Review: Ardulum: Second Don by J.S. Fields

The Charted Systems are in pieces. Mercy’s Pledge is destroyed, and her captain dead. With no homes to return to, the remaining crew sets off on a journey to find the mythical planet of Ardulum—a planet where Emn might find her people, and Neek the answers she’s long sought. Finding the planet, however, brings a host of uncomfortable truths about Ardulum’s vision for the galaxy and Neek’s role in a religion that refuses to release her. Neek must balance her planet’s past and the unchecked power of the Ardulans with a budding relationship and a surprising revelation about her own genealogy.

Ardulum: Second Don blends space opera elements and hard science into a story about two women persistently bound to their past and a sentient planet determined to shape their future.

If you haven’t read the first book then do that now. I didn’t and regret it heavily. There is a lot going on in this story, and even though I picked up most of what I needed, it would have been better for me to know the backstory from First Don.

Now that my recommendation for not skipping ahead is out of the way….

This story was pretty epic. I loved the concepts, the writing style, and the world building. While I’m sure a lot more happened in book one, there is plenty in this book to understand what is going on.

I’m not an avid sci-fi reader, but I do dabble occasionally, and this was high up there in concept and execution. I didn’t feel totally lost once I read through the first few chapters and my mind bent around what was happening in this universe. There was a lot, but it wasn’t messy. There were a few POV but it was to progress the narrative. Nothing was wasted on unimportant detail, and I admire the author’s mind, both in plot, and staying on point. This story could branch off into so many different directions, but there was a clear path and it was easy to follow. I will point out that some of the names for beings and planets were tongue twisters in my mind and well outside my imagination for pronunciation so I gave up a little bit and just pretended I knew what I was looking at. This is because I’m boring and frequently butcher other languages with my ridiculous self. Made up stuff has to be told to me out loud and even then I’ll probably get it wrong. It’s a flaw, and no reflection on anyone else but me. It’s inspiring and admirable that people can create this stuff out of thin air and maybe other people can understand it too.

There is a bit of a thing in this story between Neek and Emn but that isn’t the main focus. The broader politics and what is happening on Ardulum is where this story leads. There is an obvious political situation happening abroad, but more importantly, The planet Ardulum and its inhabitants is going through some turmoil that takes precedence over the wider story arc.

I am also impressed by the conflicting feelings that were triggered by the Eld and their rule. It was difficult to tell whether they were power drunk villains or not. I enjoyed this aspect of the story. It really had my mind racing, and I was eager to understand what the true intent was of the Eld and the Andal.

The relationship building between Neek and Emn was a nice touch. Neek is having a lot of conflicting feels about everything in general, and the beliefs she was brought up with are being completely turned on its head. This emotional turmoil frustrates Emn but she is patient and provides room for a Neek to work through while being forgiving and supportive. I really loved Emn. She had her own issues, but she provided space in her heart for Neek to fit when she was ready.

If you’re looking for romance, this is probably a little light on that, but if you enjoy a great story with fantastic world building, this is definitely one to consider. It took me a while to pick this up, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. I’m excited for book three.

Audiobook Review: Heart Unheard (Hearts Entwined #2) by Andrew Grey

The attraction between Brent Berkheimer and Scott Spearman peels the wallpaper, but Brent is Scott’s boss, and they’re both too professional to go beyond flirting. Their priorities realign after Scott is badly injured in an accident that costs him his hearing, and Brent realizes what is truly important… he wants Scott.

Scott pushes Brent away at first, fearing a new romance will just add to his problems, but perhaps he will find unexpected strength and solace in Brent’s support as he struggles to communicate with the world in a new way.

Just as they decide the chance of a happy future together is worth the risk, Scott and Brent discover darker challenges in their way—including evidence that the “accident” Scott suffered may not have been so accidental.

Listening Length: 6 hours and 2 minutes
Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Reviewer: Shee Reader

We first meet our guys (Brent and Scott) at work. Brent is Scott’s boss, and is older. The two men are just about professional enough to keep their sizzling encounters to just flirting. Scott thinks he’s given Brent the go-ahead, but Brent’s never taken Scott up on the unspoken offer. All that changes when Scott is badly injured in a car wreck. Brent eventually decides life is too short to miss chances to embrace happiness.

Scott can’t believe Brent is there as he recovers in hospital, but knowing he will never be whole again, he pushes Brent away. There is plenty of to and fro, drama and intrigue and a huge amount of growth in the men as they find their way to happiness.

Brent shows himself to be so strong over and over, but has his own demons to fight. Watching the two men come to terms with themselves as they try to let each other in, and build something together is a beautiful thing.

The supporting characters are so endearing, that I now need to enjoy their stories too!

I adored this story, and Greg Tremblay’s masterful narration makes it all the more enjoyable. His characterisation is perfect, and his emotion is so tangible that he brought me to tears more than once! This is a wonderfully sweet and charming story that deals so beautifully with disability and love. The epilogue is so sweet my teeth hurt. Perfect!

Highly recommended.

Release Blitz: Midnight Musicals and Coffee Ice Cream by Layla Dorine

Celebrate the release of Midnight Musicals and Coffee Ice Cream with author Layla Dorine! Find out more about this contemporary romance featuring an escort and his client.

Midnight Musicals and Coffee Ice Cream by Layla Dorine

An escort and his client…could it ever be more than a business transaction.


Takashi never imagined that a simple call to an escort service would result in meeting Zander. What started out as a date to the winter gala at his office, morphed into a series of paid dates that offer him several unique opportunities to get to know the handsome, enigmatic escort.

Zander hates feeling like an ornament. After four years he’s ready for a new occupation. Unfortunately, he isn’t skilled enough for any job that would pay him the money he needs to make to support himself and his family. So, he stays with Mateo’s agency and keeps on taking clients, refusing to call them dates because that’s too personal.

Until Takashi.

Now their both trying to make the best of the brief moments they have together, blurring the lines more and more with every passing night. Takashi wants more, Zander wants to give it to him, but only after he gets the rest of his life worked out. Only problem is, he has no idea how.

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About the Author

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Layla Dorine can be found at:

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Review: Art by Adonis by Kris Sawyer

When a man takes an unexpected turn and ends up where he isn’t supposed to be, his fate will bring him back to his own path. But when it happens to two people at the same time, their fates will interlink and their paths ultimately entwine. 

Aidan Ross, artist extraordinaire meets Rick Mahoney when the man comes for an interview, except he is at the wrong one. Aidan wants him to be the inspiration for his next paintings so badly that he makes a tempting offer. But soon he realizes that he has a decision to make. Aidan can’t be certain whether it's only the artist in him who is allured by Rick’s charming looks or if there is more than that.

When an unexpected job proposal is made, Rick has his own concerns, the main one being the fact he is in a wheelchair. Why would a renowned artist like Adonis want to paint him? But he is in dire need of a job and he finds it hard to say no to a handsome man like Aidan Ross.

Art by Adonis is a journey of two men, imperfect in their own way yet so perfect for each other.

I loved the blurb and the premise for this story, but unfortunately the execution didn’t really work for me.

Aiden Ross irritated me from the beginning and never really redeemed himself even though I kept wanting him to and I did grow to believe he loved Rick in his way. He’s an artist extraordinaire apparently and he definitely knows it. His arrogance and presumptions about what the world owes him was a little much.

It would have worked better if he had progressed more as the story did. I think my issue was there wasn’t enough buildup, Aiden flirted hardcore and had pretty intense thoughts about Rick right away. It was a foregone conclusion that Rick would be interested as well, but Rick hadn’t been fleshed out at all to that point and so I didn’t get invested in them like I wanted to. The conversations were rather stilted and abrupt. They both said very personal things and had these deep insights into one another after only having conversations that were a few paragraphs long. They went from strangers to over-sharers way too fast. I need the conversation, the getting to know you piece of a new relationship is integral to buying into the potential HEA for me.

Aiden has some serious douchey friends and while that was incredibly annoying and they were terribly offensive, I do believe Aiden was better than that, I just wanted him to be better . . . more. There were so many ableist comments, moments and ideas that only would have “worked” in the story if they were born of ignorance and then the characters grew into decent humans, it was an opportunity missed.

Rick’s character has a ton of potential and could be amazing with some editing. Much like the story overall. The structure is there, but I needed more focus on the relationship potential. There was family drama that threw some WTAF in there that had no place in their story overall, it took away from the overall MC development. These guys deserved a character driven story and all the focus, they had so much potential. Rick had a lot of heart and I would have loved to read more about he and Aiden’s developing as a couple and individually.

I was hoping for a story of two men who have a meet-cute and then learn how to live and love together regardless of their situations. Like I said, the bones for that were there but the potential got lost in the chaos of external drama and arrogance. A perfect HEA would have gone a long way for these two, but the ending was so abrupt I thought maybe I missed something, but nope it was over and I was bummed. Even though the story didn’t work for me, I still wanted Aiden and Rick to get their HEA. They really made each other happy, and I was all good with that. But just when I thought I was going to read a little vignette of sappy happy it ended and I felt like I was left hanging.

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

Giveaway + Release Blitz: On The Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin

Welcome Amy Aislin & Signal Boost Promotions who are here today to promote the release of On The Ice (Stick Side #1)! Find out more about this sports romance & be sure to enter in the fantastic giveaway too! You could win an On the Ice prize pack! Good luck!

Length: 87,000 word approx.


For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player. A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.

Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.

But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye...and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.

It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do...


“Good game against Colgate,” Alex said, pocketing his phone.

The mask slipped off Mitch’s face. “You were there?”

Alex shook his head. “Watched it on TV.”

Holy crap! An NHL player—Mitch’s hockey crush, no less—had watched his game. At a loss for words, Mitch stood there blinking at Alex like a putz.

“You’ve got impressive foot work,” Alex said.

Mitch continued to blink at him.

“You skated circles around Colgate and that goal in the third?” Alex smiled wide. “You broke Colgate’s end as if the defensemen were pylons. It was beautiful.”

“I—” Mitch cleared his throat. “Well, McCall passed me the puck at just the right time, so… I mean, I did figure skating for years and…” He had no idea what he was trying to say.

“Huh. I know a couple of guys who did some figure skating after their game slipped and it helped them rebound. It’s something I’ve been considering to improve my foot speed.” Alex leaned a shoulder against the wall and crossed his arms, but his cast got in the way so he ended up shoving one hand in his pocket and letting the casted one dangle. “Your training shows in your footwork. How else has it helped your game?”

In total disbelief that an NHL player was asking him for advice, Mitch said, “Figure skating is about using edges and your body to change direction on the ice. It’s about learning to cut a corner or to pivot the right way while maintaining your speed. It made me a better skater.”

“It shows.”

God, the compliments were going to go to Mitch’s head.

“What made you decide to stick with hockey instead of figure skating?”

Mitch shrugged and told the truth. “I liked hockey better.”

“Could you do a triple axel in full hockey gear?” Alex asked, a teasing grin on his face.

Mitch had to laugh. “I’ve never tried.” But now he was itching to.

“No? What about a—” Alex held his index finger up and moved it in small circles, “—with the leg out in front?”

“A sit spin?” Mitch scratched his head. “I actually think that one might be harder than the triple axel in full hockey gear.”

They stood there smiling at each other for a moment, Alex’s eyes the color of the Green Mountains in summer. The man was too gorgeous for words and he was nice to boot. Mitch couldn’t help staring at Alex’s mouth, red and surprisingly soft in an otherwise rugged face.

Alex cleared his throat and edged around Mitch. “I’ve got to get back to my friend.”

“Wait, I—” The hallway was empty so Mitch plastered his sex smile back on his face, walked right into Alex’s personal space, and put a hand on Alex’s hip. “Why don’t you come over tonight and we’ll—”

Alex palmed Mitch’s shoulders and pushed him away. “Look, kid—”

“I’m not a kid.”

Mitch.” Alex held him at arm’s length. “Whatever it is you’re trying to do here, it’s not going to happen. I don’t even know you.”

“What difference does that make?”

Alex dropped his arms. “I don’t jump into bed with people I don’t know. Hell, I don’t even jump into bed with people I do know.”

Alex wasn’t saying I’m not gay, but it did sound like he was saying I’m asexual or something similar, which left Mitch exactly nowhere.

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.

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Audiobook Review: Swann's Revenge by Shira Anthony

Can a swan make peace with his ugly duckling past?

Chubby geek Jimmy Zebulon’s heart broke the day his high school crush, Danny Parker, looked on as his teammates tormented Jimmy. Fifteen years later, Jimmy is long gone, and from his ashes has risen Graham Swann, a movie-star-handsome law firm owner. Graham thinks Jimmy and his past are long forgotten—until attorney Dan Parker shows up for his first day of work.

Getting injured playing college ball was the best thing that ever happened to Dan. It turned his future in a better direction and allowed him to emerge from the closet that trapped him.

Graham wants to believe his childhood dream can come true, but he can’t bring himself to tell Dan who he really is—and their pasts might ruin any chance for a happily ever after….

Listening Length: 5 hours and 20 minutes
Narrator: Peter B. Brooke

I am on a Dreamspun Desires tear as this is the 3rd book in a row that has pulled 4 plus hearts out of my grumpy ole gnarly self!

Not so much a vindictive revenge story this is more about overcoming past baggage, mistakes, and fears, and of course finding love amidst such personal growth.

Graham is proud of the fact that he’s triumphed and moved far beyond the timid, insecure, and bullied teen he once was. Now he’s a very successful lawyer, fit and fabulous, and in high demand in all aspects of his life. When he discovers the new hire Dan, is his old crush who stood by while he got bullied, Graham doesn't quite know what to do with his still present attraction to the man. He’s adamant in keeping things professional and has no plans to reveal that teeny tiny fact about his past.

Dan in turn, doesn’t recognize Graham as the beleaguered Jimmy Zebulon - he only sees a smart handsome guy that he’s willing to pursue after his own tragic circumstance, and Dan’s not going to let the fact that Graham’s his boss stand in his way.

So basically, this is all about Dan being the best guy ever in his infinite patience and gentle pursuing of Graham, slowly whittling down his defenses. Graham, understandably has encased himself in an impenetrable shield of self preservation. He’s cool, calm, and tough… except when it comes to the wonderful Dan and his irresistible daughter.

Narrated by Peter B. Brooke, I’m not so sure about this performance. He was like a lazy robot and I admit I increased the speed of this so as to not slowly lose my mind from impatience. Once I did that, it was a decent listen.

Overall, I admit there’s a good amount of assumption, a bit of miscommunication, and Graham’s secret of omission hangs ominously around for the majority of this book. Again, being a Dreamspun Desires book, thankfully the fallout and melodrama is kept to a minimum, as this quietly excels at a great slow burn with no preposterous insta-love, has plenty of UST, and contains a nice dose of sexy. Graham and Dan of course triumph and find their ultimate happiness with each other, and in the end, that’s what matters most!

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

Release Blitz: The World Traveler by Claire Castle

Celebrate the release of The World Traveler with author Claire Castle & Signal Boost Promotions. Find out more about this contemporary romance below!

Length: 190 pages

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs


Charming Taylor Samuels doesn't expect his sister's video audition for the reality television show The World Traveler to result in anything. But when they're chosen to compete, he can do nothing but hope for the best.

Adam Scott's best friend wants them to try to get on The World Traveler, and so Adam reluctantly agrees to make him happy.

As the reality sets in that they'll competing, Adam tries not to panic too much.

Little do they know that a twist in the show will see Taylor and Adam's worlds collide in a way they never imagined.

Will everything go horribly wrong, or could this be the perfect beginning to a wonderful journey?

Claire Castle grew up surrounded by books. She has loved reading for her whole life. Her true love is romance and HEAs. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found wearing comfortable leggings, drinking mocha and petting her west highland terrier. She loves collecting awesome mugs and paperbacks of her favorite stories.


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Blog Tour: In the Desert by Elliot Joyce

Welcome Elliot Joyce! He's making his clubhouse debut in support of his new novella "In the Desert". Find out more about this romance that's part of the States of Love house line at Dreamspinner Press!

Hello, I’m Elliot Joyce and I’m the author of In The Desert, a novella about two young men who find themselves struggling with all the hard parts of life: who are they? Where do they fit into the world? And what’s in their future? And is their crush mutual or are they just fooling themselves? (Spoiler: The crush is most definitely mutual.)

But I could tell you about how Wren is worried that Felipe won’t like him back because Felipe is, as far as anyone knows, a good straight Catholic boy. Or I could tell you about how Felipe is pretty sure he’s as straight as an arrow. I could tell you about how their friends think these two need to get their heads checked, or how arrows actually bend when you fire them from a bow.

Except it’s far more fun to show you a little bit of what’s going on. Enjoy this excerpt from In The Desert and be sure to check it out.

“Are you two a thing?” Travis asked, gesturing to where Felipe was gathering marshmallows.
If Wren had been drinking water, he would have done a spit take. “God, no. Do you—he’s straight! And he’s Catholic! And I’m very much not interested in him,” Wren lied. Well, the last part was a lie. He knew the other parts were true, unfortunately.
“Right.” Travis glanced over to where Felipe was putting the marshmallows on wooden skewers. He put two on each before going to grab the chocolate and the graham crackers. They still had a few minutes before he’d be coming back. “You know, none of us would care if you were.”
“I know, but we aren’t,” Wren insisted, hoping he wasn’t blushing as much as he felt like he was. Thank God for brown skin. “We’re friends. Just because we don’t call each other dicks every five seconds or try to throw each other out of trees doesn’t mean we aren’t just two dudes who like each other. As friends. That’s it.” Wren didn’t know who he was fooling, but it definitely wasn’t Travis, if the look he was giving had anything to say about it.
Travis shrugged, shoving the rest of his granola bar into his mouth. He looked like he wanted to say more, but then Felipe was back, handing Wren a skewer with two marshmallows and holding a small stack of chocolate and graham crackers in his other hand.
“Hey, are you gonna get one?” Felipe asked Travis, who shook his head. “Oh, right, football season. Well, I guess Kyle ate your share anyway.”
“Oh, fuck off,” Travis said. “Everyone knows to pack an extra bag just for him.”
“Eh, well, at least I don’t have to sleep by him,” Felipe mused.
Wren groaned. They had decided he would be between Kyle and Felipe in the hope that the two of them were relatively heavy sleepers and, worst case scenario, weren’t afraid to kick Wren out if they absolutely couldn’t sleep. Wren and Chris could always share a tent, but they had to live with each other already, and actually spending time together outside of car drives to and from school was pushing it.
Felipe glanced down at Wren and then at Travis. Between the two of them, there wasn’t really space for Felipe to sit. “Let’s move closer to the fire,” Felipe suggested. “There’s more space, and it’s not like we can make s’mores from here.”
“I’ll stay back and watch you all catch shit on fire,” Travis said. “If Kyle slinks out of our goddamn tent, I’ll keep him distracted.”
“Your sacrifice is noted,” Wren replied. “We will toast in your honor.”
“Yeah, yeah, go get a spot before all the good ones are taken. And you can thank me by taking a fucking shower before we go to sleep,” Travis grumbled, a teasing glint in his eyes.
Wren flipped him off even as he stood.
Felipe grabbed ahold of his arm and pulled him closer to the fire. There were others there, of course, and besides the good-natured verbal and physical jabs, there wasn’t really conversation. Everyone was too intent on getting their marshmallow to cook… or burn into a crisp, if you were Chris.
Wren rolled his eyes as he carefully turned his skewer, trying to keep his marshmallows from burning, instead wanting a nice, even brown all the way around. He didn’t really blame the others for not being patient enough to wait, but in his experience, it was worth the extra time to sit there and get it done properly. It was a bit ironic, of course, because generally Wren hated waiting and wanted things done as quickly as possible.
But cooking marshmallows specifically was an art form that Wren was determined not to mess up.
“Oh shit,” Felipe swore as his skewer caught fire. Wren laughed as Felipe waved it around, trying to put it out, only to end with the marshmallows falling off and leaving him with a shorter skewer and no sugary treats. “Fucking hell.” He threw his skewer in the fire and locked eyes with Wren. The blue reflected the flames and burned into Wren, who felt like the air had just been punched out of him.
A moment passed.
“I’m, uh, gonna go grab another.” Felipe stumbled away, his ears red. Wren shook his head and pulled his marshmallows out of the fire. They were still not brown enough, so he pushed them back in, scowling.
Stupid, stupid. He probably knows you like him. He thought back to the look on Travis’s face, the way he had reassured Wren that it would be fine with the troop. As if that was all Wren was worried about. Fuck, what if the whole troop knows? Wren hurriedly thought back to how the rest of the Boy Scouts interacted with him, but he couldn’t think of anything that would tell him.
Okay, calm down. It was just a moment. Nobody said anything, so they probably didn’t see it. You’re fine. Nobody knows. Except maybe Felipe. Who’s straight. And Catholic. And, like, your only new friend.
Wren wondered if it would be too long of a walk to go to the lake and drown himself before he died of embarrassment.
“Hey, Wren, your marshmallows are on fire,” someone called out.

About In The Desert

Can a Navajo trans teen and a nerdy Catholic find the place they belong... and maybe themselves? In the desert, anything is possible….

When Wren came out as transgender before his senior year, it cost him most of his friends. His father hopes joining a Boy Scout troop might help Wren meet other young men his age and be accepted for who he is.

Felipe Nieves wants the new guy in the troop to feel comfortable, and he reaches out to Wren. They become fast friends… with something more beneath the surface. Those feelings confuse Felipe, since his religion considers this a sin—and he’s always assumed he was straight—but he can’t help pining for Wren. Asking him out will take courage, and getting together won’t be easy… but through their friendship, both young men might find their identities… and learn to embrace them in a unique coming-of-age story set against the beauty of the American Southwest.  

About the Author

Elliot Joyce is a social-media obsessed, selfie-taking millennial and he’s proud of it. He can usually be found in his room playing D&D or in a theater lurking on the catwalks. Sometimes he even writes.

Other notable facts include the fact that he’s bisexual, he cannot juggle, and he regularly trips over thin air. Catch him on tumblr or really any social media, he spends enough time on it.

Audiobook Review: A Wild Ride (The Bullriders #1) by Andrew Grey

Dante Rivers just lost the rodeo by two one hundredths of a point: he’s frustrated as hell, needs to get laid, and he knows just where to go. That night he meets Ryan Abbott and catches his eye—Ryan watched the rodeo and is still riding high on the rush. The chemistry between them ignites, but Dante, unable to deal with complications, leaves while Ryan’s asleep.

Ryan figures he’ll never see Dante again, but they’re fatefully reunited when Dante’s grandfather, Hy, hires Ryan to help straighten out some old investments. The attraction between Ryan and Dante still sizzles. Sex slowly turns to more, but obstacles abound: Hy’s failing health, Dante’s homophobic sponsor, an attack on Ryan, and Dante’s own struggle with his identity. Any one thing would be enough to separate them permanently… unless they both decide to hang on for the wild ride.

Listening Time: 6 hrs, 55 min
Narrator: John Solo

Reviewer: Shee Reviewer

Dante Rivers just lost the rodeo by 2 100ths of a point and he’s furious. He goes to the nearest bar where he can find a guy and get laid. He meets Ryan Abbotts and they catch each other’s eye. There is pool, flirting and eventually a trip to the hotel. Ryan gives Dante just what he needs, but the bull rider can’t cope with the way Ryan makes him feel so leaves in the middle of the night.

They cross each other’s paths when Dante’s grandfather wants a consultation with financial genius Ryan. When they see each other, the air sizzles, but will either man give in? Of course they will!

This is a complex journey for the men from hook up with a stranger to happily ever after including bull riding, homophobic attacks, sponsorship problems, sassy friends, untruths and misconceptions. It is a full experience and I really enjoyed getting to know Dante and Ryan. I adored Dante’s grandfather, who stood for no nonsense! The bull riding was not something I am that familiar with, but Andrew Grey’s telling makes me want to attend my first rodeo asap!

The relationship develops despite either man being that good with expressing their feelings, and I loved their halting attempts at communication. They are both such likeable characters, that all the obstacles had me rooting for the path of true love.

John Solo’s narration is awesome. He brought each character to life with such energy, I was transported right into the story. it was such an enjoyable listen, and the HEA is the full satisfying treatment I expect, and always get from Andrew Grey.


Release Blitz + Giveaway: A Chance at Love by Silvia Violet

A Chance at Love is officially out! Celebrate with author Silvia Violet and Vibrant Promotions! Learn more about the contemporary romance today and enter in the giveaway for a chance to win an eBook copy of the title (3 winners)!

A Chance at Love RDB Banner
RELEASE DATE: 05.08.18
A Chance at Love Cover
On the flight back home to San Diego, Chance Emerson meets an intriguing older man. They flirt, and Chance hopes for more, but the man never calls. Months later, they meet again at a charity auction. Chance decides this time he isn’t walking away.
Darren Walsh can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous grad student who almost had him joining the mile-high club. When Chance suggests they hook up, Darren says the only thing he can—yes.
From their first moments together, Chance and Darren know there’s more between them than lust, but their differences in age and income make a real relationship challenging. They decide to keep things secret, yet as they learn more about each other, Darren realizes he wants something real and open. To have that, he’ll need to convince Chance that he has a place in Darren’s world, and Darren will have to take some risks of his own.
A Chance at Love Graphic
A Chance at Love Teaser 1

Chance touched Darren’s arm again, and Darren felt an honest-to-God jolt of electricity zip through him. “Thank you for distracting me.”

Their gazes met, and Chance licked his lips, a provocative move that made Darren wonder if he really wanted to say goodbye.

“Are you getting a cab or something?” Darren asked. Was he really going to ask Chance to share a ride with him?

Chance shook his head. “A friend is picking me up.”

“Right. That’s easier, I guess.” Darren hated how disappointed he was.

“But…” Chance pulled something from the outer pocket of his bag. “Here’s my card. Give me a call if you want to play cards again or just talk or…something else.”

Darren took the card. Was it already warm from Chance’s touch, or was that his imagination?

Chance didn’t seem like the type to carry business cards around. He glanced down at it and realized the front was simply an artistic rendering of a DNA double helix. He flipped it over and saw Chance’s number and his email.

When he looked back up, Chance had a wary look on his face. “No pressure or anything if you don’t—”

The plane hit the tarmac then, jolting them. Darren hadn’t realized they were so close to the ground.

“I gotta text my friend,” Chance said, pulling out his phone.

Darren forced himself to focus on arranging a Lyft for himself rather than staring at Chance. By the time he finished, they were pulling up to the gate. Darren tucked Chance’s card into his leather iPad case and then slipped the device in the pocket of his briefcase.

For the first time since Darren had been startled by the young man holding a giant container of cheese balls, an awkward silence fell between them. He considered assuring Chance he’d call just to make him feel better, but he’d be lying.

He’d be tempted to, especially on nights when he was lonely. Going out or using an app to find a hookup often seemed like far too much trouble. But if he saw Chance again, it wouldn’t be the same. In the real world, Darren and this exuberant, young grad student had nothing in common.

Are you sure? You talked to him more easily than with anyone else you’ve encountered in months, maybe years.

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Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like "Do you write children's books?" She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she's actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Both Ends of the Whip by Brenda Murphy

Learn more about new kinky menage release, Both Ends of the Whip with author Brenda Murphy and IndiGo Marketing! Check out today's blitz and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title:  Both Ends of the Whip
Author: Brenda Murphy
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: May 7, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Female/Female, Female/Female Menage
Length: 66400
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, Contemporary, romance, menage, BDSM, mystery, vineyard, stables, arson

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Octavia Vargus had everything she wanted at Rowan House, Skye’s most exclusive pleasure house, except the one thing she craved. Longing for the freedom to explore both sides of her nature, she leaves Rowan House and her mistress, for a new start in Italy with her partner Bridget Murray.

Vivian Abiola is a connection to a past Octavia would like to forget, and a love she never expected to see again. After Octavia’s past relationship with Vivian is exposed, Octavia and Bridget explore the limits of their desires with Vivian. When an arsonist threatens to destroy their vineyard, past loyalties and secrets endanger their lives, and the three women’s relationship. Their love may be the only thing that helps them survive the firestorm of doubt, intrigue, and jealousy.


Both Ends of the Whip
Brenda Murphy © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
“Did you tell her?” Bridget’s voice was hoarse.

Octavia leaned down and touched her cheek. “No.” The springs squeaked when she left the bed. She stretched and walked to the window. With two fingers, she pulled the curtain aside. Cool air seeped in around the window frame. Her skin and her nipples pebbled. Fuck. Why didn’t I? What am I waiting for? Say something. Bridget’s silence was worse than if she had pleaded. The warm smell of their afternoon tryst filled the small bedsit. She glanced over her shoulder at Bridget. She lay on her back with her eyes closed and her hands clasped over her stomach. Her long red hair curled around her head and spilled over the white pillowcase. Octavia wanted to crawl back into the small bed and kiss each freckle scattered over her naked body. She wanted to lose herself in the softness of her skin and make her beg for release. She’s angry. Sad. What am I waiting for? Fuck me, I need to get it together.

She turned back to the window and looked out. Early morning mist hung over the grass surrounding the manor house. A long black car pulled into the circular drive. A lone woman exited the car. Tall and willowy, she glanced about her before she lowered her head and hurried across the pavers. Not a guest. Visitor? Solicitor? Octavia let the curtain fall back into place. Say something. Anything.

“Today. I promise.” Octavia turned to Bridget. She was sitting up now. She had pulled on Octavia’s shirt and was leaning against the brass headboard.

“You said that yesterday.” Bridget looked down at her hands. “I’ve told Cook. She’s gone out of her way to be crueler than usual to me.” She twisted her fingers together. Her shoulders were slumped making Octavia’s shirt appear even larger on her small frame.

Octavia crossed the room and took Bridget’s hand in her own. “Look at me love.” She rubbed her thumb over the skin of her knuckles. Bridget raised her chin, her eyes bright with unshed tears. Octavia leaned down and brushed her lips with a kiss. “Today.” She kissed Bridget again, deeper this time.

Bridget settled her hands on Octavia’s hips. “I can’t stand the idea of anyone else touching you. Every day we’re here, I hate it. I hate worrying someone will ask for you and you’ll go because you think you have to.”

“I go because I made an agreement. I owe Martha. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“It does to me.” Bridget pinned Octavia in place with her hard expression. “If you want me to be committed to you, to kneel to you, to be yours, you need to understand I want the same from you. I’m not a toy or a doll to be played with until someone better comes along.”

Octavia held Bridget’s gaze. “I know, love. I know. Today. I promise.” She lifted the edge of her collar and the number tag jingled. “Today is the last day I wear this.”

“You’re sure? What if you went on holiday? You haven’t taken any time off in years. A break would do you good.” Martha smoothed her hand over Octavia’s shoulders before she tugged at the neckline of her shirt, straightening it. She flattened her hands on Octavia’s chest and leaned in to kiss her.

Octavia pulled back, avoiding the kiss. “No. It’s more than that, Mistress.”

Martha lowered her hands. Her gaze was steady and her eyes dark. “You’re done then?”

Do it. Now. For Bridget. For both of you. Octavia kneeled at Martha’s feet. She lowered her head until her forehead touched the toe of Martha’s boot. She pulled her thick single braid to the side. How many times have I kneeled this way aching with need and want, wanting only to be under her hand? Begged to feel the sting of her lash, to be allowed to serve her. Begged for a kiss. When did it change?

“I want to be free, Mistress. Please release me.” Sweat trickled down her back. She waited in silence, her breathing rough. Martha rested her palm on the crown of her head, her touch igniting a wave of desire in Octavia. Her body warred with her mind. Hard. So hard. So much I want. So much she can’t give. Octavia blinked away the tears that burned the back of her throat. She heard the rustle of fabric. Cold metal pressed against her neck, the sharp edge scraping her skin and she shivered. Her collar fell in two pieces onto the floor, the brass tag clinking on the tiles. Octavia exhaled. She raised her head and sat up. She picked up the remnants of her collar before she rose and stuffed the pieces into her front pocket. Her palms were sweaty and she wiped them on her jeans.

Martha stepped away and turned her back to Octavia. “Have you thought about where you’ll go? What to do with your accounts?”

The chill in Martha’s voice made Octavia’s heart ache. “I’ve been looking. No firm plans yet. I thought I’d leave the accounts with you until I’m settled.”

“Bridget as well?”

No secrets at Rowan House. Nothing to hide. Not now. “Yes. She’s told Cook.”

Martha turned and looked at Octavia. She rested one hand on her hip. “I’m surprised she lasted as long as she did. Last time I trust Cook to hire someone.”

Octavia pursed her lips. “Jealous of a sub?” She rocked back on her heels and crossed her arms. “This has got nothing to do with Bridget. This is about us.”

“Because I refused give over to you? To give you control?” Martha quirked her mouth.

“Because you refused to understand I wanted more, needed more from you.”

“Eight years and it comes to this? You’re leaving me for what? A woman-child? A soft sub? She can’t give you what you need. You’ll be bored in a year.”

“Maybe. But at least I’ll be happy.”

Martha’s face flushed and she inhaled sharply before she smoothed her features. Her manner cool and haughty, she lifted her chin. She met Octavia’s hard look with one of her own. Angry. So angry. And hurt. Fuck. I hurt her. She’d never acknowledge it. Still holding back. Octavia turned away from the hurt in Martha’s eyes. She loves me. But not enough. Not enough to give me control.

“Fuck you. You asked for my ownership. You begged me for it. I didn’t force it on you.”

Octavia winced at the edge in Martha’s voice. “I did.” She met her gaze. “People change. I’ve changed. I should’ve told you about Bridget. I owed you. I’m sorry.”

“I knew. I knew when you didn’t ask me for permission it was more than play.” Martha clasped her hands behind her back. “I expect you to stay through the end of the month. You’ll need to train one of the others to manage the stable until I can hire someone.” She pinned Octavia with her glare. “You’re excused from your other duties.”

“I signed a contract. I’ll honor it.”

“You are not to play with any guests or other staff. Honor our past. Honor my last command.”

Martha turned and squared her shoulders. She walked away, her footsteps loud on the tile floor. Octavia stood in the center of the room. She closed her eyes, trying to shut out the ghosts of memories of their time together that swirled around her. Her heart ached for what had been and what would never be. She thrust her hand in her pocket, pulled the pieces of her collar out. She fingered the smooth edge of her number tag. I’m free. Free to follow my own path. With Bridget. But where? She touched her neck, the bare skin where her collar had been. She swallowed the dry-edged pain in her throat, willing the tears away.


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Meet the Author

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows, and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not swilling gallons of hot tea and writing, she wrangles two kids, two dogs, and one unrepentant parrot. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog Writing While Distracted.

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