Welcome to this week’s edition of Flashback Friday and our solute to the Everyday Heroes. This installment of our Friday feature highlights the Cops, Firefighters, Private Investigators, and Men in Uniform who fight for justice at the risk of their own lives.
Last week’s winner of our Halloween Spooktacular was Laura, who selected Rick R. Reed’s The Blue Moon Café, and L.A. Gilbert’s The Ghost on My Couch as her prizes. Congratulations, Laura!
And now, here’s what we have in store for you this week. To enter for the chance to win an e-copy of one of our selected titles, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below.
There are so many fantastic hero stories on the m/m market today, from cops to firemen, the list is extensive. One author who definitely deserves a place on that list is RJ Scott. Her novel The Fireman and the Cop is a sexy, intimate love story that really blew me away.
Max Harrison is not new to the firefighting business, but he is brand new to the small town of Ellery and is therefore dubbed “probie” by his fire chief. Having recently left the city and his former homophobic fire department, Max was just looking for a quiet place to fit in. Little did he know that his first fire as a volunteer fireman would lead him straight into a burning building and leave him rescuing a policeman by the name of Finn Ryan.
Finn is gay—one of the three gay men in Ellery, or so it felt. When he opened his eyes in the hospital to see the hunky fireman who rescued him from the blazing fire, the last thing he remembered was just that, the rescue. He certainly did not recall the rather flirtatious conversation that took place near the ambulance where he confessed to being gay and lusting after—you guessed it—firemen!
Max, however, did recall the chat and was determined to find out if he and Finn could possibly still be attracted to one another. Author RJ Scott does not leave us hanging for long. The Fireman and the Cop keeps us immersed in the flames of a growing attraction between these two main characters. However, someone else is interested in Finn as well, and has murder on their mind—Finn’s to be exact.
This novel lights up the page with suspense, passion and remarkably in-depth characters that keep you turning the pages in anticipation. I really enjoyed this story. Not only did I feel that the two main men were likeable and believable in both their instant attraction and growing regard for each other, but Finn’s two friends, the side characters, were compelling as well, and I am eager to see if she gives each of them their own story at some point.
RJ Scott uses her descriptive passages to set the stage for the mysterious subplot of the man stalking Finn—a man who is going to great lengths to not only frighten Finn but also injure and nearly kill him as well. Our poor policeman barely recovers from one life-threatening accident before being immersed in another. All the while, Max pursues him relentlessly, determined to find out if the two of them can have a relationship that will somehow allow two first responders to actually fall and stay in love.
This was a gripping story—a mystery, a love story, a learning to trust story all rolled into one, and it was beautifully done.
Rescuing cop Finn Ryan from a burning precinct was easy; it’s keeping him alive after that which fireman Max Harrison finds difficult.
Ellery is a quiet town in the Smoky Mountains, at the base of Ellery Peak, and nothing ever happens. Max is escaping from his firefighting job in the city to take up a role as assistant to the Mayor whilst also holding the position of a volunteer fire fighter.
Finn Ryan is one of only three cops in the small town and it soon seems to Max that someone is out to hurt the sexy cop. Rescuing Finn from a burning precinct was the easy part; it’s keeping him alive after that which fireman Max Harrison finds difficult.
Six Degrees of Lust is the first book in the By Degrees psychological thriller series. There are two books in the series so far plus one novella that is a nice little cherry on the top of this incredible mystery. Taylor Donovan is scary how she gets into the mind of a psychotic killer and translates that to the page – these books read like a real intense episode of Criminal Minds. Never do you doubt the veracity of these characters.
Samuel Shaughnessy is the FBI team leader whose team has been tasked with the seemingly impossible job of bringing a serial killer to justice. The team nicknames the killer Lev because of his penchant for writing bible verses from Leviticus and leaving them on the bodies of young gay men in New York that he has killed. Profiling Lev is something they are exceptionally good at, as Lev leaves all kinds of clues behind with the bodies—they just can’t find him, and more young men keep dying. On a personal level Sam is all kinds of closed off. He has a difficult past, and he is only emotionally available to one man—his best friend Logan—so when he meets the former firefighter from Houston, Machlan O’Bannon, Sam doesn’t know why he keeps breaking his own rules about getting close.
Mac isn’t any more emotionally open than Sam is. Mac comes from a political family, and to out himself would hurt his father’s political standing. Not to mention the timing is all wrong for both men, as one is in the middle of an investigation and the other is leaving the firefighting world behind and running a bar in Houston. But these two just can’t get enough of each other, even though breaking through personal boundaries doesn’t come easy. And Lev is out there… and boys are dying… and this mystery is woven around these men and their lives in intricate and inexplicable ways neither man is aware of yet.
Warning: this is book one, which means the story continues in book two, Six Degrees of Separation. There is a reason this book is still eight dollars on Amazon, even though it came out in 2011. It. Is. Just. That. Good. The way Taylor Donovan writes sets her apart from other writers, as she is an expert at threading all of her plots together and leaving you feeling totally in awe and completely, emotionally invested in not just the main characters but the supporting cast as well.
So, when you finish reading this book, get the second one. After all, the Lamb has not atoned for his sin yet…
New York City F.B.I. team leader Samuel Shaughnessy lives for his job and immediate family. Once upon a time he was a firm believer in love and happily ever after. Now he stays clear from personal entanglements and follows a very strict code of rules. Sexually active and emotionally unavailable works for him just fine.
A former Houston fireman, Machlan O’Bannon now manages a sports bar and is ready to become the man he always wanted to be: out, proud and drama free. His family wants to lock him in the closet, but he just wants to meet the man of his dreams.
One man is as high strung as the other is laid back. Mac has some decisions to make and Sam has a serial killer to catch. Their lives are not only different, but miles apart.
The timing is bad and intentions unclear. They don’t want to be involved… but can they stay apart?
Everyday heroes…If you guys are anything like me, I know some of your favorite book boyfriends fall into this category. Cops, firefighters, military men, private investigators, marshals…it’s hard not to love these guys. I have MANY favorites in this category. But, this week I wanted to highlight one that’s maybe not quite as obvious a choice as some others. I want to share the love for Luki Vasquez (and Sonny Bly James) of Lou Sylvre’s Vasquez & James series.
Luki Vasquez is an ex-ATF agent who now works in security in the private sector. He meets Native American weaver, Sonny Bly James, while working an extended job in Port Clifton – a small, fictional town on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I loved so many things about this book (Loving Luki Vasquez), and this series. The settings and scenery are fantastic. The writing is beautiful – the description of the first time Sonny sees Luki, the reverence with which the author describes the landscape, and there is a sex scene in chapter seven which, my god. I will never forget it. It’s not just a beautiful romance, though; the action is honestly heart-stopping at times. So – we have fabulously sexy men, a thrilling plotline, and a wonderfully memorable romance.
I first read Loving Luki Vasquez about two and a half years ago, and fell totally in love with the characters, and with Lou Sylvre’s storytelling. I immediately knew that this was different than other books I had read – that Luki and Sonny were different than any other characters I had read. If you haven’t checked this series out, I highly suggest you do so!
Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease.
While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.
Once again, I’m stepping just a wee bit off the beaten path with my selection this week, because hey, I’m a rebel like that. But you see, reading books in the romance genre doesn’t often give us the opportunity to laugh–like, out loud guffaw laughing. Mostly we get angsting, yeah? So when a book can make me do more than just smile, when it makes me do more than just grin, that’s a book that works for me almost every time. The laughs begin in the opening paragraphs of my pick and don’t let up throughout the entirety of the book. They say laughter is the language of the soul. Well, I’m not sure whether that’s true or not, but if it is, then I want to be fluent in the language LB Gregg speaks.
My pick this week is LB Gregg’s Catch Me if You Can, Book One in the Romano and Albright series.
Caesar Romano seems to have a knack for attracting people who not only outright lie but also like to keep a variety of secrets as well. He has an ex-boyfriend who’s keeping a big one, a boss who’s keeping a somewhat bizarre one, a private investigator following him who’s keeping a rather significant one, and that’s just to name a few. In the meantime, he’s also got a job so financially inadequate that he’s forced to live with his Nana. There’s also his large Italian family—some of whom are a bit on the shady side—and he’s also dealing with the theft of a bust of Justin Timberlake sculpted entirely of watches. Oh, and don’t forget the whole blackmail thing, too.
No one ever said Ce’s life was a walk in the park. Sometimes it’s more like a whizz in a back alley, but it’s most definitely never boring.
Caesar is a person of interest in Detective Dan Green’s investigation of a stolen painting that reveals a plot to extort rather unorthodox sums of money from various sources. Ce’s also a person of interest on an entirely personal level for Detective Dan, but Caesar’s not particularly interested in anything Dan has to offer. Dan’s not exactly the kind of guy to just give up and go away, though—what kind of a detective would he be, after all, if he did? And, let’s face it, Dan most definitely has a way with words. Certain words, at certain times, that make it very difficult for Ce to keep his wits about him. It’s really a gift is what it is. A sexy, sexy gift.
Detective Dan and Caesar are approximately a metric ton of awesome, and the laughs just keep coming in Trust Me if You Dare, the second book in the series. I came thisclose to choosing another book entirely this week, but given the fact that book three, With This Bling, is set to pop soon, and given the extreme glee that’s flourished in my heart over that bit of news, I want to introduce you to this series and these characters so you can love them too.
The fear of getting caught is half the fun.
Lowly art gallery assistant Caesar Romano is freely out of the closet. Now he’d just like to get out of his Nana’s guest room. Everything—his reputation and his financial freedom—is riding on the success of tonight’s gallery opening. If only he could shake free of the past so easily.
A mysterious gatecrasher, Dan Green, looks like a promising addition to his pending new life—until Caesar’s ex shows up and suddenly the opening disintegrates into a half-naked dance melee. When the glitter settles, a missing sculpture of Justin Timberlake has Caesar up to his eyebrows in extortion, intrigue and a wild sexual adventure underneath, inside, and on top of a variety of furnishings.
As the cast of suspects piles up, so do the questions. Like who’s really blackmailing whom? And what does a stolen paint-by-numbers clown matter when Dan is so outrageously capable of blowing Caesar’s resistance to smithereens?
Warning: This book contains graphic language, sex, lies, intrigue, clowns, kleptomania, anal sex, oral sex, mutual masturbation, bad driving, good cooking, and the missing head of a Justin Timberlake statue. Not for the sour of disposition.
The Fine Print:
*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*No residency restrictions apply
*Prize will be delivered by TNA
*Void where prohibited by law