A MelanieM Review: Promise Me We’ll Be Okay by Nell Iris


Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Six hundred and ninety-five days. That’s how long it’s been since Jude’s fiancé broke off their engagement. With the help of his brother and his all-encompassing love for music, Jude glued the broken pieces of his heart back together, but when his ex shows up on his doorstep late one evening, Jude fears it will fall apart again.

Two years ago, Vincent made a terrible mistake. He left the love of his life for stupid, ill-advised reasons. It took a traumatic event to bring what was truly important in his life into focus. Older and wiser, he’s now ready to do whatever it takes to win Jude back.

Their chemistry is as explosive as ever, but will they be able to work through the real issues? Can trust once broken be rebuilt?


I thought Promise Me We’ll Be Okay by Nell Iris was a sweet contemporary romance. In the trope of lovers reunited and second chance at love that so many people love, myself included, it’s the story of Jude and Vin’s love affair broken off by Vin leaving Jude crushed.  Now two years later Vin reappears wanting a second chance, saying he had made a huge mistake.  And Jude give it to him.  That’s the story in 92 pages.

I liked the premise.  Lovers reunited with a second chance at love is always a favorite theme of mine.  You have a support system for Jude in his brother and sister in law who helped pick up the pieces when Vin broke it off.  There is a nice start of seeing Jude as a teacher which I wish there was more of seeing that it’s his love of teaching and Vin’s inability to recognize it’s importance that leads to the split.

I think the shortness of the story works against it here.  It’s a likable story but Jude after being crushed to the point of not functioning and still in recovery mode after 2 years, immediately takes him back.  Which I found exceedingly strange without a strong narrative to support it.  Also Vin’s excuses for the breakup, while valid, haven’t exactly disappeared nor does he put forth any well thought out ideas of how he will cope in the situation exactly.  I don’t know, perhaps his character just needed a little more depth here. And again, you get little of Jude as a teacher, something so central to  him as a person and as a part of their breakup.  Instead you get music? How did that feed into Jude’s supposed lack of ambition?

No a longer story to help with the holes in the narrative and perhaps flesh out the charactions would have left this a richer story.  But as it is, its an immensely likable one.

Cover art is nice and certainly has all the right elements, right down to the long hair on the character of Jude.

Sales Links:Universal Buy Link

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 92 pages
Published March 3rd 2018 by JMS Books, LLC
Original TitlePromise Me We’ll Be Okay
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Review: Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker


Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Second wind: a new strength or energy to continue something that is an effort. After an amicable divorce, Lincoln Huxley is ready to embrace the sexuality he repressed for more than two decades. Rush Holden is no longer willing to settle for closeted men or those who don’t share his dreams of marriage and fatherhood. A chance encounter on a lakeside pier is the second wind they both need. Or will it just be a painful reminder of all they had lost?

Second chance: an opportunity to try something again that failed one time. Rush and Lincoln have shared a lot of firsts—friendship, young love, and heartbreak. Cruel reality forced the two men to choose paths that took their lives in different directions. Twenty-six years later, they get a second chance to fall in love with each all over again. Can it really be that simple, or will the same issues ruin their happiness a second time?

Happily ever after: to live happily for the rest of one’s life. Rush and Lincoln know that love and life can’t be defined by words alone. Patience, commitment, and the determination to do whatever it takes will be the only way the two men achieve their happily ever after.

Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker is a lovely, warmhearted second chance at love story, one of my favorite tropes.  Lincoln Huxley and Rush Holden have both moved on from their broken hearted teenage love or have they?  Rush Holden and his sister left home, unable to continue living under the rules and roof of his conservative, bigoted father and mother.  Lincoln Husley, unwilling to act on his feelings or give up the dream of living “normally” goes on to marry a girl and have a family on the West Coast. But twenty-six years can’t diminish the fact that Lincoln is gay or that Rush is the man he has always loved.  One divorce, and one chance meeting all those years later and sparks fly.

So many elements to admire here.  I love the way the author handled a couple whose marriage was in dissolution while the husband was figuring out how to deal with his sexuality and coming out to his wife and children.  It was realistic, gut-wrenching in a way, and done in a manner that showed all the parties as flawed, compassionate human beings who still loved each other.  Even the grown children’s reaction to their parents decision to divorce (one wanting to know who’s pushing for it), then their Dad’s later announcement of his homosexuality all rings so true.  These are great characters, fully fleshed out personalities, and they form a wonderful foundation not just for Lincoln and Rush’s relationship but for the extended family they all become as well.

The central element here, of course, is the romance and enduring love between Rush and Lincoln.  That’s such a  deeply moving storyline.  Switching between perspectives and even timelines using flashbacks, we see these men at differing times of their lives making decisions that put them on different paths.  Many scenes here will emotionally impact you to the point of sending you running for the tissues.  I can’t think now of a ammo box of Polaroid’s without sniffling.  This couple makes me smile even now.

Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker is just a wonderful story.  It’s everything you want in a contemporary romance and more.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Cover Art: JAY AHEER/ Simply Defined Art.  I love this cover. Full of important elements from the story.  Great job.

Cover Photographer: WANDER AGUIAR

Buy Link: http://mybook.to/SecondWind

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 236 pages
Published February 14th 2018 by Chasing Rainbows Press LLC
Original Title Second Wind
Edition Language English

A Lila Audiobook Review: Finding Mr. Wrong by Charlie Cochet and Andrew McFerrin (Narrator)


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

He’s nobody’s definition of Mr. Right—but that might make him perfect.

Matthew Hart is heir to the family fortune and owner of Hart & Home. When a near-death experience has him fretting over the future, he decides he needs a husband, and not just any husband—an appropriate man to protect the Hart legacy. The last thing Matthew expects is to cross paths with Jax Foster, his first love and the boy who crushed his heart when he disappeared.

Jax is unlikely to make Matthew’s list of suitable candidates. Bad boy, vagabond, deep in debt, with a father who can’t keep out of trouble, Jax has nothing to offer—except his heart and a second chance at the romance they never got to explore.

Finding Mr. Wrong is a sweet second chance story. It has two unlikely cupids and a list of qualities a good husband should have. In the end, Matt will find all those in the less likely place and with the last person he would have expected.

The author did a great job letting the reader know how important Jax and Matt were to each other since the moment they met. By the time they see each other again, the reader is ready for them to have their happily ever after. It’s easy to cheer for them.

Even when the plot and the bases of the story are somewhat traditional, the main characters’ jobs and backgrounds bring them to the front, having those aspects carry the story. They are well written and interesting to get the reader wanting more with each page.

Andrew McFerrin did a nice job bringing all the characters to life. I especially enjoyed Jax’s characterization and the differentiation between the rest of the clan.

The cover by Bree Archer is an adaptation of the e-book cover and follows the traditional Dreamspun series style. I only wish the model looks were a bit more realistic.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin
Length: 5 hours 46 minutes
Published: December 22, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English


A Stella Prerelease Review: Love on a Battlefield by Posy Roberts


RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Not every compass points north.

Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute, until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.

Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.

Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.

This is a story about first times, second chances, and the transformative power of the written word.

I waited so long for a new release from Posy Roberts that I was very much happy to finally have Love on a Battlefield in my hands, especially since I adore second chance at love and the author is a favorite of mine. And I think Posy delivered a really well done story. I truly felt the romance here and the deep connection that linked Andrew and Shep together, it was pretty clear from the few moments they spent with each other.

Every year Andrew’s father took him to Civil War reenactments since he was a kid. He had fun during those times playing with kids like him, until, eighteen years old, during one of those meeting, he saw Shep, the boy with red hair, always carefree and laughing. They spent a couple of hours together and later, when the reenactment ended, they came back home but they decided to write to each other. Andrew in Texas, Shep in California or flying around the world, they had college to attend. Instead Andrew’s college plans burnt when his father lost all his money and Andrew only choice became the Army, not at all what Andrew was hoping for a future. Four years later his time in the Army was ending and he was finally ready to create the future he wanted and be free to be open with his sexuality. But a mine happened and he was discharged. Now twenty three years old, he is depressed and full of pain, he is deep in his own troubles, it’s became easy to just stay home. He is ready to let go when he met Carlos and his dyslexia. This meeting is what saves Andrew, he starts to go out of his home and little by little a new life begins.

A new life without Shep, and even if it can sounds stupid missing and wanting someone he actually talked and kissed just one time five years ago, Andrew aches for Shep. And when Shep comes back in Andrew life, it’s time to give their attraction a chance.

I liked this story quite a lot, I loved the writing but it wasn’t a surprise cause I adored every single book the author released in the past. What really surprised me was how much I like the story although the author gave me just Andrew’s POV. In fact I lately noticed I tend to prefer the double POV, it often seems to me I miss a lot with just one MC’s POV. This time I have to say it worked well. Moreover it was probably the right choice,because at the end Andrew’s past (and present) was most troubled and emotional, sure Shep’s would have been more interesting and adventurous but I need to be moved with more troubled characters and Andrew conquered my heart. I feel like I know  him well, the same way as I know a friend. And that’s the reason why I loved this novella and I want to recommend it to all of you.

The cover art by GoOnWrite is clean and well done, I particularly like the colors.

SALE LINKS     Amazon


Kindle Edition, 126 pages

Expected publication: February 20th 2018 by Labyrinth Bound Press

ASIN B0799K9F57

Edition Language English

Release Day Blitz for Second Wind by Aimee Nicole Walker (excerpt)


Second Wind RDB Banner




RELEASE DATE: 02.14.18

Second Wind Cover 

 COVER DESIGN: JAY AHEER/ Simply Defined Art


BUY LINK: http://mybook.to/SecondWind


Second wind: a new strength or energy to continue something that is an effort. After an amicable divorce, Lincoln Huxley is ready to embrace the sexuality he repressed for more than two decades. Rush Holden is no longer willing to settle for closeted men or those who don’t share his dreams of marriage and fatherhood. A chance encounter on a lakeside pier is the second wind they both need. Or will it just be a painful reminder of all they had lost?

Second chance: an opportunity to try something again that failed one time. Rush and Lincoln have shared a lot of firsts—friendship, young love, and heartbreak. Cruel reality forced the two men to choose paths that took their lives in different directions. Twenty-six years later, they get a second chance to fall in love with each all over again. Can it really be that simple, or will the same issues ruin their happiness a second time?

Happily ever after: to live happily for the rest of one’s life. Rush and Lincoln know that love and life can’t be defined by words alone. Patience, commitment, and the determination to do whatever it takes will be the only way the two men achieve their happily ever after.

Second Wind is a funny, sexy, and endearing standalone romance novel about love, loss, and rediscovery. It contains sexually explicit material and is intended for adults 18 and older.

Second Wind Teaser 1


“Um, don’t look now, but some hottie is heading toward us with a determined look in his eyes,” Nigel said.

“He’s not packing a weapon, is he?”

“What’s your definition of a weapon?” Nigel asked suggestively.

“The lethal kind.” The intrigue I heard in my assistant’s voice made me curious, so I glanced up to check out the situation. My breath caught in my throat when I looked into familiar dark eyes. “I don’t fucking believe it.” I had to be dreaming, but my racing heart told me it was real. Fate wouldn’t be that cruel to me. I handed my camera to Nigel before I dropped it.

My obligations were temporarily forgotten as I walked to Lincoln with joyful laughter spilling out of me. He opened his arms wide, and I landed hard against his broad chest. I circled my arms around his waist at the same time those strong arms wrapped around my shoulders.

“I can’t believe it,” we said at the same time then laughed like we did when we were kids. And if that wasn’t enough, we both said, “Jinx.”

“Okay, now it’s getting ridiculous,” I teased.

“What’s ridiculous is that it’s taken me more than two decades to see you again,” Lincoln countered.

I pulled back enough to look into Lincoln’s warm gaze and welcoming smile. I closed my eyes against the swiftly rising emotions that threatened to consume me and rob me of the ability to speak. I pressed my forehead against his and said, “It has been too many years, but my heart would recognize you anywhere, Linc.”

“As would mine,” Lincoln said huskily.

Aimee Logo

I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees. I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever- after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/aimeenicole.walker?fref=nf

AMAZON – http://amzn.to/2C6LWfs

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/AimeeNWalker?lang=en

BLOG – http://aimeenicolewalker.blogspot.com/




Release Blitz: RJ Scott’s Seth & Casey (excerpt and giveaway)



Universal Buy Link: 
Length: 26,000 words
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Seth Wild is a firefighter who has lost everything. Nearly dying in a fire, he is scared and angry and chases away the only good thing in his life—school teacher Casey McGuire.

When a sudden and violent snow storm hits their town he receives a message Casey and ten kids are trapped in an education centre center with no way out. There is no one else who can help, he’s the last fire fighter in town with his bum leg and his icy heart.

He doesn’t hesitate. He always promised he would be Casey’s hero, but will he ever again be Casey’s love?


“…New York’s LaGuardia and JFK International airports officially closed on Thursday afternoon due to the storm, according to the FAA. Both airports had been open earlier despite significant flight cancellations. LaGuardia resumed operations around 7 p.m. ET, while JFK said it planned to reopen sometime during the course of the night.”

Casey McGuire rinsed the last of the mugs and placed it on the drainer with the rest. For some reason, it was always mugs they ran out of in this house. Seth had this idea that the dishwasher ate them but Casey was convinced that they just needed a system to make sure they brought all the mugs back to the kitchen when they were done. Last week he’d found a mug in the bathroom, inside the cabinet, full of cold coffee.

Seth had sworn it wasn’t him, but Casey knew it had been.

He didn’t make a fuss. After all, what was one full coffee mug teetering on the edge of a glass shelf? In the grand scheme of things, it meant nothing.

The TV droned on behind him as he took a dishcloth and wiped the first of the mugs.

“…states from South Carolina to Maine are under a winter storm warning and the governors of Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey and New York have declared states of emergency. Forecasters say the northeast states can expect hurricane-force wind gusts and blinding snow…”

The news channels had been warning about this storm for a week, a huge dump of snow that would cripple the eastern seaboard, but that as yet hadn’t caused much concern here in Vermont. Casey glanced out of the window at the yard and wished for more snow. That way maybe Seth wouldn’t be able to leave the house, and possibly the two of them could have a rational conversation that didn’t end with Seth leaving and Casey wondering where the hell he was going wrong.

“…the situation is “ugly” and “dangerous,” and people should stay indoors…”

Last night, all Casey had said was that Seth shouldn’t forget about his appointment next morning. Seth left the house, clambering back into bed at some ungodly hour, reeking of beer or worse. In his sleep, Seth tried to pull Casey close, but Casey had deliberately scooted up and away, and left his husband in the bed.

Today, at ten, Seth had exploded, accusing Casey of meddling in things he didn’t understand, telling Casey he was fine and didn’t need a shrink.

Yet another night when one of them ended up on the couch.


Casey stiffened at Seth’s soft, gravelly voice. His chest was tight, he didn’t want to argue. He wanted Seth to admit there was a problem, because he couldn’t handle it anymore. Six months of this had taken its toll. Maybe if Seth had seen the specialists when he should’ve, maybe if he’d seen a counselor, then Casey would see he was trying.

Seth was in denial, and it was destroying their marriage.

He didn’t turn to face Seth; he’d made a decision in the early morning, packed a bag with what he could get without waking Seth, and decided they needed space. If Seth had space he might face up to himself instead of taking it out on Casey.

Seth slid his hands around Casey’s waist, resting his chin on Casey’s shoulder and sighed. He’d brushed his teeth so the only scent was peppermint, which at least was a step up from yesterday when he’d attempted a clumsy kiss with beer still on his breath.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured near Casey’s ear.

Casey could turn now, accept the apology, even offer one of his own for pushing Seth, and everything would be normal for a while. Seth could go back to pretending he was okay, and Casey could go back to walking on eggshells and avoiding conflict.

But what kind of a marriage was that?

What kind of a man did that make Casey?

“I know you are,” he said. Then he tensed because that wasn’t the answer Seth wanted, and Casey knew what would happen next. Seth would go straight onto defensive mode, give some bullshit about how he was a firefighter and didn’t need a counselor.

Meanwhile, Seth not accepting any of what he needed was tearing their marriage apart. Casey had been careful with him for a long time, after all, Seth had nearly died. But when months had passed and he was still refusing to listen to reason, that was when Casey realized he’d been wrong in accepting Seth’s view on what kind of healing he needed.

“I think we need some time apart,” Casey said, and placed the dried mug onto the counter. He eased away from Seth’s hold and moved to the other side of the kitchen table. Somehow, having it between them gave Casey the strength to do what he’d decided was the right thing. Seth had this way of holding him, with a near desperation that never failed to have Casey crumbling.

Seth didn’t answer at first. Casey stopped himself from repeating the words and hoped that Seth was just thinking. The only noise in the kitchen was the news, focusing on Greyhound buses and the routes being cancelled.


RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men 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 week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat. 


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A MelanieM Release Day Review: Fighting Addiction (Fighting Addiction) by B.A. Tortuga


Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Country hat act Markus Kane is skeptical when he’s asked to do a joint tour. He hasn’t seen Sebastian Longchamps since he gave up drinking—and since their compulsion for each other nearly cost them both their livelihoods. But Markus’s career is on the downhill slope, while the country-fried Cajun rocker’s star is still rising. His label thinks it’ll be a match made in ticket-sales heaven.

Sebastian knows better. One wrong move and Markus will break his heart all over again. This time he has much more to lose.

Time has changed both men, though, and while Markus and Sebastian try to fight their addictions, the big music industry machine has plans for them that don’t include a quiet retirement. Can Markus convince Sebastian that there are things in life more important than adrenaline and control? And can Sebastian make Markus understand that all he really wants is his music and his man?

Fighting Addiction is about music, breakups, breakdowns, chicanery, and second chance at love.  That’s a country song right there.  And that’s sort of perfect because music, the writing of it, the singing of it, the getting together and hashing out a melody and tracks…that’s an essential part of these men and the story Fighting Addiction.  In fact, you could say, that music is the deep addiction that helps save both of them from their demons and reunites them so they can have their HEA.

And no one gets rednecks, music, and perhaps their demons better than BA Tortuga.  Check out her playlist for this story here.

From the prologue to the epilogue, music is driving the story and these men.  Both the need to get the music out for the labels, the need to write, the need to sing….music is at the heart of this story.  And Tortuga makes us understand this fundamental element.  From the sessions with the bands to the scenes where Markus and Seb are talking to each other through lyrics and songs, the power of music and its ability to direct lives sings in this book through the author’s vivid descriptions and lively dialog.  The scenes are intimate, the language local and knowing, flavored with sayings, terms of endearment, and nicknames that speak of long term familiarity and love.

The characters, main, secondary, fleeting and not, all  feel like people you know.  Maybe musicians you’ve heard howling or picking along, if you’re lucky enough to  go SXSW about 5 years ago or some of the bars in Nashville.  Tortuga makes you feel their love of music and each other.  You get the laughter, the love, and yes, the pain, and angst, when it all starts to go wrong with Seb.

Along with the music addiction, you have two main characters with other addictions.  Markus is an alcoholic who’s sober now.  Seb has his own demons driving him that you need to read about in the story.  And yes, one more addiction.  They are addicted to each other at a level almost cellular.  All flowing to the country beat, as country melodies float through the stories like a sweet and sad refrain.

I loved the story, the fight for each other and for their music, all the cast of characters…but I confess I’m a dance on the graves of my enemies sort of gal and miss the total comeuppance at the end.  That’s all that’s keeping this from a 5 star story.  Except for that?

Fighting Addiction by BA Tortuga is fine as frog’s hair and a story I absolutely recommend!

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design.  Sexy cover but I’m getting tired of the half naked torso.  More bank perhaps?

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 217 pages
Expected publication: January 16th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published September 25th 2012)
SeriesFighting Addiction

Riptide Tour and Giveaway: Relay (Changing Lanes #1) by Layla Reyne


Relay (Changing Lanes #1) by Layla Reyne
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Garrett Leigh

Read an Excerpt/Buy It here

Welcome to the RELAY Blog Tour, presented by Layla Reyne and Riptide Publishing! RELAY, by Layla Reyne, is Book 1 of the Changing Lanes sports romance series featuring Olympic swimmers. RELAY is an enemies-to-lovers, second chance romance between Alex, the team captain, and his closeted ex, Dane, swimming’s biggest star. Read on to learn more about RELAY, Changing Lanes, and Layla Reyne!

About Relay

Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.

Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.

Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

About Changing Lanes

A chance at gold or a chance at love? Members of the US Men’s Swim Team fight for both in this sports romance duology following two couples on one medley relay team as they train and compete in the world’s biggest sporting event: the Olympics. To reach the top of the podium, they’ll need to depend on one another and be willing to change lanes—in their lives and hearts, and in the biggest race of their athletic careers.

Check out Changing Lanes!

About Layla Reyne

2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bicoastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

Social Media:

Website: http://laylareyne.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/laylareyne

FB Profile: www.facebook.com/laylareynebooks

FB Fan Page: www.facebook.com/laylareyne

FB Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/216903272072959/

Tumblr: laylareyne.tumblr.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/laylareyne

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/laylareyne

Amazon: amazon.com/author/laylareyne

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bN9ncH



To celebrate the release of Relay, one lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A MelanieM Release Day Review: 415 Ink: Rebel by Rhys Ford


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The hardest thing a rebel can do isn’t standing up for something — it’s standing up for himself.

Life takes delight in stabbing Gus Scott in the back when he least expects it. After years of running from his past, present and the dismal future every social worker predicted for him, Karma delivers the one thing Gus could never—would never—turn his back on; a son from a one-night stand he’d had after a devastating break-up three years ago.

Returning to San Francisco and to 415 Ink, his family’s tattoo shop, gave him the perfect shelter to battle his personal demons and get himself together… until the firefighter who’d broken him walked back into Gus’s life.

For Rey Montenegro, tattoo artist Gus Scott was an elusive brass ring, a glittering prize he hadn’t the strength or flexibility to hold onto. Severing his relationship with the mercurial tattoo artist hurt but Gus hadn’t wanted the kind of domestic life Rey craved, leaving Rey with an aching chasm in his soul.

When Gus’s life and world starts to unravel, Rey helps him pick up the pieces, and Gus wonders if that forever Rey wants is more than just a dream.

415 Ink: Rebel launches the start of another series by Rhys Ford in stunning style.  A second chance at love story, full of wounded, life-damaged men in search of love and HEA, 415 Ink: Rebel is exactly why I eagerly await each new release by this author. It’s full of people whose lives are easy to fall into, in this case Gus Scott, a wandering tattoo artist returning home after a two and a half year absence with startling news.  Due to one nightmarish breakup and a drunken night years ago, he’s just now learned he’s a father.  Something a gay man is astonished to hear.  And he wants to be a part of his son’s life.

As with most of Rhys Ford’s characters, there’s layers upon layers to Gus Scott and the men he calls family, a group of men tattooed, laden with their own issues, including a past history with Gus burdened with pain and misunderstandings.  To say he’s returning home to a mixed welcome is understated.

As the story unfolds and Gus reveals the news behind his return from his travels, Ford weaves the reader into the emotional fabric of these men and their universe.  We feel Gus’ pain when he finds out he’s a father, his desire to be a part of Chris’ life, the history that led up to Chris’ existence, all mired in one bad decision and breakup that’s casting reverberations still.  It’s nigh to impossible to remain unmoved by this story, especially when all involved want what’s best for Chris.  No “nasty mom or mother’s parents” to be found here.  Instead it’s a refreshing change of responsible adults working together in the best interests of a child.

Yes, this is an emotional journey and not just for Gus and Rey, but for all in the house as they also work to help provide support for Gus and Chris.  Due to Rhys Ford’s superb characters, vivid scenes, and dramatic narrative, I not only felt a part of their lives but believed in them absolutely.

What do you get with a Rhys Ford story?  Men to love, broken hearts in need of mending, extended families giving support, and more romance and angst to overflow any tale….all that and more superbly done.  I’ll leave you with this…

“I’m sorry I wasn’t what you wanted me to be, but you know what? You weren’t what I needed either, even if you were all I wanted.”

Sigh.  Now to wait for the next in the series.  Until then, pick up 415 Ink: Rebel by Rhys Ford.  I highly recommend it.

Cover Artist: Reece Notley.  Another great cover by Reece Notley.  That’s exactly my  idea of Gus.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: December 29th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series 415 Ink #1

A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Ever since ghostwriter Jason Burke ended up in loco parentis for his orphaned niece, Mallory, he’s been trying. He goes to parent/teacher events, and he makes packed lunches, so he definitely didn’t mean to forget about Christmas. He just hasn’t celebrated it since he left home under a cloud years ago.

Put on the spot, Jason makes the snap decision to take Mallory to see where he and her father spent their Christmases as kids. The last thing he expects is to run into Tommy, his ex—ex-best friend, ex-boyfriend—who is still living in town… and working as a sheriff’s deputy.

It’s hard to avoid someone in a small town—and maybe Jason doesn’t want to. He got Mallory a Christmas, and maybe now it’s time to get himself a Christmas boyfriend. But first, he owes Tommy some explanations.

Sweet, somewhat poignant, and full of romance and hope for the future,Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore contains so many elements that makes a wonderful holiday story.  Add in second chance at love, a recently orphaned child, and the “bestest present ever” and it becomes one I not only loved reading but absolutely recommend.

Tommy and Jason reconnect in their hometown after a decade or so has passed.  Sweethearts as teenagers, it ended when Jason left without a word to Tommy, leaving a wound and puzzle that exists to the present day.  Jason has returned with his orphaned niece in hand to show her where her he and her father lived and to give her some “Christmas” and snow.

Moore’s writing pulls us into these characters and their lives quickly through the poignancy of the situation and the sadness of the little 10 year old, Mal.  She’s grieving the loss of her parents, unsettled by the new guardianship of an uncle she barely knows, and acting out in exactly the way you’d think a little child in this situation would.  Especially when confronted by the reality of Jason and her father’s hometown.

With Mal at the center, Jason and Tommy (Tom as he insists on being called) start the process of reconnecting with each other, talking about the past, seeing if the sparks between them mean it’s more than attraction coming back to life.  It never feels like instant anything but more like two people who really do belong together, meeting again when the time is right.

I liked the ending.  It’s not a HEA, more a HFN which I feel is in line with the story.  It’s full of hope and exactly the right tone, considering all the decisions that still have to be made.  Anything more would have felt false.  Plus maybe next Christmas T.A. Moore will revisit this small family group and give us an update.  That I’d surely love!

Until then add Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore to your holiday reading pile.  It’s exactly what Santa might have ordered.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  I love this cover.  Exactly right and stands out to grab your attention.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 57 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish