Review: A Place for Dreams by Deja Black

Raksha has arrived from Nepal, along with his people, to reclaim his mate, but Cole Brightside is a young man afraid of a past he doesn’t fully remember. The two have only connected in Cole’s dreams, where Raksha is both beast and man. Now, Raksha wants them together again in the real world.

Can Cole make it past his own fears to become the man Raksha needs him to be? Can Raksha accept who Cole has become?
Can they find a place for dreams?


East meets West in Deja Black's A Place for Dreams.

Set in present day South Carolina, this urban fantasy novella stars adopted wealthy only child, Cole Brightside. He's been plagued with horrible dreams and images in his head since he was six years old. Someone is inside his head, touching his body, talking to him. Or should I say something...

(Don't worry, Scooby. He's friendly!)

Cole is now thirty two, a successful businessman and on medication after a stint in a mental hospital during his childhood. He's still troubled and tries to hide it from others. The voice is ever present and he wants his man.

Enter 6' who knows how many inches, Raksha, the yeti who seeks his mate. Raksha leaves Nepal to finish what was started between Cole and him. The big white blond man has finally tracked Cole down, after many years apart.

"I want you to know me now, for your body to recognize its master, and your soul to know its home."

The possessiveness was done mighty fine.

This isn't my first time reading Deja Black. I like the way the author writes her 'monsters'. You can get a sense of dominance without them entering into alpha-holeness. I think the story's best asset is the way the yeti mythology was intertwined into present day. The plot was interesting: past life vs. mates. And once Cole is an adult, the hint of sexytimes was ever present once Raksha shows up on the scene. And it didn't turn into a smutfest. (Don't worry smutsters, there's sex. It's once but it's hot)

The length works mostly. There was only so much where the plot could go once the lovers are reunited. But the story could have been tightened up in places.

The readers get a different side of yeti magic/mythos yet it's briefly mentioned. If it was supposed to be mysterious, a few facts wouldn't have hurt. I'm on the fence with Cole's reaction to having Raksha in his life. He was adamant about not changing his life, but the voice that's been in your head for 20+ years in now in front of you. He got over it fairly quick. Also, this is a personal pet peeve of mine: name dropping. It was luxury brands up the ting yang, from furniture to clothes. I think it's unnecessary but some readers like it. (I'm not adding my pet peeve to my rating) My biggest gripe is that the story could have went much further, delved deeper and explored the main characters. (It's from Cole's POV)

The author is fairly new and the skills are there. With more writing, it could be magical. There's something about the way they write paranormal being/human romance that makes for an interesting read.

Overall, in A Place for Dreams, the pace wasn't without minor hiccups. But the plot delivers a believable HEA considering Raksha and Cole's circumstances.

I'm wavering between 3.5-3.75 Hearts. I would definitely read more from this author. There seems to be more that can come from the world created (*cough* those people who need the forest for the full moon*cough*) Shifters? What kind?

I'm there.



Recommended for readers who want a quick urban fantasy romance read, like yeti and a little magic.




https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35560476-a-place-for-dreams

Giveaway + Blog Tour: After the Fire (Through Hell & Back, #2) by Felice Stevens


Welcome Felice Stevens who's here today to promote the re-release of After the Fire and she's offering a $10 Amazon Gift Card too.

Be sure to enter below. Good luck!

After the Fire
Through Hell and Back Series, Book 2
Felice Stevens
M/M Romance
Release: 02.24.17
Audio Release: 07.11.17

after-the-fire-cover

Narrator: Kale Williams
Cover Design: Reese Dante
Cover Photo: Alejandro Caspe

BUY LINK



BLURB

A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With his lover dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of self-destruction that nearly costs him his friends, his career and his life. When Jordan finds himself working closely with the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks him back into a life and emotions he’d thought lost forever.

The betrayal by the foster brother he’d worshiped, taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life doesn’t free him of the nightmare of his youth; it reinforces his belief that he would never fall in love. When the death of one of his clients forces him to work closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson, he meets a person whose suffering exceeds his own. Though Jordan rejects his effort to help, something within Luke pushes him discover more about the first man to ever get under his skin.

As Luke lets down his guard and Jordan lets go of his pain, desire takes control. Each man must come to terms with past struggles if they are to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain, may be the only thing that saves them in the end.

