Tag Archives: new release

5 Stars for The Storm Before the Calm by Cate Ashwood @cateashwood #MM #romance

StormBeforeTheCalm[The]FS

Title: The Storm Before the Calm
Author Name: Cate Ashwood
Publication Date & Length: June 5, 2015 — 200 pages

Synopsis

Charlie has one passion in life: dancing. It’s his salvation when it feels like the world is swallowing him whole. When his mom secretly secures him a spot in the summer intensive at the Free Rein Dance Company in New York, he is thrilled. He knows that once the summer ends, he’ll have to return to Beacon to get a job and help support his family, but for those two months, he can spread his wings.

In New York he meets Max, a junior instructor who is everything Charlie wishes he could be. Bold and self-assured, Max radiates pride in who he is. As they spend time together, Max shows Charlie what life can be like past the walls of his closed-minded home town. But Charlie doesn’t know if he’s ready to show the world who he truly is when standing in the spotlight is the last thing he wants.

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Review

FiveStars

I loved this! Great characters, great story, great setting and all the emotion I expect from Cate Ashwood at her best.

Charlie is a brilliant leading man. I loved watching him grow into himself. His dance scenes were beautiful and his emerging confidence was wonderful to witness.

Max is also amazing. Older, confident and talented, he is the perfect man to help Charlie become comfortable in his own skin..

As always, Ashwood makes us feel everything her characters feel as we fall in love with them. Beyond the central relationships, secondary characters come to life beautifully. New York comes alive through Charlie’s narration. The city emerges as a vibrant, heaving culinary heaven, a place where everyone can be freely accepted.

I love the detail Ashwood put into her dance scenes, especially at the start. I was a little sad that as Charlie’s relationships progressed, the detailed descriptions of his dancing waned. I wanted more dancing!

This is a fantastic story. Highly recommended.

Sarah

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Excerpt

My fingers tugged at the edge of the cardboard cozy wrapped around the cup as I waited for him to speak. The silence between us felt heavy, and the awkwardness settled in around me as he stared at me, his mouth quirked in a playful expression.

“What?” I asked finally.

“Nothing,” he replied, smiling. “So I guess we should get started.”

“Sure.”

“I think maybe just one, two songs at most. The festival isn’t until the end of the summer, so we have lots of time.”

“What festival is it again?” I asked.

“OutShine,” he responded.

“What kind of festival is that?” I asked.

“It’s a big arts festival that takes place throughout the city, mostly in parks. There are exhibits and performances, and a huge celebration at the end. It was started a few years ago to raise awareness and money for gay rights.”

“Oh. Are you… I mean….”

“Gay?” Max supplied.

“Yeah.”

“Yes. Are you?”

“I… no, uh I…,” I stuttered. I was stunned by how nonchalant and completely unapologetic he’d been about his sexuality, as though admitting to me he was gay was the most ordinary thing in the whole world. A part of me wished I could do that. I could nod and say the words like it was as natural as telling him I was blond or I liked chocolate ice cream.

“It’s okay, Charlie. No big deal. You don’t have to be gay to participate. Originally, all the artists were gay, but it has grown and evolved now to include everyone, which is how it should be,” Max said, shooting me an understanding look.

I should have corrected him. I should have told him, but I’d never said the words out loud. Hell, it was hard enough for me to form that three-word sentence in my head. Even as I sat there, my brain rebelled, doing its own version of sticking its fingers in its ears and humming. So instead of being honest with him about who I was, I let him assume I was something else. Continue reading

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4 stars for A Hard Ride Home by Emory Vargas @LT3Press #MM #mystery

A Hard Ride Home

Title: A Hard Ride Home
Author Name: Emory Vargas
Publication Date & Length: June 17, 2015 – 172 pages

Synopsis

It’s hard enough returning to his birthplace to replace a dead man as sheriff. The last thing Emmett needs is to find himself smitten with Jesse, the whore he arrests almost immediately upon arrival. Especially since Jesse works for his half-sister and at her thoroughly disreputable saloon.

But being smitten with a whore is only the beginning of Emmett’s troubles. Silver Creek is a town full of secrets and people too terrified to talk. Why does Emmett’s father, the mayor of Silver Creek, have such a strong hold on the town—and on Jesse?

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Review

 FourStarsA noble sheriff, an evil mayor and a beautiful boy take centre stage in Emory Vargas’ tale of love and mayhem in the Wild West.I love cowboys, but historical m/m westerns are too often weighed down by homophobia and angst.  Not this one.  Emory Vargas has created a surrealist Wild West where pretty boys live in brothels and work alongside the girls.

With exciting shoot-outs, steamy sex-scenes between beautiful men and a red-headed sheriff to make us go weak at the knees, this is a simple, fun and undemanding read.

~Sarah

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AuthorBio

Emory Vargas loves knitting scarves and writing about tentative first time sexual encounters and amorous cephalopods, though not always at the same time.

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5 stars for Henry’s End by Julie A. Richman @JulieARichman #MM #Romance

Henry's End

Title: Henry’s End
Author Name: Julie A. Richman
Publication Date & Length: May 11, 2015 –

Synopsis

Dreams.
I used to have them—before the nightmares started.
I dreamed of nice guys, love…normalcy.
Things like reading the Sunday paper in bed with my
lover.

But who needs dreams when your reality is filled with a string of faceless dominating men in uniform? Men that pack a thick bulge and are only too happy to satisfy my deviant sexual cravings.

Me. That’s who.

And then HE walked through the door and shared with me, a total stranger, his intimate dream of love. Damn him for verbalizing every single detail of the dream I buried long ago.

And now I don’t know how I’m going to live without that dream.
Or him.

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Review

FiveStars
I was given this book for an honest review by Inked Rainbow Reads.
Let me start out by saying that I loved the Needing Moore series.  So, when I got the chance to read Henry’s End, I was SO happy.
This book did not disappoint! It made me laugh and cry, made me swoon and want to defend these characters with my life.  I love how Julie was able to develop Seth and Henry.
Seth has always been one of my favorite character, but in this story, you get to see so much more of him.  I do wish that we had more of his history, but realize this story is named “Henry’s End”.  Seth is his lovable, over the top, awesome self throughout the book.  However, the softer side of Seth, the side he hides so well also comes out and I think it just made me love him that much more.
Henry’s story is one of pain, love, romance, sadness and ultimately, love again.  While his story was somewhat predictable, I did not think that the predictability took anything away from his story.  Like I said before, I wanted to defend him, hug him, laugh with him.  I believe I did cry with him, laugh with him and feel such hatred towards those who would hurt him. That’s how powerful Julie’s writing was.
Including the characters from the Needing Moore series just helped to create a cohesiveness – they all love each other and that is not diminished in this story.  I hope that she continues to write about these characters and that we get to see more of Henry and Seth.
~AvidReader

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Teaser

Henry's End Teaser1 Henry's End Teaser2

 

AuthorBio

USA Today Bestselling author Julie A. Richman is a native New Yorker living deep in the heart of Texas. A creative writing major in college, reading and writing fiction has always been a passion. Julie began her corporate career in publishing in NYC and writing played a major role throughout her career as she created and wrote marketing, advertising, direct mail and fundraising materials for Fortune 500 corporations, advertising agencies and non-profit organizations. She is an award winning nature photographer plagued with insatiable wanderlust. Julie and her husband have one son and a white German Shepherd named Juneau.

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New Release: The Eye and the Arm (Champion of the Gods #2) by Andrew Q. Gordon #MM #Fantasy @andrewqgordon

EyeAndTheArm[The]_FBprofile_small

Title: The Eye and the Arm (Champion of the Gods #2)
Author Name: Andrew Q. Gordon
Publication Date & Length: April 14, 2015 – 296pgs

Synopsis

After defeating Meglar at Belsport, Farrell returns to Haven to recover from his injuries, but Khron, the god of war, has other ideas. He gives Farrell a new mission: free the survivors of the ancient dwarf realm of Trellham from their three-thousand-year banishment. To fulfill Khron’s near impossible task, Farrell will need the help of his distance ancestor, the legendary wizard Kel. But Kel has been dead for a thousand years.

Farrell finds information hinting that Kel is alive, so he moves his search to Dumbarten, Kel’s birthplace. To reach Dumbarten unannounced, Farrell and Miceral disguise themselves as mercenaries on board a merchant vessel. Their journey is disrupted when pirates attack their ship. While attempting to subdue the attack, Farrell is struck down by one of Meglar’s minions.

Unconscious and trapped in his own mind, Farrell’s only chance for survival rests with Miceral and the peregrine king Rothdin entering his thoughts and helping him sort fact from illusion. To reach Farrell, they will need to rely on an untested spell from one of Kel’s spellbooks. If they succeed, Miceral can guide Farrell home safely. If not, Farrell will destroy not only himself, but Miceral, Rothdin, and everyone around him.

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Excerpt

Miceral grabbed his last javelin and crept toward the starboard rail. The tip of pirate’s prow had just reached their stern. He could see men crouched under the protection of the gunwale. “They’re almost here—be ready.”

Moving faster than the enemy could react, Miceral scaled the short staircase and quickly found a protected spot in the aftcastle. Peering through a narrow opening, he scanned the clusters of men he could see. At the rear of the largest group, Miceral spotted someone who, by clothing at least, appeared to be an officer. With no one else standing out as being the captain, this man became his target.

Springing to his feet, he hurled the spear before anyone could target him. One of the pirates huddled by the rail fired an arrow, which Miceral caught in midflight. Flashing the enemy a wicked grin, he snapped the shaft in half before dropping back behind his cover.

Miceral closed one eye and stared through the space between crates. He watched the men look toward where their officer had been standing, and from the shouts he knew he’d hit his mark. One pirate tried to pull the spear out but failed. When he turned to ask for help, a stream of blood dribbled out of his mouth and over the feathers of the arrow protruding from his neck. Everyone else ducked immediately and remained out of sight.

Miceral traced the shaft’s path back to where Peter knelt, nocking another arrow. He gave his friend a wink and a nod. Before either could enjoy the small victory, a hail of arrows and spears whistled across the deck. Under the cover of this barrage, dozens of grappling hooks landed on the deck of the Rose. Once the barbs dug into whatever purchase they could find, the two vessels inched closer. Miceral heard the faint thud of the two ships colliding and slipped the mace and axe from his belt.

With the ships tethered together, the pirates flipped long wooden planks from their ship onto the Seafoam Rose. Hooks on the ends secured the slim pathway firmly in place. The first wave of invaders ran across the boards, screaming at the top of their lungs. If they expect to scare the crew into surrender, that hope dissipated when four of their number fell dead from a round of arrows.

Miceral used the distraction to leap from his hiding place. Screaming his own battle cry, he rushed the startled pirates. From his right, Emerson and Nathan led the crew in defense of their ship.

The ferocity of the resistance appeared to catch the invaders by surprise. Miceral killed anything in his reach, stalling the attack momentarily. Peter stood next to Miceral and proved the value of all the long hours of practice he’d been put through.

Unfortunately, Miceral couldn’t defend all points of entry onto the vessel. The pirates quickly learned to avoid the armed warrior who moved with the speed of lightning.

The initial advantage of the Rose’s crew quickly evaporated as the pirates brought superior numbers onto the trading ship. To avoiding being surrounded, the defenders fell back to a predetermined, more defensible position. This allowed the rest of the pirates to cross unimpeded.

“Now would be a good time to arrive, Farrell.” Miceral didn’t know if Farrell could hear him, but if he didn’t arrive soon, there’d be no one left to rescue.

“I’m almost there, Ral.” Farrell’s voice distracted Miceral enough that he cut off an opponent’s arm instead of slicing through the man’s neck. “Hang on!”

AuthorBio

Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.

He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of twenty years, their daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.

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