Review: Blood Relations by Zev de Valera

Six years into a 'together but separate' relationship, Simon Melville is engaged to be married. Almost. While Simon's lover is making wedding plans, Simon has yet to say 'yes'.

Following the death of his father -- a man who cut himself off from his family at the age of seventeen -- Simon is stunned when he receives a letter informing him that he is now heir to the Melville fortune and the historic southern estate known as Melville Hall.

Intent on liquidating his assets and returning to civilization as soon as the ink is dry on the paper; Simon finds his plans altered when he discovers clues to his family's past and his own secrets -- long buried -- begin to haunt him.

Can Simon resign himself to marriage? Or will he rise to the challenge of a new relationship with his handsome cousin and risk the consequences of the Melville family curse?

I couldn’t put Blood Relations down once I started and it’s what happens every time I read something by this author. His writing just flows beautifully and his characters are so perfectly flawed and appealing at the same time I can’t help but get caught up in their lives. I do love me a nice fluffy feel good romance as much as the next person, but reading a story with “real” characters who aren’t perfect and don’t fit into any stereotypes is so refreshing and I can’t recommend it enough.

I’m not going to ramble about the story specifics because this is the kind of tale you need to discover on your own as you read. The fewer preconceived notions you have the better. I’m just going to talk about all the love I felt for the smartly written words and the people the author introduced me to. 

Blood Relations is a southern lightly-gothic story about family, love and trust. The really appealing aspect of the story is the multi-dimensional treatment of each theme. It’s about family both by blood and chosen, love in all forms and trust on every level. It’s not a ghost story, but the historical home and the artifacts left behind by Simon’s ancestors are characters themselves. Simon changed and grew as he discovered his family’s secrets (and who doesn’t love to uncover someone else’s drama?). As the secrets came to light both in the present and the past I was glued to my Kindle waiting for every new little nugget. I wanted to know everything and the author doles out the knowledge in a deliciously paced way.

Simon is a great character. Did I love everything he did? Nope. But you know what? Neither did he. So I could sympathize with him even when I didn’t agree with his actions. I loved Simon’s journey very much though. I felt like I was there with a good friend going through some big changes in his life. Simon is a grown ass man chronologically, but he’s not a man in control of his own destiny and until he gets the summons to “come home” he’s good with floating along, not making waves, letting life happen to him. The change is a real butt kicker though and he gets a taste of what life and love can be when you learn to trust yourself and others fully. It’s not easy for him, but the changes that come with going to the estate are cathartic for him.

Blood Relations has romance, most definitely, but it’s not a one note love story and the romance is not necessarily center stage throughout. It’s more realistic than that. Simon has a lot going on in his life and to think he’d just be concerned with his love interest wouldn’t ring true for the characters or the pace of the story. The romance is also not easily resolved or overly dramatic, the author truly kept the pace perfectly balanced for every aspect.

The overall atmosphere of the story is very romantic and I felt it as soon as Simon pulled up to the estate for the first time. Simon is the main character but the tale would be for naught without the supporting cast. They were just as memorable and had just as much depth as Simon did. Every conversation enlightened the reader to a little more information and I wanted to know everyone’s history and how they all tied together from generation to generation. It was honestly just so interesting and the kind of thing I eat up with a spoon.

Simon’s journey was a truly lovely ride and the only thing I want is an epilogue. Not because it needs one, the way it ends fits with the rest of the book. I just want one because I want to read it.

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

Blog Tour: Queer Sci Fi's Renewal Anthology by Various Authors

Queer Sci Fi releases Renewal, their third flash fiction anthology and they drop by the clubhouse to share a taste! 110 flash stories that run the gamut from sci fi and fantasy to horror and paranormal fiction, and from romance to mainstream fiction. Renewal features stories from across the queer spectrum!

Check out more info below as well as the list of authors!

QSF Renewal-Print

QSF has a new book out, the latest in our series of flash fiction anthologies: (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

Mischief Corner Books (info only) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Author: Various – see Authors section below
Cover Artist: Gus Li
Length: 196 pages
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 9/13/17
Pairing: Various – covers many pairings and identities
Price: 4.99, 16.99 paperback (b/w illus); 28.99 (color illus – avail 9/16)
Series: SF Flash Fiction Anthologies – Book Three
Genre: Sci Fi, Paranormal, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Mainstream


Print (b/w illustrations only):

Paperback (color illustrations, est available 9/16 - preorder now)

Renewal Banner


Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“Before we continue, there’s a rather macabre fact about me I should share.” —Rejuvenation, by Christine Wright

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

““Losing one’s superpowers to your arch nemesis sucks donkey nuts, I tell ya. And trust me when I say I suck a lot of them.” —Rainbow Powers, by Dustin Karpovich

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Browne

“Intwir's twelve eyes roved over the container, taking in the cracked outer lock and the elasticated fabric stretched tightly over its exterior.” —In a Bind, by S R Jones

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“The doctor tells me that my wife is dying, but I already know.” —I Will Be Your Shelter, by Carey Ford Compton

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer

Included Authors

'Nathan Burgoine
A.M. Leibowitz
A.M. Soto
Abby Bartle
Aidee Ladnier
Alexis Woods
Andi Deacon
Andrea Felber Seligman
Andrea Speed
Andrea Stanet
Anne McPherson
Bey Deckard
Brigitte Winter
Carey Ford Compton
Carol Holland March
Carrie Pack
Catherine Lundoff
CB Lee
Christine Wright
Colton Aalto
Daniel Mitton
Dustin Blottenberger
Dustin Karpovich
E R Zhang
E.J. Russell
E.W. Murks
Ell Schulman
Ellery Jude
Eloreen Moon
Elsa M León
Emily Horner
Eric Alan Westfall
F.T. Lukens
Fenrir Cerebellion
Foster Bridget Cassidy
Ginger Streusel
Hannah Henry
Irene Preston
J. Alan Veerkamp
J. P. Egry
J. Summerset
J.S. Fields
Jaap Boekestein
Jackie Keswick
Jana Denardo
Jeff Baker
Jenn Burke
Joe Baumann
John Moralee
Jon Keys
Jude Dunn
K.C. Faelan
Kelly Haworth
Kiterie Aine
Kristen Lee
L M Somerton
L. Brian Carroll
L.M. Brown
L.V. Lloyd
Laurie Treacy
Leigh M. Lorien
Lex Chase
Lia Harding
Lin Kelly
Lloyd A. Meeker
Lyda Morehouse
M.D. Grimm
Martha J. Allard
Mary E. Lowd
Matt Doyle
Matthew Bright
Mia Koutras
Michelle Browne
Milo Owen
Mindy Leana Shuman
Naomi Tajedler
Natsuya Uesugi
Nephy Hart
Nicole Dennis
Ofelia Gränd
Patricia Scott
Paul Stevens
PW Covington
R R Angell
R.L. Merrill
Rebecca Cohen
Redfern Jon Barrett
Reni Kieffer
Richard Amos
RL Mosswood
Robyn Walker
Rory Ni Coileain
Rose Blackthorn
Ross Common
S R Jones
Sacchi Green
Sarah Einstein
Shilo Quetchenbach
Siri Paulson
Soren Summers
Stephanie Shaffer
Steve Fuson
Tam Ames
Terry Poole
Tray Ellis
Vivien Dean
Wendy Rathbone
Xenia Melzer
Zen DiPietro
Zev de Valera

Guest Review: Broken Pieces by Ruby MacIntyre

Clint is a young but respected alpha of the Tillamook Pack, and he’s content with the life he’s built for himself after his tragic past. But after his son tells him of an omega being chased into their territory, Clint jumps into action, unaware of how his life is about to change.

Julian finally escaped from his abusive alpha, but the betas are hot on his tail. He has little hope of escaping, until a huge, black alpha wolf charges to his rescue. But there’s one problem--Julian doesn’t trust any alpha, no matter how kind or different Clint seems.

Julian hates alphas after what was done to him. Clint knows and understands Julian’s feelings, so why can’t he seem to stay away from the fiery omega? Julian doesn’t get why his wolf wants to submit to Clint, or why he’s so angry when Clint seeks affection elsewhere. Surely he doesn’t want the alpha’s attention...right?

Reviewer: R *A Reader Obsessed*

First things first. In the realm of ABO, I was very satisfied with what I got here. However, when it came to the romance aspect and how I like my main couples to develop their relationship, there were a few niggles that might bother some readers.

To sum things up, this is a shifter universe focusing on wolves. Here, omegas are highly coveted pack members and are strongly protected by many rules and regulations. Somehow though, Julian had fallen through the cracks and was given no chance to thrive and be pampered like the precious pack member he is. Instead, his cruel alpha Leo, ignored the law, treating those under his rule and Julian as his personal minions. One day though, Julian escapes and luckily finds himself under the protection of alpha Clint, who only wants to see Julian safe and happy. Of course, it’s going to take a lot more than a magic peen to do that right? Wrong.

Now this is where the story kinda devolves into a bit of silliness. Total insta-lust with barely controllable urges is not surprising at all. Throw in some mis/no communication and there was the occasional eye rolling as these two go back and forth thinking the other doesn’t want him. For those sticklers about fidelity, there are a few instances that might not sit well with some… Warning: Clint is kinda a man whore with a plausible, but not necessarily great reason, and he has relations with other people and that includes both sexes, before these two finalize their bond and feelings. And to top it all off, the grammatical errors seemed to increase as the story progressed.

However, as I’ve said, this is ABO, and I forgive a lot when it comes to this trope. Heck, I think I forgive a lot when it comes to shifters in general. Definitely, some unique biologic aspects and shifter dynamics are portrayed here that made things interesting, and though we don’t get a lot of smexy, what we got was very well done. This includes KNOTTING and a certain level of dirtiness that can only come with this trope that made me squirm (but in a good way). As a warning, there’s a secondary plotline at play involving abused and missing omegas, and though Julian and Clint end on a strong note, the overall story finishes on a cliffhanger.

Again, I thoroughly enjoyed this, as it had plenty of twisty feels and a decent amount of smexy smex. Of course, I would’ve loved more but that’s just my greedy self being greedy. Make no mistake, despite the above niggles, this caught my interest, and I very much look forward to the sequel!

Thanks to the author for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Tag Team Review: Finder's Keeper (Heart's Gate #1) by Shira Anthony

The truth might ruin his dreams—or make them come true.

When Zane moves into an old gothic brownstone, he discovers the house comes equipped with a caretaker—Kit, who lives in the basement. Zane is immediately drawn to the charming and attractive Kit. But Kit is much more than he seems. He is a two-hundred-year-old half-human, half–red-fox spirit who guards a Gate between the mortal and spirit worlds—a fact Zane should recognize, but doesn’t.

Orphaned at a young age, Zane never learned he comes from a long line of mystical Keepers. Kit needs Zane’s help to protect the Gate, but how can he tell Zane of his legacy when that will crush Zane’s dreams of traveling the world? If he takes up the mantle, Zane will be bound to the Gate, unable to leave it. But when Zane realizes Kit’s true nature, and his own, he’ll have to make a choice—fight to protect Kit and the Gate, or deny his destiny and any chance of a future with Kit.

Sara - 5 Hearts

I realize that y’all are probably tired of me raving about the Dreasmpun line and now that I’ve got the Beyond books to revel in, I just can’t stop being in love with both series.
When I saw that Shira Anthony would be contributing to the new line I was happy and then I read the blurb and had to tone down my excitement until I got my hands on the book. I love the idea of fate: that something beyond your run of the mill existence has been planned and is out there waiting for you to find it. It’s even better when that existence comes with the love of your life and the only place you belong.

Yeah. All together now… Le sigh.

We meet Zane Mayer as he is taking a perilous walk to the Cleveland brownstone he will be living in now that he has taken a new job and had the house left to him from his second cousin. Zane does find it odd that he was left the brownstone considering he never met is Cousin Ralph and that there is “do not sale” attached to the in heritance. But Zane doesn’t find it odd enough to leave Raleigh and start a new life. I just don’t think it’s the life he ever imagined, or maybe it’s exactly the life he dreamed of.

Along with the brownstone becoming his, Zane soon learns that the house comes with a caretaker, Kit, who lives in the mother-in-law suite in the basement. Though Zane should find it odd that the house comes with its own live in caretaker, he just rolls with it because Kit is an adorable curly haired ginger with green eyes, pale skin covered in freckles that you want to count and is one fabulous cook. It’s only normal that Zane overlook the fact that a virtual stranger has lived in this house and just assumes to keep living there… right?\

He couldn’t explain it, but in spite of the strangeness that seemed to accompany Kit and the house, Zane felt as if he belonged.

But Kit isn’t just a caretaker; he’s a half red-fox half human spirit who has been guarding the gate between the spirit and human world for well over 200 years. The gate that just happens to be conveniently located in his bedroom. You see, Kit is a Guardian of the gate who needs to find his Keeper to make them strong and keep the right and wrong spirits from moving between the two worlds. Oh and guess who the Keeper is? Yup, but Zane doesn’t know it yet.

I love the idea of the Guardian and the Keeper. That apart they can survive but only on the weakest level. It’s only together that they become stronger to survive and strive. The world building we get in this book, which is listed as the first in a series, is fantastic. We get the knowledge of who Kit is and how he became a Guardian and the number of Keepers he’s been bonded to over the years. We get all of this as the slow burn romance happens quietly between Zane and Kit and while Kit wrestles with the decision to tell Zane about his true path and his true self. Kit has never felt the way he feels for Zane about a Keeper before and fears that once Zane knows the whole truth, he’ll leave.

Oh and Zane, he doesn’t know he’s a Keeper because most Keepers learn of their history and their destiny through their parents and Zane’s parents died when he was young. He was raised in a foster home with his twin sister Ren until a family took both of them in until they were adults. Zane feels a pull toward Kit that is more than physical attraction but doesn’t know how to pinpoint why he feels it.

Anyway. Zane and Kit have a full week of getting to know one another when Zane feels there is something wrong with Kit so he seeks him out and sees Kit for who he really is. I loved this part and Zane’s reaction to seeing Kit as a red fox spirit. Kit in his true form as a fox spirit is of the Kitsune persuasion and not a full shifter-esque fox. I went and stalked the author’s website to see if she talks about Kit and she said her inspiration for him was from Japanese Anime and I fell down a rabbit hole of videos with Tomoe and Soushi just admiring how gorgeous a fox spirit is. I would love to see a drawn image of Kit with his long red hair, vibrant green eyes and those tails…those tails! *swoon*

A Guardian’s duty was to act as the conduit for the Keeper’s power and to oversee the passage of spirits to and from the human world. The true power to maintain the Gate resided with the Keeper.

So Zane sees Kit and Kit has to get over the “I know better than you” deal and tell Zane who he is. With Zane having a twin sister who reads Tarot and owns an occult shop, it’s not a ginormous leap for Zane to believe he is part of something bigger than he ever imagined. Zane accepts his job as the Keeper of the Gate and is more than thrilled to find out that he can be bound to Kit in every way he wants to be. Kit has reservations about letting Zane bind him as once bound, neither the Guardian nor the Keeper can leave the Gate without consequence and Kit cares for Zane too much to let him sacrifice everything he dreams of. Silly of Kit to assume before Zane can tell that this is more than he could have ever hoped for.

What I loved about this book and honestly, I am just getting it as I write this review, is there’s a sense while reading of trying to grasp onto something and hold on while everything seems to moves quickly. A feeling of unease and uncertainty but one of hope that now as I am looking over my notes, Zane and Kit were having those exact feelings as they try to figure this new relationship out. Both the romantic and the supernatural but these two are amazing together and this new threat they face between worlds will only make them stronger.

The connection wasn’t unexpected— Keepers and Guardians had a natural chemistry through their bond— but the intensity of it took Kit by surprise.

Yeah, I know. I went rambling there didn’t I but I really loved this story. I adored the hurt comfort with Kit, how he’s been told his fox spirit form is hideous and that he is only a servant to his Keeper and how Zane will make him feel his worth no matter what. I loved the hell out of Lor in any form he’s in and how a demon became BFF’s with a Guardian for some 200 years. I had feelings about Steve and am so glad I was right and the bit with Ren at the end is how I totally felt about this book!

Okay, I will stop now. Just know if you couldn’t tell, I LOVED this book and I want so much more in this series.

SheReadsALot - 4 Hearts

I'll be honest, I didn't read the blurb when I saw Shira Antony's addition to the new Dreamspun Beyond line. And if I did, I probably wouldn't have read it. Because ghosts spirits.

But it's Shira Anthony and I've yet to be disappointed, especially with her ginger MCs. Every one of them have been solid characters. Finder's Keeper can be added to the list.

Set in Cleveland, Ohio, 28 year old engineer, Zane, finally moves into his cousin's brownstone five years after his cousin's death. He never met his cousin Ralph, being as he and his twin sister's were orphans and grew up in the foster care system. With a new job and house set up,, Zane finally answer the pull inside him to go to this house. He was surprised when he discovered his house comes with a ginger haired caretaker who lives in his basement.

Zane is isn't used to letting people in especially new people, but there is something about Kit that draws him to the mysterious man. Kit knows what the draw is. Zane is his Keeper and he's Zane's Guardian and the house is where they need to be together to make their powers stronger. Kit is a kitsune, a human/ red fox spirit hybrid that has lived for over two centuries and the pull he feel with this Keeper is different. With a demon sidekick, Kit tries to keep an eye on the man while battling his feelings for Zane and self sacrificing his happiness to keep Zane in comfort. It's sweet and little hurt/comfort mixed in.

A Guardian is the gatekeeper to the spirit world, there is a Gate to guard. The Keeper is the battery to supply the Guardian the power to grant wayward spirits a safe travel to the spirit world. The Gate is in the house and Zane is none the wiser. A chunk of the story is based on Kit trying to hide the supernatural bridge from the man. It makes for an interest set up and read because fate4 can't be denied in this one. Nor can love.

The story was smooth, but I think it could have been smoother in certain areas. I have a niggle with the near death experiences regarding Zane. In the beginning Zane is introduced as super klutzy and has lived a life where mysterious injuries tend to happen to him. Hell, even his parents were killed in an accident with him. The klutzy/clumsy vibe kinda died down and world building took precedence. There was a spook factor, but with an attack once and then it kinda stalled. Also, I kinda expected more trepidation on Zane's part when he embraced the supernatural. I get it he's been exposed his entire life, his twin sister runs a tarot shop. But he was a denier and little glimpse of his troubled childhood would make me expect more fight from Zane. More reaction from Zane to the spooky forces out to get him at least.

Overall, strong story. The romance is slow burn and a mix of insta-love. The feelings develop really quickly. There is one sweet sex scene that felt super appropriate with the way the two feelings develop. Plus, virginity score. I bought the feels and the romance end of this tale.

There are two side characters that seem to have potential for future leads, as this is the first in the Heart's Gate series. I see demon loving in my future. (I hope!)

Recommended for readers who like supernatural, damaged fox spirits and slow burn!

Don't miss the Finder's Keeper blog tour HERE!

Giveaway + Blog Tour: The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair

Debut author Mackenzie Blair is here today promoting her novel, THE QUARTERBACK, from Riptide Publishing. Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway below. Good luck!

Hello, I’m Mackenzie Blair and I’ve been reading romance novels ever since my mom took me to used book sale after book sale as a teenager.  I loved that every romance novel had a happy ending.  (Those covers were also pretty scandalous to my small-town mind, so there was probably a good dose of rebellion in my reading as well.) A few years ago, I discovered MM romance, and although I’d considered writing a romance novel for years, it turns out it took an MM story to finally inspire me to finish one!

So I hope you enjoy reading THE QUARTERBACK as much as I loved writing it.

About The Quarterback

In walks Trevor Kim, a gorgeous, pierced, tattooed fellow Bodine student who does massages—without happy endings—to pay for school after his family kicked him out for being gay. Trevor takes one look at Matt and breaks all his own rules about mixing business with pleasure.

Matt needs to keep his scholarship, win the National Championship, and survive his asshole father. Instead, he falls in love. Trevor needs to accept that the football god is meant to end up with him rather than a perky cheerleader. It’s time for a happy ending for both of them.

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

About Mackenzie Blair

Mackenzie Blair is an award-winning screenwriter in Los Angeles who’s written for shows and films you’ve probably heard of.  Mackenzie grew up in the South but fled the humidity for earthquakes, university, and a brief stint in finance. As a cynical idealist, she prefers to write happy endings whenever possible.

To celebrate the release of The Quarterback, one lucky winner will receive a $30 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 16, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review: Finding Mr. Wright (Leaning N #2) by B.A. Tortuga

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including weddings. And misunderstandings.

Colorado wedding planner Mason O’Reilly lands a major contract: a two-hundred-guest wedding at the Leanin’ N Ranch, where his friends Ford and Stoney are working to provide a safe space for GLBT events. The Wright/Preston ceremony is a destination wedding, and as the grooms are from Texas, everything is done over the phone and email. There’s no way that could lead to trouble, right?


Oil tycoon Noah Wright isn’t happy about the impending disaster, but he admires Mason’s quick thinking and grace under pressure. And that’s not all he likes about the out-and-proud wedding planner. Even though Mason’s interested in Noah, his Mr. Right can’t possibly be a rancher from Dallas.

Can he?

What started as a rough business arrangement between the brother of the bride and the wedding planner turns into a beautiful romance. This was an easy read and a sweet addition to the Leaning N Series as well as the Dreamspun Desires line.

I loved that this starts off with the POV of Ford taking a phone call from Mason about a massive and expensive wedding to be held at the Leaning N. It was great to see how much Ford and Stoney have turned the ranch into a LGBT friendly event destination and how everyone at the ranch is doing.

This wedding, it’s a big deal for the ranch and it’s a massive opportunity for Mason’s business, Rustic Romance and the stress shows. When Mason gets to the ranch to arrange the final details for the groom and groom, he has a meeting with Noah Wright, the man footing the bill who lets the wrong or rather right pronoun slip and sets Mason in a tizzy. You see, no one decided to give a certain detail about Sammy in the Doug and Sammy wedding that Sammy Wright, is a girl. Ugh. Yeah. One heck of a mess up and while the bride's brother and bank for the wedding isn’t happy that this happened, Mason sets out to make everything perfect for the happy couple.

Told in the dual POV’s of our MC’s we get to see how each man handles the gender mix up and how both of them truly want the best for Sammy on her big day. Noah will do anything for his baby sister down to last minute additions to her wedding that allow him to offer himself as a driver with Mason to pick up the items out of town. This little trip also allows the men a bit of time to get to know one another.

Now, I read Commitment Ranch directly before reading this as a few reviews mentioned Mason was in the book and I wanted to meet him there first. But I never met Mason in book one, only Andy who was Ford’s friend who organized the open house at Christmas for the Leaning N. I don’t know if my copy was different or Andy is now Mason? I am not sure but at first it bugged me and then once I got to know Mason, I took him for a brand new character who worked well with the men on the Leaning N and moved on.

So, anyway. At first meeting, Mason and Noah have an attraction though it’s pure frustration as well but when the wedding is officially over, when Noah is no longer a client and they can’t blame the whiskey kisses on anything but themselves, they get intimate.

The flame between them just burned hot. It made sense, he supposed, because no amount of skyping and mutual masturbation would replace this. This was real. Not just the sex, but the being together, reinforcing all the things they knew about each other.

I will say intimate about their relationship because while yes, it’s sexual we get more intimacy with these two as most of their time is not spent together. How can it be when they both have businesses in different states where they are needed? But regardless of distance, the men want to be in each other’s lives and are willing to make it work. That doesn’t mean it will be easy.

Mason is a true romantic and it was nice to see Noah romancing the pants off of him, literally. These two fall fast for one another but distance is a bitch and when Mason comes home to Texas, Noah’s family turns into monsters. Well, maybe just Noah’s Momma but Noah kind changes when they go back too and that changed the book happiness for me. I didn’t like who Noah was back home and I didn’t like how Mason just rolled over and took it. I thought Noah needed way more groveling for Mason to be okay and Noah’s family went from “You can be gay somewhere else just not here” to totally accepting him being with Mason and they “Just want him happy?” We want families to be like that but I don’t downshift that fast to accept his family's acceptance or his with their sudden flip of personality.

The end was tied up nice, quick and satisfactorily with a bit Ford and Stoney again. So I am good with that.

But good lord, if the author is planning on keeping this a series I think Geoff needs a fucking epic romance with someone feeding him vegan desserts under a canopy of lights with a soft summer breeze. Please give that man a man to love and one who thinks Geoff hangs the moon. Thanks.

Audiobook Review: Legal Tender (Art Series #4) by Andrew Grey

Timothy left home when he was eighteen to get away from his reckless mother, but he never stopped visiting his grandfather, who taught him what love was all about. Now that Grampy has passed away, Timothy finds that the old man's legacy is everything Timothy has dreamed of—and more.

Inside the house Timothy loves so much is a cache of coins with historical value… and a mystery, because one of them isn’t supposed to exist. In memory of his grandfather, Timothy sets out to make sure that the mystery and the coins are given their due honor. In his quest to keep the government from confiscating his grandfather’s legacy, he meets Joiner, whose interest in Timothy is as clear and open as Timothy is guarded. There are things about Timothy's life and his past he doesn't want anyone to know, not even the kind man who is helping him with the complications of legal tender.

Listening Length: 7 hours and 3 minutes
Narrator: John Solo

Reviewer: R *A Reader Obsessed*

I’m very content with this last installment of the Art Series as it showcases original MC’s Dieter and Gerald, and also perpetuates the similar theme of gaining ownership of a family legacy - something I quite enjoyed the first go around.

Timothy has just inherited his late grandfather’s house, and as he contemplates what to do with it, he rekindles the friendship he had as a child with Dieter. Unfortunately, Timothy hasn’t had it easy, having had a very tumultuous relationship with his drug addicted mother, something that has brought and wrought a lot of personal pain. His grandfather was the steady force in his life, and when Timothy discovers some old coins, he feels he must honor “grampy” by officially claiming the controversial money.

Enter Joiner. He’s relatively a newbie at the law firm where Gerald and Brian (MC from book 2) work at, and he’s been tasked to help out on the case. Of course, he’s instantly smitten with the shy and timid Timothy, as his vulnerability pulls at Joiner to do whatever it takes to help him. However, Joiner discovers an unfortunate glitch in U.S. treasury history. One particular coin was never meant for distribution and is inherently the property of the government. Any previous coins claimed have always been instantly confiscated, and Joiner and Gerald must find that special loophole to prevent that from happening again.

Now I have no idea if this is really a true situation or not. Regardless this is still an interesting premise despite this being a romance. I have to say, it’s also a decent hurt comfort story, as Timothy struggles to trust Joiner and their growing feelings, trying to not to let his awful past come between them.

Overall, this was another audio win for John Solo, as I enjoyed listening to him just as much as the previous three stories. Grey doesn’t deviate from his formula, consistently bringing the sweet and sexy with a touch of good ole melodrama. Again, I appreciate this unique theme (minus the minimally connected tangent that was book 3) and I had a good time seeing these lawyers win their cases and find grand love in the process!

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

Guest Review: ...And All Shall Fade to Black by Layla Dorine

Moving into his new apartment, Jax never expected to have to break up a fight between his new neighbors, resulting in a physical altercation and a visit from the cops. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that it would lead to him meeting Danny, the cute theater manager and playwright that lived next door. Unfortunately, his first impression of Danny and the way he’d cowered away in the fight with his ex, wasn’t exactly a favorable one. Jax already has his own issues to deal with, between his past problems with his mother and the chain of men who’ve floated in and out of her life, his new job as a piercer in his sister’s tattoo shop and his struggles with an eating disorder; the last thing he plans to add to it is a relationship. Yet Danny isn’t so easy to ignore and when they find themselves bonding after Danny shows him around town, and more when Jax offers to help with sets for his latest play, it becomes harder and harder for him to ignore the connection forming between them. As Jax’s insecurities and food issues grow more and more out of control, he find himself turning to Danny for help, rather than his longtime friends Callum and Max who lives just downstairs. Danny’s mix of patience, stubbornness and tough love make it harder and harder for Jax to keep his distance, and somewhere in the course of their daily lives, they find themselves moving from being friends, to being more.

Trigger warning: domestic violence

Reviewer: Annika

I'm sorry to say this book didn't work for me. At all. And sadly for so many reasons. My first issue was with the writing and editing of this book. It reads more like an early beta version rather than the finished book. A lot of the times I found the sentence structure to be really confusing and I had to re-read many of them just to try to make sense of them. That might just be me, I don't know. All I know is that I had a difficult time with it.

A lot of the time the story and characters felt flat. Everything lacked in descriptions. I don't need huge and complicated world-buildings, but some basic descriptions would be nice. Reading page after page with only dialogue and nothing that really breaks in to give some relief is exhausting. The really sad thing is that at times there are really great descriptions, and everything flows along nicely, but there should've been so much more of it,

Another pet peeve of mine are constant changes in POV, where you don't know who's head you're in and end up completely lost. At least keep the same POV throughout the entire chapter. I'm always thrown out of the story when there are too many jumps.

And what about our MC's? Well, I'm sad to say I couldn't stand Jax. You'd think Jax would be a more sympathetic person with his past and issues and all that, but to me he just came across like a giant judgemental ass. And with that I don't mean that I need people to be all lovey-dovey and nice and super friendly all the time - it would be ridiculous if they were. But I do want them have basic respect for other human beings. (at least when you are supposed to sympathise and like the person) And Jax's first meeting, well second really (first for us) with Danny just proves that he is not:

Of course the coward on the floor didn't answer him

He couldn't imagine cowering from anyone, let alone someone who seemed hell bent on kicking his ass. At the very least he'd have stood on his own two feet and slugged it out even in a battle he knew he couldn't win

Then you have Danny, who in the beginning comes across as this meek, shy guy who's too afraid to stand up for himself. Yet somehow, they strike up an unlikely pseudo friendship, both wanting more, but too afraid to start something. We don't get to know all that much about Danny as most of the focus is on Jax and his issues or Danny's writing. Danny himself is kind of invisible.

Oh, and for those of you looking for something hot and heavy, this is not the book for you. There is barely no intimacy until the last few chapters of the books. A lot of back and forth between them. A couple of kisses here and there, but not much else and not with any kind of regularity.

I felt like there was a lot of the plot left unexplored, and unanswered. It didn't feel like the story/book was complete. There are too many loose ends left to be tied for my liking. I don't want or need everything fixed by the end of the book. I truly dislike if that's the case. But what I do want and am always looking for is progress, hope. That the characters have learned something from their struggles. When we left the story it felt half done, there is more to be explored, to learn. But not enough for it to turn into a second book or series.

What I did like about this book was how realistic Jax's eating disorder was portrayed. All the struggles he went through, every day and with every bite. You were really there with him during those struggles, they were heart-felt and real. As were the warped sense of self-worth and sense of body. Never wanting help from anyone - or that anyone knew that he was struggling. This part felt really real to me and truly well done.

I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Reboot Blog Tour + Giveaway: Lord of the White Hell (The Cadeleonian Series Volume One) by Ginn Hale

Ginn Hale and A Novel Take PR visit on the Lord of White Hell reboot tour today! Check out the info and sale deets! Enter in the giveaway! The author is giving away 3 e-copies of Lord of the White Hell! Good luck!

Title: Lord of the White Hell Book one

Series: The Cadeleonian Series Volume One

Publisher: Blind Eye Books

Release Date (Print & Ebook): August, 2010

Length (Print & Ebook): 362 pages

Subgenre: High fantasy, school story, YA/NA, epic fantasy

Book blurb: Kiram Kir-Zaki may be considered a mechanist prodigy among his own people, but when he becomes the first Haldiim ever admitted to the prestigious Sagrada Academy, he is thrown into a world where power, superstition and swordplay outweigh even the most scholarly of achievements.

But when the intimidation from his Cadeleonian classmates turns bloody, Kiram unexpectedly finds himself befriended by Javier Tornesal, the leader of a group of cardsharps, duelists and lotharios who call themselves Hellions.

However Javier is a dangerous friend to have. Wielder of the White Hell and sole heir of a Dukedom, he is surrounded by rumors of forbidden seductions, murder and damnation. His enemies are many and any one of his secrets could not only end his life but Kiram's as well.

Buy Links:

Sale info: Lord of the White Hell will be reduced to $2.99 from 9/11 - 9/16.

Select quotes from Ginn Hale about Lord of the White Hell:

“Adventure, romance and happy endings belong to us all.”

“While writing Lord of the White Hell I wanted very much to create characters who represented a greater diversity of race, sexuality and religion than I’d often seen in tales of fantasy and romance. And of course I wanted them to have a rollicking adventure as well!”

Editorial Reviews:

“An intricate world, well-integrated social issues, believable sexual encounters, and an interesting mystery make this dense, languorous tale appealing for any fan of romantic fantasy.” --Publishers Weekly

“Lushly detailed, with believable, fully developed characters, this fantasy with homoerotic overtones is reminiscent of Mercedes Lackey's Vanyel novels and should appeal to a similar readership.”--Library Journal

“There is something almost intoxicating about Ginn Hale's work. Her characters are unforgettable and her plots mesmerizing. The imagery in Lord of the White Hell blazes from the page with ferocious brightness.”--Josh Lanyon


© Ginn Hale

Sweat soaked his shirt. His rapid breath pumped out like steam from one of his engines. At some point he lost the orchard path and found himself stumbling through deeper drifts of snow and surrounded by wild old trees.
He tripped over a fallen branch and crashed into the snow. As he scrambled back to his feet, he caught a glimpse of the roiling black mass rushing through the twilight shadows towards him. He heard whispers, like distant screams. Overhanging tree branches splintered apart the instant the shadow curse fell across them—ripped to shreds just as the groom, Victaro, had been.
Raw panic electrified Kiram’s trembling muscles. He fought through the snow and raced into the darkness of the dense woods. From overhead came the cry of a bird. A crow. First one, then another, and another.
“Help me!” Kiram shouted, praying that this once Bahiim mysticism would serve him. “Please, sisters, help me!”
He didn’t have the strength to waste waiting for a response. He kept moving; then suddenly black wings swept past his head. A crow circled him and then flew between the big pines on Kiram’s left. Desperate for any hope, Kiram plunged through the undergrowth after the bird. Other crows swept down from the branches, leading Kiram and calling him, their harsh voices challenging the terrible growls and shrieks of the curse behind him.
Hard cramps bit through Kiram’s legs. His lungs felt raw. He staggered blindly after the crows, running between towering trees and snow-covered brambles. Then, as one the crows alighted in the bare branches of a huge oak. Kiram fell against the rough trunk of the old tree. His legs buckled beneath him.
The black mass of the curse came up fast, rushing after Kiram. It arched up over the snow like a cresting wave. As its shadow neared Kiram a sick pain punched into his body. Something twisted through his intestines.
It must have blood, Kiram. Alizadeh’s voice moved over him like a chill wind.
Then the crows dived from their perches, sweeping down over Kiram and the curse crashed across their backs. Burning feathers and blood spattered the snow and pelted Kiram. Crow carcasses fell, smoking, to the ground. The curse rose like a black steam from the mutilated birds. Kiram pressed himself back against the oak, not wanting even a wisp to touch him. The curse hung like smoke in the air.
Kiram held his breath, afraid on some primal level that the curse might somehow hear him gasp or feel him exhale. He stared intently as the black wisps slowly coalesced into the dark silhouette of a man.
Kiram recognized the long body with its broad shoulders and slim hips. The curse could have been either Javier’s or Fedeles’ shadow, suspended in the air before his eyes. It took a step closer to Kiram, one hand extending, but then stopped. Suddenly its featureless head turned back as if hearing a call. Its mass dropped to the snow and slithered back across Kiram’s tracks. In an instant it was gone.

Author Bio:

Award-winning author Ginn Hale lives in the Pacific Northwest with her lovely wife and their ancient, evil cat. She spends the rainy days admiring local fungi. The stormy nights, she spends writing science-fiction and fantasy stories featuring LGBT protagonists. (Attempts to convince the cat to be less evil have been largely abandoned.)

Connect with Ginn: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Author Site

Giveaway code to win 3 e-copies of Lord of the White Hell (runs 9/11 - 9/17):

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Blog Tour: Welcome to Crash by Lina Langley

Please welcome Lina Langley who's here today to promote her new book, Welcome to Crash, and she's brought PLAYLISTS!!!

See our review HERE

Music is hugely important in my world, which meant that it was a simple and natural fit to make it an equally important factor in the lives of the characters in Welcome to Crash. Just like their outfits, their music choices display their personalities, and they were hugely inspirational when it came to writing scenes that dealt with specific characters. For your listening pleasure, I have attached a playlist collected when writing about each character, with a small description about what this particular music choice means to each one of them individually.

Music: John’s Playlist

Perhaps the most self-explanatory of the three characters in the novel, John is a punk through and through. Punk rock would have gotten to John’s neck of the woods by the early ‘70s, when Vivienne Westwood facilitated in the creation of punk as an entire movement in the UK. John doesn’t live in London, which is the heart of punk rock, but he lives up north. It would have taken it a few more years to get there in full swing.
Punk in England was as economical as it was political. Simply stated, things were bad. The Specials’ song ‘Ghost Town’,  which was hugely critically acclaimed, reflected on these trying times. Shuttered shops, grandmas selling their wares on the street and an all-time high unemployment record led to a disenfranchised culture. Pissed off youths without much buying power had a lot of free time and very strong opinions.
This environment informs John’s choices in music and affects his perception of the world around him to a considerable extent. Perhaps the character with the most limited music taste--barring a couple of guilty pleasures--John lives and breathes punk culture through all his media consumption.


Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
The Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated
Blondie - Call Me
Blondie - Heart of Glass
Blondie - One Way or Another
The Clash - Rock the Casbah
The Clash - London Calling
The Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go
The Clash - I Fought The Law
Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK
The Dead Kennedys -- Holiday in Cambodia
Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen
The Jam - That’s Entertainment
Madness - Embarrassment
Madness - It Must Be Love
The Cure - So What
X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage! Up Yours!
The Jam - The Eton Rifles
David Bowie - Suffragette City
The Jam - Absolute Beginners
The Clash - Stay Free
Echo and The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon
David Bowie - Sound and Vision
Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart
David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World
David Bowie - Rebel Rebel
Crass - Bata Motel
Pere Ubo - Final Solution
The Slits - Typical Girls
Television - See No Evil
New York Dolls - Personality Crisis
Buzzcocks - Orgasm Addict
Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love

Damien’s playlist:

Damien’s list is more versatile than John’s--and perhaps even Levi’s. He’s a Generation Z’er, a post-millennial, which means that technology has always been at his fingertips. He has never had to search too long for a piece of music or media to be delivered to him. He’s used to always having access to entertainment, and his musical influences are huge and varied. He’s as likely to enjoy an artsy ensemble like Snarky Puppy as he is the latest Rihanna song, and he would discuss either with the same amount of interest and passion.

Vulfpeck - Back Pocket
Vulfpeck - Christmas in LA
Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait
Mumford and Sons - Little Lion Man
Of Monsters And Men - Little Talks
Passenger - Let Her Go
Daft Punk - Instant Crush ft. Julian Casablancas
Daft Punk - Touch ft. Paul Williams
Daft Punk - Fragments of Time ft. Todd Edwards
Alicia Keys - No One (Official Video)
Nicki Minaj - Starships
Beyoncé - Single Ladies
Christina Aguilera - Fighter
Britney Spears - Womanizer
Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Nicki Minaj - Anaconda
Katy Perry - Firework
Kesha - Tik Tok
Cascada - Everytime We Touch
DNCE - Cake by The Ocean
Sia - Cheap Thrills
Mike Posner - I Took A Pill in Ibiza
The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk - Starboy
Rihanna - Work

Levi’s playlist:

Levi’s music taste has a little bit of everything, though mostly he’s a fan of Queen and Michael Jackson. He likes Blues and Rock, and he’s happy to listen to anything as long as it fits his mood. As a teenager growing up in England, he’s likely to have listened to Blur and Oasis, but he also likes George Michael and The Bee Gees. He’s also the kind of person that listens to music that he knows very well when he’s writing, so he’s likely to have this playlist on repeat when he’s working on his book.

The Killers - Mr. Brightside
Duran Duran - Come Undone
Blur - Song 2
Janet Jackson - Doesn’t Really Matter
Toni Braxton - Unbreak My Heart
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
George Michael - Careless Whisper
Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
The Bee Gees - Stayin’ Alive
The Bee Gees - How Deep Is Your Love
Queen - Don’t Stop Me Now
Queen - I Want To Break Free
Queen - Somebody To Love
Queen - Killer Queen
Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Michael Jackson - They Don’t Care About Us
Michael Jackson - Beat It
Michael Jackson - Thriller
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean


At first, Damien feels lucky to land a job at an influential art studio, but it soon becomes obvious that something’s not right. His gorgeous boss, John, is interested, and he’d be the perfect man for Damien—if Damien wasn’t already in a relationship. It isn’t long before Damien is at the center of a love triangle, forced to choose between hot, punk John and his secret affair with his professor, Levi. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because something impossible is happening to Damien—and it’s having a drastic effect on his health as well as his perception of reality.

Each time Damien goes to work, things grow more bizarre, starting with Sam—an artist who has been dead for years and now somehow… isn’t. Damien’s unusual circumstances also free him from the restrictions of monogamy—or so he thinks. Levi, who cannot believe Damien’s claims, fears for his sanity. John also has strong doubts when Damien reveals knowledge of a catastrophic event looming in John’s future. Whether the men he loves believe his wild claims or not, neither can deny Damien is languishing, and if they cannot save him, he’ll be lost. More importantly, they must convince Damien to save himself.


Lina Langley is a first-generation immigrant. She currently lives in sunny Florida and spends her time slashing hot strangers while getting coffee.

Her past is haunted by spies, thieves, tyrants, and murderers. A resident of the world, she’s lived on three different continents. She first saw a radiator when she was twenty-two years old, and one time she followed a cat instead of going to a house party.

She likes to read, watch TV, and play video games when she’s not developing them. The rest of her free time is spent recreating her own characters in The Sims and hoping that people don’t look at the back end of her games.