Guest Review: Hijacked Love by Ethan Stone

It’s the winter of 1971 and FBI Agent Zack Pomeroy is hoping to make a name for himself when he’s assigned the case of the century—the hijacking of an airplane by D.B. Cooper. Zack’s used to hiding his sexuality but working with Duke Magruder is even more of a challenge. Not only do they do have vastly different personalities but also contrasting opinions on how to work the case. Nonetheless, Zack is able to earn Duke’s begrudging respect.

Until Duke learns Zack’s secret.

When Zack finds a lead on the case Duke not only refuses to listen, he also refuses to work with Zack any longer. Zack’s career and his assignment are at jeopardy but that doesn’t mean he’s about to give up on finding Cooper, no matter how many years it takes.

Hijacked Love is a blend of mystery and historical fiction with a bit of romance thrown in.

Reviewer: Shee Reader

The story is a quick read but spans several decades. It opens in 1971 with a closeted FBI agent on his first day on the job. (This is before I was born, but I have it on good authority that the scene setting was spot on for the seventies) Zachary Pomeroy finds himself slap bang in the middle of an aircraft hijacking and is paired up with the grumpy old agent no-one wants to work with. It's almost thanksgiving and Zack’s partner Phil is going to be awfully disappointed when he doesn’t come home on time. Of course in the seventies there were no cellphones so there’s no secret text to one's boyfriend! There is horrific homophobia and awful ‘lifestyle choices’ language which I found distasteful, but I am reliably informed was of the time.

The case is the bulk of the story and (there is detailed reference to gay literature) the hijacker is never identified until the end of the story when (a now retired Zack) finally cracks the case with some good old fashioned detective work. Zack uses his knowledge of vintage gay literature to piece together the tiny clues. As the story whistles through the years we see sometimes change, Zack and his partner get married for example, and the ending is smart without being overly sappy.

This isn’t a traditional romance novella, though there is the side story of Zack and Phil, but I found it slightly disjointed. It’s as if this little book tried to do too much. Still, it was interesting and worth the time.

I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Audiobook Review: Two Cowboys and a Baby by BA Tortuga

A little bundle of joy means big changes.

Hoss McMasters has a working ranch, a bull riding career, a nosy momma, and a best friend he’s been in love with since he can remember. He’s a busy, happy cowboy, living the good life.

Then one morning he discovers a baby on his doorstep.

Well, Hoss does what any reasonable man would do—he calls his momma and his buddy, Sheriff Pooter, and they head to the clinic to see if Doc knows of any suddenly not-so-pregnant girls.

In the meantime, Hoss and his best friend, Bradley, have their hands full trying to care for an infant, run a ranch, and deal with the sudden confession that Bradley doesn’t hate Hoss for coming out to him in high school. In fact, Bradley’s been trying to catch Hoss’s attention for damn near a decade.

Listening Length: 5 hours and 51 minutes
Narrator: Dorian Bane

Reviewer: R *A Reader Obsessed*

3.5 Yee Haw Hearts!

This story right here probably best represents what the Dreamspun Desires series is all about, with a surefire, enjoyable experience regarding all things cowboy!

As per the blurb, Bradley has been secretly in love with his best friend Hoss for forever, feeling a not so small shame for having reacted badly when Hoss first came out. At that time, he just couldn’t reconcile his own confusing feelings and pushed Hoss away. However, these two eventually made up and have been close ever since. Hoss in turn, secretly loves Bradley back but keeps their friendship on the level, believing Bradley's straight and unobtainable.

So how does Bradley and Hoss get over themselves and confess their lurve?? Well, fortuitous happenstance drops a baby onto Hoss’s doorstep, which is the perfect, needed impetus to bring these two together. What starts out as ranch-hand-Bradley helping rodeo-lovin-Hoss keep his head above water (while they try to find the sweet girl’s mama) evolves into them meshing their lives more than ever. What a fantastic boon to realize how well they fit in all things work, play, and domesticity. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before the baby’s charm starts to work on both men, leading them to want things they never imagined and reveal desires believed to remain forever buried.

There’s just a teeny tiny wrench - actually a big misunderstanding - and their happily ever after is a bit delayed. Never fear though. Through it all, the OTT country twang to this was just so fun, silly, and heartwarming, making the aforementioned snafu easily forgivable.

Narrated by Dorian Bane, this was my second foray into him doing a Dreamspun Desires story. Though I’m still not completely sold on Bane specifically, the strong southern touch he brings to the various characters really added to the entertainment value of this little gem. Overall, quite low on the steam but high on the good feels, this was definitely a win for the series!

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

See our tag team review of the eBook title HERE!

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Romancing The Ugly Duckling (Romancing the... #2) by Clare London

Clare London along with Signal Boost Promotions are here today to promote the release of the latest Dreamspun Desire, Romancing the Ugly Duckling

Interested? See our 5 Heart review HERE, check out the excerpt below AND enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Length: 63,000 words

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover: Bree Archer


Is this the makeover of a lifetime?

Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams—track down a celebrity family’s missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.

Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated island of North Uist to escape the reminder that he’s nowhere near as handsome as his gorgeous brothers and avoid the painful childhood memories of being bullied.

Greg wants nothing to do with city life, and Perry’s never been outside London. When Perry is stranded on North Uist, this conflict seems insurmountable. But Greg is captivated by the vivacious Perry, and Perry by both the island and his host. However, Perry’s one heartfelt wish remains: that ugly duckling Greg fulfill his potential as a swan.


After the meal, they settled in the living room again. Greg poured himself a glass of what he introduced as his homemade wine, but Perry politely declined a glass for himself. He couldn’t recall any decent wine he’d ever drunk being that particular shade of purple. He was definitely making a mental shopping list for when he could find somewhere civilized, and gin and tonic would come several steps above couscous on that.

Greg picked up a book and started reading. Perry waited a while—after deciding against asking what they could watch on the miniscule TV in the corner of the living room, with obvious dust settling on the controls—then coughed to get Greg’s attention. “Where do you need me tomorrow?”

Greg peered at him over the book. “What are you talking about?”

“Working together, remember? Um. What exactly do you do, apart from painting?”

Greg’s look was possibly sly, but that could have been due to the waning light outside the cottage.

“Sometimes I work in the Sea Bird restaurant.”

Perry thought he remembered seeing a sign to that place on his journey here in Dougie’s car. The building itself had been very small, more like a tea room, with a single light on in the front porch, and it didn’t look very open for business. But he’d go with the flow. “Are you a chef?”

Greg laughed. He seemed more relaxed tonight. “No, I think you’ve realized my cooking skills aren’t the best. And it’s not really big enough for a chef and full kitchen staff. I mean, it wouldn’t meet your London standards.”

“That has nothing to do with anything.”


“My London… standards, experience, whatever you want to call it. I’m in Uist now, and I want to know what you do here.”

Greg was looking at him oddly. Was he, Perry, coming across as too bossy? God, this man was impossible to gauge properly.

“It’s more of a large dining room where friends can hang out.” Greg still sounded reasonably relaxed. “It’s owned by a couple of elderly sisters who are marvelous cooks, and we sometimes hire it out for a celebration. We’re not big on dinner parties here, you can imagine. I help out with serving when it’s busy. But mainly I provide the fish dishes, especially scallops.”

“You’re a fisherman?”

Greg nodded slowly, his gaze still on Perry. “Yes, you could say that. I’m a diver. I dive for scallops.”

“Can’t you just… I don’t know.” Buy them in a shop? “Don’t they have official suppliers?”

Greg frowned. “Hand-collected scallops are better. The sweeter ones are chosen, and the dish is more precious. Haven’t you ever tasted the difference?”

It pained Perry to admit weakness, but he did. “I’ve never had scallops in my life.”

Greg’s eyes narrowed. “I thought you lived in the center of the sophisticated city?”

“We can’t all afford posh restaurants,” Perry snapped back, then blushed at—yet again—having to admit shortcoming.

“Oh.” Greg blinked. “Well, you’ll see them in the raw when you come out in the boat tomorrow with me.”

“When I…? Tomorrow…? Boat?”

Greg smiled slowly. “Yes. The weather should be fine, so I’m driving west past Lochmaddy to one of my favorite coastal seawater lochs. I’ll pack some provisions so we can eat lunch there. You can help carry the equipment, then collect the scallops into boxes and keep watch for me.”

“We… I….” Perry was struggling for words. Worse, Greg seemed to realize it and find it highly amusing. “I’ve never been in one.”

“One what?”

“Boat. I’ve never been in a boat. Well, until the ferry two days ago.”

Greg nodded, also slowly. “That’s fine. You can stay here if you want.”

“No!” Perry’s cry was instinctive. Did this brute of a bloke think he, Perry, was a lightweight? “I will not! We made a deal.”

“Okay. Well, I hope Bridie brought a selection of decent waterproofs as well as your day clothes, because you’ll need them.”

“You said the weather should be fine….”

“Just in case,” Greg said ominously. He concentrated back on his book.

Perry sat silently for a long moment. In fact, everything was silent, inside the cottage and out, apart from the occasional call from a bird, and Greg turning a page. Perry wasn’t used to such quiet. Nor was he used to living in close quarters with a man who barely tolerated him, and actually wanted him to get lost. There was a small pile of paperbacks on the table beside Greg’s armchair, and Perry picked one up. He also wasn’t used to reading anthologies of horror stories, his preference being for romantic comedies and the occasional biography—but he supposed there was always a first time. Opening it to the first chapter, he bit back a sigh. At least he’d won this stage of the battle with Greg Ventura, and he had more time to convince him about the TV project.

But thinking about the trip out onto a likely freezing Scottish loch tomorrow, he wasn’t sure whether the price would be too much to pay.

Author Bio

Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind... she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.









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Audiobook Review: Power Bottom? by Rowan McAllister

Can a pickup line from a stranger completely change the way an ordinary man sees himself?

Adrian wouldn’t have thought so, but after an ugly breakup where his self-esteem took a serious beating, he’s willing to try just about anything to repair the damage… even return to a secluded bar in rural Maryland and the intriguing stranger whose words have been on his mind since they met.

Biker, bouncer, bartender, and tattoo artist, Wyatt is a rolling stone. After fifteen years, he is tired of a life on the run, but he isn’t sure he knows how to do anything else or if he has anything besides a physical relationship to offer.

What’s supposed to be a one-off turns into another and another, and the relationship looks promising until the mob and the FBI come knocking on Adrian’s door.

Listening Length: 7 hours and 38 minutes
Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Reviewer: R *A Reader Obsessed*

Please note - I feel the title of this book is a bit misleading. I almost didn’t mark it “to be read” solely because of it. If you think you’re gonna get some kind of bdsm, kinky story, you’re gonna be disappointed. And the MC as some empowered bottom? That isn’t or doesn’t happen either. What you will get instead, is an underdog kind of guy finding his worth with the helpful hand that only love can provide. I know, total schmaltzy sentiment right there, but it is what it is.

Poor Adrian has recently been given some horribly harsh “truths” by an ungrateful boyfriend. They breakup and in order to rectify some semblance of pride, he finds himself back at a bar where a gorgeous hot biker had surprisingly hit on him. What ensues is some really nicely done smex as Adrian gets his groove back. Well… as much as an adorkable accountant with lots of self esteem issues can in a few short weeks.

Wyatt has a secretive past and is mostly always on the run. Of course, this prevents him from settling down anywhere for long. However, he can’t resist what Adrian’s offering, and instead of leaving it as a one night stand, Wyatt becomes addicted to the tenderhearted, caring guy who lets his inhibitions go. Mmmm hmmm.

The first half of this book was the evolution of Adrian and Wyatt’s relationship which I enjoyed immensely, and then it changes tone and direction where the romance takes a back seat a bit. It seems Wyatt’s past possibly catches up to him, while at the same time, Adrian finds himself possibly embroiled in illegal actions at his job. A perfect storm commences and things go haywire and life suddenly gets convoluted and scary. I admit I’m still a little vague on the details, but things are magically resolved, and love prevails with a well deserved happy ending.

So... expect wholly likeable characters. Adrian was easily relatable, simply wanting someone to equally care for him back. Wyatt was one confident, sexy beast who was kind and genuine. This was a sweet and smexy contemporary romance with a little cat and mouse suspense, made all the better by the excellent narration by Nick J. Russo. Overall, simply a satisfying read/listen!

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

Audiobook Review: You Are the Reason (The Tav #2) by Renae Kaye

Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays, who are femme and girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.

Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is cute from her cherry-red hair, to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.

Narrator: Dave Gillies
Run Time: 8 hrs, 19 mins

Wow. Adorable! Absolutely adorable!

This is Lee *insert red hair*.

Lee is down-to-earth and honest even if it's painful. He is sweet, funny, loves football and helping people within the LGBTQI community, he also “likes to dress in women's clothing sometimes”.

This is Dave *I will not say Davo, because seriously, what a tool name!!!*

Dave… well Dave…. you see, Dave….. Dave has got some pretty fucked up views on what it means to be gay. Gay men don't... no not don't, can't have serious relationships with babies and monogamy. He is also a weird mix between proudly gay and homophobic, he doesn't like and doesn't want to know 'those types​ of gays’. It took me a long time to understand him and even longer not to get pissed at him.

However fear not, it was soooooooo much better than I expected!

Dave is instantly drawn to Lee, despite thinking he's a woman, so much so he starts to worry about his sexual orientation. When Dave finds out Lee is a man I expected a massive blowout and stupid opinions to spew out of his mouth. What he did was ask some stupid questions but he never denied his feelings for Lee and knew he wanted to pursue those feelings, regardless of what he wore. He continued to struggle with his views but the moment he said something stupid he instantly questioned why he believed what he did and changed in a way to better himself.

I loved Dave by the end. He was such a jovial character who wanted so bad to be with Lee and never doubted​ those feelings.

The narration was pretty damn great. Lee's voice was a little breathy but I got used to it quickly. In fact I think this may have been better in audio. There were a few very cheesy lines which this author is known for, but they kind of flew by with the narration, I think I would have noticed them more if reading it.

It's always a little special reading Australian books, I love hearing about these characters going to Bunnings and watching the footy. However I could have done without the blow by blow of an AFL (Aussie footy) game, I don't enjoy it in real life, definitely don't enjoy it in my books :-P. Also there is this weird event that occurs near the end which I don't even want to talk about because it was sooo out of place and random, absolutely did not need to be there at all! it didn't affect the story and was over super quick but it was just… weird.

The sex was pretty fantastic! Very passionate and a little bit rough. There was a killer sexy strip tease with Lee in a dress which was hot hot hot!!

In the end, there's nothing quite like a simple romance of two unlikely, but loveable people finding their happily ever after and this story is truly that! I'd definitely recommend the audiobook as well!

A review copy was provided.

Blog Tour: An Island in the Stars by Susan Laine

Susan Laine is here today talking about her newest release & she's brought a teaser too!

Unicorns do love a good tease. 

Here’s the blurb:

“Sam, a geeky college freshman, has bigger problems than lusting after Marcus, sexy jock, college junior, and his big brother’s best friend. Chasing after a beanie caught in the winter wind turns into a tumble down the rabbit hole for them both—science fiction style.

Sam and Marcus find themselves trapped on a tropical island in the middle of a strange ocean on an alien moon. The sole structure is a ruined temple devoted to the art of love. Flustered, confused, and unable to return home, they need to figure out a means of escape from a hostile jungle teeming with dangerous life-forms.

In this tale where opposites attract and secret crushes are revealed, two very dissimilar young men discover they actually have a lot in common after all, but it will take their differences as much as their points of connection to survive on an island in the stars.”

Thank you kindly, BMBR, for having me here today. Hello, readers. I’m Susan Laine, an author with Dreamspinner Press. I’m here to talk about my upcoming novel, An Island in the Stars. It came out earlier this week, on June 12, 2017.

The topic today is erotic romance. If you’ve read the blurb, you know that my heroes, Sam and Marcus, are in college, secretly crushing on each other, and end up stuck in an ancient temple of love on an alien planet. Though the boys are young, there is lots of sensuality and explicit sex in the book.

I loved writing those scenes where the guys come face to face with the intricate, graphic nature of the temple and its deliciously tempting artwork. It was fun exploring how an alien species might view sex and have sex. It was intriguing to let go of the religious ideations and how oppressively religions view sexuality. I just went wild with all the multitude of ways to be intimate.

Here’s an exclusive teaser excerpt showcasing sensuality inside the temple:

The statues sprawled throughout the complex were magnificent and imposing with their realistic depictions, each muscle and tendon in its proper place. Their jeweled eyes glimmered eerily as they stood on stone plinths and raised daises, carefully observing Sam wandering about.

Their positions appeared far from threatening, though. Each and every mural, fresco, relief, carving, and statue depicted sex in some form.

The images appeared shameless, lifelike, and graphic, nothing held back. At any minute Sam half expected the shapes to come to life and step out of the walls and stone bases as living, breathing beings. He wondered what they might have thought of humans, who were smaller, weaker, and weird-looking. Would they wish to engage in love or war with Sam and Marcus?

Love certainly seemed to be their predominant pastime on the island. He saw singles, couples, threesomes, foursomes, and more, all the way to wild orgies. He saw things he had zero experience with and no name for.

If you liked that little scene, here’s the buy link:

Thanks again to Boy Meets Boy for arranging this guest post.

You can find me:

Audiobook Review: The Mystery of Nevermore (Snow & Winter Book 1) by C.S. Poe

Life has been pretty great for Sebastian Snow. The Emporium is thriving and his relationship with NYPD homicide detective, Calvin Winter, is everything he’s ever wanted. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Sebastian’s only cause for concern is whether Calvin should be taken on a romantic date. It’s only when an unknown assailant smashes the Emporium’s window and leaves a peculiar note behind, that all plans get pushed aside in favor of another mystery.

Sebastian is quickly swept up in a series of grisly yet seemingly unrelated murders. The only connection tying the deaths together are curiosities from the lost museum of P.T. Barnum. Despite Calvin’s attempts to keep Sebastian out of the investigation, someone is forcing his hand, and it becomes apparent that the entire charade exists for Sebastian to solve. With each clue that’ll bring him closer to the killer, he’s led deeper into Calvin’s official cases. 

It’s more than just Sebastian’s livelihood and relationship on the line—it’s his very life.

Narrator: Derrick McClain
Run Time: 7 hrs, 58 mins

I really, and I mean really, do not want to write these words, but this was a miss for me. I even listened to the sample before I requested it! I just knew this was going to be nothing but happy, happy, joy, joy. McClain does a fine job of narrating. He varied the voices and I could hear the passion he brought to this story. 

I can't say whether or not reading this would've led to a different outcome or not, but my problems pretty much began and ended with Sebastian Snow. He's the narrator of this story and I didn't like him. At all. He's annoying and petty. I'm not sure if that's McClain's interpretation of his lines or just his characterization. Regardless there's no way to unring that bell. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt because he's under a lot of pressure with the psycho Poe lover killer/stalker person and his boyfriend's a dick and whatnot but... he's a pill. 

He's in a relationship with a closeted cop and they're circling the drain. Hard. Once he finds the Poe heart in his shop he meets Calvin Winter-ginger cop, ex-military, numerous medals, all around badass-and his heart starts pitter pattering you can hear Seb's relaysh with the boyfriend ding on an egg timer. Technically there is cheating because Snow and Winter get their swerve on before Seb's officially cut the boyfriend loose, though they were on a break so if a tree falls in the woods, is it really cheating? 

Cal and Seb's "relationship" moves at breakneck speed. I mean the first time Calvin called Seb "baby" I looked at my phone like it had stolen money from me. 

Calvin's toppiness is weird. The dirty talk is awkward. The demands to beg left me uncomfortable and grimacing, though the rimming scene was pretty hot. I'll give credit where it's due. However, show of hands, who thinks about their ex while they're getting pounded into the mattress by a monster ginger cock?

The next thing I knew Seb was angsting over their "relationship" and dropping the L word.

Where it came from I've no clue but it was jarring. They know a bit of each other and Seb seems to like all the ginger cock toppy pounding so who am I to judge? But they kinda snap at each other whenever they're not in Pound Town and Cal is cagey AF about his past and for all intents and purposes sidelines Seb. Because reasons. The pièce de résistance is Cal is in the back of the closet, behind the clothes and maybe disguising himself with your Dad's old plaid trench-coat circa 1976 and matching pork pie hat which is what caused the majority of the issues with Seb's ex-boyfriend! *smh*

I was hopeful the case would save this but I think Seb pulled one too many TSTL rabbits out of the hat in his efforts to help solve the thing that it soured the whole deal for me. And the culprit... let's just say it didn't jive in my book.

Snow and Winter's relationship standing ends on a hopeful but my no means certain footing which I'm certain is to entice people to read the next one, but considering they both annoyed me to varying degrees I think I'll call it good and stop here.

I wish it had worked out better but many others have loved this book, so I'd encourage anyone considering it to read the other reviews.

A review copy was provided.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Queer Magick by L.C. Davis

The Queer Magick blog tour drops by today! Author L.C. Davis and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the fantasy/horror QUILTBAG fiction with a quickie interview, excerpt and $20 Amazon gift card giveaway! Check it out!

Title:  Queer Magick
Series: Queer Magick Vol. 1
Author: L.C. Davis
Publisher:  Self-Published
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: M/M/M, Male/Male Menage
Length: 212 pages
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Horror, lgbt, polyamory, genderqueer, trans MC

Add to Goodreads


An LGBT+ fantasy of apocalyptic proportions.

Twenty-something Holden Adams never asked to be the harbinger of the apocalypse, or for the seven lovers who come with the job. All he wanted in Stillwater, Vermont was a fresh start, but his past as a preacher's kid turned witch threatens any hope he has of a normal life in the idyllic town. A fateful encounter with a strange cat on the brink of death earns Holden a new enemy and some unlikely friends, but as Stillwater reveals itself not to be as conventional as it appears, the line between the two becomes irreparably blurred.

Daniel St. James is getting too old for this crap. The love of his life turned out to be a cold-blooded killer and while Dennis got away with murder thirteen years earlier, Daniel and the rest of the town are still reeling from the tragedy. Now some kid who claims to be a witch waltzes into town and all of a sudden, Daniel's unflinchingly straight best friend is head over heels for Holden. Chaos has a way of following Holden, revealing a web of supernatural secrets around Daniel that makes him question everything he believes about the town he's lived in his entire life--and everything he doesn't.

Welcome to Stillwater. Things are a little queer here.


"Cute guys don't just pick up and move across the country to live in the middle of nowhere with no connections unless there's something they want to leave behind."

Cute guys? The term didn't make my skin crawl quite as much when it came from Nick, but maybe that was just because I was too busy trying to remember how to breathe. My lips parted as if his kiss was just something that was supposed to happen, something I had been programmed to respond to long before it ever crossed my mind. His lips were as warm as his hands, but much softer as they pressed mine, gentle at first as he gauged my reaction. His fingers played in my hair and I moved closer, drawn to him by some unseen force as his tongue slipped into my mouth.

When he finally pulled away, I was breathless and the look in his eyes wasn't helping. Neither was the smile on his lips. It suited him, but I could think of far better things those lips could be doing...

"I can protect you, Holden," he said, reaching for my hand in my lap, stroking the back of it as he looked into my eyes. I found myself incapable of blinking or looking away, my hearing focused on the rich sound of his voice to the exclusion of all else. It was so warm and soothing I felt like it was enveloping me as he spoke. Just like his eyes, that sound was tinged with gold. The difference between sight and touch and sound seemed negligible as he caressed my cheek, pulling me deeper into some hypnosis I was all too eager to succumb to. "Whatever you were running from, I believe something else brought you here to me, and I'm not going to let anyone hurt you or take you away."

I felt the urge to respond, to say whatever he needed to hear, but all I could do was nod.

"Who is it, Holden?" he asked gently, leaning in a little closer. "Who are you so scared of?"

"My father." The words came out like a breath.

"Hm," he said thoughtfully, still absently stroking my hair. "And he wants to hurt you?"

"No," I murmured. "No, he...he wants to take me back."

"Take you back where?"

"To Arkansas. To our church, to the basement..."

Something flickered in his eyes, only it wasn't the reassuring adoration that made me feel like a puddle of happiness. There was murder in that gaze, and it lasted only an instant, but it was enough to make me aware of what he was doing. I had seen hypnotists at work before. My father was one of them, even though he liked to claim his "gift" came from God above. I knew Nick had me in some kind of a trance, but I was powerless to break it.

"Why does he want to bring you back?" His voice was slow and controlled, but rough. It wasn't nearly as hypnotic as it had been, but his spell remained unbroken.

"I can do things," I said, my own voice hoarse from straining against the words he was drawing from me with such ease. "I have power that he wants, that he uses for his ministry."

Something else crossed his mind. I could feel it, like our thoughts were linked somehow even if the influence only went in one direction. This time, it was curiosity. "Power? But you're human..."

I frowned, or at least I could feel the muscles in my face that would have shaped a frown twitch, breaking my mask of complacency. Human? "What else would I be?" I wanted to ask. Instead, he wound a strand of my hair around his finger and the touch lulled me in deeper. "Holden." My name was a command, gentle yet insistent.

"I'm a witch."

He cocked his head to one side. He seemed surprised, but it faded too fast. "And what kind of 'things' can you do?"

My throat was tight, but I couldn't keep the words down. "Awful things."

"I don't think you're capable of doing anything awful, Holden," he said softly. How could someone who sounded so kind be capable of doing something so cruel?

"I killed them..." My eyes burned and the tears spilled over.

He frowned. "Who?"

Before I could answer, before he could force me to, flames interposed themselves on my vision, blocking him out completely. The fire, the church, the screams, it was all bubbling to the surface, everything I'd tried so hard not to allow access to my conscious mind. Someone else was watching me, from the inside of my mind, and at first, I thought it was Nick, but the silhouette was off. This man was taller, slimmer. I couldn't see his face clearly, but I could see a finger pressed against his lips. Light was coming from his eyes and soon it ate up the flames and made it impossible to see anything, either in the vision or in reality.

I cried out in pain as a shrill, mechanical scream merged itself with the blinding light and both were so piercing it felt like my mind would split in half. All I remembered after that was being caught in Nick's strong arms, pressed close to his warm body as he whispered some apology I could only half understand. Then, everything was quiet.

Purchase at Amazon

Author Quickie Interview

Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.

I just wrapped up editing for the next installment in Queer Magick, called Fairytales, so I’m super excited for that to come out! I’m also writing the next book in The Mountain Shifters series, which is a breath of fresh air since the last book dealt with some pretty heavy themes.

What was the hardest scene to write in Queer Magick?

I think I actually rewrote the scene where Holden meets Nick for the first time the most out of any scene in the series. There is a lot happening in that scene from Nick's POV, but it's told from Holden's, so it took a while to get it to feel just right.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

I would totally want Mystique’s shapeshifting power. Look like literally anyone you want when you’re not a sexy blue humanoid god? Yes, please.

Meet the Author

L.C. Davis is a trans & nonbinary author of lgbt fantasy and romance with a passion for representation. His current series include Queer Magick, Kingdom of Night and The Mountain Shifters.

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Tour Schedule

6/13    Books,Dreams,Life           
6/14    MM Good Book Reviews       
6/15    Boy Meets Boy Reviews        
6/17    Sharing Links and Wisdom   
6/18    Divine Magazine        
6/19    Queer Sci Fi   
6/20    Love Bytes      
6/21    Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words           


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Review: Romancing the Ugly Duckling (Romancing the... #2) by Clare London

Is this the makeover of a lifetime?

Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams—track down a celebrity family’s missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.

Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated island of North Uist to escape the reminder that he’s nowhere near as handsome as his gorgeous brothers and avoid the painful childhood memories of being bullied.

Greg wants nothing to do with city life, and Perry’s never been outside London. When Perry is stranded on North Uist, this conflict seems insurmountable. But Greg is captivated by the vivacious Perry, and Perry by both the island and his host. However, Perry’s one heartfelt wish remains: that ugly duckling Greg fulfill his potential as a swan.

The month of June with the Dreamspun Desires series has been off the charts amazing. This book, once again, is what the line is all about. It gives you the fluff and the feels all rolled into one hell of a sexy package AND it is set partly in Scotland! Can you hear my squeals of excitement at that?

Goodness, prepare for a ramble because this book, these two men, this setting and the damn dog were perfect!

We meet Perry Goodwood, fashionista and make-over extraordinaire, as he is confronted by the well-known handsome brothers of the Ventura family, who are imploring and employing him through his PR Agency to bring their outsider brother home to London so that they can sign a media contract. You see this contract is for a high paying Kardashian-esque reality show and the Ventura brothers need all siblings present, or the show may be passed on to another high profile family. So while Greg, the brother who doesn’t follow the norm or the flock, is off doing his own thing, they desperately need him back in London. Perry is happy to take on the job, though a bit reluctant as his boss seems to pass on all the lost causes to him when it comes to makeovers.

When the brothers produce an old photo of Greg, Perry is concerned on how to formulate a plan of action to make this brother, meld into and with suave and media perfected look of the others. Goodness, but the picture of Greg broke my heart. He’s younger than his current 26 years in the picture but he just seemed to be so uncomfortable in his body which happens to many young men and women as they grow into maturity. But what does seem to suit Greg is where he lives and I was ready for Perry to accept the job and get this meet cute on!

Scotland here I, er um, we come!

I was happy to turn the page and get Greg’s POV because with stories like this and honestly most stories, I love to see where each of our MC’s are coming from and I really wanted Greg’s thoughts on his brothers. We learn that Greg fled London and his family for the solitude of North Uist, on the Scottish Isles and to live in a cottage on the outskirts of the largest town, Lochmaddy. Greg is fine living alone with his Border Collie Rory, having the time to paint and having a pint with his mate Dougie at the local pub. He’s not given us his reason for leaving London and eschewing his family while ignoring their constant requests for him to come home nor has he let his bachelorhood be linked to his sexuality in the small town, though Dougie lets him know he’s aware of Greg’s rainbow tartan in the closet. Greg is just happy to be living alone, doing what he wants with the ability to not answer to a family demand.

On a wet and windy night, we get the meet cute as the men come face to face when Dougie drops a sodden Perry at Greg’s front door and Greg has no choice but the keep the man overnight. It’s not much of a hardship as both men do find one another attractive on a basic level though they keep it to themselves. The fun and flirting begins when Dougie drops off Perry and then the next morning when Perry meets Rory and of course when Birdie and Lisa show up. The girls are nothing but forward with their want of Greg to be happy and now that there is another gay man in town, they are all set for the match-making. But how can anyone be matched if Greg and Perry aren’t on the same page with why Perry is there?

The chemistry between Greg and Perry was perfect. You could feel it the second the two are in the room together and really get a good look at who is in front of them. Greg sees that while Perry is slight in physical stature, he makes up for it with his strength of character and tenacity and Perry sees how handsome and virile Greg is behind his shaggy hair and country clothes. When the men decide that Perry can stay with Greg a few days, helping out with the chores etc. and Greg will take that time to formulate an answer about returning to London with Perry to sign the contract with his brothers… I was on edge waiting to see how this romance would unfold and all the “why’s” Greg has about his family.

This story is so romantic and this hopeless romantic was in pure bliss reading it. I adored watching Perry find his way on the island with the locals and find his way with Greg. The whole talk about the selkie folklore was beyond adorable and added a bit of whimsy to the story that blended in so perfectly with the romance between Greg and Perry. Both men are wary of the others feelings and the classic “Why would you want me?” is there so the thought of a mythical creature you could keep just form hiding their pelt was doubly romantic for this story. Oh and of course, saving someone’s life gives you the opportunity to be forthright with your feelings and while the situation was not ideal, I am more than glad with the outcome because of it.

Both Greg and Perry have been treated poorly by those they’ve trusted and loved. Greg’s brothers and absent parents were outright bastards to him with his looks and all the bullying they did and Perry’s ex-boyfriend dragged Perry down to depths he doesn’t even share with his mother. But when the men allow themselves to talk, to get out the hurt done to them there is only comfort left and the comfort they offer is gorgeous.

These two were so much fun, so sweet and so damn sexy. Perry really took to the island and to being with Greg. I loved how he was unsure about Rory and then he and the Border collie become invested in one another just as Greg and Perry do. The men work so well together that they don’t see what’s right in front of them until London comes calling and declarations tumble unguarded and make me cry. Yup, this has those kind of heartbreaking but amazing feelings that punched me in the feels more than once.

Romancing the Ugly Duckling is a true romantic winner with both series it’s listed under. It’s the classic story of seeing what beyond the surface and beauty truly being in the eye of the beholder. It’s also a fantastic trip to the Scottish Isles that has me longing to cross a visit off my bucket list.

Don't miss the Romancing the Ugly Duckling release blitz + giveaway HERE

Tag Team Review: Ride Along (States of Love) by Meghan Maslow

Drew Nolan is a loud-and-proud mystery writer with a brutal case of writer’s block. He needs practical experience with the Baltimore police beat to get his latest manuscript to his publisher on time. When he wins a ride-along at a writer’s conference, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot… until he meets his partner.

Closeted cop Josh de Oliveira lost his family, his partner, and the respect of his unit—all for doing the right thing. Recently busted back down to patrol, he’s relieved to get a cushy assignment at the Author’s Police Institute where he’ll take one lucky writer on a ride-along. Unfortunately, his author looks like he belongs in the backseat of Josh’s squad car—long, ginger dreadlocks, piercings, and an “I would bottom you so hard” T-shirt. But there’s something about Drew Josh is having a hard time resisting.

It’s going to be a long night and one hell of a ride as opposites attract and realize they share a lot in common beneath the surface. As animosity becomes desire, they realize they can help each other out—in more ways than one.

Sara - 3.5 Hearts

Told from the dual POV’s of our MC’s, we meet Drew Nolan as he is attending a writer’s conference, the Author’s Police Institute, to do research for his next book. After winning the prestigious Edgar Award for his first novel, there is a bit of pressure from his agent and publisher for this next book to be great. While at the conference, he spots a tall drink of water who just happens to be a cop and who just happens to want nothing to do with Drew or his fabulous shirt. But when Drew befriends a fan at the conference, she steps in and comes to his rescue.

That tall drink of water is Officer Josh de Oliveira and he does have a problem with Drew, his problem is attraction to the man with the ginger dreadlocks that he shouldn't find sexy. But Josh is having a few problems at work that go back to how he dealt with his partner and late secret lover. His brothers on the force aren’t letting him forget how he handled it and Josh takes it out on Drew before he even knows him. But when Drew wins the coveted ride along drawing for the conference, he gets paired up with Josh and well, things happen.

I loved the banter between Josh and Drew. This book was lighter than I expected and I liked that the men got off on the wrong foot with one another but soon find a path they can both be comfortable on. When Drew decides being direct is the best way to handle this new deal of flirting with Josh, Josh answers with a cheeky comment about Drew’s shirt he was wearing earlier. Goodness, these two were so much fun to get to know.

After a hot and freaking sexy night together, Drew sees Josh downstairs in the hotel and gets a glimpse of how deep Josh’s closet really is. It was heartbreaking to have Drew hear that, knowing he’d been kept a secret before but while it’s an asshole move, Josh has reasons. I was so hoping that Drew would be the one reason he would stop acting that way.

I have a soft spot for boys in the closet and I felt for Josh. Both he and Drew have secrets from past relationships and how they were the secrets and neither of them have fared well from it. But part of moving forward and growing is learning to trust again and it’s a good thing neither man thinks the night there shared was even close to enough.

I like that Josh manned up and did what was right after he hurt Drew. Though it wasn’t intentional it happened and he is prepared to make up for it as long as he has to. The way he goes about it was adorable and meeting Drew’s family that way was cringe worthy yet it set the tone for how meddlesome Drew’s family is. There were times I wanted to tell them off but they love Drew and don’t want him hurt again even if what they think happened never actually happened…. Ugh.

Things move fast between Drew and Josh but there is a lot of communication between them where you can see the trust building and the romance coming fast. It was hard not to fall for these two as they became grounded with each other by their side. Drew learned that trusting someone to not keep you a secret is hard but rewarding when your trust pays off, even if your boyfriend's timing is terrible and Josh learned he can lay his troubles down for Drew to hear and he’ll not only stand by his side but fight by his side as well.

This was a low angst, sweet and fun book. I went in expecting something a bit different but am glad with the outcome. Drew and Josh just really complement each other and this was a fun read.

SheReadsALot - 3.5 - 3.75 Hearts (sliding scale)

"I expect to test out the claim on your shirt too. Just so you know."

Did you read that blurb? It has all the fixings for an incredible ride, am I right?

Ginger MC meets hot police officer while wearing the fabulous shirt above and magic happens? Sounds like a good set up but also the start of a one shot scene.

Not the case in Ride Along from Dreamspinner Press's States of Love collection. There's an actually story behind the setup, with great main characters. This isn't my first time reading Meghan Maslow, she's impressed me last year with her paranormal short, A Cobra's Charm. Of course, I jumped at the chance to read longer contemporary from her. The fact that Ride Along features a ginger dreadlocked out and proud man who would wear that shirt? It's a bonus.

Set in Maryland, ginger mystery author/grant writer Drew Nolan attends a police/author convention where he can learn police procedures and hopefully get to interact in police daily life. There was one guy who caught his ye, but the hot cop screams straight and homophone to Drew. Lucky for him, he gets to attend a ride along with hot cop aka Joao "Josh" de Oliveira.

The two do not hit off despite the attraction. Josh is in the closet due to his job, his last lover did a number on him and his life, his family all but disowned him for his sexuality and his baggage has baggage. Let's say Joao has some issues he needs to work through but he bottles it up inside. The two share a car ride, travel along Josh's beat and start off on a sorta hostile/awkward beginning. After some time, assumptions are cracked open and Drew learns about the closeted hot cop... and likes what he finds underneath the gruff exterior.

Thankfully the story is dual POV, so we get to spend equal time in the main character's head and learn their feelings. That first day might've started rough but it ends very hotly.

The sex? *pants* Josh and Drew's bodies had no problems in the bedroom and definitely knew how to speak that language of lust. Rimming fans will be happy. Someone's a power bottom and I'm not made at it in the least.

After that magical night, the story could've ended. But there was a plot, more so a self discovery for Josh. He's unhappy with his lot in life. And has been quietly dealing with the stress and harassment at his job. It's taking a toll on him. Drew helps him put his work issues to words. And Drew isn't as happy go lucky as he seems. He has insecurities from a previous relationship and overprotective, meddling family to deal with.

The Nolans. *sigh* Some might gripe Drew's family is way too nosy and protective. And they'd be right. We're talking crossing the line such as showing up uninvited and unannounced, talking about Drew as if he's still an adolescent, putting his successes down. Thankfully, backbones were discovered and a believable end to that plot point was reached.

The story is funny, low angst and sweet. A good mix like sweet and salty. It's sort of on the quieter side and most of  'angst' is more internal and if not, family/work related. There were serious topics approached: community strife, homophobia, abusive relationships that didn't weigh down the tone of the book. It read light and easy. There were some lulls like the couple would have a conversation that could have been summarized and then a scene that might've added to the discovery part glossed over. It's not a super smooth ride but I enjoyed myself and keep thinking back on Drew and Josh after finishing.

They're cute. I love their relationship and their growth. I think it's a strong point of the story. Another strong point is the setting. It's clear someone is a native Marylander, or at least knows what they're talking about. It was a great mix of romance, personal growth and a love of Maryland.

Totally will read more from this author.