4.5 Stars, Edward Kendrick, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Taz, Totally Bound

Review: The Hit Man Cometh by Edward Kendrick

Title: The Hit Man Cometh

Author: Edward Kendrick

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 178 Pages

At a Glance: All in all, a fun and exciting read. Well worth the experience.

Reviewed By: Taz

Blurb: Mick is a hit man sent after Gavin. Can Gavin, an ex-conman and a shifter, convince Mick they should join forces before Mick kills him?

Mick Whalen is a hit man hired to kill Gavin Wilde. However, when he tracks Gavin to a remote mountain cabin, he discovers that killing the coyote shifter is not in the cards. Especially when Gavin offers sex as an incentive to spare his life—an offer Mick does not refuse.

At Gavin’s insistence, they find out who hired Mick before someone else is sent to finish the job. The most probable person is a vampire with an ax to grind because of something Gavin did to him in the past. With the help of Gavin’s bear shifter friend Torben, and Torben’s vampire friend Brynja, they set out to stop the vampire—perhaps permanently.

Mick and Gavin decide to join forces since, as Gavin points out, he can teleport Mick away after a hit. The contracts come, and their rough bouts of sex heat up in the process.

However, they’re almost killed on a job—a job no one knew about except Mick’s friend and handler Johnny. When Johnny is murdered, they team up with the two other hit men who also once worked for Johnny, to find and eliminate his killer as well.

With death and destruction now both men’s way of life, will it draw them closer together—or destroy what has become more than just a friendship?

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Review: It’s been a while since I read a book by Edward Kendrick, and I won’t wait too long to read another. This book started out with an exciting hook: talented hit man meets even more talented shifter. Have your gun swiped from your hands before you can pull the trigger and…have incredibly hot sex? Yeah, good start to a book that kept me on my toes for the duration.

This story had a strong plotline to begin with. Gavin, the intended target, partners with Mick to figure out who had ordered the hit. Together they uncover that mystery only to find themselves lodged in a second, and equally intriguing, one. You, that’s right, you basically get two intense stories for the price of one.

There were some elements to the story which forced me to suspend my disbelief beyond the normal paranormal stuff. The main one was the plot twist once the first mystery was solved. I found it hard to imagine that Gavin would make the choice he made and had to say to myself, “The story is awesome so I’m just not going to over analyze that little twist.”

By far, the action and pacing of the story was its greatest strength. I found myself rushing to the next chapter just to find out what would happen. There was ample sex and it was written with a hint of BDSM, although I wouldn’t classify this story in that sub-genre.

What I loved about The Hit Man Cometh was how masculine both men were. There were no overly sentimental moments. One man wasn’t more manly than the other. And both had the same guarded typically guy trait of questioning their own feelings, wary of using the “L” word.

All in all, a fun and exciting read. Well worth the experience.

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4 Stars, Lori A. Witt, Reviewed by Sammy, Riptide Publishing, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: The Tide of War by Lori A. Witt

Title: The Tide of War

Author: Lori A. Witt

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 371 Pages

At a Glance: The Tide of War is straight up sci-fi at its best.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Lieutenant Commander Kyle West is one of Earth Fleet’s greatest fighter pilots. Every day, he leads his squadron into battle over Earth’s cities in a seemingly endless war against a vicious alien race, defending his home and his loved ones.

Millions of miles away, the Fleet’s Elite Squadron attacks from another angle, engaging the enemy on its home turf. Casualties are high, and the Squadron needs more of the Fleet’s very best. But joining the Elite is a death sentence—a surety Kyle isn’t willing to face. Until a devastating attack wipes out the family he refused to leave.

Commander Andrei Dezhnyov, an Elite Squadron gunner, isn’t sure what to make of the cocky new American pilot. Kyle is equally uncertain about the snarly Russian, but as they warm up to each other, their tentative alliance becomes a deep bond—one that endangers them both when a daring and disobedient rescue reveals secrets that call into question everything they’ve ever believed about their enemy. Secrets that their superiors would kill to protect.

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Review: Kyle lives in a society under attack. While there are constant small skirmishes between nations over petty things like border disputes, the real threat comes from the sky and a remote world inhabited by huge lizard-like creatures that need the earth for its resources after nearly destroying the atmosphere on its own. The Menarians are a race cloaked in mysteries that run constant bombing raids on the earth, resulting in devastating losses structurally, but thankfully minimal loss of lives. But, how can one count the cost of living in fear of being captured and destroyed by a menacing alien race?

Kyle is also gay and hiding it. Faced with a military that frowns upon anything but heterosexuality and, in fact, encourages its soldiers to marry, Kyle’s best kept secret are his lover and young son. On the surface it appears he is happily married to his elite gunner, Emily, herself a closeted lesbian. This amazing pilot/gunner team is continually sought after to join up with the elite fighting squadron who is space bound, fighting the Menarians on their own turf.

In the sky are another well-known fighting duo, Andrei and his wife Ogrufina. These two are the stars of the elite forces, and also hide secrets, namely that Andrei is bisexual and that his wife encourages him to pursue men that interest him. Don’t be fooled, theirs is a healthy and sexual love, but Ogrufina definitely allows what one might view as cheating on the side while understanding her husband’s needs for male companionship. This was a plot point I found a bit confusing, and also uncomfortable, because it was difficult to understand how the concept of what I believe was a touch of polyamory seemed to make this couple love each other more deeply. However, given what was about to happen in the story to both Kyle (who will lose his family in a bombing raid) and Andrei—this was a minor glitch in an otherwise disturbingly real and evolving story.

I say disturbing because what happens in this story could not only be plausible in today’s technological age but also even understandable, given the reasons that are discovered to be the motivation behind the horrible deception that is played out in the novel. I cannot go into further detail without giving away major plot points, but suffice it to say that all is not as it appears in this war, and when our dynamic and talented foursome finds out what is actually going on, it has devastating and lasting effects.

What I can describe to you is the amazing ability of this author to create a futuristic earth and the idea of alien forces that is so involved and convincing I could almost feel the force of exploding missiles and feel the taste of victory the pilots and gunners experienced when forcing back the enemy. This was an action packed novel that relentlessly pushed toward a mind-boggling conclusion that left one with their heart pounding and an uneasy feeling that Andrei and Kyle were not far from a new danger intent on destroying them.

The Tide of War by Lori A. Witt is straight up sci-fi at its best, and while there is a smattering of romance, this one is all about establishing a world in which real life heroes take risks that may endanger their lives. Fans of the military sci-fi genre will be delighted with this latest offering.

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Genre Romance, Jane Davitt, Reviewed by Jennifer, Totally Bound

Review: Life Under New Management by Jane Davitt

Title: Life Under New Management

Author: Jane Davitt

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 270 Pages

At a Glance: Not for everyone, but I could not put this book down!

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Working for a perfectionist like strict, sexy-as-hell Ethan isn’t easy. Falling in love with him? No problem at all.

Taking a bar job in an exclusive hotel is a stopgap for Andy. He’s an actor and his big break is coming soon—he knows it. His hot new boss Ethan is strict, demanding and totally off-limits but Andy can’t stop thinking about him.

When Andy learns of Ethan’s need to be in control of his partner—in bed and out of it—he’s stunned by the intensity of his reaction. He wants Ethan guiding him, bringing order to his chaotic life. And he sees that Ethan needs him too, though they can’t be open about their feelings.

Ethan deals out deliciously perverse consequences for misbehaving, but when it comes to incentives, he knows just what to offer to have Andy on his knees begging for more.

But some secrets can’t stay that way for long. And when difficult choices arise, for once Andy can’t turn to Ethan for guidance. This time, he’s on his own.

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Review: This book is not for everyone, but I adored it. In fact, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop, and I’m so glad I didn’t have to work the next day because I stayed up until nearly four in the morning in order to finish it.

This novel centers on a five star hotel, a floundering actor, and his new boss. Andy is an actor in Vancouver. and he can’t get a job. In order to pay the bills, he finds an opening at a hotel and tries out for the job. He pretty much fails at it, but Ethan is desperate to fill the position, and so he hires Andy anyway. Of course he’ll be on trial, but to Andy that’s all he needs to prove himself.

What follows is a tumultuous ride as they dance around their attraction for each other, their kinks, and then work out a relationship that will fit both of them.

As a fan of BDSM books of all flavors, this one was refreshingly different. Ethan doesn’t consider himself a Dom in the traditional sense. He doesn’t want leather, he doesn’t want a slave or a sub in the sense most people would. Instead, he wants to help a partner make sense of his life and organize it for him. He wants to tell him what to do and have his directions followed. It was interesting to see a man who is such a perfectionist also need that in his personal life. So many BDSM novels are twisted so that the perfectionist boss at work craves submission at home.

Then there’s Andy. He doesn’t even know he wants to submit to someone, or that he likes pain, but he discovers that with Ethan, and he thrives on it. His life is a mess and he wants someone to control every aspect so that he can find his footing and succeed. Really, it’s a match made in heaven. Except Andy does love to fight and push back sometimes, which Ethan hates.

This book had more of a domestic discipline flavor to it than actual BDSM, but there are elements of that as well. Thinking about it, I’m not really sure which category I would put it under, but I think that’s good. The book goes beyond the bounds of other BDSM fiction and shows a relationship that really could exist that blurs lines between categories. Both partners are consenting adults, and they crave what the other offers. What they do and how they act might make some readers uncomfortable, but I think that’s part of the book’s beauty.

I highly recommend this book to readers who are fans of BDSM, domestic discipline, boss/employee relationships, or anyone looking for something that pushes boundaries. I think, like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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Giveaways, J.K. Hogan, Wilde City Press

Interview and Giveaway: The Shadows Fall Blog Tour With JK Hogan

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The Novel Approach welcomes author JK Hogan on her Shadows Fall blog tour today. JK answered a few questions for her visit today, and is also giving one lucky reader the chance to win an e-copy of the book. To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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TNA: How did the writing experience with this book differ from the writing of the books in your Coming About series? Do you feel it was a greater creative challenge for you?

JKH: The biggest difference was all the intricacy that went into building a mystery, complete with a police investigation. I wanted it to be as true to life as possible while still being interesting so I did a lot of research in everything from murder investigations and autopsies, to genetic experimental research and American gypsies. It was absolutely a greater challenge for me, if for nothing else than the sheer about of work and brain power that went into it.

TNA: You went with both supernatural elements and a murder mystery this time around, not to mention there’s a romance that develops along the way. What do you find intriguing about bringing two people together and having them fall in love in what might otherwise be considered a rather unromantic setting?

JKH: It’s intriguing because, in my opinion, it’s more realistic. The situation was obviously fictional, but the majority of people I know didn’t fall in love over wine & chocolates or jet trips to Paris. They fell in love while life was happening. I just happened to make the “life” that was happening to my characters a bit more wild and complicated. :) 

TNA: Do you have a favorite scene in the book, one that while you were writing it you just knew it was the scene that would bring the story together and make it that much better? If so, can you tell us a bit about it without giving too much away?

JKH: Wow, that’s nearly impossible to decide. I don’t know if it necessarily brought the story together better than any other scene, but one of my favorite ones to write was the scene where Titus’s grandmother Hester arrives. She is quite the character, the embodiment of all of the research I did on the gypsy culture. She is an old-timer, set in her ways and extremely indelicate. She was freaking hilarious to write.

TNA: What makes Titus and Charlie work? What would you say is the most important part of their chemistry as a couple?

JKH: I think it would be the contrast between Charlie’s kindness and sense of duty, and Titus’s independence. I could have made Charlie a typical alpha-male-cop-type and Titus a (forgive me)damsel-in-distress type. Instead, Charlie is quiet and self-contained, but he truly cares for Titus enough to want to keep him safe. However, Titus is no simpering maiden. He accepts help when he needs it, but he likes to stand on his own, for better or worse. He doesn’t need Charlie to save him, but he likes knowing Charlie will be there just in case.

TNA: Is Shadows Fall book one of a series? Could you see yourself writing more novels in this setting, or is this a one-off story?

JKH: It’s definitely a series. There may be bigger gaps in between the books than my other series, because these themes are more technical and intensive, but I intentionally left a few loose ends in Shadows Fall to set up for the next adventure. :)

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ShadowsFall_FinalCoverRGBBlurb: A gift—or curse—gives Titus McGinty the unwanted ability to talk to ghosts. When he starts seeing the same few apparitions repeatedly, appearing with similar gruesome injuries, he begins to wonder what they want from him.

Detective Charlie Hale has a serial killer on his hands. On the loose for weeks, the Queen City Slayer has left the police nothing to go on, no forensic evidence other than what he wants found. The city is running out of time.

The crisis brings Titus and Charlie together—Titus stumbles upon a body and finds himself a suspect. Their budding romance is tested as they are sucked into a web of underground laboratories, restive spirits, and religious fanaticism. They’ll have to work together to find the identity of the killer before he takes his next victim…Titus.

Buy Links: Wilde City Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Author BioAbout the Author: J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visitwww.jkhogan.com.

Where to find the author: Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Google+ | Instagram

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THE GIVEAWAY:

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Upcoming Tour Dates:

1-Jul – Prism Book Alliance

2-Jul – Hearts on Fire

3-Jul – Inked Rainbow Reads

6-Jul – Chris McHart | Multitasking Mommas

7-Jul – Molly Lolly | The Blogger Girls

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Giveaways, GRL 2015 Featured Blogger Tour, J.A. Rock

Guest Post and Giveaway: The GayRomLit Countdown Celebration Continues With J.A. Rock

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Today, The Novel Approach welcomes author J.A. Rock as we continue the countdown to GRL 2015. Enjoy J.A.’s guest post, then be sure to check out the instructions on how you can enter to win one of J.A.’s backlist titles.

Good luck!

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Celebrating Diversity at GRL

Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and I’m so happy to be back at The Novel Approach! I’m also super excited to be attending my second GRL in October. One of the things I’d heard about GRL before I ever went was that it was a safe place for people to be themselves. And I was like, “Take me to this utopia of costumes, dancing, books, and widespread acceptance!” I wasn’t disappointed. The diversity and openness I witnessed at GRL 2014 extended not just to people, but also to books. It’s called Gay Rom Lit, and m/m romance is certainly the focus, but the conference celebrates books featuring characters who are all over the LGBTQIA spectrum, and stories spanning a wide array of genres.

As a queer author of stories that are sometimes hard to classify, I really appreciated my experience in 2014. I met so many amazing people and was introduced to so many awesome books. And I danced. A lot.

Since I’m on tour this week for my new release, THE GRAND BALLAST, which may or may not kind of I guess possibly be a romance, I’m using my GRL slot at TNA to talk a little about what I write, and about some of the experiments I’m doing in 2015, and how those have been going so far.

I don’t come from a romance writing background—I’m more horror/spec fic/general creepery. But I absolutely fell in love with queer romance in 2012, and over the past few years I’ve had a blast writing lighthearted books with low body counts like the WACKY WEDNESDAY series and—with my lovely cowriter, Lisa Henry—THE PRESCOTT COLLEGE series and the PLAYING THE FOOL trilogy. I’ve had an equal amount of fun writing darker novels with Lisa, from WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS to ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE.

I’m spending 2015 getting back to my roots a bit. So far I’ve had TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, a coming of age dark comedy about a volatile young man dealing with family issues and first love. The aforementioned THE GRAND BALLAST, a gay spec novel about a world where people value little beyond sex and violence. And in October, I’ll have MINOTAUR, a horror/urban fantasy novel about a young criminal who takes on a mythological beast in a quest for redemption.

I’ve loved playing around with genre this year, but I’m looking forward to rounding out 2015 with a return to kinky romantic comedy when THE SUBS CLUB books start releasing in December. The series focuses on a group of submissive friends who go vigilante when a member of their circle is killed in a BDSM scene gone wrong. They form a club to try to ferret out dangerous doms in their community, and antics ensue.

So that’s a little about me, what I write, and why I heart GRL. I’m looking forward to celebrating diversity in literature and in humanity once more in 2015, and I hope to see many of you there!

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The Grand Ballast CoverBlurb – The Grand Ballast: In a future where live sex shows abound to keep a jaded population entertained, dancer Bode Martin falls for the brilliant and unstable Kilroy Ballast, who molds Bode into the star attraction of his erotic circus, the Grand Ballast. Drugged beyond any real feeling, Bode trades freedom and his once considerable pride for an illusion of tenderness—until he inadvertently rescues a young man from a rival show, and together they flee to an eccentric town in the west where love still means something.

Valen’s not an easy man to know, and Bode shed his romantic notions under Kilroy’s brutal employ. Yet their growing bond becomes a strange and dangerous salvation as they attempt to overthrow the shadows of their pasts and wade together through a world of regret, uncertainty, beauty, and terror.

But Kilroy won’t let Bode go so easily. Long ago, Bode was responsible for the loss of something Kilroy held dear, and he still owes Kilroy a debt. As the three men battle toward a tangled destiny, Bode must decide if his love for Valen is worth fighting for—or if he was and always will be a pawn in the story Kilroy Ballast will never stop telling.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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Featured Blogger Tour BadgeAbout the Author: J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, and, with Lisa Henry, THE GOOD BOY and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

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THE GRAND BALLAST is out this week, and in the spirit of its nontraditional romancey-ness, I’m giving away an e-copy of any of my backlist titles that exist in that sort of Is-this-a-romance-novel? gray area. Choose from TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, THE SILVERS, and ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE (co-written with Lisa Henry). More information about each title is available HERE.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Eli Easton, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 2.5 Stars, Reviewed by Kathie

Audio Review: The Enlightenment of Daniel by Eli Easton – Narrated by Tommy O’Brien

Title: The Enlightenment of Daniel (Sex in Seattle: Book Two)

Author: Eli Easton

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Narrator: Tommy O’Brien

Run Time: 5 Hours and 11 Minutes

At a Glance: The Enlightenment of Daniel is a great story, but the narration misses the mark.

Reviewed By: Kathie

Blurb: Business tycoon Daniel Derenzo lives for his work until his dying father reminds him life is short. When Daniel starts to reevaluate his world, he experiences a startling revelation: He’s attracted to his business partner and best friend, Nick, even though Daniel always believed himself to be straight. In typical type-A fashion, Daniel dissects his newfound desires with the help of the experts at the Expanded Horizons sex clinic. He goes after Nick with the fierce determination that’s won him many a business deal.

Nick Ross was in love with Daniel years ago, when they were roommates in college. But Daniel was straight, and Nick patched his broken heart by marrying Marcia. Two kids and 14 years later, they go through the motions of their marriage like ships passing in the night. But Nick’s kids mean the world to him, and he’s afraid he’ll never get joint custody if they divorced. If he can trust his heart to an awakening Daniel, they all might find their way to a happily ever after.

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Review: What I hope for in any audio is a narrator who gives the story texture, adds personality to the characters, adds just the right amount of romantic spark between the main characters, and that the narration is able to sustain my interest so much so that I don’t want to leave my car until I hear the next chapter. The Trouble with Tony (Sex in Seattle: Book One), audio also narrated by Tommy O’Brien, hit all those marks.  As I’d stated in my review of that book, “Tommy was Tony.” He had the accent, he had the pacing, and he just made the book better! When I saw that the second book was being released on audio, I just jumped on it.  And, I can’t say I was completely disappointed.  It is a great story. Tommy O’Brien has a great voice. But, this time I felt that he was reading me a book, not telling me a story. Confusing, I know.

What I have come to expect from audiobooks is a performance. Different voices for the characters, changes of pacing as the scenes heat up or slow down, and emotion—please, give me emotion. If the character is mad, I want to hear it in his voice.  If the character is horny, I want to hear it in his voice. This holds my interest.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen with The Enlightenment of Daniel.  I really hope that with the third book, if Tommy O’Brien is the narrator, he can turn in a better performance.  I want it to make me want to stay in my car and listen to the end because it’s so good!

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, Love Lane Books, Reviewed by Angel, RJ Scott

Review: Retrograde by RJ Scott

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 Title: Retrograde (Flight HA1710: Book One)

Author:  RJ Scott

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count:  91 Pages

At a Glance:  Excellent beginning to a realistic and heartfelt multi-author series!

Blurb: Co-Pilot Lachlan Donaghue wakes up in hospital, a survivor of the crash of Flight HA1710, with memory loss and the suspicion that he could be at fault for the tragic accident. When everything becomes too much he is taken home to hide, back to the small Irish town he grew up in and to the home he once shared with Rory.

Rory Kendrick watches the news, sees every hour of the disaster unfold and somehow just knows that Lachlan was in the middle of it all. What he doesn’t know is that Lachlan will be forced to come back home to hide and to heal. Lachlan needs a friend, not a lover, but sometimes the lines are just too blurred to make any sense.

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Review:  RJ Scotts Retrograde is a standalone story that finishes the tale set out to be told, even though there are five more books in the series. The following stories, I hope, will only enhance the world as the additional authors continue the plotline, because RJ Scott did a bang-up job with the opening. And I am completely grateful and ever so thankful to Scott for making this a complete story within the series. Also, more kudos for not leaving the reader hanging on a half completed serial with a terrible cliffhanger and a request to buy the next story to finish the tale.

This is the best story I think I have read by RJ Scott so far. I really enjoyed the premise behind this story, and the fact that it has a realistic but tragic plotline really makes for a tough and very interesting read. This topic—a commercial airline crash—has been in the news several times as of late, and the story itself is a doozy. The reality of the crash, with most of the passengers surviving, was amazingly portrayed, because we so often hear all lives lost. I think Scott did a wonderful job in keeping the horror of the tragedy realistic, and showing the aftermath of the survivors. With a secondary plot of dwelling on the past and second chances, the story is well rounded and meaningful.

I love second chance stories, and that is exactly what this story is: a second chance at life and love. Lachlan’s pain and guilt over both the accident and his ending of the relationship with Rory felt real. Rory was steadfast, and though hurt by Lachlan’s actions, he stood by him in his time of need. The relationship between the two men was slow in relation to the action, but it felt good and right, considering their past.

Thanks to RJ Scott for a wonderful read, and I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Nic Starr, Reviewed by Karen

Review: Charlie’s Hero by Nic Starr

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Title:  Charlie’s Hero (Heroes: Book One)

Author: Nic Starr

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Page/Word Count:  200 Pages

At a Glance:  A stories that shows family isn’t always just blood but those you choose to have in your life.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Schoolteacher Charlie Matthews returns to his hometown, looking to regain a sense of community, reconnect with friends, and settle down. It looks like his dreams have come true when paramedic Josh Campbell attends an accident at the school. It’s love at first sight, and a romance begins.

But Josh’s reluctance to come out to the brother who raised him, puts pressure on their fledgling relationship. While Charlie understands Josh’s concerns, he can’t help growing impatient. After all, Charlie came out years ago.

It’s not until Charlie confronts his own parents and realizes he hasn’t come to terms with their rejection that he fully understands what Josh has to lose. But Josh is Charlie’s hero, and Josh will do anything to prove to Charlie that to be part of a family, he doesn’t need his parents.

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Review:  Seriously?!? How could you not love these guys? And not just the main characters, Charlie and Josh, but the secondary characters are all pretty awesome too (well, except Charlie’s parents, who just suck)!

Honestly, some of my favorite parts of this book were Charlie’s conversations with Greg, and some of the interactions with Charlie and Andrew and Josh and Andrew.  And I did kind of love Simon too! Josh was so sweet and shy and scared. He wanted to just be himself, and felt sad and scared and guilty that he wasn’t when it came to his brother. It was sad and frustrating to watch him struggle, but it was because of watching this struggle that we got to see how patient and understanding Charlie is.

Charlie knew from the moment he saw Josh that they could be something special together, and although he did get frustrated at times, after seeing Josh’s parents he realizes exactly why Josh is so hesitant to open up to Andrew—because of what he stands to lose.

I love to see stories that show a family isn’t always just blood, but is about those you choose to have in your life that will be with you through anything and stand by you and love you unconditionally.  Although throughout this book Tanner is mentioned only a few times, and we don’t actually meet him (well, not technically), I can’t wait for book two to find out Andrew and Tanner’s story!

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5 Stars, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, S. Joy P., Self-Published

Review: We, King Henry VIII by S. Joy P.

Title: We, King Henry VIII: Part One

Author: S. Joy P.

Publisher: Self-Published via Amazon

Pages/Word Count: 188 Pages

At a Glance: With a unique plot and lush prose, We, King Henry VIII takes readers on a supernatural trip to the 16th century.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Henry VIII of England seeks his way home – into the arms of his long-lost lover

On the 27th of January, 1547 AD, at eleven o’clock at night, Henry VIII is mere three hours from his death. On his deathbed, he only pines to behold his true love for one more time. To catch but a glimpse of Adhamh’s face – that he desires above all things. For his whole life fearful of God, he would now give his mind, body, and soul to the Devil if the Dark Lord promised him but one moment with his lost lover. Only his heart Henry could not give, for Adhamh has it in his keeping. It has always been so, from the day they met. And there the story of their star-crossed love truly begins.

In the hot August of the year 1521 AD, England lazily revels in its still young King Henry VIII, the most accomplished and the handsomest monarch of the Christendom. For whole the world, Henry plays the King who lacks nothing, and who fears nobody save God. Deep inside, he is a man tormented by dark secrets shrouding his marriage, tortured by fears for the fate of his dynasty. His summer morning is not filled with idle delight; it brims with barely concealed terrors – until the moment when God sends him a sign: a wolf trapped in the royal chapel. From the first heartbeat of the unexpected encounter, the beast exudes an aura of unalloyed loyalty vested in Henry alone. Overcome with the sight of the wolf’s unconditional surrender into his hands, Henry believes him to be a messenger of God and spares his life.

But… a human heart beats in the wolf’s chest. Adhamh the Seventh, the only son of the House of Svar, the Margrave at Zuria Labarra is the second most powerful man after the King of Cerbeden – and a werewolf cast out of his world as a punishment for a fateful failure. The High Immortal who so sentenced him to die as the Devil’s Own knew nothing about an uncanny resemblance between the King of England and the King of Cerbeden. Neither does Adhamh. In Henry, he sees his own beloved liege lord, whom he could never harm. The moment of his surrender gives birth to a new unbreakable bond and triggers a chain of inescapable events. The affection that arises between them faces constant dangers, both seen and unseen. Constraints placed on them by social norms and Henry’s religious beliefs can be overcome, but what if Adhamh is yanked back into his own world one day? This ever-present peril cannot be provided for. Nor is it the darkest threat lurking close.

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Review: S. Joy P.’s We, King Henry VIII is a book that came at me out of nowhere and proceeded, quite frankly, to impress me from beginning to end.

What I know of King Henry VIII would fit on the head of a pin: A.) I know it wasn’t necessarily fortuitous to be his wife, and B.) I know he spent much of his reign balking at the strict edicts of the Roman Catholic Church. That’s the extent of it, so with regards to this book’s “controversial” label, I must say I don’t know enough about the subject at hand to find it particularly scandalous, but I will say the author has managed to take a monarch who, inarguably, has not been portrayed throughout history as a benign ruler, and made him the sympathetic hero of this novel, and, to a certain extent, also portrays Henry Tudor as the victim of sorts in the story—a pawn of his duty to crown and country, to his God, to the women he’d married in hopes of producing a male heir to the throne, as well as to his love for Sir Adhamh Svar.

One of the things I found most appealing about this novel is the author’s writing style, which is at times poetic and at the same time feels utterly organic to the 16th century; not in that the narrative and dialogue are filled with thous and forsooths and yea verilys, which would make it tedious to some of us contemporary readers, but that the author’s use of opulent language and lush dialogue along with a descriptive prose supports and enhances the historical setting, which effectively sweeps us into the court of Henry VIII. I not only appreciated the author’s attention to detail but also salute the inspiration that struck which sent the story headlong into the realm of speculative fiction and gave it its supernatural twist.

We, King Henry VIII is a deathbed confessional, told in large part through flashbacks, of Henry, the man in the prime of his life and in the midst of his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon when he is visited upon by a wolf. Whether this is an evil omen or divine blessing is unclear, most especially once it’s revealed the wolf is, in truth, a man—Adhamh—and he is not of the realm which Henry rules. Indeed, he is not even of the world in which this story takes place.

Within these flashbacks, we also see Henry as a loving father even as the bloom has withered and fallen off the rose of his marriage to Catherine, two things being made clear; the first, that Catherine did not come to their marriage bed a virgin; the second being that infidelity has left Henry in the painful throes of a sexually transmitted disease, which is when his suspicions are aroused by his wolf and the certainty the animal is something other, as he leads His Grace to a remedy for his discomfort that, quite literally, saves the king’s manhood.

As the bond between Henry and Adhamh strengthens, Adhamh’s influence over the king becomes evident as well, in the forbidden thoughts and deeds Henry’s heart leads him toward. The story takes a poignant turn amidst the court intrigue and royal politics, in which we see Henry war with his love for Adhamh and his fidelity to God. We also see his initial steps toward dissolving his marriage to Catherine, for which Adhamh becomes a trusted and useful advisor. In this first installment of the series, we are also treated to the introduction of Lady Anne Boleyn, the woman about whom Adhamh also has some strong opinions. And the woman whose fate we are, of course, all too familiar with.

Because We, King Henry VIII is book one in a series, there is no resolution to the conflict introduced in this novel. If you don’t enjoy the “to be continued” that happens in episodic storytelling, consider this a small inconvenience to the overall grandeur of the story being told. This book left me with a “just when I thought I’d read it all…” sense of satisfaction that I’d come across something a bit unique in the gay fiction genre: one part reality, one part history lesson, one part fantasy, and one-hundred percent intriguing.

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Dreamspinner Press, Lane Hayes

Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway: The Right Time Blog Tour With Lane Hayes

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Lane Hayes today, on The Right Time blog tour. Enjoy Lane’s guest article and excerpt, then be sure to leave a comment below for the chance to win an e-copy of the book.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

Good luck!

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It’s fair to say most of us know at least one person who is the worst communicator ever.  You know the type. They say something they’re sure conveys a meaning beyond the obvious, then get aggravated or confused when you don’t understand the hidden message behind the actual spoken words.  Forgetfulness or a lack of intelligence isn’t to blame.  My mom is my own personal favorite mis-communicator.  She’s brilliant! But wow… I wish I had telepathic powers sometimes.

No doubt the people in Nate Erickson’s life in The Right Time feel the same way. Nate is a successful businessman and self-proclaimed workaholic.  Occasional visits with friends and family are one thing, but he’s learned from experience that personal relationships are too taxing.  He’d rather spend his free time surfing or jogging.  Alone.  Alex Reyes is the opposite.  He’s a team player with a dynamic personality and a true lust for life.  It wouldn’t occur to him to shy away from a frank conversation, regardless of how uncomfortable it made him.

I love “opposites attract” stories.  I love how one person’s strength may be the perfect compliment to the other’s weakness and vice versa.  These stories resonate for me because they’re relatable.  The push and pull of attraction juxtaposed to a seemingly insurmountable obstacle is the stuff of high romance or devastating tragedy.   What I think is different about The Right Time, is that it isn’t about obvious incongruities. Both men are athletic and successful.  They even have mutual friends. However, the things we have in common aren’t always what binds us.  The Right Time touches on the subtle things we don’t know how to communicate to the people who mean the most to us.  It’s about letting yourself be open, knowing your vulnerability may just as easily lead you to heartbreak as to happiness.

The Right Time is book three in the Right and Wrong Stories series. You’ll meet characters from the previous two books, The Right Words and The Wrong Man, but the books are standalones.  Enjoy!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!

Happy Reading!
Lane Hayes xo

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The_Right_Time_FINALBlurb: Workaholic Nate Erickson is a successful real estate developer who thrives on long hours and stress. When a Los Angeles project prompts him to relocate to Santa Monica, he welcomes the change of scenery. Nate has always considered romantic entanglements trouble, but his sexy next-door neighbor isn’t easy to ignore. Which makes no sense, because Nate is straight… or so he’s always thought.

Alex Reyes is a retired professional soccer player turned West Hollywood business owner with an insatiable lust for life. He loves his family, friends, and work. But there’s one life challenge left to accomplish: coming out publically. Respect for traditional Latino values has kept him in the closet, but Alex begins to think he and his new neighbor might help one another combat their fears. As Alex and Nate forge a strong friendship, they soon realize facing their personal demons will take more courage than either man bargained. The reward is immeasurable… if the timing is right.

Buy Links: Amazon | Dreamspinner Press | All Romance eBooks

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Excerpt: I hadn’t worked out with a professional in years, and it felt foreign to wait for someone else’s direction.

“Any issues with your shoulders or arms? Any injuries I should know about?” he asked, handing me the weights.

“No, I’m good.”

“Great. Start with your palms facing your thighs, lift them both over your chest, then lower the left. Good. And now the right.”

He stood over me diligently, making slight corrections when needed. My supine position gave me an interesting perspective. When I looked up, I noted how his strong brow offset his twinkling eyes. I swallowed uncomfortably and turned my head, only to find myself staring at his crotch. His dark shorts seemed to hint they were covering a generous package.

Holy fuck.

“You doing okay?”

“Uh yeah. Hey, weren’t you going to tell me about your Friday night?” I needed him to talk. I didn’t trust my thoughts anymore, and I was stuck in my current position crazily aware of a man in a way I hadn’t been in over fifteen fucking years. Diversion in any form was welcome.

Alex snorted. “I already told you. I went dancing, and oh yeah, I did get lucky.”

He added the last part with a hearty chuckle, no doubt catching my wide-eyed expression. I hadn’t expected that.

“Oh.”

“You asked.”

“Right.” I did? The strong flash of jealousy took me by surprise, but I pressed on. “Did you go back to the beach to get those girls’ numbers last weekend?”

He looked confused for a second, but a slow cocky grin soon spread across his handsome features as he crouched so his face was close to mine.

“No, I told you they weren’t my type.”

I gulped and watched his eyes lower to my throat. He licked his top lip and reached out to adjust my wrist.

“Lift ’em both at the same time, Nate. That’s it. Push it. Harder.”

I sent up a quick prayer I wasn’t sporting a tent in my shorts. Alex’s voice, touch, and yeah, the unintentional innuendos were making me nuts. And horny. I felt terribly out of my element. I wasn’t sure what we were talking about anymore, but the potent silence made me more uncomfortable than speech. Keep talking, I thought.

“So a dance partner?”

“What? Oh. Yeah, I think so. I can’t remember. It was just one of those things, you know? Sit up. Let’s give your arms a break.”

“Just one of those things?”

“Yeah. One night. No numbers exchanged. No hassle, no fuss.”

I had no words. Literally.

Alex chuckled gleefully as he led the way to a leg machine. He gave instructions and stood back to observe me for a moment.

“It’s not necessarily my favorite kind of sex, but hey….” He shrugged his shoulders with his hands outstretched as if to say “what’s a guy to do?”

I recognized this cue. It was my opportunity to commiserate about the trials and tribulations of being a single man with a healthy sexual appetite. Now was my chance to admit it was nice every once in a while to have sex of the nonsolo variety with someone who knew the score. But I was tongue-tied and equally aware of a completely different undercurrent. One I wasn’t brave enough to explore.

“You can stop having fun at my expense any time.”

Alex squeezed my shoulder and smirked playfully. “You’re easily rattled.”

“How so?”

“You seem like someone who has a place for everything and likes everything in its place. You have a routine, and you don’t appreciate any deviation. I should be flattered you came to the gym with me at the spur of the moment.” He paused, running his tongue over his plump bottom lip. “If you’re not careful, I’m gonna think you like me.”

The air between us crackled. Alex leaned forward so his handsome face was mere inches from mine. His proximity alone seemed to issue a challenge. Daring me to confess I was more than I appeared to be. I doubt he expected any revelations, but his intent was certainly to… how had he put it, rattle me. And damn, it was working.

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

Contact the Author: Lane’s Blog | Twitter: LaneHayes3 | Facebook: LaneHayesauthor or Lane Hayes |
Email: Ymail or Gmail

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3 Stars, Derek Adams, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Kim

Review: Prisoner of Silence by Derek Adams

Title: Prisoner of Silence

Author: Derek Adams

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 85 Pages

At a Glance: All in all, Prisoner of Silence was an okay read for me.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: On a cold February evening, Robert Chambers gives a panhandler a significant amount of cash. That gift allows Matt Cosgrove to turn his life around. When the men meet again, Matt, now employed at a local home improvement center, offers to build a shelving unit for Robert as a thank you. They become friends, and soon the chemistry between them cannot be denied. Robert, once betrayed by a faithless lover, believes he can finally build a relationship based on mutual trust and honesty. Then Robert discovers the dark secret that left Matt begging on a street corner. Their relationship appears doomed unless the walls of the prison of silence Matt has erected around his past can be breached.

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Review: When Robert first meets Matt on the streets, he makes a pretty generous offering. For Matt, then, to do with the money what he did was truly inspirational. I wish more panhandlers were like him.

When Robert then goes to a home improvement store to buy more materials for a job he’s badly messing up, he runs into Matt again, and I wasn’t too surprised that Robert hired Matt to build his shelving unit. And even though Robert is just recovering from a bad relationship and breakup, he can’t help but feel an attraction for Matt. Who Robert thinks is straight. Yikes!

As it turned out, I really liked Matt. He was sweet, funny and loyal. I wish I could find a handyman as dependable as he turned out to be, and I was more than curious as to why Matt ended up on the streets begging for money, what with his talent for fixing things.

I was sorely disappointed in Robert when he found out Matt’s secret. I’d thought Robert was a bit more mature than to act like a judgmental ass without the benefit of letting Matt explain. When you say you love someone, you don’t turn on them without the benefit of a proper explanation. I felt this part of the story was a bit rushed and the situation could have been better fleshed out.

All in all, Prisoner of Silence was an okay read for me, but I’m at an age where I really like a plot and the relationship building to stand out over the sex. It wasn’t all sex as Robert and Matt got to know each other, but there is a lot of erotica…lots of erotica. Although, it would be unfair of me not to add that the sex scenes were well written and hot.

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, R. Cooper, Reviewed by Janet

Review: Little Wolf by R. Cooper

Title: Little Wolf (A Being(s) in Love Story)

Author: R. Cooper

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 380 Pages

At a Glance: Expect to be wowed by this book, and expect to smile for weeks after reading it.

Reviewed By: Janet

Blurb: On the run from his old-blood werewolf family, Tim Dirus finds himself in Wolf’s Paw, one of the last surviving refuges from the days when werewolves were hunted by humans and one of the last places Tim wants to be. Kept away from other wolves by his uncle, Tim knows almost nothing about his own kind except that alpha werewolves only want to control and dominate a scrawny wolf like him.

Tim isn’t in Wolf’s Paw an hour before he draws the attention of Sheriff Nathaniel Neri, the alphaest alpha in a town full of alphas. Powerful, intimidating, and the most beautiful wolf Tim has ever seen, Nathaniel makes Tim feel safe for reasons Tim doesn’t understand. For five years he’s lived on the run, in fear of his family and other wolves. Everything about Wolf’s Paw is contrary to what he thought he knew, and he is terrified. Fearing his mate will run, Sheriff Nathaniel must calm his little wolf and show him he’s more than a match for this big, bad alpha.

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Review: I truly love an author whose world building skills are so strong that I have no choice but to be pulled into the worlds they create. R. Cooper is one of the best, and Little Wolf is a fantastic addition to A Being(s) in Love Story universe.

This story is set in Wolf’s Paw, a sanctuary of sorts, a town full of humans and weres and all sorts of Beings. The town itself is a very important part of the story, as Timothy is very much in need of sanctuary when he arrives, and it gives him a comfortable place to spread his wings and learn that he has more going for him than he first thought. The character of Nathaniel is such a clever foil for Tim that his awesomeness takes a while to sink in. The strength that he has is obvious, but the openness that he displays is a reaction to the love for Tim that is growing within him, and not a natural characteristic of his. This is just one of the many delightful conflicts that are layered so cleverly in this story.

The witty dialogue and the tone that flows throughout the story are hilarious to read. That R. Cooper makes me blush right along with Tim at his ridiculous babbling is impressive. She creates emotions that sink into the reader; we are there with the characters, feeling what they feel, but omnipotent and able to see the backgrounds of where they are at the same time. The fact that their courtship is going on under the fascinated eyes of their town is another layer of humor and a display of world building craftsmanship at the same time. The whole story is just solid. There are new facts revealed on each page, and the characters are built in layers that expose them and endear them to us with every word we read. This is a book I was not able to put down until the very end. I was fully engrossed and eager for the final resolution. This is something that I have come to expect from an R. Cooper book, and it is so refreshing to find an author who can continue to expand the world she builds with every subsequent story.

I can honestly say that there is nothing gratuitous in these pages; the sex is hot and fitting to the stage of the story, there are moments of tenderness and also of violence. Moments of bumbling awkwardness and also enraging revelations of abuse, but through all of this is the overwhelming sense of hope for Nathaniel and Tim and their HEA. It is felt by the whole town, all of its people, and by the reader at the same time. It makes the ending even sweeter because we have been such an important part of the story. Expect to be wowed by this book, and expect to smile for weeks after reading it when a phrase or scene pops into your head. I can’t wait to see what is coming from this author next.

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4 Stars, Douglas Black, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Taz

Review: Port in a Storm by Douglas Black

Title: Port in a Storm

Author: Douglas Black

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 274 Pages

At a Glance: Port in a Storm is a book I couldn’t put down.

Reviewed By: Taz

Blurb: Alex is stuck in a rut. He’s facing a big decision about his future, namely, what to do with it and so far he hasn’t managed to come up with an answer.

Until he meets Jake.

Jake blows through Alex’s world like a hurricane and Alex falls hard and fast for the perpetual traveler with a penchant for secrets and a perfect smile. Jake wants Alex, but life isn’t as simple as that. Jake never settles in one place for long and already their long-distance relationship is driving a wedge between Alex and his family. With no compromises on offer, Alex’s decision about his future becomes a decision about Jake.

For Alex, the idea of losing Jake doesn’t even bear thinking about, but choosing him looks like it will mean throwing away everything Alex knows, including his relationship with his parents. And so, Alex finds himself with another question to answer: how much is he willing to give up, to be happy?

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Review: This was a book I really wanted to like. It opens with a strong hook. Handsome guy is in a bad relationship and meets a hot stranger who sweeps him off his feet. Emotions run strong in this book, something I truly enjoy. And despite the secrets both protagonists keep, when they do communicate, they are brutally honest. You can’t help but love Alex and Jake individually and as a couple. The scenery is beautifully developed, and I can’t help but believe that this author has experienced many of the places in the story firsthand. And the sex. Let’s just say Mr. Black is masterful and trigger the reader’s g-spot, all of this wrapped up in angst. As a reader, I found myself walking along a tightrope for the duration of the book, wondering how these two characters would finally manage to break down the wall separating them and arrive at their happy ending.

That said, I found it frustrating how each character held back when they knew talking was the solution. Each character had painful issues from their past which colored the way they viewed other people and their own futures. Each man knew that revealing their deepest secrets would pave a way for greater understanding and connection. But they remained silent, withholding rather than giving the thing the other needed.

As the book ramped up towards its climax, the issues begin to surface, secrets are revealed, and even then, one of the characters makes a stupid choice (which the character acknowledges), continuing his pattern of taking an easy route of problem-avoidance as opposed to taking the reins of his own life and destiny. It was hard to feel sympathetic when this character only needed to buckle down and grab hold of what the other offered as opposed to waiting until he almost lost everything.

Still, Port in a Storm is a book I couldn’t put down. I needed to see how their journey would end. These two men, originating from the same hometown, yet so vastly different from one another, were like a whirlwind of heat and excitement.

This is a great exploration of living one’s own life, tossing aside the shackles of expectations and obligations. It’s about living life in the now, learning to appreciate what is instead of dwelling on what was or what might be. It’s about forgiving oneself and healing. And ultimately it’s about embracing love, accepting that living honestly, leads to happiness.

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Love Wins

Friday, June 26th, was a landmark day here in the US, a victory for what should simply be an inalienable human right rather than a legal judgment, the right to love and equality, but a victory nonetheless, and though I’m certain the opposition will still have plenty to bemoan and bewail about as we move forward, for now, we at TNA celebrate this single victory with our friends and family in the LGBT community.

#LoveWins

And now, here’s what we have coming up for you in the week ahead.

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MondayLane Hayes kicks off the week for us this week on The Right Time blog tour

Tuesday – Author JK Hogan joins us today on her Shadows Fall tour

We’ll also be hosting the second of our GayRomLit Featured Authors when J.A. Rock stops in for a visit

Wednesday – We kick off the month of July with author JL Merrow on her Played! Tour

Author AJ Truman also stops in today on the Behind Closed Doors blog tour

Thursday – We welcome author CC Dado today on what could only be the Imposter in Zebra-striped Briefs blog tour

Friday – First up this morning, we’ll have a cover reveal of book five in Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS series, Against the Grain

We’ll also have author Lisa Worrall stopping in on the Un-deniable blog tour

Saturday – Finally, closing out the week, we’ll be hosting the launch celebration for LoveLight Press, a new publisher of LGBT fiction.

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

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4.5 Stars, Carter Quinn, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Maryann, Self-Published

Review: Into the Light by Carter Quinn

Title: Into the Light (Avery: Book Two)

Author: Carter Quinn

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 166 Pages

At a Glance: This was my first time reading a Carter Quinn novel, and both stories in this series are very good.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Avery spent years in the blackness, fighting memories of abuse and feelings of self-loathing. His only sanctuary used to be his brother Sam, but after two years of intensive therapy and a long-term relationship with Noah, his world is a much brighter place.

Things have changed in the year and a half since Avery and Noah confessed their love for each other. Noah’s mother and brother have moved East. Sam and Kira are married. And Avery and Noah are moving in together at long last. Family dynamics strain in uncomfortable new ways, especially when Avery’s past reappears.

What will this mean for Avery’s recovery? Will he surrender to the Blackness or is he strong enough to continue his journey Into the Light?

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Review: To really get the full picture of Into the Light, Out of the Blackness, Avery: Book One, is a must read. This is Avery’s story. Plus, there are a lot of characters to get familiar with before moving to this book. I read these books back to back: for Out of the Blackness you need patience and understanding, because it is very psychological. This was my first time reading a Carter Quinn novel, and both stories in this series are very good. I liked the concept the author has created, in putting this book in diary form. It helped with flow of the story.

Into the Light has more of a happy and humorous feel to it, but there is still guilt, hurt and heartbreak. I found book two to be more laid back since Noah tells more of his side of the story. I found it shows Avery as more confident and not so high strung, he has a few moments, but he recovers better from really bad situations. It was good to see Avery’s life moving in a more positive direction.

Avery Kenyon is a young man who was physically and mentally broken at a very young age. Into the Light gives us a new Avery; he has now learned how to heal with therapy and the love and support of family and friends. He has even lived on his own for a while. Noah is more than delighted when Avery timidly suggests that he and Noah move in together. The move is a little overwhelming for Avery, but Noah is so proud to watch Avery as he takes charge and directs the unpacking, and Kira and Sam present Avery with a house warming gift that couldn’t be more of an emotional surprise to Avery.

Avery still works at Flip the Page, as a bookkeeper. He’s also attending art classes. He has seen a young man around the building where he attends art class, on several occasions. Avery is concerned about the boy. He thinks of his friend Joey, who’d committed suicide, and eventually makes contact with the young man. Avery tells Noah about his feelings regarding the boy, and Noah grows concerned about Avery. When Avery makes contact with the boy again, he is more than shocked to find out he’s Robert Lockhart, a brother he hasn’t seen in 15 years.

Noah and Sam both have concerns about Avery’s newfound relationship with his brothers. Sam becomes very disturbing and takes his investigation a little too far. Not only is Avery upset about this, but Noah is angry with Sam also. It was a shock to see Sam become such a heartless person, and destroy Avery. Avery deals with the situation in his own way, which prevents him from falling back into the darkness. But Avery opens his heart to Sam and comes up with the solution to their problems.

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3.5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Jaime Samms, Reviewed by Jules

Review: Bound to Fall by Jaime Samms

Title: Bound to Fall

Author: Jaime Samms

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

At a Glance: But Bound to Fall wasn’t the smooth glide that Jaime’s books typically are for me.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: With so many fences between them and happily ever after, two men wonder if it’s worth opening the gate.

Ten years ago Eddie Crane, an actor on the rise, loved his costar and dreamed of the day they could be together. But his love, with his submissive nature, couldn’t handle fame, and before Eddie could help him, he died in a car accident—with Eddie at the wheel.

Now, guilt-ridden, Eddie buries himself in bad decisions and prays that a stunt—on or off camera—will go wrong.

Teenaged fantasies about the actor on his wall distracted Arthur Pike from real life—his dead father, runaway mother, gruff grandparents, and his unrequited love for his cousin’s straight husband. Now grown and off the farm, Pike is a horse stuntman hired to teach a reluctant Eddie to ride.

Pike is drawn to Eddie’s dominant nature despite the sadness clinging to the actor. Eddie let one lover down, but in Pike’s submissiveness, he sees the possibility for redemption.

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Review: Eddie Crane’s career is teetering on the edge of disaster. His manager – the spitfire that is Margaret – has pulled some strings to get him a gig that could revive things for him if it goes well, but he hasn’t even bothered to read the script. Not a great way to start things off. Right off the bat, we see that Margaret has her hands full with Eddie (whose given name is completely fabulous, by the way: Angus Edwin McCrea – friends call him Annie, which I love), who has basically been on a ten year bender. Unable to get over the grief of losing his costar, best friend, and first love, it’s been a rough go for Eddie – but, it’s time for him to end the pity party and get his life back on track.

The new film calls for Eddie to be comfortable on a horse, so Mags takes him to a ranch in Canada to meet up with his stunt double, Arthur Pike, who is going to teach Eddie how to ride. I liked Pike very much. He has a lot of fire in him but is also very caring and gentle, which you can especially see in the way he interacts with the horses. The storyline involving Pike’s misplaced feelings for his cousin’s husband didn’t really add to the story for me. Pike was an extremely strong and likeable character, and his having such a hard time for so long over dealing with the reality of his relationship with Ryan didn’t feel entirely realistic.

I’m a fan of Jaime Samms’ work, and I liked many parts of this story…Passages like this one for instance:

“Pike had always loved that exact moment when the flowers were open before the petals snowed down on the grass. In the sparse light, the trees were globed shadows and the lawn stretched out, a sheet of lighter gray, like the color had been stripped from the world for a few hours.”

Beautiful, right?? She writes so many lovely words. And, I loved the little shout-outs she gave to Patchwork Heaven, both the boys from the band and the guys from The Detail. But Bound to Fall wasn’t the smooth glide that Jaime’s books typically are for me. I stumbled with this one quite a bit. The BDSM part of the book just never really came together. Things weren’t clearly defined, and the roles didn’t seem to fit or be true to the characters on either side. For the most part, Pike didn’t seem to have a submissive bone in his body – though I get that he craved dominance in the bedroom – and for the majority of the book, Eddie seemed to need Pike to take the lead almost as much as he wanted to dominate him.

I loved the nod to Brokeback Mountain, and the acknowledgement of the rough ride stardom can be for some of our brightest shining stars, and the care Jaime took in telling Annie’s story…I get all of that and love what her intention was…I just wish the story, overall, would have meshed better for me.

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You can buy Bound to Fall here:

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4 Stars, Genre Romance, L.M. Somerton, Reviewed by Lana, Totally Bound

Review: Testing Lysander by L.M. Somerton

Title: Testing Lysander

Author: L.M. Somerton

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 191 Pages

At a Glance: Testing Lysander is a solid adventure story that I enjoyed and recommend for a fun read at the pool.

Reviewed By: Lana

Blurb: Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Extreme photographer Lysander Brock is accustomed to challenging places and situations but nothing can prepare him for the journey that his dominant lover, Kyle Dawson, takes him on.

A commission to photograph the cloud forests of the Colombian Andes becomes the cover for a dangerous mission to expose a terrorist group. Kyle and Lysander must negotiate treacherous terrain, a hazardous climb and unexplored caves to achieve their goal.

When Lysander is captured and tortured, he has no expectations of rescue. He understands that his life comes second to the mission but Kyle has no intention of leaving his beautiful, submissive lover in the hands of a madman. Kyle can deal with the intense pressure of fighting lethal enemies but the guilt of pushing Lysander into a life he never asked for is much harder to accept.

Lysander and Kyle journey together into a life of adventure, Dominance and submission, and an uncertain future.

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Review: Testing Lysander is a follow up to the short story Picturing Lysander, and while this is a good second story, it wasn’t as fun and exciting as the first for me. It was definitely enjoyable and worth the read, and I was not disappointed, but I was not as wowed as I was by the first book.

This story picks up where Picturing Lysander left off. Brock and Kyle are getting ready for their photography expedition to South America, but it’s really a covert mission to gather intel on local terrorists. Brock is an adventure photographer, and Kyle is an undercover spy. I highly recommend reading the first story to get a feel for their history together, and why they are together in the first place. It’s pretty good. In this book, they get to know each other better, Brock needing to submit to Kyle and Kyle needing to take care of Brock. I like them as a couple and they are very believable.

The actual mission is a bit farfetched, so you have to lower your reality meter, but it was still fun to read. Kyle and Brock have their HEA, and it’s just what you’d expect. Testing Lysander is a solid adventure story that I enjoyed and recommend for a fun read at the pool.

I hope Kyle and Brock are back for more.

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You can buy Testing Lysander here:

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CoolDudes Publishing, F.E. Feeley Jr., Leona Windwalker

Guest Post: The Indigent Charity Anthology From CoolDudes Publishing

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The Novel Approach welcomes authors F.E. Feeley Jr. and Leona Windwalker today on the Indigent Anthology blog tour. I’m so pleased to be able to share some information about this important project with you.

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IndigentBlurb: Five authors have joined together to produce stories evoking both loss and hope. Reaching deep within their fiery imaginations, these stories take flight and showcase dreams for a better today and future for LGBT everywhere. Embodying a diverse set of talents and stories, this volume sets out to grab the hearts of those who read the m/m genre and to offer hope to LGBT across the globe. By offering this book, we hope to support the following charities across the globe:

GALA, South Africa
Lost-n-Found, USA
Youth Off The Streets, Australia
The Albert Kennedy Trust, United Kingdom

This anthology edited by Louis J Harris and Kimi D Saunders

Indigent has been produced to entertain and delight and all the stories leave the reader with a “feel good” state of mind.

Frederick Eugene Feeley Jr’s “Indigent”, after which the anthology takes its name, brings the reader to witness an apocalyptic war between the good and evil that rages in one man’s mind. Soon he will know that his problems are insignificant compared to those of others.

Mari Evan’s “Stumbling into Forever”, involves a handsome young vampire who will learn that just a sip of blood is the difference between love and freezing to death.

Leona Windwalker’s “If Only the World”, takes rejection to another level. A heartbreaking story that is turned on its head by the kindness of strangers.

Shaye Evans’ “Rescued”, is a contemporary social statement about the aftermath of a young man’s life after his drink has been spiked at a bar.

M. LeAnne Phoenix’s “Higher Love”, takes us on an almost spiritual journey through the minds of two people who have never met, but have spoken on a telepathic level. When they do come together, that bond is already cemented, but there is a price to pay.

From CoolDudes Publishing – we’re making an effort to support our gay community. Are you?

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Frederick: I wrote Indigent last June when my husband and I bought our home. Prior to that, I was a bit of a drifter. Having gone all over hell’s half acre to try to find a place where I belonged.

The day we bought the home, after having moved all of our belongings (which wasn’t much) and moving a friend in (thank god they had more) in the hot Texas sun, I was exhausted.

But we needed supplies. A garbage can, a mop, a microwave, etc. so John convinced me to go to Target. I was wiped. I mean silly tired. But we went.

We got down to eastex freeway right before you turn to get to the shopping center and there was a man with a cardboard sign standing on the side of the road.

I reached into my center console for a couple of bucks that I had there. We affectionately refer to what little money I carry on me, as my mugging money. And I rolled the window down and handed the bedraggled man what I had.

“God Bless you, sir.” He said.

God. Bless. You. Sir. I snicker when I think of someone calling me sir. He didn’t know me. I could have been anyone. I could have been anything. But this man said, God bless you, sir to me.

To me.

“No, God bless you, sir” I responded and made it around the corner before I burst into sobs.

John was surprised and worried, of course. And he asked me what was wrong.

“I have a house and he doesn’t.” It was all I could say.

Why me?

I made it through Target without another Steel Magnolias moment, but just barely.

But “God Bless you, Sir” burned in my head. After everything was put away it took me a couple more weeks to hammer it out in my wasteland I call a brain but it came out.

Indigent.

I put it on my blog and the rest is history.

God. Bless. You. Sir.

No.

God Bless YOU sir, wherever you are.

Leona: Frederick wrote Indigent and the idea of using it to actively help homeless LGBT in need percolated around, and one day I said to him, we should do this. And he said, “Right on.” Louis over at CoolDudes was onboard the moment he heard the idea, and the other authors  jumped in with both feet. Fred really motivated the rest of us to try to make a difference in this very tangible way, while bringing attention to the plight of many LGBT.

Frederick: The reason why I think this anthology is important is that I refuse to be okay with lives being given over to chance. Our world is filled with chaos, from war, to famine, to pestilence, and death. The four horsemen are busy and have been busy since man climbed out of the Forest Primeval.  There was a time in my life when I didn’t know how I was going to eat. Where I was going to sleep etc. and that was the most terrified I had ever been in my entire life. If you put food in someone’s belly, a roof over their head, and clothes on their back, you remove some of the worst stress a person (no matter the age) can experience in life. We live in an age where, the popular opinion of many is ‘I got mine, now  you go get yours’, but people don’t really realize how close they are on the edge of having all of that swiped away. A catastrophic illness, a death in the family, a bad financial market. Most people in the word, unless they are part of the very few Bourgeois, teeter in the space between solvency and utter insolvency. My choice to do this, is not purely on the side of high moral reasoning, there is some part of me that needs to acknowledge the past, put it to rest, but leave a trail up and out of those circumstances. And unfortunately prayers and well wishes and good intentions are not the only way to make sure people don’t starve to death or Freeze to death. It takes money. And lots of it.  So thank you, all of you, who buy a copy of this book. Your little bit of money will mean the difference between life and death for someone given over to apathy and chance.

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BOOK TRAILER:

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5 Stars, Amber Allure, DJ Manly, Historical Romance, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: The Stonewall Inn: Settling by D.J. Manly

Title: The Stonewall Inn: Settling

Author: D.J. Manly

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 38000 Words

At a Glance: There is fact and fiction melded together in this story, just a little touch of a mystery too, and it’s very well done!

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Sam owes his and his mothers’ jobs at the Stonewall Inn to a violent, closeted mobster, so he puts up with a lot of things, including the man’s abuse. In fact, when rookie cop Luke Delany meets him for the first time, Sam’s face is black and blue.

In general, Sam doesn’t care for many white men, especially cops who are constantly harassing nonwhites and homosexuals like himself. But Luke is in great turmoil over his own sexuality and needs Sam’s help. Is Sam willing to aid a lawman whom he considers an enemy?

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Review: D.J. Manly has written a heartbreaking and heartwarming story set in 1969. There is fact and fiction melded together in this story, just a little touch of a mystery too, and it’s very well done!

Samuel Brooks works at the Stonewall as a bartender. The bar caters to a gay clientele, and to anyone who is labeled as different. Here, the customers can be themselves. The bar is owned by a violent mobster by the name of Lewis Marconi, and Sam, in a way, feels indebted to Marconi. The man gave Sam a job at the bar, got his mother a good job too, and promised a decent place for his mother to live. Besides being gay, Sam is also interracial, with blue eyes and straight brown hair, just another reason for the police to harass him. And, he pays a dangerous price in his job—he is abused physically by Marconi.

Luke Delany comes from a long line of police officers: his grandfather, father, brother, and now, himself. He has his own personal issues with his father’s domineering attitude and his Mother’s questionable happiness. Luke wants to make the best of his career and maybe, someday, make detective. He also struggles with the fact that he is gay.

When Charlie Waters, his partner, takes Luke to the Stonewall Inn, he not only meets Samuel for the first time but also becomes suspicious. He doesn’t like the fact that the people in the bar fear the police, and that Charlie is talking with Lewis Marconi, a well-known mobster. Luke starts to get sick and tired of the crude remarks from Charlie and the other officers, the raids and harassment, and the fear reflected on people’s faces. But finally, when one last raid takes place at the Stonewall, we see a change in the people; they are no longer afraid and they fight for their respect and freedom.

The Stonewall Inn: Settling is a well written story of two men—one who already knows he’s gay, the other just facing that realization, but both struggling with telling their families. There’s also a little bonus in the Author’s Note by D.J. Manly. Stonewall Inn, of course, is now a landmark in New York City and was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on June 28th, 1999. Besides the historical facts within the fiction, this novel gives us a look at an “ideal world” for Luke and Samuel.

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You can buy The Stonewall Inn: Settling here:

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4 Stars, Genre Romance, Jay Northcote, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Release Day Review: Helping Hand by Jay Northcote

Title: Helping Hand

Author: Jay Northcote

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 97 Pages

At a Glance: Charming characters who earn our empathy in their struggle to understand the questions that arise between them, coupled with a plot that eases the reader along through hardship to happiness, makes Helping Hand a lovely way to spend a few hours with your nose in a book.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.

When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.

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Review: One of the things we discuss quite a lot in this genre is labels. One of the things Jay Northcote addresses in her new novella, Helping Hand, is labels. In fact, the labeling of sexuality and one man’s desire for another is the core conflict in Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie’s story, and the author handles it the way the entire subject should be handled: by prompting the question, why does what we feel for someone need to be called anything but what it is? Attraction, communion, affection, desire, love… They are all equalizers in our humanity and relationships, and for Jez and Mac, overcoming what to call themselves and the thing that’s happening between them causes them no small amount of anxiety.

Jez and Mac are university students who find themselves in a situation (one financially strapped, the other academically struggling) which means they’ll be spending a lot of alone time together in their apartment, an entirely plausible scenario to anyone who’s ever been a college student. To break up the monotony of their lack of social lives, Jez somewhat playfully suggests that they watch a little porn—straight porn, mind, because they both identify as straight—and indulge in some stress relief of the masturbatory variety, not expecting Mac would ever be game to the idea. However, when the porn watching veers away from the computer screen and steers toward each of them watching the other indulge in the throes of self-satisfaction, Jez suggests he and Mac consider experimenting with some masturbation of the you-scratch-my-itch, I’ll-scratch-yours sort.

Inevitably—and I use the word not because we aren’t meant to see where the story is headed but because the author has already convinced us there’s an easy friendship between Jez and Mac that could grow into something deeper—things become complicated. Mac is adamantly straight and doesn’t understand how he could be attracted to Jez. Jez is confused simply because, while he’d fooled around with guys in the past, he’s never felt the sort of emotional bond that’s growing between him and Mac. The confusion, the not understanding how things turned the corner from casual to complex in such a short amount of time, ups the angst factor when denial seems the only right answer to the very straightforward theory that these two men are simply Jez-sexual and Mac-sexual, which is all that matters.

Charming characters who earn our empathy in their struggle to understand the questions that arise between them, coupled with a plot that eases the reader along through hardship to happiness, makes Helping Hand a lovely way to spend a few hours with your nose in a book.

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You can buy Helping Hand here:

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3 Stars, Historical Romance, JL Merrow, JMS Books LLC, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Sadonna

Review: Jack in the Green by JL Merrow

Title: Jack in the Green

Author: JL Merrow

Publisher: JMS Books

Pages/Word Count: 24 Pages

At a Glance: While slightly confusing at times, this is an interesting story with a couple of surprising twists.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: In 1920s England, class distinctions still hold sway, and the old pagan traditions are far from forgotten. Can shy young Arthur, stranded in a country village, come to terms with his attraction to the handsome mechanic fixing his car? And are the May Day celebrations more than just a simple country fete?

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Review: Jack in the Green is a very short historical story (1920s) about a young man who has been on a journey home, and his car has broken down in a rural village in the English countryside. Luckily there is a mechanic, appropriately named Goodman, who will be able to fix his car, but he won’t be able to travel on until the part arrives and the work is done. He is able to fine accommodation at the local inn, and it just so happens that he that he will be there for the May Day fete. It seems that the mechanic is to portray Jack in the Green, and the daughter of the owners of the inn/pub, the May Day Queen. However, it’s not the queen that the mechanic would be interested in, and this is apparently common knowledge, but nobody seems bothered by it. There seems to be some sort of supernatural element to this village, and its residents as well – it’s like they know more about Arthur than they should – including the rector – and it’s a bit unsettling. But when the May Day celebration night and the second procession begins, Arthur is in for quite a surprise, and maybe his car has given out in this place for a reason.

I’ll admit, I was a little bit lost at times during this story. I think maybe because we don’t really have anything like a traditional May Day celebration in the US, I was unaware of the UK tradition of the Jack in the Green and May Day celebrations. I actually did a bit of looking up of the traditions after I read the story, so I got a better handle on what was going on in the story. :) It was interesting and I’m always happy to learn something new.







 

You can buy Jack in the Green here:

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4.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Taz, Samhain Publishing, SE Jakes

Review: No Boundaries by SE Jakes

Title: No Boundaries (Phoenix Inc.: Book One)

Author: SE Jakes

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count:  187 Pages

At a Glance: Highly satisfying and definitely not the last book I’ll read by this talented author.

Reviewed By: Taz

Blurb: When your past closes in, running isn’t always an option…

The jobs Marcus Lowry works for at Phoenix, Inc. Investigations are quick and easy, and they don’t give him the nightmares his days as a CIA operative did. That is, until he gets involved in a case that grabs him by the throat and won’t let go.

Cole Jacobs left behind his old life as a rent boy to make a name for himself rebuilding high-end and vintage cars and bikes. But when a stalker threatens to kill him—and to hurt anyone who stands in his way—his past closes in on him, and he’s not sure where to turn.

The last thing Marcus wants to do is take on a charity case, and to say that he and Cole don’t see eye to eye at first is putting things mildly. But when the first attempt on Cole’s life nearly kills them both, Marcus realizes that Cole is in real danger, and Cole is forced to reveal everything. Almost everything. Because Cole’s deepest secrets could destroy them both.

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Review: No Boundaries is the first book I’ve read by SE Jakes. All I can say is, what the hell is wrong with me that it took me this long? In this story, we meet Marcus and Cole. Both men have spotty pasts which haunt them, which makes them hesitant to accept what the other has to offer…namely, happiness and acceptance.

The action in this story is crafted beautifully, interwoven seamlessly with the emotional struggle of each character. The cast of secondary characters are well-developed, although they don’t deter from the main protagonists and their journey.

As I read the story, I found myself bounding toward the next chapter, eager to find out how this mystery would unfold. The sex was well crafted, bringing the reader along with the physical and emotional experiences of the characters.

It isn’t often that I come across a book that satisfies both my love of a good action packed plot line AND the beauty of two people finding love (along with all the emotional baggage that comes with it).

Highly satisfying and definitely not the last book I’ll read by this talented author.

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You can buy No Boundaries here:

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Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways, Nic Starr

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Charlie’s Hero Blog Tour With Nic Starr

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Nic Starr today on the Charlie’s Hero blog tour. Enjoy Nic’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance at a $20 Amazon or ARe Gift Card.

Good luck!

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Adding a Dash of Culture

Often my characters are doing the things most of us do—eating out, playing sport, listening to music, catching up with friends. They play computer games, watch movies and attend concerts. Sometimes I like to remove them from their comfort zone and get them to try something a little different.

Take Charlie and Josh, from Charlie’s Hero, for instance. They aren’t really into classical music, but Charlie gets some free tickets to a concert so he asks Josh on a date. Neither of them know what to expect. Charlie’s wants to make a good impression in front of Josh, so he researched the etiquette for attending a classical concert (isn’t Google wonderful for this sort of stuff?) but Josh had no idea.

Image courtesy of Suat Eman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Suat Eman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I drew on my own experience when capturing Josh’s response to the concert – the atmosphere, the other patrons, the music, the overall experience.  My husband loves the symphony. So much so, that he subscribes to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. To be perfectly honest, it’s not really my thing. I go every now and then but usually he finds someone else to take. I much prefer getting escort duty and accompanying my teenage daughters to their type of concerts. :)

I do have one favourite piece of classical music. It’s Marche Slave by Tchaikovsky. Click here if you want to check it out on YouTube.

You might also be interested in checking out a more modern orchestral piece. It’s what I’m listening to as I write this post. This piece—click here—is Eclogue No.6 by Dirk Caber – just knowing it was written by Dirk makes it more interesting. :)

Will Charlie and Josh ever fall in love with classical music? If they’re anything like me, I don’t think so. However, it’s good to expand your horizons and enjoy something new. You never know unless you give it a try.

Happy reading,

Nic xx

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CharliesHeroORIG-final-01 (1)Blurb: Schoolteacher Charlie Matthews returns to his hometown, looking to regain a sense of community, reconnect with friends, and settle down. It looks like his dreams have come true when paramedic Josh Campbell attends an accident at the school. It’s love at first sight, and a romance begins.

But Josh’s reluctance to come out to the brother who raised him, puts pressure on their fledgling relationship. While Charlie understands Josh’s concerns, he can’t help growing impatient. After all, Charlie came out years ago.

It’s not until Charlie confronts his own parents and realizes he hasn’t come to terms with their rejection that he fully understands what Josh has to lose. But Josh is Charlie’s hero, and Josh will do anything to prove to Charlie that to be part of a family, he doesn’t need his parents.

Available for Purchase at: DREAMSPINNER PRESS (eBook) | DREAMSPINNER PRESS (Paperback) | AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AUSTRALIA | ALL ROMANCE eBOOKS | BARNES & NOBLES | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY

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Nic StarrAbout the Author: Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!

When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family-an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters-and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

Social Media Links: Website & Blog | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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TOUR SCHEDULE:
June 17:
Multitasking Mommas Book Reviews | Hearts on Fire | Gay.Guy.Reading And Friends
June 18:
A Celebration of Books | The Purple Rose Tea House | Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
June 19:
Bayou Book Junkie | Prism Book Alliance | Because Two Men Are Better Than One
June 22:
Nessa’s Book Reviews | Diverse Reader | My Fiction Nook
June 23:
MM Good Book Reviews | Divine Magazine | Love Bytes Reviews
June 24:
Bike Book Reviews | The Novel Approach | Elisa – My reviews and Ramblings
June 25:
BFD Book Blog | Drops of Ink | Man2ManTastic
June 26:
Eyes on Books | Foxylutely Books | Gay Media Reviews
June 29:
Nautical Star Books | Louise Lyons | Sid Love Writes
June 30:
Rainbow Gold Reviews | Molly Lolly: Reader, Reviewer, Lover of Words | LeAnn’s Book Reviews

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dawn Douglas, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed By Carrie

Audio Review: Fire Inside by Dawn Douglas – Narrated by Randy Fuller

Audio Gem

Title: Fire Inside

Author: Dawn Douglas

Narrator:: Randy Fuller

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 3 Hours and 12 Minutes

At a Glance: Fire Inside is an emotionally charged novella.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: After ten years as an active duty Marine, Captain Eric Ramos is rejoining civilian life. His first job is chauffeuring, assisting, and generally keeping track of NBA young gun Tyler Haley. Tyler’s had a rough few months, and his team owner is convinced he needs some hand-holding if he’s going to keep delivering wins for the St. Louis Fire Foxes.

Instead of the arrogant, over-privileged athlete Eric expected, Tyler is a big, blond, lonely twenty-three-year-old who needs more than just an employee to keep him in line. While taking care of Tyler, Eric changes from employee to friend, to something more. And when Eric realizes that something is burning the kid up from the inside out, he’s determined to find a way to help him before Tyler’s carefully constructed façade turns to ash.

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Review: Tyler Haley needs someone to love him – desperately. Outwardly successful and a basketball superstar, inwardly he is starting to crack under his insecurities and low self-worth. Brought up in the foster system and joining the NBA straight out of high school, he longs for a home and someone to see him as the man he is, not just for what they can get out of him. Tyler has issues, serious issues, and needs the strength that Ram can provide for him.

Captain Eric Ramos (or Ram) is straight out of the marines, and the same protective instincts that helped him shield his unit in war, he applies to working with Tyler. It’s almost like watching someone work with a skittish horse or animal in that Ram has to start small – just a home cooked meal – to get Tyler to trust him. By the end of the book you are really rooting for them, and I wish the author would have let us have just a couple more chapters of their life.

Randy Fuller does a fantastic job with the voices. The inflection he gave each character matched the inflection inside my head, so that really worked for me. Fuller’s voice, for me, was easy to listen to, and he made the story come alive. Sometimes with an audiobook you get lost in how the narrator makes the characters sound, and it can be disconcerting. Not so with this book. The narrator makes the story flow, and it was so enjoyable to listen to that when it ended, I wanted not only more story but more Randy Fuller to read it to me.

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You can buy Fire Inside here:

Audible.com

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