Rule Breaker by Lily Morton: New Release Review with Giveaway

Is it really wrong to want to murder your boss?

Dylan has worked for Gabe for two years. Two long years of sarcastic comments. Two long years of insults, and having to redo the coffee pot four times in the mornings to meet his exacting standards. Not surprisingly he has devoted a lot of time to increasingly inventive ways to murder Gabe. From stabbing him with a cake fork, to garrotting him with his expensive tie, Dylan has thought of everything.

However, a chance encounter opens his eyes to the attraction that has always lain between them, concealed by the layers of antipathy. There are only two problems – Gabe is still a bastard, and he makes wedding planners look like hardened pessimists.

But what happens when Dylan starts to see the real Gabe? What happens when he starts to fall in love with the warm, wary man that he sees glimpses of as the days pass?

Because Gabe is still the same commitment shy, cold man that he’s always been, or is he? Has Dylan had the same effect on Gabe, and has his solid gold rule of no commitment finally been broken? With his heart taken Dylan desperately needs to know, but will he get hurt trying to find the answers?

From the author of ‘The Summer of Us’ comes another scorchingly hot romantic comedy, showing what happens between two men when rules get broken.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

Okay, you know a book really hit you when you are still talking about it, still posting on social media about it, and still posting quotes from it days after you read it. And that is how I feel about

Rule Breaker by Lily Morton. I haven’t read anything by her, and received a review request on it. I thought, “looks kind of funny, and I need that right now…sure.”

 

Wow! Was I wrong. It made me giggle out loud (on an airplane no less!). I highlighted multiple passages (if I highlight, and I don’t often, it might be one or two passages). And I savored it, by taking a couple days to read it, because I didn’t want it to end.

These two men bring the snark. The emails at the beginning of each chapter are hilarious. Here’s one example:

To: Gabe Foster

From: Dylan Mitchell

Due to your temper tantrum over my spilling coffee on your laptop, I am taking an early lunch. Would you like me to bring you something back? Maybe the blood of a virgin, or eye of newt?

Dylan and Gabe are hilarious throughout the book, and that just made it so much better for me as a reader.

However, there were also a lot of feels. I cried at more than one part. (Lily, I do not like crying when I am reading, just saying…it’s okay, I will forgive you this time.) Dylan had such a soft heart, and it was so obvious how much he loved Gabe, while Gabe was so stand-offish, with good reason, and just would not allow anyone close to him. Pushing Dylan away more than once with his hurtful actions and words. It was hard to see these two butt up against each other, and both walk away practically bleeding, yet you knew they were perfect for each other, once they got their heads out of their arses (it is set in London, so have to use ‘arse’).

The second half of the book was more painful than humorous, but still had plenty of spots of humor. In the end though, this book worked so well for me, on so many levels. I don’t often mark things as a re-read, and I haven’t given a 5 pieces of eye candy rating in months. Both of these are happening with Rule Breaker, and I am glad for it. Now, I will have to sneak back and read Lily’s other romantic comedy, The Summer of Us.

Lily Morton has offered up a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card to a commenter on this blog post. So, tell us, do you enjoy reading romantic comedy 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.

Monthly Guest Post: Victoria Sue

 

As always, we are so excited to have Victoria Sue here to talk about…well, anything she wants. Check out what Sue’s been up to…and how it will benefit you as the reader!

Imagine my delight when I found out that there is actually a course for writers you can go on where you learn what it feels like to be a cop, or to be a SWAT team member, or to be a handler in the K9 unit, or to learn how to identify bloodstain patterns.

Last weekend I attended the Writer’s Police Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin and got to choose from over forty different courses teaching you to do just that and a whole lot more.

Just to put it into perspective – they didn’t actually let me shoot anyone or arrest anybody, but I guess you can’t have everything (sigh)

The instructors were incredible. Some were the actual police instructors who train the officers that are out doing the job right now. Some—like the secret service instructor—had just retired after protecting many US Presidents for over thirty years.

The main problem a lot of authors have is making your story realistic. The next story I’m writing features Vance in the Enhanced series. Vance gets in deep trouble with a new drug synthesized from Enhanced DNA. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but the drug identification course I attended at this weekend was amazingly helpful.

Shoot/Don’t shoot – how do cops make that split-second decision? It isn’t something I envy at all, but listening to the instructors who teach such life altering decisions was eye-opening. And then, of course, I had to sign up for the SWAT explosive entry session. I mean all those guys in uniform? Whew (fans herself) Who was going to turn that one down?

One of the best sessions was listening to a veteran LAPD investigator explain interrogation techniques and how with his departments 94% clearance rate, how most TV shows get it wrong. Only 7% of all communication is verbal, and a lot of suspects can show recognizable deceptive behaviors if you know what you’re looking for.

Do you know how to tell a fake suicide note from a real one? Nope – me neither. What about prison gangs? What about the real and terrifying link between animal abuse and serial killers? Did you know Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, David Berkowitz and quite a few more serial killers all got prosecuted for animal cruelty years earlier than they started killing humans? Makes you think. It’s also strongly linked to domestic violence, and there’s a lot of cops trying to develop techniques to spot these killers before they get to the double-digit victims that seem to happen.

The guest-of-honor at the evening reception was a guy called Craig Johnson. For those of you that don’t know he is the New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire series. And for those budding writers out there who despair of ever finishing that first book – he wrote two chapters of his first Longmire story and then put it away in a drawer because he had some chores to do on his ranch.

Nine and a half years later he decided to finish it! The sixth season is just being recorded.

I’m going to do two give-a-ways this month. One is any e-book of mine and the second is a T-shirt and matching baseball cap from the Writer’s Police Academy. Both are open internationally.

And for those of you that love regular competitions, freebies, and exclusive excerpts – check out my facebook group, Victoria’s secrets. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1182647028418709/

 

Man and wolf. Sworn enemies in the battle for Askara. Can hate and betrayal ever lead to love?

Caleb Harken has spent six years wrongfully imprisoned for his father’s treachery. Tortured and reviled by the very wolf pack he should have been leading as Alpha, he is not surprised to learn he’s finally to meet his death at the hands of the human rebel leader, Taegan Callan.

Taegan gave up his dreams of a life-mate and a family after seeing too many humans butchered at the hands of the wolves—even if Caleb doesn’t seem to be the bloodthirsty savage he expects, and even if he starts to long for a different kind of future with the wolf.

Can Caleb become the Alpha he was always meant to be and lead his pack, or will he finally realize that winning his freedom means nothing when he has already lost his heart?

Amazon-Kindle Unlimited

 

Check out all of Victoria Sue’s books here.

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

Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood: Quick Review


Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by lunch with his brother. But when he receives a wrong-number text confirming the details of a date, he does what any considerate person would—he goes to meet them and explain why they’ve been stood up.

Asher Wescott hadn’t expected his blind date to go well, because when do they ever? Henry shows up instead, and things are suddenly looking up. Socially awkward and attached to his routines, Henry is nevertheless one of the most charming and kind men Asher has met in a long time.

Too bad he’s not Henry’s type.

An accidental date, an impulsive kiss, and a few conflicted feelings later, can Asher get Henry to see the world—and him—in a different light?

Release Date: August 10th, 2017

Title: Textual Relations
Author: Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Cate Ashwood
Genre: Contemporary m/m romance (GFY)
Length: Novella – 32,500 words
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35668308-textual-relations

Amazon-Kindle Unlimited

This is a super sweet, quick read. But it doesn’t skimp on the hotness factor either!

A wrong number, total opposites and someone discovering they weren’t as straight as they thought. This could have been a very formulaic romance. But it was really well written.

Often times a shorter book doesn’t have character development and relies quite heavily on sex scenes to move through the story. And while there are sex scenes- both characters were really great. Henry is completely “adorkable”  and Ash is a bit of a wild child. They complement each other really well. This definitely wasn’t a forced opposites attract story.

Ash teaches Henry to go off script sometimes. To have adventures- big or small. Once Henry realizes that taking a risk brought him to Ash, he understands that letting go of structure sometimes is fine. And Henry does the same for Ash- shows him that sometimes structure is good.

I chuckled with Henry researching his newfound attraction to men (or at least Ash) as completely scientific. It just made perfect sense to him.

It was the perfect palate cleanser after reading a big heavy novel and gearing up for another.

Definitely give this a read. I will absolutely add this author to my list of books to look for.

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.

I Heart Boston Terriers by Rick R. Reed: Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Cover Reveal: I Heart Boston Terriers by Rick R. Reed

I Heart Boston Terriers by Rick R. Reed, published by Dreamspinner Press

Publication date: September 20, 2107 Available for pre-order: August 21, 2017

Cover art design: Reese Dante https://www.reesedante.com/

Cover Model: Lily, the Boston terrier (owned by Rick R. Reed and Bruce Moynagh)

 

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

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

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

 

Dreamspinner Press

 

 

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE STORY AND AN EXCERPT

With lots of panting and tail wagging, I give you the re-release of my dog-uniting-two-men-in-love story, “I Heart Boston Terriers.” This story is nearer and dearer to my heart than most others because, if you know me, you know I have a Boston terrier (Lily) and she’s our little princess.

It’s only fitting that Lily’s the cover model for the story. I am a proud papa! I took the picture of Lily featured on the cover last fall, just as we were waking up in our cabin at Washington state’s Orcas Island, where we were staying for a long weekend. I’m so glad the phone was nearby that morning!

Thanks to amazing cover artist, Reese Dante, who was able to incorporate Lily into the beautiful face for the story. I’m very blessed to be able to work with her on almost all of my books.

As a point of interest, my husband Bruce and I got Lily from a breeder when was eight weeks old. She’s now fourteen years old and has slowed down some, but is still the same sweet-tempered girl we brought home from the airport that September day lo these many years ago. She’s been part and parcel of our marriage, so it’s kind of appropriate that I would write a love story revolving around a Boston terrier.

I hope you’ll read “I Heart Boston Terriers” even if you read it in its original Amber Quill Press edition (there are significant changes to the story which, I think, improves it a lot). If you like the story, please drop a line to Lily in care of rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

 

***

NEG UB2. For those of you not familiar, this shorthand, meaning ‘negative; you be too’ has shown up in online personals for years…and it can be kind of hurtful. In the excerpt below, our underdog romantic hero, Ethan Schwartz, comes across the phrase for the first time.

Christian returned to Mavis. “I want to see you make this your forever home, Mavis. It’s a place where you can feel safer and safer with every passing day.”

Aaron loved what he was telling the dog, whether she understood or not. Aaron believed any creature could pick up on the caring in Christian’s voice; he certainly could. But he worried about Becca. He wasn’t sure she had really left the door open for second chances or a “forever home,” and Aaron was doubtful this one visit from Christian could change things so much that she would allow Mavis to stay after all, especially if she became a dreaded “repeat offender.”

One of the last things she had said, before leaving for her internet date, was, “I was going to wear those Jimmy Choos today too. Damn it. Those shoes were mantraps, I tell you.” She had laughed, but Aaron could hear the regret and longing in her voice. He would never understand how someone—his sister, especially—could allow a pair of shoes to take precedence over a living thing.

Christian held Mavis up and out to Aaron. “Here. You try.”

Awkwardly, as if he were taking a newborn from Christian, he took Mavis into his arms, cradling her and letting one arm support her along her soft and warm belly.

“Just talk to her,” Christian said. “Just like I did—let her know you care, but make sure she understands you’re in charge.”

Aaron met Christian’s expectant gaze.

“Go on,” Christian encouraged.

Aaron didn’t know if he was doing the right thing, continuing to build a bond with a dog his sister had first insisted go back to the pound. But Mavis was appealing to his kindness with huge brown eyes, as if she too were waiting for him to make his move. Aaron doubted anyone could resist those eyes; they were perfectly round, a rich deep brown, and stared out of a face that was all at once wise, soulful, and a little melancholy.

He kind of let himself drift into the dog’s deep gaze and almost forgot Christian was there. He certainly forgot about Becca’s wishes as he began to speak, gently stroking Mavis’s head all the while.

“You and me, kid. We’re two of a kind. Alone. A bit unwanted, yes.” He massaged her neck. “But the two of us, we have a lot to offer, don’t we? So we’re not gonna feel sorry for ourselves, are we? We’re both survivors too, and we’re not gonna let this temporary setback get us down permanently. We’re going to remember that life is a series of sunshine and rainy days—and no one escapes either. That’s the thing we have to bear in mind—that the rain does stop falling, the sun does come out again. It happens for all of us.

“It’s happening for you, little stinker. Right now. You’ve found someone who’s decided to give you a home, someone who’s made the most important decision a person can make—to love.” He let himself feel the solidity of Mavis’s compact body against his own and knew, right then, that come hell or high water, sisters or high heels, nothing was going to come between this man and his dog.

“And while you may not love me yet, I think you will. If you get no other sense from my words than this, remember—I am not going to let anything bad happen to you, ever. Not if I can help it.”

He released Mavis, setting her gently down at his feet, where she promptly curled up, calmer than he had ever seen her.

Gradually he came back to reality and realized he’d probably just made an ass of himself in front of Christian. What he had said to the dog was heartfelt, but what if Christian had seen his words as nothing more than Hallmark platitudes? He was lifting his head to give Christian one of his patented sheepish grins, when he noticed Christian already looking at him.

If Aaron didn’t know better, he would say Christian was touched. And not “touched in the head,” either, although he might be that as well, but touched as in something really got through to him.

Christian slowly shook his head. He didn’t say anything for a long while, and then what he said next wasn’t at all what Aaron expected.

“Can I kiss you?”

 

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their Boston terrier.

FIND RICK ONLINE

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed

Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/

Website: www.rickrreed.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed

Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

 

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 Foxling Soldati by Charlie Cochet: Release Day Review and Giveaway

Foxling Toka has served the Soldati king for centuries, and now he attends to the kingdom’s cherished Soldati prince. It’s a position of honor, and as Toka helps the once-human prince adapt to their magical realm, he finds joy in their friendship. He also grows bolder in his encounters with Rayner, Soldati warrior and the king’s second. But the laws are clear: servants and Soldati are not permitted to mate. It doesn’t matter that Toka lost his heart to the dashing cad long ago.

Rayner never imagined he would fall in love with a servant, but the clever and beautiful foxling has ensnared him, and he resents the regulations keeping them apart. When an arrogant and spiteful king visits from a neighboring realm, Rayner is in danger of losing everything. But Soldati warriors don’t surrender, and he intends to fight all the harder to keep Toka where he belongs—in Rayner’s arms.

Title: The Foxling Soldati
Series: Soldati Hearts: Book Two
Author: Charlie Cochet
Release Date: August 16, 2017
Category: Fantasy: Urban Fantasy; Paranomal: Angels & Demons; Paranormal: Werewolves/Shapeshifters
Pages: TBD (Novella)

Amazon US

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Dreamspinner Press

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Welp, that didn’t turn out like I thought it would.

Let me explain. I tend to shy away from fantasy books in general and shifter stories specifically. I’m not sure why. But this is an m/m and has a historical feel, so I gave it a try. What’s the worst that can happen?

Toka is a playful shape-shifting foxling who lives in the Soldati realm which is ruled by tiger shifters. It’s a nice place, actually: everyone seems to be happy and gets along, the king, Khalon, is easy going with a sense of humor, humility and since finding his fated mate, Riley, is pretty much in honeymoon mode 24/7. Toka’s lot in life is to be a servant, but the Soldati treat their servants (though let’s be honest, they’re slaves) kindly and respectfully. Rayner is the king’s sexy, tiger-shifting right-hand man whose (mutual) interest in Toka goes from flirtation in Book 1 (The Soldati Prince) to physical almost right away here. Pair up a tiger-shifting warrior with a lean twink-like foxling and you’re going to have some sexy times.

Toka and Rayner’s flirtations grow more heated and draw them closer together, physically and emotionally. Toka is just… so sweet, and I always like to see a big, tough alpha like Rayner show his soft, gooey center trying to please his little fox. There’s a bit of angst about whether this coupling is a fun distraction or true love — but it hardly matters because there’s a stupid ancient rule on the books that forbids Soldati and servants to mate. So, while the two can fool around all they want, they can never legally, officially, or openly pledge themselves to each other. Doesn’t that make you so mad? Me too.

The real trouble starts when the Soldati are visited by the king of a neighboring realm who is, essentially, a bear-shifting bully whose desire for revenge against Rayner fuels an uproar amongst the Soldatis and pits long-time friends — and new lovers — against each other. Toka finds himself in an intolerable situation and Rayner has to decide how far he will go, how much he will give up to keep Toka with him.

This is a short, sweet read and the short format naturally requires a sped-up lust-to-love-to-angst-to-resolution timeline and that may not be for everyone. Cochet’s writing is quick and to the point, and the plot flows smoothly. There are light hearted moments, the characters are drawn well and I’m mad, sad and a bit angsty along with them at times. There’s threat of rape and a couple of beatings that take place. Still, things may be a little too happy-happy for some, but I think it worked here for me because of the short-length format (Do not give me 800 pages of happy-happy). I liked Riley, the king’s husband, a lot and while you don’t need to read his book (The Soldati Prince) first, you do need to read it. DO IT. I knew I would get an HEA (because otherwise I would break things) but a little detail at the end made me even happier. So, while I shy away from shape shifting books in general, I was pleasantly surprised in how much I enjoyed this book and the series. Looking forward to reading more Charlie Cochet.

3.75 pieces of eye candy!


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Under the Boardwalk by Felice Stevens: Blog Tour and Excerpt

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Under the Boardwalk an all-new, heart-warming MM romance by Felice Stevens is available NOW!

Under the Boardwalk
by Felice Stevens
Publication Date: August 10th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

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Beneath the famous Brooklyn landmark, love is hidden but not denied:

All his life, Alexi Kharpov has dreamed of traveling to unknown exciting places instead of working at his family’s frozen custard stand on the famous Coney Island boardwalk. Every year is the same until a gorgeous man picks a spot in front of his stand to sing, captivating him with his beautiful voice. After two summers of listening, it might finally be the time for him to cross that boardwalk and take a chance.

Opera singer Cameron Maxwell has traveled the world, but the sight of the beautiful man serving custard to tourists touches his heart like nothing ever has before. A summer fling might be exactly what he needs to put his problems out of his mind, but the last thing Cam expects is to want the summer to last forever.

It’s a season of discovery for both men who learn to dig deep within their heads and hearts to decide whether secrets old and new should remain buried, or if love is too important to keep hidden under the boardwalk.

“I didn’t mean to shut you out before.” Cam faced him and held him around the waist. Their bodies meshed perfectly, and Alexi felt the weight of Cam’s chest and thighs press into his body.

“I hate talking about the past. You can’t change it, so what’s the point of rehashing things? I’m all about the present and the future.”

Cam’s mouth covered his, and Alexi held on to Cam’s hips as their tongues played against each other. He lost touch with the sound of the ocean; all he could hear was the furious pounding of his heart and Cam’s heavy breathing.

“All the time I watched you this summer, thinking you were cute and fun, never once imagining how much I’d like you.”

“I thought about you all summer too.” No longer shy about admitting it, Alexi nuzzled into the crook of Cam’s neck. “I guess it was a good thing we finally decided to say hello.”

“A good thing?” Cam took his face between the palms of his hands, and Alexi’s heart burst with happiness; he tried not to smile but failed.

“I think so, don’t you?”

“Yeah. The best.”

UTB-NL

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Add to GoodReads

 

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FeliceStevensLogo

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Connect with Felice:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/felicestevensauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FeliceStevens1

Blog: http://caferisque.blogspot.com/?zx=e071df0101ec6c96

Stay up to date with Felice by signing up for her newsletter here:

http://www.felicestevens.com/en/about

Join her Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1449289332021166/

http://www.felicestevens.com/en

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

Out of the Shadows by K.C. Wells: Release Day Review and Giveaway

Can he step out of the shadows and into love’s light?

Eight years ago, Christian Hernandez moved to Jamaica Plain in southern Boston, took refuge in his apartment, and cut himself off from the outside world. And that’s how he’d like it to stay.

Josh Wendell has heard his coworkers gossip about the occupant of apartment #1. No one sees the mystery man, and Josh loves a mystery. So when he is hired to refurbish the apartment’s kitchen and bathrooms, Josh is eager to discover the truth behind the rumors.

When he comes face-to-face with Christian, Josh understands why Christian hides from prying eyes. As the two men bond, Josh sees past his exterior to the man within, and he likes what he sees. But can Christian find the courage to emerge from the darkness of his lonely existence for the man who has claimed his heart?

Title: Out of the Shadows
Author: K.C. Wells
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 250

Amazon

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Josh, residential handy-man and gardener for a set of apartment buildings, has a new job to do. Instead of working in the garden, he’s been asked to do some remodeling in these outdated apartments. New bathrooms and kitchen cabinets, and tiles, it’s going to be hard work. I didn’t understand why he was expected to do it all himself, but he seemed up for it and enjoyed the work. His first day on the job, he thought he was alone, nobody seemed to be home, though after a full day of working, he found the tenant was actually just locked in his room and preferred to talk through doors or texts. He knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what. People had been talking about the elusive tenant, giving him idea’s of the kind of person he might be. How wrong they were.

Christian’s life is in his apartment. He never leaves, he never sees people. It’s just him and the insurance job he does from home. An accident from almost a decade ago has left him scarred and disfigured and naturally, he’s pushed everyone away and stayed hidden. Even when he checks out the hot gardener that works in his garden. Little does he know, the man who’s been hired to redo his apartment, IS the hot gardener. Talking through the door seems silly, but he wouldn’t dare let the man see what he looks like.

Until one day, he does. Josh is amazing. He’s patient and kind and everything Christian needs him to be. He doesn’t pretend to not see the scars, but they don’t bother him a bit. I like how he didn’t pretend to not see them, or try to downplay what I’m sure is a serious thing for Christian. He didn’t brush off his anxiety about going out and about, he just worked around it. He nudged him instead of pushed and was so understanding when Christian was uncomfortable. He was really very sweet and of course Christian fell for him, who wouldn’t? Little did he know, the time he spent with Christian, he was falling for him too.

I love hurt/comfort stories. I love the realness of stories like these that have obstacles that aren’t arbitrary or baseless. This one was sweet and slow burning and when these two came together, from friends to lovers, it wasn’t forced or rushed. I loved that.

Although I thought the dialogue was often times cheesy, and I’ve never seen any straight friends act like teenage girls gossiping like Josh’s friends. I liked them as well. I wouldn’t mind reading stories about all of them as well. Overall, it was a very sweet read and I’m glad I didn’t pass it up.

4 pieces of eye candy for me.


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The Charlatan’s Conquest by Vivien Dean: Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

With love and ghosts, the challenge is figuring out what’s real.

Software engineer Cruz Guthrie needs money for his sister’s cancer treatments. He needs it so badly he’s willing to stand in for a ghost hunter friend and investigate a millionaire’s supposed specters. It should be an easy gig—after all, nobody thinks the haunting is real.

Neurological researcher Brody Weber is furious that Cruz would take advantage of Brody’s father. But his mind changes when spirits manifest—and he realizes Cruz genuinely wants to help. When they learn the paranormal activity centers on Brody, Cruz is willing to fight to free Brody from the entities determined to make his life miserable. With a little help from friends and family—both living and dead—they must figure out why Brody is attracting spirits and how to banish them. Only then can they pursue a future together.

Title: The Charlatan’s Conquest
Series: Phantom Fixers
Author: Vivien Dean
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Category: Paranormal: Ghosts/Spirits, Dreamspun Beyond
Pages: 216

Amazon US

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Dreamspinner Press ebook

Dreamspinner Press paperback: (buy the paperback and get the ebook for FREE!)

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

By Vivien Dean

Thank you so much for letting me stop by today! My name is Vivien Dean, and I’m excited to have a release in the debut month of Dreamspinner’s new line, Dreamspun Beyond. It’s nerve-wracking, I’ll admit. I’ve wanted to have a solo title with Dreamspinner for over three years now. The reports from my author friends who published with DSP were nothing but glowing, and I itched to be a part of it. Plus, the covers were gorgeous, and who doesn’t love getting graced with pretty art? So when Dreamspun Beyond was announced, I jumped at the chance. I had been lucky enough to collaborate with Rick Reed on the Dreamspun Desires line, but this would be all on my own, without any filters, without Rick to help me along. Now, I’m not exactly a newbie. I’ve been writing and publishing romance for over a decade. But first impressions only happen once, and I always strive to present the best I can, especially in my work.

First impressions also play vital roles in our stories. It doesn’t matter if characters haven’t met before the story starts or if they’ve known each other for years. Those initial thoughts on the other person, as well as the interactions, can shape how the relationship progresses. Two strangers bumping into each other in a coffee shop have a specific dynamic. Two men who’ve been best friends since kindergarten will bring a completely different perspective to a budding romance. Those first moments matter, whether we see them on the page or not.

In “The Charlatan’s Conquest,” my two heroes, Cruz and Brody, don’t even know the other exists when the story starts. Cruz first meets Brody when Brody storms into a meeting Cruz has with Brody’s father about getting rid of the ghosts haunting the family house. Cruz is already on edge because he feels like a bit of a faker since he’s not a real ghost hunter, so his first instinct is to keep everybody calm so he can stay in control of the situation.

But crashing the meeting and finding this gorgeous guy sitting on the couch with his dad isn’t Brody’s first impression of Cruz. Actually, he’s already formed an opinion before he steps foot in the house. He’s convinced Cruz is a scam artist, which is why he raced to intervene, but when he arrived, this was what greeted him:

Another car was in the circular drive in front of the three-story brick house. Brody pulled up behind it with a frown, his gaze fixed on the vehicle as he got out of his own. It was a dark blue Volvo station wagon, at least twenty years old, with a dozen stickers on its rear bumper. A yellow ribbon for children’s cancer with words of support surrounding it. A rainbow-colored peace symbol. A variety of slogans like I’m not speeding. I’m qualifying and My other car is the Batmobile and Sometimes I wrestle with my demons. Sometimes we just snuggle.

Brody snorted at the last one. He could tell this gay-rights supporter/speed freak/comics-loving ghost hunter a thing or two about demons.

I wanted Brody’s first impression to be very distinct. It’s also fairly accurate in a purely superficial way. Cruz decorated his bumper in stickers that meant something to him, and the chaos of all the messages and colors is perfectly on point with the vibrancy and diversity in Cruz’s life. Brody learned a lot in a single glance, even though he didn’t understand the importance of all of it. It subverted his expectations, which ultimately made it easier for Cruz to gain his trust.

If I had bumper stickers on my car—and the fact that I don’t says something about me, too, whether I like it or not, haha—mine would probably be as diverse as Cruz’s. One for my kids being honors students. Some type of pride emblem. One that says, “Hostile 17 owes me kittens.” The list would likely be huge. My Flex would look like a Nascar car covered in ads. Except not, because, well, it’s a Flex.

