New Release & Giveaway for Bed of Flowers

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Bed of Flowers by Erin Satie is LIVE!  First in a new series, Sweetness and Light.

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About Bed of Flowers:

Bonny Reed is beautiful, inside and out.

A loyal friend and loving daughter, she’s newly engaged to her small town’s most eligible bachelor. She’s happy for herself—but mostly for her family, who need the security her marriage will bring.

An old enemy shatters her illusions.

First Baron Loel cost Bonny’s family her fortune. Now he’s insisting that her fiancé has hidden flaws, secrets so dark that—if she believed him—she’d have to call off the wedding.

How will she choose?

When the truth comes out, Bonny will have to choose between doing what’s right and what’s easy. Between her family and her best friend. And hardest of all—between her honor and the love of a man who everyone wants her to hate.

Get your copy today:

Amazon      iBooks      Google Play      Kobo      Barnes & Noble

 

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Excerpt #1:

This is from Loel’s perspective; he’s just kissed Bonny’s wrist.

“You know that you are beautiful,” he said.
She began to shake her head, but he didn’t wait for her to contradict him. He would not offer the courtesy of pretense.
“I do not think you understand how beautiful.” How could she? She’d never seen much of the world. He’d circled the globe and he’d never met another woman who could compare. “If you wanted a husband who would prostrate himself at your feet and worship you, you would have no trouble finding one. If you demanded this of him every day of your married life, year after year until his knees crumbled to dust, he would still get down on those ruined knees to thank God that you chose him.”
Miss Reed tittered. “Don’t be absurd.”
He was dead serious and she knew that, too. “If Charles Gavin has convinced you that he is your equal, he is a liar. When you chose him, it was an act of grace.”

Excerpt #2:

Loel has been sick and Bonny has been nursing him back to health. He’s finally recovering and now that he can think straight, he realizes that he shouldn’t be all alone in his greenhouse with an unmarried woman. (They’re in a greenhouse because it’s warm, and because he raises orchids for a living).

“You shouldn’t be here,” said Loel.
Bonny abandoned the lever pump with the water tank only half full. She’d fought her family and she’d been ready to defend herself against the whole town of New Quay—all for Lord Loel. Who, it turned out, also wanted her to go.
“As you like.” She snatched up her things and waved at the basket. “That’s for you. It should see you through the day and perhaps most of tomorrow. Best of luck for a speedy recovery.”
“Wait.”
Bonny flicked him a scathing glance. He’d work himself to exhaustion, fall over—probably hit his head on the way down—and lapse back into a fever. And he’d deserve it.
“I’m thinking of you,” he said.
“You and everyone else.” Bonny’s anger cooled. Without it, she was just… tired. “But I was thinking of you.”
“Well, stop.” He covered his face with his hands, breathing hard. “Did I ask for your regard? Did I invite it?”
“No.” Quite the opposite, actually. In the beginning, she’d intruded and he’d chased her away. Their encounters had proceeded more or less according to the same template ever since.
And yet she would have sworn that he was fond of her.
“Would you be more comfortable if I fetched you some clothes?” she asked. “If you tell me where—”
“Go.” His head sank further toward his lap. “Please.”
Bonny sank down to her knees. Something like curiosity drove her, a nagging conviction that she was on the verge of an important discovery. She gently pulled Lord Loel’s hands away from his face.
The torment she read in his expression startled her. He’d been sick and now he was nearly better. He ought to be happy.
“You’re upset. Why?”
“Because your kindness is wasted on me.”
“How? You’re better, aren’t you?”
“At what cost to you?” He grimaced. “Who will punish you for helping me? How? Miss Reed—”
“That doesn’t matter when your very life was hanging in the balance—”
“It matters to me.”
His anger was real and it had increased since her arrival. The harsh tone, the urgent delivery—he meant every word. And yet Bonny’s impression that she was listening to a foreign language that she only vaguely understood had increased in perfect tandem.
She might have remained confused forever if something bright hadn’t drawn her attention to the roof of the glasshouse. A ray of light caught on the dirt-clouded glass, then fractured into a brilliant sparkle. Bonny tipped her face up to the sky, attentive to this small miracle of nature for precisely the length of time required to identify, categorize, and dismiss it: just the sun cresting the horizon, dawn breaking into day, nothing to be concerned about.
She looked down, problem solved, and caught Lord Loel staring at her mouth. Hotly, fixedly, with a heat that struck an answering chord in her.
Oh, she thought, wondering how she’d been so stupid. Now I understand.
And she kissed him.

 

 

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About Erin Satie:

Erin Satie is the author of the dark and elegant No Better Angels series of historical romances set in the early Victorian period. She’s currently hard at work on her new series, Sweetness and Light.

Erin is a California native who’s lived on the coasts and in the heartland, in tiny city apartments and on a working farm. She studied art history in both college and graduate school—research is always her favorite part of starting a new book.

Her favorite part of finishing a book, whether reading or writing, is the happily ever after.

Connect with Erin:

Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter

Giveaway: enter to win 1 of 2 e-copies of any back catalog book by Erin Satie!

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0359/

 

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Masc (Femme #2)

Masc (Femme #2) by Marshall Thornton: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Masc

Blurb:

Lionel and Dog are back in this follow-up to the Lambda finalist, Femme. Almost six months have passed and, after taking an online quiz, Lionel believes their relationship is doomed because they have nothing in common. To save their future together, the pair joins a gay bowling league and discovers that Lionel is an excellent, if somewhat eccentric, bowler.

Meanwhile, Dog gets profiled in a work newsletter. He’s excited that he’s out at work, but doesn’t immediately realize that by fawning over Dog’s masculine nature the writer was also putting down all femme guys. Lionel takes it personally, which leads the to a crisis in their relationship. Attempting to make it up to Lionel, Dog makes a grand gesture—which backfires spectacularly.

Will the two manage to put things right? And will a night in jail, a morning of drag bingo, an afternoon of day drinking, and a month of moping make things better or worse?

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3.5 Stars

Masc is a solid follow up to the Dog and Lionel show. It had many of the same ingredients that were present in the first:

Sassy Lionel? Check
Clueless yet introspective Dog? Yep
Dog’s crazy family? uh huh
Over analysis of how a relationship should look? In spades.
OTT moments? Is the sky blue?

Masc deals a lot with the growing pains of a new relationship and the questions that creep up after the honeymoon phase; Questions about purpose, direction, and the longevity of Lionel and Dog’s future. Lionel and Dog also have a lot of personal obstacles they have to battle before they can fully appreciate each other and the relationship they’re building. Things get shaken up when Lionel takes a relationship quiz that shows having nothing in common pretty much equates to a doomed relationship.

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Unfortunately for their supposed doomed relationship, shit hits the fan even more when Dog is profiled at work. That article shines the light on biases/stereotypes/gender role issues that plague the MCs, their family, and co-workers. I’m not sure I’m all the way on board with the way Dog had to work through his issues, but I will say that I was raging for a bit during the read.

Dog and Lionel are so silly but stay true to themselves. I enjoyed it for the most part but at times I felt like I was hitting my threshold for dramatics. I was hoping that there would be more growth to the relationship but much of this book was dysfunction with a big helping of OTT. They got their HEA but the cohesiveness took a lonnnnnnnng while to obtain.

I’m not going to lie, I was a tad nervous in the beginning with Graham’s sister being on page so soon. Dog’s family drove me crazy in book one but his sister was the icing on the cray-cray cake. It’s enjoyable to *see* the growth she makes and how far his dad has come since the first book. They all grew on me and become a nice support system for Lionel and Dog.

Dramatics and OTT-ness are pretty much the M.O. for Lionel and Dog’s relationship in Femme so expect the same for this one. There are some serious issues taking place in this book with a trigger warning for sexual harassment and insinuation of past child abuse. It was nice to spend more time with Lionel and Dog. Recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

New Release & Giveaway for The Varlet and the Voyeur

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The Varlet and the Voyeur, an all-new standalone in the USA Today bestselling Rugby Series from Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway is LIVE!

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He kept his salacious secret for years. But soon, everyone is going to be reading about it in their morning paper…

THE VARLET (and the VOYEUR)

William Moore is a long way from home. A farm boy from Oklahoma, he’s now the most well-respected member of the Irish rugby team. But appearances are often deceptive, and Will isn’t the clean-cut, all-American good-guy everyone imagines him to be. He’s got a secret, one that will tarnish his reputation forever.

THE VOYEUR (and the VARLET)

Joesy Kavanagh is a self-proclaimed mess, but she’s finally get her shi…uh, act together. She’s set her sights on becoming a veterinarian, but there’s one teeny tiny road bump. Her living arrangements are coming to an abrupt end, leaving Joesy homeless and in need of a job to pay her way through college.

THE PLAN

What he needs is a companion to keep him on the right path.

What she needs is an apartment with free rent.

Will is convinced Joesy will make the perfect companion, since she’s brutally honest and basically ‘just one of the guys.’  Joesy is convinced she can ensure Will doesn’t succumb to his voyeuristic proclivities by keeping a scrupulous eye on him.

Except, what happens when the varlet is tempted by the voyeur, and vice-versa?!

Perchance something very, very volatile. And vexing.

The Varlet and the Voyeur is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the 4th(and last) book in the USA TODAY bestselling Rugby Series.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2l89gDn

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

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

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Enter the giveaway to win a signed paperback of The Varlet and the Voyeur!

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Start the Series of standalones with The Hooker and the Hermit!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2wp3GoC

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

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

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

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Connect with L.H. Cosway:

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

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jVTDk8

Twitter: @LHCosway

Newsletter: https://goo.gl/vkhYHN

Website: www.lhcoswayauthor.com

 

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Campus Life

Campus Life (CYOA #2) by T.C. Orton: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Synopsis:
All books in this series are stand alone. 
A choose your own adventure for adults! 

Young, dumb, and full of… You get the picture.

Welcome to Mentis University, your name is Joseph Smith and you’ve been unremarkable all your life. No – really, you’ve been absolutely, unequivocally, insert-smart-word-here mundane since the day the doctor slapped your ass and you let out a sigh. HOWEVER, you did manage to achieve one thing this year – you transferred to a better college. Bravo! (Mentis University has been rated number 2 on Top 10 worst colleges to attend for the last seven years… Guess where you were before this)

Since no one else from your hometown of – insert rural American town here – managed to claw their way out of mediocrity, you decided there was no point in hiding anymore. And thus, at an energetic twenty-one years old, you’re now an openly gay man. Congratulations.

Of course, there’s not much point in being openly gay if there are no gays to be in your opening. So, after spending a few days getting accustomed to your new life, you flopped onto your single bed, closed your eyes, and prayed to the lord… (And you’re still waiting for the day Cher tweets you back)

“Please,” you begged. “Guide me to a man who will treat me right… or pound me like a piece of veal.”

Luckily for you, someone was listening…

Dear Reader

You will assume the role of Joe Smith (first-person, present tense) and guide him through his final year of college. Don’t worry, you won’t be expected to do anything as absurd as learn mathematics, but you will, on occasion, be provided with choices that will impact the outcome of the story.

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3 Stars

I’ll be honest, I was squeeing for this before I ever read the blurb. This is my first foray into CYOA as an adult. I was obsessed with them growing up and didn’t even know they had an option for them in romance. *dreamy sigh* There are times when I read and just want to yell at the characters in a book for the decisions they are making and this format obviously puts the power in my hands…. which apparently I was pervy AF when I started because WHOA… that was quite a rabbit hole I fell down.

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Campus Life puts you in the driver’s seat of college senior, Joe Smith. You are faced with decisions of the student variety from roommate fights to coffee crisis and coming out to lusting after a hot ass professor.

There are a plethora of directions to go, with completely different outcomes. It’s a short, quick, and OTT read. This isn’t a deep story where you leave with new appreciation for life and humanity. It’s silly, lacks depth with characters and plot, and even the less sex focused choices end in lots of sex. I went super pervy the first time through *shrug* and ended up saying “Yes, sir” and being on board with being called a slut. *shrug* There was a tad more character development when I went the complete opposite route and wanted to find a nice guy with more substance than filling holes… still had lots of sex but there was a tiny bit more to that story than me being on my knees.

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It was a light, quick, and entertaining read. Recommended for fans of CYOA-pornyland looking for a break from serious.

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

The Book of Beginnings: It’s Just Us Here (Unfinished Self-Portrait)

The Book of Beginnings: It’s Just Us Here: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

The Book of Beginnings: It's Just Us Here

Blurb:

An asexual man meets a male model… and slowly falls in love.
Chris is a nerdy bookworm with a very direct personality. He tends to take jokes literally. He doesn’t like small talk.

Chris has never been sexually attracted to anyone in real life, though he can look at photos and think up exciting scenarios in his head… as long as the people are all wearing clothes. Porn is definitely a no go.

Mark is a charismatic, beautiful man with a pretty person job and pretty person problems. He’s very pushy.

Mark is also struggling with a summer college course for business writing. Luckily, Chris makes a living from his writing and always falls for a sob story… so he ends up helping the model with his assignment.

After a chance encounter in Chris’ favorite park, the two men’s lives slowly entangle until the pair become inseparable.

First Chris and Mark become friends, then companions, then partners, then lovers… and then they get engaged, married and… finally… adopt a very amazing kid.
This is their story… or, well, I guess it’s my story. I’m Chris and I wrote this. It’s very weird to refer to myself in the third person, so I’m going back to first person now.

Mark didn’t tell me he was into guys until I was very much in love with him. Anytime he got close to telling me the truth, I would instinctively pull back. But I never ran away completely, and he kept coming after me.

I guess you’ll have to read the book to understand why.

[ADVISORY: I’d just like to make sure you know that this book is not the complete love story between me and my husband. I’ve broken my story up into ten 100,000 word installments. Each installment follows its own ‘arc’. There are four ‘super arcs’ typical of romance novels spread over the ten installments.

“The Book of Beginnings” contains the beginning of each of those ten installments. So we’re going to jump through time quite a bit. These ‘beginnings’ total over 140,000 words and the final project will be over 1,000,000 words.
Don’t worry, I will finish this story. It’s terribly important to me. But it is huge. So I will also be posting an Abridged Version, which will consist of the chapters in “The Book of Endings” and “The Book of Beginnings”.

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5 Stars

I tried to type a review for this a few times and finally realized that it’s impossible. So, I’ve decided to provide a warning: incoherent ramblings ahead on this memoir-romanceish book. Before we commence to the ramblings, I think it’s important to know that this isn’t a conventional romance, it’s a true “story.” Please see the author’s special note in the blurb. More books are in the works that break down important stages of the MCs relationship with a full arc. This book is strictly the beginnings of each of those stages coming together to form the Book of Beginnings. Make sense? Fabulous.

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Chris: Asexual man, writer, friend, worrier, planner

Mark: Model, highly sexual, laid back, incredibly social

These two men come together randomly in a park after Chris’ typical Monday run. Chris is on a bench writing and Mark is a lonely man looking for a friend. From their first meeting, it’s a whirlwind where they create their own boundaries on what it means to be friends, lovers, partners, and eventually parents. Chris and Mark come from diverse backgrounds, have diverse sexual appetites, opposite personalities, and experience real life growing pains as they move through each stage of their relationship.

Book of Beginnings is written in the format of a romance novel but the situations these men face aren’t romanticized. The writing style is easy to breeze through but the angsty content isn’t easy to read. There was so much more feeling involved while reading this book because I couldn’t forget that these are real people with issues that aren’t sugar coated. Having to *see* the struggle Chris and Mark go through in their intimacy was gut wrenching, especially from Chris’ POV as he tries to be all his partner needs sexually while still being very much an asexual man at his core. Early on my heart was breaking for Mark as I could see the love he had for Chris but couldn’t fully release his feelings. Another difficult aspect of this story is the dynamic between Mark and Chris. Mark’s personality is larger than life and he has such a pull over Chris. It may seem like Mark steamrolls (and rightfully so, sometimes) Chris into capitulating often- but Mark knows Chris and is able to nudge him out of the comfort zone he likes to exist in. Mark usually has Chris’ best interests at heart and even though he may be resisting something, a part of him seems to crave it as well.

It’s a captivating read that allows us to focus on the emotional aspect of them falling in love way before physical intimacy is introduced. I adore the connection they have, the foundation they build, and the growth each man makes toward their HEA.

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Y’all, I was hooked from the beginning. It’s a beast of a book in length but I couldn’t put it down. I pretended to be productive and do adult things but I was really just reading this and when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about reading it.

Was it perfect? No, but it’s a work in progress and the author makes that point clear multiple times. As mentioned above, The Book of Beginnings: It’s Just Us Here is written in an unconventional format, needs more editing, has incomplete “story” arcs, has multiple big-moment time lapses, and missing very important bits of their lives. All of those are noted in the blurb warning. Did I care? Not one teeny tiny bit. I went all Dr. Seuss on this book and would read it in a boat, with a goat, in the rain, on a train… (I’m a dork, sorry *shrug*)

There were times I wanted to scream at my kindle because I just had to know what happened only for it to have a time jump. This actually reminds me of a CliffsNotes version for their life story with the main parts coming out as their own books over the next year.

At the heart of this book is a “story” of two people meeting, loving each other, and then falling in love. Life can be a major bitch sometimes and still, Chris and Mark find a way to love on their own terms as the relationship evolves into something deeper. Something real. Something beautiful and imperfectly perfect.

I’m SO frakin’ glad I chose to take a chance on this love story and I’m looking forward to reading the first full installment. This author now has a new stalker stage-10 clinger big fan. Highly recommended.

Copy provided for honest review.

Level Up

Level Up by Annabeth Albert: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Level Up

Blurb:

Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.

However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.

A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.

Approximately 40,000 words. Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.

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3 Stars

This is another one of those, I like the premise but the execution fell a bit short IMO. I was hooked on photographer and genius physicist are supposed to meet up for a charity gig but prior to the event, they communicate online for a couple of weeks allowing things go from professional to flirty. Unfortunately my excitement didn’t extend throughout and this became an okay level of enjoyment.

As the blurb mentions, Landon is voluntold to help with a nude charity calendar. He begins email communication with the photographer (Bailey) about logistics and then as multiple emails are exchanged, they find themselves in flirty territory where each “man” is looking forward to meeting with an almost giddy anticipation.

Their first meet is awkward and isn’t the slam dunk each was hoping for. They decide to be friends and over their love of video games, a tentative romantic relationship forms. Landon has serious issues from the past he must navigate to make it work and Bailey is so patient. He handles him with understanding and care while moving towards a HEA.

My hang-ups with this book deal mostly with the lack of depth and fleshing out of the characters. We jump right in when Bailey and Landon are about to meet and miss out on the communication or build up prior. The interactions that take place are awkward and never quite cohesive. There’s a lot of sex, sex talk, “cyber,” etc., when some of that page time could have been spent developing their connection. I like sex but I like well rounded characters with chemistry AND connection even more.

This book can definitely use another round of edits prior to release and please heed the Trigger Warning for mentions of past sexual-assault. I’m not sure if these men were mentioned in the #gaymers books since it’s “loosely linked” and maybe that would provide more depth to the characters? But if you’re a fan of that series, this may work better for you.

Copy provided for honest review.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: Review by Lost in a Book

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

Blurb:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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5+++++++++ Stars

Illuminae

My feels on this book…

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My feels on the audio casting and their execution for this book…

 

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Illuminae is unique, riveting, gruesome, action packed, and intelligent. Throughout the entire “read” I was constantly in awe of the authors and the clever creativity required to write a book like this.

The blurb provides an overall scope of the book with Kady and Ezra breaking up, their planet being attacked, them being rescued by a nearby ship, and some of the things they encounter while trying to escape the enemy warship. Except, the blurb doesn’t do the story justice. This is way more than a romance. I hesitate even calling it that because the MCs are on separate ships for 95% of the book, have to communicate through computers, and much passes before they get on the same page (maybe a SciFi with romantic elements?). I’m not quite sure there’s a label that encompasses what this book actually is. But I damn sure loved it.

Illuminae is downright gruesome and not for the faint of heart. There were moments when I was squirming and others where I had actual tears running down my face. Legit face-leaking was taking place. Lotssssss of leaking.

This story isn’t written in the traditional sense and is instead composed of “a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more.” But don’t let that throw you off and keep you from diving into this addicting story.

AIDAN… Oh, AIDAN. What really surprised me was my ability to love *and* the level of my love for AIDAN. I had moments of rage/hate for “him” and then was swooning and professing my undying love the next moment.

Let’s talk about this audio. Hands down, the BEST audio I’ve ever heard. Ever. For real. It was everything I wish I could experience when I go see a book to movie adaptation. But it was better because it’s the actual book being performed and the only true way to describe what the cast accomplishes is to call it a performance.

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The story is captivating. It took a while to get through because I did audio and there were times I had to hold off because I needed to slow my heart after a nail biter scene or to deep breathe through my tears. Will I go on to book #2? Hell to the yeah… after I surround myself with fluff because this was INTENSE. I’m a fan. I’m amazed by the authors. I’m amazed at the quality of audio. 1 million% recommended.

 

Speakeasy (True North #5)

Speakeasy (True North #5) by Sarina Bowen: Review by Cupcake

Speakeasy (True North, #5)

Blurb:

Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…
May

Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it.
Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.
Alec
I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job.
It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us.
Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…

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ALL THE STARS!!!!!!!!!!

True story. When I discovered that this one wasn’t going to feature Roderick and Kieran I had a sad, because something is up with those two! But I soldiered on and guess what happened?

I fell in love with this book! I might even like this better than Bittersweet! Bold statement I know, but this book filled up my love tank to bursting.

And now I’m going to squee. A lot. So brace yourselves.

This series always feels like coming home. I love the atmosphere in this sleepy little Vermont town called Tuxbury that SB has created. I love the Shipleys and look forward to catching up with them every time a new book comes out. Tuxbury is really more of an extended family than made up of merely neighbors. They love their craft beers, baked goods, whatever Audrey cooks up in the Shipley kitchen for Thursday dinner, organic farming and the sense of community that pervades the True North series are what make it special for me.

May is the oldest Shipley daughter. She calls herself a hot mess for many reasons; she’s an alcoholic, made mistakes aplenty and she generally feels like she’s always fucking something up. In short, no one is harder on May than May. She’s bisexual and been in love with her best friend Lark for years, but Lark does not reciprocate her feels. She actually went and fell for the nicest of nice guys Zach in Keepsake. That probably sent May into a bad “rebound” relationship with Daniela. Who is a bitch. A controlling, abusive and awful bitch.

Coming home from work one night May spots Daniela’s car at The Gin Mill and in an effort to be a nice girlfriend goes in and finds her putting on a show in a booth. With her ex. Who is also awful. Alec, The Gin Mill’s proprietor, intervenes before blood is shed. Good thing since I’m guessing the Vermont Bar Association would frown upon one of its members being charged with assault.

Alec Rossi is the boy your momma always told you to stay away from. He’s made a lifestyle out of partying. He’s the fun guy that found a way to hold a kegger in high school. Every weekend. He’s allergic to relationships and commitment, an allergy which has earned him a rep as a sex wizard. The ladies are never in short supply. Oozing charisma with an aura of laid back that borders on zen makes him VERY popular. He’s also a Rossi. There’s been bad blood between the Shipleys and Rossis since forever, so there’s a certain Romeo and Juliet vibe about Speakeasy that’s extremely appealing. There’s something sexy about sneaking around, isn’t there? Adds to the excitement or something.

Naturally both of these characters have more depth than they believe themselves to have. Both are well constructed and infinitely likable. The banter between them put a smile on my face and kept it there for the majority of the book.

They have sizzling chemistry and embark on a friends with bennies relationship which of course segues into deeper feelings. They both have baggage but that baggage felt genuine, honest. I never felt that mountains were being made out of molehills or that their angst was contrived. As I watched them fall in love I could see how well they compliment one another which is guaranteed to make me swoon.

May’s addiction is still very much a part of her life and isn’t downplayed. I wouldn’t say that I enjoy reading about addiction but if it’s going to be integral to the character then I applaud when it’s portrayed authentically and SB not only did that for May but she again addressed the opioid epidemic that’s plagued the northeast for several years now and is now spreading like wildfire through the rest of the country.

May’s bisexuality wasn’t sidestepped either. She truly believed that her future lay with another woman but once she realizes that she’s fallen for Alec she doesn’t hold back. She fully commits to him and the possibilities of a future with him, but it’s made clear that doing so doesn’t make her any less bisexual.

The fact that Alec isn’t intimidated by her bisexuality and is prone to “perving” on her lesbian fantasies made me adore him. Well, that and that he’s not afraid to show emotion. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is honest with both himself and May where his feelings are concerned. He’s a refreshingly honest male character who is alpha in many ways without being an alpha-hole. As much as he likes to believe he’s the antithesis of Griff, I noticed a lot of similarities between them. Alec’s just not as grumpy.

 

Making her happy makes me happy.

The backdrop of their love story is The Gin Mill and its future. It’s Alec’s baby and he has designs on expanding, just not the capital to do it. The way this storyline evolved put May and Alec’s connection front and center. It also showcased what makes me love the Shipleys and this little town so much. It made me a little verklempt a couple times to see it unfold. Maybe it was a little “too easy” but I do not even care. Not. One. Care. It was perfect to me in every single way and I can’t wait to reread it.

I have nothing else to say on this long and rambling road other than I LOVE GRANDPA SHIPLEY AND HIS OLD SCHOOL WORDS! Can’t wait to catch up with everyone in the next installment *side mouths* which I’m rully hoping is about Kieran and Roderick. Please don’t make me beg, SB.

An ARC was provided.

The Cocky Collective Out NOW!

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Cocktales, a limited-release anthology of original, never before published material, from some of your favorite bestselling authors is available now!

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Each story was specifically written for this anthology.

The goal of the Cocktales Anthology is to raise funds to fight against obstruction of creative expression. Specifically, what we believe are obstruction attempts through the trademarking of common (single) words for titicular use in books / or as a book series (eBooks, print, and audio).

Cocktales will only be available May 26th-August 26th.

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Download your copy today:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2InBckG

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

Amazon Print: https://amzn.to/2rUn33i

iBooks: https://apple.co/2IoO7CM

Nook: https://bit.ly/2k0i25J

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2IIixiH

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2ImisBR

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/CockTalesGR

Contributing Authors Include:

Nana Malone, USA Today Bestselling author – Foreword

Dylan Allen – ‘Cocked and Loaded’

Jana Aston, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Double Cocked’

Whitney Barbetti – ‘Cocksure Grin’

Author Sawyer Bennett, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘A Wicked, Cocky Plan’

K.f. Breene, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Magical Cock and Bull’

Ruth Clampett, Amazon top 20 Bestselling Author – ‘Don’t Get Cocky’

L.H. Cosway, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Illusionist Seeks Neanderthal’

Mariah Dietz – ‘Landmines’

Amy Daws, Amazon Top 25 Bestselling author – ‘Cock and Balls’

BB Easton, Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author – ‘Cocky BB: Two Boys, One Prom.’

Jaymin Eve, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘The Cockier the Dragon, the Harder They Fall’

Emma Hart, NYT and USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Tricky Bond’

Staci Hart, Amazon Top 10 Bestselling author – ‘Cockamamie’

Jessica Hawkins, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Cocky Couture’

Julie Johnson Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author – ‘Culinary Cock-Up’

Karpov Kinrade, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Crimson Cocktail’

Adriana Locke, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Swag’

Lex Martin, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Love & Hate at the Stallion Station’

Aly Martinez, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Going Down’

Katyi McGee – USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Cocksure Co-Star’

Corinne Michaels, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Cockblocked’

Liv Morris, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Getting It Up’

Red Phoenix, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Her Cocky Russian’

Daisy Prescott, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Confessions of a Cockblocked Wingman’

Jessica Prince – ‘A Cocky Corruption Engagement’

Meghan Quinn, Amazon Top 20 Bestselling Author – ‘Fight or Flight’

CD Reiss, NYT and USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Cocky Capo’

Penny Reid, WSJ and USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Beard and Hen’

Julie Richman, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘The Color of Love’

Aleatha Romig, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Aligned’

Kennedy Ryan, Top 40 Amazon Bestselling author – ‘All’

Kylie Scott, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Short Story with Mal and Anne from The Stage Dive Series’

Sierra Simone, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Until the Cock Crows’

Tara Sivec, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Chocolate and Cockup’

Kate Stewart, Amazon Top 30 Bestselling author – ‘The Golden Sombrero’

Leia Stone, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Cocky Alpha’

Karla Sorensen – ‘Tristan & Anna: A Bachelors of the Ridge short story’

Rachel Van Dyken, NYT, WSJ, USA Today Bestselling author – ‘Cocky Mafia’

April White, Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author – ‘Code of Conduct’

*ALL* net profits will be donated to:

Authors already impacted by creative-obstruction (10%), and Romance Writers of America (RWA) (90%) as a general donation intended for their Advocacy Fund.

*Disclaimer: This anthology is not being conducted on behalf of RWA, nor does RWA endorse this anthology or effort. They have, however, graciously agreed to accept the funds.

For more information, visit: https://www.cockyauthors.com

 

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New Release + Giveaway: Lover by TM Smith

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Blurb:

Life has not always been kind to Shannon Dupree. On the outside he’s carefree and fun loving, but when it comes to his past he’s evasive and secretive. Running away from emotionally bereft parents at just fifteen, Shannon escapes life with them but steps into the waiting arms of the devil.

Rory Landers is a rising star at the Bureau. His personal life, however, is nothing to write home about. He hopes to take his limited relationship with Frank Moore to the next level when they finally solve the Langford murder case, but that doesn’t turn out as planned. On the plus side, he meets free-spirited college senior Shannon Dupree.

Rand Davis finds himself fortysomething and single when his partner of more than a decade is unfaithful. Taking over the Cold Case Squad frees up some of his time, and Rand welcomes newfound friendships within the Langford-Moore family circle. He thinks relationships are not in the cards for him until he meets an agent with an attitude and a vivacious blond that make him want so much more.

Past, present, pain, and suffering collide, ushering in the possibility of a life and love worth fighting for. Although their personalities couldn’t be more different, their three hearts beat the same. Shannon, Rory, and Rand learn the definition of love, commitment, and strength and if they allow themselves, the trio will find all that and more—in each other.

Where to Buy:

Amazon US      Amazon UK      Amazon DE      Amazon AU      Amazon CA

B&N      Smashwords      Payhip      Kobo      Playster

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Author Bio and Links:

A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or ticking away on her next novel.

Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people, Love is Love!

Website      Blog      Facebook Author      Facebook All Cocks series      

Twitter      GoodReads       Pinterest       Youtube      Amazon       

Smashwords       B&N       Kobo       iTunes       Audible       

Amazon UK       Amazon AU       Amazon DE       Payhip       

 

Giveaway:

Leave a comment for a chance to win an audiobook copy of the first book in the series, Survivor.

Lover Playlist:

Music is a necessary part of my writing. I have playlists for every book I’ve written as well as favorite songs lists and certain artists I follow on youtube that I listen to while writing. I also search out LGBTQ artists and always have at least one song on every playlist from an open, out artist like Adam Lambert, Steve Grand and Eli Lieb. As an Author of Gay Romance I feel like it’s important to represent the genre and what better way than to share some really great artists and songs with all my readers?

The playlist for Lover needed to include songs for each guy as well as songs that would fit for their journey, their relationship, the struggles to come to terms with their feelings for one another while chartering the foreign territory that is a working threesome.

The first song on the list is ‘Bad at Love’ by Halsey. Seriously, within the first three chapters you’ll see that all three men haven’t had the best like with Love.

‘Find you’ by Nick Jonas was a song that made me think of Shannon the first time I heard it. He wants to be loved the right way so very badly. But even when love presents itself, he still struggles with letting that person get under his skin, has issues with thinking of anything as permanent.

‘Let it Go’ by James Bay screams Rory, and if you’ve read book 1 you know exactly why. If not, you really should because you get a bit of Rory’s backstory in Survivor.

‘Mercy’ by Shawn Mendes has Rand written all over it. He really takes a risk with his heart by falling in love with these two men.

I also had to include a video of my muse for Shannon; Actor, Model and Singer, Lucky Blue Smith. All the other songs on the list fit within the story like pieces of a puzzle and I hope you’ll read the book and where a certain song fits it will click for you.

Lover playlist YouTube