Review: Variable Onset by Layla Reyne

To catch a killer, a special agent and his former student will need to get close—to their target, and each other. Layla Reyne returns with a stand-alone romantic mystery.

When the serial killer known as Dr. Fear seemingly reemerges after a cooling-off period, Special Agent Lincoln Monroe wants on the case. He knows his research on the calculating criminal, who targets couples and uses their worst fears to kill them, could prove invaluable. But nothing can prepare Lincoln for the agent waiting for him in Apex, Virginia: a brash and cocky former student. Carter Warren is everything Lincoln is not, and somehow everything he wants. And they’ll be going undercover. As newlyweds.

For Carter, seeing Lincoln again—and flustered to boot—pokes his raging bear of a crush something fierce. He thinks posing as lovers will provide the perfect bait for Dr. Fear. But pretending to be married forces them to confront fears of their own…like giving in to the very real chemistry between them.

With evidence pointing to the possibility of a copycat killer, Lincoln and Carter will have to race to separate truth from fiction. But when another couple goes missing, finding the killer will test every ounce of their training, skills and the strength of their bond like never before.

This book is approximately 72,000 words



What Layla Reyne does consistently well (that I've noticed) is research whether it be technology or forensics, she puts the time in to make her stories authentic. I appreciate that a great deal.

Variable Onset toys with some tried and true psychological thriller themes that I also appreciated. Lincoln and Carter work in differing capacities for the FBI and are thrown together again on a serial killer case that involves a close friend of Lincoln's having last seen each other 8 yrs ago when Carter was a loudmouth, somewhat obnoxious student of Lincoln's.

The case involves a probable copycat of a notorious and still at large serial killer. I figured out who it was really quickly. I hate when I do that.

But this is romantic suspense so I tried not to get too disappointed about that but I had trouble connecting or even liking either one of these characters. Lincoln is older and "prickly" but he came across as whiny and nitpicking to me plus the clumsiness reminded me of a certain heroine with a penchant for sparkly vampires. Neither of them could I buy into being FBI agents owing mostly to their impulsivity.

Perhaps some of the blahness I felt toward these characters bled into their relationship because I never invested in them as a couple either. Were their attraction subtler maybe it would've worked for me but it felt like awkward telling rather than showing, though it was not sex heavy which did work for me.

Honestly, I struggled with how to rate this vacillating between 2-3 hearts but I did find it readable and finished it relatively quickly, though it should be said this is a weird time in the world so maybe I'm overthinking it? As always my opinions are my own and YMMV.


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



Blog Tour: Feral Creatures by Tommy Ousslander


The Feral Creatures blog tour visits today! Author Tommy Ousslander and Other Worlds Ink host today's blog tour! Learn more about the paranormal erotic thriller!

Feral Creatures - Tommy Ousslander


Tommy Ousslander has a new MM shifter book out: "Feral Creatures."

After a brutal attack that almost killed him, Billy discovered that the monsters from horror movies and myth really do exist, not realizing he was one of them. Now dancing and turning tricks at a dive bar called The Molly House, that caters to lowlife supernaturals, Billy searches for a home and the truth of what he really is.

Meeting Brogan, the sexy and dangerous Alpha of a pack of feral werewolves, Billy is drawn into a battle between Brogan and the High Court, the ruling body of the supernatural world.

When they discover the truth of what Billy really is, will he survive the fight to control him?

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Excerpt


Feral Creatures meme

Brogan stood at the side of the bed and looked down at Billy. When he first saw him unconscious in the back of the truck, he almost lost it. The thought of ripping out the twin’s throats flashed through his mind. They were just following orders. His orders, hurt him but don’t kill him. I must be getting soft. What is this fucking kid doing to me?

Billy woke with a start. Nervous and fearful with Brogan leering over him. He propped himself up on his elbows. The sudden movement made him dizzy. He felt the back of his head. The stitches felt weird but didn’t hurt.

“We sewed you up. Just a couple of stitches.” Brogan explained. “You’re a tough little Sonuvabitch.” Was that a smile? “Sorry about the misunderstanding with the twins. Was my fault.” He tried to keep his tone and ego in check. A slight like Billy committed never went unpunished.”So what are we going to do?”

