Review: Angels Sing (Daddy Dearest #2) by Eli Easton

Jamie Bailey has not had such a wonderful life. He gave up his dreams of Harvard at 18 to raise his sister’s unwanted baby, and later a prized job to help a sick friend. Now the father of six-year-old Mia, and assistant manager at Raven Books, Jamie’s dreams are dashed once again when Uncle Billy admits what dire straights the bookshop is in.

Stanton Potter, son of the most notorious businesswoman in Bedford Falls, loves his job teaching at the local elementary school. But he’s less than thrilled when he is forced to put together a Christmas pageant with first-graders, including Mia Bailey. 

When Stanton meets Jamie, angels sing. Jamie’s gender-bending fashion sense, and sweet aura, have Stanton suffering through the worse crush he’s had since he was a teen. But can there be any hope for them when Jamie and Mia’s lives are about to be uprooted?

This Christmas, its Jamie’s turn to receive a little help from heaven.

I am crushing it with the femme reads all the sudden! Keep em comin', authors. I dig it. I dig it muchly.

So... spoiler alert, one of the characters in this sentimental holiday story is androgynous AND femme. Jaime is 100% sweetheart too. He's given up a lot of opportunities in his life to do the right thing and that's a rarity in the human race so I connected to him and his precocious and adorable daughter Mia pretty quickly.

Stanton is his love interest, a slightly older jock type and his physical opposite. This could've easily turned cliche but Easton made him the awkward and tongue tied one which completely worked for me. I half expected him to walk into a door because he was so distracted and besotted by Jaime. Jaime takes a bit longer to glom onto Stanton's interest but once he figures it out it was pretty entertaining to watch him turn Stanton inside out, both the PG-13 version and the adult version, though in different ways. Obviously.

I must confess I'm not a huge holiday story person. More of a cynical grinch type but Easton is hard to resist especially since Unwrapping Hank continues to carry the title of most beloved holiday story.

Was this as good as Hank?

No, but those are big shoes to fill. However, it sure was comforting to read which is something I've come to count on from this author and, for what it's worth, I devoured it.

Another thing it has going for it is it's not overly reliant on the miracle of the Christmas gambit. It's there but subtle and I appreciated that I didn't feel like I had glutted on peppermint sticks and eggnog after I finished it.

So if you're looking for a lighthearted and heartwarming holiday read Angels Sing is just what the doctor ordered.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: But by the Grace of Dog by A.F. Henley

Welcome author A.F. Henley as they visit today with the But by the Grace of Dog blog tour! Henley chats about about writing this book and also sharing about the "A" word. Read more of today's visit to learn more! Plus, the author hosts a DOUBLE giveaway! Comment on today's post for a chance to win one of these adorable keychains, along with a promo pack! And enter in rafflecopter for a $25 JMS Books credit!

Hello, and welcome to the "But by the Grace of Dog" release tour. Thank you so much for joining me! I'm beyond excited for this release for a bunch of different reasons, but two of those reasons stand out as the most important for me. One – I just had way too much fun writing it. I got the opportunity to be puppet-master for a dog being its most silly-awesome self, I got the chance to re-explore the atmosphere of an open-air market, which is one of my most favourite ways of shopping, and I got to first spark and then fan the flames of new love between two deserving characters, and that always makes me all kinds of happy.

The second reason is that throughout the process of writing this novel, I was able to explore an aspect of myself and some close friends of mine that up until now, I'd done my utmost best to either hide or ignore completely – the "A" word.

That's right, anxiety.

As a child, I dealt with a lot more anxiety than I would have ever admitted to anyone. Both my brother and I experienced it frequently. My mom had a lot of her own issues that manifested from anxiety. It was something none of us talked about, however. In my family, it was quite actively enforced that we didn't even acknowledge it, let alone vocalize anything about it. That kind of weakness was not allowed. Ever.

Unfortunately, my own personal struggles with anxiety came to a head about three years ago following some intense and dramatic life changes that I had known were coming for a long time, but that I was still unprepared for. Not that I knew that was the problem... (My friend Kelly will be eyeing me in a not sweet way for that comment. There may have been one or two instances where Kelly gently suggested I might be experiencing anxiety attacks. There may also have been ninety or nine hundred, but who's keeping count?)

So, maybe I did know, but it would have taken an entire an entire herd of wild horses fleeing a forest fire while being chased by marauders with butcher knives to drag the admission out of me. I wasn't having anxiety attacks, you see, I was dying. I wasn't experiencing panic attacks – they were heart attacks. This wasn't something *gasp* mentally *gasp* challenging, it was physical, damn it, so give me a pill or do some kind of surgery, and let me get on with life.

As it turns out, I was not dying. They were not heart attacks. And the only thing "they" could do for me was help me help myself, although in the beginning there were some pills involved. But admitting that self-perceived weakness was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Continuing to admit it hasn't really grown any easier, but it's a work in progress and to be fair, here I am, talking about it and writing characters who are dealing with it.

I do hope you enjoy the story if you decide to read it, and I'd love to know what you think if you do. Anxiety is something we've all been forced to feel bad about, to keep hidden, so we can all keep pretending that we're stoic, untouchable beings made of mental and spiritual steel. I say, forget that. Let's share. Heck, let's share here in the comments below if you feel so inclined.

