Category Archives: Hurt/Abuse

Cutting Cords (Kiss of Leather #6) Morticia Knight

                  ✨   REVIEWED BY: Patricia Nelson ✨

TITLE: Cutting Cords

SERIES: Kiss of Leather Book 6

AUTHOR: Morticia Knight

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: May 23, 2017

BLURB: Liam yearns for Master Neal’s harsh touch, but Neal fears that a part-time Master can’t give a full-time sub everything he needs.

Liam’s world crumbled after the unexpected death of his Master. Prone to panic attacks and other social anxiety, Liam doesn’t believe he’ll ever find another Master who would be willing to take on such a challenged sub full-time. Too distraught to go back to Club Consequence, where he met the man he thought he’d be with forever, he decides to give Kiss of Leather a try.

After doing a piercing gig at Kiss of Leather, Master Neal signs up to become a member. On the night he performs a demo as the final step to being accepted, he meets a sub who brings out his protective urge and makes his heart come alive. Neal isn’t scared off by Liam’s anxiety or social awkwardness. On the contrary, he finds the sub to be refreshingly honest and endearing.

They try out a scene to see if they’ll click, and their connection is everything they’d both hoped it could be. However, the road to love and a Total Power Exchange isn’t an easy one. Neal still hasn’t discovered all there is to know about Liam’s traumatic upbringing, and he’s not sure if he’d ultimately be the right Master for Liam.

Both men are forced to face the truth about love, life, and what it means to share it with another person. But before Liam can start over with Neal, he’ll have to cut the cords to his past and trust that Neal will be there to catch him when he does.

REVIEW: This great book is the sixth entry in Morticia Knight’s smoking hot Kiss of Leather series. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Liam, wanting to hug him and protect him from everything bad in the world. Neal had my admiration from the very beginning, with his upfront, straightforward attitude, and the care and gentleness with which he handled Liam has me almost in tears. This is a gorgeous, beautiful, and sexy story that I would recommend to everyone.

RATING: ❤️❤️❤️❤️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing 

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Toxic (Treacherous Chemistry #2) Avylinn Winter

                  ✨REVIEWED BY: Patricia Nelson

TITLE: Toxic

SERIES: Treacherous Chemistry Book 2

AUTHOR: Avylinn Winter

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: May 2, 2017

BLURB: When true love is a lie and pleasure turns to pain…

Adam Webb spent most of his teenage years in love with his best friend, Gabriel Connor, only to be thrown out of their shared apartment when he finally found the courage to reveal his feelings.

Seven months later, Adam’s effort to save their lost friendship finds him more than he ever asked for. After all, being thrown out has to better than being thrown into a wall. However, Adam isn’t ready to give up. Trapped and isolated in a dangerous relationship, he falls deeper and deeper into Gabriel’s world. Despite Adam’s attempts to push them away, his friends are determined to help, but the man who fights hardest is Cameron McCain, Adam’s photography teacher–a man who treasures what Gabriel does not.

They say love should conquer all. But when passion breeds fear and love turns toxic, will Adam make the right choice?

REVIEW: I was totally blown away by the gritty, heartbreaking, in-your-face, take no prisoners, grab-you-by-the-throat, no holds barred honesty of this compelling story. The author doesn’t sugarcoat, or try to gloss over, just how people can be sucked into a dangerous situation where it’s nowhere near as easy to escape from as you might think. This book carries a powerful message, and left me thinking about it long after I reached the end. This story may have triggers for some people, but for me, it was well worth the journey.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing

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Finding Hope (Finding Series #5) Sloane Kennedy

                         💫💫Reviewed by Michele💫💫

TITLE: Finding Hope

SERIES: Finding Series Book 5

AUTHOR: Sloane Kennedy

PUBLISHER: Self Published 

RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2017

BLURB: At 19, Beck Barretti is living two lives. To his family, he’s a young man trying to find his way after years of battling a mental illness that nearly cost him everything. But to the rest of the world he’s just another privileged kid with problems. The truth doesn’t even lie somewhere in between because Beck’s entire life is actually about keeping secrets.

From the people he loves.

From the ones he doesn’t.

From himself.

Spending a summer in Dare, Montana with family friends isn’t about starting fresh – it’s about escaping the crippling darkness that threatens to consume him.

Until one encounter that was supposed to mean nothing ends up changing everything…

Quinn Donovan had the life he’d always dreamed of until a brutal act of violence ripped it all away. Even though he’s found a new future working at the CB Bar Ranch in Dare, Montana, he’s not interested in trying to get back what he once had. All he wants is a quiet life that includes a job that’s worth getting up for each morning and hanging out with his best friend, a black and white Paint stallion named Koda.

But nothing prepares him for the strange twist of fate that brings not one, but two men into his life…

Brody Wilder is done hiding in the closet. As the son of a political scion, he’s spent his entire life hiding the truth about who he is just so he could inherit a legacy he never wanted. But those days are behind him and he’s starting a new life in rural Montana where he’s saving lives as a paramedic and building a successful construction business that would surely horrify his old-money, society-loving family.

After years of denying himself, he’s taking advantage of his newfound freedom by indulging in random, meaningless sexual encounters that are about pleasure, not emotion.

So no one is more surprised than him when one night in the back room of a sordid gay club leads to something more…

Can three men who came together by chance find the hope they need to build a future with each other, or will they end up letting their fears tear them apart?

Trigger Warning: This book contains multiple triggers. To review what they are, please take a look at the sample or use the “Look Inside” feature and scroll to right before the table of contents. Reviewing the triggers may cause spoilers.

***This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone…no cliffhangers. However, there will be additional enjoyment if the series is read in order***

REVIEW: WOW! That’s all I can say. She did it to me again. My emotions were all over the place while reading this painful but cathartic story. For me this one hurt but in a good way. As I read Beck’s story, and I read all 4 of the previous books in this series, the characters in Finding Hope were by far the most captivating. The story was well written, which given that this was a ménage can be difficult.

This book is about 3 men, Beck, Quinn, and Brody, who separately are struggling with issues from their past. The lack of acceptance and betrayal by your own family, the painful loss of who you thought was the love of your life, and the physical and emotional abuse inflicted by those knowing and unknowingly who took an oath to protect, and those who professed their friendship only to be used in a game of deception.

Beck’s story brought out my feelings of indignation as I felt his fear, pain, sadness, and anger. I had to pull myself together more than once in order to continue reading. Even as I was flooded with all those emotions the story continually showed Beck coming out of the darkness of his past as he discovers himself and finds friendship, acceptance and love in the small town of Dare, Montana. This is a MUST READ. I HIGHLY recommend this book.

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RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 

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Scarred by Mia Kerick Blog Tour with Excerpt and #Giveaway

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Title: Scarred
Author: Mia Kerick
Release Date: March 1st 2017
Genre: Adult, Gay Romance, LGBT

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BLURB

From bestselling author Mia Kerick comes a New Adult Gay Romance that will keep you up reading all night!

Matthew North waited ten years to heal from the devastating wounds inflicted by the man who abducted and abused him as a child. Living reclusively on a tropical island—with no company but his four cats—he merely avoids the lingering pain.

Wearing twisted ropes of mutilated skin on his back, Matt struggles with a profound hindrance—the scars that deaden his soul. However, on the night he meets lively Vedie Wilson, a local restaurant busboy who expresses his gender by wearing lipgloss and eyeliner along with his three-day beard, things change.

Gradually, Vedie and Mateo unite in friendship. Through a series of awkward encounters, the pair learns each other’s secrets. Vedie learns that an angelic face can front for a scarred soul. Matthew learns that the line between one’s masculine and feminine sides is blurred. Can they embrace the painful stories behind each other’s scars if they’re to find everlasting love? Or will surrendered love come to be yet another blemish on their souls?

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Cool Dudes Publishing

Find Scarred on Goodreads

EXCERPT

Matt

Seeing this kid cry slices easily through my thick skin and I don’t like it one bit. There’s a heart somewhere under all of the armor I wear, and I like to keep it under wraps. But what’s most fucked-up about this situation is that less than two hours ago we were complete strangers not exactly enjoying a friendly interaction.

When he came to my table, he’d asked, “Yo, what you drinkin’, man?” I guess I must have looked at him cross-eyed because I didn’t recognize him as a regular worker at The Only Tiki Hut on Placida Island. And I should know; I’ve eaten dinner here several nights a week for the past decade. He got right on my case. What’s your friggin’ problem? I asked you real nice, seein’ as it’s my job and shit!”

It was as if he’d read my mind when he sized up my expression, which made me shiver because nobody knows what I’m thinking, and I like it that way. “Just water,” I’d told him and then I stared out over the beach, craning my neck like I was watching for somebody even though there’s never been anybody for me to watch for.

He hadn’t liked being ignored, so he’d started to play the smart-ass, a part that he’s very good at. “Sorry, big dawg, the lady’s a no-show. You gonna have to fill your bed with somebody new tonight, looks like.” He actually waggled his eyebrows.

“Guess today’s not my lucky day, because I’m planning to sleep alone,” I told him and meant it.

“It can be your lucky day if you play your cards right, my man.” He let go of the tray with one hand, dropped his palm onto my shoulder, and squeezed. “You ain’t gotta be lonely tonight if you don’t—what the fuck, man!”

I’d already jumped to my feet and practically stomped on the guy. “Hands off, asshole.”

“I get it, big dawg, so chill.” The kid pulled back his hand and released a long sigh, like he knew he’d broken one of his own rules by grabbing me. “I’ll get my dumbass hand offa your badass shoulder, if you sit your ass back down on that chair.” And after another sigh, he said, “Not gonna push the issue, man. Just offerin’ you some company on a long, hot, lonely night.”

GIVEAWAY: Win a $25 Amazon Giftcard

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About the Author

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Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another in dance school, a third in school at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. (Mia is a major fan of the learning process!) She writes LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-three years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero. There is, at minimum, one of these in each book. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of said tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to CoolDudes Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and Evernight Publishing for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

A social liberal, Mia cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

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Fighter (The Brick Yard #1) Carol Lynne

       ✨✨Reviewed by Michele✨✨

TITLE: Fighter

SERIES: The Brick Yard

AUTHOR: Carol Lynne

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: February 9, 2017

BLURB: For Lucky Gunn, the hardest fight of his life happens outside the cage.

On the South Side of Chicago sits an old gym called The Brick Yard.

Ten years ago, on a bitterly cold day, Lucky Gunn wandered into The Brick Yard dressed in a threadbare jacket, looking for refuge. He hadn’t expected the owner, Tony Brick, to welcome him with a job and a place to sleep when Lucky’s abusive and drug-addicted mother made it too dangerous to return home.

Dray was a gay man living in a world of straight fighters. When his secret was exposed to the media, he dropped out, giving Lucky a piece of advice-if you want to make it as a MMA fighter, bury the part of yourself that won’t be accepted.

Lucky discovered the cage was the perfect place to keep his demons at bay, but when he learns his trainer and mentor, Brick, is suffering from end-stage cancer, he begins to spiral out of control. After eight years, Dray returns to help Lucky and Brick deal with the devastating news.

With Dray so close, Lucky’s old desires return, and Dray teaches him more than how to fight. Torn between his career and the passion he feels for Dray, Lucky’s past demons resurface in full force, threatening his sanity and his budding relationship with Dray.

Despite leaving the cage years earlier, Dray finds himself in the battle of his life with the only man he’s ever loved. Will he stand and fight or walk away like he did years earlier?

REVIEW: First let me say I loved this book. It really captured my heart. This book is truly a angsty romance that will have you experiencing every range of emotion possible. This is a love story, but it reads like a labor of love for Ms. Lynne. 

This very emotional story is about two men, one of whom has had his dream of becoming a MMA snatched from him, and the other is trying to become the next champion. I fell head first into the story of Lucky Gunn’s life. As you meet these very complex characters you will get pulled into a very intriguing and intensely emotional story I couldn’t put down and neither will you. The Brick Yard becomes a safe haven for Lucky and many other boys who suffer from physical and emotional abuse…sometimes neglect at the hand of a parent. The owner of the Brick Yard, who goes by the name Brick ( I know right), becomes a father figure to Lucky. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the journey of these two men and their connection to the others that form a family of sorts. As you meet Dray, Mack, and the boys you will laugh, cry, and at times get very angry. I’m a fan of this author and this book did not disappoint. Without a doubt this  will be one of my favorites for this year.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing

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Losing Faith by Scotty Cade

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Losing Faith

SERIES

AUTHOR: Scotty Cade

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: June 10, 2016

BLURB: Father Cullen Kiley, a gay Episcopal priest on hiatus from the church, decides to take his boat, T-Time, from Provincetown, Massachusetts, to Southport, North Carolina, a place that holds an abundance of bittersweet memories for him. While on a run his first day in Southport, Cullen comes upon a man sitting on a park bench staring out over the Cape Fear River with his Bible in hand. The man’s body language reeks of defeat and desperation, and unable to ignore his compassion for his fellow man, Cullen stops to offer a helping hand.

Southport Baptist Church’s Associate Pastor, Abel Weston, has a hard time managing his demons. When they get too overwhelming, he retreats to Southport’s Historic Riverwalk with his Bible in hand and stares out over the water, praying for help and guidance that never seem to come. But Abel soon discovers that help and guidance come in many forms.

An unexpected friendship develops between the two men, and as Cullen helps Abel begin to confront his doubts and fears, he comes face-to-face with his own reality, threatening both their futures.

REVIEW: This book is in one word: amazing! It was touching and beautifully written. I will say that I wasn’t too excited about this one because of the subject matter but decided to give it a go because it was written by this author. Needless to say that I am so very glad that I made the decision to do so. This man, with his words, has this way of drawing you into his story that I find absolutely magical. His descriptions, which I had in the past described as wordy (which I sincerely apologize for now) were perfect. I get it! This author’s descriptions weren’t wordy at all! He was actually using them to draw you in; he wanted you to experience the emotions of each character, to actually feel their experiences. He did this in a way that is subtle; you don’t even realize until afterwards of what he’s done. Thinking back to his previous fictions I’ve had the pleasure of reading, I realize how he’s always done this.

These two men’s personalities couldn’t have been more different, so much so
That I didn’t think they would be compatible enough to get together. But of course, Cade found a way for them to connect and form an unbreakable and beautiful bond. This subtle build to perfection is what makes this story such an enjoyable read. I can tell you that I was captivated from the first page to the very last.

What I like about this story is that here, you have these two men of the cloth (what I refer to any clergy) who you think are supposed be…oh, I don’t know. I know as a youth, I certainly didn’t think of religious leaders as having their own demons to contend with. Cade of course writes these characters in a way that dispels that myth. He wrote these men in a way that said to me that these are men of god but they’re still only men. And they have demons to contend with just like we all do.

I loved this story. It was so very touching and beautiful. And of course, well researched! That’s one of the many things you can expect when reading this author’s work: an extremely well researched, perfectly edited book. This is a definite must read and one that I highly recommend you read.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 
Dreamspinner Press

 

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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

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

 

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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
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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

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