This is a re-release of the original version published in 2015. It has been re-edited with over 4000 words of additional content added.

after-the-fire-teaser-1

EXCERPT

“We have a board meeting next week to decide if we want to accept sponsorships or not. I’m all for getting companies to donate as much as they want.”

Pushing his artichoke around the plate, Jordan chewed his bottom lip in thought. “I understand, but I don’t want this to become something they crow about and take credit for. It isn’t about them or us. It’s about what Keith wanted and helping the kids of the community so they have a safe place to come to every day if they choose. We have to make them want to come. So for sure we’ll try and get the computer companies to donate their computers and the libraries to donate children’s books. But this is always going to be The Keith Hart Center for Youth. Not XYZ Corp Center. I’m doing this to help Keith’s dream become a reality.”

Noting Lucas’s silence, Jordan quirked a brow. “Did I surprise you? You’re awfully quiet.”

The chatter from the cavernous dining room filled the silence, while he awaited Lucas’s response.

“I agree. For the record, I never intended to acknowledge the corporate sponsors any more than having maybe a plaque in, say the computer area, stating, Computers Generously Donated by…whomever we choose. As you put it so very well, it isn’t about them.” Once again, he flashed that charming grin that lit up his normally austere face.

A tug of desire hit Jordan low in his belly and the breadstick crumbled in his hand. For almost a year he’d barely thought about sex. In the cold hours of the dark, he’d awaken from dreams where he’d been making love with Keith, and his body’s natural urge had led him to finish off with his hand. But not until this moment had he felt a pull toward another man. Disturbed, Jordan studied Lucas from beneath lowered lashes, pretending to concentrate on his food.

For God’s sake, what was he even thinking? Shaking his head, angry with himself for having those traitorous urges, Jordan drank down half his sparkling water, his hands shaking so badly he feared Lucas might comment. Lucky for him, the waiter approached to take away their dishes, engaging Lucas in conversation so he saw nothing.

Lucas wasn’t even his type. Jordan ran a critical gaze over the enigmatic man sitting across from him. Sure, he had the broad, muscular build similar to Keith but personality-wise, the two men were nothing alike. Keith’s friendly, joyful personality drew people to him; they couldn’t help but want to be his friend. Totally unlike the quietly serious Lucas Conover whose lone-wolf persona and hands-off attitude screamed, Don’t ask, don’t touch. Jordan excused this inexplicable physical reaction as his first time in months being in close proximity to a man.

“You okay, Jordan? You looked kind of sick for a moment.”

As far as he knew, there wasn’t yet a cure for being heartsick and heartbroken.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn't until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth's court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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Audiobook Review: Mad Lizard Mambo (Kai Gracen #2) by Rhys Ford

Kai Gracen has no intention of being anyone’s pawn. A pity Fate and SoCalGov have a different opinion on the matter.

Licensed Stalkers make their living hunting down monsters and dangerous criminals... and their lives are usually brief, brutal, and thankless. Despite being elfin and cursed with a nearly immortal lifespan, Kai didn’t expect to be any different. Then Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court, arrived in San Diego, and Kai’s not-so-mundane life went from mild mayhem to full-throttle chaos.

Now an official liaison between the growing Sidhe Court and the human populace, Kai is at Ryder’s beck and call for anything a High Lord might need a Stalker to do. Unfortunately for Kai, this means chasing down a flimsy rumor about an ancient lost Court somewhere in the Nevada desert—a court with powerful magics that might save Ryder’s—and Kai’s—people from becoming a bloody memory in their Merged world’s violent history.

The race for the elfin people’s salvation opens unwelcome windows into Kai’s murky past, and it could also slam the door on any future he might have with his own kind and Ryder.

Listening Length: 8 hours 49 minutes
Narrator: Greg Tremblay



Narration: 5 Hearts
Story: 4 Hearts

I’ve always loved Greg Tremblay as a narrator, but this is an especially stellar performance. Greg Tremblay with an accent through the entire book is just wow. His voice acting skills are phenomenal. I would definitely pick this audio version over the print version for this particular series. It gives it that added boost that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Hands down, the best audiobook performance I’ve had the pleasure of hearing.

The story: I should have been smarter and more observant when I picked this story. I have not read/listened to Book 1. Don’t be a dope like me. Pick up book 1 first, either in print or audio before you continue on the Kai Gracen journey. There is backstory I feel like I missed, and this dimmed the enjoyment I had. I will definitely go back and listen to book 1 because this is a great urban fantasy adventure series.

One thing I really love about the way Rhys Ford tells a story over a series is the relationship building. This is equally true in this story. Kai’s relationships with the people around him develop slowly, and I felt like I was building that relationship with him as well. It’s a pretty impressive writing skill to have, to be able to keep me interested in a character, create that connection, but not give it all in large doses. I am committed to Kai now, and I want to know how his story unfolds. This will keep me listening to the entire series as it develops, and I have faith that this author will give me what I need to feel wholly satisfied by the end.

I loved how this story merged two worlds into one and calls it “The Merge”. Pretty simplistic statement for the elfin and human worlds colliding to create one weird and wonderful world full of science and magic. There is a lot going on, but aside from the backstory of Kai that I’m sure I missed from book 1, I didn’t feel confused much by what had happened, and how the two species now co-exist. There is ample explanation as the story unfolds, where what has happened is referred to in a casual but informative way. Points for it not bogging down the story.

The characters were all strong, and so was the plot. Kai and his merry band of misfits are on a journey to find the ancient knowledge of how to make elfin babies, based on a rumour from an archeology professor. They have to travel to parts unknown, and untravelled for a long time. Of course, someone else has picked up the trail and is intent on blocking their way.

For an UF adventure story, this has pretty much everything you need. Great paranormal elements, great action, and a lot of twists. Kai is pretty much a grumpy recluse, so getting him to spill his secrets is something only time and trust will ensure. I trust that Rhys Ford has given me what I’m supposed to have in this story, and will provide me with more in the next book. I’d recommend this to everyone who enjoys these types of stories, and if you’re a first timer into the wonders of urban fantasy stories, then definitely give book 1 a try.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion .




https://www.dsppublications.com/books/mad-lizard-mambo-by-rhys-ford-352-b
  
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32786883-mad-lizard-mambo

Review: PeopleFish by Medella Kingston

Her Cree grandmother called it the gift of seeing, but for Petra Orvatch, knowing things in ways that defy explanation has made reality and fantasy blur in a world where the clocks literally go backward. Her fascinating and clairvoyant mind is a riddle that many doctors have tried to solve with medication. Love comes her way unexpectedly when she meets Fiona Angeli, a stunningly beautiful single mother. A risk-taker by nature, Fiona is not scared off by her new lover’s psychic abilities and eccentricities.

The two of them share passion and secrets on a magical and surprising journey, and their torrid love affair takes them to thrilling new places until betrayal divides them. Both these women fight battles within themselves; Fiona must gain control of her dangerous compulsions, and Petra’s onerous gift ultimately puts her at risk of losing herself in the gap between delusions and the real world.


I really can’t tell if Petra is clairvoyant or has the mental illness the doctors have been trying to treat. This story was confusing. There was a lot happening but it seemed to sidetrack and I couldn’t really tell what the filler details were trying to say.

I thought I almost had a grasp on the reason for time stopping in Petra’s reality but then it flittered away and didn’t fulfill it’s potential.

This story was slow for me. I wasn’t engaged enough in it and felt like a lot of the dialogue was to expand the story into a novel rather than for any meaningful purpose. This is unfortunate. Maybe another reader will get something else from it. I thought a lot of it could have been cut. It felt like there was no end goal in mind. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. There were a lot of trees. Too many trees. It completely bogged the story with unimportant details and I got lost in it.

I didn’t feel very connected to Petra and Fiona as a couple. It made it easier to deal with the drama they encountered because I almost felt like they weren’t a good match, despite what the story was telling me. This is not what I expect from my romance novels though. I want to feel my heart breaking with the characters, and then being mended. That didn’t happen here.

Fiona was a vibrant character, and I really enjoyed her relationship with her friend Calvin, and her brother Anthony. I felt their connection as family, and really enjoyed when these two characters were involved. Mack was a cute kid. Very smart, and had some interesting things to say. I know a kid like this, so it was fun to read a character like him.

Petra was a great character when she was alone. I enjoyed the way objects spoke to her and she turned it into art. Her stories about her past were interesting. I thought the concept of Petra’s gift was great. It’s what drew me to the story to begin with.

