Tag Team Review: The Priest (Chronicles of the Riftlands #2) by Rowan McAllister

Brother Tasnerek, one of the infamous Thirty-Six stone bearers, is facing a dangerous crisis of faith after uncovering a secret that could shake the foundations of the Brotherhood of Harot. When Tas is sent to protect a tiny village on the edge of Rassa’s borders from Riftspawn, he struggles to resume his duties, risking his life and the lives of those around him.

Girik has always been an outsider, but to help his sick mother, he agrees to be the village’s offering in a painful ritual deemed necessary by the Brotherhood. But when the priest has a crisis of conscience, Girik offers his help to untangle a web of lies—even if it means getting closer than he ever imagined and committing sacrilege in the process.

With a monster lurking in the forest, a wandering mage mysteriously appearing, and more secrets awakening to unravel the truths of their world, Tas and Girik must make grave decisions. A life without danger seems a far-off hope, but love just might be theirs… if they survive.

R *A Reader Obsessed* - 3.5 Hearts

I get it. Sometimes you have to take a detour to fill in some blanks and set things up for the overall arc, and it’s not as thrilling or exciting as the first installment. That’s kinda what happened here for me.

Briefly, 1000 years ago the veil was torn apart allowing evil creatures known as spawn, to come through a rift to wreck havoc on mankind. There’s various “fighters” present who have made it their life mission to kill these monsters (the first book featuring wizard Lyuc) and here, it’s the Brotherhood, a fear based religion that uses pain to acquire power enough to kill them.

When one of the Brotherhood’s priests Tas, discovers a fallacy in their practice, it throws off his entire known existence, putting him in an existential crisis that comes at the most inopportune time. He needs to reap a pain offering from local villager Girik, so he can kill a spawn that has been terrorizing the area, but how can Tas go forward knowing that such a barbaric practice is not needed? Just imagine what he can glean by doing the opposite of pain, and you know exactly what I’m hinting at...

Ensue a quick sexy progression between Tas and Girik and an even quicker love connection (which fell a bit short of its mark) as this spans just a few days. However, Girik is the bestest of the gentlest giants out there, and he was my favorite part until we meet back up with Lyuc, Yan, and Bryn again from The Wanderer.

Overall, I applaud McAllister’s intricate world building. Beware huge religious themes and not in a good way. This sort of thing is necessary, but I’m just not interested in the doctrine that devoted side characters zealously cling to blindly. Regardless, things are changing fast. Tas’s world and that of all the kingdoms is about to be put upside down on its axis. The truth they figure out is a mind boggling revelation requiring them to band together to start forth on the seemingly insurmountable task to right some very very big wrongs.

So, this installment was wholly necessary to the story arc but just not as compelling when compared to the first book. Regardless, I’m still reading the next adventure because I need to see how this intriguing fantasy saga plays out!

Adam - 2.5 Hearts

‘The Wanderer’, the series debut released last year, set the bar high for ‘The Priest’. I was ready to be wowed. Unfortunately, it just didn’t pan out.

As one of the Thirty-Six of the Brotherhood, Tas is tasked with defending Rassa and its people from the Riftspawn. However, after he discovers secrets of the past, Tas’ faith in the Brotherhood has been shaken. And his trip to a tiny village at the border only makes matters worse.

Girik offers himself for the painful ritual that will cleanse his village of the Riftspawn. He does it primarily for his ailing mother. He’s been through the torture before, so it shouldn’t be too hard to do again.

But this time is different. From the beginning, it’s clear that the ritual won’t go as planned.

Very early on, I found myself rolling my eyes. I don’t think this is too spoilery, considering it happens near the beginning of the book - but the “fuck or die” trope just isn’t one I’ve ever been able to take seriously.

It definitely sets up Girik and Tas’ relationship in quite a titillating manner, but it just wasn’t a promising start.

That being said, I have to hand it to the two for taking their duty so seriously. Good on them for getting some action, being all sweet, and saving the town in the process!

And I did like both main characters. Girik’s a total gentle giant, and handles Tas with the care he needs. Tas, for his part, showed loyalty to Girik that he didn’t have to from pretty early on.

Yes, their relationship did start oddly and was perhaps more so the result of the two being pushed together under the circumstances, but there was clearly a spark there.

However, the plot just wasn’t that engaging for most of the book. I found myself zoning out as scenes were drawn out and it took a long time for things to actually start happening.

In the same vein, while Tas and Girik’s relationship was sweet, it wasn’t a grand romance and I’d say ends on more so a HFN note.

In the grand scheme of things, the overarching storyline of the Riftspawn doesn’t move forward significantly from Yan and Lyuc’s story in book 1.

That being said, I’m still interested enough (especially with the re-entry of a certain trio) to see what happens next!

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Swipe (Stories from Plenty, California) by TA Moore

Author T.A. Moore reveals the new cover of the latest from her Stories from Plenty, California series, Swipe! Look at the beautiful cover and enter in the $10 Dreamspinner Press gift card giveaway!

Title: Swipe by TA Moore
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: Dec 31, 2019
Pre-order link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/swipe-by-ta-moore-11475-b
Cover Artist: Kanaxa


A Novel of Plenty, California

As one of the top trauma surgeons in Plenty’s ER, Dr. Taggart Hayes knows how to fix broken things—fractured legs, ruptured spleens, allergies, and traumatic brain injuries. He can put them back together good as new.

A broken heart, though? That’s a bit trickier. Especially when it’s his own.

When Tag swipes on the photo of the hot man in the dating app, he just wants a distraction from the wreck that used to be his life. A one-night stand with a safely inappropriate stranger, no names, no feelings, and no complications.

But the headless photo on the app belongs to a man who isn’t so easy to forget the next day... or the next week. And it becomes increasingly clear that Bass is neither safe nor uncomplicated. Drawn into the dark, criminal underworld his lover inhabits, Tag has to decide if the cure for his broken heart is worse than the disease.

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Author Bio:

TA Moore -
TA Moore is a Northern Irish writer of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. A childhood in a rural, seaside town fostered in her a suspicious nature, a love of mystery, and a streak of black humour a mile wide. As her grandmother always said, ‘she’d laugh at a bad thing that one’, mind you, that was the pot calling the kettle black. TA Moore studied History, Irish mythology, English at University, mostly because she has always loved a good story. She has worked as a journalist, a finance manager, and in the arts sectors before she finally gave in to a lifelong desire to write.

Coffee, Doc Marten boots, and good friends are the essential things in life. Spiders, mayo, and heels are to be avoided.

Twitter: @tamoorewrites


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Audiobook Review: Heart Untouched (Hearts Entwined #3) by Andrew Grey

An accident crushed Duncan's Olympic dreams and landed him in a chair, but he knows it's time to get his life back on track - and he has a plan in mind. Working with his friend Todd, an Olympic skeleton racer, on a promotional campaign will not only help Duncan regain some direction, but it'll give Todd the financial boost he desperately needs. The sport Todd loves is draining his resources - so much so that he's thinking of giving up racing just to make ends meet.

As the two men work together, their friendship blossoms into much more, and suddenly the future is looking brighter than it has in a long time. But just when love, happiness, and success seem within their grasp, the USOC steps in with plans to stop their campaign. That'll mean an end not just to Duncan's business, but to Todd's dreams...and Duncan isn't about to let that happen to the man who means everything to him.

Listening Length: 5 hours and 38 minutes
Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Reviewer: Shee Reader

This audiobook is classic Andrew Grey! It is a beautifully written gently rolling tale of two men who need each other and work out the path to happiness and love. Andrew writes characters with real problems and disability that are written so accurately and sensitively that any reader can connect to and enjoy the story. As a disabled reader, I felt represented without being made to feel helpless or hopeless. Duncan’s struggles were so relatable and realistic.

There was plenty of engagement in the story to keep me reading, and the characters were so well formed and charming that I was rooting for them from the start. Not officially a series, this book has characters in that overlap with Heart Unseen and Heart Unheard, both stories having a main character with a disability and they are all equally enjoyable.

Greg Tremblay is one of my absolute favourite narrators and he performs this book with the same style, grace and ability as we have come to expect form him. He is a master of his craft, giving emotion and character depth to the written word that enhances the listener’s enjoyment of what is a lovely book.

Highly recommended.

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

Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Good Green Earth (Colors Of Love #3) by V.L. Locey

V.L. Locey's The Good Green Earth (Colors Of Love #3) is officially out! Join the author and Signal Boost Promotions in celebrating! Learn more about the latest romance and enter in the back list eBook giveaway!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Cover Design: Designs By Sloan

Length: 75,000 words approx.

Colors Of Love Series

Book #1 - Lost In Indigo - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 - Touch Of A Yellow Sun - Amazon US | Amazon UK


After the Syracuse Stallions clinch the championship, Nathan Zinkan, the renowned wild man of the AHL is arrested for a DUI. Again. When a no-nonsense judge adds a heavy dose of community service to an already stiff sentence, Nathan has to forget a summer of partying and slide on a pair of gardening gloves. His entire future now rides on how well he can behave while helping elderly urban gardeners tend to their tomatoes.

Watching local garden center owner Bran Cavanaugh working without his shirt is a benefit he wasn’t expecting. Pity Bran is also the one in charge of the community garden as well as keeping tabs on Nathan’s hours served. The two men are instantly at odds due to Nathan’s rebellious nature and Bran’s icy demeanor. Yet there’s no denying the attraction that begins to build between the hot-headed athlete and the cool as a cucumber master gardener.

Will their attraction grow into something deeper, or will it wither and die on the vine?

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Dine With Me by Layla Reyne

Join author Layla Reyne & A Novel Take PR in celebrating the recent release of foodie romance Dine With Me. Find out more through the author Q&A and the exclusive excerpt and don't forget to enter the giveaway for a limited edition signed paperback + swag! Good luck!

Miller and Clancy's delicious courtship will make foodie romance fans swoon. Readers will be rooting for that HEA from the first page.
– Adriana Herrera, author of the Dreamers series

Breathtakingly emotional and deeply resonant, this foodie trip romance will have you reaching for the
tissues and cheering at the well-earned happily ever after for one of my favorite couples. This one
lingered with me and made me hungry!
Annabeth Albert, author of the Frozen Hearts series

Layla Reyne’s DINE WITH ME is a contemporary m/m romance following a dying chef on a last tour of his favorite meals, and the travel companion who must convince him he’s more than his taste buds and that the cost of love is worth living for.

Title: Dine With Me

Release Date (e-book and audio): September 16, 2019


Life never tasted so good.
Miller Sykes’s meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it’s all crashing down around him. He’s been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.

But there’s a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn't want anyone to know he's sick.

Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father’s thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can’t believe it. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s rugged good looks are exactly Clancy’s cuppa joe.

As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they’re suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller’s health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he’s more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!


About Layla Reyne: 

RITA Finalist Layla Reyne is the author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey, Fog City, and Changing Lanes series. A Carolina Tar Heel who now calls the San Francisco Bay Area home, Layla enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Kiss of Death and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. Layla is a 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

Connect with Layla: 

Exclusive Q&A with Layla Reyne, Blog Tour: 

  • Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

LR: It’s not just Miller and Clancy in this story. There’s a supporting cast of characters—family, of the blood and found sort—that I absolutely adored writing. And they support, first and foremost. No one here is trying to foil or divert our main characters, and I love that about this story. They are there to support Miller and Clancy, as best and as full-of-heart as they can.

  • Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

LR: Every place Miller and Clancy visited is a place I’ve dined or based on a place I dined. (Sadly, a few of my favorites had closed!) Each place in this book is as special to me, for my own reasons, as it is for Miller and Clancy. For instance, one of the stops is The French Laundry, which is where my husband and I got married, so it holds a special place in my heart too.

  • Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

LR: Ohmigod, they both do. This story has been rattling around in my head since 2015. It was on the initial list of project ideas I gave my agent. There’s a lot of me in both Clancy and Miller (more so Clancy, my husband more so Miller), but it’s really a love letter to all the amazing dining experiences I’ve been so lucky to have in my life.

  • What is the significance of the title?

LR: It starts as the opening line of the advertisement Miller posts for the tour. It also ends the book in a way that still makes me happy sigh.

  • What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

LR: This is a standalone, so there won’t be a sequel. Though keep your eyes peeled for a special project involving one of the secondary characters.

  • If you had to describe character Miller Sykes in three words, what would those three words be?

LR: Loyal, Self-Sacrificing, Stubborn

  • If you had to describe character Miller Sykes in three words, what would those three words be?

LR: Earnest, Honest, Risk-taker

  • If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

LR: Oh, this is easy (since the book has been in my head for YEARS). I’ve always had Clive Standen as my fancast for Miller and Grant Gustin as my fancast for Clancy.

  • Was the writing process different and what challenges did you face writing contemporary romance versus romantic suspense? 

LR: I couldn’t just throw a car chase or explosion in when I needed to pick up the pace! But seriously, I really did have to dig deep to center this one more on emotions, more on the journey of these two men, individually and potentially together in the future. That’s what’s driving the story, versus my usual twisty plot.

DINE WITH ME – Carina Press
Release Date: September 16, 2019 

Excerpt (500-600 words)
“Gorgeous, isn’t he?” Sloan whispered beside him. “If I didn’t have Tyler waiting at home…”
“Is he even old enough to drive?” Miller tore his gaze from the bespectacled stranger and tossed back the rest of his drink.
Only Sloan’s hand over his mouth at the last possible second saved her white silk blouse from a shower of gin, vermouth, and Campari. Once he swallowed, Miller gasped out a “Bullshit” behind her hand.
“I didn’t believe it either.” She lowered her hand and wiped it off on a napkin. “So I had one of the firm’s PIs check. Thirty, swear it.”
Glancing over his shoulder again, Miller tried to find thirty years in the younger man and managed twenty-two, twenty-three at best. As the man’s eyes roved toward their corner, Miller turned back to Sloan. “Better go do your job, dear.” His voice dripped with saccharine sarcasm.
As did her reply. “Hold down the dark corner, honey.” She polished off another wing, tossed the bone on the plate, smacked his cheek with a sticky kiss, and moved to climb off her stool.
Before her second heel hit the floor, a slender hand appeared across their table and Miller looked up to find the stranger standing there.
“Ms. Thatcher, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said.
Sloan shook his hand. “Clancy Rhodes, I presume?”
“That’s me. I’m sorry I’m late. I had a last-minute meeting with some benefit organizers and got held up.” He cut off his ramble and shifted his big green eyes and outstretched hand to Miller. “Chef, it’s an honor.”
“You know Miller?” Sloan asked.
Miller checked his grip, afraid he’d crush Clancy’s long, slim fingers in his bear claw, but the other man’s handshake was confident and firm. His eyes lingered on Miller’s tattooed forearm, bared beneath his rolled-up dress sleeves, before he withdrew his hand and cleared his throat. His gazed darted back up and he adjusted his glasses.
“Miller Sykes,” he said. “Self-taught wonder-kid of the cooking world. James Beard Rising Star Chef. Staged at the top restaurants in New York, then relocated to the Bay Area. You earned two Michelin stars for the restaurant where you were chef de cuisine before leaving to open your own place three years ago.” He interrupted his Wiki-page recitation—with all the correct pronunciations, Miller noted—to take a deep breath and return his attention to Sloan. “When my parents showed me the ad, then said I was meeting the chef in Napa, I did the calculations. Chefs, stars, and the timing. I’d wheedled it down to a handful. Miller was on the list.”
Possibly also a stalker. Or an apron-chaser. Neither good.
And yet Sloan seemed more intrigued than ever. “Your mom said you’re a huge foodie.”
“Isn’t anyone who wants to go on a trip like this?” An eager, guileless smile stretched across his pale, lightly freckled face.
Miller discounted his stalker theory—this kid was pure fanboy—but there was something in his innocence, in his youth, that called to more than Miller’s ego.

Giveaway: Signed limited edition paperback + swag (equivalent value for international)

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Hot Potato (A Seacroft Novel #3) by Allison Temple

Hot Potato (A Seacroft Novel #3) by Allison Temple is out now! Celebrate with the author and Signal Boost today and enter in the back list eBook giveaway!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link - Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow With Kindle Unlimited

Length: 80,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs

Seacroft Series

Book #1 - Top Shelf - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #2 - Cold Pressed - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link


As Seacroft’s resident weirdo, Avery proudly flies a lot of freak flags. It’s a constant battle to be taken seriously when everything, from his red hair to his sexuality, makes him stand out in this small town.

Small towns are also a terrible place to keep secrets, and Lincoln has a bunch of them. But his demons aren’t going to hold him back from his dream job at the Seacroft Fire Department. His life is finally coming together, until the red-haired twink with the big smile and fast mouth calls in an emergency.

Pining for the hot firefighter is Avery’s newest flag, even if he agrees to be “just friends.” For Linc, every minute with Avery is a temptation. He needs to let go of his fear and admit the truth. Linc doesn’t want to be Avery’s friend; he wants to be his everything. But just as Linc is ready to risk it all, Avery gets an unexpected offer to spread his colorful wings and fly away.

Hot Potato is an 80k slow burn friends-to-lovers contemporary MM romance. It features a fast-talking accountant who’s cooler than he thinks, the closeted firefighter who loves him more than he should, and a great big happy-sigh HEA.

Allison Temple has been a writer since the second grade, when she wrote a short story about a girl and her horse. Her grandmother typed it out for her and said she’s never seen so many quotation marks from a seven-year-old before. Allison took that as a challenge and has gone on to try to break her previous record in all her subsequent works.

Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s neediest cat. She splits her free time between writing, community theater stage management, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean her house.

Newsletter (get two free shorts right now): https://allisontemplebooks.com/newsletter

Facebook Reader group: https://facebook.com/groups/allisonsalist

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07B7P5591

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/allison-temple

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17490635.Allison_Temple

Twitter: https://twitter.com/allitemplebooks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allisontemplebooks/

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