5 Stars, Boroughs Publishing Group, Genre Romance, Reviewed By Carrie, Susan Mac Nicol

Review: Feat of Clay by Susan Mac Nicol

TNA Page Turner Resized

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Feat of Clay (Men of London: Book Four)

Author: Susan Mac Nicol

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

Pages/Word Count: 156 Pages

At a Glance: Grabbed. I was grabbed by this book… Tate and Clay are amazing characters and they have an amazing story to tell.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Imprisoned and tortured, undercover cop Tate Williams will find redemption in the arms of his boyhood friend, now lover, former SAS soldier Clay Mortimer.

TWO MEN.

TORN. TORTURED. LOVED.

Though they went their separate ways, Tate Williams and Clay Mortimer have been crazy about each other since their school days. Clay went into the SAS. Tate became a cop. Neither mentioned their attraction to the other. Both sought out danger. Both found it.

Imprisoned and shot in an undercover assignment gone wrong, Tate somehow survived…and found his way back into Clay’s arms. His old friend is now the owner of an elite investigation agency and everything any man could want: patient, handsome, commanding. And Clay knows what it takes to survive. But Tate can’t bring himself to share all his secrets, nightmares that force him to rebel against everything. He finds solace from his past as a graffiti artist, a childhood passion, but his demons drive away all who might care for him. Only when he faces that past—and learns that everyone has tasted despair—can the two men truly be brothers-in-arms…and more.

Dividers

Review: Let me start by saying I love Susan Mac Nicol, and I have read and recommended all the books in the Men of London series. These books are so well written, and I didn’t think she could do better than Suit Yourself, book three, but yeah, she proved me wrong and I am so glad she did.

Tate is broken, suffering from severe PTSD from an undercover op gone bad, and because Tate is broken, part of Clay is broken also. How do two alpha males overcome a disease that is all in Tate’s head? Feat of Clay takes you on their rocky journey to their HEA. I couldn’t put this book down because I couldn’t leave Tate there – in that place – trying so hard to be strong for Clay while Clay is trying so hard to be strong for Tate. You will love these men, together as a couple, and individually, as they each fight their demons and come out stronger and more in love than they thought possible.

It is truly a “feat” for Clay to be the man Tate needs and for Tate to trust that love. There are cameos from the other Men of London, and plenty of laughter to balance the scales. We also get to meet some well written, interesting and endearing secondary characters who enhance the storyline. I highly recommend all the Men of London books and Feat of Clay, especially!

TNA_Signature_Carrie

 

 

 

You can buy Feat of Clay here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

Standard
Felice Stevens, Giveaways

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Beyond the Surface Blog Tour with Felice Stevens

Beyond the Surface Banner

We’re so pleased to welcome author Felice Stevens today, on her Beyond the Surface blog tour. When Felice and I started chatting about topics for her visit, the first thought that came to mind was, “Let’s talk about 9/11 as a New Yorker.” So, that’s what came of our conversation, a New Yorker’s look at that day and the resulting novel that sprang from it all these years later.

Enjoy Felice’s guest post, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

Dividers

A 9/11 Day

Many, if not most, people remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard of the terror attacks of 9/11. For some people it is the seminal moment in their lives.

For those of us who live in NYC, it started out as a beautiful fall day, Primary Day, in New York. I had left for work; it was to be my daughter’s first day of 3rd grade and my son was four years old. She was to go in the afternoon session, and my babysitter was getting them out early to go to the park that overlooked the Manhattan skyline.

By 9 am word had begun to trickle in that a plane had hit the towers. Then a second plane hit, and we knew it wasn’t a weather plane or a lost pilot. We sat, fearful of more attacks, unable to get in touch with our families as our cell signals were blocked. I am lucky enough to work near my home, so my babysitter brought the kids and we sat in my office waiting. For what we didn’t know.

We all know what happened after that. The firefighters, police officers and other emergency responders who died, not to mention the thousands of other innocent people. New York was shattered and brought to its knees. For all that people say it is a cold place where people are strangers, it isn’t, at least for me. New York is a city made up of small towns. Our neighbors know one another and say hello on the street. We all became neighbors that day and for the months afterwards.

Our neighborhood firehouse is very close to the people they serve; my rabbi is a chaplain for the FDNY, and they’re an integral part of our community. They lost 6 firefighters that day, and it broke our collective hearts. We held vigils with them in the firehouse and sang songs of hope, loss and love on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

I never set out to write a 9/11 story specifically; an idea came to me to write about a man suffering from scars, and it somehow morphed into a fireman, 9//11 injuries and the resulting PTSD he endures. I visited our firehouse to talk to the men and get their take on what I was writing, to make sure I got it “right.”

Beyond the Surface is my personal tribute to the 9/11 survivors, the ones who made it out alive, beaten but not broken. Nick Fletcher, the closeted fireman in the book, didn’t believe he had a right to live and punished himself because he survived, while his buddies in his house didn’t. Julian Cornell, his lover, helped him to see that no one knows what will happen in life, that you have to live each day to its fullest and look beyond the pain to what the future holds. This isn’t a book of love conquering all, but how love and the healing powers it represents, can help.

Dividers

Beyond the SurfaceBlurb: On 9/11, firefighter Nick Fletcher’s world changed forever. He’s unable to rid himself of survivor’s guilt, made worse by the secret he hides from his family and co-workers. Nick’s life is centered around helping burn victims, until he is reunited with the man he’d once loved but pushed away. Now he has a second chance at a love he thought lost forever.

For fashion designer Julian Cornell, appearances mean everything. His love affairs are strictly casual, and the only thing he cares about is making his clothing line a success. A chance encounter with the man he loved long ago has Julian thinking for the first time in years there may be more to life than being seen at the best parties and what designer labels to wear.

When Julian’s world takes an unexpected turn, it’s Nick who helps him regain perspective on what matters most in life. Julian, in turn, helps Nick accept who he is and understand he isn’t responsible for tragedies he couldn’t prevent. Lost love found can be even sweeter the second time around and after all the years apart, both men learn to look beyond the surface to find the men they are inside.

Beyond the Surface is available for purchase at Amazon.com

Dividers

Author BioAbout the Author: Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Social Media Links: Website || Facebook || Facebook Author Page || Twitter || Amazon Author Page

Dividers

THE GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Standard
3.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Hunter Frost, JMS Books LLC, Reviewed by Jules

Review: The Courage to Heal by Hunter Frost

Title: The Courage to Heal

Author: Hunter Frost

Publisher: JMS Books

Pages/Word Count:

At a Glance: The Courage to Heal piqued my interest in the characters and the story, and kept me entertained.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: Former U.S. Army Sergeant Wade Carter returned from Afghanistan a broken man. Permanently injured and weighed down with PTSD, his scars run deeper than flesh and bone. When his regular physical therapist is taken ill, the sexy replacement doctor has Wade wishing he’d touch much more of his body than his busted leg.

Dr. Jesse Okenah isn’t a beginner when it comes to working with veterans, but his new patient stirs up feelings that go beyond professional. It’s Wade’s wounded soul, more than his mangled leg, that needs TLC in order for him to live a healthy, fulfilling life again. Jesse just needs to figure out how to deliver that care to the stubborn vet without crossing a line — and losing his heart.

Dividers

Review: Hunter Frost’s new short story, The Courage to Heal, was a nice little Sunday read. It wasn’t perfect – I think it’s extremely difficult to write a perfect short story or novella – but it piqued my interest in the characters and the story, and kept me entertained. I mean, what’s not to like about a sexy doctor and a feisty, sexy vet?! (Disclaimer: Not trying to be glib. Our veteran has very real issues, which I’ll discuss more – but he was sexy. So there.)

Speaking of sexy…Dr. Jesse Okenah was suuuuper sexy. I loved the descriptions of him in the book; it was so easy to picture his striking Native American features and powerful build. He was also beautiful on the inside. Just a good, sweet soul. I loved how he instantly wanted to help Wade. He was clearly attracted to him, but attraction aside, Jesse was even more interested in getting Wade to see that he could get better, and encouraging some healthy changes in his life. Jesse also has experience working with vets, as well as his father having been a veteran, so he is the perfect person to have fallen into Wade’s life, at the perfect time.

Wade is in a very bad way when he meets Dr. Okenah. He is just going through the motions in his physical therapy, has completely given up on psychiatric therapy, hasn’t spoken to his parents in ages, and some days honestly wonders the point of going on. Jesse entering his life gives him the spark he needs to begin to fight again. Their chemistry is fantastic. They are very real together, and I love how completely at ease they seem with each other. They have some wonderfully fun moments that make believing in them and rooting for them easy.

I was introduced to Hunter Frost’s writing last year through her short Christmas story, An Angel in Eyeliner, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I still want more of those guys! It would be interesting to see what she could do with a longer format, but I will be looking forward to more of her work either way.

TNA_Signature_Jules






You can buy The Courage to Heal here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

Standard
5 Stars, Audio Book, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, J.P. Barnaby, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Review: Spencer by JP Barnaby – Narrated by Tyler Stevens

Title: Spencer

Author: JP Barnaby

Narrator: Tyler Stevens

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours, 33 Minute

At a Glance: Between JP Barnaby’s writing and Stevens’ performance, it gave Spencer a touch of reality—bad things do happen to good people.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: It’s been nearly five years since Aaron woke up in the hospital so broken, he couldn’t stand the sight of his own face. The flashbacks no longer dominate his life, but he’s still unable to find intimacy with his lover, Spencer Thomas. With time, patience, and the support of his family, his therapist, and his loving partner, Aaron has figured out how to live again. The problem is, Spencer hasn’t. His life has been on hold as he waits for the day he and Aaron can have a normal relationship. Hoping to move things forward for them both, he takes a job as a programmer in downtown Chicago, leaving Aaron alone.

Reeling in the wake of Spencer’s absence, Aaron receives another shock when his attackers are caught.

Now, he must testify and verbalize his worst nightmare. Publicly reliving his trauma without Spencer at his side destroys his precarious control. But he finds someone who can understand and empathize in Jordan, who watched his brother cut down in a school shooting. With Spencer gone and the DA knocking at his door, Aaron seeks solace in Jordan, and Spencer will have to risk everything to hold on to Aaron’s love.

Dividers

Review: Our very own Lisa did a very riveting review on the book version of Spencer, and I wholeheartedly agree with what she had to say about it.

Spencer was frustrating for me to read and listen to, mainly because I understand where Aaron is coming from. His life was literally stolen from him during a night of terror, and no matter what, through his eyes life for him will never be the same again. How this young man goes about reclaiming his life is nothing short of a miracle. Others would have let the bastards win by giving up. It’s frustrating for Aaron because he would like nothing better than to be free of his monsters. Knowing that he’ll struggle with PTSD for the rest of his life, he still keeps trying to improve his life and his relationship with Spencer.

It’s frustrating for Spencer, who loves Aaron but doesn’t know exactly what to do for his lover. Spencer is having trouble accepting that Aaron has to do things in his own time, in his own way. But while Spencer does love Aaron, I could see that he wanted to spread his own wings when he took the job in Chicago. It was something Spencer needed to do for himself.

What made Spencer less frustrating was when Aaron had a chance to meet others like him. It made the world a little less lonely and scary, knowing there were other survivors like him who were willing to give him hope that someday things might work out. Jordan made a really good friend to talk to about the PTSD, and the surprise guests that appeared in Spencer gave Aaron a look into his future, if he could manage to take back control when it came time to testify.

I’m was so glad that Tyler Stevens narrated Spencer. He did such a outstanding job with Aaron it was only fair he continue with this second story. Between JP Barnaby’s writing and Stevens’ performance, it gave Spencer a touch of reality—bad things do happen to good people. But with a whole lotta love and support, the victim can transform into a survivor and take back control of their lives.






You can buy Spencer here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

Standard
4 Stars, Annabeth Albert, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review: Resilient Heart by Annabeth Albert

Title: Resilient Heart

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 118 Pages

At a Glance: Resilient Heart asks its readers to bring our empathy to the reading of this story

Blurb: NOTE: This is a previously published work. The title, author, and/or publisher may have changed. Originally released as part of the Unconditional Surrender bundle, now available as a stand-alone novella complete with BRAND-NEW 10,000 word short story/epilogue.

When a wounded soldier is forced to accept help from his former best friend, both men discover the true strength of their entwined hearts.

Army IT specialist Xander keeps his emotions wired as tight as his NETCOM gear, but when he’s seriously injured by an IED, his whole life unravels. Running out of options, Xander must accept help from his ex-friend-with-benefits, Mackey. However, Xander’s had feelings for Mackey for years, and close quarters only complicates his emotions. Further, Xander doesn’t know which is worse: combating his inner demons or dealing with Mackey’s guilty kindnesses.

Mackey’s always kept his emotions close to his chest, but now he’s got a secret that could destroy his one chance with the man he cares far too much for. Both men will have to heal their wounded hearts to ensure a future together.

Entwined Future (Bonus Epilogue): In this new short story, Mackey has news that could change everything for him and Xander, but a visit from Xander’s family jeopardizes Mackey’s plans–and forces Xander to confront some harsh truths.

Dividers

Review: Annabeth Albert digs deep and comes up with a healthy dose of emotion in Resilient Heart, a story that portrays the physical, psychological, and all too human impact of war.

Xander and Mackey are two soldiers who served their country post-DADT but still toed a cautious line, keeping their stolen trysts a secret and guarding their feelings for each other behind the pretense of a best-friends-with-benefits label, all while they were both beginning to feel so much more than a simple physical need for each other. These details are offered in retrospect through the narrative, as the story begins well after their affair had started. Xander and Mackey have a longer history than is fleshed out in Resilient Heart, but we get enough back-story to know that somewhere between sex and friendship, love took root and grew in a fertile soil of silence and lies of omission.

This story takes place following Xander’s discharge from the Army, after an IED exploded and changed the course of his life. The author explores the fallout not only of Xander’s physical and emotional injuries but the effects and psychological impact of those injuries on Xander and on his relationship with Mackey. PTSD, physical impairment, and depression inform Xander’s life now and have a direct effect upon Mackey as well. Nearly losing Xander, not to mention the unspoken guilt he harbors for the unforeseeable role he played in all of it, has caused Mackey to do what he didn’t have the courage to do before—admit he needs Xander in his life as something more than a convenient means of scratching a sexual itch. Once Mackey steps up to help Xander through his recovery, Albert lays the groundwork for the conflict: every interaction between the two men becomes a trek through an emotional minefield, Mackey never knowing when the next sentence will set Xander off.

Being a novella, we get just a small glimpse of the greater part of Xander’s recovery, focusing on the bitter reality of his having survived only to come out alive but altered. It took time for Xander to appreciate the fact he lived after the explosion that changed him in tangible and intangible ways, going through the motions while fighting his demons. It took a confession from Mackey and bringing all his secrets and lies out into the open to push Xander to the brink, forcing him to make a decision about his future.

Resilient Heart asks its readers to bring our empathy to the reading of this story, to invest ourselves in the cost of serving in the military and imagine the sacrifices both Mackey and Xander made in order to hide their relationship, then to feel our way through the conflict and the impact Mackey’s confession made. Both of these men made mistakes but, in the end, resolved to correct them together, and the bonus epilogue, which wasn’t available in the Unconditional Surrender bundle, gives us a sweet and satisfying resolution to their romance.






You can buy Resilient Heart here:

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

Standard
5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, J.P. Barnaby, Reviewed by Kim

Tyler Stevens’ Narration of J.P. Barnaby’s “Aaron” Brings The Story To Life


“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton


Title: Aaron (A Survivor Story)

Author: J.P. Barnaby

Narrator:: Tyler Stevens

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours, 5 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: I can’t describe what it’s like to want to scream every minute of every day.
Continue reading

Standard
3.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Kate McMurray, Reviewed by Tina

Opposites Attract in Kate McMurray’s “The Silence of the Stars”


“You can’t patch a wounded soul with a Band-Aid.” ― Michael Connelly


Title: The Silence of the Stars

Author: Kate McMurray

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Sandy Sullivan has gotten so good at covering up his emotions, he’s waiting for someone to hand him an Oscar. On the outside, he’s a cheerful, funny guy, but his good humor is the only thing keeping awful memories from his army tours in Afghanistan at bay. Worse, Sandy is now adrift after breaking up with the only man who ever understood him, but who also wanted to fix him the way Sandy’s been fixing up his new house in Brooklyn.
Continue reading

Standard
4 Stars, Amber Allure, Reviewed by Jackie, T.A. Chase

“Finding Peace” Means Fighting Demons In T.A. Chase’s Nowhere Diner


“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” ― Virginia Woolf


Title: Nowhere Diner: Finding Peace

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 114 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Chad Mitchell is on a downward spiral and he’s not sure how to stop it. Between the flashbacks of fighting in Afghanistan and the alcohol, he feels like he’s losing his mind. And if he’s not careful, he knows he might lose more than that. Working at Cookie’s Diner is a chance at working through his problems, yet his demons are stronger than he thinks.
Continue reading

Standard
Dreamspinner Press, John C. Houser

Sometimes Healing Can Be Found In “The Door Behind Us”



“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton


The year is 1919: Francis “Frank” Huddleston returns from the war in Europe to his grandparents’ home, recovering from a head injury. Frank suffers from a form of amnesia from his head injury and has no recollection of whom or what he was before he was wounded. Not to mention he needs notes from his grandfather upon waking to remind him on a daily basis as to who he is and what to do.The beginning actually reminded me of the movie 50 First Dates.
Continue reading

Standard