Please don't forget to keep reading for a short exclusive excerpt and all the details for not just one, but two giveaways to say thank you for your time. All it takes is a comment here for a chance at one of the adorable keychains pictured below and a promo pack. And, if you click through to the Rafflecopter, you'll get yourself a second chance at a freebee, this one for a $25 credit to JMS Books!

I'd also take this final minute to thank Boy Meets Boy Reviews for hosting me today. I couldn't do it without you, so thanks for having me!

Man + Dog + Neighbour = True Love (but does it equal a HEA?)

All my love,

AF Henley <3

But by the Grace of Dog, now available here:


GENRE: Gay Erotic Romance, Canadian English
LENGTH: 49,400 words
RATING: contains some explicit sex scenes
NOTE: contains brief character thoughts about suicide

Thom Baron has been struggling with social anxiety his entire life. He's taken the medications, gone to the therapists, followed the programs, and concluded his best life is a solitary one. When he comes across a dog in obvious need at his local market, it rekindles the desire to have some company around. It may come with a dishevelled coat, a notched ear, and a refusal to respond to anything but its given name "Ugly," but it could still be a friend.

However, Thom's new fur buddy has no such need to keep to itself and immediately befriends the man Thom has secretly coveted since he moved in -- Justin, Thom's gorgeous, bright-eyed neighbour. No matter how Thom tries to evade the man, the dog keeps drawing them back into each other's lives, and it doesn't take Thom long to recognize it's simply pursuing the demands of Thom's own heart. With the dog giving him the courage to try, Thom reaches out to return the love being offered.

Until a stranger shows up insisting the dog is his and demanding its immediate return ... a loss Thom knows will take all of his efforts and newfound confidence with it.

Exclusive Excerpt

At that moment, a crowd—perhaps a family, perhaps a bunch of teenagers, it was impossible to tell with the sunlight blaring behind them—stepped into the building. The only options were to walk through the crowd or turn and go out the other way.

Thom spun on his heel, pulling Dog along. The other entrance was at the opposite end of the lengthy building, but if he hurried and his path stayed clear, they’d be okay. They would. They definitely would. Even though his breath was already hitching and even though his heart was fluttering in anticipation of that damn squeeze, he would be all right if he just made it to the door… One of the two back doors suddenly slammed shut.

The reality of the matter was that a single door shutting would make no difference to Thom’s ability to exit the building. Both entrances had extra-wide, double doors that were big enough for all kinds of equipment and animals to enter and exit. Thom’s heart, chest, and lungs were not rational at the moment, though. He shrieked like a kid in a haunted house. Pain lanced through his chest, his free hand clutched his pectoral, and his vision swam.

Move! Go! Get out! his mind screamed at him. He took a step forward, stumbled, and when he went down on one knee, all hell broke loose.

“Oh, my God, I think he’s having a heart attack!”

“Somebody call nine-one-one!”

“Get him on the ground!”

Hands came from everywhere, trying to push him down or roll him over. Somebody tried to get Dog’s leash out of his fist. Dog whined a low, dangerous sound.

“No,” Thom said, although he was pretty sure he was the only person who heard. “Don’t touch me. Leave me be.”

“I got this!”

A set of hands grabbed his shirt, hard enough to catch skin. With his free hand, Thom grabbed back, gripping one of the fists. He wheezed a plea, looked up, and it was Justin. The look on Justin’s face was enough to spike every emotion he was already feeling to its pinnacle, drowning an amygdala that was already pulsing on high alert with a cocktail of embarrassment, shame, and self-pity.
“No,” Thom whispered. “Leave me alone.”

“Come on, I got you,” Justin whispered. Then, to the crowd, “Let us by. He’ll be okay once he gets outside.” He frowned at someone talking into their phone. “Don’t call anyone. It’s not a heart attack. He doesn’t need medical attention.” He looked back at Thom. “I hope. Tell me if I’m wrong.”

Thom shook his head, gasping.

The “walk” was more of a “drag,” and Justin didn’t stop once they were outside. He continued to urge Thom along, mumbling to Dog and directing them until they rested against the temporary fencing that served as the perimeter for the market.

Then he let go, and when Thom sank to the ground, he did, too.

“Are you okay? What happened?”

Thom didn’t say anything, he just shook his head.

“Was it the people? Did somebody touch you?”

Thom shook his head again.

“The smell? The dark? Did you—”

“I don’t know,” Thom snapped. “Damn it, Justin, I don’t know, okay? If I knew what caused every meltdown, I would just not do it. Like I don’t g o to parties. Like I don’t talk to strangers. Like everything else I avoid in my life in an effort to stop this kind of thing from happening!” He tucked up his legs, then rested his head on his knees and breathed until his heart stopped pounding. “Leave me alone.”

“It’s okay. You’re fine. Just keep—”

“I’m not fine and it’s not okay!” Thom pushed away, fumbling to make sure he still had Dog’s leash. “I’m never okay! Don’t you get it? This is always the way it is, and this is not fine.”


Enjoy the blurb? Your copy is only a click away:


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Review: World Turned Upside Down by Elyse Springer

After three winters in Antarctica, Simon Bancroft is an old hand on the ice. The harsh weather and extreme isolation aren’t for everyone, but he enjoys the tight-knit community at McMurdo Station… and lately he’s enjoyed watching the hot new researcher, Asher Delaney, who’s recently arrived to study the aurora. But Simon’s just a janitor. Asher doesn’t even know he exists.

