Audio Review: Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C.

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Smitty’s Sheriff
Author: Cardeno C.
Narrator: Ezekiel Robison
Series: Hope #3
Heroes: Todd/Richard
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 3 Hours, 19 Minutes
Publisher: The Romance Authors
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they’re perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.

It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?
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Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Audio Review, LGBT, Published in 2017, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Down by Contact by Santino Hassell

Reviewed by Ami

Title: Down by Contact
Author: Santino Hassell
Series: The Barons #2
Heroes: Simeon Boudreaux/Adrián Bravo
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 220 Pages
Publisher: Berkley/Intermix
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Two rival football players begin a game with higher stakes than the Super Bowl in this steamy romance from the author of Illegal Contact.

Simeon Boudreaux, the New York Barons’ golden-armed quarterback, is blessed with irresistible New Orleans charm and a face to melt your mama’s heart. He’s universally adored by fans and the media. Coming out as gay in solidarity with his teammate hasn’t harmed his reputation in the least—except for some social media taunting from rival linebacker Adrián Bravo.

Though they were once teammates, Adrián views Simeon as a traitor and the number-one name on the New Jersey Predators’ shit list. When animosity between the two NFL players reaches a boiling point on the field, culminating in a dirty fist fight, they’re both benched for six games and sentenced to joint community service teaching sullen, Brooklyn teens how to play ball.

At first, they can barely stand to be in the same room, but running the camp forces them to shape up. With no choice but to work together, Simeon realizes Adrián is more than his alpha-jerk persona, and Adrián begins to question why he’s always had such strong feelings for the gorgeous QB…
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Ami's Reviews, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Q&A: Joanna Chambers + Giveaway!

Interview Banner

Hello, book lovers! I’m Joanna Chambers and this is the blog tour for Tribute Act, my new romance which is book #8 in the Riptide’s Cornwall-set Porthkennack series. I’ll be sharing thoughts on writing my first full length contemporary, writing Christmas songs as an extreme form of authorly procrastination and my love of men with sad eyes. Please join me for a chance to win a copy of the book and a $25 Riptide gift card!

*****

Please welcome Joanna Chambers to The Blogger Girls! Tell us a little about yourself, why did you start writing?

Hi, it’s great to be here – thanks for inviting me!

I pretty much always wanted to write. My first writing endeavour was to try out for my writing badge in Brownies (UK version of girl scouts for little girls) but Brown Owl (troop leader) said my story wasn’t up to the mark! I was 7 years old – my first one-star review! That experience put me off for a while, lol, but the itch was always there. I made a real proper go of it after I had my first child. Something just clicked at that point 😊  

Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?

Oh, from all over – I have a constant flow of ideas – the challenge for me is deciding which ones to take forward. I have finite writing time and I’m not a particularly fast or prolific writer. I’m best known for my historicals and a lot of my ideas come from tiny snippets I’ve read – little serendipitous facts that I come across and that intrigue me. Also situational stuff. For example, when I signed up to write A Gathering Storm, my first Porthkennack book, I picked a character to write about (Sir Edward Fitzwilliam) that meant I had to set the book in the 1850s. I ended up researching that period in lot of detail and a lot of the plot was driven by the events and news of 1850-52.   

Why the Porthkennack series? How did you get involved with this series?

Sarah Lyons asked me and when she told me Alex Beecroft had created the universe and written a detailed story bible, I was in – that was even before I knew who the other authors were. Also, it’s set in Cornwall which is an amazing setting.

Is it hard writing in part of a series with other authors even though the stories are standalone?

I imagine it could be, but honestly, Alex’s bible was so thorough, that it was fine.

Now for the story, tells us a little about it in three sentences or less. 

Nathan and Mack meet at a nightclub and hook up for the night. They part in the morning, but less than a day later, they meet again when Mack turns unexpectedly in Porthkennack. Nathan’s a fixer by nature and when he learns more about Mack’s history, he desperately wants to fix things for him, but to do that, he has to overcome Mack’s fear of intimacy.

How does it differ from the other stories in the series?

It’s probably a bit more standalone than some of the other stories in the series as the main characters are all new characters.

And lastly, what else do you have coming out soon or what are you currently working on?

I’ve been plate-spinning a few drafts recently but my new year’s resolution was to put everything else aside and work on my main project, which is a pair of werewolf books with historical settings. I’m wildly in love with this project right now!

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Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 16 Comments

Book Review: Broken in Silence by Katze Snow

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Broken in Silence
Author: Katze Snow
Series: Demons and Wolves #1
Heroes: Tanner/Alex
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 223 Pages
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: March 18, 2017
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Tannerian Wulfric is a leader—a strong alpha who bows to no-one, especially those who try to undermine his authority.

When an opportunity arises, he grabs it with both hands and lets nothing get in his way. Trouble is, his brother has been caught in the crossfire of glorious retribution, and Tanner is in need of assistance.

For many years, Alex Jonas has lived his life in peace. But when fate lands him in the hands of his ex-lover and alpha, he finds himself in the centre of a feud he never knew existed, and must immerse himself in ways he had never imagined. One chance encounter, one night, and everything comes crashing down around him. Alex must fight for his life while Tanner fights for one thing and one thing only—vengeance, which has never tasted sweeter.

Can Tanner avenge his family’s death without spilling more blood? Or will his inner demon tear apart everything he has worked for, and lose the man who owns his heart?

Warning: Contains strong language, violence, and graphic, erotic scenes. This is NOT a romance. It’s hot, it’s sticky, and all kinds of messed up.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2017, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Snowed In by Aidan Bates

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Snowed In
Author: Aidan Bates
Series: N/A
Heroes: Austin Baines/Cody Howell
Genre: MM Fantasy
Length: 174 Pages
Publisher: Aidan Bates
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Austin Baines is a workaholic omega living in the upscale town of Skaneateles, New York. He’s unmated, but he doesn’t mind. He’s happy with his life. He runs a phenomenally successful wine business, has the respect of his peers, and has complete freedom.

Cody Howell left the rat race of Manhattan behind three years ago to start Blue Bells Weddings in Syracuse. The alpha figured that wedding planning wouldn’t be much different from running a consulting project, and he was right. He’s been very successful, and he’s content with his life.

When Cody meets Austin on a last-minute business deal, sparks fly immediately. Both men try to keep things professional, but the sudden appearance of Austin’s twin brother from Texas raises the stakes.

Adrian Baines might look like Austin, but the pair couldn’t be more different. For starters, Adrian is an alpha, and he’s an archconservative alpha determined to bring his wayward omega brother back into the fold. Adrian promised his best friend, Kirby, years ago that Austin would be his omega. Now they’re both here to bring Austin to heel.

Can Austin resist the demands of his estranged family, or will his fierce need for independence keep him alone forever? Or can Cody help him find a third option, one that will lead them both toward happiness?

This is an alpha/ omega non-shifter male pregnancy gay romance book. This book contains sexually explicit content not suited for those under the age of 18. The book is approximately 60,000 words, has a happy ending and does not end in a cliffhanger.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2016, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Kind of Home & Leaning Into Always by Lane Hayes: Exclusive Excerpts & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from A Kind of Home

by Lane Hayes

“I’ve got it!” Adam sprang to his feet and waved his hand excitedly.

I gave him a weary sideways glance. “Whatever you’re thinking, stop.”

“No, it’s perfect. You teach me guitar and I’ll teach you how to bake something.”

“Tonight?”

“Not necessarily. When we can. The point is I’ll be here if you don’t feel like being alone. We can keep each other sane with wholesome diversions without having to ask ‘What do you feel like doing, roomie?’”

“‘Wholesome diversions’? You’ve been mainlining confectioner’s sugar again, haven’t you?” I quipped.

“Ha. Ha. Don’t overthink. I’ll keep my hands to myself. You’re safe with me. I promise. I just—we’re both adjusting to change. It might be helpful to lean on each other. That’s all.”

“Platonically?”

