Audiobook Review: Vespertine by Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn

Can a priest and a rock star obey love's call?

Seventeen years ago, Jasper Hendricks and Nicholas Blumfeld's childhood friendship turned into a secret, blissful love affair. They spent several idyllic months together until Jasper's calling to the Catholic priesthood became impossible to ignore. Left floundering, Nicky followed his own trajectory into rock stardom, but he never stopped looking back.

Today, Jasper pushes boundaries as an out, gay priest, working hard to help vulnerable LGBTQ youth. He's determined to bring change to the church and the world. Respected, admired, and settled in his skin, Jasper has long ignored his loneliness.

As Nico Blue, guitarist and songwriter for the band Vespertine, Nicky owns the hearts of millions. He and his bandmates have toured the world, lighting their fans on fire with their music. Numbed by drugs and fueled by simmering anger, Nicky feels completely alone. When Vespertine is forced to get sober, Nicky returns home to where it all started.

Jasper and Nicky's careers have ruled their lives since they parted as teens. When they come face to face again, they must choose between the past's lingering ghosts or the promise of a new future.

Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo
Listening Length: 14 hours and 18 minutes

Reviewer: Annery

Me reviewing a Leta Blake book narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo is like asking a chocoholic to work at Jacques Torres: unfair and a foregone conclusion. I’m doing it anyway. Gladly.

The technical part, the audio, lives up to what we’ve come to expect from Michael Ferraiuolo, which is something close to perfection. As usual he delivers a nuanced performance giving each character a distinct voice imbued with warmth, and emotion. Miracle of miracles, he’s also one of the few male narrators who can do women without making them sound like cartoon characters, bad Drag Queens, or Miss Adelaide from Guys & Dolls. He’s the guy who’ll make you want more after fourteen-hours plus of having your heart in a vice-grip. The only danger will be inappropriate reactions if you’re listening in public, goofy smile or eyes welling up, and that’s down to a beautifully told story.

At 34 y.o., Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Blumfeld aka Nico Blue is the lead guitarist and principal songwriter for Vespertine, a band that’s been coasting on the success of their early material, and whose members, including Nicky, are drowning in drugs of every stripe. In a last ditch effort to get sober, save his life, and his career Nicky heads home to Little Heights, a coastal town in Maine. Waiting for him are memories of happier times, his adoring parents, and the first and only boy he ever loved, Jasper ‘Jazz’ Hendricks. Father Hendricks to the laity. Yup. Nicky was thrown over for God. But it’s more complicated than that. Isn’t it always?

Leta Blake & Indra Vaughn have accomplished something quite remarkable, at least for me. Firstly, I'm not super keen on rock-star stories, they always have that whiff of poor-little-rich-boy which can go either way, and not many authors get the balance right. Secondly, I’d be an atheist if it weren’t too presumptuous to be certain of anything, and the same goes for belief in any God. Either one is too much work. What I’m trying to say is that, on paper, the set-up of this story, rock-star & priest, is a tall order for me but the authors pulled it off without a false note or stridency. In essence, this is a second chance romance between two people who met as children, discovered their sexuality as teenagers, were separated by circumstance, and now getting another opportunity at happiness. It just so happens that their adult selves are on opposite sides of the social spectrum.

The beauty is that Nicky and Jazz are real people outside of their archetypes. Given Nicky’s history, and his chosen lifestyle it’s plausible to see how he ended up an addict and you’re pulling for him every step of the way on his road to sobriety. I really like how the authors don’t make light of the process and respectfully treat it like the disease it is, never going for the mind-over-matter angle or the higher-power cop out, which one would almost expect when the other MCs is a true believer, a priest no less. Of course, the difference here is that the priest in question is Jazz, a man who truly embodies Christian teachings in his every thought and behavior, which extends to providing a safe harbor to LGBTQ at risk youth, even when that means being at odds with the upper hierarchy of the church or his family. The authors don’t play fast and loose with his faith, the choices he makes are the result of thoughtful deliberation.

The religious aspect is another part of the story that the authors get right, the fact that religions are, like the governments of countries (Vatican is literally a Principality), who don’t always represent their constituents. By this I mean that, for the most part, the people on the ground, of which Jazz is one, are sincerely striving to embody the teachings of their particular religion, which all, and in broad strokes, speak of love & charity to your neighbor, while the higher ups are, in most cases, doing the exact opposite. This is a long winded way of saying that Jazz is an upright man of God in the purest sense. He sincerely cares for his fellows, is willing to fight for them, but isn’t pedantic enough to want to impose his worldview on others.

I liked the pace at which Nicky & Jazz’s reconnecting happens. There have hurt feelings, they were seventeen when their lives went in separate directions, and wildly different life experiences, but their bone deep connection hasn’t faltered. And it won’t.

These two were made for each other and it’s palpable on the page. The buildup from Nicky’s resentment, to cautious reacquaintance, to Jazz placing his two loves in the balance is wonderfully done, without titillation or prurience. I was wholly convinced and Michael Ferraiuolo tipped me into the fanatics camp. By the end, I was praying on my impious knees for Nicky & Jazz’s HEA.

If you need an extra push the story is peopled with other great characters like Miriam and Adrian, Nicky’s parents, Ramona, the kids at Blue Oasis, and Dizzy, the best cat ever.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Someone to Hold Me (The Gods Made Me Do It #6) by Lisa Oliver

Join author Lisa Oliver and Other Worlds Ink on today's blog tour visit for Someone to Hold Me (The Gods Made Me Do It #6)! Find out more about the latest paranormal romance and enter in the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Someone to Hold Me

Lisa Oliver has a new MM paranormal shifter romance out, book six in the The Gods Made Me Do It series: "Someone to Hold Me."

Hades, Lord of the Underworld, has spent years searching the world for his Fated Mate. He's watched his brother and nephews find their "light" and yet he can't find his. On the verge of giving up hope, Hades attends his brother Poseidon's wedding; so outside his comfort zone, but his discomfort proves worth it. Because there, at the reception, he finally sees his light.

It wasn't that Ali was uncomfortable around wolves - he'd been a good friend of Claude's for years. But when one of the wolves at Claude's and Poseidon's wedding gets verbally pushy, he feels he has no choice but to shift and find the alpha. What he doesn't expect is to find a beautiful man with soulful eyes, holding out his hand.

After all Ali and Hades have been through in their lives, you'd think the Fates would be kind to them. But between Cerberus's howling, Persephone's snarking, and Ali's family proving there is more to them than their blatant wealth, Ali and Hades have their hands full creating a life with each other. But maybe, just maybe, the Mother has a gift for them after all.

This is an MM paranormal true mates story intended for adults only. This book can be read as a stand-alone. Mpreg elements (Not the MCs, or the focus of the story)

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Someone to Hold Me

Cupping his hand carefully, Claude reached around his neck. Sitting on his palm was the cutest little chipmunk Hades had ever seen. He had pale gold fur, mixed with almost white on his belly and paws, and his face had two black streaks that ran from his sharp little eyes to the edge of his pointed ears. And he was pissed off. Sitting upright on his back legs, the little fellow jabbed his wee front legs around as though he was boxing, chattering nineteen to the dozen. Hades doubted anyone could understand what was being said, but they could understand the tone and it was all directed at the hapless Bart.

“Well, would you look at that,” Sei grinned reaching out a finger as it he wanted to touch. “Ali has to be the cutest little shifter I’ve ever seen.”

“Put your finger away,” Hades muttered quietly, more to himself than anyone else. “You touch him, and I’ll strip the skin from your fingers.”

But obviously he wasn’t quiet enough. “Brother?” Sei looked shocked and then a huge smile spread across his face. “You see the light at last?” Claude and the other wolves who’d all stood around wanting to be nosy, looked between them as if not sure what was going on.

Hades only had eyes for his cute little mate, who had stopped chattering and was now twitching his nose madly in Hades direction. “I’m not the greatest catch,” he said quietly, catching the little creature’s eyes, “but I’ll spend eternity doing my best to make you happy if you’ll let me.” He slowly held out his hand and waited.

Time stood still. Hades wasn’t even sure if his heart was beating anymore. The little chipmunk dropped down on all fours, looking over his shoulder at Claude who smiled, then at Bart who growled, and then back at Hades. Twitching his tail madly, he took a flying leap, landing directly on Hades’ palm. Hades quickly moved his other hand to cradle him. He didn’t want his little mate to fall off and hurt himself. But Ali showed no signs of falling. Looking up at Hades he pointed one of his front paws at Bart and started his angry chittering again.

“I know, I know. I completely understand.” Hades said, nodding, keeping an eye on the angry shifter. “This guy has upset you and he deserves to pay. I totally agree.”

“Er, bro,” Sei cast a worried look in Claude’s direction. “The wolves get upset when us godly beings interfere in pack affairs.”

“Ali’s not pack.” Hades called on his power. A voice screamed in the back of his head that this was not the right place, that he could lose his mate if the wee guy couldn’t handle who he was, but Hades wasn’t about to shirk his duty to his precious mate on the very first day. “Do you know who I am?”

The world looked different from his new perspective. In his god form, Hades’ head almost touched the ceiling – the wolves below him not even half his size. His power cloaked the room – dark, dangerous – there was not a being in existence who didn’t immediately recognize how menacing he could be, even if they didn’t know who he was.

Only Ali appeared unaffected. The tiny chipmunk looked even smaller in his huge hand, but the guy didn’t seem worried, rubbing his cheek against Hades’ thumb which Hades found rather soothing.

“I’ll say again,” Hades’ voice bellowed around the room. “Do you know who I am and who’s mate you’ve had the audacity to upset?”

“Oh, my gods,” Bart fell to his knees, blathering. “I’ve done it now. My sexy shaft is going to be the death of me. That’s who you are, isn’t it? You’re Death and you’ve come to take me away and fuck, I’m still hard. I can’t die before I orgasm, that’s just not fair.”

“Actually,” Thanatos pushed through the crowds, his mate tucked in by his side, “I’m Death and I’m not taking you today, although your god reference was highly accurate.” He looked up at Hades and winked. “The man is a simpleton, Lord; I can see his soul. He is one of the classic examples of a man being led around by his dick, but I don’t believe he meant any permanent harm to your mate.”

Hades’ heart almost stopped when Ali leaned over his finger, chittering madly at Thanatos. Tilting his head to one side, Thanatos listened and then nodded. “You are quite right, little one, that anger of his is a grave concern. Any of the Doms here know they have to respect the laws of consent. I’m sure Claude has a suitable punishment for him, though, don’t you think? You really don’t want trash like this cluttering up the Underworld.”

Ali chittered a bit more and Thanatos laughed. Hades wished he had the power to understand all languages but only Death himself had been granted that power. “You’re probably right about that too, little one. But the Fates get upset when someone takes a life unnecessarily and this man isn’t bad, he’s just misguided. I’m sure he’s going to apologize, isn’t he?” He looked back at Bart who was watching, his mouth slack.

“Apologize,” Claude growled, stepping forward when Bart stayed silent, his fist raised. “You’ve upset two gods today and Death himself, not to mention my really good friend. Say you’re sorry, or I’ll castrate you and then we won’t have to worry about your dick leading you astray again.”

“Not my dick, not my dick.” Bart doubled over, clutching the body part in question. “I’m sorry. I’ll listen. I’ll take whatever punishment you give me, but don’t kill me, please don’t kill me.”

“It seems your presence has rendered him more useless than usual,” Sei sighed, digging Hades in the thigh with his elbow. “Why don’t you take your new mate somewhere special and get to know him. You have my word Bart won’t bother you or your mate again.”

Slowly moving his arm, Hades bought his hand up to his face. His sweet little chipmunk showed no fear – even reaching out for him with his cute front paws. “Are you ready to leave?” He asked keeping his voice as low as possible which wasn’t easy in this form. Ali’s excited bobbing of his head meant his fur brushed across Hades’ cheek sending tingles throughout his whole body. Closing his eyes, Hades enjoyed the sensation for just a moment, before translocating them to his favorite earthly home. No matter how accepting Ali was proving to be, he wasn’t about to subject his mate to the cold hardness of the Underworld until he absolutely had to.

Author Bio

Lisa Oliver had been writing non-fiction books for years when visions of half dressed, buff men started invading her dreams. Unable to resist the lure of her stories, Lisa decided to switch to fiction books, and now stories about her men clamor to get out from under her fingertips.

When Lisa is not writing, she is usually reading with a cup of tea always at hand. Her grown children and grandchildren sometimes try and pry her away from the computer and have found that the best way to do it, is to promise her chocolate. Lisa will do anything for chocolate.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers and other writers. You can friend her on Facebook (, catch up on what’s happening at her blog ( or email her directly at




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Guest Review: Heart2Heart: A Charity Anthology (Volume 3) by Various Authors

Once upon a time, a group of authors wondered… What if the Heart2Heart app -- the dating app with a glitch that matched up the oddest, most perfect couples, and sponsored the charity date raffles that helped dozens of people find love -- offered a classifieds section, too?

Need a handyman who knows how to wear a tool belt? Have a closet of drag costumes that needs a new home? How about finally tracking down that guy who made the perfect drink, or who’s just the right height to reach the top shelf?

Join some of your favorite authors of gay romance as they bring you sixteen brand-new stories inspired by reader suggestions!

Once again, all proceeds from this collection will go to the authors’ favorite LGBTQ charities, to ensure that love in all its forms will be celebrated and protected every single day of the year!

Featuring stories from Annabeth Albert, Damon Suede, Piper Scott, Aimee Nicole Walker, Hailey Turner, Layla Reyne, Nora Phoenix, K.M. Neuhold, Lucy Lennox, Eden Finley, Lily Morton, Susan Hawke, Sloane Kennedy, Mary Calmes, May Archer, and Charlie Cochet

Reviewer: Shee Reader

The Heart2Heart Anthology is always a super read and this third volume is just as good as the previous two.

Once again, it’s a lovely mixture of stories by my well loved favourite authors, with a few less well known ones too.

Each story is centred on a different couple, but they are all linked using the Heart2Heart app, we heard different men each finding their happy ever after. I loved the idea that the app had gone haywire as the man who should have been ironing out glitches right before the launch, was busy getting his HEA and left the office at the worst possible time.

The unlikely matches were all true love (of course) and the stories were each a quick dip but overall the whole thing was so satisfying!

Highly recommended!

I received a free copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour: Unexpected (Inked #3) by K.M. Neuhold

Author K.M. Neuhold and Vibrant Promotions visit on the Unexpected (Inked #3) blog tour today! Learn more about the latest in the series today!

Unexpected Tour Banner
Inked Series, Book 3
KM Neuhold
M/M Menage Romance
Release Date: 12.26.19

Kyle needed a place to stay, he never thought it would turn into so much more.

So, your gorgeous boss, Maverick, and his yummy husband, Ari, are letting you stay with them while you get back on your feet? Here are a few simple tips:

Don’t call his husband Daddy. I know it’ll be difficult, but seriously, don’t.

Don’t leave a pair of red, lacy panties in their bed.

If you hear interesting noises from their bedroom in the middle of the night, don’t peek in. Don’t.

And most importantly, don’t fall in love.

Follow these tips and everything should go as expected.

**This book is the third book in the Inked series, which is a spin-off of the Heathens Ink series, but it CAN be read as a stand-alone. Unexpected is a super sweet, steamy MMM story with low angst and very light Daddy kink.

Unexpected Teaser 2Unexpected Teaser 6

Ari ripped into me, and I don’t blame him. If anything, I think he went too easy on me and forgave me too quickly. If I hadn’t forgotten my laptop in my office, would I have ever known Kyle was sleeping there? He said he wasn’t planning to stay long, so what was his plan? Sleeping in his car? Going to a homeless shelter? Sleeping on the street?

Bile rises in my throat, my appetite completely gone.

Ari is telling Kyle about his many jobs, and I take a second to look at the kid. I’ve never seen him without makeup on. He looks like a completely different person. He’s still beautiful, but in a more understated kind of way. You might look past him on the street, and what a tragedy that would be.

I shake off the thought. I made him homeless, and now I’m checking him out. I think that earns me a first class ticket on the trip to hell I’ve already been booked for.

I push the food around on my plate until the two of them are finished eating, then I gather all the dishes.

“You don’t have to clean up after me,” Kyle argues as I pick up his silverware to take to the sink to wash.

“Consider it part of my penance,” I answer dryly.

“You don’t need any penance. I told you it’s fine.”

I don’t bother to respond, because I think all three of us know it’s far from fine.

In spite of my insistence that I can take care of everything, Ari wipes down the counters and puts away the dishes once they’re washed and dried while Kyle slides onto the floor and sits cross-legged petting Piglet. He looks so young sitting on the floor with the dog in his lap, his face clean and a hint of red under his eyes that suggests he cried recently.

My chest aches at the sight—with guilt and something else I can’t put my finger on. Ari’s lips pressing against my shoulder startles me, and I turn my head to give my husband an apologetic smile. He raises his eyebrows at me in an unspoken question that I can’t quite decipher. Is he wondering what I’m thinking? Why I haven’t told him more about Kyle? If I was checking out Kyle? I’m not sure I have a good answer for any of those things.

KM Neuhold Logo__
Author K.M. Neuhold is a complete romance junkie, a total sap in every way. She started her journey as an author in new adult, MF romance, but after a chance reading of an MM book she was completely hooked on everything about lovely- and sometimes damaged- men finding their Happily Ever After together. She has a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well. And she fully admits that her OCD tendencies of making sure every side character has a full backstory will likely always lead to every book having a spin-off or series. When she's not writing she's a lion tamer, an astronaut, and a superhero...just kidding, she's likely watching Netflix and snuggling with her husky while her amazing husband brings her coffee.


Blog Tour: Love Has No Direction (Love Can't #3) by Kim Fielding

Could you make it living on a bus? That is the burning question author Kim Fielding wants to know. Find out more about the latest in the Love Can't series & leave a comment on the bus question too.

Hi! Kim Fielding here to celebrate the release of Love Has No Direction, my 26th novel!

One of the protagonists in this book, Wes Anker, lives in a converted school bus. That aspect of the story was inspired by some acquaintances who had to vacate their house for several months due to repair of structural issues. They found a school bus, parked it on the property, and set it up as very comfortable and cozy living quarters. Although the bus had electricity, it didn’t have water or plumbing, so they rigged up a bathroom and outdoor kitchen—the latter covered by an awning—right next to the bus. This was all in southern Oregon, where the weather is generally warm enough to make some degree of outdoor living possible.

Wes is perfectly content with his setup, which he’s maintained for years, and when he meets Parker Levin, Parker finds it charming. My real-life acquaintances, on the other hand, were happy to move back into their more traditional house. They still have the bus and its accessories, however, which I believe they let guests borrow.

Personally, I love seeing the very clever ways people have converted buses, vans, RVs, and similar vehicles into homes. Along the same vein, I think it’s really fun to look at tiny houses. They’re so cute! And I like the way they work to simplify the owner’s life.

But I don’t know if I could live in any of these places for very long. My house is big—over 3000 square feet—and my family has filled it pretty full. Just my book collection alone overflows shelves in nearly every room. Yes, I know a Kindle takes up hardly any space at all, but I like print books too. It would be really hard for me to give them up. I also have quite a few beloved art pieces I’d want to hang somewhere. And then there are my boots! I can envision myself living in an adorable little cottage but needing to cheat by keeping a lot of stuff in storage nearby.

Do you have daydreams of moving into a converted bus or other tiny house? Or do you prefer lots of room to stretch out?



A Love Can't Novel
Yet another series of poor decisions lands Parker Levin back in his mother’s house, working at her coffee shop, and feeling like a failure. Then he learns his ex-boyfriend has died by suicide and things go from bad to worse. When he meets a handsome stranger, he doesn’t have much left to lose.

Ten years ago Wesley Anker made a grave mistake. Since then he’s lived in near isolation, supporting himself by making custom furniture and only rarely connecting with other people. When he attempts to make amends, he encounters Parker, a beautiful and colorful young man, and he agrees to Parker’s impulsive request to join him.

Together, Parker and Wes find quick friendship and fierce attraction. But Wes’s past demons haunt his footsteps, and Parker’s struggle to plan a future has him stumbling through life. Then they uncover evidence that suggests Parker’s ex’s death might not have been a straightforward suicide, and every path seems to lead to dead ends and destruction. Can Parker and Wes find their way to lasting love when the route is hidden?

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Author info:
Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning 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.
Having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls California home. She lives there with her family 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:
Instagram: @KFieldingWrites
Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Edge Of The World by Garrett Leigh

The Edge Of The World is out! Join author Garrett Leigh and Signal Boost Promotions in the celebration! Learn more about the new friends to lovers romance 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

Cover Design: Black Jazz Design

Length: 60,000 words approx.


Shay Maloney is living his dream—on tour with his pirate/folk-rock band. But you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’re from, and that’s where moody filmmaker and researcher Ollie Pietruska comes in.

The band’s management persuades Shay to let a television company film a documentary about his roots beyond his adoptive Irish family, and Ollie comes into his life knowing more about Shay than Shay’s ever known about himself.

But while Ollie holds the key to Shay’s past, he’s also hiding deep scars. Even as the hardships of the tour bring them closer, Ollie’s demons threaten the blossoming romance. They might both reach the breaking point before Ollie realises he’s been standing on the edge of the world for too long, and it’s Shay who holds the key to his future.

A friends-to-lovers, rock star, road-tripping romance, with a guaranteed happily-ever-after.

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer.

Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at, and co-owns the specialist stock site with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.




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Guest Review: Dilly and Boz by John Inman

It’s funny how love nails you when you least expect it.

Dilly Jones has pretty much given up on romance ever finding him. Boz Jenkins, his neighbor, is recently out of a bad relationship but has definitely noticed the cutie across the street. When Dilly drops a bag of donuts on the sidewalk, it sets a chain of events into motion. And suddenly both men’s hearts are lost.

But Boz’s ex is still hanging around, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get Boz back.With a brand-new romance gearing up to knock their socks off, the last thing Dilly and Boz expect is to get tangled up in a stranger’s murder. Or to find themselves fighting for their lives.

Just as they finally find happiness, their love for each other becomes the thing that threatens them the most.

Reviewer: Annery

Score another victory for the #blurbswhatblurbs camp. This was my first John Inman book, though I’ve had my eye on him for quite a while, and based on this read it won't be my last. I chose this book solely based on the cover, quite beautiful IMO, and the title that led me to believe it was a gentle romance, which in a way it is, but it’s also something deeper, and sometimes darker. Grittier.

Dilly and Boz is the story of two unremarkable people, the kind who are maybe side characters in other books, but never protagonists. Dilbert ‘Dilly’ Allan Jones is 5’ 6”, 25 y.o., skinny, klutzy, miopic, has almost pathological anxiety, and he works as the sole clerk at the Retro Record Shoppe. He’s as lonely & poor as a church mouse, having only his cat Grace for company, but yearns for even a spark of human contact. Bosley ‘Boz’ Maurice Jenkins 27, is not much more physically imposing than Dilly, and has a painful recent past, but he’s marginally better off because he’s got a stable job as a waiter, has his little dog Leon, and despite intense shyness, is willing to risk going after what he wants, which thankfully is Dilly. When these two get together it’s the beginning of a sweet, beautiful, and tender romance which makes you yearn to wrap them up in cotton wool and sprinkle fairy dust on their road to HEA. You never doubt the veracity of them as men falling in love, the scents, and tactility of their physical attraction is clearly, and to my utter delight, written from a male perspective. I loved it.

Supporting characters to the Boz & Dilly show are Leonard ‘Puffer’ Moran, Dilly’s octogenarian boss who’s rarely without a joint, and his equally, young-at-heart, girlfriend Estelle. They provide not only comic relief but a grounding in the real world, unencumbered by inhibitions or fears. I’d say they’re a sound mirror for Dilly & Boz to imagine themselves into a future of joy. So why wasn’t this a 5 star read for me? Read on.

The other prominent character is Bobby Mayfield. Outwardly he’s a poster boy for both gay & heterosexual paradigms of masculine male beauty: tall, stacked, and a former soldier. But currently he’s a methhead, with a violent, and sadistic streak who also happens to be Boz’s ex, and won’t accept that the relationship is over. While he plots, schemes, and threatens to get Boz back he snorts meth in massive quantities and has the unsexiest sex with Angel, an undocumented Guatemalan young man, who deludes himself into believing that there’s a future with Bobby. The author does a tremendous job depicting both of these characters and the downward spiral progression of their story, which is necessarily dark, but at some points I felt like it almost overwhelmed the romance part.

Though intricately woven, they form a sort of unhappy marriage. Boz & Dilly’s story is a refreshing and unexpectedly engaging romance between two ordinary guys with no billionaires, blinding beauties, (save for how the MCs see each other), or six-packs in sight. But the Bobby appearances shift it into suspense territory, and it just threw me off a bit. My other quibble is of the greedy variety. Dilly & Boz grew on me and I’d really like to know more about them. We know nothing of their families, where they came from, or where they’re going, and they seem to have no friends. It’s almost as if they just sprouted in situ. *shrug*

Regardless of my minimal complaints I’d recommend this as a nice change from the common MM romances currently in vogue, and I’ll absolutely be reading more from this author.

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Howling on Hold by E.J. Russell

Join author E.J. Russell & Riptide Publishing in celebrating the release of Howling On Hold. Find out more about this paranormal romance & leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway for a $25 Riptide credit!

About Howling on Hold

Sometimes it’s harder to teach a young dog new tricks.
That’s why werewolves embark on a Howling: a three-year rite of passage in which they’re sent to a group residence to wrestle with their wolfy instincts and assimilate into the Wider World. But Tanner Araya’s Howling is almost over, and he could be called back to his remote pack at any moment. His twenty-first birthday might be his last chance to act on his strongest instinct and finally kiss Chase Denney.
Chase is RA at the Howling residence affectionately dubbed “the Doghouse,” and he takes his job seriously. So seriously that when he realized he was developing feelings for a resident, he forced himself to keep Tanner at a distance. But now that Tanner’s twenty-one, he’s not Chase’s charge any longer. They could be friends or—if Chase is lucky—something more. At least until they both return to their home packs for good, as tradition demands.
It would take a miracle for them to get together—especially when the other Doghouse werewolves insist on “helping.”
Warning: Many Frisbees are harmed in this story, forgiveness is not always easier than permission, and the five-second rule does not apply.
About the Mythmatched Universe
Wait . . . Is that . . . No, it couldn’t be. Could it? A fae at the florist? A demon at the deli? A werewolf at the Y?
Humans will never know. They can’t know, or the lives of every supernatural creature on this world—or under it—would be at risk.
So the supes of every nation, culture, and pantheon joined together in uneasy alliance, vowing to keep their society secret in order to survive among humans.
But when you spend every moment hiding your true nature, how can you ever find true love?
About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.
E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.
Connect with E.J.:
To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $25 gift card to Riptide. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 17, 2020. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. For more chances to enter, follow the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info! 

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Breaking the Surface (The Outsider Project #2) by Rebecca Langham

Breaking the Surface (The Outsider Project #2) is out from NineStar Press! Join author Rebecca Langham and IndiGo Marketing in celebrating the release and enter in the $10 NSP credit giveaway!

Title: Breaking the Surface
Series: The Outsider Project, Book Two
Author: Rebecca Langham
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: January 13, 2020
Heat Level: 2 - Fade to Black Sex
Pairing: Female/Female
Length: 81300
Genre: Science Fiction, LGBT, captivity, interspecies, politics, Sci-fi, teacher, futuristic, lesbian, space

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Alessia is an Outsider—a member of the not-quite-human community that has recently been released from their underground prison. Shortly after their liberation, Alessia is given an ultimatum: obey all the United Earth Alliance’s demands, or her mother will forever remain a hostage—a mother she’d believed dead for fifteen years. Reluctantly, she agrees, though she has no idea what those demands may be or how she will balance her obligations to the UEA with her responsibilities to her people and her family.

As the UEA tightens its grip on humans and Outsiders alike, it becomes clear that meaningful social change will not be possible without a revolution. Alessia and her peers embark on a mission to discover just how far the government is willing to go to maintain their monopoly on power.

What Alessia and her comrades discover, however, goes much deeper than they’d ever anticipated. Who are the Outsiders, really? What secrets of their destiny lay hidden within a top-secret space station? And why are the Outsiders linked to an emerging disease the UEA seems desperate to keep secret? As they delve deeper, it isn’t only Alessia’s identity that will be called into question, but the fate of the entire planet.


Breaking the Surface
Rebecca Langham © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Lydia wanted so badly to pace, to burn away her fear one exaggerated step at a time, but there was nowhere to go, no floor space to haunt. The Camp had been a sanctuary for them all, keeping her friends safe from unwanted attention since they’d taken their first steps as free people, but now it suffocated her. It may have been off-the-grid, but the complex was also small. Too small.

Given the number of people in the control room, she had to settle for crossing her arms over her stomach and gritting her teeth. But even then, she couldn’t silence the dissenting voice in her head. Something wasn’t right. Why would the United Earth Alliance be demanding a meeting so forcefully?

The UEA had been quiet in the two weeks since the Outsiders relocated from the colonies, granting an eerie yet welcome period of radio silence. Now they’d not only made contact, but threatened legal action if Alessia and the Green Hats didn’t acquiesce to an immediate communication with one of the government’s top advisers.

Lydia’s stomach churned.

As though reading her thoughts, Alessia slid her hand into Lydia’s and squeezed her fingers. Lydia forced a weak smile as she turned. “I don’t trust them.”

Alessia’s face—which, more than ever, reminded Lydia of a finely carved alabaster statue— softened.

“Of course not,” she replied, her tone sympathetic yet firm. “But it may not be wise to ignore the request. This could be nothing more than an administrative issue and I don’t want to invite trouble, not so soon after the release.”

“I don’t think you can ignore it, Ly-dee.” Helen swivelled gently in an office chair, forearms resting on her thighs as she considered her daughter. After all those years without Helen’s presence, hearing that fruity voice still managed to surprise her from time to time. Lydia had believed her mother to be dead for years. Finding out she hadn’t died, but rather become a kind of political hacker, was unsettling to say the least.

Life had changed so much in the last nine months. Alessia did not remain trapped beneath the ground, and Helen had re-emerged from the void.

No longer living with her politician father, even Lydia had been partially freed from the web of her old insecurities and frustrations. Sometimes though, it seemed like those frustrations had dissolved only to be replaced by a whole slew of new concerns. It had been a lot to process.

Helen sighed, a little too dramatically. She reached for a cup of tea she’d left cooling on a nearby bench and cradled it between her hands. “We knew they’d get their claws back in sooner or later.”

“Two weeks,” Lydia huffed. “They only waited two weeks. Please can’t we refuse?” The frustration in her voice exposed Lydia’s raw emotional state in a way she wasn’t comfortable with. Until recently, she’d worked hard to present a subdued version of her thoughts to the outside world. With such a prominent father, she’d had to if she had any hope of protecting herself from those who sought to exploit her. Whether it be to splash her personal life about the goss-channels, or to pressure her to influence her father regarding some political issue or another, there had been no shortage of people trying to use Lydia. It had been a kind of self-preservation to surround herself in the dark veil she’d become enveloped in, making it harder for people to really see her. But then Alessia had burst into her life, a quiet yet powerful blaze of light.

Alessia and the other Outsiders had reached right into her and reawakened feelings and sensations she’d muted long ago.

“Is refusing a good idea?” Peleus looked up from where he sat cross-legged on the floor a couple of metres away from Helen. Peleus had been one of her earliest and most faithful followers and friends, embracing her efforts to slowly change culture in the colony by sharing positive stories and messages with the children. “They’re providing accommodations and integration assistance to the four thousand Os who’ve had their entire existence uprooted. Not taking their meeting might give the UEA reason to withdraw support.” As Alessia’s confidante, Peleus’s presence always lent a certain sense of thoughtful tranquillity to a situation.

Alessia pulled Lydia closer until their bodies pressed together, banishing the air between them and soothing Lydia’s nerves a little. They’d barely had time to catch their breath since Release Day. When they had finally pushed their way through the obscenely large crowd of onlookers in Thracia after the ceremony, they’d boarded an air-transport and come directly here to the Green Hat headquarters in Quadrant Four.

Affectionately known by its inhabitants as the Camp, the secure underground complex supported a community of approximately a hundred people. Every one of them had dedicated their lives to undermining the UEA’s ever-worsening abuses of its own laws.

The main control room at the Camp was capacious and circular, with curved desks and ergonomic chairs that hugged the wall. Each workstation offered a user access to the G-Hat virtual network, but to connect with the outside world, one had to utilise the cylindrical, glassy tower in the centre of the room. A reflective pillar when inactive, the hub featured a projector that sent holograms into the middle of the tower as required.

The hub worked much the same way as any Hive wall, but with some modifications helping to prevent hacks into the rest of their system. It was also perfect for situations in which more than one person needed to participate in a communication link. Lydia believed the entire setup was nothing short of spectacular. No doubt they’d been able to develop the untraceable consoles only because of whatever financial support the MacNay Corporation had been providing.

Still, Alessia and Lydia had traded one isolated abode for another. At least this one wasn’t full of protectors or tainted by decades of oppression. Greys had been replaced with blues, locked doors with open spaces, and obstacles with possibilities.

The dormitory was unfortunate, though. Each night, the enticing heat of Alessia’s body rejuvenated Lydia, yet they were acutely aware of the other people sleeping nearby, and so Lydia had accepted the fact they’d have no privacy for the foreseeable future.

In truth, she experienced relief and disappointment in equal measure. They’d only spent a few weeks getting to know one another in the Q4C, after a month of silent glances in crowded corridors. The six months of separation following Lydia’s departure had done little to quiet Lydia’s fears her connection to Alessia wasn’t as strong as she’d thought, that perhaps she’d imagined the whole thing given the immediacy of their attraction. Slowing things down, being with one another without expectation, could be the best way for Lydia to validate the tether between the two of them.

The rest of the refugees had been relocated to government-sponsored accommodations in the major cities of Thracia and New Sydney. Only Peleus and Fermi knew exactly where to find Alessia, and Lydia wanted it to stay that way for the moment, regardless of Alessia’s initial protestations.

The entire world knew Alessia’s face now, and there was no way to predict how she’d be received by the mainstream population or what her own people might expect from her as their de facto leader. Leader.

Lydia rested the side of her face against Alessia’s bicep. Her stomach clenched as she capitulated. “Peleus is right, isn’t he? We should hear them out.”

Alessia kissed the top of Lydia’s head, then nodded. “Yes.” She looked at Lydia’s mother. “Helen, I’m ready.”


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Don’t miss Book #1 in the The Outsider Project series, Beneath the Surface, available from NineStar Press

Meet the Author

Rebecca Langham lives in the Blue Mountains (Australia) with her partner, three children, and menagerie of pets. A Xenite, a Whovian and all-round general nerd, she’s a lover of science fiction, comic books, and caffeine. When she isn’t teaching History to high schoolers or wrangling children, Rebecca enjoys playing broomball and reading.

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