Release Blitz + Giveaway: Boy's Don't Cry by J.K. Hogan


Celebrate the release of Boys Don't Cry with the author J.K. Hogan and IndiGo Marketing! Check out info about the romance that features a recluse and a down on his luck college grad! Don't miss the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway!


Title:  Boys Don't Cry
Author: J.K. Hogan
Publisher:  J.K. Hogan
Release Date: May 25th 2017
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 70,000 words
Genre: Romance

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Synopsis

Mackenzie Pratt is having the worst luck of his life. His apartment building is being torn down, and since he’s jobless and just weeks away from graduating college, he can’t find anywhere else he can afford to live that isn’t a critter-infested dump. As he’s lamenting the very real possibility of job hunting while couch-surfing, he gets an offer from the coworker of his best friend.
An in-demand mobile app developer and heir to his parents’ fortune, Laurent Beaudry is literally an eccentric billionaire. Even though Mackenzie realizes he’s basically living the plot of a cheesy romance novel, he takes the proffered room in Laurent’s Baltimore mansion. He finds his new housemate to be grumpy, brooding, and, at times, incredibly kind and endearing.
Raised by his brother after their father’s death, Mackenzie spent his formative years plowing headlong through school, focusing on little else beyond earning his teaching certification. He’s never taken the time to explore love and relationships, much less sexuality, so when he finds himself being courted by another man, he has no idea what to do. And when he realizes he might actually return those feelings, his life takes a whole new direction.

Excerpt

The house was dark so I couldn’t see much, but what I could see was immaculate, contrary to what Taylor had said. The hardwood floors gleamed in the moonlight, the furniture looked expensive and perfect, and there wasn’t a dirty dish or dust bunny in sight. “I thought you said it was a sty,” I whispered.

“Oh, this? Not this. He only uses a fraction of the house, the suite with his bedroom, living room, library, and office. All of this is just for show,” he said with a sweeping gesture toward the big empty parlor we were facing. “And why are you whispering? He knows I’m coming.”

“I don’t know. It seems so quiet and…undisturbed.”

Taylor’s chuckle had an evil ring to it. “You want disturbed? Follow me.” He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled. “Mr. Beaudry! It’s me, Taylor. Morrison. From Mindstream. The place you work.”

He made his way down a dark corridor with me dogging his heels. “He doesn’t remember who you are? Where he works?”

“Oh, he knows. But when he’s been staring at code for hours on end and not sleeping, sometimes basic stuff slips his mind. Details like that can be hard for geniuses like him.”

Genius? I didn’t think I’d ever heard that term used to sincerely describe someone. “What does he do again?”

“He’s a mobile app developer. Highly sought after, but right now he works exclusively for us. That was a huge coup for the company.” He stopped in front of a heavy, ornately carved door made of some kind of dark hardwood. He rapped his knuckles on it three times before barging on in, while I hovered in the doorway.

So this was the suite. Taylor had been right. What a mess. We stood in what I assumed was the living room, but it was hard to tell because every available surface was covered in wrinkled clothing, pizza boxes, and empty dishes. A huge fireplace was installed in the far wall, surrounded by shelves and shelves of books. More books than I’d ever seen in one place outside a library. The fire blazed in the hearth, and I was honestly surprised there wasn’t any garbage close enough to it to catch fire. As beautiful as the house was, the mess made my skin crawl. I usually lived in shitty apartments, so I was a bit of a neat freak to balance the universe.

“Beaudry? You in here?” Taylor called. There was no answer. “He must be in the bedroom suite.” He headed to a door on the left, like it was no big deal.

Wait! You’re just going to barge into the guy’s bedroom?”

Pausing in his tracks, Taylor looked over his shoulder. “This is no ordinary bedroom. Just because there’s a bed in the corner doesn’t mean it’s some intimate setting. It’s just a giant workspace.” With that parting shot, he burst through the door, once again calling the man’s name.

Trembling from too much alcohol and not enough nerve, I stepped inside the room. I was stunned speechless by the scene before me. Taylor had one thing right—it was no ordinary bedroom. It was the size of three average rooms lined up in a row and probably had double the square footage of the apartment I was getting booted out of. There was indeed a bed, a California king canopy bed off in one corner of the room. A fire was blazing in this suite as well, only I realized that it was the same fire in the same fireplace, which apparently connected the two rooms.

Taylor stood next to what had to be the man’s workspace. There was a giant U-shaped desk adorned with four widescreen computer monitors and various other gadgets typical of an office. However, on one leg of the U, there was a collection of what looked to be every tablet, PDA, smartphone, and any other mobile device known to man. I supposed he had to test his software on each gizmo that was likely to employ it.

