An Alisa Review: Safe Haven by Caitlin Ricci

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

safe-haven-by-caitlin-ricciBeing alone was what Blake had always needed before his new team of bodyguards arrived. Now things might be very different.

 

At seven years old, Blake’s life was destroyed when he and his parents were abducted and he watched them being murdered. Now, twenty years later, he refuses to leave the house and he lives in a constant state of fear. He has a bodyguard around the clock, a housekeeper who has never seen his face and an uncle who checks on him often but isn’t all that close to him. Blake likes his isolation where only his cat really knows him.

 

His bodyguard of eight years is ready to retire, leaving his life in turmoil again. Blake isn’t good with people in general, and new people are the worst. But he needs someone in his house all the time to make him feel safe. His uncle hires a team of bodyguards to replace his old one—Malcolm, CJ and Rex. They come highly recommended, and they’re good at what they do.

 

They’re also together and it’s a relationship that Blake is instantly fascinated by. He’s never been interested in another person before, and he hasn’t had a real friend since his parents died, because he has refused to leave the house. But with the three of them trying to be there for him, he begins to want a life he has been convinced up to now would be completely impossible.

 

I really enjoyed this book and I thought the ménage/multiple partner theme was well done.  Is it a very realistic situation?  No, but I don’t think that is a necessity to make a good or interesting book.  Blake hasn’t had anyone show any affection or really care for him since his parents were murdered.  He makes a point to keep everyone at arm’s length, but no one really tries to get any closer either.  All that changes when his new bodyguards come to live in his house.

 

Malcolm, CJ and Rex can’t help but be protective of their new charge and even though they don’t know him very well want to take care of him and at least be his friends.  Their stubbornness starts to break through Blake’s walls just in time for his world to fall apart again.  Blake learns that support from those you love can be the best kind.

 

This story is told from Blake’s point of view.  He has pretty much been left alone and raised himself from the around the age of ten.  For someone who hasn’t had much human interaction he has grown up remarkably well, though if something is outside his comfort zone it can throw him for a big loop.  It is easy to feel how confused and scared Blake is at everything that goes on around him.  Once he starts to open himself up and the more he asks questions, the more he can start to accept changes.  Even though we don’t see Malcolm, CJ or Rex’s thoughts directly, you can see how much they care by their actions towards each other and Blake.  I love that their love and support ultimately help Blake begin to break down his barriers and get outside.

 

The cover art is great and catches your eye, it also gives you a visual of the characters.

 

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 151 pages

Published: November 8, 2016 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 9781786514790

Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Kellen’s Awakening (AURA Series #3) by Bellora Quinn and Angel Martinez

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Kellen's AwakeningThe staff at AURA has had a busy summer. Between chronic understaffing, dealing with warring goblin factions and an unusual number of hazardous Events, everyone is overworked. Sinistrus the incubus, newly hired as an AURA medic, actually enjoys his busy new life of responsible employee and faithful lover to his gorgeous police sergeant, Ness the centaur. Life would be perfect, except for a niggling suspicion about a colleague. Everyone else seems to disagree, but Sin’s certain something’s not right with that pixie.

Kellen, a pixie crossover, loves his job working in AURA medical, even if he is something of an outsider. His job and the friends he manages to make are happy spots in an otherwise dark and secretive life. As the rest of AURA tries to discover the root of the inexplicable rise in violence and large scale Events, Kellen fights to preserve his own life and what dignity he has left.

These two unlikely heroes must put their differences aside and navigate tragedy and ever-escalating disaster together in order to stop the sinister forces that hold Kellen in thrall.

The AURA series from Bellora Quinn and Angel Martinez just keeps getting better and this book is perhaps my favorite in the series.  It did it by breaking my heart and then slowly, finally putting it back together again.  But oh how the tears flowed before that happened.

In this world (what an amazing world it is) a magical, human engineered explosion has created a rift in world dimensions, causing beings to fall out of their worlds into ours, with often tragic consequences to both.  AURA was set up to handle moving these ‘otherworldly’ and often magical beings into our society with as smooth a transition as could be handled, which is saying a lot with trolls, mermaids, elf warriors  and such.  And always there is the  threat of darkness and madness looming on the edge from those seeking power or a return or an inability to deal with loss.

Its an amazing universe they built and they’ve created a cast of characters and couples/triads who are just as complicated and addicting as their stories.  Lucky for us, most of them make appearances in each succeeding book, so we get to keep up with their relationships as well.  Here we get back to Sin and Ness, happily enjoying their new love and jobs.  Sin is such a great character, a succubus who has fallen for a centaur, a great love story we followed in a previous tale.  We also meet up again with Kellen, again a secondary character brought forward to get his due.

Kellen has so many secrets but his character is one that you can’t help but love and root for immediately.  He’s wounded, complicated, and leaking pain from every pore if only they would notice.  Trouble is the whole city is full of magical pain and problems at the moment, so other things like Kellen’s are easy to bury.

The author’s writing is deeply emotional, their descriptions will tug at your heart, their scenes pulling you into the story and the conflicts arising everywhere.  And before you know it, you’ve emptied a box of tissues and reached for a second.

One note, these are not standalone novels, they build on each other like building blocks.  So go back to books one and two before picking this one up.  After finishing this one, you just might want to do that anyway because the characters will call out to you to make your reacquaintance.  How I love them all.  Now I can’t wait to see where the authors will take us  next…..

Cover art by Posh Gosh is so so.  Needs more of magic, I wish there was more of a hint of wings there as well.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, First
Published April 5th 2016 by Pride Publishing
Original TitleKellen’s Awakening (AURA, #3)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesAURA Series #3

Jump Into the Fantasy World of L.M. Somerton’s ‘Elemental Love’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Elemental Love by LM Somerton
Release Date: March 29, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis

Blurb

An untrained warlock is a dangerous man to love.

On his twenty-first birthday, Evrain Brookes discovers he is an elemental warlock. The spell suppressing his talent lifts and he has to get used to a whole new existence. The protection that kept him safe during his childhood is gone, his skills are wild and uncontrolled and there are those that seek to use him for their own gain.

Evrain’s grandmother is a witch, his godfather another warlock. Between them they do their best to keep Evrain on the right path. He learns that in order to gain control of his formidable powers, he will need to ‘channel’ through a life partner, a process that happens only with consent and through love. But how will he ever find a man prepared to put up with a Dominant warlock for a boyfriend?

Dominic Castine has no idea that Evrain’s grandmother sees him as a prospective partner for Evrain. He tends her garden and she teaches him about herbs—a trade-off they both enjoy. He is drawn to Evrain’s charismatic presence but doesn’t understand why he wants to drop to his knees and submit to him.

When Agatha is murdered, Evrain and Dominic are thrown together as she manipulates them from beyond the grave. Dominic becomes the pawn in a terrifying game between warlocks whose powers he barely comprehends.

In the end, lives will depend on his courage, his willingness to grant Evrain control and the power of love.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of kidnap and a reference to attempted sexual assault.

 

Pages or Words: 59,472 words

Categories: BDSM, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Excerpt

Twenty-one years ago…

“Closed doors, I hate closed doors. Why don’t I have the power to see through them? That, at least, would be a useful ability.” Three-hundred-year-old floorboards creaked as Gregory Thanet paced the galleried landing of Wenlock House. He walked up and down past three doors, each fashioned from heavy oak and furnished with black iron hinges and handles. Two stood ajar, revealing hints of unoccupied bedrooms, but the third was firmly closed, a solid barrier to unwanted intrusion and the cause of Gregory’s current frustration.

“For goodness’ sake, Gregory, you’re wearing out the carpet. Be still.” Gregory’s companion leaned against the gallery rail and gave him an exasperated look.

Gregory paused his march briefly, shot a glare at the woman but then resumed his pacing with a grunt. “Leave me be, woman, I’ll be still when we know that everything is as it should be.”

“Nature moves at her own pace, you know that. There’s no changing it—nor should we. What will be will be.”

“Stop trying to sound like some wise and ancient soothsayer, Agatha. You’re not helping and it doesn’t suit you. The kid is a week late already—you’d think he would be keen to greet the world by now. When he’s grown I’ll remember that he kept me up half the night. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of opportunities for revenge when he’s older.” Gregory stopped and folded his arms across his chest.

“I might not be able to see the future, Gregory Thanet, but even a complete idiot could have predicted that my grandson would arrive today.”

Gregory examined his companion. Agatha looked tired. Her skin was quite smooth, marred only by a few laughter lines around her hazel eyes, eyes that still sparkled with warmth and intelligence. Her silver hair was swept smoothly back and fastened with a comb, intricately fashioned from beaten copper. She remained an attractive woman, who must have possessed great beauty in her youth, but she looked paler than usual and she rested her weight against the banister rather than standing in her usual ramrod-straight stance.

Gregory experienced a rare pang of guilt that he might be adding to his friend’s worries. “All Hallows’ Eve. There’s a lot of power in the air right now.”

Agatha cocked her head to one side and closed her eyes as if listening to sounds that only she could hear. “My grandson will be with us soon and there is little that you or I can do to change the course of his destiny.” For a moment, a worried frown creased her forehead. “It is not certain that he will inherit the gift.”

Gregory sighed. “In this, you deceive yourself, Agatha. The calling has skipped a generation. History dictates that the next born will be unusually powerful and that power will be magnified even further in a male child.”

“There has been no warlock in my family line for over five hundred years, only witches. Why are you so convinced that it will change now? We know of only three others living, Gregory. You, Symeon Malus and Constantine De Vries. It would be a chance in a billion.”

Gregory scratched the tip of his long nose. “I should have bought a lottery ticket then. All the portents point to it, the date alone… It is time. Time the triangle became a square.”

“I’m not sure Symeon Malus will ever be part of that square,” Agatha said. “I don’t see him as the cornerstone of anything with value or integrity.”

“True, and if the child is born with the power, you and I will need to ensure that Symeon’s gaze remains elsewhere.” Gregory shivered. “I swear to the goddess, this country is the dampest place on earth. It’s all right for you, Agatha, you live in the second dampest place on the planet. You’re used to groping through fog. I want to get back to Florida. I need to—before I develop trench foot.”

“Pah. What you really want is to get back to Coryn. You’re a ship without an anchor when the two of you are apart. He could have come to see the child too, you know.” Agatha grabbed a stray hair and pushed it back into a restraining grip.

“Coryn hates airplanes, you know that. I would never ask him to fly across the pond unless it was a life or death situation.”

“If it were, you wouldn’t have to ask him.”

“He reckons that if men were designed to fly through the air, then human cannonball would be a much more popular career choice.”

Agatha snorted. “I think his phobia is a myth. He just uses it as an excuse to get a few days’ break from your—” She whistled and twiddled her fingers in the air.

Gregory rolled his eyes. “Twiddling your fingers that way will get you turned into an aardvark. It takes practice to bend your digits into shapes imbued with power. After thirty-two years together, Coryn is more than capable of dealing with my—” He whistled. “As you so delicately put it.”

Agatha snorted. “Men with magic! Whoever the hell thought that would be a good idea was seriously damaged.” She shook her head slowly.

Gregory grinned and waggled a silver eyebrow.

The mewling cry of a newborn sounded from behind the closed bedroom door, and Agatha allowed her lips to curve into a smile.

“Well, it seems the waiting is over. I have a grandchild—and, from the sound of that bellowing, he’s a fine, healthy boy.”

“About damned time.” Gregory grouched. He still smiled right along with Agatha.

Agatha crossed the landing and knocked softly on the door, which soon swung open to admit her. Gregory followed her inside, pushing down his excitement.

The bedroom was bathed in the cool light of a new dawn. The soft green of the walls seemed to shimmer and the wooden floor was burnished with gold. Gregory looked around in wonder, then dragged his gaze back to the bed.

“Lyssa, James—congratulations, my dears!” Agatha clapped her hands together in delight as she walked over to the bed.

Gregory hung back a little, giving her the privilege of first viewing.

Agatha’s daughter, Lyssa, sat up in bed propped against a mound of pillows. She was pale, her eyes shadowed in the purple of exhaustion, but still she glowed with radiant happiness. A small bundle wrapped in a pale blue blanket rested in her arms. Her husband, James, sat nervously on the edge of the mattress, looking utterly shell-shocked but delighted as the midwife fussed around them.

Lyssa held the baby out to her mother with a smile. “His name is Evrain. Evrain James Brookes. Hold him, Mum, isn’t he beautiful?”

Gregory held his breath as Agatha reached for the small bundle and cradled the child in her arms. She pushed the blanket back from the baby’s head, and a mop of thick black hair was revealed, sticking out in all directions.

“He is absolutely gorgeous, darling. Didn’t you both do well!” Agatha stroked the child’s hair.

Gregory moved in closer. Tiny fists punched at the air, so Gregory offered the boy his own hand. Immediately, the baby grabbed hold, wrapping his fingers around Gregory’s offering with surprising strength. Gregory grinned at Agatha in delight, then looked back to the baby. His eyes were the dark blue of every newborn but, as Gregory focused his senses on the child, he could see that they would become dark green. Just a shade deeper than his own.

Cooing softly, Agatha muttered a lilting incantation and rocked the baby gently. To Lyssa and James, the song probably sounded like a lullaby, but Gregory knew a spell when he heard one. Tiny eyelids closed and the baby slept. Gregory’s finger was released. After a few more minutes of cuddling, Agatha reluctantly returned the baby to his parents.

Buy the book:

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/elemental-love

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ebooks-Elemental-Love-Warlocks-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01BVE0DYQ/

http://www.amazon.com/Elemental-Love-Warlocks-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01BVE0DYQ/

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Meet the author:

L M lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops: March 29, 2016

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Outrageous Heroes, Alpha Book Club, Boys on the Brink Reviews,

Anna Butler Fiction, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, A.M. Leibowitz, Making It Happen, Bayou Book Junkie,

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Full Moon Dreaming, Gay Media Reviews, 3 Chicks After Dark

MM Good Book Reviews, Molly Lolly, BFD Book Blog, Man2ManTastic, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words,

The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Carly’s Book Reviews, Up All Night, Read All Day, Decadent Delights,

Book Lovers 4Ever, The Hat Party, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Velvet Panic, Foxylutely Book Reviews,

Inked Rainbow Reads

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A MelanieM Review: Strength of the Rising Sun (The Borders War #5) by S.A. McAuley

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5     ★★★★★

Strength of the Rising SunMerq’s always known there’s only one way Armise and he can end.

The Opposition is losing—both the war and the fight for citizen support—and the Revolution’s victory appears certain. Despite that success, Merq knows his leaders won’t let two of their greatest assets simply walk away. But with Armise fighting for his life, getting out becomes Merq’s primary objective.

Almost two decades of selfishness can’t be alleviated with one right decision, and Merq is faced with the reality of how deeply he has wounded Armise in ways that cannot be seen from the outside. Merq’s world has been upended more times than he can count and he’s always survived, but life without Armise is no longer an option. He just has to prove that to Armise.

Merq believes there are few who are strong enough to challenge them when they stand together. But when the secret Armise has been protecting Merq from is revealed, the truth has consequences neither of them can prepare for.

Reader Advisory: This book contains graphic violence, mention of torture and genetic experimentation.

I admit I approached each Borders War book with more than a bit of trepidation and sense of anticipation.  I would be hard pressed to remember a series that has more twisted layers, more betrayals and anguished losses than this one.  The Borders War series has  involved no less than a worldwide conflagration of countries, environments and humanity that has played out over five novels through the perspective of two warriors and the band of people around them.  Not always on the same side, certainly not at the beginning, or even numerous times (even in the same book) when no one knew what side each man was on, even themselves.

If this sounds confusing, in anyone else’s hands but S.A. McAuley this series and this relationship could have been a muddy mess, instead it became one of magnificent passion, love and commitment to each other in the face of obstacles (realistic ones within this world building) that should have killed them.  And often came close.

In the beginning, One Breath One Bullet (The Borders War #1), Merq Grayson was a high-ranking officer (sniper) for the Continental States.  His enemy was the Dark Ops officer from the People’s Republic of Singapore, Armise Darcan.  These  two had met over countless battle fields and covert operations, sometimes killing those close to the other man, and even coming close to killing each other, often inflicting near fatal wounds.  But there was something more there as well.  A building passion and undeniable connection between them that neither could understand or repress for very long.

McAuley builds this confusing, angry and often violent relationship through 20 years, five books and around some shocking, often personally shattering revelations to both men.  Its hard to describe just how magnetic these men and their lives become.  Sometimes so raw and wounded, you think their  pain will never stop. That is especially true here.  Sometimes the feelings flow cold and distant, than back strong and raging.  Through vivid descriptions and dialog that pulls you into the scenes, you become a part of Merq and Armise’s world and that often leaves you feeling as pain-filled and battered as they are.

Loss of humanity, scientific experimentation (willing and not) on soldiers, the ramifications of genetic/chemical warfare on the world environment…its all addressed here in some form, as a nuanced plot thread or a direct blow to the heart by the author.  Hard to be prepared for that.

But The Borders War is a magnificent series and it deserves its equal in a final story. It gets it in Strength of the Rising Sun.  This story was the equivalent of running through a narrative mine field, you just didn’t know it at the beginning.  Just when you thought the story was getting ready to settle down, another revelation would occur,  then another shattering scene, one so devastating in its impact that it took my breathe away.  I can’t even begin to give you even a smidgen of details or plot.  It wouldn’t make sense. You have to read the story and the ones before it. And when the ending came, well,  I cried buckets of tears for the men, but also of relief that the tension and agony of the narrative was gone.  You are so involved, you couldn’t pull  out of the story, even if you had wanted you.  You, Merq, and Armise to the end.  And what a ending it was.

I have no idea how S. A.McAuley will top this.  Not a clue.

So.  Love science fiction and enemy to lovers story?  Well, this is so much more.  It sexy, violent, passionate, layered, complex and agonizing on the heart at best.  But its one I  wouldn’t want you to pass up.  One of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of 2016.

Cover art by Posh Gosh shows a certain eventful scene in the story.  It might not work as well as a cover before you read the story but its perfect afterwards.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing  | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 198 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781784309954
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series The Borders War :

The world has only recently emerged from a three hundred year war which saw half of the world’s population wiped out and the rise of five superpowers. Despite the hundreds of millions who died, the Borders War was nearly bloodless because of the sonicrifle—weaponized sound waves, tuned to their highest frequency, and harnessed to kill.

Merq Grayson has known only war. He is a skilled Peacemaker, soldier, and sniper. And it is his destiny to right the wrong created by his grandfather six generations removed—the man who invented the sonicbullet.

Armise Darcan is his enemy. A sniper and Dark Ops officer who fought for the People’s Republic of Singapore in the Borders War, Armise may be the only person on the planet strong enough to keep Merq from completing his mission.

Their loyalties are to conflicting countries and diverging agendas, and despite the very real threat to their lives if they’re discovered, Merq and Armise keep finding their way into each other’s beds. It is a drive which Merq is sure will kill him one day.

But how much time either of them has is questionable. As Opposition is pitted against Revolution, the Borders War reignites, and Merq and Armise have to decide where, and with whom, their real loyalties lie.

Links to MelanieM reviews:

 

Take a Walk on the Sinful Side with Jambrea Jo Jones’ ‘Vegas Sin City’ (character interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Vegas Sin Blog Tour

Jambrea Jo Jones

Hi everyone, Jambrea Jo Jones here! Today I’ll be introducing you all to another character from my new release, Vegas Sin. This time we’re interviewing Owen.

“Owen, it’s only fair that I interview you as well. I talked to Harrison about a birthday memory. I think, for you, I’d just like your happiest memory.” I put my hands in my lap and waited for him to respond.

Owen fidgeted in his seat, but seemed game for the question.

“I can do that. I mean, I’m generally a happy guy. Or I try to be. It could be said I’m happiest when I’m messing with my partner, but that isn’t the best moment I had.”

“No?”

“It’s fun, but it’s only a brief moment of happy. No. There are other things.”

“Like what?”

“Didn’t you write the story?” Owen gave me one of those ‘duh’ looks.

“Well—I know of a couple, but figured since, you know, this is an interview of sorts I’d let you talk about it.”

“See? Fun times messing with people.” Owen winked.

“Get on with your memory.” I couldn’t hold back a grin.

“Yes, ma’am.”

There was a pause.

“Now, would be nice.”

“Hold on.” Owen held up a hand. “Okay. I think most would expect me to say Harrison is my happiest, but he is in the now and future. For a memory, I’d have to go with the night my niece was born.”

“Were you there?”

“Well, yeah, but not in the room. My sister needed a ride to the hospital. I did the brother thing and made sure she got there. We were lucky she didn’t have it the car!”

“I stayed outside in the waiting room until they called me back. I mean—babies aren’t the best to look at when they’re that fresh, but that little munchkin stole my heart that day. That little life was one I would protect with everything I am. She’s grown into a cute kid. I think she kind of looks like her uncle.” Owen winked. “The thing is, I haven’t been there for her as much as I’ve wanted to. I have work and she’s been off with my sister. That kid has grown up before she needed to, so now I’m trying to make up for that. Show her it’s okay to be a kid and she doesn’t have to protect her mom. I’ll be there for both of them.”

“And Harrison?”

“Oh, she stole his heart from the first meeting. She’ll do that to you. My niece is one special kid.”

“So when it’s time for her to date…”

“You’re kidding, right? Not. Happening.”

“I hate to tell you this, Owen, but it is so going to happen, but I’m sure you’ll be there for any heartbreak. Just remember the ice cream.”

“You just stop. Right now. First you have her dating, now she’s getting a broken heart? Where’s my gun?”

I laughed.

“Keep laughing it up there, Ms. Jones. Come talk to me when your son is dating.”

That stopped me and I glared at Owen.

“I think we’re done here. Harrison, come get your man.”

Now it was Owen laughing as he met Harrison at the door.”

“Got ya!”

I watched them walk away, thinking of what other fun things I could put them through.

About Jambrea Jo Jones:

Jambrea wanted to be the youngest romance author published, but life impeded the dreams. She put her writing aside and went to college briefly, then enlisted in the Air Force. After serving in the military, she returned home to Indiana to start her family. A few years later, she discovered yahoo groups and book reviews. There was no turning back. She was bit by the writing bug.

She enjoys spending time with her son when not writing and loves to receive reader feedback. She’s addicted to the internet so feel free to email her anytime.

Vegas Sin

Vegas Sin (Totally Five Star)
by Jambrea Jo Jones
(Sales link above)

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Vegas Sin blurb

Sex, weddings and gambling hold a back seat to kidnapping and murder in the city of sin…

Owen Carpenter sets aside one night each month to relax at the Totally Five Star, but a case has just landed on his desk that has those nights disappearing for the foreseeable future. Someone is kidnapping women in Las Vegas and Owen needs to stop them before the women end up dead.

Harrison Boone is head of security at the Totally Five Star. He notices a man who comes in once a month and he wants to know more about him. When Owen introduces himself, there’s an instant attraction between Harrison and Owen, but they are interrupted by a kidnapping—at his hotel. After Harrison leaves the military, the hotel becomes his life, so Harrison will do anything to keep the hotel out of the news and protect its reputation.

Can Owen and Harrison find love in Sin City, or will the case of the disappearing women crush what might be the best bet the men have ever placed?

Pairing: MM
Book Length: Novel
Genre: Erotic Romance, Gay, Contemporary, Crime and Mystery, Thrillers and Suspense

Vegas Sin Excerpt

Now he needed coffee—stat. He hated the slop they had in the office, but it was better than nothing. He’d forgotten to set his coffeemaker up to brew last night. Of course, he’d been dealing with a sobbing sister and a too-serious niece. He hoped that nothing big had been tossed on his desk, but he wasn’t sure he’d get that lucky. It had been a busy week—not that he should be surprised—since it was Vegas, after all. The lights and gambling attracted all kinds. It kept him busy most days. Owen had just wrapped up a case late yesterday. A domestic violence situation where the boyfriend had killed the girlfriend. It was pretty open and shut, but he’d still had to cross his T’s and dot his I’s so the guy didn’t get off on a technicality.

At least he wasn’t set to testify anytime soon. He hated going to court. He’d rather be solving cases. Some of the other guys looked at it like a day off, but not him. All those people staring at him while he did his best not to fidget in the seat.

His partner was out on leave so that left him picking up the slack. They had a few cases open that he’d have to take a look at and see what else he could do, as long as something new didn’t take priority.

The coffeepot was almost empty. There probably wasn’t even enough for a cup. It seemed the guys did that shit all the time. Owen poured the little bit into his cup. At least it would give him a jolt while he waited for a fresh batch to brew. He didn’t even think about how long the pot had been setting there. The others would pass it up in a heartbeat and wait until someone else made it, then they would all jump on it like vultures. Shit. He really should have brewed some at home.

Maybe he would swing by a Starbucks later. He hated to spend the extra money, but he couldn’t live without the nectar of the gods. The sludge in his cup wasn’t going to cut it. After one sip, he dumped it out. Nothing was going to save that coffee. Leaving the pot brewing, he made his way to his desk. It was pretty quiet. The shift change meeting wouldn’t happen for about an hour, so he had time to go through the files from yesterday.

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Pride Publishing January Blog Tour Competition:

Enter Pride Publishing’s monthly competition for your chance to win a free eBook of your choice! (Not including boxsets or anthologies.)  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Enter here: http://www.pride-publishing.com/blog-tour-competition-january

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Once More into the Dark Night of Romance with Morticia Knight’s ‘Searching For Shelter (exclusive excerpt and contest)

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Searching For Shelter (Sin City Uniforms #6) by Morticia Knight
Release Date: January 19, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh

Blurb

Teen shelter volunteer Rich searches for love until Diego, from LVMPD Search and Rescue, finds him.

After declaring his love life officially dead, Rich wonders if maybe he should stick with his shifter book boyfriends instead. It’s not as if he has much free time to date anyway. Between working long hours at a coffee shop, guarding his sodas from his hygienically challenged roommates, and running the programming at the Vegas LGBTQ teen shelter he founded – how could there ever be space for love in his life?

Diego Espinoza enjoys taking his downtime from working Search and Rescue, at the Lucky Cup coffee shop. He can set up his laptop, peruse good sport climbing spots and observe the blond barista he’s been pining over for a while. He imagines that the pretty boy has more offers than he knows what to do with, so it takes Diego time to work up the nerve to approach him.

Rich isn’t so sure about the rough looking Diego – even if he’s always thought he was hot – but once he decides to gives Diego a chance, there’s an immediate heat and connection that takes him by surprise. As they learn more about each other and try to find the way to a future together, strange and scary things start to happen.

It isn’t until Rich is injured in a bizarre accident that it becomes clear that there’s someone out there who not only doesn’t want Rich to find love – they want him dead.

 

Pages or Words: 145 pages, 51,039 words
Book may be read as a standalone
Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Erotica, M/M Romance, Mystery, Thriller

Excerpt

Espinoza regarded Rich. “I heard you tell your coworker, Artie, that you were excited about your first date with some guy named Jay, that it seemed like you really clicked online and you couldn’t wait to see if things would work out with him in person.”

Rich’s jaw hung open. The guy had a lot of nerve. “You’ve been eavesdropping on me?”

Espinoza pointed to the area by the espresso machines where the creams and sweeteners were kept. “I was adding sugar to my coffee and you were making a drink.” He shrugged one shoulder. “You had your back to me, facing Artie at the register.”

And that little creep never let on that a customer was standing right behind me.

Rich didn’t discuss personal issues on the floor where customers might hear him. He kept his voice down in general, but had he realized Espinoza was right there, he wouldn’t have spoken at all. Rich pressed his lips together, his frustration and anger growing.

“That’s none of your business.”

Espinoza nodded, still eyeing him in a way that made Rich want to drop his pants.

“You’re right. It’s not. But I’d hoped to have the chance to take you on a date, see if we hit it off.” There was an odd shift in Espinoza’s eyes as they went from intense to melancholy. “I understand. I guess things worked out with Jay and I missed my chance. My own fault for waiting to get up the nerve.” Espinoza straightened, his demeanor back to how he’d always been as a customer. “In that case, I’ll take my usual after all.”

Rich’s gut twisted. He fiddled with the stack of cup sleeves, a wave of shame passing over him. It wasn’t as if Espinoza had pinched his ass or grabbed his crotch. He’d invited him to dinner, for chrissake. Rich had been out with scads of losers he’d never seen before when he’d gone on his Internet dates. Yet, someone he’d seen several time a week at the coffee shop for months, who’d always been polite to him, had asked him out and Rich had been snippy and rude. His recent dating history had transformed him into a cynical queen at the tender age of twenty-six.

“Actually, that’s not true. In reality, things with Jay-“

“Sorry I was late, there was a stalled car in one of the lanes on the Boulevard. Damn tourists.”

Artie breezed in the same way he always did – as if he was never to blame for a thing and that Rich should merely be grateful that the great and powerful Artie had arrived to serve coffee to the chosen few. Rich gritted his teeth, the cup sleeves bursting out of his hands, scattering across the counter, the rest falling to the floor. Espinoza bent over to retrieve them. Rich bit his knuckle at the sight.

God help me.

He quickly gazed down, haphazardly gathering the remaining bits of cardboard, hoping to disguise the flush in his cheeks as Espinoza straightened.

“Here you go.”

Rich accepted them, the brief touch of Espinoza’s roughened fingers against his almost causing him to shiver. Almost.

“T-thank you.” He tittered nervously.

Perfect. I was hoping to sound like a dork.

“You were saying about Jay?” Espinoza had his eyebrows arched, his gaze radiating ‘sultry’ once again.

Buy the book: Pride | Amazon  | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble

Meet the author:

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:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

19-Jan MM Good Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

20-Jan 3 Chicks After Dark

21-Jan Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Happily Ever Chapter

22-Jan Sassygirl Books

25-Jan Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog

26-Jan V’s Reads

27-Jan Open Skye Book Reviews, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Let’s Get Ready To Romance

28-Jan Molly Lolly

29-Jan Inked Rainbow Reads, Carly’s Book Reviews

1-Feb The Novel Approach, TTC Books and More, Love Bytes

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Signed copy of ‘Searching For Shelter’ and a $25 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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A Free Dreamer Review: Opening Moves (Chess #1) by Sean Michael

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Opening Moves 2Threesome Rook, Knight and Bishop make Jason an offer he can’t refuse. Can the four of them be exactly what they each need? Find out in this Opening Move.

Rook, Knight and Bishop have been searching for a fourth man to join their threesome for quite a while when Knight meets Jason, the live model in the art class he’s auditing. He thinks that Jason is the perfect man for them and his lovers Rook and Bishop quickly agree. The trick will be convincing Jason…

Join these sexy men as they make their Opening Moves.

It always seems that there’s no way around Sean Michael, if you’re a fan of M/M BDSM Erotica. So I figured it was high time I gave this famous author a try as well. And a M/M/M/M romance/erotica is not something I’ve ever read before, so I had high hopes. Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed.

Essentially, this was porn without plot. There’s not a single page without sex or thinking or talking about sex in the entire book. Porn isn’t so bad every now and then, but somehow the sex was rather boring here. It probably didn’t help that I really struggled to keep Rook, Knight and Bishop apart, so I was constantly wondering who was doing what. The sex felt kind of formulaic, to be honest. We start off with sucking and end up fucking. There was a bit of BDSM between Bishop and Knight, but that wasn’t really all that exciting either.

