Book Review: Loving a Straight Boy by Joseph Lance Tonlet

Reviewed by JustJen

Title: Loving a Straight Boy
Author: Joseph Lance Tonlet
Series: N/A
Heroes: Gay Guy/Straight Guy
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 12 Pages
Publisher: Joseph Lance Tonlet
Release Date: September 9, 2018
Available FREE at: Smashwords and JosephLanceTonlet.com
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  A short-short story that may have you questioning what you would endure for love.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: | 1 Comment

Honorary Blogger S.M. James: Why Do You Write Gay Characters? + Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Why Do You Write Gay Characters?

by S.M. James

A question I’m asked a lot is: “Why do you write gay characters?”

My answer: “Because everyone deserves to see themselves in a book.”

Young adult books have always been my jam and when I began writing them around ten years ago, I was real unsettled by the lack of diversity in the books I was picking up to read.

I didn’t know what my issue was at first. The plots were great, the characters were engaging, but there was just something … missing.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened but the ‘We Need Diverse Books’ movement took hold and it was like this massive haze had been lifted. I started to actively seek out diverse books and consume them by the truck load. I couldn’t get enough. And with the reader demand, publishers stepped up. At one point I thought I’d read close to every diverse book I could find, now my TBR pile is overflowing.

It was at this point I really fell in love with LGBT+ literature. While it was a big part of my real life, I’d failed to see it represented well (or at all, in YA) and it was very clear the ‘bury your gays’ trope was alive and running rampant.

Why the hell couldn’t a non-hetero, non-cis person have a happily ever after? And why couldn’t they – GASP – be the main character?

I started to go beyond traditional publishing to buy up just about every happy-ending queer book I could find, no matter whether I planned to read it or not. And there were a lot more options than I thought.

Up until that point I’d only ever written in the fantasy genre, but as I read more and more contemporary, I was itching to try and write one. I still had far too many ideas to get to my agent but in between those projects, I quietly worked on bringing Archie and Landon to life.

It wasn’t until I was scrolling through Twitter one day, that I saw an announcement I remember making me stop. A book had sold—a GAY book had sold. Traditionally. For a lot. The author had sent out a random query to a well-known agent, who offered her representation the next day. A week later, the book went to auction, and Becky Albertalli’s career was launched. I picked up Simon vs on release day and fell in love.

It gave me hope that Archie and Landon could have the happily ever after I planned for them.

I finished That Feeling When late last year, assuming it would join the line of titles waiting on my agent to read. While I waited, I started work on a high fantasy with a FF romance.

TFW just … sat there.

And sat there.

That’s when I decided this one would be my indie debut. I had a heap more planned for the series, with characters I couldn’t wait to get out there, and indie authors had been leading the way in LGBT+ romance for years before the traditional publishing houses caught up. It just made sense.

I knew it would be expensive. I knew there’d be people who wouldn’t read it because it wasn’t from one of the Big 4. I knew it would be a hell of a lot of work.

And I was totally cool with all that.

Because everyone deserves to see themselves in a book.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Audio Review: Wilde Fire by Lucy Lennox

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Wilde Fire
Author: Lucy Lennox
Narrator: Michael Pauley
Series: Forever Wilde #3
Heroes: Otto/Seth
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 8 Hours, 40 Minutes
Publisher: Lucy Lennox
Release Date: April 14, 2018
Available at: Amazon and Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Otto:

Seth Walker was my first love and I always swore he’d be my last. Even after he moved away our senior year in high school, we vowed to reunite after graduation. But when he suddenly broke things off without explanation and crushed my heart, it was my turn to run.

After a decade in the navy, I’ve finally come home ready to move on with my life as Hobie’s newest firefighter. Unfortunately, the minute I set eyes on the new sheriff in town, I know I’m screwed. Hobie’s top cop is none other than Seth Walker.

Turns out, he’s come home too. And hell if he doesn’t have a lot of explaining to do.

Walker:

I thought I was doing the right thing when I walked away from Otto Wilde 10 years ago without an explanation. I was wrong. I also thought I could come back home without having to face my past mistakes. I was wrong about that too.

