Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Re-Readables Part 1

I have never been one to do much re-reading, which is surprising because I can re-watch a movie or television show I love endlessly but books just never seemed to interest me for revisiting.  When they introduced audiobooks it gave me a chance to enjoy some of my favorites over and over.  The past few years I guess I've changed and there are some books that have become almost required re-reading, the summer wouldn't be complete without a revisit.  Here are three of those series that continue to intrigue me no matter how many times I read the words.

My Current Thoughts:
3rd Overall Series Re-Read Review 2017:
I've never really been much of a re-reader especially more than once and definitely not 3 summers in a row, so that should tell you something about how much I love this Texas series and the whole Campbell-Hayes Double D Universe. I don't think I'll ever get enough of these boys and their ever growing family and circle of friends.  Truth is there is nothing I can add that I haven't already said about the Double D Universe that expresses my love more than the fact that I have read Texas 3 summers in row because summer just wouldn't be complete without the Campbell-Hayes family.

My Earlier Texas Thoughts:
Overall Series Review 2016:
WOW!!! The characters are enthralling, you'll love some, you'll hate some and you'll love hating them, and I was definitely sucked into the stories.  When I decided to try reading M/M published works after months of enjoying slash fanfiction, I asked a few friends who I knew read this genre, what they suggest I start with.  Well, it was pretty unanimously recommended that I give RJ Scott's Texas series a go.  So I did.  At the time there was only three books and I devoured them like crazy.  So it's safe to say that RJ Scott is among my favorite authors in this genre and even safer to say that the members of the Double D family are some of the most well written, soul grabbing, and unforgettable characters ever created.

The Heart of Texas #1
2nd Re-Read Review 2016:
I fell in love again with Jack, Riley, and the whole Campbell-Hayes universe. I loved it 3 years ago, loved it last year when I re-read it the first time, and I loved it even more the third time. Jack and Riley will never get old.

1st Re-Read Review 2015:
Well, nearly 2 years have gone by since I first read this book, my first foray into published M/M genre, and it's even better than I remember! Jack & Riley's banter is perfectly spicy and Jeff & Gerald reign supreme in all their assholery(not a real word, I know) glory.

Original Review 2013:
WOW!!! The characters are so well written, you'll love them, you'll hate some of them and I was definitely sucked into the story.

Texas Winter #2
2nd Re-Read Review 2016:
Hayley is just so freakin adorable. Even better the third time around.

Original Review 2013:
There were so many directions the author could have taken this in and would have been an interesting and enjoyable read but this is so much better than any of those options. Great to see Riley and Jack come into their own.

Texas Heat #3
2nd Re-Read Review 2016:
The addition of Robbie and Eli is just a perfect fit to the Double D. Love the interactions between the old and the new. Just all kinds of awesomeness all the way through.

Original Review 2013:
Another great entry in this series. There was a bit more humor in this one but it was done so fittingly and mixed with just the right blend of drama, angst, and love, and of course hotness and cowboys!

Texas Family #4
2nd Re-Read 2016:
I can't really add much to my original review other than I loved it even more the third time around.

Original Review 2013:
Not only was this an amazing entry in the lives of Jack and Riley, but a true testament of family and that family isn't always about blood or perfect. Jack and Riley compliment each other so completely that it's hard to remember how they were when they first got their start in book 1. Even though this book centers around the new additions to their family, the boys haven't lost any of their passion, lust, or love for each other. They can still get the other worked up with just a look.

Texas Christmas #5
2nd Re-Read 2016:
Yet another one that is superb beyond imagine. Every one just meshes together so well and the addition of Liam and his relationship with Marcus adds perfectly to the Double D. Even though Marcus seems a little out of place on the ranch his feelings for Liam really help him begin to settle in too.

Original Review 2014:
Another great entry in the tales of the Campbell-Hayes family, and yes, everyone who seems to come to the Double D works their way into the family network, blood or not. In this installment we get to see Jack and Riley adjust to the addition of Max to their family. I loved the way Liam's story is brought to us intermingled with his new found relationship with Marcus. It's not overdone and yet you feel every emotion that he goes through, good and bad. With the support of those around him, Liam learns to accept what happened to him and that he's worth the respect, responsibilities, and the love that he's being shown.

