Review: The Claiming (Bound Gods #6) & Purgatory (Bound Gods #7) by Adrienne Wilder

The Claiming: Book Six in the Bound Gods Series. This is NOT a stand alone book.

What begins as a day of celebration, the Claiming of two Doxies to a single god, transforms into a spiraling path of cataclysmic change.

Hearts will break.

Friendships will shatter.

And betrayal to those closest to the heart of the Association are only a small price to pay for the protection of the gods’ most precious possessions…


Note: This book ends on a cliffhanger to book Seven.

This one is difficult to rate simply because it's unfinished. That cliff is real, y'all. 

Also because this series is edging away from what drew me to it in the first place which was the hardcore BDSM elements, proud, card-carrying member of #TeamPain that I am.

The Claiming scene with Kaleb, Aaron and Leo was probably the highlight of the book for me. Exhibitionism, forced orgasms, public sex that inspired an orgy amongst the other gods and doxies in attendance. Good stuff.

Then it all went to shit.

Many tears were shed. They were on the cusp of getting everything they wanted and instead wound up heartbroken and betrayed.

It is still bad wrong but the bestiality theme seems to be the new flavor of bad wrong, superseding the kink. There is some kink including electric play, orgasm denial/chastity and some impact play just not as much PAIN as I would've liked. As much as I enjoy PAIN I'm not a huge fan of painful sex; the term monster cock isn't a exaggeration, folks.

However, I wasn't as repulsed by the bestiality in this one as I was in Crocuta, Crocuta, owing mostly to the sheer level of alpha possessiveness both The Chimera and Taurus showed for their doxies. I'm kind of a sucker for the possessive ones.

The other thing that I struggled with was all the threads and head hopping. I'm positive this whole thing is going to culminate in some epic event and I have my popcorn ready. But I always have trouble rating what I call "the set up book", so here's me chickening out and reading Purgatory before I rate them. Because really, they cannot be read apart.

Here's hoping I don't chicken out and have to read God of Monsters before rating the trilogy...

This is a part of an ongoing series and not a stand-alone book. Reading these books out of order isn’t advised.

**** Purgatory is where gods go to die, imprisoned for their violent crimes, sentenced to never see the light of day again. Trapped within the stone catacombs are impossible, dangerous, barely human gods.

Gods of legend.

And with the potent ambrosia Aaron produces, those gods might soon walk free. If they do, blood will rain and hell will be unleashed.

***** Trigger Warning: This product contains nuts. Oh, and it’s the second-half of a three part installment and ends on a ditchhanger. Or maybe even a gullyhanger. But definitely nothing nerve wrenching enough to qualify as a cliffhanger.


Welp, we've officially entered Monster-Pornsville. I'm not wild about the trajectory this series is taking and not to get too spoilery but there are threads that don't add up for me.

What I do like is the subtext of this series that quite frankly, early on I was oblivous to because of the kink fog I was in, but now that I'm more coherent I see the message of looking below the surface, not judging people solely on their exterior. It's a good message; one to appreciate. Aaron was disfigured by the god son, Taurus is half bull, Cerberus is half hyena and all of them have tender hearts and an enormous capacity to love.

Taurus is also quite possessive and protective of his doxie as is Malum and I do heart me a possessive MC. I like both of them and I still like the dynamic that pervades the doxies' interactions with one another and how tactile and affectionate they are with one another. They really do remind me of puppies. Puppies who are horny ALL THE TIME, but still.

The endgame continues to intrigue me but here's the thing, I'm not as invested in this narrative as I once was. This storyline came across as fractured with multiple perspectives some of whom I do not care about nor to I like. I'm looking at you, Sonny.

The backstory of these new characters is not well developed nor is their characterization. Plus there are so many new people! There's only so far porn can carry a narrative for me, especially when the porn has taken a hard left into Monster-Pornsville. There is still kink: cropping, fisting, spanking, orgasm denial/chastity, some bondage and none of these people have any qualms about orgying that I do thoroughly enjoy. I just don't really care about those who are engaging in it.

Lastly, I understand how titillating and erotic excessive amounts of cum are to some but...


Bottom line, I was primarily drawn to this series because of Kaleb and Leo. I went back and read my reviews of the first three books all of which are mostly squeeing and inarticulate nonsense a.k.a. the kink fog. Those books were also bad wrong, but they were filled with a palpable connection between them, relationship development and oodles of PAIN! #TeamPain4evs

I'm going with 3 Hearts for both of these mostly because I'm interested in what Alton and the Chimera's objectives are and that's holding my interest at least through book 8.

Review copies were provided.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Level Up by Annabeth Albert

Celebrate the release of Level Up with author Annabeth Albert and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more about the friends to lovers romance and enter in the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Series: loosely related to the #gaymers series, but stands alone
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Annabeth Albert
Release Date: May 17, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 40,000 words
Genre: Romance, contemporary m/m romance, gay romance, geeks, nerds, friends-to-lovers, gamers, gaymers



Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.

However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.

A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.

Approximately 40,000 words. Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.


LEVEL UP EXCERPT—This is their first kiss, because I absolutely love writing first kiss scenes!


Bailey was the type who moved a lot as he gamed, biceps flexing, knees wiggling, shoulders jostling. Landon always liked people who got so into gaming, but it was more than a little distracting. His body was quickly coming to associate that orange scent of Bailey’s with good things, and other parts of him apparently liked Bailey’s nearness, which was a novelty because instead of intimidated, as he would have expected, he was more than a little turned on.

“Oh man, that was a rush.” Bailey laughed as both of their health meters dipped to zero. “I’m almost wishing I’d gone into game art, not photography. Amazing how these graphics have held up over the years.”

“Totally. And speaking of art, let me find the Space Villager stuff.” Landon reluctantly stepped away from the game. He headed to the nearby kitchen, where he was pretty the papers were buried with a stack of mail. Paper control was not his strong suit. “You’ll go nuts at the latest screen shots and promo teasers.”

“Cool.” Rather than follow Landon, Bailey went to sit on the couch.

“You want a drink while I’m in here?” Landon called to him after he found the papers under a pile of pizza ads. “I’ve got four flavors of Snapple, soda, and water.”

“Surprise me with a Snapple flavor.” Bailey looked right at home on Landon’s couch, lounging back.

He really did not look at all like any photographer Landon had ever met, and curiosity had him asking, “So why photography? You said you could have done game design?”

“Yeah, I had plenty of friends at the art institute go that direction. But I’ve been in love with photography ever since I worked on our middle school yearbook. I figured out quickly that taking pictures of events and sports was far more fun than trying to do the sports myself, so I did yearbook all through high school, got a photography scholarship to the art institute in Portland.”

“So you don’t play a sport?” Landon had a hard time believing that. With Bailey’s height and breadth, he totally looked like he lived for weekend games of some type.

“Nope. Hopelessly uncoordinated.” Bailey shot him an endearing smile when Landon handed him the bottle of tea.

“Me too.” Landon clinked bottles with him, then held up the papers. “Found the codes. But can I show you some stuff on the TV screen while you have your drink?”

“Absolutely.” Bailey took a long swig of tea, and Landon had to look away before he got mesmerized by Bailey’s full mouth, how it looked when his tongue chased a stray drop of moisture, how pink it was in contrast to his paler skin and brown beard.

Landon queued up the pre-release trailer Josiah had sent him a link to. Bombastic music filled his small living room as on the screen, and a spaceship pulled in for a landing on a planet filled with ruins of a once-powerful civilization. The narrator had an iconic voice and detailed all the special features of the expansion pack. Landon had already watched this a half-dozen times, and it still gave him happy chills.

“Wow. I can’t wait.” Bailey looked suitably awed. “This is even cooler than when War Elf added the mystic raids.”

“I know, right? Now look at the in-game screen shots.” He brought up another video, body relaxing more and more despite Bailey’s nearness. It was just so awesome to have someone new to share this with. He’d been hyped about this all week, but Pike was distracted by his boyfriend Zack’s deployment, Savannah didn’t game much, and the rest of his regular crew seemed to have other things occupying their attention.

Somehow, as he shared more video clips, he drifted closer to Bailey, so that their knees were almost rubbing. It wasn’t a giant couch, so there wasn’t a ton of room to move back, but even so, Landon wasn’t looking for an escape. He was aware of Bailey, very much so, but not nearly as freaked out as he’d been a few hours ago. Instead, his senses seemed to soak up Bailey’s scent and nearness, and it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth video that he realized that he was aroused.

Clink. Somehow Landon’s left hand, holding his drink, and Bailey’s right hand tangled.

“Oops.” He tried to extricate himself without spilling both beverages. Bending to put his on the floor, he hadn’t realized that Bailey had also leaned down until their heads collided.

“Ow,” they said simultaneously.

“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” Bailey reached out, feeling around on Landon’s head. “Did you see stars? Break the skin?”

“I’m fine.” Landon didn’t pull away. Bailey’s hand felt damn nice. Gentle. Soothing more than just the bump on his head. Their eyes met, and he really needed to move back, break this spell, but he didn’t, instead leaning into to the touch. Bailey’s eyes darkened, and he stroked down Landon’s jaw. God, that felt so good, like an extra blanket on a chilly night, warmth he hadn’t realized he was missing. How long had it been since he’d been touched like this? Hugged, sure. He’d hugged Savannah goodnight, and hugged and wrestled around with his best friend Pike at the last LAN party, but neither of those things was touch like this. Caring. Sweet. Arousing.

Bailey leaned in again, way slower this time, all the time in the world for Landon to stop him. But he didn’t. Bailey’s beard tickled an instant before their lips met, a soft slide of mouths. Not aggressive at all, not the on-a-tight-schedule rush of a hookup, Bailey kissed like they had a sleepy Sunday afternoon to kill, like each reaction of Landon’s mattered, like he was trying to memorize something important and was going to take his time learning the lesson.

Landon was the first one to take things further, mouth opening on a sigh, welcoming Bailey’s agile tongue. He tasted sweet, like tea, and minty like the gum he’d popped after the pizza, familiar yet new at the same time. How had he managed to forget how awesome kissing could be? A laugh bubbled up in his chest, but quickly transformed to a groan of pleasure as Bailey nipped at his lower lip.

Not content to let Bailey be the one exploring, Landon sent his own tongue on a quest, tracing Bailey’s full lower lip, delving inside to rub tongues, retreating playfully to earn another nip. Fuck. This was nice. The video switched over to something random, and he barely registered it. He couldn’t say how long they kissed, just that he didn’t want it to ever end.

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Meet the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series. To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

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Review: Masc (Femme #2) by Marshall Thornton

Lionel and Dog are back in this follow-up to the Lambda finalist, Femme. Almost six months have passed and, after taking an online quiz, Lionel believes their relationship is doomed because they have nothing in common. To save their future together, the pair joins a gay bowling league and discovers that Lionel is an excellent, if somewhat eccentric, bowler.

Meanwhile, Dog gets profiled in a work newsletter. He’s excited that he’s out at work, but doesn’t immediately realize that by fawning over Dog’s masculine nature the writer was also putting down all femme guys. Lionel takes it personally, which leads the to a crisis in their relationship. Attempting to make it up to Lionel, Dog makes a grand gesture—which backfires spectacularly.

Will the two manage to put things right? And will a night in jail, a morning of drag bingo, an afternoon of day drinking, and a month of moping make things better or worse?

Masc is a solid follow up to the Dog and Lionel show. It had many of the same ingredients that were present in the first:

Sassy Lionel? Check
Clueless yet introspective Dog? Yep
Dog’s crazy family? uh huh
Over analysis of how a relationship should look? In spades.
OTT moments? Is the sky blue?

Masc deals a lot with the growing pains of a new relationship and the questions that creep up after the honeymoon phase; Questions about purpose, direction, and the longevity of Lionel and Dog's future. Lionel and Dog also have a lot of personal obstacles they have to battle before they can fully appreciate each other and the relationship they’re building. Things get shaken up when Lionel takes a relationship quiz that shows having nothing in common pretty much equates to a doomed relationship.


Unfortunately for their supposed doomed relationship, shit hits the fan even more when Dog is profiled at work. That article shines the light on biases/stereotypes/gender role issues that plague the MCs, their family, and co-workers. I’m not sure I’m all the way on board with the way Dog had to work through his issues, but I will say that I was raging for a bit during the read.

Dog and Lionel are so silly but stay true to themselves. I enjoyed it for the most part but at times I felt like I was hitting my threshold for dramatics. I was hoping that there would be more growth to the relationship but much of this book was dysfunction with a big helping of OTT. They got their HEA but the cohesiveness took a lonnnnnnnng while to obtain.

I’m not going to lie, I was a tad nervous in the beginning with Graham’s sister being on page so soon. Dog’s family drove me crazy in book one but his sister was the icing on the cray-cray cake. It’s enjoyable to *see* the growth she makes and how far his dad has come since the first book. They all grew on me and become a nice support system for Lionel and Dog.

Dramatics and OTT-ness are pretty much the M.O. for Lionel and Dog’s relationship in Femme so expect the same for this one. There are some serious issues taking place in this book with a trigger warning for sexual harassment and insinuation of past child abuse. It was nice to spend more time with Lionel and Dog. Recommended.

Blog Tour: Bad to the Bone by Nicki Bennett

Welcome Nicki Bennett who's here today to talk about her latest Dreamspun Desires novel, Bad To The Bone! Find out more about this second chance romance and read an excerpt below. Also, see our 4 ❤ review of it HERE!

Isn’t the cover for Bad to the Bone gorgeous? It would sure make me want to find out who this delicious man is, if I hadn’t written the book! For those of you who may not be familiar with the steps it takes to create a book cover, let me walk you through how this cover came about.

Shortly after I signed my contract with Dreamspinner Press, I got an email from the Art Department asking me for input on cover design. Because Dreamspun Desires is a category romance line, it has specific cover elements that are standard for all releases: the slanted framing borders; the fonts used for the title, author name, and tag line; the muted Dreamspinner spiral in the background. The central image has to be simple, usually limited to a single character, and something that will grab the reader’s attention and convey the essence of the story and/or tropes it embodies. The email asked me to provide a brief story synopsis, setting, descriptions of the main characters, and what I would consider my ideal cover.

I knew the cover I wanted: Ricky Lee on the Harley motorcycle he rides back into town—and back into Alex’s life. Within a week, cover artist Bree Archer sent me a number of potential images to choose from. Some were of Native American models who resembled the description I’d given of Ricky Lee, and others were of models straddling or standing next to motorcycles, but none of them were exactly right.

Dreamspinner’s artists are great about looking for more examples if you don’t find anything you like the first time around. When we were working on the cover for my first Dreamspun Desire, The Cattle Baron’s Bogus Boyfriend, one of the models they provided for Link was the same cowboy who’d appeared on the cover of one of my favorite books by a favorite author, who also happens to be a good friend! That’s a drawback of having to rely on stock photos—there are only so many to choose from, especially when it’s a subject in a specific genre or with some unique characteristic. For that cover, I actually went hunting through several stock photo sites myself until I found a cowboy who was closer to my image of Link and that I hadn’t seen on romance covers before.

I knew the chances of finding a stock photo with the specific combination of elements I was looking for in this case were slim to none. One of the photos in the second batch Bree sent me had potential, though. It showed an olive-skinned man with dark hair and crossed arms, sitting on a motorcycle and staring boldly into the camera. His attitude was exactly what I wanted Ricky Lee to portray, but his hair was too short and his clothes weren’t just right. I emailed Bree back and identified the photo I’d selected, asking if she could color the jeans and T-shirt he wore black. I also referenced one of the photos of a Native model and asked if it would be possible to give the model on the bike longer hair like his.

Bree came back with a fantastic draft. She’d cropped the photo so it emphasized the model but still showed the front of the bike, colored his T-shirt black, and Photoshopped in the longer hair I’d asked for. She’d also replaced the original background with a rural landscape appropriate for the story. It was 99 percent of what I wanted; now we were in the tweaking stage. I asked her, since Ricky Lee is half Comanche and wouldn’t have much facial hair, if she could thin out the model’s eyebrows and remove the bit of scruff on his chin. Bree did just that, and the result is the beautiful cover you see in this post.

It isn’t always possible for an author to get the cover of their dreams, but Dreamspinner’s artists do a fantastic job of trying to make that happen. I couldn’t be happier with the cover for Bad to the Bone—thank you, Bree!—and I hope you enjoy the story as much as I love the cover.

A second chance at first love—if he has the courage to take it.

Alex can’t think of himself as anything but a failure. In high school, he was on the fast track to a career in pro football when he forged an unlikely friendship with a half-Comanche boy from the wrong part of town, Ricky Lee Jennings. Their shared love of books could have grown into more—but a homophobic teammate attacked Ricky Lee, and Alex wouldn’t risk his scholarship to defend him. Ricky Lee was kicked out of school, and Alex never heard from him again.

Now Alex’s glory days are nothing but a memory. An injury ended his football aspirations, his marriage fell apart, and his dreams of making a difference as an environmental lobbyist are as dead as his fantasies of sports stardom.

But all that could change in one magical night, when Ricky Lee shows up at their high-school reunion.


A deep rumbling noise sounded from outside, loud enough to rattle the store windows in their frames. Alex turned his head in time to see a huge black motorcycle with two riders cruise down the street, followed a moment later by a Freeland police department patrol car, its lights flashing.
The bike pulled to the curb, idling until the officer—at the distance they stopped down the street, Alex couldn’t tell who it was except that it wasn’t Sam—approached. He gestured for them to dismount, and the rumble stopped as the driver complied. The officer spoke for a few moments, then gestured again, apparently for the riders to remove their helmets. The driver had a tail of black hair that reached between his shoulders, and when the officer began to pat him down, Alex could see that the back of his jacket was embroidered with a design that read Oregon Rainbow Riders. He wasn’t sure why the officer needed to perform a pat-down—there was no way the rider was concealing anything under the leather pants that fit him like a second skin. Alex allowed himself a moment to admire the driver’s firm backside before turning his attention to the second rider. He or she—again, it was hard to tell from the distance—wore a denim jacket and jeans and sported a head of dreadlocks in ombre shades of blue.
When the officer finished patting them both down, he spoke to the driver again. By this time Alanna had come around the counter to the window to see what captured Alex’s attention. The driver leaned forward into the officer’s space. Whatever he was saying, it was forceful enough to cause the patrolman to take a step back and drop his hand to the gun on his belt. Before the situation could escalate any further, the officer shook his head, and the rider and his passenger climbed back onto the bike. The engine roared as the motorcycle disappeared down the street.
“Well, that was the most excitement we’ve seen all week,” Alanna commented as the patrol car turned off its lights and pulled away from the curb.
“Probably someone took a wrong turn off the interstate,” Alex said. “I can’t imagine anyone looking like that having business in Freeland.”
“Saw something you liked?” Alanna teased. “Which one?”
Alex flipped her the bird and returned to the back room to finish cleaning up. He’d almost forgotten about the strangers until the door jangled again and Alanna yelled, “Alex! Sam’s here!”
He hadn’t expected to see Sam that afternoon—they usually met for breakfast at the diner near the police station when Sam had a morning shift—but he greeted her with a warm smile. “What brings you around?” he asked. “Everything okay?”
“Yeah, though it’s about to get a lot more interesting,” she replied. “Ricky Lee Jennings is back in town.”

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Growing up in Chicago, Nicki Bennett spent every Saturday at the central library, losing herself in the world of books. A voracious reader, she eventually found it difficult to find enough of the kind of stories she liked to read and decided to start writing them herself.

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Audiobook Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates #4) by Jay Northcote

Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires

Shawn’s always denied... Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth—going nowhere.

Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction. 

Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated—and kinky—fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
Narrator: Lewis Carter

The entire Housemates series is a deliciously filthy treat and Watching and Wanting may now be my favorite of the 4. Although I seem to say that after every one I listen to, sooooo take that how you will. The author says this can be read/heard as a standalone (and it can), I would ask, why would you do that???

Shawn has been a periphery flatmate from early on and I’m so glad he got his story and Jude was the perfect person for him. When two characters sexual appetites and preferences line up, the chemistry can be downright explosive and that is certainly the case with Shawn and Jude.

The two are flatmates but don’t really socialize. Shawn and his girlfriend have split up and he’s floating through life aimlessly. He’s always had an inkling that he may not be completely hetero, but fear has made him bury feelings deep and he has a tendency to be a bit of a dick when he’s feeling cornered. So he doesn’t always come across as the most likable of characters at times. As you get inside his head though, you can’t help but feel for the guy, especially living in a house where a decent portion of the sexual identity spectrum is represented and he doesn’t feel as if he can be a true part of it. He doesn’t even know how to try.

Jude is an exhibitionist who makes cash while going to school by hosting a cam show where he is quite popular. Jude makes no apologies for who he is or what he does with his life. He’s not ashamed but he does keeps the cam thing quiet, it’s his private gig and he likes to keep it that way. One day Shawn walks into Jude’s room while a show was in progress and oh my sweet baby jeebus is Shawn thrown for a loop. You remember how I said Shawn buried all the things? Well, seeing Jude in action, however briefly, digs up all those feelings with a backhoe and shines a spotlight on them.

I have to give Shawn credit for being self aware when it’s time for him to be. He could have very easily kept burying, but he’s tired of being adrift and he likes Jude, the two of them talk and a tentative friendship with cam benefits is born. I’ve been remiss in not mentioning the narrator to this point and while this is the first book I’ve listened to from Lewis Carter, it will not be my last. He was a perfect fit for this story. His characters were distinctive and his tone matched their moods very well throughout. He’s also really good at the dirty bits. Really good. Really. Good.

Jay Northcote is a master of giving his characters unexpected depth. This setup could easily have been a fun diversion and nothing more, but it is more and the author always delivers that extra something that fully fleshes out his MC’s and takes a cute setup and turns it into a bit of a character study with multi dimensional characters.

Shawn isn’t accidentally stumbling on a previously unknown kink, he’s finally accepting a piece of himself he’s kept hidden and it will affect him greatly and deeply. I don’t think he would have been able to do it in such a healthy way without Jude. Jude’s confidence gave Shawn strength and the real Shawn, the Shawn that had been hinted at throughout finally comes out. Shawn becomes the man that Jude deserves, Jude hides in the closet for no one and both of them deserve to be happy, out and proud.

It’s amazing what love can do and Watching and Wanting reminded me of that in the best of ways.

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

Series Recap Blitz: Responsible Adult Series by C.F. White

C.F. White promotes their Responsible Adult series today, along with Signal Boost Promotions! Check it out!

Responsible Adult Series 

Book #1 - Misdemeanor - currently 99c

Book #2 - Hard Time  - currently 1.99

Book #3 - Reformed - currently 2.99

The Responsible Adult series follows bad boy Micky O’Neill as he attempts to better his life to bring up his disabled little brother. A past full of juvenile delinquency and living in a small town rife with idle gossip means Micky struggles to be seen as anything other than a no-hoper from the wrong side of the tracks... until he takes a job at the local supermarket and meets his boss, Dan, a university graduate and self-proclaimed shy, awkward bookworm.

Dan, older and burned from a past relationship, is the one person who sees through Micky’s tough-guy facade to the true heart underneath. With fear and mistrust on both sides, the two must steer their way through a complicated relationship where outside forces are determined to break them up at every turn.

Responsible Adult is a series about growing up and learning that falling in love always brings responsibility.

Excerpt from Misdemeanor

“You can join us if you like. Enough to go around.” Dan pointed at all the food and drink.

Micky looked down, licking his lips, but shook his head. He glanced at the play park and Dan followed his line of sight to see the blond bloke by the swings surrounded by a gaggle of girls, one of whom he picked up in a fireman’s carry and proceeded to slap her arse. Micky snorted and turned back to Dan.

“Thanks, but I got Flynn.” He scrunched up his legs, hugging his knees to his chest and hung the glass down over the top.

“Your parents not around then?” Dan asked, voice full of concern.

“Nah,” Micky said with a shrug. “Mum passed away. A while back now. And Dad’s, well, Dad’s not round so much anymore.”

“Workaholic?” Dan asked, almost hopeful.

“Something aholic, yeah,” Micky said. He shuffled his feet on the blanket, bunching it up and flattening it back down. “He’s just not good to be around Flynn.”

“So you take care of him by yourself?” Dan asked.

Micky nodded.

“Wow. That’s…” Dan searched for the word. Three years spent lovingly studying the English language hoping to come into good use this time. “Commendable.”

“Not really,” Micky said, ducking his head. “Any sibling would do it.”

“I don’t know about that, mate,” Dan said. “My big sister can be a right cow. She would’ve left me on a doorstep somewhere.”

Micky chuckled. He didn’t pay Dan much attention, choosing to watch Flynn and Tamsin as she spun him on the seated roundabout. Dan watched them, too, for a bit, before turning back to Micky.

“He’s a character,” Dan acknowledged. “There a reason he’s so small?”

Micky finally turned his attention on Dan. “Yeah,” he replied, voice tiny and tight. He scraped his teeth over his bottom lip several times, dragging away the congealed moisture forming over them. “He’s got a condition. He’s a little behind in years, too.”

“Oh,” Dan said. He might have that etched onto his gravestone. “What’s the condition?”

“Williams syndrome?” Micky replied, then, with a shrug, shook his head. “Don’t worry. No one’s ever heard of it. It’s pretty rare. One in twenty thousand or so.”

“Oh,” Dan said. Again. For fuck’s sake.

“So, yeah, I’m sorry about earlier. I probably snapped at you.” Micky twirled the glass in his hand. “The friendly thing. One of the things he’s lacking is any stranger danger. They’re a bit overly social, if you know what I mean. Susceptible to being taken advantage of. Scares the crap out of me.”

Micky dipped his head, shaking it from side to side. He shuffled again and Dan sensed he was clamming up after having been so forthcoming. Dan didn’t want Micky to stop talking. He was strangely fascinated by him. It wasn’t just that the bloke was nice to look at, which he evidently was. But his voice had an undertone of something more and Dan desperately wanted to find out what that was.

“How else does it affect him?” Dan wondered aloud.

“Multitude of things.” Micky exhaled. He took a deep breath before responding any further. “Medical stuff like a weak heart. Had two major heart surgeries as a baby. Will probably need another one in his lifetime. He has stomach troubles. Bowel issues. Weak muscles. The eyes. Teeth. Hyperthyroid. Plus he’s got learning difficulties.” Micky’s eyes glazed over as he swished the glass in his hand. “He’s an eternal child. Sees the world like it should be in a fairy tale, minus the evil characters. Everything is bright and beautiful and everyone is his friend.” Micky paused. “It’s a real shame that life isn’t like that. Because a world full of Flynns would be the one I wanna live in.”

Dan paused for a moment, trying to take it all in. What Micky said. Flynn. The condition. The ideal. And how Micky described it all.

“I’m sorry you’re dealing with all that by yourself,” Dan finally said. “I had no idea.”

He’d just been lusting after his body all week. Now Dan knew the bloke had a soft, loving and caring side, what the hell was that going to do to him now?

Author Bio

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...




In honour of Williams Syndrome Awareness Day, Pride Publishing are putting Misdemeanor, Hard Time and Reformed on a price promotion. You can get all three books at 99p/c each on Friday 18th May. Link here:, but you can also buy it at this price at most other retailers.

If you’d like to learn more about Williams Syndrome, then you can find out all the excellent work that the charities in both the UK and US do here:

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Tag Team Review: Level Up by Annabeth Albert

Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.

However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.

A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.

Approximately 40,000 words. Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.

This is another one of those, I like the premise but the execution fell a bit short IMO. I was hooked on photographer and genius physicist are supposed to meet up for a charity gig but prior to the event, they communicate online for a couple of weeks allowing things go from professional to flirty. Unfortunately my excitement didn’t extend throughout and this became an okay level of enjoyment.

As the blurb mentions, Landon is voluntold to help with a nude charity calendar. He begins email communication with the photographer (Bailey) about logistics and then as multiple emails are exchanged, they find themselves in flirty territory where each “man” is looking forward to meeting with an almost giddy anticipation.

Their first meet is awkward and isn’t the slam dunk each was hoping for. They decide to be friends and over their love of video games, a tentative romantic relationship forms. Landon has serious issues from the past he must navigate to make it work and Bailey is so patient. He handles him with understanding and care while moving towards a HEA.

My hang-ups with this book deal mostly with the lack of depth and fleshing out of the characters. We jump right in when Bailey and Landon are about to meet and miss out on the communication or build up prior. The interactions that take place are awkward and never quite cohesive. There’s a lot of sex, sex talk, “cyber,” etc., when some of that page time could have been spent developing their connection. I like sex but I like well rounded characters with chemistry AND connection even more.

This book can definitely use another round of edits prior to release and please heed the Trigger Warning for mentions of past sexual-assault. I’m not sure if these men were mentioned in the #gaymers books since it's “loosely linked” and maybe that would provide more depth to the characters? But if you're a fan of that series, this may work better for you.

I was intrigued by the premise of Level Up and once I got to know Bailey, I absolutely loved him. He’s a character that you root for as soon as you meet him and want to read about him for way longer than a novella length story.

Bailey and Landon have been communicating via email and gaming platforms but haven’t met in person. What should have been a meet-cute turns into a big ball of awkward when Landon realizes that Bailey, is in fact a dude and not the girl he had been picturing throughout their conversations. They’ve built up chemistry over their interactions and while Landon’s reaction was understandable I couldn’t help but feel Bailey’s heartache over “what could have been”.

Landon keeps an open mind because he can’t deny how much he enjoyed Bailey’s company before meeting him and Bailey is so very attracted to Landon he’d rather have a friend than nothing at all, so the two embark on a new friendship. When Bailey learns that Landon is Bi, he’s hopeful for a hot minute, but then realizes that newfound knowledge is even harder to take, because Landon doesn’t want Bailey regardless and his hurt was palpable. Buuuuut, not so fast, because Landon IS actually into Bailey, but he’s got some past trauma that goes a long way in explaining his reactions and attitude.

Be aware of the trigger warnings for past sexual assault. The assault itself is not detailed, but Landon does bear the emotional scars and it is heartbreaking to read. Bailey is there for Landon though and he has some experience with people suffering from panic attacks (as Landon does) and Landon could not have found a better match than Bailey.

To be super repetitive, I love Bailey, but I didn’t feel the same connection with Landon. We missed out on all the banter between the two before they met in person and I think that was what was missing for me. I was told about it, I believed it, but I didn’t get a chance to absorb it myself so I wasn’t as invested as I wanted to be. Landon felt more defined by his past than as a fully fleshed out character and the “before banter” would have gone a long way to give him more depth. He made my Bailey happy though, and the ending was quite sweet and gave them the HEA these guys deserved.

Review: Nudging Fate (Enchanted Occasions #1) by E.J. Russell

Not exactly a match made in Valhalla.

Half-norn event planner Anders Skuldsson is under strict orders from Asgard not to meddle with Fate. But with Enchanted Occasions’ latest booking—a competition for the hand of Faerie’s one true prince—crashing around his ears, it’s really difficult to toe that particular line. But if Andy pretends to be a contender for the prince…. It’s only temporary, so Odin can’t blame him. Right?

Conall of Odstone’s half-brother, Prince Reyner, was supposed to choose a mate before being crowned and wed. But the idiot left Con to impersonate him. Again.

When Con meets Andy, his anger turns to desire… and despair. Even if Andy forgives him for his imposture, how could someone eligible for a prince’s hand settle for the court outcast? And the double-deception isn’t their only obstacle. Unless Andy makes the right choice, their fates could be sealed by…well… Fate.

He’s a prince. He’s the client.

Anders “Andy” Skuldsson, our half-norn event planner, has a job to do and that’s to produce “The Courting, Coronation, and Handfasting of His Royal Highness Reyner of Maidencourt, the One True Prince of Faerie”… or as us humans would call it; a supernatural version of The Bachelor that parades a line of consorts in front of the prince so that he may to choose his life partner. Andy’s job basically rides on this as there has been a few mishaps with Enchanted Occasions Event Planning.
[…]Con had agreed to the idiotic, gods-be-damned spell that would make Con identical to Rey whenever the two of them chose— and Rey chose far too often for Con’s peace of mind.
Conall “Con” of Odstone has been a fool for his half-brother’s games all their lives and the one Rey likes to pull the most is the spell that allows Con to look exactly like his brother though they aren’t twins. When Con is waiting for Rey to show up so he can claim his consort, he’s begged by his brother to let him have a few moments of freedom (aka Vegas) before he is chained to a relationship he doesn’t want and frankly never will having seen what the mating vows and magically enforced fidelity for eternity had done to his father. Of course Con agrees, he’ll do anything for his brother and sends Talus, the legendary Iron Knight to fetch the first possible consort to meet the “prince.”

But when Andy is about to round up the list of eligible consorts, he finds they have all gone a bit green down to the last nasty one of them and Talus arrives, Andy is the only suitor left available and so begins our romantic deception.
Would Andy be attracted to Con once this masquerade was over and Con was no longer decked out in the trappings of royalty?
I am such a sucker for the false identity story when it comes to romance. The idea of being with someone you thought you knew based on hearsay and then getting to know the real person who literally isn’t who you thought makes me happy. I can’t explain it, it’s just this feeling of getting to be yourself and have someone fall for the real you even though you aren’t really you? You know? The internal struggle to tell the truth is so angsty that I eat it up. This book gave me so much and I am so happy that I have found Russell’s form of fantasy because I am hooked and now a fan.
When Andy and Con meet… let’s just say I squeaked because you see, we get both POV’s in this story and it was great being able to see them react immediately to the other and know they are smitten from the start. Of course, I am a fan of insta anything as long as it’s written well and this was written so well.
“We’re getting to know one another. That’s what this is all about, right? No one can fault either one of us for that.”
“You’d think.”
I have to say that Russell’s world building is my new jam. Goodness. I loved the whole idea of Faerie and its stunning beauty and the thought that Portland is its equal on Earthside makes this girl grin. Each supernatural creature was unique with a blend of old world and technology that seems like it wouldn’t fit and yet it did. While the world building was above and beyond what I didn’t even expect, the romance with Con and Andy is what sells this book. It’s fluffy but with a bit of depth that had me falling and falling hard.

Wow. I am getting to rambling status right now aren’t I and I haven’t even said much. I can’t help it I just adored the holy heck out of this story. It was so much fun watching Andy teach Con about technology and them just honestly getting to know one another though they both kept secrets. Even when it’s revealed who Andy is and Con has all sorts of hope… sigh. Then we get the whole utterly beautiful chaos at the end that had my hand on my chest and my eyes glued to the page because OMFG!! So freaking good.
“We had a good time when I was… well… pretending to be someone I’m not. I’m willing to see if we can enjoy ourselves when I’m being me too.”
Nudging Fate, that title has true meaning to the story and of course I loved it when I made the connection. Con, Andy and this incredible world have owned me with a beautiful tale of fantasy and romance and I can’t stop smiling or rambling so.

I’m done.

Le Freaking Sigh.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Better Together by B.L. Maxwell

Welcome new author B.L. Maxwell and Signal Boost Promotions as they promote the release of debut novel, Better Together! Learn more about the contemporary romance today and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Length: 90,000 words approx.


Since being thrown out of his home by his parents, Caden has been struggling to survive on the streets.

He lives in constant fear, stresses over his next meal, and dreads trying to find a safe place to sleep at night. He eventually finds an unlocked car and settles in to sleep, but is soon interrupted when someone steals the car. With little choice but to ride along, Caden soon learns that first impressions aren’t always correct.

Seventeen-year-old Damario has been raising his little brother and sister by himself since his parents were deported. He never knew how hard it was going to be paying the bills and making sure there was always food on the table. Or how hard it would be to hold his family together when they all depended on him to do it. He finds himself stealing cars to make ends meet, but he never expected to find someone sleeping in the back of one of them. And he really didn’t expect this stowaway to change his life.

When Damario brings Caden home, it was supposed to be just for a shower and a hot meal, but he can hardly kick him out onto the streets again. There is no way he could have seen that by saving Caden that night, he was also saving himself. When Damario’s world starts to fall apart, they both realize that the answer to all of their problems is helping each other, and although the world tries to drive them apart, they really are better together.

BL Maxwell grew up in a small town listening to her grandfather spin tales about his childhood. Later she became an avid reader and after a certain vampire series she became obsessed with fanfiction. She soon discovered Slash fanfiction and later discovered the MM genre and was hooked.
Many years later, she decided to take the plunge and write down some of the stories that seem to run through her head late at night when she’s trying to sleep. 

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