4 Stars, Mythology, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Jennifer, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, T.A. Chase

Review: Pestilence by T.A. Chase

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TitlePestilence (The Four Horsemen: Book One)

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 170 Pages

At a Glance: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in a romance novel? Yes, please!

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: For Pestilence, the White Horseman, love becomes the most powerful cure.

Having lost his wife and child during the Black Death, Pestilence accepts the fate destiny has given him as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. For centuries, Pestilence did his job, spreading plagues and disease around the world. He does it to keep the balance between good and evil, yet he hates every minute of it. He longs to be left alone, but suddenly fate seems to have a different plan for him.

When Bart Winston stumbles into an Amazon clearing, he’s terribly ill and sure he’s going to die. A tall white-haired man with unusual black eyes catches him in his arms and Bart’s life takes a turn into the unbelievable. Blaming the whole situation on his illness might have worked, but as he gets better and learns about the strange man who heals him, Bart must accept there are more things in the world than he ever guessed.

Pestilence and Bart heal each other, and begin to wonder if there can be a future for the White Horseman and the mortal he’s fallen in love with.

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released under the same title. It has been re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

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Review: It’s not often you find new books about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but every time I find one, I have to snatch it up. I’m not sure why exactly, but the mythology/legend/whatever you want to call it about the Horsemen has always fascinated me. Maybe it’s my love of post-apocalyptic fiction or dystopian societies that draws me to them, but I know when they show up, the end is near and everything is about to go from bad to worse, and I’m thrown into the societies either collapsing from their presence or struggling to overcome them. A few years ago I read a fantastic YA series that reimagined the Four Horsemen by drawing teenagers suffering from different problems into the roles. I adored it. I never thought I would find m/m fiction with the Horsemen. But here we are!

This first book is about Pestilence. In life he was an Italian doctor during the bubonic plague. After losing his wife and son, he commits suicide and is thrust into the role of Pestilence. He exists to bring plagues to mankind in order to maintain the balance between heaven and hell. But after several hundred years of doing this, while Pest is settled in his role, he’s far from happy. How could he be with what he does? Spreading plagues is the exact opposite of what he did when he was alive. When Bart literally stumbles into him in his home in the Amazon, Pest is drawn to the man suffering from an unknown disease. While he first attributes the attraction to the potential for finally helping a human, the attraction changes into desire, and soon he is lusting after his ward. And the feeling is mutual. Despite his illness, Bart is drawn to the white-haired, black-eyed man named Pestilence.

What follows is a story of love and redemption. Pestilence needs to find a way to forgive himself before he can let himself love—and be loved.

As the first book in the series, it clearly follows the first of the four horsemen who ride. Now, in religious mythology the first horseman on a white horse is more frequently known as Conquest, but there have been some changes, and he is more often known in pop culture as Pestilence. War and Famine do not make an appearance at all, but Death does, because Death rides with them all as the “de facto leader” of the Horsemen as Pest calls him. Also involved is Lam, one of the lambs of God. He’s the messenger for Death, and is more or less unwillingly dragged into helping Bart.

Each character is well developed and I loved reading about them. They each display distinct personalities. Though he isn’t in the book too long, I loved Lam and his desire to both help and please as well as fight against Death’s request. Pest does his job well, but when he’s not needed, he retreats to the Amazon, obsessed with finding cures for diseases in the undiscovered flora of the jungle. Even if he can’t cure people, he still needs to maintain his role as a doctor. And poor Bart, dumped in the jungle—literally—by an ex who used him for his research and then left him to die from an unknown disease; he unwittingly bumps into the one person who literally causes disease in anyone he touches with his hands, and has to rely on him for help. Of course, he doesn’t know Pest’s true nature, and it takes a long time for Pest to reveal it as it goes against the rules of the Horsemen. Then, when this unknown disease starts to spread, it’s up to Pest and Bart to stop it before it reaches epidemic levels that will upset the balance of the world, and the rider of the white horse must use his abilities for good rather than ill.

If you’re like me and you find reimagining mythology great reading, I highly recommend this book. I’m thrilled that I’ll also be reading and reviewing the next three books in the series. So watch out for them!

TNA_Signature_Jennifer

 

 

 

 

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Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday… The Better Late Than Never Edition and a Giveaway

Flashback Friday

So, gang, funny thing about Flashback Fridays… It only works when you remember what day of the week it is! >.<

::DOH!::

Yes, it was one of those weeks, but in what I'll call the Better Late Than Never files, we're bringing you the Speculative Fiction Saturday edition of some of our favorite firsts in the M/M genre.

But first, congratulations goes to last week’s winner, Laura05, who selected Jane Seville’s Zero at the Bone as her prize. Congrats, Laura, and I hope you love the book as much as I do! <3

Now, one of the things I'd wanted to do when I conceived of this is to highlight some of the older books in the genre, but here's the wrench in that plan: we've got more than a few reviewers on the TNA team who are somewhat newer to the world of gay romance. Hence, some of these books don't necessarily fit into the Flashback Files, but the books that Jules and Carrie selected as their picks? I've read every last one of them, LOVE them beyond all reason, and want to feature them for you just in case you haven’t had the chance yet to experience them yourselves.

So, without further ado, here are our Flashback… Fridurday… features. :)

And don’t forget to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win an e-copy of one of our picks.

Good luck!

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TNA_Signature_SadonnaI have to say that I have a tendency to go for Contemporary in my M/M reading. But every once in a while, I’m convinced to try something else. I do like some Urban Fantasy, but for some reason I have never been a science fiction or high fantasy fan. Maybe it’s my super-logical mind that doesn’t like to be tested with something I just can’t believe, but I’ve never been able to get into those types of books. There has to be some really great storytelling and some amazing world building going on to convince me to give it a go and stick with it.

One amazing exception to this rule is a series I came across several years ago from Belinda McBride that starts with a book called An Uncommon Whore. For those of you who haven’t read it, it’s an amazing tale of Helios Dayspring, a missing king who has been kept as a sex slave called Pasha, for a number of years. But one fateful night, his client turns out to be much more than a visiting space pirate. The client turns out to be none other than Griffin Hawke, his former bodyguard and lover, who has been searching for him since he was kidnapped after a devastating battle. There are all kinds of twists and turns as Griffin and Helios try to recover memories and reunite the king with the last of his people on a distant planet.

The second book in the series is called When I Fall, and is written from Griffin’s POV. This book is actually a bit darker than the first, and Griffin and Helios are dealing with the changes in their world, their relationship and their families. Helios is still trying to recover all his memories, determine how best to lead and keep his people safe, while knowing there are still many enemies to confront – both internal and external. But Griffin and Helios make a formidable team, and when things get tough, they don’t turn away from each other.

The last (maybe? I personally hope not) book in the series is called Prince of Faith and was several years in the making, following the other two, and is not necessarily a direct sequel as the main characters are Markus Dayspring and Caius, who are secondary characters in the previous stories. While Helios and Griffin suffer through separation and struggle to regain their relationship and home, Markus and Caius take angst to a whole new level. This one is definitely the darkest of the three main books, but so worth it in my opinion. There is also another companion book that is written in the same universe called The Bacchi, which I haven’t read yet, but it’s making its way up my TBR pile.

I will also add that the stunning covers are done by PL Nunn, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a special limited edition of Volumes 1 and 2, which have additional PL Nun illustrations in them. If you have the opportunity, they are well worth it. I practically chased Belinda McBride around Atlanta and had all my friends on standby to make sure I got one of those coveted paperbacks at the book signing event.

I heartily recommend this series as a wonderful example of character driven story telling that will keep the reader riveted to the end.

An Uncommon WhoreBlurb: “As a general rule, you won’t find the love of your life while you’re on your knees under a table.” — Helios Dayspring

Pasha is a slave, whoring for travelers at the most dangerous bar on Warlan. He has no memory, no future of his own, yet deep inside Pasha knows that that he is meant for better things. The day that Pasha spots the dangerous pirate in the bar, he knows that he mustn’t let the stranger slip away, regardless of what he must do to attract his attention.

Captain Griffin Hawke spent the greater part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find Helios Dayspring crouched between his knees, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore. Though he is appalled by the downfall of his king, the hardened officer finds himself falling for the allure of the sensual creature who has taken his place. Returning Helios to his position on the throne is the only right thing to do, yet Griffin knows that in doing so, he risks losing his lover forever.

“A whore is a whore is a whore, unless he’s something else completely. I guess I must be an uncommon whore.” — Helios Dayspring

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TNA_Signature_SammyOh, golly day—I remember thinking that there could be nothing more wonderful than gay werewolves when I read this paranormal story by T.A. Chase. In a nutshell, we had Jacob Tasker—a hunk of burning man-wolf and a rancher, initially despising the nerdy yet gorgeous Oliver Wingate. Oliver, of course, wants to help the wolf population by re-introducing the species into the wild—specifically into Jacob’s back yard. While this is all well and good to Jacob, he knows the slight young naturalist is going to meet stiff opposition from the other ranchers. Little does he know it would come to violence. When Oliver gets beaten and nearly left for dead, Jacob has to give up his loner ways to nurse the man back to health. When Oliver recovers, I was introduced to some amazing man on man/wolf action that nearly made me howl!

Wolf’s Survival was my very first paranormal, and it hooked me in completely. It also was the gateway for other stories about men shifting into other animals, not to mention vampires and other supernatural beings. While I think this genre can get a bit formulaic, I also know it provides some of the best romance stories—particularly in the enemies-to-lovers trope. I really enjoyed this story by T.A. Chase. and it prompted me to check out more of this author’s stories. I am so glad I did!

Wolf's SurvivalBlurb: Fellow ranchers consider Jacob Tasker a lone wolf, a man who goes his own way and who stands alone. They’ll never know just how close they are to the truth. His pack slaughtered by the ancestors of those very ranchers, Jacob’s learned to trust no one and accept his solitary life.

Oliver Wingate loves and respects wolves. As a conservationist, he believes they should be re-introduced into their once-natural habitat. Yet he meets resistance from all the ranchers who feel the wolves will prey on their herds.

When Oliver runs afoul of some of the locals, it’s up to Jacob to ensure the young idealistic man doesn’t lose his life in a battle for the wolf’s survival…and all the while trying to keep from falling in love…

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TNA_Signature_CarrieOnce Upon a Haunted Moor… Oooooooh, isn’t that delicious??? What a name! Of course, I had to buy the book never realizing the addiction the Tyack & Frayne Mysteries would unleash.

I love mysteries. Really, really good mysteries that are all about who done it or things that go bump in the night. I was new to the M/M genre when I first read this book, and I had no idea the quality of writing this genre could hold. Gideon Frayne is a policeman, his feet firmly planted in reality. Lee Tyack is a clairvoyant brought in to help with a missing young girl. Together they must find the answers and save an innocent—whether the dangers are real or imagined.

There are five books in the series so far, each is a stand-alone mystery (Note: but to get the full benefit of Gideon and Lee’s relationship, read the series in order), and all are excellent. Thank you, Harper Fox, for great mysteries and for sealing my love affair with the M/M genre.

Once Upon a Haunted MoorBlurb: Gideon Frayne has spent his whole working life as a policeman in the village of Dark on Bodmin Moor. It’s not life in the fast lane, but he takes it very seriously, and his first missing-child case is eating him alive. When his own boss sends in a psychic to help with the case, he’s gutted – he’s a level-headed copper who doesn’t believe in such things, and he can’t help but think that the arrival of clairvoyant Lee Tyack is a comment on his failure to find the little girl.

But Lee is hard to hate, no matter how Gideon tries. At first Lee’s insights into the case make no sense, but he seems to have a window straight into Gideon’s heart. Son of a Methodist minister, raised in a tiny Cornish village, Gideon has hidden his sexuality for years. It’s cost him one lover, and he can’t believe it when this green-eyed newcomer stirs up old feelings and starts to exert a powerful force of attraction.

Gideon and Lee begin to work together on the case. But there are malignant forces at work in the sleepy little village of Dark, and not only human ones – Gideon is starting to wonder, against all common sense, if there might be some truth in the terrifying legend of the Bodmin Beast after all. As a misty Halloween night consumes the moor, Gideon must race against time to save not only the lost child but the man who’s begun to restore his faith in his own heart.

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TNA_Signature_JulesI was pretty excited when I found out the theme for this week’s Flashback Friday was Speculative Fiction. Up until very recently I was the girl who, at least as far as the M/M genre is concerned, had only read contemporary fiction. I’m not sure why, really, as my EXTREME love for Harry Potter and other mainstream spec fic should have proven to me that I’m comfortable stepping out of that ‘contemporary box’…But, for whatever reason, I was reticent to try anything ‘different’ in the queer fiction world. Until I finally read Widdershins. So, I’m here to shout out my love for Whyborne & Griffin, and tell you that this series is EVERYTHING.

Here were my initial reactions upon finishing books 2-4:

Re: Threshold – This was some of the craziest, most awesome shizzle I’ve ever read. The end. Seriously, though… Sooooo goooood. Whyborne and Griffin are amazing. But, Whyborne…GAHHHH. I. Love. Him. Bring me the next book!!

Re: Stormhaven – This series keeps getting better and better, and Whyborne keeps getting cooler and cooler.

Re: Necropolis – This book was everything. Smart. Sexy. Scary. Funny. It was gorgeous, brilliant, heart-racey goodness. I’m seriously at a loss for intelligent words. Love these guys so much.

Widdershins was published about three years ago, but I didn’t read it until about seven months ago, which allowed me to DEVOUR the entire series up until that point, in basically one weekend. So enchanted by Jordan L. Hawk’s genius, and the amazing world she had created, I could not put these books down. I’m confident that anyone who hasn’t read them will also completely fall in love. I cannot recommend enough that if you haven’t given this series a try yet, do it. I promise you’ll thank me, and become the crazy Jordan L. Hawk fangirl or boy that I am now!!

I think it’s safe to say that my life was altered that weekend. No longer are contemporaries enough for me. Now my library includes paranormal, fantasy, alternate universe, shifters, steampunk, and more!

WiddershinsBlurb: Some things should stay buried.

Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.

So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.

As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?

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TNA_Signature_LisaAuthor Ginn Hale is…everything. I’m a fan of many of the Speculative Fiction authors in this genre, but I freaking worship at the altar of Ginn Hale. And it all started with her 2007 release, Wicked Gentlemen. It’s the first M/M Spec Fic novel I ever read, and since then I’ve fallen in love with Lord of the White Hell, The Rifter Serial, Feral Machines, her novellas in the anthologies The Irregulars and Charmed and Dangerous. In short, Hale is nothing less than a brilliant wordsmith.

When I read Wicked Gentlemen–the first time in 2010–and all the subsequent times thereafter, the one thing that stood out in the novel (which is actually two novellas in a single volume) is Hale’s ability to create worlds that are so fantastical, so magical, and to build and layer her characters with so much depth that it’s impossible not to lose yourself in their lives. This author crafts scenes in such a way that I want to wallow in each and every word of them. Captain William Harper and Prodigal Belimai Sykes are evocative, provocative, and their scenes together are sensual without being overtly sexual in any way:

“I held the shot glass up and watched the way the liquid distorted the image of Captain Harper’s face. There was something fascinating about the way it flawed his features. It only took a tiny shift, just a curve of glass, to ruin him.” – Belimai Sykes

Little did Belimai know at that time it would take far more than that to ruin Captain Harper, but oh, the journey to discovering all the ways in which Harper would sacrifice and bring himself to near ruin for his drug addicted demon lover is utterly gorgeous, regardless of which angle one looks at it from.

And he was cast out onto the earth, and his angels were cast out with him…

And they became the Prodigals, the least of these who were called from the depths of hell and now reside in Hells Below, a place where there is no dark and there is no light, keeping themselves to themselves to avoid the Inquisition and the prayer engines which torture and carve words of salvation into unholy flesh while dragging forth the confessions of the innocent who are guilty of little more than being who they were born to be. This story is flawless, gorgeous, and I want you to read it so you, too, will know its beauty.

Wicked GentlemenBlurb: Belimai Sykes is many things: a Prodigal, the descendant of ancient demons, a creature of dark temptations and rare powers. He is also a man with a brutal past and a dangerous addiction.

And Belimai Sykes is the only man Captain William Harper can turn to when faced with a series of grisly murders.

But Mr. Sykes does not work for free and the price of Belimai’s company will cost Captain Harper far more than his reputation.

From the ornate mansions of noblemen, where vivisection and sorcery are hidden beneath a veneer of gold, to the steaming slums of Hells Below, Captain Harper must fight for justice and for his life.

His enemies are many and his only ally is a devil he knows too well. Such are the dangers of dealing with the wicked.

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3.5 Stars, Paranormal Romance, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Maryann, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, T.A. Chase

Review: Bulls & Blood by T.A. Chase

Title: Bulls & Blood (Blood and Thorn Ranch: Book One)

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 101 Pages

At a Glance: I do think this particular story could have been a bit more polished, as you do have to read between the lines a bit, and, of course, not take it at all too seriously.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Breaking the rules has never been Wesley’s way…until he meets Mino.

Rule Number Two that the Thorn brothers live by is that employees of the ranch are off-limits. Wesley has always followed that rule, never stepping out of his comfort zone to do more than talk to one of the cowhands that help run his family’s ranch. Being a vampire makes it easier, since he doesn’t go out during the day.

Mino’s been interested in the youngest Thorn brother since he began working at The Blood & Thorn Ranch. It’s those stupid rules that hold him back from making the first move. Well, those and the fact that Wesley could kill him in a blink of his eye. Being human in a world of supernatural creatures makes living difficult, since he’s considered prey.

These two males, from different species and societies, must find a way to meet in the middle of their worlds if they have a chance at love.

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Review: Bulls & Blood introduces us to modern day, business minded, ranch running vampires, where we meet the five Thorn (not blood related) brothers—Wesley, Phineas, Loman, Amadeus, and Reginald—who own the Blood & Thorn Ranch, and also happen to be the most powerful of all the vampires, or of any species, for that matter.

Wesley is the youngest (though still hundreds of years old) of the brothers. He keeps track of all the ranch’s finances, and tries to keep his brothers in line. Wesley is the enforcer whenever punishments need to be handed out, and he doesn’t blink an eye when doing what’s necessary. He also doesn’t like to break the rules that are in place, but here is where I found there to be a slight contradiction. Wesley thinks being involved with a human is not worth it because they don’t live as long as vampires; however, he’s hot for Mino…who is a human and a pretty good guy. He gets along with everyone.

Now, some might say that Wesley and Mino fall into bed just a little too fast, but Mino’s been a cowhand on the ranch for five years, so I assumed they’ve been skirting around the idea of being together for a while. Wesley and Mino do have some friction between them, Mino knows how dangerous Wesley can be, and I got the idea he had some uncomfortable feelings about that.

It’s been a long while since I’ve read a vampire/shifter/human story, and T.A. Chase used some ideas in this book that worked okay for me. The brothers get their blood from a bottle—no feeding from humans because of a parasite that could end a vampire. All the ranch employees are protected—whether human, shifter, or a different species. And, besides dealing in cattle, there are contracted hunts that take place on the ranch, for those vampires who want to pursue their prey and feed the old way; though the prey are not forced. In fact, they’re paid to participate in these hunts, but none are killed or turned. Then, there’s also the big, bad Council that would like more power over the Thorns.

If you are a big vampire/human/shifter fan, Bulls & Blood is probably something you’ll want to check out. There are enough brothers and ideas to get some decent mileage out of the Blood & Thorn Ranch series, but I do think this particular story could have been a bit more polished, as you do have to read between the lines a bit, and, of course, not take it at all too seriously.

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Maryann, T.A. Chase, Totally Bound

Review: Snap Decision by T.A. Chase

Title: Snap Decision (Delarosa Secrets: Book Two)

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 181 Pages

At a Glance: I am just totally hooked on this crazy-exciting Delarosa series.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Sometimes the only way to do your job—and discover love—is to trust your instincts.

D’Marcus ‘Snap’ Jefferson is a DEA agent who has worked hard to keep drugs from hitting the streets of Houston. So when Kenneth Santos walks in, claiming to have information about an upcoming drug shipment, Snap must make the choice whether to trust the stranger or not.
Kenneth Santos is a recovering addict and ex-con trying to clean up his act. Some mysterious informant has chosen him to act as the go-between with Agent Jefferson. It’s a precarious line Ken must walk because his life could be in danger if the cartels discover he’s working with Snap and the DEA.

Neither man expects to fall in love while playing such a dangerous game. Yet Snap always trusts his gut and it’s telling him that loving Ken could be the best decision he’s ever made.

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Review: D’Marcus “Snap” Jefferson works for the DEA in Houston. His main goals are to get the drugs off the streets and to get rid of Victor Delarosa, head of the Delarosa cartel.

Agent Amirez, Border Patrol, has shown up at the DEA and has brought something of interest for Snap. As Snap views the guy through the one-way glass, he sees something very familiar about him. Amirez explains to Snap that the guy wouldn’t give any information to the Border Patrol, and asked specifically to talk with Snap. Snap decides he needs to call in the Texas Rangers, one in particular, his friend Mac. When Mac enters the interrogation room, he can’t believe how much the guy resembles Tanner Wallace, his lover and Delarosa’s brother.

Kenneth Santos has no family, he’s an ex-con and has been clean of drugs for six months, but every day is a struggle for him to stay clean. Now, he’s just trying to get clean of one particular cartel. Ken explains to Snap that he used to transport small shipments of drugs, and now someone has tracked him down and wants him to start again. He has permission from a “mysterious source” to tell Snap when drug movements will be made. When Ken gives Snap and Mac the information on one drug delivery, and it holds true, Snap starts making plans to put Ken in a safe house.

Snap and Ken start to get close, and Snap really wants to build a relationship with Ken. Ken becomes a confidential informant for the DEA, and Snap worries about Ken being in danger. With so much danger, will they ever get to really know each other? Is there a connection between Tanner Wallace and Kenneth Santos? Just who is this mysterious person, now dealing directly with Snap? And just what is Victor Delarosa up to?

I am just totally hooked on T.A Chase’s crazy-exciting Delarosa series, and it ranks high on my list of favorites. There are still a lot of questions to be answered, which only keeps you wanting more. I highly suggest reading the first book, Borderline before Snap Decision, though, as it gives much more insight into Tanner, Mac, and the Delarosa connection.

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4 Stars, Amber Allure, Historical Romance, Reviewed by Maryann, T.A. Chase

Review: Shuffle of Angel’s Feet by T.A. Chase

Title: Shuffle of Angel’s Feet

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 45000 Words

At a Glance: If you like stories about Indians, cowhands, and Englishmen , then you’ll enjoy Shuffle of Angel’s Feet.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: When Ansel Woolstem arrives in Gideon’s Crossing from England via New York, he doesn’t know whether the lung disease from which he suffers will get better or whether he will die on the American frontier. The townsfolk aren’t about to accept a greenhorn like Ansel, but he doesn’t let it stop him from doing his best to live what’s left of his life. It’s not until he’s saved from a misunderstanding by a mysterious cowboy that he starts hoping for a miracle.

Job Ramsey comes to Gideon’s Crossing to help out a family member in a blossoming range war between cattlemen and sheepherders. He doesn’t usually take on these types of missions, but when his cousin Travis can’t help, Job agrees to head out. As he spends time in the town, he begins to think the situation isn’t quite as it had been described. Then he meets Ansel and all bets are off.

Being from two different worlds might seem a smaller obstacle than Ansel’s consumption, but Job isn’t willing to give up on the man with whom he’s falling in love.

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Review: When I saw this book was out, I immediately ordered it, then I was disappointed because I couldn’t find anything on the first book. After checking out Shuffle of Angels Feet a little more, I checked my collections on Kindle, and there it was—the first book is Bitter Creek Redemption, a book I read back in 2012, so to refresh my memory I read it again, and it was just as good as the first time!

Shuffle of Angels Feet is Job Ramsey’s story. He is a cousin to the Ramsey clan and has what they called the site back in the old western times. He’s an all-around good guy and is easy going. Job has stopped in to see his cousins Travis and Eagle, to let them know he is on his way to Santa Fe to look into a family issue.

Ansel Woolstem is an Englishman who has come out West because he suffers from what was called consumption at the time, and was told the western climate may be healthier for him. His father bought land and Ansel is overseeing it, but he feels he’s an embarrassment to his family.

Gideon’s Crossing is where Job and Ansel meet, and where they become fast friends—and more. Job discovers that Ansel has an investment in sheepherding, and this is where the Ramsey family issue comes in. The ranch next to Ansel’s belongs to relatives of the Ramseys, and they are out to make trouble for Ansel and Job.

I really love Old West stories, and T.A. Chase does such a great job of creating that atmosphere, bringing the characters to life with energy and lots of love. If you like stories about Indians, cowhands, and Englishmen—and let’s not forget sheep, cattle and land grabs—then you will enjoy Shuffle of Angel’s Feet. I would highly suggest reading Bitter Creek Redemption first, though, where you’ll learn more about Eagle, Travis, Job and the rest of the Ramsey clan.

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5 Stars, Amber Allure, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Pia, T.A. Chase

Review: Trailing Air by T.A. Chase

Title: Trailing Air

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 31000 Words

At a Glance: This is a great book and awesome series.

Reviewed By: Pia

Blurb: What are the Preternaturals supposed to do when the book holding the destruction of their kind within its pages is stolen from them? Not panic and hope that the situation changes before the humans get their own hands on it.

The werewolf Rover Canis can’t believe he’s escorting the very creature that stole the book holding spells that could kill every Preternatural in the world. Yet here he is doing so, and admiring his extremely attractive companion probably isn’t the smartest thing he’s ever done either. But if he is to save himself along with all his kind, Rover needs to keep his mind on the mission.

Elwin Ice Cloud, a shapeshifting dragon, swipes the powerful book in order to save his kidnapped sister, but he never plans on handing it over to the humans. Yet when dangers grow too difficult for him to handle on his own, he returns to the lycan on whom he’d been spying. Meeting the sexy Rover gives him something else to think about, yet falling in love isn’t in his plans either.

Together, these two very different shapeshifters must find a way to trust each other in order to save all the Preternaturals from certain death. If they somehow manage to do so, will love be their ultimate reward?

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Review: Trailing Air is the fourth book in T.A Chase’s Preternaturals series. It’s a little dark, a little dangerous, and has some sexy times too, which, if done right, is always a winner. And, folks, I think we have a winner!

Elwin Ice Cloud, a dragon shifter, steals a powerful spell book from werewolf Rover Canis and his friends in order to save his sister who has been kidnapped by the enemy, though he doesn’t plan on handing the book over. Rover can’t help but feel a pull to the sexy dragon, especially when they have to work together in order to try to save the day.

This is a great book and awesome series. There are characters/beings I haven’t heard of before, but don’t worry if you want to read Trailing Air and haven’t read any other books in the series—you won’t feel too lost. I also think T.A. Chase does a good job of balancing everything that’s going on; you never get the feeling it’s too much drama or it’s too dark. There is a good flow between all of the different elements. Trailing Air also manages to be a fast paced paranormal romance that doesn’t have undying love professed by our MCs on page one.

I hope we get another book soon!

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You can buy Trailing Air here:

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Anthology, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Sammy, Totally Bound

Review: Semper Fidelis – A Totally Bound Anthology

24058781Title: Semper Fidelis

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 213 Pages

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: ‘Anomaly’ by S.A. McAuley

Warning: Untested chemical reactions in process…

When Staff Sergeant Galen Welc is handed Temporary Additional Duty orders that move him to the Marine Corps base at Twentynine Palms, he thinks he’s prepared for what’s to come. Known for his uncanny ability to spot improvised explosive devices, he’s pitted against the latest in defense technology. He trusts his instincts and his training, but they may just be leading him somewhere—and to an explosive reaction with someone—he could never see coming.

‘Always Ready’ by T.A. Chase

Making a living on the Bering Sea is hard enough, but throw love into the equation, and things can blow into a hurricane.

Senior Chief Dean ‘Jake’ Jacobson loves his job as a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Saving lives is the second best thing he could ever do. The first is loving Phil ‘Rhody’ Rhodes.

Phil is a third generation crabber who fishes the Bering Sea. Being gay and in love with Dean isn’t something he talks about, especially not with the six men he lives with on the Angela Kayla for weeks on end. But he’s been happy with his life.

Until one day the Bering Sea reminds them that she is a dangerous place to work. As her icy waters surround them, they discover one truth. Dean and Phil must always be ready to love each other because life can be taken so easily when one works on the sea.

‘A Ring and a Vow’ by Devon Rhodes

Every promise must someday be fulfilled, and the best way Owen knows how to reward Cary’s faith is with a vow.

It’s been nearly five years since Owen went down on one knee with his Academy ring and promised Cary he’d someday do it for real. With Cary being a Naval aviator and Owen a Marine officer serving in Iraq, they’re rarely on the same continent, let alone together.

About time for them to fill out paperwork to re-up, Owen realizes that if they were married, they’d have a much better chance of being stationed nearby. But time is not on their side, so he’s forced to compromise on his proposal in order to make it work.

Cary has been waiting for Owen for years—there was no chance he’d ever say anything but yes. Owen is coming home at last, and wants to make a home with him. However, between the chronic nightmares he’s been fighting and the ever more complicated wedding plans, the next month could be anything but a dream.
Publisher’s Note: This book is the sequel to A Ring and a Promise.

‘My Marine’ by LE Franks and Sara York

For a man who made his career in intelligence, falling for an Afghani national in the middle of a war zone wasn’t the smartest thing a Marine could do.

Marine Captain Sean Kelley loves his country and the men he serves with, but when he meets Akim, he’s tempted to throw it all away for the mysterious man. He knows better than to chase after a local, but repeat encounters culminating in a moment of passion leave him reeling—he’ll do almost anything to figure out how they can be together.

Akim Bijan has a secret of his own—one large enough to get more than just himself killed if it’s revealed. But from the moment he first lays eyes on the handsome Marine, he’s tempted to do just that rather than hide his growing attraction to the man. Being a translator allows him access to the base and he finds Sean alone one night. They take things farther than he ever intended. If only he could tell Sean everything, but his lips are sealed.

When tragedy strikes, Akim is afraid he’s lost Sean for good and he’s forced to make a decision that will change both their lives. Will love win—or will Sean and Akim be separated forever?

‘Soul Sick’ by Kendall McKenna

Jamie thought he made it home to Tucker, leaving war behind. Now, each day he battles to fit into his own life, and save the love that saved his life.

Jamie is a captain in the US Marine Corps who carried a photo of Tucker with him throughout his deployment. His body and his heart both make it home, but he isn’t sure about his sanity. It no longer feels as if his own life even fits.

Tucker is a reformed bad boy who has an advanced degree and an important job but still sports long hair and tattoos. He missed Jamie while he was deployed, but he couldn’t stop living his own life. Now, they’re struggling to learn to live with each other again, and things are going downhill fast.

Jamie wants everything to be the way it used to, but his anger and self-destructive behavior begin to push Tucker away. Too much alcohol and a night of violence inside their home take them nearly to the brink. Tucker is willing to fight alongside Jamie to keep it all from falling apart, if Jamie can learn to accept the help he needs…before it’s too late.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of domestic violence.

‘Safe Shores’ by Morticia Knight

Kirk’s Coast Guard lover, Shane, is the only person who can save his son from a vicious storm—if he’s not too late.

Fishing is the only life Kirk has ever known. Born and raised in a small town on the Northern Oregon Coast, coming out of the closet was a struggle. Fortunately, he’s been lucky to find an amazing man to be with who serves in the Coast Guard. But he can’t help but wonder whether Shane wants more than just a shore leave romance.

Shane loves the Coast Guard, loves the sea. That’s one of the main things he has in common with his fisherman lover, Kirk. He just needs to make sure that Kirk knows how serious he is about their relationship and what he plans on doing about it.

Shane and Kirk’s joyful reunion is interrupted when an unusually vicious gale storm threatens the coast. Kirk has to stand by helplessly and wait while his lover battles the raging seas to save his son. In an instant, Kirk could lose everyone he holds dear.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of BDSM.

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Review: Anomaly by S.A. McAuley

Staff Sergeant Galen Welc has a nickname—Magneto. He has this strange ability to uncover IED’s before they take out his brothers in arms. When he is sent to a training facility to pit his abilities against that of new military drones, the last thing Galen is expecting is to meet a man who pushes all his buttons in just the right way. When he finds out that the man he has just met is the scientist behind the creation of the latest drone, sparks fly!

While I liked the promise of this story, it was so short that I found myself wondering who these guys were and how they could ever really match up beyond their love for the challenge of being the fastest man to uncover IED’s. The romance element never went beyond a seeming one-night stand and I had to make the leap from that to a potential relationship by story’s end. I just really wanted to get to know these guys more, and we ran out of story before I could do that. 2.5 stars

Always Ready by T.A. Chase

Jake is part of the Coast Guard whose one job is to save lives on the open sea. Phil is a crabber—on the Bering Sea where storms and gale force winds are not uncommon. One man lives for the danger, the other for the rescue. Each lives for the other. But Phil is in the closet and afraid to tell his family that he is deeply in love with Jake. Two years of hiding and torrid, fast hookups on a rare weekend a month have left both men wondering about their jobs and the distance it forces between them and whether they can go on living so far apart.

For a short story, I felt there was such depth to these characters. Their love for each other was as apparent as was their love for their jobs. How to rectify the great distance between them that gave them only a weekend a month to be together was an overwhelming concern for both of them. I felt the real pull that Jake felt for his job versus his lover, Phil. Jake rescues people for a living and he loves his job—despite the real fact that sometimes mother nature wins and Jake cannot save everyone. Phil is poised to take over a many generation boating legacy and already feels strongly for his crew—viewing them as a captain would. But Phil is so tired of hiding his love for Jake and while Jake would never push Phil to come out, his own disastrous coming out story shadows how he thinks. Well written, the story of love and respect that these two men have for each other is palpable and told in such a way as to also prove to be a loving tribute to those who keep our waters safe. 4.5 stars

A Ring And A Vow by Devon Rhodes

First, let me say that reading this short sequel has made me go off and purchase the original novel this short story is based on. Secondly, I am hoping that a major plot point is somehow addressed in the initial book, as I felt it was the only weak spot in an otherwise lovely finish to the tale of two young men so very much in love.

Cary is a pilot in the navy, Owen is in the marines, and at the opening of the story is deployed in enemy territory. They have spent the five years since the academy, where they met and fell in love, being stationed apart and longing for each other. During that time, Cary has been plagued with violent nightmares of Owen’s death. One month prior to coming home, Owen finally makes good on his promise, given years before, and asks Cary to marry him. Cary accepts and the rest of this story describes their time together in small vignettes leading up to their actual wedding day.

I was smitten with these two young men right away. The story balanced both their inner thoughts and fears against their love and support for each other. I felt so drawn to them and enjoyed how each chapter seemed to be another peek at their whirlwind wedding preparations and their new assignments in their various branches of service.

However, I never felt that the near paralyzing nightmares that Cary had been experiencing were fully addressed and indeed, they just seemed to disappear altogether. While I know that having Owen home would and should relieve Cary of his dreams, I also know the author chose to have Cary plagued by a last nightmare after Owen was home and in his arms their first night. For me, never really stating that Cary’s nightmares were gone left a major plot point unfinished and was, absolutely, the only flaw in an otherwise lovely story. 4 stars

My Marine by LE Franks & Sara York

Sean Green has seen the Afghani interpreter, Akim, come and go on the base and has taken notice of him. If only he could speak with the man, find out more about him. But this is wartime and while the interpreter is aiding the US, he is also the enemy. Then one chance meeting, and lust and yearning take over, and suddenly Sean knows that when he is finally sent stateside again he will do everything in his power to bring Akim with him. But what if Akin is not who he says he is? What if he is hiding a secret that will tear the two men apart?

My Marine was a sweet story with a few interesting twists and turns. When Akim’s secret was revealed I must admit I was pretty surprised and to be honest, understood Sean’s reactions completely. And it was just here that the story fell apart a bit for me. Sean began with strong sentiments about how Akin had lied to him. He admitted to himself that it was like he never really knew Akim, so why the sudden and swift capitulation at the story’s end? I felt that both men should have worked a little harder at reestablishing trust and not moved into intimacy immediately. There had, up to that point, been a plausible and very interesting story—if only the ending had been just a bit more drawn out. 3.5 stars

Soul Sick by Kendall McKenna

Jamie brings more than external scars from shrapnel home from deployment. Inside he is still trapped on the battlefield, and he is rapidly losing ground. Tucker has been waiting a year for his lover, but the man who comes home bears little resemblance to the one who left, and Tucker is worried that if Jamie doesn’t seek help soon, more will be lost than their partnership.

This was a very raw look at the effects of PTSD on a returning soldier. Jamie simply comes unraveled, going as far as physically threatening Tucker. Jamie wants to have everything as it was, but even the smallest of things picks at him, making him bleed a little more each day. It is both sad and scary watching Jamie devolve into a madman who cannot always be reasoned with before he lashes out.

My only regret with this story was the way it jumped, seemingly without a segue, into the future, where Jamie was apparently beginning to turn things around with the help of counseling. Admittedly and wisely, author Kendall McKenna did not allow Jamie to be instantly “fixed”; rather, we saw his ongoing turmoil right up to the end. But it was the abrupt way in which we were thrust into this future time of recovery that jangled a bit. Suddenly we were there and made to understand that during this unmarked time, Tucker and Jamie had actually been sleeping apart. Because the ending seemed to thrust us into a future that had no explanation, I felt the story rushed to the end and we never had a sense of healing or, more importantly, rebuilt trust between the two lovers. 3 stars

Safe Shores by Morticia Knight

Months go by before Kirk, a small time fisherman, and his lover Shane, a coast guard diver, are able to see one another. But their relationship has only gotten better over the last two years, and this visit finds both of them contemplating saying those three little words that every one yearns to hear. But Kirk is older than Shane by ten years and has a son by a long dissolved marriage that keeps him tethered to the small town he grew up in. Can these two make a go of it when distance and time seem intent on keeping them apart?

Safe Shores is a full out love story between two men who are ready to take the leap at a future they both desire. Even though both feel deeply for the other, saying I love you does not roll easily off the tongue, and both Shane and Kirk are worried that the other may not be ready for such a huge commitment.

I really enjoyed this story. I felt immediately drawn to these characters and felt completely invested in their story as a result. I particularly liked how both the men were very strong in their own right—while BDSM was a brief part of this love story, it was done with strength and truth, making it very erotic. All in all, Safe Shores was a nice way to end this well done anthology. 5 stars






Semper Fidelis is currently available for purchase only from:

Totally Bound

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T.A. Chase, Totally Bound

Guest Post: The Barefoot Dancing Blog Tour With T.A. Chase

TAChase_BarefootDancing_BlogTour_WebBanner_finalFirst of all, thank you for having me here at The Novel Approach. I appreciate you giving me a chance to talk about my books.

My newest book out is Barefoot Dancing, book six of my Rags to Riches series. It’s the last one (so far) of the series and features Kendall, who we met in Walking in the Rain. Continue reading

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T.A. Chase, Totally Bound

Guest Post: Walking in the Rain by T.A. Chase

Walking in the Rain_TA Chase_Blog Tour_Web Banner_final

Hello everyone. Thank you for having me here at The Novel Approach. I’m T.A. Chase and for those of you who might not know me, I write M/M romance for Totally Bound and various other publishers.

My newest release, Walking in the Rain, came out on the 26th. It’s the fifth book in the Rags to Riches series. The two main characters, Dayton VanHooren and Mickey O’Leary, meet at Adrien and Ion’s wedding reception. (Adrien and Ion are from Remove the Empty Spaces and Close the Distance.) A brief encounter there and an offer of a ride home out of the rain begins their relationship. Continue reading

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3 Stars, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Tina, T.A. Chase, Totally Bound

Review: Mountains to Climb by T.A. Chase

Title: Mountains to Climb

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 60 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: Sometimes the past can be the biggest mountain to climb.

Toby Schwartzel has never forgot Jensen Brockhoff, the man he loved and the one who disappeared six years ago. He thinks he’s moved on, but when Jensen appears again and wants to explain what happened, Toby realises he never got over Jensen. He’d only built up walls to keep from being hurt again. Continue reading

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3.5 Stars, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Traci, T.A. Chase, Totally Bound

Opposites Attract In T.A. Chase’s “Anywhere Tequila Flows”

Title: Anywhere Tequila Flows (Rags to Riches #4)

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count:

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Two men convinced they’ll never find love discover it in the least likely of places.
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T.A. Chase, Totally Bound

Why Mountain Climbing? A Guest Post And Giveaway From T.A. Chase And Totally Bound

WHP_TA Chase_Book Tour_final

To celebrate the release of Mountains to Climb as part of the new What’s his Passion? imprint, Totally Bound are giving you the chance to win some fabulous prizes!

Enter HERE

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Thank you for having here on your blog. I’m T.A. Chase and I’m here to chat about my upcoming book, Mountains to Climb, which is one of the six launch books for Totally Bound’s new imprint, What His Passion? Continue reading

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Blake Santerre, Charlie Cochet, Coastal Magic Convention, Cover Reveal, Deanna Wadsworth, Ethan Stone, J.P. Barnaby, Jordan Castillo Price, Neil Plakcy, RJ Scott, T.A. Chase, Vaughn R. Demont

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had another great week.

We’ve got some great blog tours, giveaways, and reviews coming up in the week ahead, and speaking of reviews, we’re welcoming a new reviewer to the TNA team this week (watch for more soon). Chris comes to us with lots of blogging and social media experience, and I’m looking forward to her first official review. In the meantime, here’s a little bit about Chris in her own words.
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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.
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4 Stars, Amber Allure, Reviewed by Jackie, T.A. Chase

A Man Finds A Place To Call Home In T.A. Chase’s “Finding Love”


“One can begin so many things with a new person! Even begin to be a better man.” ― George Eliot


Title: Finding Love (Nowhere Diner: Book One)

Author: T.A. Chase

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 176 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Leaving Minnesota, Timothy Gapin doesn’t have any plans except getting as far away from all the memories as he can before his money runs out. His secret lover has married, breaking his heart and making him chose a life in the open rather than a relationship built on lies.
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All Romance Ebooks, Amy Lane, T.A. Chase

Some More Free Books Just In Time To Stuff Your Stockings!

Let me tell you, being a creeper on the internet sure can pay off sometimes! I just got the lowdown on a couple of FREEBIES and thought I’d hurry up and share.

Available for a limited time–possibly for a very limited time–T.A. Chase’s Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, Book One) can be downloaded one-hundred-percent free. Have a look at the blurb:

Click On The Cover Image To Go Straight To All Romance Ebooks

For Pestilence, the White Horseman, love becomes the most powerful cure.

Having lost his wife and child during the Black Death, Pestilence accepts the fate destiny has given him as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. For centuries, Pestilence did his job, spreading plagues and disease around the world. He does it to keep the balance between good and evil, yet he hates every minute of it. He longs to be left alone, but suddenly fate seems to have a different plan for him.

When Bart Winston stumbles into an Amazon clearing, he’s terribly ill and sure he’s going to die. A tall white-haired man with unusual black eyes catches him in his arms and Bart’s life takes a turn into the unbelievable. Blaming the whole situation on his illness might have worked, but as he gets better and learns about the strange man who heals him, Bart must accept there are more things in the world than he ever guessed.

Pestilence and Bart heal each other, and begin to wonder if there can be a future for the White Horseman and the mortal he’s fallen in love with.

Sounds pretty good, yeah?

And coming on the 22nd and 23rd of December–if you haven’t already read it–Amy Lane’s Dex in Blue will be available for a free download as well. Here’s the blurb:

Click On The Cover Image To Go Straight To All Romance Ebooks

Ten years ago David Worral had plans to go to college and the potential for a beautiful future in front of him. One tragic accident later, he fled to California and reinvented himself as Dex, top porn model of Johnnies.

Dex’s life is a tangled mess now, but the guys he works with only see the man who makes them believe even porn stars can lead normal lives. When Kane, one of Dex’s coworkers, gets kicked out of his house, the least Dex can do is give him a place to stay. Kane may be a hyperactive muscle-bound psycho, but he’s also a really nice guy. What could be the harm?

Except nothing is simple—not sex, not love, and not the goofy kid with the big dick and bigger heart who moves his life into Dex’s guest room. When they start negotiating fractured pasts and broken friends, Dex wonders if Kane’s honest nature can untangle the sadness that stalled his once-promising future. With Kane by his side, Dex just might be able to reclaim the boy he once was—and if he can do that, he can give Kane the home and the family he deserves.

So mark your calendars for that one. And happy reading!

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