Texas Fall #6
2nd Re-Read 2016:
I don't think there will ever be a time or a number of re-reads where Jack, Riley, and the whole Double D gang will bore me. The drama/suspense/angst(whatever descriptive word you prefer) may be knocked up a notch(or ten) in Fall but it only heightens the story and the love between all. It's a pretty common theme that has run through the entire series that family isn't just about blood and marriage, it's the heart that ties people together and if I had to pick only one book in the series to show that, it would be Fall, from Jack and Riley to Liam and Marcus, so much love on the Double D.

Original Review 2014:
Just when I thought I couldn't love Jack and Riley more, Miss Scott amps up their tale with drug cartels, trials, and new additions to the Double D, both in business and personal matters. Watching Liam overcome his past and grow alongside Marcus is so heartwarming. The kids may not have been in this installment as much but when they were, they stole the show. The boys may not be drowning in lust in this one but boy, when they partake, all I can say is I was afraid my Kindle was going to short circuit.

Texas Wedding #7
Re-Read Review 2016:
I don't think I can say anything that I didn't say a year ago when I read it the first time. I still found myself tearing up throughout both from laughter and heartwarming. So good, I just can't imagine it ending any other way.

Original Review 2015:
This book had me in tears, both from laughing and tenderness, had me fanning myself from hotness, simply put Texas Wedding had me in a jumble of emotion. I don't really know what to say about Jack and Reily that I haven't already said throughout the series. When Texas Wedding's release day arrived my heart warred between my need to know and my need to prolong the finale but my need to know won out. This was a great way to end an amazing series and the idea of there being no more Jack and Reily is heartbreaking but I am sure we haven't actually seen the end of our favorite couple, even if their future is in the form of secondary characters in a future spin-off series, Legacy, coming in 2016. Texas will always be my absolute favorite series in the M/M genre, not only because it was the first I read but because it is superbly written with characters that are interesting, intriguing, and real. RJ Scott has given us a true gem when she created the world of Jack and Reily Campbell-Hayes.


My Current Thoughts:
3rd Overall Series Re-Read 2017:
What can I say that I haven't already said?  Not much really.  My summer wouldn't be complete without my annual Adrien and Jake fix.  How can a person not love Adrien, he's so matter-of-fact honest and loving that simply put he is adorable.  Jake on the other hand is gruff and a bit rude on first impression, okay probably second, third, and fourth impressions too, but you can't deny he's got a little something extra when it comes to Adrien that will melt your heart and somehow his gruffness is still gruff but with softer edges.  He may not be everyone's cup of tea but I love him and Adrien and I can't imagine a summer will come that I won't be enjoying the mysteries that Adrien stumbles into and Jake has to rescue him from.  Just plain fun that has me smiling even when they break each other's hearts because I know they'll find a way to mend them as well and sometimes reunion kisses can be even better than a first kiss.

My Earlier Thoughts:
Fatal Shadows #1
2nd Re-Read Review 2016:
Absolutely brilliant! Even knowing the outcome, it just doesn't get much better than Adrien English and Jake Riordan.

Original Review 2013:
Very intriguing mystery. Well written characters, some you love to love, love to hate, and hate to love.

A Dangerous Thing #2
2nd Re-Read Review 2016:
I upped the rating to 5 stars with this re-read. I never added any thoughts with my re-read in 2015 but I am now. I actually found it even better than Fatal Shadows this time around. The mystery was equally as good, even knowing the outcome, as for Adrien & Jake, well I loved their interactions. Yes, they both need to have their heads knocked together but they just fit. They balance each other out, even if they have a way to go before they find true happiness.

Original Review 2013:
I thought this was a good entry in the series, not quite as good as the 1st one. I had a little harder time getting into the story for the first few chapters but after that, I was hooked. Great mystery, interesting characters, at times you want to really bang Adrien and Jake's heads together. Adrien for being too stubborn to not listen to Jake and Jake because he's too afraid to fully accept who he is. But you can't help but love them. Still a very good story.

The Hell You Say #3
2nd Re-Read Review 2016:
Being able to fall even deeper in love with a story, a mystery especially, when you're reading it for the third time, speaks volumes to the talent of the author and that is exactly what Josh Lanyon brings. Talent and respect for the written word.

Original Review 2013:
Another great entry in the Adrien English Mysteries! The mystery is wonderfully complex and yet still easy to follow along with. I really want to just knock some sense in to Jake for refusing to admit who he really is. Adrien is as stubborn as ever and now he's getting a new family since his mother is remarrying. His sisters-to-be are an interesting trio, the youngest, Emma, seems to be the most level headed and likeable, but the other 2 are just as fun to read, especially Arien's inner monologue when it comes to his interactions with the young ladies.

Death of a Pirate King #4
2nd Re-Read Review 2016:
So much Adrien/Jake goodness, I just hated to see it end again. Off to re-read #5.

Original Review 2013:
Another great entry in the Adrien English Mysteries. I enjoyed the interactions between Adrien and Jake now that 2yrs has gone by since they stopped whatever it was they actually had. The mystery was well developed with interesting and intriguing revelations. Truly a great read!

The Dark Tide #5
2nd Re-Read Review 2016:
Even better the 3rd time around. I just love the dynamic between Adrien and Jake, I have throughout the whole series but now that Jake is officially out of the closet, the way the two are with each other is just priceless. As for the mystery, it's a great blend of history and contemporary that had me enthralled even though I remembered the whos, whats, and wheres. Great from beginning to end.

Original Review 2013:
Another great installment in this series and it has left me hungry for more. Thru searching a 50yr old murder, recovering from life-altering surgery, and a couple visits from his past, Adrien has a couple epiphanies of his own, but is it too late?

So This is Christmas #5.5
Original Read January 2017:
I hate to say the words "what a great ending to a fantastical series" because I dread the idea of it being the end.  Whether this new Christmas novella is an end or not, it is still great and I am already looking forward to re-reading this one for many holidays to come(and all other series long re-reads).  There may not be the relationship drama that has often followed Adrien and Jake in So This is Christmas but that alone shows how far the couple has come as well as the growth they've experienced as individuals.  Of course, that's not saying the bantering between the boys is non-existent because you can't have Adrien and Jake without at least some of the back-and-forth they are known for.  This is just an an all around great addition to the series(end or not) and to my Christmas library.

Stranger Things Have Happened: An Adrien English Write Your Own Damn Story 
Original Review January 2017:
Talk about a throwback to my childhood!  I loved reading choose-your-own stories growing up and Josh Lanyon just brought a bit of fun to the whole Adrien English series.  That's not saying there isn't tons of fun already but Stranger Things Have Happened will bring a smile to your face when you sit down with this read on a dreary weekend afternoon, or a not-so dreary weeknight.  I can't believe I haven't read this one before now.  Just have fun with it.


My Current Thoughts:
3rd Re-Read Overall Series Review 2017:
How can a series continue to get better and better with every new re-read?  Sam and Jory are absolutely not meant for each other, well at least that's what some would say considering how opposite they are from each other.  BUT!  Once you reach the second page after they first meet you realize that they are actually a perfect fit.  I say perfect not because their connection is Utopian but because the good and the bad blend and morph into a love that goes above and beyond first impressions.  To me perfect love is laughing, fighting, loving, frustration, inspiration, and everything in between which is exactly what Sam and Jory have, even if takes them awhile to figure it out.  Sam is gruff but he looks out for those in his heart, trust me you do not want to go after his family.  Jory is lovely who simply put, acts before he thinks but his heart is always in the right place.  Never before has a series made me laugh more and it isn't always Jory's antics that cause the giggles, its often Sam's reactions to his man's antics.  Mary Calmes' Matter of Time has definitely cemented its place on my annual Summer Re-Read List, the boys and their family and friends will never get old.

My Earlier Thoughts:
A Matter of Time Volume 1(#1 & #2)
2nd Re-Read Review July 2016:
I'm not usually one for re-reads, especially for the 3rd time but Sam & Jory are even better the third time around and will never get boring. Just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!!!

Original Review 2013:
I love reading the story of Jory and Sam, an intriguing love story that has ups and downs like a whacked out elevator that really sucked me in. I just couldn't stop reading it. There could be a little more description, as there is a considerable amount of dialogue and sometimes you really have to concentrate on who is saying what but it doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the story.

A Matter of Time Volume 2(#3 & #4)
2nd Re-Read 2016:
Still amazing!! No words describe how much I love these boys. Seeing Sam finally accept fully who he is, well that's wonderful and Jory is . . . well he's Jory, nothing more nothing less. They work perfectly together.

Original Review 2013:
A great continuation of Jory and Sam's story of love, mystery, and acceptance of one's true nature. You just can't help but fall in love with Jory's heart and determination to find the truth and keep those around him safe. Sam is a bit more rough around the edges but he's just as loving and determined to keep Jory safe.

Bulletproof #5
2nd Re-Read Review 2016:
Jory and Sam just get better and better. As if we didn't already realize that Jory is a trouble magnate, then Bulletproof will definitely make it clear. Only Jory, I found myself saying that many times and loved it every time.

Original Review 2013:
This was a nice addition to the tale of Jory and Sam, although I don't think it was quite upto the same quality as the first stories. It still touched on many of the same feelings but acceptance doesn't seem to be one of the problems, by now they have both accepted each other just the way they are.

Just Jory #5.5
Re-Read Review 2016:
Still fabulous!!

Original Review: August 2015:
Can't believe I hadn't read this little ditty before. Great little free ficlet featuring my boys Jory & Sam.

But for You #6
2nd Re-Read 2016:
As much as I loved Jory & Sam when it was just them, now that they have 2 children, they are even better which I didn't think possible. As for Kola & Hannah, I don't think I've ever read 2 more adorable little kids. They may be adopted but they are definitely their parents' kids.

Original Review 2013:
This was a perfect addition to Jory and Sam's love story. Very interesting to see them in a complete family setting and still never lose a beat of their individual nature. They've both grown so much since their first meeting and yet maintain the fresh passion that brought them together all those years ago. Quite possibly the best in the series.

Ears, Eggs, & Bunnies #6.5
1st Re-Read 2016:
I originally read this August 2015 but never marked it here. I just re-read it and it's still fabulous as only Sam & Jory can be.

Parting Shot #7
Original Review 2015:
4-1/2 stars
I read Mary Calmes' A Matter of Time series two years ago and it was the 4th published M/M books that I checked out when I started reading the genre. When I first opened Parting Shot I just couldn't make myself read it because I had no interest in knowing Aaron and Duncan's tale. That had more to do with me not being ready to let go of Jory and Sam. When I decided to re-read Jory and Sam I was ready to learn all about Aaron and Duncan. So glad I did. I'll be honest, I did not love them at the same level I did Jory and Sam but I still enjoyed every word of Parting Shot. Duncan is like a mild version of Sam Kage but definitely not a mirror copy, he may be closeted at work but he's not closeted to himself. We get to see a little of why Aaron is the way we've come to know or think we know of him in the previous installments. So if you're like I was and couldn't read Parting Shot because it wasn't part of Sam and Jory's tale, I highly recommend taking a look because I missed out on a great love story.

Piece of Cake #8
1st Re-Read Review 2016:
I love Jory and Sam and now with Hannah & Kola it's amazing! Even better the second time around.

Original Review August 2015:
What a great treat for fans of Jory and Sam. Loved seeing them get married now that they would be recognized nationwide but more than that, I just loved seeing everyone in a new story. This is a wedding done in the only way Jory could possibly be part of, trouble magnet extraordinaire. Hannah and Kola are still precious and definitely their fathers' children. I won't lie, I would have loved it to have been longer but I was just over the moon to just have Jory, Sam, and everyone back. A short but amazing addition to the Matter of Time series.

Hannah's Big Night #8.5
1st Re-Read Review 2016:
Another one I originally read August 2015 & forgot to mark it here. I re-read it again and I love Hannah & Kola nearly as much as the dads, Sam & Jory. You can definitely see Hannah takes after Jory and Kola is more like Sam.

Another Day with Jory #8.6
Original Review January 2017:
What a wonderful post holiday treat! Saw a post about it on Facebook and immediately went to read it. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Jory and Sam and the entire cast of characters from Mary Calmes' Matter of Time Universe. I think I love married and domesticated Sam & Jory as much if not a little more than them as flirty & fighting newbies. Just a wonderful addition to the series!!


RJ Scott
RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

Josh Lanyon
A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery, adventure and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist.

Mary Calmes
Mary Calmes lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and two children and loves all the seasons except summer. She graduated from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, with a bachelor's degree in English literature. Due to the fact that it is English lit and not English grammar, do not ask her to point out a clause for you, as it will so not happen. She loves writing, becoming immersed in the process, and falling into the work. She can even tell you what her characters smell like. She loves buying books and going to conventions to meet her fans.

RJ Scott

Josh Lanyon

Mary Calmes

Texas Series

Adrien English Series

A Matter of Time Series

Release Day Blitz: The Reaper's Kiss by Dale Ibitz

Title: The Reaper's Kiss
Author: Dale Ibitz
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 9, 2017
Sex and poison aren’t enough to help William forget his status as a shunned reaper with a sordid past. Rejected, disgraced, and hopeless, he straps on his emotional armor so no one will ever hurt him again. His path to redemption for his sins is side-tracked by Natalie, an exquisite human trying to save her sister from the horrors of the Other World. But then Natalie’s reckless actions sets William on a collision course between his past and his present: a demonic tyrant who wants William back in her bed; the sadistic daughter of an angel who wants revenge on his murdering mother-goddess; and the mother-goddess who demands obedience and love from William, her favorite child. After learning the dark secret of Natalie’s past, how much will he sacrifice to save her soul?

Half-smiling, he leaned against the house. The little doll was proving too entertaining to leave just yet. He could spare five minutes of his time. “What’ll it be, doll? What are you willing to do for information?”


Pushing himself off the building, he strode the three steps to bridge the gap between them, moving so fast she stumbled back into the opposite house. He leaned his forearms on either side of her face, pinning her. Nectarine-scented heat leaped between them, making his muscles tremble. He was pushing the envelope, but this little piece was too tempting to walk away from now.

“Anything?” he murmured close to her mouth.


Her pink tongue slipped out and ran across her lips, mesmerizing him. He could taste her anxiety and physical attraction to him. Him. No fear of what he was, or what he could do. At least for now. How long before she ran just like the Abby? He let the weight of his stone heart fall, squashing all feeling for the last person to reject him.

She panted against him, her warm breath fogging his brain. He let the arousing sensation swirl around him for a moment, savoring the feeling, wanting to lose himself in her. What harm would one kiss do?

Thinking of his past, he knew it could do a lot.

Her gaze flitted between his mouth and his eyes. “You smell like ripe grapes being toasted by the sun.”

“You can smell that?”

“Yes. Shouldn’t I?”

“I don’t know,” he murmured.

Unable to stop himself, his gaze tracked to her lips. Unable to stop himself, he leaned closer, her scent luring him in. Unable to stop himself, he ran a finger along her satiny cheek.

Unable to stop . . .

He licked her ring, the warmth of her lips melting into his tongue. Moving past it, he traced her mouth before sliding inside. Heat exploded. She opened, their tongues gliding together. Hardening, he pressed against her. Her hands looped around his neck and her fingers trailed up his skin before burrowing into his hair.

She tasted wonderful, the alcohol on her tongue mixing with wintergreen. He deepened the kiss, tasting, stroking. Time ceased to exist. He ceased to exist. All that existed were Natalie’s scent, touch, warmth. She welcomed him in, making his jeans cause unbearable pressure against his thickening erection.

More. Rubbing himself against her, he fisted her hair and pulled her head back. He nibbled her exposed neck before returning to her mouth and easing more seductive heat from her tongue until she shivered.

Gods below, so warm, so good.

A loud bang snapped him from his daze. Shaking his head, he glanced over his shoulder. Hoots followed another round of pops as kids from the party lit firecrackers. He turned back to Natalie, caught in her dreamy gaze, trapped by the warmth binding them, stunned at the depth the kiss had reached.

She brushed her swollen lips. “Your eyes are glowing.”

Silent, he congratulated himself on his saintly control. Instead of skimming her soul, he’d simply enjoyed the kiss. Still, he was treading dangerous ground when it came to her scent and warmth. Next time he might not be so saintly.

Author Bio:
Dale Ibitz was born in Oxford, Connecticut, grew up in the state of Washington, and then re-located back to Connecticut as an adult where she studied English at Central Connecticut State University. She never left, choosing Connecticut as her permanent home. Dale’s a fan of hiking and the outdoors, loves alternative metal music, and she never, ever starts the day without chocolate and coffee (preferably together).


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