Bonfires by Amy Lane: Release Day Review with Giveaway

bonfiressynopsisTen years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.

Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.

It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.

Title: Bonfires
Author: Amy Lane
Release Date: March 24, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 280

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denise review

I love Amy Lane’s books, although I haven’t been brave enough to read her really angsty stuff. I don’t want to end up in a fetal position on the floor in my house wondering how I will go on. 🙂 But Bonfires seemed like a good middle ground between Amy’s super angsty and her sweet and light-hearted works. A good middle ground it was.

It is very seldom that I get to read a book where the characters are about the same age as I am. Generally they are between 25 and 35, so this was a fantastic change of page. Both characters were mid to late 40s, with teenagers still in the house, and some kids having already left home. And for both men, this was a second chance at love.

I loved the fact that it wasn’t insta-love. These men had lived in the same town for years, seen and talked to each other at multiple events. It merely had become time for them to live their lives again, rather than having their lives ruled by their children. Don’t get me wrong, the kids definitely interfered. Finding the time or place to have adult sex was rather funny to read, because you could see that happening in your own life, with your own kids.

There were definitely some HUGE surprises in this book, some the reader doesn’t see coming, as Amy Lane books are often wont to do. In the end, though, it was about two men finding a second love, and figuring out how to manage time, their jobs and life in general. They found it, but they worked hard at it, knowing it wasn’t easy.

Amy also threw in one of my favorite things to find. To me, it is almost like an Easter Egg. She didn’t solve all the problems. There were still unresolved issues within this new family, and realistically that is exactly what happens in life. Too often with romance novels, everything is wrapped up neatly, no stone is left unturned, and all issues have been settled. Not here! She left a couple things unsettled, and that is okay with this reader!

4.5 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.

Thick & Thin by Charlie Cochet: Release Day Review includes Giveaway

thick-and-thinsynopsisIn a matter of days, Dex has been kidnapped, tortured, killed, revived, become half Therian, offered the chance to become a spy, and accepted a proposal to marry his jaguar Therian boyfriend, Sloane Brodie. It’s been a lot to take in, and although Dex is still trying to wrap his head around everything that’s happened, he knows he has to move forward.

After the events of Smoke & Mirrors, Dex and Sloane find themselves in one of the most frightening situations of all: revealing the truth to their Destructive Delta family. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same, and it’s up to Dex to prove that in the face of change, the one thing that will always remain the same is family.

Title: Thick & Thin
Series: THIRDS: Book Eight
Author: Charlie Cochet
Release Date: February 1, 2017
Category: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal: Werewolves/Shifters, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 95

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denise review

Every time I read something by Charlie Cochet, I am so impressed. She continues to amaze me with the depth she adds to all her work, whether its a THIRDS novella or her holiday series. Thick & Thin is no exception. It isn’t just the depth of the characters or emotions that are so impressive. The depth of the stories are so multi-leveled that although these COULD be read as stand alone, a reader would miss so much of the setup for future, from beginning to end.

To start Hell & High Water with Dex, and learning quickly in that book that his parents were killed in the riots, when he was only 5 years old, to then come full circle to Thick & Thin, and get a better understanding of what actually happened takes planning, plotting and more planning. In book 2, you see set up that comes to fruition several books later, and so on.

With Thick & Thin, Charlie takes a short novella, packs a super punch, leaves the reader hanging (only slightly), and wanting more of what is ahead for the entire family of Destructive Delta. In addition, this was a necessary component to the series. Although people have been dying for the next book, this was needed to prepare the reader for what was coming. Her completion of one or two story arcs, in a 95 page novella, and setup for Seb and Hudson’s book is such a great balance of loving what you’re reading, and wanting what is ahead.

Sometimes in a book series with so many books, the reader can get bored, and move on, yet there is absolutely no chance this reader (or most) is moving on, and the second I get my hands on book 9, I will be hiding away from the world so that I can soak up every word of it.

Not a single spoiler! You NEED to read this! That is all. 🙂

4.5 pieces of eye candy

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Sight Unseen by Susan Mac Nicol with Nicholas Downs: Release Day Blitz and Review

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Sometimes we don’t see love coming

Based on an idea from L.A. producer and actor, Nicholas Downs, Susan and Nicholas have developed a story straight from the heart.

In a gripping tale of lovers fighting against the odds comes a story of universal appeal about rejection and acceptance and finally finding what is real and true.

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synopsis

Tragedy brings together a reserved but brilliant sculptor and an outgoing gallery owner, friends whose love was sidetracked but was always meant to be deeper.

BLINDSIDED

SoCal natives, Nate and Cody have been friends since childhood. Both knew they were different—and the same. At seventeen, a stolen weekend in the Florida Keys drove their connection deeper and hotter than either could imagine. They were meant to be together. Then, for reasons only Nate knows, suddenly they weren’t.

They’re still friends. Best friends. But they’ve moved on and found other partners. The yearning remains, however, despite the long-ago secret that drove them apart, when tragedy strikes, both men find themselves in the dark. They must grope their way back to who and what they are…which they will find in each other’s arms. Sometimes, losing one’s sight can open one’s eyes—and heart.

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GOODREADS

Click “want to read” and add to your TBR shelf

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BOOK TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sNjNYnBUq0

Heather's Review

From the moment you start reading Sight Unseen, you know it’s not going to be a fluffy story. It’s heartbreaking to see Nate in the moments after his life is forever changed. As if that isn’t enough, the man who should’ve been there for him…isn’t.

Luckily, Nate has Cody. Cody is the best friend who refuses to let Nate give up– on his passion or on himself. At times, he pushes too hard, but it’s because he loves Nate and knows he won’t be happy if he’s still missing a huge chunk of his life.