What first impression would people get from your (real or imaginary) bumper stickers?

Paranormal stories are not usually my books of choice. With just a few exceptions, I have always been more of a contemporary romance, life in the current plane of reality kind of reader. But The Charlatan’s Conquest intrigued me from the second I read the blurb. Not just because it was part of a new line by Dreamspinner Press, but also because the ghost part, that has always been a bit of a fascination for me, and within the gay romance genre, those books are few and far between.

I immediately liked Cruz. He was a responsible guy, with a family that was strange, but helped to create him into the person he was. His connection to his family made him even more likable, especially his younger sister, who even while she was sick couldn’t help but try to find Cruz the right boyfriend.

Brody, well, he took a little getting used to. The reader could see that his concern was that his father was being swindled, and having spent so much of his life on the other side of things with his father, he wanted to make sure there was not one more thing that would go bad. Brody for years didn’t realize that all the hauntings that he refused to acknowledge were actually brought through him.

Once these two connected and worked through how the hauntings were happening, and what was the root cause, it was easy to see how these two men could work together to try to find the right way to get rid of them, and allow Brody to find a happy place for the first time in his life. Seeing a man who spent his years from the time his mother died until he was able to rid himself of these demons in a terribly unhappy place was tragic, and explained so much about his life, and even his skepticism.

Brody and Cruz fit well together, but even more, they were able to be strengths for each other, as both had their own demons (literally and figuratively) to work through, but needed each other to balance everything out. They were definitely ying to yang for one another. Giving and taking as needed to deal with the enormous and frightening tasks that they had to deal with.

What a satisfying ending, not just to the story, but to how it was dealt with. With ghost and paranormal stories, whatever the author dreams up could be somewhat realistic, or it could be so off the charts out there that the reader has a hard time believing that it “could” happen in a parallel universe. In this case, it felt like something that really could happen in that alternate world.

I really enjoyed this one, and highly recommend! 4.5 pieces of eye candy

 

VIVIEN DEAN is a firm believer that love doesn’t care about gender. That’s why her titles encompass both GLBT and het, erotic and sweet, as well as a wide variety of genres. After growing up in the snowy and isolated Midwest, she went off in search of her creative muse. She performed on stage, wrote and directed indie films in Orlando, then met her British soulmate online. One wedding, two children, and ten addresses later, she resides in the Bay Area where it’s easy to indulge in her favorite pastimes—good theater, great movies, and amazing food.

Vivien is a four-time EPIC eBook Award winner and collaborated with Pepper Espinoza to write as Jamie Craig for five years.

CONTACT VIVIEN

Website: www.viviendean.com

E-mail: vivien_dean@yahoo.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/vivien.dean.3

Twitter: @VivienDean

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Tufted & Tatted by Jacques N. Hoff (SJD Peterson, author): Exclusive Cover Reveal, Guest Post

Tufted & Tatted, is the 4th book in the Peckers series and the first that was solely written by SJD Peterson. For those who may be confused about why I wrote these under Jacques N. Hoff, he is actually the main character in the pecker world. These are his stories, about his friends and will be the star in the final book. What some may have missed from previous books, is book is always dedicated to Jacques long lost love. 🙂
Freed from the Australian zoo where he was the subject of forced breeding experiments, Atticus makes his way to the tufted puffin grounds in California, only to find he may not be free after all. Atty is a loner, but he doesn’t want to fight the pull to a flighty surfer who gives his inked skin a pleasant, uncontrollable itch.

Scott has the sun on his face, the waves beneath him, and gratitude for every second of life he gets to embrace. Then Atty steps into his life, and it’s like the universe has tuned his meditation bell to the perfect frequency.

The Tiki Pro surfing competition in Florida is calling to Scott, and Atty agrees to make sure Scott gets there safely. A cross-country road trip in the Hunny Wagon seems like a perfect way to live in the present and get tantric all at the same time.

But they aren’t making this trek alone.

Title: Tufted & Tatted
Series: Peckers: Book Four
Author: Jacques N. Hoff
Release Date: September 13, 2017
Category: Paranormal: Werewolves/Shifters, Humor
Pages: 82

Dreamspinner Press Preorder Link

 

About Jacques N. Hoff:

My father told me all about the birds and the bees. The liar. I went steady with a woodpecker until I was twenty-one. I now travel the world in search of the hottest peckers—in tandem with my best friend Simon Spoonwell and his blue jay partner Jay Azure.
What you read here is all true. Well, at least in the world of UCPeckers it is. Wherever you see peckers, you may just find me there.

About the Authors:
Jacques N. Hoff is the brainchild of SJD Peterson and S.A. McAuley–two authors who shouldn’t be allowed to interact with each other (at least in public). It was either co-write hot pecker porn or plot world domination. It’s not clear which outcome will take the forefront on any given day.
Sam helped co-write the first three books in the series and is the driving force that started UC Peckers. For now Jo is taking over the series but who knows, you may see Sam pop in from time to time or maybe other guest co-writers.

The UC Peckers World:
Jacques N. Hoff welcomes you to the world of Undercover Peckers. Where love is instant the moment you find your mate. Where there’s only one true pecker for every man. Where the sex is so hot it will singe your tailfeathers. Where bird watching is both a recreation and a preoccupation—that usually leads to feathers flying. Let Jacques N. Hoff, Simon, and his avian shifter mate Jay lead you through this world of sinful and ridiculous exploration.

Jay Walking (Peckers Book 1)

Cockstrut (Peckers Book 2)

Masked Booby (Peckers Book 3)

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 Long and Winding Road by TJ Klune: Release Day Review and Giveaway

Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.

And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.

There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.

There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.

There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.

As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.

Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.

Title: The Long and Winding Road
Series: Bear, Otter, and the Kid Chronicles: Book Four
Author: TJ Klune
Release Date: August 11, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 346

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I feel like I knew this was coming and I still wasn’t prepared for it. How do you? How do you prepare for the end of something you’ve felt so invested in for so long? Something that impacted your life a great deal, even though they were fictional people in a fictional world ? I wasn’t ready… I’m still not.

Probably be mild spoilers, though I’ll try not to… Beware of that now ….that was your warning!

In this one, we start out looking in the past… we see a lot that went on in the time gaps, from Bear’s POV. Ty’s addiction, man, that was a tough one. It was so very well written and explained. My heart broke for both of them, but Tyson…reliving it all from Bear and Otter… I just loved the realness of it all. The reality of it and how much it hurts the people who love you. I wasn’t expecting that. Then, we go on another journey we didn’t get to see in other books. How they decided and how it affected each of them. There’s so much I could, and that I wanna say here. I wanna gush and ramble and cry, because I did a lot of all of that, while reading it… And I’m not being dramatic; especially if you’ve followed this imaginary family from the beginning, you can’t not help but get invested in their fictional little lives and want the absolute best for them, always. All of them, even Creed, who I gotta be honest, drives me a little crazy.

Then, we get to the present…. Izzy… I worried about her after Ty left her last book. That effing cliffhanger… I mean, spoiler if you haven’t read it.. sorry, but if you haven’t then why are you jumping ahead? Go back and read it!

So, Izzie…and Bear and Otter and their amazing news. Then Ty and Dom and Anna and Creed, and everyone is all here. Ty is getting settled into his life where we left him, Dom and Ben… things are good with everyone finally, and we’re on the road to preparing for their future and the greatness they’re getting. It’s a hard road… hard and funny and taxing and emotional… everything you’d expect with this family. But through everything, they always have each other…They’re one giant team, right? Bear and Otter, there isn’t anyone alive that loves as much as those two do… they have an endless amount and it’s so fun to read about. I loved every single second…. Even if I did wanna throttle Otter for just a split second. I love how everything was handled and how Bear can be the serious one when he needs to be. His heart to heart with Izzie had me a mess….I was happy to see him be the calm one, when it counted. When he needed to be, he had several heart to hearts in here….They were even coherent…mostly 😛

And then everything that they’d worked so hard for, everything that had been leading up to this moment…. Happened…. And F if I didn’t fall in love with all of them even more all over again….

Now, the future…the future is perfect. Although I hated to see it end… it ended perfectly… in the best place. Everyone was in the best place. Happy and healthy and together. Kids and family, love and extended hippy family. It couldn’t have ended better. I’m sad, really that it’s over… I’ve been following this series for what seems like ever and we’ve been through a lot with them… a whole lot. But we got everything we needed by the end. Everything to make it okay to say goodbye to. I hope we do get a glimpse at everyone later, maybe in brief cameo in a Paul and Vince book, or possibly if Kori/Corey gets a book, which I beg to all that is Holy that, that will happen.

Although it’s time to say goodbye to everyone, I feel better knowing I can come back and revisit them any time I want to….I give this series AND this story… ALL the sunshine points!

5 stars from me. And even though I may be a little biased, I was given this story with the promise of an honest review… If you follow my reviews at all,  I am nothing but honest… perhaps a little dramatic at times too, but always honest. If you loved any part of this entire series. You won’t want to pass this one up. It’s perfect.


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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.