Review: Unraveled (Heathens Ink #5) by K.M. Neuhold

Clay:
My mind and body are full of chaos; the only time I can truly feel free is when my hands, arms, and legs are secured. Just because I want to be bound, able to give over my pleasure entirely to another person, doesn’t mean I want to be controlled, humiliated, or made to endure pain. I’m a successful, happy, confident adult man who wants a lover to tie him up. Why is that so scandalous? And why is it so difficult to find? It doesn’t help that I’ve developed a hopeless crush on my straight roommate. Maybe a fulfilling relationship isn’t in the cards for me.

Max:
I’m completely out of control of my life. My ex is trying to take my daughter away from me... again, my dream of owning my own motorcycle repair shop seems out of reach, and somehow, I find myself a thirty-two-year-old man who can’t afford to have a place without a roommate. So, it’s no huge surprise that the idea of being given complete control over someone’s body and pleasure is a major turn-on. I never had any inkling I might be into guys, until my best friend told me he likes to be tied up. Now I’m losing sleep, imagining him bound and begging for me. I can’t figure out if it’s just the kink or if it’s possible I’m falling for him.



Win some. Lose some.

I'm bummed this didn't WOW me. It has good stuff in it that filled me with excite at the outset: kinky, big Italian guy with long hair, rope bondage, friends to lovers... did I mention rope bondage? Lookit, this book will be and has been a win for many. It's very sweet, low angst and has a nice HEA that's achieved with little conflict.

True, you'll probably need to suspend disbelief but there's nothing wrong with that! Everyone needs a light, feel good escape from reality sometimes. In this case, it comes in the form of the tried and true turning the straight guy gay trope with a twist of then making said straight guy a quasi dominant for your bondage needs.

Max nor Clay are well crafted characters and I didn't care for Max, the way his "alpha-ness" was portrayed particularly grated. Clay was more likable with his anxieties and propensity to compulsively clean when stressed. He's also adorable with Max's daughter.

Their friends to lovers romance was straightforward but lacked the depth of emotion that could've made this story richer. It felt rushed and could've done with a challenge or two that would've required them to persevere through thereby strengthening their bond instead of fast-forwarding through major life decisions. I also didn't care for how Max's bisexuality was portrayed.

However, it is very sexy and I wasn't unaffected by how smitten they are with one another. It's not particularly kinky if that's an obstacle, it needn't be; it's more kinky lite, if you will. For me the kink only scratched the psychological surface and lacked the grit that I crave.

Even though this was mostly a miss for me I do recognize how sweet it is and that fluffiness in and of itself is appealing, so I would encourage anyone interested to look at the other reviews before making a final decision.


A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion.




Release Blitz + Giveaway: Scarred by Mia Kerick


Author Mia Kerick and IndiGo Marketing visit to promote the release of Scarred! Learn more today and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!



Title: Scarred
Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: December 31, 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 68500
Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, PTSD, dissociative disorder, stalking, kidnapping, homophobia, family issues

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Synopsis

Even in paradise, beautiful faces can hide scarred souls.

ONE tropical island.

Placida Island’s gentle ocean breezes and rolling surf beckon to those who wish to reside in remote tropical serenity.

TWO men living in self-imposed exile.

Wearing twisted ropes of mutilated skin on his back and carrying devastating damage in his soul from severe childhood abuse, Matthew North lives alone in a rustic cabin on the shore, avoiding human contact.

Gender fluidity his perceived “crime” against family and friends, Vedie Wilson flees his childhood home so he can freely express his identity.

THREE persecutors seeking their warped view of justice.

Vedie’s past refuses to stay in the faraway city he left behind when family members, intent on forcing him to change, threaten the precious peace he’s found.

TOO MANY scars to count.

Their beautiful faces masking deeply scarred souls, Matt and Vedie live in hiding from the world and each other.

Can they unite and embrace each other’s painful pasts, leaving the scars behind, to find love?

Excerpt

Vedie

By ten, I’m sweaty as a deckhand from bussing tables on the beach, and I’m sorely in need of a brew or six. But seeing as I’ve got no cash to burn, I’m gonna have to leave my coworkers—who’re revving up over by the tiki bar—to their night of hard partying. I grab my leopard-print backpack from the hook on the back wall of the bar and head to the men’s room to turn into the other me.

And just as I figured, Joey’s waiting on me there. “You gonna come party with us tonight, sweet Vedie?”

“No can do, Joey, much as I want to.” Safe inside a stall, I pull off my sweaty green The Only Tiki Hut on Placida Island work T-shirt. As soon as I replace it with a dark red, stretchy lace off-the-shoulder number, I can breathe easy. Next, I strip off my khaki shorts and yank on my favorite black velvet pair. Even though I’ve gotta ride my bike home, I kick my high-tops into my backpack and slide on a pair of jeweled flip-flops. After taking a quick piss, I head out of the stall and plant my ass in front of the mirror beside Joey, who’s standing there like he’s got nothing better to do than count the drips of water leaking from the faucet.

“Lookin’ good, pretty Miss Vedie…mmmhmm…”

No matter if I’m dressed like a dude or a lady, Joey always stares at me like I’m a juicy bowl of strawberry shortcake—he licks his lips, and I know he wants to take himself a nice big bite of a flavor he can’t get at home. Then he slaps his hand hard against my thigh, and creepy-slow, it climbs my leg. It’s headed for my ass cheek, or my name ain’t Vedie Wilson.

