Snowcroft Restoration by Christi Snow: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Two years ago, Law Wyman went undercover for an FBI investigation that went sideways. It cost him both the love of his life and his sanity. The nightmare still haunts him, and so does some unfinished business…Ian Mayne, the son of the man who ruined his life.

Two years ago, Ian had to face the truth about how his father spent a lifetime torturing and trafficking LGBTQ teens. Ever since, Ian has done everything he can to make up for his dead father’s many sins through his law enforcement job. Too many paid in horrific, horrible ways at his father’s hands while Ian kept the truth about his own sexuality hidden.

Law is doing all he can to save Ian, but Ian doesn’t necessarily want to be saved.

Two men…both horrifically haunted by what happened. Is it possible they can find healing together? Only if they have the courage to face their demons and each other…

Trigger Warning: This is a hot story about two men who have both survived past abuse.

All the details…
Title: Snowcroft Restoration
Series: Book #4 in the Snowcroft Men series
Genre: male/male romantic suspense
Book length: ~94,268 words
Release date: November 15, 2017

1. Snowcroft Lost

2. Snowcroft Safehouse

3. Intertwined Hearts

4. Snowcroft Restoration

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I think every reader goes through phases in their reading. You may go through a stretch where all you want are sweet stories, with puppies, ice cream and rainbows. Other times you want some kink, and you read everything you can get your hands on. Lately, I have been on a mystery/suspense kick (Thanks C.S. Poe!), and anything in this sub-genre has been voraciously read by this reviewer. And then you add in that Christi Snow wrote it, well, you didn’t need to ask me twice. This even though I knew at some point I would be curled in a fetal position on the couch, freezing to death cause I didn’t want to leave to get a blanket. (It’s happened more than once…). I snatched up Snowcroft Lost the very first day it came out, and have loved Christi’s stuff ever since. Waiting for Law’s book was a little bit of torture for me.

Law had been through so much, it was tough to read again just how much he had been through. He definitely needed some time to heal, learn to deal with his PTSD and grief, and how to recover mentally and physically from the torture and loss he endured for week’s as a result of his FBI undercover operation. The man he had loved had given his own life to save Law’s. That is a sacrifice that is beyond loving, and yet can leave survivor’s guilt. Taking the time he needed, and not rushing himself back to work, or whatever his next steps would be, allowed him to work through as much as he could with his therapist. However, even from the beginning of the book, you could see that he was ready to come back to the world of the living, to step into what would be his new life.

Ian, meanwhile, had been through many similar situations as Law, from his father’s extreme punishments to finally finding out what his father truly did with the camp that he kept in Snowcroft. He had his own form of PTSD, and had managed to work through most of it on his own. Ian came through the torture and the pain of growing up with his horrific father with such a positive personality. He spent his entire life trying to make up for what his father did, by trying to save his friend, working for the Forestry Service, even his choices with regards to the camp he inherited.

These two men didn’t just work on solving the case that brought them together in the first place, but really tried to connect with each other to find what they needed to make their relationship work. Even when the unthinkable would happen (and it did several times-one of those times ended with me in that fetal position spoken of previously), rather than hiding, or running away, they connected back to their bonds and found what they needed to move forward.

This author knows how to write suspense so well. There were a few times in the book that I swore I knew what was going to happen next…until it happened, and I looked up from kindle wondering where that came from, why didn’t I see it? Then two chapters later, something else happens, and I am shocked once more. She weaves in the mystery, some guns, maybe a bomb or two throughout this series, and you never quite know what to expect. As a reader, that is exactly what I want. I want to walk in knowing I am going to have a great story, and have no freaking idea where it will lead to. Small spoiler...what she did with the house…the visuals I had…that is some fantastic writing to get me there, cause houses are not supposed to do that-ever. (That’s all I’m saying…you will know what I mean when you read this book).

There’s definitely some hotness with these two, although very carefully written considering the traumas Law been through. So well done here, too. The reader got some smoking hot scenes, yet intertwined with the caring and the necessity to acknowledge how difficult this was for Law. It helped to bring Law and Ian closer, even as they had to use some additional therapy options to find a way to not let each other go. Great research on the part of the author.

Few characters deserved a happy ending more than these two men, and I am so glad I finally got to read it. And now…now I am looking forward to seeing what Christi does with _ and _ (I can’t tell you, but when you read it, you will know who…), because how do you redeem a character when you have seen them _ someone’s _ with a _. 😉

Without question another 5 pieces of eye candy read for me, from the amazing Christi Snow. How she has time to write with all her reading, I will never know, but I am thankful she does! Bring on Snowcroft Book 5!!!!

TCO is giving away an ebook of Christi’s (even Snowcroft Restoration), in honor of her release day. Just respond with which of her books is my (Denise’s) favorite. (pppsssstttt…it’s a trick question, because I love all her books and I couldn’t possibly pick one). Anyway, name any one of them, and you’re entered. 🙂

 

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Wrapped With Love by Beth Bolden: Release Day Review, Blitz and Excerpt

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WRAPPED WITH LOVE

A FIVE POINTS NOVEL

BETH BOLDEN

M/M ROMACE

RELEASE DATE: 11.14.17

Silhouetted of coconut tree

NFL player Jordan Christensen walks into Reed Ryan’s restaurant without a reservation. It isn’t the most serendipitous of meet-cute’s and they certainly aren’t the likeliest of romances, but over venison steaks and crème brûlée, they fall in love anyway.

Flash forward two years . . .

Jordan isn’t a football player anymore.

Reed sold his restaurant.

But even more drastically, they’ve lost each other.

When Reed moves to Los Angeles take a new job, he doesn’t realize Jordan now works at the same company. But Jordan definitely realizes how precious the second chance fate has bestowed on them is. He’s determined to make up for everything that fell apart the first time around, and it turns out he’s not the only one scheming to right old wrongs.

Starting a new career is always difficult but sharing office space—and big projects—with an old lover is particularly rough. Between impromptu Secret Santa exchanges, Christmas light viewings, and more tacos than even Reed can eat, the two former lovers have an eventful holiday season to navigate.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

 

I hadn’t read anything by this author before, but usually if there is something sports related with it, I am all in (interestingly that is exactly how I stumbled upon the m/m genre in the first place), so I jumped on this one. Adding in a second chance romance, one of my favorite tropes to read, and it was definitely going to be mine to review.

Although I could tell fairly quickly into the story that it was part of a series, the author did a good job of keeping it a stand-alone, with other characters dropping in, or referencing past events with explanation. The reader could develop connections with the previous characters despite not having spent any time with them. (There is one character in particular-I won’t name names-who was a sweet matchmaker with a bit of a snarky side, I loved him!).

However, I will say I was confused about the relationship with the MC’s. I was never quite sure, throughout the book, exactly WHY they broke up. I found myself wondering when the “big reveal” as to the real reason was going to happen, and it never quite felt like I got it. It was clear they loved each other, and then they moved to LA once Jordan was traded from Chicago to Los Angeles. Then it is a bit murky for me. It seemed they had reasons, yet didn’t quite have enough of them to cause two men who were so much in love to suddenly just break up. Reed just left, and Jordan just let him, and they didn’t speak again until Reed turns up at a job where Jordan works (I still am unclear how Jordan was quite qualified to be a writer for a popular show). It doesn’t take long for them to begin to work their way back

This story takes the reader between their past relationship, and their current, and back again, so the reader can see how one thing caused another (the story about the Harry Potter scarf was awesome!). This helped me to understand some of where these men were coming from. In the end, though, I still felt like it was more that the men gave up on each other the first time, and wondered how they wouldn’t the second time.

I did enjoy the Secret Santa storyline-and the surprise around it, that I never saw coming-and it isn’t what you think!

In the end, 3 pieces of eye candy. I enjoyed it, and would like to read a full book from this author, as I did like her writing style as well.

improbable love

“So,” Rory continued, still shoving hummus into his face at an alarming rate, “how did you two meet? Because I gotta say, Reed barely sticks his head out of the kitchen for more than five minutes at a time.”

“We actually met at Garnet,” Jordan said, all gooey affection, like the first night they’d met, Reed hadn’t accidentally insulted him.

“Oh?” Rory asked, all creamy innocence because he knew how much Reed hated being summoned to the dining room.

“It’s actually really embarrassing. My agent knew how much I’d been wanting to visit Garnet, and just barged in, no reservation. And Reed,” Jordan glanced over, “was kind enough to give us the private dining room. Picked our menu for us and everything. I had to meet him, after all that trouble he went to.”

Rory burst out laughing and Reed shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He had a bad feeling about where this was going.

“You realize why he actually came out of the kitchen, right? Why he picked your menu?”

Jordan shook his head, a baffled expression on his handsome face.

Rory leaned forward. “Let me educate you about the ego of a chef, Christensen. Reed didn’t give you his best table and his best food out of the kindness of his heart. He did it because he wanted to put you in your place with his awesomeness.”

“I’m trying to remember why I invited you out,” Reed interrupted before Rory’s education could continue. But Jordan, intrigued, ignored him, and Rory was never going to stop now that he’d started. Reed flopped back in his chair, somewhat resigned to the inevitable embarrassment to come.

“Reed doesn’t have an ego.”

Rory’s head actually whipped back as he cackled loudly. “Oh, honey. All chefs do, at least the best ones. It’s how we get to the top. We’re insufferably certain of our own perfection. At least in the kitchen, anyway. Garnet is Reed’s castle, and he’s the king.”

Jordan turned to Reed, who could only hold his breath and pray that Rory’s comments hadn’t completely changed his opinion.

“Is that true?” he asked.

“I mean, you can’t be that surprised,” Reed said awkwardly. “Especially after what I said when we met.”

“I thought you were trying to hit on me!” Jordan exclaimed in mock outrage.

Reed flushed.

“I hate to say it,” Rory said, which was a complete lie because he looked like he was enjoying every second of this, “but Reed doesn’t have that kind of game.”

“So, how did you two meet?” Jordan asked, and Reed wasn’t dumb enough not to know he was changing the subject. He told himself it would be okay. Jordan couldn’t be angry about how they’d met, so many months later.

“A butchering class,” Reed said.

“No, not even close,” Rory said, taking another drink from his beer. “You aren’t going to get off this easy, Reed.”

Reed made a disgruntled sound. Of course Rory felt obligated to tell the whole story.

“Yes, it was a butchering class,” Rory said, gesturing with the bottle in his hand. “And you know, I’m formally trained. I mostly took it for fun. But here’s Reed, a newbie who’s read at least fifteen books on his own at this point. He spent at least half the class telling the instructor everything he was doing wrong.”

Reed couldn’t help but frown. Jordan glanced over, ever-attuned to Reed, and reached under the table to squeeze his knee.

“Was the instructor wrong?” Jordan asked loyally, even though if he knew Reed at all, he already knew the answer to his question.

Rory laughed and nodded. “Oh, he was insanely wrong. The rest of us were just ready to write this whole class off as a bad afternoon and go have some drinks later and laugh about it, but Reed was burning with the injustice of wasting an afternoon being taught what he knew was the wrong thing.”

“So he tried to teach the class.” Jordan glanced over, eyes brimming with affection. As if this story, which definitely wasn’t one of the greatest moments of Reed’s life, actually endeared him further.

“It was a power struggle, from beginning to end, but,” Rory said, tipping the bottle in a mock toast Reed’s direction, “you already know who came out on top.”

“He was wrong,” Reed felt justified in adding again.

Jordan’s hand settled warm and firm back on Reed’s knee. Reed jumped, nearly upsetting his own beer. “I wouldn’t expect any less, sweetheart,” he said quietly.

 

Beth Bolden Logo

Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband and their beloved cat. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published three novels and two short stories, with her next novel, The Rainbow Clause, releasing in April 2017.

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Website: www.bethbolden.com

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The Mystery of the Curiosities by C.S. Poe: Exclusive Story, Audiobook Tour with Giveaway

Life has been pretty great for Sebastian Snow. The Emporium is thriving and his relationship with NYPD homicide detective Calvin Winter is everything he’s ever wanted. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Sebastian’s only cause for concern is whether Calvin should be taken on a romantic date. It’s only when an unknown assailant smashes the Emporium’s window and leaves a peculiar note behind that all plans get pushed aside in favor of another mystery.

Sebastian is quickly swept up in a series of grisly yet seemingly unrelated murders. The only connection tying the deaths together are curiosities from the lost museum of P.T. Barnum. Despite Calvin’s attempts to keep Sebastian out of the investigation, someone is forcing his hand, and it becomes apparent that the entire charade exists for Sebastian to solve. With each clue that brings him closer to the killer, he’s led deeper into Calvin’s official cases.

It’s more than just Sebastian’s livelihood and relationship on the line – it’s his very life.

Title: The Mystery of the Curiosities (audiobook)

Series: Snow & Winter

Publisher: DSP Publications

Author: C.S. Poe

Narrator: Derrick McClain

Length: 7 hours, 15 minutes

Release: July 31, 2017

Audible

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iTunes

Goodreads

 

 

Post: Hey there, everyone! I’m C.S. Poe, author of the mystery-romance series, Snow & Winter. Today is the third stop of the blog tour for The Mystery of the Curiosities on audio, narrated by the wonderfully talented Derrick McClain. If you’ve missed the previous posts— this is a short story about Sebastian and Calvin taking a vacation to Colorado, inspired by my Highway to Heck road trip and attendance at GRL. Be sure to check the schedule below and catch up on Part 1 and 2!

 

The complete story is at the following blogs:

October 23 – The Novel Approach

October 24 – Boy Meets Boy

October 26 – Two Chicks Obsessed

October 27 – Love Bytes

“Wow!” I exclaimed.

Our room was beautiful— shimmery wallpaper, non-matching pieces of antique furniture, and a bed with a magnificent mahogany headboard. I walked to the left side and opened one of the windows overlooking the street in time for the nearby train to blow its whistle loudly. I fished my phone from my back pocket and snapped a mediocre picture of the town view.

“It’s like stepping back in time,” I said, looking over my shoulder.

“With the exception of modern plumbing,” Calvin answered. He pushed the suitcase up against the far wall.

I left the open window and breeze fluttering the curtains. At the bedside table was what appeared to be a small journal. I set my phone down and retrieved the book. “Someone leave this?” I opened to a page at random and held it close. But with sunglasses on and sans magnifying glass? No dice on the reading.

I walked across the room and held it out to Calvin.

He took it, without question as to what I needed help with, and sifted through a few pages. “A diary? Oh— this is the ghost diary.”

“Of course,” I answered dryly, as if that response answered all my questions.

“I was told they keep one in all the rooms,” Calvin continued. He closed the book. “Guests can include their own observations.”

I raised my eyebrows and began patting my pockets. “Where’d I put my magnifying glass?”

“Not now,” he said with a touch of amusement. “Let’s get a drink downstairs. The saloon has bartenders in costume.”

“Nothing against the ladies who manage to somehow both breathe and serve drinks while wearing corsets, but I hope there’s a cowboy or two for me to stare at.”

“Hey now.”

I grinned widely at Calvin. “Giddy-up.”

He put an arm around my shoulders and walked to the door. “Don’t make me punish you later.”

“With a warning like that, why would I stop now?” I opened the door and stepped into the hall first. I slipped from Calvin’s arm and walked backward. “If I flirt with an outlaw, will you use your handcuffs on me?”

“Seb,” he said with a tone that sort of indicated he was liking the fact I was digging a grave for myself.

“Will you pull out your gun so I can determine whose is bigger?” I continued.

Calvin let the door fall shut behind him as he followed me into the hall. “One more,” he warned.

“How’s that song go— save a horse, ride a cowboy?”

Calvin lunged forward, grabbed my wrist, and pulled me tight against him.

I laughed and twisted in his hold. “Did I do bad, sheriff?”

“Bringing you here was a huge mistake.”

“Nah, you like it.”

Calvin smiled and kissed my mouth. “Let’s get you drunk on trade whiskey.”

“Sounds fun.” We started down the stairs before I patted my pocket. “Shit. I forgot my phone.”

Calvin handed me the room card.

“Hold onto those drunk thoughts.” I jogged back up the stairs and to our room, letting myself inside. I went to the bedside table where I’d set my— where was the phone?

I put my hand on the tabletop. I was certain I’d set it here when I picked up the ghost diary….

I turned my head and saw it laying at the foot of the bed.

Weird.

I grabbed it and left the room once more.

 

 

I was drunk.

More drunk than I usually got.

I blamed the altitude.

Calvin was paying our bar bill downstairs and I had gone back into the hotel with the intention of taking a piss. But I stopped on the stairs leading to the third floor when I heard a door close above me. Up and to the right.

Pretty sure that had to be our room. Shitfaced or not— I’ve got excellent hearing. Comes with the poor eyesight.

I waited halfway up the stairs to see who was leaving.

But it was silent.

Maybe it had been housekeeping?

Although that didn’t make sense. It was nearly ten at night.

I gripped the banister, more to steady my inebriated steps than anything, and crept up the last few stairs. I peered around the corner.

Nothing.

Nothing but an empty hallway.

Huh.

I must have been mistaken.

I pulled the room key from my pocket as I reached the door and let myself in. I stood in the doorway, leaned to the left, and turned the lamp on. The room had a comfortable glow about it, just enough to illuminate our suitcase against the wall— unzipped with clothes hanging out.

“Well shit,” I stated.

End of Part 3

First of all, the covers to these books are just awesome! They tell a little bit about the story, and Seb in particular, simply by the monochromatic tones. Better choices could not have been made for the first two books in this series.

Now, on to the rest. I rarely read mystery novels…well, pretty much…yeah, okay, never. I read romances. I love romances. I’ve loved them all my life. But when I saw that Derrick McClain narrated both of these, I thought it might be a good choice as a starting point. Oh my gosh, I am so happy that I took the plunge!

The creation of a main character that is well rounded, interesting but also with a healthy backstory doesn’t always happen in books. Ms. Poe did a fantastic job of creating a main character with, to say the least, some quirky personality traits, as well as a disability that you just don’t read about in any romance novel. Then she weaves all of these quirks throughout both books, and even uses them to help Seb solve his mysteries. His disability is not a deterrent to him, but can be an assistive device as he follows the clues and “sleuths” his way into Calvin’s life. These quirks, characteristics, in addition to his disability, are not left by the wayside and forgotten, but become such an integral part of Seb’s story, that the reader really wants to sit down with Seb and ask him a million questions, just so you can hear what he has to say. (Speaking of which, that gives me a very good idea!) 😉

What I enjoyed most, though, was this was a mystery with more than a touch of romance. It allowed Seb and Calvin, also known as Snow and Winter (which just makes me giggle), to solve the over arcing mystery, while still falling in love. Even as you see the hard, former military, homicide detective falling for snarky, sarcastic and sweet Seb, they work (somewhat) in tandem to find out who has committed the crimes, and take them down. It isn’t insta-love (although insta-lust on Seb’s side is quite obvious), but one that grows as Seb continues to get himself into situations he should not be in, but can’t help himself, while Calvin finds himself becoming more and more concerned with Seb’s safety. One of the most creative moments that I have seen, amongst any book I’ve read, is the one where Calvin gives away to Seb not only that he might not be as straight as Seb thinks he is, but also that he has feelings for him. It is a short, sweet and quiet moment, but it was a scene that will stick with me as a reader, and makes me want to re-read/re-listen to these books again, just to capture all the subtle nuances I loved, and those I might have missed.

I don’t listen to a ton of audio books, but I have heard Derrick’s narration on a few. With an audiobook, narration must ADD to the book for me to want to listen to it, especially when it is a series. A bad narration can pull you out of the story, or maybe even make you DNF the book. Knowing Derrick was narrating I wasn’t worried about either of those happening, before I started to listen. However, he made the story so much better for me with his vocal changes between characters, the emotions he added into each scene, and the emphasis he was able to add to Seb’s snarky humor. I absolutely loved his narration!

I rarely give 5 stars as a reviewer, primarily because one of the biggest qualifiers for me for a 5 star is that it must be something I want to re-read. In this case, not only do I want to re-read, but I want to re-listen, and I want to do it very soon. And now I have to decide do I want to read book 3 (I was told there will be 4 in the series!) or do I want to wait to hear Derrick do the narration. Another mystery to behold. J

 

Books 1 and 2: Story: 5 pieces of eye candy

Books 1 and 2: Narration: 5 pieces of eye candy

Author Bio: C.S. Poe is an author of gay mystery, romance, and paranormal books.

She is a reluctant mover and has called many places home in her lifetime. C.S. has lived in New York City, Key West, and Ibaraki, Japan, to name a few. She misses the cleanliness, convenience, and limited edition gachapon of Japan, but she was never very good at riding bikes to get around.

She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful, and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued three cats, including one found in a drain pipe in Japan who flew back to the States with her. Zak, Milo, and Kasper do their best on a daily basis to sidetrack her from work.

C.S. is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization.

| Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads | Newsletter |

 

Narrator Bio: Ever since my voice dropped, people have been telling me I “should go into radio”…
What people don’t realize is that you don’t go into radio just because people like the sound of your voice. You go into radio because you have a passion for what’s on the radio – for music, or for news, or sports. While I can appreciate these things, I don’t have a passion for them.

Now, books on the other hand…books I can get behind.

After eight years of professional and competitive public speaking and (live) oral interpretation of literature, Derrick has turned his powerful voice to the world of audiobooks.

While he enjoys reading, listening to, and narrating a wide variety of genres, he has a particular affinity and passion for romance novels of all types.

Derrick records in a professional quality studio at his home in Tallahassee, FL, where he enjoys the quiet North Florida lifestyle along with his fiance and insanely hyper dog. He has previously lived in rural Pennsylvania as well as Orange County California, and has extensively traveled the United States, becoming familiar with a wide range of American accents and sub-cultures.

To connect with Derrick, email: voiceofderrick@gmail.com or find him on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Goodreads.


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The Fireman’s Pole by Sue Brown: Release Day Review with Giveaway

The flames of passion rise for the lord of the manor.

It’s springtime in Calminster village, but things are already heating up. Sexy firefighter Dale Maloney is new to the local station. When Dale backs the company fire engine into the village maypole, he attracts the ire—and attention—of Benedict Raleigh, the Baron Calminster.

Soon after meeting Dale, Ben breaks off his relationship with his girlfriend, and the sparks between Ben and Dale are quickly fanned into flames.

Unfortunately the passion between the two men isn’t the only blaze in the village. An arsonist’s crimes are escalating, and it’s up to Dale and his crew to stop them. Meanwhile, as they investigate, an unscrupulous business partner attempts to coerce Ben into marrying his daughter. The May Day parade is around the corner, but they have plenty of fires to put out before Ben can finally slide down the fireman’s pole.

Title: The Fireman’s Pole
Author: Sue Brown
Release Date: October 15, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 220

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

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I just love the Dreamspun Desires series. Every time I read one, I go away happy. Sue Brown‘s The Fireman’s Pole is no exception, in fact this is one I will definitely read again.

So much dichotomy going on with Ben and Dale, and it made for a fun book to read.

With Ben, it was interesting how people liked him, yet he really had no clue. He often left events early, or tried to stay away, not realizing that people actually appreciated him as a person, and not just as “lord of the manor”.

Meanwhile, Dale, when he meets Ben, has some issues with trying to not look like an incompetent. Once he establishes himself though, and begins a relationship with Ben, his dominant side comes out, and Ben is putting in his hands. He didn’t care that Ben was a baron. He cared that he wanted Ben, and Ben wanted him right back.

There was some mystery added in, for extra spice, but not anything that was too tough to figure out. I loved some of the funny parts (the May Pole incident was so funny, and poor Dale never seemed to live it down). And a few parts that tore your heartstrings up a bit. All in all, just and enjoyable read.

4 pieces of eye candy


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Taming the Beast by Andrew Grey: New Release Review with Giveaway

The suspicious death of Dante Bartholomew’s wife changed him, especially in the eyes of the residents of St. Giles. They no longer see a successful businessman… only a monster they believe was involved. Dante’s horrific reputation eclipses the truth to the point that he sees no choice but to isolate himself and his heart.
The plan backfires when he meets counselor Beau Clarity and the children he works with. Beau and the kids see beyond the beastly reputation to the beautiful soul inside Dante, and Dante’s cold heart begins to thaw as they slip past his defenses. The warmth and hope Beau brings to Dante’s life help him see his entire existence—his trials and sorrows—in a brighter light.
But Dante’s secrets could rip happiness from their grasp… especially since someone isn’t above hurting those Dante has grown to love in order to bring him down.

Title: Taming the Beast
Author: Andrew Grey
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

Andrew Grey writes so prolifically that I think he must write a book a week. And where he gets his plot bunnies is only known to him. However, this book seems to have come from the Beauty and the Beast storyline, with a much more modern (and of course m/m) feel.

Dante’s past still haunted him even after meeting and falling for Beau. The guilt he carried for the death of his wife was so self inflicted that the town picked up on it, treating him as he felt he should be treated, as a killer. Moving past it would take more than the love of a single man, but forgiveness of himself.

I really liked that though Beau was the “Beauty” in this mix, he wasn’t a man to just sit there and do as his Beast told him. He was determined to make the situation work, as well as wanting to see beyond the distant exterior of Dante. He accepted that Dante could do things in the town he couldn’t but wanted to make sure that he didn’t take advantage of that.

They fell in love quickly but it did feel organic simply because Beau wouldn’t let Dante keep pushing him back. They worked together to figure out how to deal with the crises that came to them, yet didn’t try to solve the problem for the other (well okay Dante wanted to but he respected Beau’s wish to not have him solve it)

The epilogue worked well to complete their story, and gave the reader a glimpse into the full transition of Dante back into the world he had cut himself off from. I would have liked a little more informations on how his deceased wife’s parents handled everything but that wasn’t critical to the story. These two men with such distinct tragedies in their lives found a love and life together, bringing their HEA full circle. Definitely a book I enjoyed.

3.5 pieces of eye candy


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Gummy Bears & Grenades by Charlie Cochet: Release Day Review with Giveaway

THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley can’t wait to marry his fiancé, Team Leader Sloane Brodie, but first he’s looking forward to celebrating his bachelor party—which he intends to be a shenanigans-free evening of getting his groove on with family and friends.

Of course events don’t work out as planned, but for Dex that’s nothing new. One thing is for sure, dodging drug dealers and hired thugs amid booze, dancing—and even a bear costume—will guarantee it’s a night Dex will never forget. Now he just needs to survive all the fun.

Enjoy this bonus story from the THIRDS universe. These events occur between Darkest Hour Before Dawn and Tried & True in the series timeline. While reading this story would enhance your experience of the THIRDS series, it is not essential to read before Tried & True.

Title: Gummy Bears & Grenades
Series: THIRDS: Book 10
Author: Charlie Cochet
Release Date: October 4, 2017
Category: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal: Werewolves/Shifters, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 102

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I’ve been on this enjoyable ride within the THIRDS world, and have winced, cried, worried and laughed right along with the characters. This book though, was just a fun read (okay, especially the bear costume…because Dex and a bear costume…that has got to be nothing but fun). I enjoyed every second of this one.  Anyone who is a fan of the THIRDS universe, and especially Dex and Sloane couldn’t do anything but take a few hours out to read the hilarity that a bachelor party for Dex would bring.

There were no big explosions, no one getting shot, and no one was kidnapped, and that made it all just fine. These men need to have some fun and happy times too. And when they get the chance to do that, they go all out. With some glimpses of future books peeking out at the reader, you definitely want to savor this one, knowing it will prep you for what is sure to be a wild ride in the next book.

Recommend all the fun of this one.

4 pieces of eye candy

 


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Five Dares by Eli Easton: Blog Tour, Release Day Review and Giveaway

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

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

But what might be mere sexual relief to Andy is serious business to Jake, who only recently got over years of secret pining for his straight best friend. Inevitably, the burns heal, summer ends, and hearts are broken. To fix things, Andy will have to face the greatest dare of all.

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So, I have read quite a few Eli Easton books, and I love that she always steps outside the box with her writing. You never quite know what you are going to get with one of her books, and Five Dares was no exception.

I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book. Even once I started reading it, and seeing all the…let’s face it…idiotic stunts that Andy does, and kind of twists Jake’s arm in order to get him involved, I wasn’t sure I was going to like the direction that the book was going.

Then, I started to see what was happening, where the motivation for these stunts/dares came from, and the feels began. Andy was still an idiot 🙂 but you could see where that came from, and how tangled up it was in how he felt about Jake, and even how he felt about his father.

I always do love my HEA, and this author never disappoints, but the way this HEA came about made me smile a big toothy grin, and the epilogue made me laugh (although I had to be quiet, because I finished reading this at work…shhhhh, don’t tell my boss, but I was NOT putting this book down!).

In the end, although I might have hesitated at the start of the book, I ran right through it and enjoyed it from beginning to end. Oh, and yes, there was some good hot sweaty man sex included. Enjoy! 🙂

4 pieces of eye candy

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, an author of paranormal thrillers, a fan-fiction writer, an organic farmer, and a profound sleeper, Eli Easton is happy these days writing love stories.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with her husband, three bulldogs, two cows, a cat, and a potbellied pig. She enjoys reading in all genres and, when she can be pried away from her iPad, hiking and biking.

Eli Easton has published 24 books in m/m romance since 2013. She won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary Romance in 2014 (The Mating of Michael) and in 2016 (A Second Harvest). Her Howl at the Moon series of humorous dog shifter romances have become fan favorites and placed in the Rainbow Awards and the Goodreads M/M Group Reader’s Choice awards. She is best known for romances with humor and a lot of heart.

Connect with Eli:

Twitter: @EliEaston

To celebrate the release of Five Dares, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 7, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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

Rank and File by L.A. Witt: Blog Tour, 5 Good Questions, Review and Giveaway

Senior Chief Will Curtis is as straitlaced as they come. While his fellow Sailors have partied their way through their enlistments, he’s had his eye on the prize—making master chief and retiring after thirty years of service.

Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a Navy brat turned Annapolis grad. He’s lived and breathed the military his whole life, and he knows he’s destined for great things—once he’s done paying his dues at the bottom of the ladder.

When their paths cross, both men know better than to give in to temptation, but that doesn’t stop them. It also doesn’t keep them from coming back for more, even though being discovered would sink their careers. Something has to give—Will can retire, Brent can resign, or they’ll both face court-martial.

But there’s also the option neither wants to acknowledge: jump ship and walk away from each other instead of ending their careers over a fledgling relationship. And they should probably decide before they fall in love.

Except—too late.

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  1. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write? – I’ve been writing for years and could spend twenty pages listing every author who’s ever influenced or inspired me. For the sake of not going on and on, I’ll keep it to the more recent authors within our own genre who I’ve found incredibly inspiring – Anna Zabo, Santino Hassell, JA Rock, Lisa Henry, Jordan Castillo Price, to name a few. I’m pretty sure they’re collectively occupying about half of my Audible account!.
  2. How important are names to you in the books you write? Do you choose the names based on the way it sounds or how it fits the story you are writing? – Sometimes a name falls out of the sky, and sometimes I have to work to find one. I usually google baby naming sites or lists of names by decade (i.e., popular boys’ names from the 1980 census) to get ideas. The names themselves don’t tend to influence the story or the character’s personality.

  1. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy? – Sex scenes and car chases. I’ve written hundreds if not thousands of the former, but they will always be one of the hardest for me to write. Car chases are just hard. They’re jerks. I hate car chases. But I write suspense, so… car chases happen. Huff.

 

  1. What book do you wish you could have written? Do you get to read books for pleasure? – Probably the entire PsyCop series by Jordan Castillo Price. It’s just SO good. I listen to audiobooks for pleasure, and will usually spend an hour or two each night listening to something. I’ve actually started hating air travel a little less because flying is the perfect opportunity for an audiobook. In fact, I listened to Abi Roux’s Fish & Chips in one sitting during a transatlantic flight. Passes the time with no eye strain and no motion sickness!

 

  1. Always the fun one: Grab the nearest book, open it to page 48 and look for the fourth word in the second sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!) Say, why am I doing this before I’ve had caffeine? (The book is Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell.)

I love this series, seriously just love it! So when Rank & File came up, I was stalking Net Galley waiting for this book, and as is so often the case with any L.A. Witt book, it did not disappoint.

First, if you like to read “on paper”, steamy, sweaty, graphic man/man sex, this is the book for you (conversely if you do not, you may want to skim those scenes). And there are a lot of them. These two men want each other…a lot…so there is quite a bit of on screen sex. But if that normally scares you, the sex scenes are very well done. They aren’t raunchy scenes, but scenes that are appropriate for their story. These two men have a one-night stand that turns into more, and the sex scenes completely tell that story. As their relationship grows and changes, so does their sex. It is still super hot, don’t get me wrong, but they become infused with little bits of humor, revelations, as well as learning and acknowledging their partners needs and wants. These were not sex scenes merely for the sake of making it an erotic book, but for advancing their relationship from f**k buddies to “this is the man I need in my life”, which made them all the more satisfying as a reader.

One thing I love about L.A. Witt’s stories is that she brings realism into her stories, no matter what environment her main characters are in, and telling the story of these men and their different experiences with the Navy, and all that goes along with it shows that she researches heavily before she writes. Myself, as a civilian, I would have never guessed that an enlisted man could not date an officer, even if they do not have any interaction at work. It seems to be an arcane regulation, yet could have caused one or both men to be ushered out of the Navy without a care to their career history. And her resolution to this issue could have been a fiction one that would have never happened in a real life Navy situation. Instead, she creates a resolution that isn’t perfect, but real for where these characters are in their lives and careers.

There are other things I appreciated about how this book was written. Like the fact that there was an age difference of about 10 years between the two MC’s, and yet it was little more than a blip on the screen. It doesn’t have to be an issue for RL people, and the author doesn’t use it to create another conflict for these men. It is mentioned (admittedly more than once) but not with anything other than the mention, and then the characters move on.

My heart broke for these men when they had to try to figure a way to live without each other, but merely existed on a day to day level. Finding their way back to each other took thoughtful work on their part, in their lives, and even how they presented themselves to others.

I really loved this book, probably my favorite in the series, so far, and I will fan girl enough to say that I would love to see more of this series. I can’t seem to get enough!

4.5 pieces of eye candy

About the Anchor Point Series

Welcome to Anchor Point!

Nestled on the northern coast of Oregon, this small town is home to Naval Air Station Adams. On base, you’ll find freshly minted Sailors who’ve just graduated boot camp, salty officers counting down till retirement, grounded pilots who’ve landed behind desks, and everyone in between—and they’re all looking for love. Well, not all of them, but that won’t stop love from finding them.

So pull up a barstool, grab a beer, and get ready for some sea stories as these men in uniform—or not—navigate the waters of love and life in the military.

Anchor Point stories can be enjoyed in any order. Hop in wherever you’d like!

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/anchor-point

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

To celebrate the release of Rank & File, one lucky winner will receive their choice of two eBooks off L. A. Witt’s backlist (excluding Rank & File) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 30, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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

Why I Love Bodyguards by T.A. Chase: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Hilton Burke might be one of the most powerful men in the world, but he can’t get what he wants the most. Every time he sees Cathal McKinley, his head of security, Hilton wishes they could be more than just employer and employee. In fact, he might be in love with Cathal, even though they’ve never slept together.

Cathal McKinley accepts how much he wants his boss, but he’s pretty sure Hilton will never date him. They come from two different worlds. Now that he has to return to Sunburst, Montana, to deal with family problems, Cathal knows there is no chance for them to get together.

Hilton and Cathal spent years dancing around each other, but when Cathal needs help the most, Hilton comes to Montana to support him. Soon they’re struggling with children and an old friend who won’t take no for an answer. Finally admitting their love out loud might be the least of their worries.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2014.

Title: Why I Love Bodyguards
Series: Why I Love…: Book Three
Author: T.A. Chase
Release Date: September 22, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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I’ve loved T.A. Chase’s covers for a long time, but haven’t read any of her books yet, so I grabbed this one when I read the synopsis. What a great story!

There was so much to love about this book. The first was the relationships, and not just with the two MC’s. In fact, I never did quite figure out why these two MC’s had been avoiding each other in the years that Cathal had worked for Hilton. They seemed to almost not be friends, then Hilton goes to help Cathal out, not giving him much choice really, and they move from friends to finally that kiss that was worth waiting for.

The other relationships was probably one of the best parts of this book for me. Cathal with his sisters kids that he took guardianship from his father for. Cathal and his father’s relationship, which ended up somewhat unresolved, but still seemed to be a guiding force in everyone’s life. Even Hilton’s relationship with the children. It all was so organic. The children were told that when the time came, their uncle would be there for them, and they “mostly” trusted that, but you could see some hesitation in their actions, as they had been burned a few times from their absentee mother.

Dealing with the errant “old friend” who just would not give up, despite being married was somewhat hilarious. Hilton made no bones about it, stood up for what he saw as his family, and didn’t allow that person anywhere near any of them.

Cathal and Hilton made such a great team of parents, it’s hard to understand why they hesitated at all to be together. It was so very satisfying when the entire family was able to finally be together in one place, and begin their lives. It brought a great big smile to this readers face! And now I want to read the others!

4.5 pieces of eye candy


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I Heart Boston Terriers by Rick R. Reed: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Author’s Note: This edition has been extensively revised.

When Aaron finds Mavis, an emaciated and shy Boston terrier, at a pet adoption fair, his heart goes out to her—completely.

When Christian, manning the adoption fair for the Humane Society that autumn Saturday, finds Aaron, his heart goes out to him—completely.

This is a story about embracing love, whether it’s for someone who walks on four legs or on two. Mavis’s journey back to wholeness and finding her forever home parallels the story of two men discovering each other at the perfect moment—a moment that defies logic, propriety, and common sense. But when did love ever follow a rational course?

First edition published by Amber Allure, January 2012.

Title: I Heart Boston Terriers
Author: Rick R. Reed
Release Date: September 20, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 54

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This is a quick read. A short story you can read while waiting in line, or while dinner is in the oven. I do like those kinds of reads. Then you add in an animal? Well, you have me wanting to read it right away. 🙂

We could talk about Aaron and Christian, and the fact that Aaron was a little put off initially by Christian’s forwardness. Or about Aaron’s sister, who, honestly as an animal lover, and a shelter volunteer myself, I wanted to…well, let’s just say I didn’t want to take her to dinner.

But let’s talk about Mavis. Because…poor abused Mavis, she needed love more than anyone else in the story! What a sweet thing (take a look at the cover, that is a picture of the author’s own dog, Lily, being a star!) she was. Mavis was a challenge, for sure, especially for a man who had never owned a dog. She acted in ways that were difficult to understand, and which, if you are unfamiliar with animals, would be a challenge to try to figure out how to deal with. However, I loved that Aaron stood up for his dog, and his choices, and said that she was staying, period, and yet went looking for help with a situation he had no idea how to solve.

The approach the author took to the ending was actually perfect for this short story. Mavis was taken care of, and there wasn’t an impossible situation for the two men to deal with, as they worked through whether or not they wanted to pursue a relationship with each other. Sometimes in short stories, the insta-love leads to what would not be a realistic, long term relationship, which can make the reader feel like, it is an HFN, but will later be a “we are done”. And with a romance, we want to KNOW that they will get their HEA.

3.5 pieces of eye candy


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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.