Linchpin by Jodi Payne: Exclusive Author Interview and Release Day Review

He’s sent in to clean up and is left with one very hot mess.

Randall Quinn has been a cleaner for the mob for over ten years, but a particularly violent scene sets him to drinking alone and contemplating his options.

At thirty-nine, it’s possible this is just a mid-life crisis so he tries buying himself a flashy car to satisfy the itch, and agrees to take another job to test his conviction.

He’s expecting easy money when he arrives at a seedy motel to clean up after what the Boss told him was supposed to have been a simple execution.

But what he discovers in that motel room is anything but simple, and from that moment on, every decision he makes for himself makes his life more and more complicated.

General Release Date: 2nd May 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78651-569-8 Date: 4th April 2017
Pairing: MM Book Length: Novella
Genre: Gay, Erotic Romance, Contemporary

Amazon

Why Romantic Suspense?

Largely because I hadn’t done one before. I do love my alpha men, the ones that always take charge in the bedroom. I really like the idea of the alpha that has all the right qualities in bed, but sometimes – outside the bedroom – he’s got the swagger but doesn’t always have the cred to back it up. I got a chuckle out of the idea of a really confident, experienced mobster going in to dispose of a body and finding the “body” wasn’t dead and gets completely flustered by it. I couldn’t resist the humor in that, and I brought a lot of it to the story.

Why short form?

I love short stories and novellas. I love how we get dropped into the middle of something, have to get up to speed quickly and the story moves along with a purpose. There isn’t room for much that isn’t directly related to the drama and romance at hand, so a novella length romantic suspense means that the story starts in the middle of a situation and it never has the luxury of slowing down. The ball starts rolling and it just gains speed, gathering up all the issues as it barrels toward the HEA.

What kind of research did you have to do?

For this one I did all kinds of crazy research. I needed to learn about the newest model BMWs, how a Beretta works, whether it was possible to put a 1990s era pick up truck into four-wheel drive on the fly. I needed to understand the difference between a mob cleaner and a fixer, and they are not the same thing. I needed to learn about really old farm houses and how their storm windows used to work. I researched crazy, random things that leant the book authenticity. It’s one of my favorite things about writing – everything you can learn along the way when you challenge yourself to try something new or different.

How do you set yourself up to make sure you capture all the issues?

This was the hardest part of writing the story for me. For starters, I usually have a rough point-a-to-point-b sort of plan in my head when I write but I don’t usually plot everything out in advance. That was rookie mistake #1. Rookie mistake #2 was knowing I wanted a particular twist toward the end and merrily writing away, not realizing that I had actually lied to the reader, though innocently and by accident, not once, but twice early on in the story. It wasn’t too difficult a fix once I hit on how, but it nearly scuttled the project for me because as a reader I cannot abide being lied to in order to be set up for a later shocker. The tells can be subtle and few, but there need to be tells. I need to be able to go back in the book thinking, “but he said…” and discover than no, he didn’t say that, he said something else that was similar and easily misconstrued. That kind of thing. It’s much harder than I expected it to be and I am glad I chose to try a “romance with suspense” style novella first, before diving into a full-length novel. This rookie has much respect for the “suspense with some romance” style authors out there. It’s requires being able to hold a lot of balls in the air at once and it’s not easy.

Who designed your fabulous website?

I’m so glad you asked. It is fabulous! Visit jodipayne.net and find out!

Jennifer
So, Quinn is a bad guy… Used to be a legal, forensic, clean up guy but made a lot more money doing it for the mob. Being in it for ten years, he was ready to get out, retire. Unfortunately, you don’t just retire from the mob and Quinn knew that… Still, another day on the job, he’s there to clean up a room with a body, except…. The body is very much alive… Having no choice but to kidnap him, per mob boss orders… he takes him to his house and hides out…

Now, Tony doesn’t know who would be after him or who would want him dead, but he doesn’t put up much of a fight to get away from Quinn.. I guess we know why after a night together has them hookin up…. And it’s hot, y’all… it’s really hot. I mean, it’s not your typical romance, that’s for sure… but still… it is….

But then, all you think you know… you don’t know and it flips ya on your head. I was like… whaaaaaat?
I mean, it’s a short read with lots of action and a lot more “action”… but by the end, you’re really rooting for the bad guys… Who knew?

4 pieces of eye candy

Jodi spent many years in the theater in New York and San Francisco presenting classical playwrights such as Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Shaw for large audiences, and more edgy Fringe work in tiny black-box theaters. From these masters, she learned to appreciate and explore the humanity in her characters, and writes believable men with real flaws and strengths, living relatable lives. Her men are imperfect but genuine, strong-willed but likeable; they are characters you can’t help but fall in love with while they stumble along the way to happy ever after.

When writing, Jodi is frequently found wearing a scarf and sock monkey fingerless gloves in the winter, and near the sand with a view of the ocean in the summer. When she’s not writing, Jodi mentors LGBTQ youth, enjoys movies, cop-dramas, attending Broadway shows and will drop everything for live music. She has an eclectic taste in everything from music and books, to movies, to people. Jodi lives and writes near New York City with her wife and family, which includes an enormous polydactyl cat.

Email: jodipaynewrites@gmail.com

Website: https://jodipayne.net

Blog: https://jodipayne.net/blog-2/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/payne.jodi

FB Author Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jodisgents/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodiPayne

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jodipayne1800/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/267617.Jodi_Payne

Queeromance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jodi-payne/

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Vodka & Handcuffs by Brandon Witt: Exclusive Guest Post, Release Day Review and Giveaway

Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.

Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.

Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?

Title: Vodka & Handcuffs
Author: Brandon Witt
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 112

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

 

There are moments in life that change your trajectory.   That is most definitely true in the case of love.  For me, it was my friend insisting I get a beer with him in the middle of the day.  For my boyfriend, it was going to lunch with his friend and then grabbing a drink in the middle of the day.  Our paths collided, and we’ve been together ever since. I am not a bar person at all.  Nor am I a beer person.  It still seems strange to me that had I not broken my normal patter than day, I’d be living a very different life six years later.

I wanted to share an excerpt that highlights that very quality for my two lovers in Vodka & Handcuffs.

The same is true for how Marlon and Vahin meet.  Marlon had a shit day of traffic patrol.  His partner, Andrew, is a racists jerk, and annoying too boot.  Marlon just needs some time away from him.  That’s all he needs, really.  Well, he needed it more than he knew…

He needed to cool down before meeting the guys at Brother’s Bar. It would be nothing but talking shop, and at the moment, he wouldn’t be able to keep his tongue in check when it came to Andrew. Not that the others wouldn’t understand. They all pretty much hated Andrew, which was one of the main reasons Marlon had the privilege of being his partner. Marlon was about as difficult to rile up as a bushel of frozen cucumbers, at least that was how Chief Schmidt worded it. Still, if Marlon said too much, it was sure to get back to Andrew somehow, and he would make Marlon’s life even more miserable.

Part of him almost wished he’d let Andrew do something. Something that would be big enough to negate Andrew’s ties to his senator uncle and former police chief grandfather. Although, that big enough something would’ve come at the cost to an innocent family who’d had the misfortune of a bike accident.”

The possibilities that flooded his mind the past few months rushed through him like a hurricane. Thirty-eight wasn’t too old to start a new career. He’d been on the force for fifteen years. That was a good amount of time, for anyone. A life change could be what he needed.

Except it hadn’t even been a thought until Andrew started occupying the passenger seat. Andrew had been a pain in the ass since day one, but he was steadily getting worse. It was only a matter of time. And Marlon didn’t want to be anywhere near when that time came. But he didn’t want to stop being a cop either. He loved being a cop.

At least he used to.

He could move. California had always been alluring. But he was too much of a family guy to want to leave Denver.

Marlon pulled his car into Brother’s Bar parking lot, slammed it into park, and smacked his open palm onto the steering wheel, imagining it was Andrew’s face. He’d have to talk to the chief, again. One of these times, he’d listen. And screw cooling down. He needed a drink, and if he happened to spout off too much about Andrew, then so be it. He turned off the engine, got out of the car, and halted.

“Oh. No fucking way.”

He narrowed his eyes and glared at the red sports car glowing directly under the street lamp illuminating the parking lot. He didn’t need to inspect. Didn’t even need to see the vanity license plate to know it was Andrew’s. Just his damned luck. Andrew hated the guys as much as they hated him. It only made sense Andrew would choose this night—the night when Marlon was more fed up than he’d ever been—to try to be one of the boys.

Marlon slipped right back into his car and peeled out of the lot, cursing under his breath. He drove for a bit longer, then realized he was cruising up 17th Street—the old gay section of 17th Street.

He’d spent many an hour at JR’s when he was younger and at the Wrangler after that. Both were now gone, making way for upper-class, straight, yuppieville.

The new Hamburger Mary’s caught his eye; at least a bit of the old gayborhood was left, refurbished or not. He drove past it without a second thought. Drag queens weren’t his thing. Although… he’d heard the new location had more of a sports bar feel to it. It didn’t sound as relaxing as unwinding with the guys, but if he couldn’t be with other cops, at least he’d be around gays. And most importantly, Andrew wasn’t there.

He made it about another half mile before he turned around.

 

On the 8th of May, please pop on over to Boy Meets Boy for the final Vodka & Handcuffs blog tour, where I’ll give you a sneak peak at what’s to come.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 19 – MM Good Book Reviews

April 24 – Joyfully Jay

April 25 – Open Skye Book Reviews

April 26- The Novel Approach

April 26 – Alpha Book Reviews

April 27 – Love Bytes

April 28 – Divine Magazine

April 28 – My Fiction Nook

May 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed

May 8 – Boy Meets Boy

One of the things that I enjoy most about Brandon Witt’s books is that there are always aspects of the books that you just don’t find in many other m/m romance books. Vodka and Handcuffs is a perfect example of that type of book.

Vahin, a man who when disowned by his Muslim family for being gay found a family at Hamburger Mary’s, accepted his life as it was. In his 30s he decided to stop the hookups, enjoying his job at Mary’s. A drunken hookup up with a partially closeted Marlon wasn’t in his plans, but after Marlon’s bad day with an openly racist partner, they ended up in bed. Once they were sober, working their way towards a potential relationship was a challenge.

This novella hit on so many issues that are relevant in today’s society. First, open racism and bigotry (sadly) has become more rampant in recent months, and Brandon hits on this from both Marlon and Vahin’s POVs. Even with the characters being gay, the more challenging  piece was working their way through Marlon’s partners disgusting comments and actions. These are not easy issues to tackle. In the m/m romance genre, often any sort of bigotry is portrayed due to the characters sexuality (which does come into play as well), but the characters’ skin color was just as much a conflict to be addressed. I really appreciated that Brandon used this as conflict in the book. It happens, its realistic. Being gay can be and often is what causes characters to engage in hate crimes. However, the primary conflict here was not merely the characters sexuality, but their race as well.

The love and appreciation between all the side characters in their self-made family was evident. I can’t wait to see where this series continues to move forward. Brandon has done a stellar job with this series so far.

Side note: I think I am going to be hitting Hamburger Mary’s during my time in Denver for GRL. 🙂

4 pieces of eye candy

Brandon is offering up one of his backlist titles (and there are some amazing 5 star reads in that backlist, just saying…) to one of our readers. So give him a big congrats, and let him know what you are looking forward to most about reading Vodka & Handcuffs.

 

Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….

Website:  http://www.brandonwitt.com

Author Facebook Page:  http://bit.ly/2jxsfVu

Dreamspinner Press:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/brandon-witt

Brandon’s Patreon Support page:  http://bit.ly/2j58PdQ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wittauthor

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2p7a2lc

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4896623.Brandon_Witt

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO5cFqYKyNyDCxExAonFPRA

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Until Forever Comes by Cardeno C: Quick Review and Giveaway

A sensitive wolf shifter and a vicious vampire challenge history, greed, and the very fabric of their beings in order to stay together until forever comes. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate – a vampire named Miguel.

Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being together comes so naturally that Miguel can’t resist for long. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.

Amazon

 

I love this shifter series and each book keeps getting better and better.

Ethan is the weakest wolf in the pack. His whole life he has suffered from weakness and chronic pain. He goes out with his pack to attack a coven of vampires hoping to at least die honorably so he stops being a burden to his family and his pack. The night doesn’t go as planned and Ethan discovers while he is pretty seriously wounded the process of releasing blood helps relieve his pain. He also finds his mate, a 400 year old vampire named Miguel.

Wolf shifter blood is poisonous to vampires, but oddly Miguel feels a pull to feed from Ethan. When Miguel discovers that they are mates he sends Ethan back to his pack. Ethan won’t take no for an answer, deciding that the fates made him with too much blood so that he could sustain his mate.

Miguel tries to keep distance between them, but the pull is too strong. Now Ethan and Miguel will need to work together to protect Miguel from a few rogue vampires and to help Ethan leave his pack and start a new life with Miguel.

I love the characters in this one. Ethan is a sweet as Miguel is vicious. They are the perfect balance to each other. I love that Miguel can be so caring and loving with Ethan and in a second turn into a vicious fighter the next.

The story is well developed and entertaining. This is my favorite book in the series. The audiobook is well done as well.

 

Pieces of Candy: 5

Cardeno C is giving away winner’s choice of any of the first three books in the series. Leave a comment and let us know your favorite thing about shifter/paranormal books.

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Wake Me Up Inside by Cardeno C: Quick Review

A powerful Alpha wolf shifter and a strong-willed human overcome traditions ingrained over generations and uncover long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny as true mates.

Regarded as the strongest wolf shifter in generations, Alpha Zev Hassick is surprised and confused by his attraction to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. A male shifter has to mate with a female shifter to keep his humanity, so shifters can’t be gay. Yet, everything inside Zev tells him Jonah is his true mate.

Maintaining a relationship with the man he has loved since childhood isn’t easy for Jonah Marvel, but he won’t let distance or Zev’s odd family get in their way. When unexplained ailments begin to plague Jonah, he needs to save his own life and sanity in order to have a future with Zev.

Zev and Jonah know they’re destined for each other, but they must overcome traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny.

Amazon

 

I love a good shifter book and this one takes the cake.

Zev has grown up being groomed to be the Alpha of his pack. A very powerful Alpha at that. Shifter lore states a wolf mates with another wolf of the opposite sex. It’s the way it has always been, so Zev is very confused when he is attracted to his male, human best friend Jonah. Something deep down tells Zev that Jonah is his mate.

Jonah and Zev have grown up together, been best friends forever so it only seem natural that things would progress romantically. Jonah is determined to keep their relationship strong, even when he’s away at college. When Jonah is plagued with weird ailments that can’t find a reason for, he tries to stay away from Zev until he can figure out what’s going on. In the end he runs to Zev because they are always stronger together than apart.

Together Zev and Jonah work to uncover what could be going on and discover that the Fates are never wrong and Jonah was made just for Zev.

Sigh. I love this story. Their connection is so beautiful,so pure and full of happiness and love. I have read this story so many times, their aren’t many authors that can pull off this level of chemistry and make it seem so effortless.

The story itself is entertaining and I couldn’t put it down. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read it, each time is like the first time.

 

Pieces of Candy: 5

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Three New Wishes by Sean Michael: Quick Review

James, Guard and Damien continue to grant the sexual fantasies of their clients, but so far have been unable to make Rainbow Island work for their own relationship. Damien misses being home more often with his lovers, though, and Guard has been working on breaking down James’ defences. As the men move from one week to three week stays for their guests, can they finally make their own fantasies come true, too?

As always, three different fantasies are granted through Rainbow Island.

Tim is rich and bored now that he’s sold all his companies. A sometimes sub for the occasional evening, he’s searching for something more. He’s seen ‘lifestyle’ subs who indulge 24/7 and he’s curious to see if it really works. Full time Dom Rainier is brought in to give Tim the experience he’s been looking for. But Rainier has a secret – he’s been watching Tim in the club for years, just waiting for Tim to get serious before making his move. Can these two men find what they need in each other?

Mike has been hired to be a submissive for three weeks. He doesn’t know that much about the lifestyle, but has been assured that he won’t be damaged and that he can stop the proceedings at any time. He figures he can handle it, besides, the payday is too good to give up and will keep him off the street and fed for a long time. Dom Brendan is handsome and confident and the things he shows Mike have Mike more than a little turned on; in fact, they speak to something deep inside him. Could he have found something more than just another job in Brendan?

Angus and Robbie are a committed Dom/sub pair who want to spice things up a little and see if Puppy Play is for them. They’re excited and nervous to learn this new aspect from Sam, the puppy master that Rainbow Island has brought in to show them the ropes. They discover there’s more to puppy play than they’d imagined and not all of it is for them. Can they separate what they need from what they want and come out stronger than ever in the end?

Don’t miss out on these three new fantasies come true.

Amazon

Kobo Books

 

I have really enjoyed this series. Each book offers three new stories as well as a little more into the story of the owners of the resort. While this one provides the conclusion of Guard, James and Damien’s story.

In the first fantasy Tim is a bored executive. He has recently sold his multi-billion dollar company and doesn’t know what to do with his time. He has dabbled in the dom/sub scene but lately that isn’t providing the relief it once did. He’s hoping three weeks immersed in being a 24/7 submissive will scratch the itch.

Rain is the dominant the Island staff hire to bring Tim’s fantasy to life, but Rain has a secret. He has been watching Tim for years as he moved from one dom to another. Biding his time until he could make his move. He knows Tim was made for him, he just has to get Tim to see that they can make this work long after the fantasy is over.

In the second fantasy Brendan wants a submissive, someone knew to the scene. He wants to be able to show someone how wonderful the dom/sub lifestyle can be without the rehearsed lines and the posturing.

Mike is hired by the Island staff to be Brendan’s sub for three weeks. Mike has no idea what to expect but the money was too good to pass up. Mike is a free spirit who travels wherever the next job takes him with nothing and no one to tie him down to one place. The minute the fantasy begins Mike knows hes way out of his league. He starts feeling things he shouldn’t be feeling, things that can’t possibly be felt this early in the game. Brendan will need to show him that the feelings are reciprocated and see if he can be the anchor Mike has been searching for to tie him down.

In the third fantasy Angus and Robbie have been in a committed dom/sub relationship for quite some time. They are looking to try new things, one being puppy play. The island brings in a puppy play expert to help Angus and Robbie navigate this new lifestyle so they can figure out which aspects of the lifestyle they want to incorporate in their own while leaving the rest behind. It’s an adventure of discovery for the pair as they work together to bring their fantasy to life.

James is nearly at his breaking point; he can’t eat, he can’t sleep, he can’t concentrate without seeing Damien and Guard in every thought and action. Guard and Damien strike while the iron is hot, reminding James of all that he lost and all that he can have again.

This story is hot!!! It has something for everyone. There is puppy play, fisting, nipple piercing, some bondage and a ton of hot sex.

I really enjoyed reading this whole series and waiting for the conclusion of Guard, James, and Damien’s story was so worth the wait. It was great to see their progress from the first story to the last.

These wishes were just as hot as the wishes in the other books. I’m not sure how Sean Michael keeps it fresh and interesting, but definitely a job well done.

I know I’m greedy, but I would totally love a followup novella. Maybe a huge party on the island for past guests so we can see where everyone has gotten to.

Pieces of Candy: 4

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Unsteady by Melissa Collins: Release Day Blitz and Double Review with Giveaway

Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.

A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.

Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?

Amazon

 

I love this series.. I already knew, from the other two stories, that it was going to be a tearjerker for me. It was…

Micha and Jude… let’s discuss.

After losing his mom, Jude and his dad hit a rough patch… one turned to food while the other turned to alcohol and, it just seemed that they both just got so lost that they didn’t know how to find their way back. The bullying in this, made me sick to my stomach and I hated that the bully just got away with being terrible. I hate when that happens… Fortunately, the new kid, Micah, was Jude’s saving grace. Not only did he befriend him and help him in so many ways, he became Jude’s best friend….

Micah had his own baggage, mainly with his father. He was a jerk plain and simple. You won’t like him, I’ll point that out right now. But I feel like, he was the biggest part of why Micah was the way he was. Even though I’m not a fan of the going back and forth from past to present… it worked here. We needed it, for the story to work, but I was broken hearted by the time we made it back to the present.
After losing touch for ten years, knowing that their friendship was well beyond friendship and that they loved each other so much….it was hard to see Micah as anything other than the strong one like he had been when they were younger; but the tables turned and now Micah needed Jude to be the strong one.
And he was….

Things are great with them for a while, though I wanted to reach in and slap Micha upside the head for keeping so much from Jude. I knew it was going to end badly when all the secrets came out, there was no way around it. I did understand why he kept the secrets, but I hated that he did…for everyone involved. (I mean, I have to just leave that there, cuz I don’t wanna spoil it)

This is truly a second chance romance and if I have ever needed two people to work out like they did.. it was these two. Their chemistry and passion and love for each other was evident from the very beginning and it never quit. I wanted to cry for them several times and just say “you have to work out! You just have to!”…. In all fairness, I knew they would… but it was a rough road getting there.

I loved this story… I loved the hurt/comfort and the realness of each character and… sigh… I just love them as a couple. It’s hands down, an excellent addition to an amazing series, although it’s a standalone and you don’t technically need to read the other two… you just should… just because they’re amazing too. But this one… easy 5 stars….Don’t miss it.

Pieces of Candy: 5

WOW – When the Prologue has you in tears, slightly sobbing, you know you are about to read a book that is going to tear you apart but you’re not sure if you are going to be put back together. Unsteady lived up to its name especially after such a passionate and powerful prologue.

Micah was introduced in On Higher Ground (Dax & Bec). There was something very intriguing and mysterious about him. I squealed when I heard he was getting a story.

Unsteady is somewhat of a 2 part story as Jude and Micah were best friends back in high school. In a previous book of hers (Let Love Live) part one was the past while part two was the present. With Unsteady it is mixed together and I have never seen an author do this with such effortlessness as Collins does. You will never feel lost or feel like it is not part of the story. There are not many “flashbacks” and each one is valid and added at the precise spot it should be. It gives it an endearing quality to see what happened to separate 2 people who were so in love with each.

Micah has secrets….TONS of secrets but he is also feeling dejected so he finds solace with the only person he has ever loved…..Jude. Collins writing is off the charts remarkable and the story flows with simplicity. It’s hard to find a writer than creates such a broken character a
nd does it with dignity and pride.

I fell in love with Collins writing back in 2014. Even though I know her stories will leave me needing tissues and lots of wine I will always read what she writes. Her love of writing shows in the stories she shares with us and they will hit you in the heart and take up residence there – For that alone I adore her.
If you are looking for a well-developed story with 2 broken souls, some sexy romance and a bit of unsteady issues (<- – – see what I did there…lol) – Than this read is for you. If you don’t like to cry or get sentimental while reading than pretend I didn’t state that (I tend to get emotionally over some topics) and give it a try.

A HUGE thank you to Melissa Collins for writing a heartfelt and beautiful story of 2 misplaced souls finding each other again. I am now naming you the QUEEN of prologues – No one has ever made me shed a tear with in the first 3 pages. Kudos to you on such an astounding book.

PS: That is one drool-worthy cover and it represents Micah and Jude to a T

Pieces of Candy: 5

FAVORITE LINE: And with each day, it’s more and more difficult to capture those fleeting seconds of peace. They only come at night when I relive the soldiers dying in my arms. Envious of their peace,eventually the dreams became increasingly morbid. It was no longer a comrade taking his last breath, but me.

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Melissa Collins Author Page

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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Rough Edges by Cardeno C : Audiobook Review

Kyle has an unwelcome crush on his nemesis Brent. Brent has a welcome crush on his friend Kyle. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.

Born on the wrong side of the tracks to the wrong family, Kyle Potter has spent his life clawing his way toward a better future. When he gets the perfect job at the perfect firm in perfect Los Angeles, Kyle is sure there are only blue skies ahead. And then he meets perfect Brent Haralson.

Born with a silver spoon to a well-established family, Brent Haralson has never been interested in leveraging his connections. Friends, success, and dates come easily to Brent and rejection isn’t something he has to deal with in life. And then he meets perfect Kyle Potter.

Kyle despises his unwelcome crush on his lazy, arrogant nemesis. Brent welcomes his feelings for his stubborn, brilliant friend. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.

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Kyle has had to fight tooth and nail for everything he has in life. Nothing has come easy for him and because of that he carries a pretty big chip on his shoulder. He can’t stand people born to money that don’t have to earn it and meeting his buddies friend Brent proves his point.

Brent was born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. He was born to money, raised to enjoy the finer things in life, and spends his days lazing about. At least these are the things Kyle thinks he knows about Brent, and takes an instant dislike to him.

When Kyle’s hard work and dedication at work finally turn into a promotion that allows him to put a down payment on a condo he finally feels like he’s made it. He’s accomplished his goal, then in one second it’s all taken away. When the chips are down Kyle has no one to turn to until Brent offers a helping hand.

Kyle borrows Brent’s spare bedroom until he can find a new job and get back on his feet. Over the first few weeks he’s there Kyle starts to realize that there is more to Brent than he first thought. He might not be the spoil rich kid he thought he was. When Kyle realizes what Brent is doing with his free time each day he finds out that old prejudices can blind you from seeing some great right in front of you.

I love a great enemies to lovers story, even if they were only enemies in Kyle’s head. This is a great story about a man finding that through his narrow and intolerant views of people he could be missing out on something great. The characters were well developed and interesting. The story, as always was perfection.

The narrator was good. This was my first time listening to Kevin Chandler. He infused just enough snark in his voice to bring Kyle to life for me. It was great.

Overall an enjoyable listening experience.

Pieces of Candy: 4

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Tied to You by Riley Hart: Release Blitz, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

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TIED TO YOU

WILD SIDE BOOK 2

RILEY HART

M/M ROMANCE

COVER DESIGN: X-Potion Designs

COVER PHOTO: John Karrer

ARTWORK: Sarah Jo Chreene

Tied To You Cover

Miles Sorenson prides himself on his brutal honesty. Facts and logic are a hell of a lot easier to deal with than emotions. He’s got his career and a small, close-knit group of friends, and he doesn’t need nor want anything else. The total opposite of Quinn Barker, who doesn’t take life too seriously and thinks a good laugh can cure anything.

When Quinn takes Miles home, it’s supposed to be a one-time deal. Except they really click in the sack and end up spending the weekend together, enjoying each other’s bodies as much as their company…to Miles’s dismay. Matters get even more muddled when, months later, they run into each other at the popular West Hollywood bar, Wild Side, and pick up right where they left off.

On the surface, Quinn and Miles are like oil and water, but the draw between them is undeniable. As their lives further entwine, they realize there’s more to their connection than the way they singe the sheets together.

But demons from the past have a way of catching up, and no matter how strong the link is tying Miles and Quinn together, the pressure may be enough to make it snap.

 

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Red rope with a knot isolated on white Background .

3 tied teaser 3

Miles still held him by the back of the head. Their lips were inches apart now, breaths heavy, Miles panting as he looked at Quinn.

He breathed in, Miles out, Miles in, Quinn out.

“You gonna fuck me or what, Counselor?” he finally asked, and then they were stumbling out of the shower—teeth clanking, tongues slashing, lips searching.

He felt like Miles was going to devour him, take him whole, and in this moment, he would welcome it.

Miles kissed him until they got to the sink. “Bend over it,” he said, and goose bumps shot across Quinn’s skin at the command.

He did as Miles said. Miles’s hand brushed down his back, his finger tracing each rise and fall of Quinn’s spine. “Perfect arch.”

Quinn looked up, met Miles’s eyes in the mirror and replied, “I know.” Because he did. He was fucking good at this.

“Mouthy little bottom, aren’t you?” Miles teased.

“Realistically confident.”

“You’re killing me.” Miles looked away, and Quinn knew it was because this was a lot. Because just fucking before he’d admitted that Quinn intrigued him was one thing, but now they both knew this was about more than just a piece of ass. What? They hadn’t gotten that far yet and didn’t know each other well enough to figure it out either, but it was a truth between them that hadn’t been there the first weekend they’d shared.

Or maybe they had known it but hadn’t been able to admit it.

“Get in me,” Quinn told him.

“Mouthy,” Miles said again. “Going to have to do something about that.”

It’s so hard to write a review for a book that that you adore without coming out looking like a crazy stalker or making you look like you are trying too hard to convince someone, who is reading this, to give the book a chance.

Riley Hart is an auto buy for me no matter what she writes or who she co-authors with.  Some of my favorite books and book boyfriends have come from the genius mind of Riley.  I love how each book/series is nothing like her previous books – always evolving into something new.   The Wild Series is about 4 friends, Oliver, Matt, Miles and Chance, who have been best friends since they were kids.    Tied to You is book 2 in the series where we meet the enigmatic Miles, who has taken over my heart.

Back when Quinn was introduced in Jumpstart (Christian & Beckett, Crossroads Book 4) the first thing I did was message Hart and immediately asked if Quinn was getting a book.  Of course I loved the book but there was something with Quinn, despite being a secondary character that drew me to know more about him.  To have him finally get his book and for it to be with Miles has the stars aligning and me being exceedingly happy.

Hart’s writing is remarkable with the book flowing with simplicity.   Both Miles and Quinn each have a past that have made them the way they are….distance, closed off, only looking for some fun.  Their connection is off the charts which you could feel from the start of the book.   Reading this made me think Hart was inside my head while writing their story – I got all the feels.   Here are my exact thoughts…

“I’m in love with Miles and Quinn’s banter.  Gah…When he calls him Baby Boy….I’m Done….HOOK…LINE AND SINKER.  I was not expecting to feel like I was punched in the heart when Miles & Quinn (((took spoiler out))).   JFC….I haven’t read something that felt that intense in such a long time.”

I just love everything about this book – the writing, the characters, the secondary characters, the banter, the miscommunication, the walls that take a while to come done, the romance – **sigh** – Just everything.

If you haven’t started the series yet you should.  Start with Dare You To (novella), than Gone For You.

If you didn’t care for either of those books and are reluctant to try this one….PLEASE TRY – This is one of best from Hart.

If you are a newbie to Hart’s work you should give it a go.  I promise you will not be disappointed.

Another fantastic read by Riley Hart.  I can’t wait to see what comes next.

FAVORITE QUOTE

“I got you, baby boy,” Miles said as Quinn wrapped his arms around Mile’s neck.  “I got you. I’m here.”  He kissed Quinn’s forehead. Held him tight. In this moment, nothing else mattered…”

Pieces of Eye Candy: 5

 

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Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together.

She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores. She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves.

Life is good. Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.

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DARE YOU TO

WILD SIDE NOVELLA

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GONE FOR YOU

WILD SIDE BOOK 1

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Olive Juice by TJ Klune: Release Day Review with Giveaway

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It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:

I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.

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jennifer

What a vague blurb, eh?

I didn’t care… I knew who wrote it so I was like.. of course, I’m gonna read it and of course, I’m gonna love it! I wasn’t disappointed… Surprised? Absolutely, I was not prepared for this book. Not one bit.
I went into it knowing it was about David and Phillip. Knowing that they’d been through something traumatic together and that was about it…And oh, boy, did they. The worst thing imaginable as parents.

This story is the epitome of overwhelming sadness and how one copes with it. How easy it is to be angry when your grief is so profound that you don’t know what else to do but lash out or blame yourself to feel better. Or to feel worse… because you feel as if you deserve it, which is what David did

He carried everything on his shoulders and because he was drowning is his own grief, he forgot that he wasn’t the only one suffering. Pain will make you do that, though, won’t it?

My heart broke for both of these guys. Literally, I was a sobbing lunatic through the majority of this story. I wanted so badly for them to get the answers that they were looking for, but like life, sometimes it isn’t all fairytales and roses. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to go through those hard times alone and I was glad that they had each other and even when they were lost, that they found their way back to each other because they’d already lost so much I didn’t want them to lose anymore.

Sigh… It was a heartbreakingly tragic read, but so well worth it. You’d be a fool to pass this one up.
And even though he made me cry….again… like, ugly, psychotic looking, Farrah from teen mom, ugly face cry… I loved it.

5 pieces of eye candy

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Darkest Hour Before Dawn by Charlie Cochet: Release Day Review with Giveaway

darkest hoursynopsis

THIRDS Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn are as much in love now as they were nearly seven years ago when a tragic event on the job destroyed their relationship. The two drift together only to be pulled apart time and time again. When Hudson draws the interest of dangerous enemies, both within and outside the organization, Seb wants nothing more than to protect the man who still means everything to him.

As life-and-death events, an uncertain future, and startling truths draw Hudson and Seb to each other yet again, they must make a choice: trust their love and take strength from what they share, or lose what matters most… for good this time.

Title: Darkest Hour Before Dawn
Series: THIRDS: Book Nine
Author: Charlie Cochet
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Category: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal: Werewolves/Shifters, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 224

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denise review

What can I say about the THIRDS world that I haven’t said previously? Charlie Cochet has created an alternate world that is steeped in so much realism, grit and humor that sometimes it is hard to remember that I don’t really know these men. (On a side note, someone PLEASE pitch this book series for a TV series!!!!)

So, back to my review. I went into this, anxious for the HEA for Seb and Hudson. The THIRDS Nerds have been waiting a long time to see these two finally find their way back together for good. It was definitely worth the wait. The obvious love between these two has been there since the first moment we met Hudson. Seb’s devotion to the British man has never wavered, and continues to be just as strong through the book.

Every single time I read one of Charlie’s books, I am completely surprised by something. Like blown away, wasn’t expecting that at all, surprised. This time as I began reading Darkest Hour Before Dawn, I initially thought, this will be a sweet, second chance at love story. And it was a second chance at love story, but rather than sweet, I would use the word intense to describe the book. There was so much happening here, that just when you thought “oh, now they will get their HEA”, Charlie hit you with another surprise from left field. Nothing that this family couldn’t handle, but definitely a stretch to continue on.

And the surprise that you always get at the end of any THIRDS novel, well this one has been a long time coming, and the ramifications will be long lasting and far-reaching. This touches everybody in the Unit Alpha family, and beyond.

If you are looking for a lot of Dex and Sloane, Ash and Cael, or Calvin and Hobbs, you won’t see a lot. This was definitely a story about Seb and Hudson, as it should have been. But you definitely get a few glimpses of all your favorite THIRDS characters, which make you itch wondering where they will all be going next.

My love for this series has not ebbed one bit. It continues to be fresh and different from book to book, and character to character. I have no idea what Charlie has in store for all these men coming up, but I honestly cannot wait to find out.

Now, excuse me, because I just finished this book, and I am going to go read it again, just in case I missed anything. 😉

5 pieces of eye candy

MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE – CHARLIE COCHET IS A FREAKING GENIUS.

Gahhhh – I have never loved an author or a series more than Charlie Cochet and her THIRDS Series. Darkest Hour Before Dawn is book 9 in the series. I have yet to find a series that compares to the THIRDS series with it’s exciting and jaw dropping plots, sexy Alpha men and world building like no other. The way Cochet intertwines each book in the continuation of the story is poor freaking genius.

DHBD is Seb & Hudson’s story about second chances. We met them in book 1 where we get bits and pieces of how they were once a mated a couple but are no longer together. I was intrigued from the beginning about what happened and how each one is coping with not being together.

Cochet does an outstanding job in giving us a piece of them as we watch them come full circle. The writing is superior and the ongoing plot will once again make you wonder how Cochet keeps coming up with the twist and turns. The story will keep you engaged and captivated until the very end. AND….of course Cochet ends it with a WTF moment and goes out with a bang. We get a little bit of everyone & everything and of course Sparks is sneaky as always.

As usual, I will be over here waiting for the next book and I hope this series never stops. I love the world Cochet as created with all the sex, secrets and lies. I am on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next.

If you have not started this series I hope you will give it a try.

If you are #THIRDSNERD like me I hope you love Seb, Hudson and their story as much as I have.

Another outstanding book for Charlie Cochet.

FAVORITE LINE: “Whatever happens, whatever storms come our way, I will be here, holding your hand, facing it with you.”

5 pieces of eye candy

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