“Hands out of the cookie jar, Joey, my man.” I don’t appreciate it when any dude gropes me without asking for permission first. But the sad truth is I’m never gonna want Joey’s hands on me. While he gawks, I pull a shimmery hairband out of my bag and wrap it around my head to hold the damp dreads off my face. “Got yourself a sweet tooth, looks like, Joey. You’d be wise to get your ass home to your sweet wife, not that you asked me for no words of wisdom.”

“Not gonna even think about goin’ home ’til I had me some fun,” Joey replies, jamming his hand in his pocket—probably to keep it from curving around my ass.

When I bend to rinse the sweat off my face, he stays quiet and doesn’t goose me. Maybe this time he heard what I told him about getting his ass home to Mrs. Joey. But more likely he’s checking out my butt.

“Baybeee…uh-huh…mmmhmm…nice ass you got there in them sweet little shorts…”

I sigh real loud, “I’ve got some shit to do here, big dawg, so if that’s all you wanted.” The only way to get this guy to take a hike is to tell him point-blank that he’s gotta head on out. “Catch ya on the flip side.”

He leans in so close his scratchy beard brushes my neck, and I shiver in the bad way. He takes a deep sniff—I guess he likes the smell of sweaty dude—and then finally bails. And right about now, I sorely wish the tiki hut restaurant had one of those one-person anything goes restrooms—for a dude, a lady, or whoever you feel like at the moment—but at least now I’m finally alone in the men’s room.

I pull out my makeup bag and quickly powder my nose so it doesn’t shine in the moonlight, and I glide a deep shade of maroon over my lips. But I take the time to be an artist with my eyeliner and mascara because I figure eyes oughta say something. When I look good enough that I’d wanna do me if I got hot for ladies, I figure I’m looking good enough for public viewing. And my new perfume smells like the freedom I’ve got down here on Placida Island—coconuts and wildflowers and the ocean and honey. I spray it on heavy all over my neck and chest.

As I saunter out of the men’s room, I don’t miss that it’s funny how I went in here looking all-dude, but coming out, you could mistake me for a lady. Ha! More like a red-hot, sexy mama—smooth and silky everywhere except for the four-day beard.

I’m a guy, though, even when I’m dressed this fine. And in my opinion—not that anybody gives two shits what I think—the combo of smooth legs and a stubbly chin says, in your face, assholes! I don’t have to choose how I show myself to the world anymore.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another at a dance conservatory, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to NineStar Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit at www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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Warmest Wishes Advent 2018: Week 5


It's Week 5 of the Warmest Wishes Advent Stories! This week we're featuring stories from Renae Kaye, Kim Katil, Crystel Greene, Elizabeth Noble, Bru Baker and Jana Denardo!

ICYMI: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Slow Summer Heat by Renae Kaye

Geoffrey Saxon is in his forties, a bit plump, a lot fuzzy, and rather boring in bed—and thanks to a very public breakup, everyone in his street knows it. However, what they don’t know is that Geoffrey sometimes watches his hot young neighbor, Vaughn, in the pool. Vaughn has invited Geoffrey to join his pool parties, but Geoffrey knows it’s only pity.

As if things can’t get worse, Geoffrey’s air conditioner breaks during a heat wave in Western Australia—and just before Christmas. In search of some relief, he camps out in his backyard, where he also has a prime view of Vaughn swimming… naked. When Geoffrey’s injured falling from his spying post, Vaughn comes to his rescue and Geoffrey doesn’t think he can be more horrified.

But he could be in for a sweet holiday surprise. Is he ready to take the dive?
Ann - 4.5 Hearts

This story does slow burn just right, like, exactly, perfectly right. And when slow burn is done right, it can be hotter than the porniest of porn. Geoffrey gets that and his awkwardness, sincerity and honesty make this story. Slow Summer Heat is a purely character driven story, which works really well for the shorties because the characters can be more fully fleshed out and the balance of banter and activity let me get to know Geoffrey and Vaughn. Well, Geoffrey especially. It was nice to read a story with a more mature MC and watch his ego get stroked by someone who he felt was out of his league, but who ended up being a perfect match for him. The setup made it easy to see why Geoffrey was attracted to Vaughn, but reading about the evolution of Vaughn’s attraction to Geoffrey and Geoffrey’s realization that he deserved the affection was a treat.

Season to Shimmer by Kim Katil

One morning close to the holidays, Nolan wakes up to two surprises: a distress call from his younger brother and a beautiful man in his bed. Nolan, an art gallery owner, has always been discreet about his sexuality, but when his baby brother plans to come out at the annual family gala, Nolan wants to have his back—and that means showing up with a man of his own on his arm. Nolan knows just the man for the job.

Skylar, who owns a karate studio in St. Augustine, can’t get his one-night stand out of his mind. When he runs into Nolan at his gallery he is more than happy to volunteer his services as arm candy. Out-and-proud himself with his striking blue/green hair, Skylar is all in. Their adventure means a fancy salon, family drama, lots of sex, a ninja hippo, and palm trees lit up in a very suggestive way. By the end of it, what started as a hookup might become much more.

Ann - 2.5 Hearts

I loved the idea of this one and the beginning was a seriously hot setup. But then a lot of noise happened with every other character and took away from the two MC’s and that bummed me out. The messages were well received but were delivered in the guise of telenovela drama, which if you like a bit of OTT, then you will love this. I myself appreciate subtlety a bit more, so while this story wasn’t so much for me, I can see the appeal. I liked Nolan and Skylar together, I just didn’t get a real sense of them as a couple so it was harder to buy into the HEA than it should have been.

R *A Reader Obsessed - 3 Hearts

When a pending family holiday party pushes Nolan to come out to support his younger gay brother, it also pushes Nolan to take a chance on finding some romantic love himself. Who better to be his co conspirator and quasi-fake boyfriend than the gorgeous hookup currently occupying his bed? Surely, Nolan can find some “incentive” to get Skylar to be his date.

For me, this was a bit rough around the edges in execution and dialogue. There was a lot going on here that kinda left me spinning. However, I really enjoyed the brotherly vibes and for those who need plenty of smexy, this shortie does not shirk on the goodness. The dynamic between Nolan and Skylar was great and though things moved super fast, having Christmas just around the corner was good enough for me and apparently, good enough for these two to push them in the right direction! Cheers!
Santa on the Beach by Crystel Greene

The sexy Santa and the virgin dad....

Single dad Mario, twenty-one, has finally won shared custody of his five-year-old son, Sammy. They’re spending Christmas at a Tenerife resort to celebrate. The children’s swimming instructor, Josie, is sexy and fun, and Mario can’t stop dreaming about him. But Mario has no clue how to talk to a hot guy.

With his suntan, Speedos, and rippling abs, Josie seems to be the typical jock. He’s super sweet too, and everyone loves him. But he only has eyes for the fire-eyed little dad who looks like his son’s older brother and won’t stop policing the swimming class.

Sammy would like to be a king in the hotel’s nativity play. But he’s too afraid to go anywhere without his dad.
Mario would like a holiday romance with Josie, or even a little more, but between building his tech company and trying to do his part as Sammy’s father he has missed out on a lot and is too inexperienced to know where to begin.

Luckily Santa might have just the thing for everyone on his list...

Ann - 4.5 Hearts

Santa on the Beach was so much more than I expected and I loved Mario and his story. The author managed to fit SO much nuance into a short story and it was seriously impressive. The story was told from Mario’s perspective and it was a take on young fatherhood that I had never read before. I don’t usually go for stories with kids in them and it’s only because I don’t give them a fair shake. It’s no easy feat to write a story with a believable little kid, but Crystel Greene did it and the realistic difficulties Mario had with his son Sammy were in turn heart-waming and heart-wrenching, but in the end, realistic.

Reading Mario’s perspective and the stress he felt about measuring up as an extremely young father gave me a lot of respect for his character. At the same time, his crush on Josie gave him some hard won focus on himself for a change and while he fought it pretty adorkably hard, Josie appreciated Mario for how he should be appreciated.

The depth of this story along with the lovable characters and excellent banter made me search out more of this author’s stories as soon as I finished.

Twenty-Nine Hours to Eternity by Elizabeth Noble

Being gay and pagan can make for a lonely holiday season, as Ian knows well. He’s used to celebrating alone. The last place he expects to meet a like-minded guy is at LAX during a twenty-nine-hour layover.

Ian’s never felt so comfortable or compatible with another man, even if there is an air of mystery to Race.

Race is no stranger to holiday isolation, and he decides they should seize the opportunity they’ve been given and observe the Saturnalia the way it was meant to be. A grand celebration ensues, where every moment is special and every meal a feast. The ancient traditions take on new meaning as the men find meaning in each other. But each of them has a destiny and for their paths to continue together, it’ll take a kind of magic that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

Ann - 3 Hearts

This story was truly unique and while it didn’t have a lot of world building to be able to attach to, it was still bittersweetly intriguing. The hints of the paranormal throughout are subtle at first, but make more sense as the story evolves. The blurb makes it sound bigger than what it is, the story itself is not that dramatic, but the level of detail I got worked for the length of the story. I liked Ian and Race together very much and it was obvious from their connection they were meant to be together. There was only one way for that to be a thing, hence the bittersweet, but I still wasn’t too sad, and that says a lot for how the author set it up and the amount of detail provided. It wasn’t an expected type of holiday story, but it still had the core feels that made it memorable.

R *A Reader Obsessed - 3 Hearts

This was odd but weirdly enjoyable but odd.

Ian has a long layover waiting to service his next flight. However will he wile away the next 29 hours? Luckily, he meets Race, a stranger who he finds compelling and charming, and what ensues over the next day is them getting to know each other fabulously and celebrating the holiday through their shared pagan beliefs.

What Ian doesn’t realize is that the future brings an interesting development, and Race has apparently been waiting for this event and Ian for a long long time…

Obviously, this has a bit of paranormal/fantasy whimsy thrown in. Mix it with a little fate and you’ve got an interesting original set up that brings a twist on Ian and Race’s HEA!

Holidays Are Where Your Heart Is by Bru Baker

Jared’s been all over the world as a traveling manny with Holiday Helpers, and the itch to put down roots is starting to eclipse his wanderlust—especially since his current family is a handful.

After culinary school, Wes did some wandering of his own, exploring Central America before settling as a resort chef in his mother’s homeland of Costa Rica, a place he loves and where he plans to stay. If he’s learned one thing, it’s to be wary of flings with vacationers. Still, he can’t stand to watch two little Swiss kids lose their belief in Saint Nicholas, so he’ll lend a hand to the manny assisting the family. It won’t be easy to recreate a traditional European Christmas in a tropical paradise.

Between a snowball fight on a sunny beach and sledding down an active volcano, Jared and Wes discover some renewed holiday magic of their own. Can they make it last a lifetime?

Ann - 3.5 Hearts

Jared is feeling like he’s at the end of his traveling manny career. He’s dedicated to the education of kids and is anxious to try a new way to reach them. His latest charges have seemingly absentee parents so he has a big job on his hands to make these kids feel like they aren’t missing the Christmas they know while on a tropical beach. He gets help from the chef/surf teacher on site and of course, the two of them hit it off and it was pretty smooth and angst free. It made it easy to appreciate them as a couple and the near perfection of their relationship was all kinds of Hallmark. It wasn’t too saccharine sweet though, Jared and Wes had just enough snark to keep it real-ish, while still being holiday perfect. I totally bought into an HEA for them, so while the perfection may not have been 100% realistic, the author made me want to believe it, and so I did.

Purrfect Holiday by Jana Denardo

Tony Gatti had his life planned: get his veterinarian license and go to work with his dad and uncle. Soon after achieving his goals, he learned the shadows and blurriness in his vision went beyond needing glasses. Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic mutation with no cure. With his sight almost gone, he moves into his grandmother’s St. Augustine, Florida, home with his guide dog, Raven, to start life over. Nonna Concetta thinks she knows the perfect job for him. Her vet is looking for someone to destress the cats at a local rescue.

Javier didn’t plan to hire a cute former veterinarian to fill the role of cat cuddler, but Tony couldn’t be more perfect. Worried his attraction is inappropriate and knowing the holiday season always depresses him, Javier wonders if he should ask Tony out, or if he’d just be spreading the gloom to someone who already has enough of his own. But if he takes the plunge, could it turn out to be the best holiday ever?

Ann - 3.5 Hearts

Well, I’m a sucker for holiday stories. I’m also a sucker for stories with critters. Put the two together and it’s pretty much a recipe made for me. Purrfect Holiday had the makings to be entirely too adorable, but the author managed to bring in some reality to keep it from being that side of too much. Both men had issues outside the vet’s office and those things made their meeting much more important than just two guys being attracted to one another. Tony has a degenerative eye disease that he is learning to live with and Javier has some family that refuses to accept him; totally different heartbreaks, but heartbreaks nonetheless. They each could use a little shoring up and they found it with one another through the pets they’ve dedicated their lives too. It made for a meet-cute that wasn’t too cute, but also wasn’t too heavy either. The author struck a good balance between the reality of their situations and the hope they found with each other.

R *A Reader Obsessed - 3.5 Hearts

Animal lovers watch out! There's all sorts of dog and cat adorable-ness coming your way!

Disabled Tony doesn’t let his impending blindness inhibit him too much. So, when his grandmother finds him a part time job cuddling those in need at her vet’s office, it’s the perfect distraction. Bonus points for Tony, because hot doctor Javier is hot!

The progression between Tony and Javier was appreciatively sweet, realistic, and romantic. Throw in the bestest seeing eye dog, a geektastic meddling grandma, and plenty of food porn (sadly none of the real stuff) and this was quite the enjoyable and cute holiday romance!

Review copies were provided by the publisher in exchange for honest opinions.



Release Blitz + Giveaway: Illumined Shadows (Treble & The Lost Boys #3) by G.R. Lyons


Celebrate the release of Illumined Shadows (Treble & The Lost Boys #3) with author G.R. Lyons and Signal Boost Promotions! Enter in the eBook giveaway of Ice on Fire (Treble & The Lost Boys #1)!





Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 100,000 words approx.


Treble & The Lost Boys Series


Book #1 - Ice On Fire - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 - Heavens Aground - Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb


When Victor Lucius was sixteen years old, a few cruel words out of his mouth led to a brutal tragedy, one that Vic has been trying to make up for ever since. Now, working as a missing persons expert, Vic tracks down and rescues people from abandonment or abuse, trying to alleviate the guilt constantly weighing him down.


His latest case—a boy who was kidnapped at the age of two and then held captive for nineteen years—is by far the darkest of his career. If there's any chance of Vic finally redeeming himself, helping this boy might be it.


But rescuing Colby from his basement prison is only the beginning, and brings a whole new struggle to Vic's life:


Temptation…


(Note: This story takes place in a fictional world, the same as in the Shifting Isles Series. There are multiple gods, different names for the days of the week, etc. A glossary is included.)


Author Bio


While daylighting as office manager for the family auto repair business, G.R. Lyons can often be found working on one of multiple manuscripts or desperately trying to keep up with the TBR pile.


Anarcho-capitalist, quietly ‘out’ trans guy, former belly dancer, coffee guzzler, highly-sensitive introvert, CrossFit enthusiast, and lover of m/m romantic fiction.


Email: grlyons@grlyonsauthor.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/grlyonsauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/grlyonsauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/grlyonsauthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/doumteksonata/

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/author/grlyons



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Audiobook Review: Five Minutes Longer (Enhanced World #1) by Victoria Sue

Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.

Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.

Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI from the time he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying, homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with deadly abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.

Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives are at stake—four weeks for them to survive.

Listening Length: 7 hours and 36 minutes 
Narrator: Nick J. Russo


I'm fifty-eleventy nine years late to this series... but I really liked this first slice of the Enhanced World.


Late like a boss

Finally.

Set in modern day America where a certain percentage of the US population transform in their preteens (or earlier) with a scar on their face and special powers (aka Enhanced), I couldn't help but be entranced by the plot. It was giving me Marvel vibes a little and me likey X-Men, so win-win.

Finn Mayer is a dyslexic human FBI wannabe with a shitty family background and suckier life. He's from small town Iowa and hides his sexuality from everyone, making him a virgin who wants to experience life anywhere but there. Finn gets the break he never knew he was looking for with a test trial of a special FBI department. Finn has four weeks to partner with Enhanced males to help fight crime.

Finn's partner is the leader of the small group, Talon Valdez who has the special power to slow the body down to kill. Talon seems to hate Finn on sight. America has been cruel to Enhanced (go figure?) Treating anything that is different as less than second class citizens... even the children. Sounds familiar?



But there's more under the surface of just one special power for each Enhanced. And while Finn and Talon battle Talon's asshattedness, there are missing Enhanced children, hate from opposing parties clogging up the news and the team trying to see if Finn is a regular human they can trust.

The action, mystery? It never stops and pulled me in. Mixed in with Finn's goodness, it made for a great listen.

I think I like Nick J. Russo as a narrator. He does give good enough emotion to the characters and changes the one to help distinguish each person. Though as I listened I couldn't help but imagine different voices for some characters namely Nolan Dakota who sounded a little cartoonish villain-y. It would through me off some when he was in a scene. But the story keep me entertained that, I looked for traffic to listen to more during my drives.

A sign that the audio book is a solid listen for me.

I have to say I enjoyed the action plot more than the romance. I believed in it a little more than Talon and Finn. I like them as a couple but I don't think they've begun to scratch the surface. The L word was thrown around in personal thoughts and I question if they're really there yet. The book spans a few weeks. I need more to believe we get someone who was saving it for 24 years to lose it just as quickly and fall in love. Granted, there were life & death situations thrown in there but... I wanted more. Talon did a lot of pushing away instead of communicating with his partner. They did manage to fit in a few sexy times (even while one of them battles a concussion)

But only sex does not a relationship make. I think Talon and Finn can balance each other out with more time. Five Minutes Longer does end with a HFN vibe.

(I see book #2 features the main couple again. I hope I get to see more of what I think these two can bring to the table.)


Guess that means I'm down for the rest of the series. ;)



Blog Tour + Giveaway: Superpowered Love: Reloaded by Katey Hawthorne


Welcome author Katey Hawthorne & the Superpowered Love: Reloaded blog tour to Boy Meets Boy Reviews! Learn more about the super powered series and the latest release and enter in the giveaway to win a $10 Amazon gift card (TWO WINNERS)

Take it away, Katey!

Superpowered Mishaps


Thanks for having me during my Superpowered Love: Reloaded tour! The third book in my Superpowered Love series, Nobody’s Hero, just dropped the other day at Less Than Three Press. Yay! All the books can be read in any order, but technically speaking the fun with wild powers begins in book one, Equilibrium, which is full of friends-to-lovers feels and electrical mishaps. Because what’s worse than not knowing why you’re suddenly throwing lightning from your fingers? The lightning being out of control, that’s what.



So here’s an excerpt to give you a taste of the situation. Also some very weird flirting from Hansen’s best friend and fellow superpowered dude, Sam. On whom he’s totally not crushing hard. Nope. Not even a little…





[Sam said,] "Sorry about this morning."

I stood hunched under his arm awkwardly for a second before I finally put mine around him in return, behind his back and bent at the elbow, so my hand was on his near shoulder. He loved soft T-shirts, which didn't do much to save me from feeling the smooth, tight motion of his delt when he adjusted his stance. "My fault," I said. "Game theory paper's making me into an even bigger prick than usual."

"Pfft. I'm just a little stressed."

"I called Mom. She says she'll come down Monday night."

He squeezed me and turned his eyes on the flashing jukebox, but he wasn't looking at it so much as through it. "Shit, if it weren't for you guys—"

"Forget it. You okay?" I asked.

"Yeah. Just—Like, you ever date someone for a while, and then realize you don't like them the way you thought you did?"

Whoa. Missed a left turn at Albuquerque there, buddy. "Uh…"

"Like, Nessa's great. But I don't know. Not much there now that the hormones have burned out on it." He let go of me and started pushing buttons on the box, flipping the pages of CDs on the inside one after the other.

"Who are you, and what have you done with Sam?"

He snorted. "She's hot, but whatever. And she's definitely not interested anymore, but girls never care about that shit. She thinks she knows me"—he rolled his eyes—"so we have some connection."