“Sure. Boston cream pie for a tip or two on how to play a couple Guns N’ Roses classics. What do you think?”

I lowered my eyes as I worked on the row of buttons on my navy shirt. I was touched. I couldn’t remember the last time someone stopped to notice my state of mental well-being and offered to ease my mind. I knew my friends cared, but they were going through the same things I was. All they could say was “Hang on. It’ll get easier.” Adam was offering something more—himself and his time. Platonically.

I wasn’t sure I trusted myself to keep us in the friend zone. Even now I wanted to tackle him to the bed and grind against him. He was solid, familiar, and trustworthy. Just what I needed to keep my mind off my troubles.

“Okay. You’re on.” I chuckled when he let out a whoop before I continued. “But we each get to choose what we want to learn.”

Adam mulled over my suggestion for a moment, then inclined his head. “As long as you know we aren’t making anything from a box.”

“And as long as you know I can only take so many run-throughs of ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ before I’ll strangle you.”

Adam gave me a megawatt grin and then held up his hand for a high five. I slapped his hand and then rolled my eyes when he broke into a decent impression of Axl Rose’s version of “Patience.”

“Go,” I said, shooing him out of my bedroom. “I’ve got real-life bullshit to deal with. No more nonsense.”

“A little nonsense is good for you, Isaac. It’s what keeps you afloat so the bad stuff doesn’t drag you under.” He reached for my wrist and pulled me against him so our chests collided.

It was a slapstick maneuver that was too rough to be taken as a sensual overture. Until he backed me against the wall and lowered his head a fraction of an inch, stopping when his nose brushed mine. I held my breath, aware of my thundering heart. My world constricted to the smallest fragment of space. I occupied a place against a wall, covered by a man I’d known most of my life. Someone I cared about and, yeah, lusted after too.

Adam lowered his head again, and this time he didn’t stop. He pressed his lips to mine and went perfectly still as though testing my response. When I didn’t protest, he melded his mouth over mine, careful to keep the connection light. I reached out and ran a tentative hand along his cheek. Adam trembled and leaned into my touch, deepening the kiss ever so slightly. Then he licked my lips in a silent request for entry. I groaned when our tongues glided together and let him pull me under.

I broke for air and pushed his chest. This was ridiculous. We were friends only, and we were destined for heartache if we tried to be something else. “We can’t do this. I told you, I—”

Adam tugged at my belt loop and drew me against him. Then he rested his forehead against mine and went still as though he was wordlessly giving me control. I should have pushed him away, but I couldn’t. I fused my lips to his and moaned into the connection. I shivered when he moved his hands up my chest, then placed them on the wall on either side of my head. He nudged my chin with his nose until I exposed my neck. He traced my jawline with the tip of his tongue and then bit my earlobe before whispering in a raspy voice, “No repeats. I’ll behave. But I gotta admit… I really want to change your mind.”

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Exclusive Excerpt from A Kind of Home

by Lane Hayes

“Hmm. I want to drop this, but…I have one last question. What did you mean about ‘being from here?’ I know San Francisco is home now but this is a nice place too. I always thought it would be kind of cool to move back someday so I could—”

“No. No way. Never,” I replied emphatically.

I tried and failed again to make a getaway. Zane pounced on me and held me down, snaking his arm across my chest to keep me next to him.

“O-kay…where’s this coming from?”

“I can’t explain it. You wouldn’t understand.”

“Try me.”

“It sounds stupid.” I met his patient gaze, hoping he’d cut me some slack, but he didn’t budge and I had a feeling he wouldn’t until I spit it out. “Fine. I was teased pretty mercilessly for being a geek from kindergarten through high school. I never fit in. I wasn’t blond, athletic, or particularly charming. I was smart. Smarter than I appear to be now,” I huffed.

“Who bullied you? I’m gonna kick some ass. No one messes with my man,” he said, nuzzling my neck.

