A MelanieM Review: Wrecked by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The call comes when Beckett Adler least expects it. He’s made a new life for himself in Vermont and has a law practice of his own. After four years he’s even stopped wearing his wedding ring. So when he finds out his husband, bull rider Skyler Paulson, has been seriously injured at an event, he isn’t sure what he wants to do. He knows what’s right though, so he heads down to Baltimore to bring his man home.

Sky knows his injuries are a career-ender, and he can’t believe Beck has come for him after all this time. He’s not a hundred percent sure what went wrong with their marriage and he has no idea how to be anything but a bull rider. But he wants this second chance, so he grabs at it with both hands.

There’s a lot Sky has to learn, from how to walk again to how to settle down with the man he loves. Beck needs to learn to open up and how to be more trusting. For their marriage to work again, both men will have to find a way to meet in the middle. Because neither of them wants to be wrecked anymore.

I’m really enjoying the writing collaboration of Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga.  This is my second story of theirs, the first being Land of Enchantment, and each story has been a real joy to read.  Each, of course, involves bull riders.  Here, the bull rider is the estranged husband of lawyer Beckett Adler.  Separated for four years, each has nevertheless still kept the other man close in their heart.  Even if secretly and apart.  One up in Vermont and the other on the rodeo circuit.

Wrecked by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga brings both men back together right at the beginning of the novel.  It takes an agonizing phone call and a brutal fall to change the path of each man’s life once more.  I love how we dive immediately into the heart of Beckett’s pain and love.  The shock of seeing Sky again, his physical state, and the past rising up around them.  I was with them in the moment every step because of the writing here.

I am so used to BA Tortuga’s broken men and great characters, put that together with Jodi Payne’s and it just meshes so well.  The experience and knowledge of the rodeo world, the pain and injuries that bull riders will often undergo in their career, and the rehab (if lucky) that awaits them afterwards.  It’s all laid out here, folded in immaculately as part of the story and the relationship as they and Sky start to mend.

I will admit that second chance at love stories are such a favorite of mine.  I’m rooting for the couple to begin with, make one a cowboy and it’s double down time.  So it was very easy for me to believe this relationship and the fact that they still loved each other despite that many years apart.  I could see stubbornness being such a large part of not calling and then the time and fear helping the separation.  What also rang true, maybe, was Skyler’s doubt about his future. I’ve seen others go on to successful careers as ranchers or announcers but as this could be projecting his own personal demons I thought that was a big possibility.  In fact, I wished the story could have enlarged a bit towards the end to show Sky and Beck working their new journey out together, not just the more finished version we got.  Which, yes, I love immensely.

Wrecked by Jodi Payne and B.A. Tortuga is that wonderful feel great, second chance at love contemporary romance you will read in one sitting.  And then want more. Maybe a sequel to.  It left me smiling and it made my afternoon.  What more could I want?

Cover art is perfect!  Love that contrast between characters!

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Tygerseye Publishing, LLC
Edition Language English

Buy for $4.99 or read on  Kindle Unlimited

A Jeri Review: The Other Five Percent by Quinn Anderson

Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
This was a new to me author. What drew me in was the blurb- as it should. Opposites attract, second chance love story, etc.
And while it was a good story and the blurb gave a good hint at it, a lot of the book was spent with Ellis either still mad at Logan from “ghosting” him in college or trying to get Logan to label himself. For someone (Ellis) who went out of his way to track down Logan a second time and to basically not accept his apology was pretty lame.
And the whole label thing. More than once Logan said he was “mostly” straight. Hence the title- The Other Five Percent, because he considers himself 95% straight. And yet he still wanted Ellis. He wanted him in college but got scared and wanted him again 4 years later. But Ellis would not give in until Logan gave  himself the label of bisexual.
I did enjoy Logan’s growth- from being a totally strict 9-5 worker climbing the corporate ladder to wanting to just be happy. Realizing that life is not just about the almighty dollar.
It was mostly a cute story that had points that really bugged me.
Cover by L.C. Chase
Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon
Book Details:ebook
Published July 10th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleThe Other Five Percent
ISBN 162649598X (ISBN13: 9781626495982)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Book Review Tour and Giveawy for Accepting The Fall by Meg Harding



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 61,000 words

Confronting the past is never easy.

Cole Whitaker is happy. He has the job and boyfriend he always wanted. His heart’s in no danger of being broken, and he can’t ask for more from life. As a kindergarten teacher, he sees it all; however, one troublesome student has him reaching out to the parent, wanting to help. There’s something about Savanah that tugs at his heartstrings.

He never expected her father.

Zander Brooks hasn’t had an easy life, and he’s made some mistakes. Freshly retired from the military and working as a firefighter, Zander thought he’d left Cole in the rearview mirror. He’s not expecting him to appear in St. Petersburg, Florida, of all places, teaching his daughter’s kindergarten class. Suddenly, his biggest mistake is being shoved in his face.

This is Zander’s chance to close a door he’d never fully shut, but time with his former flame might change his mind



Author Bio

Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF, and recently completed a masters program for Publishing in the UK. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes. In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.

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A MelanieM Review: Back Home by RJ Scott


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Falling for his brother’s boyfriend broke his heart. Now he’s back home and falling in love all over again.

One birthday kiss, given on a dare, and Kieran realizes he is in danger of falling for his brother’s boyfriend, Jordan. Leaving for college, then moving to another country is the only way to ease the ache in his heart.

But, when his father becomes ill, and his sister begs him to come home, Kieran returns for good. He finds the family business nearly bankrupt and Jordan, the man he ran from, beaten down by despair and guilt.

Friendship is what they promise each other as they work to repair the business, but it could never be enough for Kieran. When secrets spill, and there are vital decisions to be made, Kieran realizes two things; he’s back home, and he wants to stay with Jordan for good.

Now he just needs to convince Jordan.

Back Home by RJ Scott is a story a second chance at love given to two men layed deep in guilt, linked by a family and a man they both loved, one as a brother, one as a lover and partner.  RJ Scott delivers the story from Jordan and Kiernan’s perspective, a necessary format so the reader can see both how differently they see each other and how certain events looked but also so we can connect intimately with each man.    And connect we do.

We see Kieran giving up his job and life in London to return home, unaware of the disaster awaiting him at almost every level.  He just thinks he’s going to have to deal with his father’s illness and having to see Jordan one more.  Instead he’s walking into a catastrophe.  We feel sorry for him but not as bad as we feel for Jordan who’s pushed himself to the point of dying.  His despair, his pain rolls off the page it reads so real.  The story and gulf in between these two is one that is slowly revealed over the storyline.

I must say RJ Scott writes a wonderful anguished relationship, especially one borne out over time. All the secrets buried here get revealed at the right time, and the family that supports these men, no matter what, are an excellent secondary cast.  It makes for a terrifically engaging story.  Plus she throws in 2 villains that  get their comeuppance by the end of Back Home in way that will make you cheer.

Love a second chance at love romance with angst and a HEA?  Check out Back Home by RJ Scott!  It’s one I absolutely recommend!

Cover art by Meredith Russell works for both the characters and storyline. Terrific.

Sales Links:  Amazon 

Book Details:

ebook, 4th edition
Published May 24th 2017 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published April 1st 2011)



Review Tour Request & Giveaway: RJ Scott’s Back Home


Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Length: 52,147 words


Falling for his brother’s boyfriend broke his heart. Now he’s back home and falls in love all over again.

One birthday kiss and Kieran realizes he is in danger of falling for his brotherís boyfriend, Jordan. Leaving for college, then moving to another country is the only way to ease the ache in his heart.

But, when his father becomes ill and his sister begs him to come home, Kieran returns for good. He finds the family business nearly bankrupt and Jordan, the man he ran from, beaten down by despair and guilt.

Friendship is what they promise each other as they work to repair the business, but it could never be enough for Kieran. When secrets spill, and there are vital decisions to be made, Kieran realizes two things; heís back home, and he wants to stay with Jordan for good.

Now he just needs to convince Jordan.


Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a weekís break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldnít defeat.

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An Ali Review : False Start (Wilmington Breakers #2) by Sloan Johnson

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Nixon Cross isn’t wired to share his life with anyone. He’d considered a relationship once, but after the one man patient enough to put up with all his quirks shut him down, he committed all of his energy to football and helping his players. Now, one of his players need more help than Nixon can provide and his former flame is the one man who will know what to do.

Retired NAFL player Lincoln Sims had no choice but to stay in the closet; he was a professional athlete at a time when it was impossible to be honest about his sexuality. After retiring, he confessed his secret to his wife and son because he was tired of living a lie. Now, he’s ready to live his life. Nixon Cross is the man he left behind but could never forget.

Can these men find a way to recover from their false start years earlier?
This was my first time reading this author and I really enjoyed her writing style.  This book was a little more serious than I thought it would be when I went into it.  That’s a good thing though.  I think the author did a very good job handling some difficult issues.  People, myself included, love sports and expect a lot from athletes, but we rarely think about the consequences for them later in life.
The story is told by alternating points of view between the two men. I really liked both of the MC’s.  It was very refreshing to get two older MC’s.  They were in their 40’s and I think they were presented in a realistic manner.  There was no drama and no bad communication tropes.  Once they decide to be together they work hard on making things work out with each other.  I think the author did a very good job making both Nixon and Lincoln likable and people you could empathize with. 
The two men are away from each through parts of the book but the author still managed to show us how much they meant to each other.  I really bought into their romance and I was rooting for these two the entire time.  This is a second chance romance which is one of my favorite tropes.  It was so well done here.
This is the second book in the series but can be read as a standalone.  I have not read book one and I was able to completely understand and enjoy this.  That being said, I enjoyed this enough that I will be going back and reading the first story.
If you enjoy sports romance and/or second chance loves I really recommend this.  There are a lot of good things going on in this book.  
Cover Art:  The cover was done by Cover Me, Darling and I thought it was well done.  It compliments the first book in the series and represents the story pretty well.  My only complaint is that the cover model looks too young to be either MC.
Sales Link:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 231 pages
Published May 13th 2017
SeriesWilmington Breakers #2

A Jeri Review: Unsteady (On Solid Ground #3) by Melissa Collins


Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

Although this book is officially the third in a series, it absolutely can be read as a stand alone.

Melissa Collins writes really good damaged men. Damaged in a way that makes you want to cheer for them and hug them and want their happily ever after.

Micah was an army brat, moving every few years and never really making connections with people. When his father finally retired and they settled in Texas, he found himself defending Jude against bullies in the high school locker room. Offering both friendship and a work out partner, they were inseparable.

Jude thought he was doing the right thing by telling Micah to get out of his life. Looking back, it was totally the wrong thing. But 10 years have passed and he still can’t forgive himself. So when Micah suddenly calls him out of the blue looking to visit, crash at his place, whatever- Jude can’t say no.

Micah and Jude have a long road of forgiveness to travel together.  But watching them reconnect, forgive and fall in love again is beautiful. Even though Micah had way more issues than Jude- it was Jude who broke my heart. Ten years later, still taking care of his father, living in the closet and working at the school of his bullied childhood. And even though Jude was doing what he loved at the school- I can’t imagine going back there day after day.

And just when I thought Micah was doing well- Jude takes him on a surprise day trip. And Micah freaked out. Ugh I was gutted. His agony was so evident. Especially since the trigger was something you wouldn’t even think of!

Two beautiful but damaged souls healing together and healing each other. This story will rip your heart out, but also make you swoon. It was beautifully written with great regard to the life a soldier with PTSD and permanent injuries would have.

Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pair Creative Covers.  Cover is hot and eye-catching.

Sales Links  AMAZON

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition
Published April 28th 2017 by M. Collins Author, LLC
SeriesOn Solid Ground #3

Dev Bentham On Hot Men, Dull Jobs and her new Story ‘Buyout – A Love Story’ (guest blog by Dev Bentham)



Buyout – A Love Story by Dev Bentham
reamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Catt Ford

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Dev Bentham here today to talk about writing and Buyout – A Love Story.

Welcome, Dev!


Hot men, boring jobs by Dev Bentham

I often first meet a character through his employment. That isn’t all that surprising for someone who has had a lot of jobs in her life. Except that you’d think a writer who conceptualized characters through their work would fill her books with men in really interesting occupations. I do have a few protagonists with cool jobs (like my Antarctic diver in August Ice). But mostly my books are about regular guys who are teachers, cooks, farmers, veterinarians, yoga teachers—you get the idea. No dentists or plumbers yet, but who knows what the future will bring.

I like the challenge of inviting readers to fall in love with men who aren’t characteristically dreamy romantic heros. For example, in Buyout—A Love Story, my narrator is a burned-out finance guy in his mid-30s and the man of his dreams is the proprietor of a struggling hotel. Neither of them are Mr. Darcy types. Which I think is what I love about them.

Because, while we spend a lot of our time working, our jobs don’t have much to do with our innate attractiveness, worthiness or ability to love. I’ve known some distinctly un-hot firemen and cowboys or have been bowled over by a janitor or the guy behind the counter at a fast food restaurant. Traditional romance stories don’t prepare us for finding that perfect someone where we least expect them—right in the middle of our everyday lives. I like to think that anyone can be a romantic hero, no matter what he (or she) does to pay the rent.

My quirkiest job was counting ants for the Forest Service. Forty hours a week bent over a microscope, sorting dead ants by species and counting—1, 2, 3 …a million. I don’t think that job said anything about my attractiveness (or at least I hope it didn’t), but the ants—they kind of grow on you after a while.

So how about you—got any great work stories??



Everyone deserves a second chance. Or do they? Sean and Martim fell in love at Harvard. Things broke apart when Martim fell into a downward spiral of addiction after his father died. Sean kicked him out but has regretted it ever since. He’s never gotten over losing Martim. But then, not many aspects of his life have lived up to his collegiate dreams.

When he’s sent to evaluate Martim’s family hotel for foreclosure, Sean is once again in the position to put Martim out on the street. In the time since they parted, Martim has pulled himself together, although both health and financial problems linger as a result of his years as an addict. Can the two men bridge the gap of distance and time to rekindle their relationship, or will they fall apart again under the burdens of guilt and disease? 

Set in Lisbon, Portugal, this is the story of lovers reunited after more than a decade apart, and their second chance at romance.

Here’s a taste:

He wore jeans and a black turtleneck, and with one finger held a sleek leather jacket slung over his shoulder. Looking at him was enough to make a man break out in a cold sweat.

He leaned against the doorway. “Stop working, Sean. The sun is out. Let me show you the sights. Then you’ll know why people want to come here.”

My first thought was that I was looking at it. But of course, even Martim in his most promiscuous days couldn’t have satisfied all the tourists.

I shook my head. “I’ve been to Lisbon before. Remember?”

“I remember.” He let it hang. After a moment he rubbed his hands together. “Okay. I have a new plan. I’ll take you someplace we did not go to back then.”

I couldn’t help but smile a little at his enthusiasm. It was so much like the old Martim, the one I knew before he fell apart.

He raised one eyebrow. “Come on, Sean. I promise I won’t bite.”


About the Author

Dev Bentham has lived in way too many places and had far too many jobs. She’s finally settled in frozen northern Wisconsin where she teaches online and draws on her former lives to write love stories about mature men searching for true love. Her restless feet take her globetrotting whenever she gets the chance, but most of the time she’s tucked up in her office in the woods dreaming about romance and adventure.

She’s the author of many gay romances, including a DABWAHA finalist, a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention and a Rainbow Awards Finalist.

Website: http://www.devbentham.com

Twitter @DevBentham

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dev.bentham

E-mail: DevBentham@yahoo.com

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A Stella Review: Daring the Wolf by Skylar M. Cates


RATING 3,5 out of 5 stars

Daring the WolfCan a human ever dominate a werewolf?

Living in a strict world of paranormal dos and don’ts is exhausting for Gabe Ryan. After fleeing his home when he became a werewolf, Gabe attempts to forget his family and the young boyfriend he left behind. But he is still haunted by his memories—until a birthday wish leads him to an unexpected confrontation.
A busy emergency room doctor, Ethan Dunn has closed off his heart. He sure as hell does not trust Gabe Ryan, not after the way he abandoned Ethan. If Gabe wants a second chance, he better be ready to risk everything and break all the rules between humans and wolves.

I’m a huge fan of Skylar M Cates, when I say huge I mean enormous. I love her writing and I truly enjoyed what I read by her so far. Daring The Wolf  is not the usual Skylar book. Totally different from her previous works and this is the reason why I picked it. I was curious to see what else she could engage me with. For some ways it is what I was expecting. Still it missed that little more that made Skylar books unforgettable.

The story is a second chance at love which I adore. Gabe is back to the town he left when he was sixteen, now thirty he’s ready to forgot the pack rules and he’s back to see his parents, the ones he let believe their son was dead instead of telling them he is a werewolf. He’s back to see someone else too, his ex-boyfriend Ethan. Their meeting in the emergency room where Ethan works is not what Gabe was hoping in but he is determined to have him back, although it seems Ethan can’t trust him anymore.

I liked the chemistry between the MCs, it was clear from the start and from the various very hot sex scenes. There were some violences in the plot, which were unexpected but I didn’t dislike in this case. The second characters were so interesting I’m already begging the author for more about Sebastian, I’m sure he has too much to tell me.

There were a couple of elements that left me dubious. First of  all, after so many years the reconciliation between the MCs was too easy to be believable and took away space from the development of a new relationship which was non-existent, they basically meet and then are together. Then I was waiting for more from the mystery and action part, I hope the author will give me answers in a next book cause here I found almost nothing.

That said, Daring the Wolf was to me an okay read from a great author and I will surely read a sequel if she decides to write it.

The cover art by Dar Albert is not a winner to me cause it doesn’t fit the story at all.

Sales Link



Kindle Edition, 161 pages
Published July 25th 2016 by Treading Water Productions
Edition Language English

A Stella Review: Sweet by Alysa Constantine


Rating: 3,25 out of 5 stars

SweetNot every love story is a romance novel.

For Jules Burns, a lonely baker, it is the memory of his deceased husband, Andy. For Teddy Flores, a numbed-to-the-world accountant who accidentally stumbles into his bakery, it is a voyage of discovery into his deep connections to pleasure, to the world, and to his own heart.

Sweet is also the story of how we tell stories—of what we expect and need from a love story. The narrator is on to you, Reader, and wants to give you a love story that doesn’t always fit the bill. There are ghosts to exorcise, and jobs and money to worry about. Sweet is a love story, but it also reminds us that love is never quite what we expect, nor quite as blissfully easy as we hope.

I’m in the minority here cause readers seem to have loved Sweet. I didn’t love it but I liked it. I don’t think I’ll going to reread it in the next future but I am so grateful to have discovered a new to me author.

Jules is still recovering from the death of his husband Andy, a recovering spent in Buttermilk’s kitchen, his bakery, doing what he knows and does better, be a pastry chef. He doesn’t have a lot of relationships outside her kitchen, apart from the awesome ‘Trice. When he meets and starts to feel something for the cute Teddy he has no idea how to act on it. Maybe he is not ready to leave Andy on the past. But he has to make space in his heart for a new unexpected love or he will lose his second chance at love.

I had little troubles with the book from the start, I liked the writing since it was unusual in some parts and well done, but too many times the sentences were too long and I had to go back and reread them because it was so easy to me to be lost in them. Surely it was just my limit but it was a huge deterrent.

Moreover I didn’t love the MCs, I found them childish and unsure of their minds. I still liked them, I get glimpses of real life in their scenes, tender and romantic till the end. Although all the positive elements, Sweet didn’t fully catch my attention. I have to admit the first half was pretty good, it warmed my heart reading Jules’ blog posts and the teasing with Teddy. Then there was a change, or better an addiction in the cast whose name I’m not going to mention cause I don’t want to spoil it, from that moment to me the story lost its value and credibility and I wasn’t able to find something good to cling on.

I gave Sweet 3,25 stars because at the end I liked it and I’m still curious to read more by Alysia Constantine.

The book design and cover illustrations by CB Messer is simple, clean and different. Nicely done.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

Published February 4th 2016 by Interlude Press
Kindle Edition, 209 pages
Edition Language English