Review: Here for Us (Us, #1) by A.M. Arthur

Cris Sable doesn’t walk into popular gay bar Big Dick’s expecting to find more than a casual hookup, so he’s surprised by his instant attraction and intense chemistry with go-go dancer Jake. Jake’s sexy as hell and a firecracker in bed. The sparks between them are undeniable, and what starts as a hookup evolves into something deeper, possibly permanent—until Jake dumps Cris flat on his ass for no good reason. 

Angry and confused, Cris finds comfort with his longtime friend and employer Charles “Chet” Greenwood. Cris’s emotional state stirs up Charles’s long-buried feelings for Cris. Feelings he’s denied for eight years, because Cris is his employee and therefore off limits—not to mention two decades younger than Charles. Cris admits he has feelings for Charles, too, but he’s still getting over Jake and both men agree nothing can happen between them while Charles is still Cris’s boss.

Jake Bowden knows he doesn’t have anything to offer a guy. He’s a go-go dancer with no degree and no real career aspirations. He’s also used to everyone who loves him leaving, so it makes sense to cut Cris loose before things get too serious. Cris is kind, passionate and totally deserves a guy like Charles—wealthy, owns a home, successful businessman. Jake can’t compete so why bother? They’re better off together. But when Jake has a serious personal crisis, Cris and Charles unite to pull him back together, and the three men discover it’s possible—maybe even inevitable—to fall in love with more than one person at a time.




Welp. This could've gone better so I'll be quick about it.




I've seen this author's works in my feed since forever so when this landed in the clubhouse it seemed like kismet-ménage, age difference, a little hurt/comfort... what could go wrong? Famous last words.

It's not that the book is bad. The premise is great and I was hella excited to get my mitts on it. What had happened was we didn't click. I knew early on this writing style wasn't going to be my cuppa. I persevered thinking I was either being too harsh, that things would improve or wasn't giving it a fair shake. But the truth of the matter is I need bells and whistles! A little angst, some zhooshing, frills are the things I like. Hell, I'll even read purple! This style is very dry, straightforward, no muss, no fuss and I was bored. 





I had trouble connecting with the characters. I found their journey a little too convenient and I'm still on the fence as to whether or not the dialogue is exceedingly authentic or tipped over into a stilted permutation of authenticity. All the components are there from backstories to character and relationship development but it lacked emotionality, thus I never invested in this narrative or these characters.

The sex is decently hot. I do appreciate a dude who's good with his hands and Cris is. And he likes to wreck his lovers. Not mad. Not mad at all.

This is the beginning of a new series but there are A LOT of characters introduced that I felt like I should know somehow. Later I learned this is a spinoff of the Perspectives series. I don't think it's necessary to have read that but you'll probably get more out of this if you have. Also, almost all of these characters are involved in the porn industry and have a porn name and a real name. I thought my head was going to explode trying to keep up with all of them. Did I mention that they're used interchangeably? 




Lastly, there is a mental health issue with one of the characters. I'm not going to belabor the point since this isn't a textbook or a peer reviewed article, but I will say I would've preferred for this particular plot device to be well researched OR a more generic 'there's something up' rather than the label being used willy-nilly.

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes... it just doesn't work out and Here for Us is one of those times. Still, it's got a fairly high rating on GR so I'd encourage all to check out the other reviews before deciding.




A review copy was provided.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Guest Review: What the Cat Dragged In by Kate Steele

2nd Edition

An owl and a pussycat? Seriously? Oh yeah. Seriously hot.

It's a case of lust at first sight. The sizzle between Kyle and Bryan ignites into a passionate encounter with an unexpected result. Fun and games between this owl and lynx shifter are all well and good, but love? That's more than either one expected, and, for this interspecies couple, may be the very thing that tears them apart.









Reviewer: Shee Reader

Our story begins in a shifter bar, with a coyote bar tender and his friend, Bryan the lynx shifter. Bryan has been eyeing a man he’d like to get to know better, he knows Alex is an owl shifter and that some old-timers frowned upon ‘mixed couples’ but Bryan didn’t give a damn, he wants Alex, if he can just get to talk to the beautiful man without him running away!

Bryan was out hunting in his Lynx form when again his prey was snatched from right in front of him by a damn owl! Determined to teach the pest a lesson, Bryan set a trap. A rabbit was his goal this time, but he’d planned ahead. As the pesky owl swooped in, Bryan held tight to the string he’d attached to the rabbit’s leg and the owl dropped out of the sky.

I absolutely loved Bryan’s trick to get his own back on the bird who’d stolen his prey, of course it was Alex, desperate for Bryan’s attention. Well, he’d got it now and what followed was Bryan’s extremely toppy seduction of the lovely Owl.

The writing style was easy to get into, and was light and fun. I’d have liked more dialogue between the main characters, to see more into their stories, but I was entertained by the book.

This was a shortish story so the HFN was quick in coming, and I enjoyed it.



Find on Goodreads!

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Strays (Urban Soul #2) by Garrett Leigh


Welcome to the Strays tour which was released yesterday. Happy Belated Release Day!
Check out the boss giveaway below!


About Strays


Work, sleep, work, repeat. Nero’s lonely life suits him just fine until his best friend, Cass, asks him to take on a new apprentice—a beautiful young man who’s never set foot in a professional kitchen. Despite his irritation and his lifelong ability to shut the world out, Nero is mesmerised by the vibrant stray, especially when he learns what drove him to seek sanctuary on Nero’s battered old couch.


Lenny Mitchell is living under a cloud of fear. Pursued by a stalker, he has nowhere left to run until Nero offers him a port in a storm—a job at the hottest restaurant in Shepherd's Bush. Kitchen life proves heady and addictive, and it’s not long before he finds himself falling hard and fast for the man who has taken him in.


Fast-forward a month and neither man can imagine life without the other, but one thing stands in their way: a lifetime of horrors Nero can’t bring himself to share with Lenny. Or can he? For the first time ever, happiness is there for the taking, and Nero must learn to embrace it before fate steps in and rips it away.


Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/strays




About Garrett Leigh


Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.


Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.


When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.


Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.






To celebrate the release of Strays, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 1, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

ICYMI check out our review of Strays HERE.

Release Day Review: Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmyer

Benjamin Lector imagines himself a smuggler, a gunrunner, and an all-around scoundrel. A preacher’s son turned criminal, first and foremost he is a survivor.

When Benjamin is shipwrecked on Dread Island, fortune sends an unlikely savior—a blond savage who is everything Benjamin didn’t know he needed. Falling in love with Sun is easy. But pirates have come looking for the remains of Benjamin’s cargo, and they find their former slave Sun instead.

Held captive by the pirates, Benjamin learns the depths of Sun’s past and the horrors he endured and was forced to perpetrate. Together, they must not only escape, but prevent a shipment of weapons from making its way to rebellious colonists. Benjamin is determined to save the man he loves and ensure that a peaceful future together is never threatened again. To succeed might require the unthinkable—an altruistic sacrifice.


Well now, THAT was an adventure of epic proportions.

When I read the blurb and saw the cover my little lizard brain went “Smugglers! Scalliwags! Scoundrels! YES PLEASE!”

And I did get all those things, but with so much more. The story starts right away with high seas action and drama and was exactly what I expected. Kudos to the author for working all the technical aspects of ship life into the action so easily. Shit got seriously real from the get go and there were teases alluding to deeper shenanigans going on aboard the ship than just gun running. The bodies wash ashore on Dread Island and the seemingly only survivor is the “Captain” Bejamin. I added the quotes around Captain for a reason and something you’ve got to remember throughout reading Swift for the Sun; very little is what it seems and most of the players have WAY more to them than you learn at their first introductions.

While Benjamin’s future seems pretty hopeless on Dread Island, his luck changes for the better when he is saved by the man he begins to know as Sun. Sun is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, etc. etc. It’s obvious he’s survived on the island alone for a long time and at one time had the capacity for language. He’s covered in scars and surrounded by an air of sadness and loneliness. Reading about the time the two of them spent together on the island had me totally engrossed. I was only about 30% into the story and I just wanted it to end there. The two of them were happy, I was happy for them and the little heartbreaking hints into Sun’s past made me wanted him to stick to the safety of their island a la Blue Lagoon. But no, shit got real yet again and some seriously bad dudes end up on Dread Island as well signaled by a fire that Benjamin kinda – sorta started in a hissy fit and he has all manner of guilt about it.

A good bit of the story is spent in Benjamin’s head and he’s got a lot of soul searching going on throughout as he comes to terms with the path his life has taken and as he learns to let go of the guilt he carries in order to be with the man he loves and to be the man that Sun needs. Remember how I said that very little is as it seems? Well, from here on out no statement could be more truthful. A lot happens in this book and a lot of information is given about the how’s and the why’s. It’s a lot but it’s necessary and it’s balanced with the arc of the story. You do have to be on your game though, this isn’t an easy love story you can roll with. All happiness is hard won and there’s no getting comfortable because the aforementioned shit gets real repeatedly for all the characters.

So, there’s a lot of shenanigans and spying and subterfuge and a bunch of other ‘s’ words going on, but the author does manage to keep the focus on Benjamin and Sun, both together and separately. There’s a purpose for every decision they make and while their destiny was out of their hands for most of the book, they were determined to control the hell out of what they could to drive their lives forward and together. Swift for the Sun is exciting, stressful and really very romantic. I loved reading about Benjamin and Sun together and Sun is a character that will stick with me for a long time. Who doesn’t love the quiet badass who will protect those he loves at any cost? There’s no doubt the two love each other deeply and given their histories, they deserve some happiness. It wraps up pretty neatly given all that was going on, but by that time, I was ready for their HEA as much as they were.

If you’re a fan of historical romance where the history plays an important role in the story, you’ll appreciate this one very much. If you’d prefer less actual history and prefer just the feel of a time period, you may feel a little frustration at some of the detail, but you’ll still be happy with the emotion the author delivers.


Head to Dreamspinner Press for more information and to pick up a copy of Swift for the Sun.


**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Angels of Istanbul (Arising #2) by Alex Beecroft


Big Welcome to the Angels of Istanbul tour & Happy Release Day to Alex Beecroft! Be sure to enter the giveaway below!

About Angels of Istanbul


Wallachian nobleman Radu is recently arrived in Bucharest with his vampire parents. Welcomed as an eligible bachelor, he’s introduced to the enchantress Ecaterina, whose salon is Bucharest’s centre of magical expertise. 


But when Ecaterina’s brother dies of a mysterious new plague, it’s clear to Radu that his parents have not been idle. Soon Bucharest is in the grip of an undead epidemic—a less than ideal time for Ottoman Sultan Mahmud, Wallachia’s overlord, to call Bucharest’s nobility to assemble their armies in Istanbul for a holy war against Britain.


