Monthly Archives: July 2015

Blue Eyed Stranger (A Trowchester Blues Novel) by Alex Beecroft

Riptide Presents
http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/blue-eyed-stranger

blue eyed strangerBlurb

Billy Wright has a problem: he’s only visible when he’s wearing a mask. That’s fine when he’s performing at country fairs with the rest of his morris dancing troupe. But when he takes the paint off, his life is lonely and empty, and he struggles with crippling depression.
Martin Deng stands out from the crowd. After all, there aren’t that many black Vikings on the living history circuit. But as the founder of a fledgling historical re-enactment society, he’s lonely and harried. His boss doesn’t like his weekend activities, his warriors seem to expect him to run everything single-handedly, and it’s stressful enough being one minority without telling the hard men of his group he’s also gay.
When Billy’s and Martin’s societies are double-booked at a packed county show, they know at once they are kindred spirits, united by a deep feeling of connectedness to their history and culture. But they’re also both hiding in their different ways, and they need each other to be brave enough to take their masks off and still be seen.

Review

This is the second book by Alex Beecroft I’ve read and the second book in her Trowchester series. I really admire her writing. She is fluid, coherent, descriptive and not telling, creates amazingly detailed characters and a deeply emotional story.

This is a very DARK story. There is an almost instant connection between the two lovers but the physical aspect of their story is a slow burn.

Martin is in the closet and Billy has some serious psychological problems. When they find each other they find that other piece of their soul that completes them.

Martin teaches history at a high school (British equivalent) and is obsessed with historical re-enactments. As a result there is A LOT of history in this story.

Billy’s depression also plays a major role in the story line and though Martin helps he is not the “cure”, which is awesome.

So… I have a hard time reviewing this book. On the one hand it’s quite good, but… I can’t say I “enjoyed” it. It’s very hard to get through at times, the subject matter is heavy and the history will either be fascinating to you or boring…

In either case – if you are in the mood for a more “meaty” romance I’d recommend this – if you’re looking for light and fluffy – keep looking.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Gage and Hamish by Julia Talbot Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway

RC

 

Excerpt:
Gage checked his shirt before he headed into the sushi place. Boulder had the best downtown, charming and upscale, but not formal. Not as hipster as Austin or Portland, not as redneck as Denver or Dallas — it managed to be clever and casual all at once.
He totally approved.
Now if he could only approve this date. A bear? Him?
Gage was as far from low-key twink as they came. He was… challenging. Doms dumped him regularly.
A bear seemed so. Oh, he didn’t know. Sweet. Goofy.
He glanced around, wondering if he was early.
He tended to be early.
He liked being early.
There. Back in the corner where the bar bent around. That has to be his date. A huge man with shaggy, dark brown hair and a sunbaked face with lots of smile lines.
He looked a little like a lumberjack. It was adorable. So not his type, but cute.
The guy stood, smiling, making his oddly light brown eyes light up. “Hey! You must be Gage. I’m Hamish.” He pronounced it “hay-mish”.
“Hamish. Hello.” He found a smile to offer back. How could you not like a guy who grinned like that?
“Hi. I hope you like sushi.” Hamish waved to the seat next to him at the bar.
“Fish, salty peppery yumminess. What’s not to like?”
“Right?” Hamish was a big guy. Not fat at all, but he overflowed his personal space into Gage’s, warm and spicy smelling. At least he didn’t stink. That was always hard to get around. “Anyway, I got a little hungry before you got here, so I got mussels and carpaccio. In case you hate mussels.”
“Mussels are good. Tuna is my favorite. Cliché, but true.”
“They have an amazing hamachi appetizer.” Food was a great social equalizer.
“I’m totally in, man.” He nodded to the waiter, got his attention.
“Excellent. So, what do you do?” Small talk. Again with the cute.
“I’m a software designer. I create weird little things that people don’t know they need. You?”
“I build shit. Right now I’m very into tiny houses. For other people. I need square footage.” He grinned.
“Tiny houses? No shit?” Okay, that was cool. Not sexy, but better than software designer.
“I’ve done some work for local architects, and I love carving on a large scale.” Hamish held up his hands, scarred and callused.
He took one in hand, hoping for a zing, for a flash of lightning, but there wasn’t one. Just a warmth. Sweet. Steady.
He looked at the palm, fingers tracing over the calluses. “I approve.”
“Thanks.” Hamish grinned. “It’s good work.”
“That’s sort of how I feel about mine. It’s computer work, but there’s a lot of design involved in it.”
“Sounds neat. Keeps you from getting bored, right?” Hamish flagged down a waitress to order their hamachi.
“It does.” He ordered a couple of honey wheat beers.
“So…”
They both said it at the same time, then laughed. “You go,” Gage said.
“I was just wondering what made you go to Full Moon.”
“I’ve been searching for something and I’m beginning to think that I’m doomed, that I’m too much to handle.” And now he was sitting with a big teddy bear. “What about you?”
“Oh, you know. Everyone thinks I’m a big marshmallow. No one wants to play rough.” Hamish’s cheeks went pink.
“No one? That totally sucks.” He was touching Hamish’s wrist now.
“I know! I mean, this is a cosmopolitan place, kinda. Boulder, I mean. You’d think I could find someone not afraid to bait the bear.”
Okay. Okay, now there was a hint of promise there. “What are you into?”
“All sorts of things.” Hamish met his gaze, golden eyes alight. “I love bondage. Spanking. Some discipline, though not deep domestic or anything. And I like rough stuff, when someone will fight me, make me work for it.”
Well, now he got it, why they were put together. He was, at best, a pushy little bottom. Still, Hamish seemed so… laid-back. Could there really be an opportunity?

BannerTemplate

Sales Links:
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4436
http://www.amazon.com/Full-Moon-Dating-Gage-Hamish-ebook/dp/B011ZLMY0Q/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1437332174&sr=1-2

About the author:
Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Torquere Press, Dreamspinner and Changeling Press. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at http://www.juliatalbot.com.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliatalbot
Website: http://www.juliatalbot.com
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25940518-gage-and-hamish
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FMDGageandHamish1400

Random Acts Audiobook by Mia Kerrick Narrated by Iggy Toma

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6526

random acts audioBlurb

Bradley Zelder can’t find his way in life. After struggling for nearly a decade, he has yet to complete his college degree. Working as a school custodian, living in blue-collar Landsbury, MA, his love life is as empty as the rest of his existence. But on his way home after another disastrous date, his truck breaks down in upscale Oceanside. When he thinks life can’t get any worse, a man who is the epitome of Boston elite and everything Bradley finds attractive and intimidating helps him move his truck to the side of the road. Ashamed of his lot in life, Bradley almost lets the opportunity slip away, but he comes to his senses in time and tracks Caleb down.

From a random act of kindness, romance begins to grow, filling all the dark corners of Bradley’s empty life—until a random act of violence threatens to take it all away. Bradley must step up and be the man Caleb believes him to be. Caleb rescued him from a life without hope. Can Bradley rescue him in return?

Review

Bradley had a bad experience with a man in his early years, so he now has sex with women, but can’t connect with them emotionally.

Caleb lost his husband a few years ago and is only recently able to think about moving on.

When Bradley helps Caleb out the two find they have a strong connection that slowly builds from friendship to lovers to permanence.
About 60% through the book the focus of the book shifts to the “random acts” aspect of the title when Caleb is attacked and sinks into a depression. From there the focus changes from their relationship to dealing with life’s “haphazardness” and issues of how people handle things like “accidents” .

**

This is a tough book to review because on the one hand I liked the characters and thought the overall sentiment was really sweet and touching.

On the other hand I find Mia Kerrick’s language sometimes terribly stilted and awkward, especially when it comes to dialog.

I enjoyed the slow burn and the gradual unfolding of the love between the two men – I thought it was awesome that Caleb was able to differentiate his feelings for his dead husband and his new lover and that Bradley didn’t seem to dwell overly much in the land of jealousy for the past relationship.

I wasn’t sure that the attack (especially as it came from left field).
3 of 5 hearts

Audio

I really like Iggy Toma’s narrations and felt he did an excellent job here. He definitely added to the overall experience and I would recommend listening to this above reading it.
5 of 5 hearts

Overall 4 of 5 hearts

4

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Iron Angel (Elemental Reapers #1) by SA Welsh

Extasy Books Presents http://www.extasybooks.com/Iron-Angel/

iron angelBlurb

Brett is a government scientist on the run because the people he works for want to use his research about realms and other worlds for their own gain. He escapes with the help of his uncle, only to find a man falling from the sky in a ball of flame and feathers after being shot down by the very people he himself is running from.

Iron is a warrior guardian to the rightful king of Angelum, but was forced to flee his home realm with his king after a coup for the throne. There is a bounty on his head and the last thing he needs is to be almost captured by the human military that want to cage and experiment on him.

Iron cannot resist the tempting human that saves him and, when they give in to the heat between them, they accidentally trigger the irrevocable mate bond. Both of them are running from something, but they may just discover that each of them is exactly what the other needs.

Review

Brett finds himself rescuing a “birdman” from the government he is also running from.

When Iron awakes, tied up, he initially panics – thinking he’s been caught by the government, but when he realizes Brett only tied him up to help him heal, he realizes there is more to Brett than good Samaritan.

Iron is a warrior guardian of the king of the Angelum, protecting the next ruler by having sex with humans on earth in the hopes of shielding the power held by the ruler in hiding. (It makes more sense when you read about it – trust me – it’s a bit of a stretch- but it works- and makes for some very, very hot smexy times!)

Brett and Iron find their attraction surpasses that of the norm, and inadvertently bind themselves together. This serves a greater purpose though, because when they have sex the energy created far surpasses that of anyone else’s mating, and it will help the king and his brother. (I do this a disservice in explaining – again – it makes sense in context.)

The next stumbling block is Brett’s uncle and Iron’s King – but they soon see how deeply attached the two are and what a good union it is.

**

I really loved the world building in this story and look forward to the next installment. The unique take on mating and other planes of existence as well as the way cool power of the wings and their role in the smexy times was awesome!

I enjoyed this thoroughly and highly recommend it to fans of paranormal romance. No – it’s not about angels, but more akin to a shifter romance than anything.

Plus huge kudos for the cover – YUM!

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Claimed By The Order by J. Johanis Blog Tour with Guest Post and Giveaway

Claimed by the Order Cover
Young and eager to join the social playground of the gods, Marduk enters his first day of college at the exotic mountain retreat at the Temple of Power. But he swiftly falls into the clutches of a secret order. Confronted by the powerful gods who wish to claim him, Marduk is defenseless. His only way out: to lure another virgin god into the Order. 

Marduk finds refuge in the young god Anu-Akad. Delivering Akad to the order would earn Marduk his freedom, but Marduk struggles to keep his love affair hidden from the Order. Will his efforts be in vain? He failed to save himself. Is he strong enough to save his lover? 

Advisory: Contains portrayals of m/m sex, violence, non-con, & abuse. Intended for mature readers

 

Guest Post:

The first piece I wrote.

The first piece I wrote and published was a short story about a party in Afghanistan that I wrote in French and published in a journal at my university. Though I’ve translated the story into English, I have yet to publish the English version. I posted the published version on my website: http://jjohanis.com/2015/07/10/loccupante-ayd-french/

In 2005 I wrote my first novel which was M/M historical fantasy with BDSM themes. However, after finishing the initial draft, I ended up abandoning the project due to unresolved issues with the plot. The setting was Neustria France in the Early Middle Ages during the Merovingian Kingdom, and since I researched the era extensively, I plan on returning to it someday. In addition to studying the period, I lived in that part of France for half a year and visited the Breceliande Forest where a lot of the story takes place.

Last year, I finally cracked down and published my first novel, Siren’s Reckoning. Since I wrote this book while working and traveling abroad, it took me over a year to finish. I imagined this book would be the first in my S-Gods series, but after publishing it, I decided I needed to go further back. At that time, I outlined Claimed by the Order as the first book in a trilogy that serves as a prequel to Siren’s Reckoning. So for anyone wishing to read the S-God’s series, I advise waiting for book two and three before reading Siren’s Reckoning.

-J. Johanis

AUTHOR BIO:
J. Johanis writes dark M/M fantasy and enjoys writing plots that are historical or myth-based.
You can find Johanis here:

Website: http://www.jjohanis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjjohanis
Twitter: @JennaJohanis

Other books by J. Johanas:

Siren’s Reckoning (Operation El #1)

Upcoming:
Drago Star (Toy Soldier) – September 2015
Dream God (S-Gods #2) – November 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It Was Supposed To Be a Vacation by M. Durango Tour with Excerpt & Giveaway

RC

 

Excerpt:
Todd sought solace where he always had—in the woods where he’d camped as a kid. He could hear birds in the trees and small animals scurrying through the undergrowth, but other than that uninterested company, he was alone. The spring rains had just tapered off and Todd wanted to take advantage of the outdoors before droves of tourists descended on Edgerton. The shorter days cut into his hiking time, but he would deal with that. He wasn’t sick of his own company yet and could read by lantern light when his thoughts got to be too much.
The ground was littered with dead leaves and other detritus typical of undisturbed nature. If he hadn’t been watching where he was going so carefully—one false step could leave him with a broken leg, and even Todd wasn’t so melodramatic that he wanted to die out here—he might have missed the flannel jacket that blended so well with the forest floor. Todd was about to dismiss it as trash from a previous camper when he realized it was attached to something.
Something that looked suspiciously like a hand.

itwassupposedtobeavacation1400

Sales Links:

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4434

About the author:
M. Durango ~ Mar to her friends ~ has been writing on and off since her first foray into fanfic at the age of 8. Sometime in 2003, she discovered m/m romance and was hooked. Finally figuring out what she wanted to do with her life at the early age of 34, she quit her corporate job, bought a bunch of writing books, and set out to learn how to create characters, dialog, and actual plots.
Mar grew up in New Jersey and has lived in the Pacific Northwest since the mid-90s with her scientist hubby and two insane cats.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mar.durango
Twitter: https://twitter.com/m_durango
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mardurango/
Blog/Web site: https://mdurango.wordpress.com/
Tumblr: http://mar2357.tumblr.com/
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3306088.M_Durango
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay

 

BannerTemplate

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remy’s Painter (Werewolves of Manhattan book 2) by AC Katt

MLR Press Presents http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=ACKREMYS

ACK_Remys_PainterBlurb

Ian Sullivan is being chased by a mobster and has to come up with five thousand dollars he doesn’t have. His only hope is an estimate for a large house. Little does he know that the house belongs to a loup garou who just happens to be his mate.

Ian Sullivan is in trouble. His father and brother died because his brother gambled and owed money to a mobster. Now Sal Ferrara want to collect from him and if he doesn’t, he’ll take Ian as his boy toy instead. Ian’s only hope is getting a job from an estimate his father had outstanding for an seventy eight hundred square foot house. Little does Ian know that the house belongs to a Remy Clavier, a loup garou who meets Ian and knows he’s found his mate. Now all Remy has to do is take care of Sal Ferrara and convince Ian, a human, to accept both him and his wolf.

Review

Ian lost his father and brother to a gambling debt with a mob boss. Now he is doing his best to make the money needed to keep him from being essentially a sex slave for that same mob boss by continuing his father’s painting business.

Remy is the second most powerful werewolf in North America and finds his mate in the house painter whose come to do his newly purchased houses.

Remy is afraid to tell Ian his truths and Ian is afraid to trust someone so obviously out of his normal circle.

Eventually they must band together for Ian’s protection and slowly grow to love one another. They keep things chaste until Remy tells Ian of his true nature and claims him as his Mate.

**

I really liked the slow burn of this novel. The author does a lot to make the whole “insta-love” more palatable and sincere.

I liked the characters and found the story interesting.  I wish there was more about them being wolves, however.  Besides the rules and the mating bite there is absolutely nothing about being a werewolf in this story.

My main problem was the writing itself. It’s rather stiff and awkward, there are some grammatical mistakes and the dialog isn’t very believable. Everyone is entirely too self aware and they spend way too much time dissecting their feelings. There is a lot of telling and not much showing.

I think the creativity and storylines are great and with some improved editing future works could be outstanding.

3 of 5 hearts

3

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Guarding January by Sean Michael

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6136

januaryBlurb

Lord January is at the top of the charts, only comes out at night, and is usually covered in blood. Say what you will, but the man knows how to put on a great show. But when the Vampire King is let out of rehab, the last thing he expects is someone forcing him to eat real food, hang out in the sun, and generally be a human being.

Rye Sommers, the best bodyguard in the business, has been hired to babysit a rock star whose biggest threat surprisingly isn’t all the hard drugs, desperate groupies, and crazy fans—it’s Lord January himself. But the closer Rye gets, the more LJ turns into sweet, gentle, caring Jeff Smart. He may still be the super-skinny, pierced and inked genius Lord January, but he is slowly shaking his death wish as he sheds the loneliness and exhaustion his stage persona saddled him with.

But as Rye falls in love with the real Jeff, he finds himself in over his head. He knows he can keep Lord January away from the drugs and the groupies, but saving Jeff might force Jeff to choose between his career as Lord January and his very life.

Review

Lord January, aka LJ aka Jeff Smart is just coming home out of 8 months of rehab. He had been entered into the program after his heart stopped – twice – due to the drugs he took to help him maintain his persona.

Rye is a bodyguard enlisted to aid LJ stay safe and sober – 24-7. They immediately find they are more than client/employee and Rye swiftly begins to care deeply for the beleaguered and confused LJ.

LJ/Jeff is a mathemeatician and musician who has fallen into his role as the vampire/death metal star because his friend was in the band and needed a new lead singer after the other BLED OUT ON STAGE – gah!

Jeff is a quiet guy with a poet’s soul, mostly vegan, and completely unable to be the center of attention in the way Lord January is. He coped with drugs and now he is lost.

Rye shows him how to stand up for himself and find his own style but he can’t leave the band with so many people depending on him. In fact, it takes some pretty major crises to occur before Jeff will allow January to go away.

**

Sean Michael is a such a unique writer. He writes all this BDSM (not my style) and then all these Manny/extended family stories. He is definitely skilled at weaving a story that inspires a strong reaction.

I loved this story – more than I thought I would. I loved how vulnerable both men were to the other – almost right away – and while I was frustrated by Jeff’s resistance to change I could understand why he thought the way he did.

I loved the end and the sappiness of it all – though there was plenty of hardship along the way to balance things out.

I highly recommend this to fans of musicians in romance as well as bodyguard stories.

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n

Resurrecting Elliot by Cate Ashwood Blog Tour

RC

 

Excerpt:

TEN MINUTES. He was going to be here in ten minutes. Maybe. The website had given Elliot a window of an hour, but with ten minutes to, he was beginning to feel anxious. His heart was racing. His palms were already sweating. No one other than his sister and Dr. Mazur had crossed the threshold of his front door since it happened.
Nothing like throwing himself into the fire.
Elliot paced around the house, tidying what had already been tidied. He didn’t want this guy thinking he was a hoarder on top of being a shut-in. He double-checked that there was no clutter on his coffee table, that the newspapers his sister brought were neatly stacked and ready for the fireplace. The side tables had been dusted—twice—and the blanket on the back of the couch straightened. Pulling down the blinds on his front windows, he peered out, looking for a strange vehicle, but the street was deserted.
He walked back into the kitchen. Spotless. He wasn’t really sure how the whole delivery thing worked, if the guy just left his things at the door or if he brought them all the way into the house. Glancing at the clock again, he saw he had just enough time to fix—
There was a loud knock at the door. This was it. He hoped he wouldn’t puke on this guy’s shoes as soon as the door opened. He felt like he might. As calmly as he could, he walked to the front door and unlocked it.
Deep breaths, just keep breathing, he reminded himself before he clutched at the doorknob, turned it, and pulled his front door open.
He almost forgot to keep breathing.
The man that stood on the other side of his door, backlit by the sun, looked up and gave a crooked smile that made Elliot’s already rapidly beating heart hustle.
“Hi, are you Elliot Lawrence?” the man asked, his southern drawl warm and comforting somehow.
“Yes,” Elliot said unintelligently… and then forgot how to speak.
“I’m Colt.”

Sales Links:
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6661
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6662
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-resurrectingelliot-1842144-149.html

About the author:
Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.
Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her little boy, and their two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.
Where to find the author:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cate.ashwood
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Ashwood-Author/288329491267435?fref=ts
Twitter: @cateashwood
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cateashwood/
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25495377-resurrecting-elliot
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Unexpected Alpha (Lone Wolves Book 1) by Tielle St Clare

Amazon Presents http://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Alpha-Lone-Wolves-Book-ebook/dp/B00T0GPV6I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436754926&sr=8-1&keywords=unexpected+alpha&pebp=1436754928209&perid=1N8GJPNQ0T7KVAN0Z70Y

unexpected AlphaBlurb

Rowan’s a patient man.

As a Lone Wolf, he lives outside of the Pack, but he’s been watching Craigh for almost a year, waiting for the right moment to stake his claim.

He’s not in any rush. If Craigh wants to act like a Top when really he’s a hot little Bottom Boy, that’s fine. Rowan knows the truth.

Until Craigh challenges the current Alpha. There is no way his sweet Omega will survive the fight.

But how can Rowan stop his future mate from dying when Craigh insists on being noble and doing the right thing?

Review

This is a quick read – some typical shifter stuff and some really, really hot sexy times.

Rowan is an Alpha, but a lone wolf. He’s got his eyes on an Omega who thinks he’s an Alpha (read a bottom who thinks he’s a top).

When Craigh challenges his evil Alpha for control of the pack and to wrest the pack from tyranny, Rowan knows he has to make his move. In a move that was a little Deus ex Machina, Rowan manages to take over the challenge thus saving his Omega, and saving the pack.

But… Craigh is really strong and ends up saving Rowan back – so it’s a great partnership.

I really enjoyed this – though there’s nothing too exciting or new here, but it was well written and a fun read.

It’s Free with Kindle Unlimited!

4 of 5 hearts

4

10805469_1500047746947637_197599976_n