Skating Through

Skating Through by Jennifer Cosgrove: Review by Lost in a Book

Skating Through

Blurb:

There are two things Ben Lewis has convinced himself he can never have at the same time: playing hockey and being openly gay. Hockey is looking to be his only choice. Until now. Being captain of the team and starting his senior year of high school is a lot to handle. Throw in a budding friendship with his crush, Marcus, and Ben is faced with deciding if he’s brave enough to take the next step.

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2.5 Stars

So…

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Skating Through didn’t grab me like I was hoping it would. I’m a huge fan of Y/A and coming of age stories. It wasn’t bad. Or good. It just… was??

Ben Lewis is a high school hockey player that’s firmly in the closet. He has a best friend named Ryan that’s his only source of companionship where he can truly be himself and the rest of the time isolates himself from real relationships. Ben has had a crush on a fellow student (Marcus) but hasn’t pursued anything for fear of outing himself to his team and family.

Marcus is bright, sassy, and refuses to hide. He can pull off any shade of hair and isn’t afraid to show his interest in Ben. Both boys rarely see each other until the summer before their senior year where they’re constantly in the same place and eventually form a friendship.

Other than that, nothing really happened. Yes, coming out of the closet is a huge deal. I don’t need dramatics in everything I read and can appreciate realistic situations and reactions. But for me, the main characters were boring. There was some odd story line through the plot about a historical connection. I think it was supposed to help drive the plot but seemed out of place- almost like it was added after the rest of the story was written. The “tell and not show” writing in this book is everywhere and drove me a tad crazy. There’s a lot of daily minutiae included on page but the meat of the story happened off page.

At least I liked their friends.

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If you’re looking for a sweet, no drama, low angst, rated G read, this could be for you. I like my YA or Coming or Age stories to pack a little more of a punch but YMMV.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Trust to Follow

A Trust to Follow by Diana Waters: Review by Lost in a Book

A Trust to Follow (Wild Magics #1)

Blurb:

Daymon is the second prince of a kingdom in which Evokers—those who possess intuitive magical abilities—have long since been treated with fear and mistrust. Marked as an Evoker himself, Daymon is captured by those who wish to take advantage of these powers. Now, the prince must put his faith in Rhyder, the captain of his guards—and the man Daymon has claimed as his own—to free him.

 

 

 

 

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3.5 Stars

Thinking about my rating and review for A Trust to Follow had me spinning around in circles. I liked it, really liked it and yet I felt like I was dropped in the middle of a story and what I really wanted was like a dangled carrot I could never quite reach.

Prince Daymon and the Captain of his guard, Rhyder are long time lovers. Prince Daymon claimed him for himself and they spend their days trying to change the prejudice and fear surrounding those with magical abilities (Evokers). Prince Daymon is an Evoker and gets into many dicey situations trying to change perceptions and thwart harmful acts against other Evokers. This lands him in trouble as he tries to save a fellow mage from an attack and gets himself captured.

We follow along in Daymon’s mind as he lives through his captivity and the enormous faith he has in Captain Rhyder.

As I mentioned above, I liked it. The writing kept me connected, the ‘story’ was interesting, and at the same time I wanted more. This seemed more like an extended scene rather than a full story. I want the story of how Daymon and Rhyder met, became friends, allies, and then eventual lovers. I want the parts of them fighting off evil acts to make a better name for Evokers as they fall in love. Instead, we are dropped in when there was already a claiming, most of the scene/story they are separated, and we are provided very little flashbacks on how they came to be.

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I’m not sure if this should be the start to a series but it does a decent job of explaining Evokers and the trials they face to make it in a world that’s set to hate them for merely existing. I think if Daymon and Rhyder got their story, this would be a nice bonus addition. Still, it worked in its own way. Recommended.

Copy provided by author in exchange for honest review.

Blessed by Maggie Blackbird is out Now!

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If you enjoy reading contemporary romance about Canada’s Indigenous people, then there’s a great chance you’ll enjoy Blessed, the first book in the Matawapit Family trilogy published by eXtasy Books.  Each novel can be read as a stand-alone.

A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling:  the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.

It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man.  In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.

Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered:  the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery.  No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon, and he intends on using his new-found power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and the church.

Hoping to save the church, Emery races home.  But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery.  Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life:  please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.

An erotic spiritual journey…

Amazon Buy Links:  Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com.au

Other Buy Links:  Kobo | Smashwords | Google | Barnes and Noble

 

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Author Bio:  An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.  When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

Web Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

Confessions: Priest by Ella Frank Blog Tour

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Confessions: Priest, book three in the steamy contemporary MMM Confessions Series from Ella Frank, is available NOW!

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I am complex.

My love is all-encompassing.

And when it comes to my heart, there is only one rule:

Don’t mess with what’s mine.

Until the age of seven, I was Joel Alexander Donovan, son of Jimmy.

The man who terrorized a town and made its citizens fear

the very ground he walked on. Including me,

the day I realized that ground ran red with blood.

At age eighteen, I became Priest.

A man without a past.

A man determined to right the wrongs of my father.

A man who never believed anyone could love the son of such a monster.

But then a thief stole my heart.

A sweetheart lit up my world.

And I forgot for a moment you should never turn your back on your enemy.

And thus begins a lesson to those who would seek to harm: Never underestimate what the Priest will do to protect the Princess and the Prick.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2waxq4X

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ConfessionsPriest

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2MbqMTy

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Start the series with Confessions: Robbie today!
Amazon US:http://amzn.to/2HdQ7IU

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/confessionsrobbie

Add To Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EWp3Aq

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

CONFESSION

My name is not Joel Priestley.

My name is Joel Alexander Donovan.

And a long time ago, I was taught that things

aren’t always what they appear to be—and neither are people.

JOEL PRIESTLEY, A.K.A Priest, sat behind the wheel of his Aston Martin with his hands at the ten and two positions and his seatbelt fastened. He’d been sitting like that for the past thirty minutes or so. Ever since he’d pulled the vehicle into its designated parking spot alongside his and Julien’s—his husband’s—black Range Rover.

Sinatra had been keeping him company, as Priest tried to block out the phone call he’d made back in his office to Henri. But no matter how loud he played the charismatic crooner, nothing seemed to lessen the impact of Henri’s words and the way they had made Priest’s stomach coil.

“Nice to know you can at least follow an order if it’s to keep those you love safe… Be careful; keep an eye out…”

And that was what he’d been doing for the past thirty minutes or so. Sitting in his car, with his eyes trained on the rearview and side mirrors, as his paranoia over what used to only exist in the shadows began to slowly creep back out into the light of day.

Priest gritted his teeth and reminded himself that Jimmy wasn’t out of prison just yet and likely wouldn’t be for some time. He wasn’t about to appear out of thin air to exact absolution for what he believed was Priest’s biggest crime—abandonment. But that didn’t mean Jimmy hadn’t reached out to the others to find him. To track down the son who had turned his back on his family if, and when, he walked free.

Priest cursed and slammed the heel of his palm against the steering wheel, then he reached for the seatbelt’s release, and as it retracted across his chest, he reached up and shoved it off his shoulder where it caught. As it snapped into place, Priest pulled the handle of the door and got out of the car. He needed to get upstairs. To get inside a locked lobby, where a security guard walked the halls, and his condo had a deadbolt on the front door. It was one of the main reasons he’d been interested in Logan’s place to begin with. The additional barriers between him and those he loved—and anyone who may want to hurt them.

Julien had already texted to let Priest know he and Robbie arrived home safely. But as of yet, Priest hadn’t heard anything from Robbie, their boyfriend. Not that he’d expected to. The last image Priest had of their princess was an ashen face and betrayal in those usually bright blue eyes, and Christ, Priest wished he could erase that picture from his mind.

The three of them had been making such headway lately. They had moved past the getting-to-know-you, comfortable stage of their relationship, and had been thisclose to slipping into that space where the heart and soul of the one whose body you were worshiping was coveted.

But that had all changed now. The truth about his father having wiped out any trust he may have built with Robbie, judging by the expression on his face before Priest had left the brewhouse.

All the joy, and all the happiness, the closeness the three of them had been reveling in, had been smothered by the dark cloud that descended on them, and Priest had a feeling it was going to take a lot of explaining on his behalf before they could get out from under it—if they ever could.

Priest jabbed the button of the garage elevator, and when the doors slid open, he ran his key fob over the panel and hit the floor button. He leaned against the back wall and shut his eyes, and as the elevator ascended, he wondered how he was going to explain all of this to Robbie.

He’d only ever had to do it once before. Only ever found one other he deemed important enough to share this side of himself with. And he’d been just as apprehensive, just as sick to his stomach, at the thought of revealing all to Julien, as he was heading up to face Robert Bianchi.

Priest walked down the hallway toward their condo like a man heading toward his execution—or the execution of their new relationship—and when he got to the front door, he paused before entering.

Scanning the hallway, he looked to his left, where their neighbor lived on the other side of the corridor, before he took a final glance back in the direction he’d come. Once he was satisfied there was no one about, he unlocked the door and headed inside.

The first thing he noticed upon entry was how quiet it was. Lately, when he’d arrived home from work, the TV was on and there was the sound of someone doing something or other in the living room or kitchen. But not this afternoon.

Right now, the place felt more like a library. The kind of space where you should tiptoe and whisper in case you offended whoever was inside—provided there was someone there to offend in the first place.

But that was just his paranoia creeping in again. Of course someone was inside—two someone’s, in fact. Julien had told him so, and when Priest stepped out of the short hallway, he spotted his husband immediately.

Julien was curled up on the couch with a blanket over his legs and his phone in hand, and the second Priest moved into view, Julien’s legs came out from under him and he got to his feet. He dropped the phone on the cushion beside him, and as the blanket fell from his lap, it crumpled to the soft rug without a sound.

Julien rushed around the couch and hurried over to Priest, and when he reached him, Julien took his face between his hands and pressed a hard kiss to his lips.

Mon Dieu, Joel,” Julien said. “I’ve been a mess worrying over you. I’m so glad you’re home.”

Priest wound his arms around Julien’s waist, anchoring himself to the man who understood him in ways Priest had never imagined possible. “You don’t know how much I needed to hear that.”

Julien trailed his fingers down the scruff on Priest’s cheek and frowned. “Was there really any doubt?”

Priest shut his eyes and let Julien soothe him in the way that only he could. His touch, his words, this man’s mere presence—they were all vital to Priest’s survival. Priest let go of Julien’s waist to cover the hand still cradling his cheek.

There were so many things he needed to say: “I’m sorry”or “You were right.I should’ve told Robert about this the second I found out.”But right then, all Priest could manage was: “There was no doubt. Not about you. Neverabout you.”

Julien’s eyes softened as Priest’s shifted over his husband’s shoulder to the closed door of their bedroom. “Is he still here?”

Oui.”

“I…” Priest paused as he searched for the words. “I wasn’t sure that he would be.”

“I wasn’t either,” Julien admitted, and when Priest locked eyes with him again, Julien added, “He’s been in there since we got home. Hasn’t said a word.”

“That was more than an hour ago.”

Julien nodded. “I know. But he made it very clear he wasn’t ready to talk about things yet.”

Not knowing what to say to that, Priest put his keys on the coffee table, and Julien placed a hand on his back.

“Listen, he’s processing right now. What he found out about Jimmy… It’s a lot, mon amour.”

“It’s more than that, Julien. You saw his face when he found out.”

Oui, I did. I also spoke to him in the car on the way home.”

“He thinks I lied to him. Doesn’t he?” When Julien didn’t reply, Priest ran a hand through his hair. “Fuck,” he said. “Fuck. I should’ve told him about all of this before he moved in.”

“And when should you have done that? At CRUSH? On our first date with him? Or maybe the second, when he had dinner here? I’m surethat would’ve made him feel right at home. There hasn’t been a good opportunity. You know that,” Julien reminded him, and touched his fingers to the sleeve of Priest’s jacket. “He just needs time to—”

“No,” Priest said, shaking his head. “Time gives people a chance to distort things. To make them doubt what they once believed. You and I know that better than anyone. I won’t have him doubting this. Doubting us, Julien. Not because of fucking Jimmy. I’m going to go and talk to Robert, and he’s going to listen, and then the three of us are going to sit down and discuss this.”

Something flashed in Julien’s expression, but instead of saying what was on his mind, he let go of Priest’s arm and said, “Okay.”

Priest narrowed his eyes in question, but Julien remained quiet. So Priest turned on his heel and headed toward their bedroom to track down their boyfriend and try to make things right again.

About Ella

Ella Frank is the USA TodayBestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips.

EllaFrank

Connect with Ella:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ella.frank.31/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EllaFrank2012

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellafrank1/

Mailing List:  www.bit.ly/1hEYtgn

Website: https://www.ellafrank.com/portfolio

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Noticed Me Yet? is out in Spanish!!

Check out Anyta Sunday’s latest Spanish translation of Noticed Me Yet?!

Nota que estoy aquí

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Translator:

Virginia Cavanillas

Publisher:

Anyta Sunday (self-published)

Release Date (Ebook only):

August 14th, 2018

Length:

17800 words

Subgenre:

Light-hearted, gay romance novella set in college (university).

All buy links or pre-order links:

All information will be available on

https://www.anytasunday.es

Sinopsis:

Jacob está en un apuro económico y necesita encontrar compañero de piso de forma urgente ¿y qué mejor manera de conseguirlo que poner anuncios por todo el campus? Pero parece que alguien está haciéndolos desaparecer, lo que lleva a Jacob a escribir al misterioso ladrón de anuncios quien, contra pronóstico, contesta a su nota.

¿Pero quién es este Sr. X con quién ha empezado a intercambiar mensajes?

¿Y cómo es posible que Jacob se esté enamorando de él?

 

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Author Bio:

Un poquito sobre mí: Soy una grandísima fan de los romances que se cuecen a fuego lento. Me encanta leer y escribir sobre personajes que se van enamorando poco a poco.

Algunos de mis temas favoritos a la hora de elegir qué leer o escribir son: historias sobre personajes que evolucionan de amigos o enemigos a amantes, sobre chicos despistados (de esos que no se enteran de nada y en sus historias de amor todo el mundo es consciente de lo qué pasa menos los propios protagonistas),  libros con personajes bisexuales, pansexuales, demisexuales, romances a fuego lento y amores que no conocen fronteras.

Escribo historias de diversa índole, desde Romance Contemporáneo gay con una buena dosis tormento y dolor de corazón, a romances totalmente desenfadados e incluso algunos con un toque de fantasía.

Mis libros se han traducido al alemán, italiano, francés, tailandés y español.

Contacto: http://www.anytasunday.com/about-anyta

Subscríbete a mi newsletter y recibirás un  e-book gratis: http://www.anytasunday.com/newsletter-free-e-book

Author links (include author site, GR, Twitter, FB, FB Group, Newsletter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. The ones you are the most active on should be first):

Author website (English): http://www.anytasunday.com/

Author newsletter signup: http://www.anytasunday.com/newsletter-free-e-book/

Author website (Spanish): https://www.anytasunday.es

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anytasundaybooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anytasunday

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anytasunday

 

Boy Toy (Man Hands, #3)

Boy Toy by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby: Review by Cupcake

Boy Toy (Man Hands, #3)

Blurb:

A brand new romantic comedy from your favorite snort-laughing duo!

Liam

The moment Sadie Matthews walks through the daycare center door, I feel my world tilt in her direction. Again. I fell for her when I was fourteen, and I’m still not over her. Problem: she still thinks of me as a teen she used to babysit. But I’ve learned a few things about pleasing a woman in the last fifteen years. I can’t wait to show her how good it could be. I need to move quickly before I lose her again. This is more than a game to me, but I still plan to win.

Sadie

I’ve just survived the worst year of my life. As a single mom of twin toddlers, I don’t have time for a man. I barely have time to finish a thought. Who knew that Liam McAllister would grow up to be so devastating? He’s everything my husband was not: tall, built, and willing to have a tea party with my girls.

I can’t possibly get involved with him. He’s too young for me. Too handsome. But he’s so persuasive…

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4.5 stars

Boy Toy is rom com at its finest.

I barely even made it to 20% and I had already cackled, chortled and chuckled.

Sadie is final member of this little sisterhood to find her HEA and the one I identified the most with. She’s kind of a hippie chick, loves pillows and works in the mental health field. She’s getting her life back together after her butt lick of a husband left her shortly after she gave birth to their twin daughters. Decker is a butt lick. Trust me.

She’s reluctantly trying to get her groove back when she runs into a blast from the past: Liam.

She was hired to babysit Liam’s younger siblings and left an impression on 14 yr old Liam. I know this because 14 yr old Liam has a tendency to interject thoughts into 29 yr old Liam’s psyche to hilarious effect.

Liam is all grown up now and makes Sadie a wee bit drooly with his six pack abs and penchant for running shirtless. To add to the ovary explodingness, he’s working towards his Ph.D. in childhood development at the girls’ daycare. He’s really great with the girls and they adore him. There were so many moments where my heart gave a squeeze: when Amy calls him Wiam, when he gave Kate the golden Band-Aid. So adorable! True, he used his chocolate chip smiley face pancake magic too woo them but he then proceeded to prove himself worthy of their adoration time and time again. Not only that but any guy who will hold your hair while you praise the porcelain god is deserving of a little adoration, in my opinion.

So, yeah, I liked Liam. More importantly, I loved Liam and Sadie together.

There’s something about this known-each-other-for-years/unrequited to requited trope that always appeals to me and Boy Toy is another to add to the collection. I can see it becoming a comfort read.

Both Sadie and Liam came across as genuine. Both had depth with the addition of a little water under the bridge that fleshed them out. Both do a pretty good job of communicating their needs excepting the very brief hiccup that was needed for Sadie to gain clarity. The level of attraction that exists between them was palpable but maybe more important than anything else, they have fun together. They fit together regardless of the 6 yr age difference between them. They make time for each other and trust one another making their future a foregone conclusion to my mind.

There is a teeny tiny sliver of hurt/comfort as Sadie’s ex did a number on her self-image but in the face of Liam’s overwhelming desire that negative self-image doesn’t stand a chance. If bossy in the bedroom appeals to you, you’ll enjoy the sexy times.

There are a plethora of comedic moments but Kate and Amy stole the show. I was laughing so hard at Kate at the big fancy party that I had to put my kindle down. Because I couldn’t see it! The kid is a firecracker and her antics are side-splitting.

I sure do hope these two authors continue to work together because they have some mojo that creates comedy gold. This and Man Hands are the funniest books I’ve read this year, so I hope the hits keep coming. Maybe a spinoff involving Sadie and Liam’s siblings? Or a follow up to this one?

Recommend this book and this series to fans of the rom-com and anyone who likes a sweet romance that’s a little bit spicy and a whole lot funny.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers #5)

Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid: Review by Cupcake

Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers, #5)
Blurb:

Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.

Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . .

Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.

But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .

Dr. Strange Beard is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a stand-alone, and is the fifth book in the USA TODAY bestselling Winston Brothers series.

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4.25 Stars

I love this series.

I love Green Valley. I love the Southerness of both the town and the people in it.

And I love the Winstons.

Some more than others. I’m looking at you, Cletus. I always look forward to catching up with everyone whenever a new Beard book comes out. There is a coziness about them and simply put, they make me feel good. For me, there’s no higher compliment than that.

Dr. Strange Beard is Roscoe’s book. Roscoe is the youngest of the Winston clan, the quiet one and a vet. Truthfully, I was hoping for more puppies; there is one scene that will likely leave anyone with ovaries deceased but there can never be too many puppies is all I’m saying. Or dogs. Or any cute animals. I’m not picky.

Roscoe has an eidetic situational memory that sounds like more of curse than a blessing. He remembers people after only meeting them once. He remembers the stories they tell him verbatim. He remembers every conversation he’s ever had complete with all the sense memories which makes him an exceptional storyteller, but also brings with it the inability to “unfeel” painful memories. Roscoe’s memories of his and Simone’s time together as kids pulled at my heartstrings and fleshed out their friends to lovers/unrequited to requited love story.

Roscoe’s been hopelessly in love with Simone Payton since forever. They grew up together as best friends, did everything together, including their first kiss. At 16, when Roscoe finally worked up the courage to tell her that she was it for him, she was drunk and not only didn’t reciprocate his feelings but hurt him. He literally could not forget it, reliving that pain over and over again every time he saw her was unbearable so he ghosted her.

For 10 years.

Simone eventually moved on but she never forgot nor did she ever understand what happened to make Roscoe leave her, because she didn’t remember his declaration. Back in Green Valley for work puts her on a collision course toward Roscoe. Of course events transpire that make Roscoe the easiest conduit to achieve her goal, because of course they do.

The Iron Wraiths plot line has been ongoing throughout the series and it is starting to come to a head, so expect a significant amount of the narrative to involve Darrell and the Iron Wraiths.

Simone is scrappy, cunning and hilarious. I was automatically drawn to her when she let loose with Cletus being “almost” as brilliant as she is. WHAT THE WHAT WHAT?!?!? CLETUS???? My Cletus??? Who some may call diabolically-oh alright, pathologically. Tomato, to-mah-to.-intelligent? ALMOST???? Sputtering ensued. She is smart and charming so she’s got Cletus there, and she can hold her own against him, but let’s face it Cletus is in a class by himself.

Being inside Simone’s head was an experience I’ll not soon forget. I don’t fully understand how she got this bee in her bonnet that she was never going to fall in love or get married but she did. She’s set on being an independent woman who will be self-reliant. Except… she can’t seem to get Roscoe Winston out of her head, or as she says, she likes him against her will. 😂 She zinged me several times but when she busted out with her scientific theories on sex I snorted then slow clapped. I’d pay good money to go to that “scientific” seminar. Simone is yet another female character in this series that I both respect and admire, that I can relate to.

Stories that utilize the friends since childhood to lovers trope always resonate with me and Dr. Strange Beard is no exception. However, what made this one special was Roscoe’s singleminded devotion to Simone even when they were apart. He’s only ever loved her and everyone knows it. Literally, everyone in Green Valley knows it and is rooting for them. I loved how much Simone’s parents loved him, how his family loved her and how oblivious they both are to their silent cheering section.

They’ve hurt each other but the love is still there just beneath the surface; they just need to tap into it. Expect UST. Expect heartwarming moments. Expect a few sexy moments too. Expect to be moved. Expect a few surprises. But more than anything, expect to feel the chemistry between them. They are crazy about each other and how they come to accept and embrace those feelings is what I’ll remember most about this book.

Ordinarily I don’t mention race in my reviews but Penny Reid reframed something for me and I feel that needs to be acknowledged and that I should thank her for it. That coupled with the RWA situation I think merits a mention at minimum. I also think she deserves credit for the research she did as it was obvious that she put time and energy into developing these characters. I feel like this is a hallmark of hers that maybe doesn’t get acknowledged enough and is instrumental in making these characters memorable as well as three-dimensional.

Recommend to fans of friends to lovers, unrequited love being requited and anyone who loves a good romance.

Now the wait begins for Billy’s book. The good lord willing Cletus will finally, FINALLY get to deploy the armadillo plan!

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

Release Blitz & Giveaway- Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 78,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Lord Thornby has been trapped on his father’s isolated Yorkshire estate for a year. There are no bars or chains; he simply can’t leave. His sanity is starting to fray.

When industrial magician John Blake arrives to investigate a case of witchcraft, he finds the peculiar, arrogant Thornby as alarming as he is attractive. John soon finds himself caught up in a dark fairytale, where all the rules of magic—and love—are changed.

To set Thornby free, both men must face life-changing truths—and John must accept that the brave, witty man who’s winning his heart may also be about to break it. Can they escape a web of magic that’s as perilous as love?

***

“Magic, folklore, dark deeds, and hot romance combine in this wildly enjoyable, inventive story set in a lovely alt-Victorian Gothic world. More please!”

—KJ Charles, RITA™-nominated author of THE MAGPIE LORD and SPECTRED ISLE

“Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch is the sort of book you want to read again the moment you reach the end. Beautifully written, with a romance that is by turns sweet and scorching, it belongs on the keeper shelf of any lover of paranormal historical.”

—Jordan L. Hawk, author of the WHYBORNE AND GRIFFIN and HEXWORLD series

 

Excerpt

Thornby was walking along the moorland path, calm as you please, nose in the air, apparently admiring the autumn colours in the distant oaks in the park.

“Stop, Lord Thornby! I want to talk to you.”

Thornby walked faster, slight limp becoming more pronounced.

“Stop, I say!”

John felt in his pockets for his vials and pouches, then changed his mind and simply put on speed. He’d come to this remote part of the grounds in the hope of a rest. He’d not slept much last night with the walls of Raskelf muttering and whispering, and the antiquities from Egypt shrieking muffled curses from the other side of the corridor.

The thought of Thornby had kept him awake as well; so resistant to the Judas Voice—that had given John an unpleasant moment—and so unapproachable, with that aristocratic hauteur you could never breach. And so strange. Why did the man wear such peculiar clothes? Today it was tight black pantaloons and a high stock that would have been fashionable forty years ago. And over this bizarre Regency costume was a rusty black greatcoat with wide cuffs, and a tricorn hat that would have looked well in the previous century.

And, yes, Thornby was handsome—heart-stoppingly so—with arrogant grey eyes, a mane of brown hair that almost reached his collar, and a preposterous red mouth. He was tall and thin and carried himself like a fencer. There was, too, something whip-taut about him, some unbearable tension that made you feel he might lash out. Or suddenly kiss you. Thornby had looked John up and down when he was introduced, finally unbending so far as to give John a slight inclination of the head. And John’s mouth had gone as dry as if Thornby had extended one of those elegant white hands and given his balls a gentle squeeze.

It was tiresome, really. It made it so much harder to concentrate. He must make sure he didn’t allow his attraction to the man to cloud his judgement. Possibly Thornby was using a glamour spell. John couldn’t sense one, but sometimes by their very nature they were difficult to detect.

So, he mustn’t think about how good it would be to slide his fingers inside Thornby’s old black pantaloons, how good it would be to taste his lovely mouth, and wipe that damned snooty expression off his face. If John had been in London, he would have gone to one of the houses that catered to men of his taste, and tried to forget about it. Here in the middle of rural Yorkshire it was far too dangerous to approach anyone, and in any case, farm lads were not his type. He’d simply leave as soon as he could tell Catterall he’d done his best.

They walked in single file for perhaps five minutes. The path smelt of rotting leaves, and a biting wind began to make its presence felt as they crossed into an open piece of moorland. Splashes of muddy water were spotting the back of Thornby’s coat. John used the close proximity to feel for magic. Like last night at dinner, he could sense nothing emanating from Thornby. There was certainly no demon reek, so Thornby probably wasn’t a theurgist, or if he was, he was a very fastidious one.

But then Thornby didn’t feel like a materials man either, and John could generally recognise his own kind. So, how had Thornby broken those charms? Now John was closer, and had longer to concentrate on Thornby alone, he thought there might be something magical, at the very edge of his awareness, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Most magicians used demons or materials, but there were other ways, so perhaps Thornby used some unfamiliar method.

John charged his ward stone, and put it back in his pocket. He patted his bag of salt and checked his Gelomorous twine and the demon trap, just in case. Whatever spells Thornby cared to throw at him, he was ready. In fact, he was almost looking forward to a fight.

They reached an open place a hundred yards from a small pine spinney. The dark trees were contorted sideways as if fleeing the icy wind. The sun, behind its grey pall of cloud, was beginning to set. Thornby suddenly stopped and swung around.

“Well, Mr Blake? I suppose you’d like to explain yourself?” Thornby’s chin was up, beautiful mouth curved in disdain.

 
Author Bio
 

Lee Welch wrote her first book aged seven (a pastiche of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and first had an idea for an m/m romance aged twelve. She loves books and comics, and when she’s not writing, she’ll probably be reading. Her favourite authors include Ursula Le Guin, Graham Greene, Linda Medley, Dylan Horrocks and KJ Charles. By day, Lee works as an editor and business communications adviser, mainly persuading people not to say ‘utilise’ when they mean ‘use’. Her job has led her to work in areas as diverse as mental health, nursing, accident prevention and the criminal justice sector.

Lee loves to hear from readers. You can find her at:

Website      Twitter       Facebook

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Love Me Louder

Love Me Louder by Christina Lee: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Love Me Louder

Blurb:

Noah Dixon is damaged goods. After an accident leaves him physically scarred and emotionally vulnerable, dating isn’t in the cards, so he throws himself head-first into his retail job. When he’s obligated to attend his best friend’s engagement party on Fire Island, it dawns on him he’s about to spend yet another weekend feeling totally invisible and alone among a swarm of gorgeous men.

That’s when the idea of an escort comes in.

After Will Crossen was forced to put his theater major on hold in favor of two jobs to tackle his ailing mother’s hospital bills, he tells himself becoming an escort isn’t that big of a deal. It’s just another form of acting, right? He doesn’t expect his newest customer to be the cheery, overconfident sales associate he avoids like the plague at his day job. Talk about awkward.

But what happens on Fire Island stays on Fire Island…especially when a smoldering attraction sparks into flames. Will doesn’t feel so alone anymore, and for the first time, Noah realizes someone is seeing him behind all the scars. But between their jobs, Will’s massive familial responsibilities, and Noah’s vulnerabilities, they don’t stand a chance unless they find a way to let love speak louder than their demons.

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3.75 Stars

Holy fishnets Batman!!

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I’m in the minority with my rating but the fishnets, the way Will rocked them, and how much Noah got off on them brought out my happy face.

Noah works at a home furnishings store with the quiet and stand-offish Will. Noah is happiest at work where he is able to transform spaces for customers. In his private life he’s lonely, insecure about his scars, and distancing himself from the friends and family that love him. This distance from his helicopter parents and physically “beautiful” friends works until he has to go back to Fire Island for a birthday party and secret engagement for his friends. Unable to stomach a trip back alone with everyone hooking up except him, he spots a bat signal in the form of a card his co-worker Will accidentally drops.

Gotham City Escorts.

Will works multiple jobs to help support his mother and her medical bills. He meets up with his next client to prepare for a weekend away at a coffee shop and is taken aback to find Noah waiting. After a rocky start, Will agrees to escort Noah for the Fire Island trip.

Will and Noah’s agreement begins a tentative friendship where they spend time getting to know each other. They definitely can’t show up for the weekend acting like they’ve never spent a minute together. Outside of work, they realize they have things in common and that their assumptions about the other were way off base. A connection is made and then at Fire Island their chemistry comes alive. Except, they don’t know what’s real and what isn’t. Noah doesn’t understand how anyone can be attracted to him beyond a hook-up and believes that Will is just doing what he is paid to do; which is to act like he’s a devoted boyfriend. Will can’t see past his need for money and what that means in caring for his mom. There are some mild curve balls thrown in to make decisions more complicated but low to medium angst overall with a HEA.

The first 50-60% of the book dragged for me. I wasn’t even sure I would hit 3 stars for a rating because I wasn’t having a very enjoyable time. The insecurities and self-doubt were understandable but Noah grated on my patience. Assumptions in high quantities were being spewed on both sides. The back and forth does he/doesn’t he or he’s only interested because I’m paying him drove me cray-cray after a while. I was extremely relieved that everything picked up and my sanity/enjoyment was restored as I finished out the story. Clearly this is a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.”

A warning for readers that like their MCs to only have *ahem* interactions between themselves: There are other… escorty type situations while Noah and Will find their place together. They’re minor but bills gotta be paid and all. *shrugs*

Recommended.

”Show me, fuck me, hire me again just so we can pretend to pretend.”

Copy provided for honest review.

Cover Reveal for Priest by Ella Frank

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Confessions: Priest, book three in the steamy contemporary MMM Confessions Series from Ella Frank, is coming August 20th!

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Confessions: Priest by Ella Frank

Genre: Contemporary MMM Romance

Publishing Date: August 20th, 2018

Cover Designer: Hang Le

Photographer: Mark Short Photography

Model: Alexander MacKenzie

I am complex.

My love is all-encompassing.

And when it comes to my heart, there is only one rule:

Don’t mess with what’s mine.

Until the age of seven, I was Joel Alexander Donovan, son of Jimmy.

The man who terrorized a town and made its citizens fear

the very ground he walked on. Including me,

the day I realized that ground ran red with blood.

At age eighteen, I became Priest.

A man without a past.

A man determined to right the wrongs of my father.

A man who never believed anyone could love the son of such a monster.

But then a thief stole my heart.

A sweetheart lit up my world.

And I forgot for a moment you should never turn your back on your enemy.

And thus begins a lesson to those who would seek to harm: Never underestimate what the Priest will do to protect the Princess and the Prick.

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2MbqMTy

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Start the series with Confessions: Robbie today!
Amazon US:http://amzn.to/2HdQ7IU

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/confessionsrobbie

Add To Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EWp3Aq

About Ella

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips.

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Connect with Ella:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ella.frank.31/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EllaFrank2012

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellafrank1/

Mailing List:  www.bit.ly/1hEYtgn

Website: https://www.ellafrank.com/portfolio

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