Into December and Our Holiday Stories. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Into December and Our Holiday Stories

It’s officially December and our holiday stories, in all formats, are here for our reading and listening pleasure!    While some of us may have returned to our comfort reads this holiday season, there are plenty of wonderful new stories out there to add to your reading festive list!

One of mine this year has been Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert!  How I loved that sweet contemporary fake boyfriend story!  If you are in the mood for audio?  Try this one, especially if you are already a fan of RJ Scott’s Texas series.  I loved listening to Home for Christmas (Texas #9) by R.J. Scott  and Narrated by: Sean Crisden.  Barb, our Zany Old Lady, just loved Mr. Naughty List (Home for the Holidays #2) by Leta Blake while I just finished the wonderful No Place Like Home by Annabeth Jacobs (which I will review this week) and The Christmas Oaks (Laurel Holidays #1) by V.L. Locey.

Peter Cratchit’s Christmas Carol by Drew Marvin was recommended by two of our reviewers!  Not to be left out?

A Christmas Wedding by A E Ryecart
717 Miles Christmas by Sophia Soames
A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote
Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson
Mr. Frosty Pants (Home for the Holidays #1) by Leta Blake and John Solo (Narrator)

 

Some of these stories we have reviewed already, some will be reviewed this week.  And there will be more to come.  What stories have you read or listened to that you have loved or enjoyed this holiday season?  Ones that have made your   annual  Holiday List?  Comment and let us know!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 1:

  • New Release Blitz with Excerpt for Starlight (Dark Space #3) by Lisa Henry
  • Into December and Our Holiday Stories. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, December 2:

  • Review Tour – Annabelle Jacobs – No Place Like Home
  • COVER REVEAL Rialto (Unbreakable Bonds #8) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
  • BLOG TOUR A Broken Winter by Kale Knight
  • A Lucy Review: Snowdrop in a Storm (Snow Globes #3) by Ava Kelly
  • A MelanieM Review : No Place Like Home by Annabelle Jacobs

Tuesday, December 3:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Stocking Stuffers, A Holiday Themed Romantic
  • Release Blitz – Eli Easton – Angels Sing
  • BLITZ Pattern for an Angel by CJane Elliott
  • An Alisa Review I’ve Got You (True-Blue #2) by Becca Seymour
  • A MelanieM Review: Boy Next Door (Hot Off the Ice #4) by A.E. Wasp

Wednesday, December 4 :

  • Release Blitz – Warrior’s Way by M.J. Calabrese
  • Release Blitz, for V.L. Locey – The Christmas Oaks
  • TOUR Becoming Us” by Becca Seymour
  • An Alisa Review Becoming Us (True-Blue #3) by Becca Seymour
  • A MelanieM Review: Boys of Summer (Hot Off the Ice #5) by A.E. Wasp

Thursday, December 5:

  • Release Blitz  – Awakening (Wild Oak, Book 1) by JJ Harper
  • Release Blitz – Waxing Poetic for Christmas by Mara Townsend
  • A Lila Review Peter Cratchit’s Christmas Carol by Drew Marvin
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Honour by A.F. Henley
  • A MelanieM Review: Skater Boy (Hot Off the Ice #3) by A.E. Wasp

Friday, December 6:

  • Cover Reveal – What Works For Us by Colette Davison
  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote – A Boyfriend For Christmas
  • An Alisa Review Rules for Santa (Davey’s Rules #3) by Susan Hawke
  • A Stella Review : A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote
  • A Melanie Review The Wolf and the Sparrow by  Isabelle Adler

Saturday, December 7:

  • Release Blitz Request – Red Popcorn Strings & Gumball Rings – Nell Iris

 

Thanksgiving Week and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Thanksgiving Week and A Growing List of Things to Do!

 

For those of us in the US or for expats abroad its Thanksgiving week.  We are making lists, trying to figure out menus, baking, and getting ready to travel or getting rooms ready for visitors to arrive.  And  then it is on to Yule and December.  Yes, time is flying.

Between the family obligations this week, water main breaks, and more RL events, well, let’s just say my lists grew a little bit larger this week quite unexpectedly.  Luckily my audio books kept me company along with my fur kids.  I have some wonderful audio books to review for you this week.  There are also several holiday romances here bringing with them all things Christmassy and joyous.  I hope you all are making your TBR lists for your Holiday Reading.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Rogue’s wishes everyone a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.  Happy Reading and Listening.  Meet you all back here, full of leftovers after the holiday is over!

Now where did I put my list?