This is not a steamy, sexy read. It’s a love story. A beautiful, if at times painful, story of two men who love one another falling in love with each other. It’s definitely in the re-read folder on my Kindle!

4.5 pieces of eye candy

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SIGNING NEWS

Author Susan Mac Nicol is going to the States.

Would you love to meet International Bestselling Author Susan Mac Nicol & L.A. producer and Hollywood Actor Nicholas Downs? Now is your chance!!

It’s a dream come true for Sue and she’s honoured to be signing Sight Unseen with Boroughs Publishing Group and actor Nicholas Downs at this conference from 25-26th March.

If you’re interested in attending this signing, either as an author or a reader, here is the link.

https://caldreaminwriters.com/

The 2017 conference will be at : Embassy Suites in Brea, California.

Address: 900 E Birch St, Brea, CA 92821

There will also be a very special signing event at The Abbey, an iconic gay club in West Hollywood. Nicholas and Sue will be there to enjoy the evening, meet fans of both their genres in film and publishing and be available to sign books, chat and have some fun. If you’re in the area, please pop down and see them, they’d no doubt love to see you.

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This is the room they’ll be signing in, isn’t it fabulous. It’s the Cabana Bar.

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CONNECT WITH SUSAN & NICHOLAS

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Twitter: @SightUnseenPR

Instagram: @sightunseenla

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Sight-Unseen-The-Project-1547502492221078/

Susan

www.susanmacnicol.net

Nicholas

www.nicholasdowns.com

Susan Mac Nicol Author Page
https://www.facebook.com/authorsusanmacnicol/

Nicholas Downs Fan Page
https://www.facebook.com/Nicholas-Downs-97159977384/

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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.

Walking on Thin Ice by Jocelynn Drake: Release Day Review and Giveaway

walking-on-thin-icesynopsis

It’s not easy for Spenser Roland to admit it, but he needs help. Christmas is just a few days away, and he can’t face the idea of showing up to his family’s gathering alone … again. They want to see him happily settled, but Spenser doesn’t date. He can’t risk it if he wants to protect his family. But one unexpected night with Evan Scott has him thinking that maybe he can strike a deal that will make his family happy and give him a little holiday cheer as well.

Evan never should have accepted a ride home from the sexy-as-hell corporate executive, but he’s proud that he stuck to his guns. He’s done with the one-night stand game. He wants something real. Something that lasts. But when Spenser returns, asking him to pose as his boyfriend over the weekend at a Christmas celebration, Evan is sure he’s lost his mind.

But he can’t say no.

Maybe it’s the shadow of loneliness in Spenser’s bright blue eyes that’s too much like his own. Or maybe it’s his heart-stopping smile.

Either way, Evan knows he’s on thin ice with Spenser, risking his own rules and heart, but Spenser is worth the risk.

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denise review

When I was sent the ARC for Walking on Thin Ice, I literally did a little happy dance at my desk. 🙂 I have enjoyed the writing of Jocelynn Drake (and her co-author in the Unbreakable Bonds series, Rinda Elliott) since I discovered Shiver, and had been looking forward to reading Jocelynn’s version of a happy holiday story. Of course, it was not without its share of drama, and I enjoyed every second of it! 🙂

When we first meet Spenser, he is a busy corporate man, on the prowl for a one night stand, and not at all used to the word no. Meanwhile Evan says exactly that to Spenser, because he has come to a place in his life where he believes that he is worth tomorrow with someone.

One of the things I enjoyed about this book was that, although Spenser was serious about not dating, and had no real intention of getting involved with anyone ever, he let go, and had fun with Evan. They laughed, had fun with Spenser’s family, and just relaxed. Clearly something Spenser needed, when his entire life was about protecting the family he clearly adored so much.

Getting to know Spenser’s family was a great bonus, as well. His family was so loving, so accepting, and united in their support of each other. I loved seeing that there was just a happy family, and were more than willing to open their hearts to a new family member.

The author can write some smoking hot sex scenes, so don’t think this is all fun and frivolity. You will not want to be reading some of these scenes on your commuter train. 😉

I highly recommend this book, it is definitely a re-read holiday novel for me. I really hope to catch up with this family again!

4.5 pieces of eye candy.

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Leave a comment with your favorite m/m holiday story for a chance to win a copy of Walking on Thin Ice by Jocelynn Drake.

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

Arctic Fire by Keira Andrews: Quick Review

arctic-firesynopsis

When two strangers are trapped in a blizzard, heat rises.

Haunted by what he lost in Afghanistan, Captain Jack Turner is at a crossroads. While the last place he wants to go is the Arctic, at least the routine mission gets him out from behind his new desk. But he starts off on the wrong foot with the Canadian Ranger guiding him across the forbidding and dangerous land, and Jack would rather be anywhere than sharing a tent with Sergeant Kin Carsen.

The Arctic is in Kin’s blood, and he can’t seem to leave the tundra behind. He wishes he could live openly as a gay man, but the North isn’t as accepting as the rest of Canada. Although he’s lonely, he loves his responsibility as a Ranger, patrolling the vast land he knows so well. But he’s on unfamiliar ground with Jack, and when they’re stranded alone by a blizzard, unexpected desire begins to burn. Soon they’re in a struggle to survive, and all these strangers have is each other.

Note: This gay romance from Keira Andrews features emotional repression, hurt/comfort, adventure on the tundra, and love where you least expect it.

Arctic Fire first appeared in the M/M military bundle Unconditional Surrender in 2014.

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morgan review

Arctic Fire is a short read but packed with emotion and it held my interest from the first page. The characters were likable and the relationship between Kin and Jack was a slow build and didn’t feel the least bit forced. I also enjoyed how there was Inuit culture weaved into the story. It was interesting and made me want to learn more about them.

I do feel like the ending was a bit rushed and I hope we get to revisit the couple in the future. I would like to see how some of their issues are resolved and the HFN turned into an HEA. As always though, I really enjoyed Keira’s writing.

4.5 pieces of eye candy from me.

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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.

His Premier by Jessie G: Exclusive Guest Post and Excerpt, Blog Tour, Giveaway and Review

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Book Title: His Premier

Series: Sizzling Miami Book 6

Author: Jessie G

 

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synopsis

Born into wealth and privilege, Colin Sinclair was raised on the knowledge that money could buy anything and everyone had a price. Trouble was no trouble at all, not when the money was there to sweep it under the rug. But those lessons, learned at the knee of his father, were going to be challenged in a way that would change Colin forever.

In middle class suburbia, Arnaud Dechene learned the value of hard work, focus, and dedication to a dream. He was well on his way to achieving it, the role of Premier, when he catches Colin’s eye. Rich snobs didn’t usually do it for him, but there was something about Colin that made him impossible to resist.

Despite being opposites in every way, falling into a relationship was surprisingly—and deceptively—easy, but Arnaud never lost sight of his dream and Colin had trouble accepting that he was second place to anything. When a stupid argument leads to a reckless act, the repercussions leave Arnaud fighting for his life and Colin paying with his own.

With a little meddling from an aging schemer and intentions that are more well-meaning than realistic, their paths will cross again. However, Colin and Arnaud aren’t the same men who loved with abandon. They are older and wiser, with a history that might be too big to overcome.

Fans of the series know revenge is a double-edged sword, forgiveness doesn’t always come easy, and forgetting is damn near impossible. But love…well, that may just conquer all.

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When Denise asked me for an excerpt, she said she wanted a piece from when Colin sees Arnaud for the first time. Then she said ‘I don’t normally like YA, but you made me like it’ and I was like huh? YA, what? I don’t write YA! But, I guess, technically, the first four chapters of His Premier go back ten years when my MC’s were 16 and 17, making those four chapters YA. After that, it’s definitely all adult!

There was a delicate balance that came into play when writing this book. My first draft started in the present and heavily relied on flashbacks, and that just came off as confusing crap when I read it through. So I took most of the flashbacks and fleshed them out into full scenes that became the first four chapters of the book. To me, presenting them whole gives us a glimpse into the motivation behind this second chance romance. What exactly are they fighting for? I thought I knew, but having the full picture helped so much.

Colin and Arnaud’s first meeting was truly a life changing moment for both of them and I’m so glad Denise chose it as her excerpt.

So, without further nonsense from me, here’s an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 1 of His Premier.

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Involuntarily, Colin’s gaze was drawn back to the dancer and his breath caught as he executed a series of flawless pirouettes across the stage. Each muscle seemed to flow into the next and the effect was stunning. The beauty he’d seen before wasn’t a trick of the light, it really did glow from within, and Colin knew that neither his family name nor their social standing would impress someone so vibrant.

His grandmother nudged him gently and teased, “Don’t look now, Colin, but I think you’ve been spotted.”

Colin hadn’t been able to stop looking, taking in every inch from the dark waves of hair all the way down to those flying feet, but he’d been trying to avoid staring at the dancer’s face. The mysteriously dark eyes, high cheekbones, and full lips came together in a way that might be considered delicate and feminine at first glance. Anyone smart enough to take a closer look would see the masculinity in the dancer’s face and form, though Colin imagined he spent most of his life being picked on for being a pretty boy by those too ignorant to see beneath the surface.

It was self-preservation that made him look anywhere else, but now he had no choice but to see that the dancer appeared to be looking right at him. There was excitement in that dark gaze, no doubt a lingering effect of the performance, but there was also interest there. Could that interest be directed at him? The room was filled with dancers, volunteers, family members, and other donors, and Colin immediately looked over his shoulder to see who he was really looking at. Most of the audience was looking in the general direction of the stage, but none really stood out as paying any more attention than the next.

“Do you think…?” Colin began as he faced forward again, the question trailing away in the wake of the obvious amusement on the dancer’s face. Normally, he didn’t like being the source of anyone’s amusement, but he was too enraptured by the hands gesturing for him to come down to the side of the stage to care.

“Me?” he mouthed, pointing to himself even though he felt foolish. He’d feel even more foolish if he went down there only to realize the dancer was gesturing to someone else.

Another amused smile and a brief nod were all the encouragement he needed to jump up and push his way out of the row. Once he was free, he forced himself to walk naturally. Appearing overeager would give the dancer power over him, something else his father warned against. Whatever might come of this little introduction, he had to maintain the upper hand.

When he reached the stage, he noticed the dancer had been stopped by someone with a clipboard. A quick hand signal asked him to wait. Though he wasn’t used to waiting on anyone, Colin shoved his hands in his pockets and leaned against the wall as casually as he could. The dancer was here for a reason and it wasn’t to meet him. Being understanding of that would only make him look good in the long term.

His patience was rewarded when the dancer jumped from the stage and crossed the distance between them, stepping closer than Colin was used to. Before he could offer his hand and a formal introduction, the dancer was demanding, “Did you love it? I mean…it’s only rehearsals, but you seemed really into the dance and I really wanted you to love it. Did you? Would you change anything? Oh man, my manners suck, don’t they? But I really, really want this, you know? For so long and…well, shit, man, I really wanted you to love it.”

The rush of words stopped abruptly as the dancer took a deep breath and Colin was completely entranced. So entranced that he forgot to play it cool. “I really, really loved it. It was perfect. You were perfect.”

Colin had never seen anyone look so happy, had never been the cause of anyone’s happiness before, and wished he knew more words to describe what he felt so he could continue to bask in that joy.

The dancer inched even closer and Colin could feel the heat coming off his vibrating body. “Really, really? You’re not just saying that cause you think I’m hot?”

“I’m not just saying that because I think you’re hot.” Too late, Colin realized the trap for what it was, but then the dancer was laughing and the sound was the sweetest thing he’d ever heard. “Fishing much?”

“I was totally fishing!” Unrepentant, the dancer laughed again and grabbed Colin up in a tight, sweaty hug. The people Colin knew shook hands, maybe offered the occasional pat on the back, but they did not hug someone within an inch of their lives. His own arms hung uselessly at his sides, uncertain what they were supposed to be doing.

Instead of being put off by Colin’s slow response, the dancer grabbed him by the wrists and guided his arms into position around an impossibly slender waist. Never in his life had anyone physically taken a hug from him, especially not a total stranger. Not even a hot one. He liked it.

denise review

No one writes emotionally damaged men in situations that are not a quick fix to alleviate quite like Jessie G. She manages quite often to take one moment in time and turn it into a lifetime of pain, loneliness, despair. Then the character likely will be just living day by day. Somehow she then manages to turn it into at least an HFN, if not my favorite, an HEA.

Colin is that type of man. He made one mistake, one many of us made at that same age without the dire consequences, and turned it into a lifetime of penance and remorse. Going from being rich and having it all, to the depths of grief, all while managing to still support the people who’ve been supportive for him since his release. He mourned his loss of love, yet felt he deserved no better.

What I enjoyed the most about this story was being allowed to read Colin’s healing, page by page. Jessie G did an amazing job with this. She didn’t allow Colin’s character to suddenly be okay with himself, with allowing himself to love again, or even his choices. Arnaud coming back into Colin’s life began the cycle of healing that Colin needed. Merely because Arnaud decided Colin had had long enough to wallow in his choices, he took the reins and pushed Colin to finally face him. The reader then watched Colin come back slowly to as healthy a human being as he could in the limited pages of the book. (I’ve already told Jessie she needs to write a follow up, which she “might” have already been planning.)

Arnaud lived his dreams, traveling, dancing for dignitaries on the grandest of stages. Yet in the end, he needed to find his way back to Miami, and Colin, to begin the next phase of his life. I loved that about him. He didn’t give up his dreams to be with the man he wanted. He lived them, waited patiently, and then pushed forward to bring new visions for himself and the life he wanted with Colin to life.

This was a beautiful love story about growing as a person, forging love despite harsh mistakes, and forgiving yourself even when it’s against what you believe you are worthy of. Their love never died, only Colin’s ability to believe he was good enough. He grew to believe that, as much as he could, therefore he allowed himself to love again. The reader can see that he has a long way to go, but with so much support and love behind him, he has a huge jumpstart.

I highly recommend you read the entire series first, although it can definitely be read as a stand alone. But your enjoyment of Colin’s transformation will be that much better. And a definite re-read! J

4.5 pieces of eye candy for me

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Sizzling Miami Series

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meet the author

Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: To be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and counting, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters and series filled with families, biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.

 

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

Waiting for Patrick by Brynn Stein: Release Day Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

waitingforpatrick_postcard_front_dspsynopsis

Architect Elliot Graham has bought and restored dozens of historic homes to their original splendor. As in his personal life, he loves them and leaves them, selling them off without looking back. But there’s something about the old plantation house he finds in South Carolina—a connection he can’t explain. He feels as though he recognizes the house, as if within its crumbling walls he might find something he doesn’t even realize he’s lost.

Ben Myers promised his lover and soul mate, Patrick, that he would wait for his return—and Ben has kept his word, ever since Patrick brought him to the plantation house during the Civil War. For the first time in many long years, Ben is no longer alone, and he reaches out to Elliot in dreams. Elliot tries to convince Ben that Patrick isn’t coming back, and Ben’s devotion is about to change not only his lonely existence, but Elliot’s life as well.

Title: Waiting for Patrick
Author: Brynn Stein
Release Date: September 16, 2016
Category: Paranormal: Ghots/Spirits
Pages: 280

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Dreamspinner Press

 

Guest Post

I just finished a blog tour for Waiting for Patrick yesterday. I’m offering giveaways of one signed copy, one electronic copy, and a choice of one title from my backlist. It’s not too late to enter. I will choose and announce a winner at 5PM EST on September 16th, the release day of my book. Feel free to go around and comment on as many blogs as you want. One comment, one entry.

Crossword Puzzle

So, I just finished my blog tour, and had a wonderful time. But I find I’m running out of blog post ideas. But, never fear. I was a teacher for thirty years before becoming a mental health counselor. So, I created a crossword. The information needed for the crossword is all in one or the other of my blog tour posts (listed below) or in the blurb.

Try your hand at the crossword here: http://crosswordlabs.com/view/waiting-for-patrick-2

If you prefer a little less of a challenge, go to the shorter version here: http://crosswordlabs.com/view/waiting-for-patrick

If you give up, “Patrick” is the password for both that will give you the answer key.

Have fun.

denise review

My favorite period of history, bar none, is the American Civil War. It has always fascinated me, and I have researched and read many different thing on it. So, when I read the words “Civil War” in the blurb, I knew I wanted to read it, and wanted a guest post on it. I wasn’t disappointed.

This book is a ghost story, along with some other little spots of surprise, but all in all its a love story. I don’t read ghost stories. Ever. Not in my comfort zone. Not something I even really want to read. Why? Because they don’t have happy endings. I need my HEA. That is why I read romance. You gotta give me a happy ending or I am out! So, I was nervous. But Waiting for Patrick was just what I needed. There was a beautiful HEA, which I won’t lie, left me BAWLING at the end of  the book. But I got what I was looking for, my HEA.

The love story of Ben and Patrick was told beautifully through the dreams that Elliott sees when he sleeps. Two men that never really questioned their love. And when Ben died after being injured in the Civil War, and Patrick left, Ben waited in that house for Patrick’s return. He was devoted to Patrick and would not deviate. He was waiting for Patrick without question.

Elliott meanwhile falls in love with the ghost of Ben, and Ben returns his feelings. A love triangle like none other. Yet you don’t feel angst, because you can feel the emotions, and you can see where this is heading. It doesn’t hurt any less as you get there, your heart will be ripped apart, but the love is so strong that you can’t help but feel joy as to what you know is coming.

This book was a bit longer than it needed to be, I think, with a few scenes that could have been cut, or reduced to just the necessary components. Although it didn’t detract from the story, those extra pieces did not add to the story as they should have.

All in all, though, I really loved this book. I loved the story, both past and present. I loved seeing how easily Elliott was able to find love when he’d felt uneasy about it his entire life. I will be re-reading this book at some point. Thank you to Brynn Stein for giving me a ghost story I could love. 🙂

4.5 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

Brynn has always loved to write about strong male characters and their close friendships. When she found the world of m/m fiction, she fell in love. Finally, a way to bring those strong male characters together and let those emotional connections spill over into deeper relationships. Sometimes her characters go through the emotional wringer, but they always have each other.

Brynn lives in Virginia near her two grown daughters who support her writing and sometimes act as proof readers. Both of her daughters are also aspiring writers and hopefully it’ll just be a matter of time before they have their own author’s biography.

Brynn was a teacher by profession for thirty years. She worked in special education with children with emotional disabilities. She has recently changed careers and is now working as a mental health counselor to this same population and their families. When she is not working or writing, she loves to draw and paint. She also gets outside as often as she can, reads anything that doesn’t move out of the way, and is always looking for her next story.

Contact Brynn:

https://twitter.com/BrynnStein

http://brynnstein2.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/brynn.stein

 

Other Blog Stops

      Date Blog Name   Blog Owner Blog Address
September 1st Bike Book Reviews Becky http://bikebookreviews.blogspot.com/
September 2nd Drops of Ink Anne Barwell http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/
September 2nd Snow’s Untangled Threads and Musings Snow Tigra http://snowtigra.blogspot.com/
September 3rd Antonia Aquilante Antonia Acquilante  www.antoniaaquilante.com/blog
September 3rd The Story Struggle and Beyond Ki Brightly www.brightlybooks.wordpress.com
September 4th Thianna Durston Thianna Durston Http://mm.thiannad.com
September 4th Unconventional Love Stories Charley Descoteaux https://cdescoteauxwrites.com/
September 4th Misadventures of the Heart Heloise West https://velvetpanic2.wordpress.com/
September 5th Sandra Bard Sandra Bard http://sandrabard.tumblr.com
September 5th Tempest O’Riley Tempe O’Riley http://tempesteoriley.com/
September 6th Jackie Keswick Jackie Keswick http://www.jackiekeswick.co.uk
September 7th Chaos in the Moonlight K-lee Kline http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca/?m=1&zx=8a3ea5613ebace1d
September 8th Grace R. Duncan Grace Duncan http://www.grace-duncan.com/graces-blog
September 8th Brita Addams Brita Addams http://www.britaaddams.net/#!blog/c1zoe
September 8th Cryselle’s Bookshelf Chryselle www.crysellesbookshelf.com
September 9th Emotion in Motion Elizabeth Noble http://www.elizabeth-noble.com/my-blog
September 9th MM Good Books Review https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/
September 10th Jacob Z Flores Jacob Flores http://www.jacobzflores.com/
September 11th Andrew’s Blog Andrew Grey http://andrewgreybooks.com/blog/
September 12th Nicki J Marcus Nicki Marcus http://www.nickijmarkus.com
September 12th Rainbow Gold Reviews Marc Fleischhauer rainbowgoldreviews.wordpress.com
September 13th PD Singer PD Singer http://wp.me/puLP9-1bg
September 14th Our Story LGBTQ Historical Fiction Christopher  Moss https://ourstoryglbtqhistoricalfiction.com
September 15th Renee Stevens Renee Stevens http://reneestevens.net/blog-2/
September 15th Purple Rose Tea House Charlie Cochet http://purpleroseteahouse.com
September 15th Open Skye Book Reviews http://openskyebookreviews.com/waiting-for-patrick-by-brynn-stein-book-tour-and-giveaway/
September 15th The Novel Approach Reviews Lisa (Novel Approach) http://www.thenovelapproachreviews.com/
Throughout the tour Book Trailer on You Tube Lex Valentine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCOua40uCJM
This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Can’t Live Without You by Andrew Grey: Release Day Review

CantLiveWithoutYousynopsis

Justin Hawthorne worked hard to realize his silver-screen dreams, making his way from small-town Pennsylvania to Hollywood and success. But it hasn’t come without sacrifice. When Justin’s father kicked him out for being gay, George Miller’s family offered to take him in, but circumstances prevented it. Now Justin is back in town and has come face to face with George, the man he left without so much as a good-bye… and the man he’s never stopped loving.

Justin’s disappearance hit George hard, but he’s made a life for himself as a home nurse and finds fulfillment in helping others. When he sees Justin again, George realizes the hole in his heart never mended, and he isn’t the only one in need of healing. Justin needs time out of the public eye to find himself again, and George and his mother cannot turn him away. As they stay together in George’s home, old feelings are rekindled. Is a second chance possible when everything George cares about is in Pennsylvania and Justin must return to his career in California? First they’ll have to deal with the reason for Justin’s abrupt departure all those years ago.

Title: Can’t Live Without You
Author: Andrew Grey
Release Date: September 12, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

buy now

Amazon

ARe

Dreamspinner Press

 

denise review

Andrew Grey is one of the most prolific writers in the m/m romance genre, and you would think that after so many books, and how often a new one is published, his writing would be “same thing, different character names”. Yet, that has never happened with his books, and certainly did not happen with Can’t Live Without You.

This story is a second chance romance, which is not something I’ve seen much of in Andrew’s writing. These men were in love when they were teenagers, and through circumstances that teenagers sometimes are unable to deal with or fully comprehend, Justin left Pennsylvania and George to move to California. He meets a friend who helps him stabilize himself, and assists him as Justin becomes one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

His father is terminally ill, and George, as a home health nurse has been caring for him, as Justin returns to put the past to rest, despite his seething anger with his father. George and his mother take Justin into their home, and help him to deal with all the feelings that go along with not having closure with a dead family member.

What I enjoyed just as much as the second chance love that shone through for Justin and George, was the second chance that Justin took to relieve the anger and emotions that came from not being there when his own mother passed away, and having no more than two words from his father as he died. It wasn’t easy, it didn’t wrap up Justin’s feelings as he went through the funeral, or as he walked through his childhood home. He was angry, hurt and didn’t know what to do with all those feelings. Then on top of all that, he fell in love again with a man who lives across the country, when his own world is in Hollywood.

Of course, because it is an Andrew Grey book, it gets its HEA, and it wasn’t a simple ribbon wrapped box. These men still had to deal with heartache, and missing each other long distance. But finding the compromise that would allow them to love each other, their family, chosen and blood related took them time and a little intervention.

4.5 pieces of eye candy

4.5-pieces-of-eye-candy

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

Connection Error by Annabeth Albert: Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

9781459290679synopsis
It’s typical of video game programmer Josiah Simmons to be the last one on the plane on the way to the biggest meeting of his career. Though he’s (mostly) coping with his ADHD, he can’t handle another distraction. But he also can’t ignore his rugged seatmate—especially once he learns the military man’s a fan of his game.

Ryan Orson refuses to let his severe injuries pause his career as a navy SEAL. He’s got hours of grueling physical therapy ahead of him, and no time for anything that might get in the way of his return to active duty. But that doesn’t mean he’s above a little first-class flirtation with geeky-cute Josiah.

When a delay strands the pair in St. Louis, they agree to share a hotel room and a night of gaming. Neither expects their new connection to move to the next level in the light of day. Opposites may attract, but is this game over before it’s even begun?

Book Three of the #gaymers series

Title: CONNECTION ERROR
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series Title and Number: #Gaymers, Book 3
Publisher: CARINA PRESS
Cover Artist: CARINA PRESS
Release Date: September 5, 2016
Heat Level: 4 (explicit m/m sex, but lots and lots of plot too!)
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: approx. 66,000 words
Genre/Tags: Romance, M/m Romance, contemporary romance, military romance

Goodreads Link

Connection Error Blitz Banner

Heather's Review

When Status Update came out, I wasn’t sure it’d be my cup of tea. I’m not a gamer. I actually have a bit of an aversion to gaming (yes, I’m a bit weird). I couldn’t imagine I’d enjoy reading about guys falling in love when part of their common bond is something I dislike so strongly.

I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Now, we’re three books into the series and I considered duking it out if need be in order to get my hands on Connection Error. These lovable geeks are like crack and I have no desire to give up my addiction. (strangely enough, part of what I hate about gaming is how addictive it can be, lol)

Ryan and Josiah… let me just say, Annabeth Albert made me lose sleep because of these men. I particularly loved how perfectly she portrayed Josiah and his ADHD. I wanted to hug him and tell him it’d all be okay. That he just needed to slow down and go through step by step. Well, and maybe think before he spoke, but even that was charming.

And then there’s Ryan. I guess I deserved to be shocked right alongside Josiah since I grabbed this one without reading the blurb. There were times when he was a bit much to take, but that was understandable given everything he was going through and the fact that he had to concede that his life was never again going to be what it once was.

There’s so much more I’d love to say about Connection Errorbut everything feels like I’d be giving away something vital. So, let me leave you with this… everyone in my personal life knows I have an order of priorities. Sleep, Coffee, Sex. I love my sleep. There’s a reason it’s at the top of my list. And today, I really love coffee, because Annabeth Albert wrote a book so captivating that it made my give up the first love of my life. It was that good.

4.5 pieces of eye candy

4.5-pieces-of-eye-candy
excerpt

Chapter 1

Somewhere between the third newsstand and the fourth moving sidewalk in LAX, Josiah regretted not joining his friend Ravi in training for a 10k charity race. Nothing like a flat-out sprint from the check-in counter to the slow-moving security lines and another dash from security all the way through gates to make him rethink his aversion to cardio. And the worst part was that for once in his life he’d made every effort to be on time, getting up before the alarm, starting coffee, making sure they were out of the house by o’dark thirty ready for his early morning flight to Germany via a stop in Washington, DC.

Passport? Check.

Carry-on with both laptops, tablet and assorted accessories? Check.

Suitcase with more shirts with buttons than he’d ever owned in his life? Check.

Double-checking that his ticket was booked under “Josiah” not “Joseph”? Total fail, but in his defense, it never occurred to him that the travel agency his employer used would give the wrong name. And the check-in attendant at the airline counter didn’t want to believe that there was a mistake. Thus, every careful endeavor he’d made to ensure that he was on time—early even—went up in a huff of waiting for a supervisor and then another supervisor.

And now finally he was sprinting to make sure he didn’t miss the plane. Forget being there in time to priority board, he was going to be lucky to make the plane period. His first time flying first class—thank you, Space Villager for being such a bestselling gameand it was off to an inelegant start thanks to a stupid mistake.

Finally, finally, he reached the last few gates of the terminal. The TV sets scattered throughout the waiting area were all taking about that huge freak snowstorm heading for the New York area and whether it might veer south enough to cause snow along the whole Eastern Seaboard. Josiah shook his head, trying to not get sucked in to the TV. As long as he got to Germany on time, it wasn’t going to affect him and he needed to stay focused on—

“Last call for Flight 324 nonstop service to Washington Dulles International,” the loudspeaker blared.

“I’m here, I’m here,” he panted as the gate attendant set the red phone back on its hook. He held out his ticket. The woman was around his mother’s age with very red lipstick and very short blond hair and a spectacular frown just for him.

“Ah. Mr. Simmons.” She looked up after scanning his tickets, decidedly less frosty once she saw his first-class seat number. “Come with me, I’m going to have to walk you down.” She spoke into a walkie-talkie as they headed down the walkway. “We’re going to need to gate check your bags. I’m so sorry, but the first-class overhead compartments are all full.”

“Crap.” She gave him a questioning look, and Josiah remembered that he was supposed to be Mr. Smooth and Sophisticated Project Manager, not some whiny kid. “Sorry. That’s fine. Just let me grab my laptop.” He grabbed the laptop with the longer battery life before the attendant put a pink gate-check tag on his two bags. “But…uh…fragile.”

She gave him a tight smile, but added a yellow Fragile tag to his laptop bag. “You’re in Seat 1A,” she said, handing him his ticket back. “You’ll get your bags back when we land, I promise. Enjoy your flight.”

After a brief conversation with the gate attendant, a male flight attendant shut the plane door behind Josiah. “Welcome aboard,” he said to Josiah in a tone that clearly meant, “thank you for pushing back our departure.” In fact, the plane was rolling away from the gate before Josiah almost tumbled into the empty aisle seat of the first row.

“You made it.” A warm chuckle eased past the pounding of Josiah’s heart.

“Wha—what?” he whipped his head over to the window seat—a farther distance than one might expect. The first-class seats were huge padded affairs and there was a thick console dividing the seats. And…hello, most gorgeous guy Josiah had ever seen.

Wide, mischievous smile. Sparkling hazel eyes. Unshaven jaw. Short dark brown hair. And holy hell, arm muscles for days. Bulging biceps with tats poking out of his T-shirt sleeves.

All of a sudden this flight started looking way up.

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you. I just meant I was beginning to think I’d get the row all to myself.” The guy’s voice was possibly even more attractive than his model-worthy face, deep and soothing, with an undercurrent of the sort of confidence that never failed to make Josiah shiver.

And he was all Josiah’s for the next five hours.

Well, except for the part where he seemed ready to take a nap and tune Josiah out—the guy had a pillow behind his head and a blanket on his lap. He yawned, revealing gleaming teeth worthy of a toothpaste ad.

“You’re not a model, are you?” As usual, Josiah’s tongue leaped into action before his brain could restrain it.

“What? No, not a model.” The guy laughed, more of that smoky chuckle that did things to Josiah’s insides.

“TV star? Athlete? Because it seems like I should know you from somewhere, and I don’t want to get to DC and people be like, hey, you were next to that Laker the whole flight…” He trailed off because his friends were right that he had absolutely no filter, and that was triple true around Muppet-flail-worthy hot guys.

“Nope, not famous.” The guy studied Josiah for a long moment, considering, the sort of are-you-for-real expression on his face that Josiah was well used to. Seeming to come to some sort of decision, the guy stuck his right arm across the console. “Lieutenant Ryan Orson, US Navy.”

“Pleased to meet you.” Josiah accepted the handshake. Navy made sense given the Navy-emblazoned T-shirt stretched tight over the guy’s aircraft-carrier-wide chest. Holy crap, the guy was big. Josiah was a skinny 6’2” with big hands and feet that always got in the way. But this guy’s hand made Josiah’s feel downright dainty. “I’m Josiah, Josiah Simmons.”

“Well, Josiah, want to know a secret?” Ryan asked in a conspiratorial whisper.

“Sure.” Josiah was down with whatever secrets this guy wanted to share.

“Not only am I not famous, I’m not even supposed to be in first class.”

“You’re not?”

“Nope.” Ryan winked at Josiah. He had a very disarming wink, all good humor and twinkly eyes.

“The check-in clerk bumped me into first.”

“You got the nice clerk.” Josiah was still a bit grumbly over the name hassle.

“She lost a brother over in Afghanistan.” There was a subtle hint of “grow up” in Ryan’s tone. Josiah straightened, remembering again who he was supposed to be. And here was this impossibly attractive guy to practice on. Sure, he might be Josiah the clueless geek back home, but here he was Josiah the new project manager. This Josiah knew the right way to act and speak and could impress even tough audiences.

“That’s so sad for her.” Josiah tried for sophisticated empathy, something he knew he kind of sucked at.

“Yeah, it is.” Something indecipherable passed over Ryan’s face, his eyes getting darker and cloudier and that wide smile flagging a bit. “Anyway, guess she saw…the Navy connection and had a spare seat to bump me into.”

“What do you do? In the Navy I mean?”

The guy went silent, considering, and Josiah was afraid he’d been too nosy again, but right when he was about to apologize, Ryan finally spoke. “I’m a SEAL. I do a little bit of everything, but mainly I make things go boom. You?”

“Oh my God, you’re Special Forces. Do I ever have questions for you!” Josiah babbled again, only slowing down as Ryan’s easy smile morphed into grim line. “Sorry. I’m just excited because I’m a video game designer. And special ops is our new expansion pack.” And it happened to be the one Josiah was in charge of.

“You program games?” Ryan blinked, and Josiah wasn’t sure what he’d expected Josiah to do, but this clearly wasn’t it. “Anything I’ve heard of?”

Ah. That was it. He assumed Josiah was some sort of kid programming a dot matrix game in his basement. Josiah knew he looked too young for his job, because he was too young. At twenty-three, he was the youngest lead developer on the design team. Thus, he took no small amount of pride in saying, “Space Villager.”

“Oh wow, really?” There was a new note of respect in Ryan’s voice. “I love that game, especially the pod racer and first-person shooter expansion packs.” There was a hint of Texas or something else Southern in his voice, and Josiah could listen to him all day.

“Yeah? Well you’re going to love our special ops expansion pack even more.” Josiah projected far more confidence than he actually felt. He could make this project a success. He had to. The PR team had already hinted that the next expansion pack would revolve around special ops activities on a small war-torn planet, so Josiah didn’t worry too much about sharing this much with Ryan.

“I bet. My ex got me to back the crowdfunding drive, and I’ve been hooked ever since. My buddies were already teasing me about how much time I spent gaming, but there’s something particularly addictive about your game.”

Your game. Josiah liked the sound of that. He only knew a handful of women who played Space Villager, but the ones who did tended to be rabid fans. It was possible he might even know Ryan’s ex by her user handle, but Josiah had just enough self-control to not ask.

“Prepare for takeoff,” the pilot intoned over the PA. This was the part Josiah hated, the acceleration and stomach-dropping ascent. Today he hated it even more, knowing they might catch the edge of that storm. Focusing on turbulence that was probably hours away wasn’t logical, but then, Josiah’s brain seldom was.

“You always so antsy or are you a nervous flyer?” Ryan asked.

Oh crap. Guess he wasn’t doing such a bang-up job projecting the aura of a with-it project manager. He laughed nervously. “Both?”

“I promise we’re going to be okay.” Ryan gave him a quick friendly pat on the knee.

Oh. Josiah’s eyes went wide. Ryan was missing part of the pinky finger on his left hand and had some wicked scarring further up his forearm. Josiah tried not to stare, but knew he failed miserably.

“Mission gone wrong,” Ryan said gruffly. “Now back to flying, millions of people fly every day. It’s safer than car travel.” His tone made it clear further discussion of his hand was not on the table.

“I know flying’s safe. Knowing that’s not the same as believing it.”

Ryan’s answering laugh seemed to strip some of the tension from his face. “How well do I know that attitude. My ex got nervous before every flight, and his buddies used to razz him about it mercilessly.”

Man, two ex references in five minutes. Ryan must be totally hung up on his ex…wait. “His buddies”…What the hell?

“Your ex is a guy?”

“Yup.” Ryan’s smirk said he’d pegged Josiah ten minutes ago, probably when Josiah couldn’t peel his eyes away from those tasty biceps.

“Cool.” He was grinning, but he couldn’t make his facial muscles behave. Hot damn. Gorgeous, muscled, single, gamer, and gay. He ticked every last one of Josiah’s “perfect man” boxes. And if the gods were kind at all, Josiah could keep it together long enough to make a lasting impression.

buy now

Carina Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Itunes | Kobo Books

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meet the author

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.

Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Tumbler | Fan Group | Newsletter

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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.

Zac’s Mulligan by Ann Lister: Quick Review

zac's mulligansynopsis

Zac Mulligan is a former Marine now providing personal security for the infamous rock band, Black Ice. Seeing all the guys around him in committed relationships reminds him of his childhood best friend . . . the only person Zac has never managed to get out of his head or his heart.

Ben Holland is an artist. Falling deeply in love with his best friend in his teens, Ben is left alone when Zac leaves him for the military. Ben heads off to college and lives his life “out and proud” as a gay man and creates a brand name for himself with his artwork. Throughout all the years that pass, Ben never forgets his childhood friend, Zac, or the feelings they once shared.

Zac realizes a decade is too long for Ben not to have a presence in his life and finds Ben living on Cape Cod where they spent their summers as kids. Meeting each other as adults stirs up a lot of memories for both of them.

Zac is looking for a mulligan, a “do over,” with his childhood best friend. The question is: Can Ben find a way to put aside his old hurts and fully open his heart to Zac for a second time? Or maybe the past is something better left buried on the beach where it all began.

 

buy now

Amazon

 

morgan review

I was really excited to get my hands on the first book in Ann’s new series and she did not let me down. The story flowed and kept my interest from start to finish. The emotions were all over with his one and I caught myself pacing my living room at one point while reading. Be prepared to laugh, tear up, and bite your nails. The characters were strong and she gives enough back story on the two MC’s to help me understand their connection that much better. I loved the story line and Ann pulls off this new book beautifully.

Zac and Ben had a long way to go to get to their HEA. There were lots of hurdles they had to cross and trust had to be rebuilt. This story has a slow build with both men getting to know each other again and that makes it all the better. When they finally do get together it’s intense and heartwarming. They never lost their love for each other even after all those years.

I love when we get to revisit with Black Ice and Ivory Tower. They are one big, amazing, crazy family and it’s so fun getting to spend time with them. I enjoyed getting to know a few more of the security guys a little better too. We get a bit of a sneak peek at a new love interest for Fizzbo and I cannot wait for the next addition to this new series. I definitely recommend this one.

4.5 pieces of eye candy from me.

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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.