2.5 Stars, Allison Cassatta, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Kade Boehme, Narration Rating - 4 Stars, Reviewed by Kathie

Audio Review: We Found Love by Kade Boehme and Allison Cassatta – Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: We Found Love

Authors: Kade Boehme and Allison Cassatta

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo

Run Time: 7 Hours and 23 Minutes

At a Glance: Michael Ferraiuolo gave a great performance, but not great enough to overcome my issues with the characters.

Reviewed By: Kathie

Blurb: It’s no surprise Riley Connors is dealing with issues. He was kidnapped as a young boy, and his parents abandoned him after his newsworthy return. He bounced from foster home to facility and back.

Now an adult, ghosts from his past continue to haunt him. After a suicide attempt, he is locked away in Hartfield so that people can make him tune in to emotions he has tried to bury.

Hunter Morgan had the kind of love that spans ages. But the stress of college and adulthood became too much to handle, and the love of Hunter’s life turned to drugs. After he overdoses, Hunter finds himself soaring out of control on the same miserable path. His brother finds him and calls an ambulance, and the sister Hunter would rather not have calls it a suicide attempt, landing Hunter in Hartfield.

Finding love isn’t easy, but it can happen under the direst circumstances. Together Hunter and Riley may be able to grow from their pain. But they will need to learn to live for themselves, letting love come second.

Dividers

Review: I really wanted to like We Found Love, but, unfortunately, I didn’t like ninety percent of this story. Riley Connors was too whiny, I mean really whiny, and I just can’t stand weak and whiny characters, no matter the justification. Most of the time he sounded like an adolescent, and I do know what that sounds like!

The ten percent I did like, in spite of the fact I never really bonded with Riley or Hunter (which could be my own problem rather than a reflection of the writing skills of Kade Boehme and Allison Cassatta), was when Riley left the treatment center and took control of his destiny. I also liked listening to the few moments that Riley and Hunter had together in the vacated wing of the treatment center. Those scenes were sensual and filled with a lot of descriptive detail.

My opinion of this audiobook is that the narrator, Michael Ferraiuolo, gave a great performance. He used distinct voices for each character which, when listening to an audiobook in the car, is very much appreciated as it’s a lot easier to follow the story. I will make a point to look for his name in the future. His performance adds a lot to the story, and the ending was great—the road trip HEA ending gets me every time. But be warned—whiny boys are running amuck throughout the story.

TNA_Signature_Kathie

 

 

 

You can buy We Found Love here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Audible.com

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Allison Cassatta, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Kade Boehme, Reviewed by Janet

Review: We Found Love by Kade Boehme and Allison Cassatta

Title: We Found Love

Author: Kade Boehme & Allison Cassatta

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 214 Pages

At a Glance: Sometimes two authors will write a book together, and one plus one really equals more.

Reviewed By: Janet

Blurb: It’s no surprise Riley Connors is dealing with issues. He was kidnapped as a young boy, and his parents abandoned him after his newsworthy return. He bounced from foster home to facility and back. Now an adult, ghosts from his past continue to haunt him. After a suicide attempt, he is locked away in Hartfield so that people can make him tune in to emotions he has tried to bury.

Hunter Morgan had the kind of love that spans ages. But the stress of college and adulthood became too much to handle, and the love of Hunter’s life turned to drugs. After he overdoses, Hunter finds himself soaring out of control on the same miserable path. His brother finds him and calls an ambulance, and the sister Hunter would rather not have calls it a suicide attempt, landing Hunter in Hartfield.

Finding love isn’t easy, but it can happen under the most dire circumstances. Together Hunter and Riley may be able to grow from their pain. But they will need to learn to live for themselves, letting love come second.

Dividers

Review: Sometimes two authors will write a book together, and one plus one really equals more. Kade Boehme and Allison Cassatta have written a very powerful story that tugs on our emotions, one that makes us cringe and cry, but one that has hope. First, our hope is that Riley and Hunter can just heal and get out of Hartfield, then we hope they can be happy and healthy individuals, and finally we hope they can trust in and enjoy the love they fall into.

The beginning of the story explodes off the pages; it is dark and very dramatic. We are sucked into the story quickly. Riley is a troubled young man who, we come to discover, has been abandoned into the care of a mental health facility. Landing in Hartfield is Hunter, a bit of a wastrel, who has self-medicated himself into an involuntary rehab session after a suspected suicide attempt. These two men have an intense introduction that sets the stage for the next few weeks they will be together.

This is not your everyday romance novel, and the authors are careful with the pace of the story, giving us time to absorb the realities of the hospital and the history they each have, but still allowing the glimpses of hope and attraction to build up and creating a sense of anticipation for the reader. I am pleased with the respect shown by the authors in their descriptions of the mental illnesses of the characters in this book. They were blunt but not crude, and it added to the realism of the story without being gratuitous. The focus remained positively on the attraction between Riley and Hunter throughout the story and also emphasised the hope we felt.

I actually found this to be a fairly quick read. I enjoyed the dialogue in the book, modern and snarky, reflecting the characters well. The character development and the realistic descriptions of the hospital, and the routines inside of it, worked together to create a believable setting for the story. The instant connection between the MCs was allowed to grow deeper at a believable pace, not an insta-love situation but rather an intense bond that had the possibility of becoming love. When Hunter is discharged, leaving Riley behind, the exchange of letters lets us see the growth each MC goes through, developing skills to manage life and their own good mental health. I found myself grinning madly when Hunter and Riley were reunited, and I could easily see their HFN growing one step at a time into a HEA.






You can buy We Found Love here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Allison Cassatta, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Lynn

Allison Cassatta’s “The Final Seduction” Brings Sin & Seduction To A Close – Reviewed by Lynn


“Miracles need people as much as people need miracles.” ― Amy Neftzger


Title: The Final Seduction (Sin & Seduction: Book Three)

Author: Allison Cassatta

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 230 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Sin & Seduction is closing its doors for good, and Dorian Grant’s being arrested for murder. The world has finally spun off its axis, and everybody involved has a role to play.
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Allison Cassatta, Dreamspinner Press, RainbowCon

Allison Cassatta Is With Us Today With Another RainbowCon Celebration Giveaway!



There are only ten more days to go before the first annual Rainbow Convention kicks off in Tampa, Florida, so to celebrate the countdown, Allison Cassatta is offering the chance for one lucky reader to win an e-copy of all three books in her Sin & Seduction series. That’s Sin & Seduction, Lies & Seduction, and the just released final chapter in the trilogy, The Final Seduction.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Sin & Seduction: Book One

Dorian Grant is king of the New Orleans underworld, but he isn’t mafia and doesn’t appreciate the assumption. He’s simply a crude businessman anyone in his right mind would think twice about screwing over. Life in the Big Easy is all about sin, and violent, short-tempered Dorian has committed them all.

But not all New Orleans sins leave a bad taste in the mouth, as Dorian discovers the night a man stage-named Sweet Heat dances into his life at a club called Sin & Seduction. Dorian was expecting a hot lay. He damn sure wasn’t looking for a relationship, and certainly not with someone like Jansen, who turns Dorian’s grimly organized world upside down.

Now Dorian finds himself pressuring Jansen to quit his job because he can’t stand the thought of other men touching what’s his. Of course, Jansen wants a little quid pro quo—after all, Dorian’s job is dangerous. Jansen just doesn’t realize how dangerous until it’s too late.

Sin & Seduction: Book Two

Jason’s life sucks. First Jansen, the best friend he was in love with, gets married to a man Jason considers the scum of the earth. Then he has to deal with a coworker with a mad crush on him. He manages a deli during the day and the stage of a nightclub at night. For him, chaos is a way of life—nothing could possibly make it worse. Until he meets a presumably straight local celebrity at the club and his real problems begin.

Bradley Britt has it all: fame, a house in the suburbs, a wife, and a new baby daughter. Nobody knows it’s all a cover to hide who he really is. Jason is pure temptation for him, and he fears their first hookup won’t be the last. Even knowing he is risking his counterfeit world can’t stop him from falling for Jason. Complete honesty will endanger everything Bradley has worked for—but facing the facts is the only chance he has at true happiness.

Sin & Seduction: Book Three

Sin & Seduction is closing its doors for good, and Dorian Grant’s being arrested for murder. The world has finally spun off its axis, and everybody involved has a role to play.

In the midst of this tragedy and strife, “Golden Boy” Lance moves his heart out of no-man’s-land, thanks to a Portuguese beauty, Davi “Amante Quente,” who shakes his sweet little physique all over Sin & Seduction’s stage. But Lance can’t consider a future with someone else until he faces the issues that have kept him out of relationships in the past. His belief that love is a myth is high on that list.

Meanwhile, Jason’s relationship with Brad has turned surreally domestic. Their lives are consumed with raising Brad’s little girl. Couple that with the urgency of saving jobs, and Jason’s stress level skyrockets into the red.

Life looks grim for the Sin & Seduction crew, and it will take something close to a miracle to save them all.

Excerpt: The Final Seduction

“DORIAN GRANT, you’re under arrest for the murder of Leonard Antonio Cabrezzi.”

Dorian stood in the doorway, shoulders squared, chin held high, knowing good and well the law didn’t have a damn thing on him. Yeah, he knew Leonard Cabrezzi and had probably been seen throwing punches with the lowlife a time or two, but he sure as shit didn’t commit the crime the 5-0 were accusing him of.

Leo was the guy who’d shot Jansen and a general piece of shit in Dorian’s honest opinion. Leo’d had that bullet coming to him. Dorian’s only regret was not being the one to deliver.

“You have the right to remain silent,” the cop continued as he wrenched Dorian around by the arm. Damn near jerked it right out of the socket. “Anything you say can and will be—”

“Get the fuck off me,” Dorian demanded, yanking his arms back with a force strong enough to knock the cop right on his ass. The officer stumbled back a few steps, landing square against his partner’s chest.

With a growl, the obviously younger of the two jerked up and started forward, charging after Dorian so fast that when they connected, the force sent Dorian toppling back inside the house. The small of his back cracked the hard edge of this stupid, fancy foyer table his mom had bought back in the seventies but no one had the heart to get rid of. Damn thing was going to storage as soon as Dorian sorted all this crap out.

Pain erupted along Dorian’s backside. A stream of curses worthy of making a sailor flinch hurled from his lips. And while he wanted to tear that pig from limb to limb, Dorian had promised a long time ago to be a good boy, so he kept his hands to himself. Worst thing about all of this, he couldn’t keep Jansen from seeing any of it.

“You can’t come in here,” Dorian declared, jerking his torso and wrenching his arms. The weight of one man kept him pinned to the edge of the table. Dorian bucked and fought. Somehow they both ended up on the floor, tumbling around on the marble as if they were two kids in a schoolyard tussle.

Dorian could hardly move. The cop locked around him had him by a good fifty pounds and probably five inches of height, which didn’t sound like much until everyone was horizontal. Then, a body had a habit of turning to deadweight fast.

“Get the fuck off me!”

“Son,” the gray-haired cop standing over the fray in the floor said, “we can do what we want. We can tear this place apart and say we had a hard time findin’ ya. Know why?” Dorian glared, and the other man grinned wider as he held up a very official-looking document. “This here warrant says we can.”

The first cop pushed up off him, and Dorian lay with back flat against the floor, staring up at Jansen, who looked like he was about to burst into tears. Well, that just pissed Dorian right off. No one was going to come into his house, interrupt his romantic evening, and bring tears to his husband’s eyes. No way in hell.

“Fuck you, cop.” He pushed his elbows against the cool floor. “I want my lawyer.”

A boot connected with Dorian’s chest, putting him right back against the marble.

“Stop it!” Jansen screamed. “You’re hurting him!”

By God, the pain in Jansen’s voice was enough to crush Dorian’s hardened heart. By the look on his face and the glisten in his eyes, Jansen couldn’t deal with seeing Dorian being bullied the way he was. Dorian couldn’t deal with not soothing the man he loved.

At least the cops backed off. They didn’t help him up from the floor, but they stopped beating him down like a felon trying to resist. They left him lying there, sucking wind and holding his chest. By then, every inch of his body had started to throb. Older age was catching up, apparently. Revenge was looking rather tasty.

“Can I see the warrant?” Jansen asked rather calmly, holding out his hand.

Dorian knew damn well Jansen wouldn’t know the difference between a genuine, court-issued, judge-signed warrant for his arrest versus a fake made by one of Dorian’s many enemies. But he also knew that, if nothing else, his husband could put on a damn good show. That’s what he did. That’s what he was best at… performing.

The gray-haired officer slapped the paper against Jansen’s palm. Dorian climbed back to his feet and eased in next to his husband so he could look the paper over. Both cops kept one hand on their guns, as if Jansen or Dorian would do anything. Sure, Dorian had been a bad guy for a long time, but he’d backed off his criminal ways a while ago, even before they’d gotten married. He didn’t act like a freakin’ thug anymore. He was just a businessman who wanted to provide for his family.

“Dor,” Jansen said, voice quivering. “It’s the real thing.” He’d said it like a statement, but Dorian knew Jansen needed confirmation, that those trembling words were really a question Jansen needed to have answered. Dorian gave a little jerk of the chin, a subtle nod he knew Jansen would catch but everyone else would probably miss. “They have it signed by the judge and everything,” Jansen added for good measure. “You, um… you….”

As Dorian sucked in a breath so deep it made his big, tattooed chest expand, he closed his eyes and lowered his head, scrubbed his hand down his face, then exhaled. He had to resign himself to the idea of being behind bars. He’d come close to being thrown in jail before, and done enough shit to deserve a few years in prison, but the closest he’d ever come was a night here and there just to quench his temper. Nothing like this, though. Nothing close to being charged with murder.

“Fine,” Dorian said, raising his chin and squaring his shoulders. Being thrown in a cage like an animal didn’t scare him. He could protect himself. He hated the idea of losing his freedom, of not being able to keep Jansen safe, but he could do this with dignity.

“Baby, I need—”

“Can I at least get him a shirt?” Jansen asked in a low, shattered voice as if he hadn’t heard Dorian speaking at all.

“We should take him like this,” the younger cop said.

“No,” the gray-haired guy immediately responded. “There’s that stupid civil rights shit you rookies don’t know nothin’ ’bout.” He looked over at Jansen. “Make it quick. We ain’t waitin’ long.”

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A.E. Via, A.J. Corza, Allison Cassatta, Angel Martinez, Cardeno C., Cat Grant, GayRomLit, GotYouCovrd, Hayden Thorne, Heidi Belleau, Heidi Cullinan, L.A. Witt, Mary Calmes, Nicole Dennis, Rebecca Cohen, S.A. Meade, Sneak Peek

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had an outstanding week, and are gearing up for another.

We’ve been busy as can be around here these days, booking more great authors and reading more great books, and we’re looking forward to more great fun in the months to come. We’re building up the GayRomLit Countdown Celebration roster of authors, which Rhys Ford kicked off for us last month. I’m sure we’ll be adding more as the months move along, but here’s a list of confirmed authors you can watch for here at TNA between now and October:

Charlie Cochet | Daisy Harris | Edmond Manning | Ethan Day | Jaime Samms | LE Franks | Lex Chase | RJ Scott | Sophie Bonaste | Z.A. Maxfield | Jordan L. Hawk | Katey Hawthorne | Jamie Lynn Miller | Brandon Witt | Zathyn Priest | J.K. Hogan

How about that for a lineup? We’ll keep you posted on additions as the tour continues. But, for now, here’s what’s on tap for the coming week.

MondayAllison Cassatta is our lead-off guest today with a RainbowCon Celebration and Giveaway

Riptide Publishing presents a Spotlight Stop on Heidi Belleau’s Straight Shooter tour today, and there’s a Giveaway

Pride Promotions presents the Not in the Stars Anthology Blog Tour. We’ll have Angel Martinez here to represent, and there’ll be a tour-wide giveaway

TuesdayHayden Thorne comes back for a visit to talk about her newest release Banshee, and she’ll be giving away an e-copy of the book

Rebecca Cohen is also with us today, with a Backlist Book Bump and an e-copy giveaway of her book Servitude

WednesdayNicole Dennis stops by to join in the RainbowCon Celebration fun, and she’s offering a giveaway

A.E. Via is also with us today on her Nothing Special Blog Tour, and she’s got a giveaway too

And A.J. Corza’s back with another great installment of Got You Covered

ThursdayHeidi Cullinan makes TNA a stop on her Tough Love Blog Tour and she’s offering a giveaway

FridayCat Grant and L.A. Witt pair up and come calling on the Guarded Blog Tour, and there’s a giveaway

SaturdayCardeno C. and Mary Calmes are here on their Control Blog Tour. They let me interview Robert and Vy, and they’re giving away an e-copy of the book

SundayS.A. Meade is our guest today with a guest post about her newest release, Tournament of Shadows, and she’s giving away an e-copy of the book

And that brings another week to a close. Until next time, happy reading!

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Allison Cassatta, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Tina, Tracey Michael

“Beast” Is A Contemporary Retelling Of The Classic Tale – Reviewed by Tina


“… Love is what heals the personality. There is nothing that cannot be healed by love. There is nothing but love.” – Gary Zukav


Title: Beast

Author: Allison Cassatta & Tracey Michael

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 216 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Ara Costas has it all—riches, power, and the kind of beauty that attracts all the right people. He’s flying high and loves his life, until a serious car accident leaves him horribly scarred. Ara becomes an angry recluse, hiding away in his Chicago high-rise apartment, running his multimillion-dollar business from behind a computer screen.
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Allison Cassatta, Dreamspinner Press, Tracey Michael

How About A Beast Of A Giveaway? Tracey Michael and Allison Cassatta Have One For You.



Tracey and Allison would first love to thank the wonderful people at The Novel Approach for letting us take over their page for a moment, and their selfless contributions to the realm of gay romance.

As far as fairy tales go, Beauty and the Beast has to convey one of the most important messages that we, as a culture, need to be reminded of on a constant basis. Beauty isn’t skin deep. It comes from the heart and the soul, in the little things we do for people, in the way we treat people. The most physically unattractive person on the planet might have the most beautiful heart, but too many people won’t take the time to find out. Beauty and the Beast is also a wonderful story of romantic transformation, of how loving and being loved can make people see the beauty inside themselves.

Ara and Ilias assume the classic roles—Ara being a man of great physical beauty but no heart, who is transformed into a beast after an accident leaves him horribly scarred, Ilias being a shy bookworm, who is full of love to give but also doesn’t plan to take anyone’s shit. Together, they grow and learn to love and accept the hand they’ve been dealt.

A few short excerpts:

In this excerpt, Ara takes a long hard look at himself, and this is the moment he realizes he has to let go of what he sees in the mirror, and embrace what’s inside him now.

He went straight to the dresser and met his reflection head-on. It stared back at him, scars in all the places they always were, mocking him, laughing at his good intentions. The scar slicing through his left eye reminded him of the cruel things he’d said to Beni. The gash across his lip reminded him of all the partners who’d kissed those lips without loving him. No one had ever loved him, and after the accident, no one ever would. So why bother warming up to anyone now? Why bother trying to be a better man?

Because you don’t want to be alone forever, Ara Costas. You don’t want to be hated.

He ran the tip of his finger over the scar crossing his mouth, eyeing all the little slivers dotting his cheeks and chin, each one a bit more heartbreaking than the one before it. No one would ever love him like this. No one would want to spend a lifetime looking at him in this condition. The surgeries got him this far, but he wasn’t perfect, not like he used to be.

Ilias couldn’t possibly want a man like me.

For Ara, accepting the fact he’s falling in love is a long, arduous process, just like it was for Beast. He sees himself as a monster and no one in their right mind could ever possibly love him. In this excerpt, he’s longing for love, long for just a touch.

The candles in the center of the table flickered, casting dim shadows against Ilias’s handsome face. They stared at each other, silent as church mice. Ara pinched his lips together, wishing he had the nerve to go for a single touch—a brush of fingers, a holding of hands… a kiss of the lips.

He swallowed hard.

“Dinner is served,” Ms. Sprigs announced.

Ara sat bolt straight in his chair. His pulse rushed a little more than normal. He tore his stare away from his employee and turned it to his housekeeper. If he just kept his eyes on her, then he wouldn’t think about touching or kissing Ilias. Right?

Last one. I promise. The writers wanted to share this except simply because it tugs at both our heartstrings. Ara wants so badly to have his old look back, not really his old life, because he likes the man he’s become thanks to Ilias, but he needs to be beautiful again. He needs it like he needs air.

As soon as he turned on the bathroom lights, his reflection in the mirror came to life. It stared back at him with intensity. His left eye still drooped a bit compared to his right, and the two or three missing lashes in the middle of his lid hadn’t grown back. It was silly to think they might’ve. The incisions had to heal first, after all. His lips still had a slight indention and his chin tugged when he opened his mouth or smiled. It honestly appeared as though nothing had changed, as if all the pain and time away from being intimate with his fiancé was for nothing.

He slammed his fist down on the vanity, head hanging from his shoulders. “Hey,” a soft voice said from behind him. “It’s not that bad.”

“Yes, it is, Ilias. It is that bad.”

“You’re not done healing. Give it a few more days.”

“Nothing’s changed. I thought….” He looked at his reflection again before turning his head away in disgust. “It should look a little better.”

“Ara, I don’t care about your scars.”

“I do,” Ara growled, shoving his way back out of the bathroom so he wouldn’t have to look at himself anymore. “They’ve taken too much from me. This is supposed to be over.”

“Among mankind there are many that deserve that name more than you, and I prefer you, just as you are, to those, who, under a human form, hide a treacherous, corrupt, and ungrateful heart.”

Ara frowned, turning his head back toward Ilias. “What is that?”

“It’s a quote from ‘Beauty and The Beast.’ After Beast says he’s a monster.”

“So… what… you’re Beauty and I’m the Beast?”

Ilias reached for Ara’s hand and forced Ara to face him again, but Ara couldn’t look him in the eyes. He kept his gaze downcast, not wanting to be a monster in Ilias’s eyes.

“I didn’t say that. But look at it this way…. Would you love me any less if I were the one scarred?”

“No, I… I couldn’t,” Ara breathed.

“Would you care more about how I look than the man I am on the inside?”

Ara shook his head. “No, the beauty inside you is what made me fall in love.”

“Then why is it so hard for you to realize that I love you for the man you are on the inside?”

“I don’t know.” Ara swallowed. “I want what I lost. I don’t want to be damaged anymore. I know you love me. I have no doubt about that, but I need this piece of me back. I need to… to not be sickened when someone stares at me. I need to not relive that night when I look in the mirror. I need… I need me back, Ilias. Do you understand that?”

“No, I’m sorry, but I don’t understand it.”

“That’s because you’re still beautiful.”

Before Ilias could make a rebuttal, Ara made an about-face and tore out of the bedroom. He couldn’t have this argument right now. He couldn’t look that absurdly beautiful man whom he loved with every inch of his being in the eye and have Ilias tell him that being scarred was okay, that no one cared. People did care. People stared. He was a monster, and right now, Beast needed to be alone.

Blurb:Ara Costas has it all—riches, power, and the kind of beauty that attracts all the right people. He’s flying high and loves his life, until a serious car accident leaves him horribly scarred. Ara becomes an angry recluse, hiding away in his Chicago high-rise apartment, running his multimillion-dollar business from behind a computer screen.

Ilias Adams is a quiet farm boy who keeps his nose buried in books. A great education and stellar resume land him a job as Ara’s assistant and liaison to the board of directors. Little did he know when he signed up for this dream job that he’d end up working for the world’s moodiest, most uptight boss.

Ilias is scared of Ara at times, but he recognizes the challenge he faces when he meets Ara and sees the reason for the man’s anger. Ara is guarded and suspicious, since he can’t believe anyone can bear to look at him. Despite all this, Ilias is determined to turn the beast into a beauty again, at least on the inside, and tear down the walls Ara has so carefully constructed around him.

Buy Beast Here

Links to Allison:

Website: http://www.allisoncassatta.com
Blog: allisoncassatta.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allison.cassatta.page?ref=hl
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4417507.Allison_Cassatta
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/allisoncassatta
FREE READS: http://thechroniclesofthree.blogspot.com/

Links to Tracey:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mamas449
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tracey.steinbach or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Tracey-Steinbach-also-writing-as-Tracey-Michael
Blog: http://traceysteinbachtraceymichael.blogspot.com/

THE GIVEAWAY: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Allison Cassatta, Dreamspinner Press

“Relationships 101” Is A Lesson In Life And Trust And Faith


“Sometimes we carry mistakes we haven’t even made yet.” ― Saahil Prem


This is the third installment of the Dear Diary series, I highly recommend reading Dear Diary and Dear Diary: Pride first to follow Chris and Josh’s story from the beginning.

This is definitely a coming of age story. Chris is now at college along with his boyfriend Josh. They’ve been together for a year now and are ready to start the next chapter in their life.
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Allison Cassatta, Dreamspinner Press, Remmy Duchene

Love Comes Easily In “This Is Love”



“It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.” — John Burroughs



This is Love is a sweet, low-angst book. It is a good story about two damaged men who find love with each other. It isn’t perfect. My two main gripes are the insta-love that was just too unbelievable and the last third of the book that just didn’t need to exist. The story was over for all intents an purposes, an epilogue would have done the job. Having said that, it is a worthwhile investment of your money and time.
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Allison Cassatta, Booyah! Books, Brad Boney, Edmond Manning, Jamie Fessenden, Jeff Erno, Lane Hayes, Luke Hartwell, Taylor V. Donovan

The Latest Edition Of Booyah! Books Is Out! Who Made The List This Month?

Every Month, Mary Calmes so graciously hosts The Novel Approach and gives us the chance to spotlight some of the books we thought were particularly recommendable reads.

If you’d like to see which books captured our attention in the month of July, head on over to Ms. Mary’s Place and see who made our list of top picks.

Cheers, and happy reading!

Lisa

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Allison Cassatta, Dreamspinner Press

Allison Cassatta’s “Pride: Dear Diary Book Two” Strikes A Perfect Balance

“Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.” ― Bryce Courtenay


Dear Diary: Pride is the sequel to Dear Diary and picks right up where the first one left off. We last saw Josh and Chris as they were going to the prom. But what happened after that?

Chris is just days away from graduating high school, has recently come to the realization he’s gay, and has a great boyfriend Josh, whom he loves and who loves him back. Everything should be perfect right? But it’s not. His childhood friends corner him, beat him down and call him disgusting names. They even spit on him. Chris doesn’t understand whythis is happening; they’re supposed to be his friends.

I loved how realistic this story was. We’ve all read stories where everything is perfect and things just fall into place for convenience. That’s not reality. Sometimes bad things do happen to good people.

Because of his ex-friend’s reactions, Chris starts to believe that being gay means being hated. Instead of the happy-go-lucky kid he was just a few days prior, he turns in on himself and has a hard time reconciling his expectations with other people’s reactions. There are times within this section that he is so overwhelmed that some readers may find him whiny. For me though, I found his inner thoughts and feelings to be very age appropriate.

I enjoyed watching Chris grow into himself and slowly understand that not everyone will hate him because he’s gay. At times, it felt as though he would never get over the abuse from his friends and you really feel bad for him. I was always cheering him on when he was getting down on himself. I wanted him to be positive and believe everything was going to be okay. Chris is a character you just want to hug and protect from the world.

Josh is such an awesome character. He is so positive, loving and thoughtful throughout Chris’s doubts and fears. Josh was always right there for Chris, being supportive and understanding. Not willing to let him get away. Josh convinces Chris to participate at Pride which allows him to see that the world is much bigger than any of his small minded bullies. Chris’s first Pride parade is full of touching stories, acceptance and encouraging sights, to which he feels liberated.

I absolutely loved Chris’s family. His mom and dad and even his little sister were a big plus to this story. I loved their interactions with Josh. They really made him feel like part of the family. It was so nice to read a positive parent reaction to their son coming out.

I believe Allison Cassatta gave us a perfect balance of sweet romance, brutal honesty, and a dose of reality that we all need from time to time.

Reviewed by: Lynn

You can buy Pride: Dear Diary Book Two here:

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Allison Cassatta, Dreamspinner Press

When A Kiss Speaks Louder Than Words – Dear Diary by Allison Cassatta

How did it happen that their lips came together? A kiss, and all was said. – Victor Hugo

Chris is a senior in high school, dressing for the prom and prepping to take that next big step away from childhood and into a new chapter of his life. Dear Diary is his story, a personal confession of the way he’d got to where he is—a boy who’s only recently been able to say out loud that he’s gay because he’s only just recently made the discovery; a boy who’s going to the prom with his ex-girlfriend; a boy who’s in love with Josh, the guy he met at his summer internship at a law firm.

Chris begins recording an audio diary of the events that led to him meeting Josh, and then the epiphany that Sarah was not the person he was meant be with because Josh made Chris feel feels he never thought it possible to feel for anyone, let alone a another guy.

This is the story of a first kiss, not the first kiss ever, but the first kiss that ever mattered. It’s the story of the way Chris panicked and Josh apologized and when Chris came back for more, Josh panicked and Chris took another step toward revelation. And then they kissed again and it was a kiss that spoke all the truths that words could never hope to express.

It’s the story of a first fight and of being man enough to answer for the choices made when the first blushes of love cause a boy to think with his heart rather than his head. And finally, it’s a story of unconditional love and acceptance.

Allison Cassatta’s Dear Diary is an introduction to two characters I’m so anxious to spend more time getting to know. There were some clever little evasions in this first entry in the Dear Diary series that lead to a sweet and heartwarming end for Chris and Josh. Or, rather, that lead to a sweet and heartwarming beginning, which the author delivered in a hard-to-resist way.

You can buy Dear Diary here:

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Allen Mack, Allison Cassatta, Anyta Sunday, Brandon Shire, Poppy Dennison, Storm Moon Press

What’s Coming Up This Week?


Here’s what Bruce and I have on tap for the week ahead!

Monday – Brandon Shire will be our guest, answering a few questions about his new book Cold, a book that definitely left me wanting more!
Tuesday – Bruce reviews Poppy Dennison’s Soul Magic, book 3 in the Triad series
Wednesday – Allison Cassatta’s Dear Diary will be the featured review of the day
Thursday – Brings a little Lenny For Your Thoughts by Anyta Sunday
FridayDorian’s World, Allen Mack’s foray into futuristic Alt U, is on tap
Saturday – Storm Moon Press will be our guest with a post for the upcoming Dracones anthology

Happy reading and have a fantastic week!

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