What I’m not wrong about: The fact that my heart catches fire every time I set eyes on the sexy man. The fact that I can’t imagine my life without him. The fact that things are still just as complicated now as they were then. And the fact that I have a lot of work ahead of me if I expect to win him back.

Just when things start heating up between us again, a serial arsonist strikes and suspicion falls close to home. I already lost Otto to a secret long ago but I’ll be damned if I let another threaten to send our future up in smoke.

Because Otto Wilde is mine, and I don’t plan on ever letting him go again.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Audio Review, LGBT, Published in 2018, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Release Blitz: Darcy by RJ Scott & Meredith Russell + Giveaway!


Darcy by RJ Scott & Meredith Russell

Darcy’s newest assignment is to play the role of boyfriend to a wealthy socialite, but never expected the intense attraction to his date’s brother. Falling for Adrian is dangerous and certainly not part of the plan.

Adrian has been as unlucky in love as his sister, but he doesn’t approve of hiring a boyfriend, whatever the reason. Until he meets Darcy. Then he comes to realize that love can happen in the most unexpected of ways.

One week. That is all the two men needed to fall in lust, but will they have a lifetime to fall in love?

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Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Release Blitz: G-Force by Karen Botha + Excerpt & Giveaway!

G-Force by Karen Botha

Recovered from a life-threatening accident, Kyle Beaumont is a powerhouse who is eager to show Elliott Judd just how far he can push his hotter than ever physique. Their physical and emotional exploits are driven to a depth neither has ever experienced with anyone else.

As a racing driver superstar, Elliott loves handling power, and he’s geared up for taking everything Kyle throws his way. In fact, he craves it. But, when the past smashes into their lives, is the couple prepared to handle possibly devastating disruptions?

Set in a world of fast cars, intense love, and a burning desire to win at all costs, this is a love story brimming with unbridled lust. Join Elliott and Kyle as they race their demons to the finish line in hopes of taking home the ultimate prize-their undying love.

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Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: The Second Time Around by Rowan McAllister

Reviewed by Ami

Title: The Second Time Around
Author: Rowan McAllister
Series: N/A
Heroes: Jordan/Russ
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 200 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Though born into wealth and privilege, Jordan Thorndike can’t keep pretending. He’s never going to become the lawyer his parents hope for or provide the daughter-in-law and two-point-four grandkids they expect. Faced with an ultimatum—carry on living the lie or get out—Jordan leaves with only what he can pack in his BMW. Homeless, jobless, directionless, Jordan heads to one of his mother’s pet charities: Better the Second Time Around Rescue Ranch. With his family name and charm, he has the staff eating out of his hand in no time—except for one man. Russ has never been handed anything, and he resents the spoiled rich brat using the ranch to live out a fantasy. Though Jordan is determined to prove himself to Russ through hard work, family and old wounds complicate matters. Will Jordan realize that what he sees as an escape is real life for most people? And can Russ accept that Jordan can grow—and that he wants him?
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Ami's Reviews, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Audio Review: Starting Point by N.R. Walker

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Starting Point
Author: N.R. Walker
Narrator: Sean Crisden
Series: Turning Point #3
Heroes: Matt & Kira
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Available at: Amazon and Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: After going past the point of no return and finally reaching breaking point, the only thing Matthew Elliott can do now is start over.

Matthew Elliott is a recovering man. As an ex-cop and ex-fighter, his new job teaching kids at the local community gym about drug awareness and self-defense, is a little bit of both. His new focus on helping street kids is helping him heal, and with Kira by his side, he’s making strides.

Brother and sister, Rueben and Claudia, are homeless kids and they’re very much alone. As they strike a chord with Matt, he does everything in his power to help them. But when Ruby and Claude need more help than he bargained for, it stops being about work, and starts being about home.

The day he met Kira, Matt’s life changed direction, and it’s only now he realizes that everything he’s been through was a lead up to this. It was never about endings. His life, his purpose, was just beginning.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Audio Review, LGBT, Published in 2018, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Enchanter’s Flame by Michele Notaro: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from The Enchanter’s Flame

by Michele Notaro

He slowly stood and turned away from the tree. “Brace yourself, Seb. It found us. Stay right behind me.”

I drew my weapon and looked everywhere, but couldn’t see anything. When Ailin took a few steps forward, I followed right behind him. I wasn’t sure how close he wanted me to stay, but I figured he’d tell me to back up if I needed to.

The ground rumbled under our feet, shaking like something huge was coming at us. I saw a red light in the distance through the trees, but it was getting closer and closer until it finally stopped fifteen feet away from us. It was like a red gas swirling around. It had no solidity, but it carried such a strong evil energy, I could feel it from where I stood, and my hands began to shake a little as I aimed my gun. But what good would a gun do against gas?

The red gas spoke, “We meet again, Sebastian.” Hearing it say my name made a shiver rack my whole body. Why the hell is it talking to me? “Seems we have some unfinished business left.”

The gas suddenly solidified, forming into an eight-foot tall red creature with huge black horns and eyes that were endless pools of black—creepy as fuck. It had black talons on the ends of its red fingers. It moved one of its huge muscular red arms through the air, and a force of energy hit me like a ton of bricks, sending me flying backward until I hit a tree. I coughed and wheezed, trying to pull air into my lungs. Sera had flown off my shoulder, but I could hardly see anything that was going on. Sera? Luckily, I hadn’t let go of my gun, so I aimed it in the direction I thought the demon stood even though I could hardly see. Is Sera okay? Ailin?

“Your fight is with me, demon,” Ailin yelled, gaining the petrifying creature’s attention.

“Sera?” I rasped out and heard a little meow close to my feet in response. She shook out her head and sneezed, but otherwise looked unharmed, thank god.

“Don’t move, Seb!” Ailin yelled before muttering something I didn’t understand and throwing his arm out in my direction. Suddenly, a green haze surrounded Sera and me, like we were stuck inside a translucent green bubble. I squinted through the bubble and saw Ailin surrounded by a green energy that looked like it was radiating off his skin. “Stay inside the protection shield,” Ailin shouted to me, sounding out of breath. “Sera, protect him.”

The kitten hissed and walked to the front of the bubble, watching her owner and the red demon fighting. What Ailin thought a small kitten could do, I didn’t know, but maybe he just wanted to acknowledge her since he’d locked her in with me.

I tried to keep up with the fight, but it was hard to see what was going on with the green and red sparks shooting in every direction. The ground was rumbling as Ailin shot energy balls at the demon. At least, that was what they looked like. Unfortunately, they kept bouncing off the demon’s hide. The demon was shooting its own red energy balls at Ailin, but Ailin evaded them or shot them with his energy or somehow made them dissipate before they reached him. The trees around us were getting burnt, and when the demon sent a huge ball at Ailin, and Ailin redirected it, one of the trees split in half. Thank god Ailin had been able to push it out of the way. I didn’t even want to think about what would’ve happened if it had hit him.

I lifted my gun and aimed for the demon, but Ailin was in the way, and I wasn’t sure what would happen to this weird bubble if I shot a bullet at it.

The demon suddenly flew at me. I put my hands up in front of my face and prepared to take a hit, but the demon crashed into Ailin’s bubble. It banged and punched, but it couldn’t get through. The demon turned back into its weird gassy substance and surrounded the entire bubble. I turned my head back and forth, trying to figure out what to do, but the red gas was everywhere I looked. Sera was hissing at my feet as the demon shook the bubble rigorously, and I was afraid that the gas was going to find a way inside the bubble, but suddenly, there was a flash of blinding light and a loud roar. I closed my eyes and hunched over Sera, tucking my head down to protect us both from the assault, expecting the bubble to burst. I heard a loud hiss and Ailin’s voice in the background, but everything was so loud, I couldn’t pick out individual words.

I opened my eyes at the sound of another loud hiss. The demon’s red gas was swirling around the bubble, but through it, I could see Ailin surrounded by his green energy with his palms out and green light shooting from them. The demon hissed again, then suddenly flew through the air. Before it flew from my sight, I heard its voice in my head whispering, “I will have you Sebastian Cooper Fitz, your Sage cannot protect you forever.”

I shivered at the strange feeling of having that thing’s voice in my head, and chills popped out on my skin as I began to shake with fear. I couldn’t get enough air in my lungs. Get out of my head!

“You belong to me now, Sebastian. I will have your blood. I will have your soul.”

I couldn’t breathe. It was going to take me, kill me. That thing’s voice was the creepiest thing I’d ever heard. When it was finally out of sight, I blew out a breath and sagged down until I was kneeling on the ground, and I could pull Sera into my arms. The cat meowed at me and snuggled into my neck.

Ailin ran over and placed his hand on the bubble. After a few seconds, the bubble disappeared into a light mist that drifted away on the wind. Ailin walked closer and knelt in front of me. He gently cupped my cheeks so I’d look him in the eyes, and he searched my face as his hands generated a warmth on my skin that tingled from his palms over my face and scalp, then over my entire body. He was healing my scrapes and bruises from being thrown against the tree.

When I closed my eyes and savored the feeling, Ailin whispered, “What am I going to do with you, fragile human?” Then he pulled my shaky body toward him and pushed me to rest my forehead on his shoulder. He rubbed my back. “Shh, it’s okay. He’s gone now. I injured it enough that it will need time to regenerate. I won’t let anything happen to you.”

I nodded and Sera jumped off me as Ailin pulled me even closer, and I wrapped my arms around his waist. I wasn’t happy that he’d had to protect me, but I couldn’t deny the fact that I wasn’t equipped to take out a fucking demon. So I had to set aside my pride and appreciate the fact that Ailin cared enough to make sure I was okay.

He hugged me for way longer than was strictly necessary, but we’d already moved past what was normal, so I didn’t pull away. The longer we stayed like that, the more something settled in my chest until finally, I felt okay enough to deal with everything.

Ailin and I parted, and I stood up right away, not really wanting to look him in the eyes after that.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: The Enchanter’s Flame by Michele Notaro

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: The Enchanter’s Flame
Author: Michele Notaro
Series: The Ellwood Chronicles #1
Heroes: Sebastian & Ailin
Genre: M/M Paranormal Fantasy
Length: 245 Pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 18, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Strange things are happening all around Brinnswick. Things that remind me of a piece of my past I’d rather forget. Girls are being killed, drained of blood, and left with strange markings on their bodies. When I finally connect the cases together, a specialist is called in—though, what he’s a specialist of is beyond me.

When the chief assigns him as my new partner for the case, I can’t help but groan on the inside. Why of all people would I be assigned to Ailin Ellwood? The man is a disaster waiting to happen and a jerk to boot. A sexy jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.

What will Sebastian think when he discovers Ailin’s specialty? Will he make a run for it or will he stick around and discover a world of magic hidden beneath the city’s surface?

***The Enchanter’s Flame is the first book in the Ellwood Chronicles. It’s a paranormal romance that contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 and over.***
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dual Book Review: One-Eyed Royals by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Reviewed by Ami and JustJen

Title: One-Eyed Royals
Author: Cordelia Kingsbridge
Series: Seven of Spades #4
Heroes: Levi/Dominic
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 366 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: September 10, 2018
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Spoiler Alert! The following blurb contains spoilers for Cash Plays, book three of Seven of Spades.

Shattered by their devastating breakup, Detective Levi Abrams and PI Dominic Russo find themselves at war right when they need each other most. While Dominic is trapped in a vicious cycle of addiction, Levi despairs of ever catching the Seven of Spades. The ruthless vigilante’s body count continues to climb, and it’s all Levi can do to keep up with the carnage.

When Levi’s and Dominic’s paths keep crossing in the investigation of a kidnapping ring with a taste for mutilation, it feels like history repeating itself. Thrown together by fate once again, they reluctantly join forces in their hunt for the mastermind behind the abductions.

But the Seven of Spades hates sharing the spotlight, and they have an ace in the hole: a new batch of victims with a special connection to Levi. Their murders send shockwaves through Las Vegas and change the rules of the game forever.

The Seven of Spades has upped the ante. If Levi and Dominic don’t play their cards right, they’ll end up losing everything.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, 5 Star Ratings, Ami's Reviews, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments