The Year In Reviews

Happy New Year!

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As we say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new, I wanted to take a moment to wish you all the very best. The close of the year always comes with no small amount of reflecting upon where we’ve been and a generous helping of hope for where we’ll go in 2015, and it’s my hope that when you look back over the past twelve months, you’ll see far more joy than sorrow in its reflection.

Through our losses and gains, the good times and the bad, we have created a global family here, bound together by our love of reading, through the belief that love is love and that the heart has no gender. Together, as friends, allies, partners and members of this community, we can be the change we wish to create, and it is my hope that together we will continue to celebrate each victory of love over hate, just as we mourn the loss of every LGBTQ child whose despair has robbed them of a future. May we always strive together to make the world a more accepting place for our children to live.

Within the pages of books, we open ourselves up to a world without borders and live beyond the boundaries of imagination. Through the written (and spoken) word of fiction, our perspectives are broadened and our minds opened to a greater understanding of the human condition, and we are drawn together by that empathy. We here at The Novel Approach look forward in 2015 to celebrating and sharing the joy of reading with you, to being a positive force in this community, and to continuing to foster the belief that love doesn’t come with exceptions and conditions.

Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year from our family to you and yours!

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Jennifer, Rowan McAllister

Review: Green the Whole Year ‘Round by Rowan McAllister

Title: Green the Whole Year ‘Round

Author: Rowan McAllister

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 77 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Couples counselor Ted Freeman is still reeling six months after his partner left him. He desperately hopes a week of peace and quiet at a quaint mountain cabin will be just what he needs to regain his personal and professional confidence.

Neil Kelly is a computer programmer who just got promoted to full time and is celebrating over Christmas by going on his first real grown-up vacation at the Cabins in the Pines Inn. When he runs into Ted, his longtime crush, Neil can’t believe his luck, and he vows to do whatever it takes to make Ted see him as something other than the dork next door.

Neil wasn’t part of Ted’s plan for the holidays, but he might turn out to be exactly what Ted needs.

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Review: Ahh, I love Christmas stories, and it’s that time of the year! It’s cold outside—no snow, unfortunately—the lights are on the tree, and I can curl up with a good book under a fluffy blanket and indulge in a sweet Christmas romance. Green the Whole Year ‘Round fits that bill. It’s short at only 77 pages, but it’s a sweet story with minimal angst that leaves you feeling pretty good at the end.

Ted and Neil are great characters and despite being complete opposites, they go well together. Neil is like an adorable, energetic puppy. And Ted is nursing a bit of heartache after a breakup has left him alone and confused during the holidays.

What made Ted so great was his attempt at figuring out where he went wrong in his failed relationship. As a couples counselor, he’s trying to figure it out so that he can not only move on, but help his clients. Of course, he’s not doing such a great job of it, at least not until Neil comes along and pulls him out of his funk.

Of course, Neil has a few of his own issues. He might be energetic, fun, and rather insightful, but he’s also insecure when it comes to Ted. He understands the place he’s coming from, but at the same time has wanted him for three years and struggles to not push too hard and too fast.

I do wish the story had been longer, but given that it takes place in a very short timeframe, it works. I would love to read more with these characters, though, as they are fun. It would be nice to see them navigating a relationship outside of the winter lodge confines. What would happen if the ex comes back into the picture? What plans does Neil make for them? How would their relationship fare when one partner is constantly excitable and ready to go forward at full speed, while the other needs time to be quiet and reflect? It would be interesting to see all of these things, but there’s just not enough space in a 77 page story.

If you’re looking for a quick read and a sweet Christmas story, give this one a look. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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You can buy Green the Whole Year ‘Round here:

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4 Stars, Erotica, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Rocky Ridge Books, Z. Allora

Review: Happy Holidays by Z. Allora

Title: Happy Holidays (The Dark Angels: Book Four)

Author: Z. Allora

Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books

Pages/Word Count: 125 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: What do erotic sex toys and Hanukkah have to do with each other?

Absolutely nothing unless you’re a member of the famous rock band The Dark Angels and the shy but kinky Robin gives gifts that guarantee to spice up the holidays!

Each couple makes the most of these unique gifts blending love and orgasmic fun to REALLY celebrate the holidays.

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Review: The holiday season is about family and friends, about building traditions and then sharing them with the people we love. For The Dark Angels boys, it’s also about having fun and sex and about having fun having sex. The eight days of Hanukkah means not only learning about why the holiday is celebrated in the Jewish faith but also gives Robin and Josh the chance to make the other guys’ observance of the Festival of Lights a bit more lighthearted, and without a doubt, a lot hotter.

As with the previous three books in this series, Z. Allora tempers the erotic elements with deeper issues about life, love and family. Dare is facing some doubts and asking some internal questions about his relationship with Angel, where it stands and how sturdy the foundation is upon which he’s planning a life with the man.

Guardian angel and patriarch of this band of brothers, Uncle Leo, and his prodigal son Sean, also figure into the storyline. Jack is another of the lost sheep Uncle Leo has shepherded, helping Jack find his way back to sobriety after years of drug addiction. The prodigal and the found sons have underlying issues that are brought to the fore in this installment of the series, issues which, of course, includes a heaping dose of sexual tension between them, and I hope means Jack and Sean will get their own book somewhere along the way. Or, if not, at least a deeper story treatment in another couple’s book.

All of the couples are visited briefly in this short novel, each given their own private moments to steam up our e-readers as virtual voyeurs. One of the storylines I’m looking forward to, that of Dusty’s and Justin’s brothers, Zack and Andrew, was again teased at in Happy Holidays, but only just enough to promise that when Z. Allora gets around to them, it’s going to be angsty and sexual tension will run high.

This series explores sexuality, challenges labels, and is a fast and flirty and, as always, erotic treat to get lost in for awhile. If you’re looking for a way to spice up the season, The Dark Angels deliver Happy Holidays with a lot of smiles, a few laughs, and a couple of tugs at the heartstrings just for good measure.








You can buy Happy Holidays (The Dark Angels: Book Four) here:

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5 Stars, DSP Publications, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Janet, Rick R. Reed

Review: Third Eye by Rick R. Reed

Title: Third Eye

Author: Rick R. Reed

Publisher: DSP Publications

Pages/Word Count: 264 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Who knew that a summer thunderstorm and his lost little boy would conspire to change single dad Cayce D’Amico’s life in an instant? With Luke missing, Cayce ventures into the woods near their house to find his son, only to have lightning strike a tree near him, sending a branch down on his head. When he awakens the next day in the hospital, he discovers he has been blessed or cursed—he isn’t sure which—with psychic ability. Along with unfathomable glimpses into the lives of those around him, he’s getting visions of a missing teenage girl. When a second girl disappears soon after the first, Cayce realizes his visions are leading him to their grisly fates. Cayce wants to help, but no one believes him. The police are suspicious. The press wants to exploit him. And the girls’ parents have mixed feelings about the young man with the “third eye.” Cayce turns to local reporter Dave Newton and, while searching for clues to the string of disappearances and possible murders, a spark ignites between the two. Little do they know that nearby, another couple—dark and murderous—are plotting more crimes and wondering how to silence the man who knows too much about them.

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Review: This book is a thriller in the true sense of the word. The book itself – a return to a genre that I believe Rick excels in, and also a debut in a new marketing niche that I feel has been needed in the world of m/m books for a long time. I am delighted to be able to review this book, and I hope it is the first of many voices to be heard in this new and exciting branch of m/m.

I have looked forward to getting my hands on this book since I first glimpsed the cover – great work Aaron Anderson, and Third Eye does not disappoint.

I was drawn into the book at the first page, and my heart rate was elevated at the second one. Rick R. Reed’s skill with words is proven by the way he layers descriptions of the environment and the emotions of his characters. Cayce is a struggling single Dad in a sleepy little town beside a big ole lazy river. But the weather is changing, and he can’t see his son, and he is worried. That quickly, I was worried too. The pace of the story is fast and directly influences the breathless aspect that a real thriller needs. I turned pages quickly, my coffee got cold beside me, and although I could anticipate trouble coming, I was never quite right. The guessing and being shocked and surprised are such a big part of a thriller, and Rick mastered this. The cast of characters is broad and vivid, and they are revealed and exposed with each page you turn, with each glimpse through Cayce and his visions, or his personal interactions. They are built and fleshed and are made real. I have a mental picture of Janet McKenna that is near photo quality, and that is due to Rick’s skill with painting a character with colors, and smells as well as a physical description.

The tension in the story builds steadily, without pause, against the very bland, menial backdrop of the town Cayce lives in, which worsens the horror of it all.

Third Eye was a very satisfying read, colorful and full of rich detail, with many layers both between and within its characters. I appreciated the full length of this novel and Rick’s ability to sustain the emotional hold he had on the reader for the whole story, the intensity never dropped. The final resolution was brilliantly graphic and still sweetly hopeful. This is hands down the best work I have read by Rick R. Reed in two years. It is a showcase to his skills and left me in awe of his ability to create emotions with words. I sincerely hope there are more books coming from Rick in this genre.








You can buy Third Eye here:

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock, Lisa Henry, Riptide Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Two Gentlemen of Altona Blog Tour With Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock

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Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock, the authors of THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA. We’re touring the web taking about our influences, our processes, anything we can think about actually, and even giving you guys a sneak peak or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? Check out the details at the bottom of the post to see what you can win!

Lisa: When it came to writing the PLAYING THE FOOL series, I think the first email went something like this.

JA, don’t panic, but I have this idea for this thing that we would need to plot.

JA and I don’t plot. We are pantsers, through and through. We start off with a vague idea, then just see where the hell it takes us. Spoiler alert: It usually takes us somewhere really kinky.

I think sometimes that people have the wrong idea about pantsers. It’s not that we don’t do any of the heavy mental lifting when it comes to plotting, it’s just that we do it at the end. This one time, we used a spreadsheet and everything. Pantsing means a lot more editing—a lot—to get a cohesive story. And every change at the start of the story has an effect on every subsequent chapter. A tiny edit that begins as a ripple in an early chapter becomes a monster tsunami toward the end, tearing down and sweeping away whole scenes that no longer make sense.

So plotting was different. And a part of me feels weird even calling it that. I’ve seen some people that have these intricate Excel documents where every little box (is it called a box? I know nothing about Excel except it has numbers. That’s enough for me. I’m out.) is for a different character’s arc, or for the primary plot, or the subplot, or the subtext, and wow, that seems like a lot of work. I’m definitely more of a “Well, let’s just start writing words and see what happens” kind of person.

So while I won’t lie and say that we reached anywhere near that level of plotting, we definitely plotted this series enough that we can see the benefits of working this way. The editing we did at the end was mostly for grammar and spelling rather than to cover our previously undiscovered massive plot holes. So have we been converted from pantsers into plotters? Will we ever plot like this again?

Um…. Over to you, JA.

J.A.: Welcome to the thrilling conclusion of…WILL WE PLOT?

No.

Probably not.

I mean, we haven’t really done it since then.

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TwoGentlemenOfAltona_400x600About THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA: Mischief, thou art afoot.

Special Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness is having a rough week. Not only is he on a new diet, but he’s also been tasked with keeping Henry Page—the world’s most irritating witness—alive. Which is tough when Mac’s a breath away from killing the Shakespeare-quoting, ethically-challenged, egg-obsessed Henry himself. Unless killing isn’t really what Mac wants to do to him.

Con man Henry Page prefers to keep his distance from the law . . . though he wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to uptight, handsome Agent McGuinness. As the sole witness to a mob hit, Henry’s a valuable asset to the FBI. But he’s got his own agenda, and it doesn’t involve testifying.

When evidence surfaces of a mole in the FBI office, Mac and Henry are forced to go into hiding. Holed up in a fishing cabin, they’re surprised to discover that their feelings run more than skin deep. But as the mob closes in, Henry has to make his escape. And Mac has to decide how far he’s willing to go to keep Henry by his side.

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA is the first in our PLAYING THE FOOL trilogy. Book 2, THE MERCHANT OF DEATH, will be available on February 2. Book 3, TEMPEST, will be released March 9.

You can preorder the series, and check out excerpts, at Riptide.

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The Giveaway: Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away an awesome prize – an ebook copy of a novel of your choice from either of our back catalogs. We’re also giving away a $20 Riptide gift voucher, and the contents of Henry Page’s bag during his arrest in THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA: that’s some Shakespeare and a bunch of Henry’s favorite candy!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your facebook or goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment, not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! On January 9, 2015, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win the prize!

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Andrew Grey, Anthology, Connie Bailey, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, John Amory, Louise Lyons, Reviewed by Angel

Reviews: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar 2014 – Celebrate!

Short stories are hard to write—and review. I love them, personally, but it does take a special type of author to get them correct, in my opinion. I think Stephen King said it best, and I am paraphrasing here, Short stories are like kisses from strangers in the dark. And they are, you never know if you are going to enjoy that stolen kiss or not. I’m adventurous and I usually do like that caress, and tend to go seeking out more than just kisses as well. **g**

That said, here are four stories from the Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calender package “Celebrate!” This package contains 31 stories total, with a recurrent theme throughout of the holiday season away from home.

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BestLaidPlansTitle: Best Laid Plans

Author:  John Amory

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 21 Pages

Rating: 2 Stars

Blurb: George is an anxious, neurotic mess. The only thing that calms him is his partner of ten years, Scott. So despite how nervous it makes George to travel alone, he decides to go to Europe, where Scott has been working for two months, to visit for Christmas. George plans a day on his own in London before traveling to Paris, where Scott is staying. But on George’s day of sightseeing and shopping, everything goes wrong, from a misunderstanding with the hotel concierge to getting lost in Harrods. All George wants is to be with his partner for Christmas, but he’s not sure he’ll survive long enough for that to happen.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

Review: I did enjoy this one, but  the story fell a bit short, I think. It was sweet and had a Christmassy feel, but there was just something lacking. I’m not certain what it was. It could have just been me. Regardless, I felt bad for George. EVERYONE was so rude to him. His plans fell through, and he was trapped in a strange city with nowhere to go. He, and the writing, tended to ramble on in overlong sentences, and I kinda wanted to tell him to get over himself. If you can fly halfway round the world for your lover, you can overcome anything. Scott, though, is George’s rock, and sets everything to rights by coming to his rescue. He doesn’t actually show up, but manages to calm George down long enough to give him proper directions to carry on with his trip, where we finally get to meet Scott.

The ending makes up for George’s horrible experience, with a sweeter than sweet romantic proposal at the top of the Eiffel Tower after they spend the day together. Overall, I liked the author’s writing and will probably seek out more of his work.

DividersThreeWiseMenTitle: Three Wise Men

Author:  Connie Bailey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 29 Pages

Rating:  2 Stars

Blurb: College friends Joon, Tae, and Sangsun parted ways after an aborted attempt at a threesome. Ten years later, life has carried them down very different paths, but Joon misses his friends and decides to invite them to his home in South Korea for Christmas. He believes they belong together, but convincing the others to defy tradition and try again will take faith, hope, and a lot of talking—especially since all three of them are still in the closet.

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Review: I didn’t really like this one; however, the writing was not terrible. The story was rough and felt like a beginning even though it ended, if that makes any sort of sense. It was over before I could even get involved with any of the characters, and I kinda felt like I had missed something entirely. Especially since this was rooted largely in Korean traditions, which, I gathered from the story, aren’t exactly homosexual friendly. It wasn’t really touched on, though, just kinda glossed over that they had a duty to family and couldn’t have their triad.

Basically, I think it was too short for the themes visited, and confusing to boot. It isn’t until after the three men are together again that you realize the threesome was aborted. In fact, it is revealed that only two of the three slept together, and one got completely left out. Horrible, really, and yet, ten years after the fact, the one left out, Joon, is still in love with the other two. It also seemed to me that Joon was just there as a connecting piece because the real chemistry was between Tae and Sangsun, the two that actually had sex.

Ten years is a long time, in my opinion, and people change. Tae certainly did despite sometimes indulging in men, but Sangsun was in the firm no-never-happened-never-will-again camp. Poor Joon was just left on the sideline, still, and a virgin after ten years.  It was also confusing because suddenly they were all closeted, two of them refusing to change, then bam! we had an orgy on our hands and all promised to make a change so they could be together in their triad. Talk about tale spin. I hate to say it, but I probably won’t seek out any more stories by this author.

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SecondBiteoftheCherryTitle: Second Bite of the Cherry

Author:  Louise Lyons

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 28 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: When Daniel Berrisford reluctantly agrees to accompany his best friend Kate to the New Year’s Eve celebrations in London, he doesn’t expect to enjoy himself. Daniel is pleasantly surprised to see his first boyfriend, James Allison, among the merrymakers. The pair haven’t seen each other for four years, but as they talk and midnight approaches, it becomes clear the spark between them is still there. The New Year is a time for new beginnings, and for Daniel and James, it might be the time to give love another chance.

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Review: This story I enjoyed in spite of the cutesy nicknames. That’s a pet peeve of mine in particular, so ignore my idiosyncrasies. There was background and while it was short on details, you could almost feel the chemistry between Daniel and James. It was a mature look at a second chance romance between two people who thought they might have had a connection but realized they were too young to do so. And really I think that’s a smart thing. A little pining is revealed when our couple take a break from the New Year’s celebrations, and it shows that in spite of being mature when they were young, it was also a learning experience for both of them. They found themselves and found one another again and decided to make a go of it. A perfectly serviceable and amicable read. I really enjoyed this author’s writing and pacing and will most likely seek out more by her.

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Author:  Andrew Grey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 62 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Duncan is an ocean from home over the holidays and expects to spend them alone. To his pleasant surprise, one of his European co-workers, Georg, befriends him and includes Duncan in the holiday traditions of his homeland: cutting a Christmas tree under starry skies at Georg’s country estate, decorating it at the family’s city home, and shopping at the Christmas market in Munich. Both men are lonely and realize they have much in common. But Georg’s life is in Germany and Duncan’s is in Boston. With the project they’re working on nearing completion, any chance for more than a holiday fling seems as elusive as stardust.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

Review: This is how you do a short story. This story is truly a wonderful Advent gift. Grey is new to me and after this introduction, I will definitely be seeking more works by him.

Amazing detail and plot without being overly dramatic, Stardust is a sweet tale of romance and finding your place. I don’t even care that the happily ever after never occurs because Duncan and Georg were fully realized, and there was the hope of them making it in spite of their long distance relationship plans.

This was the first of the Advent stories I read that didn’t leave me feeling as if the setting was just another plot device. The holiday, the Germanic traditions, and the characters were amazing in their completion and detailing. I wanted more of the story at the ending of the book, but I was just so satisfied with how Grey ended everything; once again, it didn’t matter the bow wasn’t on this fantastic gift of a story.

I’ve got more of the stories from the anthology to read, but I wanted to take the time to share my thoughts on these few. I’ll be back with more thoughts on the stories at a later date.

 

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4 Stars, Anthology, Reviewed by Lana, Totally Bound

Review: What’s His Passion – An Anthology From Totally Bound

Title: What’s His Passion?

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 367 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars Overall

Blurb: Explore our contemporary collection of men and their passions.

We all have our passions—whether they’re simple pleasures like fine wine and good music, or more ambitious like climbing mountains or jumping out of airplanes. It might even be revelling in the edgier side of sex!

Dive in and discover the many passions of the amorous men explored in our new imprint—What’s His Passion?

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Review: I like reading anthologies because it’s a great way to sample different authors. Sometimes the selection is great and sometimes not so much. What’s His Passion? delivered on some and not on others. The stories here were a mix of a man’s love of something and someone. Most of these were ok and didn’t move me at all save for one. Picturing Lysander by LM Somerton was the exception to the rule. It ticked all my boxes in the “this is a great” story department. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author.

Picturing Lysander is a hot little story that needed to be much, much longer. The writing was exceptional and the story flowed without any snags. The plot was a variation on a theme that I’ve read before but that I enjoy never the less.

Kyle works for a spy agency, and they need Lysander to take pictures of some foreign government installations. Lysander is a photographer and an adrenaline junkie. Kyle uses unusual ways to make Lysander cooperate, fun ways for sure, but there is dubious consent because Kyle gets a little rough. So, if you’re not into a little domination, be forewarned.

The interaction between the two is off the charts. For a short story, the characters where nicely developed, which doesn’t always happen. Their banter was fun to read and ramped up the sexual tension between the two. They have been added to my list of favorite couples. They had the couple dynamic that I love reading about, and I would have loved to have gotten more background on them, so if the author is reading this, please, please make this little gem into a full length book.

What’s His Passion? is a collection that didn’t spark passion in me, except for Picturing Lysander, and for that it’s worth a read.








You can buy What’s His Passion? here:

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Garrett Leigh, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Heart by Garrett Leigh

Title: Heart

Author: Garrett Leigh

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 204 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Cornish pastry chef Seb Wright dreads the summer tourist season. The cash injection to his artisan fudge pantry is more than welcome, the extra work, less so. Then one summer, a shadowy Good Samaritan catches his eye. Irish Traveller Dex is bewitching, a beautiful sullen enigma who turns Seb’s world upside down until he disappears in the night, vanishing like a mystical summer rain.

Twelve months later Dex is in the midst of a dark storm. A slave to his master, ‘Uncle’ Braden, he spends his days cleaning caravans and his nights working in Braden’s other businesses. His short summer with Seb seems a lifetime ago. Lost in the savage violence of the murky underworld, he doesn’t dare dream he’ll ever find his way back, until one night, a brutal crime opens the door for a chance escape. A new life beckons, old faces emerge, and immersed in the heady vibe of London’s East End, new love begins to heal his fractured heart.

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Review: Restraint. It is a brilliant word when used by an author, and Garrett Leigh more than understands employing it when writing her gut wrenching novels. Heart is the epitome of restraint. Because of that, subtle nuances about both main characters that normally might have be lost to harsher descriptions of Dex’s life were saved, and added such depth and texture to an already impressive novel.

Dex is owned, used, abused and starved. A second-class citizen by virtue of birth, this gypsy nomad is handed off at a young age to his “Uncle” Braden, sold to be his and any other man’s whore and lackey. Pieces of Dex’s soul understandably shut down in order to survive and when he stumbles upon Seb one night, those parts—those dreams within him—fan into flame and he experiences their sweetness. It is almost his undoing. For you see, Dex knows in his heart he can never be worthy of any kind of nice life, for he is nothing better than a whore to be used and tossed aside. A thing to be abused, and he waits on death like a man who is years older.

If there is one thing that Dex has attached himself to, it is the old nags that are kept by Braden. Half starved, much like himself, one of Dex’s many jobs is keeping the stables clean and so he cares for the creatures and gives them the love he is afraid to share with anyone else. When a series of events, including witnessing a murder, throws Dex into chaos, he runs, leaving behind his horses and his life. But he is always on borrowed time, and no one knows that better than he. Circumstances bring Seb back into Dex’s life and love blossoms, but Braden is still out there, and Dex is still his whore, his property. How can he possibly think of a life with Seb when the man has no idea about Dex’s past, or the fact that his future is limited?

When an author is able to put just the hint of a sordid abusive life on page and deal more thoroughly with the aftermath and how it affects the character, the story becomes incredibly rich and full. Dex was fascinating not because of his abuse but because he survived it. His survival was the focus, his introduction into a world that he felt would never be his, which he could never deserve. He was so heavily flawed and in need, and it took more than Seb to save him. This was the real genius of Garrett Leigh’s story, and it was in the final chapters, where she changes the point of view and we see Dex not through his internal filter but through that of Seb’s, that her strength as a writer was made clear. We got the full brunt of both men’s frustrations and fears and needs, and it made this story so very real and just that much better!

Heart by Garrett Leigh is an incredible novel, full of pathos and tension, and sweet tenderness and healing. The story never pandered to the idea that a person can easily or swiftly recover from a life of abuse, but it pointed the way to the idea that with love and much patience, therapy and education, even the most wounded can live free.








You can buy Heart here:

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Giveaways, Heartspell Media, Ines Johnson

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Pleasure Hound (Part Two) by Ines Johnson

Ines Johnson

The Novel Approach welcomes Ines Johnson back today with an e-book giveaway of The Pleasure Hound (Part Two). Enjoy the spicy little tease she’s offered, then leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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ThePleasureHoundparttwoBlurb:

Jian and Chanyn’s unexpected feelings for one another put everyone they care about in danger. For Jian’s temple to survive, he must watch the woman he loves marry another. To secure her and Khial’s future, and fulfill the request of a dying Dain, Chanyn must become pregnant with an heir.

Can spoken vows trump the truth in their hearts?

Buy Link: Amazon US

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Excerpt: Three small gems winked back at Khial in mockery when he looked down at the band on his finger. There was his family stone, the sapphire. The stone meant loyalty to family and healthy relationships. Khial clenched his fists so he wouldn’t wrench the lie off his finger. The band bit into his hand.

His thumb traced over the ruby. The feel of Dain’s stone instantly calmed him. The red stone was a promise that Khial never felt necessary to publicize. Between the lie, and the promise, sat the sparkling diamond that represented their wife.

Khial was married. To the man he’d pledged his life to as a boy, and to a woman he barely knew as a man.

The last two days he and Chanyn had been cordial. Their goals were in alignment, with each nursing Dain back to health. Thumbing their noses at his weak organ, willing Dain’s heart to keep beating just as his mother and fathers had kept it beating with only the force of their love. Khial believed that he and Chanyn could do the same for him.

Today, Dain looked the picture of health. A perspiring picture of health. An anxious picture of health.A slightly trembling picture of health.

“You don’t have to do this,” Khial said.

Dain wiped the sweat from his brow with a clenched fist and thrust up his chin. Khial sighed at the stubbornness of his mate, his husband. He sighed to keep from laughing. The action brought to mind a young Dain fearful of jumping off a cliff into a stream of water.

“You don’t have to do this,” Khial had yelled up at him then, while he tread water below the cliff.

The younger Dain had thrust his chin out in the same way as his older self. He’d taken a deep breath, and jumped. At the bottom, in the cool water, the two had laughed and splashed each other. It had been a high jump and not the best of dares for a sickly child. But Khial knew that if Dain had hurt himself on the fall, he would have been right there to catch him. Khial would always be there to catch Dain.

They stood before the marital suite once occupied by Dain’s parents. They’d never used this room. Dain’s rooms were large enough to suite them both. But, now that there were three of them…

Dain reached out a hand to Khial’s shoulder. “You have been a part of my family for as long as I can remember. Just as my parents embraced you, I need you to embrace her. She is a part of our family now.”

Khial looked into those green eyes that he woke up to every morning, and the last thing he saw before he went to sleep each night. Dain was healthy. He would stay healthy. Khial had to admit that part of Dain’s recovery was due to Chanyn. With her second pair of hands added to his, Dain recovered in half the time. That fact should have made Khial bitter, but it didn’t. It couldn’t, when he looked into Dain’s healthy, determined face. Khial felt nothing but gratitude for Chanyn’s care and help.

“I’ll embrace her as family,” Khial acquiesced, “but not as anything else.”

Khial passed in front of Dain, anxious to get this night over. He was not enthused about watching his lover make love to another person. At least that’s what he told himself. His dick, on the other hand, throbbed at the thoughts he refused to have about the ordeal. He refused to remember Chanyn’s glistening skin, her chocolate dipped nipples, her parted lips…

Khial turned the handle.

On the other side of the door, Chanyn sat on the bed, fully clothed, though the silk covering her was scant. Alongside her sat the monk. When Khial opened the door, he spied their entwined hands, heads bent together in an intimate conversation. At Khial’s entrance, the monk’s fingers loosened on Chanyn’s, but as his eyes connected with Khial’s, Khial saw the monk change his mind. He re-clasped his hands with Chanyn’s and brought them both to standing. They looked like a united front.

For a moment, Khial wondered if the monk was going to go back on his word. Were they about to tell Khial and Dain that they were running away together?

Dain came in behind Khial.

The monk released one of Chanyn’s hands and bowed to both Dain and Khial. “Greetings, my lords, and felicitations on your bonding.”

Khial followed Dain’s eyes to the entwined hands of their wife and the monk, but Dain didn’t say anything about it. “Thank you, Brother Jian. Is our lady prepared?”

After his grand speech just a moment ago, Khial heard the nervousness return to Dain’s voice. Khial glanced over at Chanyn. He saw a tremble in her free hand. It appeared the only two people in the room who weren’t trembling or nervous were Khial and the monk.

“We are ready, my lord,” the monk spoke for Chanyn. “Will you join us in prayer?” The monk reached a hand towards Dain. Dain stepped up and took it.

They all looked expectantly at Khial. He looked at the circle of people: the man he loved, his wife, and the man she loved.

“I won’t be joining in,” said Khial. He went to the window, turning his back to the whole affair. The joke was on him. He could clearly see them all in the glass’ reflection. Khial stood on the outside looking in as Dain and Chanyn clasped hands with the monk and closed the circle.

The monk began his prayer.

“Maternal Goddess, I seek your presence as I align myself with one of your sacred daughters.

I offer my body as a vessel of your will and your grace.

The desire of my heart is pure and known to you.

I wish to please your daughter and garner your favor.

The miracle that pleases a woman and creates life is of your design, Divine Goddess.

With great anticipation, I align all of the energy systems of my body, my soul, and my mind with you.

I give thanks in advance for your blessings of this experience and know that I walk in the light of your sun and the fertility of your earth.

Ashe.”

“Ashe,” intoned Chanyn and Dain.

They stood silently, eyes closed, heads bowed in meditation. Then the monk took Chanyn’s hand and moved her towards the bed. The monk’s back was to Dain so he couldn’t see the questioning look he gave Chanyn. From the reflection of the glass, Khial saw Chanyn answer the monk with a trusting nod.

The monk pulled the ties of her gown and the material fell to the ground. Khial heard Dain gasp. Khial had seen Chanyn before, but still his fingers gripped the windowsill as he beheld her once more. She’d been sitting the last time Khial saw her so he hadn’t seen how perfectly proportioned she was. Large breasts, small waist, flaring hips and the triangle of curls below her navel.Khial had to swallow many times. His dick throbbed, begging him to turn around.

Khial closed his eyes and heard the bed creak indicating Chanyn climbed aboard.

“No, no,” came the monk’s gentle voice. “Do not disrobe just yet, my lord. We must prepare her.”

“I thought you said she was ready?” Dain’s voice was husky.

“I said she is prepared, my lord. We have to make her ready. A man may become aroused in an instant. That is not so with a woman. Come, let me show you.”

Khial’s senses were so aware that he heard Dain move closer to the bed. A moment later, he heard Chanyn’s small sigh.

“You’re doing very well, my lord,” encouraged the monk. “Only, a woman needs a slower, lighter touch. Like this.”

Chanyn let out something between a groan and a sigh. Khial could take it no longer. He opened his eyes and gaped at the reflection in the window.

Chanyn lay on the bed, Dain and the monk on either side of her, their hands gliding over her body. Khial saw Chanyn undulating under their touch. He clenched his hands once more.

The monk’s eyes roamed over and caught Khial’s eyes in the glass. The monk held Khial there as he continued moving his hands over Chanyn’s body. Khial looked away from the monk’s eyes and followed his hands as they went over Chanyn’s breasts. Then Khial’s eyes went back to the monk. The monk still looked at Khial’s reflection in the window. He said nothing, his face a mask of serenity.

“Now you may disrobe, my lord.”

Khial’s hand slipped off the window ledge from all the sweat gathered on his palm. The monk tore his gaze from Khial and his eyes landed on Dain. It had to be Khial’s imagination. The monk did not just smirk at Khial before turning his serene face to Dain.

Dain straightened, his fingers trembling once more.

Dain made quick work of his clothes and then stood before both Chanyn and the monk in all his naked glory. The throbbing of Khial’s dick became nearly unbearable now.

The monk slid behind Chanyn, sitting her up and cradling her in his arms. Khial saw him smile down at her, the look both supportive and an acknowledgement of love. It was that exchange, and not the fact that his bond mate and wife stood naked preparing to couple, that made Khial feel like a voyeur. He nearly looked away, but when Dain climbed on the bed and between Chanyn’s thighs, Khial had had enough.

He turned around.

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Author BioAbout the Author: Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books!

Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations.

Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.

Social Media Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Book Trailer

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Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways, Lane Hayes

Interview and Giveaway: The Right Words by Lane Hayes

Lane Hayes

TNA: Welcome back to The Novel Approach, Lane, it’s lovely to have you with us today. Let’s start off with a tough question:

Love his books or hate them, there’s no doubt Stephen King has been successful at the business of writing and selling a few books. One of his top 20 tips for writers is to leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings:  Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your ecgocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.

Was there any one scene you ended up cutting from The Right Words, or any of your books, for that matter, that killed you to leave out of the story? If so, what was the scene, and how do you ultimately come to the decision of what stays and what goes?

Lane: Stephen King is quite right.  Any writer, whether or not he or she ever reaches the success of Mr. King, will be guilty of over-writing.  Self-editing is the hardest part of writing any story.  It’s natural to think every line is crucial, but too much information distracts as easily as too little!  I usually write 25K more words on average in my books than I will actually send to the publisher.  Crazy, huh?  So yes, I did this in The Right Words too.  I cut a scene where Luke and Michael are painting a room together.   It was cute but ultimately, it’s only purpose was to get them in bed. Lol!  Never fear, I found another way to make it happen! :)  I try to make sure each scene has meaning.  It can be funny or cute but it must keep the story moving.

TNA: Speaking as a reader, I can say that one of the most important aspects of a book is the ability to relate to, and even fall in love a little bit, with its characters – flaws, quirks, shortcomings and all. As a writer, what are some of the things you strive to do to make your characters loveable? Do you have a formula or set of rules you use as a guideline when creating your MCs?

Lane: I completely agree! Flaws, quirks and shortcomings are what make us human and relatable.  I don’t necessarily strive to create loveable characters, but I do think it’s important to be able to relate to them on some level.  I don’t use a formula or specific guidelines, but I always am cognizant I’m writing human characters.  No one is perfect.  Everyone has little idiosyncrasies, things you do when you’re nervous or ways to help you cope when things get out of hand.  In The Right Words, Luke is coming from an abusive relationship that’s left him rattled.  His coping mechanism is reciting poems and pieces of his favorite literature.  Can I relate exactly?  No, but I can relate on some level.  And that’s the key.

TNA: The old axiom of writing is “write what you know”. Have you ever included something that’s happened to you in real life in one of your books? If so, what was it, and how did it influence the storyline?

Lane: Yes!  In Better Than Friends, Curt’s dad has cancer.  He wasn’t close to his father, but he explores that relationship and tries to understand how it has influenced the man he becomes.  My own father passed away from lung cancer four years ago.  Unlike Curt, I had a good relationship with my dad and losing him was heart wrenching.   Nothing prepares you for that kind of loss.  It’s deep and dark and unbearably lonely.  I draw from those feelings in an almost cathartic way sometimes when I’m writing something difficult.  Everyone has been there though their story may be different.  (By the way, that was a big sharing moment for me!  I’m feeling choked up!)

TNA: One-night-stand (don’t call me, I’ll call you), boyfriend material (you have potential but definitely need some work), husband material (I would marry the shit out of you right now) – you have to pick one of your characters and decide who would fall into what category for you. Who would you choose for each, and why do they fit into their respective niches.

Lane: Great question!  I have to think about this one.  Hmm.  The “One-night-stand” award goes to Peter in Better Than Chance, but only loosely.  I would totally want the sex part with him, he’s crazy hot! But he has so many layers, the Catholic guilt, overbearing mother issues, and he’s an overachiever.  He’s one of those guys who is very hard to get to know.  Thankfully, Jay did!  (And they live happily ever after :) ).  “Boyfriend Material” award is a tie between Matt from Better Than Good and Jack from Better Than Friends.   Matt is so damn sweet and attentive.  I love the way he loves Aaron!  And Jack is so real.  He’s charming, sexy as hell and funny.  As far as the needing work part to those boys, I’ll leave that to Aaron and Curt! Lol!  The “Husband Material” award goes to Michael, my MC from The Right Words.  He is the closest character I’ve written to my own husband.  He’s tall, dark, handsome and Latino.  He has, as Luke observes, a face with a view.  He’s brooding at times but is witty and kind with an unexpected depth.  He has his own issues but he notices Luke’s pain and is unbearably gentle.  I love Michael’s complexity.  He’s captivating to me.  Someone I wish I had another few hundred pages to explore!

TNA: Thanks so much for taking the time to be here with us today, Lane. It’s been fun!

Lane: Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!  I love these thought provoking questions! :)

Happy Reading!

Lane Hayes xo

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RightWords[The]FSBlurb: Escaping an abusive relationship left Luke Preston anxious and spouting panic-induced poetry. Desperate for a fresh start, Luke accepts a job remodeling a tired old beach house for a professional soccer player and his model girlfriend. While his passion is literature, not sports, focusing on the renovations eases his anxiety. Until the job he signed up for turns out to be more complicated than advertised.

Sidelined with a serious injury, soccer star Michael Martinez decides his beach house is the perfect place to recuperate. Remodeling might be the diversion he needs to keep his mind off his busted knee. Falling for the pretty designer with some quirky habits wasn’t on the drawing board. Unfortunately, Luke didn’t build a big enough closet for Michael to hide in. Having a star-powered sports career used to be all Michael lived for, but he’ll have to reevaluate his plans and find the right words if he wants to build more than a beach house with Luke.

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Humor, Romance

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

Add The Right Words to your Goodreads Shelf: goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

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Author BioAbout Lane: Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writingfull-time!  It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel.  An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters.  These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men.  Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked.  Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards.  She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow Lab everin an almost empty nest.

Social Media Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Email | Goodreads

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The Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of The Right Words

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3 Stars, Cheryl Dragon, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Jackie

Review: Blake’s Home by Cheryl Dragon

Title: Blake’s Home

Author: Cheryl Dragon

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 110 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Plenty of men have tried to get ranch hand Blake Louis to The Love Shack but none succeed. At the White family ranch, Blake has found friends and a home. He desperately wants to stay. Yet he must keep his shifter secret and avoid his feelings for Jared White. This job has to work out. No one ever wanted him forever—none of his family did—so why would a rich successful rancher want more than a roll in the hay with a dirt poor ranch hand?

Screwing the staff is a bad idea but Jared White needs more than sex from Blake. The men are friends but he’ll risk it for a chance at more. Love has never worked for Jared and a childhood rival delights in sabotaging him. Jared can’t give up hope. He believes that Blake is the one.

The only smart place to start is The Love Shack, a neutral place where Jared isn’t the boss and Blake isn’t the hand. Determined to win Blake’s heart, Jared delves into Blake’s past. As amazing as the sex is, Blake resists sweet promises. Love, trust, and happiness are as crazy to Blake as the bobcat he can shift into.

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Review: I am a huge fan of shifter stories, and an even bigger fan of cowboy stories. Having said that, I figured this book would be right up my alley. Honestly, in some ways it was, and in some ways it wasn’t.

Blake Louis is not only an undercover bobcat shifter, but he is also gay. In the past, both of these things have caused him a lot of trouble. Working on the White family ranch has at least made the gay thing less of a problem for him, but he still has to hide his shifter side. Or does he?

Jared White is Blake’s boss and one of the owners of the White family ranch. That is the biggest problem for Blake. Not only is Jared his boss, but he is rich and powerful. He also isn’t a shifter. How in the world will Blake be able to overcome all these obstacles?

Well, like a song from my youth, there is a little place back in the woods called The Love Shack. This place is basically an old, converted barn turned bar that sets at the meeting point of the four largest ranches in the area. All the owners and hands go there to let off some steam and kick their heels up. Blake believes if he and Jared come together at The Love Shack they can meet on even ground.

This leads to some pretty steamy times between the two men, but it doesn’t solve all their problems. Eventually, Blake finds out that his shifter issue may not be as important as he thought it was, but some unfortunate situations lead to misunderstandings.

Jared’s childhood rival tries to drive a wedge between Jared and Blake and it will take some help from their friends and a lot of communication to get to the heart of the matter and put these men on the right track for their happily ever after.

I liked the basic outline of this story and I absolutely loved the characters. The one thing I didn’t like about this story was the over-used Big Misunderstanding storyline that took too long to straighten out. Overall this was a good read, and I would be interested in any other books that come along in this series.








You can buy Blake’s Home here:

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All Romance eBooks

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Cleis Press, Giveaways, Rob Rosen

Guest Post and Giveaway: Men of the Manor (An Anthology) Edited by Rob Rosen

Rob Rosen

The Novel Approach is happy to have Rob Rosen here today on the Men of the Manor blog tour. I asked Rob to tell us what prompted him to put his own erotic twist on the historical romance genre, and this is what he had to say.

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As a fan of both Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs, I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be uniquely different to see what happens to the men of the manor when the lights go down and the ladies head to their beds for the night? Then I purposely chose stories from both viewpoints: from the perspective of the lords and the perspective of the staff. In truth, I enjoyed it the most when the staff took advantage of their employers, and gained something other than sex as a result, but the stories of the lords are just as intriguing, frequently showing a side of them you don’t normally get to see.

Erotica fans will enjoy the sex, romance fans will enjoy the tender moments, and historical fiction fans will get a kick out of the pre-World War One setting. In the end, I think I put together exactly what I was hoping for: something that appeals to a wide audience, and yet something that hasn’t been tried yet. I hope the readers feel the same.

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The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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unnamedBlurb – Men of the Manor: The country estate, masters and servants, mystery and intrigue, sex and money—all go hand in hand in these turn-of-the-century tales of what goes on behind the manor’s closed doors. Does the master lure the butler to the phonograph room for a romp behind the sofa, or does the stable boy have a tryst with the footman while the lord longingly watches on? Does the aristocrat drop his foppish manners when the butler helps him undress? And do the classes exchange more than pleasantries when the lamps are dimmed and the ladies retire for the evening?

Rob Rosen has gathered the hottest stories of romance and sex between wealthy aristocrats and the hard-working estate staff, all with a pre-World War I backdrop, including the fashion and art and the latest inventions of the day. War is years way, the estates are huge and sprawling, the fashionably elite have too much time on their hands, while the toiling underclass are always on the lookout for a means to a brighter future — no matter whose bed they end up in. Think Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs, but with enough sex to make the town vicar blush.

Available at: Amazon US | All Romance eBooks | Barnes and Noble

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Rob Rosen BioAbout the Author/Editor:

Rob Rosen, author of the novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp and Queens of the Apocalypse, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, and Best Gay Erotica 2015, has had short stories featured in more than two hundred anthologies.

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, Keira Andrews, Reviewed by Janet, Self-Published

Review: Holding the Edge by Keira Andrews

Title: Holding the Edge

Author: Keira Andrews

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 88 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Gay figure skaters keep their relationship secret–and end up on thin ice.

Misha Reznikov has an Olympic gold—and a secret lover who just happens to be the silver medalist. Now that their competitive days are over, Misha and former rival Dev Avira are setting up house in LA and giving their relationship a shot in the real world. They agree that keeping their romance strictly under wraps is best for their pro careers and Misha’s family back in Russia. So what if Dev hasn’t told his parents, and they never eat out for fear of being spotted? It’s not perfect, but they’re together.

But as they prepare for a special holiday skating show on Christmas Eve in Dev’s hometown, tension builds. How long can Misha and Dev keep their love secret–and what happens if one of them wants to stop hiding?

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Review: What a wonderful book. Holding the Edge is the continuation of Cold War, where we met Dev and Misha and watched them fall in lust. Misha’s voice tells the story as they step away from competition and the international spotlight, and begin to build a life together – quietly.

” We may not be competing anymore, but we are still in the skating world. There are rules, even if they are not written down.”

This conflict between who and what they are, and where they want to be, is the driving force of the story. As Dev and Misha get closer emotionally, the heat of their physical relationship is very powerful. It’s sexy and good, and binds them closer together to a point it is hard to hide their ‘coupleness’.

Keira Andrews takes the time to develop the characters secondary to the MCs, adding layers and depth to the story, giving it a richness that adds to the impact of the story upon the reader. I was drawn into their world and was invested in their hope for the future. I have never skated and have only been in a rink once, but I could clearly see their world and be a part of it. I fretted and worried about them, I hurt for them, and I was angered by the politics that pressured them to remain hidden, as too did their own fears. Keira is very successful at writing from Misha’s POV. There are wonderful Russian flavors that scent the story, leading to the holidays and the touching conclusion.

This is a powerful and timely story, with many overtones – but the strongest feeling I had was excitement. I was glad to be a part of the story and had to immediately reread the whole book to see if it really was as good as I thought. It was great to see the lust from Cold War develop into love in Holding The Edge….I think I have another favorite Christmas story too. Keira Andrews has just become an auto-buy for me.








You can buy Holding the Edge here:

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5 Stars, Audio Book, JCP Books, Jordan Castillo Price, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Audio Review: Criss Cross (PsyCop: Book Two) by Jordan Castillo Price – Narrated by Gomez Pugh

Title: Criss Cross (PsyCop: Book Two)

Author: Jordan Castillo Price

Narrator:: Gomez Pugh

Publisher: JCP Books

Run Time: 4 Hours, 9 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Criss Cross finds the ghosts surrounding Victor getting awfully pushy. The medications that Victor usually takes to control his abilities are threatening to destroy his liver, and his new meds aren’t any more effective than sugar pills.

Vic is also adjusting to a new PsyCop partner, a mild-mannered guy named Roger with all the personality of white bread. At least he’s willing to spring for the Starbucks.

Jacob’s ex-boyfriend, Crash, is an empathic healer who might be able to help Victor pull his powers into balance, but he seems more interested in getting into Victor’s pants than in providing any actual assistance.

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Review: In Criss Cross, the second installment in Jordan Castillo Price’s PsyCop series, another of my favorite characters is introduced—Jacob’s ex lover Curtis, AKA Crash. We don’t learn a lot about Crash in Criss Cross, but trust me when I say he becomes almost as beloved a character as Vic and Jacob themselves as the series progresses. I love the tension between Crash and Jacob, and especially between Crash and Vic, which Gomez Pugh captures in his second go at narrating this series.

But, that’s only a fraction of this story. The heart of it is what’s happening with Victor, and why he’s suddenly attacking Jacob while asleep, leaving bloody marks on Jacob’s skin. The what and the why that Jordan Castillo Price reveals before story’s end adds a layer of danger to Vic’s psychic abilities, which is also played out in the revelation of a sinister plot that involves the living and the dead. JCP uses her considerable writing talent to escalate the macabre in this book, while Pugh employs his smooth as silk vocals to deliver it. Once again he’s captured Vic’s snark, his lack of interpersonal skills, his insecurity and vulnerability where Jacob is concerned, and projects through it all just how new and tentative their relationship still is.

The secondary characters introduced in Criss Cross are all given voices that suit their personalities, from Roger Burke’s swell-Richie Cunningham-Howdy Doody-ness to the gentle wisdom of Crash’s resident ghost Miss Maddie. Gomez Pugh gives style and resonance to each vocalization, regardless of how major or minor the role, and he’s single handedly ensured that 2015 will see me as an audiobook convert.

Lisa Gutierrez once again figures prominently in this installment, further establishing herself as an integral part of Victor’s life, not to mention that JCP has also set the stage for her special brand of television that has me champing at the bit for GhosTV, but that’s a ways off, and I’m just as excited for all the audiobooks in the series leading up to it.

With a steamy ending, one that pumped pure sex right into my tender ears in Pugh’s deep and sultry tones, Criss Cross earns its recommended listen status.








You can buy Criss Cross (PsyCop: Book Two) here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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JCP Books, Jordan Castillo Price

Guest Post and Free Download (Thaw): Jordan Castillo Price and the PsyCop Audiobook Series

PicMonkey Collage

Hello Lisa, hi TNA, I’m so grateful you found a spot for me to talk about my latest project, M/M audiobooks. I’ve only begun  producing audiobooks this year, but I’ve already had the first three books in the PsyCop made into audios.

While audiobooks have been around for a long time, they’re fairly new to this genre. I wasn’t sure what PsyCop fans would want to know about the process, so I asked readers on Facebook.

Rose asked, “Did you always want to get into audio books, or is it something you have only recently considered?”

At my last day-job, I worked at a public library. Having scads and scads of materials available to me, all of it free, changed the way I consumed media forever. With everything at my fingertips, I became both more selective, and more adventurous. I tried out lots of magazines, for instance, but eventually realized that it’s impossible to read every single magazine that interests me, plus they’re often fairly repetitive, so unless you’re merely killing time in the checkout line, it’s better to be choosy.

With books, I made the shift of not needing to own a physical every book I cared to read. If you’ve ever had to relocate, you know that moving boxes and boxes of books is just a world of hurt. Not only did I get out of the habit of buying books since I could read and return them, I donated many of my books since I could easily put my hands on them again if I absolutely had to. (And since ebooks soon came out, that became a much better way of having books. Not so dusty, and not nearly as heavy.)

With music, I started listening to random bands. And with movies, I no longer did that weird thing where I overthought my movie selection and ended up picking the most bizarre, inaccessible art film in all of Blockbuster. Because now I could bring home a bunch of movies and I didn’t have to finish any of the ones that were too bizarre!

The funny thing is, I have no idea when I listened to my first audio.

It’s possible I got started listening to non-fiction audios. Personal development titles really hook me in, so my early days of audiobooks might’ve been spent listening to Wayne Dyer or Louise Hay. But I do distinctly remember alternating audio and reading when I was devouring the Stephanie Plum series—and I remember being baffled that two different production houses did the audios with different narrators, and the later books sounded nothing at all like the earlier ones. I’m pretty sure I read that Janet Evanovich hated the early audios. What a shame. I thought the first voices were funnier—Stephanie had a distinct Jersey accent, and Grandma was pee-your-pants hilarious. The later versions were homogenized, obvious, and nowhere near as quirky and fun.

My first stories saw print over ten years ago, but if you’d asked me whether they’d go to audio, I would have thought that notion was pie in the sky. The likelihood of an audio version seemed as farfetched as landing a movie deal.

But things changed, as they do. Audible began offering a way for writers with stories to find producers looking for projects. Readers have been asking me for an audio for years, but I hung back for quite a while. My concern was that I didn’t want to ruin my series by getting a reading I didn’t care for. And I’d known plenty of authors who ended up with a reader who had the wrong accent, or who mispronounced the important names, or could barely bring themselves to say the word cock.

I saw my pal Jordan L. Hawk was making lots of audios, though, and she allowed me to pick her brain. She assured me that if I put my script up for audition, there was nothing forcing me to choose someone within a certain amount of time, if at all. It couldn’t hurt to try.

I’m so pleased I took her advice! The actor Gomez Pugh has brought a whole new dimension to the PsyCop characters. And believe me when I say, that man can really belt out a sex scene :D

Don’t take my word for it, come check out the PsyCop audiobooks!

Stream a sample from each book at the PsyCop site

Among the Living (PsyCop #1) on Audible, iTunes and Amazon

Criss Cross (PsyCop #2) on Audible, iTunes and Amazon

Coming soon! – Body and Soul (PsyCop #3) on Audible, iTunes and Amazon

And my gift to all of you, Thaw, PsyCop Short #1.1, free for download or streaming

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Friend Jordan Castillo Price on Facebook (general chitchat):

http://facebook.com/jordancastilloprice

Like the PsyCop Fanpage (reader chat and news about new releases):

http://facebook.com/JCP.PsyCop

Sign up for JCP News (monthly email newsletter):

http://psycop.com/newsletter.html

Jordan Castillo Price

www.jordancastilloprice.com

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3.5 Stars, Anthology, Ava Penn, Beaten Track Publishing, Holiday Romance, Kathleen Hayes, Raine O'Tierney, Reviewed by Lana

Review: Boughs of Evergreen Roundup – Xmas Cake, Coming in from the Cold, and The Bard and His Boyfriend

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Titles: Xmas Cake: A Modern Fairy Tale, Coming in from the Cold, and The Bard and His Boyfriend

Authors: Raine O’Tierney, Ava Penn, Kathleen Hayes

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing – Boughs of Evergreen Anthology benefitting The Trevor Project

Pages/Word Count: 43 Pages/52 Pages/35 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars Overall

Blurbs:

Xmas Cake: Once upon a snowy Christmas season, in the glowing metropolis of Midday…

If this were a fairy tale Kyle would be the handsome prince and Riley would be the poor baker in distress. Oh wait, but that’s exactly what it is!

When Kyle Prince sees Riley collapse in the snow-covered parking lot, he swoops in to the rescue, whisking the feverish young man off to his high-rise apartment without a second thought.

As Riley mends under Kyle’s care, a feeling of closeness grows between the two men. But every fairy tale has its complications. Will the two find their happily ever after this Christmas?

Coming in from the Cold: What’s a poor, East coast boy fending for himself in Colorado to do when winter sets in on the Rockies?

Declan Stoeber finds himself freezing every minute of the day once autumn ends and the snow begins to fall in the Centennial State. With no family to go home to for the holiday season, he plans to put extra time into his studies and maybe look for a part-time job. What he gets is a part-time job with benefits and a few new friends.

Xander Duchesne is a savvy businessman in the harsh world of deals and projects. Estranged from his mother due to her matchmaking tendencies, he is resolved to spending Yule (or Winter Solstice) by himself for the first time in his life. He wasn’t expecting his mother’s impossible-to-ignore demands, and he certainly wasn’t prepared for a college freshman who was just coming in from the cold.

The Bard and His Boyfriend: Seth is a member of an ancient clan of druids that have existed for over 5,000 years. The rituals they perform at the changing of the seasons keep the very fabric of reality from unraveling. But as he goes home for the Winter Solstice, all Seth can think about is the huge fight he had with his boyfriend before he left school for the holiday break.

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Review: There is nothing better than getting into the holiday spirit with romantic Christmas stories. A holiday story that is heartfelt, cute and most importantly sweet, always leaves me warm and fuzzy. My selection from this holiday collection wereXmas Cake by Raine O’Tierney, Coming in from the Cold by Ava Penn, and The Bard and His Boyfriend by Kathleen Hayes. They were all cute if not a bit formulaic.

In Xmas Cake, a waif finds his true love after a case of mistaken identity. I though the story could have been better if it were written in a different way. I think the author was trying to go with the whole fairy tale vibe, which didn’t work for me, and I felt the story was a little boring.

In Coming in from the Cold, two men meet each other just before Christmas and find true love. These themes usually have me salivating, but this story was just ordinary for me. It was also pretty mild on the heat level and is perfect for anyone looking for an introduction to m/m fiction.

The story that really caught my attention was The Bard and His Boyfriend, a cute take on the fantasy genre. Seth is part of a Celtic Clan in America, and the caretaker of a mystical ritual. Honestly, I was a little bit confused by the explanation, but I think if this were a longer novella and more background was given, it could have the potential to be a really good story. During the winter solstice celebration, Seth’s boyfriend Ale shows up. The only problem is that the location of the Clan is a secret, and no one outside the Clan knows the location. But it turns out that Ale is Seth’s chosen and knows the location in his heart. The story is cute and sweet, but is just too short to leave any sort of lasting impression.

My selections from Boughs of Evergreen were okay for a quick read, and in the end, not too filling.








You can buy Xmas Cake, Coming in from the Cold, and The Bard and His Boyfriend here:

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, Amy Lane, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Historical Romance, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Review: Turkey in the Snow by Amy Lane – Narrated by Gomez Pugh

Title: Turkey in the Snow

Author: Amy Lane

Narrator:: Gomez Pugh

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 2 Hours, 32 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Since Hank Calder’s four-year-old niece Josie came to live with him, his life has been plenty dramatic, thank you, and the last thing he needs is a swishy, flaming twinkie to complicate things. But when Justin, the daycare worker at his gym, offers to do something incredibly nice for Hank – and for Josie – Hank is forced to reconsider. Justin may be flamboyant in his speech and gestures, but his heart and kindness are as rock steady and dependable as anyone, even Hank, could ask for. Can Hank trust in his dramatic “turkey in the snow” to offer his heart the joy he and Josie have never known? Continue reading

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5 Stars, Audio Book, JCP Books, Jordan Castillo Price, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lisa

Audio Review: Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price – Narrated by Gomez Pugh

Title: Among the Living (PsyCop: Book One)

Author: Jordan Castillo Price

Narrator:: Gomez Pugh

Publisher: JCP Books

Run Time: 2 Hours, 59 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Victor Bayne, the psychic half a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who’s more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves. Continue reading

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, The Year In Reviews

A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week – And A Quick Recap Of Our Best Books of 2014

Sneak PeekHappy (almost) New Year, everyone! We’re bringing 2014 to an auspicious close, with some great reviews and guests dropping by to help us ring in a brand new year.

Before I get to the schedule, though, I want to do a quick recap of our Best Books of 2014 selections, and offer a congratulations—not to mention our gratitude—to all the authors whose hard work and dedication to their craft brought us so much joy (and sometimes sorrow) this year. And, P.S., there’s also time to enter some of the giveaways.

I also want to share a slight change we’ll be making to the review system here at TNA in 2015. For those of you who missed my blog post about the ratings system a month or so back, in short, I am not a particular fan of it. The purpose of taking the time to write a review—deconstructing a plot and the characters, and putting them all back together again to point out what did, or didn’t, work in a book—has nothing to do with numbers and everything to do with our ability to articulate our thoughts and feelings about what we’ve read. So, beginning January 1, we’ll no longer be offering a numerical designation on the books we review here at TNA. We will, however, have simple ways for you to get a quick overview of our thoughts about the books we’ll be featuring in the coming years, two being ones you may have already seen—the TNA Page Turner and A Small Gem, which are reserved for those novels and short stories that we feel go beyond any 5 Star rating we would normally give.

Now, on to a quick and comprehensive list of our Top Reads for this year:

DividersSammy:

Going the Distance by John Goode

Then the Stars Fall by Brandon Witt

Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey

Rainbow Connection: Volume One by BJ Sheppard

Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon

Tina:

Strain by Amelia C. Gormley

The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick

Beneath the Stain by Amy Lane

Bliss by Lisa Henry & Heidi Belleau

Sex & Sourdough by A.J. Thomas

Jackie:

Say Something by BA Tortuga

Pulling Leather by L.C. Chase

Names Can Never Hurt Me by Wade Kelly

Recovery by Con Riley

Love you Forever by Amelia Bishop

Lana:

Spinning the Top – Anthology

Alpha’s Claim – Anthology

Dr. Feelgood – Anthology

Faith & Fidelity by Tere Michaels

Avaritia by Mathew Ortiz

Jules:

Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan

The River Leith by Leta Blake

A Forbidden Rumspringa by Keira Andrews

The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane

Release by A.M. Sexton

Lynn:

When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

Guarded by Cat Grant & L.A. Witt

The Broken Series by Kol Anderson

This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet

Facing Demons by Lynley Wayne

Chris:

Let Love Live by Melissa Collins

Hook, Line, & Sinker by Piper Vaughn

Breaking Free by Cat Grant

Let it Be by Cheryl McIntyre

Strength of the Mate by Kendall McKenna

Kim: Audiobooks

Dirty Secret by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander – Narrated by Joseph Northton

Scales and a Tail by Stormy Glenn – Narrated by Johnny East

Tell Me It’s Real by TJ Klune – Narrated by Michael Lesley

Family Unit by Z.A. Maxfield – Narrated by JP Handler

Kathie: Audiobooks

When Love Comes to Town by Jacob Z. Flores – Narrated by TJ Jamesin

Fish and Ghosts by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Tristan James

Feathers from the Sky by Posy Roberts – Narrated by Paul Morey

Hound Dog and Bean by B.G. Thomas – Narrated by Charlie David

Behind the Curtain by Amy Lane – Narrated by Hugh Bradley

Rena:

Flight of Magpies by KJ Charles

Bloodline by Jordan L. Hawl

Prosperity by Alexis Hall

Junior Willis by Richard Natale

Mending Him by Summer Devon & Bonnie Dee

Lisa:

Chance Assassin: A Story of Love, Luck, and Murder by Nicole Castle

Wicklow’s Odyssey by R. Cooper

Turnbull House by Jess Faraday

Daron’s Guitar Chronicles (Volumes One thru Five) by Cecilia Tan

Baal’s Heart (Caged and Sacrificed) by Bey Deckard

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And that does it for 2014. Now, here’s what we have in store for the week ahead. We hope you’ll join is for all the good stuff. :)

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MondayJordan Castillo Price kicks this off this week with a guest post on her Body and Soul (PsyCop #3) blog tour

We’ll also have Rob Rosen here on the Men of the Manor blog tour

TuesdayLane Hayes stops in on The Right Words blog Tour

Ines Johnson drops by on The Pleasure Hound (Book Two) tour

Wednesday – We’ll have Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock with us today on the Two Gentlemen of Altona blog tour

Thursday – Happy New Year! Wade Kelly is our guest today on the Misplaced Affection tour

Friday – Today, Charlie Cochet stops in with a Cover Reveal of the upcoming installment in the THIRDS series, Rise & Fall

Saturday – The Brit Boys Blitz will close out the week here at TNA

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

 

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4 Stars, Erotica, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Rocky Ridge Books, Z. Allora

Review: Finally Fallen by Z. Allora

Title: Finally Fallen (The Dark Angels: Book Three)

Author: Z. Allora

Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books

Pages/Word Count: 267 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: What’s the use of being a rock legend if you have no one to share the fame and fortune with? Not that Dusty Davis is looking. He’s content taking care of himself, his bandmates, and his rambunctious younger brothers. Continue reading

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3.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Liam Grey, Reviewed by Angel

Review: It’s Christmas Everywhere but Here by Liam Grey

Title: It’s Christmas Everywhere But Here

Author:  Liam Grey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 96

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Christmas brings dreams of peace, love, and family time for most. Sadly, Russell Moore isn’t so blessed. Since his coming out and marriage prompted a less-than-joyful reaction from his religious parents, Russ has kept his distance to avoid their conservative disapproval. With his husband David deployed overseas for the second Christmas in a row, Russ gives in to the loneliness and takes his stepchildren to meet his parents for the first time, hoping the “goodwill toward men” spirit will overcome his mother’s zealotry. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Charlie Cochet, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Chris, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Audio Review: Hell & High Water by Charlie Cochet – Narrated by Mark Westfield

Title: Hell & High Water

Author: Charlie Cochet

Narrator: Mark Westfield

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 10 hours 6 minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: When homicide detective Dexter J. Daley’s testimony helps send his partner away for murder, the consequences—and the media frenzy—aren’t far behind. He soon finds himself sans boyfriend, sans friends, and, after an unpleasant encounter in a parking garage after the trial, he’s lucky he doesn’t find himself sans teeth. Dex fears he’ll get transferred from the Human Police Force’s Sixth Precinct, or worse, get dismissed. Instead, his adoptive father—a sergeant at the Therian-Human Intelligence Recon Defense Squadron otherwise known as the THIRDS—pulls a few strings, and Dex gets recruited as a Defense Agent. Continue reading

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Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

Simply the Best 2014: The Finale – The Year In Reviews and a Giveaway

2014

We have reached the end of our journey, folks, the final choices for our Top Reads of 2014. In case you’ve missed the others, check out Sammy’s and Tina’s selections HERE; Jackie’s, Lana’s, and Jules’ HERE; Lynn’s and Chris’s HERE; and Kim’s and Kathie’s HERE.

Rena and I are the last to go, and I paired the two of us together because we each, by coincidence, themed our lists just a bit. Rena’s choices are not only all selected from the Historical sub-genre, but they are also unique to the genre, each in their own ways. For my selections this year, you’ll find some among them (and yes, I listed two series because I’m a big cheater) are self-published, one falls under the Historical sub-genre, two of them are Alt U/Alt History, and one of them is a chronologized serial set in the 1980s world of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. And one features a group of some of the most charming and twisted killers I’ve ever read.

As we’ve reached the end of the line and are now looking forward to discovering some of the best books of 2015, The Novel Approach is offering you the chance to win a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or All Romance eBooks, winner’s choice! Just click the Rafflecopter image to enter before Midnight Pacific time on Saturday, January 3, 2015.

Good luck!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

And now, here are Rena’s and my selections for the best of the best this year had to offer.

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Rena:

21529170Flight of Magpies by KJ Charles:Flight of Magpies is another brilliant addition to KJ Charles’ magnificent A Charm of Magpies series. Reading the book was one of those instances where I was so deeply immersed in Lucien and Stephen’s world that I actually got upset when I realized how far I’d gone and how little I had left to read. It’s an experience that’s not new to me; it began with The Magpie Lord, and it had yet to show signs of fading or slowing down. That said, I don’t want it to happen, considering how much I adore this series.”

 

23202149Bloodline by Jordan L. Hawk: “Fans of Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne and Griffin series are in for a pretty dark treat with Bloodline – with a generous dose of tragedy, at that, but in ways that are a lot more complicated than simply death. As an installment of the series, Bloodline is perhaps the darkest and grimmest so far, but it does end in bittersweet hope that marks a new era, so to speak, for the characters involved.

The stakes in this book are significantly higher because everything becomes personal for Whyborne. We get to see his family’s history, which is intricate and bizarre and is steeped in magic.”

22544017Prosperity by Alexis Hall: “The first thing you’ll notice when you crack open Alexis Hall’s Prosperity is that the book’s written in some pretty heavy vernacular. Piccadilly, an orphan and a guttersnipe, narrates the story with so much sass and attitude to spare that his language, if at first a little challenging to get into if you’re not expecting it, almost serves like an emphatic exclamation point to his hilarious commentary. As he’s grown up in the streets of London, he’s illiterate and is sadly hardened for a boy his age (eighteen, he reckons, but isn’t sure), and his interactions with so many different characters – mostly adults who’re educated in varying degrees – are a never-ending source of delight. He’s alternately exasperated, mystified, resentful, contemptuous, and childish in his dealings with his fellow adventurers. And from a hardened urchin who thinks lowly of himself, Dil gradually develops into a cautiously hopeful young man who starts to believe that, hey, he’s got some worth, after all.”

bsb-juniorwillisJunior Willis by Richard Natale: “Richard Natale’s Junior Willis is a beautifully subdued account of a man’s sexual maturation during some of the most tumultuous decades in the 20th century. The novella begins in the 1950s, when Tom Larson’s first tour of duty in the Korean War places him in the path of Colonel Philip Dore, a married and closeted gay man who awakens Tom’s true nature. From here on, the story follows Tom through the years as he not only falls in love, but also gets himself hurt again and again, the miserable laws of the times compounding the pain by forcing him to suppress his needs and lose himself in work, if not seek comfort and questionable companionship in brief and unsatisfying liaisons.”

22224746Mending Him by Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee: “There’s no emotional wallowing in this book, which can be the downfall of historical gay romances, given the outlaw nature of same-sex relationships. Part of the book’s strength lies in the authors’ masterful use of restraint in laying out the complications and the triumphs not only of the lovers, but also of the Chester family, whose loving relationship with the two men shapes painful choices they all make along the way. The resolution to the problem of gay lovers in the 19th century is also plausible; modern readers might grieve over the lack of an out and proud relationship, but in their practical and emotionally rewarding way, Robbie and Charles prove to us that men in their position can carve out a happy life together, regardless of society and, especially, family. There’s defiance tempered by prudence and vice-versa, and one can’t ask for anything more.”

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Lisa:

17453304Chance Assassin: A Story of Love, Luck, and Murder by Nicole Castle: “I’m in awe of this author’s ability to write a story starring not one but two characters who should be unappealing in every way. Nicole Castle has made Frank and Vincent loveable to a degree that has left me obsessing over this book. It’s a hallmark of truly brilliant storytelling I haven’t experienced since reading Maria McCann’s As Meat Loves Salt and I fell for the insane Jacob Cullen. This author’s writing style is fresh, her characters funny and vibrant, her version of romance refreshing, and this book is one disturbing, endearing, horrifying, and sexy surprise after another.”

WicklowsOdysseyWicklow’s Odyssey by R. Cooper: “The timing of this book couldn’t be more perfect, and you don’t have to be a Civil War history major to appreciate the events that build up to one of the more tension filled and action packed climaxes I’ve ever read in a book. You need only know the motives for the war, who fought it, and its outcome to understand how beautifully R. Cooper has twisted it to suit this clockwork, steam driven adventure, where a great iron beast is the Trojan horse that, if not lamed, could bring victory to the South. Every single anachronism purposefully woven into this novel does nothing but add to the sense of intrigue, every single character introduced along the way not only adds to the adventure but also exposes more about Wicklow Doyle, revelations that are sometimes frustrating, sometimes heart-tugging as he tries to understand what he’s feeling, but each and every one is a new layer peeled away from this complex man’s prickly exterior.”

BSB-TurnbullHouseTurnbull House by Jess Faraday: “With its (The Affair of the Porcelain Dog) brilliant and stunning sequel, Turnbull House, the continuing story if former rentboy, Ira Adler, and his ex-lover Cain Goddard (the infamous Duke of Dorset) Jess Faraday has done nothing more than secured her place on my must-read-authors list, and did it in little more than the opening paragraphs of this book.

With characters who are layered with charm and complexity, settings that play out visually like a full color series of daguerreotypes on the mind, a mystery that reveals how far apart Ira and Goddard have grown since Ira walked out two years before, and a fluid prose that draws the reader into the lives of the characters and the time of the story, Turnbull House is as flawless a historical novel as I’ve ever read.”

Daron_Omnibus_Cover_500px1-231x300Daron’s Guitar Chronicles (Volumes One thru Five) by Cecilia Tan: “As addictive as any books I’ve ever read, as heart-rending as any series I’ve ever loved, Daron’s Guitar Chronicles is, if not perfect, the quintessential compilation of music, drugs, sex, love, lust, and pain. My one fear as I got farther along in Daron’s saga was that the author would fail in her effort to keep this storyline fresh and vibrant and emotionally encompassing through its hundreds of chapters. I’m happy to report she damn well did. Daron’s Guitar Chronicles is a brilliant feat in fiction, far too luminous for this simple 5 star rating.”

2146294723251880Baal’s Heart (Caged and Sacrificed) by Bey Deckard: “Bey Deckard has written a book that’s a study in contradiction and a sublime characterization of three men who will eventually become one, introducing two characters in the dominant Baltsaros and the submissive Tom, two men who should be difficult, if not impossible, to love, but then makes it entirely impossible not to love them. When Jon comes between them, through no fault of his own, and then falls in love with both his captain and with Tom, becoming the foundation upon which both men will anchor themselves, Jon risks not only losing his heart but his sense of self, in the process, and it’s an evolution that’s a glory to witness.”

“As impressed as I was by Bey Deckard’s debut, Sacrificed has exceeded any and all expectations I might have had for the follow up to Caged. It’s a grand adventure the author is taking us on, a journey of heart, soul, and imagination that promises, at the end, even more to discover as this extraordinary series continues.”

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Andrew J. Peters, Giveaways, Vagabond Press LLC

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Werecat Trilogy by Andrew J. Peters

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Thanks so much to Lisa and the Novel Approach crew for this opportunity to introduce my Werecat series to your visitors!

This is a really exciting time for me with the release of a special edition paperback Werecat: The Trilogy. It’s the first bound book in the e-novelette series and includes the first three installments: The Rearing (Book 1), The Glaring (Book 2) and The Fugitive (Book 3).  Continue reading

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