"So, connection, but no sex. You're in the friend zone…with your girlfriend?" Not that the friend zone was a real thing. Still, served the bastard right. I bit my lip before I could say anything else. Took a step away while I was at it.

He sighed. "But what I'm saying is that I don't even care. This morning, she—"

A bright blue flash cut him off. His fingers were lit up, clothed in tiny leaping strings of white-hot lightning. It raced to his fingertips all at once and arced to the jukebox, like he was shooting it on purpose, like he'd practiced and refined it to an art form.

Electricity popped, audible even over the buzz and music, and the thing burst into flames. I didn't even think; my body just reacted—I shoved my hand into the fire, sensing the vibrations and focusing hard. It was hot, yeah, but I could do hot so long as I was ready for it. It's hard to burn a thermal manipulator alive without a chemical additive. Lucky for me I hadn't had enough beer to dull my abilities.

A lifetime of training rushed at me, the old tactic Mom had drilled into me back in my Little League days. I visualized the vibrating atoms in the air and plastic like tiny baseballs, but instead of trying to knock them out of the park—adding more energy, as was my natural instinct, no metaphor required—it was like bunting, removing the energy, slowing them down. I can't get things actually cool to the touch, but I can work within a certain heat range, enough to stifle some of it before the flame got too far.

My head swam with the exertion. Reversal is hard as hell unless you're a real badass, but I stayed on my feet. I looked to Sam finally. He was frozen, dark eyes wide and horrified, mouth open.

"Sam." Unthinking, I put a hand—the one that had just been in the fire—on his arm. It was still hot enough that he jumped and looked down in surprise, but not enough that he pulled away.

It woke him out of his stupor, though. He gave a little yelp. "Shit. What the shit was that?"

"It's okay." I hoped it sounded more confident than it felt. I'd had no idea he could arc like that. Uncle Kristoff could do it, but that was what his looked like after forty years of practice. Uncle Neil—well, Mom said he used to do it naturally.

It wasn't a powers fuck-up like this that had gotten Neil killed, not directly. But close enough that it made my skin crawl when the comparison came to mind. I hoped to Christ no one had seen, but first things first. "Don't worry about it. Just an accident."

Sam shook his head so his hair flopped into his eyes. His arm tensed, his entire body pulling in on itself.

I moved closer, both hands on his shoulders and using my best serene voice. "Sammy, calm down, okay? Just relax. They'll just think it was an electrical fire."

"It was a fucking—"

Movement caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I looked to our right, away from the box.

Vanessa and Trent were there, watching. Nessa's eyes were wide, her face pale. Trent looked like he'd seen a ghost, pale and gray-lipped.

Sam had seen them too. Must've been why he cut himself off.

Nessa kind of shook herself and came to us. "You okay, Sam?"

He shook his head but said, "Yeah. Yeah, fine."

I let him go and tried to step back, but he grabbed my arm and held me there.

"That looked…kind of scary," Nessa said.

Trent ambled up behind her, eyeing the jukebox with extreme suspicion. When he turned his gaze on me, a tingle ran up my spine. He'd seen it all. Had he somehow known what it meant? Unlikely, but not impossible. Shit, there had to be a way to ask without outing us completely, right?

But Sam was looking at me too, and the panic in his eyes took precedence. If he was flipping arcs when he was calm, what the hell would happen when he panicked?

"Yeah, crazy fucking jukebox exploded. Almost killed him," I said. "Dude, you wanna get out of this death trap? Go home, relax?"

"Yeah. Good idea. Look, Ness, I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"

She nodded dumbly, and I felt her eyes on us the whole time we were making our way out.

Please, please don't let her have seen too. Please, please don't let Trent know.


Superpowered Love: Re-loaded! Blog Tour

The Superpowered Love series (http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/superpowered-love.html) explores the mixed-up love lives of the “awakened”, humans with awakened thermal or electrical superpowers.




December 26 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

December 27 – Love Bytes

December 28 – My Fiction Nook

December 29 – Boy Meets Boy

January 1 – Joyfully Jay

January 4 – MM Midnight CafĂ©

January 7 – Bayou Book Junkie

January 9 – Diverse Reader

January 11 – Eroticaforall.co.uk


Superpowered Love 3: Nobody's Hero

Jamie Monday lives in two different worlds. With his family, he's the golden child of awakened superpowered society. He's meant to do great things and pass on his powers—with the appropriate girl, hand-picked by his mother. He's already failed at the first, so he can't bring himself to tell her the wife and children aren't happening either.


With his friends, he's the social director and life of the party. He's also an out gay man with an appetite for quick and easy lays. It's tough to have a relationship when you're hiding off-the-charts electrical powers, but Jamie doesn't mind.


Not until the prickly, paddy rocking, geeky-hot new guy at work shows him what he's been missing. Kellan's singular combination of dirty mouth and pure soul makes Jamie spark right from the beginning. But if he's going to overcome Kelly's defensive front and reach the gentle heart inside, Jamie will first have to come to terms with his own divided lives.


http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/nobodys-hero.html







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About the Author: Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio with her family, two cats, and one very large puppy. She lives at http://www.kateyhawthorne.com.

Tag Team Review: Christmas Angel (The Christmas Angel #1) by Eli Easton

When John Trent, a dedicated member of the new Bow Street Runners, finds an exquisite carved angel floating in the Thames, he can’t stop thinking about it. He tracks down its creator, a sad and quiet young sculptor. But neither the angel nor the sculptor is done with John just yet. The blasted angel refuses to leave him be, behaving not at all like an inanimate object should.

Alec Allston is resigned to the fact that his love will ever be a river that flows out and never flows in. All he wanted to do was create a special gift so that a small part of himself could be with his unattainable and noble beloved, always. But when the gift keeps showing back up at his shop in the hands of a windblown and rugged thief-taker, Alec will need to reconsider his conviction that love is destined to remain an aethereal ideal.



R *A Reader Obsessed* - 4 Hearts

A perfect start to this historical series loosely tied by a magical Christmas angel!

See how it all begins with the angel’s creation as Alec pours his heartfelt emotions, desire, and love into making the figurine as a token to a man he can never have. What Alec doesn’t expect is to be rejected, only to have the discarded angel brought back to him by ruggedly handsome “lawman” John, who’s instantly intrigued and taken with the artist.

What ensues is really quite the endearing courting, culminating in Alec and John spending the holiday together solidifying their new love, something they never thought themselves worthy or able to have - all thanks to a persistent angel who wouldn’t let them pass each other by.

Overall, just a feel good, smexy lite, emotional and touching holiday romance!

Chelsea - 4.5 Hearts

Ah Eli Easton…. there is something magical about her Christmas stories and in this case it came in the form of romance and a mischievous angel.

This is my favourite of the series so far and it's the first if you're reading it in order.

Unrequited love really rather sucks and Alec has got a bad case of it. Alec is a very sweet, naive and innocent character. He fell in love young, gives his whole heart away and believes almost everything that is said to him. So living with this unrequited love has taken its toll on him and he's doomed himself to a life of loneliness and misery, that is until big brawny and incredibly sweet Bow Street runner John comes into his shop and life.

John is such a cool character, built like a brick house, tough as nails but so gentle and so sweet to all those he loves and he falls for Alec's pixie face almost immediately? Of course that's helped along by a magical angel/homo love guide.

The angel was great in this one, once again obvious in her appearances but never stole the limelight away from Alec and John.

These two take their time courting and falling in love, like most Eli Easton stories, then like most Eli Easton's stories there's a surprisingly super sexy sex scene which leaves you sweating.

Loved it!

I'll reread this one again at another Christmas time.



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

Giveaway + Release Blitz: Something About Jace (Pineapple Grove #1) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott


Celebrate the release of Something About Jace with authors Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott and Indigo Marketing. Find out more about this contemporary romance, read an excerpt and enter in the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card below! Good luck!


Title: Something About Jace
Series: Pineapple Grove #1
Author: Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
Publisher: Drake & Elliott, LLC
Release Date: December 28, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 63k
Genre: Romance

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Synopsis


Gallery owner Jace Townsend loves his
tiny hometown of Pineapple Grove, deep in South Florida. His life is filled
with sunshine, blue skies, jogging on the beach with his dog, and the greatest
friends a guy could want. What more could he ask for?

Love would be a great start. After his
last relationship fell apart, Jace has begun to wonder if he’s ever going to
find someone who would fit into his quiet life.

Of course, the last person who would fit
into his life is a major movie star.

Trent Elrige is drowning. He’s
constantly on the go from one movie obligation to the next. And after the last
stalker got a little too close for comfort, Trent decides it’s time to take a
step back and figure out what he’s doing with his life.

Pineapple Grove seemed the perfect spot
to hide for six months and figure out his future. He just wasn’t expecting to
be tackled by love so quickly.

But now that he’s found Jace, is he
willing to risk everything he’s worked so hard for? And is Jace willing to walk
away from his precious Pineapple Grove to be with Trent?

Excerpt

As they continued down the block, Trent
kept his head down as the random car passed them, so no one could clearly see
his face in the splash of headlights. It hit him then—that he was fooling
himself. He wanted a normal life with quiet nights, but could he have that?
He’d traded privacy for fame when he’d been a teenager. Yeah, too young to
realize what he was giving up, but he couldn’t fool himself into thinking he
hadn’t entirely known what he was getting into.

And he did love his life—loved acting
and all the travel. But he also was ready to have a real home. Was that even
possible?

The thought made him tired all of a
sudden. Tired of having to watch every little thing he did. He glanced at Jace
often as they kept to the shadows and made their way back to his house, his
heart achingly heavy. Even Ripley seemed to get that they were trying to escape
notice as she trotted along quietly ahead of them, her head up and alert for
new people.

Before they reached his back patio, Jace
stopped him with a hand on his lower back. “You worried they’re going to figure
out where you live?”

“No, I think we lost them.”

“You got quiet on me. If you’re worried
that was the sort of thing to chase me off, don’t. I…like you. And I’m not
ready for whatever this is to stop. We’ve had dinner only twice, and I really
think we should continue to give kissing a try.”

He stared at him for several moments,
realizing he hadn’t even been thinking of what kind of hardship anyone who
tried having a life with him would experience. Of course, he’d thought of it
before, but his thoughts had been a little more on the selfish side tonight. He
just had so much to work through.

As he stared at this gorgeous man with
his brown eyes, he realized nothing had to be figured out just then, and his
morose mood faded away. “Good, because I’m not either.” He grabbed Jace’s hand
and tugged him into the house. Ripley trotted in after them and lay down on the
rug between the living and dining rooms.

Since the place had about a million
windows, Trent flipped off the light as the door slammed behind them. Jace’s
laughter pulled him in so hard and fast, he grabbed the man and slanted his
mouth over his. He licked along his bottom lip until Jace opened for him with a
low growl in the back of his throat. They kissed for long, slow moments before
pulling back, their gazes catching in the moonlight and locking as heat flared.

Something passed between them then,
something that had Trent catching his breath and Jace’s eyes widening. It made
Trent feel like he had butterflies in his chest.

Before he could take another deep
breath, they went back at each other like they were starving, tongues stroking in
a way that had all Trent’s blood flowing south.


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Meet the Authors

 


Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments. Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.


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Audiobook Review: Under a Blue Moon (Camp H.O.W.L. #2) by Bru Baker

Once in a blue moon, opposites find they’re a perfect match.

Nick Perry is tired of helping people with their marriages, so when a spot opens up to work with teens at Camp H.O.W.L., he jumps at it. He doesn’t expect to fall in lust with the dreamy new camp doctor, Drew Welch. But Drew is human, and Nick has seen secrets ruin too many relationships to think that a human/werewolf romance can go anywhere.

Happy-go-lucky Drew may not sprout claws, but he’s been part of the Were community all his life. He has no trouble fitting in at the camp—except for Nick’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing attraction between them and his ridiculous stance on dating humans. Fate intervenes when one of his private practice patients threatens Drew’s life. Will the close call help Nick to see a connection like theirs isn’t something to let go of?

Listening Length: 6 hours and 40 minutes
Narrator: Dorian Bane


Keeping with a similar storyline both in tone and theme, some might appreciate this while others might not.


As with the first book, this centers around the quasi-secretive camp that helps transition and support werewolves going through their first change, focusing mostly on the various staff members who take care of these young adults. This time around it’s all about new employees Nick and Drew, who are ready to dive into their jobs as counselor and medical doctor respectively. These two meet at the airport when their flight is delayed and lustily hook up during their overnight layover. Though both think the other is hot hot hot, they don’t bother getting each other’s deets, thinking their one night stand will simply remain a fond memory.


However, life never goes as planned, and both Drew and Nick are quite surprised to see the other at Camp HOWL. The blurb describes the conflict perfectly. Despite their strong attraction and connection, Nick adamantly refuses to give into his desire for Drew, thinking Drew being a human will predispose a future relationship towards inevitable failure.

What Nick can’t wrap his obstinate head around is the fact that Drew is well acquainted with all things werewolf, having been raised by a pack since he was a young child. There’s pretty much nothing that Drew doesn’t already know or can’t anticipate, yet Nick resists and resists and resists some more.


Personally, I found all this self denial a bit tiresome (just like I think some found Tate’s resistance in Camp HOWL equally so), but if one knows that going in or enjoys this sort of conflict, then there shouldn’t be any issue at all.


This series continues to be narrated by Dorian Bane, and he seamlessly brings consistency to repeat characters. Bane’s enthusiasm is infectious and he aptly showcases the humor, elevating my rating by keeping me engaged. Nick might be a stubborn ass, but he’s put in his place multiple times over by the feisty Drew, and that was highly entertaining.


I’m definitely the odd man out regarding the love for this sequel. Admittedly, this had some nice shifter undertones of proprietary claiming and protective mate vibes but overall, this fell short for me due to having a comparable conflict to the first book. While I’m hoping for something different in the next installment, I don’t think that will happen. Oh well. Maybe my mood will change by then when I get to it!


Thank you to the authors/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review




Book Blitz + Giveaway: Come Back (The District Line #3) by CF White


Author C.F. White and Signal Boost Promotions celebrate the release of Come Back (The District Line #3)! Check it out and enter in the eBook giveaway of Kick Off (The District Line #1)!




Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited


Length: 91,000 words approx.


The District Line Series


Book #1 - Kick Off - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 - Break Through - Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb


The bigger you become, the harder you fall. 


Sebastian Saunders is a rising rock star. Jay Ruttman is a Premier League football player. Their year-long relationship is hot commodity. Hounded by the press and fans alike, the lovers struggle to keep their private lives private.


Flying high in the charts and having Jay by his side, Seb is finally living his dream. But Jay’s new, promising career is threatened when a horrific injury on the pitch has him side lined—not only in the game but also in his relationship with Seb.

Jay’s crippling self-destruction spirals out of control, tearing them apart. To move forward, both men must learn to leave their past behind—not so easy when it keeps coming back to haunt them.


Can their hard-fought relationship survive the ultimate test?


This is the concluding part to the District Line series where the full-time whistle could signal an end to their turbulent journey… or is it just the beginning?


About The Author


Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.


Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.


She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.


Having worked in Higher Education for most of her career, a life-altering experience brought pen back to paper after she’d written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Having embarked on this writing malarkey, C F White cannot stop. So strap in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride...


You can follow C F on Facebook and Twitter and check out her Website.


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