A Jeri Recent Release Review: Living Out Loud by Nyrae Dawn & Christina Lee

Standard

Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

After being raised in a super religious family and town, Ben finally strikes out on his own in San Francisco. Even though he is finally free to be himself, the conditioning he received to “turn him straight” makes it so that he cannot really be free. After garnering the courage to reach out to his childhood friend, Xavier, they meet up. Ben is in awe of how Xavier is his authentic self, unafraid of what anyone thinks of him. So he hatches a plan…..
So, wow. This book is a co-written work between Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn. Nyrae Dawn is the young adult author name of Riley Hart. So being a half written Nyrae work, I did not expect it to be as hot as it was. HOT.
I pretty much adored Xavier. People who don’t care what anyone else thinks about them, living however they want, I just think is amazing. And even though he lived that way, he still was afraid of falling in love. If anyone should have been open to love, it was Xavier. But he is open to sex.
Ben was cute. His shyness, not only with Xavier, but in life, is a bit heartbreaking but also understandable with his upbringing.
Xavier and Ben together were swoony. They really challenged each other. Xavier challenging Ben to grow sexually and Ben challenging Xavier to grow emotionally. Throughout the book you can see why they were so easily best friends as children. They just come together so easily in all ways. They constantly lift each other up, make each other laugh and are just generally comfortable with each other. And they seem more comfortable with themselves when they are together.
Friends to lovers, second chances, a quirky older woman (another fave of mine. because I may or may not be a quirky 40 something woman), two authors I adore. Recipe for a delicious book.
Cover Design by X-Potion Designs. I seriously wanted to lick the cover.
Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published September 6th 2017 by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn
ASINB075FRXF2Z

The Angel of 13th Street is Back in Fallen Angel by Eden Winters (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title:  Fallen Angel

Series: The Angel of 13th Street 2

Author: Eden Winters

Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books

Release Date: 2/27/17

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 63,000 words

Genre: Romance, Age difference, urban, rent boys, redemption, second chances

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Who can save the rescuer of lost souls?

For ten years ex-rent boy Noah Everett has fought the good fight, offering second chances to those still in the life. Now he’s cracking under the stress. What began as a two-man mission is now going corporate, meaning rules, regulations and inexperienced volunteers needing guidance in a field Noah makes up as he goes along. Who can he turn to when his mentor’s strength is all but gone and his lover is leaving for college—possibly for good?

Four years at State with a full ride scholarship will launch Jeremy Kincaid’s future, but his present includes Noah, Doc, and the closest he’s ever had to a family. And a meth addict who’s become Jeremy’s own personal mission.

An attack sends Noah spinning out of control. Jeremy has to find the way to reach Noah before the man he knows and loves disappears forever.

Excerpt

Noah slammed a case of beer down in the cooler and fished his ringing cell phone out of his pocket. Nobody called his personal phone at this time of day without good reason.  “Noah Everett.”

“Noah? Hey, man. It’s Chip.”

Noah emerged from the cooler, passed through the bar and mouthed, “I’ll be back,” to Mary behind the bar. He stepped out the back door of The Twelfth Street Bar and Grill and plunked down onto a dry spot on the stoop. The rain had finally stopped, raising the humidity to sweltering levels. If this call didn’t need privacy he’d have stayed in the cooler.

“Have you thought any more about what we discussed?” Given the phone call, the caller probably had. Trouble was, thinking alone didn’t seem to be getting them anywhere.

The casual, “Yeah,” didn’t bode well.

“And?” Fuck.

A long silence followed. “Well, my… my boyfriend isn’t a bad man. I mean, he treats me good and stuff, it’s just that I don’t like… I don’t like—”

“You don’t like him pimping you out to other men,” Noah finished for Chip.

Inside his bar, sixty-seven notches decorated a doorframe, signifying sixty-seven rent boys who’d left prostitution behind and started over someplace else.

Had Doc Cook carved a notch somewhere when he’d pulled Noah from the gutter, dusted him off, and pointed him in the right direction?

What the hell made Chip stay with the user? Noah should’ve notched him in at sixty-eight by now. Instead Chip sat on a fence, dreaming of a better life and fooling himself into believing he could have it here.

 

An exasperated huff sounded in Noah’s ear. “Yeah. Things were cool until he started arranging dates for me.”

Arranging dates? Noah ran his fingers through his short hair and blew out a breath. Motherfucking pimps. More like pimples on the ass of mankind.

Chip continued trying to talk himself out of seeing reason. “I dunno, maybe he’ll stop. I mean, I know he loves me.”

Loves me? Chip had strange ideas of love. He loves me, and we’re only doing this until we have enough money to go away and have it be just us. Noah had said those same words to himself once.

 

But “us” never happened.

Empty promises had sustained him through sleazy meetings that had started with come-ons and a handful of cash and ended with Noah grateful when johns did him in a hotel room so he could scrub himself raw after they left.

And some johns had scared the fuck out of him.

Chip would be a hot commodity in certain markets. Cute, in an innocent, boy-next-door kind of way, easily influenced, with an inborn willingness to please, and, worse yet, gullible, much as Noah had been many years ago. Chip might as well hang a sign around his neck: “Use me!” No way would the boyfriend give up such a low maintenance source of cash.

Noah began pacing behind the building, boots crunching against gravel. Every kid who called forced him to relive his own past, his own fuck ups.

Damn it all to hell! Had the kid known so little love in his life that he’d cling to a sick illusion?

“Do you actually believe he’ll stop?” Noah kept because I sure as hell don’t to himself.

More silence, a sigh, and then a rare scrap of reality from Chip. “No.”

Noah forced his voice calm when he really wanted to jump through the phone and fix the dumb kid’s life before it was too late. “From what you’ve told me, your parents are out of the question, but how about your grandparents? Or older brother?” Those were Noah’s first choices: stick Chip on a bus and let others with a personal interest manage putting his life back together. Second choice? Put him on a bus to a safe house; let those better qualified handle the details.

This time, no uncertainly colored the adamant, “No! Definitely not! I can’t go home.” More quietly Chip added, “But I’m not sure how long I can stay here, either. He… he talked to a friend of his yesterday.” Even through a telephone connection, Noah envisioned a shudder. “I don’t wanna be in videos.”

Oh shit. Videos. Noah slammed his hand against the wall. No!

“Charge extra for pictures, Noah,” Stevie had said. Noah’s pimp didn’t want to miss a buck, and every time Noah flexed and stretched, it was an easy extra that went straight into the pimp’s pocket.

 

Bad enough how Noah had made his living without adding hard evidence. It was only a matter of time before Stevie sent him to a studio.

 

Noah couldn’t go back in time and save his eighteen-year-old self, but he could save Chip. If only the guy would listen.

Purchase

Rocky Ridge Books | Amazon

Meet the Author

You will know Eden Winters by her distinctive white plumage and exuberant cry of “Hey, y’all!” in a Southern US drawl so thick it renders even the simplest of words unrecognizable. Watch out, she hugs!

Driven by insatiable curiosity, she possibly holds the world’s record for curriculum changes to the point that she’s never quite earned a degree but is a force to be reckoned with at Trivial Pursuit.

She’s trudged down hallways with police detectives, learned to disarm knife-wielding bad guys, and witnessed the correct way to blow doors off buildings. Her e-mail contains various snippets of forensic wisdom, such as “What would a dead body left in a Mexican drug tunnel look like after six months?” In the process of her adventures she has written fourteen m/m romance novels, has won several Rainbow Awards, was a Lambda Awards Finalist, and lives in terror of authorities showing up at her door to question her Internet searches.

When not putting characters in dangerous situations she’s a mild-mannered business executive, mother, grandmother, vegetarian, and PFLAG activist.

Her natural habitats are airports, coffee shops, and on the backs of motorcycles.

Website | Facebook | Twitter
Goodreads
|  eMail |Rocky Ridge Books

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

In Our Spotlight: Fallen Angel (The Angel of 13th Street Book 2) by Eden Winters (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

Title:  Fallen Angel

Series: The Angel of 13th Street 2

Author: Eden Winters

Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books

Release Date: 2/27/17

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 63,000 words

Genre: Romance, Age difference, urban, rent boys, redemption, second chances

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Who can save the rescuer of lost souls?

For ten years ex-rent boy Noah Everett has fought the good fight, offering second chances to those still in the life. Now he’s cracking under the stress. What began as a two-man mission is now going corporate, meaning rules, regulations and inexperienced volunteers needing guidance in a field Noah makes up as he goes along. Who can he turn to when his mentor’s strength is all but gone and his lover is leaving for college—possibly for good?

Four years at State with a full ride scholarship will launch Jeremy Kincaid’s future, but his present includes Noah, Doc, and the closest he’s ever had to a family. And a meth addict who’s become Jeremy’s own personal mission.

An attack sends Noah spinning out of control. Jeremy has to find the way to reach Noah before the man he knows and loves disappears forever.

Excerpt

Noah slammed a case of beer down in the cooler and fished his ringing cell phone out of his pocket. Nobody called his personal phone at this time of day without good reason.  “Noah Everett.”

“Noah? Hey, man. It’s Chip.”

Noah emerged from the cooler, passed through the bar and mouthed, “I’ll be back,” to Mary behind the bar. He stepped out the back door of The Twelfth Street Bar and Grill and plunked down onto a dry spot on the stoop. The rain had finally stopped, raising the humidity to sweltering levels. If this call didn’t need privacy he’d have stayed in the cooler.

“Have you thought any more about what we discussed?” Given the phone call, the caller probably had. Trouble was, thinking alone didn’t seem to be getting them anywhere.

The casual, “Yeah,” didn’t bode well.

“And?” Fuck.

A long silence followed. “Well, my… my boyfriend isn’t a bad man. I mean, he treats me good and stuff, it’s just that I don’t like… I don’t like—”

“You don’t like him pimping you out to other men,” Noah finished for Chip.

Inside his bar, sixty-seven notches decorated a doorframe, signifying sixty-seven rent boys who’d left prostitution behind and started over someplace else.

Had Doc Cook carved a notch somewhere when he’d pulled Noah from the gutter, dusted him off, and pointed him in the right direction?

What the hell made Chip stay with the user? Noah should’ve notched him in at sixty-eight by now. Instead Chip sat on a fence, dreaming of a better life and fooling himself into believing he could have it here.

 

An exasperated huff sounded in Noah’s ear. “Yeah. Things were cool until he started arranging dates for me.”

Arranging dates? Noah ran his fingers through his short hair and blew out a breath. Motherfucking pimps. More like pimples on the ass of mankind.

Chip continued trying to talk himself out of seeing reason. “I dunno, maybe he’ll stop. I mean, I know he loves me.”

Loves me? Chip had strange ideas of love. He loves me, and we’re only doing this until we have enough money to go away and have it be just us. Noah had said those same words to himself once.

 

But “us” never happened.

Empty promises had sustained him through sleazy meetings that had started with come-ons and a handful of cash and ended with Noah grateful when johns did him in a hotel room so he could scrub himself raw after they left.

And some johns had scared the fuck out of him.

Chip would be a hot commodity in certain markets. Cute, in an innocent, boy-next-door kind of way, easily influenced, with an inborn willingness to please, and, worse yet, gullible, much as Noah had been many years ago. Chip might as well hang a sign around his neck: “Use me!” No way would the boyfriend give up such a low maintenance source of cash.

Noah began pacing behind the building, boots crunching against gravel. Every kid who called forced him to relive his own past, his own fuck ups.

Damn it all to hell! Had the kid known so little love in his life that he’d cling to a sick illusion?

“Do you actually believe he’ll stop?” Noah kept because I sure as hell don’t to himself.

More silence, a sigh, and then a rare scrap of reality from Chip. “No.”

Noah forced his voice calm when he really wanted to jump through the phone and fix the dumb kid’s life before it was too late. “From what you’ve told me, your parents are out of the question, but how about your grandparents? Or older brother?” Those were Noah’s first choices: stick Chip on a bus and let others with a personal interest manage putting his life back together. Second choice? Put him on a bus to a safe house; let those better qualified handle the details.

This time, no uncertainly colored the adamant, “No! Definitely not! I can’t go home.” More quietly Chip added, “But I’m not sure how long I can stay here, either. He… he talked to a friend of his yesterday.” Even through a telephone connection, Noah envisioned a shudder. “I don’t wanna be in videos.”

Oh shit. Videos. Noah slammed his hand against the wall. No!

“Charge extra for pictures, Noah,” Stevie had said. Noah’s pimp didn’t want to miss a buck, and every time Noah flexed and stretched, it was an easy extra that went straight into the pimp’s pocket.

 

Bad enough how Noah had made his living without adding hard evidence. It was only a matter of time before Stevie sent him to a studio.

 

Noah couldn’t go back in time and save his eighteen-year-old self, but he could save Chip. If only the guy would listen.

Purchase

Rocky Ridge Books | Amazon

Meet the Author

You will know Eden Winters by her distinctive white plumage and exuberant cry of “Hey, y’all!” in a Southern US drawl so thick it renders even the simplest of words unrecognizable. Watch out, she hugs!

Driven by insatiable curiosity, she possibly holds the world’s record for curriculum changes to the point that she’s never quite earned a degree but is a force to be reckoned with at Trivial Pursuit.

She’s trudged down hallways with police detectives, learned to disarm knife-wielding bad guys, and witnessed the correct way to blow doors off buildings. Her e-mail contains various snippets of forensic wisdom, such as “What would a dead body left in a Mexican drug tunnel look like after six months?” In the process of her adventures she has written fourteen m/m romance novels, has won several Rainbow Awards, was a Lambda Awards Finalist, and lives in terror of authorities showing up at her door to question her Internet searches.

When not putting characters in dangerous situations she’s a mild-mannered business executive, mother, grandmother, vegetarian, and PFLAG activist.

Her natural habitats are airports, coffee shops, and on the backs of motorcycles.

Website | Facebook | Twitter
Goodreads
|  eMail |Rocky Ridge Books

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Blog Button 2

A MelanieM Review: Foundation of Trust (Cost of Repairs #5) by A.M. Arthur

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Not everyone gets a second chance with their first love.

Foundation of Trust coverDavid Weller had it all and then it was gone.  Once day David had a loving partner and soon to be stepson, a business he enjoyed and his health.  In one day’s time, everything David thought he knew and had in his life shattered and was gone.  A devastating diagnosis,and a partner who disappeared along with his son.  All gone.

Now four years later, David is still trying to cope with the past and not doing a very good job of it.  He has started a catering business with a friend that’s thriving but his private life is a mess.  Afraid to trust, filled with anger, David spends his nights in one night stands and increasingly dangerous hookups, using pain to assuage his memories and fear.  And then the impossible happens when his ex partner reappears, son in tow and everything changes.

Owen Hart has a life filled with poor life choices and bad decisions.  But Owen thought he left everything behind him when he met David Weller.  Knowing and loving David meant accepting his own homosexuality, loving David meant having a home not only for himself  but for his son.  Then Owen was forced to leave David and the life they had built together.  No warnings, Owen and his son just disappeared.  Now years later, Owen is back to make things right and hopefully make David love and forgive him once more.

A chance encounter proves to David and Owen that the feelings they had for each other remain as explosive as ever, but the wounds inflicted on David by Owen’s disappearance are deep.  Can David ever forgive Owen for his deception and the pain he caused David?  Both men have changed in the years gone by but when a second chance at love and a future together opens up, can the past be forgiven in order for them to have a future together?

Foundation of Trust is the fifth story in the Cost of Repairs series by A.M. Arthur.  As it is also the only story I have read from that series, I approached with carefully wondering how it would work as a stand alone tale.  I shouldn’t have wondered, Foundation of Trust is a beautifully written and well structured story that works on its own.  A tale of poor life choices and second chances, it’s enduring theme and characters pulled me into their story completely, keeping me happily committed from the beginning to end.

I love the reunited lovers trope.  In Foundation of Trust, A.M. Arthur works her magic to give us two wounded men who are truly incomplete without the other, no matter how hard one of them tries to deny it.  In bits and pieces, the author slowly unravels the steps and bad choices that destroyed their partnership and drove Owen to disappear, taking his son who David loved like his own with him.  The devastation that action had upon David and the emotions and pain that followed  come across as utterly deep, and long lasting.  The betrayal and disappearance shattering David just when he needed Owen’s support the most.

A thread that runs throughout this story is the impact a heartrending medical diagnosis can have upon a person’s life and mental outlook.  Without support and with a disasterous back history, learning that one has a serious medical condition is shattering and Arthur is able to bring that situation to life with David’s character.   It was a realistic and moving choice and it works here beautifully.

Owen too has had a troubled past, one that refuses to let him go.  Without giving away any spoilers, I thought that Owen, his strained relationship with his son, and the tough fight ahead of him to make amends and be forgiven are all realistically portrayed.  Owen is as full of pain over the damage he caused, not only to David but his son as well.  Arthur makes sure that there is no instant forgiveness or easy solutions to these mens issues and problems of the past.

I enjoyed this story so throughly that it will send me back to the rest of the series to see what else A. M. Arthur has in store for the characters involved here.  If you love a story of lovers reunited,  of past hurts and betrayals overcome and redemption earned, then Foundation of Trust by A. M. Arthur is the story for you.  I highly recommend it and am now off to search out her other stories and series to date.

Cover artist Lyn Taylor did a wonderful job of bringing the characters and tone of the story to the design and tone of the cover.

Sales Links:   Samhain Publishing       All Romance eBook (ARe)   Amazon  Foundation of Trust

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 239 pages
Expected publication: October 21st 2014 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
original titleFoundation of Trust
ASINB00KT23WJU
edition languageEnglish
seriesCost of Repairs #5

Books in the Series Include:

Cost of Repairs (Cost of Repairs, #1)
Color of Grace (Cost of Repairs, #2)
Weight of Silence (Cost of Repairs, #3)
Acts of Faith (Cost of Repairs #4)
Foundation of Trust (Cost of Repairs, #5)