5 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Mel Bossa, Reviewed by Jules, Samhain Publishing

Release Day Review: Craving’s Creek by Mel Bossa

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Title: Craving’s Creek

Author: Mel Bossa

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

At a Glance: Craving’s Creek is truly a gripping page-turner.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: For the man he loves, he will fight—body, mind, and soul.

Fourteen years ago, on a sun-drenched summer day on the banks of Craving’s Creek, Ryde swore to his best friend, Alistair, he’d never be alone in the world. Though Alistair was destined for the priesthood, there was something beyond holy about the first kiss they shared.

But a fun camping trip went horribly wrong when Alistair was involved in a horrific incident.

Now, at age thirty-one, Ryde’s life is a mess of alcohol and the painful imprint of his last look into Alistair’s desperate eyes. Since the evil they encountered on that shore, his first love has been lost to him—until he learns a friend’s wedding is to be officiated by a priest named Father Alistair Genet.

Amid the rush of emotions, one thought crystallizes: Ryde’s love for Alistair not only has never died, it’s stronger than ever. Stronger than God. But it may be no match for the church…and the repressed memories that are slowly tearing Alistair’s mind apart.

Dividers

Review: Craving’s Creek is truly a gripping page-turner. I was absolutely enthralled by this story. The blurb only hints at the drama that lies within the book; the story itself is MUCH more intense. I had a few guesses as to “the evil they encountered on the shore,” but having an idea of what might happen didn’t prepare me for the actual fear and sadness that hit me when reading it.

The emotions that you feel when an author puts characters through different experiences are a direct result of how good a job that author does at making you connect with those characters. Mel Bossa did a fantastic job. Both so well-developed and interesting, I was invested in Ryde and Alistair from the word go. When they were happy and carefree together, I was happy. When the unimaginable happened, and they were thrust into hell, my heart was ripped out.

The one constant in the story was Ryde’s love for Alistair, which was keenly felt all throughout the book. I liked Ryde so much. His strength, wit and sass always shone through, whether he was standing up to Alistair’s mother, interacting with his baby sisters, or challenging the priests at the presbytery after he reconnects with Alistair. Even while struggling with alcoholism he never comes off as weak to me. And the strength he has to draw on to help Alistair begin to heal is amazing.

Alistair is such a unique character. Very pure and childlike, and incredibly smart, yet so naïve at the same time. I loved the descriptions in the book of his beauty; I felt like I could see him perfectly. His story arc was so engrossing, I couldn’t put the book down. And his absolute faith and trust in Ryder, both when they were boys, and again when they reconnected as men, was truly beautiful. In fact, his unwavering faith in general was fascinating, as it was both his salvation and very nearly his destruction. Religion is a tough topic to tackle in a novel, and there are certainly some controversial viewpoints here, but ultimately the beauty of Alistair’s faith was nicely juxtaposed with Ryde’s disdain for organized religion.

There were many heart-racing moments, and moments that felt hopeless, but these guys have a wonderful cast of characters in their corner. Ryde’s parents are completely fantastic, and Jamie – Dr. Scarborough, the psychiatrist who helps Ryder, and then later, Alistair, deal with the trauma of what they went through when they were seventeen – was an amazing doctor and a good friend.

The end was a bit of a rollercoaster. I got a titch worried that things weren’t going to be resolved in time, and that perhaps I was headed for a cliffhanger. And then I thought, rather than the big, dramatic showdown, the author was going to take it in a different direction, which I was actually ‘ok’ with. But, then she DID do the big dramatic showdown before wrapping things up, which also worked fine. While it wasn’t a cliffhanger, it did leave me wanting a tad more closure. I would definitely not object to seeing more of these guys in the future! Either way, though, I’ll be checking out more of Mel Bossa’s work.

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Drama, DSP Publications, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Narration Rating - 3 Stars, Reviewed by Maryann, Rick R. Reed

Audio Review: Third Eye by Rick R. Reed – Narrated by Chad Tindale

Title: Third Eye

Author: Rick R. Reed

Narrator:: Chad Tindale

Publisher: DSP Publications

Run Time: 8 Hours and 57 Minutes

At a Glance: A multifaceted story that could have benefitted from more emotion in the narration.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Who knew that a summer thunderstorm and a lost little boy would conspire to change single dad Cayce D’Amico’s life in an instant? With Luke missing, Cayce ventures into the woods near their house to find his son, only to have lightning strike a tree near him, sending a branch down on his head. When he awakens the next day in the hospital, he discovers he has been blessed or cursed – he isn’t sure which – with psychic ability. Along with unfathomable glimpses into the lives of those around him, he’s getting visions of a missing teenage girl.

When a second girl disappears soon after the first, Cayce realizes his visions are leading him to their grisly fates. Cayce wants to help, but no one believes him. The police are suspicious. The press wants to exploit him. And the girls’ parents have mixed feelings about the young man with the “third eye”.

Cayce turns to local reporter Dave Newton and, while searching for clues to the string of disappearances and possible murders, a spark ignites between the two. Little do they know that nearby, another couple – dark and murderous – are plotting more crimes and wondering how to silence the man who knows too much about them.

Dividers

Review: “Fawcettville Pennsylvania a town where nothing ever happens”.

Cayce D’Amico is a single dad to his seven year old son Luke. He’s just an ordinary guy, doesn’t make a lot of money, works at the Elite Diner, lives in an old house, but he gives his all to provide for and love Luke. Cayce was no stranger to abandonment; his ex-wife Joyce had decided, four years earlier, that she no longer wanted the burden of Luke and Cayce, and left them both. Marc, Cayce’s ex, also abandon him and their dog Oreo. And on top of all that, Cayce’s mother doesn’t think her son is responsible enough to take care of Luke.

While Luke is playing in the backyard, Cayce is inside, cooking and trying to keep an eye out for Luke. Then Cayce starts to get strange feelings and realizes a storm is coming. He takes Oreo with him to bring Luke inside, but quickly realizes the boy is no longer in the backyard. When Cayce’s search turns to panic, a neighbor points him in the direction of the dead-end at the woods. As the storm worsens, Oreo spooks and runs for home, leaving Cayce to head into the woods by himself, at which point a tree branch is hit by lightning and hits him on the head.

Luke makes it home and finds his father is not there. Worried, he calls his grandparents. When his grandmother answers the call, her first thoughts are how irresponsible her son is. Luke’s grandfather runs to check on his grandson, sensing something is terribly wrong. He tries to encourage Luke, and they head out into the storm in search of Cayce.

When Cayce awakens in the hospital, after suffering a series of nightmares about his son, he starts having thoughts about different people and can’t figure out why, but still, his main concern is Luke. Dr. Carlos Soto comes to attend Cayce and tells him his parents had brought Luke in the night before. Cayce tells Dr. Soto that he doesn’t remember anything about the accident, but the doctor assures him he will recover just fine. Cayce asks to see his son, and also wants to see the newspaper since he’s heard he’s become somewhat of a celebrity. To Cayce’s surprise the paper isn’t delivered by hospital staff but by Dave Newton, the journalist who wrote the article about Cayce’s accident. As Cayce checks out the article, he notices another about a missing girl, Lucy Plant. Then the nightmares really start!

When Cayce begins experiencing images of some gruesome and frightening things, he has to make a decision about whom to tell. His choices aren’t that great, and he could be facing serious trouble no matter who he chooses, so he settles on Dave, but when he doesn’t hear back from the reporter, he takes matters into his own hands. When Dave does meet up with Cayce again, it’s under less than ideal circumstances, but a special bond forms that night between the two men, and Dave has to make a choice between being a friend or reporter. While Cayce is still haunted by images and feelings, he suffers the worst fright of all when Luke is kidnapped.

Rick R. Reed’s Third Eye is a novel layered with deceit, naïveté, abuse, rape, and murder, and may not be for everyone, but the plot flows well and moves along at a good pace. Reed has created a story that shows how vulnerable young people can be if there is neglect involved, which is sad, because situations like this do exist in society today. It is scary in the fact that fiction can become a reality.

Chad Tindale does a passable reading of Third Eye. It was a somber performance, but I don’t know if this type of story could have been read any differently. He did a good job of distinguishing characters’ voices, but I felt there could have been more emotion reflected in parts of the reading.

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3 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Less Than Three Press, Reviewed by Jules, T.T. Kove

Review: Scarred Souls by T.T. Kove

Title: Scarred Souls (Scarred Souls: Book One)

Author: T.T. Kove

Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Pages/Word Count: 264 Pages

At a Glance: What I’ve decided I’m going to take away from this book is a little bit of hopefulness for these guys.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: On a cold, wet afternoon Damian stumbles across a young man huddled beneath a tree crying his eyes out. He’s got more than enough problems of his own, but is compelled to give the bloke a place to crash for at least the night.

Josh is used to being alone, and most days it’s easier than trying to deal with people who can’t, or won’t, understand him. When Damian takes him in for the night, Josh assumes it’s going to be one more go round of sex and get out in the morning.

Neither of them expects the friendship that develops, and they’re far from prepared when friendship starts to turn into more.

Dividers

Review: I’m finding this to be a tough one to review. It was a very tough one to read; if I hadn’t been reading it for review, I likely wouldn’t have finished it. I don’t mind angst – I have read many books that were tough but in the end I found to be beautiful – however, the angst here was a bit excessive, which is simply not how I personally like to spend my reading time. But, the more I sit with it, the more I realize there were aspects that many may find appealing in a story, and that the author was ultimately trying to write a story of hope.

The subject matter is very dark for the most part. Between our two main characters, Josh and Damian, T.T. Kove covers sexual abuse, substance abuse, self-harm, depression, borderline personality disorder, domestic violence, and suicide. Scarred Souls is definitely the perfect title for this book. Josh and Damian are absolutely scarred souls, and looking back on the story, almost every single character in it is scarred to some extent. I found it exhausting that with the exception of two very minor characters, who have very little page time, there were NO happy people in this book.

I understand wanting to tell a story about troubled characters. Wanting to write an abuse-survivor story. Wanting to simply educate readers about the different hurts that people can feel, or a certain facet of mental illness. However, not only is it my preference, but I also believe it’s more realistic, to have some more-or-less stable and happy people in the story. The closest this book got was Silver, Damian’s best friend and roommate, who I liked very, very much. Silver is a tattoo artist, and since the next book scheduled in the series is apparently titled Inked Souls, I’m going to be saying my little prayers that we will be getting Silver’s story in that book!

So, what I’ve decided I’m going to take away from this book is a little bit of hopefulness for these guys. Though it’s extremely difficult for Josh, given his BPD, Damian has given him reason to have little glimpses of hope for the future. Damian accepts Josh for who he is. Doesn’t pressure him to “get better” or be anything or anyone he isn’t capable of being. It feels realistic for Josh, and attainable, I think. And, for Damian, Josh has allowed him to finally be able to be close to a person and have it feel right. Maybe his natural connection to Josh will eventually lead to even more comfortable intimacy between them. It certainly seems bleak throughout the majority of the book…but, who knows? Maybe these guys will be okay after all.

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3.5 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Lynn, S.C. Wynne

Review: Damaged Heart by S.C. Wynne

Title: Damaged Heart

Author: S.C. Wynne

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 134 Pages

At a Glance: A recommended read, but be aware of an angsty ass ahead.

Reviewed By: Lynn

Blurb: Cory Johnson was just twenty when he fled Bayville, following his father’s suicide. Estranged from his abusive mother, he’s made a new life for himself as a successful lawyer in Los Angeles.

When Cory’s mother dies he grudgingly returns to his hometown to handle the estate. Rhys Tucker owns the construction company that is going to renovate Cory’s childhood home. But Cory is unaware that Rhys has harbored a crush on him since they were in high school. When Cory comes home Rhys takes that opportunity to get close to Cory. Or at least try to.

Their physical chemistry is undeniable, but will Cory ever be able to have a real relationship with Rhys after being so emotionally scarred by his past? Can a heart as damaged as Cory’s every really come home?

Dividers

Review: This was my first time reading this author, and while I enjoyed the story, it was a frustrating read.

Cory left his small hometown right after high school and is now a successful lawyer living in LA. After his mother dies, he comes back home to settle her estate and renovate the house in order to sell and get out again as soon as possible.

Rhys is a younger, former classmate who’s had a crush on Cory forever. Be it old lovers, friends who become lovers, etc., I do love a story in which two people reconnect and fall in love. It’s what attracted me to Damaged Heart and made me want to read it.

As expected, they reconnect and are attracted to one another. However, the majority of the story is Rhys trying to help Cory get over his less than conventional childhood so he could learn to love and be loved in return, a fine story goal except that I felt it threw the balance of the couple off. I got that Cory had a very hard life with his parents; they were a little on the crazy side. His mother, specifically, was abusive, which made his life unbearable and left him emotionally unstable. What I didn’t get was his constant whining and indecisiveness when it came to Rhys. To put it bluntly, I just didn’t like Cory at all. I’m usually all for the damaged character, my heart goes out to them, and I’m rooting for them to get better, find love and live happily ever after. I just didn’t feel this way about Cory. I do like having his POV throughout the story. It brought more understanding about his insecurities, why he doesn’t want to let anyone in, and I liked that. It still didn’t make me like him anymore, but I had a better appreciation for his feelings.

My reasoning comes from the way he treated Rhys. I’m telling you, Rhys has the patience of a saint to put up with Cory’s rudeness and his tendency to just be an ass. I would have sucker-punched this dude about midway through the book, and said good riddance. But Rhys being his sweet, lovable self doesn’t, and by the end of the story Cory does redeem himself, just a little bit, in my eyes. He slowly comes to realize he can be happy with Rhys as long as he stops fighting his feelings and just lets it happen. I do like how the author does eventually show Cory’s progression from an angry, disillusioned young man to a man who is finally willing to take a chance on the one thing that could bring him happiness—Rhys.

Now, I really liked Rhys’s character. He was your typical good guy. He’s close to his family, had a normal upbringing, an all around good guy. The torch he’s carried for Cory after all these years tells me his feelings for him are genuine. We don’t get his POV, but the author brings his personality alive through dialogue and clear actions. There is little doubt to his motives throughout the story or of what he is thinking. If we aren’t getting his POV, this is the next best thing.

I realize there will be some characters I’m just not going to like, so it’s nothing personal. Actually, I believe the author has created characters that are true to life, even though they’ll frustrate the hell out of some readers. I will say the writing here is top notch, it was fast paced, and the words ran really smooth. The storyline kept me interested enough to see it to the end in spite of my personal feelings for Cory. I give the author a shout out for making me feel that way about a fictional character. It doesn’t happen often.

A recommended read, but be aware of an angsty ass ahead.






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4 Stars, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Posy Roberts, Reviewed by Janet

Review: Tangled Mind by Posy Roberts

Title: Tangled Mind

Author: Posy Roberts

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 76 Pages

At a Glance: The author draws the reader into the story very well, if painfully

Blurb: For years Beck Lund has taken care of his volatile boyfriend, Brady, always putting Brady’s needs above his own and walking on eggshells to keep the peace. After Brady overdoses on heroin, his death devastates Beck. Thankfully Beck’s best friend, Timothy Kallis, finds him the help he needs. Beck slowly starts to recover and moves in with Timothy to get back on his feet, but he’s oblivious that Timothy is secretly nursing romantic affection for him.

Beck focuses on his own healing for the first time in his life. After months of challenging his codependent tendencies and learning how to stand up for himself, Beck finally starts to trust his gut and hopes to one day love again. Timothy is patient throughout, taking care of Beck in ways no one ever has. But if Beck can’t recognize Timothy’s affection for him, it might be too late for them to move beyond friendship.

Dividers

Review: Posy Roberts states in her acknowledgments that this story came to her in a torrential downpour of emotions. That is an accurate assessment of the opening of the book. We witness the overdose death of Beck’s partner of ten years, and we wallow in his grief for several chapters right beside him. During these beginning chapters, we also learn about Beck and of the details of his long relationship with Brady. We want Beck to break free of the remaining tendrils from that life, and to heal and be healthy. It is a very emotional time in Beck’s life, and the author draws the reader into the story very well, if painfully.

One thing that I loved about this book was the relationship between Timothy and Beck. Timothy is a friend of long standing to Beck, and you know that Timothy loves Beck and wanted him healed and well, but there was no timetable imposed, no sense of anything but acceptance for Beck’s struggle with his grief. The chapter headings were quirky too, relating to the steps of healing in grief and the growth in the relationship between the two men. They formed a closer friendship, and Beck moved into Timothy’s home as a roommate as he needed help to get back on his feet, and he needed companionship as well.

Confusion is the title of chapter seven, and this is the turning point in the story. Timothy has told Beck how he feels, and they had a lovely sexual interlude, but then it is morning. I think that Beck is finally ready to move forward with his life, and so does he. But confusion, right…Timothy runs and Beck has to really look and see what he has grown into. This is a very dark book that deals with a man’s journey from a very unhealthy relationship, and his struggles with grief and his own sense of self. As he grows into an emotionally healthy man who is able to stand on his own two feet and be happy about himself, he learns how to be a partner and value being equal in a relationship. Beck’s new strength makes us happy for Timothy, as he will get the partner he deserves after being the best kind of friend that Beck needed for so much of the book.

I was sure of the HEA that was the conclusion of the story. The characters were well built and fit with each other; they had a relationship that I could only see good things happening to. My only complaint is that I would have liked more of the happy, an epilogue for more of a glimpse into their future, maybe a holiday celebration shared with their friends, something nice to balance the heavy of the start of the story.






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5 Stars, Anyta Sunday, Drama, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie, Self-Published

Review: Rock by Anyta Sunday

Title: rock

Author: Anyta Sunday

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 256 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Igneous.

When Cooper’s parents divorce, he finds himself landed in Week About—one week with his mum and one week with his dad.
Only, it’s not just his dad he has to live with. There’s Lila, too: The other woman, the one who stole the rock-solid foundation of his life.

And then … Continue reading

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5 Stars, BA Tortuga, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie

Review: Say Something by BA Tortuga

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Title: Say Something

Author: BA Tortuga

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 226 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Jenson has loved Mike his whole life, but he has never known how to tell Mike how he feels. After high school Mike leaves for college and his Hollywood dream, while cowboy Jenson stays behind in their small East Texas hometown. Neither man knows what to say to go beyond friendship, even though they come together through all of the best and worst times of their lives. The most amazing moments keep bringing them back together, but through huge love and terrible loss, sickness and health, their timing never seems right to take their relationship to the next level. When the universe gives them one final chance, Jenson must overcome his fear and say the most important something before it’s too late. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Kendall McKenna, MLR Press, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Storming Love: Austin & Troy by Kendall McKenna

Title: Storming Love: Austin & Troy

Author: Kendall McKenna

Publisher: MLR Press

Pages/Word Count: 140 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Hurricane Lauris tore through North Carolina, leaving devastation in her wake. When the Marines of Camp Lejeune respond with help and resources, Staff Sergeant Troy Matson immediately volunteers. His mission is to assist Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Delaney and his K9 partner, Decker, search for trapped survivors. Their mutual attraction is instant and intense, but all of the destruction leaves Troy conflicted. Austin proves to be a surprising source of comfort and understanding in Troy’s search for redemption, but returning to their daily lives might end what has only just started. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, MLR Press, Reviewed by Sammy, S.J. Frost

Review: Storming Love: Gage & Collin by S.J. Frost

Title: Storming Love: Gage & Collin

Author: S.J. Frost

Publisher: MLR Press

Pages/Word Count: 90 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: When Hurricane Lauris strikes, former lovers, Gage and Collin find themselves trapped together with old emotions and passion rising between them.

As a professional rider on the NRHA circuit, Gage Chapman has known success. He’s also known discrimination. Many people didn’t want an openly gay rider competing in the sport, much less winning again and again on his champion Paint stallion, The Shaman. Wanting to get away from it all, Gage had left Utah to set up a breeding farm in North Carolina and there, he found what he’d always hoped for, a man he could love. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Cheryl McIntyre, Drama, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Chris, Self-Published

Review: Let It Be by Cheryl McIntyre

Title: Let It Be

Author: Cheryl McIntyre

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 134 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: I’m the happy one. The dependable one.

The shoulder. The anchor. The pillar. The rock. The matchmaker.

I’m the one you call when you’ve had a bad day. When you need to vent, or scream, or cry. I will always be there to comfort you. It’s a gift. A talent. A role I’ve happily played. I’ve helped my friends become who they were meant to be. I’ve watched them move away, find love, start their lives. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Lynley Wayne, MLR Press, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Lynn

Review: Facing Demons by Lynley Wayne

Title: Facing Demons (Scars: Book Three)

Author: Lynley Wayne

Publisher: MLR Press

Pages/Word Count: 379 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: When demons from his past interfere with his present, Cam knows Seth is the only one he can trust to help him face them.

At the age of fifteen, Seth Dempsey gave his heart to Cameron Reyes. Three years later, Cam shattered it when he walked away. When Cam blows back into Seth’s life years later, Seth knows he will do whatever it takes to ensure Cam doesn’t slip away again. Even if it means going up against a corrupt DEA agent and a drug cartel.
Continue reading

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5 Stars, Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina

Review: Beneath the Stain: Parts Six and Seven by Amy Lane

Title: Beneath the Stain: Parts Six and Seven

Author: Amy Lane

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages (Full Series)

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers—and their penchant for making good music when they weren’t getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams—made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Brandon Shire, Drama, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sammy, TPG Books

Review: Summer Symphony by Brandon Shire

Title: Summer Symphony

Author: Brandon Shire

Publisher: TPG Books

Pages/Word Count: 164 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Martin Zoric had vivid dreams of fatherhood, of a small hand pressed to his, of pink dresses and girlish laughter. Then his wife had a stillbirth and his world fell apart. He listened to the unwanted apologies, stood by his wife as was expected of him, and kept his façade strong and firm for the entire world to see. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Carol Lynne, Drama, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie, Totally Bound

Review: The Brick Yard by Carol Lynne

Title: The Brick Yard

Author: Carol Lynne

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 203 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: For Lucky Gunn, the hardest fight of his life happens outside the cage.

On the south side of Chicago sits an old gym called The Brick Yard.

Ten years ago, on a bitterly cold day, Lucky Gunn wandered into The Brick Yard dressed in a threadbare jacket, looking for refuge. He hadn’t expected the owner, Tony Brick, to welcome him with a job and a place to sleep when Lucky’s abusive and drug addict mother made it too dangerous to return home. Continue reading

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2 Stars, Drama, Erotica, K.A. Merikan, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: Guns n’ Boys by K.A. Merikan

Title: Guns n’ Boys

Author: K.A. Merikan

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 323 Pages

Rating: 2 Stars

Blurb: — Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon. —

The Family is always right.
The Family doesn’t forget.
The Family pays for blood in blood.

Continue reading

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5 Stars, Amy Lane, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina

Review: Beneath the Stain: Parts Three and Four by Amy Lane

Title: Beneath the Stain: Parts 3 and 4

Author: Amy Lane

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: Serial Novel

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers– and their penchant for making good music when they weren’t getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams–made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Drama, Historical Romance, Lisa Henry, Reviewed by Lynn, Riptide Publishing

Review: Sweetwater by Lisa Henry

Title: Sweetwater

Author: Lisa Henry

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 240 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Wyoming Territory, 1870.

Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie, Teegan Loy

Review: Frozen Hearts by Teegan Loy

Title: Frozen Hearts

Author: Teegan Loy

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: The best college hockey player in the nation is hanging up his skates because he’s tired of living a lie. Five years ago, Erik Fox was forced by his father to change schools in the middle of the night when his father found out about his indiscretion. Erik had a boyfriend and hockey players do not date boys. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Cecilia Tan, Drama, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Series Review: Daron’s Guitar Chronicles by Cecilia Tan

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Title: Daron’s Guitar Chronicles: Volumes One-Five

Author: Cecilia Tan

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 1000+ Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Coming out and coming of age in the days of AIDS, MTV, Reaganomics, and Just Say No.

Daron Marks is a young guitar player with a dream, make it big like the guys he grew up idolizing in New Jersey–or at least escape his dysfunctional family. He makes it as far as music school in Rhode Island, and the stages of Boston beckon. But it’s hard to succeed from the closet. Continue reading

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3 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Michele M. Rakes, Reviewed by Jackie

Review: Saving Kane by Michele M. Rakes

Title: Saving Kane

Author: Michele M. Rakes

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 260 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Kane Abel can’t help falling for his caregiver, the handsome paramedic who saves his life, but he’s resistant. The one time Kane threw caution to the wind, he was left with a wired jaw and a tracheostomy. He can’t take much more hurt. But with his attacker’s promise to return, Kane lives in a constant state of fear, and with the ever-present paramedic, arousal. Continue reading

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3.5 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Stay Tuned For More Of Jake Biondi’s “Boystown”

Title: Boystown: Season Two

Author: Jake Biondi

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 219 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: In the aftermath of the warehouse shootings, lives are forever changed and relationships are forever altered. As the families of the victims work to put the horrific event behind them, they find themselves at the center of an even larger plan for revenge.

Ciancio twins Marco and Gino are as handsome as they are powerful — and they arrive in Boystown with a scheme rooted in the bad history between the Ciancio and Mancini families. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Drama, Genre Romance, Keira Andrews, New Adult, Reviewed by Jules, Self-Published

Two Men Risk Everything For Love In Keira Andrews’ “A Forbidden Rumspringa”

Title: A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish Romance: Book One)

Author: Keira Andrews

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 231 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: When two young Amish men find love, will they risk losing everything?

In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name. Continue reading

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3.5 Stars, A.M. Arthur, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie

A Man Must Confront His Fears In A.M. Arthur’s “Understanding Jeremy”

Title: Understanding Jeremy (Discovering Me: Book Two)

Author: A.M. Arthur

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 138 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: No one in Jeremy Collins’s life ever stays. His parents, sister, and wife are all dead. Now he has taken Cole Alston into his home to help him recover from years of abuse at the hands of his ex. Jeremy hopes Cole, who he loves, will stick around, but after eight years of Cole not being allowed to make his own choices, Jeremy doesn’t think he has the right to ask. As Jeremy keeps his concerns and desires to himself, his best friend Bethann calls on him for a huge favor–claim he’s the father of her baby so she isn’t ostracized in their small town for sleeping with a married man. However, doing so would be tantamount to denying his relationship with Cole. Rumors fly before Jeremy can explain to Cole that he said no, and suddenly the whole town is in his business. Rather than reassure Cole, Jeremy’s explanations have the opposite effect. Something is going on in Cole’s mind that Jeremy doesn’t know about, and in order to get Cole to talk, Jeremy will need to confront his own deepest fear. Continue reading

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3.5 Stars, Brynn Stein, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jackie

There Are Obstacles To Overcome In Brynn Stein’s “Living Again”

Title: Living Again

Author: Brynn Stein

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Daniel Larson has walled himself off from any possibility of romance since his lover died violently five years ago in Afghanistan. The same bomb that ended his partner’s life took the lower part of Daniel’s left leg. The only support Daniel has, his Uncle Lawrence, is dead-set against anything homosexual, including Daniel. Continue reading

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