It’s unfortunate that those pesky trees got in the way. I would have loved this story if there was a bit more chemistry between Petra and Fiona, and a lot less filler scenes and dialogue. I applaud the author on taking a strange concept and putting this story out there. It wasn’t for me but I think someone who likes that level of detail will really enjoy it.

This is recommended for people who enjoy bisexual characters who are with both men and women within the lines of the story. For people who are looking for women only erotic content, this is not the story for you.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion.



Release Blitz + Giveaway: As Big as the Sky by Amy Aislin


Amy Aislin and Signal Boost Promotions celebrate the release of As Big as the Sky today! Check out today's information and enter in the giveaway!





Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 37,000 words

Publisher: MLR Press

Blurb

Sam wants nothing to do with his irresponsible, sarcastic neighbor...or does he?
Sam McAuley is having a rough start to the summer: Not only is he being sued, but the new guy running the animal rehabilitation center next door has no idea what he's doing and his runaway chickens constantly end up in Sam's pristine yard.

Everything is temporary for Bo Novak. For as long as he can remember, it's been one town to the next, one school to the next, one job to the next. Even his current job running his sister's animal rehab center while she's away on a four-month leave is temporary. And he does know what he's doing, thank you very much. Sure, things don't always run smoothly, but the stick-in-the-mud next door could be a little nicer about it.

One overheard conversation, an olive branch, and a baseball game might show these guys that being at odds isn't really what they want, and that what they want might just be each other.



Excerpt



Argh! Bo kicked his closed front door. That...that man. Every five frickin' minutes he was up in Bo's face about something.

I'm trying to work, Bo. Can you get the dogs to stop barking? Why is the goat making weird noises?

How did your chicken get into my yard?

What's that smell?

Fix your side of the fence.


Bo had fixed his side of the fence, damn it, so it wasn't his fault the chicken was still getting into Sam's yard. If anything, it was Sam's side that needed to be fixed. But did Sam give him a chance to say his piece? Nooooo. Mr. I'm So Cool With My Muscles And Tallness And Swanky Haircut wouldn't get off his pedestal long enough for Bo to defend himself.

Not that Bo was envious of those muscles or that tallness or that swanky haircut that was on the redder side of strawberry blond. He was perfectly fine with his own five foot seven height and his messy do. Tallness was overrated anyway. And he had his own muscles. Arm muscles, anyway. The little pudge on his belly left a lot to be desired.

Stupid cookies.

But whatever. Arm muscles were all he needed to catch a guy's attention at the clubs and bars. By the time the guy realized Bo wasn't so muscly all over, they were already in each other's pants and that little detail no longer mattered.

Bring on the cookies.

Shaking his head at himself, he headed out back to the shed and grabbed a thicker pair of gloves and some chicken feed. He inspected his side of the fence just in case he was mistaken. Which he wasn't, thank you very much. Grunting in satisfaction, he left his backyard via the gate and cut through the path in the hedges between his and Sam's front yards. After unlatching the gate to Sam's backyard, he followed the sounds of clucking chicken to a wildflower garden along the back fence. Along with some kind of leafy tree and a couple of shrubs, there were bursts of yellow, purple, and pink flowers in the garden that Bo couldn't name to save his life.

Of course it was that chicken. The brown one with the lone white feather along its back. The instigator of the group. The one that riled up the other chickens and always seemed to find a way out of the chicken coop. The one who'd pecked Bo's hands raw the first time Bo tried to pick him up. That's where his new extra-thick gloves came in.

He slipped them on then scattered some chicken feed. Bait the chicken and then grab it from behind, the YouTube tutorial he'd watched a couple weeks ago had said. Bo had become somewhat of a chicken corralling expert in the past couple of weeks. A skill he never thought he'd need and didn't know how to add to his resume without sounding like a smart-ass.

The chicken went after the food just like always. Bo gave it a minute to eat most of it, then quietly snuck up behind it, cupped his hands around its sides, and lifted.

The angry squawk the chicken let out pierced Bo's eardrums and its legs worked as if trying to walk on air. Bo held on tighter as the bird struggled in his grip. He made tracks for the gate, where Sam was oh-so-helpfully holding it open. The sight of him standing there all tall and perfect jolted Bo and had him fumbling the chicken. A wing got loose and flapped in Bovs face.

Bo thought he heard a chuckle, but when he looked at Sam around the feathers in his face, the man was as stony as ever. Was that a hint of laughter in Sam's eyes? No. The man didn't know how to laugh. Drawing his shoulders back, head high, Bo stalked past him and

"Don't forget to fix your fence," Sam said.

Before Bo even had a chance to reply, the gate slammed at his back.




Author Bio


Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, Amy's interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.


Amy loves connecting with readers! You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter or sign up for her infrequent newsletter at www.amyaislin.com/signup


Audiobook Review: Summer Heat by Jay Northcote

A summer fling is an ideal cure for a broken heart. But when it’s with your best friend, things get complicated.

When Adam is dumped by his boyfriend, a week away at a beach resort seems like a great opportunity to get over his ex. Sun, sea, and no-strings sex will be just the boost he needs to move on with his life.

Adam’s best friend, Finn, agrees to accompany him at short notice. Finn’s had a crush on Adam for years, but is determined to put his feelings aside and be the perfect wingman in Adam’s time of crisis.

A spontaneous threesome with another guy forces Adam and Finn to confront their attraction to each other. Having a holiday fling together wasn’t part of the plan, and as their trip heats up, they soon realise that one night of fun won’t be enough for either of them.

The passion might be scorching, but their hearts and friendship are on the line. If their romance is going to survive the flight home, they have to be honest about what they want.

Narrator: Mark Steadman


No one writes the friends to lovers theme like Jay Northcote. He’s got the magic touch with this trope and I eat these stories up like the sweetest of candy. I was a little wary of the setup as Adam and Finn get together. A threesome on vacation? Hmmmm . . . . ok. Maybe. We’ll see. . . .

I’m totally down with menage stories. The more lovin’ peen the merrier as far as I’m concerned. As long as everything is well balanced and there’s no odd man out, I love ‘em. This was not a menage relationship story but a fun vacation fling that caused feeeeeelings and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about three becoming two when it started with three, etc. etc.

Turns out I had no reason to be wary at all and I should have known that. The author knows how to write guys having a peen party without making the sex or friendships seem cheap. Adam gets dumped by his douchebag boyfriend and instead of cancelling his all-inclusive beach vacation that the two were supposed to take, he takes his BFF, Finn instead. Of course Finn has been crushing on Adam forever, but they’ve never been single at the same time so the crushing is unrequited. Finn is a little leery of the trip but he’d do anything for Adam, even be his wingman while Adam rebounds, as painful as that may be.

Adam and Finn hit the beaches, the clubs, the pool and all the prerequisite vacation spots. The flirting is rampant and Adam starts getting his confidence back. The two even lightly flirt with one another and that could easily be chalked up to the atmosphere, or to honesty, hard to say at this point. But, there’s a delicious little pink haired twink who’s been eye boning Adam since they were all on the same flight to the resort. The twosome between Adam and his rebound bone turns into a threesome when Finn gets invited to join in and holy cats was that a hot night! Sweet baby cheezus. Hot. Night.

Their third was definitely in it for the fun and he was SO on to these guys and the true attraction they had for one another and really, it was very sweet. I don’t doubt that Adam and Finn would have gotten together eventually, but the Vacay Fairy Godtwink was the catalyst they needed to make them become a thing.

I liked how the chapters went back and forth in perspective between Adam and Finn. Being in each of their heads in a dual POV as the story, and their relationship, progressed kept the story virtually angst free. I knew where they both stood the whole time, I knew they were on the same page so I got to just enjoy the dance the two did around each other in bed and out. Did I mention that these guys are hot together? Whew and wow.

I love Mark Steadman’s narration, he does a great job with Jay’s words. My only very minor niggle was that Adam and Finn sounded pretty similar and with the back and forth in the chapters it got confusing once or twice. Not too big of a deal and was easy to get back on track, but a little more differentiation would have been good.

Summer Heat is a perfect summer listen. It’s got everything in it that reminds you why romance is so satisfying and nourishing for our happy little hearts.



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

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Sip of Rio by Teodora Kostova


Welcome Teodora Kostova! She's re-releasing Sip of Rio with a fabulous new cover and to celebrate she's brought a deleted scene and a $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway AND a copy of the book!

Be sure to enter below. Good luck!


A Sip of Rio

Series (name + # in series): Stand-alone

Publisher: self-published

Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 2016, available as ebook, print and audio book

Length (Print & Ebook): 47000 words, 228 pages in paperback

Subgenre: m/m contemporary romance

All buy links or pre-order links:


Paperback available on Amazon, Bookdepository and all other major bookstores.



Audio book available on Audible and iTunes.




Book Blurb:

Liam Young has a problem - he's booked a romantic holiday to Rio de Janeiro months ago, but when he breaks up with his boyfriend, all his plans fall apart. Not only is his dream holiday slipping through his fingers, but Liam is sick and tired of getting his heart broken.

Blaine Reed has a solution that can save Liam's plans. Recently divorced, Blaine needs a break, and a couple of stress-free weeks in Rio with a sexy guy like Liam sounds like heaven.
Liam and Blaine hit it off right from the start, becoming good friends even before they've left London. Despite their efforts to ignore the simmering attraction between them, it boils over when they end up sharing a room in one of the most romantic cities in the world.

Being together in Rio is easy, and it's exactly what Liam needs - no feelings, no drama, nobody getting hurt.

Until someone does.

When the holiday bubble bursts, it's up to them to find a way to be together outside of Rio's seductive magic.


What you want the takeaway of the book to be for readers: A Sip of Rio is a happy book about beach holidays, finding love in unexpected places and following your heart. I’d like readers to fall in love with Rio de Janeiro as much as I did, and crave a beach holiday of their own. And maybe, just maybe, gather the courage to do what their heart tells them just this once.

Quotes from Teodora Kostova about the book: I fell in love with Rio de Janeiro when I first went there a couple of years ago and it was inevitable I’d set a book there some day. A Sip of Rio is that book. It’s romantic, sexy, maybe a bit melancholy, and full of hope. It’s a book you can relax by the pool with, a cocktail in hand, and a smile on your face.

Select brief quotes from the book:

Blaine would always protect Liam’s heart, even at the expense of his own.

***

“You’re falling in love right now, aren’t you?” Liam said, his camera clicking relentlessly.

Blaine turned to face him, his eyes sliding past Liam to the view of Copacabana beach
behind him, and then back on Liam’s face.

“Yeah,” he finally said, feeling his cheeks flushing. “I think I am.”

***

But the nagging thought at the back of his mind that this was all a fantasy, a screwed up
version of reality that would come crashing down on them the moment they set foot
in London, remained. What they had here was easy. It was fun and romantic and magical.

But it couldn't last.

Could it?

Excerpt:

“It tastes like Rio,” Liam said, and for some reason that made him a bit sad. Who was going to make him cocktails that tasted like Rio when they were gone in a few days? “It’s sweet and bitter at the same time, but it’s still beautiful and kinda addictive. I haven’t finished this one and I’m already thinking of ordering another one.”
Diego seemed satisfied with his answer, if his wide toothy grin was any indication.

“Well done, amigo, that was exactly what I was going for.” Diego leaned on his elbows on the counter, moving closer to Liam as if to whisper something conspiratorially. Liam met him half way, his head turning a little to the side as he listened to Diego, but his eyes held Blaine’s who was watching them with a frown. “But be careful,” Diego whispered. “A sip of Rio is all it takes. You may never want to leave.”

Deleted scene from Sip of Rio


Blaine fiddled with his phone as he lay on the bed, waiting for Liam to come out of the shower so that they could get dressed and go out to eat. All that sun and sand and swimming was exhausting, and he found he was getting hungry way more often than back in London.

Or maybe it was the insanely hot sex he and Liam had at every opportunity?
In any case, Blaine was starving.

The bathroom door opened, releasing a cloud of steam. Liam came out of it, a towel wrapped loosely around his hips, still dripping all over the floor.

“God, I needed that,” he said, flopping down on the bed, making the sheets wet.
Impulsively, Blaine propped himself on his elbow and snapped a picture of Liam lying next to him.

“What are you doing?” Liam asked, his eyes closed and his arm thrown over them.
Blaine stared at the photo and admired the tan lines showing over the loosened towel. Liam’s skin was soft and perfect even when he was pale as a ghost, but Blaine had a thing for tan lines, and Liam’s in particular drove him crazy. A flash of memory burst behind his eyes from last night when he’d fucked Liam from behind over the sofa in their suite, his pale ass in the air, his skin reddening every time Blaine slapped it.

