Tag Archives: Dreamspinner Press

New Release! Signs of Desire (Desires Entwined #4) by Tempeste O’Riley *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

RDTourBanner

Signs of Desire (Desires Entwined #4)
by Tempeste O’Riley

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released November 30th 2015

add-to-goodreads-button31

When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme, they thought communication would be their biggest challenge to their happily ever after…

Simon Tyler knows his job as a gay romance author makes his lack of faith in love more than a little ironic, but he’s tired of being used for his wallet. When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme orchestrated by his best friends—though he’s not the target—Simon’s not thrilled, but since he’s sworn off happily-ever-after anyway, he goes along with it… until he meets the object of their efforts, Adrian, and finds perhaps he hasn’t given up on love after all.

Professor Adrian Keys has tried to date hearing men before, but being deaf himself, he’s never had any success at making a connection. After his friends con him into going out and Adrian realizes it’s all an elaborate plan to set him up, he braces for yet another failure, only to discover there is a spark—except it’s not with the man his friends had in mind, but with Simon Tyler instead.

Not all their friends have found a way past their romantic failures, but Simon and Adrian might be on the path to happily-ever-after.

 

signsofdesire
Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK
| Barnes & Noble | ARe | Kobo Store

 

Review

4 stars
Simon Tyler has been used, discarded and cheated on. A romance author who has given up finding love himself, Simon hasn’t dated in over a year, but when he meets Adrian Keys he can’t help but be drawn to the man. Although he acknowledges that the interest is mutual with Adrian, Simon still has his doubts and lives with the fear of having his heart broken once again.

Adrian Keys is an IT professor who has made a great life for himself in a world where people often see him lacking. Being deaf hasn’t stopped him from living a full life, but although he has tried his hand at relationships love keeps eluding him every time. But he has a great supporting father and a wonderful group of friends at the ready. And that is how he finds himself meeting Simon.

Simon and Adrian are both friends with Chase and although they’ve heard about the other, they had yet to meet. But once they locked eyes on one another, neither could stand to look away.

What I enjoyed the most about this story was how Simon and Adrian’s relationship evolved as the story progressed. I enjoyed watching them start a tentative friendship while their attraction hovered in the background. It was great to see them getting to know each other because it allowed me the chance to see that their connection was more than an attraction to one another. With flirty banter, stolen kisses and honest exchanges about their doubts, Tempeste O’Riley reaffirmed that Simon and Adrian’s connection was worth exploring. So when the time came for them to come together fully, I was ecstatic for them and cheering them on.

Of course, it helped tremendously that I found both characters intriguing and perfect for one another. It was great to see how understanding and patient Adrian was in regards to Simon’s past experiences and his desire to take things slow. His reassurances and support, in turn, boosted Simon’s confidence in himself and what was developing with Adrian.

But as much as I enjoyed this story, I can’t help but feel like there was something missing from it. After spending a couple of days reading the previous books in the series, I found that Signs of Desire lacked that touch of intrigue and conflict the James and Chase’s books had. Although the author brought about the start of a conflict in the form of Simon’s family, I thought it was glossed over and wrapped too quickly for it to make any kind of impact. Nevertheless, Adrian and Simon’s story was an enjoyable read for me.

All in all, a sweet romantic read with a fantastic side of sizzling heat.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
 

Excerpt

A tap to his shoulder pulled Adrian out of his musings. He turned and realized the server was back with their dinners and blushed at how entranced he’d been. He didn’t usually stare, hating when others did that to him. “Sorry.”

“No sorrys.” Chase hugged Adrian, then dug into his bowl of chicken and dumplings.

Simon waved to get Adrian’s attention and smiled when he looked up from his country-fried steak and mashed potatoes with white gravy. “Chase said you were his teacher before and are now a friend.” Adrian nodded. “How’d he convince you to go out with his skinny butt?”

Heat infused Adrian’s face as he laughed. “Chase was very sweet and asked nicely.”

“I love your laugh, by the way. It’s deep like your voice, kind of carefree.” Simon looked slightly sad. Adrian knew he’d had a hard time lately. Chase said he’d been cheated on a year ago and had refused to date since. Adrian knew the feeling, though he pushed the thought away, hoping not to dwell on why he was alone.

He ducked his head slightly. “Thanks? I don’t know how anyone sounds, even myself, so it’s always weird to get comments like that.”

“I said the same when we went out,” Chase commented. “But don’t let him fool you. He’s an excellent teacher and speaks in all his classes. He knows his voice is good.”

“No, I know it’s clear enough for you to understand. That’s something I work hard to make true, but I have never heard my voice, so I have no idea how I sound. And well…. Chase was the first person to ever say something like that.”

He worked regularly with various computer programs to improve and maintain his speech, knowing if he didn’t it could cost him his position at the college. He had always struggled to make sure he spoke well for Hearing people, considering his family’s opinion of his Deafness. His dad knew sign language, but his mom refused to learn, insisting he learn to be “normal.” Adrian had always thought that was extremely unfair, especially as a child. Considering his hatred of being dependent on others for his communication, he was thankful he could read lips and speak as well as he did.

“Then you know the wrong people, ’cause he’s right.” Simon nodded to emphasize his point, confusing Adrian more. Why would he be so determined with his compliments?

Shrugging off his curiosity, Adrian tried to push past the topic. “What do you do?”

Simon’s eyes tightened at the edges slightly, his shoulders drooping a little more. “I’m a writer.”

“He’s a romance author, and a damn good one,” Jamie, or James as he knew the guy’s actual name was, said. Chase talked about his best friend often, though this was the first they’d met. “Don’t let him talk down about what he does.”

“James, hush. He’s not interested in what kind of writing I do.”

“Yes, I am. I love to read. Would I know any of your work?” Adrian didn’t have a large collection of romances, but he had read some. He couldn’t think of any authors named Simon, though.

“You’re an author?” Grayson asked, turning to join their conversation.

The nod seemed reluctant, but the smile on Simon’s face, while small, looked genuine. “Yeah, I write under the name Tyler Jacobs, a pseudonym, but I have a few books out. But, um, I thought we were trying to get to know Adrian and Grayson, not more about boring ol’ me.”

Adrian looked to Grayson and back, then shrugged. “I thought it was so we could all get to know each other.”

“Actually, I think Chase was trying to play matchmaker,” Rhys said, shoving Chase playfully.

“Matchmaker?” Adrian asked. Whom was he trying to set up with whom? And why?

Chase scowled and swatted Rhys. “I was hoping to introduce a few new friends and hoped everyone got on well, brat.” Chase reached out and patted Adrian’s hand, confusing him further. “I swear, I’m not trying to push you if you don’t want to date anyone right now.”

“Just who were you hoping to match up?” Dale asked, smirking as he stared at Chase.

Honestly, Adrian wanted to know that as well. It was obvious Chase meant to fix him up with one of his other friends, but he couldn’t imagine which one. James was married, Chase was happily with Rhys, and he didn’t know Simon, Dale, or Grayson beyond what he’d learned of them since he’d arrived, really.

Only two of the people at the table even interested him, truth be told, but he couldn’t figure out why anyone would try to set him up with either man. In Adrian’s experience, most Hearing people didn’t overly like dealing with having a Deaf partner. His few exes certainly hadn’t, no matter what he did to seem more “normal.”

Chase shook his head, clamping his lips closed as he glared at Rhys.

“Chase?” Adrian said and signed. “Who were you hoping to set me up with and why?”

Their eyes locked for a few moments before Chase looked away, his shoulders drooping. After a moment, Chase turned back to face Adrian and replied, “Grayson. He’s in IT, like you and I are, he’s super loyal and really cute in that quiet reserved-guy kind of way.”

“Grayson?” Well, he was handsome and seemed nice, if a little stoic. Adrian didn’t know how to feel about Chase trying to set him up with one of his friends, though. “I can get my own dates, Chase.”

“I know that. It…. Grayson is really nice, and I’d love to see Rhys’s buddy happy. And I like you, but we’re not right for each other, either. I thought of you two, though. You’d make a beautiful couple. His Native American features and your slightly Asian ones….”

He couldn’t help it, Adrian chuckled, amused at Chase’s logic. The man was sweet and a total flirt, but it seemed he was a bit of a ditz when it came to understanding his friends. Chase frowned, folding his arms across his chest as he stared at Adrian—more a glare really. “Sorry, sorry.”

 

Desires Entwined series

1_designs1.75_bound2_guardian2.5_pride3_temptation3.5_truth
Designs of Desire (Desires Entwined, #1)
Bound by Desire (Desires Entwined #1.75)
Desires’ Guardian (Desires Entwined, #2)
Desires’ Pride (Desires Entwined, #2.5)
Temptations of Desire (Desires Entwined, #3)
Truth in Lace (Desires Entwined #3.5)

Goodreads | DSP | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

About the Author

i754v5-tempeste-oriley-554b7a420d3a2

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.

WebsiteTempeste’s TemptationsTwitter | Facebook | Google+ | DSPBlog

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour: Where Wishes Go by S.A. McAuley *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

Where wishes go banner

Where Wishes Go
by S.A. McAuley

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released October 2nd

add-to-goodreads-button31

 

Can you have a second chance at a first love?

Nick Paine is just starting to return to normal after he told his wife he’s gay and asked for a divorce. Despite a daughter he loves dearly and a job he believes in, part of him is stuck in the past. He’s never forgotten the first love he let fade away fourteen years ago.

Adam “Izz” Azzi has settled into a happy rhythm. His daughter is healthy, he’s found a mosque that accepts him, and his work as a modern artist is gaining international attention. While his past is fraught with mistakes and what-ifs, his life now is good, and he doesn’t want to upset any of the balance he’s worked so hard to achieve.

When Nick and Izz are reunited by luck and fate, their attraction is just as undeniable, but what was left unsaid haunts them. They have hope for a future together, but wishing may not be enough.

 

WhereWishesGo4

DSP | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | ARe

 

Review

4 stars

3.75 stars

Nick Paine spends much of his time working or with his daughter. Although he came out to his ex-wife and friends he has not given himself the chance to explore his possibilities. On one of his first outings he discovers that his childhood best friend and the man who has been haunting him through the years, lives close by and will soon be having a show at a gallery.

Adam “Izz” Azzi is a talented artist who had made a name for himself. Adam is content on living his life dedicated to his art and his daughter. After recovering from an addiction that led to his losing a loved one, Adam is determined to continue to leave his demons behind. So having his unrequited love attending his show, is not only a surprise but a also a curve ball to the careful balance he’s trying to achieve in his life. Nick was the one who got away, but now having him back in his life brings uncertainty and a whole other set of emotions he’s not quite ready to deal with.

Can you have a second chance at a first love? It seems you can, if this story is anything to go by.

When I started this book, I was so looking forward for these two to be reunited. I knew there was going to be some drama since it was Nick who left and Adam who always felt left behind but, honestly, I was not prepared for the overwhelming amount of angst I found.

If you know me, I like my angst and have read my fair share of angsty stories, but this one sort of left me numb. Why? I don’t know. That is the same question I asked myself throughout. What I ultimately came up with was that there was quite a bit of unnecessary drama which in the end took away from the romance. But hey, that’s just me.

I do think that the author did a great job in bringing forth the uncertainties of reconnecting with a past love. She brought the range of emotions necessary for me to understand well where Adam and Nick were coming from and why they behaved and/or acted the way they did in the past and in the present time. My only regret in that aspect is that the connection between the two got lost along the way of it all. I felt like the connection was to be assumed, but that took a lot of effort on my part. Since these men had changed so much through the years, it was hard for me to reconcile what they once shared with what they were trying to recapture.

Regardless, there was something there, which was what ultimately made me continue with the story. I enjoyed some their more candid interactions and heated moments they shared. It was during those moments that their connection made itself known, so of course those were the moments that stood out for me the most.

This is the first book by SA McAuley I’ve read and it certainly won’t be the last. Although the story dragged in places, I do feel that the story was well written and engaging enough for me to give this author another try. I particularly enjoyed the complexity of the characters and the range of emotions the author brought to the page. Always a win in any book I read.

All in all, a second chance story that was as intense and it was sweet.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt–Chapter One

NICK PAINE tried to duck as a gigantic scarlet bird whipped over his head and he began to lose his balance. The first airborne attack was followed a second later by a screech and another swooping red streak that caused him to crouch and fall to his knees. At least he was wearing jeans today instead of a suit.

Katie snorted, let loose a torrent of giggles, and pointed. “He’s not going to hurt you, Daddy.”

“Isn’t it me who’s supposed to be telling you that?” Nick scrunched his eyebrows together and tried to chastise his daughter while also searching the birdhouse for further threats.

Katie rolled her eyes and flipped her long blonde hair off to the side, appearing much older than her eight years. “Come on, Daddy. I’ll protect you.” She offered her hand, and Nick grinned as he stood, taking her tiny hand in his.

It was a Wednesday morning, one in which Nick should have been sitting in a colorless conference room listening to doctors and administrators fight each other over inane operational details, but despite the threat of being pecked to death by tropical birds, Nick didn’t want to be anywhere else.

It was rare he was able to escape from work during the day, and this field trip to the zoo with Katie’s class had been the perfect excuse. The hospital system was always there. It was a twenty-four-hour seven-day-a-week commitment of utter chaos. Nick still wasn’t quite sure how he’d ended up as a vice president by the age of thirty-three, but had to concede his success had a lot to do with the inordinate number of hours he spent downtown. His generous salary was meant to compensate him for the endless hours on call talking nurses and cardiologists off the ledge while also making sure all their equipment and staffing needs were met. He loved his job and he was good at it, but it took him away from Katie way too much for his liking.

Nick pushed aside thoughts of the hospital. He would be flooded with e-mails, texts, and voice mail as soon as he switched his cell back on. Instead he listened to Katie patter on about the different kinds of birds that filled the zoo aviary.

“How do you know so much about them?” Nick asked as he forced his complete attention back to her.

Katie shrugged in a gesture that was too much like her carefree Uncle Roban. “I watch the National Geographic channel.”

“That much?”

Katie huffed. “Yeah, Daddy. A lot. Loads and loads.”

Nick restrained a laugh. Where had she come up with that phrase? She was growing up so fast. Much too fast for his liking. The years just kept slipping by, and as hard as his path had been as of late, Nick was grateful for the luck he did have. Katie was a beautiful girl. Tall and thin, just like her momma, she had blonde hair shades lighter than his that ran down to her waist and snarled easily with how fine it was. He’d given up attempting to brush the mats out a year ago, leaving the task to Katie’s grandmother or her nanny.

“Look at the baby geese!” Katie exclaimed, letting go of his hand and running full tilt down the pathway toward the birds. Then just as suddenly she was veering off again, a delighted squeal emanating from her. “A waterfall!”

Nick dug into his pockets as he walked to catch up, knowing what she was going to ask even before she said anything.

“I want to make a wish,” she pleaded, looking up at him with wide eyes.

Nick placed a quarter in her outstretched hand, earning a satisfied smile from her.

She scrunched her eyes tightly closed and whispered something Nick couldn’t hear, then tossed the coin into the water.

“What did you wish for, baby girl?” Nick asked, as was part of their routine.

“Daddy, you know I can’t tell you,” she protested with a pout. “Or else it won’t come true.”

Of course he knew that. Katie wanted to flip a coin into every fountain they encountered. And she always went about it as if her whole existence was placed into making that one wish come true. But she never told Nick what it was that she silently hoped for.

Nick had to wonder if she would remember this later on. If she would remember what she wished years from now, or at the very least remember enough to tell him later whether or not they came true.

Nick looked into her brown eyes—so much like his but with a fire that was all her own—and his breath caught. Yeah, he was just about the luckiest man in the world. She stood on her tiptoes, cupped her hands around his cheeks, and planted a kiss on his lips that left Nick with an ear-to-ear grin that he wouldn’t be able to wipe off for hours to come.

***

A PLOP of wet plaster slid down Adam’s head, over his neck, and dripped under the collar of his shirt as Miriam’s laughter receded into the next room.

Well, then. He supposed he deserved that.

He’d been leaving Miriam to her own devices for far too long as he worked nearly nonstop to meet his deadline. Left on her own, Miriam would fill her time with the mischievous, surreptitious, and wicked dealings that could only be born of an Azzi. She was quiet like him, shy at first meeting, with the same black hair and chiseled features that stood out despite her age. Also like him, she was a goof when in her comfort zone, and Adam’s loft—even though it was a professional workspace—was one of the places she was most comfortable in. She had unlimited access to paints, pens, pencils, paper… and the plaster she’d just chucked at his head.

Adam picked up a stained rag and swiped the plaster off the back of his neck. “Miriam!”

He turned on his stool, rotating to face the kitchen area where Miriam peeked her head around the corner, hazel eyes wide and innocent. But Adam knew better than to be fooled by her appearance. He crooked a finger and pointed to the spot next to him.

She crawled on hands and knees, her eyes going Disney forest creature in size as she got closer to him, and Adam had to bite back a laugh. When she got to his feet, she sat with her legs crisscrossed, hands on her knees, and waited patiently for him to say something.

She was such a good kid. Wild at times, yes. But he’d been the same when he was her age. Unlike his upbringing, though, he was never going to allow Miriam to fear what kind of punishment she would receive. To others it might have made him seem like a soft father, but Adam had rules that were nonnegotiable and rules he expected her to challenge and break. He was always fair. Consistent. And he never touched her in anger. That alone made her childhood vastly different than his. Adam was going to protect her innocence as long as he possibly could.

“Miriam—” he started.

“Yes, Baba?” she interjected, then bit at her bottom lip.

Adam sighed. Whether it was genetics or environment, she was so like him it scared him some days.

“Why did you throw plaster at my head?” He asked the question in all seriousness, then heard how ridiculous it all sounded, looked at the growing smirk on his daughter’s face, and that was enough to send him into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Adam swooped her off the floor and hugged her to his chest, tickling her ribs. Miriam squirmed and protested, her high-pitched giggle filling the studio.

“I love you, Miri,” he said as he squeezed her tight.

Miriam tucked her head into Adam’s neck and pulled her arms in so Adam had her wrapped securely.

“I love you, Baba.”

Adam’s heart was full almost to bursting. The laughter was enough to give him a second wind. He needed to work. He had to get this sculpture done. But he didn’t want to let his little girl go.

“Finish, then play with me, ’kay?” Miriam offered.

Adam started to tear up. She knew him better than any person in the world. This brilliant, vivacious, too smart for her own good little girl was his best friend. And Adam wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“Yeah, yeah. No more plaster, though,” he chastised her, then kissed the tip of her nose.

Miriam rubbed her nose in protest and squirmed out of his arms, already retreating at full speed. On to another adventure.

Adam sank onto his stool and turned back to his sculpture. Less than three weeks until his next show. And this piece, the focal point of the entire fiasco, had to be done by then. But Adam found himself pushing the work off. He sought inspiration and didn’t find it. He would rather not show it at all than display something that was so… incomplete.

He picked up his brush and studied the form, then put the brush back down. His fifteen-year high school reunion had been last weekend and he’d had no desire to go, but the memories had been inescapable regardless. It was those memories that had led to this piece…. Led to this creative fog he couldn’t force himself out of.

He would eat first. Maybe they’d take a walk. He’d do his afternoon prayers with Miriam, grounding himself in the tradition of his faith. He wasn’t as active in his practice as his mom was, but he still found strength in the words and tenets. In Islam, he found calm, and a connection to his family and to something that was greater than him.

Then, maybe then, his head would be clear enough to see this project to its end.

 

About the Author

S.A McAuley

I sleep little, read a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion. My name is Sam, not Sammy, definitely not Samantha. I’m a pretty dark/cynical/jaded person, but I hide that darkness well behind my obsession(s) for shiny objects. I’m the macabre wrapped in irresistible bubble wrap and a glittery pink bow, I suppose.

I have a never-ending-abyss-like secret love for poetry. Especially Rumi, Hafiz, and Neruda. You can predict (as well as change) my moods and my writing schedule by my playlists.

Insomnia is my greatest ally and my nemesis. I like cheese and bourbon, not necessarily in that order, but I’m flexible.
If you’re in any fandom, then I’m probably already in love with you. I’m not joking.

I like my tv shows marathoned and I have to use internet blocking software to be productive. I have software called Producteev that I loaded onto my laptop and proceeded to fill out in detail and now I haven’t touched it in a year.

I enjoy normalized chaos.

Hit me up! I love to hear from readers. xx

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads | Website | Tumblr | Instagram | Email

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release! Where Wishes Go by S.A. McAuley *Excerpt and Giveaway*

BannerTemplate

Where Wishes Go
by S.A. McAuley

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released October 2nd

add-to-goodreads-button31

 

Can you have a second chance at a first love?

Nick Paine is just starting to return to normal after he told his wife he’s gay and asked for a divorce. Despite a daughter he loves dearly and a job he believes in, part of him is stuck in the past. He’s never forgotten the first love he let fade away fourteen years ago.

Adam “Izz” Azzi has settled into a happy rhythm. His daughter is healthy, he’s found a mosque that accepts him, and his work as a modern artist is gaining international attention. While his past is fraught with mistakes and what-ifs, his life now is good, and he doesn’t want to upset any of the balance he’s worked so hard to achieve.

When Nick and Izz are reunited by luck and fate, their attraction is just as undeniable, but what was left unsaid haunts them. They have hope for a future together, but wishing may not be enough.

 

WhereWishesGo4

DSP | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | ARe

 

Excerpt–Chapter One

NICK PAINE tried to duck as a gigantic scarlet bird whipped over his head and he began to lose his balance. The first airborne attack was followed a second later by a screech and another swooping red streak that caused him to crouch and fall to his knees. At least he was wearing jeans today instead of a suit.

Katie snorted, let loose a torrent of giggles, and pointed. “He’s not going to hurt you, Daddy.”

“Isn’t it me who’s supposed to be telling you that?” Nick scrunched his eyebrows together and tried to chastise his daughter while also searching the birdhouse for further threats.

Katie rolled her eyes and flipped her long blonde hair off to the side, appearing much older than her eight years. “Come on, Daddy. I’ll protect you.” She offered her hand, and Nick grinned as he stood, taking her tiny hand in his.

It was a Wednesday morning, one in which Nick should have been sitting in a colorless conference room listening to doctors and administrators fight each other over inane operational details, but despite the threat of being pecked to death by tropical birds, Nick didn’t want to be anywhere else.

It was rare he was able to escape from work during the day, and this field trip to the zoo with Katie’s class had been the perfect excuse. The hospital system was always there. It was a twenty-four-hour seven-day-a-week commitment of utter chaos. Nick still wasn’t quite sure how he’d ended up as a vice president by the age of thirty-three, but had to concede his success had a lot to do with the inordinate number of hours he spent downtown. His generous salary was meant to compensate him for the endless hours on call talking nurses and cardiologists off the ledge while also making sure all their equipment and staffing needs were met. He loved his job and he was good at it, but it took him away from Katie way too much for his liking.

Nick pushed aside thoughts of the hospital. He would be flooded with e-mails, texts, and voice mail as soon as he switched his cell back on. Instead he listened to Katie patter on about the different kinds of birds that filled the zoo aviary.

“How do you know so much about them?” Nick asked as he forced his complete attention back to her.

Katie shrugged in a gesture that was too much like her carefree Uncle Roban. “I watch the National Geographic channel.”

“That much?”

Katie huffed. “Yeah, Daddy. A lot. Loads and loads.”

Nick restrained a laugh. Where had she come up with that phrase? She was growing up so fast. Much too fast for his liking. The years just kept slipping by, and as hard as his path had been as of late, Nick was grateful for the luck he did have. Katie was a beautiful girl. Tall and thin, just like her momma, she had blonde hair shades lighter than his that ran down to her waist and snarled easily with how fine it was. He’d given up attempting to brush the mats out a year ago, leaving the task to Katie’s grandmother or her nanny.

“Look at the baby geese!” Katie exclaimed, letting go of his hand and running full tilt down the pathway toward the birds. Then just as suddenly she was veering off again, a delighted squeal emanating from her. “A waterfall!”

Nick dug into his pockets as he walked to catch up, knowing what she was going to ask even before she said anything.

“I want to make a wish,” she pleaded, looking up at him with wide eyes.

Nick placed a quarter in her outstretched hand, earning a satisfied smile from her.

She scrunched her eyes tightly closed and whispered something Nick couldn’t hear, then tossed the coin into the water.

“What did you wish for, baby girl?” Nick asked, as was part of their routine.

“Daddy, you know I can’t tell you,” she protested with a pout. “Or else it won’t come true.”

Of course he knew that. Katie wanted to flip a coin into every fountain they encountered. And she always went about it as if her whole existence was placed into making that one wish come true. But she never told Nick what it was that she silently hoped for.

Nick had to wonder if she would remember this later on. If she would remember what she wished years from now, or at the very least remember enough to tell him later whether or not they came true.

Nick looked into her brown eyes—so much like his but with a fire that was all her own—and his breath caught. Yeah, he was just about the luckiest man in the world. She stood on her tiptoes, cupped her hands around his cheeks, and planted a kiss on his lips that left Nick with an ear-to-ear grin that he wouldn’t be able to wipe off for hours to come.

***

A PLOP of wet plaster slid down Adam’s head, over his neck, and dripped under the collar of his shirt as Miriam’s laughter receded into the next room.

Well, then. He supposed he deserved that.

He’d been leaving Miriam to her own devices for far too long as he worked nearly nonstop to meet his deadline. Left on her own, Miriam would fill her time with the mischievous, surreptitious, and wicked dealings that could only be born of an Azzi. She was quiet like him, shy at first meeting, with the same black hair and chiseled features that stood out despite her age. Also like him, she was a goof when in her comfort zone, and Adam’s loft—even though it was a professional workspace—was one of the places she was most comfortable in. She had unlimited access to paints, pens, pencils, paper… and the plaster she’d just chucked at his head.

Adam picked up a stained rag and swiped the plaster off the back of his neck. “Miriam!”

He turned on his stool, rotating to face the kitchen area where Miriam peeked her head around the corner, hazel eyes wide and innocent. But Adam knew better than to be fooled by her appearance. He crooked a finger and pointed to the spot next to him.

She crawled on hands and knees, her eyes going Disney forest creature in size as she got closer to him, and Adam had to bite back a laugh. When she got to his feet, she sat with her legs crisscrossed, hands on her knees, and waited patiently for him to say something.

She was such a good kid. Wild at times, yes. But he’d been the same when he was her age. Unlike his upbringing, though, he was never going to allow Miriam to fear what kind of punishment she would receive. To others it might have made him seem like a soft father, but Adam had rules that were nonnegotiable and rules he expected her to challenge and break. He was always fair. Consistent. And he never touched her in anger. That alone made her childhood vastly different than his. Adam was going to protect her innocence as long as he possibly could.

“Miriam—” he started.

“Yes, Baba?” she interjected, then bit at her bottom lip.

Adam sighed. Whether it was genetics or environment, she was so like him it scared him some days.

“Why did you throw plaster at my head?” He asked the question in all seriousness, then heard how ridiculous it all sounded, looked at the growing smirk on his daughter’s face, and that was enough to send him into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Adam swooped her off the floor and hugged her to his chest, tickling her ribs. Miriam squirmed and protested, her high-pitched giggle filling the studio.

“I love you, Miri,” he said as he squeezed her tight.

Miriam tucked her head into Adam’s neck and pulled her arms in so Adam had her wrapped securely.

“I love you, Baba.”

Adam’s heart was full almost to bursting. The laughter was enough to give him a second wind. He needed to work. He had to get this sculpture done. But he didn’t want to let his little girl go.

“Finish, then play with me, ’kay?” Miriam offered.

Adam started to tear up. She knew him better than any person in the world. This brilliant, vivacious, too smart for her own good little girl was his best friend. And Adam wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“Yeah, yeah. No more plaster, though,” he chastised her, then kissed the tip of her nose.

Miriam rubbed her nose in protest and squirmed out of his arms, already retreating at full speed. On to another adventure.

Adam sank onto his stool and turned back to his sculpture. Less than three weeks until his next show. And this piece, the focal point of the entire fiasco, had to be done by then. But Adam found himself pushing the work off. He sought inspiration and didn’t find it. He would rather not show it at all than display something that was so… incomplete.

He picked up his brush and studied the form, then put the brush back down. His fifteen-year high school reunion had been last weekend and he’d had no desire to go, but the memories had been inescapable regardless. It was those memories that had led to this piece…. Led to this creative fog he couldn’t force himself out of.

He would eat first. Maybe they’d take a walk. He’d do his afternoon prayers with Miriam, grounding himself in the tradition of his faith. He wasn’t as active in his practice as his mom was, but he still found strength in the words and tenets. In Islam, he found calm, and a connection to his family and to something that was greater than him.

Then, maybe then, his head would be clear enough to see this project to its end.

 

About the Author

I sleep little, read a lot. Happiest in a foreign country. Twitchy when not mentally in motion. My name is Sam, not Sammy, definitely not Samantha. I’m a pretty dark/cynical/jaded person, but I hide that darkness well behind my obsession(s) for shiny objects. I’m the macabre wrapped in irresistible bubble wrap and a glittery pink bow, I suppose.

I have a never-ending-abyss-like secret love for poetry. Especially Rumi, Hafiz, and Neruda. You can predict (as well as change) my moods and my writing schedule by my playlists.

Insomnia is my greatest ally and my nemesis. I like cheese and bourbon, not necessarily in that order, but I’m flexible.
If you’re in any fandom, then I’m probably already in love with you. I’m not joking.

I like my tv shows marathoned and I have to use internet blocking software to be productive. I have software called Producteev that I loaded onto my laptop and proceeded to fill out in detail and now I haven’t touched it in a year.

I enjoy normalized chaos.

Hit me up! I love to hear from readers. xx

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads | Website | Tumblr | Instagram | Email

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release! The Articles of Release (The Release #2) by B.A. Tortuga *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

BannerTemplate

The Articles of Release (The Release #2)
by B.A. Tortuga

An M/M Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released September 4th 2015

add-to-goodreads-button31

 

Just released from the military, wounded warrior Eric Tremaine is trying to put his life back together like the doctors reassembled his shattered leg. He’s a man with no home, since his Louisiana family rejected him, so Eric winds up in Texas with his old Army buddy, Adam Winchester, and his lover, Sage.

When Eric decides to stop sitting on his ass feeling sorry for himself, he is introduced to trainer Troy Daniels, who lost both his legs in a teenage accident. Troy knows what it’s like to feel as if your body is your enemy. While Eric and Troy have a bumpy start, they soon find enough common ground to make a friendship, if not more. But taking it to the next level means finding out what they have to offer each other, and the world, before they can trust that the love they find together won’t cause more pain than pleasure.

 

ArticlesOfRelease[The]FS

DSP | Amazon | ARe | Kobo | iBooks

 

Review

4 stars

Eric Tremaine was injured while deployed and is being discharged after some time at the hospital. With no one to go home to, he winds up calling his army buddy for some place to stay while he gets back to civilian life. But getting back to ‘normal’ turns to be harder than it seemed. And Eric’s attitude and mild state of depression doesn’t help. He’s lonely, bitter about his injuries and in the brink of a temper tantrum.

Trying to make an effort to get back out there, Eric accepts and invitation from friends where he meets Troy. Troy is a physical therapist and lives with his own set of disabilities. A double-leg amputee, Troy is a risk taker who feels he needs to prove to others he’s capable. He’s a stubborn independent man who dreads asking for help. But when his daredevil ways go to far it’s Eric who’s there to help him in his recovery.

I enjoyed this book from start to finish. After reading The Terms Of Release, the first book in the series, I was expecting more of an angsty read. Although not as intense as Win and Sage’s story, The Articles of Release sure had its moments.

What I enjoyed the most about this story was getting to know the characters and watching them come together. Eric and Troy had an rocky beginning but soon enough they were getting along and exploring the chemistry that simmered between them. I enjoyed those few awkward moments when each was trying to keep their attraction to themselves. But I loved it even more once they gave in and moved onto the flirty banter and heated looks. It sure made for some entertaining moments. As always, B.A. Tortuga delivered on that front!

Of course this story wasn’t all about the sexy times (although they sure were awesome!). It was about Troy and Eric living a full life and their journey in accepting themselves regardless the hand they were dealt with. Troy had learned to accept his disability but he needed to learn to rely on others not because it he was a disabled man but because he was human. And Eric had to learn to accept his new self, disabilities and all, to be able to move on to a better life. By doing this they would ultimately to able to share their life with someone–something they had not allowed themselves before.

It was also about friendship and everything good it can bring to your life. With Win and Sage present and providing support Eric and Troy realized what it was they were missing in their life by not letting anyone in. They each yearned to have what Win and Sage shard but neither thought they had a chance at finding it for themselves. But soon their friendship with benefits turned into something more and neither one knew what to do with those emotions or how to move forward from there. An interesting journey indeed!

Keep in mind that although this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. Win and Sage, the couple from the first book, play an integral part in the story but the author does a great job giving their backstory. However, I do recommend reading The Terms of Release so you can experience their story first-hand. It will give you an insight into how special their relationship truly is, which in turn can help you understand why their relationship is so appealing to Troy and Eric. It was also a great book, so that’s a win-win which ever way you look at it.

All in all, a worthwhile read. At times fun and sweet with plenty of sexy romance and a dash of emotions to round it all up.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

“Want to join me?”

“Thanks, but I’ll stand. Sitting’s a pain in the ass.”

Eric blinked. That was a new one. “Uh, did I piss you off? I didn’t mean to.”

“Huh? No. No, you’re totally good. Completely. How’s your falafel?”

He hadn’t even tasted it. What was it about this guy that got under his skin? “It’s fine. What, the trainer doesn’t want to be seen with the cripple or something?”

“Pardon me?” The asshole actually looked around, like he didn’t know what Eric was talking about.

“Well, it’s not like I wear a T-shirt, but the heavy limp is kind of a giveaway.” He could do sarcasm too.

“What the hell are you going on about, man?”

“I want to know why you would rather stand and hold your food than sit with me!” That came out loud enough to draw few stares, and Eric kinda felt as if he was having an out-of-body experience.

Troy’s cheeks went a dark red, and the man moved over and set his food down. “Sorry, man.”

Sage and Win were heading over, and Troy sat at the end of the table, sitting awkwardly at the edge, legs barely tucked under.

Eric tried to breathe, to calm the fuck down, but his fury hit him about the time Sage stumbled into the table and Troy damn near went ass over teakettle onto the grass. That was it. Seriously? Seriously, this motherfucker was going to treat him like a goddamn leper because he limped? Gonna fall onto the ground rather than sit with the crip like a decent human being? Fuck, the bastard was probably one of those liberal hippie types that thought every soldier was a fucking murderer and deserved what he got.

He’d just been doing his job, goddamn it!

“Jesus, just go, would you? Some trainer you are, being ashamed of a guy with a bad leg!”

“Huh?”

“Don’t you fucking pretend that you don’t know what I’m talking about!”

“What the hell?” That was Sage, who always managed to look vaguely confused, which pissed him off too. What? Did falling in love give you the magical ability to live in fucking lala land? Huh? “What happened?”

“Just fuck off.” He wasn’t sure who he was aiming the snarl at.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Troy was looking at him like he had two heads and neither one of them were speaking English.

“What’s wrong with me? I’m sick of people humoring me and pretending that it doesn’t matter that half my leg is missing when they’re grossed out by it.” Eric kinda lost his shit, right there, slamming his hands on the table.

“It’s not missing.” The words from Troy were flat, dead still somehow, and didn’t really make sense.

“What?”

Troy got up, stood like he was setting himself, then carefully pulled up the legs of his jeans, exposin

 

About the Author

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.
Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has headed to the high desert mountains. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

Facebook| Twitter | Pinterest| Website | Blog

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Follow the Tour!

Badge

September 4th
Reviews by Jessewave
Up All Night, Read All Day

September 7th
Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My
The Jena Wade

September 8th
MM Good Book Reviews

September 9th
Amanda C. Stone

September 10th
Jessie G. Books

September 11th
LeAnn’s Book Reviews
Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

September 14th
Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

September 15th
Hearts on Fire

September 16th
Multitasking Mommas
BFD Book Blog

September 17th
Kimi-Chan
Happily Ever Chapter

September 18th
Iyana Jenna

September 21th
Prism Book Alliance

September 22th
Bike Book Reviews

September 23th
Divine Magazine

September 24th
Inked Rainbow Reads

September 25th
Love Bytes

September 28th
The Novel Approach

September 29th
My Fiction Nook

September 30th
Just Love Romance

October 1st
Bayou Book Junkie
Molly Lolly

Yummy Cover Reveal!!! Signs of Life by Melanie Hansen *Excerpt and Giveaway*

signsoflife

Signs of Life
by Melanie Hansen

An M/M Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Expected for Release September 28, 2015

add-to-goodreads-button31

 

Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all—a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.

High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids—he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.

An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.

 

DSP (ebook) | DSP (paperback)

 

The Story Behind the Cover

Cover by Natasha Snow Designs
Model is Cory Zwierzynski 
In a Photo by Andrew Christian, Inc

IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK.  That is my new mantra.  IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK!

I discovered Cory Zwierzynski when I saw gifs of his Andrew Christian “Kiss” video on Tumblr…

Cory Z 2
Cory Z 1

(Do yourself a favor and watch the whole video, so HOT!  http://www.andrewchristian.com/index.php/kiss.html )

Once I tracked down who the sexy man with the smirk was, I searched out everything I could find about him, and learned that he’s an Andrew Christian exclusive model.  I watched all of his Andrew Christian videos and drooled over all of his pics.  I followed him on every social media known to man.

Cory Z 3

(Follow him on Instagram, it’s worth it!  https://instagram.com/coryz07/ )

When I began writing Signs of Life, the physical description of my character, Kai, started to become Cory in my head.  The eyes, the hair, the tattoo, the attitude…Cory was Kai.  So when it came time for the cover art, I couldn’t stop thinking, what if?  What if I could get Cory for my cover?

Nah, that will never happen.  Andrew Christian will laugh you out of town.

I told myself that over and over, talking myself out of it, until I brought up the idea to my friend Kenya one day.  She told me, “What do you have to lose?  The worst that could happen is they would say ‘no’ or totally ignore you.  So what?  At least you’d know.”

So I screwed up my courage, emailed Drew LaQuang, Cory’s booking person, and asked if I could license a picture of Cory for the cover of my book, explaining that I was a huge fan of his.  Within a few hours I had my answer:  “Sure!”

Cue intense fangirling and celebration!  (My friend Monica heard me screaming all the way from Brazil and messaged me to ask what was going on, LOL).

I contacted Paul Richmond, the art director at Dreamspinner, and asked about the steps I’d need to follow for licensing a picture.  He was extremely helpful, sent over the legal forms I had to have, and made sure I was aware of the size requirements, pixels, etc., for cover art.

Unfortunately all the pictures I found on the Andrew Christian website were too low-res to be used, so I emailed Drew and asked if they had higher-resolution pics I could look at.  He immediately and graciously opened their photo archives to me, and I was able to browse at my leisure.

When I found one that I liked and that my cover artist, Natasha Snow, could work with, I filled out the licensing form and emailed it to Drew, who had it back to me in a few hours.  I forwarded it to Paul and boom, I had my cover model.  I had my actual face cast for Kai on my cover!

Excerpt

Jeremy almost flinched as the man’s eyes met his but somehow he managed not to. There was something vaguely familiar about him, which was why Jeremy had been watching him in the first place, but he was positive they’d never met. This man was unforgettable. When Jeremy had first walked into the club, so noisy and crowded, he’d almost turned around and left. It was a mad impulse that led him here in the first place, and it had been so long since Jeremy was impulsive that he felt shaken and out of his depth. That fact alone had stiffened his resolve to stay for at least a little while; then he’d gotten a glimpse of the beautiful, exotic man, and nothing could have convinced him to leave.

The first thing that struck Jeremy was how confident he seemed, how he held himself. Here was a man who knew who he was and was comfortable in his own skin. He was simply dressed in a tight black graphic T-shirt and jeans, but when he’d stood up from his stool to dig his wallet out of his back pocket to pay for his drink, Jeremy’s mouth watered as the jeans slid down to ride low on the man’s hips, showing a slice of muscled belly.

His shoulders were broad, his torso slim and compact yet rippling with muscle under the tight shirt. Long, lean legs were showcased by the soft, worn jeans, black boots completing the look. As Jeremy stood at the edges of the sheltering crowd and stared, he noticed the leather bracelets and silver rings the man sported on his wrists and hands, his eyes following the corded forearms up to a tattoo that was just visible on his right bicep, the lower edge of it peeking out of the sleeve of the shirt.

Jeremy edged closer, lust surging through him, his eyes drinking in thick black hair, carelessly styled, and a nose that had been broken before but did nothing to detract from the man’s startling good looks. As he tilted his head back to take a long swallow of his beer, Jeremy’s mouth watered at the arch of his throat, the muscles working as he swallowed, a pair of sinful lips wrapped around the tip of the bottle like Jeremy suddenly wanted them wrapped around the tip of his cock, drinking him down as Jeremy emptied his balls against the back of his throat….

Then the man’s eyes met his, the predatory heat in them making Jeremy’s knees weak. As the man licked his lips, Jeremy noticed with a jolt he was sporting a hoop through the lower one, emphasizing the plump fullness of it, and the simmering lust ramped up into raging hunger. Helplessly Jeremy moved closer, the man holding his gaze, the eyeliner he had lightly applied around his amazing golden eyes making him look even more exotic, dangerous.

Jeremy got as close as he could, the people massed around the bar making it difficult to get next to his target. The man looked Jeremy up and down leisurely, all the way to his feet and back up to his flushed and burning face; then he slowly spread his knees wide, making room for Jeremy between them. Jeremy moved in, feeling like he was strangling, his chest tight, the need to touch, kiss, lick and bite overwhelming him.

“Hey,” the man said, his voice deep and husky, lightly accented.

Jeremy swallowed, then nodded, all of his senses focused on the heat of the man’s body close to his, the way his legs looked splayed around Jeremy’s hips.

“Are you here with anyone?” he asked, annoyed at how abrupt his voice sounded. He wasn’t used to making small talk anymore, wasn’t used to the mating dance between strangers. It had been so easy with Brent: a backyard barbeque with friends, an introduction, mutual attraction and easy conversation leading to an invitation to dinner. They hadn’t spent more than a day or two apart after that.

The thought of Brent was like ice water on his ardor, and he could feel himself shutting down, wondering what the hell he was doing. Just as he was about to take a step back and leave, he felt the man settle his warm hands on his hips, stroking the skin between his shirt and the waistband of his jeans with a rough thumb.

“Just a friend,” the man said softly. Jeremy struggled to focus, remembering he’d just asked if he was here with anyone. The thumb caressing Jeremy’s sensitive skin was rough, callused, and it felt so good. It had been so long since he’d been touched….

Jeremy took a deep breath. He could do this… he wanted to do this. It was just fucking, just mutual pleasure with a willing stranger, a stranger he would never lay eyes on again. Purging his thoughts of anything except need, lust, he laid his hands high on the man’s splayed thighs, drawing circles with this thumbs along the inner seam of his jeans, flirting with his crotch but not quite touching.

“I want to fuck you,” Jeremy blurted, hating himself for his ineptness, his cheeks flushing hotter as the man’s amazing eyes filled with amusement.

“Yeah, I got that, amigo,” he said, tightening his grip on Jeremy’s hips to keep him from moving away. “And I want to let you.”

 

About the Author

Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work.   She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met.  After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man.  After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student.  She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Facebook | Twitter

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release! Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts by Charlie Cochet *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

BTBanner

Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts
by Charlie Cochet

An M/M Contemporary Short
From Dreamspinner Press
Released August 19th 2015

add-to-goodreads-button31

 

Julian “Quinn” Quintero, a gruff, tough Miami SWAT officer, has been injured on the job, and all he’s looking for is a little peace and quiet to recover—difficult to achieve with his large Cuban family. An adventure in picking up his prescriptions puts him in the path of his geeky, brownie-baking neighbor, Spencer Morgan. Spencer sweeps into Quinn’s life like a tropical storm of sunshine and rainbows. Not surprisingly, it’s chaos at first sight. Quinn’s in need of a little tender loving care, and Spencer decides he’s just the man for the job. Their very different lives might clash, but they might also find some common ground—and maybe more.

 

BewareOfGeeksFS

Dreamspinner Press (eBook) | Amazon US | Amazon UK | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

Review

4 stars

Quinn, a SWAT officer, suddenly finds himself with too much time on his hands following an injury on the job. When his brother in law leaves his pills with Quinn’s neighbor, Quinn is forced to knock on Spencer’s door to retrieve them.

Spencer has been eyeing his neighbor since he moved in a while back, but hasn’t made a move because Quinn doesn’t look like the type that goes for the geeky, nerdy guy. But now that he has Quinn’s medication in hand a meeting is certainly inevitable.

And what a meeting it was!!! I loved it!

These two were so endearing! Quinn was stubborn, somewhat rude but so very adorable in his gruffness. He had a fantastic caring side and an awesome family too. Quinn’s mother was such a great character and spot-on for a Cuban mother! And Spencer? He was smart and geeky with the right amount of charm and strength to draw Quinn in. I truly enjoyed watching them together. The flirting, the candid moments and the undercurrent of sexual tension–everything worked for me.

Quinn and Spencer’s story was the perfect opposite attract story with the right amount of connection, chemistry and drama. An adorable, fun and enjoyable read!!

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
 

Excerpt

“This is sad, man. What is it with you and brownies?”

“These aren’t just any brownies,” Spencer stated proudly as he removed his latest batch of baked chocolate decadence from the oven. “These are Nutella caramel brownies with nuts, made from scratch. These are orgasm-in-your-mouth brownies.”

“Not really sure what to think about that,” Danny muttered, eyeing the brownies dubiously. “Seriously, dude. The only orgasm you should be chasing is the one waiting next door. This is your perfect chance! He’s defenseless.” Danny reached for a brownie, but Spencer slapped his hand away before he could pilfer one.

“I have to spread the Nutella and top them with walnuts. Also, I don’t know what I find more disturbing: that you think I should take advantage of the poor guy in his defenseless state, or that you believe the only way I’ve got a shot is to take advantage of him in his defenseless state.” He stopped and turned to his pouting best friend. “And FYI, defenseless is what babies and puppies are, not huge-ass mountain men in possession of heavy artillery. I ran into him once, literally, and it’s like he’s made out of fucking granite. He’s got an eight-pack. An eight-pack.”

Spencer had never seen an eight-pack outside of cyberspace. Until his sexy neighbor, he’d questioned their existence, much like Bigfoot. The sighting had taken place one morning on his way to get groceries. Quinn had been on his way to their gated community’s pool, sporting nothing but low-riding swim trunks and flip-flops. He’d stepped into the elevator next to Spencer, and the heat outside had nothing on the heat that had spread through Spencer’s body. Luckily Quinn had been too busy texting to notice Spencer’s Human Torch impression.

“I have… I don’t even know what this is.” Spencer lifted up the hem of his apron and the Hulk T-shirt underneath with a frown. He ran his finger down a groove along his torso as he sucked his stomach in. “Does this look like muscle definition to you?”

Danny reached over to pat Spencer’s pale belly. “Looks like you need to stop baking brownies. And get some sun, man. Look at you. You’re not even white. You’re like, transparent.”

“That’s harsh.” Spencer lowered his clothes. “I don’t tan like you. I burn. You couldn’t lie to me? Besides, what am I supposed to say to him? ‘Hi, remember me? I’m the guy who’s been living next door to you for the past year. We pass each other in the hall every day, take the elevator together, have parking spaces next to each other, have mailboxes next to each other, do laundry in the same room together, and shop at the same supermarket. No? That’s okay. Excuse me while I die of embarrassment.’” Spencer walked around the kitchen counter and flopped down into a chair, waiting for the brownies to cool. “The guy doesn’t know I exist. He’s freakin’ Miami SWAT. He’s probably an overbearing, misogynistic asshole with a giant ego, anyway.”

Danny took a seat next to him, his expression filled with concern. “You don’t know that. Besides, since when do you judge people?”

Spencer narrowed his eyes at his friend. “No one likes a smartass.”

“Says the guy who got a ticket for mouthing off to a police officer.”

“I wasn’t mouthing off. I was being witty and adorable. The guy just had no sense of humor. Besides, I was nowhere near that fire hydrant. He was clearly behind on his quota. Bet that wouldn’t have happened to Quinn.” Was he pouting? Oh God, he was. Danny was right; he was sad.

“Probably because he’s SWAT and can park his ginormous truck wherever the hell he wants.” Danny went to the glass doors of the balcony overlooking the parking spaces and started laughing.

“What?”

“You know how they say dogs look like their owners? I wonder if the same applies to cars.”

Spencer joined Danny at the window, letting out a low groan. His tiny yellow Fiat gleamed cheerfully beside Quinn’s monster black Chevy Silverado. “It looks like a sunspot.”

 

About the Author

AuthorPic

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Facebook | Facebook PageTwitter | Google+ | Blog | WebsitePinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads | Newsletter

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release! Against the Grain (THIRDS #5) by Charlie Cochet *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

BT_Banner

Against the Grain (THIRDS #5)
by Charlie Cochet

An M/M Romance Novel
From Dreamspinner Press
Released August 3rd, 2015

add-to-goodreads-button31

 

As the fiercest Defense Agent at the THIRDS, Destructive Delta’s Ash Keeler is foul-mouthed and foul-tempered. But his hard-lined approach always yields results, evident by his recent infiltration of the Coalition. Thanks to Ash’s skills and the help of his team, they finally put an end to the murdering extremist group for good, though not before Ash takes a bullet to save teammate Cael Maddock. As a result, Ash’s secrets start to surface, and he can no longer ignore what’s in his heart.

Cael Maddock is no stranger to heartache. As a Recon Agent for Destructive Delta, he has successfully maneuvered through the urban jungle that is New York City, picking up his own scars along the way. Yet nothing he’s ever faced has been more of a challenge than the heart of Ash Keeler, his supposedly straight teammate. Being in love isn’t the only danger he and Ash face as wounds reopen and new secrets emerge, forcing them to question old loyalties.

 

AgainstTheGrainFSLG

DSP-eBook | DSP–Paperback | Amazon | ARe | Barnes & Noble

 

Review

4 stars

 

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

At one point, Ash felt Cael’s leg pressed up against his, and it was ridiculous how happy the tiny gesture made him. If it was even a gesture. Ash swiftly put it off to being an accident, but then a little later, Cael reached over and wiped a thumb over the corner of Ash’s mouth, telling him he had a breadcrumb.

“You should have seen him,” Dex said with a laugh. “He looked so adorable with his cheetah fuzz shaped into spikes, from his head down to his back. Like a little spotted punk rocker.”

Maddock shook his head at Dex. “It took me two hours to wash all the hair spray off your brother’s fur.”

“We were pretending to be Guns N’ Roses,” Cael explained. “Dex was singing ‘Welcome to the Jungle,’ and I was backup sing—er, chirping.”

Ash laughed and playfully bumped Cael’s shoulder. “I’m going to have to agree with Dex. That’s adorable.” Even in his Therian form, Ash thought Cael was the sweetest thing he’d ever laid eyes on. Cael could be in his Therian form among thousands of cheetahs, and Ash would be able to point him out. His little gestures, the heart shape of his nose, or the way he chirped away, as if anyone not in their Therian form might understand him if he tried hard enough.

Dex grabbed Sloane’s arm. “Tell me you recorded that. Doesn’t matter. I have witnesses.” Dex stood and motioned to all of them. “Witnesses! You all heard it. Ash said he agrees with me.”

“Oh, good Lord. We’re never going to hear the end of this,” Maddock sighed, getting up to clear the dishes.

“Do you realize how epic this moment is?” Dex said, helping clear up.

“It’s not really that epic,” Maddock replied.

Dex let out an exaggerated gasp. “Where have you been living? Ash Keeler has agreed with something I, Dexter J. Daley, has said.”

“About your brother being adorable. Not exactly earthshattering. He’s thought that since they met.”

The table fell into silence as they all gaped at Maddock. Well, this was news to Ash. What the hell? Seeming to notice the quiet, or more likely the lack of Dex talking, Maddock looked up.

“What are you, fish? Close your mouths.”

Four mouths promptly closed.

“It’s not rocket science. I’ve known that boy since he joined, and he’s threatened every agent he’s ever met with kicking their ass. Except for Cael.”

Hard to argue with that. It was the truth.

Dex frowned at Ash. “You threatened to kick Hobbs’s ass?”

Ash nodded. “Yep.” Was it his first week of being on the job? He was pretty sure it was the first week.

“Dude, that’s not cool. Hobbs is awesome.”

“He can also be a pain in the ass. Plus when we first met, I didn’t know he had selective mutism. I asked him a question, and he wouldn’t answer me. He’d whisper to Calvin, who’d answer for him. I got pissed off and told him if he didn’t tell me himself, I’d kick his ass.” Ash had never met a tiger Therian as big and insecure as Hobbs. The whole encounter had left him confused. Here was their new demolitions expert, and he couldn’t talk. How the fuck was he going to communicate with his team? Ash wasn’t proud to admit he’d had a shit fit. He understood the THIRDS was about equality and representation when it came to hiring, but he had been genuinely concerned about the safety of his team. Not long after, Ash had seen how wrong he’d been about Hobbs. Not that he’d admitted it.

Dex let out a sound of disgust. “Dude, not cool.”

“I said I didn’t know. I apologized afterward, and that’s saying something.”

Ash got up to help clear the dishes, with Dex going on about how he should really think about using some of those scented candles Rosa had gifted him. Ash proceeded to flip him off.

When Cael stood to help, Ash put a hand to his shoulder.

“Relax, I’ve got this.”

He gave Cael a wink and walked the dirty dishes to the kitchen with Dex yammering on behind him. The guy was like a fucking mosquito buzzing in your ear and trying to suck the life out of you. Ash placed the dishes in the dishwasher, giving grunts and one-word replies. He grabbed the dishes from Dex and put those in as well. He wished he could stick Dex in there. Finally someone up there decided to give him a break, and Dex left the kitchen, singing some stupid song about a lion sleeping tonight or something.

Ash frowned at Maddock. “Does he never shut up? How the hell did you live with this for so long?”

“It’s called patience,” Maddock replied. “Not exactly your forte.”

“Oh, I can be patient. That’s not what’s required when dealing with your oldest. I’d say sedative is more the word you were looking for.”

Maddock laughed. “Just get in there, Keeler.”

 

THIRDS Series

Hell & High Water (THIRDS, #1)Blood & Thunder (THIRDS, #2)Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, #3)Rise & Fall (THIRDS, #4)

Goodreads | DSP | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ARe

 

About the Author

AuthorPic

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Facebook | Facebook PageTwitter | Google+ | Blog | WebsitePinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads | Newsletter

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

My Goodread Reviews:

Tour: Charlie’s Hero (Heroes #1) by Nic Starr *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

BT Banner

Charlie’s Hero (Heroes #1)
by Nic Starr

An M/M Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released June 17th 2015

add-to-goodreads-button31

 

Schoolteacher Charlie Matthews returns to his hometown, looking to regain a sense of community, reconnect with friends, and settle down. It looks like his dreams have come true when paramedic Josh Campbell attends an accident at the school. It’s love at first sight, and a romance begins.

But Josh’s reluctance to come out to the brother who raised him, puts pressure on their fledgling relationship. While Charlie understands Josh’s concerns, he can’t help growing impatient. After all, Charlie came out years ago.

It’s not until Charlie confronts his own parents and realizes he hasn’t come to terms with their rejection that he fully understands what Josh has to lose. But Josh is Charlie’s hero, and Josh will do anything to prove to Charlie that to be part of a family, he doesn’t need his parents.

CharliesHeroORIG-final-01 (1)

DSP (eBook) | DSP (Paperback) |
Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon AU |
ARe | B&N | KOBO | GooglePlay

 

Review

4 stars

It’s been over a year since Charlie returned to his hometown. Everything is going well, except his love life. Wanting to find something more he hasn’t taken the chance to play the field. Until Josh walks into his life and knocks his breath away. Josh is everything Charlie wants in a partner–caring, loyal and sexy as hell. Both men want something lasting and believe the other is what they have been waiting for in their lives.

This is my first book by Nic Starr and it certainly won’t be my last. I enjoyed the subtle complexity of the characters and the overall lightness of the story. The emotions felt by the characters were spot-on but not overwhelming and the romance flowed nicely from sweet to sexy and back again. I loved that Josh and Charlie had great rapport. Their interactions were entertaining and ranged from the most candid to the most intense always managing to emphasize how deep the connection was between them. But for me, Josh and Charlie’s time together passed by too quickly. Although their connection was palpable, I feel like it was rushed or at least not explored fully on the page.

That said, I still believe that the story is worth consideration. The concept, although not unique, was brought to the page in a way that enticed the reader to keep on going–to see what the future held for these men. As the first in a series, it worked in establishing the cast of characters and the overall ‘feel’ of the series. The secondary characters played an integral part of the story, especially Josh’s brother. Believe me, that’s one story I don’t want to miss.

That leaves us with the best part–the sex! I loved that the intimate scenes between these two were varied. There weren’t a lot of them, but the few that made it to the page were worth the wait. The intensity. The overwhelming passion. I loved it when they lost themselves in each other. Every gasp, every touch only added to my enjoyment of this story. Well done. 😉

All in all, a wonderful start to a series that promises to get better (if the ending and the excerpt of the next book included in my copy was anything to go by). Sweet and sexy–a great combination!

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

HE WAS in love. Totally, wonderfully, head over heels in love. Love with a capital L, hell, love in full uppercase. All it took was one look, one simple glance, and he was a goner. Of course the object of his admiration was classically handsome—tall and athletic, glowing with good health. Bright eyes, wide smile, waves of shining hair tucked behind perfect ears. He was like all Charlie’s dreams come true, with golden skin hugging strong muscles that strained on long limbs. But even if Charlie hadn’t been attracted to the man’s spectacular good looks, there was no way to overlook his actions.

When Charlie first saw him, he was kneeling on the schoolyard ground, tending to a little girl who was lying prone on the soft-fall rubber surface under the play equipment. She was one of Charlie’s second graders. Her right leg, bent at a strange, unnatural angle, gave a big clue as to her injury. Charlie hoped the leg was the worst she was hurt.

An efficient auburn-haired paramedic was treating her injured leg while the gorgeous guy knelt by her head, hands on either side of her blonde curls, keeping her still. He whispered into her ear, the words obviously having a calming effect—the little girl stared intently up at him, the hitch in her breathing the only evidence of any distress. There was a gentleness to his touch, despite the large hands, and caring in his tone as he concentrated on his patient. How could Charlie not fall in love with this glorious combination of caring, masculine beauty?

“Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews.” The urgent high-pitched voice and persistent tugging on his hand drew his attention reluctantly away from the scene unfolding in the playground. Shit, he thought, what the hell am I doing just standing here staring when I should be taking care of the other children, who are no doubt worried and scared? Dropping to one knee and looking Jennifer in the eye, Charlie gave her his full attention. “What is it, Jenny?” he asked, knowing she was going to voice her worry about her small friend on the ground.

“Is Alison going to be all right, Mr. Matthews?” she asked in a low and quavering voice. He replied in a way he hoped would calm her fears, by keeping his voice even and low.

“She’ll be fine, Jenny. Her mummy and daddy will meet her at the hospital, and Miss Bryant is going to go stay with her until they get there. Alison is in very good hands. See those paramedics?” He pointed toward the action under the monkey bars, and she looked across at the small group on the ground and nodded gravely. “Well, they’re very good at their jobs. They’re going to take Alison to the hospital so the doctors can put a cast on her leg. I’m sure she’ll be back at school in no time.”

“But she won’t be able to play,” she whispered, obviously still worried for her friend.

“No, she won’t,” he admitted. “At least she won’t be able to run around for a while, but she will be able to draw and play board games. I know you love to draw, so maybe you can play with Alison to make her feel better. I bet you’ll be able to write your name on the cast too.”

At that, Jenny met his gaze and finally smiled. “Really!” she said with excitement. “That’d be totally cool!”

They looked up as the paramedics wheeled past with the gurney. Little Alison was tightly strapped aboard. She was lying still, no doubt in shock, and holding tightly to the hand of Charlie’s hero. He only glanced their way for a second, obviously reluctant to take his attention away from the little girl who needed him, but that was enough. Their gazes connected, his warm brown eyes seeming to look straight into Charlie’s soul. The surge of emotion that flooded through him took him by surprise. The paramedic blinked and the spell was broken. They moved swiftly past Jenny and Charlie, then loaded the gurney into the back of the ambulance.

Charlie stood frozen to the spot, still holding Jenny’s small hand in his, and watched the ambulance leave. Finally he took a deep breath, turned back to the schoolyard, and started to round up any children still in the playground.

“Come on, everyone,” he called. “It’s time to get back to class.”

As the last stragglers made their way into the single-story building that housed the small group of classrooms, he knew he would be spending the afternoon reassuring the children. He decided that making get-well cards for Alison would be the best way of distracting the group of second graders.

 

About the Author

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!

When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family-an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters-and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

Website/Blog | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour: I’ll Still Be There by Keelan Ellis *Excerpt and Giveaway*

BT_Banner

I’ll Still Be There
by Keelan Ellis

An M/M Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
June 1st  2015

add-to-goodreads-button31

 

The summer after high school, Eli Dunn and Jess Early explore an abandoned brothel in the rural Florida Panhandle. They’ve always kept their mutual attraction unspoken, but in an upstairs room at the end of the hall, everything changes. Suddenly, all the longing Eli and Jess have tried so hard to conceal bursts free, and passion like they’ve never experienced comes to light, along with the ghosts of Clay Bailey and Silas Denton, murdered owners of the brothel. And Clay and Silas have no problem possessing Eli and Jess in order to express their love for each other, without thought for the living.

Deeply disturbed by the experience, Eli and Jess part and try to get on with life as best they can. But after several years, Eli returns to Florida, only to find that Jess has made some questionable choices. These eventually lead him back to the abandoned house and a confrontation with Eli. Old scores are settled and Eli and Jess reunite. But Clay and Silas’s ghosts aren’t finished yet, for they’ve always believed in the power of open and honest love.

 

stillebethere

DSP | Amazon | ARe

 

Excerpt

One of them, the dark one, looked up at him in alarm. “Elijah,” the man said, but that wasn’t his name, so he shook it off like it bothered him.

“It’s not right, it’s not decent, and you can’t have this.” His body was shaking, but he held the gun steady on the men in the bed. The part of him he couldn’t recognize anymore was clamoring at him, trying to remind him of something, but he couldn’t listen and didn’t want to. He was just too angry.

The other one—Clay, his name was—moved in front of the dark one and pushed him back. “Get the hell out of here, Brown,” he shouted. From behind him, the dark man…. Silas, cursed in surprise and pulled Clay back again, whispered something in his ear.

“It’s not fucking right!” he said again, and then with a pathetic sob, which made him sick, he said, “It’s not fair.”

“No,” Silas told him in a placating tone. “It’s not fair at all, but Clay and Silas didn’t make it like that. They didn’t do that to you.”

He couldn’t understand why he would say it like that, why he was talking about them like they were separate people, like they weren’t both sitting there in front of him, half-naked. “You shouldn’t get to do that!” he cried. “No one should. It’s sick. It’s terrible.”

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you didn’t have love in your life. Everyone should have that. Clay and Silas, they just got lucky, and you didn’t. That’s—that’s not their fault.” He was sitting very still, his hand resting on Clay’s arm so he wouldn’t push forward again.

He still did not lower his weapon, though he could feel his mind faltering. He was no longer clear on who he wanted to kill, who he was angry with. Then he heard it again. “Elijah.” It was spoken very softly by the dark-haired man. He frowned at the men on the bed, who looked different now. He shook his head again, less sure now.

“Listen to me Elijah. I know you can hear me. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for ever bringing you here. It ruined everything, and I know it hurt you. It hurt me too, so much. I should have just told you that I… cared for you—that I wanted you. I know now that it would have been all right. I didn’t know it then. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do.”

Eli felt himself coming back, but the anger wasn’t dissipating. He was still staring at Jess, he could see it was Jess now, but the rage was still there. He did not lower the gun.

“I’m sorry for everything. I never, ever wanted to hurt you. Remember who you are, Elijah. Try to see me like you used to, when we were kids.”

Eli blinked a few times and then looked at his hand, holding the gun. He looked at Jess, and Shawn Kinney, on the tarp covering the filthy bed. His face went blank with horror, and he lowered the gun to his side, all of him shaking, unable to get a grip.

Jess got up and went to him, reaching down to gently pull the gun from his hand. He drew him in close, and Eli went, even though Shawn was right there, and even though things were still fucked up between them. He just needed it, and he knew Jess did too.

Shawn had gotten up and walked over to them. He put his hand on Jess’s arm. “Si?” he said, his face confused. He reached up and put a hand to Jess’s cheek.

Jess took hold of his hand and smiled softly at him. “No. I ain’t him anymore,” he said. “Go on, now.”

Shawn looked disappointed for a second, and then his eyes cleared. All at once he looked mortified, and quickly pulled his hand away from Jess’s face. Jess was still touching Eli on the waist and standing very close, and it occurred to him that they might want to cease any more physical contact until they were out of this room.

“Let’s go. We shouldn’t be here,” Jess said. He moved away from Eli and started pulling on his clothes, then glanced at Shawn, maybe to make sure he was with it enough to do the same. The boy looked nearly catatonic, but he began to mechanically get dressed after Jess handed him his jeans.

 

About the Author

Author Pic

Keelan Ellis is a true crime enthusiast, a political junkie, and a comedy fan. Despite a compulsion to sometimes wallow in the depths of humanity’s corruption and sadness, she considers herself a romantic at heart. The stories she really connects with are about love that’s been twisted into hatred, and she believes that with honesty and forgiveness, love can overcome. Keelan loves good bourbon and classic country music, great television and well-prepared food, especially shared with like-minded people. She’s not a fan of parties and large groups of people, but there’s nothing she loves more than a long conversation with friends. Her favorite part of the writing process is the collaborative stage, hashing out plot and characters with smart and talented friends. It’s where she truly comes to understand the people she’s writing about, and often falls in love with them. With the support and encouragement–as well as some serious editing help–Keelan has found the writing niche she’s always searched for.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

 

Giveaway

Get a chance to win a gift basket!

Giveaway_Goodie_Pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour: Ever the Same by B.A. Tortuga *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

BATBannerTemplate

Ever the Same
by B.A. Tortuga

An M/M Romance
From Dreamspinner Press
Released February 27th 2015

add-to-goodreads-button31

 

Audie Barrack is in it up to his elbows with a sick calf when his son’s school calls. Seems Grainger has gotten into yet another fight. When he walks into the principal’s office, he’s shocked to find his son has been fighting with a little girl named Randi.

A little girl with one blind dad and one dad who recently passed away.

Goddammit.

Dixon has lost his sight, his career, and his husband. Thank God for his brothers, Momma and Daddy, and his little girl, or he would simply give up. The last thing he needs is for Randi to start trouble at school, especially trouble that puts him in contact with another dad who might expect him to be a functional human being.

Dixon is struggling to live as a blind man, Audie is terrified someone might see he has a closet to come out of, and everyone from the school to both men’s families is worried for the men and their children. Unless they get themselves together and commit to change, neither of them stands a chance.

 

EvertheSameLG

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Review

5-stars

This…this is the kind of story that I love reading.

Audie is a single father who has lived his life hiding who he really is. His life revolves around his horses and his son–until fate brings Dixon and Randi into his life. Audie can’t stand by to see a little girl with a world of hurt in her eyes, but still he hesitates in approaching the quiet, surly blind man. But once he comes to learn Dixon’s story and the man behind the attitude, he can’t seem to stay away.

Dixon is not looking for love. Hell, he doesn’t even have much desire to keep on living. His days are an endless loop of trying to figure how to move forward, take care of his daughter and learning to be blind. Pain, indecision, confusion and helplessness are some of the constants in his life–until Audie with his charming personality, easy manner and flirty comments slowly but surely urges him to take that one step that will put him back to living a ‘normal’ life. But with change comes challenges, lack of support from the people around him and frustration.

Soon Audie and Dixon must fight not only for their new found love but for the life they want to make for themselves and their family.

I loved this story from beginning to end. Both Audie and Dixon were amazing characters to get to know. Audie with his humble ways, caring nature and desire to love and be loved was adorable. Dixon on the other hand, was more complex. Torn between having lost his partner and his sight and wanting what Audie offered, he was confused and scared as to how to move forward, but regressing to his former self was not an option. Add to that two little kids and of course everything gets a bit more complicated–and interesting too!

For me the addition of the kids made a big difference in my enjoyment of this story. Often times kids are introduced in a story and soon forgotten. But not here. BA Tortuga managed to focused on developing Audie and Dixon’s connection while still allowing the reader to experience the connection between Audie, Dixon, Grainger and Randi. I loved how she took the time to showcase how the characters bonded without it taking away from the romance.

And what a romance it was! Moving slow and steady and making absolutely sure that a connection was established, BA Tortuga didn’t miss a beat in bringing the romance to the page. There was heat and flirty banter, intense emotional moments, doubts and hesitations and like the sap I am I devoured it all!

I loved Audie’s reluctance to make a move and his determination to take things at Dixon’s pace. I especially loved how he came to stand up for himself and what he wanted out of life and never doubting that Dixon was who he wanted. I also enjoyed seeing Dixon letting go bit by bit and letting Audie into his life. A supporting touch, a careful caress…he came to allow it and me? I was grinning like a maniac. (or so I was told!)

I don’t even have to into the chemistry between these two–this is BA Tortuga after all. But I liked that the intensity of their attraction transitioned nicely from hesitant to full-on steam as the story progressed. A treat for sure! There was this one scene….*sigh* perfection!

Ever the Same is one of those stories that have a perfect mix of romance, emotions and conflict. The pace allowed the reader to really get into the story, the characters were complex and showed much growth and the romance was tentative and blooming as the story moved along. All in all, a wonderful romantic story.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

“It’s not like him to pick on someone who’s having a hard time.”

“Of course it’s not. Randi’s the one that’s the vicious little bitch, right?”

Damn, Mr. Snooty could snap.

“Dixon!”

“What? She’s had a shit life for the last year. She lost one of her dads, she had to leave Austin and her friends and her school, and suddenly she’s the fucking bad guy?”

“Hey, I never said my boy was perfect,” Audie said, snarling a little himself. “He’s managed to get to six without trying to kill anyone, though, so this is new. Back off.”

“Enough. No one is saying either of these children are bad. Randi has a huge number of hurdles to overcome, and Grainger is a shy little boy with a tendency to follow the crowd. Neither of these children have mothers at home, and I was hoping we could brainstorm some ways to help Randi feel included with the others.”

This was ridiculous. It wasn’t his fucking job to make sure this asshole’s little brat felt like she didn’t need to punch his son anymore.

“That’s her teacher’s job, Shannon.” Audie was through with this shit. “I’ll tell my boy to stay away from her. Can we go now?”

“Yes. Yes, of course. Mr. White….”

“I’ll talk to her. If it happens again, I’ll… shit, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll make it up as I go along.” The guy stood, and his mom handed him a cane. A white cane.

Oh, Jesus fucking Christ. Seriously? Seriously, Grainger picked the kid with a blind dad and a dead….

Wait.

Her other dad was dead. Jesus. This guy was blind, had lost his man, and his kid was a shit? That sucked hugely. “I can try to get Grainger to help. I promise.” He had no idea why that popped out, except this guy’s life had to suck, and because it had been a long time since Audie had met anyone who would openly admit to being queer like he was.

“Take us home, Mom. Please.” Now that he could see the White guy, he kind of wanted to wince. Lean, tattooed—this guy wasn’t made to be here, and obviously he wasn’t a local. Hell, his parents weren’t that local; Audie didn’t know them.

“Of course, Son.” She stood and offered Audie a frosty smile. “Thank you for being so, er, understanding.” She put a hand on her son’s arm, and he turned her way, the cane tapping as they left the room.

Audie glared at Shannon Shields as soon as they were out of earshot. “You couldn’t’ve had Miz Laws warn me?”

 

About the Author

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.
Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has headed to the high desert mountains. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

Facebook| Twitter | Pinterest| Website | Blog

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway