Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday's Series Spotlight: Equals by Brigham Vaughn

Husbands #4
Russ is ready to make a lifelong commitment to his partner. That means marriage to him, but Stephen grew up believing that was out of the question. With marriage equality still not recognized in Georgia, Stephen is only concerned about the legal protection available to them.

Someone from Stephen’s past reappears and drives a wedge between them as Russ and Stephen struggle to agree on their future. Russ tries to understand Stephen’s complex feelings about marriage, but the differences in their background stresses the relationship further. Can the relationship they've built overcome the issues they face?

***10% of the proceeds from
Husbands will go toward Atlanta's
Lost-n-Found Youth center***

I don't even know where to begin.  Russ and Stephen had me from their first spilled coffee and being able to see their relationship grow, mature, and evolve has been a joy and has earned a prominent spot in my personal library.  Brigham Vaughn has a way with the written word, she conveys so much emotion and detail with a relatively limited number of words.  I'll admit that there are moments that I would sit and imagine what was going on between the pages, yes they would have added to the story but truth is that there is nothing lacking from Russ and Stephen's story without those moments.  Sometimes, readers need to read certain points and others you just need to imagine and for me, Miss Vaughn has given us a perfect blend of visual and imagined nuggets.

Husbands is a perfect conclusion to this couple's tale, I can't say "ending" because that elicits too much sadness but it definitely wraps this romance up in a neat little bow.  Now, having said that, it's not a sugary sweet, no problems kind of ride, the bumps are there and one bump is Jeremy, Stephen's ex.  I was glad that we finally got to meet Jeremy and his part is not the cliche "ex wants back in". Calling Jeremy a "bump" is not giving him the credit he deserves on my part but there are some tense moments, even if it's mostly inner monologue.  Yep, if you have been following Russ and Stephen's story, you just can't miss Husbands.  And if you haven't read the Equals series, well, what are you doing sitting here reading my review, check it out because you won't regret it.  I can't wait to see what the mind of Brigham Vaughn brings next.


Equals #1
Too busy to date while he worked to put himself through school, Russell Bishop’s dedication finally pays off; he has a great job with Vantage Marketing. Stephen Parker, CFO of the marketing firm, has resigned himself to a life without a partner. For six months, they wanted each other but it isn’t until Russ slips on spilled coffee, and Stephen rushes to his rescue that they discover their attraction is mutual.

However, the twenty year age gap between them proves difficult when they begin dating. Fiercely independent, Russ isn’t sure he’s ready for long-term commitment. Scarred from a previous relationship, Stephen is afraid history is repeating itself. Is there any way for them to meet in the middle and become equals?

We see how a seemingly insignificant clumsy annoyance can change the lives of two people.  Everything happens for a reason and this time around, spilled coffee brings two men together, even if one has to get some minor injuries to do it.  I love the dynamics between Russ and Stephen both as individual characters and as a couple.  Even though there is a 20 year age gap between the two, they are surprisingly the same even if they are at different places in their lives.  The author manages to bridge that gap with sincerity, passion, fight, and overdue communication.


Partners #2
After a rocky first few months, Stephen Parker and Russ Bishop’s relationship is at a crossroads when the death of Stephen’s father forces them to visit Stephen's hometown in southern Georgia. 

Estranged from his family, Stephen must find a way to come to terms with his past and say goodbye to the father whose expectations he could never live up to. The small, conservative town provides its own challenges as Russ realizes providing emotional support is one part of being a true partner for Stephen.

I can safely say I have never read a book as far ahead of a scheduled posting as I did Partners. As soon as I received the ARC, I went right to reading it and have been chomping at the bit to tell my review. AMAZING!!! Stepehn and Russ touch your heart in every way possible. To say I loved them is putting it mildly and, if I may add, stating the obvious. There were a few times where I could have reached in and throttled Stephen though, usually when he put voice to his doubts over Russ "settling" for an older man.

I can't even begin to imagine what Stephen is feeling having to return to his hometown after his father's death considering how things had been between the two men, but Miss Vaughn handles is beautifully. I'll admit that at times some of the characters were a bit on the preachy side but anything less and it wouldn't have been fitting of the story, the characters, or the author. I look forward to see what the future has in store for both Stephen and Russ (I hope) and Miss Vaughn.


Family #3
After too many holidays alone, Russ Bishop and Stephen Parker decide to invite Russ’ family to spend Christmas with them. Russ wants to repair the fractured relationships with his father and sister, and Stephen wants to feel like he’s part of a family. But when Russ’ sister, Addie, brings an unexpected guest, it makes an already challenging situation more complicated. The Christmas Stephen gets may not be as perfect as the one he imagined but perhaps happiness can be found in the flaws. 

This was a perfect addition to the Equals series and the love story of Russ and Stephen. I've been wondering about that box that Miss Esther gave Stephen from his father's things. I loved finally getting to meet Russ' family too. I won't lie, there was some dread I was fearing when faced with Addison meeting Stephen considering the way their aunt had raised her but it worked out even better than I expected. Such a lovely and beautifully written Christmas story. I look forward to more of Russ and Stephen, hint, hint Miss Vaughn.


Equals #1
As if he’d heard Stephen’s thoughts, Russ straightened and turned his head before hopping in a half circle to face him, smiling widely. “Hey. Didn’t hear you come in.”

Stephen realized he still hovered in the doorway and he stepped forward and let it shut behind him. “Hi. How was your day?”

Russ leaned back against the counter, all of his weight on his uninjured foot. “Once I got over being pissed at you, not bad.”

Stephen gave him a wry smile. “I am sorry; I didn’t mean to come off heavy-handed.” He set the bags in his hands on the counter and walked closer to Russ. “I was worried about you.”

Russ laid a hand on Stephen’s chest, fingers curling around his tie. “I’m a big boy; I can take care of myself.”

Stephen nodded, stepping closer so his feet were between Russ’ but careful not to bump the injured ankle. “I am sure you can,” Stephen said calmly. “But I feel at least somewhat responsible for your accident.”

“I don’t blame you for it.”

“I know you don’t.” For a few heartbeats, they looked at each other until Russ tugged at the tie. Stephen didn’t lean in, but it didn’t take a genius to decipher his intention. He looked up at Stephen and spoke quietly. “It feels strange to be wearing your clothes and sleeping in your bed when we haven’t so much as kissed.”

Stephen’s voice was husky. “Was that a hint?”

“No.” Russ wet his lips. “But this is a demand: I want you to kiss me.”

“I can do that.”

Partners #2
After the dishes were done and the kitchen was clean, the three of them sat on the front porch, Russ beside him on the creaking swing as Miss Esther knitted and told Russ stories about Stephen growing up. "Before you leave I’ll show you the photos I have,” she promised Russ and he enthusiastically agreed. Stephen’s gaze flew to the elderly woman.

“You have them?”

“Sure do,” she said easily, the clack of the needles never pausing. “Your daddy tried to throw them out when your momma passed but I wouldn’t let him. I’ve been hangin’ onto ‘em for you.”

“Oh,” Stephen replied, feeling strangely shaky. He’d thought every memory of his childhood had been tossed out.

“They’re in a box in the blue bedroom,” she said. “You can get them down from the shelf in the closet for me tomorrow.”

“I’d love to see them,” Russ said, his tone eager as he leaned forward. Stephen was less sure of how he felt. On one hand, he was relieved to know it hadn’t all been destroyed. On the other, he wasn’t sure how much of his past he could face this weekend. Then Russ’ knee nudged his, their thighs pressing together. As the katydids droned in the background, Stephen felt himself relax, remembering he didn’t have to face it alone.

Family #3
Peter clapped him on the back. “I’ve known you for a lot of years, Stephen. I saw you with Jeremy and after his accident. I saw you when you believed you’d never fall in love again. This relationship with Russ—it’s made you a new man. You may not see it, but it’s changed you.”

“I know it has,” Stephen acknowledged. Peter left, and Stephen sought Russ again. He was in line at the bar now, and he held up his empty glass, mouthing “be there in a moment”. Eager to go to him, Stephen set down his own empty glass on a deserted table as he crossed the distance between them. Russ, distracted by something the person in front of him said, didn’t notice Stephen’s approach.

Stephen leaned in, whispering in Russ’ ear as he rested his hands lightly on Russ’ hips. “Dance with me?”

Russ turned to look at him, surprised. “Are you sure?”

“Sure I want to put my arms around the man I love? Yes.” The earlier doubt he’d felt was gone. Peter had some valid points, and what Stephen wouldn’t give to feel Russ in his arms right now. Over the years, he’d conditioned himself to expect less than others, simply because he was gay. Straight couples didn’t think twice about dancing with each other during the holiday party. Why should he?

Husbands #4
Russ had been fourteen when Vermont became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. State after state joined the ranks, and in the last few years it seemed to be gaining momentum. It was only a matter of time before marriage equality swept the nation. He’d grown up with the idea that someday he’d have the right to marry the man he loved. If he wanted it—and right now, he wanted it more than anything else in the world—there would be nothing to stop him.

Except, his partner—the one he’d been so sure wanted the same thing—apparently didn’t.

“How’d you know I was up here?” he asked hoarsely.

Stephen’s gaze lifted, his smile sad. “Because I know you.”

Russ’ tongue felt thick all of a sudden, unwieldy in his mouth. “I thought I knew you.”

The look of hurt in Stephen’s gaze was shattering, but no more so than the earlier rejection. “Can we talk?”

“I’m not sure what there is to say.” Russ walked out of the pool, limbs heavy after the grueling swim and time spent floating in the water. It was almost like the feeling of being back on land after spending a day on a boat. Except that made him think of sailing with Stephen, which was too painful to consider right now. “I asked you to marry me, and it’s not something you want. There really isn’t a compromise.”

Author Bio:
Brigham Vaughn has always been a voracious reader with her own stories to tell.  After many years of abandoned plots, something finally clicked.  Now she's eating, sleeping, and breathing writing and is excited to have finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up.  In the little time that isn't spent writing or reading, she loves cooking, yoga, photography, and remodeling her ninety-year old home.  Brigham lives in Michigan with her four cats and an amazing husband who has always been her biggest champion.


Husbands #4
***10% of the proceeds from Husbands will
go toward Atlanta's Lost-n-Found Youth center***

Equals #1
B&N  /  KOBO  /  iTUNES

Partners #2
B&N  /  KOBO  /  iTUNES

Family #3
B&N  /  KOBO  /  iTUNES

Lost-n-Found Youth is an Atlanta-based nonprofit corporation whose mission is to take homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths to age 26 off the street and transition them into more permanent housing.

We operate a 24/7 hotline at 678-856-7825, a Youth Center, a 6-bed 90 day housing facility, and 3-6 month host home program.

Lost-n-Found Youth is Atlanta’s only nonprofit agency actively working to take homeless LGBTQ youth off the street.

Cover Reveal: Contrasting Lives by Leah Dempster

Title: Contrasting Lives
Author: Leah Dempster
Genre: Adult Romance
Expected Release Date: May 11, 2015
Detective Matt Pendleton is still reeling after the death of his wife. Now a single father to his four children, time evaporates between working and caring for them. Will he ever find love again? Desperate to make a connection with someone so he can feel alive , he reluctantly takes a friend’s advice and hires an escort. Emily Coulter is beautiful, charismatic and the daughter of an influential family. While she has a submissive side, she's also fiercely independent and determined to make her own way in the world, after escaping from an abusive relationship with a vicious Dom. When she and Matt rendezvous for sex, both of them are blindsided by their attraction to one another. While their initial meeting is a disaster, Matt finds himself incapable of forgetting about the beautiful young woman who offered him more than what he was expecting. Can two people with such contrasting lives discover a way to overcome their differences and find love?

     Christ, he wanted another beer – badly.  A submissive?  He wasn't naive, and he knew what it meant, but hell – what did it mean for him? Just hearing her utter the word had increased his discomfort tenfold  He’d been aroused from the second he’d seen her come around the corner at Salacious, and now, he was painfully hard, and his balls were on fire. What did that say about him? The thought of her being under his control, doing what he requested – willing to submit to his every desire. Shit.
     Matt finished his pasta in minutes, sitting back and waiting impatiently while Emily toyed with her food, eating a little and then pushing the plate away with a sigh. He eyed the plate and turned so he could study her face.  “You didn't like it?”
     Emily shook her head. “No, it’s delicious.”
     “Go ahead and eat.” “I’m okay.” She shifted uncomfortably on the seat, and Matt realized he was making her nervous.
     He couldn't help himself; honest to God, he couldn't. The very idea of her being a submissive was driving him on to the point of insanity. He wanted to test the waters, so to speak. “Emily,” he said in a low voice.  “Eat your dinner. Now, please.”
     For a long moment, Emily stared at him, her glorious blue eyes revealing a tiny flicker of surprise.      And then, slowly, she picked up the fork and pulled the plate back towards her, twirling the strands of pasta onto the fork and eating.
     Matt watched as she ate – the very act of twirling the pasta onto her fork so carefully was a turn on. Knowing she was doing it because he’d demanded it was a turn on. The tiny tremble he saw erupt through her body, the way she shifted ever so slightly on the seat and squeezed her thighs together was making his blood boil in his veins. He leaned over so his mouth was close to her ear and whispered. “You like being told what to do?”
     Another tremble reverberated through her gorgeous little body when she nodded.
     Matt didn't move away, kept close to her ear as she ate, making certain his breath warmed the skin against her neck when he spoke again. “It makes you hot?”
     Again the little nod, another tremble erupting. Her hand shook as she carefully twirled the pasta, placed another small amount into her mouth.
     Matt straightened up, moving out of her personal space, even though it was the last thing he wanted to do. What he wanted to do – which scared the hell out of him – was to lay her down on this fake leather bench and fuck her senseless, until she exploded in his arms with a climax neither of them would ever forget. Pushing those heady thoughts to the back of his mind, he rested his arm across the back of the bench and clenched the glass of Coke in his hand, trying to pull his snarled thoughts into line. He smiled ruefully to himself – it wasn't going to be easy when all the blood in his body had settled into his groin. He felt lightheaded and it wasn't from too much alcohol, it was purely the effect of the woman sitting beside him.

Author Bio:
Leah Dempster is the pseudonym of an indie author who writes paranormal romance. She chose a pseudonym for some of her books, because, as she tells it - "Her family would have a fit, if they discovered she also writes erotica." Leah Dempster specializes in hot, sexy romances, with plenty of heart. With Leah, it's all about the story, not just the sex. While she writes steamy scenes - she mainly wants you to remember the story, long after you've finished reading. Characters you'll fall in love with, hot and steamy love scenes, but there's also a strong storyline to enjoy. Leah lives in Perth, Western Australia with her family and dogs. An introverted homebody, she loves romance books in every shape and variety. Her favorite books are set in medieval times, or in the modern world with a supernatural touch.


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Release Day Blitz: Wyatt by Amy-Beth

Title: Wyatt
Author: Amy-Beth
Series: Mistaken #3
Genre: Adult
Release Date: April 25, 2015
After finding the girl who captivated my heart, I am about to find out how that one person can change EVERYTHING.

I am the nephew of the infamous Harry King, who loves nothing more than to get his own way no matter the consequences.

I believed Summer was safe from his grasp, I was adamant she was my everything. The reason I breathed… I learned too late that I was wrong.

Now because of them, I am staring at Bailey as he fights for his life in hospital.

This is my story! How that ONE girl, the WRONG girl came and altered our lives FOREVER!

My name is Wyatt King, and it’s my time to talk.

     My body snaps up as I hear the screams,
     “Please just let me go please, I will not tell anyone where I was or who you are. I just want to be with my mum, and I miss my little Springer Spaniel puppy. Please, please, please!”
     Again I hear the cries of a woman ring out through the compound, reaching for my clothes I put them on quickly. Grabbing my phone and the knife I keep close to me, you know because you can't be too careful with Harry around.
     Stepping out my room, I go in search of the cries I heard. No-one else seems to be around, listening for anything that would give her away. I hear the knob of a door turning in the distance, quickly I rush into an open door careful not to be seen. The smug look on Johnson’s face tells me that is where she is. I watch and listen for Johnson to leave, biding my time before I enter what seems to be a cupboard opposite Harry’s office.
     When the coast is clear, I walk silently over to the room. Turning the knob silently, I’m happy to find it opens with ease, stupid mistake in my opinion. Walking silently into the room, it’s in pure darkness the only light coming from the doorway. I close it behind me gently, walking further into the small space. The smell of sweat, tears and urine fills the air. Holding my breath I walk along the walls, using my phone I illuminate the room a little more.
     My heart just stops, there lying in front of me is Summer

Mistaken Identity #1
When two worlds collide how many will survive?

I've been captured for six years and yet no one has bothered to help me, the one person I thought might of helped disappeared all of a sudden. Each day for the last six years I’ve had to deal with him touching me, telling me what he wants to do and I can't stand it.

I have to find out who she is and why she is free and I am here locked away and used as a puppet, I need to know everyone I love is ok. Although my gut instinct is telling me I may already be too late.

My name is Morgan and this is my story.

Now or Never #2
My name is Morgan and I have been tortured, abused and tormented for over six years, I have prayed for help, I have screamed for the whys. I have fought with every fibre in my soul, but still he has won at every game he has played.

Harry King is not a force to be reckoned with, I have shown him all my cards and yet he still holds me in my cell of a room.

I am getting closer to finding out who Summer is and why I have had to suffer. All the players are getting into position, their final cards are about to be drawn, how many will see the light of darkness again? It’s time to find out once and for all.

It’s now or never.

Author Bio:
Amy Beth is the Author of the Dark Erotica Mistaken Series and Christmas with the Dragon. Living in her home town of Wigan, UK, Amy balances work, family and writing everyday whilst still finding the time to read and help anyone she can out.

Amy will be attending her first ever book signing April 25th at the Tattooed Bad Boys York event hosted by her fellow Author Ava Manello. Looking forward to meeting readers, bloggers and all the other attending authors.

If you are attending the event wish Amy a Happy Release Day.


Wyatt #3

Mistaken Identity #1

Now or Never #2
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