Posts Tagged With: Self-Published

Book Review: Secret Men by Adira August

Reviewed by JustJen

Title: Secret Men
Author: Adira August
Series: Hunt&Cam4Ever #6
Heroes: Hunter Dane/Camden Snow
Genre: MM Contemporary BDSM
Length: 363 Pages
Publisher: Adira August
Release Date: December 28, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead … Powerful men determined to keep their secrets. Detective Lieutenant Hunter Dane, determined to know it all.
“The farmhouse has been sealed up since the last murder. Almost twenty years. Doors and windows intact. No sign of entry, forced or otherwise,” Hunter said.

“But we’re searching it, anyway?” Merisi peered across the dying orchard at the two-story, clapboard structure.

“You ain’t gonna find it.”

Merisi whirled around. In the railroad ditch, a boy on a bicycle eyed him boldly. His Black Ops 4 cap came down to his ears. He looked about ten years old.

“You don’t think so?” Merisi jumped down beside the boy and held out his hand. “Detective Mike Merisi.”

The boy took his hand. “I’m Bernard.”

“Why won’t we find him?”

“They live in mirrors. We can’t get in, but they get out.”

“They?” Merisi asked.

“Demons.”
Book 6 of the Hunt&Cam4Ever series. Cam’s moved up the hall to his new office and new career. Hunt and his team struggle with two cases at once, chasing one suspect cloaked in wealth, and another in superstition.

But Hunter is never without support:

Hunt walked straight into his office where he slumped back on the edge of his desk.

Cam followed. He shut the door before he kicked Hunt’s feet apart and moved in between his legs. Strong arms went around Hunt’s shoulders.

“We’re at work,” Hunter said, but he didn’t pull away.

“You’re at work. I’m visiting.” Cam rubbed his cheek against Hunter’s ear.

Hunt’s arms went around Cam’s waist. “I’m still at work.”

“You’re on a break.” Cam’s arms tightened and Hunter’s head dropped to his shoulder with a deep sigh.

After a minute, Hunt stood, hugged Cam tightly and pushed him firmly away. “You suck at being a good influence.”

Cam grinned. “You’re welcome.”

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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Stranded by Cara Dee

Reviewed by JustJen

Title: Stranded
Author: Cara Dee
Series: Auctioned #2
Heroes: Gray/Darius
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 259 Pages
Publisher: Cara Dee
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  Stranded is the second book in The Auctioned Series. Before you read further, you should read Auctioned. ​

“You have my word, Gray. I will get you off this island, and I will bring you home.”

It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out job. Nothing Darius Quinn hadn’t done before. But this job had something none of the others did: Gray Nolan.

​Like Murphy’s Law advised, anything that could go wrong, would. A mission to save one hometown favorite son was turning into a quest to rescue thirteen traumatized young men against odds so steep, he’d need an oxygen mask to scale them. ​

Facing new dangers and an uncertain future, Darius keeps Gray close and is soon forced to accept that this has become much more than an assignment. For a man whose reputation was built on being ice-cold under pressure, Darius is beginning to discover how good it feels to burn.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Book Review: Dane by K. Webster

Reviewed by JustJen

Title: Dane
Author: K. Webster
Series: N/A
Heroes: Dane/Nick
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 151 Pages
Publisher: K. Webster
Release Date: October 6, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb:  I’m used to being in charge.
In the courtroom. In life. In the bedroom.
But then I met him.

He brings me literally to my knees.

Handsome. Charismatic. Sexy as hell.
He’s everything I desperately crave to possess.

I’m burning to get him beneath me just to have a taste.
Turns out, though, one taste isn’t enough.
And he’s starved for me too.

Two alphas fighting for dominance.
He thrives on control and I can’t give it up.

A battle of wills.
The bedroom is the battlefield and our hearts are on the line.
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Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, JustJen's Reviews, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Shadowing the Light by Miranda Turner

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Shadowing the Light
Author: Miranda Turner
Series: The Bearer of Truth #1
Heroes: Gabriel & Evander
Genre: M/M Urban Fantasy
Length: 273 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: December 17, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: “Everybody has their own agenda. Everybody.”

Hunted for the unique blood that runs through his veins, half-angel, half-demon Gabriel Sinclair lives without expectations. On the run from forces on both sides of an ancient conflict, he searches for strength and peace in a world which only seeks to use him.

When Gabriel is forced to stop running, assigned a team—and a mate—he doesn’t want, and reluctantly tasked with a mission, he must overcome obstacles both real and imagined. Otherwise, the world as he knows it, and the mate he’s reluctantly come to care for, may cease to exist.

“I will do as the Creator bids me. Always.”

Evander Ryan is special, and he knows it. The final handcrafted immortal warrior for the light, he is the Creator’s greatest masterpiece. For fifty-eight years, he’s lived his life in black and white, coddled by his Maker, while leading his team to countless victories against their enemies. Those fights were easy. Working with a new, uncooperative mate who sees the world in shades of gray? Less so.

As Evander’s eyes are opened to the existence of light warriors who are not good, dark warriors who are, and the wider world of supernatural beings, he learns nothing is as he thought it was, and his mate isn’t who he thought he was either. Maybe there’s something to be said for not always following the rules. . .
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Little Harbour by Sophia Soames: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Little Harbour

by Sophia Soames


University of Oslo, Norwegian Literature Department, Blindern, Oslo, one week later

Jens cannot stop. He just can’t. It’s there in his head all the time. Every second of the day. Even when he tries hard to concentrate and be all adult about it. He thinks about it all the time.

Sex.

And Axel. And the way his skin felt under his fingers. The way his hair stroked against his cheek. The way his mouth felt on his body. The way he held him tight after he came. After he released. After he let himself come into Axel’s mouth. Oh fuck, he gets all embarrassed just thinking about it. He doesn’t quite know what the etiquette is these days, should he have asked? Should he have apologised? He had done neither. He is such a dork. It was still hot as hell. Sexy as fuck.

See? He is doing it again. He is sitting at his desk and his colleague has just walked in, and normally Jens would half stand up and shake his hand.

I mean it’s only polite. He hasn’t seen Sondre for a few days and a handshake would have been his usual thing. They’re colleagues. Well technically Sondre is the Head of the Norwegian language department, but they have worked together for years and apart from that he is the closest thing to a friend Jens has these days. It shouldn’t be awkward, but here Jens is, sitting down with a flush of red across his cheeks as he reaches out to grab the prospectus that Sondre has handed him, half-heartedly trying to concentrate on what he is saying.

It’s not the first time this week. He jumps every time Sylvia walks through the door. Well, it was bad enough on Tuesday when she almost caught him reading an article on ‘How to Give Good Head: A Beginner’s Guide’ that he had found on the net. He deletes his browsing history and closes all his tabs. Like every five minutes. Then he opens them up again. He needs to reread that article on ‘How to Kiss Like a Man Needs to be Kissed’, the one he slammed shut so fast on his laptop that he accidentally deleted a student’s entire profile. He fixed it in the end, but it was a close call with a random person suddenly standing behind him in the lecture hall.

“So, can I count on you to attend this year, Jens? It wasn’t the same without you last year and your expertise is much needed in the poetry section. We ended up awarding the best poetry book on a whim and it didn’t feel right. You know this stuff better than anyone else, and you will have read all the new releases, so will have a good grasp of who we should nominate and discuss.”

“Uh?” Jens is looking blank. Well, his mind is racing. Fluttering between the way Axel’s face relaxes when he sleeps. The way his eyelashes curl against his eyelids. The small sounds he makes. Snuffles in the dark. And… Oh yes. Sondre. “The Norwegian Literary Awards. Yes. Where did you say, the meeting is?”

Jens is randomly shuffling paper on his desk. Trying to find something. He hasn’t got a clue what.

“Stavanger. Three days and two nights. Press and author meets, as well as sessions to discuss and evaluate. We need your nominations next week. Jonathan is booking the accommodation now, so can you let me know? Can I count you in?”

“Yes. Go. Yes, I will be there. So, new poetry releases from last year. Yes. Got it.”

Jens hasn’t read a single book this year. Jens is fucked.

Jens needs to get fucked. Jens needs to get laid. Like right now.

It’s frightening how much he misses Axel when he is not there. Because Axel has been working. Axel has been running courses in the evenings and Jens hasn’t seen him since Monday night when he left for work and in a way, Jens is dying.

Monday had been an absolute blast, and as usual Jens had given in. Been the worst father in the history of useless fathers with no willpower. No following through on the rules he had set himself.

He had brought Axel with him to collect the little ones, walking hand in hand through the park over towards the nursery. Holding Axel’s hand and letting him reach for him and letting Axel kiss him right there. On the path. With people walking by. And Jens had loved it.

He had felt his chest swell with pride as they walked through the gate to the nursery and Mikki had come running across the playground shouting, “AXEEEEL!” Letting Axel lift him up for a hug. Jens had grabbed Marthe, slung her in the backpack carrier, and they had walked into town, Axel and Jens, swinging Mikki between them doing the ‘One! Two! Three! Jump!’ game until their arms were hurting and Mikki was squealing and begging for “Just one more time!”

The movie had been fun. Marthe had fallen asleep before it even started, and the kids all had popcorn. And Coke. Followed by McDonald’s. Jens needs to get a grip. Jens needs to learn. Jens needs to stop letting his children get their way. But then they had all been laughing, poking fun at Axel, sharing their french fries  and asking to taste Axel’s stupidly sugary coffee concoction drink that he had ordered. All of them trying it and squealing in disgust.

It had been like being a family again. He had been able to relax, without the constant pressure that it was all on him. That he had to rein them in. Make sure they behaved. Shout at them to sit down. Don’t move. Eat up. Let’s go. It had been fun. And Jens had been so proud. Jens is still proud.

Jens is so in love with his little family that is slightly ridiculous as he sits at his desk and wonders why he hasn’t got any recent pictures of the kids in his office. Malena’s school photo is from grade four or something, all pigtails and freckles. He also needs to have a photo of Axel here, to remind himself that all this is real. That it’s not just a figment of his imagination, or some silly daydream in his head.

He does have his wedding photo on the bookshelf. A yellowed faded photograph of a young skinny-looking Jens with his hair slicked back and a grin on his face, looking lovingly at a younger version of Sofie. Bouncy hair and flowers and too much make-up in that dress she had loved.

He can’t help looking. And she is looking back. And Jens smiles. He somehow feels okay, knowing that Sofie would laugh. Sofie would find him hilarious. Ridiculous even. She would have stood there in his office, leaning back against one of his overstuffed bookcases. Cup of coffee in her hand. Glasses perched on her head and laugh lines around her eyes.

“You’re still making a complete mess of everything Jens.” She would have said. “Are the kids eating their five a day? Do you actually buy fruit for them? Thank God for nursery. At least they eat nutritionally balanced food there.”

Yes. Jens knows. He cancelled the whole ‘Fruit and Veg’ section on his online food shop months ago, since he was just throwing the whole bag in the bin every week. Except bananas. The kids go through a ridiculous amount of bananas.

“Go and see Axel.” His imaginary Sofie says. “You know you want to. You can catch up with work later. Go find him. Get yourself a hug. Some love. You deserve it sweetheart.” And she smiles. She smiles and drains the last drops of her coffee.

Jens knows. He knows he has essays to grade. He has books to read. Research to consider. Lectures to plan. He knows. He should also get some new work trousers and some kind of control inducing jockstrap. Because now he is thinking about Axel again. What Axel’s bum feels like when Jens squeezes it through his trousers. And Axel wears these skinny black jeans that just do crazy things to Jens’ brain. Axel is sexy. Axel is ridiculously sexy.

Jens thinks he wants to just grab him. Be a little bit rough. Not in a bad way, but Jens wants to slam him against the wall and kiss the living daylight out of him. Rip his jeans open and palm his cock under his cotton briefs. He wants to put his mouth on Axel. On all of Axel. Yes, even there.

He wants to taste what Axel tastes like. Lick. Touch. Palm. Taste.

Jens is ridiculous. Jens is hard. Jens needs to get a grip.

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

Honorary Blogger Estella Mirai: Why a Phantom Retelling? + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Why a Phantom Retelling?

by Estella Mirai

One of the most common questions I’ve been asked since The Stars May Rise and Fall was announced is, “Why a Phantom retelling?”

Oddly enough, though, that’s the one aspect of this story that was never a question for me at all. This is actually the third Phantom retelling I’ve attempted to write. The first was set on a space station, was aesthetically inspired by that opera scene from The Fifth Element, and took what was probably non-so-subtle inspiration from late-20th-century music-inspired science fiction like Orson Scott Card’s Songmaster or Anne McCaffrey’s Crystal Singer series. I was maybe 15 or 16, and I definitely never showed it to anyone.

The second was a fairly typical modern-day M/F AU, which I started writing after I got into Phantom fanfiction after the release of the movie version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical in 2005. There wasn’t anything very special about it—Christine was a college student, the Phantom was a reclusive genius who saw how special she was when her teachers couldn’t, etc. I didn’t get very far into it before I just got tired of it, partly because there wasn’t anything to really set it apart from dozens of other fanfics that had been written before, and partly because that was around the time I started working on what would become The Stars May Rise and Fall, and that quickly took all of my creative attention!

But even though it’s always been a question of when, and what kind, rather than whether I was going to write a Phantom retelling, I still think I can answer that why question.

Various incarnations of the Phantom story have always resonated with me. Like a lot of people, my first introduction to the story came from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical—although, because I lived in the middle of nowhere, and the nearest auditorium where SOME touring musicals would occasionally come wasn’t big enough to handle the Phantom sets, I didn’t get to see it live for years. So I had the London cast recording with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, and I had to sort of fill in the details and the visuals on my own, since the Internet at the time was all dial-up and we definitely didn’t have bootlegs on YouTube. I got some things wrong, but I actually think that’s kind of cool… now I have my own “headcanon” version and the actual stage version to act as inspiration.

Like a lot of readers and writers, I was an awkward kid, and my heart ached for the Phantom—not that I’d been shunned by society and forced to live under a opera house or anything, but I knew how it felt to be so sure that people wouldn’t like me that I never really gave them a chance to, or to try so hard to win someone’s affection in all the wrong ways. I also longed to be Christine, to find someone who DID see something special in me. Of course, Christine and the Phantom aren’t exactly the picture of a healthy relationship, and while it’s sad, it also feels right that they don’t end up together. Still, there are a lot of universal themes in that story that are probably the biggest reason it remains so popular, in so many different incarnations, more than a hundred years after the publication of the original novel.

I also wanted to write a retelling, in part, because there are so many existing versions of the story. The original novel by Gaston Leroux is itself a kind of retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story, and most of the subsequent versions don’t follow the novel (which is more of a mystery than a romance) very closely to begin with. As a young teen, I started seeking out as many different versions of the story as I could, and I loved the way there were so many different takes on it. The 1962 film starring Herbert Lom moved the setting from Paris to London, and was the first instance of a Phantom who had been disfigured through injury, rather than at birth. The 1990 film starring Charles Dance gives the Phantom a different backstory and a father. The Lloyd Webber musical gives Meg Giry a bigger role, makes Christine a dancer (which she was not in the original), and introduces the half-mask. One of my very favorite retellings, though, is the 1974 Brian dePalma film, Phantom of the Paradise. It reuses the “genius composer whose music is stolen” storyline from the Lom film, and introduces paranormal elements inspired by Faust and The Picture of Dorian Grey, while also being a sharp satirical commentary on the commercialization of art and the blurred line between entertainment and reality. It deviates significantly from the original novel (and from the musical, which didn’t even exist when it was made), but that’s a part of what I love about it. That film, more than any other, was probably what really inspired me to retell the Phantom story in a very different place and time, with different characters and additional themes.

One of the most fascinating things about releasing this book and doing guest posts like this has been the opportunity to look back and think about all of the influences that have—consciously or otherwise—gone into my writing over the years. I enjoy retellings because they take the themes and basic premise of the original story and bring to them new elements that only the author of the new could have provided. I hope readers will enjoy my take on the Phantom story, colored by a very different setting and time, and by my own connection to all variations of the source material—from the novel to the musical, and beyond.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Evolved by N.R. Walker

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Evolved
Author: N.R. Walker
Heroes: Lloyd & Shaun
Genre: M/M Scifi
Length: 242 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 21, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: In 2068, androids are an integrated part of human life. Big Brother no longer just watches from the shadows. It’s in every household.

Lloyd Salter has OCD issues with noise, mess, and he’s uncomfortable with human interaction. When his ex claimed the only thing perfect enough to live up to his standards was an android, Lloyd dismissed it. But two years later, after much self-assessment, Lloyd thinks he may have been right.

SATinc is the largest manufacturer of androids in Australia, including the Fully Compatible Units known as an A-Class 10. Their latest design is the Synthetic Human Android UNit, otherwise known as SHAUN.

Shaun is compatible with Lloyd’s every need; the perfect fit on an intellectual and physical basis. But Lloyd soon realises Shaun’s not like other A-Class androids. He learns. He adapts. Sure that SATinc is aware Shaun functions outside of his programmed parameters, Lloyd must find a way to keep Shaun safe.

No one can know how special Shaun is. No one can know he’s evolved.
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2018, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Blackwood by Pia Foxhall

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Blackwood
Author: Pia Foxhall
Series: Perth Shifters #1
Heroes: Braden & Coll
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 267 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 23, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: In a world that is still getting used to shifters, where everyone thinks omegas are second class citizens, nature photographer and omega Braden Payne lets everyone think he’s a beta. That way no one gives him a hard time and he doesn’t have to live a repeat of his failed relationship. But when his car breaks down in the remote Blackwood forest in Western Australia, without the medication that lets him hide who he is, he’s faced with what he fears most: an unmated alpha.

Government forest guardian and alpha Coll MacDubhar is tired of illegal loggers, foolish tourists and people who underestimate the wilds of Western Australia. He discovers Braden lost and in need of medical assistance in the forest he protects and knows something’s not right.

But there’s hidden depths to Braden that capture his interest, and no decent alpha would walk away when Braden’s unwelcome past comes to visit.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Alpha’s Law by Sara York and H.L. Holston

Reviewed by Susan65 

Title: Alpha’s Law
Authors: Sara York and H.L. Holston
Series: Mountain Wolves #1
Heroes: Max Gaines/Jameson “Jamie” Matthews
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 208 Pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: December 10, 2017
Available at:  Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Max Gaines has known one thing all his life: he loves Jamie Matthews. Best friends since childhood, Max and Jamie are inseparable until the day of Max’s sixteenth birthday when he presents as an Alpha instead of an Omega. With Jamie being an Alpha too, they cannot bond and all their dreams of a future together are dashed.

Jameson “Jamie” Matthews has only ever wanted one man, his best friend Max. He doesn’t care when Max turns out to be an Alpha just like him, Jamie is willing to disregard society’s rules and mate with Max anyway. But when Jamie’s rut comes, all their hopes of bonding are in ashes. Jamie joins the Army to hide his pain and to hide from Max.

Left behind, Max is determined to find a way for them to be together. But time is running out as Jamie’s unit is captured by the anti-shifter group The Amity Brethren. Can Max save Jamie in time, or does fate has something different in mind for them?
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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2017, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Double or Nothing by Cari Z and L.A. Witt

Reviewed by Susan65 

Title: Double or Nothing
Authors: Cari Z and L.A. Witt
Series: N/A
Heroes: Rich Cody/Leotrim Nicolosi
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 282 Pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Available at:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Rich Cody joined the U.S. Marshals to hunt down bad guys, not babysit witnesses. Orders are orders, though, and now he’s protecting a hacker with ties to the Albanian and Sicilian mobs. It’s just another exciting day in WITSEC.

Leotrim Nicolosi was born into a world of crime and bloodshed. When that bloodshed hits too close to home, taking down Leo’s boyfriend—the son of a notorious mob boss—Leo is determined to destroy the Grimaldi family. He’s got evidence that will send every last Grimaldi to prison, he’s got the family’s wealth in an electronic chokehold, and he’s got a vendetta that can only be settled with the blood of the man who killed his lover.

When a routine transfer to a safehouse goes horribly wrong, Rich and Leo narrowly escape with their lives. With the Marshals compromised and Leo being framed for murder, he and Rich are on the run from criminals and law enforcement alike. They have no one to trust except each other, and nowhere to go that their enemies can’t reach.

And the only way out might mean making a deal with the Devil.
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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2018, Susan65's Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment