Author Visit & Giveaway: No Matter What by K.A. Merikan

K.A Merikan is here and they brought GOODIES. Everybody with me, 1... 2... 3... SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!

We finished The Devil’s Ride with so many new book ideas. Some secondary characters simply have stories that need to be told, and it’s something almost impossible to plan. We knew we wanted to come up with a book about Ghost before we even finished TDR, but the idea for the story only came after we wrote the last few chapters. Ghost does mingle with bikers, he loves bikes, but he’s not a ruthless hardass like the others. He’s a good guy, who wants to do the right thing but keeps getting pulled into morally grey situations, because of his friendships and family connections. Even more so when he gets to fight for his and Luca’s love in No Matter What. Will he be able to stay true to what he believes in among all the mayhem?


A photo came through. It was a red square plate of some vegetable rolls with a brown sauce. Ghost raised his head to have an even better look around. He frowned at the plate in front of the guy, and had a discreet look at him. He was close enough to see it was a very similar dish, but that could be a coinciden― Ghost’s heart stopped beating completely when an onyx bracelet slid lower down the guy’s forearm.

And then it hit him that the guy actually had a similar coloring to Zara in the picture: dark olive skin, wavy black hair that reached past his shoulders, and dark eyes. Only other than that, he was nothing like Zara. No softness in him, just firm jawlines and broad shoulders hidden in a coffee-colored shirt with rolled-up sleeves. As striking as he was, he was most definitely not the girl from the picture.

Ghost got up even though his legs were like made out of Jell-O. Five years. Five fucking years. This meant he’d had webcam sex with a guy. Many times. He couldn’t breathe, the ring in his pocket somehow burning like acid. How could he have been so stupid? He made his way toward the table as if it were a lucid dream. A nightmare he was about to wake up from.
With the young guy busy with his cell phone, one of the middle-aged businessmen noticed Ghost first. He straightened up and narrowed his eyes, tapping the chopsticks against his plate.

“Can we help you?” he asked in a heavily accented voice.

‘Zara’, or whatever his name was, raised his eyes, and the small smile he was sporting fell from his lips like slush on a sunny day. God, he was even prettier up close, with thick eyebrows and a straight, shapely nose. His mouth dropped open, but he made no sound as he stared at Ghost, wide-eyed.

Ghost ignored the older man, and looked straight into the eyes of someone whom he knew so well, yet didn’t know at all. “How could you do this to me?” was all he managed to choke out.

Cover & Blurb:
--- A gentle heart has no place in an outlaw’s chest ---

Ghost. Not a member of the Coffin Nails MC. Not a doctor anymore. Not gay.

Luca. Bent, not broken. Will not let go of Ghost. No matter what.

Ghost finds out the hard way that people you meet online aren’t always who they seem to be. When he met ‘Zara’ five years ago, they became inseparable. She’s been with him through the rough and the smooth. He’s been there for her when her abusive boyfriend had her in tears.

She is The One, and despite all his friends considering him crazy, Ghost is about to propose.

But ‘Zara’ turns out to be Luca, and Luca is most definitely a guy. Yet Luca is the same person with big dark eyes, so desperate to be saved that Ghost can’t help but fall head first.

Luca’s so-called boyfriend is not just abusive. He is a Sicilian drug lord, a man dangerous and ruthless. If Ghost is to ever save the person who wreaked havoc on his heart, he has to make a deal with the Coffin Nails MC. But being a member is a destiny he’s always tried to avoid. And when a life of violence becomes too much to bear, he might be the one needing Luca to catch him when he falls.


Themes: Outlaw motorcycle club, criminal activity, hurt/comfort, abuse, catfishing, independence, sexual orientation issues, mafia, PTSD

Genre: M/M erotic romance, suspense, drama

Length: ~100,000 words standalone novel

WARNING: Adult content. Explicit gay sex, strong language, violence, potentially triggering sexual abuse scenes. Reader discretion advised.

Book Links:
And you can check out some inspiration images for No Matter What HERE.

About the authors:
K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of - it will be full of surprises.


More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:
K.A. Merikan’s author page

Enter to win an ebook copy of No Matter What! Comment below with your contact info (email, Goodreads, Twitter, etc) and you'll be entered to win. The giveaway ends on Saturday, May 2 at 9PM PST and a winner will be randomly drawn.

Thanks for stopping by & GOOD LUCK!

Review: Ever the Same by B.A. Tortuga

Audie Barrack is in it up to his elbows with a sick calf when his son’s school calls. Seems Grainger has gotten into yet another fight. When he walks into the principal’s office, he’s shocked to find his son has been fighting with a little girl named Randi.

A little girl with one blind dad and one dad who recently passed away.


Dixon has lost his sight, his career, and his husband. Thank God for his brothers, Momma and Daddy, and his little girl, or he would simply give up. The last thing he needs is for Randi to start trouble at school, especially trouble that puts him in contact with another dad who might expect him to be a functional human being.

Dixon is struggling to live as a blind man, Audie is terrified someone might see he has a closet to come out of, and everyone from the school to both men’s families is worried for the men and their children. Unless they get themselves together and commit to change, neither of them stands a chance.

Ever the Same is a very sweet and touching story. 

Dixon and Audie being together was so natural. They slowly progressed from friends to lovers, as their kids became friends and they saw each other more and more. Before they knew it, they became the most important thing in each other's lives, but it was kind of inevitable, since they were basically perfect for each other.

Their romance was easy. Outside of their family drama, they had a very open and loving relationship. They were honest and thoughtful, and didn't let anything get in the way of finding happiness with their new family they created. I liked that regardless of everything else going on, they relied on each other.

While I loved the couple, their dialogue really threw me off quite a few times. It was stiff and unnatural to me, especially the dirty talk. They said things like 'that's cool' and 'that rocks' a lot and, I don't know, it sounded weird to me. The conversations were a bit long winded and a little hard to follow sometimes. 

The kids were cute! While I don't think they sounded kindergartners, they were still adorable. I especially loved Randi and how she worried about and helped her dad. She really stepped up and was such a sweet girl, she was never asked to help so much, it's just who she was and I loved it. 

It was a nice story. I liked the characters, but the writing style lost me. 

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more info on Goodreads.

Review: Death by Dragon by Madeleine Ribbon

Fell Harwick, half-incubus and witch extraordinaire, knows how he'll die. Ever since he was a child, he's had visions of a dragon tearing him to pieces. Since he's not terribly fond of the idea--and the power-hungry vampire that killed his mother is now after him for his unprecedented healing abilities--he's gone into hiding. But when a pair of shifters get shot in front of his cabin in the woods, he feels obligated to keep them safe.

Jett and Theodore are members of the local resistance, fighting against the same vamp that wants Fell. Theodore is a beautiful, tragic mess, and Jett hates all incubi on principle--something Fell finds out as he tries to take energy to power his healing magic.

Jett and Fell might have been able to work around one paranormal prejudice. Jett even encourages Fell into sex with Theodore when he needs energy. But then Fell discovers that his future killer has been sleeping on his couch.

So, Fell is now on my list of all-time favorite MC’s. He was a great character without turning into a caricature. On the surface, he’s a geeky, snarky loner who’s socially awkward so he never really knows when to put the brakes on his yapper. There’s a fine line for that kind of character. He could have quickly turned into a cliché, but the author kept his obvious distinctions reined in just right so instead of being over the top and hard to take seriously, he turned into someone I wanted to root for and hang out with.

Now, on the surface, I loved the premise, but my bitter and jaded soul was waiting to be a little irritated with a couple of points. In general I’m not a fan of love triangles, some poor schmuck is gonna get left out in the cold and then I’m pre-sad for him through the whole story. I’m not a big fan of using “magic” as the excuse for plot points. I don’t want to read how characters absolutely HAD to bone, you know, for the magic. BUT, and this is a big ol’ but, it totally worked here. And it worked because of the characters.

Fell is part witch and part incubus. He needs to get energy from the souls of others to fuel his magic and he gets that energy through sexual contact. He can usually get by with a heavy make out session and he’s not really comfortable using people that way. One of his biggest witchy skills is that he can heal others which makes him a hot commodity in the paranormal world. There’s an ongoing war between two factions and Fell wants nothing to do with any of the shenanigans so he keeps himself off the grid so he can live his life in his cabin, losing himself in his RPGs and tending to his garden. In one night his peace is taken from him when a group of four shifters gets chased onto his land by a group of humans, with guns a-blazin’. Two of the shifters survived, Jethro and Theodore and Theodore is a mess who needs Fell’s skills as a healer desperately.

Jethro, or Jett, as he’s more commonly known , and Theodore are adoptive brothers. Theodore’s family took Jett in as one of their own. The other two shifters who were killed on Fell’s land were Theodore’s bio-dad and his twin sister. From what I gather from the story, Theodore and his sister were two halves of a whole and Theodore was fundamentally changed after the event. We never know Theodore before so we have to go by what Jett tells us, but I don’t feel like I was missing anything or that Theodore wasn’t a fully fleshed out character. I could tell he had some emotional issues from the start and he definitely wasn’t a bad guy/wolf by any means, he just wasn’t good enough for Fell to me. Jett is a dragon shifter and has some seriously bad history with incubi and is distrustful of Fell from the start. Fell is SO attracted to Jett and you could tell Jett felt the same (in a super subtle way) but as soon as he found out about Fell’s half-incubus genetics he backed right off. It stood between them as an unspoken barrier from that point on. Theodore and Fell were attracted to one another too and struck up a casual boyfriends-with-benefits arrangement. Fell needed the energy, Theodore needed a connection and they all needed each other for the upcoming battles they were all soon to be a part of.

This wasn’t a typical love story, but it was definitely romantic in a subtle way. It’s heavier on the action and world building than it is on the hearts and flowers, but again, the characters are great so I was ok with it. And besides, sappy declarations of love in the middle of a shifter and vampire war isn’t exactly reasonable. There’s a foreboding pall over the growing relationship between Fell and Jett that was always just right there the whole time. One of Fell’s other skills are his visions and his visions always come true. He’s seen his own death and he knows he’ll die by the claws of a dragon. And, given Jett is the last of the dragons, it’s not hard to figure out how the story is going to have to end. And it sucked. Jett knew it, Fell knew it and I knew it. They are truly becoming friends and dependent on one another, not just for the magic or for the protection, but for the sense of belonging they give to one another.

I wasn’t sure how the author was going to wrap this one up and still give me the happy I wanted so badly. She pulled it off though and I really liked where it went. Nothing was too clean or convenient. Sacrifices were made and it could have gone a variety of different directions at any point. I both loved and was completely frustrated at the end. I loved where the characters ended up, but just when they got there it was over and I wanted more. It was an HEA, most definitely, I was just so into these guys and loved reading about them separately, I really wanted to read more about them together. It was like the relationship was another character introduced and I wanted to know it too. The door is open for a sequel though and that would make me most happy.

For more info on Death by Dragon check it out on Goodreads.

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

Review: A Vital Chemistry by Darrah Glass (Ganymede Quartet Book 3.5)

First love, new love. 

On Valentine’s Day, Martin prepares to tell Henry he loves him. It’s not appropriate for a slave to burden a master with his feelings, but Martin doesn't think Henry will mind. He won’t let himself hope for Henry to return the sentiment, but the truth is that he feels loved. He knows how that feels because he was loved before—by his friend Richard at Ganymede. 

Martin treasures his memories of Richard, but he’s glad to be with Henry here and now. There’s a vital chemistry that draws Martin to Henry, and it’s unlike anything he’s experienced before. There’s more between them than Martin thought possible between master and slave, and he wants to believe it will endure, but he worries Henry will someday fall for a free man. Can Martin trust in Henry’s love? 

This story is told from Martin’s point of view and runs parallel to events that take place in Chapter 12 of A Willful Romantic (Ganymede Quartet Book 3). 


A Vital Chemistry perfectly exemplifies why I like Martin. He's utterly and completely devoted to Henry, is comfortable and even relishes being a slave, particularly Henry's slave. It squeezes my heart because Henry really needs someone to love him, show him he is loved by matching his demonstrativeness. Martin is more prudent, but no less enthralled.

Every day, when he combed his hair and brushed his teeth, he saw the vivid blue of his tattoo in the mirror and he was glad of his mark all over again because it connected him to Henry and put him in this house, at Henry's side.

These accompanying novellas compliment the full lengths beautifully. Here we are given more background information on Martin's time at Ganymede as a boy in love with his partner, Richard. I always enjoy these peeks into Martin and I especially loved how Darrah tied in the bittersweet of his relationship with Richard to Martin's devotion to Henry and how one facilitated the other. We were also treated to more world building and... 

Martin had heard that some of the richest women in the city had manservants who answered only to them, whose public duties were vague, and who doted on their mistresses in private, and it was further rumored that these male pets had been purchased by the women's husbands.

Hmmmmm... *taps chin* foreshadowing? I say foreshadowing and... I like it. I like it a lot for multiple reasons. Martin and I agree that Henry should procreate which makes me like him more. I want Henry to find a beard of a wife that'll be his best friend, have his children, love and accept him and leave he and Martin be which is yet another reason why I want 20 books so I can read about this. Begging is in my wheelhouse.

All told, A Vital Chemistry leaves me with a very happy feeling and also a little verklempt at the prospect of Henry and Martin's story almost being over. *see begging

I'd dearly love to see more of the lighthearted moments they shared in this novella in the next installment. It brings a different dimension to their relationship.

Experience had taught him that love made a person stronger, both giving one's heart and having the sentiment returned, and by that token he'd made Henry stronger, too.

I hate to sound like a broken record but this series is special and keeps getting better with each installment. 

A review copy was provide by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Review: In Memory Of Us by Ana Phoenix

Kite's had a crush on Shin since middle school, but never acted on it until the eve of his yearly trip to the States, when he slipped up and kissed his best friend. Shortly after, a tsunami wrecked the country and his hometown, and put all his plans on hold. Now, two years later, he's back in Japan and he wants to set things right.

When he finds Shin, though, his former best friend isn't who he used to be. Losing his parents changed Shin and now, instead of following his heart, he's dedicated his life to studying for university entrance exams and ignoring everything else. He won't let Kite get close, denying his obvious attraction and all their good memories.

Kite doesn’t want to give up on Shin, but he can’t shake the feeling that there’s something his friend isn’t telling him. Something else that happened two years ago on the day of the tsunami. He doesn’t know what it is, just that it’s destroying his friend—and possibly their shot at love.

Friends to lovers is my all time favourite theme in story and I get stupidly excited when I have the chance to read this kind of book. This one didn't disappoint. I got the gooey, yummy feeling I get when friends become more, reading this.

Kite has had two years to think about the kiss he gave his best friend last time he saw him - two years of regret? Longing? Wanting more? A lot can happen in two years though - including a tsunami that washes away the village you once called home along with many of the residents, neighbours, friends, family.

I loved seeing the world through the eyes of Kite, still the independent, sometimes controversial character he's always been, and Shin, his former best friend whose life changed dramatically after the tsunami. The relationship between these two, the push and pull, the wanting but not was wonderful to witness.

Sometimes I admit, I wanted to give Shin a wake-up call, everything he wanted was frankly there for the taking but the ghosts of his family are hard to lay to rest. Kite I loved with all my heart though. He was himself and he wasn't going to change that for anyone. I loved his sense of self, his independence and the way he knew what he wanted. He was a great character.

What we got in this book, along with two great characters, was a wonderful setting. I loved the Japan we saw here. From the rush rush of modern Tokyo to the quiet village rebuilding itself after such a horrible natural disaster. The tsunami was a metaphor really for the way Kite and Shin's friendship had gone. The slow rebuilding after a major event. I appreciated this, the physical and emotional matching. Sometimes the first steps to rebuild something are the hardest. Sometimes just knowing whether to rebuild or not takes all sorts of courage.

A really lovely romance, recommended for fans of friends to lovers, Japan or romance. I will definitely be looking out for more by this author.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
Find out more on Goodreads.

Book Blast & Give-Away: The Memory of Us by Ana Phoenix

Kite’s had a crush on Shin since middle school, but never acted on it until the eve of his yearly trip to the States, when he slipped up and kissed his best friend. Shortly after, a tsunami wrecked the country and his hometown, and put all his plans on hold. Now, two years later, he’s back in Japan and he wants to set things right.
When he finds Shin, though, his former best friend isn’t who he used to be. Losing his parents changed Shin and now, instead of following his heart, he’s dedicated his life to studying for university entrance exams and ignoring everything else. He won’t let Kite get close, denying his obvious attraction and all their good memories.
Kite doesn’t want to give up on Shin, but he can’t shake the feeling that there’s something his friend isn’t telling him. Something else that happened two years ago on the day of the tsunami. He doesn’t know what it is, just that it’s destroying his friend—and possibly their shot at love.

