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

Regret RDB Banner

REGRET

CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 06.26.17

COVER DESIGN: KANAXA

 

Regret Cover

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

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

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

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

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2rjELhF

Amazon

Regret Teaser 1

3 Regret Teaser

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

4 pieces of eye candy from me!

CL Pic

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

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

WEBSITE

 

FB FAN GROUP: THE SWOON ROOM

INSTAGRAM

NEWSLETTER

 

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

The Play of His Life by Amy Aslin: Exclusive Excerpt and Review

Former best friends turned lovers Christian and Riley haven’t seen or spoken to each other in six years…is there a better time than the holiday season to reconnect with your favorite person?

The last person Christian wants to run into on a visit home to spend time with his mom over the holidays is his former best friend-turned-lover-turned-ex. But there Riley is, in all his tall, chiseled, blondness. The same guy who walked out on him six years ago, breaking his heart in the process. Who knew he’s still in love with the jerk? (Oh yeah, he did. What? Who says denial isn’t healthy?)

Two years ago, Riley was injured out of the NHL, but he’s got his own bakery now and a quiet life selling quiches and cupcakes to his customers. Then Christian unexpectedly walks back into his life, forcing Riley to question his choices. Especially that one choice he made six years ago that walked him out of Christian’s life. Now if only he had the courage to tell a boy how he really feels about him…

Amazon

Riley woke up in Christian’s bed on Christmas morning.

Alone.

For a brief moment, he thought Christian was getting his revenge by abandoning him after an awesome night. A sex-free night, but an awesome one just the same. But that idea didn’t hold because, one: This was Christian’s house. And two: Christian might be a grumpy motherfucker, but he wasn’t an asshole. Not to Riley. Even when he’d broken up with Riley, Christian had been the nicest guy ever. Unstoppable tears dripping down his face, apologetic. Constantly reassuring Riley that this wasn’t his fault, that it was him, Christian, who couldn’t handle the separation.

Content to laze around in bed for a little while longer, he rolled onto his stomach and wished Christian was there so they could snuggle. The bedsheets smelled like him, a sort of woodsy scent Riley would forever associate with Christian.

Riley felt freer this morning. Like their talk last night had cleared the air between them and he could finally breathe without it feeling like he was trying to do so with a noose tied around his neck.

But seriously, where was Christian? Why wasn’t he snuggled up to Riley so they could rub one off on each other before they had to start their days?

“’Morning.”

Riley raised his head. His eyes were blurry with sleep but he could make Christian out, sitting in a wingback chair next to the closet, feet on a matching ottoman, laptop on his thighs. Wearing nothing but his boxer briefs and a scowl. Riley knuckled the sleep out of his eyes.

“Time’s it?” he asked, admiring the way the dark hair on Christian’s thighs and arms made them look so muscly. The size of those shoulders he could see over the laptop. His pouty mouth pursed in a frown. The disheveled dark hair that was, sadly, out of its pompadour style and hanging half in Christian’s face and half straight up in the air. He looked like the character with the crazy hair from Dragon Ball Z. Riley’s morning wood tried to convince him to make his way over there and straddle Christian’s lap. But mostly he was happy to lay here and admire him. He went all mushy inside when he realized that, at some point, Christian had put on his T necklace.

“Seven thirty.”

Oh, hell no. They’d spent hours talking after Christian’s mom interrupted what would’ve been a stupendous fucking blowjob, finally falling asleep at, like, three in the morning. Seven thirty was way too early. Riley let his head drop onto the pillow and closed his eyes.

“Come back to bed,” he said.

Christian grunted. “In a bit.”

Riley’s chest rumbled with annoyance. “What’re you doing?”

Come cuddle with me!

“Fixing your website.”

“Huh?” Riley popped an eye open. “What? Why?”

“Because it’s a piece of crap,” came the honest reply. Maybe Riley ought to rethink the whole not-an-asshole thing.

“Hey! I paid good money for that.”

Christian just looked at him.

“Fine,” Riley grumbled. “I did it myself.”

The tap-tap-tap of the keyboard reached his ears. It should’ve been annoying, but he found it oddly soothing. Maybe because he knew it meant Christian was right there, within reach. And he could finally relax and stop dwelling on the past.

“How’d you get my login info, anyway?”

“Please. You’ve had the same username and password since high school.”

And Christian remembered it. All these years later. Awww. Riley’s heart swam with affection.

Christian and Riley are exes, broken up 5-6 years ago, because they didn’t talk to each other.
This whole story was a big… WILL YOU JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER! lol, it was frustrating.
But also cute, because as best friends turned boyfriends’, I love the friendship and banter between the two, where they’re friends first and everything else second. The way they talk to each other and pick on each other is adorable…. especially about Christians fear of ghosts. Totally relatable, by the way.

Life happens when you’re young and trying to figure things out and it just didn’t work out for them the first time around, luckily, Christian is back in town and with some scheming from his Mom, who is hilarious, by the way…. he runs into Riley…. the love of his life and best friend.
These guys tripped me up because little things kept popping up to remind them of how much they’d loved each other and never stopped. The necklaces, the nicknames, the tattoo, the scrapbook and ticket stubs. I just wanted to cry for them and all their wasted time apart when they so obviously belonged together.

It wasn’t angsty, though I about threw my kindle towards the end when I thought one things that turned about to be another….. but it got worked out quickly. It was cute, and sweet and entertaining and this is the first read for me by this author and although it seemed a little too young adulty for me, for late 20s year olds, it was still well worth the read.
And a very happy ever after. I wouldn’t mind reading more about these two as they finally start their lives together as adults!

4 pieces of eye candy from me

Amy Aislin started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in Oakville, Ontario, she’s a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including traveling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. Amy loves live theatre (especially musicals), CW’s DC comic shows, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, Scotland (yes, the country), and her hometown of Oakville.

Connect with Amy:

Website: www.amyaislin.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAislinAuthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amyaislinauthor/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/amyaislin

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16693566.Amy_Aislin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_aislin

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

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


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

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

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

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

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Usually.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have to give this book two ratings.

As a reader: 4 pieces of eye candy

As a human being: 5+ pieces of eye candy

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


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Chief’s Mess by L.A. Witt: Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

Anthony Talbot is in Anchor Point to visit family, but after two days of strife, he needs a break. A local gay bar is calling his name.

When Chief Noah Jackson sees that red head stroll into the club, he immediately wants him. They’re perfectly matched, and before long, they’re burning up the sheets. Noah can’t get enough. Anthony can’t stay in Oregon for long, but as soon as he leaves, he’s counting down the days until he can fly back for more. And between his increasingly frequent visits, there’s always phone sex, sexting, webcams . . . anything they can get.

But Noah’s got a carefully crafted façade, and Anthony can’t help noticing the slowly forming cracks. The scent of alcohol in the middle of the day. The extra drinks at dinner. The hint of red in his eyes. Anthony knows what it means. He doesn’t want to believe it, but he’s seen this before, and there’s no denying it. If Noah doesn’t get his downward spiral under control, he’s going to lose both his career and the first man he’s ever really loved.

Amazon

Riptide

Kobo Books

 

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L. A. Witt blog tour for Chief’s Mess, the third book in the Anchor Point series!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding Chief’s Mess) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 24th, and winners will be announced on June 25th.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Chief’s Mess Exclusive Excerpt

I could not sit still.

I’d been in baggage claim for a good half an hour already, and Noah’s plane hadn’t even touched down yet. I’d paced and squirmed all over the house forever before I’d left. After all, there could be traffic. Or it might take me a while to find a place to park. Or his flight could come in early.

Yeah, right. There was no traffic. I found a parking space in seconds. And his flight was delayed ten minutes because the world was a giant bag of dicks.

Now we were in that ten-minute window. When, in a parallel universe, Noah was already wheels down and on his way to me. But no, I had to wait a few more minutes. Fuck.

I was so excited I couldn’t see straight. Screwing off on my phone couldn’t hold my attention. There was no one around who looked like they wanted a stranger to strike up a conversation. Nothing to do but wait. Wait. Wait. I didn’t wait well. The more I was looking forward to something—or someone—the less patient I was. The more I needed to do something to occupy my hands, brain, feet. Hell, I’d even checked the restrooms near baggage claim in case one might be suitable to . . . get reacquainted. After all, a lot of the restrooms in this airport doubled as tornado shelters. Seemed like they were sturdy enough to handle a Noah-Anthony reunion.

The thought made me chuckle. I was so tired I was almost slap happy. Not that I’d been awake half the night or anything. Or practically ping-ponging off the walls until I’d finally decided to leave early in case I couldn’t find a place to park. My roommate had laughed at my impatience and all my rationalizing about leaving early. At least he’d probably be gone by the time I came home. Jay was smart like that—if I was this excited about a man I was going to bang, things were going to be loud.

Rocking on my feet to expend some nervous energy, I stared at the screen. It refreshed, and when Delayed turned to Arrived, I almost spontaneously combusted.

Of course the plane still had to taxi, attach to the gate, and wait for God knew what to happen in that interim before someone finally opened the fucking door. And because no one had invented teleportation, Noah had to hoof it off the plane and through the terminal, and the Denver Airport was fucking massive, so it took forever to make that walk.

Six hours later—or maybe like ten minutes; I’d kind of lost track—he appeared, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and looking as fuckable as ever. I couldn’t help grinning like an idiot.

“Hey,” he said when he was in earshot, and held his arms out.

“Hey, you.” I hugged him tight, wishing like hell we could do more than that in public. “So good to see you.”

“You too.”

I took a breath to say something else, but caught the faintly pungent scent of alcohol. I figured he must’ve just had a drink, and ignored it.

At least, until we started toward short-term parking, and his gait wobbled slightly.

What the hell?

“You okay?”

“Yeah. Yeah.” He laughed, adjusting the bag’s strap again, though it seemed pretty well seated on his shoulder.

The scent of alcohol still lingered in my nose. “You’re not . . . drunk, are you?”

“No!” He chuckled. “I had a few on the plane, but I’m good.”

I eyed him dubiously.

“I’m a nervous flyer,” he said. “Sometimes it takes a couple of drinks to calm my nerves.”

“Oh. I guess I can understand that.” I paused. “You should’ve told me. I’m fine with flying, so I could’ve come to Anchor—”

“It’s fine. Like you said, my neighbors don’t get to hog the noise complaints.” He glanced at me and winked.

I hesitated but then chuckled. “Fair enough. To the car?”

“Lead the way.”

Aside from that slight wobble, his gait was perfectly steady. So maybe I’d imagined the whole thing, or my brain was exaggerating it. I didn’t like flying either—I could totally see why someone would drink to bring down the anxiety. Thanks to Clint, though, I automatically assumed any drinking was a red flag, especially once someone showed signs of actual intoxication.

Get a grip. He was nervous about flying. You’re projecting, plain and simple.

So, I put it out of my mind, and we continued toward short-term parking.

Noah hadn’t brought much with him, so he didn’t bother putting it in the trunk, and set it at his feet as he dropped into the passenger seat and exhaled. “God, I am so glad to be off that plane.”

“Rough flight?” I buckled my seat belt. “Or just not a fan?”

“Little of both. We hit some turbulence, and that was about the time I started begging for a drink.”

“Eh, can’t blame you.”

He fussed with some papers for a second—his boarding passes, I thought—and stuffed them into his bag. As he leaned back, he said, “Also doesn’t help that one time when I flew into a base on a cargo jet, I swear our pilot was a fighter pilot before.”

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?”

“Fucker was banking like he was in a Super Hornet.” He made a gesture like his hand was a plane taking a sharp curve, the imaginary wings almost vertical. “Dude was crazy.”

“Wow.” I laughed. “I don’t think I’d enjoy that.”

“I sure as hell didn’t.” He shuddered. “When you’re already kind of nervous about being in the air, that shit is obnoxious.”

“I believe it.”

He looked out at the scenery. Not that there was much, considering the Denver Airport was surrounded by basically nothing. “They really built this place in the middle of nowhere, didn’t they?”

“Well yeah,” I deadpanned. “You don’t build the headquarters for the New World Order in downtown Los Angeles.”

He eyed me. “Come again?”

“Oh come on. You’ve never heard the conspiracy theories about the Denver Airport?”

“I have, but do people actually buy in to that shit?”

I nodded. “They do. My ex-wife’s brother totally thought they—”

Noah did a double take. “Wait, you were married before?”

I glanced at him and smirked. “Yes. The Illuminati built an airport in the middle of nowhere because God knows the center of the New World Order needs to have a Quiznos and a Hudson News, and I was married before.” I sighed dramatically, patting his thigh. “You’ve had quite a few big shocks today, Noah. If you need to take a breather, let me—”

“Shut up.” He laughed and squeezed my hand. Sobering a bit, he said, “But . . . seriously? You were married?

I’ve been a fan of the Anchor Point series since book one. Okay, so if I’m being honest, I love just about anything LA Witt writes, and I love her ability to tell military stories. I’ll fully admit, I went into Chief’s Mess with high expectations. Unfortunately, this one fell a bit short.

From the very first chapter, I wasn’t sure I was going to like Anthony. Yes, I understand why he wasn’t his ex-brother-in-law’s BFF, but he was just a bit too much of a prick for my liking. He did redeem himself a bit, but never quite enough for my liking. He has issues with Noah’s drinking because of what he watched his sister go through in her marriage, but it felt forced. While later in the book there were incidents that’d be red flags to anyone, there were also times when he was creating an issue where there wouldn’t have been on. As an example, at one point, they’re on Skype and Noah has a drink in his hand. ONE drink. After work. In the evening. That, to most people, wouldn’t be a red flag. And if he had an issue with alcohol in any circumstances, his reaction would’ve been warranted, but he didn’t. He only seems to have issues with people he’s dating drinking.

Noah could’ve been an amazing, broken character. Sadly, other than his drinking, there was very little character development. We never learned why he lost himself in the bottle, never had a reason to cheer for him to get better, other than to hold onto some hot sex.

The story wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing, either. It was a lot of sex, which for once didn’t annoy me because that fit the story, but not a lot of plot. I’m not sure what they built their relationship on beyond the chemistry in bed.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

Also check out Just Drive and Afraid to Fly, the first two titles in the Anchor Point series!

 

 

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…

LA.’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 Chief’s Mess, one lucky winner will receive their choice of two eBooks off L. A. Witt’s backlist (excluding Chief’s Mess) 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 June 24, 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.

The Alpha King by Victoria Sue-Narrated by Joel Leslie: Audiobook Review with Giveaway

The Kingdom of Askara has been torn apart by conflict for centuries, where humans exist as subservient beings to their werewolf masters. Legend says it will only be able to heal itself when an Alpha King and a pure omega are mated and crowned together, but a pure omega hasn’t been born in over a thousand years. Luca is an Alpha-heir eagerly awaiting the choosing ceremony on his 25th birthday and the gifts granted by whichever omega he mates. His small pack is destitute due to the decisions of its ruling council, but being only an Alpha-heir, he has no authority to challenge them. Not until now – this moment he has waited a long time for. Kit grew up as a street-rat, an unlicensed human who would never be more than a slave for whichever master owns him. Then one day he came across a young Alpha-heir, attacked and dying of poison, and found out their fates were suddenly entwined. Luca needs to take over his pack and save his people. He cannot afford to be distracted. But when he meets Kit, he develops abilities indicating he is not just a pack Alpha, but the King his world has needed for a thousand years. Is Kit really the cause of Luca’s newfound power, the true mate he needs? How is it possible when the young man isn’t even a werewolf, and as merely a human, a mating is not only forbidden, but for Kit, a sentence of death?

Amazon

Audible

 

This is a great Alpha/Omega book. The characters and the landscape are described in such detail that you can picture it unfolding right before your eyes.

Kit, a human slave has seen it written in the stars that his mate is a powerful Alpha, however unlikely that may be. Luca, the alpha in question is ready for his choosing ceremony so he can take a mate when he finds the young man who saved his life all those years ago.

Realizing that Kit is his mate and a human leaves Luca reeling. Luca must scramble to understand what is going on and keep Kit safe at all cost. Their world is in turmoil and it is up to the new Alpha King and his human Omega mate to make it a better place for all of them.

The story was amazing. The narration was stellar. Joel Leslie made me feel every emotion the characters were feeling. Every time Luca did something stupid I wanted to punch something. When Kit was devastated, I wanted to cry for him. I haven’t come across too many audiobooks that have made me feel this much.

If you enjoy Alpha/Omega or MPREG stories you can’t go wrong with this one.

5 pieces of eye candy

Victoria Sue is giving away an Audible copy of The Alpha King (US or UK). Just tell us whether you have read mpreg before and what intrigues you about it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

 

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

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

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

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

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

4 pieces of eye candy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Who We Truly Are by Victoria Sue: EXCLUSIVE Cover Reveal, Excerpt and 2 Giveaways

**We are so excited to bring you the Exclusive Cover Reveal of Who We Truly Are by the amazing Victoria Sue!!!! When you get to read the book next month (release date is 7/14), you will see how much this cover reflects the story. Check out the extended excerpt, and TWO giveaways. Thank you to Victoria Sue for stopping by for some fun with us!

 

Talon’s deadly abilities are spiraling out of control. Desperate to keep Finn safe, Talon struggles to protect the man he loves with all his heart, and not become the greatest risk to Finn’s life.

Finn has no choice but to offer himself as bait for the evil forces kidnapping enhanced children, facing danger he is untrained and unprepared for, and he is having to do it alone.

Does Talon have one last fight in him? Will he slay everyone who wants to destroy Finn and the team, or will he finally discover that to defeat their enemy and the ultimate threat, the biggest battle he has to face is one with himself?

Dreamspinner Press

 

Release Date: July 14, 2017

And until Who We Truly Are comes out, Five Minutes Longer is only $2.99 (begins 6/13)!!!!! So grab it here, now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

An extended excerpt from Who We Truly Are:

“Absolutely no fucking way.” Talon nearly overturned the desk he sat behind in his hurry to get to his feet.

Here we go…. Finn ignored Gael’s and Vance’s smirks at Talon’s reaction to the news Gregory had just delivered, and tried to concentrate, since he’d been too distracted by the real possibility he would starve to death.

“Talon—” Gregory started.

“He’s been here two fucking months—and half of that time, in the damn hospital. He’s just successfully demonstrated the perp would have to be fucking standing still for him to get a shot off—”

Finn closed his eyes and slid down his chair, desperately willing the heat he could feel climbing up his neck not to reach his cheeks. The hospital had been a complete exaggeration. Two weeks in total, tops. Well, okay, twice he’d been in for concussions. And there had been the black eye when Vance got a little enthusiastic on the mats, and then there was the broken nose last week when the perp had swung at him and Finn hadn’t gotten out of the way in time, but he hadn’t been admitted for either of those.

This morning was the first time he’d had to try for a moving target. He practiced at the outside shooting facility they called “the Farm” most days, and he thought he was getting quite good. Then they’d set the fake hostage situation up, expecting Finn to do better, and it had gone worse than the target practice.

Fucking enhanced. They thought they were so damned perfect.

“He’s perfect,” Gregory yelled back at Talon, and Finn started, shocked his boss agreed with him. He wasn’t about to miss any compliments. “He can absolutely pass for seventeen,” Gregory added, and Finn gaped in horror.

Seventeen? What had he missed?

“I-I’m twenty-four,” he stuttered out, wondering how he’d managed to lose the entire thread of the conversation.

“And you’re still the only one on the team who can go undercover in one of the new group homes.”

Finn’s jaw dropped as he stared at his boss. He was going undercover? Like real, honest to God… undercover? Finn’s gaze dropped to the floor, and he breathed out slowly. He didn’t think he would earn any respect by jumping to his feet, fist pumping and shouting his excitement, which he desperately wanted to do. This was his chance to be an active member of the team and earn some respect. He glanced cautiously at Talon, who was still arguing with Gregory.

“You obviously won’t be going to Glynco tomorrow, but I will rearrange that when this op is done,” Gregory continued, ignoring the outburst from Talon.

His team leader—his boyfriend—wasn’t exactly showing a lot of faith in his abilities, and as the only regular human on the team, he had a lot to prove. Finn half smiled at his own words. Regular. An ordinary human being, unlike the rest of his teammates, who were all enhanced. Humans who had changed suddenly around adolescence and got kickass abilities, such as speaking every known language without ever having to learn them like Gael, or setting things on fire just because he thought about it like Eli.

“And there is one obvious problem,” Sawyer piped up.

Oh good, Finn thought. Only one?

“He doesn’t have a mark?” Gregory guessed correctly, and Sawyer shrugged.

Finn stared at Gregory and gave Sawyer grudging points for stating the obvious. The US had originally panicked when the first kids were born with superabilities because, while some of the abilities were quite cool, like the Superman strength Vance had, a lot of them were downright deadly, like Talon’s. The public had calmed down mainly because the enhanced were so easily identifiable. They all had the mark Gregory mentioned, and despite various attempts, none of them could get rid of it.

“We know that marks cannot be covered successfully for more than a matter of minutes, but we can very easily add one.”

“Add one?” Finn blurted out. “I didn’t know that.” He ignored the dark look Talon sent him.

“It’s only something that’s just occurred to us that might be useful,” Gregory admitted.

“Yeah,” drawled Eli, “because who the fuck would want one of these?”

Finn didn’t know what to be more shocked at: that he was getting the chance to contribute, or that the normally silent Eli had spoken.

“We have a makeup artist who has been working with us,” Gregory said, “and Finn is the only one on the team who can do this.”

Finn nodded eagerly. He was desperate for the chance to actually do some work. “What would I be doing?”

“Not a damn thing,” Talon snapped.

“Sit down, Talon, and let me explain,” Gregory huffed out. Talon glowered at Finn as if daring him to reply, and Finn pointedly focused on Agent Gregory. “Let me go back a little. There are still no genetic markers that tell us if kids are likely to transform.”

Finn knew this. If ever an older sibling transformed and the families agreed, the younger ones would be subject to a barrage of tests until after adolescence. There had been a few cases where a younger brother had transformed, but so far there was still no scientific reason for it.

“We actually know very few definites,” Gregory said. “All enhanced children ever born are male, and the incidents are restricted to the US.”

“And there’s never going to be any baby Gaels running around,” Gael interrupted, his scarred face twisting as the skin pulled awkwardly in humor.

“So there are benefits, then.” Vance chuckled as Gael flipped him off, though he smiled at the teasing.

All enhanced were sterile, something the papers had made a meal of about fifteen years ago when the news headlined. Many people thought the knowledge that the enhanced couldn’t reproduce made the rest of the population breathe a little easier because they weren’t suddenly going to be outnumbered.

Gregory had made them go talk at a couple of high schools since they’d become celebrities after Gael saved a judge from being shot. Of all of them, Gael had been the most enthusiastic about going to the schools. It had to hurt that he would never have kids of his own.

Gael had been all over the news because he’d put his life on the line to protect a guy who was vocal in his dislike of the enhanced and thought they were a threat. The papers had loved it and eaten it up. Finn hadn’t been to either school visits, since the first time he had been in the emergency room when Vance nearly flattened him, and the second had been because of his nose.

He winced. Maybe Talon had a point. His timing sucked anyway.

“What about Drew?” Talon asked.

Finn gaped. Drew? Talon thought Drew would do a better job than him? The knowledge settled heavily in his gut.

“Drew would never pass for seventeen,” Gregory argued.

“That’s true, boss,” Vance agreed. Talon glowered. “How many other recruits get sent undercover after being given eight weeks training?”

Gregory sighed. “Do you remember one of the foster kids who disappeared last year—Dale Smith?”

Sawyer frowned. “Yes. We’ve never been able to find any trace. He has an older brother who turned eighteen in December and aged out of the system, but he hasn’t had any contact either.”

Gregory opened a file on his desk and passed around some photographs. Finn paled when he saw what they were. Tattered clothes lay in shreds on top of a skeleton. “The remains of what has been identified as Dale Smith’s body were found last month buried in a shallow grave on the Westside Trail on the Atlanta BeltLine when they were clearing old tracks. We have been unable to identify a cause of death as of yet. This has been brought to our attention finally because yesterday police were called to a boarded-up house in old Port Tampa. The house was empty and showed no sign of being lived in, with the exception of the storeroom. That’s where they found the body of another enhanced.”

“Did we know him?” Talon asked.

Gregory shook his head. “We haven’t been able to identify him. ME says a young adult and showed signs of physical abuse. He was emaciated, and the ME says he was basically starved to death. None of the previously registered occupants of the house are alive.” He paused. “The cops have found signs of access, but the whole place is derelict. This is where we come in and how it may be related to Dale Smith.” Gregory passed another photograph around.

Finn stared at the picture. It was Dale Smith, taken before he developed the mark, likely a school photograph.

“If you remember, Dale Smith was being attacked and beaten by his stepfather when the cops were called. His mom was a crack addict, and the so-called stepfather her pimp. Dale was removed for his own safety, but the car the cops were driving crashed. Both cops were knocked unconscious and Dale ran off. The cops had no memory of anything after leaving the house. No one has been able to locate Dale Smith.”

“And apart from their enhanced status, how are they related?” Gael asked.

“Because the photograph of Dale was found in the storeroom with the other dead male.”

Everyone was silent.

“Our focus right now is on the foster home and the missing kids. The past murders are being investigated separately. I want you to make sure no other kids vanish. You have complete access to any and all information on both victims, and you will be kept up-to-date with any new information.” Finn risked a look at Talon, who had stopped objecting when Gregory passed the photographs around.

“You should know that the powers that be, who wanted the enhanced children taken away from their parents for the parents’ safety, are now talking about removing the kids for their own safety.”

“Very clever,” Gael said sardonically.

“And as of this morning, we have another problem,” Gregory said. “Two more kids have disappeared.”

The room was silent again.

“Where from?” Talon ground out.

Gregory looked pointedly at Finn, and suddenly Finn didn’t need telling. The home. They had disappeared from the foster home. Finn swallowed. It was shit, complete shit. One of the things they were all hoping for was that kids with the mark didn’t get treated like baggage. They were only removed from the parents if the parents couldn’t cope. And that was why they were all here. It wasn’t as simple as just a specialized crime-fighting team. It was all about perception. The school visits were all about hope. Hope that the enhanced kids would be accepted and that they had a future.

Finn remembered Vance telling him about the day he’d woken up with the mark. “And just like that, my life was over.”

Except it wasn’t, and for all the kids, it was up to their team to make sure of that.

 

And now for the Cover Reveal….

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Leave a comment; congratulate Victoria Sue on her cover reveal, let her know what you think about the excerpt, or just say hi and you could win a copy of any of Victoria’s backlist. 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.5 pieces of eye candy


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Summer Heat by Jay Northcote: Release Day Review

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

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

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

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

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

Length: 47,000 words approx

Amazon

 

This is a fun and sexy beach read!

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

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

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

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

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

4 pieces of eye candy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon

Pride Publishing

Kobo Books

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.5 pieces of eye candy

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