The Wallachians have long resented their Ottoman overlords, so Radu seizes the chance to eliminate them while also ridding Bucharest of the undead: he leads an army of vampires to Istanbul and sets them to feed on the Turks.


As Radu’s demons gut the city of Istanbul, their plans become horribly clear. This is only the start. With the Ottoman armies under their control, the undead are poised to suck the life out of the whole world. Radu, his lover Frank, and Ecaterina are appalled at what they’ve unleashed. But they may be too late to stop it.


Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/angels-of-istanbul



About Alex Beecroft


Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.


Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City PaperLA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association of the UK and an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.


Alex was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She lives with her husband and two children in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.


Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has led a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800-year-old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.


She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.


Connect with Alex:




To celebrate the release of Angels of Istanbul, one lucky winner will receive $10 Riptide credit and their choice of ebook from Alex’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 1, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Tag Team Review: Strays (Urban Soul #2) by Garrett Leigh

Work, sleep, work, repeat. Nero’s lonely life suits him just fine until his best friend, Cass, asks him to take on a new apprentice—a beautiful young man who’s never set foot in a professional kitchen. Despite his irritation and his lifelong ability to shut the world out, Nero is mesmerised by the vibrant stray, especially when he learns what drove him to seek sanctuary on Nero’s battered old couch.

Lenny Mitchell is living under a cloud of fear. Pursued by a stalker, he has nowhere left to run until Nero offers him a port in a storm—a job at the hottest restaurant in Shepherd's Bush. Kitchen life proves heady and addictive, and it’s not long before he finds himself falling hard and fast for the man who has taken him in.

Fast-forward a month and a neither man can imagine life without the other, but one thing stands in their way: a lifetime of horrors Nero can’t bring himself to share with Lenny. Or can he? For the first time ever, happiness is there for the taking, and Nero must learn to embrace it before fate steps in and rips it away.

Average 4.625


Adam - 4.5 Hearts

Misfits was one my favourite reads in 2015. It was a the perfect blend of angsty and romantic. So I was stoked when I learned that we’d be getting a sequel about Nero, Cass’ grumpy best friend.

At the beginning of the book, we’re introduced to Lenny, a server at Misfits. Lenny is sunshine and colours. He likes flashy clothing, nail polish, and changing his hair dye every few weeks. He lives life in the moment.


But an increasingly dangerous stalker has pulled the light out of Lenny’s life. Nero agrees to take Lenny in as a favour to Cass.

Nero was exactly as I remembered him from book 1. He’s constantly grouchy and not really someone you’d want to be around. But by getting his POV, it becomes clear that his standoffish-ness is the result of the emotional walls he built over the years.

Lenny slowly works his way under Nero’s walls. Nero begins taking care of Lenny without even realizing it. He makes sure that Lenny eats more than just sugar, and does what he can so that Lenny feels safe.

For his part, Lenny’s experiences with a stalker have a big psychological impact on him. Anything outside of the restaurant's walls become dangerous. The only person Lenny trusts, the only one he knows is really on his side, is Nero.

As the weeks pass, the two slowly fall for each other. They ignore what’s growing between them at first, but eventually something has to give.

Garrett Leigh doesn’t do particularly steamy scenes, but the few sex scenes between Lenny and Nero were definitely hot. And there was an underlying sweetness to them.

The big stumbling block in their relationship is that Nero finds it hard to open up. He won’t tell Lenny what his childhood was like, or where the scars on his body came from. Lenny gives everything to Nero, but Nero finds it difficult to reciprocate.

Readers find out what Nero’s story is the same time Lenny does in the last quarter of the book. I thought that was a good move, because it left me in as much suspense as Lenny was.

When the truth finally came out, I felt Nero’s pain. But what’s also obvious is his hope and how much he heals because of the love that Lenny gives him.


The happy ever after takes a lot of work, but Lenny and Nero get a brilliant ending.

This book has a good amount of angst, but it’s also incredibly sweet. If you’re looking for a contemporary MM romance with strong themes of comfort/healing, I’d recommend ‘Strays’!

Cupcake - 4.75 Hearts

This series is a keeper!

I thoroughly enjoyed Strays in a completely different way than Misfits. The characterizations of both Nero and Lenny are just as three-dimensional as those of its predecessor, but these two vibrant characters are bolder than Jake or Tom. Strays can be read as a standalone, but you don't want to miss Misfits if for no other reason than to experience Leigh's range for yourself.

“Nero’s a grumpy sod, but he’s salt of the earth, really. I’d trust ‘im with my life.”

I was heart eyeing Nero in Misfits and Leigh did not disappoint in delivering the grump in Strays. He is a Grumpy McGrumperton of the highest order. He’s intimidating, growly, caustic even! Man, I heart him. He’s pricklier than a porcupine on the outside but with a marshmallow center. I really loved that Leigh didn’t ungrumpify him at the first sweet aroma of TruuuueeeWuuubbbbb. Wait. Sorry, this is MM romancelandia so change that sweet to musky with a hint of something woodsy.


Nero's backstory which he is tightlipped about is doled out like breadcrumbs, and fleshes him out. Honestly, it was pretty tough for me to read. Not because of the abuse he suffered but because the system failed him. I got so worked up that I had to take a break, if that tells you anything.

Cass, Tom and Jake make appearances which I loved! Crunchy twats FTW! It’s Cass that puts Lenny in Nero’s life. Cass and Nero's relationship is more complex than I envisioned and if you've read my review of Misfits you'll know Cass was my favorite. I think, though it's never explicitly said, that Cass put these two together for a reason. Cass asks Nero to not let him be scared and he does, but I think Lenny saves Nero as much as Nero saves Lenny.

Lenny’s got a psycho-stalker that’s got him so rightly freaked out that he’s afraid to even step foot outside when he lands on Nero’s couch. In many ways they are opposites but what they share is an intestinal fortitude that keeps them from giving up. Both are fiercely independent and unapologetic about it, so I think they have more commonalities than differences which gives them balance. Lenny is a bit femme with his guyliner and glitter. He used to be a dancer, creative, artistic and outgoing before everything went to hell in a handbasket.

What I loved most about their relationship is: (1) their interplay. Lenny’s never afraid of Nero’s bluster. He laughs and jokes around with him; he engages in the verbal swordplay whereas most back down; (2) Lenny’s the smaller guy, but surprisingly, it’s the rough and tumble, tattooed, imposing Nero who harbors fantasies of bottoming, when he's thought about having sex with a bloke, that is.

BIG GUY BOTTOM!!!! EEEEEE!!!! 

Their romance is a slow burn that builds tension to explosive proportions. The UST backbuilds so that every time they're together it’s fierce, feral and combustive, but don’t expect an excessive amount of sex. There is some and it is pretty amazing but Strays focuses on the development of their relationship as they painstakingly build trust between them. At one point I actually found myself coaching Lenny. Now, that's either hella invested in this narrative or I'm a crazy train. Maybe both. Probably.

“I’m different because you saw me, Lenny.”


The only thing I couldn’t reconcile was the submissive/bottoming thing which I do not think of as one and the same. It was a strange leap for Lenny to make in the first place, struck me as tacked on and weird and what’s more, nothing is done with it. It just sort of sits there like your weird uncle at holiday gatherings that no one knows what to do with.

Aside from that one hiccup, it’s a touching story with two complex characters that are great individually and the love they have for one another makes them greater which is what makes reading this genre worthwhile for me.

Obviously, I adored all the cookery and that Nero never babied Lenny in the kitchen. The Urban Soul organization... *sigh* I wish with all my heart it wasn't fictional, because I would so quit my job and work for them. How the restaurant story arch played out was just as satisfying as the first.

The formatting with sections being from one perspective then switching to the other for a time I really like. It helps me get to know each character in meaningful ways. I’m hopeful this series continues and perhaps the next book will feature Jolen or more of Nero and Lenny and their food truck adventures.



Recommended!

Review copies were provided by NetGalley.

Find out more on Goodreads!

Audiobook Review: Everything Changes (Resilient Love #1) by Melanie Hansen

What happens when friendship catches fire?

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.

Listening Length: 7 hours and 12 minutes
Narrator: Robert Nieman



If you are a hurt/comfort junky (as I am) than this is the book you need to listen to. It’s hurt/comfort x 2 because both MC’s are hurting in their own way and the way the author built their backstory and connection was perfection. Carey and Jase have also been close for years so you also get a healthy dose of friends to lovers. It’s a tropapalooza of awesome.

So, Carey and Jase met in the military and have literally been through hell on earth and back. Carey almost didn’t make it home at all and both have PTSD to deal with. It’s been awhile since they’ve seen one another and the story begins with Carey heading to San Diego to spend some time with Jase. The author did a great job of telling the story in the present and flashbacks to their time in Afghanistan and after. The timing and pace were perfect for the way the story progressed and I got a real sense for both characters as they are and as they’d been.

Friends-to-lovers is not an easy story line to pull off believably for me. I can be a picky pain in the ass with it. I want to feel the connection through conversations and all the “little things” that make up a real relationship, I don’t want to be told that two people are BFF’s and that’s that. Everything Changes made me believe in these two from the beginning and Robert Nieman narrating their convos and thoughts was so spot on with what I imagined for both of them.

These guys have not had it easy since their return home (Ya think Ann? Downplayed statement much?) and it was honestly heartbreaking to listen to. At the same time, the story treated both men’s lives with deference to their experiences and while it was tough to listen to their pain, I had so much respect for both characters and how they helped themselves in the long run by helping each other in the short term.

There’s always been a little somethin’ somethin’ between Carey and Jase but there’s no way anything could have played out naturally given their active duty service. Priorities were elsewhere, obviously, and when they came home they had their hands full with a new kind of survival. It seemed like they came back together at just the right time and I loved hearing their relationship grow again and the story behind their stories. One of them was always aware of what they could be together and the other was clueless. That setup made for some quality angst in among the rest of what they were going through.

Not gonna lie, there was a moment or ten towards the end where I wanted to throttle the hell out of Carey. Of course, those moments did make the story more believable, but dammit Carey! Just, dammit! I kind of wanted a lit bit more when he finally came around, but what happened and the communication fit with his personality, plus Jase was happy, so at that point, that’s the only thing I cared about.

Robert Nieman does an amazing job of capturing the characters during wartime and at home. That’s a big range of emotion to cover and the balance was spot on throughout. The transition from current to the past and back again was seamless and easy to follow without ever being jarred out of the moment by the changes. This isn’t the first narration of his I’ve listened to and he’s a narrator I love to see attached to a book I want to listen to. And after listening to him read Melanie Hansen’s words I’ll be getting more from this series.

Visit Dreamspinner Press for more info on Everything Changes.


**a copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review**

Audiobook Release Blitz: The Necromancer’s Dance by S.J. Himes


Embrace the Rainbow Book Promotions and S.J. Himes are here to celebrate the audiobook release of The Necromancer's Dance (narrated by Joel Leslie) Check out the exclusive content below!

NDrelease

Title: The Necromancer’s Dance
Author: S J Himes
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Length: 8 Hours 8 minutes
Release Date: 21st March 2017
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, MM Romance

28486344

BLURB

In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset upon by enemies, both old and new. Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother’s boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again pulled back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family’s death.

Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues into who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire’s attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.

Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead?

Death stalks the streets of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill….and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.

MATURE CONTENT Contains graphic violence, male/male sexual contact, a cranky necromancer, a sexy Irish vampire, and a pesky demon.

Purchase: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

EXCERPT

Vampire HQ had an actual name, not that Angel or anyone else in town bothered to recall it. It was a tall stone building in downtown Boston and had the distinction of being one of the oldest buildings in the whole of New England, not just the city. The oldest parts of HQ were the areas the public had access to, and the rear of the building abutted a ten-story luxury condominium and casino complex. The Master’s rooms were rumored to be in the penthouse though Angel thought that unwise, considering the penthouse’s exposure to sunlight, and the unreliable nature of anti-UV spells and treated glass. Gossiping blood slaves and vampire groupies weren’t really the best sources of information, never mind they spent a better part of their days and nights with a vampire attached to various pulse points. His personal guess was somewhere in the sublevels of the tower, safe from light and curious eyes. Hiding where the oldest and most powerful vamp in Boston slept was a wise precaution, one not unexpected in a vampire as old as the Master purported to be.

The front façade was three stories tall, with a vaulted front entranceway that oozed elitism and wealth, and was kept a chilly forty-five Fahrenheit year round. Vampires didn’t need much in the way of heating though the humans who attached themselves as donors and slaves had heated quarters.


About the Author

I'm a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I'm at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with ocasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that's perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), and The Wolfkin Saga. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on.... I'm a nomad, and I've yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.

Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Facebook Fan Group | Twitter | Amazon

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Review: The Mutt by Kasia Bacon

I, Ervyn Morryés of the Black Mountain clan, know all about control.

As the only fair-haired Dark Elf in the Highlands, I had to learn to control my fists and my temper in the face of derision.

To become the best archer amongst my peers, I had to learn to control my breathing and my movements.

But the day the half-breed called Lochan Féyes arrived at the training camp, my discipline faltered. Because—sweet gods—when I am around that aloof, blue-eyed assassin, my need is uncontrollable.







I wanted his attention, but he refused to give it to me.
So I had to find a way to claim it.
This story... listen, this story? It's phenomenal. And for just 41 pages, it packs a wallop into a fantasy world I want to be a part of.



The Mutt by new author Kasia Bacon is a prequel of sorts set in the Order universe, a fantasy based world with a contemporary feel. The author begins with a note stating the characters would not let up until she told their beginning. I personally want to thank Lochan and Ervyn. And I also want to let them know, I hope they nag the author (I mean it in the sweetest way possible) because this a winning concept and the novel needs to be out like yesterday.

Highland Dark elf, Ervyn, sees his man at training camp and wants his eyes on him. His man, Lochan, half human/half elf aka mutt, doesn't know it yet but he's been claimed. The aloof, talented assassin in training doesn't notice anyone and it perplexes and frustrates Ervyn. Nothing gets the blue eyed half breed's attention. Ervyn is set to be an archer once training camp is completed. It's a family tradition. Watching Lochan tests what he wants, Lochan's skills are some of the best seen. And he just wants to bask in his greatness.

And kiss him too.

"There was a fair amount of feral in that grin. I longed to be the one to tame the predator in him."

Fantasy fans this is going to be a winner. The world building, the taste that the author introduces is layered. There is even a language! And if you love reading sexual tension as much as I do, this story is filled with it. That even a mere kiss blew my top.

Plus the elves are reminiscent of Prince Nuada from Hellboy, who I have a major nerd boner for. So anything remotely written like the (misunderstood) bad guy with dark elves, emotionally stunted communication, baggage, sword and killing skills...I am ALL over it.



My one complaint is probably going to be it should have been longer. But that's the greed talking.

The author states this is a beginning and it reads just like that. We know the two men (late teens at this point, the cusp of adulthood) will have a deeper story as they hint at the future from the beginning. The story while filled with sexual tension, doesn't have an overabundance of sex. This works highly because it made me want to know more and appreciate every second either two interacted.
"What are you doing?" he breathed.
"I want to kiss you. If you want that too, you'll say, "Please, Ervyn."
[...]
"Please, Ervyn," he said in a guttural voice.
Have I mentioned there is a hint of future D/s? Someone's possessive. I'm all about it.

I haven't been as impressed with a short story in sometime.  If the author continues with the rich writing, she'll have a fan in me. I'm kind of in love with this couple already.



Highly recommended especially for fans of fantasy, elves, assassins and cool concepts.


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Guest Review: Inhabiting the Night by Carolina Valdez


LAPD Detective Trent Edwards’ twin brother disappears without a trace. While on medical leave for a work injury, Trent hunts for him, renting a house in the mountains near the only reported sighting of his twin. Martin Longhouse, who owns the local fitness center, takes Trent under his wing and introduces him to townspeople who might have seen the missing man. Soon, their attraction to each other flares into lust, and they come together in hot, passionate encounters that quickly settle into something deeper.

But Trent doesn’t know Martin has a secret, nor does he know exactly who lives in Little Grizzly Lake. Or who--and what--inhabits the woods at night.

When the secrets unravel, Trent discovers his rational cop’s mind has a choice--let go of his love for Martin, or open himself up to other realities, other possibilities for his life.

Note: This book was previously released by another publisher



Reviewer: Shee Reader


The story opens with a white tiger prowling the forest, seeing a man being attacked by a gang. He interviews and saves the man from more beating and a certain rape. Not sure what to do next, he drags and carries the unconscious man back to his den, changing back into his man and putting the beaten man in his bed to sleep and heal.

Hoda is a rare white tiger shifter who lives in a quiet mountain town along with a clan of bear shifters and vampires. Trent is a cop, on leave after a nasty knife attack left him seriously injured, who’s search for his missing brother brought him to Little Grizzly Lake.

Trent becomes aware of being dragged, his pain forces him unconscious again, but not before he feels the large hairy thing cuddling into him to keep him warm. The next time he wakes fully, Trent is in a bed, being watched over by a cat, and a large handsome man. Hoda keeps his true nature from Trent but offers some physical therapy at his gym, and on hearing about the missing brother, offers to aid Trent in his search.

There is an attraction between the men that is physical, but also a connection with more depth. Trent is entranced, but knows he must search for his brother, then return to work as a city cop many miles away.

There was plenty of intrigue and mystery in the story, but for me, there were too many loose ends. Trent made seemed to have some grasp of supernaturals, but freaked out at the idea of bear or tiger shifters. The reader never gets the detail on how the brother came to be in the current situation, and Hoda and Trent seemed to do the insta-love thing (that I usually really enjoy) but with too little dialogue and stilted sex scenes that felt incomplete.

On the whole, I liked the writing, and I wanted to get to the end, but it wasn't totally gripping. I felt a little like there should have been more. This is a shortish story and consequently, there are gaps.
I will look out for more work by the author, maybe a full length novel next time.





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Blog Tour + Giveaway: This Fire Inside (Home is a Fire #3) by Jordan Nasser


Jordan Nasser is visiting the clubhouse for the first time to promote, his latest release, This Fire Inside (Home is a Fire #3)! Haven't tried this series yet? Have no fear, Jordan is giving away the first two books of his Home is a Fire series to one lucky person! Check out the information below!
Luke Walcott may have finally come out of the closet, but that doesn't mean there aren't shadows still lurking in the corners of his past.

Luke has never been happier now that his relationship with Derek is out in the open and their small Southern town has accepted them for who they are. But in an effort to get away from the commotion that arose after their relationship was revealed, Derek and Luke head to New York City for a well-deserved break. Little do they know that turmoil is waiting for them in those steamy city streets--and it will test the strength of their love.

This Fire Inside is the delightfully entertaining third installment of the Home Is a Fire series and invites readers back into the heartfelt world of Derek, Luke, Uncle Barry, and the Southern charms that shaped them all. Written with wit and warmth, This Fire Inside inspires readers to re-examine their own personal journeys.

As Derek and Luke find themselves redefining who they are together and what they might want apart, both men must fight for their own authentic truths. But through these trials, will their love survive? Will Derek and Luke find their happily ever after?

Links

Goodreads
Amazon

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Excerpt
(scroll down to read)

School was out and so were we. Literally. Somehow my super-closeted football coach boyfriend had decided to take the leap and publicly declare his love for me, his fellow Parkville High School staff member. The reaction from the community was swift, and decidedly unfriendly. Even worse, his sister Lana, along with his former high school sweetheart Amber and her son Jett, had been at the forefront of an intense reactionary campaign against us. Thankfully our other family members and friends rallied to our defense, but it took a few backroom deals and surprise revelations to tie up all the loose ends. Ultimately we were able to keep our jobs, but was that what we really wanted? I was pretty sure I didn’t, after the way we had been treated.
Luke and had I talked to each other about leaving the school, and we decided to look for other options. My Uncle Barry’s friend, Lloyd Barton, had let it slip that he was considering selling his catering company, Lloyd’s. He was tired of the hard work and he wanted to spend his twilight years playing around, like his pals in the Bears’ Club. He asked Uncle Barry if he wanted to buy the whole thing as a turnkey business, but Barry was enjoying his own retirement, so he passed. Lloyd then suggested that Luke and I might like to try our hands at something new. It was an easy decision for me to quit teaching, but it was harder for Luke to walk away from coaching. Instead of saying yes or no right away, we decided to splurge on a summer trip to New York to clear our minds and get back to the question at hand when we returned. We went ahead and set up a meeting with Lloyd in two weeks. It wouldn’t hurt to get all the details before we said no, right?
Luke’s place…I mean, our place…was located near the university campus. A hidden gem in a sea of run-down Victorians, it had somehow escaped the wrecking ball that had turned so many colorful dollhouses into concrete parking structures and mini marts. It was home for now, and we were both working hard to make it a place that felt just as comfortable to me as it did to him.
To a Southerner, home is everything. When I came back to Parkville from my decade-long adventure in New York, I moved back in with my mom, Audrey, and her brother, my Uncle Barry. When my long-lost dad, Johnny, reappeared and swept her off her feet again, she moved in with him, and we all hoped their relationship would last this time. My uncle didn’t react well at first, but now that Mom has fully settled in at Casa de Johnny, Barry has taken the opportunity to turn Mom’s old place into the gay bachelor palace of his dreams. Did I mention that he finally came out after 60?
I pulled my old junker into Barry’s driveway and took a look at the chaos. Lovingly nicknamed Willie Nelson thanks to the “Honk if you love Willie Nelson” sticker Mom had placed on its bumper years ago, my car was the least out of place thing here. The men from the local construction crew milled about with Styrofoam coffee cups in hand, walking between well-ordered stacks of lumber and bricks. There was even a small bulldozer parked in the yard. Barry, this isn’t a teardown. What are you doing?
I stepped out of the car and walked up the small, wobbling wooden gangplank that led into the house, using my hands to part the thick sheets of plastic in front of me. My friend Tommy, clipboard in hand, gave me a quick nod as he directed a small group of men. I’m glad he was here to act as the foreman of this circus and to keep Barry on track. They were definitely in the mid-demolition phase.
“Barry?” I called out. “Where are you?”
“Over here, Dolly!” he answered. I was rarely “Derek” to my Uncle Barry. He preferred “Dolly” or “nephew” or even “kid.” I took this as a sign of love; especially coming from a man who called himself “Beret” while he was lip-syncing show tunes in sparkly drag gowns at the Bears’ Club downtown.
“Watch your step, kid. They’re taking this wall down today.” He walked over and gave me a hug, and then handed me a plastic construction helmet to wear. His headgear was bedazzled of course, but this simple yellow plastic one would just have to do for me. “This house has never seen so much action. Just wait till we’re done! Ha! Come on. Let’s take a walk out to the front. It’s pretty safe out there.”
We stepped gingerly over a few two-by-fours and walked out onto the front porch. He pulled the glass door tight to silence the noise from inside, and the screen door shut itself, squeaking softly along the way.
“I thought you were just putting in a hot tub?” I said, staring amazed at the chaos.
“Oh, you know me, Dolly. Diamonds and sequins on feathers. Once I started I couldn’t stop. When your mom moved out I realized that I finally had the chance to make something of my own. I feel invigorated. The bitch is back!”
I had to laugh. Barry’s coming out wasn’t a major surprise, but he was embracing it with full gusto after he had seen Luke and me survive the town pitchforks. His generation may have led the way historically, but now he had some catching up to do, and he was tackling it with all the glitter he could find.
“So,” he started, excitedly, “first I was just going to put in a hot tub, but then I sat down with Tommy, and things just kind of escalated. We’re taking down the dining room wall and making more of an open plan layout here on the first floor. The kitchen will flow into the living room and eating area. Better for entertaining, you know? This happy gal plans on throwing a few parties! Then Tommy suggested opening up the room a bit more by putting in a double sliding glass door to the terrace. Great idea, right?! The hot tub will go over to the left on an extended deck. We’re putting in a line of tall shrubs to create a little privacy hedge, if you catch my drift. We’ll have a fire pit, grilling station, the whole enchilada. I’m so excited!”
“Do you have the money for this?” I asked.
“Well, your Aunt Janey and I always were good with our finances. We saved up a healthy nest egg for our retirement. After she passed, I had enough saved for two, and well, now there’s just me. I’m pretty sure she’d like me to have some fun.” He didn’t speak with an air of sadness. It was honest, and he was right. Janey would be pleased with the new Barry.
“It sounds great and I can’t wait to see it,” I said, reassuring him. “Listen, I came over to ask a favor. Is it all right if I borrow that designer duffel bag I brought you from Chinatown? Luke just has gym bags and they won’t let me back into New York City with one of those. I’m afraid they may even have velvet ropes at the airport now.”
“Even if they did they’d still let you in, kid. You’ve got that look on your face that says step aside. I know what I’m doing. You always have. And I have no idea where you got that,” he said, winking. “Come on. The duffel is in my old room.”
We made our way back through the maze of plastic tarps and sheetrock and up the stairs into Barry’s former bedroom. He dramatically flung open the double doors to his closet while I removed my construction hat and sat on his bed, watching the show. This was a free ticket, and no matter how many times I had seen it, I loved it, every time.
“Now, let’s see,” he said, pushing his way through a sea of sequined gowns, “I just used that bag the other day. Oh, yes! Here we go.” He opened the faux leather duffel, emptied it of a few brassieres and a pair of shiny red patent heels, and then handed it over. “Good as new! And I expect that back, by the way. Actually, I could use a new tote bag, too, if you happen to see one.” He grinned.
“No problem,” I said, smiling. “If I can still find my sources. I’ve heard Chinatown isn’t the same since I left. I’m afraid a lot of New York won’t be the same.”
“Do your best, nephew. No worries. Oh, you’re gonna have a blast,” he assured me. He sat next to me on the bed and carefully placed his sparkly helmet beside him. “And Luke will love it. Help him come out of his shell, a bit. I think you’ll be surprised.”
I hadn’t even thought of that. Luke had spent his whole life here in Parkville. He was the local football hero turned coach, with a secret that he couldn’t share, until I showed up and turned his head. He had a lot of amazing qualities, but I like to think that I brought out his best side.
“Yeah, that’s true. Luke’s knowledge of gay bars includes Bottom’s Up, and that’s it. We haven’t even trekked down to Atlanta for a weekend. He’s barely been exposed to anything.”
“Well, watch out for him, then,” he counseled me. “That country hunk of yours is bound to attract some attention, wanted or not.”
“Oh, we’ll be fine,” I assured him. “I’m taking him to some of my favorite old haunts. If they’re still there, that is. It seems each consecutive mayor of New York decides to ‘revitalize’ more and more of the seedier parts of town that I loved so much. CBGB is now a designer clothing store and Mars Bar is a bank. Punk is dead, long live punk.” I flipped my middle finger into the air in a mock salute and stuck out my tongue.
“Who are you trying to kid, kid? You were never punk. Spunky, sure, but punk?”
“Hey, gimme a break! I saw some things,” I said, defensively. “Maybe I didn’t do as much as I wanted to, but I definitely observed.”
“That’ll make a great headstone.”
“Well, at least I left Parkville for a few years.” I knew he was just teasing me, but sometimes I did feel a bit defeated, considering I eventually left the city of my dreams to return to the scene of my fumbling youth. “I’m so happy I lived in New York. I needed that time away, you know?”
“Of course you did, Dolly. And I’m proud of you. I wish I’d had the courage to move up there for a few years. My situation was a bit different of course, with Janey.” He grew quiet for a moment as he collected his thoughts, and I could feel his emotions shift. “I’m really glad you stopped by today, actually. Now that I’ve granted you a favor, your fairy god-uncle needs to ask one of his own. You up for it?”
“Sure,” I said, cautiously. You never knew what to expect with Barry.
“I made a few solo trips of my own up to New York back in the ‘80s, you know. I had a buddy there I used to visit. Just a friend, nothing more, so don’t give me those eyes. But we did have some crazy nights together. He did drag, of course. I guess you could say he was my inspiration.” He paused, and then launched directly to his request. “I was wondering if you could look him up for me? We lost touch years ago. We were friends before e-mail and cell phones and all that social media hoopla that you’re into. Back then, we actually met people. In person. And if you said you’d be there, well you actually showed up. Crazy, I know. Anyway, it was one of those interminably hot summer months. Janey and Mabel were going to spend a week in Florida so I decided to take a bus up to New York for a few days, on my own. Some me time, you know? It took forever. I think we stopped in every podunk town along the way. When the bus pulled into Port Authority I could just feel the electricity in the air. It was early in the morning but the city was just buzzing with life. I got my bearings and walked down a few blocks and over a few avenues and checked myself right into the Hotel Chelsea. I had seen Lance Loud on that American Family documentary on PBS and I was kind of hoping I would run into him, if you want to know the truth. I never did, though. Can you imagine?! Ha! I could have had a totally different life.”
He shifted his body on the bed and used the palms of his hands to smooth his trousers. Uncle Barry had lived through some amazing times. My respect for him grew every day of every year, and definitely with every new story.
“I spent the day exploring the town, and then came home to clean up for my nighttime adventures. I was alone in the city, after all. Far from home, with no prying eyes from Parkville. I was free to be me and to have some fun, with Janey’s approval, of course. AIDS was ravaging New York City at the time, but I was informed enough to make smart decisions. At least, the best decisions I could with the limited information that we had then. Those were scary times. Anyway, I had freshened up and I was just stepping out of my room at the Chelsea to go dancing when I bumped into Charlie in the hallway. He smiled. I smiled. And, well, you know how it goes, Dolly. We theatre folk just seem to find one another. He asked if I was alone and I said yes, and before I knew it, we were running down the stairs to catch a cab to the Village. He took me everywhere. Places I’d never seen and things I could never have imagined even existed. Midtown, downtown, discos, the bathhouses! It was a different scene then. Trust me. We stayed out until five in the morning, only coming home to nap for a few hours and then we went out and started all over again. You know how it goes. Charlie performed in drag on the weekends so I tagged along to see his shows. He had real star power. Such a following! Young boys just threw themselves at him. Ha! His female illusion was just tops. The best. He had gowns and sparkles and heels. And the wigs! Oh! His room at the Chelsea was just chock-full of fantasy. He was really living his life to the fullest. Charlie took advantage of everything that city had to offer, and he loved every minute of it. Even better, kid, he was out. Out and proud, out. I have to admit, I was so jealous of him, and I couldn’t help but wish that I could do the same. But some things just weren’t meant be, at least not in the same timeline. My moment came later, of course. Hell, I didn’t even come out officially until this year. But here’s the thing. That queen showed me what I could be. Who I could be. He was my goal and my inspiration…and then I lost him. I just know he went on to do great things. I do.” He turned to look at me, very seriously. “So you think you can find him for me, Dolly? I can’t even imagine the exciting life he is leading now, after all these years. I just need to know what he has done with his amazing gifts.”
“Absolutely, Uncle Barry. I’d be honored. Charlie, right?” I made a mental note. “Do you have any other info on him? His last name? He can’t still be living at the Chelsea?”
“Oh, sorry, nephew. I don’t know why I did that. Old habits. I met him as Barry, not Beret, so my pronouns are all messed up. I don’t think you can find him. But you’ll definitely find her. He never went by Charlie. She was fabulous, after all. I’m sure you’ll be able to find her. Just go to the best clubs and ask around for me? There must be someone who knows the amazing Chinois Zarée.”


***


About the Author

Jordan Nasser left his dream job behind and took the opportunity to re-examine his life—an experience he highly recommends if you ever have the chance. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, he was raised in the South before moving to New York City. He currently lives and writes in Stockholm, Sweden and Nice, France.

In his debut novel, Home Is a Fire, he drew upon his experiences growing up in the South. Outstanding reviews placed the book on the Amazon top ten rated LGBT fiction list. That story continues in his second novel, The Fire Went Wild.

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The author is going away eBook (Kindle) copies of the first two books in the Home is a Fire series to one lucky person-- (Book #1) Home is a Fire & (Book #2) The Fire Went Wild

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Giveaway ends 4/1/17 12AM EST Good luck!