“I gotta couple of ideas.” Fear gave him smart mouth. “Where’s Sheila? What did you do to her?” Billy sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. He was pissed and concerned for his only friend. This motherfucker lied to me, he played me with what I wanted to hear.

“She’s a tough girl. She knows the score.”

“Why should I believe you? You already lied to me.” Billy was standing his ground. Chin jutted out in defiance. His heart beating fast.

“Go ahead.” Brogan tossed Billy his cellphone. He didn’t like to be challenged, especially by some little pup. He waited while Billy called Sheila. He allowed them only a few minutes of conversation before he cut them off and tried to take the phone back. Billy waved him off and kept talking. Brogan slapped the phone out of his hand. “Don’t defy me boy.”

“Fuck you.”

Brogans face twisted in rage. He grabbed Billy by the throat. His left hand squeezed tight. Billy tried to pry the himself free but Brogan’s grip was solid, unbreakable. Those hands were made to be wrapped around his neck. A perfect fit.

“I don’t know whether to gut ya or fuck ya.” He barked out the words, eyes wide and sparkling with madness. Billy’s face grew bright red but he did not loosen his hold. “No one ever made me feel the way you do. I could have given you the fucking world. Why the hell did ya do a runner?”

There it was . It was the fact the kid left him that twisted his guts. The diamonds were not even a concern at this moment. He was wounded, hurt after being left. Brogan had opened himself and gave a small look into his heart and was rejected.

Billy heard the words and wanted to believe. After all, he wasn’t dead. He clutched at the hand tightening around his throat. He could feel the power coursing through him. Billy’s nature peeked through as he started gettinghard. The tighter the squeeze, the more aroused he became. Brogan watched the twink’s bulge grow as his cock got excited. He grew close to blacking out again but he fought it.

The wolf released his throat and dropped him onto the bed. Billy had a coughing fit and tears ran down his puffy red cheeks. Brogan threw his hands in the air, “For fucks sake, boy.” He was frustrated by the confusingemotions the boy raised up in him.

“Why?” Billy’s voice was raw. ‘Ya wanna know why? Those stones offered me a better life. One where I didn’t have to scrounge in dumpsters for some scraps of food or give a blowjob to some rando for twenty bucks.”

“I told you to stay and ya wouldn’t have to worry about that shit anymore.” His mind raged at the thought of BIlly giving head to some skell, letting them paw at that beautiful body. Violating him.

“Ya think I haven’t heard that line before. Some dude promising me the world, a home. Only to find out it was just some bullshit. That they just wanted to fuck then my ass is kicked to the curb like the trash.” He said. “You, me, we were fucked up out our minds. How could I trust what you said? And believe me, I wanted too. oh, fuck did I want too. I thought I felt a real connect between us, like nothing I ever felt before.”

Billy long denied what and who he enjoyed. The strong hand, taking what it wanted. To give in and let someone dominate him, giving them everything. A man who wanted him with such passion and need. Billy looked atthe man framed between the v of his thighs.

“I hunger for you like no other. ” Brogan broke free and let it all spill. “Not just to plow that fucking sweet ass but the thought of anyone else touching you.” He shook his head. The lustrou black hair falling into his face. “ I alone want to possess you. The thought of another man touching ya drives me mad. I would fucking kill em.” His voice low and growly.

“I want to but … I’m scared.” Oh god yes. Just say yes, let go of all that bullshit. The idea that Brogan would be so jealous to murder over him, excited Billy. It pulled at his twisted sense of love. Would he kill me too? Just jump into the abyss.

“Listen, Billy.” He fell to his knees at the side of the bed, hands rested atop Billy’s knees. “Sheila says we’ve bonded and whether that’s love, I don’t fucking know. I’m not sure I even know what love is but..” he drifted off, not sure of the right word to say. “What I do know is I can’t stand to be apart from you. It’s like a knife in me guts. I want to protect you. To take care of you and see you happy. I ain’t promising you white picket fences and flowers. We live fast and we live hard, come what may. Stop trying to live how they tell us we should live. That bullshit is for the normals not feral creatures like us.” No poetry just honesty. Something in short supply in Billy’s life. “Join our pack and run with us. Run with me?” Please say yes so I don’t have to chain you to this bed and just take what I want.

New tears ran down Billy’s face. He’s right, stop living for them and live for you. Take this chance, give in to it.

“The only love I knew was from my mom.” He tried to summon a clear memory of her but the image was blurred and faded. His heart hurt. “I didn’t even have that for long. I guess we’re both fucked up in that department. Even if you said you loved me, I wouldn’t buy it or even if I did, I wouldn’t know how to handle it. I understand wanting and needing, those I can deal with it.”

“Know this. If you accept me then you are mine. There is no walking away from it. You will belong to me.” He stood up at the edge of the bed, looking down at Billy. Brogan barely maintained control. it was hard to not just take the boy and force him to be his. “So what will it be?”

“So I will be your property for to fuck and beat when it suits ya?” Billed asked. “What every boy dreams of.”

“Oh, I will fuck you and fuck you often but I won’t abuse ya. I ain’t me da who liked to batter the ones he said he loved.” Brogan was serious. “I will protect and care for you, that is what I’m offering.”

“Yes.” The sound came out small but packed a punch. He cried with happiness, fear and release. The head of his cock pushing out of the jock. “Please, take everything I have. Make me disappear.” He whimpered in need. “I will be yours.”

Brogan licked his lips. He was hungry and the beast needed to be fed. Now. There was no way he wasn’t going to fuck this boy right now. After last night and today, his balls ached to unload in him.

He took billy’s face in his hands, his lips hovered over the boy’s. “You are mine now.” His breath hot and heavy. “I wanna swallow you whole.” The big bad wolf was going to devour little red riding hood.

“I need you inside me.” Giving in to brogan and his own appetites was exhilarating. It felt so…good. “Claim me as yours.” Billy unbuttoned his jeans. He started squirming out of them when Brogan grabbed the pant legs and roughly yanked them off.

Brogan crawled up in between Billy’s legs, forcing them to spread wide. Billy groaned under the weight of the big man. Long strong thighs holding him prisoner. There was no escaping this. There will be a reckoning. Billy loved the way Brogan’s hair fell and covered his face. Brogan reared back on his knees, undid the button and zipper of his jeans, pushing them down past his ass, letting out his meat. Rigid and fat, his cock stuck straight out, a piece of iron oozing precum. The size of his hard dick made Billy mewl again, his hole instinctively tightened. The sound triggered Brogan, calling to the wolf within him. It demanded to be released. Brogan spit into his hand then ran up and down his length. He slicked up his cock. Billy’s hips rolled and bucked, anxious and desperate to get fucked. A cat in heat writhing and mewling. Their bodies burned with pent up desire and frustration, with need. His hands dug into Brogan’s sides, demanding he continue.

Shamelessly, Billy reached for his ass and spread his cheeks. His hole presented to Brogan, who leaned in with his hips and pushed into him. He felt that heat as Billy’s ass opened and took in the engorged head. It stretched him wide. Billy bit his lip and whimpered. Brogan almost shot his load when he heard him. The young blond lifted his hips higher in the air to accommodate the hard cock. Billy didn’t have a chance to grow accustomed to the intrusion. One more thrust and Brogan slide in all the way.




Author Bio


Feral Creatures - Tommy Ousslander

Tommy developed a love of books, from autobiographies to science fiction, at an early age. After trying many careers paths such as soldier, mailman, club promoter and party decorator and with the publication of "Feral Creatures" has finally decided to pursue his first love of writing.

Born in the Bronx, he has lived in a variety of places from Germany to Phoenix. He now lives outside of new York City with his husband and a rotating cast of family and friends who are constantly coming and going.

Author Website: tommyousslander.blogspot.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Author-Tommy-Ousslander

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/tommyousslander

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ousslander

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19290131.Tommy_Ousslander

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/tommy-ousslander/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tommy-Ousslander


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Parable of the Mustard Seed by Lisa Henry


Angst lovers? This one might be for you! Check out today's The Parable of the Mustard Seed release blitz from author Lisa Henry and IndiGo Marketing! Discover more about the contemporary romance and enter in the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway!


Title: The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Author: Lisa Henry
Publisher:Self Published
Release Date: 3 April 2020
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 79 000 words
Genre: Romance

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Synopsis

The past never stays buried forever.

John Faimu is an Australian-Samoan police officer who deals with hurt kids every day. He loves what he does, but he’s tired of the grind of shift work, and of trying to find a balance between his job, his family, and the young man who straddles the increasingly blurry line between both.

Caleb Fletcher was the teenager John saved from a cult eight long years ago, and he’s now the young man John wants in ways that neither of them should risk.

Eight years after his rescue, Caleb is still struggling with PTSD and self-harm. John has always been his rock, but now Caleb wants more. Can he convince John to cross a line and love him the way they both crave? And when the monsters from Caleb’s past come back seeking to silence him for good, will John’s love be enough to save him?

The Parable of the Mustard Seed is an mm gay romance featuring hurt/comfort, first times, found family, and angst with a happy ending.

Excerpt

Fucking hospitals.

John scrubbed his knuckles over his scalp. He felt more tired now than he had for a long time, and it wasn’t just the shift work. It was Caleb, and this place, and the knowledge that they’d been here before and they would be here again. Different hospitals, different beds, different scratchy blankets and too-cold air conditioning, but all of them stuck in the same old cycle.

Eight years of this.

It wasn’t always this dramatic. Most of the time it didn’t end in a hospital. Most of the time it was increasingly erratic behaviour. It was risk-taking. It was subtle and pervasive, but John knew how to read the signs. He’d talked Caleb down from plenty of metaphorical high places before. Enough to wonder every time if he was only delaying the inevitable. If Darren was, and the psychiatrists and psychologists were, and the pharmacists.

John sighed.

Of course it felt hopeless. It was almost three in the morning and he was sitting in a fucking hospital. Shit always felt dire in the middle of the night.

John reached out and brushed his fingertips against the back of Caleb’s right hand. His skin was cold to the touch, his fingers white and bloodless. Several of his knuckles were grazed. The wounds weren’t fresh.

Darren had said last week that Caleb had punched a wall. Out of nowhere. No warnings signs, no meltdown, just a sudden, furious burst of anger that had broken over him. And afterward, Darren said, when Caleb was sitting on the floor nursing an icepack, he’d refused to talk about it.

Sometimes even Caleb didn’t know what the fuck was happening in his head.

John’s fingertips brushed the wrinkled edge of the tape that held the canula in the back of Caleb’s hand. The plastic tape was dry and rough.

“I bleed and you’re here.”

Fuck

John straightened and turned his face toward Caleb’s. His face was pale, his lips colourless. Dark circles carved out hollows under his eyes.

“Your dad called me,” John said. “He’s on his way.”

Caleb’s gaze dropped away.

John leaned closer and frowned. “What the fuck are you doing, mate?”

“Bad night.” Caleb pressed his lips into a thin white line.

“Were you clubbing?” John gestured at his clothes: dark jeans, a tight shirt, and—what were the kids calling them these days?—expensive kicks.

Caleb inspected the bandages on his arm. “Yeah.”

“What happened?”

“Nothing.”

“Don’t bullshit me, Caleb.” John was always there to pick up the pieces, but he didn’t coddle Caleb. He never had, not even at the start. “You think I drove all the way here to listen to you lie to me?”

“I was with a guy.” Caleb flinched as he said it.

“Were you safe?”

Caleb’s gaze faltered. “I was with a guy.”

“So you said.” John wondered what reaction Caleb had been expecting. “Were you safe?”

Caleb nodded, turning his face away.

John studied him for a moment, unsure how to react. A part of him was afraid to react at all in case any reaction was an overreaction. Caleb wasn’t coming out as gay—he’d done that at nineteen—but by admitting to a sexual encounter he was coming out in another way: Caleb was coming out as human being who wanted to be touched. A human being with sexual needs. This was a big step. The biggest in a long time. Nobody had expected him to remain celibate forever; nobody thought that was remotely healthy. But fuck, this big step had turned into a hell of a stumble, hadn’t it? Caleb was in freefall.

John reached out and squeezed Caleb’s shoulder. “Did this guy try something? Something you didn’t want to do?”

“No.” Caleb shifted. His worried gaze found John again. “No, it was me, not him.”

John nodded.

“We went to a hotel.” Caleb’s gaze slipped away again. “He said I was a slut.” His voice hitched. “Said I was bad.”

John moved his hand from Caleb’s shoulder to his cheek. Caleb was still so cold. “If you tell me he was being a prick, I’ll track the fucker down.”

“The way he said it, I was supposed to like it. Wasn’t his fault.” Caleb closed his eyes. “I didn’t even mind, not much, not when he was there.”

John sighed. “What happened when he left?”

Caleb shuddered. “When he left, all I could hear in my head was Ethan.”

John tensed, and tried not to let Caleb feel it.

“So loud,” Caleb sighed.

John withdrew his hand. “Look at me.”

Caleb opened his eyes.

“Next time you hear Ethan Gray in your head, you don’t listen to him.” John shook his head. “You call you dad, or your doctor, or you call me, doesn’t matter what time, you call me and I will be there. You understand me?”

Caleb jerked his chin in a nod.

“You don’t cut yourself, Caleb.” John frowned. “You understand me?”

“Okay,” Caleb murmured.

The worst part, John knew, was that Caleb meant it, and would go on meaning it right up until the next time he was holding a blade against his wrists.

You’ll break my heart one day, Caleb Fletcher, I know you will.

John forced a smile. “Okay.”

Caleb sighed and closed his eyes.

John watched him until he fell asleep, then got up and hunted down a blanket.

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Meet the Author

 
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn't know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she's too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.

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Book Blast +Giveaway: Promises: Part 2 (Bounty Hunters #2) by AE Via


Welcome today's book blast for A.E. Via's Promises: Part 2 (Bounty Hunters #2)! The author and Vibrant Promotions host a big giveaway! 4 winners can win a $25 Amazon gift card! Good luck!

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Promises: Part 2
Bounty Hunters Series, Book 2
Author A.E. Via
M/M Romance
Release Date: 03.20.16

Promises Part 2 Cover

Blurb
Roman "Quick" Webb is one badass bounty hunter on the crime-filled streets of Atlanta. He's fearless when it comes to carrying out his dangerous job alongside his longtime best friend and business partner, Duke. However, there is one thing that has begun to cause Quick concern and it's the dreadful thought of living out the rest of his life alone.
Dr. Cayson Chauncey has been wildly attracted to the big, tattooed hunter for almost a year, ever since he performed the surgery that saved Quick's best friend's life. Cayson must've mistaken Quick's gratitude for something more, because the one time he tried to make his desires known, he was harshly rebuffed and left on the man's doorstep feeling stupid for hitting on an obviously very straight man.
Dr. Chauncey stirred up Quick's suppressed, most carnal desires from a place deep down inside of him. He'd reacted so badly the first time that now his sexy surgeon wanted nothing to do with him. It was going to take a fair amount of patience and a whole lot of wooing involved as Quick sets out to convince Cayson that he's worth another chance and that he is the brave lover who Cayson has been looking for.

Universal Buy Link: http://mybook.to/PromisesPart2

Promises Part 2 Teaser 2Promises Part 2 Teaser 1Promises Part 2 Teaser 3

Excerpt


“Uh-oh.” Duke pointed at Cayson’s retreating back and Quick spun around, his laughter dying fast, replaced with confusion. He wondered where his handsome doctor was rushing off too, and without him. He told Duke to get in the truck, while he jogged up the sidewalk and caught up with Cayson.

Quick hooked Cayson’s arm and spun him around to talk to him. The look he got felt like a slap across his face. Lowering his head, he knew already why Cayson was mad, and decided to let him have it.

“If you are going to humiliate me in my place of business, then I’d prefer you not visit, Roman.” Cayson put one hand on his hip, the other he pointed back towards the ER’s doors. “What was that in there?”

“I wasn’t trying to humiliate you, babe. I was giving the good ole doctor there a dose of his own medicine. I’m sure it was a very hard pill for him to swallow.” Quick rubbed Cayson’s shoulder, inching in closer to him. He lowered his voice, hoping to hurry up and diffuse this bomb before it exploded and got out of hand. “Cays, I sure don’t recall Dr. Joe, or whatever, feeling this bad when he yelled out your secrets to your entire street. Did he even bother to apologize? No. Instead, he treated you like nothing again today.”

“None of that concerns you. That’s my business. Not yours. I didn’t ask you to fix this, Rome. I don’t need you to!” Cayson argued.