I chuckled, running my fingers along his spine. “Thanks. I told you it sounded lame. I’m a perfectly well-adjusted adult when I’m not here. And I’m actually pretty good when I come for quick family visits, but this feels different. It feels like I’m being thrown back in time and forced to hang out with the cool kids. Today was a great example. I made a fool of myself out there and I made you mad. Yeah, I was jealous but that was only part of it. I also wanted to prove I’d grown up a little and that I wasn’t the same sunscreen-caked dork who’d sit under an umbrella and read when he went to the beach anymore. I guess I still am.”

“You seem to be forgetting one major detail, Er.”

I traced the laugh-lines at the corner of his eyes and pushed his hair from his forehead. “What is it?”

“I like you just the way you are. I don’t expect you to change and develop a sudden passion for things I enjoy doing. Just be you. And if that means you’d rather finish a chapter lounging in the sand than jump in the water, that’s okay by me.”

“Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me. It comes with the territory. I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life with you if I didn’t love all your weird habits,” he teased, pulling us both to sit up.

“Weird? Me? I bet you can’t name three weird things about me,” I declared as I sauntered toward the bathroom.

“I bet I can name ten. I’ll give you my list at breakfast. Jump in the shower while I call housekeeping and ask them to change our sheets.”

I stopped in the doorway and frowned. “Just tell them I spilled water on them or something.”

“Why lie? I’m going to tell them my boyfriend got jizz on my side of the bed and…”

I shook my head mournfully and turned on the shower to drown out his silly speech about being stuck with a messy lover and crusty sheets. I chuckled at his ‘put upon’ tone and called for him to join me before stepping under the spray. I stopped abruptly and backed up to look at my reflection. My cheeks were flushed, my eyes were bright, and my smile spanned my entire face. I was incredibly happy and if I said so myself, it looked good on me.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Q&A: Layla Reyne + Giveaway!

Interview Banner

Welcome to the Relay Blog Tour, presented by Layla Reyne and Riptide Publishing! Relay, by Layla Reyne, is Book 1 of the Changing Lanes sports romance series featuring Olympic swimmers. Relay is an enemies-to-lovers, second chance romance between Alex, the team captain, and his closeted ex, Dane, swimming’s biggest star. Read on to learn more about Relay, Changing Lanes, and Layla Reyne!

*****

Please welcome Layla Reyne to The Blogger Girls! Tell us a little about yourself, what prompted you to start writing?

I wanted better endings. The first time I gave writing serious consideration was twelfth grade, when I wrote an epilogue to Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse. Presumptuous as hell, I know, but I didn’t like the ending. That trend continued as I dove into writing fanfiction. I was not waiting nine seasons for Mulder and Scully to get together. Ditto Damon and Elena. Now in my original fiction, I write romances where everyone finds love and happiness at the end of their journey. Those are the better endings I want.

Are you a plotter or do you fly by the seat of your pants for ideas?

Plotter. I have to be for the romantic suspense series that I write; the structure also helps with contemporary romance. If there’s not enough structure, I fret that the story is too plotless, regardless of the subgenre. I also adhere pretty strictly to a plotting diagram that follows three act structure. I used to write screenplays, and I watch A LOT of TV, so that flow and pacing is familiar for my brain.

How did you come up with your characters’ names?

Cantu is a nod to my best friend who helped me brainstorm the series. Alejandro is a personal favorite. As for the rest, I’ve been known to raid my phone contacts list for combinations, snag a name off my twitter timeline, or pull names from street signs 😉

How did you get the idea for the Changing Lanes series?

My best friend and I were on our way back from a baby shower (my idea of hell), and she basically talked me down by forcing me to brainstorm this duology. I knew I wanted to do a sports romance, and that I wanted to play with my favorite tropes – second chance romance and enemies-to-lovers for book one, a bit of an age gap and friends-to-lovers for book two. I also wanted to feature a sport that’s not as commonly written about. Thankfully, there are a lot of swimmers in my life, including said best friend.

And last question, describe Relay in three words or less!

Can I have four words, please?! Because it’s perfect… Swim Your Heart Out!

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Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

Audio Review: Five Dares by Eli Easton

Reviewed by Morgan

Title: Five Dares
Author: Eli Easton
Narrator: Tristan Josiah
Heroes: Andy & Jake
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: December 19, 2017
Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon & Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Andy Tyler has been the class daredevil since middle school. Over the years, he’s convinced his best friend, Jake Masterson, to perform some dangerous-looking stunts with him. But the dare they attempt on the night of their college graduation goes sideways. The firecrackers explode too soon and both of them end up with badly burned palms.

But hey, nothing gets the “terrible duo” down for long, and they recuperate in style at Andy’s family cottage in Nantucket. As the weeks go by, both Andy and Jake grow frustrated over the inability to use their hands for all sorts of daily activities—including getting off. So Andy begins a new series of dares that don’t just cross the friendship line, they obliterate it.

But what might be mere sexual relief to Andy is serious business to Jake, who only recently got over years of secret pining for his straight best friend. Inevitably, the burns heal, summer ends, and hearts are broken. To fix things, Andy will have to face the greatest dare of all.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Audio Review, Guest Reviewer, LGBT, Morgan's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Audio Review: Insight by Santino Hassell 

Reviewed by Morgan

Title: Insight
Author: Santino Hassell
Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Series: The Community #1
Heroes: Nate & Trent
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon & Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate. 

Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.

Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Audio Review, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Q&A: Charlie Cochrane + Giveaway!

Interview Banner

Two Feet Under began life as a conversation in a car, when my eldest daughter and I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to an author/reader event. It gained a criminal mastermind as a result of another conversation in the car with her younger sister. It got its background thanks to the popular television series “Time Team” and a setting care of the northern part of Hampshire. The plot came from the author’s twisted imagination, via a lot of checking. And at least one character is based on people I know. You have been warned.  

*****

Please welcome Charlie Cochrane to The Blogger Girls! Tell us a little about yourself, what prompted you to start writing?

I’d describe myself as mad and middle aged. My youngest daughter might put another light on me; as she often says, “It’s amazing you’re not in a home yet, mother.” In terms of writing, I’ve always made up stories in my head, either to amuse me or – later on – to amuse my daughters. Once I actually had some time to sit and write, the transition to putting stories down on a screen and sharing them with other people seemed a natural transition.

How much research do you put into a story?

As much as it needs. You have to make sure – first and foremost – that the central threads of the story work, so that’s the initial research an author has to do. And that’s irrespective of whether the story is historical or contemporary, because readers are more likely to spot a goof in a novel set in the modern day. Once that groundwork is done, I tend to research as I go along – you should see my initial drafts of stories, which are full of notes to self along the lines of, “check this”, “is that word too modern?”, “can you get from A to B on the train without changing lines?” They all get picked up second time through, so although that means I may have to make small changes, I haven’t lost the flow of my writing first time round.

How do you come up with your murder mystery plots? Do you always know the end or do you let the story unfold wherever it goes?

I rarely know the end. I let the story unfold as though I’m reading/watching/listening to it and finding out what is happening as I go along. This may seem chaotic (as will the fact I write scenes in a scattergun approach then piece them together later) but it works for me. As for plot ideas, my daughters are great sources of inspiration. “What about a story where a group of archaeologists are deadly enemies of a group of detectorists?” they say. And I go, “Ooh! Let me just give that a whirl.”

What’s harder for you, naming your characters, coming up with a title or finding the right cover?

The second one. Covers are a doddle because the Riptide artists are so talented. Names are also a doddle because if I’m stuck for one I go on the BBC sports website and trawl through some team listings until I find the right surname, then bung an appropriate forename on it. Titles, however…they’re like sweating blood. I’ve had to be rescued so often by my editors because my working title has been, to use a technical phrase, frankly pants.

And lastly, what book would you recommend for a new to you reader to start with?

If they like mysteries, then “The Best Corpse for the Job” makes a nice, gentle introduction to my writing style. (Also good for readers who like big, daft dogs.) If people prefer romance and/or shorter stories, then “Second Helpings” would be a great place to start. Continue reading

Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments