Ready by T.A. Chase

Making a living on the Bering Sea is hard enough, but throw love into the equation, and things can blow into a hurricane.

Senior Chief Dean ‘Jake’ Jacobson loves his job as a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Saving lives is the second best thing he could ever do. The first is loving Phil ‘Rhody’ Rhodes.

Phil is a third generation crabber who fishes the Bering Sea. Being gay and in love with Dean isn’t something he talks about, especially not with the six men he lives with on the Angela Kayla for weeks on end. But he’s been happy with his life.

Until one day the Bering Sea reminds them that she is a dangerous place to work. As her icy waters surround them, they discover one truth. Dean and Phil must always be ready to love each other because life can be taken so easily when one works on the sea.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer and a local crab fisherman who have been in a relationship for two years. Until it is time to move forward. I liked that this couple was already established and in the love. The story mostly involved them trying to figure out how to move forward.

A Ring and a Vow by Devon Rhodes

Every promise must someday be fulfilled, and the best way Owen knows how to reward Cary’s faith is with a vow.

It’s been nearly five years since Owen went down on one knee with his Academy ring and promised Cary he’d someday do it for real. With Cary being a Naval aviator and Owen a Marine officer serving in Iraq, they’re rarely on the same continent, let alone together.

About time for them to fill out paperwork to re-up, Owen realizes that if they were married, they’d have a much better chance of being stationed nearby. But time is not on their side so he’s forced to compromise on his proposal in order to make it work.

Cary has been waiting for Owen for years—there was no chance he’d ever say anything but yes. Owen is coming home at last, and wants to make a home with him. However, between the chronic nightmares he’s been fighting and the ever more complicated wedding plans, the next month could be anything but a dream.


Two military men trying to figure out how to stay together when they could be restationed separately. And then they realize that since DADT was over turned and gay marriage was now legal- they can get married and apply for Joint Spouse. Very romantic and cute

 

My Marine by LE Franks and Sara York

For a man who made his career in intelligence, falling for an Afghani national in the middle of a war zone wasn’t the smartest thing a Marine could do.

Marine Captain Sean Kelley loves his country and the men he serves with, but when he meets Akim, he’s tempted to throw it all away for the mysterious man. He knows better than to chase after a local, but repeat encounters culminating in a moment of passion leave him reeling—he’ll do almost anything to figure out how they can be together.

Akim Bijan has a secret of his own—one large enough to get more than just himself killed if it’s revealed. But from the moment he first lays eyes on the handsome Marine, he’s tempted to do just that rather than hide his growing attraction to the man. Being a translator allows him access to the base and he finds Sean alone one night. They take things farther than he ever intended. If only he could tell Sean everything, but his lips are sealed.

When tragedy strikes, Akim is afraid he’s lost Sean for good and he’s forced to make a decision that will change both their lives. Will love win, or will Sean and Akim be separated for


I think this was my favorite of the 6. A Marine in Afghanistan falls for an Afghan native. Even though he is totally off limits, and the Marine is set to go home soon, sparks fly.

Soul Sick by Kendall McKenna

amie thought he made it home to Tucker, leaving war behind. Now, each day he battles to fit into his own life, and save the love that saved his life.

Jamie is a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps who carried a photo of Tucker with him throughout his deployment. His body and his heart both make it home, but he isn’t sure about his sanity. It no longer feels like his own life even fits.

Tucker is a reformed bad boy who has an advanced degree and an important job but still sports long hair and tattoos. He missed Jamie while he was on deployment, but he couldn’t stop living his own life. Now, they’re struggling to learn to live with one another again, and things are going downhill fast.

Jamie wants everything to be the way it used to, but his anger and self-destructive behaviour begin to push Tucker away. Too much alcohol and a night of violence inside their home take them nearly to the brink. Tucker is willing to fight alongside Jamie to keep it all from falling apart, if Jamie can learn to accept the help he needs…before it’s too late.

Since I had a favorite, I have to have a least favorite. A Marine coming back from war is haunted by his experiences there. To the point where he hurts the man he loves. His boyfriend encourages him to get help and be the man he was before war. Or they would be over. Least favorite because he seemed to “get better” too easily.