“I apologize. It was juvenile and unnecessary. I was only thinking of you, and that makes me do crazy things. It makes me overprotective. Makes me want to right all the wrongs done to you.” Quick chuckled mirthlessly. “I thought you’d want to see him squirm a bit, for a change.”

AEVia-Logo-JayAheer2015-white-black-Large (1)
A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for six years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.
A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her.
Writing.
A.E.’s novels embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
She’s recently celebrated her 20th book anniversary, and is kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.
Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Social Media Links
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/AuthorAEVia
Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com
A.E. Newsletter Signup: https://goo.gl/4hfuMh

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Bounty Hunter Series Universal Link: mybook.to/BountyHunterSeries

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Guest Review: Murder Most Deserving (Lacetown Murder Mysteries #2) by Hank Edwards and Deanna Wadsworth

An acoustic music festival comes to Lacetown, and with it, another dead body—this one found at Fleishman’s Funeral Home. Michael recuses himself from the autopsy, handing the job over to his arch-nemesis from a neighboring county.

Luckily Michael and local hairstylist Jazz are closer than ever. Between a trio of funerals, a blowout BBQ, and a couple of trips on Beulah, Jazz’s beloved scooter, Michael and Jazz do some sleuthing of their own. With the first gruesome murder still fresh in their memories, they can’t help but wonder if notorious murderer and famous author Russell Withingham might be targeting them from jail, where he’s awaiting trial.

The festival, however, brings in a veritable lineup of potential killers, including a familiar—and most unwelcome—figure from their past. As the murderer circles ever closer to Jazz and Michael, Sheriff Musgrave is quick to remind them that everyone’s a suspect until Sheriff Musgrave says they’re not!

but really more like 2.75
Reviewer: Annery



I’m sorry. I can’t sugar coat it. The sophomore slump strikes again and I’m pretty disappointed.

This is the second book in the adventures of Michael and Jazz and takes place about two months after Murder Most Lovely. In that book they, and their small town were lovingly portrayed, imperfections notwithstanding, however the new book seems to suffer from multiple personality disorder, never sticking to a tone or theme. I know this is a review for Murder Most Deserving but I can’t see reading it without reference to the other and it suffers in comparison.

The previous book read like a small town murder mystery/cozy albeit with explicit sex. Michael and Jazz were two, older gay men, with imperfect bodies, life baggage yet full of the hopes, dreams, and fears like anyone their age. They were adorable and I was rooting for them all the way. This book is also nominally a mystery, though I had to think a moment of who got murdered, it was that unmemorable, and there is no real investigation by any party. What we get instead quaint scene settings of Lacetown denizens and places that add nothing to the story, and longer stretches of either Michael or Jazz thinking about the other, how lucky they are to have each other, missing each other after a few hours of separation (though that’s probably accurate of new lovers), but most egregious of all IMO is a out of character portrayal of their sex lives. I don’t like doing spoilers so all I’ll say is that the last thing I expected in a story that otherwise reads like a cozy, with almost cartoonish villains, was spanking. To me it didn’t ring true but maybe I’m wrong.

I still like Michael & Jazz very much, and I’ll probably read the next one in hopes this volume was a fluke, they deserve better. As usual YMMV.






Blog Tour + Giveaway: Zero Divergence (Zero Hour #3) by Aimee Nicole Walker


Aimee Nicole Walker and Vibrant Promotions visit on the Zero Divergence (Zero Hour #3) blog tour! Find out more from the romantic suspense series finale and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway!

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Zero Divergence
Zero Hour Series, Book 3
Aimee Nicole Walker
M/M Romance/Mystery
Release Date: 03.17.20

Zero Divergence Cover

Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Artist: Jay Aheer
Models: Jacob and Steven

Blurb
Zero Divergence, noun: no deviation from a course or standard.
After a key piece of evidence goes missing, a suspected serial rapist and killer evades prosecution. More than Royce Locke’s reputation is on the line when his investigation into the failed chain of custody suggests Franco Humphries might’ve had inside help. There’s no one Royce trusts more than Sawyer Key to help him right a wrong and uncover the traitor in their midst, but can they do it before the Savannah Strangler strikes again?
Relentless plus fearless equals flawless. Sawyer and Royce have come full circle—from hostile strangers to best friends and lovers. Neither a sniper’s bullet nor an arsonist’s fire could keep them apart, but what about a psychopath hell-bent on revenge? The stakes are high, and there’s no turning back now because the zero hour is upon them. Tick tock.
Zero Divergence is the conclusion to the best-selling Zero Hour series, which follows Locke and Key’s investigations and evolving relationship. This is a series you MUST read in order. It contains mature language and sexual content intended for adults 18 and older.
Trigger warning: Part of the storyline involves coming to terms with a friend’s suicide, which may be difficult for some people to read.


Zero Divergence teaser 3Zero Divergence teaser 4

Excerpt
“Oh my god,” he said as the chocolate cake melted in his mouth. “I need this for every occasion.”

“I’ll bake it once a week if you promise to listen to orders from now on,” Royce said, taking a bite for himself.

Sawyer met Royce’s stormy eyes. “I’ll agree to that if you promise not to give stupid orders.” He opened his mouth like a baby bird, and Royce gave him another bite. It was somehow more delicious than the first.

“No more burning buildings,” Royce groused.

“It wasn’t burning when I ran into it,” Sawyer countered. “You ran into the burning building.” He couldn’t be mad at Royce, because chances were, he’d be dead if Royce hadn’t risked his own life to pull Sawyer out of the inferno.

“So insubordinate.”

They stared at one another in a silent battle of wills for a few seconds before a big yawn ruined Sawyer’s fierce expression. “We’ll resume this after I take a power nap.” Smiling, Royce leaned forward to set the plate on the coffee table, but Sawyer stopped him. “But not until after I eat more cake.”

Royce aimed a cocky grin at him. “Got you hooked now.”

“You have no idea.”

Aimee Nicole Walker Logo
Ever since she was a little girl, Aimee Nicole Walker entertained herself with stories that popped into her head. Now she gets paid to tell those stories to other people. She wears many titles—wife, mom, and animal lover are just a few of them. Her absolute favorite title is champion of the happily ever after. Love inspires everything she does, music keeps her sane, and coffee is the magic elixir that fuels her day. I’d love to hear from you 


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: In Over Our Heads (Stories from the Shore #2) by CJane Elliott


Author CJane Elliott and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of In Over Our Heads (Stories from the Shore #2)! Discover more and enter in the $10 Amazon giveaway!


Title: In Over Our Heads
Series: Stories from the Shore 2
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: CJane Elliott
Release Date: 3/1/20 re-release
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 66,364
Genre: Romance, second chance romance, vacation, contemporary, opposites attract

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Synopsis

A second chance for romance on a scuba diving vacation plunges Anthony and Walter into deep waters—will they use love’s lifeline or go under alone?

Party guy Anthony Vallen believes in happy endings—just not for himself. He hits Key West for a vacation with friends, ready for some fun in the sun. To his horror, the owner of the local scuba dive shop is Walter Elkins—former scientist, meticulous control freak, and the guy who broke Anthony’s teenaged heart. Anthony throws up his shields with jokes and banter, but Walter draws him in by admiring him and listening to him like no one else has. Despite their painful past, Anthony’s defenses soften and his reasons for shunning romance no longer hold much water. But whether Walter will come on board remains to be seen. Walter has never gotten over brilliant, fun-loving Anthony, but he’s compelled to keep Anthony safe—not just from the ocean depths but from himself.

Soon Anthony and Walter are in over their heads, their love as unstoppable as the hurricane they find themselves in the middle of. To prevent their fears from pulling them under, Anthony needs to get serious—about his worth and his heart’s true desires, and Walter needs to trust—in himself, in fate, and in Anthony.

2nd in Series but can be read as a stand-alone.
Second Edition, revised and expanded.

Excerpt

Miles led us onto the boat and murmured to me as we were getting settled, “You guys are getting the special treatment. Walter doesn’t usually run the cruise excursions anymore. I’m kind of surprised he’s doing it.”

“Miles.” Walter frowned at him, jerking his head in a come here gesture.

“Oops. Duty calls.” Miles gave me a wink and went to help Walter with the jibs or sails or lines or whatever.

I tried to relax and get into vacation mode. What had I told Jonathan mere hours before? I wasn’t going to give Walter Elkins one more thought! It was hard to keep that vow, though, with Walter right there, his hunky body on display, muscles bunching and lengthening as he knelt and reached and got things ready with his usual fierce concentration. Though I knew fuck all about sailing, I was willing to bet that Walter’s preparations were being done rigorously, completely, and perfectly. Even Miles had grown serious and attentive, responding to his terse directions as though it was a military operation.

Meanwhile I became aware of something happening in my body. It was the oddest thing. I’m usually a bundle of nerves and on the manic end of the energy scale. But as I watched Walter, my muscles began to loosen, like they were letting down their guard. A memory darted in of Walter, at the end of high school chemistry class, restoring everything to order in his methodical way, me chattering nonstop as I watched him, and all being right with the world. It had felt safe being around Walter. He’d taken care of everything, slowly and patiently. I could be my fluttery self—a butterfly flitting all over—because I knew he would be there when I needed to land.

Suddenly Walter lifted his eyes and gazed right at me. To my horror, I found myself smiling fondly at him, still in the glow of that long-ago time. I was probably making stupid goo-goo eyes too. He went red and dropped something on the deck with a clang.

“Walter! Watch what you’re doing,” scolded Miles with a mock scowl. He laughed, no doubt pleased that the perfect Walter had been shown to be human.

“Sorry,” Walter muttered, reapplying himself to his task.

I sat still, shaken by how easily I’d slipped into rosy Walter memories. What on earth was wrong with me? Safe? Walter was the guy who’d left me not once but twice, and so callously that I’d been protecting myself from love ever since. Screw him!

I tore my gaze away and caught Sophia watching me with a small smile. She leaned forward and whispered, “Anytime you want to tell me what that’s all about, feel free.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, doll.”

“Okay. If that’s how you want to play it.” She leaned back and lifted her face to the sun. “Ah. It’s so awesome to be back in the sunshine.”

Marco lounged in his seat, looking fucking stupendous, his arm around Jonathan, who rested his head on Marco’s shoulder. I must have been rattled by Walter’s reappearance, because my walls suddenly cracked. Pain lanced through me, and I stopped kidding myself that I wasn’t pea green with envy. I so was.

I froze for a moment, stunned at myself. Could this be true? Could Anthony the Player be merely the facade, while underneath I wanted what Jonny had? Not that I wanted Marco for myself, but was I pining for a man to hold me like that and let me rest my head on his shoulder? All signs pointed to yes. How embarrassing! And how completely unlikely.

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Meet the Author


After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, award-winning author CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane writes sexy, passionate LGBTQ romances that explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is bisexual and an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

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Re-Release Blitz + Giveaway: Gay for Pay (Stories from the Sound #1) by T.M. Smith


Author T.M. Smith and Enticing Journey Book Promotions host today's re-release blitz for Gay for Pay (Stories from the Sound #1)! Sounds familiar? Check out the reworked romance and enter in today's giveaway for a chance to win the grand prize: a Keurig K-Duo coffee maker and surprise swag! (U.S. residents only)

Title: Gay for Pay
Series: Stories from the Sound
Author: TM Smith
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 1, 2020


I don’t know how to explain it—I just woke up one day and there he was. And he became my everything.

All it took was one wrong choice, a decision made in haste, to destroy Chris's future.

It's a mistake that he can't take back or make right, one that cost another person their life. Adrift, alone, and uncertain of his future, Chris moves to New York. He quickly learns that the bright lights of the big city don’t offer the absolution he seeks. A fortuitous encounter moves him in the right direction. But is he willing to take the chance he’s offered to make a fresh start?

After catching his boyfriend cheating, again, Linc is convinced that he'll never find love.

Linc has always been honest about who he is and what he prefers. He's a bisexual gay porn star that will do just about anything with anyone, on camera that is, so he can write his own ticket in a versatility-charged industry. It’s not his sexuality that interferes with his personal life; it’s his inability to trust.

Can the possibility of a happy ever after prove to be enough of a reason for these two men to let their guard down and take a second chance on love?

NOTE This story was previously published as Gay for Pay, All Cocks Stories book 1. It has been edited and reworked with a lot of new content added to the story.











A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or ticking away on her next novel.

Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people, Love is Love!