Daily Archives: January 20, 2015

Feline Persuasion by Cheyenne Meadows

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5222

feline persBlurb

When tiger shifter Cade turns an oily owner of a consultation firm over to the FBI, he finds himself with a hit man on his heels. Chester was in possession of security-breaching national secrets, and even more concerning, evidence that shifters exist, and if it got out, trouble would follow for all shifters. So now Cade is on the run. He holes up in an isolated hideout where he doesn’t expect anyone to find him–least of all a former one-night stand.

Alpha lion shifter Micah can’t shake Cade from his mind. They spent one glorious night together before Cade ran off without leaving even a name. He’s determined to find his runaway and protect what he’s come to think as his despite Cade’s one and done rule. He surprises Cade in his secret nest in the forest, learns the reason for Cade’s self-imposed exile, and decides to call for help. This nets them Stone: a top-of-the-line bodyguard and the one man Micah can’t stand. Stone isn’t thrilled either. He can think of better things to do than spend days in the wilderness with the uppity alpha who stomps on his last nerve.

Despite their differences and history, they need to find a way to survive and expose the traitor in their midst. They also realize chances at love are fleeting unless you grab the opportunity between your teeth and hold on for one wild ride.

Review:

Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My! Ok, really, one bear, two lions and a tiger. Sounds like the start of a joke. But no – it’s really a hot, hot m/m/m book by Cheyenne Meadows.

She is a new author for me, but I am grateful to see (based on her website) that she has more coming and soon!

This is a very hot, very well written triad story. First, you have to suspend your disbelief that the three Alpha males would all find happiness with another Alpha (not to mention 2!) but if you let that go – the author does make us see how compatible and caring they are for each other.

The mystery/action part of the story moves along, plays into the back story of the MCs and is exciting, if not terribly full of surprises.

What I liked about the smexy scenes in this book was the constant sexual tension – even though (as you can see in the Blurb) two of the MCs have sex in the first chapter. The author manages to bring us back around to a high level of tension between those two and then compounds it by adding in a third. Very nice.

I thought it was a great book and a fast, easy read. Well edited and nicely written.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 hearts – highly recommended.

4.5

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Heaven Can’t Wait by Eli Easton

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5150

heaven can'tBlurb

When Brian Matheson dies at nineteen, his soul is in limbo. He has one chance to redeem himself before he’s thrown into a nasty pit. All Brian has to do is save the life of Kevin Anderson, a boy he and his friends tormented for being gay.

Kevin thought he’d finally escaped bullying. But his college roommate, Chuck, and his homophobic pals, prove him wrong. Now he can only wait for another room to open up—and try to keep his eyes off sexy, uber-straight Chuck.

Chuck is struggling to keep up the tough-guy façade everyone expects, but being trapped in a dorm room with the prettiest twink he’s ever seen isn’t helping him keep his feelings hidden.

If Brian can untangle this mess, he’ll deserve his wings.

Review

OMG – literally. Such a sweet, fun read. Ok, there were parts that were hard – very hard, to read, but it has such a fantastic ending, you forget the hard parts.

Brian is kind of a jerk – but he realizes this and learns from his mistakes. On the path to redemption he is sent back to earth to help some of his college “friends” find love and though he pretty much screws up all his attempts, he does manage to help them out in the end.

Poor Kevin – the typical “ugly duckling” who needs only a bit of time and perspective to become the “swan” touches any one of us who was less than perfect in high school/ college/ now … I just cringed when he was bullied and felt every single one of my heart strings pluck when he manages to stand tall despite it all.

Chuck, what a sweetheart. Sure, he didn’t do things right the first time, but he’s human, and he learns and … GOL-LY he is so damn sweet at the end you can forgive him anything.

I LOVED Eli’s version of heaven/evolution/explanation of Gay… fantastic.

This was a super fast read, but well worth it. I’m sure it will be re-read many times.

I give it 4.75 of 5 hearts – a teeny tiny deduction because DAMMIT I wanted to see more of the two lovebirds!

Highly recommended!

5

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The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton

Dreamspinner Presents:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5157

matingBlurb

Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.

Sex in Seattle: Book Three

 Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it’s cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.

James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of eighteen, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by twenty-eight, he’s lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.

Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.

Review

 Everyone should have a Michael in their lives. If we did, the world would be a better place.

I fell in love with Michael in the first of the “Sex in Seattle Series” and was so excited to see him finally get his own book. Eli Easton has taken a somewhat controversial subject, surrogacy, and shown us how beautiful and powerful a tool it can be for healing.

Through Michael’s story we are shown how sex is not only an important part of being in a realationship or being in love, but how it’s a natural part of being ourselves, being human. She has clearly done her research, as she explains in the prologue, and her effort shines through. I admit, when we met Michael at first, I wondered, along with him, how he could possibly have a long term relationship for himself, given his job. I felt how sad for him, and/or for his potential clients, because what he offers is such a gift, but it must be hard to share that with someone you love. This story addresses that issue. It is touching and sweet, sexy and informative. It made me laugh and cry and I couldn’t put it down.

I love Eli’s characters. They are not physically perfect gods, they don’t have picture perfect resumes, they have flaws, quirks and are real people. She has a fantastic grasp of pacing and story telling. I never felt like I needed to rush ahead but was always on the edge of my seat. The story just plucks at every darn heart string and leaves you with a huge smile on your face, after you’ve gotten done crying, of course.

James’ character is so heartbreaking, you feel for him, from the first page. His back story is amazing and so sad, but his ability to use his pain and turn it into something wonderful is a precious gift.

Marnie and Tommy are also inspired characters and brought both pain and love and humor to an already rich story.

I really loved the snippets of James’ book that we are shown throughout Michael’s story and would love to read the real thing! Eli may have to branch out into some serious Sci-Fi next, clearly she has a knack with the genre. Lamb’s story also made me cry… you bastard!

This is another one of those books that I will have to read and re-read because there was just so much going on that I am sure I missed some the first pass. But it will be a pleasure to find every nook and cranny because it is such a good book.

Thank you Eli for giving us Michael’s story and I really hope that there are people out there doing your work, it sounds amazing.

I highly recommend this book, 6 out of 5 hearts… or 7… well, you get the idea. Buy this book!

amazing

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Aaron audiobook by JP Barnaby

Dreamspinner presents:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4870

aaronBlurb

Two years after a terrifying night of pain destroyed his normal teenage existence, Aaron Downing still clings to the hope that one day, he will be a fully functional human being. But his life remains a constant string of nightmares, flashbacks, and fear. When, in his very first semester of college, he’s assigned Spencer Thomas as a partner for his programming project, Aaron decides that maybe “normal” is overrated. If he could just learn to control his fear, that could be enough for him to find his footing again.

Review
The Story

WOW.
Just. WOW.

This is an absolutely amazing book. Amazing.
JP Barnaby manages to take an absolutely horrific event and funnel it through the mind of a teenager. Can you imagine? Being a teenager is hard enough as it is. Then add being a gay teenager, just coming into your own sexuality. Then add in a brutal, horrible attack that leaves you physically and emotionally scarred and your best friend, dead. It is incredible that Aaron had the will to live, and JP even explains HOW he manages to avoid suicide.

It is completely believable, and touching, and so, so painful, but sweet and hopeful at the same time. I couldn’t read/listen to it all at once. I had to take breaks, read lighter books in between. But when I got to the end, I said “I MUST read Spencer!” and started it immediately.

One of the things I absolutely found so powerful, was JPs ability to show us (without telling us) the areas where Aaron’s family – despite ALL their best intentions – were NOT helping him. She also showed us where the fact that he was a teenager (and thus prone to illogical thinking and hormone driven decision making) impacted his event even more so than it would have on an adult. Aaron lived through this event at such a pivotal time in his life and JP does an amazing job of showing us just how pivotal it was.

Then you have Spencer. (Sigh) I LOVE Spencer. I wish I KNEW Spencer, I would hug and love him up. Such a fantastic soul and such a huge heart. He takes on Aaron and sees through to the boy he is/could be and simply loves him. He has his own demons, and this makes him empathetic and vulnerable and wonderful It is a testament to the power of love in the act of healing. So very touching. I can’t say enough about how wonderful Spencer is.

JP also paints a detailed, if flawed, picture of Dr Thomas, Aaron’s parents/siblings, and all the other people in Aaron’s life. She is accurate down to her coding and tech-speak, but not didactic or pedantic.

It was a hard book to read/listen to, but so worth it.

I had not read any JP Barnaby books before this, but you can bet I am a fan for life now.

5 out of 5 hearts

Review
The audio
Tyler Stevens can read any book to me any day. He did such an amazing job with the language, the tonal qualities of Spencer’s speech. (Spencer was born deaf, but can and does speak throughout the story.) Tyler subtly changes the voice for all the characters in a way that is helpful to the story and not distracting in its “over acting”.

His reading pace is good, his voice quality clear, his emphasis on the dialog perfection.

I would specifically look for him as a narrator, he is that good. I really hope he reads Spencer when the audible version comes out.

I liked the audible version even better than the book (shocked gasp!). It was that good. Tyler just made me feel the characters in a way that when I went back to read the book, his intonations were what I heard.

I highly recommend this audio version, the book, the series, the author, the narrator.

Ok, I sound a little fan-girl, but really. Go now and buy them.

amazing

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Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan

Loose ID presents:http://www.loose-id.com/dance-with-me.html

Dance with meBlurb

Ed Maurer’s life would be fine if he could just get Laurie Parker off his back. He’s bounced back, more or less, from the neck injury that permanently benched his semi-pro football career, and he volunteers now at a local community center. It’s just that every time he turns around, that damn professional dancer is in his way, hating Ed right back. But when a bargain Ed strikes at the center lands him as an assistant in Laurie’s ballroom dancing class, their perceptions of each other turn upside down. Both Ed and Laurie have heartbreak in their pasts, but somehow dancing together eases their individual pain. For Ed, dancing with Laurie becomes a way to reconnect with his body after losing football. For Laurie, partnering with Ed has erased some of his fear of performing and brought back joy to a sport he wasn’t sure he could ever truly love again.

As Laurie and Ed lose themselves in dance, their lives continue to spin around them: Ed’s injury makes it clear he’s nowhere near recovery, Laurie feels the pressure by friends and family to perform once more, and the community center that has become such an important part of both their worlds threatens to close. Alone, they haven’t had the strength or spirit to face what life has hurled at them. But as the turns of their personal paths lead them into the arms of love, Ed and Laurie begin to think that if they dance this dance together, they might be able to succeed.

Review

Ed is an out and proud football player (semi-pro) who hurts his neck and has to look for alternative ways to stay in shape and rehabilitate against the debilitating pain.

Laurie is a dancer who runs a small studio but who used to be on the path to greatness until he and his then partner (both dance and life) tried to break into a couples dance competition as the only same sex couple and failed, epically.

At first these two are enemies – Ed plays the music too loud, Laurie is a priss, but then… magic (sigh). They begin to dance together and it is everything they’d hoped to find. Laurie loves how Ed can be the strong partner he’s always needed and Ed loves how Laurie can give him some of his self respect back.

Along the way they become lovers, too, and that, by far, is their most important relationship.

There are many road bumps – Laurie’s mom, Ed’s pain and ego, Laurie’s fear of rejection and his past sexual history, money…

But in the end they conquer them all for a very, very satisfying HEA.

**

This is one of those books I have read and then read again and again. I just love it so!

Some of the things I really appreciate about it:

The real sex. It’s not all hot and sweaty, panting and perfection. There’s pain, and gas, and preparation, and mess. Wonderful!

I love the scene in the hot tub with the other, older couple… again, real, messy, normal, but still hot.

The real problems. Pain and money and egos. Who hasn’t had one or both of those issues in their life – even to the point of ruining their relationship?

Their love. I just fell in love with them as a couple because they are so very different but when they put down their walls you can see just how perfect they are for one another.

All in all it was an amazing book that I can’t recommend more highly than: you must read this!

I give it 6 of 5 stars – Amazing!

amazing

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Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan

Samhain Publishing Presents https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/4770/love-lessons

Blove lessonslurb
Love doesn’t come with a syllabus.

Kelly Davidson has waited what seems like forever to graduate high school and get out of his small-minded, small town. But when he arrives at Hope University, he quickly realizes finding his Prince Charming isn’t so easy. Everyone here is already out. In fact, Kelly could be the only virgin on campus.

Worst of all, he’s landed the charming, handsome, gay campus Casanova as a roommate, whose bed might as well be equipped with a revolving door.

Walter Lucas doesn’t believe in storybook love. Everyone is better off having as much fun as possible with as many people as possible…except his shy, sad little sack of a roommate is seriously screwing up his world view.

As Walter sets out to lure Kelly out of his shell, staying just friends is harder than he anticipated. He discovers love is a crash course in determination. To make the grade, he’ll have to finally show up for class…and overcome his own private fear that love was never meant to last.

Warning: This story contains lingering glances, milder than usual sexual content for this author, and a steamy dance-floor kiss. Story has no dairy or egg content, but may contain almonds

Review

Kelly is a small town guy with Disney –HEA – visions in his head. He just KNOWS life gets better in college and he won’t let anybody tell him otherwise.
Walter is the jaded, older student and now roommate who, at first, wants to break Kelly of his romantic ideal nonsense, then feels it’s his duty to protect those dreams and finally to make them come true.

This is a long book, so we cover a lot of ground and in a lot of detail.
We get a good, hard look at what makes Walter so cynical and a good look at what makes Kelly so idealistic.

We get to watch the relationship, in its early seedling stage nearly die before finally taking root to grow into a full-fledged, Disney-level-happiness, rock solid, Red-wood of a relationship.

This is a new adult novel. Not quite YA – too much drinking, drugs, and sex for that. But the story is more closely that of a YA than some of the other, far more raunchy, Heidi Cullinan “adult” books. It is very well written and very involved, like the rest of Heidi’s books, and hits all the right buttons for me.

I just love the characters. They are all very well developed, three-dimensional, interesting and unique. There are several secondary characters that add complexity to the story and help to give this book it’s authentic flavors.

Kelly is an amazing guy. Heidi has managed to give us a freshman boy, who loves Disney movies, is a die-hard romantic, a virgin and yet he is still very much a boy. I love him! I love that he idolizes Tangled and has dreams of how his first date, first sex and wedding should all be. I loved the juxtaposition of his money poor, love rich household with Walter’s money rich, love poor life. Walter, the playboy, the cynic, the last guy to imagine Happy Ever After is the PERFECT choice for Kelly.

Their story is told slowly, organically growing and unfolding tenderly in such a way that we can easily see how the switches can be flipped and how our jaded Walter can come around to being Kelly’s Prince by the end of the book.

I could really relate to Kelly’s vision of what love “should and should not” be, I think many of us remember that time in our lives – whether it was high school, college, or later in life – and how hard it was to mesh that vision in our head with what life hands us. What I admired was how Kelly held on to his vision of Disney-Princess-Happiness without shame or wavering even in the face of disillusionment and that, in the end, his enduring faith brought everyone around and actualized his feelings rather than crushing his spirit.

The length of the book is both its strength and weakness. It takes a little dedication – there are times the story drags and it takes a little perseverance. However, the pay out is definitely worth it. Because she doesn’t compromise on length, the story feels very natural and real, and because life is more than just romance, the added side stories Heidi guides us through help us to see how our MCs are growing and changing in a way that feels authentic.
By the end I think everyone will have at least some tears in their eyes if they are not out-right bawling. It is an amazingly tender, sweet and satisfying book on many levels.

You will fall in love with Kelly and Walter and – now that I have read the sequel – I can tell you that you will be excited to know we get to see even more of them real soon and it only makes this book that much more sweet.

I give it 4.75 hearts and I really recommend this book to anyone who ever had a Disney-Princess fantasy or anyone who ever thought true love only existed in fairy tales.

5

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Fever Pitch (Love Lessons #2) by Heidi Cullinan

Samhain Publishing Presents https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5166/fever-pitch

Blurb

feverpitchBook Two of the Love Lessons Series

Sometimes you have to play love by ear.

Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.
Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.

Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella

Review

Finally!

That’s what I said when I found out Love Lesson’s was to finally have it’s sequel!

I knew it had been planned for a long time and was super excited to finally read it! Let me tell you that I was NOT disappointed!

This is another long book of the new adult variety, in keeping with the Love Lesson’s theme. Fever Pitch takes place at another university in the mid-west, small and liberal arts oriented – but no gay swans, mores the pity.

Aaron and Giles actually attended high school together their senior year. It is in their last days there that Aaron begins to give in to his cravings for male romance and Giles is happy to help him explore this side of his personality. Unfortunately, both boys are really quite scarred from past experiences and the relationship is over before it really begins, leaving Aaron tentatively in lust/love and Giles really pissed off.

Aaron follow Giles to St Timothy’s University, mostly in stalker fashion, and over the course of many months they eventually forge a friendship through their mutual love for music.

During this bonding process we get to see our friends Walter and Kelly again – woot! Walter ends up helping Aaron deal with his new feelings and helps him to “get his man”.

Once the boys get together the drama doesn’t stop. There are other crazy parents involved and other sad gay boys to be saved. We see parents who can help save lives and those who set out to ruin them. There is lots and lots of music being played, composed and sung. And finally there is a wedding. Sigh. Walter and Kelly get married in what has to be my all time favorite gay wedding to date.

I just loved these two books so much! This second book is even stronger than the first. The side issues are more serious and the tragedies more tragic. If I’m being honest… the sex is hotter too, but don’t tell that to Walter or Kelly.

I loved how the book furthers the lives of people we met in book one, but if you didn’t read the first book, no worries, this stands on its own quite nicely.

Again Heidi has given us a love story interwoven with some serious, coming of age issues and the result is a rich tale, full of well developed characters and satisfying story lines.

I highly recommend this book and give it a 5 out of 5 hearts.

5

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Unfortunate Son (Shae Connor) Blog Tour with Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway

Today we’re welcoming Shae Connor to the blog. She shares her thoughts on the setting for Unfortunate Son, a delicious excerpt, and there’s a giveaway! Thanks for stopping by, Shae!_CoverArtUnfortunateSon

Five years ago, Evan Day lost his lover in the Afghan sand, and in the fallout, he lost his military career and his family. With help from friends, he reinvented himself as porn star Trevor Hardball, but his scars are hidden, not healed. When Riley Yeats falls into Evan’s lap in a bar, he awakens a part of Evan he’d thought was dead and gone. Evan’s fascinated by the blond and twinky Riley, even though he’s the opposite of Evan’s usual type.

Then Evan’s family reappears his life, and Evan soon learns Riley has his own family-inflicted wounds—ones that make it hard for him to be there for Evan. A disastrous confrontation between Evan and his parents leaves Evan’s mother injured and Evan overcome by anger and fear. Losing his tenuous hold on his emotional control, Evan makes one bad decision after another, but maybe his final fall will be the wake-up call Evan needs to set things right—with his parents, and with Riley.​

Buy:
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5929
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Unfortunate-Son-Sons-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RYG89TW/
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-unfortunateson-1718254-149.html
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23782907-unfortunate-son?

Atlanta as Setting in Unfortunate Son
By Shae Connor
When I started writing Unfortunate Son (lo, these many years ago), I knew the setting was never in question. The bulk of the action would take place right where the story was originally conceived: in Atlanta’s Midtown district, and specifically in the heart of the “Gayborhood,” which is anchored at the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Road, just down from the edge of Piedmont Park. It’s an area I’m very familiar with, and I knew it wouldn’t take much effort to make its character shine through.
Midtown stretches between Atlanta’s historic downtown and the flashier, richer neighborhood to the north called Buckhead. The area’s crown jewel is Piedmont Park, which is to Atlanta what Central Park is to Manhattan: a huge, open, green space in the midst of an urban location. Piedmont Park is home to the annual Atlanta Pride Festival, in addition to dozens of other local events, and it’s surrounded by both residential and business areas, most of those populated by members of the gay community. Restaurants, bars, clubs, and stores of all types cater to young urban professionals, many of them gay men.
I’ve spent a lot of time with friends in Midtown the past few years, and while most of the businesses named in Unfortunate Son are fictitious, nearly all of them are based on real locations. Piedmont Lofts, where Riley lives, sits in a real building at the edge of Piedmont Park, though it doesn’t actually house lofts like Riley’s. Piedmont Diner, where Evan and Riley have brunch with Evan’s best friends, Cory and Jimmy, similarly doesn’t exist, but it’s an amalgam of several similar restaurants in the neighborhood. And Panther, the dance club the guys visit, is very loosely based on an Atlanta club that I’ve been to, though mostly in the general vibe, rather than any specifics of layout or even clientele.
One business in Unfortunate Son that’s almost exactly like its real-life counterparts is Bernhardt’s, which plays host to Cory’s performance as drag queen Coco Lamé, a member of the Stilettos drag troupe. The real bar, Burkhart’s, is a frequent hangout for me and quite a few of my friends. Burkhart’s hosts regular drag shows and until recently was home to weekly performances by the Armorettes, also known as the Infamous Camp Drag Queens of the South, the troupe on which the Stilettos were based. Most of the time, though, Burkhart’s is a relatively quiet, pub-like location that serves great steak dinners and has an awesome, friendly staff. In fact, Burkhart’s is hosting a release party for the book, and they’ve been awesome.
For today, I’m offering up an excerpt that gives a peek at Bernhardt’s and the Stilettos. At this point in the story, Riley’s friend Mikey has just moved to Atlanta, and they’ve joined Evan to see Cory (Coco) perform. (You’ll get more of Mikey, Cory, and Jimmy in Wayward Son, which will be out in a few months.)

Excerpt:
Another performer finished her Lady Gaga lip-synch with a flourish, and the crowd erupted into cheers as she collected the last of her tips and waved her way offstage. The emcees reemerged and launched back into their trademark banter, laced with suggestive comments and pop culture references. Evan pulled his phone out of his pocket to check the time. With only fifteen minutes left in the advertised performance window, Cory should be up next.
Sure enough, the bearded emcee in the pink dress—cupid’s bow lips painted to match—smiled and spoke louder. “And now, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado—”
“Ado, ado, to you and you and you-ooo!” the other emcee singsonged, earning a laugh from the crowd and a backhanded slap to the stomach from her cohort.
“…without further interruption from the peanut gallery, the Stilettos are proud to present, in her debut headlining performance—the fabulous Miss Coco Lamé!”
The music started back up, lights flashed, and then out came Coco in all her flashy glory. She wore a gold sequined vest with matching fringe over a white, midriff-baring top, though as she moved, Evan could see that the midriff was actually covered with flesh-colored spandex. Her cowgirl-style hat, tight skirt, and boots shimmered with black glitter, and on one hip, she carried what appeared to be a holster trimmed in even more shiny gold.
Evan was too busy trying not to laugh at the overkill to notice the music, but when Riley lifted a carefully groomed eyebrow and leaned closer, Evan leaned in to catch his comment.
“I wouldn’t have figured Cory—excuse me, Coco—for a Pointer Sisters fan.”
Sure enough, Coco launched into an energetic rendition of “I’m So Excited.” She shimmied, she twisted, she pointed and flirted, and the crowd went crazy for it all. Hands waved money at her in all directions, and Coco collected it with hands, cleavage, and that holster, its presence clearly meant for more than just show.
Coco came closer to their end of the bar, and Evan shared a smile with her as she took the fiver he held out and leaned in to give him a kiss on his cheek. She took Riley’s tip the same way, and then turned to Mikey, who stood as if in shock, staring.
Riley’s eyebrow rose again. “Mikey, honey, you’re supposed to tip the nice lady now,” he admonished.
Mikey snapped back to attention, a blush rising high on his cheeks as he held out his offering. Coco slithered closer, taking Mikey’s wrist and giving an assist for him to deposit the cash directly into her cleavage. Maintaining her grip on Mikey, she pulled him in close for a gentle kiss on the mouth, leaving behind a swipe of bright red lipstick to go with the now deep red of his cheeks. She gave him a final lingering glance and a wink and went back to working the rest of the crowd.
Evan couldn’t help smirking at Mikey, who just stared after Coco, dumbstruck. He leaned closer to Riley. “I think your boy might have a little bit of a crush.”
Riley laughed softly. “I can’t imagine where you could have gotten that idea.”

 

 

Author bio:

_AuthorPhotoSheaConnorShae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe.

A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Writers chapter, Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available from Dreamspinner Press, Wilde City Press, MLR Press, and Amber Allure.

Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, and reading voraciously, and she’s an annual volunteer for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at shaeconnorwrites@gmail.com or visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com.

 

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Recipe for Magic by Agatha Bird

Dreamspinner presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5898

recipe magicBlurb

Connor Roth is a fire mage who’s going places. He’s powerful, popular, and he has a plan. But his plan for fame and glory is disrupted when the Oracle sticks him with Landyn Glendower for Senior Trial. This is an act unprecedented in their school’s history. Landyn is a water mage, and everyone knows mages with opposing elements can’t work magic together.

Connor is left with a choice: work alone and fail or swallow his pride and work with Landyn to find a way to combine their magic in a display the Archmages will never forget—if they don’t get kicked out of school in the process.

Review

So, I’m sure I won’t be the only one to see a little Harry Potter in this story…

Connor is the “hot shot” son of a famous sorcerer who has to prove to the school his prowess in a grand tournament at the end of the year. He is paired with Landyn, someone with opposing magic skills, a loner, and a dark horse.
At first both Connor and Landyn are miserable with the pairing (for differing reasons) and are certain they will fail. Connor’s fair weather friends abandon him and Connor’s hubris rubs Landyn wrong over and over. When Connor finally breaks down and admit he needs Landyn’s help, the tides begin to turn. And… over time the boys learn that opposite magic might just be the perfect “recipe” for winning and the old adage about attraction… yeah that’s true too.

**

This is a short story and YA so not my favorite things right off the bat. But… it’s about magic and young love and a possible GFY so…totally redeemed!

It was wonderful! The set up for Connor to look like a jerk then turn around and be a sweetheart was perfect. Landyn was snarky and bittersweet the entire time. The enemies-to-“lovers” was very well played and there was just enough sexual tension to keep the pages smoldering.

I really enjoyed the world Agatha Bird created and hope we see more of it. I would especially love to see a longer, more fully played out story where our boys are over eighteen… if you catch my drift 😉

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Blue Days Audiobook by Mary Calmes Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Presented by Dreamspinner Press http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6050

blue days audioBlurb

Falling for a coworker is rarely a good idea, especially for a man getting a last chance at salvaging his career. But from the moment Dwyer Knolls sees the beautiful but socially awkward Takeo Hiroyuki, he seems destined to make bad decisions.

Takeo’s life is a string of failed attempts to please his traditional Japanese father. Unfortunately, succeeding in business turns out to be just as difficult for Takeo as changing from gay to straight. In fact, the only thing Takeo seems to truly excel at is taking notice of Dwyer Knolls.

When Dwyer and Takeo head to Mangrove, Florida on a real estate buying trip, their tentative friendship combusts and becomes much more. Is their sudden connection real enough to bank their futures on, or should they chalk the whole thing up to the daze inspired by the blue ocean breeze?

Marieke’s Review of the book can be read here: http://kimichanexperience.com/blue-days-by-mary-calmes/

My Review:

Dwyer is stuck in a job that he may or may not be great at, but that may not be important because he may or may not hate it, anyway. One thing he knows for sure, his new co-worker turned boss makes going to work every day a dream come true.

Takeo is Japanese to the nth degree. He takes everything literally, rarely understands social cues, knows he hates his job, knows he hates his dad, but doesn’t know that the man of his dreams harbors an attraction for him, as well.

Things at the company go steadily down hill, everyone wondering when their axe is going to fall, leaving them without a job. Dwyer is never worried. Why? Well, he just doesn’t worry. Takeo isn’t worried. Why? Well, his dad owns the company.

However, things are about to get really shaken up when Dwyer and Takeo take a business trip to Florida for damage control on a deal gone sideways. Neither man realizes it, but their lives will change from that moment forward, in ways neither saw coming.

**

Oh Mary. I just love, love, love your books. Takeo is so damn cute! So bumbling and stuffy. The perfect mate for Dwyer, who falls asleep in meetings and makes doodles to pass the time. Of course, everyone loves Dwyer. He can literally do no wrong. And of course, nobody, and I mean nobody, likes Takeo. Except for Dwyer.

The secondary characters are also wonderfully created. From Mak, who secretly wants to run a nightclub. To Gretchen, whose husband proposed to her at a picnic table by the ocean.

Mary never disappoints. The sex is super-hot. The love is a slow burn, but so tender and touching, you just know they’re going to last forever.

And then you get the cross-over! We get to hear about, briefly, Aaron Sutter and Duncan Steil. I won’t spoil the surprise but it’s as lovely as it was expected.

I highly recommend this book (and all of Mary’s books) 5 of 5 hearts.

Audio:

Greg Tremblay is one of my very favorite narrators and he does a super awesome job here. His version of Takeo is perfect! I just love how “straight man” he is played – by the books, literal, conservative and then how utterly delicious it is when he lets go and shows his true emotions. Greg does an amazing job with the emotion, letting us feel like we’re there and really getting in to the story.
5 of 5 hearts for the narration as well

5

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