Guest Review: Engle Byen (A Place to Call Home #1) by David Goldon

After a traumatic event, Michael found himself in a coastal town with the odd name of Engle Byen. Engle Byen is a town so perfect Michael could have dreamt it up, a place he could call home.

Not long after his arrival, he was stunned to meet one of his neighbours, the devilishly handsome Jacob. Michael was instantly attracted to Jacob’s heart thumping good looks, but also sensed danger within this man who began to relentlessly pursue him romantically.

Michael formed close friendships with his other neighbours, who suggested he should steer clear of any romantic intentions with Jacob, as much as they wanted to, they wouldn’t, they couldn’t, say why.

Jacob began working as an orderly at St. Angelina’s hospital where Michael worked as a nurse. Shortly after, Michael began to sense strange occurrences with the patients in his care, occurrences that appeared to involve Jacob.

What is behind Jacob’s obsession with Michael? Will the love-starved Michael submit to Jacob’s unrelenting, lustful pursuit or act on his instinct to steer clear of the most handsome man he ever did meet?

Reviewer: NeRdyWYRM

This novella was one of those stories where you know you're missing something obvious the whole time, but how obvious is it really if you can't figure it out? Yep. Mindtwister. That's pretty much what this story was.

inside your head-bigbang-engle byen review pics

The characters were engaging and the pacing was good for a novella. I kept waiting for something really gnarly to happen and I wasn't disappointed although it wasn't nearly as dark as some of the other shorts I've read lately. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I had expectations, Oh The Horror! And this one lived up to those expectations and failed to live down to them in other ways. Figure that one out. Mindtwister.

I don't want to spoil anything and that is all too easy to do with a shorter story so I won't say too much more. Suffice it to say that I would be surprised if anyone can both discern the threads that run through this story and weave them into something coherently accurate before the author reveals all. In other words, it's un-figure-out-able and if there's anyone out there who managed to suss out the plot and the twist in this one before we're explicitly told what's going on on-page, then I bow down to you because you must be a genius and this is for you:

genius-engle byen review pics

I absolutely love stories with unexpected twists where I can look back and go "Duh! How did I miss that?" before realizing that I missed it because someone way smarter and more skilled than I managed to keep it under wraps and there was NO WAY even my smart self could have caught on. Huh. I have an I've-been-outsmarted kink. Who knew?

Read this story. You'll like it. It's not the hottest thing I've read lately, it's not the most funny, or the scariest, or the most ... well, anything really. What it is, is strangely compelling even if it doesn't really feel that way until after it's over. See? Strange. But don't forget the 'compelling' part. That's important, too.

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.

Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.

An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.

Audiobook Review: Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford

Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that's running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.

Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.

While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart... even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.

Listening Length: 9 hours and 44 minutes
Narrator: Greg Tremblay

I am a total fangirl for Rhys Ford’s Urban Fantasy novels. All of them so far. This will be the fourth book with this theme and my second Greg Tremblay audio. As always, Greg brings something extra to the table when he narrates. I have no doubt that the story is brilliant in print, but this is something special, and I think I will always choose this format when it comes to Rhys Ford’s novels. The combination of Rhys’ writing style and the Greg’s voice acting makes them the perfect pair to showcase both talents.

Roku McCormick is a very exciting character. I loved the descriptions of his physical appearance. There was something completely enchanting about the skin markings in the shape of wings. I would love to see this as fanart. I think it could be something amazing (I haven’t looked to see if it exists, and if it does, links please).

This story starts with action. We get to know what sort of cop Roku is from the start. His personality was right there from the beginning. It also introduced his damage. He is in mourning after his family was murdered, and that really comes through in his POV.

Trent is an outsider, who has just joined the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division. He is mysterious and completely out of his element. This is slowly revealed toward the halfway point. We get to know him through Roku and he is sexy and endearing.

This story has all sorts of urban fantasy elements. We have a spell caster who appears to be exacting some sort of Mayhem in Chinatown, and the mystery is well plotted out, with a satisfying ending. There are all manner of creatures, but the predominant groups are human and fey.

I didn’t read this in short story form, so I’m not sure how it was expanded but I think it would be well worth the second go-round for readers of the short, and definitely recommended in this format to all Fantasy fans.

Blog Tour: Regret Me Not by Amy Lane

Amy Lane is here today for Christmas Storytime!!! And to promote her new holiday novel, Regret Me Not from DSP. Check out the excerpt below!

Something Old, Something New

By Amy Lane

So, when I started this blog tour for Regret Me Not I promised a mix of new and old stories—and I think most of the ones I’ve set down here have been new—or new to my long-term readers. They’re things that I haven’t shared for a blog tour, I don’t think, and some of them happened before I started blogging much at all, so they might not even be on my personal blog.

So, new.

But this one is old. This one was pulled up in City Mouse—some of you might recognize it from there, but it was based on a Christmas long ago.

Back when Big T and Chicken were very small. Chicken was two—barely. ZoomBoy had just turned four.  They were just old enough to get really into all of the excitement of things under the tree.

And we were just broke enough to barely be able to provide some.

Mate and I went shopping late into the season because it’s when we finally had money, and we had to think hard about every purchase, which is hard when you have two hours at Target, total, before you have to pick your kids up from your parents who aren’t thrilled to be watching them, period. (Big T was something of a challenge—he pushed everybody’s comfort zone at the time.)

We got home and wrapped the gifts—Chicken, darling little Chicken, even came out of her crib at two in the morning to help. Bless her. She got really upset when I didn’t open the bags of chocolate for her right then. (Much like now.)

And then we had two days left before Christmas and just enough money to eat until New Years Day.

And we didn’t have any presents for each other.

“I got you new jeans,” I said, thinking. “I mean, I told you I got them, but I’ll wrap them. They’ll be able to give you a gift from under the tree.”

“But you don’t have anything,” he said sadly.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “Got it covered.”

I had one indulgence back then. One. This was before yarn, even. One.

Every month I got four Harlequin books delivered. Eventually it would be historicals and two, but at the moment, it was Harlequin Temptation, in the distinctive red covers—before Blaze debuted, which involved the word “cock” and women who liked sex just as much as men.  Nope—this was Temptation. And I loved them.

I’d been too busy to ready my December delivery yet, so I wrapped them up and put them under the tree.

Merry Christmas to me! I got books! 

I have no idea what the kids thought—the one picture we have that year involves Mate on the couch, looking exhausted (he worked and went to school that year) and Chicken holding a doll to her chest like it’s the most precious thing ever. But Mom got books and Dad got jeans without holes, so Santa was really good to us that year.

We would have other Christmases, some more solvent than that, and some riding the fine edge of credit card explosion.

That year I gave myself my favorite gift—and Santa called it a win. I hope all the gifts I’ve given my children have made them as happy as those four books made me.

Regret Me Not has a lot of shopping in it. A lot of hoping to find the perfect gift—sometimes for Pierce and Hal, and sometimes for Pierce to help his sister live beyond the boundaries of a limited childhood.

I hope, at the end, this story gives people what those four romances gave me. A little escape, a little joy, a little indulgence. 

A little bit of hope that imagining a world where romance is possible is the best way to close out the old year and begin the new.


Pierce Atwater used to think he was a knight in shining armor, but then his life fell to crap. Now he has no job, no wife, no life—and is so full of self-pity he can’t even be decent to the one family member he’s still speaking to. He heads for Florida, where he’s got a month to pull his head out of his ass before he ruins his little sister’s Christmas. 

Harold Justice Lombard the Fifth is at his own crossroads—he can keep being Hal, massage therapist in training, flamboyant and irrepressible to the bones, or he can let his parents rule his life. Hal takes one look at Pierce and decides they’re fellow unicorns out to make the world a better place. Pierce can’t reject Hal’s overtures of friendship, in spite of his misgivings about being too old and too pissed off to make a good friend.

As they experience everything from existential Looney Tunes to eternal trips to Target, Pierce becomes more dependent on Hal’s optimism to get him through the day. When Hal starts getting him through the nights too, Pierce must look inside for the knight he used to be—before Christmas becomes a doomsday deadline of heartbreak instead of a celebration of love.

Buy Links:


The Morning After….

THE EVER-PRESENT shush of the sea echoed in his ears. Even before he was awake, Pierce Atwater knew that sound had haunted him in his dreams.
He yawned and stretched, the familiar aches of healing injuries pulling at his skin and muscles and the unfamiliar ache in his backside waking him up fully. Oh, hey. It had been a while since that happened.
With a heave, Pierce sat up entirely, getting his bearings. The beach house he’d lived in since Thanksgiving glowed as bright and gold as he remembered—too beautiful. Almost pristine.
His body, on the other hand—that felt well-used.
He turned and looked at the bed he’d just vacated, noting that it was rumpled and sex stained; lovemaking and sweat permeated the room.
Oh wow. Oh damn. What had he done?
A piece of paper—the ripped-off corner of a brown grocery bag—caught his attention on the other pillow of the king-sized bed.

Please don’t leave without saying goodbye—


Pierce stared at the note, only marginally prepared for the giant ache that bloomed in his chest.
Aw, Hal—you deserve so very much more.
He looked around the room again, eyes falling on the clock radio. He was supposed to leave in an hour—he’d told his sister specifically that he’d be in Orlando by lunch so he could bake cookies with her kids.
He looked at the note again and tried hard to breathe.

