The Moonling Prince by Wendy Rathbone

Tahir is an empath and a healer. He has lived his whole life at the Onyx Temple. When the king from the Realm of the September Stars seeks his help, Tahir leaves his own world behind to answer the plea.

Arulu is the crown prince of the September Stars, but he cannot serve. For twenty years he has suffered crippling pain, the side-effect of a splinter-bomb attack from unknown origins that destroyed the Realm’s home world, Lyric Prime.

For two decades no one has been able to ease the prince’s suffering, until Tahir arrives. But nothing is ever easy. Haunted by ghosts and riddled with mistrust, Arulu is no normal patient

Can Tahir ever hope to earn Arulu’s trust?

Will Arulu survive the aftermath and grief of the healing process?

Love is the master of healing, but for Tahir and Arulu it is not an easy road.

Get it from Amazon 

 

Kimi’s thoughts:

Wendy Rathbone has woven a complex future society where empaths are highly sought after, having had their gifts trained in order to heal. Tahir receives the urgent call from the king of the September Stars system and accepts the king’s request. The tension felt by Tahir builds and it’s no wonder- decades before an unknown enemy decimated the homeworld of that system and they withdrew behind an impenetrable force field. 

The descriptions are gorgeous, just enough futuristic details to build the setting and further the plot but without alienating the reader by having them try to keep track of the unfamiliar. If it wasn’t for the nature of the attack and Arulu’s injury, nor the dependence of the September Stars on the starship technology that they sold in trade, one ould almost think they were reading an alternative world fantasy of some description. Indeed, the story is a lovely blending of the two genres, with metaphysical truths coming into play. 

 

The relationship between Arulu and Tahir is not one occurs instantly. I quite enjoyed watching the two men circle around each other warily, while Tahir himself questions his own ethics. It was a story that immersed me thoroughly from the very first page and I will admit to reading it in one sitting and then grabbing the next book immediately after, then hoping for a third. 

Rating: 5

Love’s Tethered Heart by C.L. Etta

 

From Dreamspinner:

Two years ago Mick and his partner suffered a savage gay bashing that left Mick a quadriplegic-and ended his dreams of traveling the world as an archaeologist. Abandoned by the man he loved, he lives in isolation, tethered to his bed by the machines keeping him alive,with only his caretakers and immediate family as companions.

Assigned to interview Mick and uncover the story behind his assault and his refusal to identify his attackers, journalist Danny is unprepared for his reaction to the fragile enigmatic man. Mick is afraid to let Danny into his life, and Danny is unsure how to change his mind. Mick is also keeping secrets, and he isn’t the only one. Danny is determined to protect Mick, and he’s determined to show Mick that their feelings for each other can thrive amidst the mechanics of Mick’s existence.

If you enjoy romantic tales of heartbreak turned to hope, the life-affirming story of Danny and Mick will make you believe in the possibility of love for everyone-no matter what obstacles they face.

REVIEW: This awesome, amazing, compelling, and fantastic book is one that had me crying until my eyes were red, and laughing until I choked.

Mico has got to be one of the bravest, engaging, and strongest individuals I’ve ever read about. He came out of a situation that would have left many others shattered into pieces. With the help of his friends, family, and caregivers, he’s living his life the best that he can.

Ah, Danny! I can’t help but love and admire him. He’s passionate, loyal, stubborn, determined, and sees Mico as an individual with hopes, dreams, fears, and flaws, not just a lump of flesh attached to the machines that keep him alive. My heart broke into a million pieces when Mick left Danny right after declaring his love for Danny, but the ending took me by surprise. The last paragraph of the blurb sums this wonderful book up perfectly, and I DEFINITELY recommend it to everyone.

 

Rating: amazing

King’s Lament by Lilia Blanc

Betrayed by his advisers, only the love of two mysterious men can rescue Inea and save his kingdom.

After the death of his father, Inea finds himself the unprepared king of a country at war. When his council forsakes him, and he’s thrown into the dungeons of his own castle, the young man manages to escape only with the help of the intriguing stranger Ansyn.

After one year in hiding, Inea, driven by desire, seeks out Ansyn and discovers that there is more to his savior than he could have ever hoped for. Joined by their new ally Kaedon, passions build, and they find themselves in a romance that helps fuel their plan to reclaim the throne.

REVIEW: After checking out the blurb I was really looking forward to reading this book. It started out with some nail-biting action, then the hero was wandering the countryside looking to build an army to reclaim his throne. Sounds exciting, right? Wrong. Most of the book was about Inea and crew on their quest, and all of the characters, especially Ansyn, acted like a bunch of immature, spoiled, and just plain whiny brats! The exciting, action-packed battle at the end of the story ALMOST made up for slogging through the book, but not enough. I really enjoyed reading about the world built by this author. I just wish the inhabitants had been as interesting. This book might be a good story to some, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Rating: 3

Get it from Amazon

 

Stallions and Ice by Stephanie Hecht

                Review by Michelle

TITLE: Stallions and Ice

SERIES: Unconventional in Kansas City Anthology 

AUTHOR: Stephanie Hecht

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: January17, 2017

BLURB: Part of the Unconventional in Kansas City anthology!

Sometimes you have to climb a mountain to see the future.

While Brandon loves to go and watch his friend, Nichole, at the American Royal every year, there is no way that he is ever going to climb on a horse. His feet belong on the ground or the ice. As one the of the players of the local minor league team, the Wichita Thunder, all he dreams about is someday moving up to the major leagues. That is, until he meets Nichole’s brother, Ethan.

Ethan grew up in a family that has always been in the rodeo circuit. There was no question that he was ever going to be anything else…until he’s sidelined by seizures and can no longer ride. Then he meets Brandon and he begins to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, his life isn’t over.

Will decades of tradition tear the men apart? Or can they can overcome all their obstacles and be together?

REVIEW: I have to admit that because this book was so short my expectations were very limited. I was sure I would not be able to connect with the characters. I mean how could you when the book is barely over 50 pages. Well, I’m happy to say I was wrong.

Brandon, a goalie on a hockey team, goes to see his best girlfriend compete at the Rodeo. Of course since Brandon is gay it’s no hardship for him to be around all those cowboys. He meets up with his friend Nichole, who comes from a large family of rodeo competitors. All of her siblings compete until recently. Some type of unknown illness is preventing the youngest, Ethan, from riding. The minute Brandon and Ethan meet sparks fly. The attraction between the two young men is mutual and instantaneous.

I immediately fell in love with Ethan. He’s so sweet and cute, but he’s not the most confident after the breakup from his last boyfriend. Now, he can’t compete due to his illness.This is a quick story that is easily read in one siting. The story immediately drew me in and it turned out to be an endearing read. I can easily say that I wish there had been more to their story. I really enjoyed it!.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟.5

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing 

http://kimichanexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/image2.jpg

Gaining Trust (Kiss of Leather) Morticia Knight

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Gaining Trust

SERIES: Kiss of Leather

AUTHOR: Morticia Knight

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: January 24, 2017

BLURB: Chuck isn’t sure what he needs and Master Jordan can’t wait to show him.

Stone’s shy junior investigator, Chuck, can no longer deny his interest in the BDSM lifestyle. The beautiful connections and raw emotions he’s witnessed between so many of the Doms and subs at Kiss of Leather, leave him yearning for something he’d never dared hope he could have: unconditional love and care from a man. He isn’t sure if he can take the chance of having a real relationship when he’s not out to his meddling parents yet, but the sexy Master Jordan, Gavin’s friend and the owner of Club Consequence, makes him want to take that chance.

Master Jordan has been biding his time until he can get next to the super-fine Chuck. Gavin warned him that Chuck wasn’t in the lifestyle, but there’s something special about him that Jordan can’t deny. When they’re finally alone, the chemistry is off the charts and Jordan can tell it won’t take much to bring Chuck willingly into the world of BDSM.

An unexpected development in the case of Corey’s kidnappers shocks them all, but not as much as what happens with Chuck’s family. Jordan teaches Chuck that secrets hold power over the person keeping them, and that gaining trust can only be achieved through complete honesty.

REVIEW: This is the 5th book in this series and one that I was looking forward to. This story features Stone’s assistant, Chuck, and Gavin’s friend, Jordan, the owner of another BSDM club, Club Consequence.

I was intrigued from the moment these two were mentioned and featured briefly in the previous books so I was very pleased to see that the author has decided to give them their own story.

As with all of her characters, the ones in this series are very well written. Knight’s attention to detail in her work is meticulous. She has a great talent for maintaining her characters and their storylines. The transitions from one book in her series to the next are always smooth without any breaks or holes in the plots.

Her depictions of the subs and their Doms are awesome. The subs aren’t simpering, child-like, effeminate twinks. There’s nothing wrong with a man being effeminate or a twink but I absolutely detest when simpering and child- like is thrown in. She strikes the perfect balance between these men being strong and independent but are strong and confident enough to submit to their Doms.

I loved Jordan and Chuck’s characters. Chuck’s character was shy and sweet, strong and fierce and due to his upbringing, a little ‘buttoned up’. He was introduced to the BSDM lifestyle because of the case he and Stone are investigating but he’s drawn to it because of the deep love and respect that he observes between the men he’s befriended. He meets Jordan while working undercover at Jordan’s club. I also loved how Chuck didn’t allow the stench of his family’s bigotry to touch him. He’s a loving and kind gentlemen that treats people with respect. He also had a lot of backbone. This is what fascinated me about him. He was shy and sweet but also very tough. I love how the author wrote him breaking away from his family. She did it with little fanfare and didn’t dwell on it afterwards. She understood that everything else took a back seat to Chuck and Jordan’s budding romantic relationship.

I also adore the way Jordan’s character was written. Now that I think about it, I appreciate how this author portrays her characters of color in ALL of her stories. As a reader of color, I can honestly say that Knight has done a wonderful job of this. There have been quite a few authors in the MM genre, on many occasions, who had been dragged for filth by readers in general, readers of color specifically over their ridiculous and often times insidious stereotyping of their characters of color. Some on more than one occasion. I’ve never encountered that problem with any of this author’s work. The skin color of a particular character is only used to describe physical appearances. Again, as a reader of color who likes to read LGBT themes books, I really appreciate this.

As I was saying before, Jordan’s character was also well written. He was a Dom but his style was a little different than the others. His was a gentler approach. This didn’t make him any less of a Dom but I think that he adjusted his approach a bit for Chuck because he knew that Chuck was new to the lifestyle as he didn’t want to scare him off.

The storylines, character development and plots are wonderful and engaging. The books aren’t too long but just long enough to satisfy you. There are no unnecessary cliff hangers that leave you hanging either. This book, this series is definitely well worth the time to get in to.

 

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon:

 

Pride Publishing

 

http://kimichanexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/image2.jpg

Kiss Me Cowboy by Carol Lynn

Reviewed by Michele

TITLE: Kiss Me Cowboy

AUTHOR: Carol Lynne

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: January 3 2017

BLURB: It isn’t easy to cling to teenage promises when you become one of the forgotten. For Eli Barron, Jesse Clooney has always been the one. From their first day of kindergarten through their high-school graduation, the pair were inseparable. So, when a situation arises that splits the two men apart, it’s up to Eli to keep the home fires burning as Jesse sets off to follow his dreams on the rodeo circuit. But how long can a man continue to stoke the fire before the flames die out?

REVIEW: I love Carol Lyne’s books and even better, books about cowboys are a definite read for me, typically. This short read was not what I expected though. I thought this would be cowboy meets cowboy and the sparks would fly, but due to the stigma of being a “cowboy”, they found it difficult to be out and proud. No! These main characters have been friends since day one in kindergarten, inseparable besties. Eli comes from a loving and supportive family, and Jesse has an abusive father and a mother who would never go against her husband even to save her only son. That friendship turned into love during their teen years. So they make big plans to join the rodeo circuit right after they graduate. Well, as we all learn life sometimes has it’s own plans. Eli, due to a family tragedy, has to stay at the family ranch and help his mother and younger sisters, while Jesse leaves to pursue his rodeo dreams and to escape the shame of his past.

The character development was okay but I never fell in love with either main character. I usually love the damaged guy in a story, but Jesse just made me mad and want to punch him. As I read the story I was either feeling sorry for Eli, as he sacrificed his non existent personal life for his family, or annoyed with his never ending patience with Jesse. I wanted to shake some sense into him to make him see how his so called best friend/ the love of his life was taking him for granted and stringing him along.To me Jesse was selfish, he wanted to have his cake and eat it too. The good news is that Carol never fails to give you a HEA for her characters.

RATING: ❤️❤️❤️.5

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing

 

http://kimichanexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/image2.jpg

In Enemy Hands by M.A. Church

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: Dec 30 2016

BLURB:

Two very different civilizations-one bathed in bright sunlight and the other veiled in shadow.

Bad decisions, declining resources, and a king on the brink of madness force Prince Varo Kutchif, third son of the royal family and a starship captain, to attempt the impossible: barter for Black Phospolrock, an energy source the mysterious Helkan Kingdom has in abundance. Varo opens a line communication with Adlar, an intriguing Helkan who seems to reciprocate Varo’s interest. He hopes so, because if negotiations collapse, Varo has orders to attack.

The Helkans preside over a planet shrouded in perpetual darkness. Several species have tried to exploit its natural resources through trade with them, but all have failed. Adlar Mondur is the older brother to the Helkan ruler. An assassin of the highest order, he’ll do anything to protect his king and his people-including tracking down the Yesri prince who crash-lands on their planet, leaving an ugly scar across its untouched beauty.

Thus begins a journey where two men from disparate civilizations grow from enemies to lovers.

REVIEW:

This fantastic and compelling story by M.A. Church had me hooked from the very first page. Adlar and Varo are as different as daylight and dark. The Yesri consider the Helkans as little more than animals, and the Helkans see the Yesri as power hungry barbarians who are willing to destroy anyone or anything that gets in their way.

I couldn’t help but feel sympathy and heartache for Varo. Forced by his father into an impossible and insane situation, Varo struggles to fulfill his duties without causing a war between his people and the Helkans. Adlar is the older brother of the Helkan king, and it’s his duty to defend both him and their people from anyone seeking to seize their most valuable resource. After Adlar captures Varo, both men are torn between their duties, and their desires, and the long, complicated, treacherous, obstacle-filled, and steamy hot sexual journey as Adlar and Varo struggle to find their HEA ending makes this a book I will reread many times.

4.5

 

Guest Post by R. Phoenix: Why I Wrote Too Close

The question I’m being asked a fair bit is “why did you write this story?” This is probably one of the most complicated questions I’ve ever been asked, and the answer changed every step of the way. First of all, let me start by letting you know there are trigger warnings regarding domestic abuse and violence in the book and potentially in this blog post.

When I sat down to write this book, I didn’t expect it to be anything special. I thought it would join the ever-increasing collection of shitty first lines, first paragraphs, and first chapters that have been abandoned on the desolate wasteland of my Google Drive. For a long time, its title was something like “Contemporary Thing.”

I rewrote the first page and a half six times before it ever hit editing. I spent hours on three paragraphs. I erased them. I rewrote. I erased that. (You get the point.) I contemplated dropping it. But somewhere down the line, I figured out what I was writing — and I realized it was special, which both made the journey easier and more difficult.

Too Close isn’t autobiographical, but it is grounded in reality — in my reality, and in other people’s. Abuse touches so many people’s lives, directly or indirectly, but it isn’t something we talk about. There are so many reasons why, but in my experience, it has come down to one basic truth: it’s complicated.

In another world, it would be simple. One partner would perform a specific action, and the other would leave. But in reality, there are other factors: love, fear, children, finances, nowhere to go. Many people who are abused have been slowly but systematically isolated from friends and family, and they don’t know what to do.

Another question I’ve been asked is, “What message are you trying to send with this book?” By contrast, the answer to this one is simple: I didn’t consciously set out to send a message. I know that probably sounds ridiculous, considering the element of abuse, but I didn’t know what I was trying to tell people.

I can’t dictate or predict what readers will take away from this book. Maybe they’ll get an idea of how complicated abuse is in practice and how many factors can suspend someone in an unhealthy relationship. Maybe they’ll think I didn’t villainize the abuser enough or that I villainized him too much. Maybe they’ll think that Skylar is too innocent and too blameless or maybe they’ll think he’s weak, whiny, or spoiled.

Maybe they’ll just laugh at my gloriously terrible puns and carry on without it affecting them at all.

I wouldn’t mind a shift away from the knee jerk, “I’d never let myself be abused…!” Because that shame is part of the reason I don’t — didn’t — talk about my experiences. I realized after I finished Too Close that I could count how many people knew I’d been in an abusive relationship. I could even more easily count how many people knew any details. Over a decade later, I could definitively tell you who I’ve told. Until now — and maybe even now — it was too taboo, uncomfortable, unwelcome, shameful.

The stigma has to be lifted, and the need to remain silent and alone has to be addressed.

No one deserves to be abused. No matter what. And if you’re in an abusive situation — even if it seems hopeless, if you feel helpless, there are options. Spoiler alert? Unlike Skylar, I didn’t have a hot math teacher to get out of my situation, and I didn’t have a dependent younger sibling to be strong for. So take heart from that: this is fiction, and some of it is what I wish had happened instead of what actually did.

You are strong. You are worthy. You can break free. You may not believe it right now, but you deserve better. There are people who will help you.

In the end, I’ve rambled at you for several paragraphs to tell you the answer: the reason why I wrote this book is every bit as complicated as the reason why people stay in abusive relationships.

National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence: http://www.ncdsv.org/ncd_linkswominternational.html

Blurb:

Skylar Orion’s life has been complicated ever since his mother abandoned him and his sister Evie. Making ends meet seemed impossible until Tate Chandler took them in — his knight in shining armor who promised to make life about more than just surviving. But Tate is not the man he seemed to be, and even his whispered I love yous and generous gifts do little to soothe the pain he causes. Knowing he can’t give his sister all that she deserves without Tate, Skylar stays with him, relying on bad puns and a worse sense of humor to keep up the charade.

He will do anything for his sister, even if that means acting the responsible adult and going back to his old high school to meet Dexter Weston, the hot math teacher who can make even algebra interesting. Sparks fly between the two of them, but with his dependence on Tate, Skylar isn’t free to follow his heart. He wants what is best for Evie, but can he pass up the chance to find love that heals instead of harms?

Warning: This book contains scenes of domestic abuse and violence that some may find triggering to read.

Get it from Amazon

Bio:

R. Phoenix has an unhealthy fascination with contrasts: light and dark, heroes and villains, order and chaos. She believes that love can corrupt and power can redeem. Her muse is a sadomasochistic slave driver who thinks it’s terribly amusing to give her the best ideas when she just got comfortable and warm in bed, and she passes on that torture to her readers. She also tries entirely too hard to be funny, and she mercilessly inflicts her terrible sense of humor upon anyone who speaks to her. She’d love it if you’d say hello!

Social Media Links:

Website: http://rphoenixbooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RaissaPhoenix
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/r.phoenix
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/raissaphoenix

Louise Lyons’ Regeneration Cover Reveal

In the 23rd Century in the galaxy of Sigma Kappa, Kim Fortune was the first surviving experimental enhanced human—a regenerate. Aged fifteen, he escaped the lab and years later, his failings as a regenerate and the suspicion of regular humans, leave him lonely and lacking in self-worth. Stranded on an abandoned planet, the arrival of a stricken ship and its crew give him hope that he may finally find what he always longed for—love.

Christian Novak is a successful regenerate with all the intended attributes—including lack of human emotion. Despite their immediate attraction to each other, Kim’s failing confidence, and Christian’s inability to empathize are a recipe for disaster. But war, imprisonment, and danger throw them together, and after each saves the other’s life, their feelings begin to change.

Can a seemingly unsuitable pair ever find love, or is a future together destined to fail?

Pre-Order Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAL4NJ8
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01NAL4NJ8
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/688822

Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Social Media

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/louiselyonsauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/louiselyons013

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/louiselyons013

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/louiselyons013

Blog: http://www.louiselyonsauthor.com

Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com

A Chance for Us by Jake C. Wallace

TITLE: A Chance for Us

SERIES: New Vampire Justice

AUTHOR: Jake C. Wallace

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: Nov 11, 2016

BLURB: Love between a young man with a broken mind and the jaded New Vampire Justice officer who cares for him might be the last hope to stop a human-vampire war…

Justin Masters is stuck in a nightmare. Waking after seven years in a catatonic state, he falls desperately in love with the straight NVJ officer who saved him. Between that and dreams of being tortured and taking pleasure in the pain, which bleed into his waking hours, Justin’s sure he’s starting to crack.

The growing unrest in the vampire world should be Max Kincaid’s focus, but Justin’s struggle, along with Max’s confusing feelings for his ward, have him reeling. When Justin’s attacked, his resulting needs might be more than Max can fulfill, but he’ll be damned if anyone else will touch Justin.

As the NVJ investigates humans missing from a high-end bite club, they uncover a deeper plot that traces back to Justin. If those who want him have their way, there will be bloodshed. Justin and Max are in a fight to save Justin not only from those who would use him, but from his own mind.

REVIEW: I can’t imagine the sheer terror Justin felt after waking up one day only to discover that seven years have gone by since that painful, horror-filled day when Carson was forced to bite him. This starts the long, twisted, shocking, heartbreaking journey of Justin trying to get his life back one achingly slow step at a time. Max is confused by his feelings as they slowly change from seeing Justin as a broken victim he needs to protect into wanting him as a lover and a partner. This compelling tale has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster, and enough action to satisfy any adrenaline junkie. The sheer evil and greed of some of the villains made me shudder in revulsion, and just when I thought I figured out what was going on….BAM! Everything took off in a totally unexpected direction. No one was who they seemed to be, and the ending was definitely not what I figured it would be. I can positively recommend this fantastic story to everyone.

5

Review by Patricia

Amazon