Author Name: Ana J. Phoenix
Book Name: In Memory of Us
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Pages or Words: 100 pages, 28,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance

“You know I watched you all through high school.”
“Watched me do what?”
“Fuck around.”
Kite grimaced but didn’t know what to say. He had been promiscuous, no denying that.
“I didn’t have a crush on you in third grade,” Shin went on. “Not consciously.”
“When did it become conscious?”
Shin leaned back a little, as if he needed the distance to be able to think. “Middle school,” he said then. “We were having ice cream and suddenly you told me you’d kissed Kaoru.”
Kite furrowed his brow. He didn’t remember much about Kaoru, but he did remember coming out to his best friend over ice cream. Ice cream made him think of a time in California when his sister would take him out for a treat to get away from their parents’ fighting and she’d tell him that she would definitely never get married. He figured since he was kissing boys, he probably wouldn’t get married either.
“Kaoru was a test run,” he told Shin.
“Yeah? Was everyone after him a test run too?”
“No.” Kite lifted his hand and ran his fingers through the soft hair at the nape of Shin’s neck. “Everyone after him was to take my mind off you.”

Sales Links:
Loose Id:

About the author:
Ana is a writer of m/m romance and erotica. Her interest in hot guy-on-guy action was first sparked by reading scandalous Japanese mangas. A dirty secret she couldn’t resist. In a long bout of insanity – also known as her life — she decided to learn the language and escape to the land of sushi, sumo, and yaoi.
She’s since moved back to Europe to be with the love of her life – delicious European chocolate.
Now she resides in the sunny part of Germany where she fills her days chasing her dreams and writing about men in complicated relationships. Her family believes she’s writing “erotic manga stories.” She’s pleased they got the erotic part right, at least.

Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link:
Publisher: Loose ID
Cover Artist: Dar Albert

Tour Dates & Stops: April 21, 2015
Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, Nephylim, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Hat Party, Chris McHart, My Fiction Nook, Bayou Book Junkie, Rainbow Gold Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Cate Ashwood, Velvet Panic, Multitasking Mommas, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews, Divine Magazine

Rafflecopter Prize: 
To keep with the theme, I'm giving away a small goody bag with Japanese things. (Giveaway open to everyone anywhere in the world.) Japanese good luck charms play an important role in the story, so I'm including one in this gift bag.

Review: Brothers LaFon, Part One: Crucial Lessons (Brothers LaFon #1) by Joseph Lance Tonlet

Alexander LaFon lives a nightmare, but he deals with it. Deals with the fact that his mother abandoned him as an infant, deals with the fact that his father is never home, and deals with the fact that his older brother, Jeremiah, tortures him.

He dreams of escaping his mobile-home prison and finding a normal life. Of breaking free of his agony, finding a woman to love, becoming a teacher.

But some horrors you can never outrun. There's nowhere to hide. Some nightmares chase you in your sleep and steal your freedom like a brutal thief. Some brothers never give up and never answer why.

Note: This book contains graphic violence, non-consensual sex, child abuse, and animal cruelty.

Beautifully fucked up.

The kind of book that made me question my moral compass, because holy hell I should not be so damn intrigued by Jeremiah LaFon. He’s a sadistic psychopath with absolutely no fucks to give about anyone else’s opinion. It’s a seriously well done character study into the mind of Miah and his brother Alex. Alex gave the story its balance and a character to root for and empathize with. Growing up as the victimized brother to Miah’s brand of attention would do some hardcore damage to anyone’s mind.

For a short story, there was a great amount of history given and it made me “get” the dicked up family dynamics. I think it’s because the author did a great job of showing and minimal telling. It made Miah’s character that much more frightening. A few well-placed thoughts and actions of his gave a world of story in one or two paragraphs.

There were a couple of moments that were really tough for me to read. Wait, who am I kidding, there were a lot of moments. But, what I’m getting at it is you need to pay attention to the tags for the story. My breaking point could have been with the animals, if there had been any additional that would have been it for me like it would be for many. I bring this up because you should know that it wasn’t gratuitous or overly graphic. Disturbing? Absolutely. But, it had a point and spoke to Miah’s mind in a way that gives huge impact to the reader and to Alex.

The nighttime conversations between Miah and Alex were just as disturbing as the beatings Alex took. For me, the quitest moments can bring the greatest unease. They can lull the victim (and reader!) into a false sense of security and make us step back from the edge a bit and drop our guard. That’s pretty much the worst plan to have but damn I wanted that moment for Alex so badly even though it was doing him no favors in the long run. No matter what, Miah is his brother and Alex loves his brother.

I cheered for Alex when he was finally able to make his break, but also wasn’t naïve enough to believe that would be it. The escape was a tease and the end broke my heart and intrigued the hell out of me. While the story doesn’t end on a cliffhanger per se, it does open the door to a whole new chapter for this extremely disturbed relationship. I’ll be right there ready to read it too. Of course I’ll have to have something on deck that is so sickeningly sweet I’ll get a cavity just reading it, for brain cleansing purposes, but it’s totally worth every word.

For more info on the Brothers LaFon check it out on Goodreads!

Review: A Willful Romantic by Darrah Glass (Ganymede Quartet Book 3)

Love is everything, but sometimes it’s not enough. 

At the dawn of 1901, Henry Blackwell is gathering the courage to share his feelings with his companion slave Martin. Henry is in love, and he’d do anything to make Martin love him in return. In anticipation of making such a declaration, Henry works to be a better person, the sort of man whose love is worth having. 

But simply having love returned isn’t enough. Henry wants unreasonable things, impossible things. He wants his love for Martin to be accepted and acknowledged, even admired, by the world at large. He desperately wants there to be a place in the city where he can behave as he likes with the person he loves. Practical Martin doesn't approve of Henry’s romantic notions and urges caution. Henry struggles between keeping Martin happy and pursuing his dream of acceptance. 

This is the third of four installments in the Ganymede Quartet, continuing the story from A Proper Lover (Ganymede Quartet Book 2). 

A rose is never just a rose.

 photo 3d-abstract_widewallpaper_bouquet-of-roses-for-jeri_41184_zpsl2zb3y6u.jpg

Certainly not as far as Henry's concerned. 

Recently Darrah posted a poll asking who was your favorite, Henry or Martin. I voted for Henry, sort of looked at the results, noticed there was only one other person who voted for Henry but there weren't a lot of cumulative votes so I shrugged it off thinking it was a fluke. Later Darrah informed me that no, in fact, most preferred Martin.

*covers Henry's ears*


How can this possibly be true? He's a dandy of the highest order! He's a romantic! He's so humble and bashful and blushing and... OHEMMMGEEEEE WHY DON'T PEOPLE LOVE HIM AS MUCH AS ME?!?!? Ahem. I'm hopeful more people will recognize how lovely he is after this installment.

In A Willful Romantic Henry tries to be worthy of Martin and undergoes some personal growth in these first three months of 1901. He seems to be coming into his own but not infallible and his mistakes are usually titillating and amusing to varying degrees. He continues to struggle with possessiveness and jealousy but I think this is part of his charm, and I suspect, Martin shares my view. 

"The way I feel... " Martin began. "I keep thinking, Henry, that if you ever stopped wanting to make love to me, I'd die."

These two are gaga for each other and declare their love which makes the next hurdle a bit more challenging. You see, Henry is desperate to have people recognize and accept he and Martin as a couple, though this is strictly prohibited. Uncle Reggie or cousin Jesse could prove helpful in helping them find a place more accepting of their love but, then again, perhaps not. How Henry handles having to adhere to society's rules is the focal point of this installment. Henry gets more and more daring much to Martin's displeasure. 

It bothered Henry that Martin didn't particularly mind how their displays of affection were restricted, perfectly content with the status quo; whereas Henry wanted the freedom to show everyone how undeniably they belonged together with explicit clarity.

Aside from Henry's growth and his struggles with feeling stifled there was much more information given on the slaves and even a slave wedding which got a bit randy. Henry's mother seems to be emerging from her circling the planet, laudanum induced haze due to Reggie's reappearance. Why she couldn't do this for her own children is beyond me. Were she a real person I'd likely find a way to "accidentally" bitch slap for her decade spent in absentia. Henry's father is stern and taciturn but the more we find out about him, the more I respect him. I wish he were slightly more demonstrative and verbal, but it seems his heart's in the right place. He gets points for that. Cousin Jesse shows a lot of promise. I'm quite anxious to see what sort of impact he'll have on Henry in the next installment.

"I love your body," Henry allowed himself to say. It was just shy of a straightforward declaration of love. "I love touching you, and I love the smell of your skin, and I love tasting you. I love to look at you. I love watching you come, and I love the sounds you make." He paused for a breath. "You're perfect for me, too."

As you can imagine, these two are all over each other like white on rice. I was so hoping Henry would push his envelope a bit more but there were some deliciously kinky shenanigans afoot in the Blackwell mansion. Often. I can't complain in the slightest. I'm sure some will take issue with the amount of sex, underage sex at that, but the connection between them can't be denied which made the sex gratifying rather than gratuitous, in my opinion.

I truly cannot say enough good things about this series and what Darrah has achieved. It's a perfect synergy between thorough research, inspired creativity and beautiful prose. I couldn't ask for anything more than that.

If you haven't given the Ganymede series a go, you should.

A review copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Review: Henning Book 1: The Hunted Prince by Hayden Thorne

Young Henning Babkis has learned not to consider himself to be anything special. Ignored and taken for granted by his family, his education suffering as a result of their neglect, he nevertheless struggles to fit in and improve himself, though with unimpressive results. He’s also learned not to expect anything more for himself, convinced that he’s doomed to live his life in a deep closet, surrounded by people who don’t care and who’d have given him a lot of grief if they were to find out he’s gay.

Things come to a sudden head when Henning’s fifteenth birthday rolls around. An unexpected and terrifying attack by a creature from another world shakes up his quiet life, and Norbert steps forward with remarkable and shocking revelations as to Henning’s true identity. And from a boy who’s grown up to think himself as a nobody, Henning discovers a previous life in a world called Wintergrave -- a world of magic, romance, and danger.

In the company of a motley bunch of former warriors, Henning must reclaim his former life and regain his powers in order to defeat an old threat. But in order to do that, he needs to convince a certain former lieutenant that the two of them were deeply bonded before and need to reform their connection now in order to get their powers back. The wrinkle? Ellery Thomas is in a happy relationship with another boy in this lifetime.

Half the time I thought, "This is a way fun ride!"

The other half, "This is boring."

Weird things have been happening and Henning has no idea what's going on. Creatures are creeping in the dark and shadows and he doesn't know what they want from him. But he does know that he wants to avoid his weird Uncle Norbert. Until he discovers that his Uncle is there to watch over him since Henning is not who he thinks he is. He's a prince from an alternate world of sorts and is being hunted down. 

The scene when Uncle Norbert told Henning about himself solidified this book in the 'fun' category. He was very matter-of-fact and just ignored Henning's parents due to their lackluster "parenting" skills. He put it all out there and expected Henning to just take his word for it.

When the Uncle was telling Henning about who he was, all I could picture was Hagrid saying, "You're a wizard, Harry."

But, anyway...

And so, the adventure begins. Henning is taken from his home, and Norbert makes sure his parents forget Hennings existence. It's like he was never there (he might have had some help from Hermione). He now stays with his Uncle and his friend Cameron. Both were sent to look after Henning, and now to protect him from the creatures whispering "Your Highness" from the shadows. 

The cast of characters were great. I loved their loyalty to Henning and how much they're willing to protect him. This is very much a YA story, but I'm sure there will be romance in the future. There has to be, since Henning is destined to be with Ellery, who he was bonded to in this alternate universe. But Ellery has no idea who he is or who Henning is. He doesn't know that he's bonded to anyone, let alone a prince. 

I was expecting the bonding part of the story to be resolved in this book since the blurb hints at it. But all that's in the blurb, is all that happens in the book. There's no real resolution of anything. No climax. Nothing moved forward except for Henning discovering who he is. And then the same shenanigans with the things in the dark and 'Oh look! I have new powers!' Rinse. Repeat.

The characters were awesome, the plot was so-so. Enough to continue? Yeah, I'll pick up book 2.

A copy was provided in exhange for an honest review.

Find out more info on Goodreads!

Review and author visit: The Marrying Kind by Jay Northcote.

Today I review The Marrying Kind by Jay Northcote. Jay popped by to leave an extract from the book and buy links, so you can see what I thought, read the extract and if it tickles your fancy head straight over to pick up your own copy!!Simples.
Nathan wants to put a ring on it, but is Owen the marrying kind?

Two years on from their first date, Owen and Nathan are living together and life is good—except they’re not on the same page about marriage.

A traditionalist at heart, Nathan wants it all: the wedding, the vows, and a pair of matching rings. Owen, on the other hand, believes marriage is old-fashioned and unnecessary. They don’t need a wedding to prove their commitment to each other. Love should be enough on its own.

All it takes is one moment of weakness on a night out to force the issue. Owen finds himself engaged after a half-drunk proposal, and Nathan’s enthusiasm sweeps him along. But as the big day approaches, the mounting tension finally combusts.

If he’s going to save their relationship, Owen will need to decide once and for all if he’s truly the marrying kind. 
I know when I pick up a Jay Northcote story I'm going to enjoy it. I have to admit though, I was a teeny tiny bit apprehensive about reading this one. I love the thrill of characters first falling in love and think it takes real skill to write about established couples. Not that I think Jay doesn't have that skill, but...well, you know when you pick up a sequel and it's not quite all that?  I was worried...I shouldn't have been though!

I loved reading the story of Owen and Nathan's continuing romance and the next steps towards marriage. I have to admit that some of it resonated so clearly with myself and my husband when we got married, he really is not one for weddings at all. All that fuss and money - not his scene. (We ended up getting married just the two of us in Austria and it was beautiful and romantic and I loved every second of it)). So I could understand Owen's feelings, as well as Nathan's. 

I loved the fact that, despite their different worries, it was so clear throughout this story that they were still very much in love with each other. THAT is marriage. Different feelings but eventually working together to make it work. In fact this was what really resonated with me. The love I felt these two shared. I also liked the fact that Jay Northcote didn't resort to a big misunderstanding and go down that route. Okay, there were arguments - that's a part of life. There was ways things could have been resolved more easily...if we lived in a perfect world and I'm glad even this book world isn't perfect because it is real. And the reality is that love wins. 

Somewhere about 70% my heart stopped for one icy minute. I wasn't sure, couldn't quite say how things would end...

But despite that (because of that?) I truly enjoyed this book. Nathan and Owen will stay with me for a while because at the end of the day they love each other and I love love. Another winner from this author, for me anyway.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

Series info: 
The Marrying Kind is a sequel to The Dating Game. It continues Owen and Nathan's story, so I recommend you read The Dating Game first. I have no firm plans for more stories about Owen and Nathan. The Marrying Kind has a definite happy ending, so please consider their story complete for now.

Nathan glanced surreptitiously at Owen sitting beside him as Jack and Simon spoke their vows. Jack’s voice was quiet but sure, and Simon’s rang out clearly over the assembled crowd.

Owen’s gaze was fixed on the couple, and his eyes were suspiciously bright. As Nathan watched, Owen cleared his throat and wiped what Nathan assumed was a tear out of the corner of his eye.

Nathan suppressed a smile and turned his attention back to the groom and groom. So much for Owen’s protests that he didn’t see the point in weddings and that they were outdated, pointless events that were stupid even for straight couples unless they were religious. Even if he didn’t believe in the principle of marriage—gay or otherwise—it was nice to see he wasn’t totally immune to the emotion of the occasion. Nathan was going to enjoy taking the piss out of Owen later. But in the meantime, he reached for Owen’s hand and squeezed. Owen squeezed back.

Nathan’s eyes were moist too by the time they’d finished. The part where the celebrant said “I now pronounce you husband and husband” really set him off. Simon looked so utterly radiant after he and Jack finally stopped kissing and turned to face the wedding guests, hand in hand. Jack was flushed and awkward compared to Simon. He obviously wasn’t happy being the centre of attention, unlike his new husband, but his smile was genuine and the joy rolled off both of them, touching everyone in the room.

Nathan sighed. Owen’s hand was still in his. Their fingers were tangled together casually—just like their lives. They’d been in a relationship for over two years now, living together for half of that, and Nathan had never been happier. But looking at Simon and Jack, he wanted more. He wanted that. But he was afraid to ask Owen, because he was pretty sure what his answer would be, and it wouldn’t be the one Nathan hoped for.

Title: The Marrying Kind
Series: Owen & Nathan – part 2
Author: Jay Northcote
Genre: contemporary m/m romance
Length: 35,000 words approx
Release date: Friday 17th April 2015
Publisher: self-published (Jaybird Press)
Editor: Sue Adams
Cover artist: Garrett Leigh

Buy links:

Author Bio:
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.