Tag Archives: abuse

Hiding From Two (Soul Match #3) Morticia Knight

                            💫 Reviewed by Michele💫 

TITLE: Hiding From Two

SERIES: Soul Match # 3

AUTHOR: Morticia Knight

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2017

BLURB: Embracing destiny was never meant to be easy.

Morgan can’t figure out where he belongs anymore now that a new world has emerged in the aftermath of the Alasharian invasion of Earth. Everything is too strange and frightening and all he wants to do is hide from it all. It doesn’t help to ease his confusion when he finds himself being drawn to not one but two aliens. He thought his cousin Chris was insane to fall in love with the muscled warriors who bonded with him as his mates, but his own heart might be in danger when it comes to the warrior Rama, and Hallosh, an advisor to the Alasharian’s Supreme Commander, the Nall.

Chris experiences a terrifying vision from the Soul Healer and it becomes clear that both Alasharian and humans are running out of time to save the Earth from the insidious spread of the Void. A battle is imminent and it becomes imperative to protect those who are allied against the evil that has corrupted the Nall.

Everything on Earth is about to change once again and Morgan finds himself at the brink of discovering his own destiny—and how the two aliens he can’t get out of his mind will be a part of it. A disturbing event triggers the beginning of the fight against the Void. Chris and Morgan must separate for the first time since the invasion, with each of them leaving with their own soul matches. For Morgan, he hopes the goodbye he says to Chris won’t be forever.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of death and violence.

 

REVIEW: Just a small warning here, that this is the third book in this series and the first two books are vital to the story. This review may contain a few spoilers for anyone who has not read books 1&2.

So in this book we get Morgan’s story. You may recall in my reviews of books 1&2 I found Morgan to be completely annoying. Well, in the beginning Moran is still very cautious about the Alasharians, but he’s beginning to thaw due to the kindness and bravery that his cousin Chris’ alien mates have shown him. He’s also still fearful and bewildered about how Chris was not just in a relationship with the aliens but in love with them. Morgan just needed some time to process everything going on including the uncomfortable feeling he got every time he and Hallosh, the alien that rescued him in book 2, were in the same place.

Then he meets Rama, Lasar’s best friend and fellow warrior. Now Morgan is in Rama’s care where they get to know each other and a sort of friendship develops before the same uncomfortable spark develops between him and Rama. To his shock and surprise, Morgan begins to understand the spark between him and Rama which leads to him uncovering his other match. I will say that the insta-love between Rama, Hallosh and Morgan felt a bit rushed. Rama went from not being interested in anything between him and Morgan to being all in.

I did however thoroughly enjoy this book and the drama of the Void, the Nall, the Soul Healer, and Chris who has become the chosen human to lead this fight for both the Alasharians and the humans. 

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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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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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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A Different Breed by Angel Martinez

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: A Different Breed

SERIES:

PUBLISHER: MLR Press

RELEASE DATE: August 6, 2016 (first published November 27, 2010)

BLURB: Josh the vampire hunter falls in lust with one of the enemy; Richard has secrets and might not be sane–oh, sure, this will work.

Josh hunts vampires with relentless, cold precision until the night he confronts a gorgeous hunk of vamp in the woods outside Ithaca. Richard destroys all of his prejudices about vampires in the first few moments of conversation and the sexual sparks between them ignite almost as quickly. Richard offers the stability Josh never had. Josh offers the healing Richard needs so desperately.

But it’s nearly impossible just to walk away from a life of violence. An attack one evening leaves a friend in the hospital, Richard with a bullet through his chest, muttering about strange creatures, and Josh fighting to piece together what really happened. Are Richard’s nightmare attackers real, or is Josh’s favorite vamp losing his mind? Is there a reasonable explanation or has the hunter now become prey?

This title has been previously published.

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REVIEW: This story was an absolute joy for me to read. Josh and Richard may just be my new book boyfriends. More so Richard than Josh. I just adore Richard to bits! He was an interesting mix of fierce warrior, sweet, gentle, protective, kind hearted, heartbroken vampire. He’s experienced love and loss many, many times. He’s still in mourning and feel guilty over the murder of his last human lover, whose life was taken by vampire hunters.

Josh is a vampire hunter whose led a hard life. A life filled with violence, abandonment, anger, and pain. He spots Richard one night and just makes up his mind to kill him. But the funny things happened on the way to killing the vamp.

Josh found that he couldn’t do it. One look at the beautiful vampire was all it took and the two men makes a connection. And it’s more than sexual.

I loved, LOVED this story. Josh was vulgar, rude, obnoxious, violent and a smart ass but that I felt was an armor he wore to block the pain of losing his twin sister years prior. Richard also was dealing with the loss of a loved one and these two finding each other at the time they did was perfect.

Martinez did a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. The author had an entire cast of background characters brought in and was able to blend their dialogues and storyline without losing the focus on the MCs. This was definitely not a run of the mill vampire story, believe me.

Every little thing about this book was wonderful. The plot, which has been done before, was done in such a way in this that it wasn’t tired or overused. The storyline was lovely and you will fall in love with the characters. The ending was so very sweet, definite must for those who, like me enjoys a good HEA ending.

I would love to see a sequel to this, maybe a novella just to see how these two guys are doing.

I would definitely recommend this.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JKJ1E6K/ref=gi_dp_gtfa#nav-subnav

ARe

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-adifferentbreed-2083622-340.html

 

 

 

 

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Call of the Alpha (Blue Moon #3) A.E. Via

 

 

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Call of the Alpha

SERIES: Blue Moon # 3

PUBLISHER: Via Star Wings

RELEASE DATE: July 30, 2016

EXCERPT: Call didn’t need to phone and announce their arrival. Hawk already knew they were coming. Last time he’d seen his old comrade was at Shot and Fox’s wedding a year ago. They still emailed and called occasionally but they were both immensely enjoying the less complicated life with their partners. It went without saying that if one of them was in need, then they could always count on one another. If they were going to go up against a league of rebel assassins, then he’d need Hawk’s advanced visual capabilities, Pierce’s analytical skills and of course, he needed Viper, a man who’d yet to meet a system that he couldn’t hack.
They had to abandon their car two miles away from Hawk and Pierce’s secured residence since there was no road leading to their elevated home nestled comfortably in the dense woods of Frederick County. The rough terrain was hard enough to trek by foot, only an ATV or bike could make it. As soon as the trees opened up into a large clearing, Call looked up and saw Hawk watching them from his balcony. Even from the distance, Call could see the vibrant hue of colors swirling in Hawk’s eyes. Visions no doubt flashing before him as they approached. Call hoped that Hawk saw them all coming out of this alive.
“That’s him, huh?” Lion said, just loud enough for them to hear. It was an observation, Lion wasn’t expecting an answer. They were still a good hundred yards away. “From everything I heard, I expected more. Bigger.”
“He can read your lips.” Call smirked.
When they were in earshot, Hawk leaned on the rail watching them. A large hawk called out in the sky and swooped over their heads before gliding up into the air gracefully and landing right next to Hawk. He watched his good friend stroke the muscular raptor’s breast before turning and going back inside. By the time they reached the front door, Hawk was there. His dirty-blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail. He wore an oversized pair of sweats and a white t-shirt. Call stood in front of Hawk and embraced him.
“What took you so long?” Hawk asked, a sly smile on his ruggedly handsome face. His buddy didn’t look a day older, despite the few strands of gray in his beard. He still looked like a badass, experienced soldier.
“When did you see us?” Call asked curiously.
“Two months ago.” Hawk turned and went inside. His visions didn’t have a time stamp. Call had learned that from the many years of fighting side-by-side with the man. After all this time, Hawk still blew his mind. Two months ago. He and Alpha had been living peacefully, completely oblivious until a few days ago. But Hawk had this vision of the four of them coming to his doorstep weeks ago. Unbelievable.
Call was almost completely through the vast foyer before he noticed that Alpha, Omega, and Lion were still standing at Hawk’s doorstep. Hawk stopped and turned to face them. “Seriously? Are you assassins or vampires? If your face didn’t meet the reinforced steel of my front door, then the invite in is implied. Get your asses in here.”
Call snorted. Oh how he missed his guys.
Alpha entered first, followed closely by Lion, and then Omega finally entered. Everything they did was done with formality, even the removal of their footwear. It was no shock that Alpha was in front and Omega last. The A and the Z. The beginning and the end.
“Hawk. It just hasn’t been long enough. How have you been?” Omega grinned. “And that petite beauty of yours. Is he doing well these days?”
Hawk spun and faced Omega. The golden flecks in his eyes shimmered so brightly it looked like flames ignited and burned behind his irises.
“Shit. That’s new. When did that start?” Call asked, the awe clear in his voice as he stared intently into Hawk’s eyes while his friend kept his anger directed at Omega.
“Two months ago. When he first saw you coming.” Everyone turned and looked up at the top level of the three-story home. Pierce answered Call’s question while leaning on the solid oak banister. Call had to admit that Pierce and Hawk wore domestic bliss well. Pierce’s skin was smooth and radiant. His eyes, bluer than the Carolina sky, shone adoringly as he watched Hawk on his descent.

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SUMMARY: THIS IS THE THIRD INSTALLMENT IN THIS SERIES BUT CAN BE READ AS A STAND ALONE.  The Story of ALPHA, CALL, OMEGA & LION ALONG WITH A COUPLE OTHER FAVORITES

It’s been a couple years since Commander John Marion – the US Navy’s most decorated SEAL – hung up his dog tags, choosing his cherished Alpha over war.

Call and Alpha have settled comfortably into their carefree lives nestled in the mountains of South Carolina. No more combat for the Commander and no more ordered killings for the deadliest assassin in the world.

However, nothing stays peaceful forever.

When Alpha’s brother Omega comes to their secluded home with a distressing message from their Order, Alpha has to answer the call. But what neither of them expect is for the Order to send them a new assassin, one just as deadly as both of them, to seek their counsel and bring them back Persia.

Lion’s commanding presence was not at all what any of them anticipated. Especially Omega. Lion realizes what Omega is to him right away, but the stubborn man fights his every advance. Lion knows he and Omega have to connect if they’re going to be victorious. He was sent to bring back an army but if he can’t get his cherished to yield to him, they are sure to fail.

Call refuses to let Alpha fight a gang of rebel assassins without him. Omega will fight by his brother’s side, no matter what… and Hawk saw them coming for his help before anyone else. Together they’ll fight the toughest opponents they’ve ever faced. As always… these badass warriors are up for the challenge.
This book ends in an HEA and does not end in a Cliffhanger.
This book contains graphic violence.
REVIEW: This book, just like with all of her other works is simply amazing. I must admit that I didn’t expect to like this book as much as her other works because assassins, cloak and dagger super secret military cat and mouse isn’t really my thing but this author definitely made it appealing.

To start, let me comment on the cover. The colors is what drew my attention to the book initially. The cover art is absolutely lovely, those gorgeous shades of blue along with the font is elegantly masculine. I love how the covers to all of the books in the series are similar. This gives it a cohesive look and sort of notifies the reader that the story will pick up seamlessly where the last own left off. Speaking of which, this book, although part of a series can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend you read the books all the books in sequential order to have a better understanding as to who the characters are. I read this book first and although I admit to being a tad bit lost, it wasn’t overly so. The author did a great job to sort of refresh (introduce in my case) the reader to who/what/when/where from the previous books.

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The characters are strong, tough, resilient, stubborn, dangerous, beautiful yet almost vulnerable in their love for each other. Meaning, Call and Alpha’s love for each other is strong but tender. These men are each other’s Kryptonite.

I absolutely loved how the author was able to have so much and so many different things going on with each character and around them. She had so much going on with them all yet still maintain the plot and storyline while also maintaining focus on the main characters. I was able to keep track of what was going on.

I absolutely love how this author writes her male characters. She doesn’t use flowery lilac colored pretty words to describe these men nor do does she use it in the dialogue. These are soldiers and assassins. These men fight and love hard.

When this author puts those fingers on her keyboard, she knows what in the hell she’s doing, let me tell you. I’ve never been disappointed when reading her work. She is an artist, a master of her craft.

RATING: 🌟🌟AMAZING🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/153531902X/ref=x_gr_mw_bb_sin_a?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_mw_bb_sin_a-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=153531902X&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

AllRomance

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/mobile/details.html?pid=2081538&cat=153

Barnes&Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/blue-moon-iii-call-of-the-alpha-ae-via/1124216899;jsessionid=0A24A1CFE6CCB3FA64117F514CC93235.prodny_store01-atgap08?ean=9781535319027&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,%20Inc_2227948_NA&sourceId=AFFGoodreads,%20IncM000004

AUTHOR BIO

A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children. Adrienne Via has tons of more stories to tell, but she really would like to hear yours. Via Star Wings Books is currently accepting submissions for established and aspiring LGBTQ authors.
Visit my site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

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Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31130999-blue-moon-iii

A.E. Blog: http://authoraevia.com/blogfann.html

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Facebook (Friend me): https://www.facebook.com/authoraevia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/A.-E.-Via/e/B00GMNMS4U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
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Signs of Life (Reilient Love Book 2) by Melanie Hansen

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6746

SignsofLifeLGBlurb

A Resilient Love Story

Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all—a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.

High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids—he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.

An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.

Review

The story starts out rough. No holds barred. Rough. Jeremy loses his husband and their unborn child first thing. He goes into a deep depression and loses himself for a year or more. It’s only now, about 2 years later that he’s even beginning to re-surface and re-claim his life.

Kai is a former gang member turned teacher. He works with at-risk kids to give them the chance that he didn’t have. He had some horrible experiences in his childhood that have shaped him, but with the help of his close friend, Loren and some others he’s come around to a full life.

Kai and Jeremy meet as a one time hook up at a club. Jeremy freaks after and makes an ass of himself. Luckily, when they meet again, Kai’s heart is big enough to understand the reasons behind the freak out.

At first it’s a sex only, no-strings arrangement. Jeremy is clear on that. But over time, feelings grow and emotions get involved.

**

This is an absolutely breathtakingly beautiful story. It is so painful at the beginning but it has such a beautiful ending, the pain is worth it.

Melanie Hansen’s writing is perfection. She has improved even since book one (which was great) and there are no rough edges to this book. The story line is clean, thought provoking without being preachy, real and rugged but still very sentimental and romantic. You can see this actually happening but still feel the fairy-tale-ness of the story. (The blazing hot sex helps with that!)

Kai and Jeremy are HOT together. Their chemistry is off the charts. But it’s also really touching and romantic when it needs to be. I loved how they fit each other so well. It’s never a big deal that Jeremy is rich – it’s just there. Kai is independent and always will be so it’s not a big deal. That was very refreshing.

I also loved how Loren and his impact on Kai’s life was handled. Again, it felt really authentic and real. They are amazing friends and I am hoping we see Loren’s story soon.

It was nice seeing the happy Jase and Carey bits, seeing them with more of their HEA.

I really, really loved this story. It will count among the years best for me and I highly recommend it. (It’s absolutely fine as a stand alone, but book one was great, too.  Reviewed here:  http://kimichanexperience.com/everything-changes-melanie-hansen/)

PS Isn’t the cover to-die-for?!?!

6 of 5 hearts

amazing

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Breaking (Book two of the Fall or Break series) by Barbara Elsborg

Samhain Publishing Presents http://www.barbaraelsborg.com/book/breaking/

This book is slated to be released July 28, 2015

breakingBlurb

Archer Hart is on the move before the man he’s just killed is found. When a bullet whizzes past his ear, he realizes hunter is now hunted. So much for his retirement plans. Someone wants him dead and all he can do is keep running.

Downed by a hit and run driver, barrister Conrad Black is certain the ‘accident’ was deliberate but he has no proof or support. In recovery, struggling to work out of partial paralysis, he has plenty of time to wonder who regrets not striking him harder. At this point, running anywhere is a distant dream.

The confidence, determination and stamina of two alphas males will mean little if neither is willing to bend—seize the love offered—and work together to understand why they’re suddenly both marked men. Not easy for either when Archer has broken the law in the worst possible way and Conrad is the law.

Review

Wow! Another amazing, gripping, very HOT and tender love story from Barbara Elsborg.

We met Conrad in book one, he was Malachi’s ex, the controlling, self-centered, almost kinda evil guy, who redeems himself at the end. He’s been struck down by a hit and run driver and was paralyzed from the accident – briefly. While he’s on the mend, he takes himself to a beach cottage and searches for the person he’s convinced tried to make the hit and run look like an accident.

On a walk one day he sees a surfer nearly drown and risks his own life to save him. That man is Archer, a murder-for hire who is trying to get out of the business. Archer also has someone after him – and he needs time to figure out who that is.

Together, these broken men – both uber alpha – struggle against their powerlessness, their attraction to one another and their pasts.

Of course – neither trusts the other – one being on the side of the law and the other being on the side of the highest bidder.

As the story unfolds it becomes clear that the men might have more of a connection than just the beach rescue.

(I’m not going into that more here – you’ll just have to read it to find out!)

**

As with book one, I thought this was an amazing story with really richly developed characters who organically grew and changed over the course of the story until they became the men who could accept the deep and abiding love that finally finds them.

I grew a bit tired at the secondary plot – it was certainly important – but I wanted to skim parts of the “intrigue” and “action” scenes.

I absolutely loved how Conrad turned from villain to good guy. It felt very real and authentic and not at all forced.

The final scenes were a little confusing to me – I wasn’t sure what Archer’s motivations were in keeping Conrad in the dark for so long – but… in the end it all worked out really beautifully and the epilogue was both hot and terribly sweet!

I highly recommend this book and this series.

4.75 of 5 hearts

5

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Here Without You (One Voice #2) by Mia Kerick

Dreamspinner presents: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6035

here without you Blurb

With all of his scratched and dented heart, Nate DeMarco wants to be two places at once, but he’s been forced to make an unbearable choice. Having barely survived high school, Nate and his boyfriends, Casey Minton and Zander Zane, are ready to move forward. Casey and Zander have left home to attend Boston City College. Nate remains in New Hampshire to protect his volatile younger sister from their increasingly violent, alcoholic uncle. Nate suffers with anger, resentment, and loneliness as what he wants battles against what he feels he must do.

Separated, the young men fight to stay in contact. But they are faced with separate issues. Casey copes with residual fear from having been bullied in high school. Zander obsesses over the establishment of One Voice, the gay-straight alliance at Boston City College. And Nate fights for his sister’s survival. Meanwhile, the intensity of the boys’ relationship increases, both sexually and emotionally.

Nate’s effort to live two lives leads to tragedy, which threatens to blast their relationship apart before they can adjust to the changes in their lives. They must find their way back to a united path before it’s too late.

Review

You have to have read book one for this to mean much to you.

In book one our three MCs have faced bullies and won! Now they are 18 and off to college… well Casey and Zander are. Nate has stayed at home to take care of his [bitchy] sister Cindy and keep her safe from his [evil] uncle.

If anything, book one was Casey’s story and this is Nate’s.

Casey and Zander are in school and there are a few hurdles: Casey is still really nervous in crowds, especially around girls/women. Zander wants One Voice to make it big, right NOW, but has to organize his priorities straight or lose what’s really important.

Nate, however, is facing depression, loneliness and hopelessness and most of it without support.

Cindy just won’t let up. She pushes and pushes and pushes and the results are an abusive uncle who takes it all out on Nate.

When Nate tries to take time for himself it’s harder to go back each time. He feels pulled in several directions and has no one to turn to for unbiased support.

Finally, things come to a head and Cindy ends up hurt. Nate spirals out of control and the boys think things have actually come to a heart-breaking end.

Luckily their love is stronger than that and they manage to pull Nate back from the brink and keep their “throuple” (a threesome couple) alive.

**

Wow. Book one was hard to read and this one is harder? The emotions are deeper and even more difficult because there is the more “adult” side to their lives.

I absolutely loved the way Mia Kerick handled their growing relationship intimacy. It was, again, suitable to the age (maybe now we’d call it Young Adult) and still felt really authentic and yet very touching.

It was so hard to read Nate’s part in this. He was suffering so much and felt so alone. When he finally gives in and lets the boys back in to his life it’s so beautiful.

I loved Zander’s family and Casey’s family absolutely rocked!

I think there is a book three in the works and I hope it’s Zander’s turn to take the lead.

I can’t wait for the next installment, but this felt very satisfying on its own.

PS LOVE the cover!

All in all 5 of 5 hearts

5

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