Monthly Archives: December 2015

5 Stars for Cookies for Courting by Amber Kell #MM #Romance @dreamspinners

1

Title: Cookies for Courting (Tales of the Curious Cookbook)
Author Name: Amber Kell
Publication Date & Length: April 22, 2015 – 68pgs

Synopsis

After his sister’s death, businessman Marshall Hunter gains custody of his niece. Unused to children, Marshall struggles to connect with her. In an effort to make her more comfortable in her new home, he hires professional muralist Pace Barlow to personalize her room.

Pace is intrigued by his tiny client, and even more interested in her handsome uncle, but Pace isn’t certain he’s ready for the commitment of an instant family.

When Marshall decides to move for the sake of his niece, will he be able to keep his relationship with his young artist, or will he have to give up love to become a good father for a lonely little girl?

The love baked into an old-fashioned recipe might bring the two men together, but some things take more than magical cookies to fix.

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Review
FiveStars
I really loved this book. I wish it would have been longer. I loved everything about it: the plot, the characters, the story, the little girl. Everything.

The main characters, Pace and Marshall, were perfectly made for each other. Pace is sweet, kind, giving, a creative artist. Marshall is the strong, assertive, wealthy, independent man who has had this 8 year old girl thrust upon him. He takes to being a father pretty quickly and adjusts to it very well. The little girl, Alice, is very sweet and has instant love for Pace, which is great.

The bit of action at the end was surprising. I loved how Pace used his friend to resolve the complication. I don’t want to give it away, what happened and what Pace did. It was awesome, though.

I highly recommend this book. Amber Kell has been one of my favorite authors for a long time and anything she writes is really good. This short story is one of them.

Ariel

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4 and 4.5 Stars for Transformation (The Green Man #3) by Leona Carver #FF #SciFi

1.5

Title: Transformation (The Green Man #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Leona Carver (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: January 27, 2016

Synopsis

Katja Olesk, doctor of botany and supervisor of the Velikaya Knyazhna’s park—the acres of forest they are transporting to terraform their new world—wakes at the end of the ship’s journey to discover that one of the park laborers had died, seemingly of old age after a lifetime in the park. Consumed by rage and paranoia, Katja loses her status on the ship.

Two years later she is exiled to Yuri Gagarin, a tiny colony on a hostile world, and demoted to simple gardening. There she enlists the aid of Des, a boisterous terraformer, to continue the research she’s no longer allowed to do. But the research leads to horrifying discoveries of what the colony leaders have been hiding, and when a devastating illness strikes, Katja must face her greatest fears and return to the park…

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Review

FourStars

My only criticism of this book is the extraordinary long time it took to get into the action. I admit the background was necessary but it was very detailed. Having said that,  what a spectacular and unique book.
Once the action begun it moved at a terrifically fast and engaging pace. The characters were as unconventional as they were marvellous. The plot intricate and very diverse. The ending as surprising and unexpected as it was extraordinary and totally unexpected.
If you are looking for something totally different and engrossing but made wholly believable by this talented author then this book will not disappoint, it may amaze you but I think you will find it truly plausible.
Chris

FourandHalfStarsI liked this book. Enough to look up the first two books in the series. This was a bit fast paced, and it ratcheted up the tension in the story nicely. First we have the unexplained happenings on the ship, which drive our main character, Katya, crazy. At least in the eyes of her shipmates. When she’s exiled to the colony, she meets Des, which leads to her furthering her research in terraforming. This is the catalyst to finding a new life form which threatens the success of the human efforts on this new world. Now it’s a race against time to see if a cure can be found, but the cure Katya thinks of has more to do with the mysterious life force back on board the ship.

The romance definitely takes a back seat here, which is ok because it isn’t really the focus of the story anyway. Which ties in to the end of the story and the resolution of the crisis. I’ll say that at first, I was a little disappointed in the end, not really seeing it as a happy ever after. Upon reflection, it is a happy ever after, just not in the way we think usually think of it. It speaks of hope for the future, and the determination of mankind to survive. I definitely recommend this book.

~AmyP

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5 Stars for The Cellar Hand (Workplace Encounters) by Serena Yates #MM #Romance

1.5

Title: The Cellar Hand (Workplace Encounters)
Author Name & Publisher: Serena Yates (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 29, 2015 – 120 pgs

Synopsis

Orson Digby is no stranger to loss. His family died in a house fire when he was fifteen, and he has never recovered from losing touch with his best friend, when he was made to stay with an aunt in a different state. Orson works hard to learn the art of winemaking, and finally starts a job as cellar hand at Clear Springs Vineyard—only to run into his long-lost best friend.

Geoff Robichaud, freshly out of the Marines, is in charge of security at the winery. The friendship between Orson and Geoff is familiar, but the intense physical attraction is new. As they explore their developing feelings, several acts of sabotage threaten to destroy their new employer’s business and their newfound happiness. They need to rely on Orson’s knowledge of viniculture and Geoff’s understanding of security if they want to solve the mystery and build a future together.

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Review

FiveStars

This was a great story. I loved everything about it. Even though it was a short story, it combined everything that a great story can have and made it complete.

Orson and Geoff’s love story was fantastic. Being best friends as teenagers, losing track of each other due to circumstances beyond their control, finding each other later in life, and rekindling their love for each other. Wonderful, sweet, fantastic.

The mystery in the story was excellent. I didn’t know who had done it. Involving Orson in the solving of the mystery and even in the planning and capturing of the perpetrators was great. I loved it. Great addition to the story.

The plot development and the character development in this story was very well done. I applaud the author. Given it was a short story, I usually don’t have high expectations for plot and character development, so I was pleasantly surprised.

I would recommend this story. It was a great romance with a wonderful mystery included.

Ariel

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New Release: The Sky People Trilogy by DC Juris #Twincest #ScienceFiction @dcjuris

theskypeople1400

Title: The Sky People Trilogy
Author Name & Publisher: DC Juris (Torquere books)
Publication Date & Length: December 30, 2015 – 33,000 Words

Synopsis

Driven by visions of his soul mate, Tristan, Jinsu steps through the portal to Earth, leaving all he has ever known behind.. Seven months into their fairy-tale romance, and Tristan and Jinsu couldn’t be happier. But when Jinsu falls ill with a mysterious, lingering condition, everything changes. Jinsu’s magic is dying and taking him with it. Suddenly the couple’s desire to find a way back to Jinsu’s home world is more than just a dream–it’s a necessity. With Jinsu’s time quickly running out, Tristan is forced to seek help from someone he’d hoped to never, ever lay eyes on again.

Tristan awakens on Torottu, but the portal wasn’t meant for humans, and he’s been near death since his arrival almost ten months ago. Even worse, Jinsu has no idea who Tristan is—the return trip through the portal erased his memory of Earth, of their relationship, or Tristan himself.

Winning Jinsu’s heart again won’t be easy, especially if Kelan, Jinsu’s twin, has anything to say about it. Kelan loves Jinsu, too, and he won’t be put aside for Tristan. Not again. Tristan knows his only chance for happiness—and the only chance for Jinsu and Kelan—is to follow his heart.

Previously published by Breathless Press.

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Excerpt

After taking Jinsu home and grabbing a light dinner for himself, Tristan drove across town, up and down streets once all-too familiar, to see the only person he could think of who might be able to help him. He pushed open the office door, taking note of the little faded metal welcome sign and the open 9 to 5 banner hanging crookedly underneath it. He’d arrived just in time.

“Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in. How you doin’, sugar?”

Tristan smiled at the petite platinum blonde behind the desk. He’d always liked Nancy.

Despite the fact that she looked like something out of an old mobster movie—big hair, low-cut blouse, gaudy makeup, chewing gum and all—she had that rare work ethic that made her more than just a receptionist. “I’m good. Is Bryan in?”

“Sure, hon. Have a seat. I’ll let him know you’re here.”

Tristan sat on the edge of a metal folding chair—god, Bryan was such a cheapskate—rested his left foot on his right thigh.

Before Nancy could stand up, the door behind her opened to reveal a tall, heavy-set man with closely cropped dark hair just beginning to thin. Older than Tristan, Bryan had started to show his age. “Nancy, do me a favor and—”

Nancy nodded toward Tristan. Tristan stood, the scrape of his chair on the tile far louder than he would’ve liked.

“Tristan?” Slight upward inflection in Bryan’s voice, as if he couldn’t believe Tristan was actually there. Well, that made two of them.

“Long time no see, huh, Bryan?” It was a lame way to break the ice, but how did one approach his former lover when he showed up at said former lover’s work, out-of-the-blue after three years?

