Author Archives: InkedRainbowReads

4 stars for After the Final Encore (Encore #2) by Scotty Cade #MM #Romance #Suspense @ScottyCade @Dreamspinners

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Title: After the Final Encore (Encore #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Scotty Cade — Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date & Length: July 24, 2015 — 200 pages

Synopsis

Sequel to Final Encore

Country superstar Billy Eagan’s career is soaring. He’s topping the charts and winning award after award. He and his manager and life partner, Ian Dillon, have been virtually inseparable for almost five years, solidifying their relationship as well as Billy’s skyrocketing stardom. After a secret kiss between the two of them at an awards show is caught on camera, a tabloid newspaper outs Billy and Ian as lovers, which could sabotage Billy’s career on the bigoted Nashville music scene. To make matter worse, an old adversary rears his ugly head and threatens to end everything Billy and Ian have worked for—including their lives.

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Review

FourStars

The first half of this story was fantastic.  I wish there were more country stars as brave as Billy!  Billy and Ian’s relationship is wonderful.  I love the way Ian is willing to take a quiet supporting role for his famous partner, and I love the respect Billy gives Ian.  We don’t see many long-term partnerships in m/m romance, so this couple is a special treat.

I love the modern angst-free approach the author takes to the outing of a Nashville star.  America is proud of Billy and Ian and even Billy’s Nashville record label ultimately supports him.  This is a beautiful, hopeful story for the year America finally legalised gay marriage.

My problems with the story were with the stalking and kidnapping storyline.  I haven’t read the first book, but I realise this ties back to the original story.   For me, the action sequences were felt like they belonged to another book.  I could almost cut the book in half: Billy and Ian come out to America and start a new life / Billy and Ian are hunted by a crazy man with a grudge.

I did like the New Orleans setting for the second half of the book.   I loved the wonderful house-porn the author indulges in when Billy and Ian look for a home in New Orleans.  Who wouldn’t want an unlimited budget when house hunting in such a wonderful city?  Billy’s family is fantastic, as are the new characters they meet in Louisiana.

I loved the first part of this book and I liked the second part.  These are great characters and a great central couple.

~Sarah

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NEW RELEASE: 3 stars for Outcast Cowboys by Sarah Masters @PridePublishing #MM #Cowboys #mystery

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Title: Outcast Cowboys
Author Name & Publisher: Sarah Masters — Pride Publishing
Publication Date & Length: August 18, 2015

Synopsis

You can run but you can’t hide. Problems have a habit of following you, even if it’s only inside your head.

Ross decides to start a new life away from the grim belly of London, England, unable to stomach being a cop any longer. He tells himself he’s moving miles away to find himself a bed partner, but he’s lying. He has to. Facing up to the real reason he’s leaving isn’t something he can handle. His last undercover job proved too much—his life was at risk—and if he stays in London he’ll likely end up dead. Nightmares plague him, his subconscious unable to switch the past off. So he moves to a ranch in America, thinking the new surroundings and different lifestyle will help him to heal—and to forget. What he soon realizes is he’s jumping from the frying pan into the fire…

Joe’s passion—that of caring for the horses—is the only thing that keeps him sane. He’s a surly man, and for good reason—a reason he hasn’t told a soul. Folks think he’s mean and unapproachable and suspect him of committing murder. More than once. Locals assume that Joe got let off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth, but Joe lets people think what they will. He’s done with their speculation and sly looks.

When Ross and Joe meet, tension is rife. The air between them prickles with animosity as well as sexual tension. Both have a past they can’t get over. Both have skeletons in their closets they wish would turn to dust. And both have to make a decision. Can they cast their fears aside and trust each other, or have the terrors they’ve experienced ruined them for love?

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Review

ThreeStar

I struggled with this one.  I think I was expecting Andrew Grey or Ariel Tachna, but this is much grittier.  Not grit as in the struggle to keep a ranch going in a hostile environment – but grit as in family secrets, domestic abuse, homophobia, PTSD, grizzly murders and small-town cover-ups.  Ugly gritty.  And the author doesn’t offer up much hope or easy platitudes.  This is a difficult book.

There is an awful lot going on in a relatively short novel.   Ross leaves his job as an undercover detective in London, answering an advert for a job on an American ranch.  As you do.  I’m sure work visas are easily obtained for unskilled labourers.  In America (I’m not sure we know exactly where?) Ross finds himself working for a family hiding many dark secrets.  And he finds himself falling for a man who just might be the most dangerous member of the family.

