A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Escaping Mortality (Escape Trilogy #3) by Sara Dobie Bauer

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

And the finale of the Escape Trilogy lived up to all expectations! Andrew and Edmund found the Elder just in time to save Edmund’s life. But…and it’s a very big but…the Elder seems to have a connection to Edmund that Andrew doesn’t share. And it’s something that might make or break his relationship with Andrew. Oh no…just when I thought it was safe and my favorite vampire couple was going to be able to live happily ever after—literally—it appeared something was going to stop that from happening.

But I digress. In this installment, Andrew, Edmund, and yes, the Elder, Michelle, and Felipe all continue their sea voyage to England after Edmund’s life is saved by the Elder converting him to a vampire. But when they arrive at Edmund’s mother’s estate, they find that she’s more than physically ill—her mental faculties are failing as well. The adventure in this story lies in finding out what is going on with Edmund’s mother at the same time Andrew is learning just exactly what Brien, the Elder, plans for Edmund, because it’s very evident that Edmund has changed—and not just to a vampire. As the blurb states, Andrew has to battle for his heart and his soul.

No spoilers here. All I can say is that those who read this trilogy will love the complexity churned up by Sara Dobie Bauer’s imagination. And as much as I’d like to say this can be read as a standalone, it really should be read after the first two. None are very long so they are easy to devour. I highly recommend this book, and this series, to those who enjoy MM romance with a bit of vampire thrown in.

The cover by Natasha Snow is perfect for this story and is done in the same theme as others in the series. Very attractive!

Sales Links: 

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Details:ebook
Published January 28th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781949909913
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEscape Trilogy #3

 

A MelanieM Review: One-On-One (Cayuga Cougars #5) by V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

The past few years have been a bit chaotic for Cougars new associate coach, Lancaster Hart. After an amiable divorce he began living his life as the gay man he’d kept closeted for far too long. With the recent move to Cayuga, he’s away from his support system and properly made sweet tea. Despite a roster filled with new friends and associates, he’s spending his nights alone.

As his team gears up to make a run at the Calder Cup, Lancaster discovers that not everything in upstate New York is wine, woodlands, and chilly conservative ideals. At a summer music festival, he first lays eyes on Townsend Harris, folksy/blues singer by night and mayoral office assistant by day. Lancaster is enraptured with the man’s powerful sultry voice. Also, Town just might be the most beautiful man he has seen in all his forty-one years.

The two hit it off at an informal meet and greet after the show, where they spend the night talking and sipping wine. One evening of conversation and an incendiary goodbye kiss leads them into a scorching love affair that might be exactly what Lancaster has been searching for his whole life. Can his team pull off professionally what he’s hoping to do privately as well? Or will capturing their dream evade both the Cougars and Lancaster?

Let me state right away that I loved this story.  The couple (Townsend Harris and Lancaster Hart) filled me with warmth, laughter, and more love than I expected. I easily could have used several books dedicated to these two men, their now extended family, and their new journey together.  That’s how much I came to adore them.  They were funny, relatable, and that dialog often had me giggling madly away!  Then came Lancaster’s kids and grandmother Marigold, and my love affair was complete and seriously, I need more books with this troop!  This is a story that I felt was just beginning with readers, not ending.

Call it the Harris/Hart Family Saga….

And the Cayuga Cougars….

Well, yes, I think that’s probably my issue with a book I loved.  It’s a story full of beginnings and its supposed to be a series finale. A story about endings. Instead there’s a huge element with a pair that’s absolutely a cliffhanger.

For me, a series finale wraps things up.  Gives its characters and its readers a sense of closure, hopefully happy ones, but closure nevertheless. Storylines are ended, arcs come to a close, and couples/their relationships head out the door in a manner that make all those stories we read mean something.  For us and them.

And while we end up with a team that accomplished one thing, it’s also in a state fraught with uncertainty.  Realistic? Yes.  A series finale? Hmmmm, perhaps not.

Now there are three more books coming to be written about one couple.  But it’s not a team book.  So a sense of incompletion lingers. At least for me.

So, did I love One-On-One (Cayuga Cougars #5) by V.L. Locey?  Yes.  I took Townsend and Lancaster completely into my heart.  I adored their romance and the town of Cayuga. I got to see it in a way I’ve never seen it before.  It was an intimate portrait of a small village and its people.  Scenic, layered, and so connectable.  Had it not been a series finale, the rating would have been considerably higher.

Only that aspect of the story brought the rating down because it just doesn’t  feel like a series finale to me.  I’m left thinking there’s more to come, more for each team member to play a role in another story and that’s not how a series finale should leave me.

I do recommend this story and the series.  It’s a terrific ride, especially if you love hockey and romance.

Cover Design: Rêverie Design & Formatting.  I like the cover, goes with the series and the models ages could be older enough to be the characters.

Sales Links:

Book Details:

ebook
Published January 16th 2019
Edition Language English

Series Cayuga Cougars #5

Cayuga Cougars Series

Book #1 – Snap Shot – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Open Net – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Coach’s Challenge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Overtime – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – One-On-One series finale

 

Cayuga Cougars (5 books)

  • Snap Shot (Cayuga Cougars, #1)
  • Open Net (Cayuga Cougars, #2)
  • Coach's Challenge (Cayuga Cougars, #3)
  • Overtime (Cayuga Cougars #4)

Review Tour and Giveaway for One-On-One (Cayuga Cougars #5) by V.L. Locey

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Buy Links:

 
Length: 57,000 words approx.
 
 

Cayuga Cougars Series

Book #1 – Snap Shot – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Open Net – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Coach’s Challenge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Overtime – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

The past few years have been a bit chaotic for Cougars new associate coach, Lancaster Hart. After an amiable divorce he began living his life as the gay man he’d kept closeted for far too long. With the recent move to Cayuga, he’s away from his support system and properly made sweet tea. Despite a roster filled with new friends and associates, he’s spending his nights alone.

As his team gears up to make a run at the Calder Cup, Lancaster discovers that not everything in upstate New York is wine, woodlands, and chilly conservative ideals. At a summer music festival, he first lays eyes on Townsend Harris, folksy/blues singer by night and mayoral office assistant by day. Lancaster is enraptured with the man’s powerful sultry voice. Also, Town just might be the most beautiful man he has seen in all his forty-one years.

The two hit it off at an informal meet and greet after the show, where they spend the night talking and sipping wine. One evening of conversation and an incendiary goodbye kiss leads them into a scorching love affair that might be exactly what Lancaster has been searching for his whole life. Can his team pull off professionally what he’s hoping to do privately as well? Or will capturing their dream evade both the Cougars and Lancaster?

 

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for One-On-One (Cayuga Cougars #5) by V.L. Locey

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Buy Links:Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2DcQepb

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2AOxCdv

 
Length: 57,000 words approx.
 
 

Cayuga Cougars Series

Book #1 – Snap Shot – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Open Net – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Coach’s Challenge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Overtime – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

The past few years have been a bit chaotic for Cougars new associate coach, Lancaster Hart. After an amiable divorce he began living his life as the gay man he’d kept closeted for far too long. With the recent move to Cayuga, he’s away from his support system and properly made sweet tea. Despite a roster filled with new friends and associates, he’s spending his nights alone.

As his team gears up to make a run at the Calder Cup, Lancaster discovers that not everything in upstate New York is wine, woodlands, and chilly conservative ideals. At a summer music festival, he first lays eyes on Townsend Harris, folksy/blues singer by night and mayoral office assistant by day. Lancaster is enraptured with the man’s powerful sultry voice. Also, Town just might be the most beautiful man he has seen in all his forty-one years.

The two hit it off at an informal meet and greet after the show, where they spend the night talking and sipping wine. One evening of conversation and an incendiary goodbye kiss leads them into a scorching love affair that might be exactly what Lancaster has been searching for his whole life. Can his team pull off professionally what he’s hoping to do privately as well? Or will capturing their dream evade both the Cougars and Lancaster?

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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Tere Michaels on Characters, the end of a Series and her new collection Forever & Ever: A Collection of Stories (Faith, Love & Devotion #7)

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Forever & Ever: A Collection of Stories

(Faith, Love & Devotion #7)

by

Tere Michaels

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tere Michaels here today on tour with Forever & Ever: A Collection of Stories
(Faith, Love & Devotion #7) by Tere Michaels.  Faith, Love & Devotion has always been one of my favorite series and I will say it’s hard to say goodbye to it. So Tere’s talking about her characters, the collection and the final chapter.

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Tere Michaels

 

Thank you so much for having me!

Writing the final chapter in the Faith, Love & Devotion series has been a bittersweet experience for me. These characters are so precious to me, and I wanted to give the readers a glimpse past “Happily Ever After” into the future. So it’s happy – but also a little bit sad to say good-bye!

By doing a collection of stories, I was able to extend my reach beyond a year in the life, or a few years. I tried to hit some of the big events, both good and not-so-good, focusing on how these characters would handle it. (Spoiler alert: a lot of sarcasm and a few moist eyes.)

Forever & Ever is a love letter to my readers, a thank you for all their support over the past ten years. And of course, the bow on top is finally getting Matt and Evan hitched!

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

What’s funny to me, in revisiting Matt and Evan, and Griffin and Jim, is seeing how much of my own marriage is represented in their relationships! The basis of my relationship is humor – it’s our love language. And I realized how much I inject that into my characters.

Also overthinking. Matt might have my sharp tongue but Evan has my overactive brain! 

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

HEA! That’s why I’m in this game – I want you to feel like these characters stay together far beyond “the end.” Like, these people are so perfect for each other, they’ve earned their happy ending and you never have to worry about them again. LOL

I read a lot of different genres but I feel very strongly about romance having an HEA. The emotional arc is the most important thing, so when I get to the end, I want that “forever” to be earned and memorable and meaningful.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

My first romance was “Palomino” by Danielle Steele, purchased for change at a garage sale. I read ALL her books, for years (“Fine Things” and “The Ring” are two of my favorites), but mostly I read historicals. Celeste De Blasis’ “Black Swan Trilogy” was my obsession. I loved that series.

YA wasn’t really a thing when I was a teen so I went straight from Nancy Drew to adult romance novels! It’s funny that I only write contemporaries when I refused to read them as a teen/young adult.

  • Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  

Weirdly enough, my biggest influencer was Dean Koontz. The first book I read of his – “Lightning” – was a contemporary love story/sci-fi book with time-traveling Nazis. I was knocked off my feet because it was this perfect blend of genres and tropes, with snappy dialogue and humor and emotion. And I thought – my God, you’re allowed to write like this!? It was a revelation. I really feel like that book was a key that unlocked my writer’s voice.  I didn’t need to write “formally.” I could be me.

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

It’s like choosing your favorite child! (I only have one child so that’s not exactly hard for me…)

Two books immediately come to mind, and probably not the ones people would imagine. “Love & Loyalty,” the second book in the Faith, Love & Devotion series is my favorite. It took me three tries to start that book, and Griffin took forever to be born in my head but once he showed up, that book was a joy to write. There are still moments that make me cry when I read them!

The second is my novella “Holiday Roommates.” I was struggling with writer’s block and one day a man in an elf suit bemoaning his life popped into my head and boom! Nate Brandywine arrived and my block was wiped out. Nate and Sean are the epitome of my writing – they are both good people struggling through rough times, but they still work to help other people, and never lose their sense of humor. I love them dearly.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I am writing a new series, set against the backdrop of a Broadway show. Since Broadway musicals are one of my favorite things in the world, I am loving the chance to play in this world! I’ll be following several characters involved in the production (actors, a director, the money man), and their romances, as well as the show itself moving from casting to opening night.

I also have the last Vigilante book finally coming out in 2019! And another secret project I can’t quite talk about just yet! 

  • What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I like good people who are trying to grow and learn and heal. People who are eager to know themselves better. All my characters are on a personal journey – good people, doing their best, and not always succeeding. I can’t write an anti-hero. Even my Vigilante series character is basically a really good guy, who doesn’t always make the best decisions! That internal struggle fascinates me about people, and it always, always finds its way into my characters. In fact, that internal journey is the basis to my stories – it’s where a book starts for me.

  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

That’s a tough one! I write stories about real people working through real life hardships on their way to a happy ending to bring some positivity into the world. If someone reads one of my books and goes – yeah, let’s keep going. I can do this – then my work here is done.

And that’s why I write for a living. But for me, personally – I don’t how to stop. LOL Even if I’m not writing words down, stories are still being born in my head. It’s been that way my entire life and it’s like trying to explain why you breathe. The alternative doesn’t really exist.  

About Forever & Ever – A Faith, Love, & Devotion Anthology

What happens after the story ends?

Join Matt, Evan, Jim, Griffin, and their friends and families for a glimpse of what happens after happily ever after. Between growing up and growing pains, weddings and retirement, changing careers and changing diapers, life is never boring. Changes, decisions, tears, and joy await as the years march on.

Faith, Love, & Devotion Series:

 

About the Author

Tere Michaels unofficially began her writing career at the age of four when she learned – via a Disney magazine subscription – that people got paid to write stories. It seemed the most perfect and logical job in the world and after that, her path was never in question.

Tere’s specialties are snark, angst, and happily ever afters. And not so happily ever afters that eventually work out because she is, after all, a romantic – tempered with realism. She has written fifteen books including her popular Faith, Love & Devotion series and the superhero saga The Vigilante.

Nothing makes her happier than knowing she made a reader laugh or smile or cry. It’s the purpose of sharing her work with people. She loves hearing from fans and fellow writers and is always available for speaking engagements, visits, and workshops. Send her a message through her contact page or connect with her on Twitter(@TereMichaels) and Facebook .

Tere Michaels

www.teremichaels.com

https://twitter.com/TereMichaels

A MelanieM New Release Review: Owned by Fate (Dragon Soul #5) by Sean Michael

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

The Beteferoce brothers: five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power and a destiny that will not be denied.

Dr. Mike Beteferoce turned his back on magic long ago. His heart broke and his desire for a soul mate disappeared. When he sees his family crest branded above Corryn’s heart, his first instinct is to flee. The last thing he wants now is a Fae interfering in his life—especially one who has already rejected him.

But fate has other plans.

Corryn knows Mike is his soul mate, has known since the sigil was branded on his skin centuries ago. Long before Mike came to him as a studly young dragon just entering his prime. It was far too early for them to be together then, but now their time has come.

But despite their draw to each other, Corryn doesn’t believe Mike can accept him for who—and what—he is. Mike must breathe life into their bond—loving Corryn as both soul mate and Fae—if they are to fulfill their destiny

In what I assumes is the finale for the Dragon Soul series,Owned by Fate (Dragon Soul #5) by Sean Michael gives us the last story of the fifth Beteferoce dragon brother.  He’s the one that has been missing from the other brother’s stories, a mere mention in passing of a brother who never comes to close into the new family dynamics that is happening.  Each brother has been finding his mate, drawn in part through a tattoo placed there by Corryn, an elf long in service to the Beteferoce family.  But we never knew exactly what  Mike or Corryn’s story was. Now we get both because they are fiercely intertwined as we should have suspected.

In a  deeply satisfying finale, we learn the origin of Corryn’s role with the Beteferoce brothers, the magical tattoos he’s used to draw each mate to each brother, and his own back history with Mike.  In one section, it’s unbelievably painful, enough to draw tears, I’ve come to care that much for Corryn over the series.  All the brothers and their mates for that matter, so it’s an enormous plus that we get the inclusion of all the couples here at the end for the big finale.

I loved the section with all the mated pairs flying together as I could see it so clearly.  My only wish is that this book was twice as long.  Half for the couple to figure their relationship and the rest to all come together to untangle the lore surrounding them  and their mates and the resolution.

But I will be happy with Owned by Fate. It supplied me with the answers to the questions raised in the other stories, all the brothers appeared with their mates and got their HEA, and a lovely finale!  Sigh!  Dragons are definitely a weakness of mine and Sean Michael’s series checked all the boxes.  If you love sexy men, kinky hot scenes, and dragons this is the series for you!

Cover art is nice, brands the series and is eye catching.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 234 pages
Published December 3rd 2018 by Carina Press
ASIN B07DCTM62M
Edition Language English
Series Dragon Soul

 

Series:

Branded by Flames

Seduced by the Tide

Bound by Thorns

Born of Air

Owned by Fate

An Ali Review: Rough Trade (The Woodbury Boys #3) by Sidney Bell

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 Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Quick-witted hustler Ghost is no stranger to living dangerously; survival has always been the name of the game.

He’s just always gone it alone.

Now he’s got the wrong people breathing down his neck, and the only way out demands placing his trust in the unlikeliest of heroes: Duncan Rook, a gruff cop whose ethics are as solid as his body.

Cozying up to a criminal is hardly what Duncan’s reputation on the force needs—especially when that criminal is temptation personified. Ghost is Duncan’s polar opposite, and the last person he expected to fall for.

So then why does every imaginable scenario for taking down their common enemy end with Ghost in his arms?

This was the exciting ending to the Woodbury Boys trilogy.  The story has two aspects.  One is the case of the crooked policemen that they’re working together on and the other is their relationship.
The case was action packed and could be made into a movie. There’s fighting and car chases and shoot outs.  I thoroughly enjoyed how this part of the story played out and how it gets wrapped up
I was most looking forward to the relationship aspect though.  I admit I was a bit worried going in to this.  Ghost has had a terrible past and he’s suffered a lot of trauma over the years. I was really worried that the author might try to wrap up all his issues with the love of a good man as we so often see in romance stories.  She didn’t though.  She made Ghost’s progression very gritty and very realistic.  He works so hard for his happily ever after.  When he gets there though it is beautiful.  The epilogue made my ears tear up I was so happy for him.  Ghost was a very complex and well written character and his sense of humor helped break up some of the more emotionally heavy scenes.
Duncan wasn’t at all what I would have thought as a match for Ghost but he ended up being perfect. He was so calm.  He took Ghost’s issues seriously and he respected his boundaries which really needed to happen in a story which such a serious plotline.
I had high hopes going into this book and I’m really excited to say this exceeded my expectations.  I loved every minute of this book and I’m sure this is going to make my Top 10 list for the year.  This should not be read as a standalone as the criminal case is an ongoing one since book one. You should also note a content warning for non-graphic child sexual abuse flashbacks.
If you haven’t started this trilogy I highly recommend it. All three books have been 5 star reads for me and some of the best books I’ve read this year.
Cover Art has the typical two male torsos with a nice depiction of the beach below.  Not exactly startling.
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Published December 3rd 2018 by Carina Press
ASIN B07DCSP72Z
Edition Language English
Series The Woodbury Boys #3
setting Colorado (United States)

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Quenched in Blood (Asheville Arcana #3) by Ari McKay

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Will love mean rebirth… or death?

Vampire Julian Schaden has been warning the Asheville Paranormal Council of an impending demonic incursion for more than two decades. Over the past two years, he and his friends have fought as hard as they can with little help, since Micah Carter, the demon hunter who should have led them, shirked his responsibility and then perished.

Desperate for anything that might aid the fight, Julian enters the Carter property and finds something he never dared hope for: young Thomas Carter, the heir to a long line of demon hunters.

Thomas knows nothing about the supernatural world. But the prospect of a real life, outside the sheltered, isolated farm where he grew up, calls to him, and the idea of fighting the Unholy feels right.

Julian agrees to train Thomas even as he struggles against an unexpected, unwanted attraction. Thomas is too young and innocent to get involved with Julian, but opposites attract, and this is one battle Julian seems fated to lose. A prophecy from a dying mage comes with a bleak warning: the upcoming battle will claim Thomas’s life. To keep his home and friends safe, Julian may have to sacrifice the only love he’s ever known.

The Asheville Arcana series/trilogy comes to an end with Quenched in Blood (Asheville Arcana #3) by Ari McKay.  Three close friends, Arden Gilmarin, Whimsey Hickes, Julian Schaden, (with former benefits) will have found  their mates/lovers and HEA and the series arc resolves with a crashing thunderous finale. 

The previous stories have introduced  the fact that there’s a major demon in the area looking for an artifact.  And to that end the demon will kill, enslave, and perform many heinous actions and be the master ordering the slaughter of many of those close to the main characters here.  It’s been a wild emotional ride watching half-elf Arden Gilmarin fall in love with alpha werewolf Eli Hammond in Out of the Ashes, the first in the series Equally so, Harlan Edgewood, possessed werewolf,  fall for mage Whimsy Hickes in Forged in Fire.  Whimsy Hickes remains still one of my all time favorite character names.  Thank you, Ari McKay!

Now it’s vampire Julian Schaden’s turn.  He has had a rough time watching his former lovers and friends find their HEA and mates.  He’s withdrawn from everyone into his castle, seemingly to conduct research but mostly to remove himself from the society of others.  Meanwhile the threat of the demon and those it is changing to help  accomplish its goals is growing stranger.

McKay is excellent at drawing out the suspense while creating anguish over the events and actions of the demon at large.  Who and what that demon is will not be revealed until late in the story.  As it should be.

The majority of the story is finding Micah Carter, his training, and relationship with Julian.  I wish that the story here was longer and maybe stronger.  I almost felt that he and Julian needed more time together for their relationship to “gell” as much as the others did.  I liked them together but for some reason never quite got as much as a emotional connection as I did the other two couples.

I think that’s because the other two stories didn’t have to carry as much a load as this  one did.  It had not only Julian and Micah’s romance but the ongoing story exposition, and then the series arc finale.  That’s a huge narrative load to carry and I think some elements had to lighten under that burden, the romance being one of them.

I thought the march towards the end and fighting scenes spectacular and heartbreaking.  I was so happy with the resolution although again, a little more explanation would have been wonderful.  That can be a dicy thing when ending a series.

When I look from the first introduction of the three men to the very last sentence, to the entire series arc, each relationship, the world building, and all the characters (quirks, cultures, and back histories), I think that Ari McKay accomplished a remarkable thing.  The Asheville Arcana series is a fun, scary, hair-raising thrill ride of a romance trilogy and this was a wonderful send off.

I definitely recommend this and  all the rest.

Cover art: Aaron Anderson.  Love the cover with it’s incorporation of an important element of the storyline.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 228 pages
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781640809444
Edition Language English
Series Asheville Arcana

Out of the Ashes

 

Forged in Fire

Quenched in Blood

A Lila Release Day Review: Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Chase Holland spends his days painting Portland scenes to hang in local businesses, neglecting his own surrealist style. After twenty-five years as a full-time artist, he’s frustrated that his career has stalled, but churning out the equivalent of corporate art is better than getting a day job. Chase and Garrett have been together—off and on, but mostly on—for a decade. If asked, they would both say the source of their trouble is the seventeen-year age gap. The truth is less clear-cut. Life would be so much easier if Chase could make a living with his own art, or if Garrett held less conventional ideas about relationships.

Garrett Frisch has been watching their friends get married for the past two years, and it’s taking an emotional toll. When he proposes as a way to keep them together permanently, he thinks he’s being responsible, but Chase is ambivalent and hurt and can’t hide it. It doesn’t help that Garrett’s anxiety is out of control and he’s dealing with insecurities about his own art career. They will have to do their least favorite thing—talk about something more important than which food cart to visit—if they are to get the happy ending they both want.

Art House is the last book in the Buchanan House series and it delivers a lovely new story. Plus, it gives us a last hurrah with the rest of the couples. We get to see a little more of their journeys and how their love and friendships have developed over time. It’s nice to be part of their family.

As for this particular book, I have to be honest, it’s not one of my favorites but it’s the most real of them all. It is very depressing, but not because of the content. It’s because the reader becomes one with Chase and Garrett. Their troubles are palpable and the reader has no other option but to share the burden with them.

Don’t get me wrong, the book is interesting and hard to put down. The love and passion between the MCs are breathtaking and the extremes they go to keep each other from falling apart are incredible. Their relationship takes place within ten years but is not until the very end that they turned a new page and commit to their future. It’s not easy but it is exactly what they needed.

Everyone in this story plays an important part in Chase’s and Garrett’s happy ending. They are the bumpers that kept them from losing themselves in the darkness that followed them. Their actions, words, and encouragement are intense and hopeful. This was definitely the right couple to wrap-up this series.

The book has another perfect cover by L.C. Chase. It’s not only beautiful but it goes perfectly with the story and the covers for the rest of the series.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Amazon | iBooks

Book Details:

ebook, 254 pages
Published: August 21, 2018, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781640805668
Edition Language: English

Series: Buchanan House
Book #1: Buchanan House
Book #2: Pride Weekend
Book #3: Tiny House
Book #4: Safe House
Book #5: Holiday Weekend
Book #6: Art House

A MelanieM Review: Haka Ever After (The Sin Bin #7) by Dahlia Donovan

Standard

Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

You are cordially invited to the Sin Bin wedding of the year—kilts required, undergarments optional.

Taine Afoa has faced opponents on the rugby pitch without an ounce of fear. He hopes to find the same courage when asking the love of his life to marry him. First, though, he has to ask Freddie’s fathers for their blessing.

If Taine survives, popping the question should be a breeze.

Freddie Whittle knows Taine has something up his sleeve. A yes forms on his lips before the question is even asked. But can they survive the madness of friends and family, all wanting to help plan their wedding?

As their May-December romance tumbles into happily ever after, one surprise after the other brings them more joy than they ever imagined possible.

The short story Haka Ever After is the seventh (and last) book in Dahlia Donovan’s international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.

Haka Ever After (The Sin Bin #7) by Dahlia Donovan is, as a certain someone would say, practically perfect in every way.  It’s one flaw?  It’s just too short.  I love this series and it’s flawed, amazing, and totally endearing couples.  The synopsis indicates that this is to be the last in the series although from the author’s site list she had planned for just one more so I’m not sure what’s to become of Zeb & Silius.

Still, if no further stories appear, I will be thrilled that Donovan ended it here with Haka Ever After.  It’s certainly a most suitable way for the series to go out, on the wedding of Taine and Freddie with the involvement of all the rugby brotherhood and their partners and  amazing circle of family and friends.  Everyone we have gotten to know and love over the course of six stories, their troubles and their journey forward to love and HEA, they are here, enthusing this tale with warmth and laughter.  And joy.

Our connection to them all has remained strong and snaps smartly back into place as each couple makes their appearance here helping Taine and Freddie get married.  Such an special celebration warrants special heartwarming events…I won’t spoil them but get your tissues handy.   Maybe even a box.

This story was just too short.  Those wedding presents to each other needed several chapters more per present.  I needed to know more about those travels in depth.  It was special, and moving, and I could see it all so clearly.  Yes, I may start sniffling again.

From kilts to an amazing send off, it’s so hard to let these men go.  I may have to start re-reading this series all over again.  If you are new to the series, treat yourself and head immediately to The Wanderer and begin your journey with The Sin Bin series there.  I highly recommend them all, including this amazing farewell story.

Cover art: Claire Smith.  This is probably my favorite cover of the entire series.  Beautifully done while still continuing to brand the series in style and color.

Sales Links:  Hot Tree Publishing  | Amazon

Book Details:Kindle Edition
Published July 28th 2018 by Hot Tree Publishing
ASINB07DL6LB7X
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Sin Bin #7

The Sin Bin Series:

1. The Wanderer – BC & Graham

2. The Caretaker – Tens & Freddie

3. The Botanist (short story) – Aled & Wyatt

4. The Royal Marine – Hamish & Akash

5 The Unexpected Santa (short story) – Gray & Scottie

6. The Lion Tamer – Gray & Scottie

7. The Haka Ever After (short story) – Tens & Freddie

8. TBD – Zeb & Silus