Texting, Autocorrect and a Prius by M.A. Church: Release Day Review, Exclusive Guest Post, and Giveaway

Clay McDonald finds the perfect car on Craigslist and is quick to send the seller a text:

Is your penis still for sale?

AutoCorrect strikes again. Damn—he should’ve proofread. How embarrassing.

Luckily Darrell Anderson, a mechanic and the owner of the Prius, is more amused than offended, and the two men agree to meet. When they do, the attraction is instant, and a date is arranged. But a series of mishaps, misunderstandings, and misplaced assumptions sorely test the new relationship.

In a contemporary romantic comedy about the perils of technology and dating in the modern world, a text that went so wrong might just lead to something so right—but only if Clay can refrain from jumping to conclusions and give love the benefit of the doubt.

Title: Texting, AutoCorrect, and a Prius
Author: M.A. Church
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Humor
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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Some Fun Facts About Cell Phones

  1. First mobile phone was Motorola Dyan TAC 8000X and was invented in 1983 by Martin Copper. It could only store thirty contacts and weighed 1.1kg. You could only talk for thirty minutes and cost close to four thousand dollars. And ya’ll thought cell phone were high dollar now, lol.

 

  1. The first smart phone was made by IBM and was launched August 16, 1994. It was the first commercially available touchtone screen and came pre-installed with functions like a calendar, calculator, address book, and Note Pad. Oh sooo many options! (And I remember this too lol.)

 

  1. Apple sold million iPhones in 2012 in fourteen weeks—or 262 phones per minute. I can’t even wrap my head around that.

 

  1. And speaking of iPhones, there was an iPhone5 fully coated with 26 carat black diamonds. For a measly $15.3 million you can own one too. Who’s with me???

 

  1. The highest mobile phone bill was $201,000. 00. Someone’s gonna be grounded for a looooong time. Well, they would be after I picked myself off the floor after passing smooth out. Then they better run.

 

Cell phones, lol. Gotta love them. And most of us can’t live without them… me included!

He got out, locked his truck, and walked over to the ’Vette. The car was a thing of beauty, there was no doubt about that. Regrettably he didn’t get close enough last night to tell a whole lot about it, but it certainly looked like the one he’d seen before.

“Well, I’ll be damned.”

Clay jerked his head up. Holy shit. There in the garage, standing next to the Prius, was a man. A man who looked like the guy he saw the night before at Milo’s and earlier in the day in town.

“Oh my God,” Clay said again. He seemed to be stuck on repeat. “It’s you.”

The guy smirked. “Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing. You’re the guy who was eye-fucking my car last night.”

Clay’s ears began to burn. He was pretty sure he was turning red in the face. “Hey, it’s a nice-looking car.” So was the owner. “I’m Clay McDonald.”

The guy who owned the Prius walked from the garage, hand held out. “Nice to meet you, Clay. My name is Darrell Anderson. You’re interested in driving a Prius, right?”

Well, if Clay wasn’t red before, he sure was now. That damn message was going to haunt him forever.

I haven’t read this author before Texting, Autocorrect, and a Prius but just the title intrigued me, mostly because autocorrect gets me every time, and it can be a super hilarious mistake. It is also something that comes back to haunt me sometimes, which I expected for poor Clay. It does, but only one time, which I won’t lie, disappointed me slightly, cause, well, penis is a great autocorrect! 🙂

These two had quite a few misunderstandings to deal with, but they seemed to clear all those up fairly efficiently. I was definitely looking for some of those issues to linger, but they didn’t. It was an issue, then once they fixed it, they moved on (which is good for a relationship of course, but not as much for building tension).

I just felt that there were things that could have been expanded upon, or otherwise left out because there wasn’t really a need for it. E.g. Clay’s sister wanting to set him up on a blind date with, as it turned out, Darrell. It was brought up, then later it was revealed, and there was a very quick conversation on it, but it was as if the drama came much more from what caused the initial conversation (Darrell’s friend) than anything else.

In the end, I needed more. More laughs behind the jokes, more tension behind their issues, just a bit more of what I thought was a fantastic story idea. I enjoyed it, but wanted more.

3.5 pieces of eye candy


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M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two grown children.

She is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

 

 

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Regret by Christina Lee: Release Day Blitz, Excerpt and Review

Regret RDB Banner

REGRET

CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 06.26.17

COVER DESIGN: KANAXA

 

Regret Cover

When Brian “Brin” Schubert’s condo floods, he takes his co-worker up on the offer to stay on his crappy futon for a while. The last thing he expects is for his friend’s roommate to be the one guy he despises the most. The same guy who stomped on his heart senior year of high school. And by the looks of the girl on his arm, the same man who’s still deep inside the closet.

Nicholas Dell never predicted that eleven years later, one of his greatest regrets would show up on his doorstep down on his luck. Nick has made some terrible mistakes—story of his life—and he’s been paying for them ever since. And if the guilt and shame aren’t enough, his first crush had to turn into one of the sexiest men he’s ever laid eyes on.

Nick and Brin have weeks to steer clear of each other. Weeks to avoid strangling each other. But when stubbornness leads to skyrocketing sexual tension, hate-sex doesn’t seem like such an awful way to work through their frustration. Except hate is a powerful emotion, especially when it’s turned inward. And in Nick’s case he’s been drowning in a sea of self-loathing for so long, he can’t see his way out.

As Brin reconnects with Nick, his perception of what really happened in their past begins to change. He’s finally ready to forgive him and take a second chance on the one guy who stirs him like no other. But Nick’s demons are complicated, heart-wrenching…demanding. So devastating, he might never allow himself true happiness—even with the one man who’s always owned his heart.

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Regret Teaser 1

3 Regret Teaser

Tally pawed at the pillow for a few seconds before finally sinking down, apparently resigned to her position. I straightened to back out of the room, only then allowing my gaze to slide over Brin’s sleeping form. My pulse spiked when I noticed his eyes on me.

“Not sure Tally will want to sleep without you,” he rasped out. The words were like a thunderbolt to my chest. As if he was referring to more than the dog finding her way to my bed.

“Not sure I’ll want to sleep without her,” I replied in a hoarse voice, attempting to get my emotions under control.

Without you. Because you’ve taken up residence inside my heart once again. But maybe you’ve always been there, winding inside my rib cage, coiling around my lungs. Making it impossible to breathe, to think, to stop wanting.

As I turned to leave, his warm fingers curled around my wrist, searing into my skin. My breath caught in my throat. It was the first time he made the first move and my heart bloomed into an impossibly large bouquet of hope and aching desire inside my chest.

Our gazes snagged and held as his other hand slowly reached for the edge of the blanket and pulled it aside.

Regret (Under My Skin, Book #1) Christina Lee

This is a second chance kind of story between Nick and Brin, who went to high school together and crushed pretty hard on one another. Brin was the smart one and Nick a jock, which in high school, as we all know, doesn’t go so well…Also, Nick was closeted, but not because of typical reason’s… just trust me, it all makes sense.

My heart broke for Nick; for all he’d been through in his life. I couldn’t imagine such tragedy and to be honest, the few times I got frustrated with him, it was impossible not to understand where he was coming from, because… you could see the hurt in him, every second. He carried such guilt with him, it was impossible for him to see passed anything else. He knew he hurt Brin, he’d thought about him often over the years, but never seen him again, until his roommate Elijah offered their guest room to his friend from work…Who just happened to be Brin.

It’s rough at first, because like I said…Brin was hurt and angry at Nick and Nick, had such a low self-worth and he was hurting too. Brin didn’t make it easy on him, which hurt to read because you could see how remorseful Nick was. Brin didn’t know the facts though, he didn’t know what Nick was living with, then and now. Had he given him a chance to explain all those years ago, he might’ve but I feel like, it wasn’t their time then. I feel like Brin came back into Nick’s life at a time he really needed him and I was so happy when he finally confided in Brin.

This story was hard…I definitely shed a few tears during their journey, which isn’t really saying much because I’m a crier…but, it was so heartfelt and raw and heartbreaking and hopeful that you can’t help but to feel for both of these guys and their families. Similar in a way.

 

I loved seeing Brin’s family being so accepting, even though I saw the reservations his dad had, I was so glad that got worked out by the end. I loved Nick’s mom, being a mom myself, I couldn’t imagine seeing my kid in so much pain all the time, I felt like Nick needed her to set him free from everything he was carrying…And while she done what she could, Brin done the rest.

I don’t want to spoil too much of it and it’s so hard, especially when all I want to do is gush about it.

If you like second-chance romances with heartbreaking storylines and happy endings… you’ll love this one, as did I. I can’t wait to see what happens next for these guys and I’m really hoping for more about Elijah, and him getting away from his controlling boyfriend. Overall, it’s a great start to a really good series, I can’t wait to read more.

4 pieces of eye candy from me!

CL Pic

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing.

She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

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FB FAN GROUP: THE SWOON ROOM

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Slim Chance by Jeff Erno: Exclusive Guest Post, Pre-Release Review and Giveaway


Can a man improve his appearance without losing everything good inside him?

Oliver has always been obese and suffered from a negative body image. He’s tried diets before, failing time after time, but he vows this time will be different. As he begins an exercise program, his confidence increases—and so does his interest in his friend and coworker Benjy. Though they bonded long ago over a love of online gaming, it takes a lot of courage for Oliver to share his new body and be intimate with another man.

A passionate romance blooms, but as Oliver nears his goal, it seems he doesn’t need Benjy—with his chronic anxiety and troubled past—now that he’s made attractive new friends at the gym. But not all relationships are equal, and Oliver realizes that Benjy, who loved and supported him when no one else did, is more than a reminder of his old life.

A pleasing appearance means nothing when it hides a lonely, empty heart, and if Oliver cannot decide what’s truly important, he’ll lose what he cherishes most.

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Thanks so much, TCO, for hosting me on your blog. I’m thrilled to be at it again, promoting another new release, and this time I’m especially excited to share something a little different than any of my other stories. As I’ve hopped around the blogosphere launching this release, I’ve tried to offer unique topics on each of my posts (which isn’t exactly easy when you have ten or more different blogs to write, all about the same book).

So I want to talk about something that relates to my new release, Slim Chance, but that can be applied much more holistically to a lot of my books. I want to discuss two things, actually—empathy and perspective.

In a perfect world where there are only perfect stories with perfect characters, there’s no need for empathy. In such an imaginary place, authors wouldn’t have to hope that readers would view their characters sympathetically. Characters wouldn’t think negative thoughts or do selfish things. They wouldn’t say anything offensive. They wouldn’t belittle themselves or lose their temper with their loved ones. They’d be perfect.

My world isn’t perfect, and neither are my characters, so I do rely upon the empathy of the reader. I hope they are capable of putting themselves into the shoes of this less-than-perfect character. I hope they can get beyond disliking him and set aside their judgment long enough to feel what he’s likely feeling.

If I were to ask what the biggest difference between reading a story in a book and seeing that same story in a movie, what would you think it would be? I think the biggest difference is that in a book we not only see outside the character, but also inside his head and heart. Granted, there is some debate about exactly how much a storyteller should “tell” the reader. If the author belabors the thought process of the characters, it sounds like he/she’s doing way too much explaining and not enough showing. Stories are supposed to be shown more than told, so when a particular event or conversation occurs in the story, ideally you want to show the reader by actions and words how that character is likely feeling.

That’s what they do in movies. Very seldom does a movie have a narrator cutting in to explain how devastated, angry, or upset a character is. You can see it, and as a viewer you’re smart enough to understand. But in literature, there is kind of a fine line. Because unlike movies, a written story is told from a specific point of view. That point of view might be first person, third-person limited, or third person alternating, but in all cases it is told from one perspective at a time. So a lot of the visual cues a viewer might see in a movie—things like body language, blushing, scowling, etc.—are not described in a novel. The author sometimes has to do some “telling.”

And believe me, if an author doesn’t do enough telling, he’ll hear about it from his content editor. “Don’t you think this would have hurt the character’s feelings?” “Perhaps you should discuss how this made him feel.” And when I get those kinds of editorial notes, my knee-jerk reaction is to scream back at my computer monitor and say, “Of course, it hurt his feelings! Of course, he was angry and scared! But the reader can already see this! The reader does not need to be told every single feeling, especially if you want me to SHOW this damn story rather than tell it!”

And a lot of times I literally do shout similar things at my computer monitor. But when I calm down, I go back and do exactly what that content editor has suggested to me.

Usually.

In this book, Slim Chance, I rejected a lot of advice offered to me by my content editors (intentionally plural). They didn’t think Oliver was likable enough. They didn’t think he showed enough empathy. I respectfully disagreed with them, and I’ll go on record as saying that from an m/m romance point of view, they’re probably right. Many readers are not going to fall in love with Oliver.

I did not write Oliver to be a sympathetic character. I wrote him to be real. He’s been abused, ridiculed, mocked, and more or less tortured his entire life. Of course he is cynical. Of course he doesn’t trust people who are nice to him. A million times previously he’s had people say very sweet things to his face and then make fun of him for being a blimp behind his back. Of course he looks in the mirror and feels disgusted by his reflection. He’s a gay man living within a culture where beauty is worshiped.

If you the reader were to immediately fall head over heels in love with Oliver Paxton, I’d say I pretty much failed at portraying an accurate story. Oliver made me uncomfortable, and I wrote him. I wanted to feel that way, though. I wanted to walk a mile in the man’s shoes. But Oliver arcs, and I hope by the end of the story, the reader walks away really liking him, if not loving him like I do.

And that’s why I mentioned perspective. I hope readers will try to understand my perspective…and Oliver’s. And with Oliver, I think I did spend a lot of time in his head. In fact, I actually had to cut out some of the exposition pieces of the story. But what you won’t get is anything from Benjy’s point of view. Benjy is Oliver’s boyfriend. I do plan to talk a little more in my blog posts about Benjy and who he is—why he put up with Oliver as long as he did. I’d have loved to have talked about it more in the book, but this was Oliver’s story and told 100% from Oliver’s point of view.

Of all the stories I’ve written, this has been one of the most meaningful to me personally. I’m thrilled with Dreamspinner Press for giving me the chance to share it, and I’m incredibly thankful to the readers who take a chance on reading it.

Hopefully, you read Jeff’s blog post carefully, because then you will understand what I am about to say about this book.

I did NOT like Oliver…not for a very long time. (I am guessing Jeff will be happy about that!) Let’s face it, he was a jerk. He was a jerk when he was fat, he was a jerk as he was losing weight, and he was a jerk when he got skinny. Although, I will give him a pass on the part where he got skinny, because the man had a complete overhaul in his world and anybody in that situation would not have any clue what is right or wrong in lots of those situations.

But he was just a jerk to Benjy, a man who was faithful, supportive, loving and a fantastic friend, despite all the reasons why he could have told Ollie to take a flying leap. He was positive, helpful and so supportive of what Ollie wanted to do, not necessarily what Benjy wanted. It gave a bit of an impression that Benjy was a pushover, and would let Ollie do whatever he wanted, and hurt Benjy without consequences. Ollie finds out that Benjy isn’t a pushover, but someone who truly just wants to do what he can to be there.

These two men both had huge issues to overcome, and Ollie’s weight was just one of them. His self-esteem was awful (this cover is freaking perfect for what this book touches on), and even as he lost weight, he couldn’t see how he would ever be lovable. Meanwhile, Benjy had such horrible anxiety it was a wonder that he was able to go to work on a daily basis. Neither of these things can be overcome with an HEA, and I love that Jeff did not make that their salvation. Their road to their success was lead by themselves.

This was a very personal book to me. I actually had a hard time reading some of it. I have been overweight most of my life (like Ollie, although not nearly that size), and being female the criticism tends to be much more harsh than it is for me (which Jeff even touches on in the book). Knowing the pain that comes with living in a society that values the size of your waist more than the size of your love, it was hard to see how he would react to hateful things that happened to him. However, it was heartening to read that it doesn’t have to be that way, and it isn’t necessarily because you lose the weight, but that you learn to love yourself.

Thank you Jeff for stepping outside so many comfort zones and creating characters that are flawed inside, because they are seen as flawed outside.

I have to give this book two ratings.

As a reader: 4 pieces of eye candy

As a human being: 5+ pieces of eye candy

Social Media:
website: http://www.jefferno.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jefferno
twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffErno
Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2946208.Jeff_Erno


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Patron by C.B. Lewis: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Theodore Wentworth, who possesses little more than a sharp and well-educated mind, is trying to solicit a sponsor for his studies of Greek antiquity by performing recitations at gatherings of collectors. Desperate for luck and better skills in oratory, in jest, he places a coin at the feet of a statue of Hermes. It seems like coincidence when his fortune turns and a gentleman calling himself Alexander becomes his benefactor. Despite his friend John teasing him about it, Theodore continues to offer tokens to Hermes and sinks himself into his study of the classics.

Alexander encourages Theodore’s interest, prompting Theodore to face desires he tried to put aside years before. As Theodore embraces the knowledge, he must also resist his attraction to Alexander—knowing his feelings are a serious crime in Victorian England.

But the secret Alexander keeps will change everything in a love story for the ages, steeped in taboo, temptation, history, and myth.

Title: Patron
Author: C.B. Lewis
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Category: Historical: World, Fantasy: Mythology
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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The second I saw this cover (TCO was fortunate enough to do the cover reveal of this amazing cover) and the blurb, I knew I had to read it. It combined a few of my favorite things. I love Greek and Roman mythology and I also love books based in Victorian England. And it is so clear that C.B. Lewis loves, and researched these things very well, in order to write this novella.

Whether you believe in mythology or not, there is no denying that both of those times still have an impact even in today’s society. Just the other day, I used the word “herculean” to describe something. The world is full of words and phrases from that time period. Especially in the medical field. Achilles tendon anyone? 🙂

This was a very well done blend of old (the mythology) and “new” (the MC’s meet in Victorian England) with some mystery tacked on for additional interest. The stress that Theodore endures personally from realizing he is gay in a period of time that could have resulted in his death was very real. He moves through many stages, until he reaches the stage where he accepts it, and accepts that Alexander wants to be with him. All of this while trying to find a way to continue his education in Greek mythology.

I won’t give away the ending, although you can definitely see it coming. I don’t think it was meant to be a surprise ending, merely one that everyone could be happy with. I liked how it wrapped around Theodore, and his love of antiquities. It made it that much stronger a story.

This one has a good mix of all the things that I love: mythology, Victorian England, romance, and an HEA.

4 pieces of eye candy

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The Palisade by Rosalind Abel: Release Day Review

Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business transaction and a final stepping-stone to the position he’s been working towards his entire life. It was supposed to be nothing more than one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun. Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so, that the only thing missing is someone to share it with. Going to bed with a tourist was never meant to be the answer to his dreams, just a beautiful distraction. He could get back to looking for Mr. Right the next day. Both Andrew and Joel’s worlds are turned upside down when a few hours of pleasure gets extended to a couple of days. Even that shouldn’t be a big deal. You can’t fall in love in such a short time, that isn’t how it works. However, if destinies collide, a few short days may be all it takes to find your soul mate. Even so, when secrets and motivations get tangled, destiny may do nothing more than leave two hearts in pieces.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

 

I was not prepared for this story… I think it came at a time when I needed the romance of it, the sweetness. It was so incredibly sweet.

Joel needed to go to Lavender Shores to secure some property for his father’s business that he’s trying to get ahead in. When you think of a pompous, egomaniacal, selfish, jerk… that’s Joel’s father. I hated it for him so bad because he seemed like a genuine person. Not in the beginning, he was your typical fly-by-night, workohoic, player type. Nothing was important but his career and getting ahead. That ended when at the bar of the B&B he was staying at, he made eyes with Andrew

Andrew is one of the descendants of the founding families in Lavender Shores. Content with the life he has, he was always hopeful of someone moving to town and giving him his happily ever after, but… it just wasn’t likely to happen. That is, until he makes eyes with Joel. Everything happens in warp speed with them and although, I don’t mind an insta-love story… this one was so much more than that. This was like destiny or fate shoved them together and it’s just the way things were supposed to be. Nothing felt forced or too fast, it all felt amazingly right and romantic. Isn’t that ridiculous? (in the best way)

Of course, I knew what Joel was hiding from Andrew and every time he was forced to change the subject or omit the truth, my heart broke for the inevitable. Because I wanted Andrew to have all that he wished for and I knew how much he loved Joel, even in such a short time; this author’s way of making you believe it, was unreal. I cried for him and hoped for him and it killed when things didn’t work out the way he wanted.

I also felt so sorry for Joel. I couldn’t even imagine and I hated his dad. I wish we’d have gotten to see him put his dad in his place, though we did get the cliffnotes, so it was almost as good.

I loved Andrew’s family, especially his dad. His brothers and best friend though, were also amazing. I can’t say this was low angst, because it was a little bit, only because I was constantly waiting for that other shoe to drop. But, we get our happy ending, and more importantly, so does Andrew and Joel and it’s perfect. Sickeningly sweet and perfect and I loved every second of it. I cannot wait for Gilbert’s story, I just know it’s going to be just as heartbreaking.

5 definitely deserved pieces of eye candy from me on this one.

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

Love Wanted by John Inman: Release Day Review with Giveaway

When it rains, it pours. Not only has Larry Walls been evicted from his apartment, but his hours have also been cut at the department store where he works, leaving him facing homelessness.

Meanwhile, Bo Lansing, a total stranger to Larry, toils at a dead-end job as a fry cook while attending night classes to become a certified chef. When the school closes its doors without warning, leaving Bo in the lurch for thousands of dollars in tuition, his dream of becoming a chef is shattered and his financial troubles spiral.

Desperate for a new beginning, each man answers an ad for live-in help posted by a wealthy recluse, and wonder of wonders, they are both hired! Just as their lives begin to improve, a young Kumeyaay Indian named Jimmy Blackstone joins the workforce at the Stanhope mansion.

When Mr. Stanhope’s true reason for hiring the young men is discovered by one of the three, a fourth entity makes its presence known.

Greed.

With all these players vying for position in a game of intrigue orchestrated by one lonely old man and a mischievous ghost, can a simple thing like love ever hope to survive the fray?

Title: Love Wanted
Author: John Inman
Release Date: June 19, 2017
Category: Paranormal: Ghosts/Spirits
Pages: 270

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My goodness…there is so much I want to say about this book, and I can’t, because…SPOILERS!!!!

First things first, I have always loved John Inman’s work (well except for horror, I just can’t read those stories, I’d scare myself 🙂 ), and this one is no exception. No matter the subject matter, he manages to infuse humor into his books. Some are so hilarious I have laughed until I cried. This one had quiet humor, the little things, which went along so well with the theme of this book. A lonely old man who wanted to find a couple who he could have fall in love under his roof, and then…well spoilers, so nope.

The theme also matched one of the MC’s, Larry, so very well. He was a quiet, shy man, prone to blushing and falling for the wrong guy. And he adored the senior occupants of the house, both Roger Stanhope, the owner and (for lack of a better term) puppetmaster and Mrs. Price, Roger and Jeremy’s cook, et. al. His respect for both of them, and the situation that he had been granted was so strong, and carried through in everything he did.

There are secrets in the house, and just when you think you know all the secrets, Mr. Inman decides to flip the script and give you a completely different secret for the house to deal with. Nobody does that better than John Inman. His writing brings out all the joy of life, and the insecurities and challenges that come with being in a house with people who you hadn’t met before. He manages to make you wonder how this will turn out right for everyone, and have the happy ending that he never fails to provide.

One thing I have always enjoyed about Mr. Inman’s books is the diversity of the characters. In this book, you have a redhead, a man with black hair, a Native American, Roger, a 93 year old man, Jeremy, Roger’s lover of 70 years, (you’ll understand when you read it), and a senior woman of retired age. Not your typical cast of characters, and yet, they have the qualities you would expect from the such people.

Lastly, I must say, Mr. Inman may have ruined me. I will never think of Wesson Oil and Rice Krispies the same again. (Again, you have to read it to understand, so no excuses!). The visuals you will get are worth every single penny.

4.5 pieces of eye candy for me


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P.S. I Spook You by S.E. Harmon: Release Day Review with Giveaway

SSA Rain Christiansen used to be the agency’s golden boy. It just takes one moment of weakness, one slight, tiny, itty-bitty paranormal sighting, and all of a sudden he’s the agency’s embarrassment. His boss gives him one last chance to redeem himself—go down to Brickell Bay, play nice with the local police, and leave the ghost sightings behind. Rain is determined to do exactly that, even if it kills him.

Cold-case detective Daniel McKenna’s latest investigation is going nowhere fast. Five years earlier, high school student Amy Greene went missing after leaving her part-time job and was never seen again. Daniel is glad to finally have the FBI help that his department requested, even if it does come in the form of his ex.

It doesn’t help that Rain is pretty sure he’s falling in love with Danny all over again—if he ever stopped. Add to that the frustration of seeing ghosts at every turn while he works a case that’s stalled in its tracks, and Rain is starting to wonder if second chances and happy endings are just for fairy tales.

Title: P.S. I Spook You
Author: S.E. Harmon
Release Date: June 12, 2017
Category: Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal: Ghosts/Spirit
Pages: 256

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

 

I seriously LOVE, LOVE, LOVE S.E. Harmon’s writing. I read Stay With Me the day it published, and just loved Mac’s snarky sense of humor (probably because I “might” have a very similar sense of humor). So, when I saw P.S. I Spook You was coming out, I jumped all over it, and had to force myself to wait a couple weeks to read it. And yes, I loved it.

Poor Rain (his “real” first name is awesome, btw!) is having a tough time, with his seeing ghosts and all, and being sent back home to work on a cold case with his ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile Danny doesn’t exactly welcome Rain back into his bed with open arms, seeing as Rain walked away without a backward glance.

These two men have some serious communication issues. When they don’t want to talk about something, they just use a safeword, and move on. And whatever they were about to talk about ends up in no-mans land, possibly never to be spoken of again. Finding a real trust between them takes a lot of hard work, and some proof that they both wanted to make themselves vulnerable for the other again.

The mystery is well done, and weaves its way through the book, ending in a climax that you didn’t quite see coming, but was likely how many of those types of situations end. Through it all, into the aftermath, Rain keeps his snarky sense of humor (even if it has to be kept inside sometimes).

There were a few pieces that weren’t resolved-including one involving Danny that I would have liked to see how it was dealt with. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story, but I would have liked to see the secondary storyline firmed up.

There were also a couple scenes I would have enjoyed seeing expanded, or even addressed a little further. Rain’s mother making another appearance would have been fantastic. She was amazing.

But the best part is that this book ends with the possibility of either more of Rain and Danny, as a series, or possibly as secondary characters to future stories. I’d love to see that, and seeing more of these two men, and how their relationship develops would be fantastic!

I highlighted so many snarky little comments, that picking just one was nearly impossible. However, when I looked many were in context to the story, and therefore small spoilers. So, here are two of my highlights…they are not related.

“That’s what God made heated seats for, after all. That and keeping takeout warm on the way home.”

“Anything from my mother’s wellness store was guaranteed to be suspicious, and thus, subject to search and seizure.”

4.5 pieces of eye candy


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Summer Heat by Jay Northcote: Release Day Review

A summer fling is an ideal cure for a broken heart. But when it’s with your best friend, things get complicated.

When Adam is dumped by his boyfriend, a week away at a beach resort seems like a great opportunity to get over his ex. Sun, sea, and no-strings sex will be just the boost he needs to move on with his life.

Adam’s best friend, Finn, agrees to accompany him at short notice. Finn’s had a crush on Adam for years, but is determined to put his feelings aside and be the perfect wingman in Adam’s time of crisis.

A spontaneous threesome with another guy forces Adam and Finn to confront their attraction to each other. Having a holiday fling together wasn’t part of the plan, and as their trip heats up, they soon realise that one night of fun won’t be enough for either of them.

The passion might be scorching, but their hearts and friendship are on the line. If their romance is going to survive the flight home, they have to be honest about what they want.

Length: 47,000 words approx

Amazon

 

This is a fun and sexy beach read!

Almost the entire book takes place while Adam and Finn are on a week long vacation. So while the book wasn’t necessarily short, the time frame of it was. But in that time fame, he brought us a friends to lovers story that was sweet and super sexy and just left you with a smile.

Even though Adam was getting over an unexpected break up, he didn’t wallow. Of course there was the immediate get drunk thing- but who hasn’t done that? And while Adam and Finn could have changed their relationship that night over a bottle of Jack, it takes vacation and an unexpected matchmaker to bring them together.

I really loved the way Finn went from silently pining for his best friend Adam to being a super toppy in control guy in bed. And there is a lot of that. Some of it felt like filler sex- but it wasn’t the same thing over and over again so that was a big plus.

Watching them stumble over their feelings that they were both trying to hide was adorable. I both wanted to yell at them to admit their feelings, but also enjoyed the bit of awkwardness of “where do we go from here”.

No spoiler in that it is a happily ever after- and I thoroughly enjoyed one of the last scenes with Adam and his ex.

4 pieces of eye candy

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Empathy for a Killer by Sarah Masters: Pre-Release Day Review

Finding a killer isn’t easy, but someone’s got to do it…

Detective Burgess Varley is called out to view a dead body. It isn’t one of the best things about his job—but putting killers away for the rest of their lives? Now that’s one of the best. Problem is, the victim has something in her mouth that has always scared Burgess—something that links him to the killer without him even knowing it. And that link is more than Burgess might be able to handle.

Detective Shaw Carter, Burgess’ partner for several years, loves Burgess in ways he perhaps shouldn’t. Or ways that Burgess won’t accept, anyway. But Shaw isn’t one to back down from a challenge, and as well as being by Burgess’ side on the hunt for a killer, he has his own mission to accomplish—getting Burgess to admit they’re meant for each other. It won’t be easy, but by God, he’s going to give it a try.

With Burgess and the killer learning things about themselves, their lives, and each other that they previously hadn’t known, life—and death—is about to become serious. Murder plagues both of their pasts, committed during their childhoods when they’d been innocent little boys who’d had no idea they would feature so heavily in each other’s later years. When they hadn’t known that their very existence is because of one man—the man they both mourn.

Amazon

Pride Publishing

Kobo Books

 

First, I have to say that I think the publisher mislabeled this book. In addition to “crime and mystery”, “thrillers and suspense” and “gay”, they also have it marked erotic romance, and loaded into Amazon’s Gay Romance category. There is only one sex scene in it (and not really graphic at all) so erotic romance seems out, and although there are romantic elements, and confessions of love in this book, that is not the main theme of this book. However, all that being said, that has nothing to do with the writing of this book.

I don’t normally read books like this, crime, suspense, thrillers, all of those are on my do not read list, but something about this called to me when I saw the blurb, and the cover that made me pause. I wasn’t sure where this book was going to take me, but I know that as usual I was hoping for a happy romance. Well Ms. Masters threw me for a loop!

Burgess and Shaw definitely find love. They honestly have been in love for a long time, it just took a little impetus to get Burgess to admit that he needed Shaw as much as Shaw needed him. You could see their relationship, as detective partners, romantic partners and friends through the small interactions throughout the book. They loved, supported and trusted each other without fail, without question.

The title of the book, Empathy for a Killer, made you believe that you might want to have empathy for this killer, but as a good upstanding citizen, there was no chance that would happen, right? Wrong! You do feel empathy for this killer, as you see his pain and tortured life through his eyes. From his childhood of abuse to how he deals with the voices that begin talking in his head after 16 long years. This reader cried a little for him, and really wanted, almost would have begged, for the ending that I got. It was a perfect way to bring it full circle, and find some peace for a tortured man.

Burgess had such a difficult path to face through this investigation (I will not spoiler this!). He faced choices, hard decisions, and even more challenging was finding that someone you loved was not the person you thought they were. That pedestal can be pretty high, and when someone falls from it, hearts break, pain ensues, and nothing will ever be the same.

Although this type of book would not normally be my first choice of what to read, I really (enjoyed may not be the right word here 🙂 ) was enthralled in the story, and as it became more complex I had a hard time putting it down so I could attempt to do real life things. Well done, Ms. Masters.

4.5 pieces of eye candy

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On Point by Annabeth Albert: Release Day Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

TitleON POINT

Series: Out of Uniform, Book 3, but each book is a stand-alone HEA w/ a new couple in each book

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: June 5, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 78,000 words

Genre: Romance, contemporary romance, military romance, SEALS

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Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

The rain pelted down as he made his way up the ridge, thick sheets that obscured his vision and made the terrain slippery and treacherous. Overhead, a large black bird with a colorful beak swooped in, almost sending Ben skidding into a ravine.

He whistled low, a deliberate pattern, one of the team’s signals. He repeated the sound as he approached where Maddox was supposed to be. An answering signal came from a dense thicket of green vegetation.

“It’s me. Hold your fire,” Ben called as he slipped into the mass of trees and roots. The plants here were nothing like the ones back home—giant heart-shaped leaves and bright rubbery flowers that almost looked bird- or insect-like. The trees had massive, visible roots covered with moss, and were connected by thick vines that could easily be mistaken for a deadly snake.

Below him, he could see the encampment, SEALs scurrying around. The injured hostage and Issacson, their wounded radio man, were carried out, which had to mean the chopper was close. Time to haul ass. “Maddox?”

“Here.” Maddox slid out of the shadows, rifle at the ready, just as Ben had expected. “Com’s down for you guys too?”

“Yup. Chopper’s coming in. LT sent me to bring you in. No time to waste. Issacson took a bullet, but he’s stable, and one of the hostages is in bad shape. Possible hostiles escaped, but Rogers and company are hunting them down.”

“Got it. Lead the way.” Maddox let Ben take point as they made their way down the ridge. They had to skirt the edge of a steep drop, every muddy step cautious even as they needed to make haste.

Crack.

Whoosh.

Two things happened at the same instant—gunfire broke out above them and a chopper approached, engine noise making it hard to track the source of the shots. But Maddox was already on it, crouching low, rifle ready. Another shot whistled over their heads and Maddox returned fire. They both left the trail and headed into the brush, intent on finding the hostiles.

The chopper circled low, then went back up. Fuck. The chopper was struggling to land in the encampment clearing, which meant the next pass was critical. Still staying low and gun ready, he inched forward. No more gunfire had followed Maddox’s, but that didn’t mean he could let his guard down for a second.

The chopper circled again, but the terrain had shifted and Ben could no longer see the encampment beneath them.

Fuck.” Maddox never cursed, so Ben whipped his head around just in time to see Maddox slipping off the poor excuse for a trail.

Ben scrambled on his stomach, stretching out an arm, trying to catch Maddox. “Grab on.”

“No. Don’t—” Maddox didn’t get the sentence out before they were both tumbling down the muddy incline, heading straight for the ravine that lay between them and the encampment. Ben tried to slow their descent but his attempt to grab at some vines only resulted in the foliage following them down.

Maddox screamed, a legitimate yell that chilled Ben to his boots because Maddox never lost composure. Ever. Ben had once watched Wizard put sutures in Maddox’s scalp while Maddox hummed, never dropping his tune.

Ben grabbed for him again and— Pop. Ben’s arm pulled at an unnatural angle, caught up in a tree root and not Maddox’s strong grip as he’d intended. He wrenched loose but the damage was already done, and still he slid, mud carrying him faster, rocks and vegetation raining down after them.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” Ben’s arm and shoulder were on fire and he was still moving, sliding, nothing working—

Boom. The bottom of the ravine arrived without warning, a muddy bog that sucked him down, but it was hardly a soft landing, rocks and plants poking at him. His arm had him cursing, eyes watering. He’d seen Rogers dislocate a shoulder last year in the grinder obstacle course, and at the time he’d rolled his eyes at how Rogers had carried on. He had a sick feeling that he’d done the same or worse to his shoulder, and he got the urge to cry and howl.

“Oh fuck.” His stomach heaved and he barely made it to his side before he threw up from the pain. He turned his head and almost lost his guts again. Maddox lay a few feet from him, leg at an unnatural angle, blood dripping from his head, helmet nowhere to be seen. Not talking or cursing.

Clawing at the rocks with his good arm, Ben pulled himself closer, looking for the telltale rise and fall of Maddox’s chest—and not seeing it.

“You are not fucking with me,” Ben growled. “Mad? Come on, man.”

Still nothing, not even a ghost of movement across Maddox’s pale lips. Terror, nothing Ben had ever known before, froze his veins, made him lightheaded from more than just the fall. He refused, utterly refused to live in a world where Maddox wasn’t okay.

“Maddox. Horvat.” He shook his shoulder, cursing under his breath. No, no, no.

Whoosh. A chopper—the chopper—flew overhead, much too far to spot them down this ravine, and heading away from them.

Sputter. Maddox let out a mighty cough. It might have been the most beautiful sound Ben had ever heard, because it meant Maddox was here, that he was fighting, and Ben started to laugh with relief until Maddox spoke. “Heck. They’re leaving us.”

Sigh… Maddox and Ben…
I knew I would love them… I mean, the falling for your best friend thing? It’s confusing and heartbreaking and stressful, especially when you’re living together like these two were.
Ben, after a terrible breakup and the effect that his mother leaving him when he was a child, had one him; wasn’t in a place where he thought he’d ever settle down. He had his career, his best friend and any pick of a willing guy. He was set right? But, a few threesome type-not quite threesomes with his best friend had things weird between them and it was rough….Cut to something terrible happening in the field, leaving them both near death… it put things into perspective for both of them.
For Maddox, he was tired of living to make everyone else happy. His family didn’t accept him, and man were they terrible. My heart truly broke for him, it seemed like nobody stuck around for him… Nobody but Ben… With Ben, he was faced with almost losing Maddox and he just couldn’t have that… thus, an experiment ensues.
I hated that Maddox felt like all the time that the other shoe was going to drop….and I hate that for the same, but different reasons, Ben did too and he used that to push Maddox away. I just wanted Maddox to have someone there and love him for how great he was. Watching him get hurt over and over again was excruciating and I just wanted him to find his happy and I knew it was going to be with Ben… I was just waiting for Ben to pull his head out…
Of course, if you’ve read any book in this series… of course, he does and we get the most beautiful ending. I almost cried there at the end, with Ben… He wasn’t always good with words or emotions, but he hit the nail on the head at the end. All the angst and back and forth is well worth it in the end.
I loved Ben’s family… well, his dad and step-mom that is. I loved their friends and getting to catch up with Apollo and Zach… I love how this series portrays the military branches being so accepting of its LGBT members and I just love seeing someone like Maddox finally get his happy.
It was truly another amazing addition to an already amazing series. I loved it so much and I can’t wait for more… I really hope there’s more!
5 pieces of eye candy from me!

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

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