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 24:

  • Thanksgiving Week and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, November 25:

  • Review Tour for Promise (Single Dads #3) by RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz – Magic & Mirrors by L.M. Brown
  • Review Tour Little Love by Siobhan Smile
  • An Ashlez Review: Little Love by Siobhan Smile
  • An Alisa Review: Kindred Spirits by Sloan Johnson
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Promise (Single Dads #3) by RJ Scott

Tuesday, November 26:

  • Release Blitz for Annabelle Jacobs – No Place Like Home
  •  Release Day Blitz: Love and Linguistics by Tara Lain
  • Blog Tour Adore by Ella James
  • Review Audio Tour for Today (Single Dads #2) by RJ Scott
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Today (Single Dads #2) by RJ Scott
  • A Lucy Review: Husband Hunters by Rick R. Reed
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Red Dirt Heart 3 by NR Walker and Joel Leslie Narrator

Wednesday, November 27:

  • Release Blitz – Jay Northcote – A Boyfriend For Christmas
  • BLITZ The Wolf and the Sparrow by Isabelle Adler
  • BLog Tour Roxy’s Recovery by Kim Breyon
  • An Alisa Review: Nuttin’ But Trouble (College of United Monsters #4) by C.B. Archer
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Home for Christmas (Texas #9) by R.J. Scott t and Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • A Stella Review: Roxy’s Recovery by Kim Breyon

Thursday, November 28:

  • Review Tour – Garrett Leigh – Hometown Christmas
  • GUEST POST But by the Grace of Dog by AF Henley
  • Book Blast – Body Parts And Mind Games by Jude Tresswell
  • An Alisa Review : Hometown Christmas by Garrett Leigh
  • A Lucy Review: But By the Grace of Dog by A.F. Henley

Friday, November 29:

  • Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert  Blog Tour and Review
  • Blog Tour Unfettered by Kate Hawthorne
  • Audio Blitz – A.E. Via – Prophesy II: The Bringer of Wrath (The King & Alpha Series)
  • A MelanieM Review: Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert
  • An Alisa Review: Weekend at Bigfoot’s by Addison Albright
  • A Stella Review: Just the Thought of You (Mann of My Dreams #3) by Tinnean

Saturday, November 30:

  • A MelanieM Review: Boy Toys (Hot Off the Ice #2.5) by A.E. Wasp

November Tidings and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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November Tidings and Things Unexpected

 

So you know how you set out to do one thing but life gets in the way?  That’s how my Saturday started.  I was all set to sit down, get organized, write my Sunday blog, etc but I noticed that my smallest of furkids breathing was laboured as she trucked around the house.  Granted that everyone and their brother had their leaf blowers out and had small hurricanes of moldy leaves flying everywhere but no, something was off…more than the usual small health thing she has.   So I sat looked, listened, debated.

But not very long.  Trusted my instincts because damnit I knew what those sounds were.

Off to the vets after a hurried phone call we went.

I love my vets, they fit us right in early, the waiting room wasn’t too bad that morning, surprisingly.  Wow, I thought…we got lucky.  Our name got called and into a room we went …where we waited…and waited and waited…and  you start to wonder what’s taking so long.

Then come the conversations from the inner hallway….about the emergency that had just come in….surgeries….major punctures…skull…

I’m telling you…right there…knowing that someone’s beloved pet was fighting for their life and someone was there waiting…waiting..waiting..hoping…

It changes everything.

My vet remained in surgery, another came in to take over routine calls and my girl has bronchitis..probably from the new (and never again) mobile groomer we tried out 2 weeks ago. She’s dosed up and will be fine.  It was a long day but my thoughts continually go back to that other room, that other owner, that other pet.  I so hope with all my heart the news was good …..all went home eventually.

You just never know what a day will bring.

So tonight I’m crawling into bed with my furkids, my favorite comfort reads and my softest socks.  And maybe some hot chocolate. Or wine.  Definitely wine.  The clouds have started arriving but all the snow has stayed north so far.

Snuggles are definitely in order.

I will get organized later on.  I promise.  Today?  It’s all about perspective and hugs.  Lots of those.  And thinking about how quickly things can change.

