Monday, December 31, 2018

December Book of the Month: From these Ashes by Davidson King

A product of his past, Black spends half his time saving lives and the other half taking them. Every day, a hard choice must be made and he’s the man to make it. Long ago, he vowed to never love again; one-night stands with a willing body was all he ever needed. But along came Quill, and Black’s life is irrevocably changed. He never expects something as simple as Quill’s persistence to alter the way he not only sees the world, but how he lives it.

Quill has bad taste in men and equally horrible luck. Growing up wasn’t easy, surviving is even harder. When his past and present collide, he’s convinced he’ll finally witness his own destruction. But when an unlikely antihero steps in to protect him, his life is turned on its head. He’s spent months flirting with the man of his dreams and hoping he’d take notice. But it turns out, being on Black’s radar isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and his idea of protection varies greatly from Quill’s.

Unknowingly sharing the same goal—burying their own pasts deeper than the fires of hell can reach—they’re both unaware that jumping into that fire will do more than ignite their feelings, it could lead to their own demise. Will Black and Quill be consumed by the flames, or from these ashes, will they find their own happily ever after?

Black closed his heart off to more than one night stands years ago but a chance meeting could change that.  Quill has spent his life surviving but never quite living than a moment of timing changes that.  When Black and Quill's worlds collide will they be able to resist the changes they face?  Will they even be able to survive before they have the opportunity to rise again?

Davidson King has done it again!  I really find myself at a loss as to what to say and not give anything away.  Haven Hart Universe just keeps getting more and more interesting.  I'm not sure which intrigued me more: Black's gruffness hiding his heart underneath or Quill's fears hiding behind his peppiness.  On the surface, not only are these two polar opposites but they really shouldn't even exist in the same universe let alone interact but then you get to meet them and I mean really meet them and you realize they are perfect together.  Looks don't determine the man and both Black and Quill have weaknesses and strengths that have made them into who they let the world see which is why they balance each other out, that is if they let the other one in to see the real person and for that you have to read From these Ashes yourself.  I'm not even going to attempt to touch on the action/mystery/thriller side of the story because . . . well just . . . WOW! . . . and I'll leave it at that: WOW! and DOUBLE WOW! and a HOLY HANNAH BATMAN! for good measure😉. Oh, and it is set at Christmas so what more can you ask for?

I must be honest, Black and Quill are probably my least favorite of the pairings so far in Haven Hart.  Now, having said that, if I was to actually rate the couples the difference between all four would be only about .93.  It's kind of like me admitting that The Phantom Menace is my least favorite of the Star Wars films and yet of the 8 main saga films so far, all 8 are in my Top 15 Films of All Time so TPM still ranks pretty darn high and that is exactly what Black, Quill, and their journey in From These Ashes do: rank pretty damn high on my "Fiction Fantastical" list.  As the Haven Hart Universe continues to grow and more of the characters are revealed so does the talent of storyteller Davidson King.  Since I mentioned it you are probably asking why Black and Quill are #4?  I could be superficial and say its Black's hair(I'm not much for long hair in men, just doesn't tick my boxes) but I'm not that superficial.  Truthfully it really comes down to just the timing.  Had they been the center of book 1 then they would most likely be my favorite.  It happens almost 99% of the time when a series focuses on different pairings in each installment, the first is always my favorite.

One of the things I love most about the Haven Hart Universe is, yes these situations and people are not the kind of thing every town or city faces but at the same time the characters are so genuine and real you actually feel like you could meet them pumping gas, dropping off Christmas packages at the post office, or waiting in line to get your morning hot chocolate(sorry I'm just not a coffee person😉).  So no matter who is your favorite in this series you will never be disappointed, the author's talent for storytelling will never leave you wanting.  A true gem and classic in the making.

If you are asking can you start with From these Ashes, I suppose technically you could since each entry features a new couple but I highly recommend starting from the beginning.  Characters, situations, plot points can pop up and carry over though Davidson King does a pretty good job of "recapping" so you aren't lost but it just flows better in order.  Personally, I can't imagine visiting Haven Hart in any order other than it was published.  And yes, I said "visiting" not "reading" because you find yourself getting so sucked in that you reach for a tissue or drink(trust me you will need both for happy and sad times) you expect to find the characters sitting next to you.  So sit down, buckle up, and hold on because you are definitely heading for a bumpy but exciting journey.


I parked my car as close to Joker’s Sin as I could. I took my leather jacket off the seat and quickly put it on, hit the alarm, and made my way toward the club. There was still a line after midnight. The place closed in two hours, why would people wait that long? Well, I wasn’t.

“Can I help you?” the large bouncer asked.

“No.” I barreled through him and made my way into the club. It was like dubstep nation in there and so much fucking leather.

“Hey.” I felt someone tap my shoulder. I whipped around and grabbed whomever it was by the neck. It was the bouncer from the door.

“Not today, Junior. You tell Atlas, Black is here. Now fuck off.” I pushed him away and made my way to the bar. I hadn’t been inside Joker’s Sin before, I only knew how it looked based on Mace and Bill’s description.

I liked the concept and would’ve taken more time to appreciate it if I wasn’t hell-bent on finding Quill.

“Can I help you, handsome?” I turned and looked down. A small guy with pink hair and barely-there black leather shorts had spoken.

“No. Where’s Quill?”

The small man slid his fingers down my arm. “Mmm. Quill didn’t tell me he had a God for a boyfriend. You’re better than most I see him with.” He jerked his head to the right. I followed the direction and there before me, was Quill.

He was dressed in red leather. I couldn’t see below the waist, but the vest he wore was tight against his pale skin. I knew he loved his bracelets, and he had them all on tonight. His arms were covered in red and silver glitter, making him stick out like a gorgeous disco ball. It looked like he had put all of his piercings back in, and I could see when the light shown on his face, he also had glitter on his cheeks.

“I’ll just leave you to it,” the small man said with a chuckle, and I took the few steps to where Quill stood mixing drinks.

He hadn’t noticed me yet, and I got a chance to see he had red eyes and black liner on his lids. He looked like pure sin. I was surprised when I felt my cock stiffen. Until now, I was never sexually interested in Quill. Okay, to be fair, I admired him. He was stunning, but there was a line cut somewhere between admiration and want.  Why was I feeling something now?

“Are you following me?” Quill’s voice snapped me back to attention.

“I thought you wanted me to follow you.”

Quill narrowed his eyes, but I saw how he swallowed as he took me in. He was a flirt by nature and no matter how peeved he was at me, he could never sustain that anger.

Author Bio:
Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.

When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.

If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.


7th Day of Christmas Author Spotlight: Helena Stone

Author Bio:
Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.

The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.

Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.


Dublin Virtues #1
Patience is a virtue. But what if you wait too long?

While Xander Ekman’s dream of becoming a successful artist has come true, his love life has gone from bad to worse. Sick of the endless string of one-night-stands, he accepts the challenge when his best friend, Erik, bets him that he can’t be celibate for a month. Now all he needs is a reminder to keep his distance in the heat of the moment.

Troy Moriarty doesn’t have time for love. He’s too busy trying to keep his recently opened tattoo parlour afloat. Besides, ever since the man who was supposed to be his business partner abandoned him to run the shop on his own, he has a hard time trusting others.

When Xander turns to Troy for a tattoo that will remind him to be patient, the attraction is instant. But faced with Xander’s month of celibacy, Troy’s trust issues, and a nemesis lurking in the background, their relationship may be doomed before it has a chance to begin.

Click Saturday's Series Spotlight: Dublin Virtues to read my original review.

Double Dutch Courage
Ronan Collins has spent most of his life in Dublin hiding who he really is. Coming out would hurt his mother, and Ronan isn’t going to be the second gay man to do that. When he receives news the father he has never known has died, leaving him both a house and a business in Amsterdam, he jumps on the opportunity to get to know the man who fathered him and to discover what he’s been denying himself for years. 

Lucas Brandt thought he had it all when Paul Kelly offered him a job and rooms to live in. With Paul deceased he fears he may be about to lose both. He didn’t even know Paul had a son, and now this stranger is on his way from Dublin to pull the rug out from under Lucas’s feet. 

The two men don’t expect to like each other, never mind feel attraction. With numerous reasons why hooking up would be a bad idea, why does giving in feel so much better? And is Ronan’s back story really as he’s always imagined it to be? 

Sudden changes require great bravery. Can both men find the courage to be true to themselves and each other? 

Click Blogger Review: Double Dutch Courage to read my original review.

Miracle in the Library
Seventeen-year-old Mitch McCann has been trying to dodge his bullies for eighteen months. He isn’t out, but that hasn’t stopped the popular gang at school from tormenting him for being gay. Three weeks before Christmas, in a desperate attempt to shake his pursuers, Mitch flees into the abandoned community hall, only to discover the building is far from empty; inside he finds a fully stocked library as well as Mr. Nichols, the very welcoming librarian.

The library turns into Mitch’s refuge of choice, where he can read books that answer his endless questions, without fear of encountering abuse. His peace of mind is shattered when nineteen-year-old Cian Leavy enters his sanctuary. Cian is the boy who made Mitch realize he’s gay, and he’s more attractive now than he was eighteen months ago, when Mitch literally ran into him.

Will Cian unwittingly disrupt Mitch’s life again? Or has the scene been set for a miracle in the library?

Careful What You Wish For
All Josh has ever wanted is to submit to another man; to give all of himself, completely, without reservation.

For the past six months Josh has been chatting with and submitting to Pascal online, and this evening his dream of doing the same in person, is about to come true.

Will Pascal be everything Josh imagines or is he about to learn that wishes can be dangerous?

Click Monday's Mystical Magic: Halloween Derby to read my original review.

Scenes from Adelaide Road
Can a young man find the courage he never knew he had when faced with losing everything he holds dear?

A few months before his final exams in secondary school, nineteen-year-old Lennart Kelly discovers he’s inherited a house on Adelaide Road in Dublin from a grandfather he never knew. Having been ignored, bullied and abused for as long as he can remember, Lennart can’t wait to leave behind his father and the small town he grew up in. Moving away as soon as he finishes his exams doesn’t cure his deep-rooted insecurities though.

Meeting twenty-three-year-old Aidan Cassidy in a gay club on his second night in Dublin, scares Lennart. Used to being ignored and ridiculed, he doesn’t trust the attention he receives and can’t believe a man like Aidan could possibly be interested in him. It takes infinite patience and understanding from Aidan to slowly coax Lennart out of his shell.

But the past refuses to stay where it belongs and Lennart’s father is determined to take the house in Dublin off his son by whatever means necessary. Just when Lennart is learning to trust and embrace life, a violent attack threatens everything he holds dear. Suddenly Lennart is in danger of losing his house, the man he’s grown to love and maybe even his life. If Lennart wants to protect Aidan and safeguard his future, he’ll have to find the courage he never knew he had.


Double Dutch Courage

Miracle in the Library

Careful What You Wish For

Scenes from Adelaide Road

Monday's Musical Melody: Cupid's Christmas Arrow by Lynn Michaels

Cupid's Christmas Arrow by Lynn Michaels
Do you believe in Christmas miracles? Love at first sight? How about getting hit with Cupid’s arrow? Can it happen to you?

Ami is a cupid, behind on his quota. Bringing love to lonely humans is a satisfying career, until he starts to recognize just how lonely he is. It is Christmas time and he can no longer bring himself to do his job.

Paul is an up and coming musician with a happy soul. He has raw talent and the support of family and friends. Success is his for the taking. It’s Christmas time and life is good. Then a stranger comes into his life, and they are a match made in heaven, until Ami just disappears...

Will love bring a Christmas miracle when Ami, the failing cupid, meets Paul, the aspiring musician?

Author Bio:
Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. When she's not writing she's kayaking, hanging with her husband, or reading by the pool. Lynn writes Male/Male romance because she believes everyone deserves a happy ending and the dynamics of male characters can be intriguing, vulnerable, and exciting. She has both contemporary and paranormal titles and has been writing since 2014. Her stories don't follow any set guidelines or ideas, but come from her heart and contain love in many forms.