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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Holiday Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, I hope you’ve all enjoyed the long holiday weekend! Welcome and thanks so much for stopping by. We’ve got a great week planned to ring out the old and welcome in the new, including our “Best of” picks for 2015, which, of course, will include some giveaways too.

Here’s what’s on tap for the week ahead!

Christmas Dividers

Monday – Kicking off our week, we have co-authors Joseph Lance Tonlet and Louis Stevens joining us today to chat about their new book Quillon’s Cove

Today’s Best of 2015 Picks and Giveaway gets under way courtesy of Carrie and Jennifer

Tuesday – We’ll welcome author Amy Rae Durreson today to chat about her new novel Resistance with Carole Cummings in DSP Publications’ Genre Talk

And our second round of the Best of 2015 Picks and Giveaway will come courtesy of Jules and Lana

WednesdayS.A. McAuley joins us again today to chat a bit more about the upcoming new releases in her Borders War series

Round three of our Best of 2015 Picks and Giveaways will be brought to you by Lynn and Maryann

Thursday – Today we welcome authors Katey Hawthorne and Carlin Grant on the tour for their new novel Stronger, Better, Faster, More

And we’ll ring out the year with our final Best of 2015 Picks and Giveaway with Sammy, Sadonna, and yours truly

Friday – And finally, to help us ring in the new, we’ll have author Dianne Hartsock joining us today on the tour for her novel Nicholas

Christmas Dividers

And that does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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4.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Historical Romance, Kate McMurray, Paranormal, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review: Across the East River Bridge by Kate McMurray

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Amazon

Title: Across the East River Bridge (2nd Edition)

Author: Kate McMurray

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 239 Pages

At a Glance: Across the East River Bridge, in its second go-round, is every bit as good now as it was in its original release.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: When historian Christopher Finnegan walks into a new museum in Brooklyn, he’s chagrined to learn its curator is his old academic rival, Troy Rafferty. Worse, Troy is convinced the museum is haunted and wants Finn’s help learning more about the ghosts. Finn and Troy have never gotten along and Finn wants to run screaming, but then Troy offers him an intriguing proposal: Troy will help Finn with a research project for his overbearing boss if Finn will help Troy solve a mystery involving two men who died in the building under mysterious circumstances in 1878.

Finn and Troy piece together the two men’s lives–and the quiet romance that grew between them–through diaries, newspaper clippings, and police reports. They’re both soon convinced the men were murdered. They’re also convinced the ghosts are real even Finn witnesses paranormal phenomena he can’t deny–and that they’re capable of affecting thoughts, feelings, and actions. When Finn and Troy start falling for each other despite years of animosity, Finn worries he’s being manipulated by the ghosts to stay with Troy and solve the case. Troy is convinced the love between them is real, but he’ll need to figure out how to get rid of the ghosts in order to prove it.

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Review: I first read Kate McMurray’s Across the East River Bridge back in September of 2012. A few years and more than a few hundred books later, when I chose to review it in its second edition release, I’ll confess that while I had the plot basics down, I clearly had forgotten some of the finer details that made it such a fantastic read—both the first time and now, the second. This book is many things rolled into one: an enemies-to-lovers story, a contemporary romance, a historical romance, a tragic romance, and then, to top it all off, there’s a paranormal mystery dating back to the 1870s that this author managed to finesse into a touching and sometimes intense read.

McMurray leads us into the story in modern day Brooklyn, where we learn that Christopher “Finn” Finnegan and Troy Rafferty have a history of their own—rivals from their college days, Finn has spent more than a decade loathing golden boy Troy for sabotaging his academic career by discrediting his dissertation research, which then resulted in Finn’s funding being pulled. Amongst the animosity that Finn still feels toward Troy all these years later is an undercurrent of sexual tension that’s been there between them from the start. And, added to it, there’s an intense frustration that Finn is still attracted to someone he hates so thoroughly—or tries to hate so thoroughly, at least. The setup for them working together, then, is a great foundation for the conflicted feelings Finn has throughout the book—how can he hate Troy and still want him so intensely? And how can Finn look inward in any sort of honest and rational way and continue to blame Troy for his failings? I have to say I felt a lot of frustration myself toward Finn throughout this book. His stubbornness and scapegoating of Troy makes it hard to excuse some of Finn’s actions and reactions, but a lot of that for me is because Kate McMurray makes Troy such a likeable and charming character. Where Troy may be intended to be Finn’s foil, it actually worked the other way around, and I liked the turning of the tables.

Where the author infuses this book with a terrible poignancy is in the historical research Finn and Troy delve into to uncover the mystery of Brill House, the museum of which Troy is now curator. There is a ghostly presence or two in Brill House that seems to lead directly to one-time owner Theodore Brill, and a border who eventually became Teddy’s lover, George Washington Cutler. Their story, of course, carries with it all the ingrained difficulties of the time in which these two men lived and loved. As Troy and Finn continue their investigation into Teddy and Wash’s deaths—an apparent murder/suicide—they uncover more questions than answers about the way in which the couple died. And, in the process, begin to agitate the spirits of the deceased as the ghosts become desperate for the truth of their deaths to be revealed. I 100% loved this aspect of the novel, not only from an emotional standpoint but from a writing standpoint as well. As Finn and Troy get closer to the truth, the more the tension and suspense escalate, and once the storyline reaches its climax, it plays out in true page-turner fashion.

Troy and Finn’s interactions throughout the story are part antagonistic, part full-on sexual, and their relationship builds from that as well as the eventual realization on Finn’s part that he’s going to have to give up the ghost, so to speak, and stop trying to make Troy the enemy. As feelings change and begin to look a lot like two men falling in love, the underlying question they can’t answer for sure is, how much is this metaphysical mystery manipulating them and their emotions. Finn’s not only skeptical about nearly every aspect of Troy’s theories on what happened to Teddy and Wash, but he’s so busy hanging on to the past that he can’t see what a great future Troy’s offering him, and I liked how these relationships contrasted—we see what a gift it is for Troy and Finn to be able to live together openly, a luxury that Teddy and Wash didn’t have. And, it may well have cost them their lives.

Across the East River Bridge, in its second go-round, is every bit as good now as it was in its original release. Whether you’ve read it before, or are considering reading it for the first time, I can say it’s a solid story that comes highly recommended.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

 

You can buy Across the East River Bridge here:

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4 Stars, Amber Allure, Genre Romance, J.D. Walker, Reviewed by Lana, Short Story

Review: Romancing the Bouncer by J.D. Walker

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Title: Romancing the Bouncer

Author: J.D. Walker

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 13k Words

At a Glance: I really enjoyed Romancing the Bouncer but would have liked it to be just a bit longer.

Reviewed By: Lana

Blurb: Bennett “Ben” Pachowski has been a bouncer at Throwbacks for years. He likes his job, though he gets tired of being thought of as more brawn than brain simply because of his size. He also prefers to be romanced before sleeping with a man.

Ben’s favorite band, Rebel’s Ultimatum, occasionally plays at the club, which gives him an eyeful of the sexy bass player, Monty Mabuse. They’ve been eyeing each other for months, though Ben is content to flirt and nothing more, since “commitment” seems a foreign concept to the selfish, arrogant and flirtatious bass player.

But Monty wants Ben to become the next notch on his bedpost, and a devious trick to get what he wants blows up in his face.

Will Ben be able to forgive Monty for his deception? Perhaps, but if Monty wants to have a relationship with Ben, he needs to make some changes, and it remains to be seen whether he can become the kind of man Ben will respect, let alone love.

Sometimes, a little romance goes a long way…

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Review: Romancing the Bouncer is a short and sweet romance that’s long on the sweet and very short on content, or rather, length. But, as they say, size doesn’t always matter; it’s how you use it. Well, the author used a small amount of space to create two characters that I really liked and felt for but wanted to see more of.

The story centers on Ben, a tough but sweet bouncer who’s looking for his forever man. Because of the way he looks and what he does for a living, people make assumptions about him, and they are always wrong. He’s a thinker and likes to read to the elderly at an assisted living home. And then, you have your typical sexy musician, Monty, who’s looking for his next hookup and sets his sites on Ben. Both are attracted to each other, and Monty gets the upper hand through some subterfuge. Ben’s not so thrilled and basically dumps Monty without even dating him. It was cute how Ben wanted something more meaningful, and Monty just wanted to get in his pants. After some time apart, and then a reconnection, Ben and Monty developed an actual relationship and it was very believable. Both characters for me felt like real people and not a caricature. Both evolved and grew, and I really enjoyed their progress.

And, I really enjoyed Romancing the Bouncer but would have liked it to be just a bit longer, something to get my teeth into. It’s sweet, sexy and just right for a very small snack.

TNA_Signature_Lana

 

 

 

 

You can buy Romancing the Bouncer here:

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5 Stars, Dark Hollows Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed By Carrie, Shannon West, Victoria Sue

Review: Kiss of the Alpha by Shannon West and Victoria Sue

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Title: Kiss of the Alpha (Supremacy of Wolves: Book Two)

Authors: Shannon West and Victoria Sue

Publisher: Dark Hollows Press

Pages/Word Count: 154 Pages

At a Glance: Each of these books keeps getting better and better as this brave new world between wolves and humans evolves.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Jay Tabor, rebel leader of Territory Three has done something he swore he would never do, and that’s work with Quinn, the Supreme Alpha of the Nine Territories, to save his brother Aaron’s life. Now on the run after his rebel hideout was discovered in Virginia, Jay has found a relatively safe haven for his insurgent group deep in the mountains of Tennessee. His peace is short-lived, however, when he gains a new captive—Devon, the Alpha of Territory Three.

Devon has been beaten, tortured and starved by the rebels in an effort to “tame” him, but when he’s transferred to a new camp, he discovers not only kindness but an unwanted attraction to his new captor—one that goes both ways. Devon has finally found his true mate in Jay, but the man is his sworn enemy, and a dominant, controlling lover, who insists on his independence.

When they’re both kidnapped by forces bent on harming them, Jay has only one chance to save his wolf. He has to prove that Devon is his submissive partner and he has to do it in front of their enemies in order to save their lives. With only one chance to make it good, he has to put on a show or risk losing his lover and his mate forever.

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Review: This is a brave new world, one in which the human population has been decimated by a virus and the wolves are now in power. But the two species don’t know that much about each other, and learning to live under the wolves is hard for some humans to take. This is a story of an evolving relationship between species and there are a lot of unknowns still out there. For instance, can Alphas be “made” not born, and what if the “made” Alpha’s true mate is the more dominant in the relationship – and human? How can that Alpha be an Alpha and still be submissive? After all, wolves are wolves, even if they look human every now and then.

Devon is the new Alpha of Territory Three. Usurping an Alpha who was brutal and malicious, especially to humans, is not an easy task, but Devon is making headway even though he is not a true born Alpha.  He is opening schools and providing healthcare, looking after his people and trying to make his territory a safe place to be for both humans and wolves. But, he is naïve and that costs him when he is captured by enemy human rebels, and tortured. He finds himself given to the rebel leader in charge of his territory, and is shocked to discover the man is his mate.

Jay has an uneasy relationship with the wolves in his world; he hates the wolves that persecute humans but knows that this alpha is not one of them. But Jay didn’t get to be a leader in the rebellion by being submissive, and just because he is the mate to an Alpha doesn’t mean he kneels for the man. There is still too much the wolves need to learn in dealing with humans. Jay and Devon have an interesting road to follow to their HEA, and the authors do a fantastic job of writing the interplay between these two men. Jay is a complicated character, and the domination he has over Devon is as intriguing to read about as the absolute submission that Devon brings to their relationship. Each of these books keeps getting better and better as this brave new world between wolves and humans evolves. This is a fantastic new series if you love Alpha wolves and alternate realities.

The series begins with Property of the Alpha, continues with Kiss of the Alpha, and then Strength of the Alpha is already out, so head to your favorite bookseller and read book three after you read the first two. The characters and the settings are introduced in the first two books, so reading them first would be nice but is not required – each book does stand alone – you just have better context if you read them in order. I have no hesitations in recommending these books. I have thoroughly enjoyed every one.

TNA_Signature_Carrie

 

 

 

 

You can buy Kiss of the Alpha here:

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3.5 Stars, Extasy Books, Kazy Reed, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Taz

Review: Remember Him by Kazy Reed

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Title: Remember Him (The Amsel Clan: Book One)

Author: Kazy Reed

Publisher: eXtasy Books

Pages/Word Count: 162 Pages

At a Glance: As a first book, this was a commendable contribution to vampiric storylore.

Reviewed By: Taz

Blurb: While sketching the Temple of Dendur, graduate student Carter Denwright meets—and is seduced by—a powerful vampire by the name of Alder. Though they were once kept secret from the human world, now everyone knows of their existence. Blinded by mistaken feelings for Alder, Carter allows himself to be drawn into his life. Too late, he realizes two things: one, Alder is vicious and cruel, and two, Carter’s true love is Alder’s brother, Freyr.

The attraction between Carter and Freyr is strong, but they must fight this feeling or face the wrath of Alder. Despite their best efforts, Alder discovers the truth, and punishes Carter, hiding him from Freyr in a cruel game of cat and mouse.

Freyr is not as strong as his brother, but he vows that he will find Carter again and will stop at nothing to get him back. Carter, caught in Alder’s cruel grip, commits an act of desperation that will change all their lives forever. The question is: can Freyr find Carter, and is the bond between him and Carter enough to break Alder’s hold and spoil his plans to ruin them both?

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Review: I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Kazy at two of the GRL Retreats. I remember several things about her, including her awesome hair, her friendliness, and later, her heartfelt posts on Facebook about her family. Her personality rings of coolness and good energy…which was evident in her book.

Carter and Freyr are wonderfully lovable characters. Their emotions and love for one another are strong and grip the reader, forcing us to root for their happy ending. Alder is a magnificent villain, made even more so when a small piece of his emotions are revealed towards the end of the book. His motivation for throwing the proverbial wrench into the beautiful lives of our protagonists were self-serving, yes, but also driven out of respect for Carter.

It did not take long for the story to fall into motion. With a prologue that begins to do some world-building, followed by a leap to the present where we see how the history of the two main characters bleeds into the lives of the support cast, I was drawn in. The sex scenes were vivid and plentiful, always an enjoyable aspect to reading.

As a first book, this was a commendable contribution to vampiric storylore. Told in the first person and shifting points of view from chapter to chapter, we are taken on not one but two emotional journeys. As the action revs up, those points of view draw closer and closer together until we reach the climatic finale.

A couple of things which would have helped me to enjoy the book without any distraction at all would be in the finer details of revision and editing. I’ve heard from many authors who look back at their first work and note how much they’ve grown since they began writing. The traps Ms. Reed skimmed are common and, given the strength of the story, minor distractions. There were a few times when Ms. Reed told the reader the characters’ feelings rather than showing us through description and actions. Also, the initial chapters required me to suspend my view of how things might naturally occur. For instance, the love interest sparked instantly with proclamations of love happening without a getting-to-know-you phase. If we’d had some time to explore Freyr and Carter’s attraction and love in the face of the threat of Alder finding out and retaliating, the tension would have been amplified on two levels. First, we would have rooted for the protagonists even more (although I was rooting for them the whole time). Also, the ugliness of Alder’s character could have been an even greater obstacle because we’d be able to really hate him on a personal level rather than seeing him as an abuser of power who needed to be taken down.

Other than these two elements, the story gripped me and kept my attention right to the very end. I’m now invested and am looking forward to reading the next installment when it releases.

TNA_Signature_Taz

 

 

 

 

You can buy Remember Him here:

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4 Stars, Abigail Roux, Audio Book, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Karen, Riptide Publishing

Audio Review: Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux – Narrated by Brock Thompson

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Amazon

TitleCross & Crown

Author:  Abigail Roux

Narrator: Brock Thompson

Publisher:  Riptide Publishing

Run Time:  6 hours and 50 minutes

At a Glance: I enjoyed this narration just as much as I did listening to the first book, but the story missed the mark for me a little bit.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb: When Nick O’Flaherty arrives at the scene of a double homicide to find he has a witness to the crime, he thinks it’s his lucky day. But when he realizes his witness is suffering from amnesia and can’t even remember his own name, Nick wishes he’d gone with his gut and put in for vacation time. Then Nick’s boyfriend and former Recon teammate, Kelly Abbott, joins him in Boston, and Nick finds his hands a little too full as the case and his personal life collide.

The witness he’s dubbed “JD” is being tailed by Julian Cross, a retired CIA hitman. To complicate matters further, JD forms an attachment to Nick that Nick struggles not to respond to as they search for the key to JD’s identity. Trying to determine whether JD is friend or foe as they investigate the crime puts them on the trail of a much older mystery. When multiple attempts are made on their lives, Nick is forced to turn to old enemies and new allies to solve a centuries-old crime before he and Kelly get added to the history books.

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Review: After listening to Shock & Awe, I jumped right in to Cross & Crown and was so excited to listen to it.  Maybe because I listened to them back to back, and because Shock & Awe is so focused on Nick and Kelly starting their relationship, I realized while listening to Cross & Crown that although they are together throughout the book and have some sexy times, it is definitely more mystery driven than Shock & Awe.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed and liked the mystery and treasure hunt aspect of the book, and trying to figure out if “JD” was a good guy or bad guy, but I love Nick and Kelly and wanted more of them than we got in this book.

As with Shock & Awe I think that Brock Thompson did a great job with the narration of the book. The dialog was clear, the voices were distinct, and for me, it fit with how I heard them in my head while reading the book.

So, overall, I enjoyed this narration just as much as I did listening to the first book, but the story missed the mark for me a little bit.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

 

You can buy Cross & Crown here:

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5 Stars, Joseph Lance Tonlet, Kink/Taboo, Louis Stevens, Self-Published

Review: Quillon’s Covert by Joseph Lance Tonlet and Louis Stevens

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Amazon Paperback

Title: Quillon’s Covert

Authors: Joseph Lance Tonlet and Louis Stevens

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 186 Pages

At a Glance: I thank you for writing such an amazing profound love story. Because when you get right down to it, that is exactly what this is.

Reviewed By: Lynn

Blurb: Martin is a guy’s guy, one who enjoys the simple things in life: baseball games with his son, family days, barbecues, and date nights with his lovely wife.

Once a year for two weeks, Martin takes his son, Marty, to Quillon’s Covert, a rustic family cabin secluded in the beautiful California mountains. Since before those long days of learning to play ball, Marty has loved his dad, but as Marty matures, Martin starts to see something else settle in his son’s uncertain gaze. What’s there lingers a little more than it should, and it seems far more appraising than it once was.

As Marty shows every sign of taking the lead, Martin is faced with the tough choices most parents never see: lose his son by being a father, or try to balance what’s best for their relationship by being something… more.

But with another trip to Quillon’s Covert on the horizon, has the point of no return already begun?

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Review: Okay, where do I even begin? As I sat on this for a few days now, wrapping my head around what words to use describe this book, I’ve come to the conclusion that only one word says what I want to say: beautiful. It was beautifully written, presented beautifully, and definitely got my attention from page one. These two authors told an alluring tale that literally blew me away.

Getting this out of the way here, please heed the warning tags: This story contains incest, cheating, and light BDSM. Read the blurb, read the tags, you have been warned.

I’m going to reiterate again how beautifully written this story was. Spanning over twenty years, we watch Martin and son, Martin Jr. (he likes to be called Marty) begin a taboo, albeit consensual, loving affair. We get to know these two men as they take their annual getaway to a secluded family cabin called Quillon’s Covert. From the beginning we really get a sense of their mutual respect, closeness, and the overall great father/son relationship they have with one another. I think this was an important aspect to see, given the subject matter.

Having both POVs throughout the story was critical because we were privy to all the emotions the characters were experiencing. The reader needs to know beyond any shadow of doubt that their journey is one they chose individually, and then together. But even still, what I loved most were the conversations between the two. I loved the banter back and forth, the jokes, and the numerous nicknames Martin had for his son. It was a nice balance, considering some of the heavy life changing decisions being made between them. I loved the build up to them becoming lovers. I thought it was a great decision by the authors for Martin and Marty to have these deep conversations and internal reflections of what was to be. In the end, it was what they both wanted, and it was just beautiful.

Now, I mentioned cheating as one of the warnings. A lot of readers don’t like cheating, won’t read a book if they know it’s part of the story. For me, it was a non-issue. Yes, for all intents and purposes, Martin is a happily married straight man. And yes, Marty eventually finds happiness of his own with a partner he marries and has children with. But I saw the relationship between father and son as being about them and no one else. They are in their own little bubble when they are together, reconnecting in all ways and on many different levels for the brief amount of time they have that it’s almost like the world beyond them doesn’t exist. When they leave Quillon’s Covert, they go back to their own lives and loves until the following year. It just didn’t seem like cheating to me. I know some will argue the fact, so be it, I see it how I see it.

Overall, I loved this story. Going along with Martin and Marty, watching the progression of their relationship through the years was absolutely mesmerizing. Although the storyline is intense, taboo and unconventional, there is tenderness, love, respect, and laughter throughout.

Mr. Tonlet and Mr. Stevens, I thank you for writing such an amazing profound love story. Because when you get right down to it, that is exactly what this is.

TNA_Signature_Lynn

 

 

 

 

You can buy Quillon’s Covert here:

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3.5 Stars, Andi Van, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Jules

Review: A Certain Kind of Holiday by Andi Van

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Title: A Certain Kind of Holiday (Sleigh Ride: Advent Calendar 2015)

Author: Andi Van

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 28 Pages

At a Glance: This one was cute, guys!

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: When Elliot Knapp took a business trip over the holidays last year, he didn’t expect to run into the professor his first serious boyfriend cheated on him with. The man was handsome, certainly, but Elliot has better things to do than deal with drama from a decade ago.

Luckily for him, Howard Wise wasn’t going to let him get away without an explanation. A year after meeting again, the couple is making their first holiday trip to celebrate Christmas. Everything is fantastic, but Howard is obviously keeping secrets, and Elliot can’t help but wonder what his silver fox has up his sleeve.

Christmas Dividers

Review: Elliot and Howard, who haven’t been in contact in ten years, run into each other unexpectedly on a train ride from Seattle. Their reunion is, of course, soured by the fact that Elliot’s last memory of Howard is him kissing Elliot’s college boyfriend. Howard manages to talk Elliot into letting him explain, however, which turns out to be a very good thing, as things are not always what they seem. I really liked Howard – sexy professor, twinkly eyes, playful demeanor – and I loved that he remembered Elliot right away. Obviously their connection all those years ago wasn’t just one-sided.

A Certain Kind of Holiday is short and sweet. Via three consecutive Christmas vignettes, Andi Van takes us on Howard and Elliot’s journey, allowing us to get to know them and showing us how good they are together.  Again, Howard’s character was the main part of the appeal for me, but I definitely liked Elliot as well. It’s hard to cover much ground in just twenty-eight pages, but Van did a good job of engaging me. This one was cute, guys!

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You can buy A Certain Kind of Holiday here:

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5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Holiday Romance, M/M/M and More, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review: Careened: Winter Solstice in Madierus by Bey Deckard

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Title: Careened: Winter Solstice in Madierus (Baal’s Heart 3.5)

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 43 Pages

At a Glance: I loved this savory and sweet little morsel.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: A Baal’s Heart short, following the events in Fated: Blood and Redemption

Plagued by terrible dreams, Jon begins to distance himself from Baltsaros and Tom. Perhaps a little holiday cheer is just the thing to help the three of them find common ground again.

Dividers

Review: Well, this is a first. I never thought I’d use the words “sweet” and “Bey Deckard” together in a review, but here I am doing that very thing. Never say never…

Careened directly follows the events in this series’ Fated: Blood and Redemption, so if you’ve not read book three yet, this short holiday novella may not pack quite the same punch for you as it would knowing the full scope of events in that novel. Of course, though I say this story has a tinge of the sweet to it, it also offers just that much of the bitter to remind you that the alternate universe Captain Baltsaros, Tom, and Jon inhabit isn’t one without its dangers and grief and pain.

Jon is in a bad way after what happened to him in Sormaheine, the dark shadows of anger and regret following him through his days and nights as he tries to drink away the memories that dog him…though he can’t escape his sub-conscious and the nightmares that manipulate his thoughts and drive his depression. This is where the bitter tempers the sweet in this story, complements the storyline without overwhelming, and, in the end, makes the turnabout that much more satisfying.

Writing a convincing threesome is exactly what Bey Deckard has done. Believing in this threesome and the dynamics of that relationship is exactly what readers of this series are able to do because this author has created three men who just work, plain and simple, in spite of the challenges thrown their way. Crafting this short story to coincide with this verse’s version of a winter holiday is the perfect scenario to offer healing to Jon and begin a mending of the relationship between him and Baltsaros. There was, without a doubt, some truly romantic gestures in Careened, and, as has been the case all along, a Baal’s Heart book wouldn’t be a Baal’s Heart book without a wildly sexy scene or two to watch these three connect and command and show readers the bond they share.

I loved this savory and sweet little morsel. What a great interlude with these characters at a wonderful time of the year.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

 

You can buy Careened: Winter Solstice in Madierus here:

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Giveaways, Sean Michael

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Three to Get Ready Blog Tour with Sean Michael

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We’re so please to have author Sean Michael with us on this Christmas Eve day on the tour for his latest release, Three to Get Ready. Enjoy Sean’s guest post, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good luck!

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Christmas Carols

I love Christmas Carols. They’re a part of the brightness that makes Christmas a happy time for me. The lights, the brightly wrapped gifts, and the carols.

I have many favorites. I do love the religious classics like We Three Kings, and O Come All Ye Faithful. In Exelsis Deo and Hark the Herald Angels Sing. (An aside – my father’s name is Harold and when I was younger, I used to think the song was Hark the Harold Angels Sing and that my father had angels who sang stashed somewhere).

I also love the more secular songs. Songs like Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bells and White Christmas. Gospel songs like Go Tell It One the Mountain and Children Go Where I Send Thee.

I prefer the classic songs sung ‘properly’ with the classic tunes I grew up listening to. I enjoy new songs, too, and they have the added benefit of my not having expectations to how they are supposed to sound!

My all time favorite carol, though is the Huron Carol which was written in the 1600s in Canada by a missionary. The version I like best is sung by Tom Jackson. You can hear it on youtube:

‘Twas in the moon of winter-time
When all the birds had fled,
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim,
And wandering hunters heard the hymn:
“Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.”

Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender Babe was found,
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapp’d His beauty round;
But as the hunter braves drew nigh,
The angel song rang loud and high…
“Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.”

The earliest moon of wintertime
Is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory
On the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt
With gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.

O children of the forest free,
O sons of Manitou,
The Holy Child of earth and heaven
Is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant Boy
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy.
“Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.”

Sean

Smut fixes everything

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Three to Get ReadyBlurb: Single father Jack Jones is in dire need of a new nanny. His five year old son Nathan is legally blind, he has twin baby girls arriving in less than two months and the girl currently working for him is leaving at Thanksgiving to go home and continue her higher education. If Mannies Incorporated doesn’t come up with a viable candidate soon, he’s not sure what he’s going to do.

Dan Miller is on the hunt for a new job. He’s had some great placements with Mannies Incorporated, many as Manny to multiple birth families to get them over the hump. He even has experience with special needs children, so the job he’s interviewing for looks like it’s right up his alley.

When Dan arrives at Jack’s house, he discovers that this Jack Jones is his Jack Jones, the man he was in love with during college, and who broke up with Dan because Dan wanted children. Will Dan and Jack be able to put the past behind them and work together, or will their past keep them from having a future together?

Buy Links: Amazon || All Romance eBooks

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Sean MichaelAbout the Author: Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

Where to find the authorFacebook || Facebook Author Page || Twitter: seanmichael09 || Website || Blog || Goodreads

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tour Dates & Stops:

18-Dec: Inked Rainbow Reads, Gay Book Reviews, Mikky’s World of Books, Kirsty Loves Books, Dawn’s Reading Nook

21-Dec: Sassygirl Books

22-Dec: Open Skye Book Reviews, Divine Magazine, Book Lovers 4Ever, Foxylutely Book Reviews

23-Dec: Velvet Panic

24-Dec: Unquietly Me, The Novel Approach

25-Dec: Havan Fellows

28-Dec: Up All Night, Read All Day, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

29-Dec: MM Good Book Reviews, Prism Book Alliance

30-Dec: Bayou Book Junkie

31-Dec: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, The Hat Party

1-Jan: Happily Ever Chapter

4-Jan: QUEERcentric Books, Full Moon Dreaming

5-Jan: Making It Happen

6-Jan: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

7-Jan: Multitasking Mommas, 3 Chicks After Dark

8-Jan: Molly Lolly, A.M. Leibowitz

11-Jan: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

12-Jan: Jessie G. Books

13-Jan: Bonkers About Books

14-Jan: Love Bytes, Alpha Book Club

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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3 Stars, Genre Romance, Holiday Romance, J.D. Walker, JMS Books LLC, Reviewed By Carrie

Review: Grateful for You by J.D. Walker

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Grateful for You

Author: J.D. Walker

Publisher: JMS Books LLC

Pages/Word Count: 33 Pages

At a Glance: If you enjoy those feel good kinda short stories, then this one is for you.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Jared Gillespie left the family farm five years ago because Walt Schneider cheated on him. With a woman. What he didn’t realize was that Walt, the man he still loves, was trying to tell him something, and it takes a trip home to figure it out.

After Jared’s mother convinces him to return for Thanksgiving, Jared discovers Walt is a daddy now, of all things. His daughter’s name is Casey — Jared’s middle name. When Jared and Walt confront each other, the resulting confrontation causes Jared to realize he may have pushed Walt to cheat because of his overbearing ways. But would Walt be interested in trying again, after all this time?

Because a man doesn’t name his daughter after his ex-lover if he’s over him, no matter what he pretends to the contrary. Maybe Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful: for second chances, and for love found, not lost.

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Review: Jared knows it’s time to go home. He’s been away for five years, ever since his childhood love, Walt, cheated on him.  Jared didn’t stick around after it happened, he just left, and he’s never been back. He doesn’t know why Walt did it, or what message he was trying to send, Jared just knew it hurt. But, now it is time to go home and put those ghosts to rest so he can move on and heal—finally.

This is a short story of forgiveness and an example of what love can overcome if we let it.  Being so short, we don’t get a lot of backstory here, but we do get a good sense of who these men are individually, and we get enough to know that the love they feel is real.  It takes forgiveness on both sides to heal, and both men to be willing to put themselves out there again for this HEA happen.

If you enjoy those feel good kinda short stories, then this one is for you.

TNA_Signature_Carrie

 

 

 

 

You can buy Grateful for You here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, M.A. Church, M/M/M and More, Narration Rating - 1 Star, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Karen

Audio Review: Trouble Comes in Threes by M.A. Church – Narrated by Ronald Ray Strickland

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Trouble Comes in Threes

Author:  M.A. Church

Narrator: Ronald Ray Strickland

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Run Time:  8 hours and 26 minutes

At a Glance: If you’re thinking about getting Trouble Comes in Threes—and I think you should—buy the book and read it. I would bypass the audio on this one.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb: A snowstorm in the South – on New Year’s Eve – is a perfect recipe for a catastrophe. After two soul-crushing bad breaks, Kirk’s waiting for disaster number three to strike when, naturally, two stray cats arrive on his doorstep during the storm and decide to make themselves at home. Tenderhearted Kirk lets them stay, even though there’s something decidedly odd about his overly friendly felines.

Out of the punishing weather and full of tuna, Dolf and Tal are happy to be snug in Kirk’s house. But then their human goes outside for firewood and suffers a nasty fall that leaves him unconscious. Now the two cats have no choice but to reveal themselves.

Kirk wakes up to find the two kitties are actually Dolf and Tal. They’re cat shifters – and his destined mates. Being part of a feline threesome is enough for Kirk to grapple with, but soon he learns they come from a clowder that doesn’t believe humans and shifters should mix. Kirk knew those two cats would be trouble. Little does he know the real trouble lies ahead.

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Review: I absolutely loved Trouble Comes in Threes when I read the book.  It’s sweet, funny and sexy, and I was so excited for the audiobook. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t even come close to doing this story justice.

Throughout the narration there’s no real difference in the character voicing. There were actually a couple of points where, in the middle of a sentence, it sounded as if the audio had been edited and although the same character was speaking, the voice changed, so it was hard to follow. Parts of the narration really were not enunciated very well at all, and then others parts were the exact opposite–way over-enunciated. During a lot of the narration, there were awkward pauses, as if Mr. Strickland was reading individual words instead of reading a story that flows. I did listen to the entire audiobook because I really do like the story that much, but honestly, at that point it was actually more amusing to listen to the narration than enjoy the story.

So, if you are thinking about getting Trouble Comes in Threes—and I think you should—buy the book and read it. I would bypass the audio on this one.

For a review of the e-book, see Janet’s full review HERE

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

 

You can buy Trouble Comes in Threes here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Audible.com

Audible.com

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4 Stars, Amber Allure, DJ Manly, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: On Bryson by DJ Manly

Amazon

Amazon

Title: On Bryson

Author: DJ Manly

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 39k Words

At a Glance: On Bryson makes for a fast paced, action packed, murders and secrets crime story.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: A few years ago, Soren became involved with the wrong man, and all he wanted to do was get away from a life connected to the mob. But now, here he is yet again, right back in that world, running a nightclub called The Sand Dune for the Gambini crime family. Never does he expect to meet the love of his life there, let alone that the man who comes into his nightclub is a cop on a rampage trying to discover who shot his cousin.

But now that Sergeant Bryson Accurso’s at The Sand Dune investigating, Soren’s been given orders to “be on him” at all times. And after one look at the sexy lawman, Soren immediately realizes his orders will be far too easy for him to follow…and he intends to follow those instructions to the letter.

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Review: Sgt. Bryson Accurso is like a dog with a bone. He just can’t leave Sidney Gambini, drug lord, alone. His cousin Rickie was shot at his place of business, owned by Gambini’s godson, and Bryson is sure Sidney Gambini’s behind a lot of the events going on. Even though the shooter has been caught, Bryson finds it all suspicious and takes time off to strike out on his own to solve the crime. Bryson is very dedicated to his Italian/Irish family. With the loss of his mother, he has close ties with his father, Aunt and Uncle, and I loved the caring and rhetoric between Bryson and his father, who thinks everything is unnatural.

Soren’s character is sort of sad in a way. He came from a strict family environment, and was kicked out by his father at a young age. Soren was swept off his feet by Marco Gambini, which became yet another downfall for Soren. Soren is hot on Bryson’s heels, at Sidney Gambini’s orders. But Soren is hiding a secret from both Gambini and Bryson.

Bryson and Soren are just the best characters, they seemed destined to be a couple, though there are some snags along the way that kept them apart. I really liked Bryson’s character. DJ Manly gave him a really fun sense of humor.

On Bryson makes for a fast paced, action packed, murders and secrets crime story, with a touch of humor. For being a short story, it had a good plot and enough going on to hold my interest.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

 

You can buy On Bryson here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Brandon Witt
Brandon Witt, Giveaways

Who Wants to be a Character in a Book?

Characters

If you’ve been a member of this community for any length of time, you know who Eric Arvin is. You know that life threw him a curveball, and you also know that he’s been the very definition of grace under pressure.

If you’ve been a member of this community for any length of time, you also know who Brandon Witt is. Brandon took it upon himself to help raise funds to purchase an essential piece of equipment for Eric’s continued health, and that goal has since been met!!! Woohoo, just in time for Christmas! <3 But there is still need in Eric’s on-going care, so if you can help, you can click HERE to donate.

Brandon’s campaign is this: the chance to be a character in one of his books! One anonymous donor has opted out of collecting on this great opportunity, so Brandon would like to offer one of YOU the chance to win that character spot.

Here’s a bit more about it in Brandon’s own words:

The winner of this raffle will be a character in one of Brandon Witt’s books.  They can choose between being a prominently featured side character in one of his standalone novels, or a recurring character in a new series that is getting ready to launch.  You could also be a main character in a short story. You will be involved with the character’s development and you and the character can be made as much like you as you are comfortable with.  It will be a ton of fun!

All the proceeds for this went to Eric Arvin, who underwent brain stem surgery to remove a cavernous hemangioma.  Eric entered into this procedure a strong, independent, handsome, and charismatic man.  He was a voracious writer and beloved author. The world was truly opening up before him.  He exited the surgery paralyzed from the neck down.  Unable to move, take care of himself, or write his next novel.  Through it all, Eric somehow managed to maintain his loving and compassionate nature.  It is a rare occasion when he doesn’t make those around him laugh from his self-deprecating and sarcastic humor.  Eric enriched countless people’s lives before he was paralyzed and has continued to do so ever since.

Though Eric has never lost his sincere kindness or charm, each day his limitations settle in a bit more.  Just a couple of weeks ago, his doctors told him that he will never eat again and will get his nutrients intravenously for the rest of his life. It was one more blow in a seemingly endless string of defeats.

Eric requires around the clock care, more than what can be paid for or fully supplied.  Eric’s family and friends have learned of the Quadriciser, a piece of therapy equipment that has the potential to change Eric’s life.  The Quadriciser’s full body systems replicates the motion of walking, using both arms and legs.  Not only does this keep muscles from atrophy, but it also stimulates the brain in the same way and creating the same effects as physical exercise. This machine will help Eric’s mental alertness, speech cognition, range of motion, and circulation, while decreasing pain, swelling, and depression.

Few of us can fathom what it would be like to loose the control and use of our bodies. It’s a reality that Eric faces every day.

So, there you have it, friends! One of you will have the opportunity to be a character in one of Brandon’s upcoming books! To enter for the chance to win, just click on the Rafflecopter widget, and you’ll be in the running.

Good luck!

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PrinceoftheSea_400x600_dpi150_MED
Giveaways, Jon Michaelsen

Guest Post and Giveaway: Prince of the Sea by Jon Michaelsen

Prince of the Sea Banner

We’re so pleased to welcome author Jon Michaelsen today to chat about his new novel Prince of the Sea. Enjoy this interview Jon put together with his friend Mark McNease, and then be sure to check out the giveaway. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good Luck!

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Hello everyone! Thank you, Lisa, for providing me this wonderful opportunity to chat a little about my newest release, PRINCE of the SEA. But instead of me rambling on, I thought a wonderful way to share more details about the novella is to have an author friend who has read it, Mark McNease, author of the Kyle Callahan Mysteries, ask a few detailed questions related to the story. First the questions, then the blurb follows.

5 Questions for Jon Michaelsen about ‘Prince of the Sea’

1 – MM: ‘Prince of the Sea’ is described as a paranormal romance. What inspired you to write in that genre?

JM: I started penning stories early in life, but didn’t seriously consider getting them published until six years ago. Everything I’ve published to date has included a mystery or suspense/thriller theme with gay protagonists, sometimes interwoven with a little romance. Ironically, paranormal romance was never a genre I considered writing until a story began rumbling around in my thoughts a few years ago. I was spending a lot of time on the road alone traveling between Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida, where my family lives close to the beach, visiting with my ailing grandmother. Being near the water was cathartic and inspiring, and after numerous road-trips, I’d worked through the story arc in my head. Eventually, I sat down to write the story following my grandmother’s death. In fact, Frances La Roche, the cantankerous old woman with a heart of gold featured in the story, is loosely based on my grandmother.  I consider the story paranormal romance versus m/m romance because it doesn’t necessarily follow the standard tropes of m/m and I don’t want anyone to come away disappointed thinking they’re getting something different. Of course, I had to throw a little mystery, suspense/thriller theme in, but the story does have a “HFN” ending.    

2 – MM: What came first for you – the story of the characters, or the story of Tybee Island? If they were symbiotic, how did they develop together?

JM: Tybee Island came first. In fact I went to a college in southern Georgia a couple hours from the coast, and spent many weekends on the shores of Tybee, which is about ten minutes east of Savannah. The island was very laid back and to this day undisturbed by over commercialization. The setting is symbolic as perhaps the only place in this country where such a story might happen. I’ve always wanted to feature the island as a setting, so when the idea for Prince of the Sea came to me, I knew that I could capture the essence of the quaint beach town from personal experience.     

3 – MM: How did Tybee Island (and its secrets) inspire you?

JM: Featuring Tybee Island in a story one day came from my love of the unspoiled coastal community. It’s such a quiet, magical islet which still holds a special place in my after all these years. Its secrets are of my own imagination, as is the subtle paranormal element of the story. However, the beautiful scenery, narrow streets, lighthouse, breakwater and giant pier are very real and integral to both the island and the story.

4 – MM: ‘Prince of the Sea’ is a novella. Was that a deliberate decision? Why a novella, as opposed to a novel?

JM: I’d first imagined the tale as a short story, but after several revisions, there seemed to be more about the characters to flush out and thus the novella length. There is definitely room for more expansion of the story, and I already have an idea for a sequel.  

5 – MM: I don’t want to give anything away, but the ending is hopeful. Did you plan that? And what did you learn from writing a paranormal romance?

JM: From the beginning, I envisioned the ending as originally written, with no intention of elaborating. However, as time has passed since I first wrote the story, I’ve perceived an idea for a sequel, so who knows. There most definitely could be more of Jonathan and Lucius to come.

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PrinceoftheSea_400x600_dpi150_MEDBlurbCan a broken heart find love at the bottom of the ocean?

Jonathan Lemke’s ten-year relationship has hit the skids. In a last ditch effort to salvage their partnership, to rekindle the passion they once shared together, he rents a beach house on the southern Georgia coast on a tiny island known as Tybee, a community that happens to be his birthplace that he’s not visited in over twenty years. A vacation, he thought would provide two weeks of paradise away from demanding careers and purge the longing he’d felt for more than a year now to return to his hometown.

But, the romantic surprise backfires and he soon finds himself alone when Paul chooses his career over Jonathan and rushes off to Chicago to woo a high-profile client, leaving Jonathan brokenhearted and alone. Dulling his pain with alcohol while sulking on the porch of the cottage facing the sea, Jonathan spots a swimmer, his head bobbing in the water. The man appears in trouble and fighting to stay above the surface, apparently caught in the riptide…

Jonathan races to the water’s edge. Shedding his shirt, shoes and slacks, diving headlong into the churning waves to offer aid, he too becomes entrapped the prevailing undertow. Battling to reach the surface, he soon tires and begins to lose consciousness, but not before something large and powerful slams into him from behind.

When he comes to, Jonathan realizes he’s surrounded by frantic beachcombers pulling him back from the water’s edge.  How did he get to shore?  What slammed into him and caused the “whoosh” sensation he felt before blacking out?

And what happened to the man struggling in the water?

Novella: 45,375 words
Genre: gay paranormal romance, mystery, suspense/thriller
Editor: Jerry L. Wheeler
Cover: Dawne Dominique

Buy Links: Amazon || All Romance eBooks

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THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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4 Stars, Holiday Romance, JMS Books LLC, John Amory, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: It’s a Wonderful Afterlife by John Amory

Amazon

Amazon

Title: It’s a Wonderful Afterlife

Author: John Amory

Publisher: JMS Books LLC

Pages/Word Count: 25 Pages

At a Glance: It’s a Wonderful Afterlife is a short, sweet and to the point story with a magical twist that, brief though it is, packs an emotional punch.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Workaholic Logan rests only one day of the year: Christmas Day, and then only because when he tried to open his coffee shop on that day once and no one showed up. Ever since his parents died on Christmas Eve over ten years ago, Logan keeps busy to keep his feelings at bay and keep people at a distance, even going so far as to ignore his younger brother’s invitation to spend the holiday together.

But a car accident and a Christmas Eve encounter with a mysterious stranger named Michael, which may or may not be a dream, will change the way Logan sees his past, his present, and his future.

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Review: Logan doesn’t have a wonderful life. In fact, he doesn’t have much of a life at all. He works, he goes home, he sleeps, he wakes up, and repeats the cycle on a continual loop. He’d do it 365 days a year were it not for the fact that the one year he tried opening his café on Christmas Day, he had no customers.

Logan is alone by choice, estranged from his younger brother—avoiding him, more to the point, working his life away and existing in a state of perpetual grief. Christmas is not a great time of the year for Logan, to say the least, and when we meet him, he’s driving home from work, yet again, on a dismal Christmas Eve.

John Amory does a splendid job of painting a visual of Logan, the man who brushes up against the same people every day but never bothers to make personal connections. He’s the archetypical loaner—the man you know will one day look back on his life and see the trail of regrets he’s left behind, a man who’s in dire need of a chance to turn his life around before it’s too late. Logan is in the process of rejecting yet another invitation from his brother Dave to come spend the holiday with him and his girlfriend, Tia, when a sudden turn of events sets the course for this touching little story filled with the magic of Christmas.

In the film It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey makes a wish. He wishes he’d never been born, and when that wish is fulfilled, he gets to experience the fallout firsthand, and subsequently is able to understand how beautiful the world with him in it truly is. In this short story, Amory puts his own twist on the second chance trope by showing Logan a significant moment from his childhood through his adult eyes, a past event filled with all the pain and sadness that’s brought him to this point in his life. And eventually, with the help of something a little supernatural, Logan is gifted with the opportunity to see it is indeed a wonderful life—even if life isn’t always wonderful.

It’s a Wonderful Afterlife offers a poignant look at one man’s salvation. It’s a short, sweet and to the point story with a magical twist that, brief though it is, packs an emotional punch.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

 

You can buy It’s a Wonderful Afterlife here:

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Amazon US

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3 Stars, Daisy Harris, Genre Romance, New Adult, Reviewed by Sadonna, Samhain Publishing

Review: Twofer by Daisy Harris

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Twofer

Author: Daisy Harris

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 176 Pages

At a Glance: Not my favorite book by this author, but an interesting take on two guys who want to play the same role.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: Bottoms up!

If a college freshman can’t get laid in sun-drenched Miami, he’s doing something wrong. Frankie Perez is determined to help his roommate get some man action in any way possible.

When Frankie’s arsenal of dating apps, fashion advice, and playing-hard-to-get lessons doesn’t work, he realizes Jeremy needs remedial help. Except tutoring Jeremy in the art of sex gets steamier than Frankie expected—and it scares the hell out of him.

Jeremy’s not sure why he’s wasting his time hooking up when he’s only got eyes for the slinky, sexy roommate he comes home to at night. But the hotter their chemistry simmers, the quicker Frankie dances away.

In near desperation, Frankie suggests the two of them team up to find a third to top them both, forgetting that two bottoms aren’t immune from lusting after each other. In a world where every man is an option, choosing one to love can be the sexiest risk of all.

Warning: Contains questionable morals, copious immature hijinks, an X-rated photo shoot, and disastrous threesomes. Sex toys were misused (but not harmed) in the making of this book.

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Review: Twofer is the thirteenth book I’ve read by Daisy Harris. I just loved her Men of Holsum College series and her Ivory Tower series as well. Both of those series also featured college guys who are figuring things out for themselves and making their way in the world, so I thought I would enjoy this one too.

This story, however, was a bit different than the others. Frankie and Jeremy are about as different as two people can be—background, personality, you name it. The one thing it seems they do have in common is that they are both bottoms. Jeremy, however, is a pretty sheltered guy and has zero experience with any guys. Frankie is VERY out and has a very active sex life, but he’s not into relationships at all. He does feel bad that Jeremy seems to not be any closer to finding a boyfriend, though, so he decides to help.

This is a case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions. The advice that Frankie gives Jeremy and his “help” seems to cause even more problems than Jeremy had to start with. Things get a little steamy and then a lot awkward between them thanks to Frankie’s ill-advised “help.” Frankie also becomes aware that maybe he’s not that interested in finding somebody else for Jeremy.

There are a few things in this books that some people won’t like, including additional partners for Frankie and Jeremy that they sometimes like to include. For those who want only the primary couple in their books and no extracurricular playmates, then this book is not for you. Personally, I had no issue with the way they conducted themselves because there was total honesty and agreement in their pursuit of fulfillment in their relationship. I also thought that part of the story was handled well.

The only niggling issue that I had with the story was Jeremy’s character. I felt like we don’t get to know him as well as Frankie, and I would have liked to have seen more of his story. With Frankie we get his family and his jobs and his social life, and with Jeremy we pretty much get school and his time with Frankie and his attempts to find a toppy boyfriend.

Overall, while not the strongest work from this author, Twofer is still an enjoyable read, particularly for the adorable Frankie.

 

 

 

 

You can buy Twofer here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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4 Stars, B.G. Thomas, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Kim

Review: The Beary Best Holiday Party Ever by B.G. Thomas

Amazon

Amazon

Title: The Beary Best Holiday Party Ever (Sleigh Ride: Advent Calendar 2015)

Author: B.G. Thomas

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 76 Pages

At a Glance: I think The Beary Best Holiday Party Ever is a cute and sexy holiday read.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Before he discovered the Heartland Bear Clan, Ron Corbin figured no one could ever love a “fatass” like him. But the big group of big men accepts him, and likes him just the way he is. Having finally found a place he belongs, he works hard to get elected president of the club—and wins. He’s the happiest he’s ever been.

But Paddy Brennan, a sexy bear cub who blew into town and became Mr. Popular overnight, is elected vice-president. Ron doesn’t think Paddy has earned the honor, and now he’ll have to work shoulder to shoulder (and belly to belly) with the guy for a year.

Ron will do what’s best for the club even if that means setting his personal feeling—that Paddy is a jerk—aside. But then as the two men get to know each other, Ron reluctantly finds he not only likes the guy, but is growing more and more attracted to him.

Deep down, Ron still worries he isn’t good enough, but maybe Paddy can show him there’s a beary happy ending waiting for them after all.

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Review: I don’t care what a person looks like, it’s what inside that shows who you are, and it takes Ron a while to see that he is one sexy man. Oh la la! I really liked Ron. Even with all of his insecurities about his weight, he comes off as someone I’d like to know in real life. I liked how, when he joined Heartland Bear Clan, he grew to be more comfortable with himself. And it was just too bad that Ron let a comment made by Paddy bring back all those insecurities his parents instilled in him as he was growing up. I really dislike people who fat shame! And I more than empathize with Ron about being picked on for being overweight.

As for Paddy, he’s a really nice guy, so when you hear the comment that he made when he first met Ron…well, it’s just hard to believe that he would say something that vindictive. Despite everything, though, Ron is willing to put his negative feelings and conflicting attraction towards Paddy aside as they work together to make the very best holiday party ever for the Heartland Bear Clan.

There is one thing I really enjoy about B.G. Thomas’s writing, and what makes him an auto-buy author for me, and it’s that I know I’m always going to finish his stories with an “aaaaaah” feeling.

I think The Beary Best Holiday Party Ever is a cute and sexy holiday read.

TNA_Signature_Kim

 

 

 

 

You can buy The Beary Best Holiday Party Ever here:

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4.5 Stars, Felice Stevens, Giveaways, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Karen, Self-Published

Review and Giveaway: The Greatest Gift Blog Tour with Felice Stevens

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Title: The Greatest Gift (The Memories Series: Book 3)

Author:  Felice Stevens

Publisher: Self-Published

Page/Word Count: 86 Pages

At a Glance: You’ll smile through the tears as you watch this family grow into everything you hoped they would become.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb: After five years, Alex Stern and Rafe Hazelton have what seems to be the perfect marriage. Alex is entering his last years of residency and Rafe’s veterinary business is busier than ever. For Rafe, all that is missing is a child, but Alex, afraid of ending up to be a man like his father, isn’t as sure. He doesn’t want to make any mistakes.

When a new patient enters the hospital, Alex is drawn to the young, desperately ill single mother, who shares her fears for the future of her young son. Rafe worries about the toll on Alex becoming emotionally invested in a patient, yet he too can’t walk away once he meets the little boy, and together they vow to help in any way possible.

Families are not always born of blood— love is a gift no one can plan for. And sometimes from the darkest of tragedies, the brightest light will shine.

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Review: If you are going into this book hoping for, or thinking, you are going to get a sweet, fluffy romantic holiday story, this isn’t that book. There are many things in The Greatest Gift that are tough to read, and sad, and will completely break your heart.

But in this story, you will also find things throughout that are endearing, selfless, and sexy, as well as countless examples of absolute unconditional love. You’ll find yourself on this journey with Rafe and Alex, and all those around them, and will smile through the tears as you watch this family grow into everything you hoped they would become.

I love Alex and Rafe and love that we got to spend more time with them. The Greatest Gift really is a great gift from Felice Stevens this holiday season.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

 

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THE GIVEAWAY

Enter for the chance to win an e-copy of One Step Further & The Greatest Gift

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Author BioAbout the Author: Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Social Media LinksTwitter || Pinterest || Goodreads || Instagram || Facebook Author Page || Newsletter

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Giveaways, Morticia Knight, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Jennifer

Release Day Review and Giveaway: The Safe Limits Blog Tour with Morticia Knight

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TitleSafe Limits (Kiss of Leather: Book Two)

Author: Morticia Knight

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 171 Pages

At a Glance: Strong follow-up to the first Kiss of Leather book.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: The men from Kiss of Leather gather together to rescue a terrified young sub. But it’s Master Derek who wants to keep him for good.

Master Gavin and his boy, Kyle, are celebrating their newly established bond when Master Josh calls requesting their help. Josh’s sub, David, needs the men to help his best friend from childhood while they’re away at a BDSM convention in San Francisco.

Corey ran away from his Master after a horrible scene, but he blames himself for everything that happened. No Master would ever want him if they were to find out what he did. Corey’s not sure if he’ll ever feel safe enough to give himself to a Master again anyway, even if all he’s ever wanted was to belong to somebody.

Master Derek agrees to watch over Corey until Josh and David return from the convention. All he needs is another pretty twink messing with his head and his heart, so the older, growly bear of a man determines to keep his distance. But when Corey wakes up screaming after a devastating nightmare, Derek is more drawn than ever to the young sub—the need to keep Corey safe from whatever or whoever has hurt him becoming his main priority.

Kyle and Corey develop a friendship when Corey assists Kyle in the dungeon furniture workshop. Kyle has his own fears—the ones that make him feel he’s broken because of the things he desires to do with Gavin. Through helping Kyle and receiving his own help via Derek, Corey decides he’s ready to let go of the demons from his past and move forward into a new life.

Now if Corey can only get Derek to believe that he’s ready—and to finally do something about it.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a flashback scene of rape by multiple aggressors.

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Review: I’ve been a fan of Morticia Knight since reading The Hampton Road Club series, which is BDSM historical fiction. Love it. And I loved the first Kiss of Leather book as well, so when I saw this book came out, I knew I had to read it to see what happened with the club and the men involved.

Before I start the bulk of the review, I will say that this is a series you need to read in order. While the meat of the story involved Derek and Corey, and doesn’t require prior knowledge of the first book, the first chapter is about Gavin and Kyle, and it’s set immediately after the events of book one. I’d also recommend maybe going back to reread the last chapter of book one if it’s been a long time, or if you can’t remember what happened with those boys.

That said, once Corey is safely deposited with Derek, they are the focus of the story, but in order to get there, Kyle and Gavin need to be present.

Corey is a friend of David, and when he gets into trouble, he calls David for help. Of course, David will do anything to help his friend, so, being out of town himself, he enlists the other people he trusts—Gavin, Kyle, and Derek—to help Corey out until he and his Master, Josh, get back. Having had a Dom who hurt him, Corey struggles to trust anyone. He shies away from Kyle and Gavin, and when he sees Derek for the first time, he’s intimidated. Not only is Derek huge and his body language screams Dom, but to Corey he’s gorgeous.

Derek doesn’t really have time for a sub. He’s drawn to young, pretty twinks, and Corey is all that and more. But, he doesn’t want to get involved with someone again, especially not when that person is coming out of a relationship he refuses to talk about. One that has clearly left him afraid. Derek doesn’t even know if the man wants another relationship with a Dom, and not having BDSM in his life is a deal breaker for him. When Gavin and Kyle leave Corey with him, the two have to figure out how to navigate around each other and come to terms with their mutual attraction.

What I love most about Morticia Knight is her ability to create such deep characters. Not one of her characters is alike, and each story is different from the last. While they might have some things in common, that’s what makes them great friends rather than too similar to be interesting. Derek is a gentle giant who likes to work on his Harley. Corey isn’t too sure about wanting a fulltime D/s relationship, unlike Kyle and David, and he loves how big, hairy, and protective Derek is. The insight into Derek’s past is interesting. Readers learn he used to wrestle, and that he has anger management issues. While that might seem like a bad combo for a Dom, he’s fully in control with subs, and his anger stems from people taking advantage of others.

If you’re a fan of Ms. Knight’s writing, I recommend this series, especially if you like her Hampton Road Club books. I eagerly await the next installment! I’m hoping for Marshall, since he was conspicuously absent from this book. Fingers crossed!

TNA_Signature_Jennifer

 

 

 

 

You can buy Safe Limits here:

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Morticia Knight is giving away an e-copy of Building Bonds, book one of the Kiss of Leather series, to one winner.

Good luck!

THE GIVEAWAY

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Morticia KnightAbout the Author: Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little heart’s desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share – her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

Where to find the author: Facebook || Twitter

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Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, The Novel Approach, Divine Magazine, The Hat Party, Happily Ever Chapter, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, V’s Reads, TTC Books and More, 3 Chicks After Dark, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Book Lovers 4Ever, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, MM Good Book Reviews, Nephy Hart, Bonkers About Books, Jessie G. Books, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Alpha Book Club, Velvet Panic, Gay Book Reviews

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Joe Cosentino, Reviewed By JJ

Review: A Home for the Holidays by Joe Cosentino

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Title: A Home for the Holidays

Author: Joe Cosentino

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 60 Pages

At a Glance: I recommend A Home for the Holidays to anyone who loves travel adventures, Christmas themes, and m/m romance.

Reviewed By: JJ

Blurb: Bobby McGrath’s Christmas trip to the beautiful Italian island of Capri to meet his eccentric extended family offers stunning views—none more stunning than his third cousin, Paolo Mascobello, a real stocking stuffer. As the two young men embark on a relationship, Bobby, a driven law student, learns to relax and bask under the old Italian moon, and Paolo realizes there’s more to life than a frolic on the beach. For the two to find everlasting amore, Paulo must overcome his fear of commitment and learn to follow his dreams, and Bobby must get his wish for happily ever after.

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Review: This was such a sweet romance. The book begins when Bobby goes to visit his family in Italy for Christmas. He ends up spending a lot of time with his cousin, Paolo, who happens to be gay. While he picks his cousin’s mind about Italy, Bobby realizes that he is falling for him. Though the idea weirds him out at first, it doesn’t bother him too much since they are so far removed. They come together for a brief time, but the road ahead of them is not as clear as Bobby had hoped. When Bobby’s vacation comes to an end, he’s faced with the painful prospect of saying goodbye.

Home for the Holidays is an emotional and sweet holiday book. I loved how the author takes us to Italy, and I felt like I was actually there in Capri. The vivid descriptions ignited my wanderlust, making me want to travel to Italy. As for the characters, they are both very likeable. Paolo is a muscular, attractive young Italian man. He’s confident sexually, but when it comes to relationships, he doesn’t imagine he can have that. He’s grown up in a place where it’s okay to express his sexuality behind closed doors, but he doesn’t expect to have more. However, Bobby knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to reach for the stars when it comes to love.

Since the first book I read from Joe Cosentino ended in a tragedy, I was surprised and overjoyed with the ending of this book. I recommend A Home for the Holidays to anyone who loves travel adventures, Christmas themes, and m/m romance.

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3 Stars, Ceci Thornton, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Saved by the Shifter by Ceci Thornton

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Title: Saved by the Shifter

Author: Ceci Thornton

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 212 Pages

At a Glance: In spite of some niggles here and there, the action sequences in Saved by the Shifter made for some suspenseful reading.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Nate Palmer is desperate enough to try anything to find his missing niece…

Nate has cared for his niece Beth since she was a baby, and now the sixteen-year old has disappeared without a word. The only clue he has is a letter she left behind from her birth mother. He’d do anything to find her, even if it means turning to a down-on-his-luck private investigator working out of a store front in a strip mall—one with the ability to sniff out more clues.

Dexter Armstrong is a lone wolf looking to use his tracking skills to do some good…

Dexter had a pack once, but left, disgusted by their lack of appreciation for their gift. But business is bad and his roof is leaking. He’s just about ready to throw in the towel on that lonely life when Nate walks in the door, looking helpless and smelling delectable.

Together they will travel to the seediest parts of LA

Even as he’s focused on finding his niece, Nate can’t help but be drawn to Dexter’s powerful dominance. And Dexter becomes more and more certain that Nate’s his fated mate. Can their attraction survive the reveal of Dexter’s true nature? And can they both survive the supernatural perils that they will face in their quest to find Beth—and to find the kind of love and family both have been dreaming of?

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Review: When Nate Palmer’s older brother, Craig, was busted for selling drugs to an off-duty cop and sent to prison, Nate became sole caretaker of his niece Beth. Beth’s mother isn’t in the picture any longer, having fled to parts unknown years before, so Nate truly is Beth’s only hope at a normal life—and they’d gotten along well, too, until Beth hit the terrible teens. Now Beth has gone missing, Nate is beside himself with worry and fear, and his one hope of finding his niece and getting her back home safely seems to be Private Investigator Dexter Armstrong.

That’s the quick setup for Ceci Thornton’s Saved by the Shifter, a novel that taps into the shifter bonding trope, albeit only shallowly, to bring Nate and Dexter together as partners in sex as well as in tracking down Nate’s niece. As I’ve said any number of times before, sometimes the device works for me, sometimes it doesn’t. A lot depends on how well the author convinces me, after that initial spark of lust has struck, that the two guys have what it takes to be a couple. I liked Dexter and Nate, and though I had some quibbles over their initial meeting and the lack of exploration in what they have in common other than lust, the fact they go through hell and back with each other did help to make the bond somewhat more believable. There’s something to be said for not only going into battle together but then surviving.

While Saved by the Shifter is categorized as a Mystery, I have to say I felt Dexter’s role as a PI was pretty well in title only, made so by the simple lack of a true mystery in this plot. We don’t have to wait long to discover what happened to Beth, and Dexter isn’t even the one who searched for the clues to track her down, so we don’t get to see him at work much in that role. The information on Beth’s whereabouts is effectively dumped in his lap, which I felt was a bit of a let-down as I’d prepped myself for a good missing person investigation, but once I understood the storyline was more Urban Fantasy than an all-out Mystery, the positive becomes the author’s ability to write a tense and suspenseful action scene. Of course, Dexter’s shifter half comes in handy along the way too, as he’s fairly certain of the danger Beth is in before it’s confirmed, so that added to the tension in the storyline and made for some excitement during the book’s climactic scene.

There are several things that, overall, I felt could have been explored in greater detail in this book, much of it revolving around Dexter as a character. I think the potential for him to be more interesting and layered was missed in the lack of background details about him—we get a few facts, but to make him more interesting, knowing where he came from, who he came from, what he came from, what shifter mythology inspired his character, would have gone a long way to building interest in him as a supernatural character for me. Essentially, we get no world-building to speak of (which left me with some distracting questions during Beth’s rescue), and even more confusing for me, was a group of shifters that materialized and disappeared from the story and left me scratching my head—one moment they appear threatening, the next, they were there to cover Dexter’s back. There’s a history there that most definitely was missing, and I’d have loved to know more of it—why they were antagonists one moment, saviors the next. And while I’m on the subject of characters, here, I will say I liked the sweet reunion between Nate and Beth, and felt the affection between them was genuine and well portrayed.

In the end, though I feel the book could have used some more exposition, I liked Saved by the Shifter for what it was—a vehicle to bring two likable men together to form their own little pack.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

 

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4 Stars, Holiday Romance, Jay Northcote, Reviewed by Jules, Self-Published

Review: What Happens at Christmas by Jay Northcote

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Amazon US

Title: What Happens at Christmas

Author: Jay Northcote

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 113 Pages

At a Glance: Jay Northcote has another holiday winner here.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: When two friends pose as boyfriends, could what happens at Christmas turn into something more?

Justin is recently and unhappily single. Christmas is coming, and he doesn’t want to face his ex alone at their office party. So Sean—Justin’s best mate and long-time secret crush—volunteers to go with him and pretend to be his new flame.

Sean has always lusted after Justin from afar, but there’s never been a good opportunity to ask him for more than friendship. Posing as Justin’s boyfriend isn’t a chore, and if Justin wants to rebound onto him, Sean’s more than willing. At the party pretence and reality blur, and a kiss on the dance floor leads to a night of passion.

In the aftermath, they both assume it was a one-time thing until fate intervenes. Stuck together in London over the holidays, they give in to temptation again. But what happens at Christmas stays at Christmas… right?

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Review: So many delightful little bits in this story! It was easy to fall in love with Justin and Sean. As soon as I read the blurb for What Happens at Christmas I immediately snapped it up. Anyone who knows me, or follows my reviews at all, knows that friends-to-lovers stories are totally my thing. I love the level of comfort the characters have with each other, the level of trust, and that there is so much shared history. Maybe it’s because my husband and I have been together since we were nineteen – friends since we were fifteen – maybe I’m just a product of the formula…but, I know it works.

Justin and Sean were both extremely likeable, and the story was funny, charming, and sweet. It’s not a new idea – pretending to be dating, to piss off an ex at the office party – but it was well-done here. I also really liked that they were both in love with each other rather than it being a GFY situation, for example. To me that made it much more enjoyable; what they each thought was unrequited love was really just bad timing and poor communication.

Jay Northcote has such a light, easygoing style, and the guys are very sexy and fun together. That’s not to say that the book is without substance. Sean has a strained relationship with his father, and they are somewhat estranged. He is pretty troubled over that situation, and what he is going to do with himself now that he’s come back to England. Justin and Sean both have reservations about pursuing a relationship. They are extremely afraid of ruining their friendship, and unwilling to risk it, so they spend some time unhappily plodding along. In some books this can become a big stumbling block for me. You know those books? The “Just talk already!!!!” books? I didn’t feel that here, though. In this book it was more, “Awwww…these poor guys.” Their trepidation is more endearing than annoying.

Northcote has another holiday winner here. The guys had GREAT chemistry. The office party scene was tons of fun to read – it was VERY satisfying to watch the sleazy ex squirm – I imagine it also had to be fun to write! Super low angst, this one is perfect for when you need that feel-good read. I thoroughly enjoyed this easy-breezy Christmas novella.

TNA_Signature_Jules

 

 

 

 

You can buy What Happens at Christmas here:

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S.A. McAuley

Guest Post and Exclusive Excerpt: The Borders War Series by S.A. McAuley

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Have you ever read a book and thought, Wow! This would be really great if only [insert MAJOR PLOT-SHIFTING idea here].

Well, that was me—except this time, it was my own book I wanted to change.

When I wrote the first edition of One Breath, One Bullet I knew exactly how and where Merq and Armise would eventually end up, but I didn’t officially have plans to turn it into a series. After a discussion with my editor and publisher, we collectively decided to pursue the full five book Border War series. But One Breath, One Bullet was already well on its way to being finalized. So we went ahead with publication of the first book. I wrote the second book—Dominant Predator—and it was published too. Then as I began to write the third book—Powerless—I realized exactly what I should’ve done different in the first book to make the entire series flow better.

Hindsight is a vindictive asshat.

Writing a series was a new endeavor for me at the time. I learned a lot in the year between the first book and the third. I started making lists of all the things I’d change if I ever got the chance. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to wait long. That opportunity came when Pride Publishing was created as a sister company to Totally Bound. Immediately we started talking about doing re-issues of The Borders War series.

I channeled my inner infomercial host, gleefully categorizing all the improvements I could make on these *Bigger! Better! And more efficient!* versions.

The edition of One Breath, One Bullet that releases on January 5, 2016 is a completely different book. It’s gone from 30,000 words to 50,000 words (*now with 60% more violence and enemies to lovers action!*), the flashbacks have been removed in favor of a continual timeline (*that’s right, no more mess and inconvenience!*), and you finally get to hear a bit of what Armise has to say (*warning: this product may have unintended consequences if used against manufacturer’s recommendations*).

If you haven’t read any of The Borders War books, now is a great time to start. As an author, I’m really happy with how the series overall has turned out. More importantly, as a fellow reader who goes way over budget on books, I’m ecstatic to share that Pride Publishing is offering One Breath, One Bullet for FREE and Dominant Predator for 99 cents from now until the end of January. (*Yes, that’s right! Order now and we’ll throw the first book in for free!*)

Even if you’ve already read the first book, read the new version of One Breath, One Bullet. It’s free, get it. Please. I can’t be any clearer on that without giving away major spoilers.

(*ahem*)

Anyway…

What hasn’t changed in the reissues of the first three books is Merq and Armise’s inescapable draw to each other despite being enemies. Or that the world around them is falling apart. Or that they’re going to have to fight through a whole hell of a lot to begin to get a glimpse of the HEA that may or may not be in their future.

The Borders War series is violent. It’s dark. It takes place in a brutal time—five hundred years in the future—that is inhabited by some coldhearted people.

But above all that desolation, there is the hope Merq and Armise carry for their lives to mean something. For each other.

Their story starts with the release of One Breath, One Bullet and Dominant Predator on January 5, continues in Powerless (out January 12) and will end when the last two books of the series—Falling, One by One and Strength of the Rising Sun—go live on January 19 and 26.

(*Don’t hesitate! Act now!*)

A massive thank you to all the readers who’ve stuck with me through the years it’s taken to get to this point.

I can’t wait to share the rest of their journey with you.

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onebreathonebullet_revamp_exlarge_PNG-180x288Blurb – One Breath, One Bullet (The Borders War #1)Face to face, and rifle to rifle. The time and location change, but never the circumstance. Merq Grayson and Armise Darcan are enemies. And neither will be considered successful until the other is dead.

It is the year 2558. A mere decade has passed since the signing of the treaty which ended the three hundred year long Borders War. In the midst of an uneasy peace, the world gathers for the first Olympic games since the war began.

The Rifle competition showcases the very soldiers who fought in the war, pitting former enemies against one another again. Continental States Peacemaker Merq Grayson will once again battle the Dark Ops officer from the People’s Republic of Singapore, Armise Darcan, this time under the flag of their own uneasy truce. The relationship between Merq and Armise is one of violence, secrecy, and a growing intimacy that could have them both branded as traitors.

But there is more at stake than pride or medals in these games. And neither Merq nor Armise may be able to make it out alive before the fires of revolution are set ablaze again.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence.

Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released under the same title. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

General Release Date: 5th January 2016

Reserve your free copy at Pride Publishing

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dominantpredatort_revamp_exlarge_PNG-180x288Blurb – Dominant Predator (The Borders War #2)A relationship is the least of Merq and Armise’s concerns…

With one bullet Merq Grayson set the wealthiest citizens of the world on a collision course with the poorest—with those fighting for their freedom. As the Borders War reignites, the Revolution faces heavy losses. They scramble to maintain their advantage, to strike at the Opposition and crumble their power structure before they are able to rally.

But Merq is in the midst of an internal battle that shakes him to the core. For the first time in his life Merq will have to reconcile the inherent tragedy of war and decide just how much vengeance can be justified by spilt blood. How much can he trust the men and women around him? The President, Neveed, his former soldiers, his parents…and Armise.

Merq and Armise find themselves off grid and on the hunt for Committee members. Merq is just as unsettled with Armise at his side as he was with Armise as an enemy, but they will have to learn how to fight together—or they may just die together.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence.

Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released under the same title. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

General Release Date: 5th January 2016

Pre-order your copy at Pride Publishing

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powerless_revamp_exlarge_PNG-180x288Blurb – Powerless (The Borders War #3)He was built to be invincible.

Merq and Armise return to the States after their mission to assassinate the remaining Committee members only to find the leadership of the Revolution isn’t as stable as they had thought.

Outside forces come crashing down on a Revolution stronghold, leaving two of their soldiers gravely wounded. Merq’s history with his brothers in arms Simion and Neveed forces him into making decisions that will impact his future with the Revolution.

Merq has always identified as a soldier first. Always known who deserved his loyalty and who didn’t. But with the uncertainty surrounding the leadership of the Revolution, the mysterious disappearance of the jacquerie and increased activity with the PsychHAgs, Merq knows there are few people he can trust.

The only man Merq wants or needs at his side is Armise Darcan. But his reliance on his former enemy may be a miscalculation that will threaten everything Merq stands for.

Reader Advisory: This book contains reference to genetic experimentation on children.

Publisher’s Note: This book has previously been released under the same title. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

General Release Date: 12th January 2016

Pre-order your copy at Pride Publishing

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Falling, One by OneBlurb – Falling, One by One (The Borders War #4)Whether Armise lived or died was never supposed to matter to Merq.

As the fight for the kids of the jacquerie begins and the war between Opposition and Revolution heightens, Merq discovers that he may not have as much control over his actions as he thought he did. Further complicating their tangled relationship, Armise may be just as compromised.

Desperate to learn the truth, Merq and Armise put themselves directly in the path of a powerful enemy. They’ve spent fifteen years of their lives on the knife’s edge of trust and loyalty. What they learn about each other’s pasts—and what it means for their future—will bring them together or definitively tear them apart.

Merq’s life has always been at risk—one bullet away from death in sacrifice of his mission. As his focus begins to shift, Merq may be too late to understand what, and who, is most important in his life.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of graphic violence, forced genetic modification, genetic experimentation, genetic experimentation on children and torture.

General Release Date: 19th January 2016

Pre-order your copy at Pride Publishing

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Strength of the Rising Sun (The Borders War #5)

Blurb coming soon!

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Excerpt – One Breath, One Bullet: “I don’t want your eyes to close. Not even to blink,” Jegs said over the comm.

“Yes, Major,” I replied, with Lark’s and Pax’s affirmative responses following mine.

I shifted my elbow off the rusted nail that was digging into my skin and kept my eye locked to the scope. I was stationed on a hill, my body covered in order to blend in to my surroundings, and not on the top level of a crumbling skyscraper in the American Federation, but otherwise, this setup was eerily similar to the first time I’d encountered Armise.

I couldn’t shake the unease that crawled down my spine as I peered at the building where Armise was supposedly holed up. This entire town, in the virtually unpopulated Western Territories, was long abandoned. Fighting between the States and the AmFed was heavy hundreds of miles away from where we were. But not here. Mostly because there was nothing here to defend. Nothing to protect. There were no other people besides Jegs, Lark and Pax, me and, reportedly, Armise. There was no way the coveted infochip was here. So there was no reason for a Dark Ops soldier to be here at all.

I frowned. “How much longer are we expected to keep this up, Major?”

“Until we kill him.”

“I have to see him to do that.”

She hesitated. “He’ll come out when he has reason to.”

I listened between her words, to what she wasn’t saying. “You know him?”

“I know enough.”

I scowled. “And you don’t think he’s here for the infochip.”

“I know he’s not.”

“Then why—”

Jegs cut me off. “Keep your eyes locked to that building, Grayson. You’ll only have one shot at him, maybe not even that.”

In my peripheral vision a wall of clouds gathered in the distance. Dark brown and rounded. A dust storm frothing on the horizon, gaining in strength as it whipped toward us.

Candlelight flickered in one of the upper rooms but I couldn’t see any other movement. The analysts had told us exactly where Armise would be and he hadn’t changed his location in days since we’d arrived, but none of us could site him in any of the places he should have been. Regardless, I was sure that he was here. Hiding. Watching. Assessing us and our actions for some ulterior motive we weren’t privy to.

I couldn’t see him but I could feel him watching. I didn’t have a name for the bristling of the hairs at the back of my neck. Or the flush of my skin that was like my blood rising to the surface where it felt like his gaze landed on me. Which was ridiculous because it was unlikely he even knew we were here.

But no matter what logically made sense, I couldn’t shake the unrest that crawled through me because of Armise.

I wanted to end this foreign sensation, needed to kill him in order to regain my equilibrium. From the little Jegs had shared with me though, Armise wasn’t the type to hand us that chance. From what I’d witnessed myself in the days we’d been watching him, I knew he wouldn’t be seen until he wanted to be. He was a ghost, setting the shredded curtains into movement but never revealing himself.

I spent hours with my eye glued to that scope, the dust storm barreling forward with each minute that passed. We would have an hour max before it hit us and there would be no chance of seeing my hand in front of my face, let alone keeping sites on the building. My patience threatened to break.

The outside edges of the dust storm kicked up around me, warning me that I had been wrong. We had half an hour, maybe less, before unpredictable air currents would hamper any shot from my rifle. I gritted my teeth. We weren’t accomplishing anything here.

Particles of dust tickled at my nose and eyes, but I held steady even as the wind picked up. I focused on the sway of the abandoned building as it tried to hold against the first onslaught of wind. It was as if the walls were breathing. Waiting and expectant. Just as much as I was.

The Borders War was swiftly approaching three centuries of active fighting, and we were still no closer to resolution than we’d been before it had started. I was set to be the impetus for change—the edges of a front, where warm air met cold and the sky swirled into chaos, emptying a rain onto the world that could wipe away the scars we’d left on this planet and ourselves. Allow us, as a global society, to start new. Rebuilding would take time, as would the reorganization of country borders, solidified down to only five in a mass consolidation of power. How that restructuring happened when the Borders War ended, at what pace, and who ended up in power wasn’t up to me. Strategy wasn’t my strength.

Killing men was.

I was tasked with a much larger end goal than killing one Dark Ops solider. But Armise was a threat. We couldn’t allow Singapore to gain the infochip. Every moment we sat here, waiting for Armise to take action, was another moment where we were being used as bait, or worse, a distraction. I closed my eyes and took in one long breath.

Although I’d been a Peacemaker for less than a year, and she was my senior in rank and age, it wasn’t Major Jegs I was beholden to. Not Brigadier Blanc. The dictatorial President Wensen Kersch of the Continental States couldn’t intimidate me either. I wouldn’t allow one Singaporean shit to tear away at my confidence by the act of doing nothing.

“He’s taunting us.” I sat up, pushing the camouflage off me and exposing my position.

Jegs’ voice went low and dangerous in my ear. “What the fuck are you doing, Captain?”

Before she could finish challenging me, both Lark and Pax had revealed their positions to my north and south.

Lark’s voice crackled over the comm receiver, gone staticky from the approaching storm. “Grayson’s got the right idea. We can’t try to wait him out anymore with that storm heading our way. He’s waiting for us to make a move, let’s do it.”

“I don’t give a shit if he is baiting us,” Pax added. “We have minutes until the dust hits and we’re out of commission for an unknown length of time. We can end this now.”

“Pax, cover Lark,” Jegs ordered. “Grayson, cover both of them.”

Lark slung his sonicrifle over his shoulder and took off running for the door while Pax covered him with shots aimed at that empty, but lit up, top floor window. Lark made it to the front door and I followed Lark’s trajectory through my sites, ready to take a shot if the opportunity came. The door swung open just as Lark went for it, and a man with his mouth, ears and nose covered with cloth, eyes masked by goggles, slammed the door into Lark’s face and sent him hurtling backward from the force. There was no way I could attempt a shot with the wind barreling down on us and the swiftness of Armise’s movements.

I took off at a dead sprint, bringing my sonicrifle up to attempt a shot while I ran. Armise was just as big as I remembered, just as powerful. I couldn’t run fast enough or get the right angle, Armise was already on the move, stomping his heel into Lark’s windpipe, crushing it with his boot and plunging a thick knife into his sternum. He spun, facing Pax, and popped off a shot from his rifle that had Pax slumping to the ground dead.

Jegs’ orders for me to stand down were background to the unceremonious decimation in front of me.

The cloth around Armise’s face had come lose in the whipping wind, and when he faced me there was a maliciousness to his sneer that spoke of certain victory. The satisfied swell of a man who had sent more than his share of souls into darkness but wouldn’t be truly satisfied until he had mine.

He lifted his sonicpistol, put finger to the trigger, and there was hesitation on his part— only half a heartbeat, barely perceptible, but there nonetheless—and the dust storm hit with a ferocity that sent me tumbling to the ground and filled the space between Armise and me with an impenetrable, stinging wall. I wrapped myself up in a ball, pulling my hood over my head and affixing my respirator.

“We ride this out,” Jegs said through my comm. “Try and make it into the building if you can. We’ll recover Lark’s and Pax’s bodies when it’s clear. Darcan is already gone.”

I hadn’t taken out Armise. He’d failed again to kill me and had taken out two of my fellow Peacemakers. I seethed, my pride stinging much more than the dust that abraded my skin. I didn’t care how long it took, I would be the one to end this, with me taking his life.

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S.A. McAuleyAbout S.A. McAuley: I sleep little, read a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion. My name is Sam, not Sammy, definitely not Samantha. I’m a pretty dark/cynical/jaded person, but I hide that darkness well behind my obsession(s) for shiny objects. I’m the macabre wrapped in irresistible bubble wrap and a glittery pink bow, I suppose.

I have a never-ending-abyss-like secret love for poetry. Especially Rumi, Hafiz, and Neruda. You can predict (as well as change) my moods and my writing schedule by my playlists.

Insomnia is my greatest ally and my nemesis. I like cheese and bourbon—not necessarily in that order, I’m flexible.

If you’re in any fandom, then I’m probably already in love with you. I’m not joking.

I like my tv shows marathoned and I have to use internet blocking software to be productive. I have software called Producteev that I loaded onto my laptop and proceeded to fill out in detail and now I haven’t touched it in a year.

I enjoy normalized chaos.

Hit me up! I love to hear from readers. xx

-Sam

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