 

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 10:

  • November Tidings and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, November 11:

  • Release Blitz Adore by Ella James
  • Release Blitz A New Empire (Fog City #3) by Layla Reyne
  • BLITZ Slashed and Mashed, Seven Gayly Subverted Stories by Andrew J. Peters
  • Blog Tour for The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating by Ardy Kelly
  • An Alisa Review Wishing and Hoping by Tinnean
  • An Alisa Review: The Shifter’s Shotgun Mating (Lone Wolves Ranch #2) by Ardy Kelly
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Master of Obsidian by Jaime Craig

Tuesday, November 12:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Soft Limits: A Deviations Novel by Jodi Payne
  • Release Blitz Signal – Across The Pond (Raptors #2) – RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • BLITZ Pulse of My Heart by Jessi Noelle
  • A MelanieM Review: Mastering the Flames (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #4) by SJ Himes
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Two Man Advantage (Point Shot #1) by V.L. Locey and Sean Crisden (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: The King’s Honour by JL Merrow

Wednesday, November 13:

  • Review Tour – Sally Malcolm – Twice Shy (A New Milton Novel)
  • BLITZ The Sun Still Rises by Laura Bailo
  • BLITZ Holiday Gridlock by Gretchen Evans
  • A Lucy Review:  Twice Shy (A New Milton Novel) by Sally Malcolm
  • A MelanieM Review: Counter Culture by JL Merrow
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review:Two Divided by Zero (Zero Rising #2) by Jackie Keswick

Thursday, November 14:

  • Release Blitz Unbreakable (a Heaven and Hell Club prequel) by Colette Davison
  • Release Blitz – In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie by Sophia Soames
  • Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert Release Blitz,
  • A Stella Review:  In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie by Sophia Soames
  • An Alisa Review  Înflori by A.F. Henley
  • A MelanieM Review Unbreakable (a Heaven and Hell Club prequel) by Colette Davison

Friday, November 15:

  • Release Blitz – Suki Fleet – For Sam, times infinity
  • Blog Tour Rules for Santa by Susan Hawke
  • A Stella Review Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson
  • A Melanie Review Marked Yours by Elizabeth Noble
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Earnest Ink by Alex Hall

Saturday, November 16:

  • A MelanieM Audio Review:Red Dirt Heart (Red Dirt #1) by N.R. Walker, and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

National Coming Out Day..a bit late. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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National Coming Out Day….a bit late.

 

National Coming Out Day was Friday, October 11, the 31st such coming out celebration and I didn’t want such a wonderful event to pass by without Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words making note of just how special and wondrous this occasion is. Our Twitter feed is full of stories, poignant, funny, accepting, sad, hilarious, and heartbreaking.  They have been running the full gamut of emotions, and histories, up to and including the advice that not everyone is ready to come out.  That they will know when, and if, that time comes that they feel safe and ready to make that step, a step only they should make for themselves.

As I said Friday, October 11, marked the 31st Anniversary of National Coming Out Day, a landmark in and of itself. Here are some special links, courtesy of HRC:

A Resource Guide to Coming Out

Transgender Visibility: A Guide to Being You

History of National Coming Out Day : started in October 11, 1987

 

For many more links (coming out at school, at work, inspiring stories, and helpful links, please check out HRC’s full link

National Coming Out Day | Human Rights Campaign |   https://www.hrc.org 

 

No matter the age when someone realized “who” they were and stated it out loud, from the earliest of ages to later in life, the ability to be i your truest self , whatever that may be, is a right everyone should have.  Here are some stories. Happy National Coming Out Day….a bit late.

National Coming Out Day: 2019’s top LGBTQ coming out stories

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, October 13:

  • National Coming Out Day..a bit late.
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, October 14:

  • Review Tour – Ruby Moone – Loving Daniel (MC Securities #3)
  • Review Tour – Beth Laycock – Guarding His Heart
  • AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – DARK RIVERS by Morgan Brice
  • A Stella Review: Things Happen That Way (Mann of My Dreams #2) by Tinnean
  • An Alisa Review : Loving Daniel (MC Securities #3) by  Ruby Moone
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Dark Rivers (Witchbane #2) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (Narrator)

Tuesday, October 15:

  • Cover Reveal, – Sally Malcom – Twice Shy (A New Milton Novel)
  • BLOG TOUR Master of Restless Shadows by Ginn Hale
  • Blog Post The Twelfth Knight (Guardians of Camelot #1) by Victoria Sue
  • BLITZ for Natural Disaster by Erin McLellan
  • A MelanieM Review: Wrecked by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga
  • A Lila Review The Spymaster’s Secret By Antonia Aquilante
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Master of Restless Shadows (Master of Restless Shadows #1) by Ginn Hale

Wednesday, October 16:

  • Review Tour Bishop: A True Lover’s Story by A.E. Via
  • Blog Post – DJ Jamison”
  • The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth Tour
  • An Alisa Review: Bishop: A True Lover’s Story by A.E. Via
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Deosil (Whyborne & Griffin #11) by Jordan L. Hawk
  • A MelanieM Review:The Shoreless Sea (Liminal Sky Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth

Thursday, October 17:

  • Post CONFESSIONS OF A GAY CURMUDGEON by Andy V. Ambrose
  • Release Blitz – Slow Birth (Heat of Love 2.5) – Leta Blake
  • BLITZ Starting from Scratch by Lane Hayes
  • An Alisa Review: Blood Wine (The Blood Bond Series Book 2) by Aimer Boyz
  • A Stella Review: Love on the Hudson by KD Fisher
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Ghost House by Jacqueline Grey

Friday, October 18:

  • Release Blitz  – Doctor’s Orders by Emma Jay
  • Release Blitz – Felice Stevens – Running From My Heart
  • Review Tour – Con Riley – After Ben (Seattle Stories #1)
  • A Stella Review : The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Rule Breaker (Mixed Messages #1) by Lily Morton and Joel Leslie (Narrator)
  • A Stella Review: After Ben (Seattle Stories #1) by Con Riley

Saturday, October 19:

  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Lucky Break (Clean Slate Ranch #4) by A.M. Arthur
  • A MelanieM Review: The Necromancer’s Reckoning (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #3) by S.J. Himes

A Lucy Review: The Captain’s Flirty Fireworks by Eleanor Harkstead and Catherine Curzon

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When a hunky fireman and a gorgeous gold medalist meet on Guy Fawkes Night, sparks are sure to fly!

For fireman Rob Monteagle, this Guy Fawkes Night seems like it’s going to be anything but fun. After all, who wants to spend the noisiest night of the year saving careless cats from trees or rattling a fundraising bucket at Longley Magna’s annual bonfire, the pride of the village’s bad-tempered old retainer?

For Ollie Tresham, the night isn’t looking any better. He might have won gold in the Olympic showjumping ring yet he’s still expected to meet the public at his dad’s charity fireworks extravaganza. But when a rogue rocket heads straight for the showjumper, it takes a quick-thinking fireman like Rob to save the day.

As the flames of the bonfire smolder, Rob and Ollie’s night is just getting started. And it’s sure to go with a bang!

It’s hard to go into much detail about this story, as it is very short (32 pages of content) and the blurb says a lot.  It is a little misleading because it makes both men sounds as if they were dreading their respective plans for the evening and that doesn’t come across.  They do meet in the pub when Ollie needs someone to help rescue Mrs Cooper’s (a neighbor) cat from a tree.  Rob is new in the village and wants to make friends, get to know people.  He is also captivated by Ollie and his jodhpurs.  “…wondering how to strike up a conversation – wondering who would want him to.” He’s seen Ollie on his horse before and fell in lust.

Ollie is a medal-winning rider.  And wears jodhpurs.  I mention it twice because they are very nearly a character unto themselves in the story, being mentioned 24 times!

There’s a little bit of a misunderstanding, falling into bed with some of the cutest conversations every while doing so and a beginning of a possible couplehood.  It was a very quick, engaging read.

The cover, showing Ollie on his horse, seemed a little too serious for the tone of the story.

Sales:  Amazon | Pride Publishing

Book Details;

ebook, 43 pages
Expected publication: November 5th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN 139781913186395
Edition Language English
URLhttps://www.firstforromance.com/book/the-captains-flighty-fireworks

Don’t Miss Out on the Book Blast with excerpt for The Black Mask by Samuel King

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: The Black Mask

Author: Samuel King

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Artist: Erin Dameron-Hill

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Erotic Romance

Trope/s: Fantasy lover becomes reality, straight or gay?

Themes: Choosing reality over fantasy

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 13 000 words/ 55 pages 

It is a standalone book.

Add on Goodreads

 

 

 Charlie is torn between two men—one who seems unreachable, the other a superhero who steps out of a poster.

Blurb 

Charlie is the young, handsome writer of The Black Mask superhero adventure series. Recently broken up from his long-term boyfriend, he finds himself developing feelings of lust and love for his editor, the gruff, clearly straight Sam. Charlie’s love life takes an even more unexpected twist when his fantasy creation, The Black Mask, somehow becomes a reality—and his lover.

 

Buy Links

Pride Publishing  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon US

 

Excerpt

 On the wall above the TV is a poster of my creation, The Black Mask. Sam had a limited number designed by a comic book artist friend of his. He’s sold about a hundred so far and I get royalties on each sale. The Black Mask is crouching, ready to pounce, his tight, muscular body encased in black material. He has bulging biceps, thighs and pecs that threaten to burst through the fabric and more than a hint of something else bulging between those thighs. How can Sam deny The Black Mask is at least a bit gay? And did Sam specify how big to make that bulge?

Although his face is completely covered by his mask, I feel like he is watching me, which I find strangely erotic as I unzip the fly of my jeans and begin massaging my erect cock through the cotton of my white briefs. My cock is big, at least eight inches, and uncut. Its purplish-red head is already poking from above the waistband of my briefs, leaking pre-cum onto my flat stomach. I don’t work out much, but I run and eat healthily, so I have a fit, slim body, even if I do say so myself.

I push my jeans and briefs down to below my waist and begin stroking my cock. It’s hot and so solid. I grip it hard, squeezing out more pre-cum, which forms a weblike string between my stomach and cockhead.

I fantasize about Sam standing behind his desk, massaging his dick through his gray trousers. He’s glaring at me like I’ve really pissed him off, like he resents how horny he’s feeling. Suddenly I feel stupid, masturbating over a guy that will never look at me in that way. I should be out trying to meet other gay guys, not lying in my room jerking off over a straight man.

I’m distracted by a movement across the room. I stop masturbating and stare at the poster of The Black Mask. He is no longer crouching. He is standing and that bulge in his black-clad crotch is definitely a huge, hard cock.

“What the—?”

Then he leans forward and his head and shoulders protrude for real out of the poster, solid and three-dimensional. Now the poster is glowing like a TV screen with the brightness level turned up to the max.

“Shit…”

He reaches down with a leather-gloved hand and begins to rub his massive boner through the thin fabric of his skin-tight suit. Incredibly, it grows even bigger, and it, too, is now solid and three-dimensional, bursting from the surface of the poster.

Suddenly my bedroom door flies open and Jules is standing there, still naked.

“Sorry,” he says, “but do you have any lube?”

I release a jet of cum, which spatters across my stomach and chest, drenching my T-shirt and barely missing my face. I look from Jules, who seems impressed as much as embarrassed, back to the poster. The Black Mask is crouching again and the poster is just a poster.

“Wow,” says Jules. “Something certainly got you horny. You should have just joined us.”

I’m so shocked by what has just happened that I don’t even bother trying to cover my cum-soaked body, despite the fact that Jules is still standing in my bedroom doorway waiting for a response to his request. When I glance back at him, I notice he is fully hard and tugging on his balls.

 

About the Author 

Samuel King is London born and bred, and spent his twenties and thirties hanging out on the London gay scene, mixing with some true characters and even finding romance on a few occasions. Now more likely to be found eating in a nice restaurant on a Saturday night than clubbing, he also enjoys reading across many genres, and watching films—especially old horror films and romantic comedies. He is also the author of Male Male erotic romance, Hard Lessons, available from Pride Publishing from 1 October.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter: @samuelk49275059 

 

 

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

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

A VVivacious Review :The Divorce (Starting Over #1) by Matthew J. Metzger

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Rating: 3 Stars Out of 5*
Aled is wallowing at the end of his marriage while his best friend, Suze and her husband, Tom try to get him out of it, be getting him rip-roaring drunk and getting him laid via a Grindr profile. When his one-night stand with angel23 turns out to be something more, it might just be the thing that forces Aled to let go and move on.

Buckle in guys, this is a long one

This book just won’t stop. I can’t, I tried, I really tried but I couldn’t switch my brain off. When I read I mostly dissociate from who I am as a person and I almost always read a character’s perspective which is bad because I borrow the character’s perceptions and therefore are very susceptible to the author’s manipulation, sometimes I can’t pick up harmful stereotyping and words when the character doesn’t pick up on it. I have come to realise that that is why my POV get very limited and I might not be the best person to tell you if a book might have harmful themes but you know what I do. I know what it is like to read a book which has a theme I can’t behind, it is horrible. It feels like a bad threesome starring me, the book and my brain and can I just say, it’s horrible.

This book has multiple instances of unsafe sex, like don’t even ask how many. By the 57% mark, I was still having a breakdown every time I come across this aspect of the book. Romance traditionally has a habit of romanticizing unsafe sex but unsafe sex is against every fibre of my being like the first thing I told myself when I got into romance was that I would not ever overlook this and I don’t.

But, when a book keeps on doing it without at least a veneer of excuse, I just can’t. Like, I will happily take the werewolves don’t get ill excuse as long as you actually give it to me. Anything will do, just give me something to blindfold my eyes. Anything. At this point, I have to say that they have unsafe sex multiple times in this book which becomes increasingly problematic considering that both Aled and Gabriel have sex with multiple partners. Like, that’s just putting salt on my wounds. This is my infidelity, guys, I know some people can’t read a book with cheating in it, apparently I have a hard time getting through books with unsafe sex. And it’s bad, every time they have a sex scene I have to stop reading so I can brace myself for what will in all eventuality follow and because bracing for it doesn’t work I then have to rant to my walls. I keep trying to see those scenes as fantasy and I KEEP reminding myself its just a book but then my brain comes back with the counter-argument that if the book doesn’t challenge it how is anyone reading the book going to know it’s wrong. Also, what is Gabriel’s problems with condoms? I really, really don’t understand how these two to plan to avoid STDs if they continue to have multiple sexual partners. It is so so stupid, I have no words.

This book was a literal experience, I literally can’t say where it goes on the rating scale. There were so many things happening in RL while I was reading this book and also while reading I learned that this book is planned as the first in a series and the author has a series blurb up on Goodreads which is different than this book’s blurb and actually the direction that the series blurb offers isn’t even hinted at in the first book, so I felt like I was being cheated into reading something that might later turn into something else and I’m not sure if I actually have been cheated but it does feel that way.

Aled and Gabriel are rational characters aside from that complete asinine need to contract STDs, they are amazing characters. They are both very gritty and Gabriel did start off on my wrong side but later I really came to appreciate his character though I continue to disagree with his choices during sex. I kind of get him, I totally don’t get his aversion to condoms and I can’t believe Aled gave in without a word? Aled is a good guy though there is a literal asterisk next to the word good which implies just what you though it does.

How am I going to write this review? I liked Aled and Gabriel as characters and the author had me invested in the storyline and I liked where the story is going and I liked how this story starts with Melissa and Aled’s impending divorce and how it comes full circle with that point but I don’t condone unsafe sex. I want to read the next in this series but believe me, I am already dreading the review for that one as well.

How can I say that I liked this book while not agreeing with something that is shoved in your face every few minutes? There is a lot of sex in this book which would have been amazing because I love Gabriel’s kinks but instead it was torture and not at all in a good way.

I wanted to talk themes that were approached in this book but yeah the fact is that I can’t isolate the story from the sex because it is pretty intermingled and I don’t want someone to twist my words because I don’t know how I can get my feelings across in the right measure.

So Melissa and Aled’s divorce was a refreshing topic something that you don’t see much in romance and I liked how it was done and how it was ultimately resolved. It was certainly a very unique take on an occurrence that I have never actually read being discussed in a romance. But, while the book’s title might make you think that this would be the biggest plot point it isn’t. The Divorce is in all actuality meant to be a romance and while the divorce plays a part in it, it remains just that – a part of the story.

I liked Aled’s friends Suze and Tom who are the only vanilla anything in this book. Though I was personally offended by the way they took Gabriel’s transgender status and yeah when it blows up, I was actually glad that it got addressed but I didn’t like the fact that that had to happen at the expense of Gabriel’s feelings.

I like Gabriel and Aled but I have a major problem with the way they are leading their life. How can people have a discussion about polyamory and not talk about ways to keep themselves safe. Gabriel never wanted to use condoms from the very first time he met Aled on Grindr like literally give me something to keep me disillusioned and Aled was even more pathetic in a way because he tries to use condoms and then forgets about them so easily like I was left reeling.

I want a disclaimer for unsafe sex because it is really putting off especially because after a while it starts resembling a train wreck to me.

It was actually also interesting to see an open relationship because Aled and Gabriel have a very unconventional relationship because Gabriel has sex with other individuals independent of Aled and that is definitely something I have never seen discussed in MM and frankly if the discussion on safe sex is going to be bloody non-existent I actually don’t want to read it again.

I find myself in a big dilemma because while I am invested in these characters and their story I don’t know how I can get over this roadblock.

It was a very big obstacle for me. It might not be for others, so in a way, this might be a book you might have to judge for yourself. This is a pretty unique book a lot of what I read about in this book I have never seen discussed anywhere else and it is written in a very engaging manner which was probably the only reason I got through it so well. Overall, I’m going to give it three stars but that comes with a serious disclaimer because I feel this book would have been pretty good if it had some semblance of safe sex. I can’t say that with surety because the whole safe sex thing was such a big deal to me that I might have missed subtler problems that I might have picked up on otherwise, if not for the very distracting reading experience I had.

Cover Art by Erin Dameron-Hill is very aesthetically pleasing and does a good job of illustrating the title.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 245 pages
Expected publication: September 10th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786518330
Edition Language English
SeriesStarting Over #1

A Lucy Review: The Low Road by Eleanor Harkstead

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Can a lonely driver and a tragic hitchhiker cheat both time and death?

One night in the pouring rain, Alex stops on Gallows Hill to pick up a hitch-hiker.  But when the hitch-hiker vanishes from the passenger seat, Alex fears for his sanity.

Then he discovers that Gallows Hill is a place filled with ghosts – smugglers, witches and highwaymen.

And a young, tragic hitch-hiker named Joe.

When Joe appears again on Gallows Hill, Alex dares to hope that they can cheat both time and death.  But how can there be a future for them when Joe is trapped in a few minutes of a rainy night forty years ago?

This very short (25 pages of content) ghost story centers on Alex, a traveler on a stormy night who picks up a drenched hitchhiker named Joe.  Joe is friendly, flirty and very grateful for the ride.  He is heading to a party with his friends in town and Alex is happy to help out.  When they shake hands, “Alex tried not to wince at the iciness of Joe’s grip”, and turns the heat on for him.  It is only when he turns to talk to Joe and discovers he has suddenly disappeared that Alex begins to question his own sanity.  Alex lost his father a year ago and decides it has something to do with that.  He will find a counselor and also figures that since he can’t find a boyfriend, his mind has conjured one up. 

On returning to the same road, Alex picks up Joe again and again.  Each time they share a little more information about each other and Alex is falling a bit.  With a ghost, how can this happen?  He doesn’t know and he tries to find out who the sweet, tragic Joe was.  I loved the use of the library for research, since today almost everyone uses the Internet instead.  Alex finds the information he is looking for, but what to do about it?  It’s like Groundhog Day for Joe, reliving (so to speak) the same short journey over and over again.

The story is very short but I felt it was developed enough to give some depth to the characters, particularly Alex, and I liked the ending, as well as the little twist.  This probably won’t be everyone’s cuppa tea, mainly due to the length, but it was a super quick interesting ghostly romance.  This was my first time reading Eleanor Harkstead, the author, and I will be trying another of her books.

The cover, showing Alex in his suit, was pretty but didn’t fit the story in my opinion.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 45 pages
Expected publication: October 15th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781913186357
Edition Language English
URL https://www.firstforromance.com/book/the-low-road

A MelanieM Review: The Captain and the Theatrical (Captivating Captains #3) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

When Captain Pendleton needs an emergency fiancée, who better to turn to than his male best friend? After all, for Amadeo Orsini, life’s one long, happy drag!

Captain Ambrose “Pen” Pendleton might have distinguished himself on the battlefield at Waterloo but since he’s come home to civvy street, he’s struggled to make his mark.

Pen dreams of becoming a playwright but his ambitious father has other ideas, including a trophy wife and a new job in America. If he’s to stand a hope of staying in England and pursuing his dream, Pen needs to find a fiancée fast.

Amadeo Orsini never made it as a leading man, but as a leading lady he’s the toast of the continental stage. Now Cosima is about to face her most challenging role yet, that of Captain Pendleton’s secret amour.

With the help of a talking theatrical parrot who never forgets his lines, Orsini throws on his best frock, slaps on the rouge and sets out to save Pen from the clutches of Miss Harriet Tarbottom and her scheming parents.

As friendship turns into love, will the captain be able to write a happy ending for himself and Orsini before the curtain falls?

 

The Captain and the Theatrical (Captivating Captains #3) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead is a delicious surprise romp of a romance, totally in keeping with the theatrics in the title.  I am new to this series, Captivating Captains, but it made no matter.  Because this story certainly held me in its delightful sway from start to finish.

Here the friends to lovers trope is giving a merry ride when one of the friend’s assumes gown and heels to save his best friend from a loveless, business based marriage.  That Orsini is already the toast of the town as a gorgeous lady?  Makes it that much easier.  Or does it when the attraction looms large between them.

The language and manner in which the feelings pour out feels right for the era the book is situated in.  The characters are lovingly created, all sprightly and vivid.  They avoid being shallow, the author giving them depth of feeling with past histories like Pen’s PTSD from the recent war he has returned from and the parents (to be revealed) he is so fond of.  There is even a parrot to steal the show (the real show on stage) and the story, as well as a mystery to solve.

Plus a relationship and romance and marriage to carry off.  Yes this story has a full checklist but it makes a fun journey and a very entertaining quick read for it all.

If, at the end, you have to suspend a tad more belief with a slight roll of the eye, well that’s alright.  It’s all been done with a great wink, a audacious kiss to the cheek, and a knowing smile. Isn’t that fun delicious romps are all about?

Want to have a good time?  Spend it with the Captivating Captain of The Captain and the Theatrical (Captivating Captains #3) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead. I definitely recommend it.

Cover art is perfect for the characters , the story and even has the parrot.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: September 3rd 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN139781786518354
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Captivating Captains #3

The Captivating Captains Series

The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper

The Captain and the Cricketer

The Captain and the Theatrical

The Perfect Romance Novels and Summer Reading. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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The Perfect Romance Novel and Summer Reading

Last Sunday I started talking about the perfect romance novel because, primarily, I had just read one that if asked I would most certainly take with me to a deserted island. That would be Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston in any format.  That story had everything I look for in a romance story and I’m still basking in the afterglow it has left behind.  It’s one of my top ten this year.

And it made me start thinking about the qualities of a perfect romance novel.  What would they be?

Turns out that formula is one that hundreds perhaps thousands of authors are in search of as well.  Many are certain they have it if the articles I found online are any indication.  If that were true, there would be far more perfect novels out there (and maybe there are) then I have come across or read about.  It’s like looking through a telescope.  You can only see so many stars, there’s always some just outside your vision.

But back to what I did find.  Which was fascinating.

One article here at the Huff Post, the writer (a published romance author) lists the following as her requirements for a perfect romance novel:

  • Have a story.
  • Not too much story.
  • Sex
  • The Sum of its Parts

That got me thinking.  Can you have too much story?  Can you have a great romance novel without  sex?  For me the answer is yes and yes.  Especially within the LGBTQIA spectrum and including YA stories. I have read wonderful books where sex is not a component. Upside Down by N.R. Walker, Antisocial and The Roosevelt series by Heidi Cullinan to name a few.  Too much story or too many details?  There’s a difference to me.  A density not in layers but in not being able to know when to let go of the miniscule and the unnecessary.

What do you all think?

Think about Jane Austen for ffs.  Where’s the hot and heavy sex in that?  Climbing gently down off the box.

Ok

So the essential formula for any romance is (and should be updated in this age)

Person Meets Person

Person loses Person

Person Gets Person

Then there’s the plot:

Three of the most popular romance plot devices are:

Friends become lovers
You’re my soulmate, it’s fate
This is my second chance to love again

Then what happens after that?  Narrative magic, depending upon the author.  They choose the setting, the genre, the characters.  They bring their imagination, their own skill base and travels, history, and in some cases ability to research to the story.

And something elusive.  Shrugs.  That ability to add a spark of life, of magic to the page that let’s us, the reader, into something timeless, moving, and sometimes impactful.  Books to remember.

I have those.  I’m sure you all do as well.  What books are sitting on your shelves?  What books have continued to make the greatest impressions?    Are any of them romance novels?  Who are or were the authors?  Let us know!

 

Meanwhile, try to stay cool.  Dog days of summer are upon us.  Bring out the umbrellas, the ice tea, the occasional sprinkler and enjoy your books in every format.    Have a great week.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, August 4:

  • Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Team Luker by Nell Iris
  • The Perfect Romance Novels and Summer Reading
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, August 5

  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote – Nothing Ventured
  • Review Tour –  Sword Dance by AJ Demas
  • BLOG TOUR Beautiful Trauma by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • An Alisa Review: The Midspring Rebellion by Doreen Heron
  • A Lucy Review : Nothing Ventured by Jay Northcote
  • A MelanieM Review : Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Free Dreamer Review : Saviors: Duty and Sacrifice 1 (The God Jars Saga #1) by Devon Vesper

Tuesday, August 6:

  • Release Blitz – MJ O’Shea’s Chef In Disguise
  • Release Blitz  Jay Hogan’s Digging Deep
  • AUDIO TOUR Out in the Field by Lane Hayes
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Digging Deep (Digging Deep #1) by Jay Hogan
  • A Lucy Review : Team Luker by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Unbroken (Hearts Entwined #4) by Andrew Grey

Wednesday, August 7:

  • In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway:  Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
  • Release Blitz – Thomas Grant Bruso ‘s The Two Of Us
  • Book Reveal SOULBOUND #3 by Hailey Turner
  • An Alisa Review: Hybrid Incubator by Meraki P. Dark
  • A Stella Review Relationship Material by Jenya Keefe
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Whiskey and Moonshine by Elizabeth Noble and John Solo (Narrator)

Thursday, August 8:

  • PROMO Gene Gant
  • Blog Tour- Small Town Sonata
  • A Stella Review: A Pocketful of Stardust (Aster) by JP Barnaby & Rowan Speedwell
  • A VVivacious Review: Toy by R Parr
  • An Alisa Review: Rules to Follow (Davey’s Rules #1) by Susan Hawke

Friday, August 9:

  • Release Blitz Heel by KM Neuhold
  • Release Blitz  for Release (Rent Boys #1) by A E Ryecart
  • Review Tour – Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Sword Dance (Sword Dance #1) by A.J. Demas
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review:  World Turned Upside Down by Elyse Springer
  • A Lila Audio Review: Running on Empty (Havoc #3) by S.E. Jakes and Mark Larchmont (Narrator)

Saturday, August 10:

  • A MelanieM  Pre Release Review: The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe