Review: Safe Place (Rainbow Place #2) by Jay Northcote

Where do you go when your home is no longer a safe place?

Alex is about to turn eighteen and is firmly in the closet. He’s been biding his time, waiting to escape to uni, and finally come out away from the oppressive influence of his homophobic father. When he flunks his exams, he’s stuck in the small town of Porthladock—and what’s worse is that he’s working for his dad. The only thing that makes it bearable is Cam.

Cam’s comfortable with his bisexuality, but he doesn’t broadcast it. Young, free, and single, his social life revolves around playing rugby and hanging out with his mates. He’s attracted to Alex, but with the six-year age gap, Cam’s wary of getting involved. Plus, he thinks Alex needs a friend more than he needs a lover, and as their friendship grows, Cam decides he’s not willing to risk ruining it for casual sex.

When Alex’s dad finds out about his sexuality, Alex is suddenly both jobless and homeless. He finds work at Rainbow Place, the local LGBT-friendly cafĂ© and Cam lets Alex stay in his flat for a while. But Alex would rather be sleeping in Cam’s bed than on his sofa. With them both living under one roof, their feelings for each other grow stronger, and the sexual tension is hard to ignore. Will giving in to it ruin their friendship and complicate things for Alex even more?

Although this book is part of a linked series, it has a satisfying happy ending, and can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Alex lives a double life. At home, with his homophobic politically-active parents, he keeps quiet. He can only be himself when he’s with his friends or at Rainbow Place. And when he’s with Cam.

Alex stole a piece of my heart in book 1. I just wanted to wrap him up in a hug and tell him that it would get better.


His story is one that’s still way too common. LGBT+ youth experience self-doubt, alienation, and abandonment on a regular basis.

Cam has been smitten with the teenager since they first met. But he’s determined to keep things strictly platonic.

I could understand where Cam was coming from. He and Alex were in two completely different stages of their lives, and things were bound to get complicated.

But the heart wants what it wants.

Alex and Cam may profess friendship and nothing else, but there’s no denying the underlying tension between the two.

Things get even more tense once Alex’s awful parents kick him out for being gay, and he ends up sleeping on Cam’s couch. I have a few choice words for Alex’s parents, but I loved seeing how the Rainbow Place community rallied around him.

It was incredibly sweet how Cam and Alex’s “friendly” hangouts were basically trial runs for an actual relationship.

And once Cam finally got his head out of his ass, their relationship was the cutesy small-town romance I’d thought it would be.


Overall, this was an enjoyable MM new adult romance. Recommended if you’re looking for a read with genre staples like self-discovery, beating homophobia, and luurve.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Us Again by Nell Iris

Us Again is officially out from JMS Books! Celebrate with author Nell Iris and Signal Boost Promotions today! Learn more about the second chance romance and enter in the giveaway! Up to two winners can select their choice from the author's back list!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

Length: 9,200 words approx.

Publisher: JMS Books


When Alex gets a call in the middle of the night telling him his ex-boyfriend is in the hospital, he only hesitates for a second before rushing to Sammy’s side. But the Sammy in the hospital bed is fragile and not the same man who told Alex to leave seven months ago.

Alex wants to help Sammy get better and is desperate to find out what went wrong between them. Maybe he’ll even get a second chance with the man he hasn’t been able to get over.

But will Sammy let Alex back into his life?


Except for the dim light of a wall-mounted lamp next to the only occupied bed, the room is dark. Sammy is a shapeless silhouette from here and I take a step closer. Another. And another until I’m right by his side.

My knees buckle when I finally see him. His golden hair is plastered to his face, his cheeks hollow, his full lips dry and cracked. Long lashes fan out over black shadows under the eyes. His hand rests on his pillow and is so thin and bony, tears well up in my eyes.

A steadily beeping monitor surveils his vital signs. An IV bag hangs on a metal pole, and the line snakes its way down into his hand.

My hand flies to my mouth and my shoulders shake. To avoid ending up in a sobbing pile on the floor, I sink down in the chair next to his bed.

Sammy was always slender. Like a willow with long limbs, narrow hips, and a concave stomach. But now ... he looks emaciated. Hardly there. Easily breakable and so fucking small I wouldn’t be surprised if a stiff breeze could snap him in two.

I reach out but hesitate to touch him. Instead, I lay my hand next to his on the pillow. My olive complexion seems dirty next to his pallor.

“Oh, Sammy.” I don’t even try to wipe the moisture from my face; I just let the tears flow. I want to crawl into bed with him, scoop him up in my arms, and use my big body to shield him from the world. But all I do is move my hand closer, until my fingertips ghost against his pinkie. A jolt of electricity races through my body and a sigh slips out.

“Now will you tell me what happened?” I hiss to David who’s sat down on a chair on the other side of Sammy’s bed sometime during the last minute.

“His boss called me this evening. Apparently, he fainted.”

I gasp and can’t keep my hands off him any longer. Carefully, I lay my palm on top of his hand and something snaps into place in my chest when I finally touch him. He’s cold. I’d give him all my warmth if he would just open his eyes and smile at me and call me Care Bear again.

“Doesn’t he fucking eat?” I grind out between clenched teeth.

“He said he does. He said he was fine.”

“Clearly, he lied.”


“What’s all this?” I sweep my hand at the IV pole.

“He was severely dehydrated so they’re giving him fluids.” He rattles on about vital signs and nutrition and how Sammy will need to see a therapist and a dietitian to straighten out his eating and I only listen with one ear. Even though I asked, I can’t absorb all that information.

“Don’t you fucking check on your own brother?” I interrupt. I’ve always had a foul mouth, and frazzled nerves make it worse, but I don’t give a shit if David is offended.

“I should have. I knew he was ... sad. I talked to him on the phone almost every day and he said he was fine.” David’s voice trembles, saturated with guilt and remorse, but it just makes me angrier.

“Are you telling me you haven’t taken the time to visit him for seven fucking months?”

“No! That’s not true!”

“It seems that way to me.”

“Who are you to talk? You left him!”

His words sting. He might as well have thrown acid on my face. I tighten my muscles, so I won’t jerk under his accusations. “He told me to leave. He said he never wanted to see me again. I did not leave willingly.” I shoot him an angry glare but quickly look away. I want to take out my fear and worry on him. Plant my fist in his face and roar out the pain that took up residence in my chest when I laid eyes on Sammy a few minutes ago.

Dear, sweet Sammy.

“I don’t even know what happened. I thought he loved me,” I whisper. My head is heavy, and I let it sink down until it rests on his bed.

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.



Twitter @nellirisauthor

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Audiobook Review: A Courageous Ride (The Bullriders #3) by Andrew Grey

Aspiring orchestra conductor Marshall is exhausted after months of auditions without a single job offer. Marshall’s friend, Terry, recommends a change of scenery and points Marshall in the direction of a dude ranch run by former bull rider Indigo Santana. Marshall is understandably skeptical, but his friend is convincing, and Marshall needs a break, so he agrees to go.

Indigo captures Marshall’s attention but leaves him confused. Indigo’s confidence is shot after an injury ended his rodeo career, and he walks with a slight limp. He hasn’t been anywhere near a bull since he was hurt, and he’s not the most accommodating host. After all, the only reason he keeps guests is because his family ranch is all but bankrupt.

Marshall’s attraction doesn’t go unanswered, which leaves him with a huge dilemma. He’s torn between the possibility of love, something he’s searched for all his life, and the career he’s worked toward for as long as he can remember, which is miles away. From his side of the fence, Indigo doesn’t see how the ranch could ever be enough.

Narrator: John Solo
Listening Length: 8 hours 26 minutes

Reviewer: Shee Reviewer

When I reach for an Andrew Grey book I know I’m going to get well written sincere love between two strong men. When I reach for an Andrew Grey book about cowboys I know I’m going to be in for a rare treat of well-fitting wranglers proportions! If that also happens to be an audio book, I know, just know, I’m going to be cosseted by John Solo’s upbeat and gravelly performance. And here we are!

The Bullriders series has been fun so far, and it’s lovely to see Dante and Ryan from Bull Riders Book 1 featuring several times in this book. Our main men are Indigo, the ranch owning former bull rider and Marshall the exhausted city-living musician. On the advice of his friend, Marshall takes a well earned holiday at Indigo’s ranch and falls headlong into Indigo’s life. It’s the same friend who takes Marshall out to a gay club on ‘cowboy night’ to cheer him up after his return to the city! This was easily one of my favourite scenes in the book, with Marshall unable to appreciate the lovely men all around him because of Indigo, and a guy he’s chatting with turns out to be a psychologist who gives Marshall some insight into himself and his relationship with Indigo. Priceless!

Indigo is desperately trying to turn his parent’s ranch into a viable business and the addition of guests is part of that. He had to give up his dream career as a bull rider after being stomped by a but and badly injuring his leg. His doubts and demons are almost tangible, but he can’t stop his heart for falling for Marshall. The supporting cast of characters who live on the ranch is wonderful too.

The story is a comfortable and sexy tale of two very different and charmingly flawed men and how they work out their budding relationship. They’re both gorgeous of course, this is a romance novel after all! The HEA is a given, but the journey there is both emotional and inspiring. John Solo’s performance is gritty, charming and emotive. He does a wonderful job of all the characters and enjoying his narration made my commute all the more pleasant! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would highly recommend it.

I was given a free copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Center Of Gravity (Nook Island #1) by Neve Wilder

Celebrate the release of Center Of Gravity (Nook Island #1) with author Neve Wilder & Signal Boost Promotions! Learn more about the contemporary romance and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 98,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Jay Aheer


When life comes apart at the seams, love is the only thread that can repair it.

Accountant Rob Macomb has a stable job that he’s good at and… that’s about it. A year of nothing but heartache leaves him seeking refuge from loneliness and grief behind spreadsheets, punishing daily runs, and the occasional anonymous tryst. He wants only to bury the past and focus on his career, but he has one last task to complete: pack up his parent’s quaint beachside house and put it on the market.

Alex Andrews is a budding artist with a penchant for Converse, Cracker Jack, and piercings. Family turmoil sidelines his dreams of finishing art school and building a career in three-dimensional design, and now he’s doing whatever he can to keep everyone afloat.

When Alex shows up as a part of the moving crew hired to help Rob clean out the house, what should be a simple move becomes far more complex. Because it’s not the first time they’ve met, and their last encounter was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

The attraction between them is undeniable and intense, but Rob’s hell-bent on pushing everyone away, and Alex is on the verge of spinning out of control. Can a grumpy accountant and a bootstrapping artist find their center of gravity together, or are they on a collision course to heartbreak?

*An emotionally-charged, slow burn m/m romance featuring an age gap, hurt/comfort themes, and a hard-won happily ever after. This is the standalone first in the Nook Island, Georgia series.*


In this excerpt, Rob is on the phone arguing with his sister, who oh-so-helpfully set up the impending move with a company called College Buffs Hauling Stuff. Rob is not pleased to begin with. As the truck arrives and the two movers get out, Rob has a moment of awkward realization:
Another door slammed and a guy with short, dark hair ambled around the front of the truck. Cracker Jack opened the door and leaned back inside, soon emerging with a silver clipboard in one hand that he checked before saying something to his coworker. In contrast to the stupid caricature on the side of the truck, Cracker Jack met all the qualifications of college buff from what I could see of his profile. He was an endless summer kind of golden blond, and lean, a bit of leftover sunburn on his cheeks laying over the warm, cabana boy tan beneath. He looked as if he should be holding the handle of a pool net rather than the dolly he deposited at the front gate. “Two Men and a Truck would have worked just fine. Or 1-800-Junk,” I argued.
“The Buffs get five stars on Yelp. Don’t be a stick in the mud,” she replied, knowing it’d get me right in the accountant’s tender spot.
Cracker Jack glanced up at the front door of the house and for the first time I saw his face in full, the dangerously carved cheekbones, the sensually bowed mouth, a bit of silver—incongruous against the golden backdrop of his face—ringed through his lower lip. I froze, first trying to place him, then in frazzled denial. But it was too late: my gut already knew and had twisted up like a pretzel. The memory came in saturated fragments that exploded behind my eyelids.
I narrowly missed being speared by the coat hook as my shoulder slammed shut the faux wood door of the stall. I fumbled the lock with one hand, pulled him to me with the other, fingers spanning and raking the damp sheen of sweat gathered low on his back. A hot wash of breath across my throat, his lips dragging over the curve of my jaw, the tickle of his lip ring against my stubble. He smiled against my teeth and murmured, “A guy who knows what he wants. I like it.”
I felt the color fleeing my face in humiliating mutiny as Cracker Jack stared at the door. I took a backward step. Summer droned on about how she’d just been picking the best option and it was hard to do from far away, that she’d not wanted to interrupt me with something so insignificant during tax season and on and on and on, but it hardly registered.
A rush of cool air over my cock—how had he gotten my zipper undone so fast?—and then the warmth of his touch. The brush of his thumb over my crown. “Fuck, you’re already slick,” he groaned, biting his lip. His forehead bumped my cheek as he looked down at his hand, watching as he stroked me. He paused long enough to spit on his palm then stroked faster, the noise obscene cutting through the piped in music of the club, but the feel of him on me was pure velvet bliss. When I reached for his waistband, he brushed my hand away. “Not yet. I like to concentrate. I’ll get mine in a minute.” He licked at the side of my neck where my pulse was hammering, then tightened his fingers around my shaft, pulling a moan from me. I just wanted him to shut up. Just wanted him to shut up and get me off.
Except he never got his.

And I couldn’t remember his name.

Neve Wilder lives in the dirty South, where the summers are hot and the winters are...sometimes cold. She is a mom to three rambunctious weebeasts who have joined forces in a mission to carpet the family home with toys and small items that really suck to step on at six in the morning.

She reads promiscuously, across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. Down and dirty scorchers? Yes. And every flavor in between.

She believes David Bowie was the sexiest musician to ever live, and she's always game to nerd out on anything from music to writing.

And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.

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Review: Father of the Groom (Love and Care #1) by Silvia Violet

Avery has a good life. He loves his job as a makeup artist, and he’s ecstatic about being Twink of Honor in his best friend’s wedding. He’s more than capable of supporting himself, but that doesn’t stop him from longing for an older man who’ll take care of him.

Graham Hillingdon has finally repaired his relationship with his son, and he’s thrilled to be part of his son’s wedding day, though he wishes he had a plus one to bring with him. Sadly, he has yet to find a man who appreciates both his dominant and nurturing sides; maybe even someone to call him Daddy.

When Avery and Graham meet at the wedding, attraction sizzles between them, and they end up spending an insanely hot night together. Graham makes sure Avery knows exactly who’s in charge in bed, but afterwards, he’s exquisitely gentle. This is just what Avery needs, and Graham is certain he’s finally found a man who desires what he has to give. Neither of them wants to part the next day, but between their age difference and their reluctance to reveal their relationship to Graham’s son, they wonder if they have any chance for a future together. But as perfect as they are for each other, shouldn’t it be worth the risk?

If daddy kink makes you swoon and purr, Father of the Groom is your catnip. I love me some daddy kink done right and by that I mean I want more than just some gratuitous PWP. Not that gratuitous PWP doesn’t have its place, it does, but then it can’t really be a thing for more than 30 pages or so. After that you’re probably just being ridiculous.

Father of the Groom has both P . . . AND . . . P. So, it wins! It’s plenty filthy, which is what you should expect from a Silvia Violet book about a twink and a daddy, May/December story. But, there is character development and motivation behind the kink that makes the story interesting and made me feel invested in a future for Avery and Graham. Seriously, how great are the names Avery and Graham for these two? One guess as to which dude is which.

Avery is the “twink of honor” at his BFF’s wedding. He’s also an amazing cosmetologist and makes the bridal party almost as pretty as he is. Graham is the father of the groom who’s coming out caused a huge rift in the family, but he’s worked hard to repair the relationship he has with his kids and it’s actually quite sweet to be in his head when he thinks about them. He’s incredibly respectful of their feelings and that said a lot about Graham as a person. The author is consistently good at giving characters added depth through their relationships with secondary characters. I’m being shown who they are, not told and when you have a book full of kink it helps to have that added to dimension so you can take the MC’s seriously outside of the sex.

The two are attracted to one another from the moment they lay hungry eyes on each other and they figured out they both hit the jackpot with their kinks within the first few sentences of dialog between them. The whole, I’m-at-my-son/BFF’s-wedding-and-I-shouldn’t-be-thinking-so-much-about-my/his-dick/ass-right-now-but-I’m-still-going-to-bone-the-night-away thoughts happened, but that was cool, because these are grown ass men having a good time, but their concern made sense for them and their relationships with the bride and groom.

What I appreciated most was the communication between Avery and Graham. As I mentioned, they hit hard on each others sexual needs, but they also communicated beyond that. Meaning, they both were on the same page when it came to how far the daddy play goes in real life. Sometimes the kink can overwhelm the story and the MC’s are too one dimensional to take seriously beyond the aforementioned 30 pages, but Avery is adamant about being self reliant and Graham recognizes and respects that. When Avery says he wants someone to take care of him he doesn’t mean it in a Sugar Daddy sense. He wants someone he is going to take over and he can trust them enough to completely let himself go in the bedroom. Graham needs to dominate and care for a lover, so they complimented each other completely. They even spoke of not having to “play” every time they had sex. It made the whole scenario way more believable in the vanilla light of day.

Just because Avery is self sufficient doesn’t mean can’t be a big old drama queen when things go slightly askew. It fit his personality and his need to be able to trust completely and let go. The dust up was really not that big of a deal, but for Avery, trust is the whole deal and again, drama queen, so a snit was had. A snit was needed to keep the story grounded and shake off some of the perfection that had been going on so far. The drama was short lived, which I liked, and Avery and Graham had a serious chat before Avery hopped back on the daddy dick, proving that he is pretty good at the adulting thing after all.

The story ends on a very optimistic HFN with more to come in the series (of which I will be partaking of every story). I came for the kink but stayed for the characters and I feel pretty invested in their happiness now. Their dynamic is fun and will be worthy of a reread or two at least.

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

Blog Tour: The Spy's Love Song by Kim Fielding

Kim Fielding is here today to talk about her newest Dreamspun Desires release, The Spy's Love Song, and a brewery that helped save a city. Read on and learn!

See our 5 <3 review HERE!

Hi! Kim Fielding here, and I have a new book out. Yay! The Spy’s Love Song is the tale of a jaded rock star and a State Department operative who end up in deep trouble in a country with a repressive totalitarian government. And there’s romance.

Today I have the story of a beer that helped save a city.

In the early 1990s, Yugoslavia fractured into several smaller countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. (There are actually several issues of dispute in this list, but the politics of the region are far, far too complicated for a blog post on beer.) Parts of the breakup were relatively smooth, but others were atrocious and bloody and horrifying.

One of the most terrible chapters in this tale occurred in the city of Sarajevo. For almost four years, the citizens of Sarajevo were held in siege by Serb forces. This is one of the longest sieges in modern warfare. Over 11,000 people died and many more were injured—many of them children. I’ve heard that every building in the city was damaged; over two decades later, the damage is still clearly visible.

But we’re here to discuss beer.

During the siege, regular water supplies were destroyed. A river runs through the city, but its water was undrinkable due to pollution, and collecting water from the river put people at considerable risk from the snipers on the surrounding hills. But on the south side of the river stood Sarajevska Pivara—Sarajevo Brewery—which was established in 1864. The brewery sat atop a natural spring, and that meant it had an uninterrupted supply of potable water.

Throughout the siege, Sarajevans would trek to the brewery (an often dangerous journey) to fill canisters and bottles with water, which they carried home. I’ve spoken to several people who were children during the war, and they remember well making that daily trip. The brewery was often attacked from the hills, and some people died there. But it remained open, supplying the locals with water and even occasionally managing to brew some beer.

The brewery is still there, the war damage repaired. Their beers are ubiquitous in Sarajevo. The building now also contains a museum and a restaurant. I didn’t have time to visit either during my recent visit, but I did see the building—and I drank some of their product.

What does this have to do with my new book? Not a whole lot, except that Starograd, the fictional city where most of the action takes place, was inspired partly by Sarajevo. But in my story, it’s a glass of wine rather than beer that plays a pivotal role.

The Spy’s Love Song by Kim Fielding

For a singer and a spy, love might be mission impossible.

Jaxon Powers has what most only dream of. Fame. Fortune. Gold records and Grammy awards. Lavish hotel suites and an endless parade of eager bedmates. He’s adored all over the world—even in the remote, repressive country of Vasnytsia, where the tyrannical dictator is a big fan. The State Department hopes a performance might improve US relations with a dangerous enemy. But it means Jaxon’s going in alone… with one exception.

Secret agent Reid Stanfill has a covert agenda with global ramifications. Duty means everything to him, even when it involves protecting a jaded rock star. Jaxon and Reid’s mutual attraction is dangerous under Vasnytsia’s harsh laws—and matters get even worse when they’re trapped inside the borders. Romance will have to wait… assuming they make it out alive.