Safe Shores by Morticia Knight

Kirk’s Coast Guard lover, Shane, is the only person who can save his son from a vicious gale storm – if he’s not too late.

Fishing is the only life that Kirk has ever known. Born and raised in a small town on the Northern Oregon Coast, coming out of the closet was a struggle. Fortunately, he’s been lucky to find an amazing man to be with who serves in the Coast Guard. But he can’t help but wonder whether Shane wants more than just a shore leave romance.

Shane loves the Coast Guard, loves the sea. That’s one of the main things he has in common with his fisherman lover, Kirk. He just needs to make sure that Kirk knows how serious he is about their relationship and what he plans on doing about it.

Shane and Kirk’s joyful reunion is interrupted when a vicious gale storm threatens the coast. Kirk has to stand by helplessly and wait while his lover battles the raging seas to save his son. In an instant, Kirk could lose everyone he holds dear.

Another Coast Guard/ fisherman story- but different from the previous. I liked that there was an age difference and the two of them really compromised to be together.

This was a really great anthology to read. As I said previously, I liked how all of the books were different. You weren’t reading the same story six different ways. If you like hot, alpha military men- definitely give this a read.

Sexy cover!

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 213 pages
Published January 23rd 2015 by Totally Bound Publishing
ISBN1784304301 (ISBN13: 9781784304300)
edition languageEnglish
settingCalifornia (United States)
Alaska (United States) Virginia (United States)

A Bj Review: Unconventional In San Diego Anthology (Authors Carol Lynne, Amber Kell, T.A. Chase, Jambrea Jo Jones, Devon Rhodes)

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Overall Rating:   3.75 stars out of 5

Unconventional In San Diego Anthology coverThis anthology features stories by Carol Lynne, Amber Kell, TA Chase, Jambrea Jo Jones, and Devon Rhodes; the stories are tied together by a common setting, a paranormal club/bar in San Diego named Unconventional.

Fate’s Bridge by Carol Lynne – 2.75 stars


Vampire Roman Gschwind discovers the soul of his lost love inside the body of another. Having promised not to turn his love, he has no choice but to allow his brother Alexi to do so in order to save his life. But now he must decide if he’s willing to share his love with another vampire in order to rekindle what he lost?

This one started well, but quickly became disjointed for me. This story has quite a lot of M/M/M sex and very little buildup of sexual tension beforehand, which made it a bit flat for me. There wasn’t a lot of character development, especially of Alexi, and that combined with lower levels of UST than I prefer kept me from forming a connection to the characters. Reincarnation is an interesting theme, so I was looking forward to that aspect. Julian and Roman’s story was touching, and the ending gave it such a bittersweet twist that it made me teary. But I think the story suffered because of length and moving too fast, especially at the beginning.

Coming in Third by Amber Kell – 3.5 stars

Niall is a fae prince who’s fifth in line for the throne, and his mother wants him wed. When Niall sneaks out of the palace to fulfill a fantasy of having two men, he winds up at Unconventional faced with a pair of lion shifters looking to spice up their love life. After a night with him, Jovan and Luka’s shifter instincts tell them the innocent fae could be their long sought mate—the one fated to be theirs. But Niall’s guards cart him back to the palace and a possible arranged marriage. Will the shifters go after him or let it be the one-night stand Niall had offered?

For those who might be bothered by it, be aware that this one has some abuse (past/off page) both from Niall’s domineering, controlling mother and the guards who string him up and whip him at his mother’s instructions. Niall is a magical fae, but the bindings his guards use strip away his magic. This is a case of an established couple bringing in a third who had been search for exactly such a situation, hence no jealousy or angst. I loved that Niall glowed when sated, and that despite being small, he was strong both physically and mentally (the former because of his magic). A cute story with some interesting world details and a satisfying ending. Some humor in this one. Also some rather weird metaphor use, some of which worked for me and others which totally didn’t.

The Unicorn Said Yes by T.A. Chase – 3 stars

Ivan Brusilov, king of the unicorns, goes to Unconventional for a drink and meets Carney Ferguson—a twenty-five year old human virgin. Turns out that innocence, and hence virgins, are irresistible to unicorns! But there are darker forces at work and neither Ivan nor Carney are safe and things are not as they seem.

This was cute at first but got to be confusing at parts. There was an awful lot of telling vs showing and some repetitiveness. I found it strange that they were both so into the Kinsey scale enough to have known their exact number ratings. I enjoyed Carney’s brother Jordan quite a bit. Many things about the way the story as a whole was told didn’t work so well for me, but the premise was quite unique and interesting and the tension and intrigue in the latter half was well done.

Blood on the Moon’ by Jambrea Jo Jones – 3.75 stars

Montague Ramey is a witch seeking exciting in his boring everyday life. Then came the night the moon turned red and his life changed. Kishar Nichelson’s is an incubus whose motorcycle ended up in a ditch on the road at midnight under the red moon and then stalled out on him. Someone’s after him, but he can’t remember what happened exactly and he’s weak from lack of sex that its hard for him to think. Can a witch and an incubus find love and solve a mystery on the night of the blood moon?

Montague is a rather sad, mousy man at the start of this story. And not really very appealing. This story, like the one before, had lots of telling vs showing at the start, but I liked how it tied in some characters from prior stories. There was a contradiction that bothered me and took me out of the story early on–him wishing out loud for something exciting to happen in one sentence and cowering from having even said it out loud in the next. Huh? BUT…

Kishar, on the other hand, was quite interesting from the start. An incubus who chooses to feed his need for sex with other paranormals rather than harm the delicate, fragile humans. And once the two are together, it starts to work for me. The head-hopping made it a bit hard to follow at parts, but I enjoyed seeing both characters grow and change once they found each other. Overall, it was a bit playful with some nice action and a sweet HEA.

A Sliver of Sunset by Devon Rhodes – 4.25 stars

Angelo is the only paranormal known to ever have leukemia, and the doctors are mystified as to the cause. To cure himself, he must repress his shifter side with a chemical inhibitor so he can go through chemotherapy as a human. Dominic hooked up with hottest guy and spent a night having the best sex ever, but wakes to find his lover gone. A week later, he meet a new oncology patient to find the same man fighting for his life and dependent upon his care.

This is by far my favorite story in this anthology. Angelo intrigued me from when I read about him in one of the earlier stories, and I hoped we’d get more about him. Glad I was right. More than any of the other stories, this one gave a sense of being set in San Diego (where I lived for some years in the past). This anchor story of the collection also did an excellent job of tying all the stories together.

I won’t give away exactly what sort of paranormal Angelo is, since that’s a fun part of the story to learn as you go. I don’t usually like to read stories in which one of the MC has cancer (or any possibly fatal disease), but this was an exception. This is well-written, well-paced and all-around enjoyable read.

The cover is appealing; picturing the cityscape and two hot guys in sunglasses, so it has a definite San Diego feel and caught my eye. However, I don’t think it gave me much of a feel for the stories within as nothing about it says paranormal.

Sales Links: Pride Publishing |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 198 pages
Published July 11th 2015 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781784306878
edition languageEnglish
other editions (1)
Unconventional in San Diego

Early Coffee Sip and Book Break: BA Tortuga On How to Speak Cowboy and Blind Ride, a release from Pride Publications (contest)

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Blind Ride cover 2

Blind Ride (Roughstock) by BA Tortuga
Published by Pride Publishing (2nd edition)
Book One of the Roughstock Series

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing
Goodreads Link

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How to Speak Cowboy, the Bullriding Edition

Cowboys have a language of their own, which can be hard to understand if you’re not around them all the time. Bax and Jason speak Texas cowboy blended with bullriding, which might need some translation. I speak both fluently, so let me give y’all a little explanation.

Bullriding Terms:

Bullriding has a lot of terminology in common with rodeo, where bullriding is a common event to end the night. Still, the pro leagues will happily tell you this is not a rodeo, and there are some words you need to know.

Bullrope. This is the rope cowboys fasten around the bull’s torso which they hold for leverage during the ride.

Flank strap: This rope goes around the bull’s torso as well, back by the hind legs. No, it does not go around the bull’s testicles. You know any man who wouldn buck if you tied off his balls? Nope. Bulls are the same way. The flank strap does encourage a bull to buck, because it annoys him, but the bulls are predisposed to what they do.

The nod: A cowboy nods when he’s ready for the gate to open and the ride to start.

The long go and the short go: Bullriding has a long go around where all the cowboys compete. Then the short go around gets together the top ten or more scores and pits those cowboys against each other.

Safety man: This is the cowboy on horseback who ropes bulls out of the arena. Unlike in rodeo, he’s not a pick-up man because he doesn’t help cowboys off a bronc or such. He’s just there for rider and bull safety.

Now, for Bax and Jason’s Texanisms:

“Sat there with his teeth in his mouth.” I get yelled at all the time for this, y’all. All. The. Time. This just means he was so gobsmacked that he sat there with his mouth hanging open and his teeth showing. Yes, we say gobsmacked. While Texas has at least seven distinct dialects, they all more closely resemble British English than any other region in the US.

“You wanna?” This ought to be self explanatory. This is a mating call. One cowboy looks at another, jerks his head toward the door and says, “You wanna?”

“Like a goat looking at a new fence” Also self-explanatory. A goat who has never seen a fence in a certain place before will stare at it, dumbfounded and offended.

“Comin’ up a cloud “ Bad weather is moving in. It’s fxin’ to storm

Fixin’ to: About to. I’m fixin’ to go to the store. It cannot be changed out for fixing to. At least not where I’m from.

Hope that helps, y’all! (the plural of y’all is all y’all. Just sayin’.) Holler at me with any other questions about the way my boys talk!

Jason stood there with the big fake check for the event win, watching the crowd go one of two ways—up and out of the stands, or down to wait for the guys to make the autograph circuit. He fucking hated this part.

That little broad from the XSports channel was waiting with her bright orange hair and her too tight jeans. He knew how it’d go, too. Blah blah blah Jason Scott blah blah blah race for the finals blah blah blah new kids chasing his ass.

Goodie.

He managed to get through all the questions without being an asshole, but not before a huge stack of fans were hanging over the fence, waving programs and hats, hollering his name. He ducked under into the pens and headed toward the back. He just wasn’t good at that whole meet-and-greet thing.

“You’re gonna get a reputation as an asshole, man.” His best buddy, Andy Baxter, fell in beside him, boots clacking against the concrete walkway back to the locker room.

“Yeah, yeah. Better let them think I might be than know I am. ‘sides, I don’t see your happy ass out there, Bax.”

And shit, nine times out of ten Bax was out there glad-handing.

“It was a long night. My knee’s killin’ me.”

That slow Texas drawl always made him smile, because it made everyone think Bax was laid-back, maybe not so bright.

Jason knew better.

“Yeah?” He winced, shook his head. “You came down on it fucking hard. I swear that bull has it out for you.”

It was hell getting old.

“I did.” Bax shrugged, sticking his hands in the pockets of his old school Wranglers. “I ain’t the man of steel I used to be.”

“Bullshit.” There wasn’t any bastard on Earth tough as Bax. He knew it to the bone. “You want to go get a steak?”

“Hell, yes. Someplace not at the hotel.” They were staying at the sanctioned hotel because the sponsors had asked Jason to, but eating there was like sitting in a fishbowl.

“I got the truck here. We can go anywhere.” He nodded to Little Jack and Harvey who were still waiting outside sports medicine. DJ had taken one hell of a spill, just got caught up and dragged. “Y’all heard something?”

Jack shook his head. “They ain’t called the am’blance. That’s gotta be good, huh?”

“I guess.”

“Well, you call me, you hear something, yeah?” Bax said, nodding. “Come on, man. Food.”

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Blurb for Blind Ride:

Jason Scott has everything a bull rider wants—success, money and traveling partner Andy Baxter. When he loses his sight in an accident, he stands to lose it all.

Jason Scott is at the top of the bull riding game, on his way to a winning season. Along with his traveling partner, Andy Baxter, he’s riding hard on the circuit, working around the country with all of the other bull riders and bullfighters, living the good life. The only thing he wishes he had is Bax, but he’s afraid to take the step that would make them more than friends, worried that it will ruin everything.

When a terrible accident leaves Jason unable to see, his whole life goes south. Jason decides to chuck it all, determined to go home and hide at his momma’s ranch. Bax has other ideas. He wants to make sure his best friend doesn’t give up, and he hatches a plan that stuns Jason and makes their friends and family think he’s crazy.

With the help of the other bull riders and a very persistent bull fighter named Coke, Bax convinces Jason to give life one more try. With Jason cautiously learning to hope, and his relationship with Bax going to the next level, life gets pretty complicated. Everyone gets in on the project, from Jason’s strong-willed mother to an entire ranch full of children, all of them working to help Jason do what he loves.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. It has been re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

Like the sound of Blind Ride? Buy it here.

About BA Tortuga:BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia, her best friend, Sean, and coffee. Lots of good coffee.

You can check out BA’s website and blog or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Enter Pride Publishing’s August blog tour competition for the chance to win an eBook of your choice (not including box sets or anthologies). Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Prizes provided by Pride Publishing. Competition open world wide.

Find our review of Blind Ride here!

A MelanieM Review: Roughstock: Blind Ride – Season One by B.A. Tortuga

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Blind Ride cover 2Jason Scott is at the top of the field in his career, that of professional bull riding.  Jason, along with his traveling partner and best friend, Andy Baxter, are riding the circuit, both hoping to finish at the top of the boards and win enough money to see each of them set for life.  Jason and Bax have been dancing around the fact that they are crazy about each other.  Each is afraid of losing his best friend if they admit how much they actually love each other. It will take something huge to make a change in their relationship.

Being a professional bullrider is a dangerous game and in one horrible instant everything changes for both Jason and Bax.  When a ride on one of the top bulls goes wrong, an injury to Jason’s head causes him to go blind. Reeling, Jason and Bax retreat to Jason’s family ranch to recover and wonder what’s next for them both.  For Jason, it appears his life is over and he has nothing to live  for.  Bax is determined to prove him wrong, both personally and professionally.

Bax thinks Jason can ride the bulls even blind.  But it will take Bax, his love and their small circle of friends to prove to Jason that even blind bullriders have their life and love ahead of them.

I have a huge fondness for both the Roughstock series and its author, BA Tortuga.  So it pains me when I have to report that this story, while having so many of the great qualities I have come to expect from this series, is guaranteed to frustrate the reader to the point that it is hard to recommend it. First let’s look at the merits of this story.

The characters are wonderful.  Jason “Mini” Scott and Andy “Bax” Baxter are typical of the cowboys you will find in the stories of B.A. Tortuga.  Their personalities are so authentic to the bull riding circuit and the locale that I would also expect to run into them at any PBR event.  They become so real that they feel like a part of your family.  And it is this intimacy that connects the reader to them and their futures.  You feel the dust that coats them as they pick themselves up off the arena floor and the pain their profession inflicts upon their bodies.  They are just so realistic that you hurt for them.  And Tortuga is one of the best authors around when it comes to dialog.  The words that issue out of the mouths of her cowboys ring with authentic local flavor and colloquialisms.  And it does so without being hokey or off sounding.  Here they are heading down the road to get supper:

Bax threw his duffel back, too, sliding into the driver’s side. “So, where to? I figure that one little place where you circle your order will be closed.” “There’s that one place by the highway — about twenty minutes out. It’s nothing but old ranchers taking their women out. Nice T-bones.” And he always got tickled by those tables with the ads printed on them. Reminded him of going to auction with Pa-paw.

“That works.” The big dualie slid right into traffic like an elephant into a herd of zebras, Bax muscling them right in.

They scooted down 35, radio blaring. He found a pack of smokes in the console and lit one for Bax, then got himself one. Three days of rest, then Tulsa.

“You think we ought to try and hit home ‘fore Tulsa?” It was kinda eerie sometimes, the way Bax read his mind. Then again, they’d been on the road together for nigh on six years.

