Audiobook Review: The Necromancer's Dance (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1) by S.J. Himes

In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset 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 drawn 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 as to 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.

Narrator: Joel Leslie
Listening Length: 8 hours and 8 minutes

Reviewer: R *A Reader Obsessed*

Wow. I admit I didn’t have very high expectations going into this, but I have to say that this was pretty darn good urban/paranormal fantasy. Full of rich world building, great characters, and incorporating many elements we’ve all read before - sorcery and vampires and demons abound, as well as the lovely obtuse politics and power plays that are often prominent among such supernaturals. Just color me impressed.

Angelus is a necromancer and a very powerful one at that. Revered and feared among both magical and vampire alike, he decimated over a 100 vamps who were bespelled to kill his entire family, leaving him and his brother the lone survivors of the devastating attack. It’s years later, and he just wants to be left in peace, but there’s many who won’t let things go. As Angelus tries to figure out who is behind the multiple attempts on his life, his acquaintance with the local elder vampire, Simeon, develops into something much more than he ever anticipated. These two are an unlikely pair, but once Simeon makes his feelings known, their relationship progresses quickly but not too implausibly. Of course, things are never that easy.

This definitely brought me back to the days when I gobbled up M/F urban and paranormal fantasy (just slightly reminiscent of Anita Blake, minus the multiple bed partners so far), and it was refreshing to get it from a male protagonist’s point of view, as is my reaction with all M/M that I read. I wasn’t bored once, and this was surprisingly quite smexy!! Bonus points!!

As an aside, I listened to the narration of this book, and it was the first for me by Joel Leslie. This narrator has a ton of books under his belt (over 50) and obviously, probably, is quite popular. However, it took me a long time to acclimate to his voice and to me, his over the top Bostonian and Irish accents. Though I will definitely read the sequel to this series, my foray into this narrator will take a little more consideration.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the audio in exchange for an honest review.

Find on Goodreads!

Review: Forgotten Paradise by Shira Anthony

It’s dangerous diving for secrets.

When a mega company threatens to take over his family-owned business, programming prodigy Adam Preston escapes the stress with a much-needed vacation in the Dominican Republic. There he meets attractive, intelligent, insightful Jonah James, a scuba dive instructor, and what starts as a holiday fling soon blossoms into much more.

But Jonah has a secret: ten years ago he woke up on an island beach with no idea how he got there… or even who he is. Their paradise may not be as perfect as it seems. When Jonah’s memories come crashing back like waves on the sand, will it be Adam clinging to the proverbial life raft, or will the two men find a safe harbor to ride out the storm?

The dedication to this book is exactly why I read and enjoy the hell out of this series. I adore romance and the ride it takes me on. This series is simply fun and romantic and I will never get enough.

Adam Preston is on vacation in the Dominican Republic by the order of his sister in an attempt to relax and unwind from the chaos that is currently his professional life. Adam is the CEO of his family's company that he took over after the passing of his father. When Adam began developing apps for Prestco Inc., the company showed profit and now a big Silicon Valley company, Entech wants to buy them out. The problem with that is Adam isn’t sure he wants to sell and he has his brother, mother and sister to consider in the offer too. It’s a good thing he’s on a beach vacation and loves to go diving. It’s also a good thing that in order to dive, he needs an instructor from the hotel to go with him.

Jonah James can’t remember anything before waking up on a beach with a life vest on some ten years ago and being rescued by a generous woman. He’s done what he can to live a life without his full memory and he has seemingly thrived being a dive instructor and working at hotels. Being at this current hotels offers him the chance to dive almost daily and help out guests when they get lost.

The meet cute with Adam and Jonah was just that, cute. I am just like Adam and lack all sense of direction but thank goodness Jonah was there to help him out. It’s a good thing Jonah was around later to have a drink with Adam and share a few secrets… the story gets going.

I loved this. I loved the connection and the chemistry between Adam and Jonah. Getting the dual POV was a blessing as I liked being front and center for the memories as they return to Jonah and what seems to trigger him.

Amnesia stories in romances are a favorite of mine. Though most tropes in romance truly are for a hopeless romantic like myself. There is the attraction to either leaving it all behind and becoming the new you or finding out who you were and blending the past with the present. It’s hard to read the reason why Jonah has lost his memories and what led to it. He was lost, so lost 10 years ago and losing who he was, allowed him to really find himself.

Adam was adorable as heck and I liked that while he had no sense of direction, he didn’t have two left feet. The men dance well with their emotions and around the physical attraction until they decide a resort romance and no fraternizing policy isn’t enough to stop what they both want.


The twist to Jonah’s identity was a surprise to me and it gave the story a new appeal. How would this work? How would Jonah go back to who he was and could they even have a possible future together? Gah! It was done so well and I think I fell in love with Adam and Jonah for a second time.

The supporting characters were exactly that, supporting to the men and wonderful additions to the story. Adam’s family are fantastic and even though I wanted to punch Phil a few times on behalf of Jonah and Adam, toward the end I felt a bit of empathy for him and what he went through.

Forgotten Paradise was a romantic trip down amnesia lane full of the tropey goodness only a story like this could offer. Full of romance, mystery and enough fluff that cushions your decent as you fall in love with Adam and Jonah.
Don't miss the Forgotten Paradise tour stop HERE!

Review: Under Pressure (No Pressure, No Diamonds #1) by Kara Greenan

In the dangerous world of high profile theft, love is often a fantasy the wealthy and naive are sold. Grifter Sebastian Walker sells love like nobody else, leaving a trail of vacated bank accounts, empty champagne bottles and broken hearts in his wake. The one heart he never meant to break was London’s.

Considered by many to be the greatest thief of his age, London favours a minimalist life, devoid even of a surname. He lives for the next job, liberating art from museum walls and prized treasures from collector’s vaults. When he and Sebastian collide in Venice on a con to steal a priceless copy of Michelangelo's David, the unthinkable happens: they begin to fall in love.

A long, lonely year later, Sebastian emerges as a new member of London’s team of world-class thieves. London knows he can’t trust him. Sebastian lies, better than anyone else, for a living. Sebastian wonders how he could ever entrust something as precious as his heart to a born thief. But as they team up for another perilous heist, they discover the true value might not be in the diamonds they’re stealing, but in each other.

There is something about a story that has a MC who is a thief that gets me. It’s the romanticizing of someone doing something so blatantly illegal and how much they get off on the thrill of it all. Them getting off helps this reader engage in the story and if you toss is a grifter, a professional con man as the thief’s love interest well then, just call me a goner. This book, this romance, this heist… I was gone for it so damn fast.
London is a thief, Sebastian a professional liar. Long story short, they'd never work out.
Told in dual POV’s as well as past/present storytelling, we get the story of London and Sebastian. As we first meet London, he is doing what he does best… balancing and planning as any young and infamous cat burglar would do when a huge heist is his next job. With his team of intelligent and bad ass misfits (Amelia, Hale and Frankie) they have the perfect plan to steal diamonds but are sadly missing one important piece; someone to distract the guards. When Frankie suggests they call in Sebastian Walker, London throws a fit and crawls out a window. Literally. He is all about taking the high road or at least the highest roads possible to get around town and he wants to get as far away from the idea of being near Sebastian again. Though he doth protest, he does it too much and we get the why of London’s unwillingness to work with Sebastian.
You see, London and Sebastian met on a job a year ago in Venice and while the men attempted to stay professional, that didn’t last long at all. I love that the story is told in both tenses as we see how the men are today and then we find out what really happened in Venice. We know from London, Sebastian walked away with only a word on a notepad and kinda broke London’s heart since he thought they were more than just sex. But after Sebastian walked away, London now wonders if their short term romance was just one of Sebastian’s cons.
Goodness. I loved being in both men’s heads seeing as how much they are lusting and longing after one another. Getting their first meeting from Sebastian’s POV we know there is the bit of hero worship for London as he is well known for his talents and we also know that Sebastian is good a being a grifter because he is devastatingly handsome and loves what he does. Actually, everyone on the team absolutely loves what they do even though it’s illegal and that made this so much fun.
Psst… If you are looking for a comparison for this book, this Ocean’s Eleven but, well better. To me anyway.
So, there is history between Sebastian and London and while we have the angst in the present, wondering if London will let his guard down to the pleading (seriously, I melt every time Sebastian says, or um, begs Please to London) and the story of why they are in the current position from the past. As we go back and forth, we learn so much about each of these men and why they’ve become criminals. Both London and Sebastian have less than stellar childhoods though one could argue Sebastian, with his ridiculous name with the fancy title had it better but that is just surface judgment. Regardless, the push and pull of the sexual tension and trust between these two was amazing. The chemistry was off the charts and the sensuality and just downright sexiness of both of them together, was smoking!
Honestly. There are some ridiculously hot scenes in this book that are totally rimming, I mean winning from every corner of UNF you can think of. I love what London likes and that Sebastian likes doing what London likes because it’s hot. Every freaking time it is and good lord, you can’t go wrong with the winning. *winks*
The heist is almost another character in this story and it’s so detailed, smart and action packed I couldn’t get enough. Even the other jobs they do before and the recon so they can learn to work as a team were so entertaining.  I mean, who knew running away from cops on rooftops and gondolas could be ultimate foreplay?  
We aren’t supposed to be seen. When you grift, all the focus is literally on you, that’s the whole con.
At the heart of this love story though is the trust between London and Sebastian that has disappeared. Yes, both men are criminals but you have London who is a cat burglar and Sebastian who is a con man. How would it even work for these two to have a relationship??? That lies solely in the artful storytelling of the author and I have to say she knocked it out of the park! I was worried really about them up until that last chapter and then she just knocked me on my ass and made me get way too emotional for a Tuesday at work.
Wow. What a fabulous debut from Kara Greenan. A fabulous start to a new series that I hope has Sebastian and London at each other’s throats and in each other’s hearts for a very long time.

Bring on book two. I’m ready.

Giveaway + Blog Tour: For A Good Time, Call by Anne Tenino & E.J. Russell

Anne Tenino & E.J. Russell are here today to promote their new MM romance which is part of the Bluewater Bay series.

Also, they're offering a boss giveaway! Be sure to enter below!

Welcome to the For a Good Time, Call Blog Tour! We’re delighted to have you stop by, so please, make yourself comfortable. Can we offer you a virtual beverage?

As part of this blog tour, Anne and E.J. are giving away a $50 Riptide Publishing Gift Certificate to one lucky winner! *confetti* To enter the giveaway, please comment on any official tour post with your name and contact info before midnight (EDT), April 15th. Good luck, and enjoy the tour!

About For a Good Time, Call…

Thirty-seven-year-old Nate Albano’s second relationship ever ended three years ago, and since he’s grace—gray asexual—he doesn’t anticipate beating the odds to find a third. Still, he’s got his dog, his hobbies, and his job as a special effects technician on Wolf’s Landing, so he can’t complain—much.

Seth Larson, umpteenth generation Bluewater Bay, is the quintessential good-time guy, content with tending bar and being his grandmother’s handyman. The night they meet, Seth’s looking for some recreational sex to escape family drama. But for Nate, romantic attraction comes before sexual attraction, so while Seth thinks they’re hooking up, Nate just wants to talk . . . genealogy?

Dude. Seriously?

So they declare a “just friends” truce. Then Seth asks for Nate’s help investigating a sinister Larson family secret, and their feelings start edging way beyond platonic. But Nate may want more than Seth can give him, and Seth may not be able to leave his good-time image behind. Unless they can find a way to merge carefree with commitment, they could miss out on true love—the best time of all.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. WittL.B. GreggZ.A. Maxfield,  Heidi BelleauRachel HaimowitzAnne TeninoAmy LaneSE JakesG.B. GordonJaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landingmedia empire. 

About Anne Tenino

Catalyzed by her discovery of LGBTQ romance, Anne Tenino left the lucrative fields of art history, non-profit fundraising, and domestic engineering to follow her dream of become a starving romance author. For good or ill, her snarky, silly, quasi-British sense of humor came along for the ride.

Anne applies her particular blend of romance, comedy and gay protagonists to contemporary, scifi and paranormal tales. Her works have won awards, she’s been featured in RT Book Reviews, and has achieved bestseller status on Amazon’s gay romance list.

Born and raised in Oregon, Anne lives in Portland with her husband and two kids, who have all taken a sacred oath to never read her books. She can usually be found at her computer, procrastinating.

Connect with Anne:

About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:
·         Website:
·         Blog:
·         Facebook:
·         Twitter:
·         Pinterest:

To celebrate the release of For a Good Time, Call…, one lucky winner will receive a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 15, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review: Suck the Savage Beast (Sons of Outlaws #3) by James COX

Earth beasts are sexier than he expected…

Welliver is a scientist first and an Outlaw MC member second. He’s the smartest man in the crew that’s exploring earth to create a new home. But when a monster attacks them and he’s separated from the crew, he is saved by a savage and sexy beast.

The beast doesn’t remember his name. He was sent to the earth prison when he was just a boy but was left behind when the prison was evacuated. Beast has spent nearly twenty years alone on earth, trying to survive this dangerous world. He’s animalistic and maybe the best hope humans have for staying alive with these new threats.

Beast doesn’t understand it’s not okay to lick strangers, or the whole wearing clothes thing but neither man is prepared for the attraction between them. Welliver will have to pull on his Outlaw MC heritage to endure the wilds of earth but how will survive the savage beast?

I ask you, how does one not buy this book for the title alone?

Beyond that, I loved this installment of the Sons of Outlaws series. If you’ve been following along, and you should be, the Sons of Outlaws are in the process of relocating to Earth from Mars. Mars is becoming uninhabitable and the there’s a small scouting crew that has landed on Earth to check the viability of the place and to get some prepwork going. In Suck the Savage Beast we get to know Deviant and Tage’s kids Welliver and Lily. I have to say, it was pretty awesome how Deviant’s kids turned out. They aren’t much like Deviant at all, but the family vibe is strong. Tage is back on Mars so it’s just Deviant and his kids on Earth along with a few others.

Welliver and Lily are brilliant braniacs and Welliver is always sure to keep everyone advised as to his genius status. While he’s cocky on the surface, he’s riddled with insecurities at the same time. He wraps himself in equations and calculations boosting his outward confidence, but when it comes to personal interactions, he’s at a complete loss. It was fun to read a COX character who was so different than any I’d read before. He still had the touch of COX in him though because he could be an amusingly cocky little shit at times and I really liked that about him. I did like his vulnerability more though and when he meets Beast I knew I’d be loving these two guys together.

Beast was left behind when the Earth prison was abandoned many moons ago and the poor dude has been living alone and fending for himself for years. He hasn’t seen another human, mostly just the rabid octopus thingies, so his social skills aren’t on point, but Welliver is way too busy drooling over the sexy sexiness to worry about niceties.

My favorite parts of the story were the moments when Welliver was feeling a little vulnerable and was having trouble believing Beast could be interested in him for more than just balling and bailing, like what Well was used to. That’s when Beast would step up and let Welliver know, in his own deliciously Beasty way, that Beast was in this for more than just the bone-n-go. Beast really was into Welliver and I totally got his sincerity throughout. It was really very sweet in a Tarzan meets Brain kind of way. As I got to know Beast and his history too, I was all kinds of happy for him to finally get someone to love and for him to be loved. The ending scene was romantic and dirty and just right for the two of them.

So, Earth is getting ready for the citizens of Mars, the new Earth dwellers are battling the gnarly octopi and there is still plenty of story left to tell for all these characters. The Dick Defender is up next, telling Helrick’s tale. And again, I ask you, how does one not buy this story for the title alone?

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

Tag Team Review: Starting From Scratch (Housemates #5) by Jay Northcote

Starting over isn’t easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.

Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He’s starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he’ll have to disclose his secret.

Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants—in the short term at least. Ben’s guarded at first, and Sid’s not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben’s defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.

It doesn’t matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He’s attracted to the whole person, and isn’t worried about what is—or isn’t—in Ben’s pants. They’re good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben’s insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he's committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.


Adam - 3.5 Hearts

Back from the holidays, Ben resolves to make friends. Being a gay trans man comes with certain challenges, and Ben’s insecurities have made it difficult to meet new people.

I really appreciated the way Ben’s experiences were portrayed. It was clear that Jay Northcote was writing parts of his own life into the pages. Ben deals with gender dysphoria and people’s misconceptions, but he’s also determined to live his life to the fullest.

Sid is also very likeable from the beginning. He’s very different from Ben - outgoing and a bit of a flirt. I thought his reaction to finding out that Ben was transgender was authentic. He has to give it some thought, but he doesn’t let that overshadow how much he likes Ben.

The romance between Ben and Sid begins slowly. There’s some flirting and text messages, but Ben shies away a few times. Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of the hot-and-cold routine, but I completely understood where Ben was coming from.

Once Ben agrees to a date, he and Sid take things at a gradual pace. Previous books in this series moved considerably faster, but I liked the laid back pace in book #5.

Also, this book isn’t as steamy as previous books in the series. Ben wants to take things slowly, and Sid’s completely fine with that. While there may not be a sex scene every few pages, the sex scenes that were there were still hot and sweet.

This is definitely a relationship- and character-driven story. The focus is all on Sid and Ben.

The emotional connection between the two was very obvious. The affection between them grew slowly, while they were cuddling, cooking for each other, and just spending time together.

Though Ben deals with gender dysphoria and anxiety, this isn’t a particularly angsty book. The drama, when it does come near the end, doesn’t last very long.

By the end, I had no doubt that Ben and Sid would make it in the long-run. The two built a solid base for their relationship, and both were clearly head over heels for the other. Overall, this was an enjoyable slow-paced read!

Chelsea - 4.5 Hearts

Another sweet romantic book in this lovely series! This was my first book with a transgender main character and honestly, I only felt safe venturing into this genre with Jay Northcote. His characters are always loveable and his stories will always be emotional but sweet, with glorious HEA’s! And I'd say this was one of the most sweetest and angst free, as well as one of the most emotional novels in the series.

Ben is venturing out into the social world for the first time after completing his transition as a transgender man. Obviously he has to work at opening himself up to others and trusting them not to reject or hurt him, lucky for him he meets Sid who is absolute perfection. Sid automatically sees the person Ben is, the man, and falls for him with ease.

The ease of their relationship is where some conflict comes into play or me. Possibly… maybe…. this was a tad too sweet… there was nothing for these two to really develop on because they were so perfect for each other. Maybe it was just Sid that was too perfect and seeing more of his insecurities would have helped develop their relationship differently. However, on the other hand, Ben goes through a lot in his own head in regards to trusting Sid and trying to work on his own self-confidence.Transitioning was already such an emotional journey for Ben and I was glad he didn't have to go through anything else 'relationship wise’. I mean that's why I chose Northcote for my cherry popping, I knew my characters wouldn't go through hell.

It was a very fine line to balance, not making the book too sweet or too emotionally stressful, it definitely leaned toward the too sweet side but was still absolutely fabulous! It was such a great way to introduce me and any other newbies to some of the feelings and fears transgender people face.

Very much looking forward to Johnny's story! Love this series!

A copy provided for an honest review.

Don't miss today's release blitz HERE

Release Blitz: Starting From Scratch (Housemates #5) by Jay Northcote

Jay Northcote and Signal Boost Promotions are here to celebrate the release of Starting from Scratch (Housemates #5)! See our tag team review HERE! Check out today's post!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Cover: Garrett Leigh

Length: 57,000 words

The Housemates Series is a collection of standalone stories set around a student house in Britain. Each book focuses on new characters, with themes of self-discovery and sexual awakening.

Helping Hand (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Like A Lover (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Practice Makes Perfect (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Watching and Wanting (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK


Starting over isn’t easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.

Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He’s starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he’ll have to disclose his secret.

Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants—in the short term at least. Ben’s guarded at first, and Sid’s not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben’s defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.

It doesn’t matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He’s attracted to the whole person, and isn’t worried about what is—or isn’t—in Ben’s pants. They’re good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben’s insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he's committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

Author Bio

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.
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Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Hopeless Romantic by Francis Gideon

Francis Gideon is here today to promote their new trans romantic comedy, Hopeless Romantic
Be sure to enter the giveaway, too. Deets are below!

Hello everyone! I'm Francis Gideon and I'm touring for my new release Hopeless Romantic, a trans rom-com of sorts. Follow along this week as I talk about all thinks romantic comedy, trans identity, and being pretty in pink! I'm looking forward to sharing some serious 1980s nostalgia; be sure to comment with your own bit of nostalgia for a $10 giveaway for Riptide publishing.

About Hopeless Romantic

Nick Fraser is a true romantic. He wants the guy instead of the girl, but other than that, he wants everything his favorite rom-coms depict: the courtship, the passionate first kiss, the fairy-tale wedding. But after breaking up with the love of his life, Nick wonders if anything fairy-tale will ever happen for him.

Then he meets Katie, who’s just like a rom-com heroine. She’s sharp, funny, sweet, and as into music and punk culture as Nick is. What’s more, he’s incredibly attracted to her—even though she’s a woman. Nick has never considered that he might be bisexual, but his feelings for Katie are definitely real.

When Katie reveals that she’s transgender, Nick starts to see how much he doesn’t understand about the world, queer identity, and himself. He is hopelessly in love with Katie, but this isn’t a fairy tale, and Nick’s friends and family may not accept his new relationship. If he wants it all, he has to have the courage to make his fantasy a reality.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

About Francis Gideon

Francis Gideon is a nonbinary writer who dabbles in romance, mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal genres. Francis credits music, along with being an only child to a single mother, as why they write so much now. Long nights at home were either spent memorizing lyrics to pop-punk bands or reading voraciously. Add a couple of formative experiences in university, a network of weird artist friends, and after years of writing stories Francis never showed to anyone, they now have books to their name.

After receiving an MA in English literature, Francis wanted to do something a bit more fun. They soon found the LGBTQ romance community and fell in love on the spot. Since then, Francis has attempted to balance writing romances with as many different types of couples as possible while also attending school for their PhD. When not writing fiction or teaching university classes, Francis works on scholarly articles on everything from character deaths in the TV show Hannibal, the online archive of Canadian poet and artist P.K. Page, and transgender representation on YouTube. Francis is a middle name, used to keep students from Googling their teacher and asking far too many questions.

Francis lives in Canada with their partner, Travis, where they often spend nights disagreeing about what TV show to watch and making bad puns whenever possible. Travis receives dedications in Francis's novels because he tolerates Francis's long hours and listens to random story ideas late into the night. Francis also might be a bit of a hopeless romantic—as if you didn't already guess.

Connect with Francis:

To celebrate the release of Hopeless Romantic, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 15, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review: See My Words (Spectrum Nights, #2) by Melanie Hansen

Successful underwear model Scott Ashworth is lucky—his attack at the hands of an unknown assailant will leave no visible scars. His professional goals are still within reach, and best of all, his stepbrother Rylan Mahoney is back in his life, their teenage infatuation at last getting the chance to deepen into something more.

Thrown together by the circumstances of Scott’s injury, Rylan’s long-dormant feelings for him are quickly rekindled, though he’s haunted by the memory of Scott’s disappearance on the night of his eighteenth birthday and the six missing years that followed. Rylan pushes Scott for the truth, a firm believer in the maxim that secrets lose their power once they’re shared—but resurrecting old demons almost always comes with a price.

Before Scott knows it, his life is spiraling out of control, his toxic insecurities welling up to threaten the fragile relationship he’s building with Rylan. Learning to let go of the past and believe in himself will be Scott’s greatest challenge, or else he risks losing Rylan forever this time.

No one, and I mean no one, is more disappointed to see those three meager hearts up there than I. I don't even have words to explain how excited I was to read this book. I'm actually a bit ashamed of myself having been downright obnoxious about getting to the inbox every time I saw an email from Ninestar. Apologies, corns.


However, I want to make this crystal clear. The reason I didn't LOOOOVE this book is very specific to me and should be taken with a bucket of salt. 

As I've said before I work in the mental health field and this book has prominent mental health themes, something I tend to shy away from in my pleasure reads. The disorder Scott struggles with I see often. Even now I'm struggling with myself NOT to lapse into clinical speak. Suffice to say, he has a serious and persistent mental illness that isn't treated and is running his and Rylan's lives. 

I do genuinely believe Rylan and Scott are soul mates and there is an HEA. If any two people can make it I wholeheartedly hope it's them. Rylan may be the only one that can truly see Scott's words for what they actually mean. However, their relationship is unhealthy; it's imbalanced, co-dependent and toxic. The more the narrative unfolded the more I found myself reading on eggshells waiting for whatever self-sabotaging tactic Scott was going to deploy next which filled me in equal parts with dread and sorrow. The dramatics are copious but that's part and parcel of the disorder and Hansen's crafting of it is superb. In case it isn't already obvious, I started reading this like a clinician rather than a romance reader. All I saw was the mental illness, all I heard was the mental illness and all I could think about was how much Scott needed help, above and beyond what Rylan's love can provide.

Everything about Scott's characterization is remarkable and Rylan is still as loveable as ever. I'm not sure if Hansen has a mental health background but this story sure reads like it. If not, she did her research. Everything from his background to his actions is on point. Truly, it's a remarkable accomplishment and I tip my hat to her but reading it exhausted me. I need to downshift out of the mental health gig in my off time and I found that to be an impossibility with this read.

This story is very much relationship driven. Scott and Rylan are front and center. They fight and make up again and again and again but when they're good, they're great with the banter and their connection plain to see. I just wish there had been more of that to balance out the read. The unfortunate thing is I can't divorce myself from my job entirely and this felt very long. I think it could've been tightened, but I can't tell if that's me or an actuality.

This sex is frequent, but I found I couldn't enjoy it entirely because I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. A word of caution for those who balk when protags have sex with someone other than their love interest, I wouldn't characterize Scott and Rylan as polyamorous but they both have healthy sexual appetites and embrace their sexualities so when the opportunity to have a threesome presents itself, they go with it. 

Minh gives some brief snippets of levity and continued to be a fantastic secondary character. I also liked Chris and the trajectory Rylan's career took. I found the scenes on trans sex workers informative without being preachy and I appreciated the focus being on them having their own voice rather than having their voice be interpreted, and possibly watered down or whitewashed, for the masses. The Native American aspects involving spirituality and connection tothe earth as well as the scenic aspects of Arizona were both were my favorite parts. This will probably sound hokey but go big or go home, right? I was proud of Scott at the end. I know how hard that decision was for him to make but it was the right one and I think it bodes well for he and Rylan.

I've no doubt many will be moved by this read and that's largely due to Hansen's writing style being both evocative and emotive. I think what is most striking and memorable about it for me is how realistic it is from the dialogue to the emotions to the story arc. All of the people as well as their actions and emotions read authentic. However, as much as I respect the writing style and believe what Hansen has done with this conclusion is both brilliant and poignant, I will not be rereading it. Then again, I'll always have Pieces of Me and from now until forever it will be one of my favorite reads. 

A review copy was provided.

Review: Who I Am When I'm With You (Daniel and Ryan #3) by Tamryn Eradani

Daniel and Ryan have fallen into a routine, carefully keeping work and play separate. In the office, they’re co-workers, people who sometimes meet in the break room, but in the bedroom they’re different. Daniel likes being someone different. He likes being Ryan’s Daniel for a little bit every night.

We are now five weeks into this new arrangement with Ryan and Daniel. Five weeks since Ryan placed the donut on Daniel’s desk to gauge how patient and submissive the seemingly workaholic truly was.

This was supposed to be an arrangement, not a relationship, and—

As the story begins, we find Daniel at Ryan's house during a scene… on a weekday. Weekday/workdays weren’t originally part of their arrangement. It was supposed to Friday nights through possibly Sunday morning so that each of them could regroup and be ready to face the upcoming work week. But both men are eager enough to make a change because they want to see one another more. When Ryan has a need to watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and needs a warmer who is conveniently Daniel. Or at least, Daniel's mouth they begin a new page in their arrangement.

This new installment begins to take us deeper into the wants of each man beyond their scenes. When Daniel feels that he has been bad, it’s up to Ryan to fix things for him and it was super sweet that Daniel thought he had to earn all affection from Ryan when all Ryan wanted to do was hold him and watch a game show. Daniel truly is changed when he is with Ryan, it’s this part of Daniel that he wants to be and his trust in Ryan is continuously growing. It’s a treasure to watch.

I like that Ryan and Daniel are still communicating and making it the most important thing in their relationship. Ryan gets Daniel and really wants him to lose all his control and let Ryan take care of him, but can Daniel do it? Can he turn of his over thinking brain to not just be the good boy and just be who Ryan wants and needs him to be?

If he wants more, then Daniel will give him more.
He’ll give him everything.

This is much tamer in the sex department and it truly needed to be. The men need time to digest where their relationship is going and how they are going to make it all work. This focused much more on the emotional dynamics of their of their scening which was more intimate than any sex act that could have been on page.

The story ends quickly but with a sense of hope and longing for this reader to get more, to go deeper into not only the D/s dynamics of Ryan and Daniel’s arrangement but into the budding romance between them. I would love to get Ryan’s POV at least once, just to know his inner thoughts about the man at his feet. But either way, I can’t wait for more.

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