Dreamers’ Destiny by Tempeste O’Riley: Release Day Review

dreamer

synopsis

Liam Grady is the owner of the Feathered Quill, a quirky little bookstore in Asheville, and—though he doesn’t realize it yet—a dream walker. His last relationship failed almost a year ago, and he’s not had the interest or nerve to pursue anyone he’s met since.

Cameron Danu is a tattoo artist from rural Georgia. Cameron is left without a job after his boss, José, is forced to close the shop after a heart attack. When Cameron learns José has set up an interview for him at a small tattoo parlor in Asheville, he hopes for a fresh start in a new town.

Fate brings Cameron and Liam together, and they realize they’ve met before—in their dreams. A chance encounter and a winged tattoo might lead them to their destiny—if fear doesn’t turn their dreams into a nightmare.

Title: Dreamers’ Destiny
Author: Tempeste O’Riley
Release Date: May 13, 2016
Category: Contemporary, Other Paranormal
Pages: 200

paula review

Tempeste O’Riley has really outdone herself this time. This book was so amazing! Liam and Cameron were such wonderful characters. This is something different than anything else I have read by her. I really enjoyed the way she wrote this story, showing us everything and making it so I couldn’t put this book down. I have to say if this were to happen to me I think I would have done exactly what Cameron did. How freaky would it be to meet someone in person that you had been seeing in your dreams? Liam and Cameron were so well developed and I really got caught up with them. With how well Tempeste wrote this story I hope she does more like this.

5 pieces of eye candy

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A Mended Man by Jaime Reese: Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Series: The Men of Halfway House #4
Author: Jaime Reese
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 28, 2016
Photographer: wagnerLA Photography
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
synopsis

Detective Aidan Calloway is rock-solid strong. He’s a man of justice—loyal to his friends, family, and job—even if it requires bending a law…or two. He shields himself behind an abrasive, fearless facade, until a phone call one night chips his armor and throws his perfectly planned, hollow life into a tailspin.

Jessie Vega is the epitome of optimism. His carefully crafted attitude of hope and positivity protects him from a past filled with too much pain. When a ghost from a dark time resurfaces and nearly breaks him, he must tap into his inner strength or risk losing everything he’s worked so hard to build.

But Jessie can’t do it alone. He must fight to break through Aidan’s ironclad defenses to reveal the heart of the man hiding beneath the tough surface and mend his damaged spirit. Only then can they truly heal and become strong enough to battle the demons that haunt them and threaten their chance to finally be together.

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***This book contains scenes and subject matter some readers may find distressing.***

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Although part of a series, this book can be read as a stand-alone.

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denise review
A Mended Man, the fourth book in The Men of Halfway House Series is a big departure from the previous books.  As I was reading this book, the marriage vows kept repeating in my head “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Truer words could not have been written about Aidan and Jessie. These two showed so much patience, kindness and love for each other throughout the book that it bled through every word, heartbreaking in its intensity, but joyful in all its love.
I’ll admit, Jaime broke my heart in the prologue, making me wonder how I would be able to get through such an emotional book. I should not have doubted her talent for reaching in and healing not just her men, but her readers.
Aidan was the patient protector through part one, allowing no one to hurt Jessie as he waited for him to come back to him, knowing that he was a closed off man, but that Jessie was the only person who could make a dent in his suit of armor. His determination to see Jessie through another particularly rough time in his life was awe-inspiring. Even knowing that he couldn’t give back to Jessie what he wanted to, because of his own haunted past, he steadfastly held on, not letting Jessie’s recovery falter.
This book was more than a slow burn. You could compare this to trying to light a fire by rubbing two sticks together. It took a very long time to get Aidan to let go enough to let Jessie in. Meanwhile Jessie patiently sat back, quietly supporting and encouraging Aidan. He was never concerned about a timeframe for them to come together, only pushing a little when the moment was right, then letting that hump they climbed over be enough until the next time.
Jessie’s never ending supply of patience, and Aidan’s coming to grips with his past merely by determining it was time is what finally brought these met to a place where they could love each other. And they did, fully, accepting each other’s strengths, and when the other was at a low point, being the strength needed to keep moving forward, building what they needed to, together.
This book was long, 145K words according to the author (for reference, 50K is usually considered a full book), and there were times as I was reading it that I couldn’t help but wonder “is this scene necessary, or possibly could it be cut so that the reader doesn’t feel like they are reading for days on end?”. And yet, with every scene that I thought that, I found out later how important that scene was later, realizing that there were no unnecessary scenes. In order to fully experience and understand these two men, the relationship they slowly built together, and how they would be able to heal and mend their past so they could find their future, every scene, every moment was necessary.
Although there was so much pain revealed in this book, Jaime did an amazing job of filling in humor, so that the reader didn’t feel like a heavy weight sat on their chest until the HEA finally made its way into their lives. The humor, whether from Aidan accusing Jessie of being obsessed with balls, or Jessie finding light moments to help lift the dark spirit that enshrouded Aidan, allowed the reader to enjoy their moments together, rather than wondering if the next moment would be another crush to one of their spirits.
If the reader met these two in person, it would be hard not to realize how perfect they were for each other. Aidan, strong, protective, willing to do anything to keep those he loved safe, taking on the burden of others mistakes, in order to allow people to feel freedom themselves. Jessie, strong in his own way, quiet, but not willing to stay silent when it came to the man he loved, allowing the positivity to be the uplifting piece that Aidan needed to not just keep moving forward but to life himself to a new place.
This book will stay with me for a while, heart wrenching as some of the parts were. The all consuming love and support these men had for each other is something we all want to aspire to, and few can achieve.
And the little glimpses of my favorite character in this series, Cole, were epic. I could not have been happier to see his happy fun face. 🙂
I know this book took Jaime a long time to write and get it right. But this book was worth every second of the wait. I saw a little note at the end that said “more coming” in this series, and in a way that makes me happy, and in a way, I want this to be the end. Because how could this love story be topped? I have no doubt this author will be able to do it, as she excels at what she does in many ways. I can’t wait to see what she has ahead for all of these men.
A beautiful 5 pieces of eye candy for this one.
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“A beautiful story of love making you whole again!” – Bike Book Reviews

“Heartbreakingly beautiful” – Amazon Customer Review

“As always the wait was worth it and Jaime delivers yet another stunning but very different book.” – Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

excerpt
“So…where are we going?” Jessie asked, returning the items to the pantry and the refrigerator. He hadn’t expected Aidan to arrive home early, and he definitely hadn’t expected him to announce a dinner excursion, especially not after spending so much time on the couch lately, having far too much fun to want to escape the house.
“Wherever you want to go is fine. You’re always cooking and you stay in the house unless you’ve got an appointment, so I figured a break would be nice. To get out, do something…different. As long as I can pick a steak, I’m fine with any place you want to go.”
“You choose the spot. Surprise me,” Jessie said.
“Okay.”
“So where are we going?”
“Uh, I thought you said to surprise you?”
Jessie bit his lip, trying to disguise the humor at seeing Aidan squirm. He figured Aidan was probably getting a little edgy lately, always giving in and letting Jessie get his way each time. “I need to know what to wear.”
“A suit. Definitely a suit. A dark one. Either the blue one or the charcoal.”
“So it’s a date?” Jessie asked, trying to contain the flutter in his chest. He cherished their time hanging out on the couch or back porch but going out in public together? Definitely one heck of a milestone.
“Uh, okay,” Aidan said with a pinched expression.
“It’s not a date?”
Aidan rubbed the back of his neck. “If you want to do something else too, we can.”
“We don’t have to do anything else. Dinner’s fine.”
“Okay. So it’s not a date?” Aidan said, scratching his stubble. 
Jessie hid a grin at Aidan’s confusion. “How about you tell me. Do you want it to be a date?”
“I want to take you out to dinner. I want you to wear a suit, because you look hot as hell in them. If that makes it a date, then cool. It’s a date. But if I have to do something else to make it a date, like a movie or…fuck if I know…a walk on the beach or something. Let me know and we’ll do that too.”
Jessie wrapped his arms around Aidan’s neck. “Where did you get that from?”
“Google.”
“I think you better leave the research to me.” Jessie chuckled.
“As long as you wear your suit.” Aidan snaked his arms around Jessie’s waist and leaned in for a quick kiss.
Jessie nuzzled Aidan’s neck. “And you need to keep your stubble. It’s hot.”
“You like soft balls and hard stubble. I think you’re confused regarding what you want.”
“I know exactly what I want. I want all of you, soft and hard and everything in between.”
teaser
meet the author
Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.

 

tco-also in series

The Men of Halfway House
A Better Man
A Hunted Man
A Restored Man
A Mended Man
…More to come…


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Safe in His Heart by Renae Kaye: Exclusive Guest Post, Release Day Review and Excerpts

SafeInHisHeart_postcard_front_DSP

synopsis

Andrew and Paul learned about God and Jesus in different churches and realize their views of spirituality are worlds apart.

Andrew was raised Catholic and was told his homosexuality was a sin. For his entire life, he hid the truth. He married and had children to present a façade to the world—that of a straight man. It’s not until he has an affair with Paul, who shows him a different side of Jesus, that Andrew realizes he can be gay and still believe in God. Paul’s Jesus is one of acceptance and love, and in Paul’s church, being gay is not a problem.

For Paul and Andrew, falling in love is the easy part of their journey. They must make it through the fires of cheating, being discovered, Andrew’s wife leaving, the necessities of childcare and family life, the demands of their jobs, and working on their commitment to each other. Only then can they be safe in each other’s heart.

Title: Safe in His Heart
Series: Safe: Book Two
Author: Renae Kaye
Release Date: May 2, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 270

Heather's Review

Safe in His Arms was my first introduction to Renae Kaye. I loved the glimpses of Paul in that book and was beyond excited that he was getting his own story. Adding to the excitement was the fact that it deals with the balance of sexuality and religion.

I will warn you, there is cheating in this book. I fully understand that it’s a hard limit for some readers, but Safe in His Heart is written in such a way that I was strangely okay with it. First of all, because there wasn’t a promise of fidelity in the marriage (read the book and you’ll understand just how they came to be married with children) and secondly, because there’s no deception. Paul knows exactly who and what Andrew is from the first time they get together. And before you feel too bad for Kristy, know that she has her own issues, which in many ways trump the physical needs Andrew sated with Paul. Really, it’s going to be okay, and I’d hate to see anyone not buy the book because of the cheating aspect.

Now, for what really matters in this book. Religion. Holy hell! I can’t remember the last time I read a book touched me when it comes to the reconciliation of sexuality and spirituality. Not only did Renae Kaye write about the guilt and negative feelings associated with Andrew being raised in a conservative Catholic family, but she showed the love and acceptance of Paul’s Anglican faith. In the middle of reading Andrew’s conversation with Paul’s priest, I had to put down my Kindle and send a verse which was referenced in the book to a family member who is going through this very struggle right now.

Safe in His Heart wasn’t just a great story for me, it was an awakening. For years, I’ve struggled with my own spirituality, due largely in part to how many “modern” Christian religions still shun people for being gay. One of the weights on my shoulders lifted through the course of this book, because I no longer feel like it’s one or the other. I know that might sound a bit deeper than a lot of reader’s want, but that feeling has more to do with how I processed the book and absolutely nothing to do with feeling beaten over the head by religion. This is not a religious book. It’s a love story where one character helps the other get through a dark time in his life in multiple ways.

Now, the question is when will we get Devon and Ash’s book? They have to have one!

5 pieces of eye candy

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paula review

I was unsure about this book before I started it. The thing I was most weary of was the cheating aspect of it. However, once I got into it more the author explained the relationship between Andrew and Kristy.

Paul was a great character. He was fun and entertaining and I absolutely loved him. He has such a good heart and kept his faith and belief in Andrew the whole time.

Andrew was very well written. I was leary of him in the first couple of chapters because he seemed to come off as a player. However, the further into the story and more we get to see Andrews thoughts and feelings the more lovable he became. He was a very strong character when it was needed.

I also really liked how in the end Kristy didn’t wind up being the “bad guy.” A lot of books I’ve read make the wife of the closeted guy out to be horrible and Renae Kaye didn’t do that. Renae did a wonderful job creating a story and characters that were entertaining and I read the entire book in one sitting.

5 pieces of eye candy

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Guest Post

The religious themes of Safe in His Heart

One of the big themes about Safe in His Heart is religion.  It was a hard thing for me write, because I didn’t wish to offend anyone, and let me state that because a character has a religious belief, it is no reflection on the author’s view of the world.

Me, personally?  My views of religion and homosexuality are not important.  What I think is important is the representation of all types of people in our romance stories.  If you’re straight, you can read M/M.  If you’re a vegetarian, you can still read about a character eating a steak.  If you’re an atheist, you can still read about a character who is a Catholic.

I try to pick from a range of different types of people.  My characters are differing in their outlooks, their ages, their jobs, their religion, their families, their appearance…  Just like we are in life.

I love reading about people who are different religions and backgrounds to me.  It exposes me to their customs and explains to me a little bit more about why people act the way they do.  For example, although the Australian Aboriginal people have varying beliefs through their different tribes, one of the things that is common is that it is rude to their customs to look another person in the eye.  To most modern white people, it is a sign of honesty, and when they can’t look a person in the eye, they tend to judge that person as dishonest.  A simple realisation on behalf of the white person that this is the Aboriginal culture, their religion, and their custom, is sometimes enough to ward off the negative feelings they get when an Aboriginal person won’t look them in the eye.

It was therefore, with openness and acceptance of all people that I welcomed two characters who are from differing, but strong religious backgrounds to my book.

Andrew is Catholic.  He’s grown up in the Catholic Church and had the beliefs of his religion impressed on him from a very young age.  As a young man growing into his sexual identity, he struggled to reconcile his faith with his inner feelings.  This is an extremely common story.  You don’t have to look far on the internet to see true stories of gay men and women who are persecuted by their families for this.  Recently I saw this project:  The Trevor Project, and Tom Goss’s song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJStTqPmcMY) that is about two gay boys growing up in a religious environment.  We like to think that this story has a happy ending, but can we be sure?

 

Excerpt, Safe in His Heart

Andrew tried hard to be straight. He tried to please his father. He consciously ignored his sinful urges and married a woman like the Bible told him to. He used his seed to bring children into his marriage, and that was about the best damn thing he’d already done in his life.

His children were the only good thing about his marriage to Kristy. The day he stood in front of the altar of Kristy’s church and promised to love and honor her, he lied. He felt sick at the time because he made that vow in front of God, and knew that he would break it. But the church hadn’t fallen in like he dreaded. He looked Kristy in the eye and lied, and she looked him in the eye and lied right back.

 

Safe in His Heart (Safe #2) is about Andrew’s journey out of the closet.  The reason he is in there has mostly to do with religion, so therefore he needs to come to grips with his faith and beliefs as he moves through that doorway.  Is this book about religion?  No – not at all.  But it involves religion, and the character’s belief in religion.  As a reader of this book you will journey with Andrew as he discusses his problems and works things out in his head.

You will also journey with Andrew as he embarks on a flaming affair with Paul, argues with his PA, is hurt by his wife leaving, struggles with raising his children, and tells his family about his homosexuality.

Someone asked me, how do I balance the romance with the religion?  I don’t think it is a balance.  This is a book that sits squarely in the Romance genre.  If someone thinks to file it with Christian Romances, then I will have to object.  This book isn’t about living life as a Christian.  It’s about a man’s journey while he works out his Christianity… and has a lot of gay sex with his lover.  It’s about bravery.  It’s about working out who you are, not what your parents want you to be.  It’s about perceptions.  It’s about love.

Does this story have religious themes?  Of course.  Just like a book that has a professional hockey player coming out of the closet may deal with how he tells his teammates, how he is treated on the field, and how the media treat him.  You can’t write a book about a hockey player without mentioning hockey.  You can’t write a book about a soldier without mentioning the armed forces.  Andrew’s religion – and on the flip-side, Paul’s more liberal religion – are crucial in the telling of the story.

So I hope the love and romance is plain to see, despite the secret lovers, the religious headache, and the everyday life that comes into Andrew’s world.  Enjoy!

 

Excerpt, Safe in His Heart

And Andrew had no clue what the hell he was doing. But when he had to, he knew how to “fake it until you make it.” Hadn’t he faked being straight all those years? Hadn’t he successfully faked a marriage? Didn’t he fake knowing what to do as the CEO of Cabott’s until they allowed him to do the job, and then he forged his own path?

But the situation with Paul was completely beyond his control. His common sense told him to get out before he got caught. His logical brain told him someone was always watching. His sixth sense told him no secret was ever a really a secret. But for some reason, Andrew continued to cling to Paul. He was his daily dose of sanity.

The first time Erica told him he had to cancel his “meeting” with Paul in favor of an important business teleconference, he gritted his teeth and let it go. The second time he asked her to change it.

“No. I’m not canceling Paul. Ring Brian and find another time he can meet,” Andrew demanded.

Erica shook her head in the negative. “I’ve tried, Andrew. He’s stepping onto a plane at five our time. We need to slot him in at two, or else we’ll miss our chance.” She made a scribble on her notepad and then gave him an understanding nod. “Look, I’ll ring Paul myself and reschedule. I’m sure he can make it an evening appointment, like last Tuesday.”

Andrew dug his fingernails into his thigh. “He can’t. He’s back on night shift this week.”

“Oh.” Erica paused, and then her eyes turned sympathetic. “You need to choose, Andrew. Either Paul or Brian. Because this is our last chance with Brian before he flies home to the US.”

With an angry nod, he agreed, but told Erica he would ring Paul. Bad news should come from him. Besides… getting his PA to schedule his cheating sessions…?

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meet the author

Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back.  She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since.  After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted.  It hasn’t stopped her though.  She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever.  So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.

Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden.  She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.

How to contact Renae:

Email:  renaekaye@iinet.net.au

Website:  www.renaekaye.weebly.com

FB:  www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9

Twitter:  @renaekkaye

 

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

X-Factor by Sean Michael: Release Day Review

xfactor

synopsis

Game designer Henry Delloit loves his life, his mountain community, his isolated dream home, and the snow. He also loves that the X-treme Games blow into the area for a month every year, bringing with them hundreds of athletes.
Ecco Rasmussen loves boarding. He knows he’ll never make it to the big time, but as long as he can get on his board and go, he doesn’t care. If only his manager, Blake Dobbs, would cut Ecco a break. The man’s possessive and mean, and believes he owns Ecco.

When Henry and Ecco meet at the Branchberry Games, it’s lust at first sight. An injury on Ecco’s qualifying run offers an opportunity to spend quality time together at Henry’s home, away from the crowds and out from under Blake’s thumb.
At this rate, lust might turn into love, but not if they can’t keep their romance hidden from Blake.

Title: X-Factor
Author: Sean Michael
Release Date: April 27, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: TBC (Novella)

deanna review
When I get ready to read a sports themed book I usually assume I will like it, but not love it. How many times can we re-read the same story really? I was totally wrong! I’m a big girl, I can admit it.

Henry, a video game designer lives in a secluded mountain area in a gorgeous house with a spectacular view. His house is far enough away from town to feel like he’s in the middle of nowhere, but close enough to go see the X-treme Games when they are in town.

Ecco is an older (by snowboarding standards) boarder that will probably not make it big, but loves the sport just the same. The only thing that can dim his love of the snow is his psycho manager Blake.

Henry and Ecco meet after one of Ecco’s practice runs and after some drinks and flirting agree to meet for dinner later. After a great meal with good company and relaxing conversation the attraction takes root.

Ecco hurts himself during a practice run and ends up in a cast. His manager goes crazy and hurts him even worse. When Henry sees Ecco the next day he knows he would do anything to help him escape. The two quietly slip away for a few weeks at Henry’s place to let Ecco heal.

After two weeks in paradise Henry knows he would do just about anything to make Ecco safe and Ecco knows that he needs to make a clean break from Blake once and for all.

The story was so entertaining. Every time I had to put it down I would get mad, real life is so inconsiderate.

There were enough snowboarding terms in the book that you could tell the author knew about the sport, but not so many that I didn’t have a clue what was being said. It was a great balance. I loved that Ecco wanted to be the one to fix his own mess and the Henry was strong enough to let him try without his help. Their banter back and forth was endearing and their was just enough of the conflict with Blake to keep it from getting boring.

This was a great read. I’m excited to read more of Sean’s work.

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.