Buy Link:


Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Follow Kim:

Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

Review: The Spy's Love Song (Stars from Peril #1) by Kim Fielding

For a singer and a spy, love might be mission impossible.

Jaxon Powers has what most only dream of. Fame. Fortune. Gold records and Grammy awards. Lavish hotel suites and an endless parade of eager bedmates. He’s adored all over the world—even in the remote, repressive country of Vasnytsia, where the tyrannical dictator is a big fan. The State Department hopes a performance might improve US relations with a dangerous enemy. But it means Jaxon’s going in alone… with one exception.

Secret agent Reid Stanfill has a covert agenda with global ramifications. Duty means everything to him, even when it involves protecting a jaded rock star. Jaxon and Reid’s mutual attraction is dangerous under Vasnytsia’s harsh laws—and matters get even worse when they’re trapped inside the borders. Romance will have to wait… assuming they make it out alive.

Oh how I adored this book. It was the perfect antidote for a blah sort of day because it made me smile, it made me sit on my hands in anticipation as the danger increased and relish in the romance between a spy and a rock star. 

There is always something to story that is built on deception not matter how intense. It give an edge to what could be something rather simply and ramps up the angst. Add in a spy, a foreign country run by a severe tyrant who wants a pop punk prince to play a few concerts; you’ve got yourself in for one hell of a ride full of suspense. 

Our talented ginger musician Jaxon Powers tells us the story of his life well… before and after. We meet Jaxon after a party in his lavish hotel room that he laments more the cleanup needed more than the debauchery he would have partaken in. Jaxon is in a transitional stage of his life entering his late 30’s as well as rethinking his career. While he loves what his music has brought him, he’s becoming less entangled by the delusions of fame and searching for more depth. He wants more than the sex from fans looking to fuck the rock star and more of the intimacy of a true relationship. When his manager tells him of a special gig he wants Jaxon to perform, Jaxon gets thrown into the spotlight of stage he never thought he’d play on. 

This prime minister dude, he’s not letting anyone into his country except you and one assistant. His people will provide your support on their end. But don’t worry, kiddo. It’s only for a few days. You’ll be in and out, everything smooth as butter.

Jaxon is asked to perform for the Prime Minister of Vasnytsia which is basically as bad as Russia but smaller. The people there are under a strict rule that borderlines the Hitler-era with how music is banned and reminded me slightly of the movie Swing Kids with the Black Cat and the young folk who find ways to listen to outlawed music. From the first meeting with Reid Stanfill, aka the one assistant and spy, amongst a group trying to convince Jaxon do perform in Vasnytsia, you feel the attraction. From the first words out of Reid’s mouth you feel the chemistry and from the first unexpected kiss between them, you know these two are going to be explosive.

There are many dangers to Jaxon being there, his sexuality being illegal, and his manager and the intelligence community believe sending in support disguised as Jaxon’s assistant is what will work. Just two men, one a minstrel and one a knight going into enemy territory to give hope to those in the darkness of communism. 

Wow. Really, Sara? Really. Trust me. While the plot may seem a bit out there, if you like stories of the underdog overcoming the impossible, of being saved and saving your hero right back, you will fall hard for this story like I did. 

I loved Jaxon and not just because he’s a ginger musician. I loved how he has fought for his celebrity status but doesn’t use it as manipulation. He knows where he stands, he knows the fans that want a piece of him really want a piece of the star and don’t see the guy who grew up in a small town singing in barns. He gets it and he knows that he wants someone to see the real him. Jaxon is attracted to Reid from the start but while Reid gives moments of intimacy he pulls back with the adage of this can’t happen and I am just here to complete the mission. Read just one scene between them, one bit of Reid knowing who Jaxon is outside the dossier he studied and you know Reid is hooked on Jaxon as fast as Jaxon is hooked in Reid. Reid just needs that one moment where he could lose what he didn’t know he could keep for him to own up to how he feels. 

You’re not just scratching my itches, Reid. And I think I annoy you too much for you to adore me. But God, that under-the-skin thing? You’re deeper than that. I think you’ve worked yourself all the way into my heart.

Goodness. Reid. Can I just take a moment to admire you in a suit and run my hand over your close cropped hair? You, sir, are amazing. You go into this mission knowing what can go wrong but not knowing that you and your heart will come out of this for the better. You guard because it’s your job but you protect because you care. Even in the intense moments where you should lose your cool, you keep it together to make sure Jaxon comes out okay yet you sacrifice yourself over and over again to do what’s right. You are all about the job but Jaxon gets so far under your skin, you’d rather deal with the intrusion than extract it and be left empty. You are amazing and Jaxon deserves every damn bit of you and you deserve him. No matter where you live. 


Um…Rambling Red is on a roll. 

The whole of this story is wonderful. It’s romantic with the stolen moments and admissions between Reid and Jaxon. It’s intriguing with the espionage and political uprising that the men take part in, even if it wasn’t part of the plan. It’s full of music, lyrics, understanding, romance and the idea of freedom being attainable. 

It’s just so freaking good. 

That’s it. 

It’s so freaking good.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Roam by Dez Schwartz

Looking for supernatural fun? Help author Dez Schwartz and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of Roam! Learn more about the paranormal story and enter int he $10 NineStar Press giveaway!

Title: Roam
Author: Dez Schwartz
Publisher: NineStar Press, LLC
Release Date: October 1, 2018
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 57800
Genre: Paranormal, paranormal, vampires, werewolves, ghosts

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Ethan Roam suffers from night terrors and vivid daydreams, which lead him to the doorstep of the eccentric Dr. Grady Hunter, who thrusts him into a world of supernatural misfits. Ethan quickly learns that there’s more reality to his dreams than he suspected.

As Ethan unravels the truth behind his nightmares and falls into his first experience with love, he also finds himself the target of a sinister plan.

Ethan’s trust in his new companions will be tested and he’ll have to decide who he can rely on and who he must defy in order to survive a fatal Halloween night.


Dez Schwartz © 2018
All Rights Reserved

One: Daydreams
“He’s here,” a voice whispered. Ethan Roam struggled to assess his surroundings, but his vision was blurry. All he could make out were a few trees around him. Only one thing was clear before him. The girl.

She was the same girl he had seen many times before in his dreams. She was slender and meek with fiery red hair and kind blue eyes. Subtle freckles accented her nose and her lips were the color of cherry blossoms. She wore strange clothes. Each time, they were different, which Ethan wondered if that was normal for a recurring dream. They were crafted from organic materials he couldn’t quite pinpoint.

“Hello?” she urged, as though trying to wake him; although, he wondered why since he was staring right at her. Her expression was dire, as though she was speaking at him instead of to him. She pursed her lips with a hint of anxiety and then tried again. “Hello? You have to hurry. He’s here!”

Ethan’s heart pounded. He wanted to greet her or ask who she was talking about. This was his fifth time to have the same dream. Each time, she tried to talk to him, and he could never say anything in response. He sluggishly tried to get the words to flow past his lips. He strained forward to be closer to her, and for a split second, her eyes widened as if she’d finally seen a reaction from him.

To his left, twigs snapped and a deep growl rumbled. He turned in time to see a massive wolf tearing toward them. He screamed as he moved to block the girl from the wolf, and then everything faded away…

Ethan sat up with a start, realizing he’d fallen asleep during Dr. Wallace’s history class. The professor, annoyed at having been interrupted during one of his favorite lectures, balled his hands into fists and placed them firmly on his hips as he stared disapprovingly at Ethan. The rest of the class was quick to stare, too, only they were less annoyed and more amused, much to Ethan’s embarrassment.

“So, yeah… Pretty sure I’m going to switch classes now. I can’t imagine going back there.” Ethan had finished recounting his literal and figurative nightmare to his good friend, Dr. Arthur Ellis.

Arthur let out a jolly laugh at the idea of Ethan screaming during Dr. Wallace’s lecture.

“I wish I could’ve seen the look on the old bulldog’s face.” He grinned, wiping a humored tear from his eye.

“Trust me, you don’t. I’m pretty sure he was imagining my gruesome demise since he was all hyped on Greek war talk. Nope, never going back there again.”

Arthur was an old friend of Ethan’s mother, Karen, and Ethan had known him for most of his life. Arthur, a portly and generally jovial man, was around so much Ethan thought of him like an unofficial uncle of sorts. Being a professor seemed to fit him perfectly as he had a studious look to him and felt the need to educate others on all matters he deemed himself an expert at, which was nearly everything. Ethan found his positivity both admirable and enviable. Talking to Arthur always seemed to help calm his nerves and so he found himself opening up to him constantly when he usually blocked the rest of the world out.

Recovering from the humor of the situation, Arthur scratched his graying beard as if asking it if he should pry. The beard seemed to concur, so he peered over his glasses and across his desk to where Ethan sat.

“Are your dreams becoming more frequent?”

Ethan sat up a little straighter as the tone of the conversation shifted. He glanced nervously at a dream catcher that was hanging near a bookcase cluttered with old tomes and artifacts. A feather appeared to flutter but then lay perfectly still against the wall.

Although an English professor, Dr. Arthur Ellis specialized in folklore. It was his favorite topic in the world and would talk about it at length, given the opportunity. His office was decorated appropriately. That is to say, he’d immersed himself in items his guests would find interesting, thus giving himself the opportunity to engage in discourse on the subject. And if his guests did not ask questions, then he would gladly inform them about the carefully curated decor anyway.

“Define more frequent,” Ethan answered coyly but then sighed and opened up. “You know I’ve always had dreams like that. Where I’m in strange places and being attacked by weird creatures. Nightmares, really.”

“The only dreams you ever have,” Arthur concurred.

Ethan tried to explain. For years, the girl with the fiery red hair had appeared in his dreams and nightmares as what he believed to be a symbol for something, but now that she was talking to him…it was kind of creeping him out. “You know the girl isn’t new. And…she’s interacting more with me now. She’s not just there, you know? She’s a character in my dream rather than a figure in the background.” Ethan tried to explain.

“And what about the wolf?”

“It was the same one.” Ethan stared into his palms as he tried to recall details. “Large, black fur, saliva dripping from his mouth…but when he ran at me, he ran standing up.” He frowned as he remembered the disgusting appearance of the creature.

Arthur cut in with enthusiasm. “Like a werewolf!”

“I guess…” Ethan considered the details more closely, but the more he thought about it, the harder it was for them to remain clear. “I’m not really sure. But here’s the thing, I’m dreaming during the day now. These all used to happen at night. Today during class wasn’t the first time it’s happened; just the first time anyone witnessed it. And I wasn’t even entirely asleep.”

Arthur seemed to listen with great interest, and when the last sentence rolled from Ethan’s lips, he leaned forward with a graceful and what appeared to be genuine curiosity only a well learned academic could pull off.

Ethan continued, “I remember everything Doctor Wallace was saying. It was like I was in two places at once. The dream overlapped onto reality until I woke up…screaming, apparently.”

Arthur provided the same considerate but serious suggestion he’d already offered a few times before. “Have you considered talking to anyone about this?”

“I’m talking to someone now,” Ethan quipped, but he knew what Arthur really meant. He’d been nudging Ethan to go to a doctor for years, but Ethan hated doctors. Especially, he hated the idea he might have some weird medical condition that would require him to go to a doctor.

“Someone more qualified than myself.” Arthur smiled patiently.

“Hey, you are Doctor Ellis.”

Arthur seemed to criticize him over his glasses with an impatient stare.

“I don’t like people,” Ethan retorted stubbornly, knowing he was losing the argument.

“Who does?” He pulled a card out of his wallet and handed it to Ethan.

“I’ve been holding on to this for a while. Until I felt the time was right,” he explained as Ethan read the business card. “He’s an old friend of mine. I really think you should go and talk to him. I have reason to believe he might have a unique perspective on these dreams of yours.”

Maybe Arthur was right. If his sleep problems were finally getting in the way of his daily activities, then maybe it was time to be proactive about them.

“Aren’t all your friends, like your collectibles, unique?” Ethan teased, as he slipped the card into his pocket.

“You know me.” Arthur nodded, relaxing into his chair now he’d won their battle of wills. “I love a good backstory. Oh, and don’t tell your mother,” Arthur added. “She hates it when I meddle.”

Ethan smiled and rolled his eyes as he left the office. “We all do.”


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Meet the Author

Dez Schwartz writes mostly LGBTQ Paranormal and Gothic Historical Fiction about dapper occultists, scheming supernaturals, and ghost hunters. She currently resides in a haunted Edwardian era home in Texas and enjoys coffee, art, and Oscar Wilde.

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