The Month Before

“SO YOU have the Lyft app, right?”
“Yeah, Sasha—don’t worry about me, okay?” Pierce regarded his younger sister fondly. She was made to be a mother—even if she came into being one a little young.
Sasha bit her lip, trying not to argue. She’d been such a sweet kid growing up—never saying boo to either of their rather domineering parents. She’d gotten pregnant right out of high school, and even though Marshall had stepped up and married her and they’d both managed to get their degrees, their parents… well, they’d never let Sasha live down what a disappointment she’d been. Or—their words—what a slut either.
Pierce had hated them long before Sasha got pregnant, but the way they’d tried to destroy her for a simple human failing had sort of sealed the deal.
But parenthood had made Sasha—and Marshall—a great deal stronger than they’d been as feckless teenagers, and while Sasha wouldn’t argue with her beloved older brother, she would discuss things she disagreed with.
“Pierce, you almost died,” she said quietly, her thin face suddenly lost in the pallor of anxiety and the cloud of fine dark hair she could never keep back in a ponytail. “I mean… I refuse to see Mom and Dad over the holidays because they’re just… just….”
“Awful,” he supplied with feeling. Yeah. He’d resolved not to put up with awful anymore.
“Toxic,” she agreed, leaning back against her aging SUV. Darius and Abigail were sleeping in the back seat after playing out in the surf under Pierce’s supervision while Marshall and Sasha moved Pierce into the condo. Pierce had worried—he couldn’t move very well without the cane these days, and what did he know about kids and water?
But mostly what they’d wanted to do was run away from the waves and collect shells, and the one time Abigail had been knocked on her ass into the surf, Pierce had bent down and picked her up by the hand before the pain even registered.
The move had hurt—but it had given him some hope. His doctors kept assuring him that he could get most of his mobility back if he kept active and remembered his aqua regimen. Picking Abigail up and reassuring her that Uncle Pierce wouldn’t let her drown gave him some confidence that his body might someday be back up to par. And the condo had a pool, which was why he’d taken his best friend Derrick’s offer to let him use it over the winter months while Pierce got his life together. Pierce was definitely in a position to follow his doctor’s advice.
So now, looking at his sister and thinking about how much self-assurance she’d had to grow to push a little into Pierce’s state of mind, he couldn’t be mad at her.
And he had to be honest.
“I’ll be grumpy and pissed off and bitter,” he said, letting his mouth twist into a scowl of disdain for the land of the living. He’d been fighting it off since Sasha picked him up at the airport. “It’s a good thing you made me get the car app, because seriously, I may have let myself starve to death. As it is, the groceries are going to keep me going for a good long time.”
Sasha’s eyes grew big and bright, and he took her hand and squeezed.
“Don’t worry, sweetie. None of it is your fault. You would have let me stay at your place forever, and I was getting in your way. This is good. I’ll hang out here, find a little peace, and when I go back to Orlando, I’ll be up for getting my own apartment and getting out of your hair, okay?”
“I’d never kick you out, Pierce,” she said miserably. “You know that.” She wiped the back of her hand across her big brown eyes. “You just… you got out of the hospital and—”
“And I was an awful fucking bastard,” he said with feeling. Oh God. The defining moment for calling up Derrick to take him up on his offer was when he’d heard his father’s words coming out of his mouth, telling his sister she was useless because she couldn’t help him off the couch without pain. “Sasha, you deserve better than me. You deserve better, period. I’m not going to hang around you and get in your way again until I’m decent company for human beings, okay?”
Sasha shook her head, still crying. “You were in pain,” she whispered. “And you were sorry right after. And you’ve done so much for me, Pierce. I can forgive you for being mean once when you did so much for me….”
He remembered the night she’d shown up at his apartment, in tears, practically hysterical, because she’d told the parents about an impending Darius and had been read the riot act about what a fuckup she was.
He’d taken her in—let her stay with him for a couple of months until she and Marshall scraped up enough money for rent and a car. She’d gotten a job, and Pierce had paid her tuition as she made her way through school. She had a career now—one she could work from home as a developmental editor of a small press. Marshall had his degree in software engineering, and together they made a good living—good enough to afford a guest bedroom and to put Pierce up for a month after the accident.
Pierce squeezed her hand now. “You listen to me,” he said gruffly. “You don’t owe me a thing. You’re the only family I want to see—pretty much ever. So just let me work shit out in my own head, and I’ll come back for Christmas a whole new man, okay?”
“I like the one you are right now!” she said staunchly, and then she threw herself in his arms and held on tight. “Love you, big brother,” she whispered, and Marshall stood behind her, guiding her away.
“Love you too,” he said belatedly, and Marshall turned and shook his hand firmly.
“Come back when you promised, okay?” Marshall was just as slight as Sasha—two small, mild-mannered people getting along in a bright, brash world. Pierce had always fancied himself their champion knight—he couldn’t be that as he was.
He had to make himself better.
“Christmas Eve,” Pierce vowed. “Don’t worry, Marshall. Nobody likes being alone on Christmas.”
Marshall shrugged. “We wouldn’t be alone, Pierce. We just don’t want you to be.”
With that, the guy Pierce and Sasha’s parents had driven off their property with a baseball bat guided a disconsolate Sasha into the old vehicle and piloted it away.
As soon as they’d left the parking lot, Pierce allowed his shoulders to sag and dragged his sorry ass to the back door of the condo.
He crawled into bed and stayed there until he absolutely had to get up and pee the next morning.