Joe has been treated badly by his family since he came out to them.  Allegations are made against him, he is physically harmed and blamed for all of the family’s problems. He is wary of Ross, but inexplicably drawn to the Englishman.  Slowly, as Ross unravels the family secrets, he and Joe find themselves in increasing danger.

There was too much angst in this story for me.  The author exploits every Southern small-town stereotype to create conflict. As a result, the story never really moves past stock characters and cliche stereotypes.  Small towns and the people who live in them are bad; California is safe and its residents are good people.

I’m still not sure about the main characters.  It felt like the author was trying to develop the characters through their respective troubles.  Good characters transcend their troubles with quirks, attractive flaws and endearing characteristics – but for me, neither of these two ever became more than troubled men with difficult pasts.

The story ends after a lengthy time lapse which didn’t work for me.  I wanted the details!  Unusually for an m/m story, or for any romance,  there are limits to Joe and Ross’ HEA.  The end of the book is sad and quite dark.

~Sarah

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AuthorBio

Sarah Masters is one of three pen names I write under. Sarah mainly writes m/m. Natalie Dae writes het erotica, while the third, Charley Oweson, writes thriller/horror/suspense books with no sex.

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4.5 Stars for Please Understand by Fai Marie Dawson #MM #Romance

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Title: Please Understand
Author Name & Publisher: Fai Marie Dawson (MLR Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 20, 2015 – 239 pgs

Synopsis

Fox claims to be straight as an arrow, but will his life turn upside down when he meets his girlfriend’s twin brother, Tommie?

To keep his mother off his back, Fox struggles to live life as a straight man. Following his failed marriage, he thinks he’s found a piece of heaven when he meets Audrey, a sexy dark-haired beauty. When he’s introduced to her twin brother, his life turns upside down. Mrs. Jones, a regular shopper at Fox’s quaint neighborhood bookstore, steps in to referee the fall-out. Can Fox maintain relationships with both Audrey and her brother? Can a late night train chase bring Fox closer to the one he loves? How far will Fox’s mother go to keep her son tight in her clutches?

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Review

FourandHalfStars

First off, this book was both frustrating and amazing all wrapped into one.  While it was not hard to figure out the story, I enjoyed it all the same.

Fox is a shy book store owner who wants to find someone to share his life with.  I hated his mother with such a passion that whenever she was mentioned I found myself clenching my teeth and fingers around my poor kindle.  She was wicked and unethical, mean and uncaring.  It was a wonder that Fox came out as awesome as he did.

Then you have Audrey.  A shy, fun, beautiful woman who catches Fox’s eye.  I loved how their relationship went.  They were such an adorable couple.  When she went to watch over her family and left her brother to watch her apartment, I loved her even more.  She was able to show Fox things about himself that he might not have ever learned.  The same can be said for her brother Tommie.

Tommie was a character that I just wanted to hug.  While he is trying to figure out himself, the friendship that he develops with Fox is one for the story books.  I loved that they were friends for so long.  Tommie’s struggle is one that I am sure lots of children share –  While his family was one of hard morals and unforgiving blame, I was awed by how Tommie wanted to mend those broken parts of himself.

Ultimately, Fox and Tommie both share in the miscommunications and mishaps of this story, but eventually, I was happy with how the story resolved.

AvidReader

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4.5 Stars for The Virtuous Feats of the Indomitable Miss Trafalgar and the Erudite Lady Boone #FF @SupposedCrimes @GeonnCannon

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TitleThe Virtuous Feats of the Indomitable Miss Trafalgar and the Erudite Lady Boone
Author Name & Publisher: Geonn Cannon (Supposed Crimes)
Publication Date & Length: September 1, 2015 – 212 pgs

Synopsis

In 1899, a secret society tried to use a young woman to bring an ancient evil into the world. Twenty years later they will return to finish the job.

After the Great War, London is settling once more into the gentle routine of peacetime. The airships that once protected England’s coast now ferry people back and forth across the Thames, the magically-inclined are free to return to their normal work, and those who seek treasures left behind by ancient civilizations are again free to explore. Dorothy Boone shunned a life of luxury to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps by uncovering the mysteries of “the worlds that came before ours.” When a package explodes upon delivery to Lady Boone’s townhouse, she is drawn into an unlikely alliance with her nemesis, Trafalgar of Abyssinia, to find the culprit.

They soon find themselves unraveling a plot that has left many of their allies dead and the rest in fear for their lives. A group of treasure hunters with a fiendish plot to take over England has begun eliminating its competition in order to fund an expedition to retrieve the last item they need for a summoning that will bring an ancient evil into our world. With no one else to trust, Trafalgar and Boone must put aside their differences and forge a partnership to stop their mutual enemy. If they fail, a world that still bears the scars of the Great War will be once again thrown into turmoil.

Welcome to the world of Trafalgar and Boone, a world where airships battled in a Great War that was fought by soldiers who utilized magic and summoned monsters to do their bidding, a world that they must defend by working together to stop an evil far greater than either of them could ever have imagined.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

I went into this book after reading the Riley Parra series from this author and will openly admit I had rather high and possibly unrealistic expectations. Thankfully, Cannon once again delivered a wonderful, action packed story that had me flipping pages hours after I should have put it down and gotten some sleep.
While the kind of romance I loved so much in the Riley Parra series was absent, the rest of the aspects the book held more than made up for it. The characters are true to type and personality, remaining consistent through the course of the book with believable growth and learning experiences. The backdrop of the story was riveting and well thought out as well as being wonderfully described. I would recommend this to any who enjoys steampunk or just a good plot mystery!
Rhayne

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NEW RELEASE: 4 stars for The Long Slide Home (The Rainbow League #3) by Kate McMurray @dreamspinners #MM #contemporary #romance

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Title: The Long Slide Home (The Rainbow League #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Kate McMurray — Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date & Length: August 14, 2015 — 204 pages

Synopsis

Nate and Carlos have been the best of friends since their childhood playing baseball together in the Bronx. For the last few years, Nate’s been in love with Carlos, though he’s never acted on it, and Carlos has never given any indication that he returns Nate’s feelings. Nate has finally given up, determined to move on and find someone else, especially now that Carlos has shacked up with his boyfriend Aiden.

Carlos doesn’t understand why Nate has suddenly gotten weird, acting cold and distant at team practice for the Rainbow League. But if that’s how things are going to be, Carlos is done trying to figure Nate out. But then Aiden starts to show he might not be the man Carlos thought he was, and Carlos needs his best friend’s support. Worse, he starts to realize his feelings for Nate might not be limited to friendship. But in the aftermath of his relationship with Aiden, and with Nate having problems of his own, the timing is all wrong to make a real relationship work. As emotions run high, both have hard time figuring out what is real and what is just convenient.

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Review

FourStars

Trigger warning: Abusive relationship

This is a story about finding out perhaps that your true love was with you all along.  It’s about taking the time to truly see the people around you, opening your heart and taking risks.

I can truly feel for Nate’s reservation about his best friend and potentially the love of his life finding someone other than himself.  That must have truly hurt Nate.  However, he does his best to pick himself up, dust himself off and keeps playing the game.

Carlos is one who, perhaps sees what he wants to see rather than what is truly there.  In all of the years that he and Nate have been friends, he was oblivious to Nate’s heart.  Instead, he chooses someone who is so “into him” that he becomes cut off from his family and friends.

Then you have Aiden.  Hmm, what to say about this partner that won’t get me in trouble?  Nope, can’t do it.  Nothing good to say about him.  He is a jealous, horrible person.

Despite being best friends, Carlos and Nate actually find out a lot about each other in this story.  I liked that they continued to grow in to their relationship rather than just jump right in.

I enjoyed the previous books in this series and hope to continue liking them.

~AvidReader

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3.5 Stars for Hush by Jude Sierra @JudeSierra #MM #Romance

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Title: Hush
Author: Jude Sierra
Publication Date and Length: May 19,2015 – 178 pages

Synopsis

Wren is one of “the gifted”—a man with the power to compel others’ feelings and desires. He uses his power as a game of sexual consent until Cameron, a naive college student, enters his life. As Cameron begins to understand his sexuality and gain confidence under Wren’s tutelage, Wren grows to recognize new and unexpected things about himself. Can their game become a relationship as the power shifts from teacher to student?

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

The beginning of this story was hard for me to get into as it drivels on and on about pointless things that only made the story dull to me. I understand that we had to know what Cam has gone through to get to where he was, but it was really long winded.
However once him and Wren start their escapes, it was wildly interesting. However, there were many times were I couldn’t figure out what was going on with them. There was no keeping track of how much time had passed between gaps in the story so it was hard to keep up. Some scenes were only half a page long and felt awkward.
While underneath I really loved the story and the two men trying to figure out how to make what they had work, I really felt like there could’ve been additional edits as there are errors littered through out the story as well as things like ‘picking and picking’ and other repetitious words and phrases that really slowed and detracted from the story. There also appeared to be missing words.
However, that being said, I liked the story and the characters and the development that happened throughout so I would read work from this author again.
Renee

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Jude began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”.

