4.5 Stars, Amber Kell, Love Lane Books, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Angel, RJ Scott

Review: End Street: Volume One by Amber Kell and RJ Scott

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Title: The Case of the Cupid Curse/The Case of the Wicked Wolf (End Street: Vol. One)

Author: Amber Kell & RJ Scott

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count: 201 Pages

At a GlanceA fun and often sweet twist on the paranormal genre.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Dragons, vampires, werewolves, fae, witches and one very confused human.

Sam, 100% human (no, really) inherits a crumbling building and a private detective agency from his Uncle.

Bob, a brooding stubborn and ancient vampire turns up at his door and refuses to leave.

Before Sam can say ‘I only want human cases’ he’s knee deep in werewolves, dragons, vampires and witches.

Book 1 – The Case of The Cupid Curse

Sam Enderson is a human detective who inherits a building from where his Uncle used to run a detective agency. He finds himself working for paranormal creatures despite his resolve to stick with humans only. To supplement his income as a new PI Sam rents out rooms in the large house.

Bob is a vampire and turns up on Sam’s doorstep to rent a room. Sparks fly and Sam is attracted to the vampire despite himself.

Sam is cursed by a witch, and has two cases landing on his desk. Werewolves, annoying ghosts and a grumpy gargoyle are enough to drive Sam mad. But somehow in amongst all of this he has to find a missing fae and a missing shifter child.

Book 2 – The Case of the Wicked Wolf

Naiads, humans, sirens and a challenge for Alpha make up the intricate story in the race to rescue the missing children.

Sam and Bob have more than just the case of one lost child to handle. Not only is Shelby Hartman missing, but other paranormal children have disappeared. The race to rescue the children is hampered by naiads, humans, sirens and a challenge for Alpha.

Hartman Hunter is desperate to find his daughter. He turns to the demon Danjal Naamah for help. The problem is that Danjal is the only person Hartman has ever loved—the man he let go for the sake of the pack…

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Review:  I really enjoy both Amber Kell’s and RJ Scott’s individual works, so finding this book, where both are involved, thrilled me. They have a similar writing style, and this joint project reads seamlessly. I almost don’t want to know who wrote which chapter, or how they did it, because I just loved the world they created.

The paranormal really isn’t out of the ordinary in this verse created by these two authors, and I loved how it meshed with the reality of the world. It was not a big deal to have a werewolf dance club as well a human one right in the same town. I also really enjoyed that the prejudices between the species weren’t glossed over. A few had made it past the boundaries to mix well with others, but there was still the stigma found in associating with other paranormals or even humans. There is also a message of tolerance and acceptance, too.

I almost felt really bad for Sam as he tried so hard not to get involved in the paranormal aspect of being a P.I., but he’s drawn in because his uncle was a bit unscrupulous. He handles it with panache, though, and doggedly pursues his cases to the end while adjusting to life with a cranky ghost assistant and a persistent vampire suitor.

Looking forward to the next cases, ladies, and thank you for an enjoyable read.

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You can buy End Street: Volume One here:

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

Review: Max and the Prince by RJ Scott

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Title: Max and the Prince (Bodyguards Inc.: Book Three)

Author: RJ Scott

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count: 131 Pages

At a Glance: To read one of RJ Scott’s books is like stepping into a perfectly crafted world.

Reviewed By: Taz

Blurb: Bodyguard Max Connery is used to being mistaken for being younger than he is.

Being carded every time he buys a beer is usual. Even though he’s just turned twenty eight and has two tours in Afghanistan as a pilot under his belt.

When a threat is made on the life of a prince attending University in the UK, Max is the perfect choice to blend in with students and to keep Prince Lucien safe. Even if it means joining the swim team to be by his side.

But, when death visits the University, abruptly this job is a long way past keeping the prince happy and safe. Instead Max has to keep Lucien alive.

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Review: Ah, to read one of RJ Scott’s books is like stepping into a perfectly crafted world where you know you’ll meet rich characters and experience a satisfying plotline and well-developed emotions. And this book did not disappoint.

Max is a bodyguard, and everything about him goes along with the images you’d expect for such a beefy hunka deliciousness. The prince, Lucien, is truly a prince, strong, a swimmer, along with all of the images you’d expect to go along with that.

As would be expected, the two get off to a rocky start, Max believing Lucien is a spoiled heir to wealthy parents. Of course, that’s far too simple a story for someone like RJ Scott. No, Lucien may be innocent and somewhat inexperienced (especially when it comes to sex), but he’s no pushover and definitely not spoiled. I will say that Lucien’s lack of sexual experience makes for some really hot scenes.

As the story unfolds and max digs deeper and deeper into the mystery of a stalker whose set Lucien in his sights, feelings of love and connection ignite, and the gravitational pull of the attraction between these two men is unmistakable.

Since this isn’t a long story, I don’t want to give away too much, but each chapter drove the story forward, and I couldn’t wait to find out how the mystery unfolded.

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You can buy Max and the Prince here:

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

Review: Texas Wedding by RJ Scott

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Title: Texas Wedding (Texas: Book Seven)

Author: RJ Scott

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count: 216 Pages

At a Glance: A fantastic and emotional conclusion to Jack and Riley’s story.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Faced with the life changing prospect of a yes vote from SCOTUS on the issue of same sex marriage, Riley and Jack realise they have decisions to make. Add in some distressing family news and the very real possibility that old secrets may resurface, and this last book in the Texas series pulls together as many threads as the boys can manage to handle.

But through all the ups and the downs, children, family events, laughter, and tears, there is nothing as special as the forever love between these two men.

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Review:  When you want to learn to read, you start with the ABCs. When you want to learn to sing, you start off with Do, Re, and Mi. When you want to enjoy a fantastically well written, fully fleshed out story, then you read RJ Scott’s Texas Series.

I mainlined this series just to read this final book. It took me two days to read through all seven books, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of each and every story. Thank you, RJ Scott, for this series. I loved every word of it. I will miss Jack and Riley and all of their ever-growing family. Even with the teaser of another series set in this verse, Texas Wedding is the ending of Jack and Riley’s story, but that seems a short and sad way to say it. This book was so much more.

Jack and Riley’s story is a love affair that spans five years, and it has enough drama, romance, sex, love, realism and a happy ending in each book to appeal to everyone. I think that you can’t speak about one book without talking about them all, because they are that connected, but each is a standalone greatly enriched by each sequel.

The SCOTUS decision, which spurred this book’s creation, was just as emotional to read here as it was to see it in the newspaper headlines. I love that Scott had the characters react differently to the decision because, once again, realism in fiction is a wonderful thing.

Seven books and not once did I get tired or bored with Jack and Riley. I literally fell in love with just about everyone involved. I hated the bad guys with as much passion as I had love for the good guys. Each experience these two MCs had happen to them felt real to me, and the characters dealt with it realistically. The secondary and side characters were just as formed and detailed as the MCs.

This trend lasted throughout the series, and it was excellent to have the characters respond like real people. Because, in a way, Jack and Riley are real. They are every couple that deals with their jobs not being conducive with being a couple, but they make it work. They are parents that get frustrated with their children, but they do their damnedest to make certain those same children have everything they need. They have tragic things happen to them, in spite of having money, and they still work through their problems one day at a time.

Jack and Riley love just like everyone else, no matter their gender or orientation. Which I think is how it should be. Their relationship didn’t need the justification of the SCOTUS decision, but it was enhanced because of it.

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You can buy Texas Wedding here:

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3.5 Stars, Love Lane Books, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Karen, Sue Brown

Review: The Hidden Wolf by Sue Brown

Title:  The Hidden Wolf (Sapphire Ranch Wolves: Book Two)

Author:  Sue Brown

Publisher:  Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count:  137 Pages

At a Glance:  The characters drew me into the story and made me wish that there was more.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Sheriff Milo Clarke has met his mate, Eli Watkins, and now they’re conducting a long distance relationship while Eli runs the Cavalry, the security firm protecting Joe and Cal at the Sapphire Ranch from the hunters.

The long distance loving is hard on all three of them, Eli, Clarke and Clarke’s wolf, who is becoming more restless as Clarke refuses to shift. When Clarke going to give into the other side of him and how will Clarke and Eli resolve the distance between their lives?

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Review:  I was lucky that I was able to read The Last Wolf and The Hidden Wolf back to back, but now I’m kind of wishing I would have waited until the series is complete.

We meet Milo and Eli in book one and find out they are mates, and The Hidden Wolf, which is book two, is their story.  I enjoyed this one maybe just a little more than the first.  I think the only real issue I have with the story so far is that not a single person who finds out that shifters exist seems to have an issue with it; there is some surprise, but then they just accept it like it is the most normal thing ever. I can kind of get that the mates have an easier time accepting it, but even those who aren’t mated come across like, “Oh, okay,” and move on.

The hunter drama is enough to keep the story interesting and me looking forward to what is coming next.  The characters drew me into the story and made me wish that there was more. These books are really fast and sexy reads.  I enjoyed seeing Joe and Cal again, and the rest of the guys who have gathered at Sapphire Ranch. I’m looking forward to the next book to see what comes next for these guys, since there are still a lot of the same unanswered questions we had at the end of the first book.

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4.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Love Lane Books, Meredith Russell, Reviewed by Karen, RJ Scott

Review: Forever in the Sun by RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Title:  Forever in the Sun (Sapphire Cay: Book Six)

Author: RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count:  122 Pages

At a Glance: I am sad that the series is over, but my journey to Sapphire Cay was amazing.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Feuding families, unearthed secrets, and a violent storm threatens the Cay. Will the idyllic island with her cast of characters make it through unscathed? It’s time for the circle to close on the story of Sapphire Cay, and on the men who have lived and found love on her beaches.

Join characters old and new as we celebrate Dylan and Lucas’s wedding and delve into the history of Sapphire Cay.

Connor and Shaun are directly related to Peter and Alfie, a couple whose clandestine lover affair was overshadowed by old prejudices and a world war. Shaun Jamieson is a writer, a romantic and needs to pen the story of the affair’s final secrets; Connor French’s family wants to stop Shaun.

When the two men step onto the sands of Sapphire Cay, they find more than just the secrets of an old love. They find hope and comfort in each other. But with the past hanging over them, can they ever have what Peter and Alfie could not? Or are they just as ill-fated as their ancestors?

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Review:  Awwww…what a fantastic end to this sweet series.  In this book we finally get to Dylan and Lucas’s wedding, and, of course, not everything goes as planned.  There are a couple hiccups in the execution of the plans, but in the end, Dylan and Lucas are together and married. Really, that’s all that mattered.

Then there is Connor and Shaun, and we also get Peter and Alfie’s story.  Connor and Shaun, one wanting to tell the lost story of these two men, and the other wanting to bury it. What we end up getting is another new love starting with the magic that is Sapphire Cay. While looking back at the love Peter and Alfie had for each other, and how they hid and stayed apart only to come back together to be with their one true love, Connor and Shaun find each other.  Going through a similar experience as their relatives did in the past, they find their own way.

This book ties everything in the series together.  I chuckled a few times, shed a couple tears, and then smiled all the way through to the last page.  This is exactly what I hoped for when I heard the last book in the series was coming out.  Like the others, we still get a sweet story with a lot of heart.  I am sad that the series is over, but my journey to Sapphire Cay was amazing.

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4.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Love Lane Books, Meredith Russell, Reviewed by Karen, RJ Scott

Review: Capture the Sun by RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Title: Capture the Sun (Sapphire Cay: Book Five)

Authors:  RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Publisher:  Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count:  105 Pages

At a Glance: If you are in the mood for a light, fun, and sexy read, this series is for you.

Reviewed By: Karen

Blurb:  Model, Isaac Bailey wants to break into the world of fashion design. Under his father’s company name, he is set to debut his new collection—summer wear.

He has the models, the clothes, what he needs is a location. Mitch Stone is a trouble shooter. His latest client needs an exotic location and he happens to know someone with the very thing—Sapphire Cay.

Having underestimated Isaac as nothing more than an airhead model, Mitch soon discovers there is much more to the young man than he first thought.

As the fashion shoot gets underway, Mitch has to contend with his feelings for his old love, Dylan, and the very new and growing affections he has for Isaac.

What starts as just another job, turns out to be more fruitful and exhilarating than winning any multi-million dollar contract.

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Review:  I think Capture the Sun may be my favorite book in the series so far.  Although it was another quick read, and another quick love, it came across a little more fluid for me than the others.

At this point in the series, you kind of know what you are going to get when you sit down to read one of its books.  As with all the others, you get a super sweet story (with some super hot scenes). Although it took some time for Isaac and Mitch to open up to one another, you know you will eventually get your happily ever after with these two.

I love how focused Isaac was, and the story had me pouting a little when reading about what his past relationships had him thinking about himself.  The way the couples in this series complement each other is awesome; finding each other seems to help them find the balance they are looking for.

It was nice to see the interaction between Mitch and Dylan, and see them move beyond their pasts to become friends who can be there for each other with advice when needed.  Honestly, the relationships all the guys form with each other is nice to read.

If you are in the mood for a light, fun, and sexy read, this series is for you. :)

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4 Stars, Holiday Romance, Love Lane Books, Meredith Russell, Reviewed by Karen, RJ Scott

Review: Christmas in the Sun by RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Title:  Christmas in the Sun (Sapphire Cay: Book Four)

Authors:  RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Publisher:  Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count:  154 Pages

At a Glance:  Christmas in the Sun is a nice little recap of the relationships that have developed so far on Sapphire Cay, and a glimpse into what we have to come.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Return to Sapphire Cay for Christmas. Lucas and Dylan invite their friends to share in their Christmas celebrations on the island along with Lucas’s sister, Tasha, and her husband. Christmas is a time for family, forgiveness, and to look to the future, and this year Dylan has to face up to all three.

Unearthing the memories of two men in love, frozen in time and buried among the history of the island, Lucas and Dylan realize that sometimes loving someone is not always enough. It’s about being brave and taking the next step, to learn from the past to move forward.

Family has always been important to Lucas since his own was struck by tragedy. Though Dylan disapproves of his methods, Lucas has nothing but good intentions about wanting Dylan to reconcile with his father. The two Gray men haven’t spoken properly in years, their relationship strained by heartache and mistakes reaching back into Dylan’s childhood.

Forgiveness is a hard thing to give and sometimes even harder to receive.

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Review:  This was a quick little get together of all our friends from the previous Sapphire Cay books.  Although this focuses mostly on Dylan and Lucas we still get updates and appearances of the other couples we love in this series as well.

Another couple is also introduced into the story, Alfie and Peter, whose story we get bits and pieces of based on their hidden memories that have resurfaced.  I am looking forward to their story, and hope we find out more about this couple and what became of them.

Going along with the other books in this series, this was a super quick and fun read. Having had a little time in between reading Christmas in the Sun and the first three books, this was a nice little recap of the relationships that have developed so far on Sapphire Cay, and a glimpse into what we have to come.

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Interview and Giveaway: Forever in the Sun by RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Sapphire Cay Series

We’re pleased to welcome authors RJ Scott and Meredith Russell today on their Forever in the Sun blog tour. They took some reader questions and had a lot of fun answering them, and they’re also offer a chance for one lucky reader to win a $15 Amazon or ARe Gift Card and two additional prizes of an e-book from RJ Scott’s backlist. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

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Thank you for letting us invade your blog! As we were out of ideas we asked for questions and boy, did we get them… we talk the three W’s: Wine, writing and snacks. Okay, okay, two W’s and an S.

Chelci Winkels: When you are writing together do you have a specific set up … like snack foods, and drinks or do you just work like students in detention?

RJ: ROFL… I drink so much tea that I should own shares in the company. I don’t have snacks… but I do have my tea. Meredith and I, will have Google Chat open all day, and every so often stop and chat, and then we’ll have tea breaks. Other than that, for me, it’s head down. What about you M?

MR: To be honest I could do with being in detention and banned from all internet access apart from RJ’s chat box. lol

RJ: That’s torture! That is against the Geneva Convention to take away Internet access!

MR: I don’t have snacks at hand, often they’re an excuse to get up and wander so usually either a cereal bar or a handful of grapes. Also I’m a failed Brit as I don’t drink tea and have been known in my inexperienced youth to have poured the milk in over the teabag before adding the hot water. Them’s fighting words!

RJ: I’m not sure we can still be friends

MR: You don’t mean it and you KNOW it.

RJ: Well I’ve put up with you this long, I guess…

MR: Yep, stuck with me, and back to the question, so my drinks of choice are water and pepsi max. I write with music playing, I need structured noise otherwise I’ll find myself distracted by the silence. After that it’s usually head down and writing, or sometimes in my case, some cover art depending on how I’m feeling and what projects I have.

Jen Walter: Favorite wine?

RJ: Anything made with grapes, really. ROFL… I love a white, a rose, and a red, sometimes in the same evening. I like a nice Chardonnay, or a deep Merlot. And when I’m drinking with girlfriends it’s Rose which I can drink a lot of. I always said one day I would do a wine course and actually learn about wine.

MR: I’m not a big drinker most of the time. I’m more the social drinker. Wine, I prefer Rose.

RJ: So when I stay at your house, how comes all the wine goes so fast?

MR: It’s a mystery. I think it might be something to do with the fact you’re drinking out of a pint glass *chuckles*

RJ: It’s not a pint glass, it’s a three quarters of a pint glass… #AllTheDifference

MR: Plus I think drinking with a friend comes under the ‘social’ drinker label so I’m sure I help a little bit. Personally, I prefer a nice cold cider or something like a Malibu and coke or Archers (peach schnapps) and lemonade.

DividersSapphire Cay 6 Forever In The SunRelease date: 14th August 2015

Buy Links: RJ Scott’s Blog
Book 1 – Follow The Sun
Book 2 – 
Under The Sun
Book 3 – 
Chase The Sun
Book 4 – 
Christmas In The Sun
Book 5 – 
Capture The Sun
Book 6 –
Forever In The Sun 

Blurb: Feuding families, unearthed secrets, and a violent storm threatens the Cay. Will the idyllic island with her cast of characters make it through unscathed? It’s time for the circle to close on the story of Sapphire Cay, and on the men who have lived and found love on her beaches.

Join characters old and new as we celebrate Dylan and Lucas’s wedding and delve into the history of Sapphire Cay.

Connor and Shaun are directly related to Peter and Alfie, a couple whose clandestine lover affair was overshadowed by old prejudices and a world war. Shaun Jamieson is a writer, a romantic and needs to pen the story of the affair’s final secrets; Connor French’s family wants to stop Shaun.

When the two men step onto the sands of Sapphire Cay, they find more than just the secrets of an old love. They find hope and comfort in each other. But with the past hanging over them, can they ever have what Peter and Alfie could not? Or are they just as ill-fated as their ancestors?

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Excerpt: The offices of the French Foundation, New York, June

“Your two o’clock is here, Mr. French.” Miriam’s voice floated in over the intercom. The abruptness of it startled Connor from his cost-benefits analysis and he knocked his coffee down, sloshing it onto the paperwork.

“God dammit,” he muttered under his breath. He couldn’t get the figures to balance and trying to find a missing ten-dollar transaction in among a million dollar bank account was screwing with his head. Where had three hours gone? He glanced sideways at his lunch. Or what was left of it. He was surprised he’d managed to actually eat at all because he certainly didn’t remember the food arriving or him even picking up the ham on rye. He had to get these reports done before the accounts department could sign off on them.

He pressed the button. “Give me two,” he said. Quickly he scooped the plate, with the remaining food, into his top drawer and straightened enough paperwork to look efficient. He didn’t recall the details of this two o’clock, just that it was someone with issues about the Foundation. Connor was used to answering all kind of questions, from students, politicians, kids to teachers and there was no one at this Foundation who knew what type of work they undertook as well as him. Apart from Miriam, who had been a PA at the Foundation longer than Connor had been alive. She knew where all the bodies were buried and Connor would be lost without her.

A knock on the door heralded the visitor’s arrival and Connor stood, brushing his shirt of crumbs as he called, “Come in.”

The door opened and Connor had to stop his mouth falling open. Gorgeous. Very nice. Tall, slim, dark hair, with added sexy smile and confidence in the way he walked in. Connor checked him out, couldn’t help it, he hadn’t seen anything this fine in a very long time. I need to get out more. From head to toe, his gaze finally focused back on the man’s face and embarrassment washed over him when the guy was looking at him with one eyebrow raised in question. So much for subtle. Well, at least he isn’t punching me to the floor.

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RJ ScottAbout RJ: RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Author Links: Email || Website || Twitter || Facebook || Library Thing || Tumblr  (some NSFW (not safe for work) photos) || Pinterest

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Author BioAbout Meredith: Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing. Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.

Author Links: Website/blog || Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || Email

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THE GIVEAWAY

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4 Stars, Genre Romance, Love Lane Books, Reviewed by Taz, RJ Scott

Review: Undercover Lovers by RJ Scott

Title: Undercover Lovers (Bodyguards Inc.: Book Four)

Author: RJ Scott

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count:  135 Pages

At a Glance: Overall, I found this to be a pleasant read. It had all the elements I enjoy in an erotic romance.

Reviewed By: Taz

Blurb: Even if Ross and Kyle make it out of this alive, will the secrets in Kyle’s heart stay safe?

Kyle gets caught up in a case that is entirely unrelated to Bodyguards Inc. Not only does he abruptly need time off, but he has to have absolute trust and complete support from Ross without being able to tell Ross a thing.

CIA Agent Stefan Mortimer needs Kyle’s help with a case of a geneticist and a missing formula. Trouble is being led right to Kyle’s door, endangering the life of the team he has built and the man that he loves.

Going undercover, with Ross as his husband, is the worst kind of torture in so many ways, but it is the only answer. Kyle and Ross may well live through this but Kyle is convinced his heart won’t survive.

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Review: I am a huge fan of RJ Scott. She consistently puts out great book after great book. Undercover Lovers is no exception. In this story we meet Kyle and Ross. Both have worked together in the capacity of employer (Kyle) and PA (Ross). When an assignment comes up where Kyle needs a second person to complete his cover, he invited Ross to come along as his husband. Of course, we find out right away that Kyle has harbored feelings for Ross from the first day they met, and Ross has similar feelings. Up until this assignment, they’d kept their relationship professional, neither willing to risk messing up their strong working relationship.

This story moves at an easy pace, shifting back and forth from Kyle and Ross’s point of view. Rather than focusing on a tight action plotline, the relationship and feelings take center stage as we watch the two men slowly open up to the other. Once the action plotline explodes, the pace picks up and carries through until the end.

Overall, I found this to be a pleasant read. It had all the elements I enjoy in an erotic romance. Two awesome characters, real feelings developed with finesse, and some hot sex scenes. For me, I would have liked the action plotline to have played a slightly larger role. As I read, I found myself enjoying the back and forth of the protagonists but wondering when their assignment would pick up (after all, that was the premise for why they’d gone to all the trouble of posing as a married couple).

A great read that moved at a steady pace, I’d recommend this as a nice weekend read or something to enjoy over a vacation between whatever events you have scheduled.

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Undercover Lover Blog Tour with RJ Scott

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Today we welcome author RJ Scott on her Undercover Lover blog tour. Enjoy RJ’s guest post and excerpt, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $15 Amazon or ARe giftcard, and 2 further prizes of RJ Scott e-books (closes 8th August at 00:01 GMT London).

Good luck!

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THINGS I LEARNED FROM WRITING STANDALONE STORIES

The worst thing about writing standalones is that if they are stories readers have enjoyed, then there will be requests for sequels. This is most obvious in The Christmas Throwaway, which is my most requested sequel. I know what it is like to fall in love with the characters in a book. I absolutely understand what it is like to want to know more about those characters.

But one thing I learned from a wish to write a standalone book is that sometimes stories can be contained within one book. Some, like Bodyguards Inc, started as one-off books, and are now part of a series. This happened with The Heart of Texas as well. Others, like Gallows Tree and Throwaway, are more a glimpse in time of a larger story and I don’t *feel* sequels.

So, writing standalone stories means tidying up loose ends, having a defined ending (in my case an HEA), and also building a world that has to be done in a few pages.

Which standalone book have you read where you are desperate for a sequel?

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Bodyguards 4Blurb: Even if Ross and Kyle make it out of this alive, will the secrets in Kyle’s heart stay safe? 

Kyle gets caught up in a case that is entirely unrelated to Bodyguards Inc. Not only does he abruptly need time off, but he has to have absolute trust and complete support from Ross without being able to tell Ross a thing.

CIA Agent Stefan Mortimer needs Kyle’s help with a case of a geneticist and a missing formula. Trouble is being led right to Kyle’s door, endangering the life of the team he has built and the man that he loves.

Going undercover, with Ross as his husband, is the worst kind of torture in so many ways, but it is the only answer. Kyle and Ross may well live through this but Kyle is convinced his heart won’t survive.

BUYLINKS: http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.com/2015/01/undercover-lovers.html

Book 1 – Bodyguard to a Sex God

Book 2 – The Ex Factor

Book 3 – Max and the Prince

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Excerpt: As soon as Max left the room, Kyle reached for the phone. He hesitated, with his fingers an inch from the handset, and listened to its beep indicating a call waiting.

Stefan Mortimer was at the other end of the call. That was a name Kyle hadn’t expected to hear again for a very long time, and the fact the man had contacted Kyle didn’t bode well. Especially considering Kyle thought, his and Stefan’s association had been put to bed a long time ago. A twinge of guilt accompanied the memories. He’d been the one told to leave, he was the one who’d had no choice but to go, but leaving Stefan behind had never sat well with him.

A combination of anxiety and fear fluttered in his chest as he picked up the handset and pressed the button to connect.

Only to be offered a line that was dead.

“Stefan?” Kyle said to the empty air. For a second he held the receiver to his ear, then, very deliberately, replaced the handset in the cradle. Kyle rested his head on his hands, scrubbing his face to clear the tension. When the door opened, he knew it was Ross. He always knew when it was Ross.

“He got cut off,” Ross announced.

Kyle nodded. “So I see.”

Ross sat down in the visitor’s chair directly opposite. “Is he a new client? Should I start a file for him?”

“No, an old….” How could he describe Stefan? Ex-lover, partner, old friend? “Someone I knew.”

Ross eased forward in his chair, his gray eyes bright with interest. “Knew? Like you used your experience as a spy to know?” he asked in his usual inquisitive tone.

“From before,” Kyle said. He was deliberately vague. As he was every time anyone at Bodyguards Inc. skirted near what Kyle used to do for a living. Ross loved to tease that Kyle had been CIA black ops. To be honest, Ross wasn’t that far from the truth—but that had been a long time ago now.

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THE GIVEAWAY

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4 Stars, Anthology, Genre Romance, Love Lane Books, Meredith Russell, Reviewed by Karen, RJ Scott

Review: Sapphire Cay Volume One by RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Title:  Sapphire Cay: Volume One

Authors:  RJ Scott and Meredith Russell

Publisher:  Love Lane Books

Page/Word Count:  277 Pages

At a Glance:  I found reading about Sapphire Cay was just about as relaxing as if I were laying on the beach right there with the characters.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Volume One (Books 1-3)

Businessman on the edge of a breakdown, a wedding planner, another with a criminal past, and a former marine. Stories set on the stunning Sapphire Cay with sun, sand, and sexy times!

Follow the Sun

Can romance on a tropical island keep Dylan from moving on, and stop Lucas from working himself into an early grave?

Under the Sun

The former Marine and the uptight wedding planner; opposites attract on a sun drenched Cay.

Chase the Sun

Is meeting each other a case of second chances? Or will history repeat itself?

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Review: I am pretty sure I have mentioned it before, but if not, I tend to be a mood reader.  What I mean by that is that I usually tend to pick books to read depending on my mood, and sometimes I will start a book and will know within the first few pages if it is going to work for me at that point in time or not.  This probably seems obvious to some of you, but I am a little slow. It took some time for me to realize this about myself after reading a couple books and not really getting into them, and then, a while later, doing a reread and absolutely loving them.

Sometimes I need something dark and brooding, there is definitely a time for hot and sexy, other times I want something I know is going to tear me up and have me ugly crying, and then there is a time for the light, happy, non-angst, kind of sappy fluffy stuff, and this is where these books fall for me.  And believe me that isn’t a bad thing.  The more I read, the more I fell for these guys and just coasted through, waiting to see how their HEA was going to play out.  I found reading about Sapphire Cay was just about as relaxing as if I was laying on the beach right there with them.

The stories are super quick reads, I really liked that they were in a volume, and I just kept going, one right after the other (I am also a little impatient).  The couples in each books have their issues and things that they each need to overcome, and they are kind of insta-love but just what I needed to relax and get out of my head for a while.  I now have the others in this series added to my TBR and they will be moved right to the top of the list to buy next.

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You can buy Sapphire Cay: Volume One here:

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Fallout Blog Tour with Meredith Russell

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Meredith Russell today, on the Fallout blog tour, book four in the Flight HA1710 series. Meredith chats a bit about how she became involved in the project, the thought process behind it, and she’s also offering the chance to win not only a $15 Amazon or ARe Gift Card but the choice of TWO e-books from her backlist titles or an advanced e-copy of a future book. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Enjoy and good luck!

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When RJ Scott approached me to be part Flight HA1710, a series based around a plane crash, she presented the idea as not some big blockbuster disaster movie or even necessarily the crash itself, but rather how a massive event might affect people, their lives and their relationships.

In Fallout, a series of actions and decisions lead to my characters, Harrison and Elijah, not even being on the plane and this left them with a whole lot of what-ifs. What if events before the crash had happened differently? What if they had been on the plane?

I was asked to think about the times events or decisions made a difference to my life, or maybe they left me with thoughts of what if?

Up until this year I would say any of the decisions I’ve made or directions my life has taken, I would never look at them as something that could have turned out to be something horrible. If I hadn’t picked a certain university, or my parents hadn’t divorced, a family member hadn’t died, or I hadn’t found a TV show fandom, my life might be different but not necessarily anything worse than I have now.

The start of this year I was involved in a car accident. A car pulled onto the wrong side of the road while overtaking and hit me. I remember sitting there, seeing the headlights and thinking, What is he doing? I have nowhere to go. The next thing I know I’m in darkness, my eyes are open but I can’t see anything, just hear people in low voices asking me questions. Only when my vision cleared and I’m face to face with a paramedic, a collar round my neck and they’re cutting the roof off my car as my legs are trapped, did I suddenly realise—he hit me.

I remember telling the paramedic and officers my sad little tale leading up to me being in the car. I’d started a diet so there was no chocolate in the house, but all I wanted at about 7.30 on a Saturday night was some Dairy Milk. For 45 minutes I’d ummed and ahhed, tried to decide how naughty it would be (I’d only been on the diet a week), but then my husband said, “Bring me back something nice too,” and so off I went. Decision made.

I was plagued by what-ifs, still am. What if I’d gone out straight away? What if I’d said, “No, no chocolate for me,” and stayed in? What if I’d decided to go to Morrisons instead of Tesco? But also, what if it had been worse? What if I’d had my husband with me? What if I’d had my sister’s kids in the car? (I’d just got a car seat for the back so I could transport her 3 yr. old around)

It’s something that has affected me. I still think about it some nights, the headlights coming at me, play over was there something I could have done differently. Bits still ache and my leg still feels numb in places. Driving has gotten easier, though I’m more hesitant, try and avoid busy junctions or times of the day, and I have very little trust where other cars on the road are concerned. Maybe I need to get a bumper sticker with Trust No One on it.

We make decisions all the time. Have you ever been left thinking “what if?”

~Meredith Russell~

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FalloutBlurb: Can missing a fatal flight be the wake up call Harrison needs?

When Harrison Kelley is banned from getting on Flight HA1710, it seems to be the perfect ending to a crappy couple of days. Not only did he wreck a wedding, but he’s drunk way too much and been on the receiving end of the groom’s brother’s fists. Being escorted out of the airport by security was just the icing on the wedding cake.

Elijah Pettifer has lusted after Harrison from afar for years but Harrison never sees him as anything more than a friend. If he ever saw him at all. While attempting to defend what little honor Harrison has left, Elijah gets caught up in the wave of chaos surrounding his teenage crush. But missing his flight home because of Harrison’s mess might just be the luckiest thing to ever happen to him.

With a 24 hour ban imposed by the airport, and having only each other for company, the two men grow closer. But will the fate of the airplane they should have been on be the push Harrison needs to walk away from the toxic relationship of his past? And can Elijah make Harrison see exactly what he’s been missing out on because of it?

Buy Links: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | All Romance eBooks

Flight HA1710 Series:

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Meredith RussellAbout the Author: Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing. Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.

Author Links: Website/blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Email

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THE GIVEAWAY

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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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You can buy Retrograde here:

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Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway: The Retrograde Blog Tour With RJ Scott

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The Novel Approach welcomes author RJ Scott today on the Retrograde: Flight HA1710 blog tour. RJ’s talking fanfic today, has brought along an exclusive excerpt, and is also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win a $15 Amazon or ARe Gift Card, winner’s choice. To enter the contest, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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Moments that changed my life – Discovering SPN fanfiction

The idea of one event changing a person’s life is not a new one. Most films, books, in fact all stories, have some kind of moment where the path of a life changes. This could be a big event, like a loss (or a gain!) or it could be something small, like taking a different bus home! I was watching something on the TV, I don’t even know what but I am sure it was one of those *disaster* shows, like one about plane crashes. What I do recall is turning to hubby and saying I wanted to write a book about what happened after an event, how it impacted the lives of people who were involved, or who observed. Not just one person in the middle of it, but more than one story.

Then I had the inspiration of asking other authors to write a story in the same vein, all based around characters impacted by a plane crash in Ireland and Flight HA1710 was born.

So, it got me thinking about the events that have shaped my life, and in the Retrograde blog tour I will talk about some of them. Don’t forget there is a competition as well to win a $15 giftcard and free books. Tell us about an event, big or small, after the post!

I saw an advert on ITV2. Seriously it was that simple. An image of Sam and Dean Winchester, closing the trunk of a car, and saying that they had work to do. The strapline was *Scary just got sexy* or something like that. Oh my, those boys were pretty, but I am the biggest wuss out there with horror films. But… SCARY was very SEXY. Hubby and I mainlined season 1, and season 2 and I was HOOKED. This was 2007 and I was a year behind the US and had a LONG wait for Season 3…

So I went searching online for people who had written Supernatural stories to extend the universe. I found a forum called Sinful Desire and read a few fics that had been written based on the show. Then I saw something where you could select Jensen and Jared from the dropdowns as *in a relationship* and I was like *WAIT* that is two me… that sounds… yum… so off I go… and I read it all. Then I thought, I want to write this. And the rest is history.

Supernatural fan fiction is responsible for me writing, and is ultimately responsible for RJ. Now that is one big left turn at the fork in the road!

Have you experienced something like this? Found your true calling by accident?

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Retrograde FinalBlurb: 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 goes home to hide, back to the small Scottish town he grew up in and to his family home.

Rory Kendrick watches the news, sees every hour of the disaster unfold but never thinks that Lachlan was in the middle of it all. Or that his friend will be forced to come back home to hide and to heal. What Lachlan needs is a friend, not a lover, but sometimes the lines are just too blurred to make any sense.

Buy links can be found at: RJ Scott’s Blog

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Excerpt: Lachlan picked up the shirt Abigail had dropped on his bed, wincing and struggling to get the damn thing on. Every single muscle in his body ached. Rory helped him a little but quickly stood back.

“You need to let us know the minute you recall anything,” Winterson insisted.

“Does my client give you the impression he is hiding anything?” Abigail pressed.

“Your client gives me the impression he’s running away.”

Winterson’s voice dripped with derision and Rory was right up in his face, his hands tensed into fists.

Please stop arguing. “You told me I was free to go, that this was my way of escaping,” Lachlan said tiredly.

Another barked noise of disrespect from Winterson, and Rory looked another step closer to beating the man to a pulp. “Escaping from the journalists, yes, from all the people blaming you for murder by plane, yes, but from your employers, no.”

Lachlan slipped his feet into the shoes and they pinched, but they were close enough in size. He didn’t need to keep them on in the damn car.

“We’ll be at my place outside Dalkey, two hours south of here,” Rory said to Abigail.

Lachlan picked up the cell Abigail had given him and pocketed it.

“I’m warning you, the press are like wolves,” she said.

“They sense a story being hidden,” Winterson added. His tone was snide and judgmental, and Rory snapped.

Rory grasped Winterson’s shirt, twisted his fist in the material, and pressed him up on his toes against the wall. “You’d better keep it looking like Lachlan is still here and hope to hell they don’t follow us, because if they do….” Rory shook Winterson a little.

If Lachlan’s head weren’t so confused, he would have laughed. No one messed with Rory Kendrick.

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RJ ScottAbout the Author: RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Links: Email | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Library Thing | Tumblr | Pinterest

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Hidden Wolf Blog Tour With Sue Brown

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The Novel Approach welcomes Sue Brown today on the Hidden Wolf blog tour. Sue joins us to chat a bit about her passion for werewolves, and is also offering the chance for one lucky reader the chance at a $15 Amazon/ARe Gift Card, winner’s choice. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

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I have to admit that I have a passion for werewolves. There’s something about their dual nature which appeals to me in a way that vampires don’t. That doesn’t mean to say that vampires don’t have their place but werewolves are raw and visceral, the human male combined with the animalistic nature of the wolves. Despite my reservations over the Twilight saga I thought the men/wolves pack was portrayed very well.

Of course in the M/M genre the shifters tend to be fit, young and handsome. It would be defeating the romance angle if we didn’t play up the hotness. And they change into real wolves, not the monster werewolves of the movies.

I’ve not watched many werewolf films but they all seem to change into something butt ugly. Except butts aren’t really that ugly. At least the ones I write about. I am very keen on the fuzzy butt. Anyway… moving on…

What do you prefer? Monster werewolves or guys who live in a pack and change into wolves?

One day, I’ve promised myself I’m going to write an evil werewolf because you’ve just got to, haven’t you?

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Hidden WolfBlurb: Sheriff Milo Clarke has met his mate, Eli Watkins, and now they’re conducting a long distance relationship while Eli runs Cavalry, the security firm protecting Joe and Cal at the Sapphire Ranch from the hunters.

The long distance loving is hard on all three of them, Eli, Clarke and Clarke’s wolf, who is becoming more restless as Clarke refuses to shift. When Clarke going to give into the other side of him and how will Clarke and Eli resolve the distance between their lives?

Buy Links: Love Lane Books | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Sue BrownAbout the Author: Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has gotten expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

Contact Links: Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Google+ | Blog | Website| Email

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Summer House Blog Tour With RJ Scott

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The Novel Approach welcomes author RJ Scott today on the Summer House blog tour. Pour yourself a cuppa, enjoy RJ’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $15 Amazon or ARe Gift Card.

Good luck!

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The perfect cream tea

article-0-00002F2200000CB2-434_468x503Scones + clotted cream + jam + the perfect pot of English tea = heaven on a tray.

(In addition, a cream tea in a tea shop always tastes wonderful if you have had a wonderful warm day and you get inside just as a summer rain begins!)

As an expert in holidays to Devon the cream tea is something I grew up with. In modern times the typical Brit won’t spend the time to create the sit down afternoon tea idea, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love sitting in an ‘olde worlde tea shop’ (don’t sue me for using that term) with the perfect cream tea laid out in front of us.

There is great debate… when you open your scone what do you spread first? The jam or the cream? To me it’s simple, the jam goes first, then you scoop the clotted cream up onto the scone smothered in jam.

Never overdo it. Not too much jam and never more than one large scone. BUT… there is never a limit to the cream. Nope, no limit at all. With your scone ready to go you can deal with the tea (always in a tea pot and into a cup and saucer, or at the very least a china mug!). Now sit back and enjoy, with the requisite *Oh my god this is gorgeous* or *This is a lovely cup of tea* and of course the thing all Brits have to say by law *It’s not a holiday until you’ve had a cream tea*.

Liz’s tea shop focuses in the English Hearts series, and is based on a beautiful tea shop we visited in Broadway. The tea shop is run by the indomitable Liz with her amazing grasp of local gossip. I hope you enjoy visiting.

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English 1 the summer house jpgBlurb: Ashby Sebastian Sterling-Haynes has had a lot of boyfriends, but he’s never found the one.

The only person he can form an attachment to is his fourteen year old niece, and even that is in jeopardy when babysitting her cat goes all kinds of wrong.

Veterinarian, Connor Lawson is much happier working with animals than with people. He has deliberately returned home and to the Summer House he recalled from childhood holidays for peace and quiet and the chance to heal from wounds no one would ever see.

When his next door neighbor comes into the practice with a cat that has been in a fight he hides in his office because this Ashby guy is all kinds of dangerous. Too hot, too rich, too titled, and way too sexy for his own good.

Can two men who refuse to believe in love ever learn that love is the easy part of the journey to forever?

Release Date: May 29, 2015 | Buy Links HERE

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RJ ScottAbout the Author: RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Social Links and Contacts: Email | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Library Thing | Tumblr | Pinterest

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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French and Italian Translations and Audiobook: Guarding Morgan by RJ Scott

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Blurb: Morgan Drake witnesses a murder in an alleyway. He is the only person who can give evidence in prosecuting the cop responsible for the crime. When the FBI safe house where he’s being held is compromised, he follows the instructions of his agent in charge and runs.

Nik Valentinov works for Sanctuary, a foundation that offers witness protection when FBI security is questionable.

When Morgan’s handler sends him to Nik for safety, neither Morgan nor Nik could imagine that two weeks alone in a cabin in the woods could start something more. Something way more than just trying to keep Morgan alive. Something that makes their heart race more than danger…… Love.

French Translation details and Buylinks | Italian translation details and Buylinks | Audio details and Buylinks

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Buy Links – eBook: Love LaneBooks  | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | All Romance | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Buy Links – Print Book: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Sanctuary Series: 

Book 1 – Guarding Morgan
Book 2 – The Only Easy Day
Book 3 – Face Value
Book 4 – Still Waters
Book 5 – Full Circle
Book 6 – The Journal Of Sanctuary One
Book 7 – Worlds Collide

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RJ ScottAuthor Bio: RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

rj@rjscott.co.uk | www.rjscott.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/Rjscott_author 
www.facebook.com/author.rjscott 
www.librarything.com/author/scottrj
www.tumblr.com/blog/rjscott  (some NSFW (not safe for work) photos)
www.pinterest.com/rjscottauthor/

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Interview and Giveaway: Max and the Prince by RJ Scott

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TNA: Hi, RJ, I’m so glad to have you back with us today at The Novel Approach. For those who may be newer to the gay romance genre and don’t know you quite as well as others of us, why don’t we start by having you tell us a bit about yourself?

RJ: Hi, guys, thank you for having me. My name is RJ Scott and I am the author of over seventy-five published stories of MM gay romance. I am a full time writer and have been writing five years. I’m probably best known for the Texas series, Sanctuary, Ellery Mountain, and probably The Christmas Throwaway.

TNA: I remember the very first of your books I ever read and reviewed way back in 2010, Oracle. Was that your first published novel? I know you’ve since re-released it in 2013 via Love Lane Books. What was it like for you to revisit the book? Did you find yourself doing some revisions to it, using the experience you’ve gained over the years to polish it up a bit?

RJ: I remember you reviewing Oracle. It was singularly the most wonderful and terrifying thing that has ever happened to me. I recall you liked it and I was blown away! I did rewrite the book when I got it back, just to extend the romance more, and up the action scenes. I also had it re-edited which was a good thing. It was an amazing experience to revisit the book, then to write the sequel, Book Of Secrets. I adore Alex and Luke, in fact Alex is one of my all time favorite characters I have written.

TNA: I’ve been ordered to ask you this, so I’m going to do it for Lana before I forget. It seems some readers aren’t quite ready to be done with Zach and Ben. Will there ever be a sequel to The Christmas Throwaway, or is their story pretty well all said and done?

RJ: I get three questions all the time. Will there be a Sanctuary 8 (yes, later this year), will there be any more Texas (yes, Texas Wedding will happen when Texas recognizes gay marriage), and last but by no means least, will there be a sequel to The Christmas Throwaway.

Alongside The Heart Of Texas, Throwaway is my best selling book. I could write a sequel but it wouldn’t be right. I know, stop shouting at me, I said I would try and I even have a story for them… but… it just isn’t happening. Every time I start considering a sequel it just doesn’t seem right. So, my answer is maybe, one day, possibly, I might do… maybe.

TNA: Let’s talk a bit about your newest release, Max and the Prince. This is the third book in your Bodyguards Inc., series. What is it you find particularly romantic, sexy, appealing in general, about the relationships in these novels?

RJ: Oh, where do I start, sexy muscly bodyguards, all clever and tough and sighs… do you need me to go on… willing to take a bullet (or a knife!) for the men they are guarding. *Goes weak at the knees*. In the Ex-Factor I wrote an incredibly vulnerable character who needed a special kind of bodyguard, someone who would guard his body, but look after his heart as well. I’m sorry, but that is a win/win to me. :)

TNA: Tell us about Max and Prince Lucien. By virtue of Lucien’s royal status, would you call this an opposites attract story, or is it more the fairy tale of the royal falling for a commoner? What makes them work so well together as a couple?

RJ: Max is a down to earth guy, ex military, and often mistaken for being younger than he is, which means he’s ideal for the kind of *Jump Street* type assignment for younger charges. Lucien is only twenty two and he’s scared. He wanted the freedom of being at University without anyone knowing who he was, without an entourage, and for two years it’s been fine. Then the threats arrive. I suppose this is an opposites attract story, but yes, there is an element of a royal and a commoner… Lucien isn’t like a real royal, he doesn’t want the trappings, or the weight of responsibility, he just wants to be happy. We’ll have to see if Max can help out.

TNA: Would you like to share an excerpt from the book with us?

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RJ: UNEDITED!!!!!

“Okay, let me understand this. You’re a Prince, royalty,  but you imagined you could hide away and no one in the age of twitter and Facebook would put two and two together.”

“Prince is a title that’s all. My family doesn’t have the money one would think was attached to that. I’m maybe eightieth in line to the throne in the UK through my father’s side, but we’re not rich, in fact you could say we’re property rich, but cash poor.”

Max couldn’t get any of that to make sense. Why was someone blackmailing a family with no money, and wait, none of that answered his original question. “So why do you need a bodyguard.”

Lucien bit his lip. “I don’t think I do.” He held up a hand to stop Max talking at the very much to the point statement. “The threats,” he said. He passed over another envelope and this time Max pulled out everything. Eight separate letters in individual plastic wrappers with the stamp of Cardiff police on three of them and a familiar country name on the other. So that is where Prince Lucien comes from. “They’re in order,” he said. “The first five sent to my home before I moved here.”

Max read the first one, a love letter, albeit a short one. Nothing much that would ping his radar. The second was a little more insistent, suggesting Lucien maybe hadn’t received the first. The third was angry, the fourth was where it got interesting. Abruptly the writer was threatening to release photos if Lucien didn’t respond to the letters.

“The same photos I assume,” Max summarised as he turned to the next letter and answered his own question. Crudely stapled to the missive was a black and white print of the blurred image Max had just looked at. With the words, ‘you think I didn’t know, whore?’ written in block capitals.

Lucien pointed at the writing. “We had checks done on handwriting as soon as this one came in and the threat was more real. All of the letters are a match for the sloping t’s or r’s or something.”

The fifth and sixth letters were more of the same, and from the Cardiff stamp Max assumed Lucien had received the letter at University and not home. So, the threat had followed the Prince to his school in a completely different country. Not good.

Letter seven rambled on for two pages, all in capitals, talking of betrayal and forever and love and desire. Max put it to one side to examine it later in more detail. Maybe he could garner something useful from the seemingly incoherent rambling. And he knew he would look. Something about this whole job put him on edge and he would be telling Kyle that he’d take the job. The last letter was on different paper, a cheap stock from the weight of it, a threat and a demand.

Love me or die.

Just that. A simple sentence, four words that were stone cold in their finality and intent.

“So?” Lucien began. “My parents want me home, I’m in my last year, I want to stay and the deal is that I have security. They sent Teddy over—he’s the head of security at home. But, you’ve seen him with his best impression of a hairless Hagrid and if he’s with me, nothing will be the same. I need someone who will just be with me. Can you help me? Will you?”

Max glanced up from the letters to see the resignation on Lucien’s face. It was like he was expecting Max to say no. Vulnerability shadowed his eyes and he grasped his hands together so tight the skin was white. Max’s heart won out over his head. Lucien wasn’t arrogant or expecting Max to say yes, he was defenceless and scared.

“I’ll help you.”

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TNA: If you were casting the roles of Max and Lucien for the movie version of Max and the Prince, whom would you choose to play them in the film?

RJ: Oh wow, that is a hard one… I don’t think I can even think of that one today as this is still a WIP as I write the answers here. Max is five nine with blond hair and blue eyes. Lucien is six foot with dark hair and really dark brown eyes… They both look around 22… so… maybe anyone reading this can suggest some names!

TNA: I mentioned Love Lane Books earlier. What was it that drew you into the publishing side of the business? How long has Love Lane existed, and how many authors do you currently publish?

RJ: Love Lane was created when I wrote my YA self published stories. Love Lane was the name of the road my first school was in, and it made sense as I write love stories. When *^&%”^% Publishing went tits up (English’ism) I decided to self publish all of my books from them (apart from Moments and Back Home which went to TB). Then, I had a few other authors who I loved and wanted to publish. Love Lane isn’t taking on authors, but we are slowly expanding with my writing and with existing authors. It’s been an exciting and daunting ride!

TNA: Would you like to share some information on what’s upcoming from both you and Love Lane in the near future?

RJ: I have SO MANY things happening this year. I have Undercover Lovers (Bodyguards 4, Ross and Kyle’s story), Deacons Law (Heroes 3), The Summer House which is the first in a new series of books set in the beautiful Cotswolds in England, Sanctuary 8, Sapphire Cay 6… see… a HUGE LIST… I’m also a featured speaker at the Euro Pride Con in Munich (meep), and am also attending GRL in San Diego and UK meet in Bristol. I have books coming out in Audio (April, Guarding Morgan) and translations (April, Guarding Morgan, French and Italian). See, a very busy year!

TNA: Many thanks for taking the time to be here with us today, RJ. Will you tell us where we can find you on the internet?

RJ: Of course… my website is www.rjscott.co.uk and my email is rj@rjscott.co.uk . Thank you so much for having me.

And Lisa, I have just one thing to say to you. Cheese.

RJ XXXXXXX

TNA: LOL! Okay, full disclosure, guys. RJ threatened at one point to answer all my questions with the word Cheese. Now I can’t stop thinking about which cheeses she’d cast as Max and Lucien in the movie version of the book. ;-)

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Max and the Prince 400x600Max and The Prince – Bodyguards Inc, book 3

Book 1 – Bodyguard To A Sex God
Book 2 – The Ex Factor

Bodyguard Max Connery is used to being mistaken for being younger than he is.

Being carded every time he buys a beer is usual. Even though he’s just turned twenty eight and has two tours in Afghanistan as a pilot under his belt.

When a threat is made on the life of a prince attending University in the UK, Max is the perfect choice to blend in with students and to keep Prince Lucien safe. Even if it means joining the swim team to be by his side.

But, when death visits the University, abruptly this job is a long way past keeping the prince happy and safe. Instead Max has to keep Lucien alive.

Buy Links HERE

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THE GIVEAWAY: A $15 Amazon or ARe Gift Card, Readers Choice!

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

Review: Bucket List by RJ Scott

Title: The Bucket List

Author: RJ Scott

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count: 134 Pages

At a Glance: A sad and bittersweet story about second chances at finding love.

Blurb: When Andrew Craig dies, he leaves his brother Jason a list of places that he wanted to visit but couldn’t. Attending a school reunion, London, Stonehenge, these are all on the list and Jason is determined to cross everything off and work through his grief at the same time.

Closeted soap actor Mark Wesley is shocked when a blast from the past looks him up, and devastated when he realizes he will never have a chance to make things right.

Together Jason and Mark agree to work on the list. But what happens when Jason and Mark grow closer, when passion and even love begins to grow?

Was this what Andrew wanted to happen all along between his brother and his friend?

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Review: I have read RJ Scott before and enjoyed the stories, so I really loved the whole idea of The Bucket List – two men who knew each other in their youth, reunited to carry out the last wishes of their brother/best friend. It was a tender, sweet story that shared the grief of the two men as they followed Andrew’s wishes.

SPOILER: Hover to reveal

Outside of this, though, I loved the romance that develops between Jason and Mark. The way they stand up for each other, and how their relationship evolves, is just sweet. Mark’s coming out as they fulfill Andrew’s bucket list was fantastic.

I enjoyed the epilogue as well. SPOILER: Hover to reveal The epilogue also shows the life Jason and Mark have built over the years and was just a wonderful wrap up to the entire story.

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Guest Post and Giveaway: Theory Unproven by Lillian Francis

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The Novel Approach is please to welcome Lillian Francis on the Theory Unproven blog tour. Enjoy Lillian’s guest post and excerpt from the book, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $15 Gift Card at Amazon or ARe, and two free e-books.