Behind the office area was a ginormous TV screen—at least seventy inches—that looked like it would be more at home in a movie theater. Several fluffy couches were set up in a semicircle facing it. It would be amazing to have a movie marathon in this place. And of course, there was every gaming console imaginable to go along with the screen yardage. But…despite all the cool stuff, there was some very weird stuff about the place as well. Besides the office setup and the movie area, all the furniture in the suite looked like it had been bought from a garage sale at Versailles. It was expensive-looking, obviously, but very gilded and frilly. There were also several racks flanking the giant TV that displayed the man’s sword collection.

And then, the murals. The murals were creepy. On at least a couple of the walls above the wainscoting, there were huge, garish wall paintings of nudes in various scenes. Men and women, sometimes in sexual situations, sometimes just hanging out or whatever. But they weren’t like Renaissance or fine art nudes or anything; they seemed to be done by just some random modern artist. I had no idea how the guy could manage to look at them all day every day. Though if it weren’t for those, I’d never leave a place like this either. Speaking of the guy, though, there was no sign of him.

“Where is he?” I was whispering again. It just seemed like the thing to do when you snuck into someone’s bedroom at night. Not that we were really sneaking, but still.

As if in answer to my question, we heard a toilet flush, and a door to my right that I hadn’t even noticed swung open, startling me. The person who came through was pretty much just as unbelievable as the house he lived in. He was tall—very tall—and lanky, but with wide shoulders and well-defined musculature. His hair was just a little too long, like maybe he’d forgotten his last couple of haircuts, and very dark, shot through with a tiny bit of gray. It had to be premature because I doubted he was much more than ten years older than me. His facial features—though thrown in deep shadow because of the low light in the room—were chiseled and angular, too handsome to be fair to the rest of the world. Wire-rimmed glasses perched on the tip of his straight nose, slightly askew. Despite the handsomeness, he had dark circles under his eyes and frown lines around his mouth, as if he hadn’t slept in weeks. And he was wearing Angry Birds pajamas.

When he saw me, his deep-set blue eyes widened and he flinched like I’d snuck up on him. “Who the hell are you?”

I let out a squeaky gasp and backed away toward Taylor because the guy looked fucking scary when he turned on the full force of that scowl.

“Jesus Christ, Beaudry, relax,” Taylor said. He picked up his briefcase and pulled out a legal-size envelope. “This is my friend Mackenzie. I was driving him home, and I just popped in to drop off these contracts from Harrelson.”

Beaudry grunted and crossed the room to sit at his desk. He waved a hand in the vague direction of a stack of shelves. “Just put them in the inbox. I’ll deal with them later.”

“If you look them over now, I can take back any questions or return them…”

He glared at Taylor over his shoulder, and Taylor wisely shut his mouth. Then the man’s gaze settled on me. It wasn’t the scowl he’d given me earlier, but it wasn’t exactly a…nice expression either. It was more of an assessing glare than anything. “Welcome to Chatham House, Mackenzie. What do you think?” he asked.

I had no idea what he meant. What did I think of the house? The room? Him? “It’s…impressive. The artwork is…unusual.”

He let out a belting laugh that I hadn’t been expecting, so I jumped, but then the rich baritone of it made my toes curl. It was an odd reaction, as I wasn’t usually affected by such things.

“Unusual is a kind way of putting it. The artwork came with the house, along with much of the furniture. I just haven’t gotten around to redecorating.”

“Oh, that’s…” . “How long have you lived here, then?”

Beaudry turned back to his computer and began typing furiously. “About five years,” he answered without turning back around.

I choked on air, and Taylor snorted. “I think by ‘haven’t gotten around to it,’ you mean ‘just don’t give a shit,’” he muttered.

“TouchĂ©, Mr. Morrison. Is there anything else you need?”

Taylor sighed, probably realizing that the man was not going to look at whatever was in the envelope while we were still there to relay any messages back to Mindstream. He clamped a hand around my wrist and started dragging me toward the door. “All right, we’re going. Remember, drinks at the King’s Shield next Friday.”

“I don’t think I’m going to be—”

Taylor spoke right over Beaudry’s muttering. “You already said you would. No backsies. I can pick you up.”

“I think I’d enjoy driving my shiny Lotus instead, but thank you very much for the offer,” Beaudry growled. “Nice meeting you, Mack,” I heard him call through the open door.

“Nickname basis already?” I laughed to Taylor.