“I’m taking a photo for your Instagram fans,” Blaine said, the reply taking him out of the sexy memory.

“Do not post that photo on Instagram!” Liam said, suddenly sounding awake and ready to tackle Blaine for the phone.

Predicting his move, Blaine held the phone away, laughing as Liam climbed on top of him trying to get it. The towel slipped away and Blaine had a very naked – and very delicious – Liam struggling to reach the phone in Blaine’s hand.

“A-ha!” Exclaimed Liam as he snatched the phone from Blaine and jumped off the bed, frantically tapping the screen.

Blaine sat up in the bed. “Please don’t delete it!”

Liam paused, raising an eyebrow at Blaine.

“I’m not having such intimate pictures published on Instagram.”

“I was kidding!”

“How do I know you’re not going to publish it the moment I give you the phone back? You’re obsessed with getting likes.”

“Because I don’t want such intimate pictures of you on Instagram.”

If the crease between Liam’s brows was anything to go by, he wasn’t convinced.

“I want to keep the photo for personal use,” Blaine said, smirking.

“Whatever,” Liam said and threw him the phone back, turning around to grab clothes from the dresser, but not before Blaine saw the smile appearing on his lips.

Author Bio:

Hi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband and my son. I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job in 2010 when I decided that everything else I've tried bores me to death and I have to do what I've always wanted to do, but never had to guts to fully embrace. I've been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It's the only time that I'm truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time - my son has a bigger attention span than me.
When I'm procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Nintendo Wii game by a very inventive kid



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Audiobook Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Necromancer's Dilemma by S.J. Himes


S.J. Himes and Embrace the Rainbow Promotions are here to celebrate the release of The Necromancer's Dilemma (The Beacon Hill Sorcerers #2) on audiobook! Check out the exclusive info below of the new Joel Leslie narrated audio AND enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

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Title: The Necromancer’s Dilemma
Author: SJ Himes
Narrated By: Joel Leslie
Length: 7 hours 47 minutes
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #2
Release Date: July 21st 2017
Genre: MM Paranormal Romance, Fantasy

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Even love can die without trust.

Angel's brother, Isaac, has returned home, and the pair begins to make slow and awkward attempts back to each other. Learning how to be a brother to a grown man instead of a parental figure has Angel adjusting his behaviors and habits, and Isaac still remains a mystery. Was it merely entering adulthood that turned Isaac away from an overprotective Angel, or does Isaac carry a secret that will keep them from finally being a real family?

Daniel Macavoy, Angel's new apprentice, is torn between his bond with Angel and the grasping machinations of his father. Dealing with a traumatized apprentice with dangerous holes in his magical education, saving Daniel may be harder than Angel first thought - especially since the biggest problem is not revenge, but guilt.

The one shining beacon in his life is Simeon, Elder vampire of Boston's only Bloodclan. Four hundred years old and sexy as sin, Simeon is warrior and sage, patient and cunning. The strength Angel draws from Simeon's devotion and the newborn mate-bond between them is steadfast and true - and the fount of death magic that animates the undead lord places Angel in the midst of a power struggle for control over himself, his lover, and his family.

Through it all, Angel is beleaguered by the unwanted attention of a troll-hybrid, the adventures of a dragon in the city, and a serial killer has decided to hunt the back alleys and midnight streets of Boston.

Contains male/male sexual content. Violence, gore, sex, vampires. A cute dragon and some snark. Okay, lots of snark.

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

Find The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series on Goodreads

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Angel stilled, even halting his breathing, as his mind tried to process what he was seeing. He wasn’t tired from handling the energy that flowed unending into his core. If he were to tap the veil, he would eventually grow tired trying to wrangle the chaotic energies from the other dimension, the place where all magical energy created by living beings and active cells in all substances eventually bled through. The veil was merely a form of expression that illustrated the divide between their current reality, their universe, and the next universal layer closest to their own, and in reach of sorcerers. And it took power to use power— and Angel already had more than most of his peers.
He was adjusting, even as it overwhelmed him. He was accustomed to the veil energy, and handling the death magic he could access through his mate was more than anything he’d ever experienced before— and because it was death magic, a magic he himself produced and learned to live with and eventually ignore unless actively searching it out, he hadn’t noticed. He was death magic, in a way, and he’d tuned it out. Like ignoring the sound of one’s own breathing or heartbeat.
Angel sucked in a deep breath, and let out an insane giggle, trying not to panic.
Mo ghra?” Simeon kissed the top of his ear, making Angel shiver. His panic receded, and Angel breathed in and out a few times, settling his nerves. As long as he didn’t cast he should be fine— should be.
“Arrest him for assault!”
Angel took a hand from Simeon’s neck and flipped off the crowd at his back. Strident complaints came in response, and Simeon chuckled, the sound so deep and comforting under his ear. He went back to snuggling his lover, and let Simeon take over. He was too volatile to do much of anything except to breathe in Simeon’s minty chocolate scent and try not to blow up the hospital.

Audio Sample: https://soundcloud.com/jojofro-1/necromancer-sample-3

1 Necromancer's Dance Audio Cover
Book One

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



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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.

Purchase: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK I iTunes

Listen to an audio teaser from The Necromancer’s Dance at Soundcloud.

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About the Author

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

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

Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Facebook Fan Group | Twitter | Amazon
About the Narrator

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Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth. A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.

He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre. He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world. When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs.

Find a list of Joel’s books on Audible

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter



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Review: While My Wife's Away by James Lear

To all appearances, Joe Heath is a typical straight married man, living with his wife and two teenage children, commuting to work, playing sports and going to the gym, enjoying a beer and a barbecue. But there are things about Joe that his friends don't know. For one thing, his relationship with his wife has deteriorated to the point that they're sleeping in separate bedrooms, only staying together until the kids have left home. And there's something else: for the last few years, Joe has wanted to have sex with another man.

While My Wife's Away recounts Joe's recognition of his sexual nature in a series of encounters--some short, some repeated, some comic, some sad, all of them extremely hot in the way that only James Lear can make them. Each chapter is a self-contained episode from Joe's life, but throughout the book we see him coming to terms with what he really is, and struggling with his feelings of guilt and betrayal as it becomes clear that his marriage is over. Much of the dramatic tension in the book arises from the difficulties of negotiating his family life with his new personal life, the awkwardness and potential disaster inherent in each situation.


Well that was a very interesting book which left me with very mixed emotions. I love a good cheating book, one where the relationship is shrouded in taboo, lust and a splash of guilt. However be aware, this isn't a love story. This isn't the story of a man falling in love with another man while he happens to be married. This is the story of a lonely but selfish man who is searching for a connection with someone.

Don't expect to like Joe, he's very self indulgent and knows it. Don't expect a HEA, there isn't one. Some people would say there's a HFN, which I guess for some parts of Joe's life that's true, for some others... absolutely not. Despite all of this I felt for Joe and felt with him, probably because this was so well written. We understand Joe on such depth you can’t help but feel his loneliness and want him to find his HEA and then in the same breath he can make you feel sooo angry you just want to punch his silly head.

I've read a few books where the whole mindset of the cheater was very glossed over because let's face it, it's not a pretty thing, but that was not done here. One of my most favorite aspects of this story was seeing Joe's own justifications of what he was doing, it felt very realistic to cheaters. For example after one of his trysts he comes home feeling guilty, ready to make up with his wife, when he finds she's not there he is angry at her for missing her chance at making up. Like I said not pretty, but quite realistic.

Now all of this is sounding pretty depressing, which is totally not my thing, so why 4 hearts? The sex. Seriously, the sex! Joe plays with voyeurism, exhibitionism, threesomes and moresomes, subbing and dominating, he has sweet sex and rough sex…. Really he does it all!

The end of this story really started to stress me out, like I said some of Joe’s life works out for the better while others don’t. By this stage in the story, he’s so used to feeling connected to the men he has meaningless sex with that he can’t separate sex from human connection and it gets him into some real pickles...

I really enjoyed this story, the sex was hot hot hot and varied. Joe was a complex and realistic character but man I was stressed out reading this towards the end and couldn't help but feel sooooo angry at Joe. If you go into this knowing it's not a love story I think a lot of people could really enjoy it, just be prepared to feel a large amount of different emotions.