When Simon’s friends propose a wager, he gets a chance to introduce himself to Asher at last. But Asher defies all of Simon’s assumptions, and suddenly he finds himself reevaluating everything he thought he knew about Asher, himself, and falling in love at the bottom of the world.

I powered through World Upside Down in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down once I got started as I was hooked on the geography and the characters right from the start. “Power through” is probably a little dramatic as the book is 105 pages, but still.

This is my first book by this author and I’m a big fan of her writing style and the way she writes conversations between her characters. Simon is a treat, I felt like I got to know him pretty quickly and organically, I wanted to hang out with him and I loved being in his head when he was mooning/lusting over Asher.

And I think that led to my favorite aspect of the story. The author really nailed the getting-to-know-you phase between Simon and Asher. And from there, the reconciliation Simon went through as he got to know the Real Asher vs. his Fantasy Asher. It was actually very sweet, and very realistic, to read. Not everything is insta-lust and fireworks, reality is more about getting to know and more importantly, getting to appreciate the other person. I loved it.

The author also made Antarctica a character in and of itself. I wanted to know more and dive in deeper. That was obviously impossible for a novella, but it did pique my interest and it will make me seek out more about the locale.

My only issue, and it stressed me out to no end, was the bet. It was meant to be somewhat innocuous and wasn’t meant to be cruel in any way, but it was out there and I knew what was coming the whole time. It tainted the wonderful feels I was having a smidge, and mostly because I love Asher’s sweet, sweet heart so hard. It was the conflict that the story was plotted around, but again, Asher!!!

Anywho, the evolution of Simon made the ending work and his honesty went the whole way and back in making Asher feel all the things he deserved to feel. While I loved this as a novella, I would also love to read it as a full blown novel. The elements were high quality and plentiful enough to fill up hundreds of pages. I always figure that’s the sign of a great novella too, nothing was missing but I’m left wanting more just because I don’t want to let the characters or the setting go just yet.

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

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Unfettered by Kate Hawthorne

Author Kate Hawthorne and Vibrant Promotions visit today on the Unfettered blog tour! Learn more about this BDSM romance and enter in the giveaway to win your own eBook copy of Unfettered!

Kate Hawthorne
M/M Romance
Release Date: 11.21.19


How can Heath find happiness again when he's terrified of the things he loves?
After a reckless scene gone wrong, Heath is floating alone though life, unable to trust anyone enough give up control. Everything changes when he accepts a dinner invitation from a handsome younger man.
Beau is a twenty-four year old student with a strong personality who he knows exactly what he wants in life. And right now, he wants Heath. It doesn't matter that Heath has a traumatic past, and it definitely doesn't matter when they find out Heath is one of his professors.
The reemergence of someone Heath used to know sends their relationship into a tailspin, and leaves Beau questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. To save his relationship with Heath, he has to turn to the support system he's never had before...his long lost brothers.
Heath has finally rediscovered the liberation in restraint, but now Beau needs to find the freedom promised from being truly unfettered.


“Come on.” Heath clapped his hands together twice and pointed toward the door. “Go get your books and come back, then we’ll get started.”

Everyone filed out, leaving him alone with Beau and a heavy and awkward silence.

“You never said you were a student,” Heath whispered, resting his ass against the corner of the desk. Beau didn’t move from his seat near the door.

“You didn’t ask.”

“I didn’t think to.”

In reply, Beau smiled.

“We obviously can’t see each other anymore.” Heath turned his back to Beau and stared at the trails of chalk dust that arced across the blackboard.

“We’re actually going to see each other every Tuesday and Thursday from eight to ten.” A chair screeched across the floor and Heath didn’t dare turn around to look.

“I mean like last night. Tonight.”

“Why not?” Beau’s words were hot against his ear and his fingers gentle against Heath’s waist.

“It’s improper.”

“But I want to see you.” Beau turned his head just so, so that his lips dragged across the shell of Heath’s ear.

“I could lose my job. You could get expelled.”

“We’ll have to be careful,” Beau whispered. He stepped closer to Heath until the fabric of their shirts rubbed together. “Don’t you want to see where this can go?”

Beau’s hands slipped around to Heath’s stomach and up toward his chest. His fingers were splayed wide and he brushed the tips of his fingers against Heath’s bottom lip.

“We can’t,” Heath pleaded.

This was awful. What had he done to deserve such a cruel twist of fate? Finally finding someone capable of pulling him out of his post-Mac funk and it was a student? He groaned, and Beau’s finger slipped through the part of his lips.

“I can do whatever I please,” Beau promised. “And I’ll be by at seven to pick you up. I hope that you’ll be ready.”

Stacked 1
Born and raised in Southern California, Kate Hawthorne woke up one day and realized she had stories worth sharing. Now existing on a steady diet of wine and coffee, Kate writes stories about complicated men in love that are sometimes dirty, but always sweet. She enjoys crafting hard-fought and well deserved happy endings with just the right amount of angst and kink.
From estate sale shopping to shoe worship, there's something in at least one of her books that'll tickle your fancy. Visit her website at




Release Blitz + Giveaway: No Place Like Home by Annabelle Jacobs

Holiday romance No Place Like Home is out! Celebrate with author Annabelle Jacobs and Signal Boost Promotions and enter in the back list eBook giveaway today!

Length: 48,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow


Will Oliver get the gift he’s hoping for this Christmas?

Oliver Walker’s Christmas is shaping up to be a quiet one. That is until hunky neighbour Ed Middleton moves in next door.

Attraction is instant, but Ed is only there temporarily and neither wants to start something with an expiration date.

As the festive season approaches, holiday cheer wraps around them, and giving in to temptation is inevitable. But Ed is still set on moving in the new year—a fresh start, miles away from those he’s closest to.

If Oliver doesn’t want to lose his heart, he’ll have to show Ed that home is wherever he wants it to be, and love is possible no matter what.

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Roxy's Recovery by Kim Breyon

Happy Thanksgiving American Unicorns! Happy Thursday to all! If you have the day off (or not), we hope it ends with a good book!

Author Kim Breyon and A Novel Take PR visit today on the Roxy's Recovery blog tour! Learn more about the contemporary small-town romance and enter in the $15 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Roxy’s Recovery By Kim Breyon


This healing and heartwarming story will make you believe in the power of kindness and love again.

Roxy's Recovery Ebook.jpg


As the newest veterinarian in the small town of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Vaughn Winters doesn't have time for relationships. He is too busy healing injuries and establishing his reputation as a trustworthy vet. But when a strange man waves him down on a stormy night seeking help for his injured dog, Vaughn simply can't refuse.

Obviously homeless and with no means to pay for Roxy's medical care, Vaughn throws caution to the wind and strikes a deal with the hesitant stranger that would allow Roxy the time to heal and provide some much needed TLC to his property as well. As the days pass, Vaughn's curiosity grows. Alex's dedication to the job is as surprising as the sexy tats hidden beneath his rugged clothes. What could have pushed this kind, hardworking man to the streets, or cast such dark shadows in his otherwise bright blue eyes?

Will six weeks be enough time to earn Alex's trust? Or will asking questions cause him to tuck tail and run as soon as Roxy is able?

Roxy's Recovery is a 61k standalone contemporary romance involving two men, a meddling sister, and a seriously sassy pug.

Book Links: 

Exclusive Excerpt:

I was still grinning when I made it through downtown Coeur d’Alene. Streetlights illuminated the way as I neared the onramp for Highway 29, though it was still difficult to see through the rain. I spotted someone near the shoulder, waving their arm, trying to catch my attention. Pulling over to see what the problem was, I flipped on the hazard lights and rolled down the passenger window. The larger frame and broad shoulders suggested it was a man approaching, but I couldn’t see the person’s face as they were hunched over to shield themselves from the downpour.
When the stranger finally reached my window, I was a bit taken aback by a long face covered in a full, wild and scruffy beard. Matted, blond hair was plastered across the man’s face, nearly reaching his eyes, and his coat was completely soaked in water.
“Please help,” he said in a desperate tone. “My dog was hit by a car.”
I looked down to the bundle in his arms and felt my stomach drop. A small bunch of dirty, black fur was poking out from under the flap of the man’s jacket. 
“They just took off,” he continued, dropping his gaze to the dog. “Oh, baby, I’m so sorry!”
All thoughts of the evening with my sister vanished as I slipped into work mode. “Are they bleeding?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
That meant they should at least survive the drive to the clinic, assuming there were no serious internal injuries. “Good. Get in.”
The man quickly ran to the side of the road, where a small pile of bags had been haphazardly tossed aside. Somehow, he managed to hoist all three of them up with one arm and carry them to the back of the truck without letting go of his dog. As he tossed them into the back of my truck, I noticed they were just as soaked as his jacket, and it made me wonder how long he’d been out here. Was he homeless? Or a hitchhiker? Worse, had he just been abandoned by someone on the side of the road?
I barely remembered the passenger seat was covered in papers before he opened the door, and quickly shoved them into the backpack I always had with me, giving him room to climb in. It took him a minute to shut the door and reach for the seat belt with one arm, and the dog let out a sharp yelp as he moved around.
“Here, let me,” I offered, taking the buckle from him and carefully clipping it into place.
As I turned off the hazard lights and flipped on the turn signal, I asked, “What’s your name?”
His teeth chattered as he replied. “Al-Alex.”
I cranked the heat, hoping to provide some warmth and comfort. “I’m Vaughn. What’s your dog’s name?”
“R-Roxy,” he chattered.
I smiled. “That’s a sweet name.”
Wanting to distract Alex from the trauma and frigid temps, I tried to make small talk during the ten-minute drive across town. When we finally pulled up to the back entrance of the old brick building, the motion detector automatically clicked on the overhead light. I put my truck into park and quickly opened the door.
“Follow me,” I said.
While I fumbled with the keys to unlock the door, Alex read the sign on the wall.
“You’re a vet?” he asked in bewilderment.
I gave him the same reassuring smile I gave to all the owners of my patients. “Yep. Please, come in.”


For the Blog Tour, Kim is giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card

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Check out Kim's Against All Odds Series. 

Back To You (Against All Odds, Book 1) By Kim Breyon

One of you, one of me…

 As a private investigator, I have a perfect record when it comes to closing cases…as long as you don’t count the only one that ever really mattered to me.

 Even after a decade, the memory of the foster boy I once shared a room with continues to haunt my dreams. For five years, Riley helped me laugh when there was so little in our lives to laugh about. His gentle touch and stormy gray eyes were the only thing that could calm the swirling and turbulent thoughts and emotions within me.

 But in the blink of an eye, the safe harbor my best friend provided was ripped from my life without warning or reason. His unexplained disappearance set sail to a lonely and hopeless journey. Now, I am no more willing to let the memory of my best friend go than I am ready to give up the search for him, as hopeless as it may seem to those around me.

 And then a client asks me to locate a stolen treasure box. Clues have me heading from the city of Atlanta to a small, picturesque town in South Carolina called Reedsport. There, I hope to find the missing box; what I never expected was to find something else that I’d been missing for far too long. Could I have finally found a beacon of hope that would lead Riley Tanager back to me?

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Tag Team Review: 9 Willow Street by Nell Iris

Heartbroken after the death of his beloved Nana, Hannes, the family outsider, finally allows himself to grieve. The legal battle over Nana’s quirky old house -- the only place he’s ever felt accepted and loved -- is over, and he moves in and finds a sense of peace.

 ... And a rabbit.

An adorable bunny with a huge personality moves in, too, and refuses to leave. Hannes instantly falls in love with the sweet animal who helps heal his heart. But one morning, Hannes’ view of the world changes when the rabbit transforms into a man. A man named Mattis.

After the initial shock, Hannes and Mattis discover a connection between them that runs deeper than it seems. Will their newfound feelings survive unraveling secrets and meddling families, and grow into something real? Something deep and everlasting?


Tag Team Bunny Love with R *A Reader Obsessed* and Ann!

R *A Reader Obsessed* - 4 Hearts

Literally, the blurb says it all. Hannes is grieving his great grandmother, and when he finally moves into the house she left him, he slowly heals with the companionship of a wayward rabbit.

Though Hannes knows his little friend is very very special, he never imagines just how much.

Cue the most adorable rabbit antics ever that turn into equally adorable MC characteristics once Mattis shifts back into his human form. As Hannes gets over his shock, how he and Mattis overcome some obstacles was really satisfying.

Obviously, this was very sweet with a good dash of hurt comfort and made all the more interesting being my first rabbit shifter story. Beware frustrating family dynamics that’s negated by some nice smexy, plenty of cuddles, and two charming MC’s you’ll have no trouble rooting for.

This warmed my cold heart and was a delightful short story win!

Ann - 3.5 Hearts

This little gem of a story is literally stuffed full of fluffy love. So. Much. Fluff.

Poor Hannes is been put through the wringer by his honestly terrible family while he’s grieving the death of his great grandma. He and his Nana were extremely close, she was the only one who truly understood Hannes as he was growing up and her quirky house at 9 Willow Street is his sanctuary. He inherited the beloved home and was soooo relieved when the legalities were finally worked through after his family contested Nana's will. The house is his and his alone and his goal now is to get the home and gardens back to his Nana's standards and to get on with his life.

He gets a surprise visitor in the form of a friendly bunny floof as he’s getting settled and the two of them get into a comfy routine of snuggling and sprucing up the house. He doesn’t know where the bun came from, but Hannes knows that the little dude is something special right when he needs some unconditional cuddles.

It would be too easy for them to live this happy little existence for too long and pretty quickly Hannes is introduced to the world of shifters and his fuzzy little friend is also an adorable man named Mattis who coincidentally has a semi-shitty family too.

The two were a match in both personality and circumstance. They both needed support and were the kind of guys who are meant to have soulmates. The world of shifters and Hannes’ beloved Nana's history evolve in the story and all the *things* get explained in a way that makes sense for a shifter story in general and for Hannes and Mattis in particular. Their needs, strengths and weaknesses complement each other just right and Hannes and Mattis are truly soulmates.

I mentioned this story is chock full of fluff and it well and truly is. 9 Willow Street has a high sugar content and when you are in the mood for the sweetness, this story should be your go to.

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

Release Blitz + Giveaway: A Broken Winter by Kale Night

Celebrate the release of A Broken Winter with author Kale Night and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more about the futuristic story and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: A Broken Winter
Author: Kale Night
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 25, 2019
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 81000
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBT, Fantasy, futuristic, hurt/comfort, soul mates, re-incarnation, political terrorism, prison, religious extremism, scientist

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General Auryn Tyrus is tired of serving an emperor who turns political dissidents into expensive steak and claims to have swallowed Ankari’s sun. He is fed up with pretending not to know Emperor Haken is buying biological weapons and collecting taxes for a war that doesn’t exist. Auryn’s role in the entire mirage leads him to drastic choices, but unexpected news halts his plans. Seven-year-old Keita Kaneko, the son of a former lover, is captured by the emperor’s special forces. Auryn secretly intervenes and spares Keita from execution.

Keita changes everything. Instead of feeling helpless and oppressed by a self-proclaimed living god, Auryn works to expose the emperor as a fraud. But he knows exactly will happen if he’s discovered, and the extent of Emperor Haken’s lies is worse than anticipated. If Auryn expects anyone to believe the truth, he’s going to need proof. And a lot of help.


A Broken Winter
Kale Night © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Freezing to death took longer than expected. Auryn hadn’t moved in over an hour, lying in the snow, staring up at the stars. His toes burned and his bare fingers prickled painfully, flushed red from the cold. He’d considered a variety of other options, including shooting himself in the head, but feared screwing up and adding a traumatic brain injury to his list of grievances. He thought about hanging himself from a peach tree in Building A, but the fruit was being harvested and there were too many people around, even at night.

Forced to decide quickly, he hopped in a snowcrawler and sped off. He could’ve kept going, travelling beyond the oxygenated zone, opting for death by hypoxia, but he pulled over and picked a final resting place.

The radio in his earpiece crackled. The Special Activities Division were getting closer. It wouldn’t be long before they reached their target, terrorist Reisen Kaneko. Auryn hadn’t seen Reisen in over a decade, but his fondness for the man remained intact, uneroded by the passage of time. He’d hoped they’d be reunited one day, despite how impossible it was. No chance of that now. Abandoning his delusions meant being left with nothing, crippled under the weight of reality and longing for oblivion.

Countless stars illuminated the sky, radiant mothers to other worlds, a painful reminder of their own orphaned condition. His Holiness Emperor Haken swallowed planet Ankari’s sun centuries ago—punishment for widespread civil disobedience, or so the story went. While Emperor Haken’s fire-swallowing abilities were never questioned, it was whispered he may have simply taken credit for a dying sun’s disappearance. This explanation made sense to Auryn, but Reisen loved tearing it apart.

“A sun like ours doesn’t die the way most people expect it to. It burns bigger and brighter, swelling like an infected gash, incinerating planets nurtured from their inception. The final act of a deranged mother. Ankari is close enough to the sun that we’d all be burned alive instead of freezing our asses off.

“If the sun did disappear, it wasn’t due to natural causes.”

The radio blared with activity. Target location reached.

This was it. If he had any sense, he’d turn the radio off, but he needed to be sure someone hadn’t made a mistake.

Entrance is clear. Living room clear. Kitchen clear.

His heart pounded, chest constricting painfully.

Door’s locked. We’re going to break it down.

It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

There’s someone in the bed.

Auryn closed his eyes, inhaling deeply. The cold air choked him, scratching his throat and lungs like tiny, frozen thorns.

It’s a fucking kid. We do not have Kaneko. Repeat. We do not have Kaneko.

He struggled into a seated position, limbs stiff and heavy.

Kid says he’s Kaneko’s son. We’re bringing him in for questioning.

He pulled his hat and gloves back on, skin on fire. Reisen’s son would be sent to the capital and interrogated, treated not like a human being, but as an opportunity for promotion.

Auryn extracted himself from the snowbank he’d intended to be his tomb. He knew where they’d send the boy when they were done with him. Exhibiting the motor skills of a two-year-old, he climbed into his snowcrawler and turned the machine around, heading back to the Farm.


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Meet the Author

Kale currently resides outside a small town in northern Alberta, where she works in a library. She’s an avid reader with an English degree from the University of Calgary. In her spare time Kale loves playing video games, making chain maille, watching anime, and cultivating a steadily expanding bonsai collection.

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Review: Tough Guy (Game Changers #3) by Rachel Reid

They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

Honestly, I intended to wait to read this until closer to its release but I am currently muddled in a reading desert complete with tumbleweeds and the occasional snake so... I needed a slam dunk.

AND that's what Reid delivered in the third of the Game Changers series which, by the way, was completely different in tone to its predecessors. I found myself impressed with Reid's range and ability to straddle the line between sweet and meaty. Let it be known, I'm not averse to closeted characters and Ryan is in no way wearing Pride boxers in the locker room but it was a nice change of pace to have a hockey player who doesn't morph into a closet monster at the drop of a hat.

"You're a giant, orange teddy bear with deep pockets!"

Tough Guy features a ginger gentle giant that will pull on the heartstrings of even the most callous of readers. Ryan struggles with anxiety and body image issues both of which run deep. My heart broke for him more than once and I appreciated that the magic peen panacea wasn't trotted out. All his life he's found it difficult to connect with people both personally and professionally which has landed him on the trading block multiple times.

Was it possible for your heart to hold on to a ridiculous crush for thirteen years?

Which is how he lands in Toronto and with a little help from the serendipity gods has a chance run in with his high school crush, Fabian, or should I say a second chance run in? Full disclosure, I'm kind of a sucker for the unrequited love being requited trope especially when both parties were moony over each other.

"There's always been something about you. I've always been drawn to you. Is that weird?"
Ryan considered it. "I don't know. But I feel the same way." 

Fabian is Ryan's polar opposite: femme, confident, extroverted and loves the spotlight. He's an emerging local singer/songwriter who at one point was chosen for the Toronto Symphony. In short, super talented, super adorable, gives zero fucks what anyone thinks of him and, needless to say, has to carry the bulk of the lets get reacquainted portion of the relationship early on for obvious reasons. The scales do balance with Ryan treating Fabian like he's the center of the universe and Fabian's almost preternatural ability to temper Ryan's mental health issues which is a must for me as a romance reader with a squishy marshmallow center.

The relationship evolves realistically and Ryan's angst was offset by Fabian's easy-breeziness coupled with their obvious chemistry. However, while they are enamored of each other Tough Guy is considerably less sexy than the other books in the series. It's more of a quiet sexiness with one BAJANGAJANG scene that was worthy of a reread. For science. Which proved my hypothesis that jazz hands and some primal... vocalizations really enhance the experience. True story.

Also, Tough Guy's secondary characters were on point! All of them. They were fantastic and fun including a certain Russian who makes a couple of appearances which you know I was 100% on board with. #1-FAN

If you're a fan of the series, sports romance, opposites attract, second chances or someone who can appreciate a significant size difference in their reads then give Tough Guy a whirl. I, for one, am hoping these two turn up again as the series continues.

p.s. It can probably be read as a standalone, though I would never recommend that. Because Ilya.

p.p.s. Sorry. I talked a lot about a Rachel Reid book. Again.