The whole set up was a little silly and unrealistic. There’s Rook, Bishop and Knight in a happy relationship. They have tons of money and find themselves craving a fourth man in their relationship. So they decide to hire a boy to play with for a year. They choose Jason. Now, Jason isn’t gay, but he’s broke and likes the trial sex with Rook, so he agrees. Turns out Jason is very much gay and loves every sexual activity with the three men. He occasionally questions his sexuality, but then sex ensues and he kind of seems to forget about the whole thing.

Another issue with this book was the characters themselves. I was simply unable to connect to them at all. There was so much sex, there was no room for any real feelings to develop. I didn’t dislike them, I just didn’t care about them at all. Again, my inability to keep them apart didn’t help.

Still, the idea behind the story is definitely unusual and does have potential. In the beginning, the sex was quite alright, too, till it started getting repetitive.

Cover art works for the story.

Sales Link: Pride Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 120 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Pride Publishing (first published January 30th 2012)
ISBN139781784308087
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesChess #1

A BJ Review: Heart (Spotless #4) by Bailey Bradford

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Rating:  2.5 stars out of 5

Heart coverRolly has waited ten years to claim his mate. Now the wait is over, and he’s coming home. When he first met Erdwin, the boy was still a child. Rolly felt nothing but compassion for him back then, but Erdwin came of age five years ago, and Rolly’s stayed out of his life in order to give Erdwin time to experience life.

Erdwin never fit right in his skin. He didn’t like what he saw in the mirror. It didn’t match how he felt inside. As a shifter, he was stuck with the body he had. Surgery wasn’t an option for him. But Erdwin found a way to accept himself—by embracing the part of herself that felt like her true nature. She struggled with it, but with her family’s support, she became Edie, the young lady she was meant to be. She stopped worrying about her parts, and concentrated on her heart.

When Rolly, a powerful shaman, moves back home to the pack, Edie is transfixed. He makes her nervous—and arouses her. But what would a man like him think of a woman liker her? Edie’s about to find out, and she will have to be stronger than ever to help fight off a threat to her pack, to her mate, and to her family.

I chose this book because of the trans* element among shifters and the kinky tags, hoping that although it was part of a series that I would still be able to enjoy it as a standalone. I based this hope on the fact the main characters did not appear to be love interests in any of the prior books. However, I could tell very early on that my experience of the story would have been different had I read the other books. It was obvious that I’d missed a lot of the background story by skipping ahead. That that was my bad and has no doubt tainted my view of the story. Please understand that before reading my review.

This is my first story by the author, so I had no idea of what to expect. The first third of this book read slow and a bit tedious for me. Erdwin, now Edie, was prim and proper, hesitant and insecure, wanting acceptance but scared to show her true self to get it. Rolly was strong, self-sacrificing and noble. Neither were capturing my attention when apart, so it took me a while to get into the story. Once the two characters were finally united, both of them changed dramatically. Like almost a one-eighty.

Edie went from shy virgin to on fire aggressor within minutes, which was quite jarring. But I wrote it off as a shifter mates thing and read on. Then Rolly nearly right off mentions enjoying pain and the BDSM elements jumped in out of seemingly nowhere (may have been mentioned in another story, not sure?). The fisting scene also seemed to come out of nowhere and was unsettling to me. Because, well, the guy had been abstaining for fifteen years and this happened after he’d only with someone again just a few times. I had to remind myself again that they were shifters in order to accept that and move on.

The dynamic between the couple was not the usual and that part was refreshing. Rolly was older, larger, more experienced, a super powerful shaman and a wolf, yet he mostly a submissive bottom who enjoyed pain. Edie was smaller, MTF and she morphs from being very unsure of herself and just wanting to be accepted for who she is into a person secure with her physical equipment and willing and eager to take control. Once they’re together, it’s Rolly who often came across as insecure and in need of assurance from Edie. While I did find the dynamic of the relationship refreshing; the changes in did still came across as abrupt for me.

Besides the relationship, there is a more complex plot revolving around mysterious events that threaten the pack. As the story wore on, there were so many characters that I couldn’t always keep them straight, but again that was likely partly due to trying to read the story out of order.

I found the dialogue often felt stilted to me, or well, not natural sounding anyway. And the transitions from scene to scene didn’t always read smooth, in fact, sometimes they were quite abrupt. For example, most of the sex scenes are either interrupted or immediately followed by sudden crisis.

Overall, I recommend reading this book in order within the series rather than as a first book as I did. I firmly believe that had I done that, how I perceived the book would be somewhat different. So I can only rate based on what I read, but it will probably not be the same as the book experienced read in order.

The cover is quite lovely and drags my eyes to it. Definite eye candy. However, given that the trans* element among shifters is so unique and what drew me to the story, I think it could have been even better if it showed Erwdin/Edie.

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

Book Details:  

ebook, 154 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781784307257
edition languageEnglish

seriesSpotless #4