2 Stars, Elaine White, Encompass Ink, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: The Cellist by Elaine White

Title: The Cellist

Author: Elaine White

Publisher: Encompass Ink

Pages/Word Count: 260 Pages

At a Glance: The Cellist is a loosely plotted novel, lacking a clear objective and offering pat resolutions.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: After six years, cellist Roman returns home with boyfriend Ben, in search of more than just international fame. There’s one complication he didn’t count on. His high school crush, the straight, untouchable, Jaxton is there when he arrives.

One performance at local club Crimson 8, stirs emotions that were better left forgotten.

With prior warning that the club is a gay man’s fantasy come true, where anything and everything can happen, Jaxton is dragged along with a group of his friends, to see Roman play.

What happens next, will change the course of all their lives forever.

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Review: The review business is a game of chance—the author takes a chance on the unknown reviewer as much as the reviewer takes a chance on the unknown author. Sometimes it pays off, while at other times book and reader don’t click. Sadly, Elaine White’s The Cellist is a book I didn’t click with in spite of the fact the blurb intrigued me enough to give it a go.

The cellist in question is Roman, a young man who has made a successful career of his music. He’s introduced as having been a nerd in high school, but it isn’t long before we discover that he has transformed into a sexually provocative swan since those ugly duckling days, his transformation owed in whole to a group of men he meets online in a chat room for the club Crimson 8.

The club in question, which I anticipated would be more a focal point of the story, isn’t delineated much beyond the fact that it’s something like a show/voyeur club where men can go to have public sex without consequence. When Roman meets this group of men at the age of sixteen, he has just experienced the blow of unrequited first love and is suffering the woes of a broken heart. As we learn more about Roman, we see he’s bearing the burden of poor parenting as well, through what we are able to perceive as an emotionally abusive and controlling father, though we’re only offered enough detail about their relationship to allow for this to become a device used to remove Roman from his home and throw him into the arms of Ben, a man five years Roman’s senior, who becomes Roman’s lover.

The club Crimson 8 itself is also an ill-used device within the storyline, which really serves no greater purpose than to highlight how comfortably Roman has grown into his sexuality. There are a few scenes set there, but only one that proves significant to the storyline, when Jaxton witnesses Roman’s sexualized cello performance and subsequent interlude with Ben, which is a catalyst to Jaxton’s own transformation.

The Cellist is a loosely plotted novel, lacking a clear objective for a good portion of it, and offering pat resolutions at times, which, with a melodramatic build up to Roman’s relationship waffling, finally exposes its true aim as a ménage story. The narrative itself is riddled with editing issues, both in the content and copy department, and while I can often overlook those things, there were so many in this novel that they soon became burdensome, to the point where I had a hard time finishing this book. I also had difficulty suspending belief some of the time, while at others laboring to get beyond head hopping, unclear pronouns that made it hard to keep track of which he/him was being referred to, and the somewhat erratic behavior of the characters, particularly, as I’ve mentioned, with respect to Roman and his relationship with Ben.

We are reminded, quite frequently, theirs is a happy six year relationship, which made all the sudden conflict with Roman’s still-overwhelming feelings for Jaxton difficult to buy into when they hadn’t seen or spoken to each other at all in that six year time span. I feel a healthy portion of my disinterest in their relationship originated in the fact that we’re told how in love these two men are rather than shown what, in six years, should be a connection based on more than the fact they still like having sex with each other. Their meeting, and Ben’s help in gaining Roman his emancipation, did include some sweet and tender moments, but overall, they lacked that all important chemistry that might have drawn me into investing in them and their story.

When Jaxton and Roman’s storyline is introduced, we’re led to believe he and Roman had known each other since high school, where Jaxton was Roman’s closeted sometimes love interest, while at the same time being Roman’s public tormentor; though much later we discover they’ve actually known each other much longer, leading to another of my issues with the content and continuity problems which cropped up on several occasions—facts and tidbits are thrown into the plot at random times without prior support for their inclusion, down to even the smallest but no less niggling discovery at the 82% mark that Jaxton smokes. Things of this nature are thrown in, in a deliberate way though with seemingly no forethought, with this scenario becoming little more than an afterthought for the purpose of allowing Roman to further explore an oral fixation for the reader. On a number of occasions, I found myself asking, how, why? because the narrative had lacked a solid foundation for those additions to the story.

Pared down to its barest bones, The Cellist is somewhat of an overwrought ménage story that I had difficulty engaging with. Jaxton’s eventual acknowledgment of his bisexuality came at the expense of another character being asked to settle for what amounted to an insulting consolation-boyfriend status, while Ben’s invitation for Jaxton to enter into his and Roman’s relationship as a third partner again was not introduced in a way I felt was organic or realistic; certainly not in such a way that one would assume something of this magnitude would be handled. Again, Ben and Roman’s relationship has been pointedly established as a loving, committed and happy one, after all, with no prior hint that either man had been considering veering into the realms of a threesome. One would presume a relationship changer such as this would be precluded by at least a little deliberation and the weighing out of potential pros and cons through conversation rather than it coming out of what felt like left field as a convenient means to introduce the polyamory storyline.

Once a happy throuple, The Cellist doesn’t then delve into an exploration of the dynamics of the relationship between Ben, Roman, and now, Jaxton; seemingly there are no life-altering adjustments or obstacles one might assume would be inherent to their new partnership. Rather, the story becomes a sexploration of who gets to top and/or bottom at any given point, and little else happens of consequence beyond that. There is a certain lack of finesse to this narrative, nor does it appear there was much foresight given to certain tangents that bogged down the flow and pace of the reading and failed to further build upon or layer the plot or characters with depth and substance. In the end, I felt the cast were all rather flat in their portrayals, which led to a lack of emotional investment in them and their story on my part.

As much as I wanted and expected to enjoy The Cellist more than I did, I simply couldn’t get past all the things that stood out as glaring issues for me. I don’t believe this is all due to the author’s lack of talent or storytelling ability, though. Some of it does owe a great deal to the lack of solid editorial support on the part of the publisher.

As the job of a review is to give you, the reader, the information you need to help you decide whether or not you might decide to spend your book-buying dollars on any given novel, I’ll leave you with the wish that if you decide to take a chance on The Cellist, it works better for you than it did for me.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

You can buy The Cellist here:

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GayRomLit, Lei Carol

Countdown to GayRomLit 2015: Welcome Author Lei Carol

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Today we’re so pleased to welcome author Lei Carol to The Novel Approach, on the GayRomLit blog tour. Lei talks a bit about herself and the books she pens, and is also offering a steamy little excerpt for you to enjoy.

Here’s Lei!

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Hey, y’all, my name is Lei Carol and I am a Gay Erotic Romance author. This coming August will mark my official one year mark as a published author.

Since I was in the third grade I’ve been a very avid reader, having started with the very first Nancy Drew book to the Babysitters Club to Goosebumps.  I can remember the very first romance novel I read at the tender age of thirteen, Judy Garwood’s One White Rose, and since that day I’ve been hooked.

As I got older my reading genre’s changed, but not by much. I still read romance novels but moved onto the racier side of things until I stumbled onto my first M/M/F book, and not long after, I was only reading M/M books.

One day I was talking to a good friend, telling her about a story that I had in my mind, and she asked why I didn’t write it out.  Now mind you, I’ve tried writing once before when I was in high school, but due to bad feedback I stopped, until this particular friend told me to give it a try.

Here we are a year and a half later, and I am celebrating my 6th book release, and I couldn’t be happier.  It’s not always easy getting all the boys in my head to cooperate, but when they do, it’s magical.

I get asked a lot what it’s like being a female writing about gay guys, and how is it possible for me to know not only how it works but what it feels like.  All I can say is I have a very imaginative imagination and…I watch a lot of gay porn. What can I say? There’s nothing hotter than two or three guys playing with each other and not having to hold back.

I love being able to create a world where everyone gets their own happily-ever-after with however many mates they want. There may be turmoil and grief, or fights and irritations, but at the end there is usually always a happy ending.

Everyone deserves the happy ending of their dreams, no matter what; otherwise, what is life worth living without the hope and dream of your own happy-ever-after?

I honestly believe with each story I write, with each couple or throuple I bring together in my stories, I am just one step closer to my own happily-ever-after with the men of my dreams.  Who doesn’t want multiple hot guys to share their lives with?

So sit back and join me on a fascinating journey with many twists, turns and bumps in the road, that we can call my imagination. And please always remember, #LOVEISLOVE.

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claiming his bearsWarning: For Mature Adult Audiences.  Contains language and actions some may deem offensive.  Sexually explicit content.  Ménage – MMM.

In book four of the Cascade Pack: Shawn has always known he wanted something different then his brothers and sisters.  He has spent his entire life trying to hide just how different he needs were, afraid they wouldn’t understand.  So desperate to protect his secret, Shawn even runs away from his family and his mates.

Zerek and Zander were amazed the day they walked into the café to meet one of their employees for the first time only to find out he was their mate.  Now they are forced to wait to claim him as well as figure out just what secret he is desperately trying to keep.

Can the bears give their mate what he needs?  Or will he run for the hills, leaving three lives shattered?

Buy Links: Amazon US | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

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NSFW Excerpt: Pulling his mouth away from Zander only to twist around so he could mash his lips to his other lover’s.  Whimpering at the different sensations of kissing one man while the other began nibbling and biting on one nipple before switching to the other.

He loved the fact that both had a different taste and feel to their kisses. While Zerek’s kisses were soft and slow, Zander’s were hard and fast; which left him wondering if that’s how it would be when making love with them.  Would one be fast and rough while the other was slow and gentle?  At least then he would have the best of both worlds.

Feeling his lungs start to burn at the lack of oxygen, he broke the kiss.  Twisting back to glance toward Zander before dropping his head against Zerek’s shoulder only to end up choking on a groan trying to escape as he felt one of his men wrap one of their big hands around his achingly hard cock, which he was sure was leaking like a sieve, except he wasn’t too sure since they were in the water.

Rocking his hips in time with the stroking, Shawn’s balls pulled against his body, and he could feel the tingling in his spine signaling just how close he was to an orgasm. Moving his hips back and forth faster and faster with each swipe of the slick palm, moaning and groaning with each movement.

Jerking his hips forward, only to slam them back once more, Shawn was unable to contain a pained yelp when Zerek’s cock slipped from between his ass cheeks to slam into the back of his balls, giving him just enough pain to send him over the edge, screaming as his cock exploded rope after rope of built up semen.

Trying to get his breathing while resting his head against Zerek’s shoulder, panting as his hips continued to rock back and forth, each motion slower than the one before as exhaustion slowly took over his body.  It didn’t take long before he realized he couldn’t open his eyes and the soft snores he heard, were his own.

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Find Lei Carol At: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Email

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4 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Amy, SJD Peterson

Audio Review: Tag Team by SJD Peterson – Narrated by Rusty Topsfield

Audio Gem

Title: Tag Team (Guards of Folsom: Book Two)

Author: SJD Peterson

Narrator: Rusty Topsfield

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours and 56 Minutes

At a Glance: All I can ever ask for from a narrator is to take me into the world the author has created. Rusty Topsfield painted a picture of SJD Peterson’s world while defining each character wonderfully.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: Following the death of their sub, the former owners of the Guards of Folsom, Robert “Bobby” Alcott and Rig Beckworth, were left to pick up the pieces as best they could. After seven years, these two Doms are ready to move on and find the boy who will complete them. Their painful past comes crashing back when they meet Mason Howard, a submissive who just weeks ago lost his Doms in a car accident.

Reeling from overwhelming grief that’s complicated by a severe social anxiety disorder, Mason can barely leave his home. When Rig and Bobby find him, he’s hit rock bottom, believing life is no longer worth living. Bobby and Rig set out to prove the younger man wrong. Fate has brought the three men together, but they’ll have to face fear and loss head on before they can all truly live again.

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Review: I adore SJD Peterson and I was excited to listen to the second book in the Guards of Folsom series, as I had only read the first novel in print. What stood out about this book was Peterson’s ability to write a book that can show such care and tenderness, while still having that edge that takes it to the next level. I really felt the love that Mason carried for his recently departed Doms, and the utter despair of what he was going through. I also didn’t feel that Mason was replacing his past loves with Rig and Bobby. Can I say how much I adore Rig and Bobby? After only seeing glimpses of them in the first novel, they were well worth the wait. I connected with Bobby and Rig’s relationship. Overall, I loved this book; however, I felt the BDSM was lacking. Because of that I gave Tag Team four stars.

Narration: I hadn’t heard Rusty Topsfield narrate anything before. I thought his name was absolutely fitting for a BDSM novel, though :P. What I have noticed is when an audiobook starts with “for Falcon Sound Company,” I get very excited. I haven’t met a narrator for Falcon that hasn’t been absolutely stellar. Topsfield didn’t disappoint me. All I can ever ask for from a narrator is to take me into the world the author has created. He painted a picture of SJD Peterson’s world while defining each character wonderfully. I cannot wait for the next Guards of Folsom audiobook and hope that Rusty narrates it!

TNA_Signature_Amy







 

You can buy Tag Team here:

Audible.com

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3.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Karen, Shae Connor

Review: Wayward Son by Shae Connor

Title: Wayward Son (Sons: Book Two)

Author: Shae Connor

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

At a Glance: The story was good and it is definitely a series I will recommend. I was just left a little disappointed.

Reviewed By: Karen

Blurb: After his move to Atlanta and away from the influence of his conservative parents, Mikey O’Malley finally feels free to be himself: art student, aspiring animator, and out gay man. He has friends, a new job, and not one, but two men interested in him. Cory Lassiter and Jimmy Black have been a happy couple for years, occasionally bringing a twink into their bed, but only for a brief roll in the hay. When Mikey meets the pair, the attraction is immediate, and it runs three ways. Mikey just can’t believe they’d have room in their lives for a permanent addition.

When Mikey’s newfound life is shattered by a lawsuit that accuses him of molesting a child years earlier, he’s determined to face his troubles on his own, but Cory and Jimmy are just as determined that he not have to go it alone. To reconcile his need for independence and his desire for love, Mikey has to learn that being a man isn’t just about standing on your own two feet. It’s about letting yourself lean on the ones who love you.

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Review: The first book in this series, Unfortunate Son, had been hanging out on my wish list for awhile when I saw that Wayward Son was going to be coming out, so I figured it was the perfect time to get it and not have to wait for the book two. Unfortunate Son was better than I had expected, and I stayed up way past my bedtime since I couldn’t force myself to put it down. I finished it and couldn’t wait for Mikey, Cory and Jimmy’s story. We get a glimpse of them in Unfortunate Son, and since I have been on a ménage reading spree lately, I couldn’t wait for this one. Again, with Wayward Son, I couldn’t put this book down and read into the night, way later than I should have. The relationship that developed between the three of them was beautiful. As Mikey learned that it was alright not to take everything on himself, and to lean on those around him who care about him, Cory and Jimmy showed him that he didn’t have to stand on his own two feet alone. There were multiple obstacles Mikey had to go through throughout the story, and we get to see Cory and Jimmy care for him, and each other, with unwavering support.

Although I enjoyed the book, I was hoping for more. Going in I was expecting Mikey, Cory, and Jimmy’s story, and it is there, but it is really just Mikey’s story. It ended, and I sat and thought about how I felt about the book in preparation for the review. I just felt like I had missed out on a lot of them actually building their relationship. I felt like I just didn’t get enough of Cory and Jimmy, but it could be that I’m just greedy and loved the guys so much I wanted more. The story was good, and it is definitely a series I will recommend. I was just left a little disappointed.

TNA_Signature_Karen






You can buy Wayward Son here:

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Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways, Shae Connor

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Wayward Son Blog Tour With Shae Connor

Wayward Son

The Novel Approach welcomes author Shae Connor today on the Wayward Son blog tour. Enjoy Shae’s article on Finding the Balance: Writing a Threesome Relationship, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $25 Dreamspinner Press Gift Card and your choice of an e-book from Shae’s backlist.

Good Luck!

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First, a big thanks to Lisa for having me back again! Has it already been four months since the last time I did this? Time flies when you’re busy as heck!

Today I’m kicking off the blog tour for Wayward Son, book two in the Sons series. This is my first series, so it’s the first time I’ve worked with same characters from one book to the next. And Cory and Jimmy in particular made it very clear when I was writing Unfortunate Son that yes, I would be writing their story next. They’re demanding that way!

Cory, Jimmy, and Mikey are each loosely based on men I know. Cory matches up closely physically and personality wise with the inspiration, who also provided the name of Cory’s drag persona, Coco Lame. Jimmy’s similarities to my friend are primarily in his personality and sense of silly humor. For Mikey, it’s mostly his interest in art that’s drawn from real life.

(I won’t name the specific people here, in part because the comparisons are VERY loose, but they’re among those thanked in the acknowledgments.)

When it came to writing a three-way relationship, I also drew some inspiration from real-life and a number of polyamorous people I know. One couple I’m acquainted with falls into the category of two people very much in love who like to bring others into their bed now and then. Cory and Jimmy lived that way for years, until they met Mikey and decided to make things more permanent.

And that’s a challenge, both for Mikey and for me as the author. In writing a plausible polyamorous relationship, it’s important to make sure everyone gets equal time—or, at least, the amount of time they want. It’s particularly difficult when two of the characters are larger-than-life like Cory and Jimmy. They have a tendency to command attention in every scene, even when the focus is on someone else.

In Wayward Son, one big obstacle Mikey has to overcome is not feeling like a third wheel. Cory and Jimmy have been a couple for years, and though they’re as clear as they can be about Mikey not being an afterthought to them, it takes Mikey a while to believe it.

In this excerpt, Cory, Jimmy, and Mikey have just had sex, but the natural closeness between Cory and Jimmy leaves Mikey feeling unneeded (again). Cory does his best to reassure him:

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Cory tucked him under the covers and curled up behind him while Jimmy ordered room service. When Jimmy was done, he crossed to the bed and gave each of them a kiss with a side of groping. Cory made silly, sexy sounds the whole time, which hit Mikey like a punch to the gut. What did they need him for when they were clearly so in love with each other?

Mikey didn’t know if he’d stiffened up or what, but after Jimmy disappeared into the bathroom for a shower, Cory shifted away and pulled at Mikey’s shoulder until he rolled onto his back. Pinning Mikey with a gaze that saw too much, Cory asked, “Are you okay?”

Mikey tried to shrug. “It’s just with everything….” He tried to drop his gaze, but Cory reached out to lift his chin and force him to look at him again.

“You’re thinking you’re unnecessary again, aren’t you?”

Mikey blushed. He couldn’t deny it. It was the truth, wasn’t it? “You and Jimmy, you’re just so….” In love, he thought, but couldn’t say it. “You’ve been together so long,” he tried instead. “How can you…?”

“Want you too?” Cory finished the question. He smiled a little. “Well, you might not have noticed, but we’re not exactly small personalities.” Mikey could not hold back a grin at that. “And sometimes big personalities need a little bit more than the usual.”

Mikey jerked away at that. “So, what, I’m just a fill-in?”

Cory sighed. “You know it’s not that,” he chided. “It’s like… like a few minutes ago, when he kissed us before he went to shower. When he touches me like that, it’s not just groping. It’s like he strips away all the surface stuff, the blather and the bullshit life forces on us, and touches me. It’s just him, and just me, and it’s a feeling I never want to lose.”

“But then—”

“But nothing, honey. What I’m saying is, what he does for me, he does for you too. What he feels for me, he feels for you. And it’s the same for me, and it doesn’t take a thing away from what’s between him and me.”

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81lXQeF6EXL._SL1350_Blurb: Sequel to Unfortunate Son

After his move to Atlanta and away from the influence of his conservative parents, Mikey O’Malley finally feels free to be himself: art student, aspiring animator, and out gay man. He has friends, a new job, and not one, but two men interested in him. Cory Lassiter and Jimmy Black have been a happy couple for years, occasionally bringing a twink into their bed, but only for a brief roll in the hay. When Mikey meets the pair, the attraction is immediate, and it runs three ways. Mikey just can’t believe they’d have room in their lives for a permanent addition.

When Mikey’s newfound life is shattered by a lawsuit that accuses him of molesting a child years earlier, he’s determined to face his troubles on his own, but Cory and Jimmy are just as determined that he not have to go it alone. To reconcile his need for independence and his desire for love, Mikey has to learn that being a man isn’t just about standing on your own two feet. It’s about letting yourself lean on the ones who love you.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Shae ConnorAbout the Author: Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe.

A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Writers chapter, Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available from Dreamspinner Press, Wilde City Press, MLR Press, and Amber Allure.

Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, and reading voraciously, and she’s an annual volunteer for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at shaeconnorwrites@gmail.com or visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com.

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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Indigo LogoTour Schedule:

5/11 –The Novel Approach

5/12 –Sinfully Sexy

5/13 –Love Bytes Reviews

5/14 –M/M Good Book Reviews

5/15 –Prism Book Alliance

5/16 –Joyfully Jay

5/17 –Because Two Men Are Better Than One

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Ki Brightly, Reviewed by Karen

Review: Threefold Love by Ki Brightly

Title:  Threefold Love

Author:  Ki Brightly

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Page/Word Count:  230 Pages

At a Glance:  I love reading. It’s all the feelings and emotions you can get from a book that take you out of your head for that time, where you can just relax and enjoy, and this book did that for me.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Captain Xavier Hobbs, a decommissioned combat engineer, was chronically lonely in the Army. But once he is back to being a civilian, with no family and nothing to ground him, he drifts. All he wants is a real home, a real life, and love—but that is easy to wish for and hard to make happen.

When he meets Andrew Landry, a high school English teacher, Xavier thinks he has found everything he has ever wanted, maybe even someone he can trust with his scars—the ones on his mind and body. Andrew’s quick wit and outgoing personality reel Xavier in slowly but surely. But he isn’t certain which way Andrew swings, and doesn’t dare to do more than hope the friendly man is actually flirting.

Then, on what Xavier idly wishes were their first date, disaster strikes in the form of Duncan McNeil, a fellow Wiccan and Andrew’s fiancé. Xavier’s hope is smashed to pieces, but Duncan and Andrew may have a different point of view. All they need is a little magic, some hope, and a lot of love to put everything back together.

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Review: Oh…the feels. :)  I have read quite a few ménage books lately, and this one ranks right up there with some of my favorites.  Xavier, throughout the book, seems so lost, sad and broken.  All he wants is to fit somewhere and be loved, and that is what Andrew and Duncan give him.  I have to be honest, when Andrew and Xavier are at the coffee shop the first time and the ring is mentioned, I was pretty sure he was going to be a cheating douche, but happily (for me) he wasn’t.

I think Duncan may have been my favorite of the main characters.  He was their rock, whom they went to for assurance; he was the levelheaded one in the group, but so sweet and caring.  The three of them together were so hot, or just two of them…whew!

The Wiccan and magical parts of the story were a little lost on me. For me, it didn’t seem to really add anything to the story or the relationship between the guys.  Also, for as big of a jerk as Andrew’s brother was, I kind of liked him. His whining and ranting and bickering made me laugh, and that is one of the reasons I love reading:  it’s all the feelings and emotions you can get from a book which take you out of your head for that time, where you can just relax and enjoy. This book did that for me.

TNA_Signature_Karen






You can buy Threefold Love here:

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mia Kerick, Reviewed by Karen

Review: Here Without You by Mia Kerick

Title:  Here Without You

Author:  Mia Kerick

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Page/Word Count:  216 Pages

At a Glance:  While I did struggle a little with how I felt about Here Without You, I would also absolutely recommend the series to anyone. I’m looking forward with hope to more of my favorite throuple.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  One Voice: Book Two

With all of his scratched and dented heart, Nate DeMarco wants to be two places at once, but he’s been forced to make an unbearable choice. Having barely survived high school, Nate and his boyfriends, Casey Minton and Zander Zane, are ready to move forward. Casey and Zander have left home to attend Boston City College. Nate remains in New Hampshire to protect his volatile younger sister from their increasingly violent, alcoholic uncle. Nate suffers with anger, resentment, and loneliness as what he wants battles against what he feels he must do.

Separated, the young men fight to stay in contact. But they are faced with separate issues. Casey copes with residual fear from having been bullied in high school. Zander obsesses over the establishment of One Voice, the gay-straight alliance at Boston City College. And Nate fights for his sister’s survival. Meanwhile, the intensity of the boys’ relationship increases, both sexually and emotionally.

Nate’s effort to live two lives leads to tragedy, which threatens to blast their relationship apart before they can adjust to the changes in their lives. They must find their way back to a united path before it’s too late.

Review:  I am not sure exactly where to start with my review.  I read this book in less than a day and now have spent just about as much time going around and around in my head about what I was going to write, and how I was going to rate this.  I’m not exactly sure why I am struggling so much. I really liked the book…I did.  And once I got to the end, well, I was sad it ended, which happens with most books I really like, but it just felt like something was off for me in Here Without You.

This book is set about two years or so after Us Three. Casey and Zander are off to college, while Nate stays home to keep his sister safe.  Where Us Three seems to have a focus on Casey, this book leans more towards Nate.  I love Nate, I love all the guys, but I think the reason I’m struggling a little is because as much as love the guys, and watching their relationship continue and evolve, it seemed slightly repetitive to me.  This wasn’t because of the three points of view, which I think is awesome. I’m always wondering what the other character is thinking, with this series there is no reason to wonder, and I think that’s great.  So, while I did struggle a little with how I felt about Here Without You, I would also absolutely recommend the series to anyone. I’m looking forward with hope to more of my favorite throuple.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

You can buy Here Without You here:

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Bey Deckard, Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal and Exclusive Excerpt – Fated: Blood and Redemption (Baal’s Heart III)

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Title: Fated: Blood and Redemption
Series: Baal’s Heart
Author: Bey Deckard
Cover Artist: Bey Deckard
Release Date: April 11th, 2015
Word Count: 117 000+
Pre-Order Now: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
Goodreads Link: Fated

Blurb: With the captain’s mind in shambles, Jon and Tom set out to find the passage home through the black mountain range, hoping to find a cure for Baltsaros’s madness. However, when the men are forced to part ways, darkness takes root in the schism created; fate, lust, and vengeance become obsessions threatening to tear apart the fragile bonds holding the three together.

Following on the heels of Sacrificed, Fated takes the pirates on a quest to find those responsible for the captain’s bloody beginnings. But can they survive what awaits them where past and present meet?

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Excerpt: Tom gave Jon a faint smile as he took his place behind the ship’s wheel. Pitching the bastard overboard wasn’t what was bothering him; the man’s life or death hadn’t concerned him in the least… though being ripped apart by those things sure made for a good tale to tell. No, it was the way that Jon’s voice had taken on the same cold, precise tones that so often fell from Baltsaros’s lips. Even his accent had changed a little. Tom shook his head and tightened his hands on the handles without a word.

“You’re worried about me,” said Jon softly.

Frowning, the first mate nodded, keeping his eyes forward.

“Don’t be worried about me, Tom,” said the young captain.

Chewing the inside of his cheek for a second, Tom nodded again.

“We ready?” he asked gruffly. He looked over at Jon and saw that he was staring at him with an odd expression on his face.

“I’m not turning into him,” said Jon. “If that’s what you’re worried about.”

Tom shrugged and turned the wheel a little back and forth, impatient to get going.

“Ye bloody sounded just like him, Jon.”

When Jon reached for him, he wasn’t expecting the sudden, sharp pain in his scalp as his fingers snarled a wicked handful of Tom’s hair and tugged his head back. Jon brought his face close, his storm-grey eyes furious.

“You wanted me to be captain, so I am being captain. It is not easy for me, but I am fucking doing it the only way I know how,” Jon growled through clenched teeth. “If you don’t like it, you can go fuck yourself. And… What makes you think you can go behind my back and string up passengers without my say-so?”

Tom opened his mouth to speak, but Jon’s hand tightened its hold, and he let out a pained grunt instead.

“The issue should have been brought to me first. Me. The captain. Isn’t that how it works on this fucking ship? No. Instead you go around terrorizing people and then suddenly come dump the problem in my lap with no warning, putting me on the godsdamned spot to figure out what sort of punishment fits the crime. I had no idea what to say… Shit, how do you think that makes me look in front of the crew? Half of them still see me as some kind of fucking bed warmer for you and Baltsaros.”

Jon gave Tom’s head a little shake, and he winced.

“You need to work with me, Tom. Not against me. Godsdammit, you know Punga could have sat, not hung, in the brig for another day or two, and we could have taken care of things together. And, for hell’s sake, you ass, of course I was going to pull him out of the water. I saw that look on your face, Tom. I’m not a godsdamned killer. I’ve killed three men now, and I’m pretty damned sure it’s not going to become a hobby. I don’t want to see you doubt me like that again. Understand?” He let go of Tom and stood glaring him.

Tom rubbed the back of his head.

“Yes, Cap’n,” he said sedately with a small nod. Then Tom let the grin he’d been holding back curve his lips and cocked his head. “Feel better?”

Jon’s face creased into a sheepish smile, and he chuckled, nodding.

“Much,” he confessed. “Gods, I am not cut out for this shit.”

Tom shook his head.

“Naw, love. I think yer doin’ just fine. Yer bloody right, ye know. I should stop worryin’ about you so much, and I should’a come to ye the second that red-haired witch came to see me.”

“Ceara came to you?” Jon heaved a sigh and raked both his hands through his mess of curls. “Argh! Fuck. Ok. I’ll take care of her too. If she’s trying to win me over, she sure as hells is taking the wrong path. I can’t stand the idea that people would take things like this into their own hands rather than bother me. Bother me, for fuck’s sake. I know I’m stressed as fuck, but bloody hells, how else am I going to learn?”

Tom grinned wider at Jon’s increased use of profanity.

Jon furrowed his brow and leaned forward, his blue eyes dark in the dying sunlight as he studied Tom for a long moment. When he finally spoke, his voice was low and intimate.

“What? You think this is amusing? Just so you know, if you get us through these mountains in one piece, I plan on using you so thoroughly that the only words left to you will be please and more.”

The first mate blinked, a sudden pulse of heat taking him as his heart kicked up in surprise. He laughed and Jon smiled back a little wolfishly.

“Aye, aye, sir,” Tom said and eagerly grabbed the ship’s wheel again.

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Author BioAuthor Bio: Born and raised in a small coastal town in northern Québec, Bey spent his early summers on his uncle’s boat and running wild on the beaches of the surrounding islands, lighting fires and building huts out of driftwood and fishermen’s nets. As an adult, he eventually made his way to university and earned a degree in Art History with a strong focus on Anthropology. Primarily a portrait painter and graphic artist, Bey sat down one day and decided to write about the two things that he felt most passionate about: sex and the sea.

Bey currently lives in the wilds of Montréal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy.

Links: Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Google+ | Amazon

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5 Stars, Garrett Leigh, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jules, Riptide Publishing

Review: Misfits by Garrett Leigh

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Title: Misfits

Author: Garrett Leigh

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 277 Pages

At a Glance: Misfits is another one that is not to be missed.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: Restaurant owner Tom Fearnes has loved his partner Cass for as long as he can remember, but their work often keeps them apart. When he meets a striking young man named Jake on the vibrant streets of Camden Town, their heady first encounter takes an unexpected turn.

Jake Thompson can hardly believe his luck when he wakes up in Tom’s bed. Tom is gorgeous, kind, and . . . taken. Tom’s explanation of his open relationship leaves Jake cold, but Tom is too tempting, and when hard times force Jake to accept Tom’s helping hand, he finds himself between two men who’ve lost their way.

Cass Pearson is a troubled soul. He loves Tom with all he has, but some days it feels like he hasn’t much to give. Jake seems like the perfect solution. Cass risks everything to push Jake and Tom together, but Jake resists, wary, until the darkness of Cass’s past comes to call. Then Jake finds himself the last man standing, and it’s time to dig deep and shine a light for the men he’s grown to love.

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Review: This book was incredible; moving, gripping, sexy, romantic, and honest are just a handful of the words I would use to characterize it. Misfits is simply a gorgeous story about finding love where you least expect it, being accepting of others and allowing them to nurture you, and letting go of the past. Even those readers who have been unsure about whether to try a ménage story, or who haven’t like them in the past, should give this one a shot.

I myself don’t have much experience with ménage, so it might be difficult for me to articulate why I can’t imagine it being done any better than this, but I definitely can’t imagine it. The relationship between Tom, Jake, and Cass happened so organically, and there was nothing forced or contrived about how these guys came together. The wonderment they each felt at what was happening between them, and each questioning the wisdom of pursuing it, even though it felt perfect, made it so realistic and equally as beautiful to see come to life.

And what about Jake? Didn’t he deserve better than being the third wheel of an unconventional relationship? Didn’t he deserve someone who loved him, and only him? Didn’t they all deserve that? Before Jake, Tom would’ve been sure of his answer, but now, with Jake kissing him good-bye every night and sending him home to Cass, he wasn’t sure of anything. All he knew was that his heart ached for both of them.

Each of the characters had his own special draw and unique qualities, but they also had many attributes in common and complemented each other perfectly. They were all caretakers in their own way, each wanting to see the others safe and happy, but this was especially true of Tom. And the fact that Cass knew this about him, and accepted Tom’s need to see to Jake’s well-being from the beginning, was just a tiny glimpse at the depth of their love. Tom and Cass’s love for each other is fierce. You can absolutely feel it coming off the page. In fact, one of the main reasons this story worked so well is that the core relationship between Tom and Cass is never in question.

Tom was strong, kind, and loyal, and the fact he really saw Jake, and realized how gifted and special he was, made him even more appealing. And Tom’s unwavering, immeasurable love for Cass also made him sexy as hell. Jake was sweet and vulnerable, yet also incredibly tough. I loved that even though it was Tom he first connected with, it was actually Cass who needed him even more. The way the love story between Jake and Cass was written was perfection. I absolutely adored all three guys, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be Cass. So broken, so beautiful, and yet felt unworthy of Tom’s love. He was definitely the centerpiece of it all.

Another thing about the book that worked so well for me was everything revolving around Tom and Cass’s businesses, and the opening of the new restaurant. I loved every detail about their business model, and their different ventures. It was so interesting to see what made them all tick, which parts of the process they each wanted to take on, and how it affected their dynamic. Also, the amount of detail was just right, whether about the different properties, or the business in general, enough to give a wonderfully vivid picture, but not so much that you got bogged down in it.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the Tourette’s…Jake’s TS obviously made him standout, but the way both Tom and Cass took it in stride – though, each handle it in slightly different ways – was incredible. Leigh is no stranger to writing characters who are unique, or have disabilities, and once again, the care that she takes in writing about something that, for many, is a very sensitive issue, is exemplary. Jake is a wonderful, fascinating character. I’m so glad she decided to share him with us.

Garrett Leigh is such a solid, consistent writer. I can’t say enough about how much I love her style and her way with language. Her books always have great flow and energy; it really is almost impossible to start one and not devour the whole thing in one sitting. After reading so many of her books, I’m amazed there is absolutely no ‘sameness’ about them. I don’t know how she keeps creating these original, beautiful, damaged souls – and truly, no two are alike – but I hope she never stops. Misfits is another one that is not to be missed.






You can buy Misfits here:

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Giveaways, Totally Bound, Trina Lane

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Turkish Delights Blog Tour With Trina Lane

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The Novel Approach is please to welcome author Trina Lane today on the Turkish Delights blog tour. Enjoy Trina’s guest post, then be sure to click the designated image below to enter for the chance to win this and three more titles from her backlist.

Good luck! And now, here’s Trina:

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Gay sex scenes and why they’re MMM good

For those of you who love to read erotic romance, like me, having hot sex scenes is part of the allure. Right? But there is more to writing sex than getting the right body parts in the right places. And when trying to write a scene with multiple partners it becomes more complicated because not only do you have to consider the mechanics, but making sure that the reader can remain emotionally connected to all the characters. When I’m writing, I want the readers to share in the experience with the characters. I want them to be able to sense the emotions behind the act, regardless of whether the men are still in the throes of pure lust with a one night stand or unending love with their soul mate.

But let’s get back to the mechanics because that’s really the fun part! It’s always a bit of a ballet to get from the front door to naked on the floor. Believe it or not but one of the most challenging things can be determining how the characters simply get their clothes off and how much detail I put into that. Slow strip tease in aisle one and cloth ripping frenzy in aisle two. I particularly enjoy writing scenes where sex is more than about inserting tap A into slot B. A slow build to create tension where the reader is starting to beg nearly as much as the characters, but we can’t draw it out too much or the interest becomes lost.

For the physical act there is always awareness that gay sex is different than straight sex. I simply cannot replace a vagina with a penis, and expect readers to believe the act genuine. Men, in general, view sex and their bodies differently than women. So how can I as a straight woman write compelling gay sex? RESEARCH! I love looking at erotic photography and imagining who those men are and what they might be feeling based on their expressions. I’ve watched videos and read books to get ideas. When I’m looking for a little variety one of my go-to resources is gaysexpositionsguide dot com. Finally I simply let my imagination roam and always try to make sure that whatever scene I’m writing is unique to that couple or threesome. I never want to be able to copy a scene from one book and paste it into another with only a name change. People are never identical, why should the way they have sex be? I’m sure one of you is gearing up for an argument about twins and genetics, but that is a different discussion. Now let’s get to the juicy bit!

~Trina

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turkishdelights_800Blurb ~ Turkish Delights: This is the newest addition to Totally Bound’s, Totally Five Star imprint.

Three very different men from three different countries look to build a love greater than any Wonder of the World.

Project manager Garrett Sloan builds majestic hotels for the rich and famous around the world, but when it comes to love, all his relationships seem to crumble. His latest project lands him in Istanbul, where the desire he’s held for a certain French architect heats up under the Middle Eastern sun, and his resolve never to mix business with pleasure melts beneath the added hot stare and skilled hands of a Turkish mason.

The three men discover they want to build a relationship to stand the test of time—much like Kyle LaFleure’s buildings and Emir Şahin’s stonework. As the bonds between Garrett and his partners grow stronger and more complex, they work to lay the perfect foundation on which to build a lasting relationship. Can the three men construct a relationship that will endure? Or will their love reach its zenith when their shared task of finishing the ultimate Ottoman luxury hotel reaches its completion?

Reader advisory: This book contains a scene of double penetration.

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Excerpt: The two men were delicious treats awaiting his sampling on a banquet table, and Emir felt himself being drawn toward them, eager for their sweetness.

Just as he started to cross the room, the two of them began to move. The three of them met in the middle of the room. Emir kissed Garrett first then Kyle. He lost focus on whose hand touched which man’s body part, but it didn’t matter. All that did matter were the blissful sensations of male hands on him for the first time in months. Until he’d kissed Garrett earlier, Emir hadn’t realized how starved he’d become for another’s touch.

Despite the warm, humid air of the bath, Emir’s skin quickly chilled without the hot water cascading over him. He tugged and lured Garrett and Kyle under the spray with him. The shower design of the apartment was perfect for them. Emir couldn’t imagine enjoying an experience like this in his small apartment on the second level of his workshop.

Kyle dipped his head and began to suck on Emir’s nipple right as Garrett wrapped a strong hand around his cock.

“Evet,” Emir said, as he sucked in a breath.

“You like that?” Kyle asked.

He nodded and gripped Kyle’s shoulder hard while locking his knees so he wouldn’t collapse from the pleasure coursing through him. Garrett moved and the heat of his lover’s body warmed him from behind, placing him in the middle. Gripping Emir’s hips, Garrett pulled him back. Garrett slid his cock between Emir’s cheeks, and Emir tightened in anticipation. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been filled.

Totally focused on the gentle gyrations of Garrett’s hips, Emir let out a shout when wet heat engulfed his cock. His eyes flew open and he looked down to see Kyle kneeling before him. The man’s damp blond hair brushing against his flesh cooled the heat generated by Emir’s arousal. He cradled Kyle’s head, and Emir’s mind short-circuited with the incredible suction of Kyle’s mouth. He knew that he was thicker than many men, so the Frenchman’s ability to take all of him was impressive—a talent Emir was truly thankful for.

Garrett spread Emir’s ass cheeks and began to grind in earnest. Emir’s head was guided around by Garrett who took a kiss from him. Their mouths came together, their tongues moving slowly, almost in identical rhythms as Garrett’s cock. Emir moaned but he didn’t do anything to interrupt his lovers’ rhythms. Involuntary contractions of his muscles made his body flex and tremble. Sounds of delight and hunger from all three men filled the steamy air.

Emir tilted his head back against Garrett’s shoulder. The Brit was slightly shorter than he was, so it naturally made Emir’s back arch and his hips tilt toward Kyle’s ministrations. Garrett twisted and pinched Emir’s nipples. He spread his legs wider when Kyle tapped his inner thigh. He reward was a slick finger circling the tight ring of muscle guarding his hole. He hissed and bore down, eager once again to have something inside him. He tried to take inventory of body parts, but his brain was so flooded with endorphins that simple arithmetic was beyond him.

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Author BioAbout Trina LaneIf you look up the word conundrum in the dictionary, there should be a photo of Trina Lane. Her personality is so multifaceted that her friends have spent countless hours scratching their heads in wonder. A scientist with a passion for history, music and photography she loves to travel and experience new places but is terminally shy around people she doesn’t know.

Trina has been devouring romance novels since her tender teenage years, although only began writing in 2007. When her debut novel was met with resounding success, she said “Hey I can do that again”. The rest as they say is history.

Her choices in reading and writing material are as diverse as her iTunes library, which contains music from Mozart to Metallica. Her one concession is all stories must have a happily ever after ending-did we mention she’s incurably romantic?

She lives in Missouri with her loving and indulgent husband, and orange tabby cat—affectionately referred to as ‘Houdini’ for his stealthy escape attempts.

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THE GIVEAWAY:

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THIS AND THREE MORE TITLES FROM TRINA LANE'S BACKLIST

CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN THIS AND THREE MORE TITLES FROM TRINA LANE’S BACKLIST

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Guest Post and Giveaway: The Burning Up Tour With Silvia Violet

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The Novel Approach is pleased to welcome Silvia Violet today on the Burning Up blog tour, Book Three in the Fitting In series.

I asked Silvia to share with us her thoughts on the subject of what makes firefighters great leading men in romance. Here’s what she had to say:

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Silvia: While I prefer the main characters in a romance whether m/f, m/m, m/m/f, m/m/m or any other combination to all be strong men or women willing to stand up for themselves, I do love the idea of a romantic lead who could rescue me from danger. Prince Charming on his white steed doesn’t always fit the bill in our modern society, but a brave firefighter who puts his life on the line to save lives surely does. The firefighters I’ve met in real life as well as many of those I’ve read about in books, have been courteous and willing to go the extra mile to help out those around them whether they were on duty or not. Strong, capable, and caring—a winning combination for a romance hero.

In Burning Up, the main characters Bryce, Toby, and Matt have to figure out how to mange a threeway relationship. I think firefighters already have some of the skills it takes to handle this situation because they have to work closely with the other firefighters in their unit and they have to develop trust and the willingness to listen. Team work, trust, and communication skills are essential in making a threesome work.

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Be sure to check out the Rafflecopter giveaway too. Just click on the widget below for the chance to win a $25 Gift Card at Amazon or All Romance eBooks.

Good luck!

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Burning Up 600x900Blurb: Bryce has been a firefighter for ten years, but when a horrific house fire leaves him reeling, he moves to a new city, hoping to shove those memories behind him. As he adjusts to his new station, Bryce keeps to himself until Matt and Toby, two hot young men in his unit, throw temptation in his path. Bryce knows better than to mess around with men he works with, especially two newbies who are in the closet. But after a difficult day, Matt and Toby offer him compassion and friendship, which slips so easily into sex Bryce finds the combination irresistible.

Matt and Toby want to expand their relationship to include a third, and they’ve set their sights on their sexy bear of a lieutenant. Their first night together is a scorcher, and, more than that, it feels right, to all of them. But since Bryce refuses to hide who he is, and dating men on his shift is against the rules, all three men are going to have to make some tough choices if they want to stay together.

Categories: BDSM, Contemporary Romance, Menage/Poly Romance

Buy Links: Amazon US | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords

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Silvia VioletAuthor Bio: Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, sci fi, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to.When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.

Social Media Links: Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways, Mia Kerick

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Here Without You Blog Tour With Mia Kerick

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The Novel Approach is happy to have Mia Kerick with us today on the Here Without You blog tour.

I asked Mia the question: You’ve probably been asked this question more than once, but I’m going to ask again. Given that a relationship between two people has its own complexities, how difficult do you find writing a ménage relationship? Did you find while writing the books in this series that there were certain things you had to explore more deeply, or things you needed to touch on that don’t exist with a couple? What are some of things you paid particular attention to while writing?

See what Mia has to say, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance at a $25 All Romance eBooks Gift Card.

Good luck!

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Mia: Hello, thank you so much for welcoming me at The Novel Approach, and for asking me such a thoughtful question.

I found that writing the story of Casey, Zander, and Nate’s love, came very naturally to me. I realize it might seem as if developing the story of a YA threesome would have been quite complex, and there were indeed complexities, but since the three boys were very young when they met and fell in love, they were all still open to new and different, and even, unconventional, experiences and relationships. When Casey, Zander, and Nate were exposed to each other during the process of completing a group French project in their junior year of high school, they were still in their most formative years, emotionally speaking. And when they started to really see each other—not just as “the burnout loser”, “the preppy jock”, and the “effeminate nerd”—but as the human beings inside those shells, they really couldn’t help but fall in love. The reason for this was that each boy possessed strengths and weaknesses in his personality that allowed them to fit together like puzzle pieces.

There were some areas, however, in which I had to be very careful as I wrote. One of these areas was in what I’ll call “the relationship-balance” of the three boys. I had to be certain that the relationship never seemed to favor the closeness of two of the boys over another one. Now, since I knew the boys better than anybody else, I knew that their love was like an equilateral triangle, with no joining of two sides being stronger or closer, or in any way better, than any other. My challenge was to be sure that the reading audience knew that this was the case. And I will admit that several Us Threereviews suggested that Casey and Nate were the “primary” couple, or that Casey and Zander loved each other more than they loved Nate, but I believe that I have stated in both stories, Us Three and Here Without You, that both Nate and Zander considered Casey to be their “glue”, because he was soft and sweet and open and he easily brought them all together, where they were both more reserved and quiet. But this in no way means that the love was stronger between any pairing within this threesome.

In Here Without You, I paid extremely close attention to the sexually intimate aspects of the three boys’ relationship so it was balanced. Two of the boys were going off to college to be roommates, and one was staying home in New Hampshire alone. Would the two in Boston be intimate when the third wasn’t there? The boys very purposefully set their own rules for how they would handle this, and their openness in this area allowed for even further trust to grow as a result of what you might think wouldcause friction. And when the three made love, I had to be careful that every moment of the intimacy was fully shared by all three, no matter what specific action each boy was engaged in.

Casey calls their unconventional partnership a throuple, which combines the word couple with the word three. I really think of Casey, Zander, and Nate’s relationship as very similar to that of a devoted couple, but there just so happen to be three people involved. The young men realize over the course of Here Without You that without all three members, their relationship cannot exist as a romance.

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1732857Blurb – Here Without You: With all of his scratched and dented heart, Nate DeMarco wants to be two places at once, but he’s been forced to make an unbearable choice. Having barely survived high school, Nate and his boyfriends, Casey Minton and Zander Zane, are ready to move forward in life. Casey and Zander have left home to attend Boston City College. Nate remains in New Hampshire to protect his volatile younger sister from their increasingly violent, alcoholic uncle. Nate suffers with anger, resentment, and loneliness as he battles what he wants against what he feels he must do.

Now separated, the young men fight to stay in contact. However, they’re each faced with their own separate issues. Casey must cope with residual fear from having been bullied in high school. Zander obsesses over the establishment of One Voice, the new gay-straight alliance at Boston City College. Nate fights for his sister’s very survival. Meanwhile, the intensity of the boys’ relationship increases, both sexually and emotionally, as happens in long distance relationships.

Nate’s futile effort to live two lives leads to tragedy, which blasts Nate, Casey, and Zander apart. Can the three young men find their way back to a united path before it’s too late?

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

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Mia KerickAbout the Author: Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Social Media Links: Blog | Facebook | Dreamspinner Author Arcade | Goodreads | Twitter

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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Giveaways, Jessie G., Self-Published

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Protector Blog Tour With Jessie G.

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The Novel Approach is pleased to welcome author Jessie G. on The Protector blog tour. Enjoy Jessie’s guest post, then be sure to enter for a chance to win some great prizes. The details are below.

Good luck!

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As a mother of boys, one who is gay and one who is straight, I have had the condom speech more times than I can count. They’re adults and I still get in the whole “I hope you’re being safe” line when they start talking about their relationships. That’s the reality of the world we live in today. But is it the fiction world we live in?

Condoms are a hot topic in fiction, with some believing it’s the author’s responsibility to depict sexy sex as safe sex. Is this true? I don’t believe I’m a role model and I really don’t believe the people who read my books are stupid. No one is going to read my series and think that’s the way life, relationships or sex work in the real world. It’s fantasy, my fantasy, where all the guys are hot, dangerous, sexual beings who push the boundaries in every way.

In Past Hurts, my MCs do have a brief discussion on condom use. In For A Reason, my MCs transition from condom use to going bare without an on page discussion, but there is the general feeling that they must have had it off page. However, in The Protector there is a scene that’s going to have some people throwing up the yellow flag. Not only did I chose to write a bareback scene, it’s done without any discussion, implied or otherwise. An executive decision so to speak. I had my reasons, it comes on the heels of a very powerful scene and the connection between the characters needed to make a statement. One of love and trust and…I could go on, but this isn’t about spoilers.

Truth…safe sex is sexy. In your real life I hope you practice it, talk about it and make informed decisions that are right for you and your partner. Another truth…I write fiction and if you view me as a role model, then look to me as an example of someone who believed in her dream and never lost sight of her goal to be a published author. Beyond that, if you’re looking for a role model, I’m going to disappoint you. I have my own issues with the definitions of propriety, morality, religion, politics, right, wrong, left, right…honestly, I’m a train wreck.

Be true to yourself. I’ll be true to myself. That doesn’t mean when our paths cross there should be animosity between us. In fact, accepting each other’s differing beliefs should make for stronger connections. Accepting, not adopting. But then, that’s just my belief and it might be a little skewed.

~Jessie

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The Protector CoverBlurb: There was a time when Master Saul Alvarez filled his days fighting and his nights teaching willing subs the pleasure of his whip. His compassionate understanding of the masochist mind makes him the most sought after professional sadist in the Miami BDSM community. Neither role invites long term relationships, but he’s comfortable with his solitary existence until he is charged with guarding Durango’s prized whore. One look into those terror filled eyes has him vowing to risk it all to save the beautiful man.

Javier Escardo had been praying for death, but never expected the stone cold killer he got in response. One glimpse into those sinful eyes reveals not only the promise of retribution, but a reason to live. Eight years later, free and mostly sane, Javier is determined to take what belongs to him. Saul’s heart. Through hell and back, through layers of pain and shifting realities, that one truth has remained firm. His protector needs saving and he can’t do it alone.

Hidden beneath the public persona, Kyle Jensen is a man who craves to be invisible without being insignificant. He longs to find a Master who will see his need to be taken over without abusing him and a lover who will care about him beyond the sexual games. It isn’t until he encounters the smoldering combination of Saul and Javier that he realizes it was never supposed to be just one partner at all.

Can two battered hearts be mended by the love of a third? Kyle becomes the light to their darkness, and he’s willing to risk his heart for theirs, but when the past threatens Saul, will Javier’s sacrifice destroy them all?

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

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The Protector - Jessie G AuthorAbout the Author: Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: To be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With two published books and counting, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters and series filled with families, biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.

Social Media Links: Website | Email | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Google+ | Ello | TSU | Amazon Author Page | ARe Author Page | Goodreads

The Protector -logo

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Giveaways

There are two ways to win in Jessie G.’s giveaway

Option 1: Comment-to-Win Contest Is Closed.

Option 2: Click on the Rafflecopter Widget for your chance to win a mobi/kindle copy of The Protector, signed paperbacks of the first two books in the series, Past Hurts & For a Reason, and a $25 Amazon gift card.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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The Protector Tour Stops

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Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways, K.C. Wells

Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Bond of Three by K.C. Wells

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The Novel Approach welcomes author K.C. Wells on her A Bond of Three blog tour. She’s also giving one lucky reader the chance to win a $15 Gift Card, so be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!

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Two Questions for K.C.:

Q.: Do you have any tattoos? If so, what are they?

A.: I have two. There’s a rose on my lower back, and a design with roses and ivy across my upper back – I drew it

Q.: What has been the biggest surprise to your life after being published?

A.: I still get a thrill when I hold a book with my name on it. Oh, and meeting people who seem excited to meet ME!

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BondofThree[A]Blurb: In the kingdom of Teruna, the red-cloaked Seruani teach the Terunans the art of love. Taken from their homes at seventeen to be trained, they are shunned as outcasts by society and considered the lowest of the low. So when Prince Tanish falls in love with the SeruanFeyar, the man who took his virginity and the only one to share his bed, he is not about to declare that love. No one can ever know, because the consequences would be too painful to consider for both of them.

When the king of Vancor visits Teruna, he promises that his son, Prince Sorran, will marry Prince Tanish to solidify the alliance between the two kingdoms, with the proviso that the virginal Sorran is instructed in the art of pleasing his husband-to-be. When Tanish’s father chooses Feyar to be this instructor, the lovers decide Prince Sorran must be taught that this is to be a marriage in name only….

A resentful prince, unwilling to share his lover.

A resentful Seruan, unwilling to share his prince.

And the shy prince whose very nature sparks changes in the lives of all those around them.

Teruna is about to change forever.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | All Romance eBooks

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Author BioAbout the Author: Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C.Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.

K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings – writing about men in love was even hotter…

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career.

The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email

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THE GIVEAWAY:

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Brought to you by Pride Promotions

Brought to you by Pride Promotions

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Molly Lolly,BFD Book Blog, Bayou Book Junkie, Inked Rainbow Reads, Amanda C. Stone, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Carly’s Book Reviews, Love Bytes, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Kristy’s Brain Food, Sinfully Sexy, My Fiction Nook, Elin Gregory, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, The Novel Approach, MM Good Book Reviews, Andrew Q. Gordon, Velvet Panic, 3 Chicks After Dark, Christy Loves 2 Read, Nephylim, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Kimi-Chan, Foxylutely Book Reviews

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5 Stars, M.A. Church, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Janet

Review: Trouble Comes in Threes by M.A. Church

Title: Trouble Comes in Threes

Author: M.A. Church

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 234 Pages

At a Glance: I picked very well this time, I loved this book

Blurb: A snowstorm in the South—on New Year’s Eve—is a perfect recipe for a catastrophe. After two soul-crushing bad breaks, Kirk’s waiting for disaster number three to strike when, naturally, two stray cats arrive on his doorstep during the storm and decide to make themselves at home. Tenderhearted Kirk lets them stay even though there’s something decidedly odd about his overly friendly felines.

Out of the punishing weather and full of tuna, Dolf and Tal are happy to be snug in Kirk’s house. But then their human goes outside for firewood and suffers a nasty fall that leaves him unconscious. Now the two cats have no choice but to reveal themselves.

Kirk wakes up to find the two kitties are actually Dolf and Tal. They’re cat shifters—and his destined mates. Being part of a feline threesome is enough for Kirk to grapple with, but soon he learns they come from a clowder that doesn’t believe humans and shifters should mix. Kirk knew those two cats would be trouble. Little does he know the real trouble lies ahead.

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Review: How do you pick a new book to read? There are a few things I do when trying out a new to me author to get a sense of what I can expect from the book. I love a title that creates questions: what trouble, where, with whom? The cover: Paul Richmond artwork, cute, with cats. Check the blurb: a paranormal m/m/m, okay, should be fun. I picked very well this time, I loved this book.

Dolf and Tal are an established werecat couple who happen across their mate in a hardware store. Their third mate, who is human. Dolf is the alpha’s son, next in line to lead their clowder, which is rampant with a dislike of humans. I enjoyed the way that the author dealt with establishing “realness” to the shifters. Layering their beliefs with the natural dislike of others, and showing the respect that mates garner and deserve, while showing the scope of the world we are now in. By the time we really meet Kirk, in chapter three, Dolf and Tal are well fleshed out characters, and I had a really good sense of who and what they are.

M.A.Church uses an alternating POV technique that is clearly identified and adds balance to the story and the characters. There is great humor in having Kirk deal with two strange cats during a snowstorm, and it is an effective tool to create sympathy for Kirk, to show his loneliness and need for acceptance.

I loved the fact there was no insta-love going on. The facts about mates, bonds and claiming are clearly laid out for Kirk, and the decision to go forward, to try, is discussed between the three men. When they decide to move in together, realistic problems are addressed.

Trouble Comes in Threes is a well plotted book, with credible characters that I became invested in. The subplots and underlying mystery were full of detail, secondary characters were strong and well balanced in relation to the MCs. It is a fast paced book, easy to read due to its smooth flow, but you never feel that you are missing anything along the way. The author builds the world and characters and lets them grow their romance at their own pace. I was delighted with the conclusion of the book, hints of future stories left to play in my imagination. There is nothing better for a reader than wanting more of an author. M.A. Church has a voice and a style that I appreciated and enjoyed. She has been added to my read again list, and I will look forward to reading more of her work.

TNA_Signature_Janet






You can buy Trouble Comes in Threes here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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A.J. Llewellyn, Totally Bound

Guest Post: The Mediator Blog Tour With A.J. Llewellyn

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The Mediator was one of my very first books with Totally Bound, and for me, it was an agonizing love song to the sport. I was a boxing writer, moving into the world of erotic romance writing, and I knew, with each word I wrote of this book that I was leaving pieces of me in it.

I also knew I was on the verge of saying good-bye to the sweet science. Continue reading

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Riptide Publishing, Sydney Croft

Writing for Charity – Three the Hard Way by Sydney Croft – Part of the Share the Love Collection From Riptide Publishing

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Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity. Twenty percent of all proceeds from the Share the Love collection will be donated to the It Gets Better Project.

This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories: Continue reading

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Bey Deckard, Self-Published

Interview and Giveaway: Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires by Bey Deckard

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TNA: Hi, Bey, welcome back to The Novel Approach, it’s great to have you here with us today. Let’s talk a little bit about Sacrificed. Have you modeled Captain Baltsaros after any one particular pirate, or is he more an amalgamation of the entire piratical lore? Or, would you say he’s entirely unique among pirates, real or fictional?

Bey: Well, he has Captain Kidd’s style, became pirate-by-mutiny like Capt. Jack Avery aka “The King of Pirates”, has the sadistic, bloodthirstiness of Francois l’Olonnais (pirate fun fact: he was rumoured to have eaten an enemy’s heart), and the ruthless iron-fist rule of Ching Shih (pirate fun fact: Ching Shih’s husband, Zengh Yi, was bisexual and adopted a young man to cover up the fact that they were lovers. Ching Shih eventually became lovers with the young man after her husband’s death, and he became her second-in-command).
Continue reading

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5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Erotica, Historical Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires by Bey Deckard

Title: Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 380 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Reunited once more, the crew of Baal’s Heart must make the long and treacherous journey south to the towering spires of the Devil’s Isles. The path through the mountain range is fraught with peril; mayhem and tragedy plague the pirate ship, but what the men find beyond the spires is the most shocking of all.

Continue reading

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4 Stars, Cheyenne Meadows, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Chris

Review: Feline Persuasion by Cheyenne Meadows

Title: Feline Persuasion

Author: Cheyenne Meadows

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 192 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: When tiger shifter Cade turns an oily owner of a consultation firm over to the FBI, he finds himself with a hit man on his heels. Chester was in possession of security-breaching national secrets, and even more concerning, evidence that shifters exist, and if it got out, trouble would follow for all shifters. So now Cade is on the run. He holes up in an isolated hideout where he doesn’t expect anyone to find him–least of all a former one-night stand. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Bailey Bradford, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Reviewed by Traci, Totally Bound

A Man Acts Out His Fantasies In Bailey Bradford’s “Unexpected Places”

Title: Unexpected Places

Author: Bailey Bradford

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 28 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Love finds you in the most unexpected places.

Carter Hausemann loves his adventures in the great outdoors. He never feels as free and happy as he does when he’s hiking up a mountain or over a desert trail. After a childhood spent locked indoors, he craves the sunlight on his face and the blanket of moonlight.
Continue reading

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5 Stars, Julie Bozza, Manifold Press, Reviewed by Tina

Julie Bozza’s “A Threefold Cord” Is Threefold Brilliant – Reviewed by Tina


“And someone may overpower one alone, but two together can take a stand against him. And a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn apart.”—Ecclesiastes 4:12


Title: A Threefold Cord

Author: Julie Bozza

Publisher: Manifold Press

Pages/Word Count: 57000 Words

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Grae Edwards and his co–stars Chris Willoughby and Ben Clyde work together well. Maybe they even have a chemistry. Certainly they are friends and Grae is tempted to ask for more … After the beautiful tart Chris has the temerity to turn him down, Grae settles into a comfortable loving relationship with the more chivalrous Ben. But the idea of Chris never quite goes away – and when Chris finally suggests the three of them spend a night together, Grae glimpses a solution he hardly dares hope for.
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4.5 Stars, Blaine D. Arden, Reviewed by Lisa, Storm Moon Press

Blaine D. Arden’s “The Forester II: Lost and Found” Is The Long Awaited Follow Up To A Great Beginning


“It was more and more difficult to hold on to hope, and yet, all I needed to survive another day was to gaze into Taruif’s eyes and have Ianys’ arms around me.” – Blaine D. Arden


Title: The Forester II: Lost and Found

Author: Blaine D. Arden

Publisher: Storm Moon Press

Pages/Word Count: 88 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: “The Guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning.”
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Less Than Three Press, Reviewed by Jackie, T.T. Kove

T.T. Kove’s “Measured Doses” Takes A Look At Infidelity – Reviewed by Jackie


“You didn’t just cheat on me; you cheated on us.” – Steve Maraboli


Title: Measured Doses

Author: T.T. Kove

Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Pages/Word Count: 110 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: After his father beats him, Chad escapes to the only safe haven he can think: his former teacher, Dion. But when he arrives at Dion’s door, it’s opened by a stranger—who promptly finds himself catching an unconscious man.
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