3 Stars, Evernight Publishing, Genre Romance, L.D. Blakeley, Reviewed by Karen

Review: Opportunity Knocks by L.D. Blakeley

Title: Opportunity Knocks (Laissez Faire: Book One)

Author: L.D. Blakeley

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Page/Word Count: 149 Pages

At a Glance: It seemed that just when I was starting to get into Opportunity Knocks, and Gill and Tommy were finally getting together, it was over and I was left feeling that I’d missed out on something.

Reviewed By: Karen

Blurb:  Small-town security guard, Gill Martin, has lived in Mystique Pointe his entire life. His dating prospects are non-existent and he doesn’t particularly like his job, but at least it’s better than unemployment. Besides, he hasn’t got any better ideas.

Big-city artist, Tommy Hearne, knows exactly what he wants out of life: a successful art career and a successful relationship. He also knows that living in Liberty City is his best chance for pursuing both. Unfortunately, for him, neither of these pursuits seem to be panning out quite to his liking.

When Tommy and his misfit band of friends roll into town for the Laissez Faire, Mystique Pointe’s annual music & art festival, worlds definitely collide. A fiery tryst sparks more than just a lust connection, but what happens when the weekend is over?

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Review: When I read the blurb and picked up Opportunity Knocks for review, it sounded like something right up my alley, but unfortunately, I had a hard time getting into the book and connecting to the characters together.

I enjoyed the writing, and there were definitely parts of the book that I thought were great, but I really wanted more of Gill and Tommy actually together.  Now, when they were together things were sweet and super hot, but I felt there were too many other things going on. With a distance between them, on top of those other things, it was just a little too much for me, and I struggled to connect.

Then, it seemed that just when I was starting to get into the story, and Gill and Tommy were finally getting together, it was over and I was left feeling that I’d missed out on something.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked the characters, even the ones that I didn’t at first. By the end I was hoping to learn more about them. With this being the first in the series, I look forward to reading more from L.D. Blakeley, and learning more about Gill, Tommy, and this group of friends.

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Evernight Publishing, J.R. Gray, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: Damages Incurred by J.R. Gray

Title: Damages Incurred (Bound: Book Four)

Author: J.R. Gray

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 265 Pages

At a Glance: Anyone who’s been following this series from the beginning will find all Damages Incurred’s loose ends really do is leave you ready for book five.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Their world is crumbling on the King’s shoulders.

Elliot is gone.

George has failed, and his demons are threatening to swallow him whole. Jesse’s life is slipping through his fingers. He feels like he’s losing George, whom he has just gotten back. The search for Elliot is taking its toll on the pair of them, and the strain shows the cracks in their trust.

Zac is doing everything he can, but he’s been plagued with flashbacks of a life he can’t remember. Even his iron constitution must break sometime, and the search for Elliot can’t wait. Each minute could be the difference between life and death.

Can they get it together to save themselves or Elliot?

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Review: Fans of J.R. Gray’s Bound series will find plenty of answers and a lot more questions in Damages Incurred, the fourth installment in the series. A word of caution to the curious, though: don’t try to read this book as a standalone. This series is told in episodic form, so not only is there a sizeable cast of characters and their story threads to keep track of, but some of those threads pick up in the middle of their arcs, so if you’re not familiar, you won’t get as much enjoyment out of the reading. As such, I felt this installment took some time to catch a good head of steam in getting to the core plot, but once it did, it was a fast paced and emotionally turbulent ride to a cliffhanger finish.

In its BDSM setting, Damages Incurred opens with its King, George, laying a clear claim to Jesse, his submissive, after it’s revealed that duplicity has played a role in Jesse’s marriage. The focus from this point on is the reestablishing of their relationship as Master and sub, and how George’s deep well of guilt and his seemingly endless secrets weigh against Jesse’s ability to trust that he won’t end up hurt and cast aside. Their storyline provides much of the angst and darker emotional moments in the plot, and left me with more unanswered than answered questions. Thus, the cliffhanger ending, which involves what we can’t help but see as a justifiable homicide.

Where the action and suspense come into play in the novel is in a kidnapping for which George feels responsible, adding a layer of overwhelming guilt to the already heavy cloud hanging over his and Jesse’s relationship. Elliot’s disappearance is where the substance of this story takes shape, as not only does George feel he failed his sub in every possible way, but Elliot’s kidnapping also introduces a concurring storyline with Zac and Jared, the two men who are invested in finding the one man they both want to lay claim to. The tension between Zac and Jared is palpable—not only their mutual animosity and competition but also the frisson of sexual tension that, unless I miss my mark, Gray may be setting up as an exploration of a three-way with Elliot yet to come. The jury’s still out on that one, though, and Elliot surely has a long recovery ahead, but I, for one, wouldn’t mind seeing it play out, as I liked the banter and buildup between the two men who want to claim him—although, Zac also has a storyline brewing, involving his own mysterious past that’s sure to cause more than a little drama for himself and anyone involved.

Dark, gritty, angsty, and suspenseful, I think anyone who’s been following this series from the beginning will find all Damages Incurred‘s loose ends really do is leave you ready and waiting for book five.

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4 Stars, Evernight Publishing, J.R. Gray, Literary Fiction, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: Veil of Scars by J.R. Gray

Title: Veil of Scars

Author: J.R. Gray

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 100 Pages

At a Glance: Veil of Scars is a single sitting read, compelling and well told.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Steven is tall, dark, and damaged. He doesn’t let anyone close, comfortable on the outside of normal life where he can hide his scars behind a wall so high that nothing gets through…except them. Despite a childhood marred with black and blue, he’s survived and moved in with his two best friends, Sam and Charlie.

Life should get better, but it was Sam who held him when the dark threatened to swallow him whole, Sam who gave him a place that felt like home, and Sam who knew every scar and every broken place.

And it’s all been taken away with Charlie sharing Sam’s bed.

Without his former comfort, Steven realizes what’s been hiding in the deep corners of his heart, and the truth sinks him like a weight. He’s in love with one or maybe both of his roommates. Navigating unrequited love tears Steven apart and brings him to the precipice, and he has to choose: his feelings or Sam’s…and Charlie’s?

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Review: Eighteen-year-old Harvard freshman, Steven, is a character who reads like a man standing on the outside always looking in on life. And it seems, sometimes, he prefers it that way. Surviving a childhood marred by a physically abusive father has left him with not only trust issues but an inability to allow anyone, save for his roommates and best friends, Sam and Charlie, close to him in any sort of meaningful way.

Veil of Scars, as it turns out, is the perfect title for this short novel, as it’s the psychological scars Steven brought forward into adulthood that served not only to construct and solidify his close bond with Sam but prevented him from understanding what it is about himself that feels wrong and keeps him on the fringes of a deeper connection with anyone, a connection such as the one Sam and Charlie have with each other. Steven is searching for an elusive sense of “normalcy”, and is trying, with a sense of both desperation and defeat, to find a label that fits his lack of physical desire as aptly as “introvert” describes his personality.

The emotional connection J.R. Gray constructs for readers throughout this story is in Steven’s struggle to understand and then accept he’s in love with Sam, even when he knows Sam’s very much in love with Charlie and can never be more than a friend. The greater design in the construct, however, is Steven’s certainty he’s in some way wired wrong because within his id, the emotional concepts of love and physical desire don’t go hand-in-hand. He works to come to terms with his love for Sam, but it’s the sexual part of the equation that leaves him confused and combing the internet in search of a label that fits him, one which also shows him that somewhere he fits in.

Gray layers Steven’s pain and sadness in a pattern of horrific childhood memories, confusion, guilt, and ultimately, the realization his love for Sam may come at an awful price. He could lose Sam or Charlie, more likely both, and no matter his feelings, those are outcomes he isn’t willing to risk. The substance of this story exists in the understanding that sexuality and gender aren’t a black and white binary, that love and sex are sometimes mutually exclusive, and that as abnormal as Steven believes he is, he isn’t. In the end, and perhaps most importantly, there is the realization that love and relationships of all shapes and sizes take patience and work, and there are no clear cut answers to the myriad opaque questions raised within this story nor in life.

Veil of Scars is a single sitting read, compelling and well told, which delves into the complex and complicated realms of sexuality in an honest and touching way.

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Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Veil of Scars by J.R. Gray

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The Novel Approach welcomes author J.R. Gray today, with a shared excerpt and giveaway of their latest novel, Veil of Scars, just released by Evernight Publishing. Enjoy the tease, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for a chance to win an e-copy of the book.

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Hello,

Thank you so much for having me on The Novel Approach to talk about my new release Veil Of Scars.

This one was an emotional roller coaster for me to write. I brought a lot of personal experience to it, and I wrote it as an intermix of current scenes and flashbacks to give the readers an in-depth connection to Steve. This isn’t a typical type of romance novel, and I was reluctant to publish it at first because I was worried there wasn’t a market for alternative love stories. I’m so glad my beta pushed me to finish Steve’s book because everyone deserves to be loved for who they are.

There was so much emotion that went into this scene because Steve feels he’s not good enough for Sam, who he’s just realizing he’s been in love with for years. I was going through a rough patch myself at the time, and I really channeled my emotions into the piece, which has made it not only an emotional book for me, but also a piece that holds a special place in my heart.

He loved them both, but he was too damaged to make either of them happy.

Here is a sneak peek from Veil of Scars:

I paced the living room, making rounds around the worn coffee table. It had been three days since the yard. My books were strewn about the room, but I couldn’t focus on anything. My mind couldn’t—no, wouldn’t—hold any more information. The scene with Sam kept playing over and over in my head. My feelings bottled inside me were like a dam about to burst. He was going to be home in the next five minutes. I either had to gather my things and make a run for the library as I had been doing for days, or suck it up and confront him.

I owed it to Sam to be honest. I pressed a hand into my chest, steadying myself as the handle of the door turned and it swung open. Sam walked in, and his shoulders dropped. He tossed his bag down before he looked up and saw me. The shock was written on his face.

“I told Char this morning I thought you had moved out on us. You’ve been a ghost.”

I took a hard seat on the sofa, which sent stacks of papers flying in every direction. “Been a little stressed.”

He shrugged out of his coat and hung it up on the hook, closing the door behind him. “School or…” He trailed off.

“I need to tell you something.” I balled and un-balled my fists to stop my hands from shaking.

“Okay.” He took a seat next to me and looked over expectantly. Wednesdays he got home an hour before Charlie, and we had taken to using that time to watch his favorite reality shows. It usually ended up with his arms around me or my head in his lap.

But not today. I held my ground. I knew I’d lose my edge if he touched me.

“You’re acting like you’ve killed someone.” His brow creased in the center, and he scooted towards me.

I shrank back and didn’t speak. My throat was dry.

“Spill already,” he growled. “You’re scaring me.” I could see the truth in his words in his gaze.

I blew a breath. “I love you, Sam.”

I waited. He didn’t react.

“Well duh.” He reached up to grab me by the shirt pulling me closer, but I held back.

“No.” I pushed him back so I could look at him. “I’m in love with you.”

His eyes went a little wider, and he didn’t say anything. The air between us was thick, and bile rose in my throat. His mouth opened as if he was going to speak, but he closed it again as he knit his brow.

I could see it written all over him. The pity. I hated that look. It wasn’t often I saw it from Sam, which might have been half the reason I let him in. Everyone kept their distance because of the protective walls I had built around myself. He’d ignored them from day one. Not even when I showed up on his doorstep with two black eyes and a swollen lip did he look at me like he was now, but it was there, written clearly across his face. Pain lanced out across my chest, and I dropped my gaze to the floor.

“How can you know that, Steven?” He rubbed his hand over the back of his neck. “You’ve never even been with anyone.”

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JR Gray CoverBlurb: Steven is tall, dark and damaged. He doesn’t let anyone close, comfortable on the outside of normal life where he can hide his scars behind a wall so high that nothing gets through…except them. Despite a childhood marred with black and blue, he’s survived and moved in with his two best friends, Sam and Charlie.

Life should get better, but it was Sam who held him when the dark threatened to swallow him whole, Sam who gave him a place that felt like home, and Sam who knew every scar and every broken place.

And it’s all been taken away with Charlie sharing Sam’s bed.

Without his former comfort, Steven realizes what’s been hiding in the deep corners of his heart, and the truth sinks him like a weight. He’s in love with one or maybe both of his roommates. Navigating unrequited love tears Steven apart and brings him to the precipice, and he has to choose: his feelings or Sam’s…and Charlie’s?

Categories: Menage, M/F/M, New Adult, Gay Romance

Buy Links: Evernight Publishing | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Author Bio: When not staying up all night writing, J.R Gray can be found basking in the warm glow of the Miami sun, or at the gym where it’s half assumed Gray is a permanent resident. A dominant, pilot, and sword fighting enthusiast, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. Gray frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns, to jot down nonsense. The bane of Gray’s existence are commas, and even though it’s been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder.

If Gray wasn’t writing…well, that’s not possible. The build up of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave or possibly a mental institution where the tales would end up on the walls in crayon and finger paint.

Find J.R. Gray online:

My Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Twitter Book only news / Tumblr (NSFW) / Tumblr (book news)

Other books by J.R. Gray

Legally BoundUKAll Romance eBooksBreach of Contract – UKAll Romance eBooksIllicit Activity Evernight

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Dragons Blog Tour With Jaycee Edward

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The Novel Approach welcomes author Jaycee Edward on the Dragons blog tour today. Enjoy Jacyee’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $15 Gift Card from Evernight Publishing.

Good luck!

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Rabbit croppedIn Dragons, Will gives young Joey a stuffed purple dragon. Years later, when Will runs into Joey again, he’s shocked to see Joey still had the dragon.

I’m not sure why he was so surprised. I adored stuffed animals as a kid. I didn’t have many, but the ones I did have were loved until the stuffing burst from their seams. I think most of us probably had one or two particular stuffed animals that gave us such comfort as kids that we just could never bear to part with them. I mean, how do you just throw your childhood confidant in the trash?

I had two very special such stuffies. First was Tiny – an oversized, very flat, tan dog with a big darker-brown spot on his back where you were obviously meant to lay your head. He had long, floppy ears just right for drying tears. Tiny originally belonged to my older brother, but was handed down to me and lived the rest of his life across the foot of my bed. In his short existence, he was hugged, cuddled, thrown up on and cried on more times than I can count. He was my non-judgmental, pretend boyfriend that let me practice kissing without ever telling me I was doing it wrong. He captured and silenced my sobs whenever life didn’t treat me fair and he helped me get through those awful, awkward pre-teen years.

As I grew up, stuffed animals gave way to real boys; Tiny got neglected and at some point, he vanished. I’m not sure when that happened. I was busy with teenage things. I’m sure my mom was counting the minutes until it was safe to get rid of him. He was threadbare and ugly by then, but like the Velveteen Rabbit, it meant he’d become ‘real’. I wish I at least had a picture of him to show you, but I don’t.

The only stuffie to survive, was Bunsy, a small rabbit – the very first stuffed animal that was all mine, not a hand-me-down. He was easy to clutch and carry, and often went outside to play with me. Bunsy started out white and fluffy, but as you can see from the picture, he’s now the dingy gray that stuffed animals become after years of being loved. I’m not sure how he managed to escape all my mom’s decluttering campaigns. Maybe because she had a real rabbit named Bunsy when she was a child. However he managed it, I’m glad he did, because he now sits on a shelf in my bedroom, still watching over me when I sleep.

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Blurb: A chance encounter in a hospital waiting room between twenty-two year old Will Messina and sixteen year old Josiah Pinkerton ends with a gift of a stuffed dragon off the hospital gift cart and a memory neither of them can shake.

Five years later, when a lonely, buttoned-up Will ventures into a gay club, he spots a pale, leather-clad specter with violet eyes tracking his every move. Will realizes he’s being watched by the grown version of the boy who’s haunted his thoughts for years.

Joey recognizes Will, but he’s no longer the sweet, brown-eyed boy worthy of Will’s attention. He’s damaged and defective and lives in a different world than Will now. When his childhood crush makes his way across the bar, Joey doesn’t have time to decide whether to be enchanted or dismayed because, unless he turns and runs, those worlds are about to collide.

Buy Links: Evernight Publishing | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Jaycee Author ImageAbout the Author: Jaycee Edward is no longer seventeen years old but don’t tell her that. She’s actually a tad older and lives in northeast Ohio with her handsome husband and one, big gorgeous dog. She has two grown stepdaughters and is proud to be the ultra-cool Nana to two amazingly incredible grand-teens. Jaycee loves pistol shooting and is has earned her Bar 7 Sharpshooter status in the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program and hopes to someday reach the level of Expert Marksman. She is proud to be the token liberal at her gun range. Jaycee knows way too much about the inner workings of Walt Disney World and anything related to One Direction. She’d love to pull you into the rabbit hole with her. All you have to do is ask. Find her there or contact her through social media.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | FB Author Page | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads | TSŪ | Ello | Tumblr

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4 Stars, Evernight Publishing, Genre Romance, Jaycee Edward, Reviewed by Sammy

Release Day Review: Dragons by Jaycee Edward

Title: Dragons

Author: Jaycee Edward

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 42 Pages

At a Glance: Dragons is a sweet romance that will tug at your heartstrings.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: A chance encounter in a hospital waiting room between twenty-two year old Will Messina and sixteen year old Josiah Pinkerton ends with a gift of a stuffed dragon off the hospital gift cart and a memory neither of them can shake.

Five years later, when a lonely, buttoned-up Will ventures into a gay club, he spots a pale, leather-clad specter with violet eyes tracking his every move. Will realizes he’s being watched by the grown version of the boy who’s haunted his thoughts for years.

Joey recognizes Will, but he’s no longer the sweet, brown-eyed boy worthy of Will’s attention. He’s damaged and defective and lives in a different world than Will now. When his childhood crush makes his way across the bar, Joey doesn’t have time to decide whether to be enchanted or dismayed because, unless he turns and runs, those worlds are about to collide.

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Review: Short stories are a tricky format. Either you hit them just right or they feel a tad unfinished, as if something has been left out that was necessary to the overall flow. Jaycee Edward’s Dragons comes very close to hitting the mark. It is a sweet romance that will tug at your heartstrings.

To say much more than the blurb above about this story would be to give key moments away, and those should be read and savored as there are some lovely scenes in this story. Suffice it to say cancer has left its mark on young Josiah Pinkerton, and what was left behind in terms of self esteem took another huge hit when Joey’s mother found out he was gay. Now, alone and barely surviving, stoically finding sex and acceptance wherever he can, Joey lives a half-life steeped in sadness and a big heaping of self-loathing.

Will Messina is in many ways equally adrift, although not career wise. Instead, he has more than his share of difficulty finding someone to love, someone he wants to spend his life with, someone he can cherish and feel cherished in return. When he happens upon Joey, the world shifts and all the feelings he once had that barely had time to take root, come rushing back. But both men have changed, and there is fear and reluctance on both sides.

This sweet short story had a few rough edges, most notably the initial transition into the future, five years hence. It felt very abrupt, and I had to reread it a few times to make sure I understood the leap into the future. After that, however, the rest of the short unfolded nicely. Both Will and Joey had their share of fear over trying not to mess up this second chance life had given them. Joey’s self-view and his idea that he was not worthy of Will due to what the cancer had done to him was just heartbreaking. Joey’s transformation was defined by a beautiful awakening of self-worth and its ability to redefine one’s self esteem by seeing yourself through the eyes of love and not self-hate.

I am eager to see a longer piece of work from this author. I believe she has some wonderful stories to tell us. If Dragons is any indication of the potential that lies inside Jaycee Edward’s imagination, then I think we are in store for some really exciting work down the road.






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5 Stars, Cat Blaine, Evernight Publishing, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Kim

Review: The Cop and the Geek by Cat Blaine

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Title: The Cop and the Geek

Author: Cat Blaine

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 64 Pages

At a Glance: The Cop and the Geek hit all my romance buttons.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: James O’Brien is having a horrible day. He’s dropped his car off at a repair place in a bad part of town. While he’s there minding his own business he ends up in a bar room brawl with a mouthy homophobic thug.

Officer Scott Brown is the sexy, kind cop who arrives on the scene. He can tell immediately that while James is a geek, but he isn’t a criminal, and is most likely just a nice guy caught up in a bad situation. The two of them have an immediate attraction and when Officer Brown gives James a ride home…things heat up.

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Review: Squeeeeeeee… Oh, I just fell in love with The Cop and the Geek! And I loved having to reread it so I could do this review.

With good reason, James O’Brien doesn’t like cops, and he doesn’t care much for children either. But when Officer Scott Brown shows up on the scene, James can’t help feeling a little flutter in his gut towards the attractive cop.

The feeling is somewhat mutual for Scott too.

So, after the situation between James and a homophobic drunk, which resulted in a bar fight, is cleared up, Scott finds himself offering to give James a ride home because the repair shop where he’d dropped off his car is closed, and James is stuck in a bad part of town. I loved James’s snarky banter, and Scott’s logical calm replies had me smiling. It was also cute how Scott weaseled James into letting him give him a ride the following morning to pick up his car. And I especially enjoyed meeting Troy, Scott’s son. What an adorable little mischievous munchkin he was. He even charmed James.

For a short story, The Cop and the Geek hit all my romance buttons. It’s well written, the characters well developed, and I’d love a sequel!

These kinds of stories just turn me into a cream puff.






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Guest Post and Giveaway: How Long Will I Love You by Iyana Jenna

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The Novel Approach welcomes Iyana Jenna today on her How Long Will I Love You blog tour. Enjoy the video of the song that inspired the novel, then be sure to enter for a chance to win an e-copy of the book.

Good luck!

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First of all, I’d like to thank you for having me on your blog. It means a lot to me. I would like to share with you and your readers my main inspirations of this story.

One day, my dear friend Louis Stevens posted a video of a singer Gavin DeGraw on his Facebook account. It was lovely and I loved the singer’s song. Well, one of my favorite singers is Ed Sheeran and I told Louis it would be a dream come true if Ed sings together with Gavin. A moment later, voila! Louis posted a video of them both singing together! Long story short, How Long Will I Love You was born. The title of this story was from a song but it was another story altogether and it wasn’t sung by any of the men.

By the way, here is the video of Gavin and Ed performing together on stage. I totally fell in love with them. I got completely inspired. My story isn’t in any way a real story about them, though. Heh. I wish! :D

Now if you watch the video until the end, it was their hug that completely melted my heart.

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howlongwilliloveyou1lBlurb: It might look weird for a musician to *fangirl* another musician, but Ed Finley didn’t give a damn. He adored and had a crush on singer and pianist, Gavin O’Malley—to the point of sticking O’Malley’s pin-ups all over the walls of his room. Ed thought his dream had come true when he was scheduled to perform together with his idol on stage.

Gavin O’Malley thought Ed was okay when they ended up being together that night. The night meant everything to Ed, while it was only another one-night stand for Gavin.

Ed decides to stay away while Gavin, after rejecting Ed, couldn’t stop thinking about the other man. Will Gavin get a chance to tell Ed his true feelings?

Buy Links: Evernight Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | All Romance eBooks | Bookstrand

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Iyana avatar 01Author Bio: Iyana writes M/M short stories and novellas. Her works have been published by Evernight Publishing, JMS Books, Books to Go Now, Torquere Press, Bitten Press, Leap of Faith Publishing, Breathless Press, and Alfie Dog Fiction.

Iyana lives in Jakarta, a city famous for its traffic jams, a lot of cars and motorcycles, and people selling stuff on the roads. You can spend two hours on the road going to a place you can reach in half an hour in a normal situation. Thanks to the traffic jams, though, Iyana can come up with a lot of stories, mostly shorties, as she prefers to spend the time during her trips writing into her cell phone rather than sleeping.

Another thing Iyana loves is kitties. Right now she has three of them. Their names are Cil, Horus, and Betsy, and one kitten. When she doesn’t write, she plays with them, or they would play with her when she writes.

Author Links: Blog | Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Simply The Best 2014 – Round Two: The Year In Reviews And A Giveaway

2014

Hi, everyone, we’re back again with the second round of our Best of the Best (be sure to check out Sammy’s and Tina’s lists HERE), and another chance for you to win e-copies of THREE of the titles selected by Jackie, Lana, and Jules, winner’s choice! THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED Continue reading

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Evernight Publishing, Nikka Michaels

Nikka Michaels Joins Us Today With A Giveaway On The “Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition” Blog Tour

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Big thanks to The Novel Approach for hosting me today.

If the office is a rockin’ don’t come…well, come. But you don’t have to knock first.

When I saw the submission call from Evernight Publishing for the Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition Anthology I knew I wanted to write a story for it. Desks, office supplies, sexual politics…desks; what more can you ask for?
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Anais Morgan, Evernight Publishing

Anais Morgan Brings You “Bite of the Recluse” And A Giveaway



The thing about co-writing is there isn’t a wrong or right way to do it. It just is. For Azalea Moone and myself, we decided that each of us was going to write in one of the main character’s point of view (POV). I got Tristan and she took Damon. I think it was my idea to write about a demon hunter, because, well, I love the idea of demons. Azalea was on board and came up with the cool idea of a recluse spider.
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Anthology, Avril Ashton, Eileen Griffin, Evernight Publishing, Giselle Renarde, JC Holly, Karly Germain, Lucy Felthouse, Nikka Michaels, Pelaam, Reviewed by Lana, Tamsin Baker, Tyler Robbins

Lana Gives Some Serious Love To “Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition”


“I’m all wolf, honey. One-hundred percent alpha bastard.” ― Moria Rogers


Title: Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 252 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Strength. Power. Domination.

The shifters in our Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition anthology have one thing in common—they won’t take “no” for an answer. Whether they lead packs of their own, or whether they walk a solitary path, these alphas won’t let anyone stop them from claiming their men.

Lose yourself in these ten sinfully delicious love stories. After all, who could deny an Alpha’s claim?
Continue reading

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Eileen Griffin, Evernight Publishing

“Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition” Part Deux – Please Welcome Eileen Griffin!


Thanks for hosting me on your blog today. :)

I’ve been asked what my inspiration was when I was writing Claiming Ayden. I have a weakness for Alpha males and absolutely love the wolf sub-culture. They’re fascinating animals that are extremely territorial about their packs, travel vast distances to find food and shelter to ensure the health of their packs, but are also one of the few animals that mate for life. When I was developing my story and characters, I kept envisioning the scene from Last of the Mohicans when Hawkeye (played by Daniel Day-Lewis) was racing to rescue his love, Cora. The intensity with which he traverses the distance and landscape to save her has stuck with me all these years – for me, it was a pivotal scene in the movie. It made me wonder how a wolf/human shifter would react to his beloved, in this case Ayden, was captured by his Alpha’s enemy. The story basically wrote itself from there. It was such an awesome and novel experience to create a world and story for them, that I hope to one day continue Ayden and Thane’s story in future novellas. :)

~Eileen

Inspiration for Thane:

Inspiration for Ayden:



Claiming Ayden by Eileen Griffin

Genre: Erotic Romance, M/M, Paranormal, Shifter

Length: Anthology Length Short Story

Release Date: January 24, 2014

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Anthology Title: Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition

Strength. Power. Domination.

The shifters in our Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition anthology have one thing in common—they won’t take “no” for an answer. Whether they lead packs of their own, or whether they walk a solitary path, these alphas won’t let anyone stop them from claiming their men.

Lose yourself in these ten sinfully delicious love stories. After all, who could deny an Alpha’s claim?

Blurb for Claiming Ayden:

Thane, Alpha of his pack of shifter wolves, is running out of time. Drake, Alpha of a rival pack and Thane’s enemy, has stolen into Thane’s camp to capture three of his youngest members, including his intended mate Ayden.

Drake needs numbers to increase the size of his pack and he does not care how he accomplishes that feat. Will Drake succeed and not only increase the number of his pack but eliminate Thane as a rival Alpha and enemy to his pack? Or will Thane’s need for his mate and desire to have him at any cost be the tipping point that will help him overthrow Drake and claim Ayden once and for all?

Excerpt from Claiming Ayden

Thane looked down at Ayden’s white blond hair and felt his chest tighten. He lifted his hand and settled it in the pup’s hair. He had to hold back a moan when he felt a tremor go through the pup’s body the moment his fingers brushed along Ayden’s scalp. Thane tightened his fingers in Ayden’s hair and pulled the younger man’s face to his. Crystal blue eyes stared back at him. Nowhere in them was there any fear or pain. Instead, Thane saw the same expression of surety and desire Ayden had worn when he’d wandered into their camp almost two and a half years ago.

“Thank you for the food, pup. But that’s not the sustenance I need tonight.”

The tremor Thane had felt turned into a shudder as Ayden placed the food and water on the ground. Then in a show of true submission he gently leaned his head into the grasp Thane had on his hair, leaving his neck exposed.

Thane’s cock filled with blood and hardened against his body. His eyes roamed over the battered body of his true mate to check for damage that would prevent him from taking the action he should have completed before they had begun their journey to the winter lands. Roane approached Thane’s side and slid the leather thong from his neck, pressing it into his leader’s free hand before backing away.

About Eileen:

Eileen Griffin lives in Texas, but loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack on her back. She enjoys TexMex, lives for good wine, and has a certain penchant for purple unicorns. She loves reading all genres of books, but her current obsession is writing M/M romance. She currently has three works out, Chasing Matt, a M/M novella co-authored with Nikka Michaels, Dinner For Two, a M/F romance novella, and “Claiming Ayden”, a M/M shifter romance that is part of a M/M anthology of short stories. Eileen is currently at work with co-author on two M/M foodie romance novels set to be released summer/fall 2014.

Author Links:

Blog | Twitter – @eileengriffin77 | Facebook | Evernight | Goodreads

Buy Links:

Evernight Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK | AllRomanceEbooks | Bookstrand

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Evernight Publishing, Nikka Michaels

Nikka Michaels Is Here To Tell You Five Things You Should Know About Waking Up Wolf


::waves::

Thanks so much to Lisa at The Novel Approach for giving me a chance to share five things about the wolf shifters in my newest release, Waking Up Wolf in Evernight Publishing’s M/M Shifter Anthology, Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition. Big gropey loves for The Novel Approach for letting me hang out with them today. It’s an honor.

Waking Up Wolf is a short paranormal erotic romance where two men find each other in a post- apocalyptic world. When a radioactive leak in the local water source turns the inhabitants of Adam Baker’s small town into shape shifting wolves, he manages to hold and survive alone–except for the wolves he hears in the distance. When he doesn’t immediately undergo “the change” into a wolf himself, he begins to believe he’s immune. After his dreams begin to include another wolf, he finds himself drawn to the howls outside his window and the pack’s alpha, Grady Conway.

1) In the post Change world, shifters (changelings) and trues (the wolves who were born wolves) compete with each other for their lives and territory.
2) Unlike other shifter worlds, the human wolf shifters in Waking Up Wolf underwent the change due to a radioactive leak in the water system.
3) Alpha’s are the leader of individual Changeling groups and they have to claim a mate.
4) Changelings can communicate through their minds when in wolf form.
5) Changelings can learn to shift and control their change at will with practice.

Now, let me introduce you a little more to Waking Up Wolf:

Waking up Wolf

By Nikka Michaels

Genre: Erotic Romance, M/M, Paranormal, Shifter

Length: Anthology Length Short Story

Release Date: January 24, 2014

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Anthology Title: Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition

Strength. Power. Domination.

The shifters in our Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition anthology have one thing in common—they won’t take “no” for an answer. Whether they lead packs of their own, or whether they walk a solitary path, these alphas won’t let anyone stop them from claiming their men.

Lose yourself in these ten sinfully delicious love stories. After all, who could deny an Alpha’s claim?

WAKING UP WOLF EXCERPT:

Adam watched him carefully. “You don’t even know me. Why would you invite me back with your family, your pack?”

Grady looked down. “What if I told you we needed you? That I needed you?”

Adam stared at him like he’d gone crazy.

“Me? Why would you need me?”

“A true alpha needs a mate.” Grady raised his head, meeting Adam’s eyes, and for a moment he couldn’t look away.

“And you think I’m your mate?”

“I don’t think. I know. You’re my mate, always have been.”

Adam backed away, and he felt himself shake and pain shoot through his body as he fell to his knees. Naked and sprawled in the dirt he stared up at Grady, who closed his eyes and shifted, leaving himself bare as well.

Adam swallowed hard as he stared up at Grady in shock. This close he could see every single inch of the tanned and toned body of the man who commanded a pack. Muscled and imposing, he stared down at Adam, his blue eyed gaze heated.

Without another word, Grady took a step closer, sliding his hand over the top of Adam’s head possessively. He slowly wrapped his hand around Adam’s long dark dreads and pulled his head back, exposing his neck. Adam’s eyes slammed shut as he waited for Grady to change and wolf teeth to tear out his throat. Instead, when Grady’s human teeth sank into his shoulder he shuddered and cried out.

Pleasure/pain surged through Adam’s body as he jerked awake, his cock throbbing as he felt hot cum stripe his belly. His legs shook as he panted for breath, his bed sheets and body soaked with sweat.

His dreams had never been that vivid before, and when he shifted his body his muscles screamed in protest and he flopped back with a moan.

When he yanked back the blankets he stared.

His feet were dirty, caked in mud along with his hands. On his neck, he could feel Grady’s teeth marks.

He’d been marked by the alpha.

BUY LINKS:

Evernight Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK | All Romance eBooks | Bookstrand

NIKKA MICHAELS BIO:

Nikka Michaels lives in the often rainy Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking, laughing and crafting romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs with heat. A voracious reader, novice knitter and music lover she’s been known to multitask without breaking a sweat. She loves to read and write M/M romance but believes everyone deserves a love story. She currently has three releases out, Chasing Matt, a M/M novella co-authored with Eileen Griffin, Christmas with Caden, a M/F romance novella from Cobblestone Press, and Waking up Wolf, a M/M shifter romance in Evernight Publishing’s Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition anthology. Her short erotic M/M BDSM story, Room Service is forthcoming from Cobblestone Press in February 2014. Nikka is currently at work with her co-author on two M/M foodie romance novels, set to be released summer and fall 2014 from Carina Press.

Author Links:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook Profile | Facebook Author Page | Goodreads | Evernight Publishing | Amazon US

The Giveaway

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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Eileen Griffin, Evernight Publishing, Nikka Michaels

Nikka Michaels And Eileen Griffin Have Brought Chase, Matt, And A Giveaway With Them


We’re so pleased to have both authors and gentlemen here with us today to say hi, so read on to learn a little bit about Chase and Matt, and see how easy it is to enter for a chance to win Chasing Matt


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Blurb

Chase Williams is a gorgeous but painfully shy web designer whose long term boyfriend dumped him for being such a “nice” guy. Instead of meeting his buddies at the local bar for a drink he helps his elderly neighbor with a DIY project. When a wobbly step ladder leads to a banged up wrist and a trip to the ER Chase is convinced it’s the worst night ever. Then he meets his handsome nurse.

Matt Owens is the boy next door who loves working in the busy ER. He’s more than ready to clock out from his double shift until he meets his patient in Bed 4. Matt’s bedside manner is charming enough to make Chase consider throwing caution to the wind and going after what he wants for a change. But will Matt’s attraction to Chase be enough to make him to break his rule about never dating patients?


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Interview with Matt and Chase from Chasing Matt

Question for Chase from Eileen: How did you know that Matt was someone you were willing to take a chance on?

A: *turns beet red* Usually when I meet people they say hello then immediately move onto someone more interesting because I tend to be on the shy and quiet side. With Matt it was different. Well, obviously he treated me as a patient, at the ER, but still, he actually talked to me as a person that was worth talking to and looked past the geeky glasses.

*slight interruption from Matt* Chase, for the thousandth time. The glasses are so far beyond geeky, it’s not even funny. And you in them? Dude, they, and you in them, are hot.

Question for Matt from Nikka: What was it about Chase that made you stop after your shift was over and ask if he needed help in the ER’s lobby?

A: He just looked so alone and I didn’t think that anyone should feel alone in the world. Especially after such a stressful night like the one he’d just had. Plus, he was really hot in his borrowed scrubs.

Question for Chase from Nikka: What do you think of Matt’s truck?

A: *looks over at Matt and turns an even deeper shade of red* I happen to love Matt’s truck. I also happen to love what Matt can do in his truck. *Matt smirks*

Question for Matt from Eileen: What are your honest impressions/feelings about Chase’s ex-boyfriend, Stephen?

A: Without question? He’s a total dick. And not in the good way. Luckily he leaves Chase alone now and has moved on.

Question for Chase from Nikka: Has Mr. Hodges asked for your help with any more DIY projects?

A: He has, but I bought him a new step ladder. I don’t want to end up in the ER again anytime soon.

*interruption from Matt* Um, I might have given Mr. Hodges my cell number. Just in case he needed any more projects done. As happy as I was to meet Chase in the ER, I don’t want him back there anytime soon either.

Question for Matt from Eileen: Caro seems a little wild. Can you tell the readers a little bit more about her?

A: Caro is…well. Caro. She’s very loud and opinionated and totally obnoxious. But she’s also a very loyal and caring friend. Even though she went a little overboard trying to get Chase and me together she meant well.

Question for Chase from Nikka: What are your plans for the future?

A: My plans are expanding my home based business, trying more things with Matt and hopefully getting out there a little more. Well, one step at a time.

Question for Matt from Eileen: What are your plans for the future?

A: Getting out more when I have time and am off work and hanging out more with Chase. He’s very much into his Rec Sports soccer league, so I’ve decided to give that a try. *coughs* I also like to be on hand in case any “accidents” happen while he’s playing.

*interruption from Chase* What kind of accidents? I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.

*smirk from Matt* But I like being the one who takes care of you.

Question from Chase from Eileen: What’s your favorite sexual position?

A: *turns crimson red and avoids all eye contact with everyone in the room* Um… Is that really one of the interview questions?

Question for Matt from Nikka: What’s your favorite sexual position?

A: *smirks wider* Yes, Chase. It’s really one of the interview questions. My favorite position is any position that involves Chase, so do I really have to pick just one?

Question for Chase from Nikka: What’s your favorite thing about Matt?

A: *smiles over at Matt* I love his sense of humor. If I’ve had a long or bad day, he never fails to have me smiling or laughing within minutes of just being near him.

Question for Matt from Eileen: What’s your favorite thing about Chase?

A: *smiles over at Chase* I love his loyalty and passion for life and the people in his life. He loves with all of his heart. It’s hard to find that in someone these days. I just feel lucky that I was on duty the night he walked into the ER.


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Links

Evernight Publishing

Amazon

All Romance Ebooks

Bookstrand

Rainbow eBooks

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

Kobo


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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Excerpt

Nurse Matt Owens paused and held my eyes for a minute before leaning over to type some notes on the computer. My skin flushed when he looked away. I liked the feeling of his eyes on me. I only wished he did it with personal interest instead of the clinical way he evaluated my injury.

I shifted on the stretcher as he gently manipulated my wrist, his hands steady and warm through the gloves. The pain was mostly manageable, until he held onto my forearm with one hand, and flexed my hand backward with the other. I jumped and yelped, unable to hide how much even that small movement hurt.

His eyes were sympathetic, but his hands remained firmly on my arm, steadying me. “Sorry. Bad news? There’s a lot of swelling, and the skin is already turning a nice shade of purple.”

He looked back down at my wrist, and manipulated my fingers and wrist again. When he held my hand still and slowly moved his thumb in circles over the top of my wrist, my breath hitched. The pain of the injury mixed with a deeper pleasure that shot straight to my cock. I quickly shifted my good arm to cover my lap.

“Pain?” Matt’s concerned eyes met mine as he moved his thumb, gently rubbing the swollen skin between my thumb and pointer finger.

“A little.”

“Pressure points can help alleviate pain sometimes, but right now you’re too swollen to receive any real benefit. This pressure point is called the Valley of Harmony, but I’m sensing this is less than harmonic for you.”

I thought I saw the smallest hint of a smirk on his lips, but I couldn’t be sure since his face was still tilted down toward my arm. I cursed at myself for getting turned on by a nurse’s clinical exam.
“I’ve just called for a tech from Radiology to escort you down for your scans. Do you have any questions?”

I laughed under my breath. Did I have any questions? A whole litany of questions came to my mind ranging from where the hell was the exit so I can finally go home to what’s your phone number.

After I settled on the new stretcher, the tech wheeled me down the hallway towards Radiology. All I thought about was whether Matt would be there when I got back from the tests. If he was, and I hadn’t killed anyone from the pain taking over my whole body, maybe I’d actually work up the courage to strike up a conversation that had nothing to do with sludgy coffee, sucky fluorescent lighting, or beautiful ER lobbies, and get to know more about Nurse Owens. Maybe I’d embrace the new Chase Williams like Brett wanted me to and actually go after what I wanted for the first time in my life.

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Author Bios/Links

Nikka Michaels lives in the often rainy Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking, laughing and crafting romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs.

http://www.facebook.com/Nikka.Michaels

http://www.nikkamichaels.com

http://www.evernightpublishing.com/nikka-michaels/

http://www.amazon.com/author/nikkamichaels

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7231273.Nikka_Michaels

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Eileen Griffin loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack. She enjoys TexMex, good wine and losing herself in a great book.

http://www.eileengriffin.wordpress.com

http://www.twitter.com/eileengriffin77

http://www.facebook.com/eileen.griffin

http://www.evernightpublishing.com/eileen-griffin/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7231778.Eileen_Griffin

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Eileen Griffin, Nikka Michaels

In “Chasing Matt”, Nice Guys Do Finish First



“Two people of similar nature can never get along, it takes two opposites to harmonize.” ― Ram Mohan



BLURB: Chase Williams is a gorgeous but painfully shy web designer whose long-term boyfriend dumped him for being such a “nice” guy. Instead of meeting his buddies at the local bar for a drink, he helps his elderly neighbor with a DIY project. When a wobbly step ladder leads to a banged up wrist and a trip to the ER, Chase is convinced it’s the worst night ever. Then he meets his handsome nurse.
Continue reading

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Douglas Black, Evernight Publishing

The Secret In “A Secret Love” Was Worth The Wait To Discover

“He had two lives: one open, seen and known by all who cared to know, full of relative truth and of relative falsehood … and another life running its course in secret … everything that was essential, of interest and of value to him, everything in which he was sincere and did not deceive himself, was hidden from other people.” – Anton Chekhov



Douglas Black’s A Secret Love is a deceptive story, but only in the best possible way. This is a story that gives the reader the impression it’s something it’s not, and that’s one of the things that made this novella a single-sitting read.

James and Mark’s time together is stolen in short chunks of overnights and rare weekends, hidden away from the prying eyes of the public. It’s time spent together in which they remove their wedding rings and jealously covet every single moment they’re able to spend in each other’s arms before they have to separate, often going months before they’ll see each other again. It’s something they’ve been doing for the past eight years, this clandestine affair, and it hasn’t been easy, this hiding of their feelings for each other from the world, but now they’re counting down mere months before they can finally be together openly without fear of someone discovering their secret.

One of the things that kept me on the hook while reading A Secret Love was the anticipation of James and Mark finally revealing exactly what their secret was, but there were other things as well, not the least of which was my fear that something would go wrong for these men before they were able to grab a solid hold of the hope for their future. Douglas Black tells a magnetic story with two characters I found myself rooting for even when I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the truth of what it was they were hiding, though there was never a moment’s doubt these two men were meant to be together.

There are both good and bad things about a book leaving you wanting more, the good being that it’s a compliment to the author who’s created characters I don’t want to leave; the bad being that I wish he had expanded the story to include more opportunity for the reader to experience what happened between the time that Mark and James said goodbye for the last time and then were finally reunited again. The more of it could have been the difference maker between a story I liked a lot and a story I could have really loved.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy A Secret Love here:

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Evernight Publishing, James Cox

The Outlaw’s Lover by James Cox

“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice.” – Tom Robbins

The Outlaw’s Lover is the third installment in James Cox’s erotic “Manlove at the End of the World” series, a series that takes place in a post-apocalyptic America after a deadly virus has diminished the country’s population and left its survivors vulnerable to a now lawless nation, where vigilante justice, zealotry, and sanctimony threaten to bring an end to practical freedoms.

Eighteen months after the virus, Rian Ampledorf is alone, hungry and fighting to fend off the predators and scavengers who do nothing more than take advantage of the new world order, choosing to prey on the seemingly weak and defenseless, becoming the disease for which there is no cure. But Rian is a survivor, a self-described geeky coward who proves that a healthy dose of fear and pragmatism means he’ll live to see another day.

Adopted by members of a new colony that is more cult than community, a place that’s been dubbed Heaven but is more like Hell on Earth, Rian believes for a moment that he’s found a safe haven from a man its citizens call the Outlaw, but soon discovers it’s a place where you either embrace the crazy, drink the Kool-Aid, or you’ll find yourself the sacrificial lamb to the Almighty as penance for being unable and unwilling to be fruitful and multiply.

Enter Drake, the Aussie Outlaw, a man to whom Rian is immediately attracted, but a man Rian isn’t sure he can or should trust; until, that is, Rian witnesses firsthand that the patients are in charge of the asylum; then he must choose survival or surrender, and Drake is the key.

If you’ve read The Last Cowboy and The Three Hour Man, you’ll recognize The Outlaw’s Lover faithfully follows the blueprint for the series—stories of men who love love and lust and sex and manage to go about the business of living after the business of dying has left them lonely and looking for connection.

Buy The Outlaw’s Lover HERE.

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Evernight Publishing, James Cox

The Three Hour Man (Manlove at the End of the World, #2) by James Cox

“Lust’s passion will be served.” – Marquis de Sade

The Three Hour Man (yes, it means exactly what you think it means) is the sequel to James Cox’s The Last Cowboy, the series set in a post-Plague world where a majority of the world’s population has been decimated by a deadly virus, leaving only the strongest to survive in a wasteland of loneliness and pent-up desire.

Deon and Chase were introduced at the end of book one in this series, where their story was set up to tell and which now goes back in time, roughly six months earlier, to explain how the two men met. I debated on whether or not to say this could be read as a stand-alone, but I think it is important to read the books in order, if not for the character set-up, then for some of the world building that’s done in The Last Cowboy, just to set the mood for what’s happening in this present dystopia.

Vigilantism and extremism are de rigueur, it seems, as the social structure of the country begins to crumble under the strain of survival and the compulsion to procreate and repopulate the earth, and those who suffer the most are those whose desires run contrary to the mania of the few who are bent upon fulfilling the mandate to be fruitful and multiply. This is where Deon meets Chase, as the young man is set to be hanged for his refusal, not to mention his inability, to breed on command.

On a steady diet of loneliness, then suddenly not being alone anymore; on a steady diet of denial, then suddenly having what you’ve most craved within reach, lust and sex become the things upon which these two men feast and ultimately forge a bond where their desires extend to the idea of creating a new Utopia where people will live together peacefully and in acceptance of each other’s differences.

I’ll be honest, reading these books from a woman’s POV has been…interesting, to say the least. This series is unapologetically erotic; it’s the contrast of uninhibited and joyful and frenzied sex set against a backdrop of a world that no longer holds much joy but does hold the promise of a better future. These men explore and expose all their feelings on the surface; they’re direct and end up the better for it because they’re no longer afraid to reach out and grab whatever measure of happiness they can find. I’m afraid that some of the…uh…well, let’s just say that I’m not sure I have the right equipment to fully appreciate the view James Cox is giving me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy looking.

Buy The Three Hour Man HERE.

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Evernight Publishing, James Cox

Small Gems – The Last Cowboy by James Cox

Erotica meets the apocalypse in James Cox’s The Last Cowboy, when a deadly plague renders the human race all but extinct, and sex becomes a little bit like salvation for Benjamin, the last cowboy in existence on the wild frontier of Texas.

Benjamin singlehandedly works his ranch and sustains himself off the land, and it’s been a god-awful lonely way to live, in the three years since the plague wreaked havoc across the country, but what else can you do but live when you’ve survived the near end of the world?

Human contact is exceedingly rare, and the only intimacy Benjamin finds is what he can provide with his own hands. Strangers aren’t to be trusted when you don’t know a man’s agenda, but there’s also an undeniable temptation to make a human connection when, for so long, the only true companionship you’ve known has been with your horse. When city boy Cody stumbles into Benjamin’s life, dragging the lawlessness of the city right to Benjamin’s doorstep with him, trust is tested, vigilante justice becomes the only law a man needs to dispatch his enemies, and sex is like the answer to everything, because the denial of that which you’ve craved for so long, then finally have access to, is like a feast for a starving man.

And in the end, there is also hope for the future.

This short and sexy little story isn’t The Stand or I am Legend, nor is it set in a dystopian Mad Max sort of future. What it is, is the story of a lonesome cowboy who finds someone to connect with, someone worth protecting, and someone worth imagining a future with.

Yes, I’d have liked a bit more weight and depth to this story, but that’s the fault of my expectations more than anything else. Taking The Last Cowboy for what it’s meant to be—an erotic story of denial and the unlimited pleasure of fulfillment—it works absolutely fine.

Buy The Last Cowboy HERE.

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