STAYING IN bed for sixteen hours had consequences—he almost didn’t make it to the bathroom, he was so sore. After he’d taken care of business and washed down a granola bar, he realized he was going to have to be serious about that pool thing, or he really could end up curling into a ball and dying in a beach condo in Florida.
For a moment he contemplated it—he’d always been the kind of guy to consider all the angles—but eventually he decided he wouldn’t go quickly enough and managed a pair of board shorts and a T-shirt. As he walked through the tiled hall of the condo, he realized the tile was going to destroy his body almost as quickly as the inactivity, and made a mental note to buy some rubber mats at the very least, so he’d have some padding for his joints. Derrick had said to make himself at home—ergonomic home decorating was a go!
Just as soon as he got into the… ahhh… pool.
Heated, of course, and a perfect counterpoint to a cool day in the high fifties/low sixties. He’d set his phone on a lounge chair, playing something disgustingly upbeat and perky, and went about doing the exercises he and his physical therapist had worked on.
Actual physical motor activity really did have magical properties—it must have. He was working up a head of steam, the resistance and buoyancy of the water supporting his body as he used active stretching techniques, when a voice cut into his workout Zen.
“If you don’t straighten your back, you’ll be in a world of hurt!”
Crap. Whoever that was, he was right.
Pierce adjusted his form and then looked over his right shoulder, from whence the voice—deep and sharp and young—had issued.
“Thanks,” he said briefly, taking in the sprawled form of what looked to be a teenager wearing board shorts, a leopard-print bathrobe, and giant aviator sunglasses, lounging in one of the chaises. Dark hair, faintly sun streaked, was cut almost Boy Scout short around an adorable frat boy face. His hands were sort of a mess, loosely wrapped in gauze, but other than that, he was as untouched as a virgin’s dreams.
“Dude, what in the hell are you listening to? This shit.” The boy shuddered. “I’m saying. I bet you could work up a sweat if you had decent music.”
“It’s a mix,” Pierce said weakly, feeling old and slow. “I just hit an easy button, you kn—”
“I’ll get you a better sound,” the kid said, picking up the phone. “What’s your password?”
Pierce gave it to him and then stopped dead in the water and almost drowned. He was in the deep end, and he had to work to stay afloat and—
“Don’t spaz,” the kid said on a note of deep disgust. “My phone’s in the condo, and I could give a shit about your passwords. Jesus, if I was a hacker genius, I’d be someplace warm, you think?”
Pierce took a deep breath, and suddenly Katy Perry came blaring out of his phone. Well, okay, so everybody had heard this song; it did make him want to work harder. Pierce was calling it a win.
“Thanks,” he said again, panting now because he was moving faster.
The kid shrugged. “Don’t worry about it. You gonna be here tomorrow?”
“Yeah, but—”
“Same time?”
“Yeah.” ’Cause why not. Nothing better to do, right? No job, no wife, no life?
“Good. I’ll see you here with better music. Now stop doing that water walk thing and do a mountain climber—come on—I know you can.”
Pierce glared at him—and switched the move.
“There you go. Now follow my pace. You can go faster.” The kid started clapping, and Pierce struggled to keep up.
“I can’t… do… that…,” he gasped. He expected attitude back, because the kid had given him nothing but, and he was surprised when the clapping slowed.
“Sorry. You just look younger than this pace.”
Pierce had his back to the kid, but he had the sensation of a thorough visual once-over. He adjusted to the new pace and found his wind again. “Car accident,” he managed, trying not to be offended.
“Aw… aw hell. I’m sorry. I’m being an ass. I should just leave you to your workout.”
“No,” Pierce called out, stopping to tread water and cool down enough to talk. “Sorry—just… I was getting a workout. I suck doing this alone.” He kept his arms and legs moving and found the kid on the side of the pool again—he’d moved from where Pierce had first spotted him to stand right in front of the line Pierce was using to go back and forth.
“Yeah, well, being alone sort of sucks on all fronts,” the kid said philosophically. “I’ll try not to be an ass if you try to do a hard workout, how’s that?”
Pierce found himself nodding, even though he’d only come out to the pool out of what he deemed necessity. “Deal,” he panted.
“Okay, now back to mountain climbers. I’ll set the pace, and if it’s too fast, cry uncle.”
“Groovy,” Pierce breathed, positioning himself to go. “Now shoot.”
The kid put him through a decently difficult workout, adjusting for the things Pierce couldn’t do yet and pushing him hard in the stuff he could. After forty-five minutes, Pierce was starting to cramp up, though, and the kid had him stretch out.
Good stuff, really—the blue freedom of the water, the structure of the workout, and the congeniality of dealing with another human being without bitterness or backstory served as sort of a purge—some of the self-pity Pierce had wallowed in for the past sixteen hours was rinsed away.
But not all of it.
He was getting out of the pool when the damage in his calf and thigh screamed protest, and he groaned and grabbed on to the rail. The kid was right there, though, stepping into the water regardless of his pricey flip-flops and the hem of his leopard-print bathrobe.
“Uh-oh—overdid it. C’mon, let me help you to the hot tub. I’ll give you a rubdown, okay?”
“No,” Pierce grunted, suddenly aware of this kid. Lean and narrow but defined practically by muscle group, his body was a work of art, and Pierce didn’t even know if he was of age. And even if he was of age, he was too damned young for Pierce.
“No hot tub?” the kid asked sharply. “Or no gay guy touching you?”
Pierce’s face heated. “No hot teenager touching me?” he mumbled, limping toward the steamy goodness of the little spa and trying not to lean too much into the kid’s strong arms.
The youngster’s throaty chuckle didn’t reassure him in the least. “I’m twenty-three, old man, so cool your jets. Besides, I’m”—his voice dropped sadly, and the suddenly vulnerable look on his frat boy face made him look even younger—“well, I’d like to become a massage therapist, but I’ve only got half the coursework and hours done. Seriously, though, I’m halfway a professional, and I’m pretty good, so maybe let me work out the cramp in your leg?” He smiled winningly and used his free hand to lift his shades so he could bat a pair of admittedly limpid and arresting amber-brown eyes. “After all, I did work you over pretty hard.”
Pierce rolled his eyes at the double entendre, but as he reached for the rail of the hot tub, he had to concede that having his leg worked on would make the whole working-out thing feel like less of a mistake.
“Yeah, sure,” he muttered, taking the steps creakily one at a time. “Sure, you can squeeze my muscles till I scream.”
The kid chuckled again, inviting Pierce in on the laugh. “So you’re happy to let me rub one out on you?”
Pierce groaned. “God, kid, I can hardly walk. No sex jokes until I can make it out of the pool without collapsing.”
“So there can be sex jokes. Eventually. I just want to make sure.” Very gingerly the kid lowered Pierce until he was sitting. After he straightened, he scampered up the steps and pulled off his sodden robe, laying it out on the chaise to dry, and kicked off his ruined leather sandals.
“Oh geez.” Pierce thought of the massacre of perfectly good shoes and robe and was attacked by his conscience, which he’d assumed was dormant or dead. “Kid, I’m sorry about the clothes—”
“Don’t be.” He shrugged. “They’re my old man’s, and since he kicked me out of the house for Christmas, he can pretty much kiss off his super classy robe and huaraches, you hear me?”
Pierce wasn’t sure whether to chuckle or be horrified. “Just for Christmas?” he asked, making sure.
He lowered the sunglasses over his eyes again, probably to help him look insouciant when he was—in all likelihood—wounded. “Folks were having important political friends over. I’m a gay embarrassment, so I got the beach house. Last year they were in Europe, and I got the beach house with my boyfriend and we fucked like lemmings. No boyfriend this year.”
“The lemmings are safe?” Pierce asked, sympathies reluctantly stirred. Parents who judged their kids for sexual activity? He knew those assholes! Pierce and Sasha had grown up with their very own set.
Kid laughed, sounding young and happy instead of casual and cynical. Pierce liked the sound. “Here, let me rub your leg down—I promised.”
Pierce grunted. “Kid—”
“Like the computer?”
Hal stared at him, unimpressed. “Oh dear, a Space Odyssey joke. I’ve never heard one of those, given that I’ve had this stupid name since birth. Now give me your leg.”
Pierce complied, startled by the venom. “Well, I could call you ‘Prince Hal,’ like—”
“King Henry the Fifth? Like in the Branagh movie?”
Pierce racked his brains, trying to remember. “I thought Branagh just did Hamlet,” he said, confused.
Hal gasped and wrapped his hands around Pierce’s ankle. “Heathen! How could you not know about the Branagh King Henry? He was young and still faithful and downright adorable!”
As he spoke, Hal worked his capable, agile fingers up Pierce’s leg—between that and the hot, bubbling water, Pierce’s entire body was melting like chocolate in the sun.


Amy Lane has two grown children, two half-grown children, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance--and if you accidentally make eye contact, she'll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She'll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Review: Moonlight and Moonshine (Fae Haven #0.5) by Elizabeth Silver & Jenny Urban

The annual Haven City Renaissance Faire is a time of magic and adventure. Or so the brochures all say. To Bryan, Jeff, Alex, and Quentin, it’s a home away from home. A chance to let loose and live in a fantasy land for a few weeks every summer, while staying close to the ones they care most about--each other. But no matter how deep their feelings might run, the worry that they might ruin their friendship runs deeper.

In the human realm searching for his missing powers, King Oberon and his sweetheart, Puck, find themselves befriending four young men terrified of how much they want each other. The human boys are all determined to hold onto what they have instead of taking the gamble for what they want, but the tension is working its way between them already. No matter what they tell themselves, change lurks behind them.

And then there’s a midsummer evening, Puck’s moonshine, not to mention a misfired spell. When all the cards are on the table--and the magically created mattress--it’s up to the four humans to decide if they have enough courage to love as freely and openly as they’ve always dreamed.

This book’s blurb had me at “magically created mattress”.

Knowing I had to get me some of that I snatched this one up and it was a lot of porntastic fun. It’s a story about four friends who work/live the Ren Faire lifestyle and are drowning in UST. Like, four times the UST of a regular MM romance, so yeah, that’s a lot.

The Faire falls during a time when Oberon and Tatiana are having one of their legendary quests to outdo one another and Oberon is on a mission to get his powers back as Titiana has hidden them in a human vessel at the midsummer Ren Faire. Obie is there with his trusty sidekick Puck who brought along his trusty sidekick Moonshine, made from actual Moonshine. Shenanigans commence!

The otherworldlies befriend the four friends, Bryan, Jeff, Alex and Quentin and since they are all kinds of magical and whatnot, they see the relationship these Ren bros long to have but are afraid to reach for. It makes sense, they rely on one another and if even one of them isn’t down for the four seater fuck truck to pound town, their friendship will pay the price. None of them are willing to do that, or even believe the others could feel the same, hence, all the lusty UST.

Alcohol is the catalyst for many a regretful evening, but magic Moonshine says “hold my beer” and tears down every wall and rips out every filter the four friends have been hanging on to. What follows is copious amounts of bodily fluids and many declarations of undying love. And this is what the authors nailed just right, I totally bought into the unconditional love they all had for one another. I didn’t have to be told, I already knew it from the setup and there wasn’t one smidgen of regret that non magical alcohol conjures up.

Bonus points for making each of the MCs distinct so I didn’t need a schematic and a searchlight to figure out how the boning was happening, it all flowed along nice and easy. Having indistinct characters is usually the death knell for an MMM story, much less an MMMM!

There was a plethora of reassurances that had to happen, think friends to lovers and the “are you sure?” and “I had no idea!” conversations that take place. Multiply that by 4. Which was fine and made sense, anything else would have rang false for the buildup to that point, but it’s a lot of, “I’ve always loved you all equally but differently, but equally and let me fuck it into you so you believe me”. This was all perfectly good with me to be honest.

If this prequel is a taste of the rest of the series, sign me up. It’s a fun and horny adventure that’s well written and has enough legit feelings and story to keep it from being PWP while still providing all the enjoyment of PWP.

Win - win!

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

Release Blitz + Giveaway: On Your Knees, Prospect (Kings of Hell MC #3) by K.A. Merikan

The Merikans have returned to the clubhouse! Celebrate the new release of On Your Knees, Prospect (Kings of Hell MC #3) with K.A. Merikan and Signal Boost Promotions! Enter in the backlist giveaway!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 130,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

Kings of Hell MC Series

Book #1 - Laurent & The Beast - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 - My Dark Knight - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 - Gray's Shadow (Coming 2018)


--- There is freedom in blacking boots for the right man. ---

Jake. Kings of Hell MC Prospect. Obedient. Desperate for approval.

Vars. Dominant. Stern. Undead.

Jake is itching to become a patched member of the Kings of Hell MC.

For two years he's toiled as the only prospect. So when a new guy swans in and thinks he'll get a patch in no time just because he's got friends in high places, Jake is there to stand in his way.

Only that the guy is older, more experienced, drives a Harley, and has the kind of boots Jake craves to lick.

But he won't.

Because he only fucks patches.

Vars is ready to find a new home in the Kings of Hell MC after a messy relationship led him straight to hell. In comparison, the pretty, blue-eyed prospect could be just the pleasant rebound he needs.

The boy is a brat, but that could be amended with a firm hand and a gag.

If only Jake was ready to admit to his submissive needs, Vars would gladly take him under his wing.

That is, until he finds out something inhuman resides inside of Jake.

Vars didn’t cheat death only to call out to it again.

But stuck together in one room, keeping each other’s secrets, they might just have to become allies, no matter how unwilling. Because if there is something Vars can’t resist, it’s a boy with pleading eyes.

“You are mine now, boy. This room is soundproof. No one will hear you scream.”
“Yes, sir. My body is yours.”

WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters. 


Jake wouldn’t be subjected to this indignity. He hit right back at Vars, even if the man was solid as a rock. “I’m no slave! I do what I’m asked, and yes, if that means sucking dick, so be it. It’s called dedication. I bet you’ve never heard of it!”

Something flashed in Vars’s eyes, and he descended on Jake, twisting back his arms and pushing him forward as if Jake barely weighed anything. With a yelp, Jake clenched his eyes shut, unable to breathe as he braced himself for impact with the floor, but his body met hard steel instead.

Dampness started soaking into his clothes, and his chin slid over Knight’s newly-cleaned car. It smelled of detergent, sharp and unpleasant, but the large body pressing him down overpowered all his senses.

He struggled against the firm hold but knew he could put more strength into it. His mind drifted off to the leather flogger and cuffs that have occupied it from the moment Jake had made the mistake of touching Vars’s toy bag.

The cool touch of the car’s hood was a relief to his burning cheek. It was increasingly difficult to remind himself every day that Vars was a prospect like him when the man carried himself with so much authority.

“You sure of that?” Vars whispered, leaning over Jake until his lips were inches away from Jake’s ear. The movement pressed his hips tighter to Jake’s ass, and even though there was no trace of arousal in those leather pants, sensing the heat of Vars’s groin had Jake’s flesh feel like molten fire. Were Vars’s pubes salt-and-pepper as well, or had that been his imagination?

“Of what?” Jake’s voice came out trembling so heavily he didn’t recognize it at first. What was he doing? He couldn’t possibly give into this weird thing Vars was pulling him into. Vars had no right to him. No patch. And yet everything about the energy Vars exuded spoke to Jake on a level he didn’t understand.

So he stayed put and stopped the pretense of struggle.

Vars breathed fire down the back of Jake’s neck, and while his body still pressed down hard, and his powerful hands still kept Jake’s arms in a twist, something about the hold changed. Vars hesitated with his answer, his hips swaying gently against Jake’s buttocks as he inhaled and exhaled so close to Jake’s ear it was almost like shouting.

“That you want to serve. That polishing all those shoes on your knees gets your dick hard.”

Yes? No? Maybe? No. Yes.

So he might actually enjoy doing things for the members. Big deal. It was a lucky thing, since he’d been stuck as a prospect for years.

Jake couldn’t understand why he was so nervous. Why his body reacted so violently to this inquisition. Vars’s bulk pressing against him wasn’t helping with focus, but it was the hold on his arms that was making Jake’s senses spiral out of control. He’d gotten a glimmer of that when wrestling with Gray before, but there was something different about Vars holding him down. He just didn’t know what.

“I just want to please,” Jake whispered so quietly he wasn’t sure he’d be heard.

Author Bio

K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride.

K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.







a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

Audiobook Review: Something's Brewing at Joe's by S.J.D. Peterson

The promise of a dream job lures Murphy to Tampa, but he arrives to the rude awakening that the offer is on hold. Now he’s got two choices: slink back to Michigan with his tail between his legs or stay and look for work. Things perk up when he goes into a coffee shop and learns the owner is looking for someone to renovate the apartment above it. He happily takes the job, only later realizing he’s met Joe Sterling, Kaffeinate’s proprietor, before… when they hooked up at a club Murphy’s first night in Tampa.

Murphy and Joe are both proud, passionate, and outspoken. Neither is looking for a relationship, though they can’t deny they go together as well as coffee and doughnuts, in spite of their tempers. But that’s before Joe learns Murphy will be working for the corporation he believes is harming local businesses and the environment—and if Murphy will be supporting it, Joe will want nothing to do with him, dooming any possibility of an unexpected happy ending.

Listening Length: 7 hours and 29 minutes
Narrator: Chase Johnson

I don’t quite know what to say about this story. I think it has some really great things to it, but on the rare occasion that an audio can make or break a read for me, it really affected my thoughts on how these characters and the story were interpreted.

Basically, Murphy and Joe meet up in a club, and they hit if off immediately. They both want a no strings attached hookup and really believe their one off is just that - a fabulous night of hot fucking never to see each other again. However, of course circumstance will not allow such, and they find themselves employee and employer in an unconventional setting. What proceeds is the inevitable feelings and wanting more despite both of them protesting too much.

Per the blurb, these two are “proud, passionate, and outspoken”, and boy does narrator Chase Johnson take that description to heart making both Murphy and Joe aggressive, brash, and arrogant. I admit I do not have much experience reading Peterson, but this just seemed a tad bit OTT, a tad bit too much in how these guys acted and thought and spoke, running hot and cold and back to hot, as they grapple with their feelings and the volatile conflict arising from Murphy’s other job. Now granted, that could be solely from the audio, which just did not work for me. Murphy and Joe are live hot wires, and Johnson uses those cues to the max, so much so it was jarring every time they growled or snapped or barked at each other. Unfortunately, he did this constantly with both characters, making them nearly indistinguishable. Even their thoughts were loud and indignant and it seemed like they were in a constant battle to see who could be the most tough and manly.

So yes, this time around the audio influenced my rating. Usually, I can keep things separate but this was so dramatic and in your face, I was exhausted every time I listened to this. Points towards Murphy and Joe being horny with a capital H. They’re young, single, and looking to have a good time, and boy do they find it with each other over and over again despite all their squabbles. If you’re a fan of Peterson I’d say sample this audio hard, but I recommend sticking with the written word instead.

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

Guest Review: Leaning Into A Wish (Leaning Into Stories #3.5) by Lane Hayes

Ryan Haskell loves everything about the wine business. He's fortunate to work at one of the most prestigious wineries in Napa Valley doing something he enjoys with the people who are like family to him. But he could do without the good-natured intern slash former jock with the wicked grin who always seems to be in the way. Ryan isn’t sure why the new guy is under his skin when everyone else loves him. Thankfully he'll be gone after the holidays.

Danny Meyers can’t believe his luck when he lands an internship at Conrad Winery. It’s the perfect temporary gig to wrap up his graduate studies. He's left his dreams of tennis stardom on the court to focus on a new career and a new life. However, he didn't count on the spark of attraction he feels for his prickly co-worker. When their tentative friendship blossoms into something more than either man counted on, they may have to change direction and lean into a holiday wish.

Reviewer: NeRdyWYRM

Another Notch

Lane Hayes has succeeded in adding another strong notch to her Leaning Into [...] bedpost. This was a shorter 'halfsie' story between main installments, but we got to catch up with Ryan from the winery after his failed efforts of establishing something with Wes in Leaning Into the Fall.

I absolutely loved Ryan in this after he got out of his own way and Danny couldn't have been any more perfect. I mean, come on! He was hot as shit, nice as hell, and sweeter than ... powdered sugah. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

Was this the strongest book of the series? No, not particularly. But it was very, very good. I like it when characters who have maligned themselves at some point in a series get a chance at their own happiness even if I wanted to bitchslap 'em the first time around.


Ryan was that character for this series. I felt sad and embarrassed for him before when he was lost in rampant and misplaced desperation. Clearly, the quick turnaround of my last impression of him shows my heart knew he wasn't irredeemable and I'm glad we got to see a better side of him.

I liked both MCs, I liked them together. I liked that Ryan took the time and apologized to Nick for his interference. I liked the beginning, the middle and the end. The pacing was great for a shorter story and Ryan's self-deprecating humor was true to his prickly character and the perfect foil for Danny's sunny disposition. Danny boy was absolutely a breath of fresh air. Love. Love. Love.

I am , as usual, smiling with fondness over these MCs and simultaneously ready to meet the next ones. I'm truly looking forward to the next book. What more can you ask for?

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.
Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.
An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.

Audiobook Review: Cowboys Don't Ride Unicorns (Cowboys Don't #2) by Tara Lain

Cowboy Danny Boone—a name he made up one drunken night and has regretted ever since—harbors a big past and yearns for a small future. A short, bright career as a champion bull rider almost ended in his death when his homophobic father discovered Danny was gay. Now Danny longs for a plot of land he can build a ranch house on and enough money to make up for some of the education he missed.

Danny also hides a preference for beautiful femmes who like to top—a combo rarer than a unicorn. Then onto the guest ranch where Danny works drives San Francisco decorator Laurie Belmont, a young man so gorgeous he makes horses gasp, and so ballsy he almost kills Danny’s attacker.

Laurie’s trying to find his way out from under the thumb of a domineering mother, helpless father, and rich, privileged boyfriend.

But no matter the attraction, their lives are worlds apart, and cowboys don’t ride unicorns.

Listening Length: 8 hours and 34 minutes
Narrator: K.C. Kelly

Laurie was a joy to learn about in this story. While I’ll say I wasn’t 100% sold on how he was presented in voice, I will say that I enjoyed his character. His introduction at the ranch was somewhat breathy, but as the story progressed I fell in love with him. He just wanted to support his parents, and had unfortunately been made to feel like a trophy husband was all he would ever be.

Enter Danny. While he was completely enthralled by Laurie, he took the time to really see him. Danny just wanted to be in Laurie’s space, even for a little while, and while he would never poach on a taken man, he couldn’t stop his fantasies.

I enjoy Tara Lain as an author. Her books are always easy to read and engaging. This story has strong character development and a nice plot. There is some drama but it is not deeply angsty, which is a win for me because too much angst is painful for me to read.

This had the perfect amount. Laurie is already in a relationship when he and Danny meet, so the challenge is how to tactfully extract him from it without either of the characters turning into villains. This was done well, and I had no bitter feelings towards either of them.

The chemistry between these two was steamy, and I couldn’t wait for them to rip each other’s clothes off.

There are some fun surprises in store, but watch out for the homophobia and hate-crime. These could be triggers, and are quite graphic. There is also some creepy sexual harassment but thankfully backup arrives before it goes any further.

Recommended for everyone who enjoys Cowboy/City Slicker romances with a femme who turns out to be a unicorn (not literally, this is not a shifter story, unfortunately ;) )

Giveaway + TA Moore & C.S. Poe's Irish/American Christmas Blog Tour!

TA Moore & C.S. Poe are here today promoting their Advent stories in their own unique fashion. You can also win stuff so keep reading to the bottom! Good luck!

Title: Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore & New Game, Start by C.S. Poe
Anthology: Stocking Stuffers (Advent Calendar 2017)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: December 1, 2017
Ghostwriter of Christmas Past - Ever since ghostwriter Jason Burke ended up in loco parentis for his orphaned niece, Mallory, he’s been trying. He goes to parent/teacher events, and he makes packed lunches, so he definitely didn’t mean to forget about Christmas. He just hasn’t celebrated it since he left home under a cloud years ago.
Put on the spot, Jason makes the snap decision to take Mallory to see where he and her father spent their Christmases as kids. The last thing he expects is to run into Tommy, his ex—ex-best friend, ex-boyfriend—who is still living in town… and working as a sheriff’s deputy.
It’s hard to avoid someone in a small town—and maybe Jason doesn’t want to. He got Mallory a Christmas, and maybe now it’s time to get himself a Christmas boyfriend. But first, he owes Tommy some explanations.

New Game, Start - Reclusive medieval scholar, Edgar Royal, has a crush. On a guy. Not a big deal, except that said guy, Walter Chase, is a famous online gamer who has no idea Edgar even exists. Edgar has harbored these feelings for nearly a year, and when Walter announces on Twitter that he’ll be visiting New York City as a guest at the GamerOn convention, Edgar decides he’ll be one of the thousands of fans who responds to the message.
He definitely doesn’t expect to be singled out by the humble, gorgeous, out-and-proud heartthrob. And when it comes to dealing with people, Edgar’s skills are pretty nonexistent. Even with Walter giving all the right signals, Edgar lacks the courage do anything about the mutual attraction growing through their online courtship. He’s always been better with the written word, so maybe the perfect Christmas gift will say what he cannot. But if Edgar can’t get the present to Walter before the convention ends, he may miss out on the boyfriend of a lifetime.

December 4 - Joyfully Jay
December 5 - It’s About the Book
December 6 - Sinfully Gay Romance
December 7 - Boy Meets Boy
December 8 - The Novel Approach

Post Content:
Welcome to TA Moore & C.S. Poe's Irish/American Christmas Blog Tour! We held short interviews with MCs Jason Burke and Tom Ryan (Ghostwriter of Christmas Past TA Moore) and Edgar Royal (New Game, Start C.S. Poe) who will be answering some questions about the holidays!

What’s one traditional Christmas event you look forward to?

TA Moore - Jason Burke:
Merry Christmas, [insert name of author]
Jason Burke is one writer who doesn’t worry about ghostly visits this holiday season

‘...never heard from that author again,’ Jason Burke admits as he pushes aviator sunglasses onto the top of his head. ‘Shame really, it was a fun world.’

It seems like a man whose bio boasts he was born and raised in New York -- ‘State,’ Burke challenges this statement with a laugh, ‘Only time I got to the Big Apple was when we had a school trip, and that was hardly the seedy side’ -- would find a sunny, tourist-packed La Jolla Christmas a culture shock. Burke looks amused at the question and takes a drink of his coffee, flavoured with a shot of hazelnut instead of the pumpkin spice the barista had been eagerly upselling (I got the spice).

‘I grew up in a town where a man actually froze his balls off one year,’ Burke says. ‘Trust me, I can adapt to a bit of sunshine and mild winters.’

It’s tempting to ask questions, but it’s not the first time that Burke has tried to skew the interview away from Christmas. Is it possible that the tall, dark, and lazily cynical writer doesn’t actually *gasp* like Christmas?

‘I like Christmas,’ Burke protests good-naturedly. ‘What’s not to like about Christmas? You get presents, you get a couple of days off, and it gives gainful employment to men who like to dress like elves. It’s the perfect end to the year.”

It’s not the most convincing defence of the season. Indeed, when Burke is challenged to prove his love, or ‘like’, with a list of his favourite Christmas traditions the writer falters. He props his elbow on the table and his chin on his knuckles as he thinks.

‘Die Hard,’ he finally says. ‘What? It’s a Christmas classic and it was a Christmas tradition in my family. Every Christmas Eve my brother, he was a bit older than me, would put Die Hard on and we’d sit up late to watch it. Most years, I still watch it if I get the chance. And since I own my own house now, I can even turn the volume up enough that I can hear what McClane is saying without disturbing anyone.’

C.S. Poe - Edgar:
“Okay then.” Caroline put her finger on the tablet screen and scrolled briefly. “You’re doing just fine, Mr. Royal,” she murmured.
“Edgar,” I corrected. “Edgar is fine.”
She nodded. “Very well, Edgar. Next question is from Reader, Swift. He asks, ‘What’s one traditional Christmas event you look forward to?’”
“Well… shopping, I guess.”
She looked expectant.
I cleared my throat. “Not actual shopping, shopping— I like the Christmas Market over at Bryant Park. I never buy anything… it’s pricey. But it’s really pretty. And I think it’s romantic. Oh, I said that the Christmas tree was romantic too, didn’t I?” I muttered. I looked down and ripped the sleeve into a few pieces.
“You find the holidays romantic then?” Caroline prodded.
I smiled to myself, a knee-jerk reaction every time Walter even crossed my mind. “I do now.”

What’s one you don’t enjoy?

TA Moore - Jason Burke:
Merry Christmas, [insert name of author]
Jason Burke is one writer who doesn’t worry about ghostly visits this holiday season

So if John McClane is Burke’s favourite Christmas tradition, what is his least favourite? Santa?

‘Christmas dinner,’ he says promptly. ‘Growing up, it was just me, my brother, and my Dad. We did ok, most of the time but the whole full Christmas dinner thing was kind of beyond our capabilities as cooks. But you had to try, didn’t you? So raw turkey, one year it was still frozen, and black hockey pucks for potatoes. No dessert, because you’d not eaten your boiled to soup brussel sprouts, and leftover for the next month. First Christmas I was out on my own, I got Kung Pao Chicken from the Chinese restaurant down the road and the only leftovers were the fortune cookies. More people should try it.’

The coffee is finished and new customers, hands full of coffee and Christmas pastries, are hovering pointedly. We get up to leave, our seats promptly filled by an exhausted French family, and head outside. Burke crosses the road to look down over the wall into the Children’s Pool, he is still, he admits with a flash of wry humour, incomer enough to be charmed by the seals who bask on the sands below.

I chance my arm with one last Christmas question: will he be giving out copies of his own books as presents this year?

Burke sticks his hands in his pockets and rocks back on his heels. ‘If I did,’ he jokes, ‘who’d know?’

C.S. Poe - Edgar:
Caroline looked at the tablet again. “All right. Last question. AlexaLuvs2Read asks ‘What is one tradition you don’t enjoy?’”
Caroline motioned with her hand for me to continue.
“Er— I’m not really a people person.”
“Not even with family or close friends?”
“I don’t… not really….I’m super awkward around everyone,” I answered. “Never know what to do with the lulls in conversation.”
“But next year will be different.”
I nodded.
“Say ‘yes,’” she whispered. “For the recorder.”
“Oh, sorry. Yes. Next year I’ll be spending Christmas with someone and I— Walter doesn’t even mind that sometimes I don’t know what to do with my hands when I talk.”

Author Bio:
TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid when she was a small child. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in a market town on the Northern Irish coast and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a month (although she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing). She believes that adding ‘in space!’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any animal she meets (this includes snakes, excludes bugs), and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach, realized it was really high, and chickened out.
She aspires to being a cynical misanthrope, but is unfortunately held back by a sunny disposition and an inability to be mean to strangers. If TA Moore is mean to you, that means you’re friends now.

C.S. Poe is an author of gay mystery, romance, and paranormal books.
She is a reluctant mover and has called many places home in her lifetime. C.S. has lived in New York City, Key West, and Ibaraki, Japan, to name a few. She misses the cleanliness, convenience, and limited-edition gachapon of Japan, but she was never very good at riding bikes to get around.
She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued two cats—Milo and Kasper do their best on a daily basis to sidetrack her from work.
C.S. is a member of the International Thriller Writers organization.

TA Moore -  Liar, Liar - Ebook

C.S. Poe - The Mystery of Nevermore - Ebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway