Tag Archives: tragedy

The Secrets In My Scowl by A.E. Via

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: The Secrets in My Scowl

SERIES:

AUTHOR: A.E. Via

PUBLISHER: Via Star Wings Books

RELEASE DATE: October 28 , 2016

BLURB: Sparks ignite and tempers flare when a sexy, optimistic wedding planner, moves his business in across the hall from a jilted, divorce lawyer’s practice.

Look smart ass. This is the last time I’m going to remind you about breaking sections of the lease. If there’s a next time, I won’t stop until you and your frilly, white wedding shit is thrown out of here. Do you got it?!”

Wylde looked in Jacob’s pained eyes and answered in his deep voice. “Yeah, counselor. I got it.”

From high school, up until he became a successful attorney Jacob Snowden was convinced that love had it out for him. “Everyone left,” were the words he lived by. His mother, his high school sweetheart, his father, and his fiancé, all left Jacob just when he felt it was safe to let down his guard. Not any longer. Jacob was a determined man, set at keeping people at a distance. If his six foot one, military-made body didn’t scare people off, his permanent scowl surely did. At almost forty, Jacob’s social life was non-existent, but he told himself his work fulfilled him. He helped people get out of their loveless marriages. Jacob Snowden was one of the best divorce lawyers on the east coast and was damn proud of it. So, imagine his disdain when a wedding planner moves into the suite directly adjacent to his… an insanely masculine, male wedding planner.

Wylde Sterling had made quite a name for himself in his hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, working for a wedding planner that catered to the elite. He was known for his charm and impeccable taste. Yep, he was incredible at giving couples the wedding of their dreams. But he wanted nothing more than to plan his own. After striking out in love more times than he cared to admit, Wylde decided to start his own business in a new city, hoping Richmond would give him a fresh start. Things started out wonderfully – until he started to piss off the angry divorce attorney next door.

Wylde could see past Jacob’s mean scowl, knowing there was a reason for it. It was the man’s defense mechanism, his means of keeping people away. Everything in Wylde told him to stay away, but he believed Jacob just needed to meet a man who had been hurt as badly as he had.

Standalone gay romance that ends in an HEA and no cliffhanger.

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REVIEW: I loved everything about this book and these characters. As usual, this author manages to tell an amazing story that captures and captivates you cover to cover, from the first word written to the last.

Jacob’s character was interesting. I was fascinated to read how good his childhood and family life was up until the point where his mother abandoned the family. There is this drastic shift for the worse in his life for both him and his father. Theirs was a story that made me the saddest.

The events of his childhood shaped every decision he’s made in his adult life. It’s made him harden his shell but underneath that shell was a man who had been deeply hurt and betrayed in life. All anyone ever saw was the shell he presented; many not interested in or afraid to see past his angry shell.

Wylde’s character was quite interesting: here you have this beautifully masculine man in a career where many would expect the stereotypical flamboyant gay man to have. In this book, as in all of her others, she flips the script and made it completely the opposite. That’s what I like about this author. She has this wonderful talent for writing her gay male characters as just regular guys which is exactly what they are; her characters are relatable. I know that when I pick up her work it will be sans the troubling stereotypes that seems to be the trend in many of the books in this genre. And as always, her characters are mature men, men in their mid to late 30s and older so the reader can further relate to the characters.

This book, like her others, was extremely written. This is an author that has really mastered her craft; her work is of the highest quality.

The only holes that I found in the book was the fact that Jacob was referred at one point in the book as a soldier instead of sailor. Another small issue was the timeline. I don’t know about the timeline but I am going to assume that it was a bit before the repeal of DADT so it wasn’t really made clear how Jacob was able to propose or how he was going to pull off and get away with marrying another man. Another issue I had is the circumstances behind the mother’s abandonment of her family. The only thing that made the reasoning not feel real was the length of time. The time threw it all off for me. That situation should’ve been, I felt, resolved within five years or less. Realistically it probably would’ve been because here it is almost two decades later that she still in the picture which begs the question as to why she left in the first place if it took almost two decades to resolve itself. Either that or there could’ve been another reason as to why she left. The reason for her leaving and the time it took for the situation to progress to the stage that it did didn’t make sense.  It just would’ve been more believable had things progressed much faster for her than it did and he found out on the back end.

Although noticeable, the above stated did in no way deflect from the overall enjoyment I experienced reading this story.

This heartbreak written within this book will have you on the edge of tears and just when you think you’re going to cry your eyes over how much hurt Jacob is experiencing, a scene is written in that will have you laughing yourself into stitches.

I absolutely adore this book and I highly recommend it.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️Amazing⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Giveaway

 

Author A.E. Via
“Only Thing Sexier than One Man, Is Two of Them Together”
Author Official Website:

http://authoraevia.com/
Via Star Wings Books Publishing: http://authoraevia.com/starwing.html

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/A.-E.-Via/e/B00GMNMS4U
A.E. Blog: http://authoraevia.com/blogfann.html

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoraevia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

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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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Believing Blue (Manchester Ménage #3) Nicole Colville

 

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Believing Blue

SERIES: Manchester Ménage #3

PUBLISHER: Hidden Pleasures

RELEASE DATE: April 20, 2016

BLURB: Is there a fated path we follow, or is it simply a series of coincidental events?
Police officer Kellan Howard is rumoured to have spent too much time in sub-zero temperatures, leaving him with a block of ice for a heart and women lining up to help thaw it. Mountain climbing is his only love, leaving no time for a relationship, and although meaningless sex satisfies his physical need, it’s empty. When he attends a fatal traffic accident, he didn’t expect his entire life to change. Along with a final message, Kellan is offered something else from the dying man: the chance to fall in love. Kellan’s never considered being with a man, but when he meets Valentino, he’s instantly drawn to him.
Suffering from crippling agoraphobia, talented Italian artist Valentino has a solitary existence, only experiencing life outside the house through his partner Stuart. When their relationship comes to an abrupt end, Kellan helps ease his suffering. A deep bond binds the two men together, and the sexual tension can’t be denied, but Valentino questions if the distance between their very different lives is too much, and if they can bridge the gap by themselves.
Ballet dancer Blue has a vibrant personality which demands attention, but his humour and courageous attitude are a shield. Blue’s good at making others believe in themselves, but what he needs is someone to believe in him. He could be the bridge both men are looking for, but Blue’s never allowed anyone to get too close, and when Kellan and Valentino enter his life, he desperately tries to protect his heart and his secrets.
When all three meet, the chemistry is undeniable, but each have fears about moving forwards. Together, they learn love comes in many forms. It can’t be restrained or labelled, and it doesn’t always appear in the way you first imagined.

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EXCERPT

“Blue!” both Things screeched at the same time and Blue cringed. “You’re a bunny?”
“Yeah.” Blue sighed. He’d explained this to his sisters, like, four times over the past two days what he’d be wearing for their charity event. If he wasn’t related to them and knew both his mum and dad, then he’d so guess inbreeding was the cause of the Things. “You look awesome!”
Both twins smiled that same bright smile and turned around simultaneously. They always dressed the same, ever since they were born, well, ever since they were conceived really, so it was no surprise both Things insisted on wearing Alice’s blue dress. They looked adorable though. With their flaxen hair tied back with a black ribbon and their pale skin seemingly airbrushed over, Blue was sure they’d get tons of donations.
No one could turn down the mentally handicapped, could they?
Okay, they’d never been diagnosed with anything, but Blue was confident it would happen one day soon.
Porsche and Mercedes gave him a kiss on each cheek, then just stood there… waiting, looking right at him. Expressionless. Serene in their obliviousness.
“What?” Blue looked through narrowed eyes at them.
“So—” Porsche…
“What do we—” Mercedes…
“Do?” Both!
They were living proof aliens existed! Seriously, one day some secret government agents would turn up, Area fifty-one-ing the place and taking the twins away for special tests.
Blue turned his nose up. “You’ve worked here, like, almost every day for the past year. What do you mean, what do we do? Work! Do the things you do every day.”
Both Things cocked their heads to the left, and Blue shuddered internally seeing their Children of the Corn vacant look. One of us…
“Okay… so…” Blue stepped back and looked around at all the complicated coffee machines. “You know, do stuff. Coffee shop stuff!” Oh, yes, he was awesome at this managing thingy. “Make coffee!” Yes! He totally knew what he was doing. His one-month experience at Costa was coming back to him.
Unfortunately, he’d been fired from that job… Something about blowing up one of the machines or something — Blue wasn’t really listening because he was covered in sugary foam, and that shit was hard to get out of your hair. Luckily, most of the customers and all of the staff were covered in it too, so Blue didn’t stand out as being odd.
It could have been anyone’s fault. Just because he was the one standing next to the machine and pushing all the buttons didn’t mean it was him who caused it to explode.
It totally was his fault, but still…
That machine was like some sort of bomb just waiting to go off. BOOM! No warning or nothing. Well, there’d been some sort of flashing lights and buzzing, but Blue had ignored them and continued playing around with the knobs and switches.
He failed to mention that part to Shayne though.
For no reason at all.
None!
Considering his duties as supervisor done, he decided to set up three big bright yellow buckets and signs for people to leave donations in, then had some cheese on toast and a coffee. It was actually alright, so the twins had learned something in their year there. There was a constant stream of customers and Blue had to leave his coffee to help serve. Before he knew it, the morning rush was over and he set the twins up in the kitchen so they could start preparing the sandwich fillings for the next wave of hungry vultures.
As he quite obviously didn’t know what he was doing with the coffee machine, when it needed refilling, he called Thing One to come sort it out, and he took her place with Thing Two.
It was while Blue was stuffing his face with a chicken tikka toasted pita that he snuck a peek at Porsche to check she was okay. Left alone to her own devices she could do anything, or more likely, nothing!
He leaned against the door, peeking through the gap in the frame, watching her secretly. He found her standing still, vacantly lost in her own little world while she waited for another customer to come in. He was about to throw a slice of cucumber at her face to see if she was still with them, when the ringing of the doorbell chimed and she came back to reality, smiling pleasantly at whoever walked through the door.
Blue stuffed another huge helping of pita in his mouth, then choked on it seeing who had just come into the shop, coughing up chunks of un-chewed chicken tikka, and making Mercedes run to him, slapping his back really hard! Like too hard.
Crazy bitch was trying to kill him!
She must have some sort of hidden strength because she practically knocked Blue through the open fire door and into the yard outside with one hit. He was choking more because of her help. They ended up in the yard, taking part in some sort of teenage girl slapping fight while he struggled to get her off him, and she tried to save him. Blue was acting like some deranged wild blue bunny fighting for his life, and her like some crazed Alice who’d taken too much coke and was off her face, attacking random innocent bunnies.
He could see the headlines of tomorrow’s papers: Alice in Wonderland Charity Event Tragedy. Two dead and more injured. How did it happen!
“For the love of God, stop it. You’re making it worse.” Blue leaned against the wall, rubbing his back and breathing hard. “What the hell is wrong with you? Do you take steroids, have you been working out, what about some sort of alien powers which have appeared as you got older? I knew you were the evil twin. I just knew. Right from birth.”
Mercedes, AKA, Thing Two, stroked his back, cooing at him like some dove. “Feel better now?”
“Feel better? You crazy cow! You just nearly gave me a serious spinal injury. I’m lucky I can still walk. I may need corrective surgery later in life and it will all be your fault, Xena Warrior Princess.” She sagged her shoulders, toying with her hair and looking sheepish. Blue hugged her tightly and gave her a kiss. “Oh, get back inside and finish those fillings before our Shayne gets back. I need to snoop on Porsche.”
His only saving grace was that no one had seen him. So after grabbing a cloth to wipe his face down, he took up his secret position again, spying on his sister and the customer.

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REVIEW: This is the third book in this wonderful series and gives us Blue’s story. I absolutely adored Blue’s personality. He and Kellan’s interactions with each other in the beginning had me in tears from laughing so hard.

The beginning of the book was sad; it started off with a heartbreaking tragedy. That tragedy however, is what brings these men together. The connection that these men make was fate and Ms. Colville as usual, tells this story in the most beautiful way.

Kellan is a man whose life is flowing along familiar lines. On the outside, he appears content with his life, but lately, he’s feeling unsettled and unsatisfied with the predicable paths his life is taking. An accident changes his outlook and an odd request from the man involved changes everything for him.

Blue’s character had so many layers to him. His personality takes on these interesting juxtapositions that I found fascinating. He’s flighty, yet grounded, confident and tough, yet self-conscious. He’s intelligent and funny and has a wicked tongue. He’s surrounded by friends and family who loves him yet he’s lonely.

Valentino is an artist who hasn’t been out in the world for quite some time, relying on a friend and his lover to bring the world to him. He’s content with this until his world is shattered.

Three men all on different paths in their lives. We as humans are all connected; it only takes Fate to bring us together.

This author masterfully takes her characters through every emotion: fear, longing, sorrow, grief and happiness. And she takes the reader along for the ride.

This author is absolutely brilliant. I love to read and I can honestly say that there are few masters in this genre and Nicole Colville is definitely one of them.

Take a bow, Ms. Colville. You have as usual, given the readers another masterpiece.

RATING: 🌟🌟Amazing🌟🌟

Author Information

                                      Nicole Colville

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Welcome to the home of bittersweet M/M romances which will leave you craving more

Nicole Colville was born and currently lives in Leeds, England. She is a wife to her very understanding hubby and mother of two young girls who somehow manages to fit in being a full-time author of m/m romance and erotica into her busy home life.

She loves writing complex characters in bittersweet romances which will leave you addicted and craving more from her men

Although best known for her popular series, Hidden and Knights to Remember, she also enjoys writing with friend, and fellow author, E.M Leya. Together they have published two books in their Sinful Temptation Collection with more planned.

Her new ménage collection based in the popular city of Manchester, England is her first solo full length novel outside of The Hidden Series and has three books planned for release in 2015 & 2016.

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/The.Hidden.Series.Nicole.Colville
http://www.facebook.com/nicole.colville.the.hidden.series

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Nicole-Colville/e/B00C75T3R2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_2

Twitter

twitter.com/NikkieColville

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7045302.Nicole_Colville

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Immutable by Becky Black

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6619
ImmutableBlurb
Every night, in the tiny cottage he shares with his dying mother, lonely young shepherd Callum dreams of having a lover by his side. A man to share his bed and his life. One day, as he gathers driftwood on the beach, he finds Breen, a beautiful, naked stranger. Breen makes love to him, leaving Callum certain he’s only a fantasy. But the stunning Breen is there again the next day—fulfilling Callum’s every wish. Then Callum’s hopes are shattered when he learns of Breen’s true nature. Panic and desperation drive Callum to commit a terrible betrayal to try to keep Breen from leaving him.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Review

SPOILER ALERT
I have to warn you that this review contains a big spoiler – so be warned.

Callum is a shepherd living in a rural town by the sea. He longs for someone to love him, and though it is a sin, he hopes it is a man. He finds a man one day near drowning on the beach and the two make love. Callum thinks he’s dreamt the encounter and is shocked when he returns the next day to find the man there again.
When Callum’s ailing mother passes, Breen, the man from the beach, moves into Callum’s house and they begin to build a life together. Callum constantly worries about where Breen goes when he disappears at night, but Breen always returns. Callum also worries about how he will explain Breen’s presence in his home and tries hard to make Breen integrate into his little village.
One day he discovers that Breen is something other than human and he does something terrible. And the story ends tragically.
I won’t rate this because it’s my own fault for not reading the blurb properly. The writing was nice but I can’t say I liked the story at all. ☹

 

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(Spoiler below)

 

 

 
Breen is a Selkie and Selkie’s need to transform regularly into their seal self by donning a seal skin. Callum hides the skin in effect trapping Breen in human form because he fears Breen will one day leave him for good.
Breen is tortured by this and when Callum eventually gives the skin back he leaves telling him that next time Callum finds love he has to trust his partner and then HE LEAVES never to come back!

Immortal by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6353

Immortal-AmyLaneBlurb
When Teyth was but a child, a cruel prince took over his village, building a great granite tower to rule over the folk. Greedy and capricious, the man will be the bane of Teyth’s existence as an adult, but as a boy, Teyth is too busy escaping his stepfather to worry about his ruler.

Sold into apprenticeship to the local blacksmith, Teyth finds that what was meant as a punishment is actually his salvation. Cairsten, the smith, and Diarmuid, his adopted son, are kind, and the smithy is the prosperous heart of a thriving village. As Teyth grows in the craft of metalwork, he also grows in love for Diarmuid, the gentle, clever young man who introduces him to smithing.

Their prince wants Diarmuid too. As the tyrant inflicts loss upon loss on Teyth and Diarmuid, Teyth’s passion for his craft twists into obsession. By the time Teyth resurfaces from his quest to create immortality, he’s nearly lost the love that makes being human worth the pain. Teyth was born to sculpt his emotion into metal, and Diarmuid was born to lead. Together, can they keep their village safe and sustain the love that will make them immortal?

Review

I think the easiest way to review this is to say this:

  • Amy pulled no punches with this book. Though this isn’t a tragedy, it is tragic.  Though it doesn’t end happily the ending is very up-lifting.
  • This is a dark, angsty fairy tale that makes some of Amy’s other books look positively fluffy!
  • Amy, as always, is an amazing writer and delivers again with well-developed characters, amazing creativity and a smooth, gorgeous storyline.
  • If you don’t like stories written in “accents” this may bug you as she uses a “dialect” throughout the book to give it a very authentic “feel”.
  • Amy must own stock in Kleenex. That’s the only explanation I can come up to explain her ability and desire (?) to make us bawl like babies time and again.
  • People looking for a light-hearted, easy read should run far, far away.
  • Don’t read this in public (especially at work – learn from my mistake.)
  • It reminded me of her book Hammer & Air – if you liked that you’ll like this.

This isn’t my favorite of Amy’s genres – I love her contemporary work far more. That being said this is still an amazing book – Amy doesn’t write “bad” books. I recommend this book to fans of fantasy/fairy tales and fans of the “Queen” herself

4 of 5 hearts

4

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