“Hold my calls,” Bryan said, with barely a glance at Nancy. “C’mon in, Tris.”

Tristan cringed at the old nickname and followed Bryan into his office. The place was surprisingly neat—neater than Tristan had ever seen Bryan’s surroundings before.

“I’ve gotten better at housekeeping, as you can see.” Bryan gestured to the chair opposite his desk. “Have a seat. At the risk of sounding clichéd, to what do I owe this honor?”

“I need your help with something.” Tristan took a deep breath. Best to get right to it. He didn’t want Bryan getting any ideas or false hopes. Leaving out as many personal, private details as he possibly could, Tristan filled Bryan in on the events of the past seven months: Jinsu’s arrival—he didn’t mention the part about the dreams that had brought them together—his subsequent illness, and what Tristan had learned of Torottu.

“So…that brings you up to now,” Tristan finished. Bryan had sat quietly and listened throughout his speech, fingers steepled together in front of him, elbows resting on his desk, with that just-this-side-of-predatory gleam in his eyes that most people found alluring but Tristan had always hated.

“Huh. Well…it’s not really my line of work.” Bryan leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms.

“What do you mean it’s not your line of work? You investigate the freaky and abnormal.”

“Paranormal, to be specific. This…” Bryan shrugged. “I’m not saying I won’t help you. You know I’d do anything for you. I owe you after what I put you through.”

Tristan ground his teeth. Damn him for bringing up their past. Patience was a virtue when it came to dealing with Bryan, but Tristan could hit below the belt too. “I need your full efforts and attention. You can’t half-ass this. It can’t be like Detroit.”

Bryan straightened and curled his lip, looking away quickly. “Detroit wasn’t my fault.”

“You may not have caused it, but you did nothing to help. Understand, I won’t let Jinsu fall to a witch hunt.”

“What happened in Detroit—”

“What happened in Detroit didn’t have to. You involved the wrong people. You hung innocents out to dry; you threw your partners under the bus and nearly caused a citywide riot. I won’t let you sell Jinsu’s story and I won’t let you endanger his life. You keep the press out of this one. No glorious headlines, understand?”

“You’ve been back to the alley?”

Tristan bit back a conceited chuckle at Bryan’s change of topic. “Several times. There’s nothing there. Everything’s perfectly normal.”

“That may be and it may not. There are things that can’t be seen with the naked eye.” Bryan turned and pulled a book off the over-stuffed shelf behind him, thumbed through it quickly and then tossed it down on his desk. “You know that.”

“Jinsu’s certain he would be able to feel the magic if it were there.” Of course, that was only a theory, but having Bryan second-guess him was annoying.

“Sure, but you said he’s sick. That could be affecting him. I assume you’ve done some other research of your own?”

Tristan nodded. “I’ve been over every book of mythology and the occult that I could get my hands on.”

“Bah. We won’t find what we’re looking for in there. This kind of stuff doesn’t get listed in the public record.” Bryan folded his hands together and gave Tristan a long, lingering, thoughtful look. “I made a mistake with you.”

“Yeah, you did. Look, I didn’t come here for this. This isn’t about you and me. This is about someone’s life. It’s far more important than any petty bullshit.” On the verge of insulting, and definitely risky, but Bryan had never been good with subtlety.

Bryan quirked an eyebrow. “So we were petty, were we?”

“One of us was. I don’t want to argue about the past. Are you willing to help us?”

“Of course I am. I’ll need to gather my resources, make some calls. It may take time.”

Tristan sighed. Time was one thing they didn’t have.

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5 and 4.5 Stars for Winter’s Harbor by Aurora Rey #FF #Romance @aurorareywrites

1.5

Title: Winter’s Harbor
Author Name & Publisher: Aurora Rey (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: November 10, 2015 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Lia Brooks has a broken heart and a burning desire to escape New York City. She decides Provincetown is the perfect winter escape to find some peace and regroup. Alex McKinnon is the pastry chef and proprietor of The Flour Pot Café in the heart of Provincetown. She loves owning her own business and the easy, no-strings-attached relationships that come with living in a gay tourist mecca.

When Lia appears in the café, the attraction is immediate. The passion between them promises more than a casual affair, but it’s never that simple. Women from Alex’s past pop up at the most inopportune times. Then there’s Lia’s ex, who brokers deals for a living and is unaccustomed to losing. Will Alex and Lia be able to overcome the roadblocks and find a happily ever after?

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Review

FiveStars

I absolutely love this book and have not been able to put it down since I got it! This is the story of Lia and Alex and the beautifully romantic and sexy tale of a winter in Provincetown, a seaside holiday haven. A collection of interesting characters, well-fleshed out as well as a gorgeous setting make for a great read.
The writing is wonderfully descriptive, making it easy for the reader to imagine the setting and why Lia became captivated by it. I want to go there!  I love the character of Lia as she was pretty adorable, naive and vulnerable.  I was rooting for her and Alex to make it all through the book and the build up of tension was palpable. The steamy scenes were very hot indeed and extremely effective.  This lady knows how to tantalize the reader!
The looming spectre of the awful ex, Dani, upped the tension a notch or two.  I so wanted Lia to be strong!  Alex has a past to be reckoned with too, as various women from the past pop up and rumors reach Lia’s ears.
This is a terrific read and thoroughly deserves 5 Stars.
Kitty Kat
FourandHalfStars

This was a nice read. I like both these characters a lot. I really enjoyed seeing both of them grow and move out of their comfort zones to take the risk of opening up to each other. And I liked how the connection between them was immediate, growing stronger slowly but inevitably. Of course, both women have communication issues, not being able to tell the other the truth about their feelings until several misunderstandings have occurred. But both women have the ability in the end to be honest with themselves (even if it takes a best friend to point out what they aren’t facing), and with each other.

Alex has to move past the fear of getting hurt in order to try to have a deeper relationship with a woman she’s scared to lose. And watching Lia move out of a bad relationship, one where she was not only not valued, but also taught not to value herself, to take the steps of starting to regain her confidence in herself, in her own worth and judgment, and to believe in herself again, that is what makes it possible for her to finally face her own fears and accept what Alex is offering. It was a nice journey to take with these characters, and I’m glad I went along for the ride. I’ll be looking for more books from this author in the future.

Amy P.

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5 and 4 Stars for Champagne Kisses by Lynda Aicher #MM #Holiday @Lyndaaicher

1.5

Title: Champagne Kisses
Author Name & Publisher: Lynda Aicher (Riptide Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: December 14, 2015 – 83 pgs

Synopsis

The Christmas Eve wedding Evan Cleary pulled together in four weeks is crashing down around him and taking his fledgling event planning business with it. With an empty altar and over a hundred guests arriving soon, he turns to the resistant, gorgeous brother of the runaway groom for help.

When Richard Patterson’s flamboyant brother storms out hours before he’s scheduled to marry his equally dramatic partner, Richard is left dealing with the fallout. The last thing he wants is more drama, yet he can’t deny his attraction to the effeminate event planner trying to salvage the wedding.

Evan thinks his crush on Richard is a lost cause, but one steaming kiss later, he learns different. What starts as a night of hot sex turns into a connection neither expected. But Evan knows their relationship is hopeless unless the ultra-conservative Richard can embrace every part of him—both in private and in public.

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Review

FiveStars

Evan is a event planner and his first big event goes wrong when both grooms break up and stop the wedding. Richard is one of the grooms brother who takes care of his family and is very set in his ways.

Okay these two men together… The steam OMG!!! It was just so damn hot! Now I will say this, the way this author wrote this steam between these two men was just I have no words.. It was honestly just so damn good. Then the was the sweet between Evan and Richard. The way everything in this book worked together in this book was just awesome!!! This book has been one of my favorite reads of the year and I honestly did not want it to end.

Lynda Aicher grabs you from the beginning of this story and does not let you go until the end. The way she wrote these characters and how you could really feel how much these two men cared for each other was just so damn good! I do not want to give away any spoilers because you really need to read this book for yourself. So I will leave this review with I 100% loved this story and I would definitely recommend this book!

Kara

FourStars

The concept of this book was great. A wedding planner feels an attraction towards the grooms brother. The sexual tension is high. Will they finally admit their attraction for each other? If they do, how far will it go? The grooms have a falling out and the wedding goes bust. What will happen now? I’d loved it. It had so much potential.

The beginning of the book starts out really good. The plot thickens and we start to learn about the characters, but being a short story, it doesn’t develop very much. It goes straight towards the two main characters meeting and getting together. That takes a good percentage of the book and then they have a falling out and then the end of the book has them getting back together again. End of story. I was disappointed.

This book had so much potential. Like I said, the concept and the plot was so good. The characters getting together, which took a big percentage of the book, I wish some of that would have been used for more character development and dialogue. This could have been a five star book.

I rate it 3.5 stars, but since I can’t I’m leaning towards 4 because the plot and characters were so good. I do recommend this book for the same reason, but be warned it is a short story and a good chunk of it is spent in the honeymoon suite of a hotel.

Ariel

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3 Stars for File Gumbo (Roughstock #3) by B.A. Tortuga #MM #Cowboy @batortuga @PridePublishing

1.5

Title: File Gumbo (Roughstock Book 3)
Author Name & Publisher: B.A. Tortuga (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: January 19, 2016 – 225 pgs

Synopsis

Beau is riding like the two-time champ that he is, but nothing is assured in the world of bull riding–not happiness, not wealth, and not survival.

Beau is a two-time champion bullrider who is working on his third title. Sam is his long-time lover and traveling partner, who is feeling the sting of having just about the worst season he can remember. The two of them are on the road together twenty-four seven, and it’s starting to get to them a little, between the constant injuries Sam faces, and the relentless press that Beau has to put up with. Add in friends on the circuit who need their help and the fact that they have to hide what they mean to each other, and it’s no wonder that Sam and Beau’s relationship starts to wear a little from the friction.

When things blow up in their faces, Sam leaves the bullriding tour for a while, but the boys find out they’re far more miserable apart than they are together. Beau and Sam may agree to disagree in order to make peace and help out their friends Jason and Coke, but in the unpredictable world of extreme sports, nothing goes as it’s planned.

Can Beau and Sam recover from what just might the last ride of Sam’s life?

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Review

ThreeStar

I am a huge fan of this series, but I really struggled with this disjointed story. While Beau and Sam are the central characters, the first third of the story reads like a catch-up with characters from earlier books. I enjoyed the first two stories, so this isn’t too much of a hardship but I found myself confused by the initial onslaught of character names and nicknames. Characters appeared or were discussed – but they weren’t re-introduced in this book. My memory is good, but not perfect. Andy and AJ, Coke, Gramps, Poot – I really struggled to get the burgeoning cast of Roughstock characters straight in my head.

We don’t learn much about Sam or Beau until the second third of the book. As they are already a couple, this story doesn’t build like a traditional romance. I felt like I was expected to know these characters before the story started, but unless I’ve missed a book in the series, I really didn’t. We learn that Beau is on his way to his third world championship. And we learn that Sam’s career is flailing. And Sam is getting stick for his role as Beau’s sidekick. But these are all events. I’m not sure I ever learned much about these two as humans.

The final third of the book follows a recovery from a serious injury. This feels a little like a re-run of Jason’s recovery in the first book of the series. Yes, cowboys don’t like to be injured. Yes, it gets them depressed. Yes, they need to find them mental strength to overcome their injuries – we had this storyline before.

I feel slightly odd rating a Tortuga book so low. I usually love her writing and I’ve loved the rest of the Roughstock series. I think the lack of a central story arc makes this difficult for me. There isn’t a romance arc here and there is no central conflict driving the story forward. Fans of the series will enjoy catching up with favourite characters, but I would recommend re-reading the first two books before starting this one.

Sarah

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4 Stars for The Boys of Summer by Sarah Madison #MM #Romance @SarahMadisonFic

1.5

Title: The Boys of Summer
Author Name & Publisher: Sarah Madison (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 14, 2013 – 193 pgs

Synopsis

Working for a California-based film production company, David McIntyre is the go-to man for matching the right location to the right project for the right price. On an extended trip to Hawaii, he hires Sutton’s Air Service to cart him all around to some of the most exotic locations in the South Pacific. During one of those trips, a freak tropical storm forces them to make a crash landing, leaving both men stranded without a radio and with very little in the way of food and water. Rick Sutton’s injuries make it imperative that they be rescued soon, and David finds himself calling on all his professional skills to keep both of them alive.

It takes a vivid dream about WW2 however, to make David realize that he has real feelings for Rick—more than just his natural concern that both of them get out of this mess alive. But putting his heart on the line might be the greatest risk David has ever taken—does he have the courage to make it before time runs out on both of them?

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Review

FourStars

David is on the search for the right location for a filming project when he hires Sutton to fly him around the island searching for the right spot. But unforeseen weather hits and causes their plane to crash and Sutton to be injured. Now it is up to David to take care of Sutton while hoping someone will rescue them.

Now I want to start this review of my saying I really loved the pretense of this authors story. The whole trying to survive on a unknown island while at the same time falling in love with your fellow survivor was just awesome. The only really confusing part to me was the dream from the past which was a really big part of this book and I am not really sure how I feel about it. Other than that you get action with this book and a little bit of steam too between these two men.

I really liked the story this author created in this book and the characters too.

All together I really liked this book!

Kara

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4 Stars for Who Knows the Dark (The Vigilante #2) by Tere Michaels #MM #Romance @TereMichaels

1.5

Title: Who Knows the Dark (The Vigilante #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Tere Michaels (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: October 2, 2015 – 230 pgs

Synopsis

A wanted man after the destruction of the Iron Butterfly Casino, Nox Boyet must flee the island of Manhattan—the only home he’s ever known. Together with Cade, Sam, and the rest of their ragtag group, Nox must find a place to hide from the District Police and the violent group of unknown drug dealers on his tail.

The solution—the Creel family farm in South Carolina.

But home isn’t quite sweet for Cade, the prodigal son. As Cade struggles with his own secrets, shadows of the past threaten not only Nox’s life, but his relationship with his son, Sam.

Nox knows there will never be peace unless he finds the answers to all his questions—and the answers lie back on the island. Cade and the others must choose their paths—find safety or follow the Vigilante into the darkness of the city? The city where Nox will come face-to-face with the past.

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Review

FiveStars

This was an EXCELLENT extension of this series. The continued plot was just as good as the first book. The amount of suspense and thrill was just great. Exactly like the first book, I couldn’t put this one down.
There are so many twists and turns in this book, it was so exciting to read. I really loved the chemistry between the characters and not just Nox and Cade, but between Sam as well as he gets to experience life outside of living with his over protective father.
I can’t wait for the next part of this series since we are left with a cliffy.
Overall a really really great dystopian series.
Renee

FourStars

This book was a great add to this series..

You get to see a more Cade and Nox also more of other characters from the first book. You also get to read more about Sam and Mason which was so sweet seeing the two of them together.
This time they are running trying to get away from who is after them, after what happened in the first book in this series.
So this is when I say I like a slow burn but this one is almost too slow for me.. Now when I say almost it is just to the point were I really feel like I did not get anymore from Cade and Nox then what I got in the first book and I was just hoping for a little more I guess.
Otherwise this has a lot of action, angst and mixed in with a little bit of steam. I really love this world the author has created. You get your bad guys also with this book and the ending just I cant say what happened but I so cant wait to read the next book.

All together I really liked this book and thought it was a great add to this series!

I would recommend this book!

Kara

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New Release: Life is a Stevie Wonder Song by V.L. Locey #MM #GayForYou @vllocey

lifeisasteviewondersong1400

Title: Life is a Stevie Wonder Song
Author Name & Publisher: V.L. Locey (Torquere Books)
Publication Date & Length: December 30, 2015 – 24,000 Words

Synopsis

Authors know that their muse is a fickle creature. Best-selling spy novelist Stephen Ramsey has been in a hate-hate relationship with his inspiration for months. Stephen’s publisher lays a legal ultimatum upon him, with a rapidly approaching deadline, he knows he must do something to kick-start his creativity or face the unemployment line. His daughter comes up with a possible answer: a summer camp for the creative soul. With nothing to lose, Stephen packs up his laptop, phonograph and beloved record albums and heads from Manhattan to the Catskill Mountains.

There, among a horde of college students attending for extra credits, is Declan Pomeroy, a photographer of fey creatures who is twenty years younger than Stephen. The woods are a magical place, and he quickly finds himself falling under the spell of the free-spirited photographer. Confusion wars with desire inside Stephen as he succumbs to the feelings welling up inside. But, sadly, summer camp always has to end. Can a man who has just found himself really leave the person that makes his heart sing?

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Excerpt

Then he appeared from the tree line, a lithe, pale creature of the Finnish goddess Mielikki’s woods if ever I had seen one. Yay for that semester of world mythology back in college finally paying off. Declan wore nothing but a scrap of linen tied around his lean waist and a camera around his neck. I swallowed and stepped down off the porch, anxious to get closer to him. He waited patiently for me. As I drew closer, I could hear him humming. A smile tweaked my lips.

It was Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

“You look like you have too much on,” Declan announced when I stood in front of him. I glanced down at my attire. Gym shorts, a T-shirt, and sneakers sans socks. “How would you feel about doing this nude?” My sight knifed back from my clothes to my guide into the Twilight Zone.

“You’re not naked,” I pointed out once I could speak around the knot of desire clogging my throat.

“I usually am, but I figured you’d be far too uptight to not have clothes on, so, I fashioned a makeshift chiton to cover my goodies.”

“Okay. Yes, I’m not comfortable with our goodies hanging out.” He glanced up at the fat moon over our heads, then sighed dramatically. “I can do no shirt and no shoes, however.”

Declan’s gaze returned to me from Madame Luna. He made a sort of cooing sound then rose to his tiny toes to press his lips to mine. It was a soft peck, our mouths touching for a mere second, but it did things to my perceptions of who Steven Ramsey is that I still cannot fully explain.

“I think I’d like to see you without a shirt,” he whispered over my lips.

“What are you doing?” I croaked. He shrugged a shoulder, then dropped back down to stand flat-footed. “Stop it, okay? I’m old enough to be your father.”

He smiled then spun around, his bare back gleaming pure white. I wanted to touch his skin, trace the knobs of his spine with my tongue. This whole thing was pure insanity, yet I hurried to strip off my old T-shirt and kick off my sneakers. Declan glanced over his shoulder, smiled again, and then rushed off into the night, the coquette. I followed because what else could I do?

Not traipsing after the kid was impossible. The grass was cool and wet under my bare soles. The high whine of a mosquito zipped past my ear. I would be nothing but a massive bug bite in the morning. I walked behind Declan, swatting at the air, hoping I didn’t step on something that would require stitches or a tetanus shot. We stepped into the woods. I debated going back for my shoes.

“We have to be as silent as possible,” Declan, standing on my right, whispered.

“Shoes are quiet,” I replied, my hand resting on the scraggy bark of an old pine.

“Shoes don’t allow you to touch the earth.”

“They also don’t allow thorns to penetrate your flesh,” I parried. My guide grunted in consternation then set off once again. A million questions bounced around my head as I tenderly placed one foot down then the other. What kind of camera did he use? Was there a special ethereal film for capturing fey? Did I need therapy? Did I just step on a slug?

We walked deeper into the woods. The farther we traveled, the more I wanted to speak up or at least scoff. I was working on a good zinger when I ran into Declan’s bare back. He threw up a hand to silence me. My body tightened from a weird combination of fear and desire. The kid felt wonderful pressed against my chest, his clammy skin resting against mine. I peered over his head, my hand coming to rest on his left hip. Declan leaned back into me just the slightest bit.

My cock began to swell. My eyelids drifted down as he wiggled enticingly closer still.

“Look at the hazy ring around the moon,” Declan whispered. My fingers dug into his bony hip. I opened my eyes and looked up. We were on the edge of a small glen. He lifted up his camera and snapped several images as I stared at the milky white fingers of magic tickling the moon. “Now look at the ground.” I did. There, in the center of the small glen, was a small, perfectly circular ring of mushrooms perhaps ten feet wide. “That’s known as a fairy ring.”

“Huh,” I grunted, my body trying desperately to take over the show. Declan had to feel my erection resting against his pert ass. He seemed perfectly as ease with a hard dick between his buttocks. I, on the other hand, was slowly going mad. I longed to lower my mouth to his neck and lick the sweat from his skin. I also wanted to run away screaming to the world that I was not a faggot, but was I? It certainly looked it. Declan lowered his camera and took a few shots of the white mushrooms.

“I’ve heard tales of the fey blessing those who stand in a fairy ring under a full moon. Would you like to go stand in the ring, Steven?” he asked. I nodded. He slid out of my grasp and reached back to find my hand. His fingers were thinner than mine. He pulled me into the glen. I glanced up, then back. “Are you afraid that someone will see us cuddling in the fairy ring?”

“At the moment,” I stepped carefully over several large mushrooms,” I’m afraid of everything, mostly you.”

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