“That has nothing to do with nicknames and everything to do with your name being too long for him to remember.”

“I heard that, Morrison!”

Purchase

J.K. Hogan | Amazon


Meet the Author


J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?
J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and two sons, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit www.jkhogan.com.

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Guest Review: The Wanderer (The Sin Bin #1) by Dahlia Donovan

Graham Hodson lives for adventure. His entire life has revolved around his obsessive wanderlust. His inner fear of staying in one place or being with one person for too long has kept him on the go. The last thing he expects is a sudden diagnosis to ground his travel—permanently.

Boyce “BC” Brooks has screwed up his lifelong dream of being the captain of the English national rugby team. He’s lost everything. When his uncle leaves him an inn and a dog in Cornwall, he has little choice but to try his hand at innkeeper.

Can two jokesters kicked around by life and their own decisions find stability when their world shakes beneath their feet?






Reviewer: Lost in a Book

I’ll start this off by warning everyone that although this is the first book in the series, there is another book, After the Scrum, that provides more of a backstory with the supporting characters and even introduces Graham. It would have been nice to understand the backstory for some of their friends but I don’t feel my reading experience was affected by not starting there.

The very beginning of The Wanderer starts off with a bang. Literally…err, or a “wank.” The MCs are at a wedding and give each other the “eyes” across the church and then it’s on like Donkey Kong. There’s a closet, two hot men, some “bollocks” and some mutually beneficial meeting of the minds. After, they don’t get names and continue on to the wedding festivities.

Eventually, both men find out who the other is and we are properly introduced to Graham and Boyce “BC.” Graham is a travel writer that spends his time going from country to country. He is most happy living his life going on adventures and experiencing other people, places, and the local cuisine. BC is an ex-rugby player who has inherited his uncle’s inn located in England and is now running the place. Both men are incompetent with matters of the heart and relationships. Both men would rather run away from problems instead of meeting them head-on. Both men have meddling family and friends. Both men are intrigued by the other.

”The man intrigued him, and his sudden disappearance to parts unknown had only increased his interest. Who didn’t love a good mystery? A mystery he wanted to thoroughly unravel. Thoroughly fuck as well. He’d always had a thing for gingers.”

Graham is a ginger. *growl* BC calls him Ginger Spice. *giggle*

Graham has been tasked with writing about all the sights and eats around his “home” which makes his twin brother book him a few days at Fisherman’s Refuge, BC’s inn. Over these three days, Graham and BC find comfort, chemistry, and humor together.

“Always wanted to be a Jedi. Thought my lightsabre would be a tad longer.”
BC slid his fingers along the contours of the redhead’s muscled abdomen.
“Are you the chosen one?”

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This newfound non-relationship spooked both Graham and BC. Graham takes off without saying a word and moves on to his next travel destination. BC is left unsettled and after a while, decides to meet up with him on one of the adventures. BC’s willingness to seek out Graham is the foundation on which their relationship builds. Shortly after BC meets up on a couple adventures, Graham gets bad news. Really bad news. He is sick and his diagnosis knocks the wind out of his sails. Literally. BC steps up in a huge way and Graham finds refuge with him at the inn. From here, they embark on a journey of recovery and self-discovery.

I specifically didn’t say a journey of love. This was one of the frustrating points of the book. There was such a lack of depth in their emotional connection throughout. They had chemistry and so much potential in the beginning of their “relationship” and when the diagnosis hit, their progress stalled and never recovered. They reminded me of friends with benefits.

“I’m trying to figure out how this turned into a relationship when both of us are shit at them. We do sex, not feelings. When did it change? Did it?”

At 82% “I am in love. Graham is in love with me. Neither of us is emotionally mature enough to want to discuss this beyond our initial…confession. So, essentially, we’re completely buggered and not in the fun way.”

“If I were soppy, I’d have flowery words of love and gratitude. I’m not, so—thanks, wanker.”


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I get it. I like humor, jokes, and locker room banter just as much as the next guy. Did their interactions stay consistent throughout the book? Yes, which showed a lack of relationship evolution. Were they emotionally handicapped? Yes. Did they work well together? Sure. But, give me something. Anything. The lack of proclamations and relationship on either side highlighted how amazing BC was throughout the story to become Graham’s pillar of strength.

As for some technical aspects, I didn’t notice any major editing errors. There were blank pages before every chapter which drove me crazy. I’m a cover whore. *shrug* I love the cover of this book and it is very fitting to the story. This book is more of a HFN and not a HEA. Outside of the sickness in this book, it was relatively low angst.

