Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review Tour: Under the Boardwalk by Felice Stevens

Title: Under the Boardwalk
Author: Felice Stevens
Series: Landmarks #1
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: August 10, 2017
Summary:
Beneath the famous Brooklyn landmark, love is hidden but not denied:

All his life, Alexi Kharpov has dreamed of traveling to unknown exciting places instead of working at his family’s frozen custard stand on the famous Coney Island boardwalk. Every year is the same until a gorgeous man picks a spot in front of his stand to sing, captivating him with his beautiful voice. After two summers of listening, it might finally be the time for him to cross that boardwalk and take a chance.

Opera singer Cameron Maxwell has traveled the world, but the sight of the beautiful man serving custard to tourists touches his heart like nothing ever has before. A summer fling might be exactly what he needs to put his problems out of his mind, but the last thing Cam expects is to want the summer to last forever.

It’s a season of discovery for both men who learn to dig deep within their heads and hearts to decide whether secrets old and new should remain buried, or if love is too important to keep hidden under the boardwalk.


Alexi Kharpov dreams of seeing the world but instead spends his time working his family's frozen custard stand at Coney Island.  Cameron Maxwell sees the world as an opera singer but is enthralled with a frozen custard stand server.  When these two begin a summer fling, will life ever be the same?

I haven't read all of Felice Stevens' work yet but she is one of my 1-click authors and Under the Boardwalk is another example of why and how she made that list.  Alexi's want to see the world tugs at most of our heartstrings, lets face it most of us want to see more than our own backyard but most of us also don't have the opportunity to do so.  Cam has seen the world and for that most of us envy him for it but constant travel doesn't exactly live up to what most of us dream about.  When these two meet, everything is wonderful, okay maybe not wonderful as it takes two summers for them to actually approach each other but its still gratifying.

Summer fling turns into something more, who doesn't love that?  Yes, it might seem a bit insta-love but for me that's A-Okay because it fits the story and the characters and definitely the setting.  Now having said that, don't think Under the Boardwalk is a cakewalk and that all the bells and whistles come without drama and angst for Cam and Alexi.  They both have some outside issues that need dealing with if they are going to be happy but I loved discovering every one of those factors and I think you will too, especially if you are a fan of love.  I could go into detail what those issues are but I won't because I loved discovering them with each new page and I don't want to ruin that level of anticipation for you.

Some might find it a bit rushed as this is a novella and the length doesn't always allow for as much detail as a reader wants but in this case, Boardwalk was perfect because it is a summer fling(and yes they both want more) and by definition they are short-lived so a novella is the perfect venue for this one.  I look forward to further stories in Felice Stevens' new Landmarks series and all the possibilities.

RATING:


“I didn’t mean to shut you out before.” Cam faced him and held him around the waist. Their bodies meshed perfectly, and Alexi felt the weight of Cam’s chest and thighs press into his body.

 “I hate talking about the past. You can’t change it, so what’s the point of rehashing things? I’m all about the present and the future.”

Cam’s mouth covered his, and Alexi held on to Cam’s hips as their tongues played against each other. He lost touch with the sound of the ocean; all he could hear was the furious pounding of his heart and Cam’s heavy breathing.

“All the time I watched you this summer, thinking you were cute and fun, never once imagining how much I’d like you.”

 “I thought about you all summer too.” No longer shy about admitting it, Alexi nuzzled into the crook of Cam’s neck. “I guess it was a good thing we finally decided to say hello.”

“A good thing?” Cam took his face between the palms of his hands, and Alexi’s heart burst with happiness; he tried not to smile but failed.

“I think so, don’t you?”

 “Yeah. The best.”

Author Bio:
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.


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Release Blitz: Tops Down Bottoms Up by Jay Northcote

Title: Tops Down Bottoms Up
Author: Jay Northcote
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: August 16, 2017
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh at Black Jazz Design
Summary:
Will Rowan’s festival fling with sexy dancer Seth lead to something more permanent?

Rowan is stuck at a folk festival helping out a mate, and it really isn’t his scene. The yoga and singing workshops are bad enough, but morris dancing is the final straw. Bearded men with beer guts prancing around wearing bells—who wants to watch that?

All Rowan’s preconceptions are shattered when he meets Seth—a morris dancer, and the stuff Rowan’s fantasies are made of. Seth persuades Rowan to come to a dancing workshop, and Rowan’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to know Seth better. The attraction is mutual, and a lesson filled with innuendo and flirting leads to an incredible night together.

When Rowan arrives home, he’s gutted to find that Seth has given him the wrong phone number. Assuming Seth did it on purpose, Rowan resolves to forget about him. But fate—and friends—conspire to get them back together. Will they manage to stay in step this time around?

A much shorter version of this story was originally published in the Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology by Dreamspinner Press. This version has been revised and extended. Almost half of it is new content.

Author Bio:
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.


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Release Blitz: Twins by Kim Iverson Headlee

Title: Twins
Author: Kim Iverson Headlee
Series: Dragon's Dove Chronicles #6
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Release Date: July 17, 2017
Summary:
From the award-winning, critically acclaimed pen of Kim Iverson Headlee comes the fall of Camelot as you have never seen it before.

The death of their mother knells the death of any hope for a joyful future for Gyan’s identical twin daughters, Gwenhwyfar and Gwenhwyfach. Their father, Arthur the High King, wastes no time in announcing firstborn Gwenhwyfar’s betrothal to Medraut—the man whom Gwenhwyfach secretly loves. And Gwenhwyfar is in love with Angusel’s son Lannchu.

The twins conspire to defy Fate and trade places. They know how ambitious is their scheme, for Gwenhwyfar is trained in the domestic arts and Gwenhwyfach has chosen the warrior’s path, yet the sisters are confident of success. The wedding and its accompanying night come off without a hitch… for both of them.

Fate, however, shall not be defied.

Incorporating ancient Welsh legends of the “False Guinevere” and “Feasting the Hungry Man,” and featuring many characters introduced in DawnflightMorning’s Journey, and Raging Sea, this glimpse into their destiny, thirty years after the setting of those novels, reveals the destruction of Arthur’s realm that’s unique in all of Arthurian literature.

Praise for other Arthurian works by Kim Iverson Headlee:
“Intense.” USA Today (Dawnflight)

“Solidly entertaining.” Publishers Weekly (King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court)



She blew the three-note signal that only one man would recognize. Lannchu whipped his head around and strode toward her position.

“Gwenhwyfar,” he said in a harsh whisper. “What in God’s name are you doing out here at this hour? It’s too dangerous.”

She stepped closer to lay her cheek against his chest, reveling in the rhythm of his heart as his arms closed about her. “Not anymore.” Laughter, followed by suspicious-sounding crashes and thuds, reminded her that this was a poor trysting place. She grasped his hand. “Please walk with me.”

As they started down the alley, another group of men stumbled from the tavern, swearing loud, drunken oaths of revenge. Lannchu glanced at them, his hand tightening on hers. “Ha. As if I’d go anywhere else.”



Author Bio:
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight first edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.

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Twins #6

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Release Blitz: Open Net by VL Locey

Title: Open Net
Author: VL Locey
Series: Cayuga Gougars #2
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: August 16, 2017
Summary:
August Miles has the world on a string professionally.

Augie, as his friends and teammates call the unassuming young goaltender, is on the fast track to the pros. The starting goalie for the Cayuga Cougars, he has a year or two in Cayuga to hone his skills and all his career dreams will have come true. Pity his personal life isn’t riding the same high. He’s the only one among his group of friends without that special someone to call his own.

Until he meets Salvatore Castenada at a lakeside party. The attraction is white-hot and more than a little wonderfully overwhelming for the romantically inexperienced goalie. August quickly discovers that Sal is everything he’s dreamed of in a man: mature, settled, sinfully handsome, and filled with gentle humor. Sal is also HIV positive.

Will Sal’s revelation about his status end this budding relationship before it can even begin? Or will the two men be able to handle the challenges life—and a championship run for the Cougars—throws at them?



Author Bio:
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.


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Open Net #2
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Snap Shot #1
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Blogger Review: The Magician of Dustville by Hollis Shiloh

Summary:
Magic, danger, and love in the Old West

A small yet powerful magician moves to Dustville. He's prickly about his height (or lack thereof) and extremely private about his past.

Magician meets sheriff, also private about his past and quite firmly in the closet. It is, after all, the only safe place to be in the little almost-town of Dustville.

Attraction blossoming between them promises pleasure, and possibly more. Can this become what they both truly want — a real relationship?

And can they survive cruel villains, dark pasts, and a grave magical danger that will test them both to their limits … or beyond?


Magic, historical, good guys, bad guys all wrapped together in a lovely Hollis Shiloh bow. What's not to love? I'll admit I didn't fall in love with The Magician of Dustville as much as I have with Shiloh's other work but I still enjoyed myself from page one to the last.  What I loved the most was the "every-day-ality" of John.  Okay, you don't usually think "every day" when dealing with magic and paranormal genre but John is not the typical fictional tall and suave guy that is so often depicted, he's short, quiet, but proud and determined which is where my "every-day-ality" label figures in(and yes I know it's not an actual word or label but I don't like using the phrases "normal" or "normality" when referring to people-real or fiction).  As for Sheriff Henry, I loved his desire for life and for John and how he never lets what others might think factor into his heart.  As I said, Dustville might not quite level up to the previous reads from Hollis Shiloh that I've sampled but I was still sucked in and satisfied when the last page was turned.

RATING:

Author Bio:
Hollis Shiloh writes love stories about men, also called gay romance or m/m romance, with the preferred genres of contemporary, historical, and fantasy. Hollis's stories tend towards the sweet rather than the spicy. When not writing, the author enjoys reading, retro music, and being around animals.


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Release Blitz: Out of the Shadows by KC Wells

Title: Out of the Shadows
Author: KC Wells
Series: Dreamspun Desires #40
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Cover Design: Bree Archer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Summary:
Can he step out of the shadows and into love’s light?

Eight years ago, Christian Hernandez moved to Jamaica Plain in southern Boston, took refuge in his apartment, and cut himself off from the outside world. And that’s how he’d like it to stay.

Josh Wendell has heard his coworkers gossip about the occupant of apartment #1. No one sees the mystery man, and Josh loves a mystery. So when he is hired to refurbish the apartment’s kitchen and bathrooms, Josh is eager to discover the truth behind the rumors.

When he comes face-to-face with Christian, Josh understands why Christian hides from prying eyes. As the two men bond, Josh sees past his exterior to the man within, and he likes what he sees. But can Christian find the courage to emerge from the darkness of his lonely existence for the man who has claimed his heart?


MONDAY
CHRISTIAN HERNANDEZ stared at the letter, his gut clenching. One look at its contents was all it had taken to send him spiraling down into a fit of panic.

He’d known it was coming, of course. He’d seen the posts on the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation website, all about how the housing association was putting together a list of their properties that were in dire need of renovation. He knew his building had to be on the list. They’d taken it over in the late nineties, along with several other properties along Minden Street, and nothing had been done to the buildings since then.


And here it was in black and white. His apartment was on the list for the first wave of refurbishments, which included the replacement of all the kitchen cabinets and countertops, plus the kitchen flooring. After that came the bathrooms, with new fixtures and tiles. The work would take two to three weeks.


Next Monday. They’re sending someone to start on it next Monday. What the hell do I do?


It wasn’t as if he had anywhere else to go, so that left one option: hiding in his room while whoever came to invade his apartment worked in the kitchen. And the bathrooms. Hell. That meant the bathroom next to his bedroom.


Looks like I’m going to be locking my bedroom door. The prospect of being holed up in his room for a couple of weeks made his heart sink.


Christian put down the letter on the kitchen table and walked into his living room, where patio doors opened up to the communal gardens that lay across the back of the buildings.


I need something to cheer me up, to take my mind off all this crap. And he knew just what would do the trick. He peeked through the blinds, knowing exactly what—or should that be, who?—he’d see.


Sure enough, there was his favorite handyman. Not that Christian knew the guy’s name. He only watched him every time the slim man with defined arms worked out there, mowing the lawns, repairing or repainting the fences, or digging up new flower beds and planting shrubs and trees in them. Christian estimated him to be in his midtwenties, and yeah, he was definitely Christian’s type. He loved it when the weather grew warm enough that Handyman would roll down his overalls to his waist, strip off his T-shirt, and expose all that tanned skin, with a light dusting of freckles across his shoulders.


Now, if the guy they send to work on my apartment is anything like him….


Christian knew the thought to be bullshit. There was no way he’d make any kind of contact with whomever the association sent. He’d just stay in his room, working there until the nightmare was all over.


It’s a couple of weeks—three, tops. I can manage. He figured if he kept telling himself that, somehow he’d talk it into existence. Yeah. I can stay out of their way.


Just so long as whoever turned up wasn’t a snooper.


MONDAY

JOSH WENDELL straightened and stretched, his back aching a little from lugging the large shrubs from the truck into the gardens. They were going to be really pretty when the rhododendrons flowered. He always liked working on the Minden Street houses. It was a peaceful little corner south of Mission Hill, just west of Jamaica Plain, and the communal gardens were his pride and joy.

Occasionally there’d be a couple of guys working with him, and they got along fine. Even if they told some fanciful stories. Like the one about the guy in the first-floor apartment at #197—the guy they said no one ever saw. Josh had scoffed at that immediately: If no one ever saw him, how’d they know he was even a him? Besides, if he listened to them, the guy in #197, apartment #1, was the bogeyman, a hermit who lured little kids into his lair, only to eat them and bury their bones under the patio outside his window.


Yeah, right.


Anyway, his days of working in the gardens had come to an end for a while. He’d received his instructions for the next few months: the association wanted him to use his skills in other pursuits, namely tearing out and replacing kitchen cabinets, laying down new tile floors, and replacing baths, sinks, and tiles. Josh was looking forward to it, even if it was going to be a royal pain in the ass working indoors at the height of summer. He just prayed the apartments had functional AC.


He glanced over at the apartment where the mystery guy lived. Not that Josh had ever seen him. All he saw were the vertical blinds that covered the patio doors, an effective barrier against revealing anything of the apartment’s interior—or its occupant.


Wonder what he’s really like?


Then he grinned to himself. Hey, what if I get to work on his place? The guys would be all over me, wanting to know what the inside of the apartment looks like. The way they described it, he expected to see something right out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That was, of course, if he worked on that particular apartment.


Josh couldn’t wait to get his itinerary to find out.

Author Bio:
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative.

An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….

K.C. loves to hear from readers.


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Book Blitz: Ghost by JM Dabney

Title: Ghost
Author: JM Dabney
Series: Executioners #1(Brawlers Spin-Off)
Genre: M/M Romance, Transgender
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Cover Design: Winterheart Design
Summary:
Gideon Jane earned the name Ghost for his reclusive nature when he joined a group of guys in Powers, Georgia in a band called Executioners. It had been his way of settling into small town life after living in New York for the past twenty years. He loved the band and his small organic farm. What he didn’t love was being single, but it appeared it was his new reality. He didn’t want his ex back, although he did want something. What that was eluded him until the evening he walked into Nightingale’s Books.

Small town girl Harper Sage knew pain, and she’d lived with it—she had the scars both mental and physical to prove it. It would’ve been easier to hop in her car to find safety and anonymity, but Harper stayed to prove she was stronger than hurled fists and bruising prejudice. She found herself within the safety of a close-knit group of rough bikers and bar bouncers. That didn’t mean it was all perfect.

What’s a girl to do when she craves normalcy and acceptance: she just smiles. Choices are made, some with dire consequences and others that bring her closer to her dream. Will she make the right decision or finally discover escape is her best option?

💫📗💫Spin-off of the author's Brawler Series💫📗💫


Author Bio:
J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.


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