5 Stars, Genre Romance, Lori Toland, Reviewed by Jackie, Self-Published

Review: Encore by Lori Toland

Title: Encore (The Replacement Guitarist: Book Four)

Author: Lori Toland

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 376 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Blaze Shinozuka is a bonafide rockstar with his band, Razor’s Edge. After his romance with music manager Jason Stockton crashed and burned, Blaze is free to live and love. It’s been a wild and heady year that’s been blissfully drama free until the one man he’s been avoiding comes careening back in to wreak havoc on his heart once again. Continue reading

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Lori Toland, Self-Published

Lori Toland Wants To Take You “Home for the Holidays” With A Giveaway!



TNA: Hi, Lori, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies, interests, odds and ends things that make you, you.

Lori: Hi Lisa! :) Thanks for having me by. I’m Lori and I write erotic romance. I’ve been writing since I was thirteen (mostly paranormal fiction), and I haven’t stopped since. I have a houseful of cats, which includes my hubby. I live in Orlando, way too close to the mouse for my liking, and oh yeah, I’m a CEO.

TNA: Have you always written M/M Romance? What is it that compels you to explore gay relationships in your writing?

Lori: No, I always wrote the characters as they were. I didn’t try to change them whether they were gay, straight, bisexual or trans*. I guess I explore gay relationships because of my gender identity, which can only be described as genderqueer. I’ve lived most of my life trying to conform to society’s idea of who I should be.

TNA: What was your first published M/M title? Do you remember the precise moment you came up with the story idea and knew you wouldn’t rest until it was told?

Lori: It was Steam, actually. I was completely pleased when Dreamspinner published me in their newsletter. Just so you know, there are sometimes little snippets posted in their newsletter that are from your fave authors at DsP so make sure you read through for the good bits :)

TNA: If you could go back in time, to the moment you sat down and began writing that first story, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?

Lori: Enjoy this time. Being unpublished had a lot of freedom where I didn’t have to color within the lines. I didn’t have pressure to get it all right.

TNA: Let’s chat a little bit about your latest release, which is actually a re-release, Home for the Holidays, the sequel to the recently re-released The Replacement Guitarist. Will you tell us a little bit about Jason and Blaze and how you came up with the idea for their story?

Lori: The first character I came up with from that series was Jason. He just wanted to fall in love and he had one requirement. It couldn’t be with someone he worked with. Then Blaze entered the picture and Jason wanted to break all his rules.

TNA: And with the re-release of Home for the Holidays, you’ve also expanded the story. For readers who read it in its original publication, would you care to share, without giving away too much, what they can expect from Jason and Blaze after the holidays?

Lori: Blaze is leaving for Europe and they have to be apart for three months. Jason has to stay in the States to manage his artists so there is lots of storing up good memories for the long road ahead. But the road of life isn’t always easy. Jason and Blaze have some insurmountable tasks ahead of them.

TNA: What do you find sexy about guitarists, or musicians, in general?

Lori: I think it’s their art. Artists are sexy, whether they are photographers, musicians, painters or writers. They are creating something that is part of their soul and show it to others. There is something very exciting and voyeuristic about it.

TNA: Which of the characters gave you the most difficulties during the writing process, Jason or Blaze, and why?

Lori: Jason definitely. He may have been the first character to come into my mind when I started writing the story but he’s very guarded. He’s been hurt a lot and in some ways he’s still very childlike. Unfortunately he has a lot of pain to face in the coming books as Blaze breaks down those walls.

TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Home for the Holidays with us?

Lori: Excerpt –

When Blaze reached the street, a horse drawn carriage like the ones he’d seen in Central Park was parked in front of the restaurant. Jason gestured for him to get in and he cocked his eyebrow. “A horse-drawn carriage. Really?”

Jason grinned. “I’ve always wanted to go on one but I’ve never had the chance to.”

“You’re kidding, right? A hot guy like you couldn’t rope a date into going with you?” Blaze teased.

Jason ducked his head. “There wasn’t anyone I wanted to take with me before you.”

Blaze grinned, honored by the gesture. “Really? Well, then I feel special.”

Jason got in and offered his hand to Blaze to help him into the carriage. Blaze smiled, getting in and settling down onto the leather seats. “Are you sure it’s okay for us to do this?”

Jason frowned. “Why wouldn’t it be?”

Blaze shrugged as Jason settled into the seat next to him. The driver gave her order to the horses and they set off. Once the carriage rolling smoothly, she glanced over her shoulder at them. “There are some wool blankets if you need them. It’s supposed to snow tonight.”

Jason reached for them but Blaze caught his hand. “I’m allergic to wool, Jase. Besides, I don’t think I need it. My coat is lined.”

Jason leaned over and whispered, “I think she told us that so we could snuggle under the blanket.”

“Oh… well, in that case….” Blaze grinned, and when Jason pulled back and returned the smile, a thrill of happiness ran through him. Jason threaded their fingers together, and tucked the blanket around their bodies, being careful so it didn’t touch Blaze’s bare skin.

Blaze looked around at the buildings as they made their way toward Central Park, the hoofbeat of the horses creating a rhythm of its own. Jason squeezed his hand through his lined gloves, and he looked over at his lover. “Having fun?”

Blaze nodded. “Are you?”

Jason reached up with his other hand and cupped Blaze’s cheek. “Yeah.”

He smiled as Jason leaned in. Their lips met in a gentle, unhurried kiss and when he pulled back, Jason trailed his gloved thumb over Blaze’s cheek. He leaned in again, and this time he slid his tongue in to meet Jason’s, and he moved closer to his partner.

Blaze felt something against his cheek, and he reached up to brush it away with his finger. Nothing could distract him right now, not when Jason sucked on his bottom lip gently. Blaze sighed softly, and reached beneath the thick material of Jason’s jacket to pull him close.

Something else brushed against his cheek. It must have been his hair and he tried to make a mental note to get a haircut, though Jason drove away the thought with another kiss. He felt the sensation again, and he pulled away from his boyfriend to brush the strands out of his face.

Jason opened his eyes a fraction but Blaze barely noticed. Snowflakes stood stark white against Jason’s dark curls before they melted. He grinned. “Jase, look! It’s snowing.”

Jason looked toward the sky and his smile took Blaze’s breath away. When Jason looked back, his eyes were shining as the snowflakes melted along his impossibly long eyelashes. “Perfect,” Jason said softly.

TNA: I know this is sort of like asking you to name your favorite child, but of all the stories you’ve written, do you have a favorite? If so, which and why?

Lori: I really love The Long Con. I adore Tony and Bradley. While Tony is the character I adore from there, I also love Bradley because he’s so completely broken. A lot of people think he is so perfect but that’s only because he’s beautiful. He’s a very dark character.

TNA: If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would you choose and why?

Lori: Tony Terranova! (OMG, I love him) I could write them for the rest of my life and never get tired of Tony. He’s such a good submissive.

TNA: What would you say are the best and worst parts of the writing process for you?

Lori: The best part is when I hit my stride in whatever story I’m working on and the words are flying down on the page. I love that. It is so awesome. The end of Home for the Holidays was a lot like that. It just flew onto the page.

The worst part is reading this story time after time. I must read it well over a hundred times in its worst forms before it morphs into the book you all read. And sometimes the worst part is writing The End. It’s a gratifying feeling to finish, but knowing their story is done can be sad sometimes.

TNA: Are you a plotter or a pantser? Whichever you are, why do you feel that method works best for you?

Lori: Ooh. I’m a plotter. I love plotting and sitting down and figuring out where everything goes but if I have it all too figured out, something has to change. I really hate it when I have something awesome planned out and then it flies out the window. It all works out in the end though.

TNA: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Lori: Invisibility. Sometimes I don’t want to be seen. Actually, the cats would really like that power when stalking each other to pounce and play! :)

TNA: If time travel were possible, where would you go and why?

Lori: I don’t know that I would actually want to use time travel. Doctor Who ruined it for me. If I can’t travel with The Doctor as his companion, then I don’t want to go. In reality, I’m happy where I am.

TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs?

Lori: As always I’m working on too many stories to list but I’m working on future books in the Replacement Guitarist Series (which is half done), and the Dangerous Affairs series, and Stefan’s book is going to be next. Yay! :)

TNA: Where can readers find you on the internet?

Website | Twitter | Facebook | E-mail: lori at loritoland dot com (super sekrit ninja style!)

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Thanks again for being here with us today, Lori, it was great hosting you!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Backlist Book Bump, Cate Ashwood, Charlie Cochet, Erica Pike, Ethan Stone, John Goode, Liam Livings, Lori Toland, Mary Calmes, Sara York, Sneak Peek

And Now, Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Happy Sunday, and welcome to another look at what we’ve got on tap for you in the coming week. We’ll have more reviews, including stories in the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar anthology Heartwarming, as well as some other Christmas themed stories. We’ve also got interviews, guest articles, a Backlist Book Bump, and plenty of giveaways in store.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

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MondayLiam Livings is our guest today on his Christmas Serendipity Blog Tour and he’ll also have a giveaway of the book

TuesdayMary Calmes will be here with Quade and Roman from Old Loyalty, New Love. They’re doing an interview and offering a giveaway of the book

WednesdayCharlie Cochet kicks off The Heart of Frost Blog Tour right here and, and she’ll also be offering a giveaway at the end of the tour

ThursdaySara York and Ethan Stone will be here on their Transparency Blog Tour and will be offering a giveaway to one lucky reader

FridayCate Ashwood stops by on her Wholehearted (Hope Cove, Book 2) Blog Tour, and she’ll be offering a giveaway

John Goode – Will be here today with “Where Are We Now?” – Part 4 in his guest writing series

SaturdayLori Toland stops in on her Home for the Holidays Blog Tour with an Interview and giveaway

SundayErica Pike is doing a little Backlist Book Bump of A Life Without You and is offering a giveaway of the book

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And that does it for the upcoming week. Until next Sunday, happy reading!

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Lori Toland

How About A Little Taste Of “Home for the Holidays”?



Be sure to stay tuned right here because Lori Toland will be our guest on December 14, 2013, with an interview and giveaway!

Excerpt: Home for the Holidays

When Blaze reached the street, a horse drawn carriage like the ones he’d seen in Central Park was parked in front of the restaurant. Jason gestured for him to get in and he cocked his eyebrow. “A horse-drawn carriage. Really?”

Jason grinned. “I’ve always wanted to go on one but I’ve never had the chance to.”

“You’re kidding, right? A hot guy like you couldn’t rope a date into going with you?” Blaze teased.

Jason ducked his head. “There wasn’t anyone I wanted to take with me before you.”

Blaze grinned, honored by the gesture. “Really? Well, then I feel special.”

Jason got in and offered his hand to Blaze to help him into the carriage. Blaze smiled, getting in and settling down onto the leather seats. “Are you sure it’s okay for us to do this?”

Jason frowned. “Why wouldn’t it be?”

Blaze shrugged as Jason settled into the seat next to him. The driver gave her order to the horses and they set off. Once the carriage rolling smoothly, she glanced over her shoulder at them. “There are some wool blankets if you need them. It’s supposed to snow tonight.”

Jason reached for them but Blaze caught his hand. “I’m allergic to wool, Jase. Besides, I don’t think I need it. My coat is lined.”

Jason leaned over and whispered, “I think she told us that so we could snuggle under the blanket.”

“Oh… well, in that case….” Blaze grinned, and when Jason pulled back and returned the smile, a thrill of happiness ran through him. Jason threaded their fingers together, and tucked the blanket around their bodies, being careful so it didn’t touch Blaze’s bare skin.

Blaze looked around at the buildings as they made their way toward Central Park, the hoofbeat of the horses creating a rhythm of its own. Jason squeezed his hand through his lined gloves, and he looked over at his lover. “Having fun?”

Blaze nodded. “Are you?”

Jason reached up with his other hand and cupped Blaze’s cheek. “Yeah.”

He smiled as Jason leaned in. Their lips met in a gentle, unhurried kiss and when he pulled back, Jason trailed his gloved thumb over Blaze’s cheek. He leaned in again, and this time he slid his tongue in to meet Jason’s, and he moved closer to his partner.

Blaze felt something against his cheek, and he reached up to brush it away with his finger. Nothing could distract him right now, not when Jason sucked on his bottom lip gently. Blaze sighed softly, and reached beneath the thick material of Jason’s jacket to pull him close.

Something else brushed against his cheek. It must have been his hair and he tried to make a mental note to get a haircut, though Jason drove away the thought with another kiss. He felt the sensation again, and he pulled away from his boyfriend to brush the strands out of his face.

Jason opened his eyes a fraction but Blaze barely noticed. Snowflakes stood stark white against Jason’s dark curls before they melted. He grinned. “Jase, look! It’s snowing.”

Jason looked toward the sky and his smile took Blaze’s breath away. When Jason looked back, his eyes were shining as the snowflakes melted along his impossibly long eyelashes. “Perfect,” Jason said softly.

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Lori Toland

Going “Home for the Holidays” Isn’t Always The Perfect Gift



“Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts.” – James Joyce


BLURB: Jason Stockton and Blaze Shinozuka are looking forward to escaping their hectic rock and roll lifestyle for a relaxing holiday. Their plan seems promising, and the passion between them burns hotter than ever as they keep each other warm despite the icy temperatures.

When a surprise Stockton family get-together threatens to reveal what Jason would rather keep hidden, their budding relationship is put to the test and an impromptu trip to Hawaii makes the differences between them more obvious than ever.

Thanks to two chaotic family holidays and a lot of painful secrets, Christmas could end up being more than their new found love can endure.
Continue reading

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All Romance Ebooks, Lori Toland, Self-Published

“The Replacement Guitarist” Is A Slow Dance With Attraction



“It is the dim haze of mystery that adds enchantment to pursuit.” ― Antoine Rivarol



Blaze Shinozuka has recently graduated college and has an audition to play lead guitar for a famous pop star. Blaze is confident in his abilities and he is excited for the opportunity, that is until the man he is auditioning for walks in the room.

Jason Stockton is in a bind and has to replace the lead guitarist for Cassie’s tour since the last guy quit and the tour is set to start soon. When he walks in the room, he is struck in the gut by his attraction to Blaze. Jason tries to keep his face stoic, but he knows that the lust is shining from his eyes.

The two men seem to dance around their attraction until they both give in and start a tentative relationship. Blaze has never been in a relationship before, not with a man or a woman. He knows he has been attracted to men and women equally, but he has never acted on that attraction. Jason picks up on the vibes Blaze is putting out, so he proceeds slowly with Blaze.

It seems Blaze is going to learn the ugly side of the music industry quickly, though. Between being set up for Jason to overhear a comment taken out of context to an untrue announcement made out of spite, Blaze and Jason have to work through some issues if they want to stay together. Then to top all of that off when Blaze tells his parents about Jason, they believe this is only a phase and try setting him up with a woman.

Jason is going through his own learning experiences as well. He finds out that Blaze is still a little confused because he has found himself attracted to women as well. Jason also has some lingering issues with Blaze’s nonchalant attitude with alcohol and drug use.

Along the way the two men realize that they love each other and decide they can overcome any obstacles if they do it together.

This is one book that has left me torn. I absolutely love the premise of this book. I am totally in love with Blaze, but I wish I knew Jason better. I don’t know if this was intentional on the author’s part, but Jason kept pretty quiet about his past. I hope that Jason shares more about himself and his past in the next book because I am completely rooting for these two men.

The author did leave plenty of room for more stories. I am very interested to see if Cassie lets her issues with Blaze and Jason go, and I want to see if the two men will be able to make it work after Blaze goes on the European leg of the tour.

I am just going to have to read the next book to find out, and you can bet I will.

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy The Replacement Guitarist here:

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Loose Id, Lori Toland

Dangerous Liaisons And Dangerous Submission by Lori Toland

Sex without pain is like food without taste. ― Marquis de Sade

The boys from SOCA, the Serious Organized Crime Agency, are back in Lori Toland’s Dangerous Submission (Dangerous Affairs, Book 2), but this time the story focuses not on Nathaniel Bradley and Tony Terranova, the lovers from The Long Con, but on Agent Drake Steele and his soon to be undercover partner, Agent Robbie Covington, a computer specialist and the youngest son of a duke, who are being sent to Prague on a top-secret mission of intrigue and espionage to infiltrate an art-smuggling ring, a job that will just so happen to lead the men deeply into an elite world of BDSM, a world with which Drake, as a Dom, is entirely familiar, but for Robbie is an alien world in which he will be getting all his training on the job, and will discover that being a good sub is far from easy.

These two men couldn’t come from more divergent backgrounds; being a son of the peerage, there’s no doubt Robbie will blend in well in the sophisticated society of art dealers and collectors. But that’s not Drake’s realm. Drake’s world has more to do with whips and handcuffs than tuxedos and cufflinks, and given the surroundings they’ll be thrown into, it will be Drake’s knowledge and talents that will ensure they locate their marks and infiltrate Brandon Mueller’s and Stefan Zuliani’s operation.

Dangerous Submission is more relationship book than spy thriller, which is something I think worthy of mentioning if you’re looking for a story that’s intense with the action of a covert mission and international intrigue. There are definitely dangerous liaisons within, but this story is more about the building of trust and an emotional bond between two men who should be nothing more to each other than co-workers who’ve been given a job to do, and are expected to fulfill it while maintaining a professional distance from the intimacy that can’t be helped, or avoided.

There are enemies and allies, and plenty of non-stop erotic moments that build to the moment-of-truth for Drake and Robbie, forcing them each to examine whether the feelings that’ve grown between them can exist outside of the mission, or if everything that transpired was merely an illusion wrapped within the roles they played.

While I’m the sort of reader who’d have liked to see the crime drama side of the plot a little more fully explored, the single attraction for me in their story, the one thing that made this book more than just a passable read, was the chemistry between Drake and Robbie and the development of the trust between them, a trust that didn’t necessarily happen as a slow and methodical building of a relationship but came upon them in a more intense way through the intimacy of dominance and submission and the surrendering of and the taking of control, and the back-and-forth power play between them.

You can buy Dangerous Submission here:

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Dreamspinner Press, Lori Toland, Small Gems

Small Gems – Worth the Wait by Lori Toland

Fifteen years is a long time to wait for the continuum of time to catch up to you, and only in the imaginations of authors who will bend the laws of physics and play into the fantasy of being able to manipulate clocks and calendars, to move forwards or backwards to influence the future or change the past, is it possible to make that journey along with the travelers, in the space of moments.

Henry Wallens is a man of science, a brilliant man who has invented a self-renewing source of clean energy, but in doing so has also stumbled upon a way to deviate the linear flow of time. In other words, Harry has invented a device that makes time travel possible.

The notion of manipulating time isn’t a new one. H.G. Wells was dreaming about it nearly 120 years ago when he wrote the novel Time Machine. And what is nearly universal is that at one time or another, there are few of us who haven’t wished to change something in the past or to go back and relive an exceptionally brilliant moment or to travel to the future to satisfy a curious nature. It’s arguably one of the most tempting fantasies in fiction, maybe because it’s entirely unattainable in reality.

After a particularly disturbing nightmare leaves him shaken, Henry knows exactly when he wants to return to and what he wants to try to accomplish while he’s there, though he quickly discovers that the wanting and the trying are far easier than the succeeding, as he spends time with his teenage self, posing as his Uncle Tommy, and realizes that although he was a painfully lonely young man, to attempt to alter that part of his life would surely have a negative impact upon all his adult accomplishments in the field of science.

Henry also discovers that seeing someone from a man’s perspective gives him a whole new appreciation for what had escaped him as a teenage boy. The law of attraction is proven through less than scientific methods when Henry comes in contact with his high school science teacher, Ryan. The proof that like does indeed attract like is discovered through more impassioned means than the cold logic of hypotheses and clinical experimentation, as Henry finds himself wishing for more of that elusive and unattainable gift of time, but regardless of how attracted Henry is to Ryan, staying in the past is an impossible desire.

Fifteen years is a long time to wait but can also seem to pass in the blink of an eye.

Worth the Wait is well worth the reading. Beyond rooting for Henry and Ryan to find their happy ending, this is a story that had me participating right along in the fantasy—where would I go and what would I do, if I had the chance? Would I be able to resist the temptation to alter events beyond the point of my mere presence alone? After some serious consideration, it’s probably best I’m forced to stay right where I am.

Buy Worth the Wait HERE.

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Loose Id, Lori Toland

The Long Con by Lori Toland

Nathaniel Bradley is an agent for the Serious Organised Crime Agency, SOCA for short, a British agency that focuses upon the theft of valuable art work across Great Britain and Europe. When a priceless heirloom disappears from his grandfather Lord Bradley’s home, Nathaniel makes it his personal mission to hunt it down and retrieve it at all costs. Unfortunately, the price he pays is his heart.

Tony Terranova is a Mafia son in New York City, which is where Nathaniel’s search leads him as he enters a dangerous game of cloak-and-dagger, playing both sides against the middle in an effort to thwart a group of con men who’re looking to sell a “fake” to Tony, a fake that is, in fact, the real thing. Posing to the group of cons as Bradley, a hustler, Nathaniel is aiming to steal the treasure back from Tony (who’s interested in purchasing the stolen art), and returning it to its rightful owner. What Bradley didn’t plan on happening is to have his heart stolen by Tony, the very man who is his mark in this game of duplicity.

The Long Con is a quick and erotic summer read that had some nice twists and turns in the end, as a few key characters aren’t who they seem to be. Bradley and Tony’s romance is of the insta-love variety, so do be aware of that as well. If you prefer your relationships to be more thoroughly explored, adjust your expectations or you might be disappointed.

There is also some ultra-light BDSM within Bradley and Tony’s relationship, but it’s really more implied than exposed, so again, consider that as well when approaching the book. There were times I felt the Dom/sub aspect in the bedroom blurred the lines between whom was to be playing which role, as Bradley wasn’t the absolute Dom I’m more familiar with in the sub-genre, but Tony topping from the bottom lent a sexy twist to the heavy sexual content.

The story comes to a satisfying HEA, though secrets and lies and deception keep things interesting along the way. So if you’re looking for some erotic romance to while away a few hours this summer, or if you’re already a Lori Toland fan, this may be just what you’re looking for.

Buy The Long Con HERE.

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