“We can. Momma’d like to see us. ‘Course, we could go on to the city. Goof off. Depends on how much you want Momma’s pineapple upside down cake.”

“Oh, I’d rather go see your momma.” That man did have a sweet tooth. Pineapple upside down was Bax’s very favorite.

“Cool. I’ll call her. Let her know we’ll be in.” He took a deep drag, grinned. Lord, lord. “I hope your knee’s up to riding fence.”

“Shit, you know it. Just don’t ask me to walk fence.” Wheeling around a little Honda, Bax started humming with George on the radio, off tune as anything. “Nah. You wouldn’t be worth shit in Tulsa, then.”

They both hooted, and Jason leaned back, easy in his bones. Man, event win number three. Check in his pocket. Him and Bax heading for steak.

Life, she was good.

Of course, we know it’s all going to change and soon.  But in that short exchange we see the ease and contentment of Jason and Bax’s relationship.  It sings of a friendship long established and perhaps much more.

And once they fess up and go for a full romantic relationship, it is still in keeping with their cowboy ways and personalities.  No flowers here.

 It was like a good ride, all motion and want and spinning. He tried to warn Bax, tried to let the man know he was gonna be way quick off the mark, but it wasn’t happening. And it didn’t seem to matter one bit. Bax was pushing him on, making these amazing noises, just as hot for him as the Fourth of July.

Their relationship is hot, sexy, and emotionally deep.  How we fall for them.

Pretty much everything works here for much of the story.  The narrative suffers a bit from almost too much sex.  We want more of Jason coming to grips with his blindness.  And we want to see exactly how Jason, with Bax and Coke’s help, will learn to ride again.  At one point, even Bax remarks that he and Jason have sex instead of talking.  OK, but as a reader, while I love the hot sex, I want more of the relationship that produces it.

After all I have been through with Jason and Bax, feeling side by side with them on their emotional rollercoaster, I want and deserve to have the emotional payoff I expect at the end of the story.  And that is exactly what’s missing.  No “aha” moment, no ending.  Nothing.  It just stops prior to Jason ever getting back up on a bull, even one on his friend’s ranch.  The emotional reward, the moment everything has been building up to never happens. Frustrating? You betcha.  And totally unexpected from this seasoned author.  And it is this aspect that dragged the rating down to a 3 star rating.

So who should read this book?  Well, hard core fans of B.A. Tortuga for one as well as fans of the Roughstock series.  Coke, AJ, Bax and Jason are the core characters of the Roughstock series so its good to have this part of the story.  But that lack of ending just makes me want to grab a beer and go watch some PBR instead of continuing to bemoan what could have been an outstanding book.

Cover art by Posh Gosh.  I like this cover, it feels more representative of the story and characters.  Terrific job.

Sales Links:  Pride Publications |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, Pride Publications (a LGBT imprint of Totally Bound, now Totally Entwined)
Published July 7th 2015 by Totally Bound Publishing (first published January 1st 2007)
original titleRoughstock: Blind Ride – Season One
ISBN139781784306397
edition languageEnglish
seriesRoughstock #1
charactersJason Scott, Andy Baxter settingUnited States

Books in the Roughstock series:

Roughstock: Blind Ride — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Give it Time: the Seven of Wands – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: And a Smile — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Doce — A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m
Amorzinhos — A Roughstock Story – Novela, m/m, threesome
Roughstock: File Gumbo — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Roughstock: And a Smile — Coke’s Clown – Novela, m/m,
Shutter Speed, A Roughstock Story: the Seven of Pentacles – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: City/Country – Novel, m/f
Roughstock: Picking Roses – Novel, m/f
Needing To: A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m

Upcoming Roughstock Novels
Roughstock: What She Wants – Novel, m/m/f
Roughstock: Tag Team – Season Two – Novel, m/m
Roughstock: Terremoto – Season Two- Novel, m/m

Roughstock Shorts:
Cowboy Christmas (Coke and Dillon)
Barbed Wire and Bootheels (Sam and Beau)
Some Good Doctoring (CB and Jonesy) – Free Read