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Hearts of Magic (Chevalier #3) by Kay Doherty

Hearts of Magic (Chevalier #3) is out from NineStar Press! Join author Kay Doherty and IndiGo Marketing in today's blitz for the paranormal romance and enter in the $10 NSP credit giveaway!

Title: Hearts of Magic
Series: Chevalier, Book Three
Author: Kay Doherty
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 25, 2019
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 40100
Genre: Paranormal, LGBT, gay, asexual, sorcerer, multi-species shifters, pack dynamics, feud, wolf shifters, dragon shifters, bonded mates, Elementals, businessmen, vampires

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A moment of quiet was all Theran was looking for. He was not looking to be nearly decimated when he stumbled across a sorcerer near the pack’s hunting grounds. He’s certainly not looking for his mate when the pack congregates at Elysium for a meeting, but that’s exactly what Theran finds when he runs into the sorcerer a second time.

Colby has been the bartender at Elysium for a year, and he’s been relatively happy. He hides his paranormal identity well, flirting for tips while using sarcasm to keep others away. When he first saw the wolf in the forest, he was stunned. Learning the wolf he’s been dreaming about is real is only compounded by learning the wolf is his mate.

With the Sorcerer’s Enclave now interested in the Chevalier Pack, Colby attempts to protect Theran by kidnapping him, which only results in a deeper involvement with the pack. Despite managing the Enclave, dealing with increasing threats from the McBane Pack, and forging new alliances, Theran and Colby are determined to find their happy ever after.


Hearts of Magic
Kay Doherty © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

Theran watched as the sorcerer flexed his fingers and twisted his wrists. His fingertips turned black, tendrils of darkness snaking up his arm in a sinister web as he focused all his magic into his hands. When he opened his eyes to focus on Theran, the orbs were solid black. The color bled through the man’s long brown hair in streaks. Theran had never met a sorcerer, let alone seen one in action. He had hoped to never witness a sorcerer’s power firsthand, but here he was, facing off with one. For the sorcerer, the timing was impeccable. For Theran, it couldn’t have been worse.

He’d been caught away from the pack. Theran had decided on a walk along the riverbank, enjoying the temperate weather, lost in thought and unaware of how far he’d wandered. When he turned to head back to the rest of the pack, he saw a man standing behind him. The man was young and handsome. Dark hair hung down his back in soft waves, and intelligent caramel-colored eyes had taken in every inch of Theran in a warm caress before going cold. A tiny bell of alarm had rung in the back of Theran’s mind, but he’d ignored the warning. It wasn’t unusual to run into humans in the forest, albeit a joyfully rare occurrence. He’d thought this man was human at first glance.

Now, as Theran watched the sorcerer gather his power for an attack, that small bell of alarm became a blaring howl of fear inside his head. He struggled to wrap his mind around the fact someone so small and gorgeous could become something so terrifying in a matter of seconds. A gray mist formed in the sorcerer’s palms, and Theran took a step back. The mist coalesced to become dark swirling clouds of magic, holding Theran’s attention as he crouched lower to the ground. The sorcerer widened his stance, and Theran’s eyes shot to the man’s face.

“Don’t—” Theran yelled and then shifted.

The transformation destroyed the clothing he’d been wearing and pulled on still-aching bones, but he couldn’t be concerned with that right now. He lunged at the sorcerer in hopes of catching him off guard before he could make those clouds do whatever horribly painful thing they were meant to do. Theran’s bulk collided with the sorcerer’s shoulder, knocking him off-balance and sending those clouds of magic into a nearby tree rather than Theran’s body. The spell nearly cut the tree in half, trunk splintering in all directions.

Theran had intended the hit to knock the smaller man to the ground, but in one fluid motion, the sorcerer spun into a crouch and stopped his momentum with both hands on the ground. He flipped his hair over his shoulder with a toss of his head and once again leveled his coal-black gaze onto Theran. If anyone asked him what he witnessed in that split second, he’d be hard-pressed to explain, the change was so swift. The sorcerer looked at Theran in confusion, and between one blink and the next, his eyes returned to their original caramel color before becoming oily black again. The slight interruption in magic rippled over the sorcerer’s body like the aura from a heat wave. In that brief moment, Theran made a run for it.

The rest of the pack was downriver about a half mile, but in wolf form, he’d be able to close the distance swiftly, though not without some pain. Theran still felt the effects of being slammed into a tree by a vampire a couple of weeks ago—generally when exerting himself excessively. Despite the discomfort, he didn’t slow his pace or look back to see if the sorcerer followed. He didn’t know if magic would allow the man to catch up to him, but Theran truly hoped he could outrun anything the sorcerer might throw his way. He was intelligent enough to know he didn’t stand a chance against a sorcerer alone, but there was strength in numbers. And when Tanner felt the need, the pack became a force to be reckoned with in its own right.

Laughter and conversation could faintly be heard over the thundering of his heart, and he skidded to a halt in the dirt and gravel lining the riverbank. This particular stand of rocks had become the pack’s unofficial gathering point for hunts or simply enjoying the outdoors while meeting. Theran’s sudden and frenzied entrance drew everyone’s attention. Once his momentum ceased, he shifted. When seeking solitude, all the pack members would block the bond so no one else could intrude on his alone time. It hadn’t occurred to Theran in those few short moments, while confronting the sorcerer, to drop the block. None of his pack members knew yet what he’d encountered; what could be coming for them if the sorcerer followed him. Theran rolled his neck and shoulders in an attempt to release some of the tension as he faced Tanner.

“Just got attacked by a sorcerer,” he said between gulping breaths. His heart beat hard and fast, and not solely because of his run for safety. Something else tickled at his subconscious, making him uncomfortable. The sorcerer had looked vaguely familiar, but Theran couldn’t place where he might have seen him before.

“Only one?” Luca asked from his perch on top of the rocks. “That’s unusual.”

“Is it?” Theran asked.

Deacon’s nod drew his attention. Theran took one slow, deep breath in an attempt to bring his heart and lungs back to a normal rhythm.

“Sorcerers don’t typically attack alone. They move in droves,” Deacon said. Ross rubbed up against his mate’s thigh in wolf form. Deacon lovingly smoothed his palm over Ross’s dirty white head and ears. He must have been rolling in the dirt.

Theran shrugged. “Maybe because I was alone? He thought he had the upper hand?”

“No,” Luca said. He rose to his feet and sniffed the air. “More likely he was a scout you stumbled upon, which is concerning. The Enclave hasn’t had a known presence here in over fifty years.”

“Scout or not, just one? Doesn’t make sense,” Deacon said. “One sorcerer might be a match for an ordinary pack of wolves, but this pack? Hell, the wolves aside, you or I alone could annihilate him.”

“Yet, one sorcerer is lethal to a vampire.”

Sakima appeared beside Luca on the rocks. The entire pack twitched in surprise, except for Vance who chuckled. Sakima and Vance had mated, but Sakima had yet to bond with the rest of the pack, so Vance was the only one who always knew where the vampire was. The pair certainly seemed to enjoy the vampire sneaking up on everyone. They all turned annoyed glares on Sakima, who offered only a fanged smile in response. As Sakima’s words sank in, Vance’s smile disappeared.

“You said lethal?” Vance asked, his amusement changing to distress.

Sakima gazed down at his wolf mate with affection. “Yes, lethal. Their magic, when inhaled by a vampire, attaches to the mutated DNA that makes us what we are and destroys it. The result is death.” Vance’s face lost all color. Within the blink of an eye, Sakima appeared at his side. Vance held on to his mate with a fierce grip while Sakima kissed his temple. “Shh, my pet. I will take precautions.”

The wolves instinctively drew closer together in support and protection of their Omega.

“How does one inhale magic?” Tanner asked Sakima.

“They make clouds of it,” Theran, remembering the misty stuff the sorcerer had conjured, answered before Sakima.

“Clouds?” Tanner, Ean, and Vance asked at once.

“Yes. He did this—” Theran mimicked the hand motions he’d seen the sorcerer make. “—and made clouds in his palms. He threw them at me but hit a tree instead. Blew it apart.”

“Great,” Ean said. “Exploding clouds of poisonous magic. Just what we need.”

Ean picked up a rock near his feet and launched it across the river. His moods had grown increasingly dark over the past months, and he was quick to anger. By all appearances, Ean’s decline had started when Matthias showed up at the pack house and only grew worse the longer the centuries-old dragon stuck around. The two were at each other’s throats when they chose to speak to one another at all.

“Everyone back to the house. We need to be someplace defensible while we regroup, and the human neighbors will keep all paranormals on a level field. Luca, Sakima, Deacon, and I will meet with Matthias to figure out the best plan of action with this new development,” Tanner said.

A blur of motion drew Theran’s attention to where Sakima and Vance had been standing, but he only saw empty space. The vampire had a habit of whisking Vance away without notice. The rest of the pack began the hike up the trailhead to where the vehicles were parked. Luca held Tanner’s hand as they walked side by side up the hill. Deacon fisted the white scruff of Ross’s neck as he led him up the trail behind Tanner, leaving Theran and Ean to bring up the rear.

Ean took his time approaching Theran, heralding his reluctance to return to the house. He’d confessed to Theran once that he was uncomfortable in the pack house, which was the exact opposite of how it should be. Theran felt his friend’s discomfort as if it were his own, but he had no idea what to do about it, especially when he didn’t know exactly what caused it. He took comfort in the fact Ean at least hadn’t talked about leaving the pack. He’d become Tanner’s Beta recently and was flourishing in his role. Ean was a natural leader and, in any other pack, may have one day become Alpha.

“You should shift,” Ean said as he finally joined Theran, and they started up the trail together. “Don’t want to shock the little old lady across the street with your lily-white ass.”

“You mean old lady McKinzey?” Theran scoffed. “She’s more likely to snap a picture or cop a feel than be shocked.”

Ean gave a slight smile at Theran’s exaggerated shudder. He continued up the hill as Theran stopped to shift and then ran to catch up to his pack mate.


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Meet the Author

Kay Doherty is an omnisexual/polysexual who lives in Colorado with her poly-family, Mike, Keri, and Tigz. Her house is overrun with cats and dogs. Family is important to her so there are daily texts, frequent visits to her parents, and constant banter with her brothers. She happily suffers a severe addiction to coffee and Mexican food. She loves to read and write and can easily become consumed by it for hours, much to the dismay of Mike and Keri (Tigz is an enabler). On occasion she can be convinced to venture out into the world of the living despite being annoyed by the sun shining in her face.

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