Audiobook Review: Saving Silas by SJ Himes

Haunted by his years at war, Boston paramedic Gael Dominic spends his time saving other people’s lives. An empty house, a single friend, and living at work, Gael is not content with his existence, but he’s close. Gael was expecting his overnight shift on Thanksgiving to be the same as always—manic crowds, heart attacks...until catastrophe strikes, and Boston’s streets run with blood.

On the run from an abusive and politically powerful father, Silas has been on the cold, mean streets of Boston for days, injured, hungry and alone. When he wakes up in the middle of a nightmare, he expects to die in the same alley he was calling home.

Brought together by tragedy, Silas and Gael can’t resist their attraction. Gael may have saved Silas, but it’s his alleyway angel who brings Gael back to life.

As Christmas approaches, Silas and Gael learn how to love, despite their pasts. And as Silas' past closes in, Gael learns the greatest gift he could ever give isn't something bought in a store, but freely given from the heart.

Listening Length: 3 hours and 38 minutes

*Previously Published as part of Home For The Holidays, A M/M Holiday Anthology, Nov. 29th, 2015.*

This rating is brought to you by it's not you it's me.



Cats.

Some people love 'em, some people don't. Me, I'm very much prepared to be a mad cat lady in my latter years, my husband's Grandma looks at my kitties as though they were made by Satan himself. (That might be a tad exaggerated, but it's fair to say she doesn't like my beautiful fur balls).

Like cats, some books are loved by some and not so much by others. Even when there is nothing wrong with the writing or story, beyond it just not working for that particular reader - and, yep you've guessed it, this was one such story for me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the writing or story or characters or plot or.... anything, but it didn't draw me in.

I would like to say, the narration of this story was excellent, Derrick McClain is the reason I chose to review this in the first place, he has a unique intonation to his storytelling that I really enjoy. (He also has a really sexy voice...) I heartily recommend him as a narrator and will always look twice at a book narrated by him.

As I said, there is no reason for me to dislike this story, I love the premise but the execution just didn't work for me. It was just a writing style I couldn't gel with - which makes reviewing very hard. Logically I know there is nothing technically wrong with the story. I can't point at poor writing or characterisation or bad editing. How do I define what exactly makes a story good if the tick list of technicalities is all accounted for? Maybe it was a bit too instalove for my tastes, a bit overly dramatic maybe, I was bored by the sex scenes. But I know it is just me.

Please, please check out other reviews for this story because my heart wasn't in it, but I know many other readers will love it.

A copy of this audiobook was given on exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Goodreads.

Review: Closet Case (Sexy Nerd Boys #4) by K.M. Neuhold

Jax
That awkward moment when you accidentally fool around with a closet case. I have a strict policy against dating closeted guys. Confused straight guys? Absolutely. Guys who don’t mind being out and proud? Duh. But closet cases are a hard pass. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt with a giant picture of a broken heart on it. It would be a lot easier to stick to my dating rule if Matthew Hart could be slightly less irresistible.

Matthew
Being a closeted gay college football player is not all it’s cracked up to be. After I broke my high school boyfriend’s heart by refusing to come out of the closet, I swore off serious dating. I don’t want to hurt anyone like that again, and I’ll admit I’m protecting my own heart in the process, too. It was a lot easier to stick to my no dating rule before I laid eyes on Jax Greene. He’s exactly my type in every possible way. If there’s even the slightest chance that history won’t repeat itself, I want to see where things might lead. Convincing Jax to give me a chance though might be the toughest play I’ve ever made.

**This book is the first M/M installment of the Sexy Nerd Boys series, but can be read as a stand-alone. Recommended for 18+ due to language and all kinds of hot sex


This book got off to a rocky start. The structure was….weird. It was choppy and seemed to cut off abruptly, flipping between characters after a page or two. It took a while to get into each character, and the story.

Once I got into the swing of the book I did enjoy the characters, mostly. I liked Jax’s sassy, snarkiness. I love snark. I didn’t really get ‘nerd’ vibes. Other than the references to comic books, nothing about him really screamed nerd to me. Some work on character development would have made him a little more three dimensional, and maybe I would have been convinced. This also may be an element I’m missing from the beginning of the series, if this is a character introduced in previous books, but if so, it should have been restated anyway.

I was put off by the amount of times Jax internally and verbally declared how much he wasn’t going to date a closet case, and then went ahead and did it anyway. I get it was the point of the story (the title, duh) but it was overstated and got boring after a while.

Also boring….. The reference to how gross vaginas are. I don’t like reading about it in any books. Vaginas aren’t gross, and trying to make a character more gay by going on about how much they shudder at the mere mention of a vag, or how proud they are to never have encountered one, is overkill. (Double Gold Star… just no). This may be something I just haven’t encountered before with my real life friends and acquaintances, and it may be a real thing, but it was a huge turn off for me in this story.

What I did enjoy was Jax and Matty’s chemistry. It was really good. The heat level worked well, and I felt the passion while reading them being together. The cuddling was also lovely. Gave it a bit of an awww feel to it. While they were together, they were convincing as a couple.

I want to talk about Glitter Beard!!! Well, not talk about it really. Just post a pic of the glory of Glitter Beard. Adding two of my favourite things together will instantly endear me. I heart Jax’s Glitter Beard (and his sassy shirts).


We didn’t spend much time with Matty as an athlete. The interactions with his teammates were miniscule, and what was there was pointedly homophobic; I suppose to prove the point as to why Matty had to stay closeted. More time with his teammates and practices would have convinced me about his passion for the sport. This is not a sports romance at all, so anyone getting excited about College Football will be sorely disappointed.

The ending was a bit too clean for me. Without going into too much detail, everything was sort of glossed over and convenient.

I’m not sure if this is the author’s first MM Romance (I’m going to assume yes based on Goodreads catalogue), and I give her props for dipping her toes in and trying something different.

This novel is pretty flirty, with some serious, but there wasn’t a great deal of depth of character beyond the plot line of Jax not wanting to date a closet case, and Matty lamenting about how he just wished life was easy so he could remain in the closet and come out once he retired from the NFL. If you’re looking for something fun and light, this would be an okay read to pick up.

In my opinion, this story can be read as a standalone.

Recommended for MM Romance first timers, who are branching out from MF, and those who want something pretty breezy and light to read over a few hours.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion








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Giveaway + Blog Tour: Dating Ryan Alback by J.E. Birk



Welcome J.E. Birk who's making her first appearance in the clubhouse!



Greetings! I'm J.E. Birk, and right now I'm traversing the internets to discuss my new romantic comedy, DATING RYAN ALBACK. Follow along to learn more about an insecure movie star, a klutzy teacher, and the neurotic dog who loves them. Leave comments for a chance to win a $10 Riptide giftcard and copy of any book from my backlist! 


About Dating Ryan Alback

Ryan Alback has almost everything he’s ever wanted: a successful acting career, a dog who adores him, great family and friends, and a life outside the closet. The only thing missing is a boyfriend—but Ryan’s been burned by Hollywood relationships before, and he’s not eager to try one again. 

Jason Santos has almost everything he's ever wanted: a fulfilling career teaching middle school, a house in a city he loves, and parents who support him in every way. Too bad he can't seem to forget the ex-boyfriend who rejected his marriage proposal.

When a talk show host launches a dating contest to find Ryan a boyfriend and Jason accidentally wins, neither of them expect anything to come from it. Yet somewhere between a disastrous massage and a mud sinkhole, they both start to wonder if this date could be more than just a public relations stunt. But before they can move into the future, they'll both have to learn to let go of the past. 

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/dating-ryan-alback


About J.E. Birk

J.E. Birk has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them since she was introduced to the alphabet. She hails from Colorado, where you can usually find her skiing, training for a 5K she won’t end up running, or watching people run into each other on football fields and in hockey rinks. You can follow her ramblings on Twitter by looking for @jebirkwrites. She’s also been known to ramble on Facebook as J Elisabeth Birk.

Connect with J.E. Birk:



To celebrate the release of Dating Ryan Alback, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide Publishing credit and their choice of ebook from J.E.’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 25, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review: A Bond of Truth (Sensual Bonds #2) by K.C. Wells

Sequel to A Bond of Three

It is twenty years since the Bond of Three returned to Teruna. The kingdom of Kandor, once Teruna’s enemy, seeks help and sends its finest warrior, Dainon, on a diplomatic mission. A solitary man since his wife and child died, Dainon is unable to explain why an encounter with a young man on a beach rocks his world to its core.

Prince Arrio of Teruna has always been attracted to men but has never acted on it—until he meets Dainon. Headstrong Arrio goes after what he wants, despite his fathers’ advice. But when Prince Kei arrives unexpectedly, Arrio finds himself drawn to both men. Is history repeating itself?

Prince Kei has his first taste of freedom and is shocked when the visions that have plagued him since childhood become reality. The three men embark on a voyage of discovery. No one has foreseen the day, however, when the arrival of a stranger threatens to destroy their bond.


Second in the Sensual Bond series, this story is set twenty years after A Bond of Three, and centres around the heir of Teruna, Prince Arrio.

Danion is on a diplomatic mission from Kandor to find out how Teruna is thriving after a plague, because Kandors numbers a dwindling, with the bulk of childbearing women dying from it, including Danion’s wife, and son.

Danion’s instant attraction to Arrio is disconcerting, especially as he is still grieving for his wife and child, but after some initial denial, he decides to go along with it while he fulfills his mission. Arrio has no such reservations, and makes his attraction known.

Just as they are starting to communicate their need for one another, Prince Kei steps onto the scene, and Danion feels like an old man next to the two younger men, deciding to step back and let them strengthen their relationship.

This was a bit angsty in some areas, with a thread of non-communication, which is annoying. I don’t like misunderstandings that can be swiftly settled with communication. It’s a pet peeve. Just talk to each other and no one will be sad.

The broader story was enjoyable. I liked the world building. I haven’t read the first book in this series, but I didn’t feel like I missed anything. Everything was set out clearly, and I think this could be read as a standalone if the reader wanted.

Prince Kei was my favourite of this trio. He hasn’t been out in the world before, so he’s finding everything he encounters magical. His dreams were confusing him, but he’s taking his new freedom in stride and enjoying himself as much as he can.

The triad was a slow burn, and there was more relationship building between Kei and Arrio overall. I can see how Danion would feel left out, especially with the age gap between him and the other two, and the secretive behaviour. If it was told entirely from Danion’s point of view, that is the impression the reader would take away too.

The sexy stuff was pretty hot, and I’d say their sexual connection worked really well, even when their communication was lacking. In this one thing, they all seemed to be on the same page.

The plot drama worked well. It connected the story together, but it was a little anticlimactic. I was expecting something different, and less clean, but it still achieved its goal.

Recommended for readers who enjoy fantasy, menage relationships and relationships with an age gap. This was sweet, but not totally fluffy.


Find on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

Book Blitz: Justin's Season by S.M. Sawyer



Title:  Justin's Season
Author: S. M. Sawyer
Publisher: Ninestar Press
Release Date: August 6, 2016 (print), February 29, 2016 (e-book)
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 101,300 words
Genre: New Adult, historical fiction, redemption, destiny, acceptance, sports, coming out, interconnected, small town, flashback, AIDS

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Synopsis

The year is 1988, and Justin Davis, a former nationally recruited football prep star, awakens from twelve years of masking his shame with drugs and alcohol to find he has been returned to his former self through what can only be described as a miracle.

Triggered by the confirmation of his closely guarded sexual orientation, his fall from grace of over a decade before sets the stage for his redemption. The fulfillment of his destiny is prompted by Providence and the serendipitous deeds of those who are a part of his new life, as their intertwined lives are likewise impacted. Though his rapid evolvement and acceptance of his homosexuality is countered by setbacks, Justin perseveres and eventually triumphs as fate, he believes, has led him back to the sports arena to recapture past glories.

In a stunning finale, however, he learns his destiny is not what he had envisioned. His calling has been thrust upon him by circumstances beyond his control. Can Justin embrace it and become the man he was always meant to be?

Excerpt

A sliver of light from the early morning sun came through an exposed slit of the basement window blind, creeping its way against the wall until it came to rest upon Justin’s eyes. He lay sleeping in a jumbled mass of musty blankets on an old steel-framed bed. After a few moments of the sun’s focused rays beckoning him to awaken, he flinched and turned his head away, and then rolled onto his left side toward a dark corner in a vain attempt to deny the day’s arrival.

For Justin, it had been another long night, and the reminder of a new day came with a reluctant anticipation akin to that of a prisoner serving a life sentence without a chance for parole. He lay there motionless, holding the sheets close to his chin as he gazed upon an iconic black-and-white poster of James Dean. The actor walked down a puddled street with a cigarette between his lips, hands in his coat pockets, and his collar turned up to keep the cold and drizzle at bay. Marching down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and into immortality.

Though it had been hanging on the wall for fifteen years, Justin, enjoying a rare and lucid moment of circumspection, studied the poster in silence as if he were looking at it for the first time. You did it right, Mr. Dean, he thought. You died early…frozen in time. Leaving everyone wanting more. Never having to answer for life’s failings.

The unwelcome light from the sun continued to fill the room, exposing the remnants of Justin’s life before the troubles. Dusty citations, press clippings, photographs, scholarship offer letters, and trophies from his high school years. Collected over a decade before, they now served as the remaining threads that connected to past glories.

This is what happens, isn’t it? You peak early and get a little cocky that you’re in control, and instead of leaving on top, you live long enough to mutate into some bad apple that people use to warn their kids. “Don’t get too full of yourself or you’ll turn out like Justin Davis.” That’s right…I’m not remembered for what I was and what I should have been. It’s easier for voyeurs to whisper among themselves about the broken, washed-up, slow-motion train wreck I’ve become—how I let my charmed life slip away.

Justin sat up and swung his legs over as if getting out of bed, but stayed sitting there to give his head time to clear from another all-night bender and to gain a semblance of balance before stepping onto the cold cement floor. His still imposing six-foot-four-inch body, an inch taller than in his high school days, was out of shape and bloated. It served as a metaphor for everything else his life had become, contrary to the Greek god physique he’d had when he was seemingly in total charge of his life and circumstances.

His blond hair was long and greasy, and his face contorted by the miseries of daily self-flagellation through alcohol, drugs, and slovenly habits. His tongue felt thick and dry, and his eyes appeared as if seared on an iron skillet. He did his best to gather whatever strength remained to get up and to live what had become his own recurring Groundhog Day. He wanted water to quench his alcohol-induced thirst and to be bathed by a sympathetic and nonjudgmental geisha, washing away impurities and regret. But again he thought of sleep and of beckoning the dreams to reacquaint him with his previous life. He eased his head onto the pillow with hopes that sleep would allow him to wander back to his senior year in high school—to a time when he was admired by all and treated as the town’s favorite son.

Justin Davis was the class hero and the most likely to succeed. He had excelled at everything—sports, scholastics, popularity—and as the top quarterback recruit in the nation he received offers from scores of college football powerhouses representing the Big Ten and other major conferences. Why then, he continually asked himself, had he let his guard down—putting everything on the line and seeking confirmation from strangers?

Throughout his life he had felt that guardian angels were with him, but they’d abandoned him when he needed them most, so they could steward over someone more deserving…someone who wouldn’t risk all for a taste of what he had been brought up to consider the forbidden fruit. He couldn’t explain it, but life’s confusions made him feel that he no longer fit the role his angels had paved for him. That maybe he’d had a hand in sabotaging it before it went too far; a secret he kept hidden from himself and others with the aid of any mind-numbing substance he could get his hands on.

With his room in the basement of his brother’s home now bathed in full light, Justin drifted back to sleep, and from his sleep he could hear the marching band and cheers from the packed stadium as he led his team, charging onto the field through the gauntlet of cheerleaders. In reliving the moment, he managed a slight smile as his dreams took him back twelve years to the fall of 1976 and the sound of the PA system announcing the starting teams for the state of Ohio’s high school football championship game.

And as the dreams continued and the light of the sun streamed through the basement’s walk-out French door and remaining windows, Justin subconsciously felt a strange and unique sensation upon his dormant soul. The feeling of his angels returning to envelop his body like fresh snow on a blemished landscape—lovingly transforming his unkempt and damaged being. They had come to caress and heal his body and spirit, and renew his faith to trust what lay ahead.

Purchase

Ninestar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

 

Meet the Author


S. M. Sawyer is a retired military officer. He has also served as a defense contractor and as President for a nationally accredited charity whose mission is to recognize exceptional maritime rescues and assist voluntary search and rescue organizations worldwide. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Natalie. They have five grown children. Justin’s Season is his debut literary effort.

Find S.M. on Facebook or send him an eMail







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Review: Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth

Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnson, a handsome, cocky skythane with a troubled past.

Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.

Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.





To be honest I liked this way more than I expected I would.  I had just finished reading an amazing series and I couldn’t help but compare this book to it.  But, once I got into the story I found myself comparing it less and less.  The world building was fascinating.  It was well thought out; no stone left unturned.  I could tell the author spent tons of time on it, planning it out to the littlest detail.

Jameson has been asked to investigate why there has been a shortage of pith, a substance used primarily for medicinal purposes.  He’s unsure as to why he was chosen for this task.  He’s a nobody, just one more psych (therapist) in a sea of others of the like.


He was nothing special, a cog in the machine.  A low-level psych who was never meant for anything greater than midlevel success.

Once he arrives on Oberon he’s greeted by Xander, who will be his escort to where the pith is manufactured.  Xander is a skythane, one of the winged humans from Oberon who are ostracized from the regular humans inhabiting the strange half-planet.  Oberon is an enigma as it is literally half a planet and no one can figure out why it still exists and hasn’t gone spinning off into the universe or broken up into itty bitty pieces.

From the moment these two meet, the story takes off to an action packed adventure filled with high flying chases, gunfights, mystery and intrigue as they journey to the edge of the world and beyond.  I was glued to my screen throughout.  I just had to know what happened next and what enfolded was a fascinating tale about destiny and greatness.  These two seemingly nobodies were much more than they first appeared. 

The writing was creative.  I loved the detailed history of the planet and its inhabitants that was told gradually as the story progressed.  The character development was well above par and all of the characters, even the secondary ones, we fully fleshed.  What I loved most was the delicate balance between sci-fi and fantasy that was woven into the book.  Most of the time when I read sci-fi, it is all logical and straightforward without any fantasy to it so it was great to see a bit of magic thrown in.

I recommend Skythane to sci-fi lovers who like a little fantasy and romance mixed in to sweeten the pot.  The romance does take a backseat but I didn’t mind at all, I was busy being distracted by the fabulous world building and enthralling storyline.  They do get their HFN though, don’t worry about that.  And the ending was left open for a sequel which I’m thankful for as I want to know more about this world.  I can’t wait for the next book!





Buy Links:

Dreamspinner - eBook: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/skythane-by-j-scott-coatsworth-8154-b

Dreamspinner - paperback: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/skythane-by-j-scott-coatsworth-8155-b

Amazon - kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Skythane-J-Scott-Coatsworth-ebook/dp/B01MUF8D9G/

Amazon - paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Skythane-J-Coatsworth/dp/1635334039/

Barnes & Noble – paperback: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/skythane-j-scott-coatsworth/1125557133?ean=9781635334036

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/skythane

iBooks: https://linkmaker.itunes.apple.com/en-us/details/1195468498?country=us&mediaType=books&term=Skythane

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33899235-skythane?from_search=true

Review: Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price

Mark Hansen thought working as artist’s assistant would be glamorous, especially if that artist was a vampire. Black tie events, witty repartee, gracing the pages of the local style section…. Didn’t happen. Not even once.

Jonathan Varga is an enigma. True, he’s quiet, generous, and scrupulously polite. But he has zero social life, refuses to be interviewed or photographed, and insists he can only consume feline blood.

Why supermarket blood won't suffice, Mark hasn’t asked. He’s rarely at a loss for words—he can dish an insult and follow it with a snap as quick as you can say “Miss Thang.” But one look at Jonathan’s black-as-sin gypsy eyes, and Mark’s objections drain away.

So he endures the perpetual grind of their routine: Jonathan hiding in his studio, swiping black paint onto black canvases. Mark hurling insults while he buffs the office to a shine with antiviral wipes. Each of them avoiding the other in a careful choreography…until a blurb in Art in America unleashes a chain of harrowing events.

As secrets from Jonathan’s past are brought to light, it becomes clear that all his precautions weren’t nearly enough.

Second expanded edition includes bonus novelette Sweet


And there goes my JCP fangirl heart! This author has a writing style that I just love. I don't think she's written a story or character that I haven't drooled all over, and Hemovore is no exception. This is vampires done brilliantly. BRILLIANTLY.

I love how talented JCP is, I can fall into her dystopian worlds so easily; true, they're not all that different from ours on the surface, but there are nuances and differences. They're easily understandable though. Huge parts of the text aren't given away to explanations of this altered world, but I understand it perfectly.

Mark and Jonathan. Jonathan and Mark. How much do I love these two? A lot, that's how much. A whole damn lot. Jonathan is V positive and Mark V negative so, it doesn't matter how much Mark wants Jonathan, he can't have him. Hell, he can't even touch the same surface without gloves on, so there is no way that anything m,ore is going to happen and Mark resigns himself to the same old, same old. Except of course life always has a curve ball to throw.

Written with care and attention to detail, this novel is gritty and gripping and I lvoe the relationship development as much as the dystopian world it is set in.

Go and read it.


Find on Goodreads!

Review: Heart & Soul by Shae Connor

Love can sneak up on you in the last place you’d expect.

Kellen Grady has known he’s gay since he was a teenager, but he’s never been that interested in dating. A professional pianist, he’s happy spending his days teaching students of all ages and his nights working and playing at an Atlanta bar and concert venue. When former pro football player Terrence Harvey and his brother buy the bar, Kellen’s thrown by the change to his routine, but he develops a quick friendship with Terrence, drawn to his sunny nature and sharp mind. Then their relationship takes a turn when Terrence surprises Kellen with a kiss. The unexpected action, though not unwelcome, leaves Kellen faced with reevaluating everything he thought he knew—about Terrence, and about himself.


Heart and Soul wrapped me up like a warm hug and nudged me gently in the feels just right. Every now and again everyone needs a story that is a little more quiet and a little more mellow. A story that is character driven and those characters are real, likeable and accessible. That’s just what Heart and Soul is. It didn’t change my view of the world and I won’t remember details in minutiae next month but I will recall how it made me feel and it made me feel . . . . well, it made me feel good.

Kellen Grady is a professional pianist and his first love is and has always been, his music. He plays in a bar in the evenings and on weekends and gives music lessons during the day. He writes his own compositions and the author didn’t have to tell me he loved what he did because I could see it in all his actions. Kellen is a pretty chill guy all around. He’s dated, but love has never really disrupted his comfortable routine.

Retired pro NFL player Terrence and his brother buy the bar that Kellen has worked at for years and that impending change in Kellen’s routine has him a little uneasy, but he’s not unreasonable and while he’s not exactly happy, he recognizes the fact that he needs to keep an open mind and keep his discomfort to himself. At the same time his sister and her toddler son have moved in with him in the family home as she is splitting with her husband. For Kellen, this is a lot of things to deal with. 

Terrence and his brother are just great. They realize that part of the charm of the bar is in all of the things that are already in place and their changes are all about improving on the existing success. It was perfect for Kellen and allowed for him to roll with the newness more comfortably and also allow him to get a little closer to Terrence along the way.

The growing relationship between Kellen and Terrence is the gold in this story. All the “upheaval” in Kellen’s life wasn’t bad, just different and it distracted him enough from his own mental ramblings so that Terrence was able to work his charms on Kellen without scaring him off. None of that was constructed mind you, it just flowed along organically and I flowed along with it.

It was refreshing to read a story with mature men who communicated in a realistic way. They never held back because of fabricated drama for the sake of it or walked away because of reasons. Their relationship progressed like a relationship should. It wasn’t too easy, but it wasn’t fraught with manufactured difficulties either and I appreciated that most of all.

Heart and Soul is the definition of a comfort read and when you’re in the need for some comfort (and who isn’t these days?) queue up this one and be reminded that the simplest things are often the best.

For more information on Heart & Soul by Shae Connor, check it out on Goodreads.


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

Review: A Single Heartbeat by Morgan Elektra

Nature made them adversaries, but one glance ignites a lust stronger than the need for blood.

After 200 years, the nightlife has lost its allure for Reese. A leader among his kind, owner of a nightclub that serves as a banquet of nubile flesh and hot blood, he is bored out of his mind.

His heart hasn't stirred in over a century.

Born to a line of vampire hunters, Will ventures out every day after dark to track down those creatures who have crossed the line from feeding to murder, and destroy them.

All he wants is one night off to drink and dance and maybe get laid.

Too bad it's not his lucky night. Or maybe it is?

Not even witnessing Will stake one of his brethren is enough to quell the lust that Reese feels from his first glimpse of the gorgeous hunter. And though Will knows how dangerous it could be to take the sensual invitation in Reese's dark eyes, he can't resist.

Why fight when they could fuck instead?


I have history of loving the enemies to lovers’ trope and when you have vampires and hunters wanting to get it on, I am all in. I mean from Buffy and Angel (or my favorite Spike) I’ve loved the angst of wanting to fuck or fight and all the play that comes before, during and after. This was right up my dark alley leading to… well, wherever it is vamps are gonna  hang out these days.
That’s all it ever took; a single heartbeat could change a life. End it. Begin it.
Reese is a double century old vampire who is tired of the scene. After the first few or 8 decades the haze of all he can get as a vampire has worn off. Now he is part owner of the hippest new club in town, Sang, and all he wants to do is chill. But when he spots a blond boy in leather dancing as if it were sex on two legs, he lets himself feel the pull of lust and of his heart.
Will, is a vampire hunter by night and while his friends don’t know about his nighttime activities, they know Will needs to unwind. When they find a way to get into Sang, he decides that a night of dancing and letting go is what he needs. As he begins relax, Will feels someone watching him as he dances, and meets the gaze of one hot man who makes his blood run hot. It could be a good thing the man watching him has a thing for blood, eh?
This was fun, sexy and at times totally cheesy but the cheese was called on by the characters so it made it funny instead of cringe worthy. The way Will and Reese met was interesting and how they both decided they meant one another no harm other than the chance to fuck each other stupid was delightful. Yup, a vampire and a vampire hunter decide that the only thing long and hard that will be sunk into anyone will be… you know? *grins*
“Ahh, hunter,” he murmured into the dark. “You are dangerous.”
I like that we get both POV’s with this so we know how each man feels about sleeping with the enemy. It was sweet how Will gave in and how much Reese wanted more than just a chance to taste a hunter’s blood. There was no need for Reese to coerce Will into anything they did in bed or the elevator or behind the club; it was as natural as can be and while they did pause for a second to question what they were doing, pure lust and want won and I was so happy that it did.
For me though, this was way too short and I sincerely hope the author is considering writing more about Reese and Will. The morning after note was enough to have me giddy, excited and hopeful.





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Blog Tour: Letters From Cupid by Ari McKay


Ari McKay are here today talking writerly things to promote their holiday novel, Letters From Cupid.


Writers are notorious eavesdroppers.

Maybe not all writers, but I dare say most of us have a tendency to listen when we’re alone in a public place. Perhaps even when we aren’t alone! A snippet of conversation floats over from the next table, and we make a mental note – or even write it down – for later use because it’s catchy or fascinating. Something about it has potential, and so we want to remember it.

Just this weekend, I was in an elevator with a fellow writer and two or three other people who were carrying on a conversation. One of them said something that was both funny and uniquely phrased, and I made a mental note to remember her line because it would make a great piece of dialogue. As soon as we were out of the elevator and away from the other group, my writer friend turned to me, quoted the exact line that had gotten my attention, and said, “Don’t let me forget that quote because it’s great.” I’m not sure which one of us is going to use it – maybe neither of us – but it’s both telling and amusing that we latched on to the same line.

I think writers tend to listen – okay, eavesdrop – because so many of us are introverts. It’s in our nature to listen rather than speak. We’re content to sit quietly and take in what’s going on around us. Our external stimulus serves to enrich our inner world. So if you are an extrovert who ever wonders if their introverted friend is really listening when they’re smiling and nodding, wonder no more. They’re listening. And if they’re also a writer, they’re probably taking mental notes for later use as well. Don’t be surprised if some little element in their next short story or novel sounds awfully familiar.

We’re also hoarders. Not of things, but of people, places, dialogue. Or perhaps we’re magpies, constantly picking up little shiny things we see every day that we want to take back to our nest. We see random people on the street and realize their outfit would be perfect for a character’s fashion style. We overhear conversations and save bits of it for dialogue. We visit a new place, fall in love with it, and decide to set a story there.

I’d say it’s probably rare that a writer doesn’t have a physical notebook or a notepad app available most of the time for jotting down the random things we see or hear that we want to remember for use in a current or future story. It’s inevitable that we’ll experience a blinding flash of inspiration as soon as we aren’t anywhere near something to take notes with. The “inspiration striking in the shower or while driving” concept is cliché, but it’s also true.  

A writer eavesdropping on his colleague is what sets the plot – and the romance – in motion in our newest release, Letters from Cupid. Macon is a tenured professor who teaches creative writing, and he’s also a writer and an introvert. He doesn’t mean to eavesdrop on his colleague’s conversation about a recent breakup, but their offices are adjoining, so he just can’t help it.

But rather than writing a short story about it, Macon is inspired by what he hears to help Derek find love again, and so he writes a letter from Cupid and leaves it on Derek’s door. He’s surprised when Derek responds, but he writes back, and the two of them begin communicating more honestly to each other through the letters than they do to anyone else face to face.


I’d like to thank Boy Meets Boy Reviews for letting us guest post as part of our blog tour. We always enjoy being able to share our thoughts about our works, our writing process, and writing in general. Letters from Cupid is being released on February 14th by Dreamspinner Press. Ari and I hope you enjoy this light holiday romance!

Blurb

2nd Edition

After breaking up with his partner, English professor Dr. Derek Chandler feels like a failure who will never win at romance. His aloof colleague, Dr. Macon Pinney, disagrees and pens an anonymous note of encouragement to Derek, which he signs “Cupid.” Thus begins an exchange of correspondence, a courtship through words where the two men find out they have a great deal in common. Meanwhile, Derek reaches out to Macon, not knowing Macon is his anonymous pen pal. Derek reveals through his letters that someone close by has piqued his interest. Could he mean Macon—or has Macon missed his opportunity and lost Derek to another man?

Perhaps the time has come for Cupid to put in an appearance, and when better to do so than Valentine’s Day?

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2015.


Cover Artist: Bree Archer

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About the Authors:

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

Website: http://arimckay.wordpress.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ari.mckay.7
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriMcKay1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6153630.Ari_McKay