This book came out with guns blazing but slowed down right after the closet time. It seemed like it took a year just to reach 50%. However, it was enjoyable and kept my attention despite my frustration with their relationship.

“Love is like the perfect summer day in London. It’s never guaranteed, always worth the wait, and occasionally happens when you’ve given up on the clouds parting. Enjoy it. Don’t run away.”


Giveaway + Blog Tour: The Wrong Woman (Toronto Connections, #4) by Cass Lennox


Cass Lennox is here promoting her new Toronto Connections novel and there's a $15 Riptide credit up for grabs!

Be sure to enter below! Good luck!


About The Wrong Woman


As an independent filmmaker, Katie Cherry is used to difficult shoots—but a band’s music video in a tiny lesbian bar is proving worse than most. Stress-busting, expectation-free sex with Zay, the calm, gorgeous bartender, seems just the ticket. But then she and Zay discover the band’s lead singer beaten into a coma in the bar bathroom. They need an alibi, but playing girlfriends is a role Katie’s never excelled at, so she can't see this ending well.


Zay Fayed-Smith is finally getting her life back together after her junkie ex broke it apart. She’s working part-time while pursuing her dream of being a lawyer, and definitely keeping things chill on the girls front. Of course, that’s when a crime happens in her bar and her ex shows up wanting to try again. “Dating” Katie seems like the best way for Zay to keep her head down and teach her ex a lesson.


Except pretty soon, the charade begins to feel less and less like acting. And when the attacker turns his attentions toward Katie, they have to cut through the lies to discover what’s real.


Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-wrong-woman

About the Toronto Connections Universe



The winters might be cold, but hearts are warm in Toronto. Canada’s largest city is home to a big lake, a big tower, and a big queer community. People here are trying to get by like everyone else: pay the bills, deal with life in the city, and maybe find some happiness along the way with someone who’s sweeter than maple candy and more constant than a Canadian’s love for Timmie’s coffee.


For some, falling in love is a real challenge. For others, falling is the easy part—it’s the happy ever after that proves a little more difficult. But in the end, love is worth every complication, misunderstanding, and occasional swear word.



About Cass Lennox


Cass Lennox is a permanent expat who has lived in more countries than she cares to admit to and suffers from a chronic case of wanderlust as a result. She started writing stories at the tender age of eleven, but would be the first to say that the early years are best left forgotten and unread. A great believer in happy endings, she arrived at queer romance via fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, and manga, and she can’t believe it took her that long. Her specialties are diverse characters, gooey happy ever afters, and brownies. She’s currently sequestered in a valley in southeast England.


Connect with Cass:




To celebrate the release of The Wrong Woman, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 27, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Guest Review: Coming In by Michelle Ogilvy

Jay and Adam have been sharing a flat, and a bed, since they moved down to Adelaide after high school a couple of years ago. Neither man considers himself gay or mentions the sexual nature of their friendship to anyone else.

Their arrangement doesn’t stop Jay from casually dating random women he meets through work and both men seem happy with the way things are. That is, until Adam meets April, a damsel in distress that latches herself onto Adam in a way that he doesn’t mind at all. Jay sure does, though.

As Adam gets closer to April, the friendship between the two men starts to unravel and for the first time in years, Jay is facing a life without Adam. If he wants to save their friendship, he will have to offer Adam a lot more than a spot in his bed. There’s only one problem, Jay doesn’t believe in love.



Reviewer: Lost in a Book

I’ve got to cleanse myself of this confession; This book made me RAGE. Rage, I tell you!!!!!*shakes fists* I don’t think I’ve ever hated a character as much as I hated one in this book. I’m talking, I wanted to bring out my inner MMA goddess and Take. The. Bitch. Down… April.

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Who is April, you ask?

Let us start at the beginning…

Jay and Adam are flatmates in Adelaide, Australia. They were best friends that grew up together in a small town and moved to the “city” for Adam to go to uni while Jay worked as a baking apprentice. While working as a baking apprentice, Jay screwed his way through about 80% of the female employees. Along with all of the action Jay was getting, he was regularly having sex with Adam whether he had a girlfriend flavor-of-the-day or not. But, it wasn’t just sex. Jay and Adam had a relationship without the label. They cuddled, slept together in the same bed each night, and hung out together in between.

”No matter how many times they did this, though, Jay didn’t get tired of looking or touching. The women that shared Jay’s bed on occasion, they never lasted long. But Adam was his mate. That was something completely different and lasting.”

See? A relationship, right? Except, both Adam and Jay are completely freakin’ clueless and think they were just helping their “mate” out. Jay is jaded by his parents’ relationship as well as the lack of loving relational examples around him. Adam is just clueless.

”Yet, each time Jay leaned in for a kiss with Adam, there was always a moment as their lips met when he wondered if this would be the night that Adam pushed him away. When Adam finally questioned why the hell they were doing this. Whether this really was a ‘mates’ thing to do. But Adam never questioned.”

One day, Adam was walking by a bus stop and a girl she-bitch runs into him. April. She made up some sob story about a creepy person and how she has nowhere to go and Adam thought…I’ll bring you to my place. *smh* From here, April is a Stage-10 Clinger. She shows up unannounced, not taking no for an answer and this morphs into a relationship between April and Adam. Adam turned into someone else with April. He allowed her to manipulate conversations, situations, love proclamations, and other relationships while being none the wiser. Jay hated April and this added complete chaos into an already dysfunctional situation.

“He did still need to do something about the tension between Jay and April. He felt like he was being pulled in two different directions by them. It shouldn’t be that hard to have a friend and a girlfriend. These things were done by millions of people every day. It wasn’t like he wanted them to become great friends. He’d settle for stopping them from attacking each other every time they were in the same room.”

It was around this point in the book I was wanting to send them all to the Hunger Games stadium and hope there wouldn’t be a victor.

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The tension became suffocating. Jay and Adam didn’t have any coping mechanisms for dealing with the dynamic change in their relationship. Although Jay and Adam still hooked up, April became this huge cancer in the room until one day Jay removes himself from the equation.
“It wasn’t like Adam hadn’t known the goodbye was coming. But it was supposed to be him leaving, not Jay. And he hadn’t realised it would hurt this much.

*Takes deep breath*

By the second half, I was rooting so hard for them to get their shit together and realize what they had. The journey became about coming to terms with who they were separately and what they were to each other. It was about self-discovery, self-acceptance and understanding love; no matter who it may be with.
“But I won’t go back to that. I won’t go back to pretending that I don’t feel something for you. That I don’t… I’ve been sitting over there, thinking about this for hours. I don’t know if it makes me gay or whatever. I do know that I love you. I’m sure of that. But I don’t want to.”

Gahhhhhh… These boys. I loved them and wanted to throat punch them at the same time. I couldn’t quit them either. Ohohoho, don’t get me wrong… I had to take a breather before I did some damage. But, it was never out of dislike for the story. It was because the characters made me feel too much. Their actions, words, cluelessness, etc… She-who-must-not-be-named even made me feel. Nothing positive mind you, but she took away my ability to merely be a passive reader with her manipulation. I could have used a tad less angst and antacids but Isn’t that what every book should do? Make you a feeling participant?

To warn; this book had cheater cheater pumpkin eaters in it. It was interesting how my perspective changed throughout the book. Cheating is a no fly zone for me. Typically, I won’t read books if I know it will happen. However, this book had two different scenarios of cheating. One scenario I was all on board with and the other wasn't kosher. If cheating of any kind is a hard limit for you, I would suggest skipping this book.

I really enjoyed the writing style in this book. It drew me in and didn't let go. I bitched and moaned (not the good kind) and raged and grinned and squeeeeed and loved.

"love is a beautiful thing and you shouldn’t be afraid of it. It’s wondrous like… like a bubble. It lifts you up so high that the cares of the world are tiny, irrelevant dots. But it’s a fragile thing and you shouldn’t prod it or you’ll come crashing down mighty fast."
 

“Love is a bubble, all it takes is one prick to burst it.”


Release Blitz + Giveaway: Road to the Sun by Keira Andrews


Celebrate the release of Road to the Sun with author Keira Andrews and Signal Boost Promotions with a Keira Andrews back list eBook Giveaway!




Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Global Amazon


Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK


Length: 70,000 words


Blurb


A desperate father. A lonely ranger. Unexpected love that can’t be denied.


Jason Kellerman’s life revolves around his eight-year-old daughter. Teenage curiosity with his best friend led to Maggie’s birth, her mother tragically dying soon after. Insistent on raising his daughter himself, he was disowned by his wealthy family and has worked tirelessly to support Maggie—even bringing her west on a dream vacation. Only twenty-five, Jason hasn’t had time to even think about romance. So the last thing he expects is to question his sexuality after meeting an undeniably attractive park ranger.


Ben Hettler’s stuck. He loves working in the wild under Montana's big sky, but at forty-one, his love life is non-existent, his ex-boyfriend just married and adopted, and Ben’s own dream of fatherhood feels impossibly out of reach. He’s attracted to Jason, but what’s the point? Besides the age difference and skittish Jason’s lack of experience, they live thousands of miles apart. Ben wants more than a meaningless fling.


Then a hunted criminal takes Maggie hostage, throwing Jason and Ben together in a desperate and dangerous search through endless miles of mountain forest. If they rescue Maggie against all odds, can they build a new family together and find a place to call home?


Road to the Sun is a May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring adventure, angst, coming out, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

Author Bio


After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”




Guest Review: The Amateur: A Villainous Love Story by T.J. Land

Worst thing about being a supervillain? Getting your butt handed to you by caped do-gooders. Best thing about being a supervillain? Getting your hands on caped do-gooders' butts. Heh.

Red Velvet and his two partners in crime – super-strong beefcake Ares and proud degenerate the Electric Eel – are the League of Larceny, the most notorious gang in town. They’ve been together in every sense of the word for years, and these days everyone knows better than to mess with them. Which is why they're surprised to have their weekly heist interrupted by a rookie hero.

His costume is hideous. His banter is corny. His body is amazing. He’s Mister Valiant and he’s here to save the day. Or if not, then at least he might prove to be an amusing distraction for a few bored bad guys…

38K, poly (M/M/M/M), standalone, happy ending. Features a bigender AFAB viewpoint character.

Reviewer: Shee Reader

The premise for this book had me practically salivating! A group of super villains who work together as The League of Larceny to rob and pillage the city are greeted by a new super. Mr Valiant - he’s new, so hasn’t been inducted into the Remarkables. Mr Valiant tries to take on the serious bad guys, but he needs help…

I was so excited to start reading, but honestly it took me awhile to get into the story, which was disappointing. The League of Larceny includes Ares (the boss) who has super strength, The Eel who can utilise electricity, and Red a bi-gendered supervillain/superhero who can become invisible. Red identifies as a man and a villain, his alternative identity, Scarlet, identifies as female and a superhero. Just these things alone should be enough to have this book leaping off the page at me, but honestly it took me a few chapters to really care about the characters.

Red finds Mr Valiant and his hopeless hero skills so endearing that he offers to mentor the newbie as his alter ego Scarlet. I absolutely loved that Red/Scarlet straddled all the lines. Even though all the different personas (including their civilian identities) kept me on my toes to follow who was who, not to mention who was getting down and dirty with whom!

Mr Valiant and his hilarious fan-boy love of the League of Larceny was such a loveable character with his super-horrible father, tight little ass and fancy apartment he was bound to wiggle his way into the League’s bed, not to mention their affections!

The story includes a number of heists, bad guys, heroes and twists and it got steadily more enjoyable as I read on. Their heists and sexy times didn’t really flow at the start, but by the end I was thoroughly hooked. I’d love to see follow up stories of all the guys having more fun japes!

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review
.




Audiobook Review: Catch and Release (The Release #3) by BA Tortuga

Dakota Landry just got out of prison after twelve years. If anyone can understand how that feels, it’s his new friend, Sage, who is determined to help him get used to life on the outside—and believes Dakota didn’t commit the crime he was in for.

Jayden Wilson is a former prosecutor who agrees to look into the case at the request of Sage’s lover, Adam. He sets out to prove Dakota is just another “innocent” ex-con, but once they meet, Jayden is more and more convinced Dakota just didn’t do what everyone thinks he did.

Trouble follows Dakota, and nothing is easy as he struggles to figure out how to live, now that he has choices. And Jayden isn’t sure how Dakota, or any lover for that matter, fits into his life. Their path from friendship to romance is a slow one, but Dakota begins to believe he deserves a chance at life, and Jayden falls a little more for Dakota every day. Now they just need to tell each other how they feel.

Listening Length: 7 hrs 16 min
Narrator: Lou Lambert


Reviewer: R *A Reader Obsessed*


It seems I have a soft spot in my heart for this series that I can’t explain at all. It must stem from the fact that Terms of Release (go Sage and Adam!) was one of the first few M/M’s I’d read, and thus I have a certain attachment to the original characters.

Dakota, wrongly imprisoned, is finally released after 12 years of complete hell. Though he’s paid his time for a crime he didn’t commit, he just wants to live his life without drawing any attention to himself. That gets harder to do as fellow ex-con, Sage, won’t take no for an answer and slowly helps Dakota acclimate.

As a friend of Adam’s, Jayden’s innate curiosity as a past prosecutor, has him investigating Dakota's piss poor defense. When he sees some gaps, he makes it his mission to prove Dakota’s innocence. It doesn’t hurt that Dakota is attractive and wholly charming in his own quiet way. All Jayden wants to do is keep him safe and to make up for some of all that’s been taken from him.

Can these two overcome the obvious tough obstacles, and what if Jayden can’t exonerate Dakota? What then?

For me, Tortuga has never been the smoothest of writers, and to be honest, though this was better in editing than the first 2 books, there was still quite a bit of quick POV changes that were made even more mind boggling with the narration. Perhaps Lou Lambert couldn’t discern who was speaking either when reading this, but to say the least, he seemed like he was on an extra fast speed with very little variation between characters and exposition, making it all the more difficult to know what was going on and who was saying what.

However… this still had charm.

This had a good slow burn, as friendship turns into something more, and hurt comfort abounds. As a heads up though, this very disappointingly and surprisingly, had absolutely no smex - just kissing - and I do feel that the author neglected a very prime opportunity to capitalize on the potential intimacy and healing Dakota rightly deserved. Having said that though, we of course get our happy ending. I just unfortunately wanted a whole helluva lot more.





Release Blitz: Frozen Heart (Love Lessons, #1.5) by Heidi Cullinan


Today's the Release Day for Frozen Heart, the revised edition. Get out there and 1-click, kids!

Happy Release Day!



Original free edition release date December 25, 2013

Format: Short Story • Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance • Length: 9,000 words

Publisher: Heidi Cullinan

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

ISBN: 978-1-945116-02-5

Series: Love Lessons #1.5

Characters: Walter Lucas, Kelly Davidson

Short Summary: A new Disney movie is coming out, and Walter gets to witness first-hand the fervor of a new release with his Disney-loving fiancé. Of course, Walter had plans for another big event to happen at Thanksgiving too. Can he navigate balancing Kelly's movie experience with his grand proposal plans? Or will he manage to bumble everything and freeze Kelly's heart twice over?

FULL BLURB:

Proposals don’t come with instructions.

Walter Lucas knows his boyfriend has been looking forward to the newest movie about a certain snow princess, but he isn’t prepared for the reality that is the front-row seat of Kelly Davidson’s cartoon obsession. There’s more going on in November than just the movie, however—Walter’s been working up the nerve to ask Kelly a certain question. When Walter set up his elaborate Thanksgiving marriage proposal, it seemed like such a good idea, but as the holiday, the movie premiere, and the question Walter never dreamt he’d be asking anyone converge…let’s just say even Hollywood’s best couldn’t sing and dance their way out of Walter’s tangle.

Buy links: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes & NobleiTunesKobo, Tolino, Smashwords


Review: Surrender the Dark (The Dark #1) by Tibby Armstrong

As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.

Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.

After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.


I don't want to get too excited here but this has the potential to be a great paranormal romantic suspense series with phenomenal worldbuilding, strong leading characters and loads of action/adventure. Armstrong has taken a modern day Boston and transformed it into an urban fantasy landscape brimming with secret lairs, underground civilizations, supes of all kinds, secret doors and a blood feud that spans years. 

We have the sexy vamp in Tzadkiel and his fierce paramour, Benjamin. They have a shared and painful past that pits them against one another initially. 



Hunter and vamp. Drawn to each other and repulsed by their attraction simultaneously. I'm licking my lips here because them's the goods right there! You know what that means, kids?



Well, sorta. The sex was a teensy bit rough if infrequent and I have to say if authors don't quit chain-yanking me on the hate sex I'm going to get SUPER fussy. These two had biting snark and an ocean's worth of water under the bridge and they still couldn't manage some hate sex? 

Luckily the whole "fated" thing came along and saved the day. I heart me some fated mates and these two met when Benjamin was just an innocent tike of 8 or so. Even then Tzadkiel found his elderflower (NICE! Armstrong didn't go with the ubiquitous something woodsy) scent irresistible. Naturally Benjamin has similar feels with regard to Tzadkiel. Who can resist and vamp in leather though? I mean, really.

The defense rests.
Surrender the Dark definitely fits the hurt/comfort bill with Benjamin having been blinded and disfigured by Tzadkiel as a child then orphaned. While Tzadkiel withstood 36 straight hours of torture at the hands of Benjamin's uncle (an asshole, in case you were wondering) including losing his fangs and being injected with iron and...


Yeah, it was bad. So bad he had to go to ground for two decades to minimally recover, so you can imagine how pissed he was when he woke up.


I wanted Tzadkiel to be a bit more unscrupulous than he turned out to be, but he's good... vampire? What's plural for vampire or is it like deer? Whatever you get what I mean. I liked him and I liked that Armstrong made his voice align with his age, wisdom and experience. Actually, both men had their own unique voices that I had no trouble differentiating between. I so enjoyed getting a front row seat to witness the evolution of their relationship from enemies to something more and how they each grappled with their changing perceptions of the other.

However much I enjoyed the growth of their relationship, Surrender the Dark is very much a paranormal adventure/urban fantasy with an up-tempo pace intermingled through the worldbuilding and romance plotlines, so if you're looking for a really strong romance storyline you'll probably be disappointed. The two strongest secondary characters are Benjamin's best friends, Nyx and Akito, and while I liked them and wouldn't mind learning more about them I'm hoping the next book will continue with Tzadkiel and Benjamin's story and their adventures with even more action, please.

Recommend to urban fantasy fans.



I couldn't resist.




An ARC was provided by NetGalley.




Guest Review: Lochlann (Order of the Black Knights #6) by Andrea Speed

Violence has been Lochlann O’Connor’s companion since he was born into a family of old-school Irish terrorists. From there he is recruited into Alpha, a secret government agency dedicated to fighting terrorism—with extreme prejudice. Lochlann’s bravery, efficiency, ruthlessness, and the natural dead eye that lets him hit anything that moves, quickly make him one of the shadowy organization’s most valued operatives.

Cas Vega joins Alpha because it’s marginally better than a prison sentence. He’s a former drug cartel assassin—or at least that’s his story. But Lochlann is suspicious. Despite an irrational and overwhelming attraction to Cas, Lochlann has questions, and they soon lead to a deeper and deadlier mystery. What is Alpha’s true purpose, and why does it seem they want to eliminate Lochlann?

Lochlann and Cas must work together to get to the bottom of Alpha’s scheme and escape it—and all while Cas keeps secrets that could cost him his life if they’re revealed. But it’s not an alliance that can last. Duty turns the men into enemies, even while fate compels them into each other’s arms. Before they can contemplate which will prevail, they must figure out how to survive.


Reviewer: R *A Reader Obsessed*


I want to preface this with saying I don’t lightly jump into the middle of a series willy nilly, but I did some investigation and truly believe that each book is a standalone story. Various reviews reassured me that there was no connection between books except a shared origin, and thus I took the plunge.

Soooo… the theme of this series is that long ago, warriors bent on hell and destruction and revenge, sold their souls to a powerful wizard to do what they do best - kill. Reincarnated over and over again, the only way out of the contract is to take a different path and spare an enemy - that special someone unbeknownst to them - who's needed to break the curse to gain freedom from the endless violence and death that plagues them.

Hence, we have Lochlann. He’s one of the best covert operatives of Alpha - a top secret government agency created to fight terrorism. The harsh life of eliminating threats is justified by knowing it’s for the greater good. However, Lochlann has seen some things recently that make him question his loyalty.

Enter Cas. He’s a hitman for a notorious cartel, and when he’s captured and forcibly conscripted for his talents to join Alpha, he has no choice but to comply if he wants to live. Or does he? The people he’s really working for have been looking for the notorious Lochlann for years, and Cas finally has a chance to apprehend him. What he doesn't expect to find is a man with vulnerabilities and hints of conscience under the impenetrable exterior that Lochlann has perfected. Cas’s mission just got a whole lot more complicated.

I’m a huge fan of Andrea Speed who wrote the awesome Infected series, so I was looking forward to seeing what she could bring to this genre, and for the most part I wasn’t disappointed. Overall, I enjoyed this, but I think mainly that’s because I love me a military, assassin, spy book, and this did not skimp on the missions nor the action. The writing was excellent and the plot plausible, but the romance aspect fell a bit short (and I know she can write romance. Hi Roan!). Make no mistake, these guys are intrigued and attracted to each other, and the UST was palpable, but as far as I know, Speed doesn’t write on page smex, and though I was hoping I was wrong, unfortunately it fell true for this book as well. And... that’s where I think it could’ve helped solidify in my mind, the love these two supposedly had for the other. Granted, I want all the smex an author can give me but here, I really do think its presence would’ve further strengthened the reader’s belief in Lochlann and Cas’s feelings and thus their subsequent motivations. I just didn’t quite believe the intensity between these two.

Having said that, the rating is for the writing, keeping my interest the entire time, and of course, the happy ending. By no means am I deterred from reading Speed again!

Thanks to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review