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

Ardulum. The planet that vanishes. The planet that sleeps.

Neek makes a living piloting the dilapidated tramp transport, Mercy’s Pledge, and smuggling questionable goods across systems blessed with peace and prosperity. She gets by—but only just. In her dreams, she is still haunted by thoughts of Ardulum, the traveling planet that, long ago, visited her homeworld. The Ardulans brought with them agriculture, art, interstellar technology…and then disappeared without a trace, leaving Neek’s people to worship them as gods.

Neek does not believe—and has paid dearly for it with an exile from her home for her heretical views.

Yet, when the crew stumbles into an armed confrontation between the sheriffs of the Charted Systems and an unknown species, fate deals Neek an unexpected hand in the form of a slave girl—a child whose ability to telepathically manipulate cellulose is reminiscent of that of an Ardulan god. Forced to reconcile her beliefs, Neek chooses to protect her, but is the child the key to her salvation, or will she lead them all to their deaths?

Neek is Exiled from her home planet, Neek (you’ll understand within the first few pages), and is a pilot on a transport ship that works between galaxies.Their very ancient ship Mercy’s Pledge is trying to get to the nearest port for repairs when they happen upon Risalians’ and Mmnnuggl’s in what appears to be a skirmish, during peacetime. From there, everything seems to go downhill, and in the process, Mercy’s Pledge has a new crew member. A being that Neek insists cannot exist, as Ardulan’s are mythology, and religious doctrine that she has been disputing all her life,causing her exile and unable to contact her family.

This was a really enjoyable story. The world building was fantastic, and the writing is clean. There is some science/tech stuff that goes over my head, but I’m not hardcore sci-fi reader so it worked for me.

All of the beings are interesting, and the political system that is set up is fairly complex. Risalians seem to be the protectors for many species, and the drawback of this is they are the only ones with weapons, which is problematic when it appears the Mmnnuggls are trying to engage in battle, that they as outsiders are fully equipped for.

I liked that this switched to other points of view. We get an understanding of how Risal hierarchy is set up, and their role in keeping the peace.

Captain Yorden, Neek, and Nicholas, a Journey Youth who is along for an adventure as part of his rite of passage, are a band of misfits who don’t always follow the rules, so it makes sense that they would somehow end up in the predicament they find themselves. This is a pretty action packed adventure, with lots of space travel, and encounters with plenty of interesting characters, witty banter, and some heavy introspection from Neek.

I read book two first, which was a mistake. Although book one filled in the gaps for things I missed out on, I do not recommend reading this out of order. I do however recommend reading this if you dabble in sci-fi as a genre. It was fun, and the writing was really impressive.

On to book three.

a review copy was provided for an honest opinion.

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Twenty-One Arrow Salute (The Order #2.5) by Kasia Bacon

We're so pleased to announce an author take over by none other than author Kasia Bacon! She's back with exclusive content about her latest in the Order series...Twenty-One Arrow Salute! But that's not the only prezzie for readers, there's a mega giveaway: three people can win an eBook copy and two people win an Order Chibi keyring! Open internationally! Think of the possibilities! Good luck! 

Take it away, Kasia!

An archer’s heart is a hard target to hit…
by Kasia Bacon

Hello Everyone,

I’m delighted to be back on my favourite blog. *squeals* I mean... *gives a dignified wave*

Today I‘m super excited to show off the cover of Twenty-One Arrow Salute, book #2.5 in the Order Series.

If you’re a fantasy enthusiast and you’ve read The Mutt and The Highlander—you might wish to check out this latest instalment. It tells the story of another couple, one half of which is incorrigible Verhan Tŭrryés, Ervyn’s cousin.

What can you expect?
Well, how about hot, long-haired Elves? Royal Archers, to boot? Snark? Slow burn? Opposites attract? Foul language?

But enough tittle-tattle. Behold the stunning cover art designed by Ying Draws—a gifted artist and illustrator, who is also an absolute pleasure to work with!

Isn’t it gorgeous? Gah! And here’s the blurb:

Verhan Tŭrryés of Black Mountain is a handful.

Freshly enlisted in the Highland Regiment, he does all he can to steer clear of responsibility and commitment. Just not his cup of mead, that. Loose of tongue and even looser of morals, he rarely misses an opportunity to get into trouble—and into the other archers’ knickers, too.

In a unit composed almost entirely of Dark Elves, Hernan Seinnés, with his green eyes and auburn hair, is an outsider. When Verhan, up the creek again, is blackmailed into helping Hernan, he never expects to fall for him. But during the long hours spent training Hernan for the Honour Guard, feelings strike the Highlander right in the heart—and with the force of an arrow.

Unversed in relationships, Verhan finally plucks up enough courage to tell Hernan how he feels, only to drive the Asirhwӱnian away instead. If Verhan can swallow his pride, he might get one last chance to show Hernan what he means to him—and maybe this time he can hit the mark.

If my Royal Archers sound at all appealing, the good news is that


Amazon UK:

It will be released on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited on 11th June.

Let’s celebrate the cover reveal in style and have a giveaway. Ta-da!

Read the exclusive excerpt below. Share your thoughts in comments and you’ll be in for a chance of winning one the following five prizes:

  • An Ebook copy of Twenty-One Arrow Salute for three readers
  • An adorable Order chibi keyring for two readers (open internationally—keyring chosen on random). Fancy having your own Elven warrior? Lochan, the assassin or Ervyn, the archer, could be yours by a stroke of luck.

(Those who don’t enjoy leaving things to chance and would like to get an Order keyring, can find them available for purchase here.)

I wish you the best of luck in the giveaway and hope you enjoy the exclusive excerpt below.

Oh, and if you would like to receive freebies and learn about new releases, sign up for my newsletter.

Many thanks to the Unicorns for hosting me again! Until the next time… *salutes*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Giveaway is open until June 9th 12 AM EST! Winners should leave a valid way form of contact (ie @twitter, email, etc). Should winners not respond within 48 hours of a winning email, unfortunately a new winner will be selected. Good luck!)


The jab to my chin came from nowhere, snapping my head to one side. It hurt, damn it. Tears stained my vision. I staggered, jumping away from the window of the bathhouse and down onto the gritty path beneath it.
“Verhan Tŭrryés, you sick bastard.”
I sighed. If I had a silver for every time I found myself at the receiving end of that phrase, I’d be the richest Dark Elf in the Highlands. I moved my jaw experimentally, relieved to ascertain that its hinges held fine, and faced my squad’s leader, Achiah.
Considering the thin press of her lips and the black slits of her eyes, she didn’t stand there to propose I be her date to the Archers’ Fete. More was the pity, as I still didn’t have a partner and would hardly refuse her. The girl had mighty sweet lips on her, shaped like a ripe, freshly-peeled fruit of pashjia, just as red and juicy. And my gods, the perkiest pair of—
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” My gaze must’ve wandered too low because she pointed her two splayed fingers towards her eyes in a jerky look-at-me gesture. “Didn’t I catch you peeping at the girls last bathing day? Now you’re back spying on the lads? Have you got no shame?”
“Not a great amount, no,” I admitted with calm. “Neither do I have a set preference.” That was true, too. Girls, boys, anything with a pulse—I didn’t mind.
“Wait. Isn’t it the officers’ turn to bathe?” she said, climbing up to the window herself to steal a brief glance. When she descended, her face lit up like the sky on the Night of Lights. “Oh, this is too precious. You’re salivating over Captain Akhini?”
As if she could blame me. The man’s buttocks, round and firm, looked like a masterpiece some besotted artist had carved from smooth, creamy marble.
She clucked her tongue. “You’re a disgrace to the uniform, Verhan. Start acting like a Queen’s Guard for fuck’s sake, since by the gods’ miracle, you are one. I won’t have anyone mess around in my squad.” She paused for effect and squinted at me. “If I report you to the Commander, you’ll be your pointy ears deep in shit.”
Uh-huh. That I couldn’t dispute. To start with, the accurate word to describe Commander Yennés’ sense of humour would be negligent. He’d already displayed, well, twitchy behaviour around me. People tended to have such a reaction for reasons I never understood. Secondly, the possessiveness Commander displayed over Captain Akhini, his long-term partner, was legendary. All in all, it promised me a bleak outcome. “I’m sensing an alternative somewhere in there,” I said carefully. “What do you want, Achiah?”
The long, scrutinising look she cast me set off an unpleasant tingling between my shoulder blades. And with that, my hope of wiggling out of this mess unscathed keeled over and died right in front of me on the gravel.
“Seinnés,” she said.
“Seinnés?” I repeated, raising my eyebrows. I didn’t know the Asirhwӱnian very well, even though we’d completed our initial training at the same camp and since then ended up in the same unit. “What about him?”
“He needs a wee bit of help. He’s a good archer, but I’ve noticed he’s been struggling with the instructions during the drills.”
I stared at her. Well, that made sense, seeing that Seinnés didn’t speak the mountain dialect, which had been the language of command within the Queen’s Guard since its foundation.
The Queen’s Guard wasn’t called The Highland Regiment for shits and giggles. Traditionally, the unit only accepted Dark Elves. However, of late—and after a public debate that threw flashy concepts like inclusion, diversity and equal opportunity into the air—Queen Nae’amh decided to allow only the best non-Highlander archers to join. Still, so far not more than a handful of them had been offered a place. They’d blended in somehow, even in terms of looks, all of them by chance dark-haired and robust. But Seinnés, with his vivid auburn hair, green eyes and svelte, delicate physique stood out.
“So?” I said with a frown. “What do you want me to do about that?”
“Teach him the basics.”
I wanted to laugh. But sobered as soon as it occurred to me that she meant it. “I don’t want to,” I announced, ill-tempered.
“Go on, ask me if I give a shit, Verhan.”
Nah. Clearly, she didn’t.
We eyed each other for a time. A group of archers jogged past, interrupting our silent stand-off and forcing us off the main path. Their boots hit the ground—left, right, left, right—raising a cloud of dust from the dry soil around us.
A tickle started at the back of my throat.
“There is more,” she added after a while.
“How wonderful.” My foul mood had blossomed from non-existent into fully-fledged in a snap. And to think that my day had started so well.
Ignoring my muttering, she continued, “He’s been chosen to be a Guard of Honour during the celebration of the Queen's Namesday.”
My mouth fell open. “What? They want him to perform the twenty-one arrow salute? Three weeks from Freeday?”
“Why, yes. Amongst the other six archers, as customary. But he’ll be the centre shooter. The Commander thought it would send a nice message.”
This piece of information rendered me speechless, but that state, quite foreign to me, passed swiftly. “What message? Come for the parade, die in a freaky bow and arrow accident?” I spluttered, amazed at the idiocy of this idea. “The poor fucker doesn’t know how to handle an asymmetric bow! And they want him to shoot magically enhanced arrows armed with explosives, using a weapon he’s not familiar with? Above a massive crowd of Elves? The entire capital will gather there, for the gods’ sake—it’ll be a disaster! Or he’ll lose an arm. Probably both.” I kept shaking my head until I felt a little wobbly.


A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.

Find Kasia online:


See our 5 <3 review of Twenty-One Arrow Salute HERE!

Audiobook Review: Slow Heat (Heat of Love #1) by Leta Blake

A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past.

Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-30s, he's long since given up hope that he'll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He's fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.

When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can't be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.

But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha - as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn't sure it's worth it. But Jason isn't giving up his destined mate without a fight.

This is a stand-alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong HFN ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.

Listening Length: 14 hours and 7 minutes
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo

It is definitely not a secret that I love me some ABO and this right here? Probably one of the best in depth reflections on this dynamic, delving into its origins and complicated culture, as well as the intricate rules and laws that aid the genetic drive and instinct that fuel the coming together of an alpha and an omega.

Here, in this post apocalyptic society, the human race has survived a long ago referenced “Great Death”. Females are extinct, but through many years of gene manipulation and evolution, the creation of different male subtypes have yielded a situation where only the alpha/omega pairing can reproduce. Thus, any and all social obligations are geared towards that top priority where, unless detrimental to one’s health, inhibiting conception or interfering with pregnancy is illegal. To help along the procreation urge, alphas and omegas look for their one true mate - their “Erosgape” - a primal instinctual imprinting that is the ultimate and most coveted life goal.

Jason is a young alpha who greatly romanticizes his future. He’s only ever thought about finding his “Erosgape”, and Jason cannot wait to meet this man so they can live happily ever after. He just has to be patient in finishing his education so he can attend the social events that facilitate such. However, when Jason suddenly and surprisingly comes across older omega Vale on campus, what Jason thinks is a done deal with his “Erosgape” is anything but. Being 16 years older, Vale long ago gave up his wish of finding his alpha and settling down and having kids. His life has not been easy and past circumstances have basically rendered Vale infertile and thus, the story mainly revolves around whether he and Jason will officially sign a contract to seal their bond.

I readily admit that most of the time I don’t quite mesh with Blake’s stories. What should be slam dunks, often leave me wanting or frustrated. Not this time around. Now, I know I have ABO beer goggles on, but I’ll reiterate again that this is probably one of the best I’ve come across (not counting my love for a particular fanfic pairing) at being thorough in relationship progression and keeping it angstily interesting and fueled by boatloads of UST. I was impressed about the exploration of this AU that highly prizes the relationship between an alpha and his omega and all the nuances that can come into play. Once imprinted, and definitely once consummated, neither will ever find another that can give them what they need. The uncontrollable alpha drive, coupled with the omega desire to be claimed, marked, and protected is what makes this push pull so compelling and fascinating.

Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo, I’ve definitely found me a new narrator to enjoy. To me, he was a complete win, often reminding me of both Tremblay and Russo all in one. Ferraiuolo perfectly conveyed the longing and desire and painful insecurities of these two men. It simply was just a wonderful listen, and I hardly noticed that this was 14+ hrs long. Almost. Lol.

However, never fear that through all this contemplation and conflict is a really great story about two mismatched individuals who would be very hard pressed to work on paper, let alone real life. Jason and Vale are given the pheromone nudge to find their win with each other, and I enjoyed both MC’s immensely despite some niggles that other reviews have already probably commented on. This satisfied all my ABO buttons, where the good ones always make me squirm but titillate me nonetheless with dominance and submission, heat fueled yumminess, and of course KNOTTING. Luckily the sequel has just been recently released featuring supporting cast members Xan and Uhruo. I’m torn between diving right in or waiting for hopefully Ferraiuolo’s narration, but for sure, I won’t be saying no to reading more!

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

Blog Tour: Rage to Live (Finding the Strength #1) by Shirley Anne Edwards

Welcome Shirley Anne Edwards! She's making her clubhouse debut to talk about her inspiration for Rage to Live, her recently released lesbian young adult novel by Harmony Ink Press. Find out more below.

Why The Nancy Drew Mysteries and Annie on My Mind Made Me the Writer I Am Today

My path to writing started with reading, which I imagine is the case for most writers. My love for books didn’t happen until I hit middle school when I discovered The Secret of the Old Clock, the first book in the Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene. I admired Nancy so much because she was smart, kind, outgoing and had a great group of friends who always had her back. Nancy is probably one of the most beloved characters in fiction, mainly in the teen fiction genre, or what some would say is young adult. Nancy Drew is the reason I wanted to be a writer. She also was one of the influences in writing Rage to Live, my fourth book published, and my first LGBTQ book, a lesbian young adult/ new adult romance.

You may find it strange that Nancy Drew is one of my muses for Rage to Live since Rage to Live begins as a tragedy because of what happens to my heroine, Charlie. The story at times is dark, but there is also triumph, which comes in the form of Arielle, a young woman who helps Charlie recover and heal from a horrible trauma. But Arielle isn’t the only character who helps Charlie. There is a small group of friends who lend comfort and support for Charlie, much like Nancy’s group who helped her solved mysteries. Nancy has her “besties”- her cousin Bess and best friend George, along with her boyfriend Ned to turn to for insight. The same goes for Charlie, who has her cousins, including some new friends she makes at her new high school she attends her senior year. This small knit group helps Charlie find some things she has lost, exactly like Nancy, who always saves the day in some form or another.

When I came up with the idea of Rage to Live, I knew it would be a tear-jerker. I also knew the main protagonist would be gay. Charlie has been in my head for years, and I wanted to do right by her, but I also knew she would go through some tough times. I made her suffer, but I wanted to give her hope, which comes in the form of Arielle, the very popular president of a sorority at the local college Charlie’s cousins attend. Charlie and Arielle’s relationship is very endearing. This was done on purpose because their relationship is an ode to what I feel is one of the greatest young adult contemporary novels of all time- Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. Published in 1982, it’s the first LGBTQ young adult novel I read, which has had last effects, especially in my writing to this very day. Annie and Liza from Annie on My Mind are the perfect couple full of love and optimism. Their relationship is extremely sweet and poignant. Their portrayal is full of hope. I tried to show that with Charlie and Arielle, who turn to one another in ways that will make readers cheer for.

Nancy, Annie and Liza are three female protagonists who made such an impression on me, which started as a pre-teen and has remained as an adult. My creation of Charlie and Arielle are an ode to these amazing characters, and to the two women who created them- Carolyn Keene and Nancy Garden. They are my literary author idols I thank every day for writing because without them I would have never written Rage to Live, and the push to write more books that will always have one main theme in whatever story I come up with- hope.

Shirley Anne Edwards Bio and Rage to Live information:

Shirley Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who discovered her love for books when she read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found her love for writing at a very young age and, since then, has let her imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head. Shirley is also a brownie addict who loves to bake when she’s not busy writing. Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York City.

Shirley loves to hear from readers! You can email her at or tweet her at @shirlawriter.

Rage to Live blurb:

Can a young woman reveal her traumatic past to the woman who wants her to release the bubbling rage inside… her rage to live?

An act of violence tore Charlie’s existence, and her family, apart. In an effort to reclaim something like the life she enjoyed before, Charlie moves in with relatives in a different state. Charlie might be damaged, but she isn’t going down without a fight. With the help of her cousins, who attend the local college, she steels herself to repeat her final year of high school. On the university campus, she meets Arielle Forest, president of a popular sorority, daughter of the dean, and bisexual. Charlie is drawn to Arielle’s sunny outlook, but she can’t banish her doubts as romance blossoms. Does Arielle know what she’s getting into with Charlie and her unhealed wounds? Will she want to deal with the complications?

When Charlie’s past catches up to her, will she find the strength to keep fighting… or succumb to the call to escape all her pain for good?

Audiobook Review: The Gryphon King's Consort by Jenn Burke

Love takes flight.

The sudden death of the Gryphon King throws the kingdom of Mythos into uncertainty, and Crown Prince Luca rushes both his coronation and an arranged marriage to a man he’s never met. Eirian is young and idealistic, and while they both want what’s best for their people, their philosophies couldn’t be more different. While Luca believes in honoring tradition, Eirian is determined to infuse modern values into their kingdom of magical creatures. When given the choice between loyalty to his husband and his own crusade, Eirian makes a decision that might doom their marriage.

Still, Luca is committed to making their union work, and that means forgiving his brash consort. But when Eirian becomes the target of a deadly conspiracy, Luca must act fast—or forever lose the chance to explore their burgeoning love.

Narrated by: Andrew McFerrin
Listening Length: 5 hours and 51 minutes

My rating doesn’t accurately reflect my love for the narrator. This is my first listen by him and I’ve already added more of his narrated stories to my Audible wishlist. He does a great job of emoting sincerity realistically and all his characters were distinctive.

The story itself intrigued me. Gryphons? Kings? Consorts? Yes, please! I liked the premise that humans and mythos coexisted. The world was an interesting one, I just felt that the politics of it all overshadowed the relationship between Luca and Eirian. The two are from two different political factions, Luca is a traditionalist and Eirian is a modernist, so they had a lot of fuel for banter. And banter they did, but it was all contentious and political.

It was obvious the two of them were forming a bond and were attracted to each other. They had a foundation to build from, I just had a little trouble reconciling their horny selves with their public political personas. I really liked when the two of them were letting their guards down, I could see how they’d be good together. I especially loved Eirian’s voice in these moments, his dialog was a treat to listen to.

But, then some kind of political thingy would happen and they’d get dragged away from happy times and end up arguing. The conversation would start rationally but end up going off the rails. Eirian was incredibly passionate about his modernist ideas and Luca’s thoughts were steeped in tradition, clashing was inevitable, but even when they seemed to agree, they didn’t and Eirian would stay his original course regardless of what the agreement he and Luca had come to. Luca would get righteously pissed and they’d take many steps back.

There was obligatory drama at the end that brought them together for keeps and I should have been happier for them than I was. I could just see more arguing in their future. If there had been some additional resolution to their political differences it would have been easier for me to believe. It was paid some lip service with inner dialog in the heat of the moment but I needed some of the resolution to play out in a few situations to believe it long term.

I loved the ending though. The author had a creative way to strengthen bonds that worked well with the crazy villain angle and with the world that had been built. If I would have had more relationship between the MC’s throughout it would have had more impact, but I still appreciated how Luca and Eirian got their HEA.

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

Audiobook Review: Rebel (415 Ink #1) by Rhys Ford

The hardest thing a rebel can do isn’t standing up for something — it’s standing up for himself.

Life takes delight in stabbing Gus Scott in the back when he least expects it. After years of running from his past, present and the dismal future every social worker predicted for him, Karma delivers the one thing Gus could never—would never—turn his back on; a son from a one-night stand he’d had after a devastating break-up three years ago.

Returning to San Francisco and to 415 Ink, his family’s tattoo shop, gave him the perfect shelter to battle his personal demons and get himself together… until the firefighter who’d broken him walked back into Gus’s life.

For Rey Montenegro, tattoo artist Gus Scott was an elusive brass ring, a glittering prize he hadn’t the strength or flexibility to hold onto. Severing his relationship with the mercurial tattoo artist hurt but Gus hadn’t wanted the kind of domestic life Rey craved, leaving Rey with an aching chasm in his soul.

When Gus’s life and world starts to unravel, Rey helps him pick up the pieces, and Gus wonders if that forever Rey wants is more than just a dream.

Narrated by: Tristan James
Listening Length: 9 hours 11 minutes

As always, Tristan James delivered an excellent narration. He just has a way of sucking readers (listeners?) into the story. I had no trouble at all visualizing the various characters and the story. This narrator knows how to bring a book to life!

In ‘Rebel’, we’re introduced to two flawed men - Gus and Rey. Life hasn’t been kind to either man, and the two haven’t made the smartest decisions over the years. But despite their past, there’s no denying that Rey and Gus are connected at the heart.

We learn Gus and Rey’s stories in bits and pieces as the book progresses. This is one of Rhys Ford’s angstier books. The MCs, especially Gus, are torn down and built back up before they can get their happily ever after.

Gus stole my heart from the beginning. He’d been kicked one too many times by life, and didn’t believe he’d get anything good in life. But he’s willing to try for the one thing that brought him back home - his son.

It took me a bit more time to warm up to Rey. His abandonment of Gus didn’t do him any favours, and his backstory wasn’t that fleshed out. There just isn’t the same character development for Rey like there is for Gus.

But once Rey got his head out of his ass, he more than steps up to the plate.

Because this is a second-chance romance, we don’t see the MCs falling in love. Gus and Rey have been in love for years, they just had to learn how to make things work so that they could get their permanent happy ending.

It takes a lot of hard work, but eventually the two men get things right. And they seriously burn up the sheets while they’re at it!

As a backdrop to Rey and Gus’ relationship, readers are introduced to their ragtag family. I’m a big fan of the Sinners series, so I really liked getting to know the band of brothers. Also, Gus’ son Chris stole quite a few scenes. He was just a cute kid being a cute kid.

However, the last quarter or so could have been tightened up. It just seemed like things were thrown in for some extra drama, and didn’t really serve a purpose. Plus, I kept waiting for more of Rey’s story, and that never happens.

Overall, this was a really good start to a new series by Rhys Ford. I’m looking forward to reading where she takes it next!

A review copy was provided.

Guest Review: Only You by Kay Doherty

Case Holden hates his life. Made rich at a young age, he slipped into a lifestyle of partying with multiple boyfriends who only wanted to be with him for what he could give them. After confiding to his aunt that he’s miserable, she extends an invitation for a visit. Case plans to spend the time in small town Clover City to reprioritize and plant his feet on the road to happiness. He does not expect the Clover City sheriff to step into his world and wreak havoc on his emotions.

Two years ago, after the death of his partner, Rawley Kane moved to Clover City, trading the painful memories and big city madness for a less stressful existence. Even as sheriff, his life is uncomplicated and quiet. That is until Case Holden rolls into town and reminds Rawley just how lonely he is, and of everything he’s been missing.

Case is everything Rawley shouldn’t want. The man has six boyfriends and a life back in Denver, not to mention he’s quite a bit younger than Rawley. No matter what he tells himself, he can’t get enough of the young man. And Case has made it clear Rawley is the only one he wants. Now if they could just get past Rawley’s guilt and Case’s insistent boyfriends, they just might stand a chance.

Reviewer: NeRdyWYRM

Oh Case ...

You are kind of an asshole. Thankfully, you know this and don't like it. Otherwise, I wouldn't know what to do about this review of the book about you and your hot sheriff.

shame finger wag -- only you review pics

Party-boy Case has fallen into every trap the "trust fund rich guy" trope has to offer. He essentially parties, does drugs, drinks a lot, and fucks anything that moves. Well, sort of. He's limited himself to a select group of people he has sex with, but there's more people in that group than I have fingers on one hand. Seriously.

Enter Sheriff Rawley, "the monogamy guy" whose grieving a lover who died. And he's hot. Did I mention that. Holy *fans self* hotness, Batman©. Yep. Sheriff Rawley's hot. And he's the type of alpha male who would have made a good hero in an m/f title as well. Hetero females dropping panties everywhere. Yep. Well, he's perfect for this genre, too.

CK droppin undies -- only you review pics

Once I got past the rampant fuckery of Case's bed-buddies dripping out of the woodwork, I was rooting for him to get with the program and take a risk on something worthwhile with Rawley. Conversely, I was rooting for Rawley to be willing to take a risk, period. Once burned and all that.

And let's be honest, Case the party-boy wasn't exactly a safe bet for a solid, pragmatic guy who'd already had his heart shredded by loss. Promiscuity and apathy aren't usually my cup of tea, but something about those things in this story did it for me. I think Case had a redeemable quality from the beginning, which was helpful. I disliked the fact that he went back on a promise to himself within days of hitting town on his 'sabbatical', but I get it.

I will say it shows a lack of commitment on his part that I just realized is what bothered me about his character throughout and made me worry about his worthiness for a guy like Rawley. I am intimately familiar with the particular brand of 'tired' Case was living with, so maybe there was some commiseration there. I know nothing whatsoever about being rich though, so he kind of lost me with the materialistic stuff.

broke 2 -- only you review pics

Thankfully that was only a small portion of who he was as a 'real boy'. There was a lot of immaturity on the part of both MCs, and that was a bit aggravating. I actually dinged it quite a bit solely based on that. Case broke up with his boyfriends—yes plural—via text. Rawley's little green monster was unbecoming of a man with his stoic demeanor. Things like that.

There were some minor "hmm ..." moments, like a supposedly closeted Rawley answering Case's phone 'morning after' style, and a few more instances where I rolled my eyes almost out of my head, but I focused on the overall journey instead of getting bogged down in the niggles. It worked for me to read it that way, but others might find some of it off-putting or childish.

childish -- only you review pics

What else can I say? There's some personal growth, some redemption, some hurt/comfort, a second chance at real love for one MC, and a whole lotta hotness goin' on. There is, however, no cheating. I wanted to make sure there were no misinterpretations. Yes, Case was promiscuous, but before he ends up in Hottie McLawman's town. He was trying to make a change, or at least tired of what he had been doing, so ...

In general, the book was well-written. I read an ARC copy, of course, so I tend to not pay much attention to editing, etc. unless it's atrocious and unlikely to improve. I didn't notice any glaring inconsistencies or holes in the plot and that was good enough for me. The author is new to me, and perhaps new in general, though I won't swear to it. In any case, she's one to watch for. I'd recommend this book to people who like contemporary themes in the genre.

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

Blog Tour: Shadowlands by Charlie David

Charlie David visits BMBR to chat about his series, Shadowlands and the Shadowlands TV series! Learn more today!

Charlie David

Shadowlands is a collection of short stories exploring the heartfelt, and sometimes heartbreaking passion and pain of gay sexuality. Ancient myths are re-imagined with an exciting queer twist masterfully depicting the charged, fragile relationships of urban life today.

Story genres in this collection include romance, science fiction, fantasy/paranormal, horror, and poetry.

Dreamspinner Press:
Barnes & Noble:

Hi all! I’m Charlie David and I’m happy to stop by here at Boy Meets Boy reviews. I’m excited to share that my book Shadowlands was released as the Shadowlands TV miniseries on Sunday, May 27th! Whether you like to read a book and then watch a show or the other way round, I’d like to invite you into my world and explore Shadowlands.

We’re at an exciting time when it’s still rare for a book in the M/M genre to be made into a film or TV series. While Shadowlands isn’t traditional romance it does explore love in three thematically connected stories - a couple renegotiating a relationship, a narcissist grasping to comprehend love, and star-crossed lovers mourning its loss.

I had the pleasure to work with a really talented cast and crew and so today I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Brian Woodford, one of the stars of the ‘Narcissus’ episode of the Shadowlands TV miniseries.

The Shadowlands gay TV series is comprised of three distinct stories exploring love. In the Narcissus episode of the Shadowlands TV show, Brian Woodford plays the role of a butler to an egocentric master in late 1920s Berlin.

Narcissus is the darkest episode in the Shadowlands miniseries. It’s an examination of what may happen when our pursuit of perfection goes too far.

There are story connections between the three episodes of Shadowlands. You can read about them here.

It's the age old murder mystery question... did the Butler do it? Canadian actor Brian Woodford finds himself in a world of intrigue in the Shadowlands miniseries playing the Butler to a demanding and egocentric master in episode 1 'Narcissus'.

Charlie David: When you're approaching a script like Shadowlands and in particular with this episode it's really quite a surreal world. How do you find anchor points to ground yourself as an actor when the story is so far outside your experience?

Brian Woodford: I look toward my past experiences in life to help develop any character I play. This is in addition to research and development work I do, as well. Drew is someone who is devoted and inspired in life and aims to do his absolute best in working for Alex.

I, too, see myself in Drew in terms of being someone who tries to be my best to those that are close to me in life. Generally, I bring different facets of my personality into all the characters I play.

Charlie David: How much were you able to relate your own experiences to create your character? And how much did you have to research or imagine?

Brian Woodford: I actually have played a butler before, in an Agatha Christie play, so, I was drawing a bit from that experience - but, Drew is much more complicated than a stereotypical butler. He is torn with his feelings for Alex.

I developed a feel for the character by drawing on a time when I was discovering my sexuality and also times when I was vulnerable and powerless. Drew really just wants things to work out right for those close to him but is a bit naïve in how he goes about it.

Charlie David: What aspects of the Shadowlands miniseries are you excited for an audience to experience or discover?

Brian Woodford: I’m excited for everyone to see the creativity that the cast and crew brought to this show. There was a lot of collaboration involved, not just with myself and my fellow cast members, but the crew as well.

There is a great special effects element in one of my scenes towards the end of the episode. Each episode very much draws the viewer into the close relationships between the characters. Also, folks can check me out in a dapper tux, jk. 

Charlie David: Romance between men and between women was common place and written about in Greek and Roman mythology. Why is it important to continue sharing the type of stories in the Shadowlands miniseries today?

Brian Woodford: Visibility is so important for all minorities. More content focused on issues facing the LGBT fosters an awareness that is vital.

It also provides understanding for people who may come from different backgrounds and gives them a chance to see and discover more about issues they may not know about firsthand.

Charlie David: What was the hardest scene for you to do and why?

Brian Woodford: The hardest scene I had to do was a scene with Sean who plays the role of Alex in episode 1 'Narcissus'. It was my first time using a prosthetic, and it had to be placed precisely so. Well, I don’t want to give away too much - you’ll just have to watch the Shadowlands miniseries!

Charlie David: Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?

Brian Woodford: My parents have really been a big influence on me, generally, as well as being a major source for my creativity. They always said “yes” when I was a kid wanting to act in a play or to take violin, guitar or trumpet class. In hindsight, I took a lot of music classes, haha.

Follow Brian Woodford here:
Instagram: @brianpwoodford
Twitter: @brianpwoodford

If you enjoyed this interview, explore other chats with cast members of the Shadowlands miniseries.
Sean C. Dwyer (Alex in episode 1 'Narcissus' of the Shadowlands miniseries)
Nicolas James Wilson (Will in episode 2 'Mating Season' of the Shadowlands miniseries)

Macintosh HD:Users:Charlie:Dropbox:Boy Midflight:BoyMidflight promo tools:5.5 x 8.5 Charlie David ad_Dreamspinner.jpg

About Charlie David

Charlie David has been a host for E! Television, NBC, OutTV, LOGO, here! TV, Pink TV, EGO, Fine Living and Slice Networks on such shows as FYE!, SpyTV, Crash Test Mommy and his travel series Bump which shot over 100 episodes around the world and garnered a Hugo Television award. He has appeared as musical guest on VH1, BBC, CBS’s The Early Show, and dozens of radio shows.

In 2005 Out Magazine recognized Charlie in the ‘Out 100’ at their gala in New York. In 2007 the Philadelphia Film Society awarded Charlie with their Rising Star Award. In 2008 the Festival del Sol in Gran Canaria awarded their Best Male Actor Award to Charlie and the male cast of A Four Letter Word. His documentary and scripted films have won several jury and audience awards at festivals around the world. Formerly in a rock band… okay, actually it was a boy band, Charlie opened for Destiny’s Child, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Rick Springfield and Black Eyed Peas.

A love of storytelling led Charlie to start Border2Border Entertainment, a production company whose film and television credits include Shadowlands, Mulligans, Judas Kiss, I’m a Stripper (series), Studlebrity, Balls, Dating Unlocked, PolyLove and Positive Youth. Border2Border Entertainment’s films have been licensed to Showtime, Vice, Super Channel, HBO Canada, MTV/LOGO, Sundance Channel, Discovery Networks, The Movie Network, Movie Central, Hollywood Suite, hereTV, Encore Avenue, and OutTV in North America as well as finding a worldwide audience through international distribution partners.

He is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts and his current passions include travel, encounters with wildlife, SCUBA diving, mosaic tiling and podcasts. He resides in Toronto and Montréal, Canada when he’s not living out of a suitcase.

You can explore Charlie’s films and TV shows on his website at or become a part of his social media network by visiting:


Review: Beholden by Kris T. Bethke

Julian Thomas made the unpopular decision to become Beholden and focus his magic only on scrying. Because of it, he's the best at his job and the top scryer for the Department of Extranormal and Magical Affairs. Which why Investigations Agent Wes Caldwell goes right to Julian for help locating a missing person.

When Wes needs to use his magic to boost Julian's, they find a magical resonance between them that quickly leads to more. Julian doesn't want to move too fast, but Wes knows Julian is it for him. He's fine with waiting, as long as Julian stays close as they work through it.

But then Julian falls ill, and it's clear there's a magical reason. Wes will stop at nothing to find out what's plaguing Julian, and when they realize just how deep the plot goes, they have more questions than answers. Magic is increasing in the world, and no one can figure out why. Julian and Wes have found love, but will it be enough to get them through what's to come?

It’s not a secret that I like Bethke for her straightforward realistic and natural progression of how she writes her romance. I’m not typically all for insta-love or a lot of waffling, but I felt this veered a bit towards that and it was just a little underdeveloped than what I usually get from this author.

Definite points for an interesting AU that reminded me of Harry Potter where all in this world can do some form of magic which is an integral part of their daily lives. Some choose to coalesce all their power into one skill, and MC Julian has done just that, focusing his abilities on being able to find things whether they’re abstract or concrete.

One day while diligently working his job at the Department of Extranormal and Magical Affairs, Julian helps two investigators with their case and is intensely and immediately drawn to the handsome Wes. The feels are instantaneous, but Julian is level headed enough to realize it’s just lust and resists Wes’s overtures despite an initial lapse in control. However, someone or something is affecting Julian’s magic, draining him of his powers as quickly as he uses it. Good thing his “connection” to Wes also encompasses a magical affinity, and they complement each other quite nicely. This allows Wes to refuel Julian’s empty reserves easily while both work together to find out what’s going on personally and globally, as immense magical surges hint that sinister machinations are at work.

Bethke hardly ever skimps on the smex, and this was no different. Though it doesn’t explicitly say that this is a series, I can’t see how it’s not, as it definitely ends on a note where certain things were left a-dangling. However, like I said, the development of feels, plot points, and world building was just a tad lacking. For me, that is not the author’s typical MO, so it was incongruous from what I usually get.

Overall, I liked this despite the vibe that it was more a 3rd or 4th draft than a finished piece. Regardless, this will not deter me from reading more!

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