Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday and Giveaway: The Why Haven’t You Read This Book Yet? Edition

Flashback Friday

Welcome back to another edition of Flashback Friday, everyone! This week’s FbF Feature is all about the books we’ve read and would love to force feed to every single person we’ve ever met ever in our entire lives. Extreme, no??? But yes! This begins a potpourri of prose that has made us cry, squee, giggle, you name it, we’ve loved it, and we wish everyone would read these books.

Last week’s winner of the Flashback Friday Speculative Fiction Edition was Julie Small, who made the wisest of wise choices and went with Jordan L. Hawk’s Widdershins as her e-book prize. Congratulations to you, Julie, and thanks so much to everyone who’s played along with us!

I hope you’ll find a title or two amongst our choices that you haven’t read yet because if you click on the Rafflecopter widget below, you can enter for the chance to win an e-copy of one of them, winner’s choice.

Good luck!

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TNA_Signature_JulesThere are a LOT of books I want to shove in people’s faces and make them read. Ha! But, I chose this week’s book because I just read it – tardy to the party – and I want to make sure that no one else leaves it languishing on his or her TBR pile! The book is Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander, and I want you to go right now and load it up on your e-reader. Don’t wait another moment, folks. This is an absolute must read!

Austin Glass killed me. Killlllllllllllled me. The king of snark. Zero filter. Inept in all of his female relationships. Yet also smart, funny, a brilliant detective, and somehow manages to come off as endearing a large portion of the time, despite the no filter issue.

While waiting for an informant on a case, Austin sees Peter. Well…what he sees are bunny slippers…and, he can’t get the slippers, or the man, out of his head. Austin is a complete goner for Peter, and it ends up sending him on the roller coaster ride of his life as he tries to figure out his feelings for Peter, and solve his case at the same time.

The action in the story is fabulous. The characters are interesting, eclectic, and entertaining. I found Peter’s background, including that of his “brothers” Darryl and Cai, fascinating, and was on the edge of my seat as their story unraveled. And, Austin Glass in particular is a character that will stay with me for a very long time. I LOVED this freakin’ book, man.

Bonus note: I actually listened to the audio for this book, and it was AH-MAZING. The narrator does a phenomenal job with the pacing, the accents, and the whole performance in general.

shattered glassA male prostitute, a mangy cat, a murder and an obsession that threatens his career, his impending marriage and his life. Nothing is going as planned for Austin Glass.

Austin Glass seems to have it all, A loving fiancee, a future with the FBI and a healthy sized trust fund. At least on the surface. He also has a grin and a wisecrack for every situation. But the smile he presents to the world hides a painful past he’s buried too deeply to remember, and his quips mask bitterness and insecurity. Austin has himself and most of the whole world fooled—until he meets a redhead in a pair of bunny slippers.

As events unfold in the biggest case of his life, Austin’s carefully planned future unravels, and he finds himself pushed into making quick, life-changing decisions. But can he trust himself or anything he feels, when each event seems to be just a series of volatile reactions?

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TNA_Signature_CHRIS*Runs up and shoves a book under your nose*

If there is only ONE book that I could make someone read it would be Conquest by S.J. Frost. This book, actually this whole series, is one of the reasons I became utterly hooked into the M/M genre. It’s also one of the first romances I stumbled on that featured a rock band as part of the main story. Considering I love my rock music as much as I love reading, well this book was a match made in book heaven!

Jesse and Evan are the couple that I hold up as an example of how you can make a relationship work. They are also two of my all time favorite characters in this genre. They aren’t just lovers but they truly are the other’s soul mate, even if it takes them time to get to that point with each other. While they are two completely different people, at different stages of their lives and careers, there is something about the other that constantly draws them together.

Did I mention that Jesse and Evan are smoking hot together? The sexual tension between these two will literally set your ereader on fire! Not to overlook Jesse and Evan’s musical talent which takes the book to a whole different level. There’s nothing I love more than a book that can actually capture the emotion that is wrapped within music and this entire series gives you that feeling.

You definitely need to give Jesse and Evan a chance, because once you pick up the first book in the series you’re going to want more!

conquestVocally gifted singer, Jesse Alexander, has dreams of taking his band, Conquest, to the top.

Evan Arden was thought of as a musical genius when at the height of his career he vanished from the spotlight. Together, their relationship is just as intense as their music careers. With success pushing down on them, Jesse must decide between his life of music, or his life with Evan.

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TNA_Signature_SammyIf I Could Force You to Read This Book, I Would. Oh yes, indeed I would—and I would also provide a bottle of liquor and a box of tissues ‘cause this one is a tough read, but the rewards? They are oh so great!

A Note in the Margin was a difficult book to read. This story cut me to the core for many reasons and on many levels. Remembering the synopsis I wrote a few years ago reminded me once again of the great impact this novel had on me.

John is “taking a break” from the corporate rat race. In fact, he must; otherwise, he will spin apart, perhaps have a nervous breakdown, a heart attack. One is never sure because Ms. Rowan is not specific in the reason, only that the break must occur or John will not survive. And so, John invests in a small, unassuming used bookstore named Margins. Here he meets and employs the son of the previous owner, Jaime. Jaime, in turn, introduces John to the homeless man that, every afternoon, occupies an old leather chair in the back of the shop, sketching in his notebook and reading. And so the story begins…and you are sucked into the sometimes violent, oft times horrific life of David, a former corporate man, father and husband. A formerly closeted gay man…a shell of his former self…mentally broken, whoring for bus fair to travel to see the son whom he is never able to speak to or interact with…living in fear and only sometimes dwelling in reality.

Wounded…broken…desperate…David…John—both equally fragile, equally needy, find each other.

This is not an easy story to read. My gut clenched often and unhappily as David worked his way back from the abyss to life with John, to love, to acceptance of himself, and forgiveness as well. Ms. Rowan paints a picture that is teeming with realism, gritty with emotion and remarkable in its depth. Her characters are achingly real, so much so that I found myself yelling at them so they would move before disaster struck again. Several times the stark raw emotion leapt off the page, forcing me to stop dead, turn off the kindle and step away. It was too much, too overwhelming.

Do not tread lightly into this book—for a light read it is not—at all. But it is a worthwhile read…a stunning look into the homeless man’s world…a glimpse into the intricacies of mental illness…yes, it is this and so much more. At this novel’s core is a love story that is so sweeping in its scope and tender in its telling that you are carried along in its mighty wake.

You should read this book—honest, you really should! Just bring along tissues…and maybe a stiff drink or two.

**As a side note when I visited Australia a few years ago, I had the honor of meeting Isabelle Rowan—such a lovely woman, smart and kind to a fault. I have enjoyed many of her stories to date and strongly recommend her lovely work to you.

NoteintheMarginJohn McCann, a man who judges life by the tally of an accounts ledger, has a supreme goal in life: To achieve, live, and enjoy the rarified executive lifestyle. But he’s encountered one problem: The migraines are going to continue to get worse unless you make some major changes in your lifestyle. What you need is a ‘sea change’… Perhaps buy a nice little business in the country, settle down, something easier to occupy your time…

While John knows the doctor is right, he just can’t resign from the job he’s fought so hard for. He decides the sacrifice of taking a year’s leave of absence won’t interfere too much with his plans, and so he finds himself running Margins, a cozy little bookstore, with the help of the former owner’s son, Jamie. John expects to put in his year, get his stress under control, and then get back to business.

What John doesn’t expect is how Margins and its denizens draw him in, particularly the quiet, disheveled man who takes refuge in the old leather chair in the second-hand book section. John’s plans for an unattached year of simple business crumble when he meets David and is forced to reevaluate life, love and what he really wants from both. John and David are forced to come to terms with their pasts as they struggle to determine what possible future they might build together.

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TNA_Signature_SadonnaDiane Adams – Making of a Man series

This is one of the BEST series I’ve ever read in any genre. Jared and Alex meet when Alex is a teenager – and just figuring out that he’s gay. Jared is an old soul in a young man’s body. He’s had to face a lot in his life already, and he truly isn’t that much older than Alex in years but is light years ahead in life’s hard knocks and experience. He’s been unlucky in love, and he’s already lost his father and inherited a business that he needs to keep going to keep a roof over his and his mother’s head. He takes the time to be a friend to Alex (and Alex’s best friend Clark) while they are still in high school and Alex is still in the closet. This series is currently at 6 books with some shorter freebies in between. There is still one more promised book to come.

So far this series has taken us through about 20 years of Jared and Alex’s story, and it’s an absolute pleasure to watch Alex grown up and grow into his relationship with Jared. Jared is one of the best men on the planet – bar none. There are wonderful supporting characters, realistic conflicts, no pat answers and some of the best dialogue around. Completely believable and if this series doesn’t convince people that Love is Love, I don’t know what would. Just absolutely some of the best storytelling in the genre and beautifully done.

Our DecemberSometimes two people fit together so well it seems their love was preordained, as if every step taken led inevitably to a happy ending. Deeply in love, Jared and Alex are such a couple, but the path to true and lasting love is rarely smooth. At fifteen, being gay isn’t the best thing that ever happened to a guy. In fact, Alex Ross thinks it’s down right scary. Then he meets twenty year old construction worker Jared Douglas, and Alex starts to think the gay thing might not be so bad after all.

The attraction between them is intense, but — mindful of Alex’s age — Jared is determined to keep the sparks from igniting. The stress of controlling his feelings makes it almost a relief when Alex’s father ships him off to prep school. Jared expects Alex to forget him and find a boy friend his own age; he doesn’t anticipate how much it will hurt. When Alex comes home for Christmas, just turned 16, with his heart on his sleeve, Jared knows he can’t continue to keep everything he feels a secret.

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TNA_Signature_LisaI read a quote once by a man named Alfred North Whitehead, who was a philosopher. The quote went something like this:

It takes an extraordinary intelligence to contemplate the obvious.

Al Fletcher may never be described as extraordinarily intelligent, but he is an extraordinary character who has a way of being, oh, perhaps a wee bit obtuse but is so utterly guileless that his observations of the obvious are just sweet and charming, and when I read his story, Muscling Through, several years ago, he quickly shot to the top of the list of some of my all-time favorite characters.

Larry came into Al’s life in a dark alley one night…while Al was taking a whizz. Yep. Big Al, with his tattoos and a nose that’s seen the business end of more than a few fists, was peeing in the great outdoors when Larry happened upon him…and then promptly assumed, based on Al’s looks, that he, Larry, was going to get robbed at best, or get a good beating, or heaven knows what else, at worst.

Now, Al’s been known to be drunk and disorderly on a few occasions, but purposefully mean and/or violent? That’s not Al at all. Al does things like hide the kitchen knives when he makes sure you get home safely, assuming you’re drunk and a danger to yourself because you’re acting crazy—which is really not you being drunk or crazy. It’s just you being scared shitless of Al.

Al does things like eat finger sandwiches in a posh restaurant and then hopes that when the staff cut the crusts off those sandwiches that they at least had the common decency to feed those perfectly good crusts to the birds.

Al is an artist, and though the world may not see beauty in him, Al sees beauty in the world. And that makes him beautiful where it counts.

Muscling Through isn’t a long book—less than ninety pages—but it’s one of the best novellas I’ve ever read. If not the best. It’s funny and full of warmth—just like Al—and is one of the most endearing opposites attract stories I’ve ever run across, thanks to JL Merrow’s deft hand and lovely sense of humor.

In a genre where we’ve learned not to jump to conclusions or make assumptions, JL Merrow crafted a character who’s spent his life having others define him by his looks, when, in fact, it’s his heart and soul and downright goodness that make Al who he is, and make it easy to see why a man like Larry would fall madly in love with the big, tattooed, beautifully simple man.

muscling throughThe bigger they come, the harder they fall… in love.

Cambridge art professor Larry Morton takes one, alcohol-glazed look at the huge, tattooed man looming in a dark alley, and assumes he’s done for. Moments later he finds himself disarmed—literally and figuratively. And, the next morning, he can’t rest until he offers an apology to the man who turned out to be more gentle than giant.

Larry’s intrigued to find there’s more to Al Fletcher than meets the eye; he possesses a natural artistic talent that shines through untutored technique. Unfortunately, no one else seems to see the sensitive soul beneath Al’s imposing, scarred, undeniably sexy exterior. Least of all Larry’s class-conscious family, who would like nothing better than to split up this mismatched pair.

Is it physical? Oh, yes, it’s deliciously physical, and so much more—which makes Larry’s next task so daunting. Not just convincing his colleagues, friends and family that their relationship is more than skin deep. It’s convincing Al.

Warning: Contains comic misunderstandings, misuse of art materials, and unexpected poignancy.

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THE GIVEAWAY

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The Fine Print:

*Must be 18 years old or older to qualify
*No residency restrictions apply
*The Novel Approach will be responsible for prize delivery in e-book format of winner’s choice
*All comments must be relevant to qualify

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4.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Review: Safe in His Arms by Renae Kaye – Narrated by Randy Fuller

Audio Gem

Title: Safe in His Arms

Author: Renae Kaye

Narrator:: Randy Fuller

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 Hours and 6 Minutes

At a Glance: Kudos to both Renae Kaye and Randy Fuller for delivering a story worth listening to during a long commute to work.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: In the late-night quiet of the caravan park shower room, Lon Taylor washes away the filth of the Western Australian mines. He’s not looking for anyone, but when Casey offers, Lon doesn’t turn him down.

Welcoming the young man in his big, hairy arms, Lon provides a safety to Casey that he has never known, and Casey wants to stay forever. Still reeling from the breakup of his family years ago, Lon’s not sure he’s ready for the responsibility of the comfort and security Casey craves.

Perhaps Lon can risk opening his heart again and hoping for a brighter future. Casey has some pretty big skeletons in his past to deal with. Lon wonders what Casey will do when he finds out how badly Lon failed at protecting the ones he loved eight years ago.

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Review: I’m fast becoming a fan of Renae Kaye, especially since I’ve started listening to her work. I love how Randy Fuller’s voice characterizations immediately pulled me into this story. You definitely get the image that Lon is a big guy. But even though Lon looks like someone you wouldn’t want to mess with, he’s such a big teddy bear at heart. Casey sees this and is immediately drawn to Lon. And though he’s a bit young for Lon, there’s something about Casey that brings out Lon’s protective side, especially when he learns what Casey’s father had done to him as a teen.

I loved how these two men interacted with each other. Except for the one moment when Lon got extremely upset with Casey for not telling him about a chance meeting with someone. Lon was so secretive about his past, how was Casey to know? Shame on Lon for thinking that Casey was a mind reader, and for yelling at Casey the way he did. Well… it made me want to slap Lon alongside his head for the sudden outburst of temper! See…Casey even brought out the protectiveness in me. But, I was extremely glad when Lon did the right thing by groveling for forgiveness.

Randy Fuller has been added to the list of narrators I’d be willing to listen to again and again. Kudos to both Renae Kaye and Randy Fuller for delivering a story worth listening to during a long commute to work.

TNA_Signature_Kim

 

 

 

You can buy Safe in His Arms here:

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Kathie

Review: You Are the Reason by Renae Kaye

Title: You Are the Reason (A Novel in The Tav Series)

Author: Renae Kaye

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 239 Pages

At a Glance: There just aren’t enough adjectives I can think of to describe You Are the Reason. It’s steamy, quirky, light, cute, brilliant, lovely, romantic, sweet, informative and educational.

Reviewed By: Kathie

Blurb: Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays who are girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.

Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub. That’s where he meets Lee, cute from her cherry-red hair to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.

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Review: “G-A-Y stands for Girls Are Yucky.”

First, let’s just take a moment and enjoy the cover of this wonderful book. Whenever I look at it, I forget to breathe, so it’s a good thing nature takes over and makes me breathe before I pass out.

As for the story, there just aren’t enough adjectives I can think of to describe it. It’s steamy, quirky, light, cute, brilliant, lovely, romantic, sweet, informative and educational; all wrapped up in two-hundred-thirty-nine pages. The main characters are Davo (aka David Pederson), or simply Dave, “well groomed—no nose hair, fingernails neatly trimmed, nothing awkward piercing my skin.” Davo is a self-proclaimed regular guy. Or, should I say, a bloke with lots of faults and quirky ideas (quirky and sweet). I loved him!

Lee Brennan is cute, escaped-from-a-pixie-convention kind of adorable, and so girly (Lee likes to wear women’s clothing) that it makes Dave’s back teeth ache. I really chuckled over Lee’s description of a man: “I piss standing up and I shave.” Okay… Well, that works. Cute and educational.

David and Lee are the main characters of You are the Reason, but I have to include Patrick and Jake and Maxine, their baby, and Lee’s parents. Also, the Magic 8 Ball, My Little Ponies, and the color pink; without them Davo and Lee’s tale would be just another short story about attraction, struggle, lots of steamy sex and a happy ending. Okay, that wouldn’t be bad either, but the supporting characters fill out the story with color and depth.

Davo and Lee’s romance is a rocky journey, first with David trying to figure out why he is attracted to Lee (Lee looks like a woman so he must be one, right?). I really enjoyed reading when Patrick explained to Davo about pheromones and attraction. And second, Davo fighting the attraction for many reason. Who said love is easy? It comes with so much baggage.

The relationship that builds between David and the lovely Maxine is also delightful, David learning how to take care of her and falling in love, dirty nappies and all. Yes, love at first sight is real, dressed in pink with a pink bow around her head.

I just have to add that I can’t wait for the audio to come out for this book. While reading You Are the Reason, I could just about hear Jonathan Young’s voice—he was the narrator for The Blinding Light, the first in The Tav series. Davo talking baby talk to Maxine in that whiny voice, and hearing Maxine say, “Uck Day,” what a great audiobook to look forward to.

TNA_Signature_Kathie

 

 

 

You can buy You Are the Reason here:

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 4.5 Stars, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Karen

Audio Review: Shawn’s Law by Renae Kaye – Narrated by Casey Hunter

Title:  Shawn’s Law

Author:  Renae Kaye

Narrator: Casey Hunter

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Run Time:  6 hours and 19 minutes

At a Glance:  All of the crazy shenanigans that happen around Shawn due to “Shawn’s Law” were brought to life wonderfully with Casey Hunter’s narration.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Shawn is single, twenty-nine, the full-time carer of his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law—although his family calls it Shawn’s Law. Other than caring for mum, his day consists of painting nude men and spying on the guy who walks his dogs along the street every day at four o’clock. When Shawn takes a spectacular fall on his front steps, who is there to witness it other than the man of his dreams?

Harley doesn’t believe in Shawn’s Law—but he soon changes his mind.

The two men make it through a memorable first date and Shawn’s sexual insecurities to begin a relationship stumbling toward love. But when Shawn’s Law causes Harley to be injured, Shawn is determined to save Harley’s life the only way he knows how—by breaking up with him. Not once, but twice. Throw in a serial killer ex-boyfriend, several deadly Australian animals, two dogs called Bennie, a mother who forgets to wear clothes, an unforgiving Town Council, and a strawberry-flavored condom dolly, and Shawn’s Law is one for the books.

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Review:  Shawn’s Law is one of those feel good, happy, laugh out loud stories, and when I read it I loved it! I was so happy when I saw the audiobook come up for review.

Casey Hunter is a new narrator to me and after listening to Shawn’s Law I will definitely be happy to listen to more by him. Right from the beginning I was sucked back into Shawn and Harley’s story.  All of the crazy shenanigans that happen around Shawn due to “Shawn’s Law” were brought to life wonderfully with Casey’s narration.  The difference in the character voices were distinct enough that I was able to know who was speaking at any given time without it being stated.

The only thing I can think of that may be an issue or distraction for some people is that the story is set in Australia, but the narration has no Australian accent, so there are times where there are words or phrases that are definitely Australian, but the voice doesn’t go along with the words, and until something was said or a place was mentioned, I would forget that it was even set in Australia. For me this wasn’t really an issue, I don’t think that it took anything away from the story, but I could see how some people might not like it.

This is the second of Renae Kaye’s books that I have listened to on audio, and I am a big fan of both. I would definitely recommend Shawn’s Law!

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

You can buy Shawn’s Law here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Kathie

Audio Review: The Blinding Light by Renae Kaye – Narrated by Jonathan Young

Audio Gem

Title: The Blinding Light

Author: Renae Kaye

Narrator:: Jonathan Young

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 Hours, 55 Minutes

At a Glance: If you know you’re going to have a hard day at the office, or wherever, listen to The Blinding Light. It will brighten up your day, that’s a promise.

Reviewed By: Kathie

Blurb: Jake Manning’s smart mouth frequently gets him into trouble. Because of it he can’t hold a job. Combined with some bad luck, it’s prevented him from keeping steady employment. A huge debt looms over him, and alone he shoulders the care of his alcoholic mother and three younger sisters. When a housekeeping position opens, Jake’s so desperate he leaps at the opportunity. On landing, he finds his new boss, Patrick Stanford, a fussy, arrogant, rude…and blind man.

Born without sight, Patrick is used to being accommodated, but he’s met his match with Jake, who doesn’t take any of his crap and threatens to swap all the braille labels on his groceries and run off with his guide dog unless he behaves.

Jake gets a kick out of Patrick. Things are looking up: The girls are starting their own lives, and his mum’s sobriety might stick this time. He’s sacrificed everything for his family; maybe it’s time for him to live his life and start a relationship with Patrick. When his mother needs him, guilt makes his choice between family and Patrick difficult, and Jake must realize he’s not alone anymore.

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Review: What do the Seven Dwarfs, a blue butt plug, and a machine that scans a page for text and reads it back have in common? The Blinding Light by Renae Kaye, a journey that has these three things intertwined within the story, and move Jake and Patrick towards their happily-ever-after. And if for one second you think there is no way they fit together, read and/or listen to this story and you will understand just how much of a genius Renae Kaye is in weaving a great story.

And now on to my favorite part of the review: the narration. Jonathan Young clearly had fun with this story. At one point in the book, Patrick describes Jake’s voice as sounding as though he’s always smiling. Jonathan Young captures this quality, his voice does sound like it’s smiling. Patrick’s voice, on the other hand, is hesitant, intelligent, and resigned, just the voice I would have excepted from this character. And the supporting characters? The best ever. For example, picture Mrs. Lee, a fellow housekeeper who’s training Jake on the care of Patrick’s house. She’s described as an “older Chinese lady who spoke in broken English and had a perpetual frown, worthy of a gold medal at the Frowning Olympics”. Now, read this next sentence with that accent in mind: “Hmph. So she di’n’t tell you hees blind?” Not a line in a story that would stick out, right? But when you listen to the audio, listen for that part. It will crack you up. It’s close to the beginning so you won’t have to wait long. Every character has his or her own distinct voice. Young jumps from formal to informal speaking, to a narrator’s voice, to a small child’s, and even gets the mother’s voice spot on—tired and weak. I can’t tell you if the accents are authentic to Western Australia—sadly, I’ve never been there—but as a reader from the Midwest, it worked for me.

Now back to the butt plug, the Seven Dwarfs, and the talking machine. Here is a hint: found in Patrick’s bed, describes the cycle of a romance, and helps teach manners.

Read this book, listen to the audio, and if you are as crazy about this author as I am, read the book again and listen to the audiobook again. If you know you’re going to have a hard day at the office, or wherever, listen to The Blinding Light. It will brighten up your day, that’s a promise.

TNA_Signature_Kathie






You can buy The Blinding Light here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Kathie, Romantic Comedy

Review: Shawn’s Law by Renae Kaye

TNA Page Turner Resized

Title: Shawn’s Law

Author: Renae Kaye

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

At a Glance: Five Stars are not enough for this book, and it’s one of my top reads for 2015.

Reviewed By: Kathie

Blurb: Shawn is single, twenty-nine, the full-time career of his Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and a frequent victim of Murphy’s Law—although his family calls it Shawn’s Law. Other than caring for mum, his day consists of painting nude men and spying on the guy who walks his dogs along the street every day at four o’clock. When Shawn takes a spectacular fall on his front steps, who is there to witness it other than the man of his dreams?

Harley doesn’t believe in Shawn’s Law—but he soon changes his mind.

The two men make it through a memorable first date and Shawn’s sexual insecurities to begin a relationship stumbling toward love. But when Shawn’s Law causes Harley to be injured, Shawn is determined to save Harley’s life the only way he knows how—by breaking up with him. Not once, but twice. Throw in a serial killer ex-boyfriend, several deadly Australian animals, two dogs called Bennie, a mother who forgets to wear clothes, an unforgiving Town Council, and a strawberry-flavored condom dolly, and Shawn’s Law is one for the books.

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Review: The elements of an excellent book for me are humor, believable sex, likable characters, and a plot that moves along and that I can learn something from. My entire check list was fulfilled in Shawn’s Law. Five Stars really are not enough for this book, and it will be one of my top reads for 2015.

Renae Kaye seems to not want you, as the reader, to get too comfortable in thinking this is a boy-meets-boy, boy-falls-in-love story. And while it is a love story between Shawn and Harley, it is also a love story between Shawn and his mother and Lisa, his sister; and Harley and his Dad. I think the core of this story is learning to trust and grow in the love you have found. Harley puts it very well, “Like all relationships, Shawn and I require a lot of work, a lot of talk, a lot of compromise and heck of a lot of sex.” As the reader, we get to go along for the ride, and it’s a great ride. Every time “Shawn’s Law” happens, you can’t help but laugh, giggle and feel just a little ashamed of yourself for laughing at someone’s misfortune. But it’s so funny!

If you like hot sex, funny characters, a boy who loves his family, and a Hippy Hotpants (aka Harley) who really doesn’t know what hit him, you are in for a treat. This book will be one of your top reads too!






You can buy Shawn’s Law here:

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Kathie

Audio Review: Loving Jay by Renae Kaye – Narrated by Dave Gillies

Audio Gem

Title: Loving Jay

Author: Renae Kaye

Narrator:: Dave Gillies

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 Hours, 24 Minutes

At a Glance: Easily in the top 5 of my favorite audiobooks.

Reviewed By: Kathie

Blurb: One thing Liam Turner knows for sure is that he’s not gay—after all, his father makes it very clear he’ll allow no son of his to be gay. And Liam believes it, until a chance meeting with James “Jay” Bell turns Liam’s world upside-down. Jay is vivacious and unabashedly gay—from the tips of his bleached hair to the ends of his polished nails. With a flair for fashion, overreaction, and an inability to cork his verbal diarrhea, Liam believes drama queen Jay must have a screw loose.

An accident as a teenager left Liam with a limp and a fear of driving. He can’t play football anymore either, and that makes him feel like less of a man. But that’s no reason to question his sexuality… unless the accident broke something else inside him. When being with Jay causes Liam’s protective instincts to emerge, Liam starts to believe all he knew in life had been a convenient excuse to stay hidden. From intolerance to confrontations, Liam must learn to overcome his fears—and his father—before he can accept his sexuality and truly love Jay.

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Review: Loving Jay, the book, is an exceptional read. Listening to Loving Jay, narrated by Dave Gillies, is like taking a trip to Australia for the mere price of an audiobook . It’s easily in the top 5 of my favorite audiobooks.

Loving Jay by Renae Kaye has won countless awards, all very deserving, and adding Dave Gillies as the narrator for the audio version was just a genius move. His vocalization took the whole book up a notch. Now not only was I listening to a great book, but I was able to escape to Australia by way of an incredible narrator. I laughed, I cried, I worried for Liam coming out to his family, and most of all, I celebrated the love that Liam and Jay were able to find. It was such a win-win for me as the listener.

Would I recommend that you buy the audiobook of Loving Jay, even if you have read the book. OH, HELL YES!!! My recommendation is read the book first and then listen to the audio. You will enjoy the book, it’s a great story about love. Listening to the audio is like going on a vacation. I’d never heard of Perth, Australia, but now I am searching out travel blogs about Western Australia and planning my next trip to go there. Thank you, Renae and Dave, you opened up another part of the world for me.






You can buy Loving Jay here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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Dreamspinner Press, Renae Kaye

Interview and Giveaway: Safe In His Arms by Renae Kaye

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TNA: Hi, Renae, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Renae: Hi TNA.  Thank you for having me on your blog.  I’m so excited I’m jumping in my chair.  And yes, I’m always excitable. 

A bit about me? I usually tell people “I’m just a mummy.”  But don’t think I am trivialising the sheer hard work and determination that goes into that job. I think motherhood is one of the most important things we can be.  Writing is just my part-time hobby, because it takes a big backseat to my children and husband.  I have two “kidlets” – only 7 and 5 years old.  So still babies needing their mother.  The youngest isn’t even in full-time school yet. Continue reading

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Charlie Cochrane, Gregory Jonathan Scott, Jane Davitt, John Goode, Renae Kaye, Rhys Ford, RJ Scott, Susan Mac Nicol, Talia Carmichael

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

TNA BadgeCheers, everyone, and many thanks for stopping by to see what we have coming up this week at The Novel Approach. 

As we head into this holiday week here in the states, I want to take a moment to say thank you so much for your support of what we do here each day. Without the encouragement of readers, authors, and publishers, we wouldn’t be here.

I also want to extend a special word of gratitude to my team of reviewers: Tina, Jackie, Lynn, Lana, Kim, Sammy, Jules, Kathie, Chris, Rena, and Taz. They are the foundation upon which I’ve been able to build TNA into what it is today, and I’m humbled and honored to work with each and every one of them, so thank you!

And now, here’s what’s on tap in the week ahead.

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MondayCharlie Cochrane kicks off the week today on the Best Corpse for the Job blog tour.

Susan Mac Nicol’s Love You Senseless review blog tour also hits TNA today, with a giveaway

TuesdayGregory Jonathan Scott’s Take to the Sky blog tour stops in with a steamy little excerpt and a giveaway

Talia Carmichael is also here with a guest post on the Best Laid Intentions blog tour

WednesdayRhys Ford is with us today with “State of the Rhys” and a cover reveal of the upcoming DSP Publications release Black Dog Blues

Jane Davitt also makes us a stop on the Lucky Strike blog tour

ThursdayIt’s Thanksgiving Day here in the US, so we’ll give thanks to John Goode for stopping by on his Going the Distance blog tour, with a giveaway

FridayRJ Scott joins us today on her Texas Fall blog tour, with a giveaway

Saturday Renae Kaye is our closing guest this week on her Safe in His Arms blog tour and giveaway

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And that does it for this time. Until next week, happy reading!

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Jackie

Review: The Shearing Gun by Renae Kaye

Title: The Shearing Gun

Author: Renae Kaye

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 214 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: At twenty-five, Hank owns a small parcel of land in Australia’s rural southwest where he supplements his income from the property with seasonal shearing. Hank is a “shearing gun”—an ace shearer able to shear large numbers of sheep in a single day. His own father kicked him out when his sexuality was revealed, and since no one would ever hire a gay shearer, Hank has remained firmly closeted ever since. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Tina

Review: The Blinding Light by Renae Kaye

Title: The Blinding Light

Author: Renae Kaye

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 210 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Jake Manning’s smart mouth frequently gets him into trouble. Because of it, he can’t hold a job. Combined with some bad luck, it’s prevented him from keeping steady employment. A huge debt looms over him, and alone he shoulders the care of his alcoholic mother and three younger sisters. When a housekeeping position opens, Jake’s so desperate he leaps at the opportunity. On landing, he finds his new boss, Patrick Stanford, a fussy, arrogant, rude… and blind man. Continue reading

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4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Renae Kaye, Reviewed by Jackie

A Man Must Accept A Few Truths On The Way To Love In Renae Kaye’s “Loving Jay” – Reviewed by Jackie


“The thing about denial is that it doesn’t feel like denial when it’s going on.” ― Georgina Kleege


Title: Loving Jay

Author: Renae Kaye

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: One thing Liam Turner knows for sure is that he’s not gay—after all, his father makes it very clear he’ll allow no son of his to be gay. And Liam believes it, until a chance meeting with James “Jay” Bell turns Liam’s world upside-down. Jay is vivacious and unabashedly gay—from the tips of his bleached hair to the ends of his polished nails. With a flair for fashion, overreaction, and an inability to cork his verbal diarrhea, Liam believes drama queen Jay must have a screw loose.
Continue reading

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