As a sucker for happy endings and well written emotional arcs and characters, Jude is an unapologetic bookaholic. She finds bookstores and libraries unbearably sexy and, to her husband’s dismay, is attempting to create her own in their living room.

She is a writer of many things that hope to find their way out of the sanctuary of her hard drive, and many that have found a home in a fanfiction community.

Hush is her first original published novel

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NEW RELEASE: Buzz & Blow – Shave & Shimmer – Fade & Fluff by Alex Carreras @AlexCWrites #MM #Paranormal #Fantasy

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Title: Buzz & Blow — Shave & Shimmer — Fade & Fluff
Author Name: Alex Carreras
Publication Date & Length: May 20, 2015 — 200 pages

Synopsis

In the city of Sangre, Florida, vampires and humans coexist happily until one ancient and powerful vampire decides to mess up the entire thing. The hairdressers at Everlasting Salon who service vampires and humans alike decide to face the threat that lands on their doorstep enlisting the barbers across the street for a fight to the finish. Chaos ensues when fists fly, but it’s not all bad when old flames reunite and new relationships take root and grow. Between the clandestine meetings and vigilante justice, the vampires find love in unexpected companions, hoping to get some TLC along the way.

 

Excerpt

Asher Riots unlocked the door to Everlasting, the salon he had worked at since arriving in the Sunshine State.

Normally the blazing sun wasn’t a vampire’s best friend, but after spending a hundred plus years in the northern United States, it was time for balmy breezes to warm his chilled skin, and soft, sandy beaches to tread on when the moon was full and high in the night sky, no matter what the season.

Stepping through the threshold, he inhaled the distinctive scents of the salon that made his senses tingle with excitement. The familiar smells of the hairsprays, gels, and lotions made him thankful that he had chosen this profession before he became what he was today, a member of the undead. His parents had coiffed the elite of Paris society, and their talents and attention to detail had been passed on to their son who possessed the same talents it took to excel in the beauty industry.

But times and styles had changed, leaving Asher longing for the days of platinum powdered wigs worn by courtesans, instead of bold, garish colors embraced by America’s youth. Releasing a sigh, he flipped on the neon Open sign that hung in the window. Looking out onto the street, he noticed that the barbershop across the way was still closed. Although attractive, the barbers were bad news, and they attracted similar clientele that made Asher’s skin crawl, but excited his lust for rough trade. He never admitted this to his boss, Jerrod, but Tory, his co-worker, suspected as much, judging by the smirk on his glossed lips whenever he caught Asher gazing at the comings and goings of the barbershop during the slow periods at the salon. Tory liked to play dumb, but he was anything but. Asher suspected that Tory preferred it that way because less would be expected of him. He was only fooling himself. Jerrod would never have hired the twink with a penchant for all things shiny, if he believed that was true. Jerrod only took on vampires who showed potential. And if that potential wasn’t realized, they’d be asked to leave. Many had passed through the doors of Everlasting, but only Asher had withstood the test of time.

“They’re in there.” Jerrod strutted through the door on a gust of wind, his deep baritone reverberating in Asher’s chest. “Can’t you smell them?”

“I can smell something, all right,” Asher mumbled under his breath before turning to see the man who had saved him from his own self-loathing when he arrived in Sangre, Florida, years ago. “And it smells like someone is wearing too much cologne.” Asher eyed his friend’s black-from-head-to-toe outfit. It was very hairdresser. And very vampire.

“Funny,” Jerrod grumbled, shooting a look at Asher. “I can sense something’s up but I can’t figure out what, exactly. Have you heard any tongues wagging in the street?”

“Nope,” Asher returned. “But I don’t usually listen to gossip. Ask Tory. He’d know if there is anything to know.”

Jerrod chuckled. “He’s late,” he said without looking at the clock on the wall. “What are we going to do about that guy?”

Just then, the man in question swished through the door, his strut better than any super model’s. “Are you two talking about me again?” Tory made it to the middle of the salon and twirled. “What do you think? It was a gift from an admirer.”

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AuthorBio

Writer of M/M erotic romance, Alex Carreras believes there is nothing sexier than a hot, naked man with a cocky attitude and a sultry smile. Always on the hunt for inspiration, you will find Alex wherever there are attractive men hopefully in a state of undress. And since he lives in South Florida where the average yearly temperature is a balmy 82 Fahrenheit, there is certainly no shortage of inspiration.

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