Good luck!

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Wishes do come true Or How I got to work with Meredith Russell

I first met Meredith on the same day I finally met RJ in person. They were manning the desk at the UK Meet in Bristol and, having arrived alone, they took pity on me and let me tag along at coffee breaks and lunchtime.

When book signing time came around, with no paper books to offer to the masses, Meredith and I left RJ to her hordes of adoring fans and went off for a wander around the conference room.

As we passed various tables strewn with row upon row of shiny, unblemished books Meredith started pointing out covers that she had designed and put together. I was more than a little awestruck, and impressed enough to demand why she hadn’t set up a stall with samples of her work.

On returning home one of the first things I did was to check out Meredith’s portfolio. I vowed that should I ever self-publish any of my work, she would be my artist of choice. We emailed on another matter and I mentioned how I could see her style working perfectly for the cover of Theory Unproven.

You can imagine my delight when I signed the contract with Love Lane Books and found that Meredith would be my cover artist. We both already had an inkling of what I wanted and her first draft apparently grabbed the ideas out of my head and put them on a book cover in front of me. The only things that needed tweaking were the models we planned to use for Tyaan and Eric.

One weekend, a flurry of emails, and itchy eyes from looking at far too many muscly, unshaven blonds and cheeky dark-haired guys and we’d pinned down the two models (not literally, although I wouldn’t complain).

Two days later and the final version appeared in my emails almost exactly as I had envisioned it in my head while writing the book.

For readers, while they can remember authors they enjoyed, can the same be said for cover artists?

Do you really notice the names of hard working individuals who have to put up with picky authors being precious about their characters’ appearance? (Picky? Me? Yeah, I actually dropped this gem on Meredith: ‘Long haired blond guy is one of those models that freaks me out. He’s got this strange stare thing going on.’)

Or do you have a favourite cover artist?

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Theory Unproven 400x600Blurb: Working with elephants in their natural habitat has always been Eric Phillips dream. Getting what he’s always desired introduces him to Tyaan Bouwer, the bush pilot that flies in his supplies, and Eric discovers the allure of South Africa goes beyond the wildlife and the scenery.

But in an area where bushveld prejudices and hatred bleed across the borders, realising their love will be a hard fought battle. Keeping hold of it might just kill them.

Buy links will appear at Love Lane Books

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Excerpt: Eric took the opportunity to study the flesh exposed to him, smoother and a shade lighter than the hairy tanned skin on the top of Tyaan’s forearms, with a dark blue vein that stood out at the wrist. Muscle and tendons shifted beneath the skin and then, just as he was considering leaning forward to place his lips on Tyaan’s pulse point, the vision disappeared. Tyaan took a step away, his eyes wide, and for a moment Eric thought he glimpsed trepidation in their amber depths, but he didn’t have the time to process what he’d seen.

“The sun’s a killer in these parts,” Tyaan said, as if the last few sexual-tension-filled minutes had never happened. “Always wear your hat.”

Unsure of how to respond, Eric nodded mutely.

“A drop means that I land the plane.” Tyaan flicked his thumb over his shoulder in a completely unnecessary gesture, which Eric would have called him on but for the impression that Tyaan was attempting to cover his awkwardness. It didn’t help that Tyaan appeared to be addressing his comments to a point just over Eric’s left shoulder. “You’ll need to be here to meet me to load your vehicle and sign the docket.”

Yeah, the delivery. Eric had completely forgotten about that. On the crates and boxes to his right, Eric noticed a clipboard and pen. Moving over to the pile of supplies, Eric checked that the number of crates on the delivery note matched the ones piled in front of him and signed his name with a flourish.

“All done.” In an attempt to get back that unexpected intimacy, Eric glanced back over his shoulder. Tyaan’s gaze seemed to skitter away from Eric’s general direction. He turned to face Tyaan again, then handed him the clipboard. “Sorry. For being late. Not knowing procedure.”

The pilot’s eyes searched him out again, maybe drawn by the sincerity of his words—he truly was sorry—and Eric held the gaze for as long as Tyaan would allow.

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Author BioAbout the Author: An avid reader, Lillian Francis was always determined she wanted to write, but a ‘proper’ job and raising a family distracted her for over a decade. Over the years and thanks to the charms of the Internet, Lillian realized she’d been writing at least one of her characters in the wrong gender. Ever since, she’s been happily letting her ‘boys’ run her writing life.

Lillian now divides her time between family, a job and the numerous men in her head all clamouring for ‘their’ story to be told.

Lillian lives in an imposing castle on a wind-swept desolate moor or in an elaborate ‘shack’ on the edge of a beach somewhere depending on her mood, with the heroes of her stories either chained up in the dungeon or wandering the shack serving drinks in nothing but skimpy barista aprons.

In reality, she would love to own a camper van and to live by the sea.

You can read more about Lillian here: Blog | Facebook | Twitter

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3.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Liam Livings, Love Lane Books, Reviewed by Lynn

Review: And Then That Happened by Liam Livings

Title: And Then That Happened

Author: Liam Livings

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count: 273 Pages

At a Glance: This was my first time reading Liam Livings. I didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by this story.

Blurb: Should you settle for a nearly perfect happiness or put your heart on the line for more?

It’s 1999 and 28-year-old Dominic’s carefully planned suburban life with his boyfriend Luke is perfect. His job as a nurse, his best friend Matt, his relationship with his parents, everything is just right. He and Luke have been together ten years, seen each other through friends’ deaths and their parents’ ups and downs, and even had a commitment ceremony.

Gabe isn’t happy with his boyfriend, but he stays with him, because, well it’s complicated.

Fate throws Gabe into Dominic’s life. And then that happened. Gabe’s open relationship, impulsive nature, enthusiasm for life and straight talking advice are fascinating to Dominic. They’re friends, they click over a shared love of Goldie Hawn and Gabe shows Dominic there can be more to life than planned and safe. So why can’t he take his own advice?

And Then That Happened is about finding a new kind of happiness, even when what you have is already perfect. And how sometimes perfect isn’t quite what it seems.

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Review: This was my first time reading Liam Livings. I didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by this story. I will first start off by saying this book is definitely not the typical read we see in this genre. It took me a while to really get into it. About halfway through, it picked up enough to keep me interested in what was going to happen and see it through to the end.

Have you ever been in a long relationship? A relationship that is going smoothly and everything is just fine? That is, until you meet a person who makes you question everything about your world. Dominic and his partner Luke have been together for ten years. They’ve been married for six of those years. They own a house and a dog, are content with each other, they have a routine that works for them and everything seems to be perfect, until Dominic meets Gabe.

The entire story is told through Dominic’s POV, so we aren’t privy to the feelings and thoughts of the other characters. Usually, getting one person’s POV doesn’t bother me, but I would’ve loved getting Luke’s perspective. While Dominic is running around with Gabe, going to dinners, meeting up for drinks, attending concerts, even meeting Gabe’s family, I kept wondering, “where’s Luke in all this?” Nothing pointed to Luke being a bad person, and I felt bad for the guy. I found I was putting myself in his shoes and thinking about how I would feel if my husband was going out, “dating”. Because let’s be honest here, this is what was happening.

I wasn’t too fond of the clunky flashbacks into Dominic’s childhood. I get the point the author was trying to make with them and understand why he included them, it just didn’t flow well for me at all. I’m a huge fan of flashbacks, but here they were very abrupt and discombobulated.

As for Gabe and Dominic, it was a platonic friendship. Physical cheating, no. Emotional cheating, most definitely. Now, I’m not for cheating of any kind, and now that I’ve had a few weeks to think about this book, emotional cheating is just as bad. As soon as I came to terms to what was really happening in this story, I was sad. To find out this character who should’ve been happy to have an apparently loving husband, a home, a good job, etc., really wasn’t happy at all, it was just saddening to me. While I would have done everything so differently if I was in Dominic’s shoes, it was interesting to go along with him as he struggled with what he should do about his lot in life.

As I read a story I usually take it for what the author intended. I appreciated this story even though I wasn’t really liking what the characters were doing. I think this tells the story of a lot of people in the world. Being in a marriage because it’s comfortable, thinking this is it until something or someone happens in your life. It’s got to be a bitter pill to swallow. For me this was Dominic. The journey he must take to come to the realization that he may want something different in life is a story for everyone. I think the author does Dominic’s story a great justice, even though I didn’t agree with every decision he made.

I’m not giving anything away by saying that this story does have a happy ending, in its own happy ending way. Do Gabe and Dominic end up together? Will Dominic find the spark that’s missing from his marriage with Luke? You’ll just have to read it and find out.






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Book Blast and Giveaway: The Bucket List by RJ Scott

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RJ Scott joins us today on a book blast blog tour for her latest release, The Bucket List. Enjoy the excerpt, then be sure to enter for the chance to win a $15 Gift Card from Amazon or ARe. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below.

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Excerpt: “You should write to the studio, sir. Meanwhile, you may want to go stand over there. Some of the actors will be out later to see their adoring fans as per usual.” The guard sounded firm at first, but the second part of the sentence was dripping with sarcasm.

“I’m not a fan,” Jason protested. He looked over again at the chattering women. A couple were staring at him and pointing. Shuffling his feet and suddenly feeling uncomfortable, he wondered where to start to explain so he could get in. “I tried to find out where Mark lived and wanted to track down his family…” He stopped. I sound like some kind of creepy stalker fan. “Look, can you just maybe give him a note for me?”

Bill looked like he was ten seconds away from calling the cops on Jason. That would be just freaking great. How would he explain an arrest record for stalking to the education board when he was back at school? Finally Bill motioned toward a pile of books and notes and teddies that sat on the chair in his small hut.

“You can add a note to the pile.”

The pile? Jason didn’t have time for a note to be added to any kind of disorganized heap. He had exactly two days to get in, talk to Mark, and get him to agree to number one on his brother’s crazy-assed bucket list. The reunion is Saturday. We need to get home.

“If you could move away, sir,” Bill said.

Part of Jason wanted to take a stand and not move, but rebellion wasn’t really part of his makeup and he walked a few steps back. A voice to his side had Jason twisting on his heel.

“Excuse me, my friend made me come over.” Jason faced one of the women from the group. He forced a mask of civility into place. Never let it be said his mom didn’t raise him right. “She thinks you are that Scottish guy from Days. You know, the one with the stepparents who turned out to be practicing voodoo and who ended up kidnapping the sister with the twins.”

“I’m sorry—”

“I said you weren’t him and that you were actually a lot better-looking than the Scottish guy whose name I forget, Niall or Nick or something. Also, up close, you look way younger.” She tilted her head and let out a soft tinkling laugh, then placed a hand flat on his jacket. Jason instantly stepped backward. He wasn’t sure what Days was, but it didn’t sound like a good thing, not the way the rest of the group of women were staring at him like he was a side of beef on sale at the market.

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the bucket list 400x600Blurb: When Andrew Craig dies, he leaves his brother Jason a list of places that he wanted to visit but couldn’t. Attending a school reunion, London, Stonehenge, these are all on the list and Jason is determined to cross everything off and work through his grief at the same time.

Closeted soap actor Mark Wesley is shocked when a blast from the past looks him up, and devastated when he realizes he will never have a chance to make things right.

Together Jason and Mark agree to work on the list. But what happens when Jason and Mark grow closer, when passion and even love begins to grow?

Was this what Andrew wanted to happen all along between his brother and his friend?

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | All Romance eBooks | Kobo

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RJ ScottAbout the Author: RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over sixty titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Social Media Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Library Thing | Pinterest | Email

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5 Stars, Fairy Tale/Mythology/Folk Lore, Love Lane Books, Meredith Russell, Reviewed by Jennifer

Review: Just Jack by Meredith Russell

Title: Just Jack

Author:  Meredith Russell

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Pages/Word Count: 149 Pages

At a Glance: Wonderfully written characters and a beautiful world where magic exists

Blurb: When the line between fairy tales and magic, and the real world become blurred, can love really conquer anything?

Leo Marsh is having a bad day. He just caught his boyfriend cheating on him, and not for the first time, then he falls, quite literally, for a man who has to be too good to be true…. When Leo slips and falls on some ice in front of Jack, Jack sees something all too familiar in Leo’s eyes. For over fifty years, Jack has existed in a solitary life of ice and bitterness. Just like Leo, he was betrayed by a man he loved, and swore no one would ever break his heart again: he gave up on love, and it seemed love had given up on him.

But if by fate or magic, Jack and Leo find their paths crossing for a second time, and with a little guidance from friends, dare to take a chance on each other. The problem is, Jack isn’t the charming and uncomplicated guy Leo thinks he is. When Jack gave away his ability to love, he became something else, someone cold and unloving. He became Jack Frost.

As Jack and Leo get closer, Jack is left torn and confused. Jack yearns for anything that reminds him of his humanity, but the truth is, he feels nothing, not warmth, not love, and he knows he might never be able to love Leo the way he deserves to be loved.

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Review: First off let me just say I love the cover of this novel. It’s stunning and fits the story so perfectly. The color is so eye-catching and really makes me think of Jack’s eyes, which are described often throughout the story and captivate Leo. And the cover model? Gorgeous.

With that out of the way, I have a confession to make. I adore the character Jack Frost and have had a mild obsession with him since watching Rise of the Guardians when it came out. I’m not ashamed to admit it. However, it was nice to see in a recent interview with the author that she, too, enjoyed the character, and this book is a result from that.

I loved it. Jack Frost might be a popular winter character in folk tales, but Russell gives him a new story. This Jack is not the only Frost out there, but one of many. He is a man who finds himself with a heart of ice after he gives up on love and is then doomed to exist forever without love.

The story broke my heart and had me tearing up often. I also laughed a lot, because while heartbreaking, Jack has a mischievous spirit which follows along with the tales many of us are familiar with.

And then there’s Leo. The book opens with him catching his boyfriend of several years cheating. Despite what should be a clear way out, Leo is torn because this isn’t the first time Mac has cheated. It’s the first time he’s caught him, but it has happened before, and he still loves him. After leaving, he runs into Jack—Just Jack—who helps him when he slips on the ice and hits his head.

Totally Jack’s fault, by the way.

While the two of them are attracted to each other and Leo wants more, there’s just one problem: how can a man with a frozen heart love someone? A man who cannot even feel the warmth of a human body? Oh yeah, and there’s one other teensy tiny problem with the whole magic ice thing: Leo doesn’t know who Jack really is.

This book really was fantastic. I loved the reimagining of the Jack Frost story, and what made it special was the idea that many Jacks exist, not just one. In fact, I would love to see more stories about Jack Frost from this author. Some people might think that would be repetitive, considering the characters would have the same name, but really, the possibilities are endless! Russell has taken a well-known story and made it her own with wonderfully written characters and a beautiful world where magic exists.

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Guest Post and Giveaway: Just Jack by Meredith Russell

Just Jack

The Novel Approach welcomes author Meredith Russell today on the Just Jack blog tour. Enjoy Meredith’s take on Jack Frost, then be sure to enter for your chance to win a $15 Amazon or ARe gift card and two free e-books by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

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I love fantasy stories. I love people with powers. I love fairytales.

The idea of Just Jack came about in 2013 after watching Rise of the Guardians. It was the first time I’d really considered Jack Frost as more than just a line from a Christmas song or a character in movies and books based on more malevolent actions of ice and cold and trickery.

I had been looking to write something ‘sweeter’ than my other fantasy books. Though there are relationships, romance and sex isn’t always the priority when my characters are battling werewolves and zombies. So with Jack, I felt he was a character that could still satisfy my desire to write supernatural beings, but the story could focus more heavily on the two men and their romance.

And there it was, a story idea and my version of who Jack Frost was – a romantic lead with a human, vulnerable side.

~Meredith

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Just-Jack 400x600Blurb: When the line between fairy tales and magic, and the real world become blurred, can love really conquer anything?

Leo Marsh is having a bad day. He just caught his boyfriend cheating on him, and not for the first time, then he falls, quite literally, for a man who has to be too good to be true….

When Leo slips and falls on some ice in front of Jack, Jack sees something all too familiar in Leo’s eyes. For over fifty years, Jack has existed in a solitary life of ice and bitterness. Just like Leo, he was betrayed by a man he loved, and swore no one would ever break his heart again: he gave up on love, and it seemed love had given up on him.

But if by fate or magic, Jack and Leo find their paths crossing for a second time, and with a little guidance from friends, dare to take a chance on each other. The problem is, Jack isn’t the charming and uncomplicated guy Leo thinks he is. When Jack gave away his ability to love, he became something else, someone cold and unloving. He became Jack Frost.

As Jack and Leo get closer, Jack is left torn and confused. Jack yearns for anything that reminds him of his humanity, but the truth is, he feels nothing, not warmth, not love, and he knows he might never be able to love Leo the way he deserves to be loved.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Love Lane Books

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Excerpt: Cramming his hands in his jacket pockets, Jack looked at the ground, and with the toe of his boot, he drew a circle in the snow. Adding eyes and a smile, Jack admired his masterpiece for a moment. It wasn’t quite right. He crouched and held his hand over the simple drawing. Slowly, he pulled back his hand. The soft flakes quivered. He teased the snow, rearranging the picture, then straightened up. The image’s smile was gone, replaced with a frown.

“Hello, Jack,” he said to the drawn face.

With a heavy sigh, he dragged his foot across the image, wiping the sidewalk clear. If only it was that easy to wipe away the morose feeling from inside him.

He rubbed a hand over his face and took a deep breath. There was a smile on his lips as he looked ahead at the elderly gentleman making his way toward him.

“Too cruel?” he asked himself.

Maybe. Jack smiled. Or maybe not. He wiggled his fingers and felt the cold air surge between them. This was who he was—the bringer of mishaps, ice, and mischief, and of the frost on the window panes.

He was Jack Frost.

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Author BioAbout the Author: Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing. Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.

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